Imatges de pàgina
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ciples. The one quality persuades them that they may be able, by dint of management, to avert danger from themselves; and the other renders them indifferent respecting the safety of others.

ticians of the revolution have always exercised their chemical skill. Öf late, however, the intercourse between the philosophers of the revo, lution and this class of apt and docile scholars, had been considerably interrupted. Buonaparte, as we have hinted, restrained with a strong hand the teachers of this school; while by the eclat of his victories, his largesses, and his expensive undertakings, he debauched from them great part of their popular disciples, who may be said, with the inconsequence and mutability belonging to their habits, principles, and temper, to have turned imperialists, without losing their natural aptitude to become jacobins again on the next tempting opportunity.

During the government of Buonaparte, this jacobinical party was repressed by a strong hand. He knew, by experience of every sort, their restless, intriguing, and dangerous disposition. They also knew and feared his strength, and his unscrupulous use of it. The return of the Bourbons called them into life, like the sun which thaws the frozen adder; but it was only to show how they hated the beams which revived them. The Bourbon dynasty, with all the remembrances it combined, seemed to this faction the very opposite to their favourite revolution, and they studied with malignant assiduity the degree of liberty afforded by the national charter, not in order to defend or to enjoy it, but to discover how it might be made the vantage-ground for over throwing both the throne and constitution. Carnot and Fouché, formidable names, and revolutionists from their youth upward, were the ostensible leaders of this active party, and most of the surviving revolutionists rallied under their standards. These agitators had preserved some influence over the lees of the people, and were sure to find the means of augmenting it in the moment of popular commotion. The rabble of a great town is democratical and revolutionary by nature; for their vanity is captivated with such phrases as the sovereignty of the people; their avarice and licentious fury tempted by occasion for uproar; and the restraints of laws and good order, they regard as their constant and natural enemies. It is upon this envenomed and corrupted mass of evil passions, that the philosophical and experimental poli

The party of IMPERIALISTS, or BUONAPARTISTS, if we lay the army out of view, was small and unimportant. The public functionaries, whom the king had displaced from the situations of emolument which they held under the emperor,--courtiers, prefects, commissioners, and commissaries, whose present means and future hopes were cut off, were of course disobliged and discontented men, who looked with a languishing eye towards the Island of Elba. The immediate family connections, favourites, and ministers of the late emperor, confident in the wealth which most of them had acquired, and resenting the insignificance to which they were reduced by the restoration of the Bourbons, lent to this party the activity which money, and the habit of political intrigue, can at all times communicate. But the real and tremendous strength of the Buonapartists lay in the attachment of the existing army to its abdicated general. This was the more formidable, as the circumstances of the times, and the general military character of the French nation, had raised the army from its proper and natural character,

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of servants of the state, into a distinct deliberative body, having interests of its own, which were in their nature incompatible with those of the commonwealth, since the very profession of arms implies an aptitude to a state of war, which, to all other ranks in the state, may indeed be a necessary and unavoidable evil, but never can be a real advantage.

The king could not be accused of neglecting to cultivate the affections, soothing the prejudices, and gratifying the wishes of the army. The fact is, that the unprecedented difficulties of his situation forced him to study how to manage by flattery, and by the most imprudent indulgences and favours, the only part of his subjects, who, according to the rules of all well-governed states, ought to be subjected to absolute authority. The Bourbon family felt, or thought it ne cessary to affect, the same solicitude about the state and numbers of their standing army, which was entertained by the war-loving Napoleon. Efforts, which, in the exhausted state of the country, might be termed gigantic, were made to remount the cavalry regiments, to repair the loss of artillery, and all the materiel of the army, to clothe the soldiers, and to pay a part of the heavy arrears due to them. Their ranks were again filled with upwards of one hundred and fifty thousand prisoners of war, restored by England, Russia, and Prussia, whose minds were in general actuated by an ardent wish to avenge the dishonour and hardship of their captivity upon the countries in which they had sustained it.

Having thus re-established this formidable engine, the king had before him the more difficult task of gaining the command and management of it. The marshals he endeavoured to attach to his cause by even adding to the emoluments which they had enjoyed under Buonaparte, and

treating them with a respect which they had never received from that stern autocrat. "It is on you, gentlemen," he said, as he received them in public, and availed himself of their assistance to rise," it is on you I must always lean." There is every reason to think, that the court, which on this and other occasions the king paid to the marshals, was successful in most instances. They had, besides, many wrongs to complain of from Buonaparte, who, in the last campaigns, had often left them with inadequate means to atchieve the most desperate attempts, and then publicly charged their want of enterprize or skill as the cause of failure. Above all, the age of enterprize and active ambition was past with most of these distinguished generals, and, like the soldier of the Roman satirist, they felt no alacrity to rush on new dangers, after having obtained the prize of wealth and honour, for which they had struggled in their youth. Had the marshals possessed absolute, or even extensive influence over the army, it is probable the reign of the Bourbons would not have been disturbed.

But the policy of Buonaparte continued to operate upon the army which he had organized, with a view to the support of his own authority. It was a principle of his system to suffer no general officer to have the means. of acquiring a degree of influence with the troops, which might in any respect be put into competition with his own. For this purpose, all officers and soldiers, of whatever rank, were permitted and encouraged to approach him personally with their petitions or complaints. The course of preferment was understood to ema. nate chiefly from the free-will of the emperor; and his occasional familiarity with the inferior officers and soldiers formed a strong contrast to the abrupt and reserved manner in which

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to disband some corps, a measure which the army, conscious of its own demerits towards the Bourbons, regarded as preparatory to a general reduction, so soon as the king durst venture on so bold and decisive a step. Their very means of subsistence, therefore, as soldiers, and few could or would practise any art but the military, seemed to depend on some speedy change of the existing order of things.

he treated his marshals. Napoleon thus continued in person to fill the eye and occupy the attention of the soldiers; and his generals resembled the handle of the sword, of which the mounting could be changed at pleasure, while the army was the blade itself, retaining the same unvaried temper, notwithstanding such occasional alteration. It was natural also that the French army should remember the unparalleled degree of military fame which they had acquired under Napoleon, and which had render ed them so long the dread of Europe and the pride of France. Let it not be thought, that recollection of recent losses and defeats were capable of allaying the enthusiasm with which the soldier looked back on this long train of victory. He "whose business 'tis to die," and whose hopes of promotion depend on the death of his comrades, recollects a field of carnage as a sailor remembers a storm or shipwreck, the terrors of which are never known to divert him from his profession. To such a height had this indifference arrived in the French army, that a very young officer, made prisoner at Talavera after the corps to which he belonged had been reduced from fifteen hundred to about two hundred men, cordially thanked the English colonel, to whom he gave his sword, for having achieved his promotion, by sweeping out of his way all the senior officers of the regiment. These men, whose sense of justice and morality had been long destroyed, saw in the universal peace of Europe nothing but a bar to their individual promotion, unless by the slow progress of survivance, and a period to their importance as well as to the captivating facilities of acquiring and dissipating wealth afforded by the licensed plunder of Buonaparte's campaigns. This temper of the soldiery became yet more alarming when the state of the public finances rendered it necessary

Nor was it only the selfish interests of the army which rendered them discontented. The sense of honour, as it was called, or rather the vanity of military ascendancy and national aggrandisement, had been inspired by Buonaparte into all classes of his subjects, but were chiefly cherished by his companions in arms. According to their opinion, the glory of France had risen with Buonaparte, and sunk with him for ever, not, as they fondly contended, through the superior force of the enemy, but by the treachery of Marmont, and the generals whom he trusted. This sentiment passed from the ranks of the soldiers into other classes of society, all of which are in France deeply susceptible of what is represented to them as national glory; and it was again echoed back to the soldiers from fields, from work-shops, from manufactories. All began to agree that they had received the Bourbons from the hands of foreign conquerors, and that the king's reign had only commenced, because France had been conquered, and Paris surrendered. They remembered that the allies had declared the restoration of the ancient family was combined with the restriction of France within the ancient limits; and that, accordingly, the first act of Monsieur, as lieutenant of the kingdom, had been to order the surrender of upwards of fifty fortresses beyond the frontiers, which Buonaparte, it was supposed, would have rendered the means of re-acquiring the conquests of which fortune

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or treachery had for a time bereft him. The meanest follower of the camp affected to feel his share in the national disgrace of losing provinces, to which France had no title save that of military usurpation. The hope that the government would at least endeavour to re-conquer Belgium, so convenient for France, and which, as they contended, fell within her natural boundaries, served for a time to combat these feelings; but when it was perceived plainly that the government of France neither could nor would engage in external war for this or any other object, the discontent of the army became universal, and they might be pronounced ripe for any desperate enterprize.

paid by Buonaparte," said a prince to these malcontents," as by the king, that you seem so much to regret the exchange?" "What is that to you," returned a veteran grenadier, "if we did chuse to trust our general with a few months pay?" But, in such circumstances, it had been better for the king to have selected 20,000 guards, placed on a more economical footing, than a small body of privileged body guards, which served only to excite the jealousy and envy of the rest of the army, without affording any effectual protection to the royal cause.

Amidst these general sentiments of the soldiery, the favourite guard of Buonaparte retained, as was natural, a yet deeper, attachment to his person, and a more profound resentment of the supposed wrongs which the glory of France had received. Their murmurs were loud and unequivocal, and they were subjected in consequence to circumstances of discountenance and disgrace, which irritated their desire of revenge, while they did not withdraw from them the means of executing it. They were deprived of the privilege of guarding the royal person, the care of which was entrusted to about two thousand household troops, highly paid and expensively decorated, the individual members of which were selected as approved royalists. This was a just as well as a necessary measure, since it could hardly be expected that the king should entrust himself to the worse than doubtful faith of the old Imperial Guards, who, while eating his bread, and parading in the courts

The army, indisposed already to the royal family from so many causes, sought out others in the prodigality with which the king distributed crosses of the Legion of Honour, an honorary decoration established by Buonaparte, which it had been judged proper to retain, only changing the effigies and cypher of the usurper for those of Henry IV. It was said that the Duchess of Angouleme, in particular, held in her work-bag a number of them, which she gave away carelessly to all who approached her, with a profusion which seemed intended to diminish its value. To this it was replied by the friends of the Bourbons, that the cross of St Louis, which the king could not he suspected of any intention to discredit or dishonour, had been distributed with similar pro digality. And indeed it would appear, that deficiency of more substantial means of recompensing services or securing gratitude, had led to a profusion in granting the decorations of both orders, the more impolitic, as such distinctions, the value of which is purely ideal at all times, cease to be honourable in proportion to the faci

of his palace, expressed the most delity with which they are obtained, and
the numbers on whom they are con-
ferred. If, as was confidently averred,
the minister of the household made
these honours the subject of barter
and sale, the degradation of the orders

cided contempt for his person, and the
most devoted attachment to the usurp-
er. Even their own interest seemed to
give way to their predilections and
prejudices. "Were you as punctually

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became complete, and the unfaithful and sordid servant of the crown ought to have been punished severely. But while we record the charge brought againt Count de Blacas, we ought to add, that we have found no distinct proof of its justice.

friends of Buonaparte suffered not
"There is a
these passions to cool.
plot of the royalists against you," was
incessantly repeated to the regiments
upon which these new officers were
"The Bourbons cannot
imposed:
think themselves safe while those who
shared the triumphs of Napoleon have
either honour or existence. Your
ranks are subjected to the command
of dotards, who have never drawn a
sword in battle, or who have served
only in the emigrant bands of Condé,
or among the insurgent Chouans and
Vendeans. What security have you
against being disbanded on a day's
notice? And if the obligations of the
government to you bind them, as it
would seem, so slightly, will you con-
sider yours to them as of a stricter de-
scription?" Such insinuations and
such reasoning inflamed the preju-
dices of the army; disaffection spread
generally through their ranks, and,
long before the bold attempt of Napo-
leon, his former soldiery were gene-
rally prepared to aid him in the reco-
very of his power.

The state of active political parties
was such as we have described, but the
great mass of the population in France
was neither Royalist, nor Republican,
nor Buonapartists. For want of a better
name they may be termed Constitu
tionalists, although the term, in strict-
ness, implies a more decided taste and
predilection in politics than was, gene-
rally speaking, to be found in this nu-
merous and miscellaneous class. They
were not royalists; for, notwithstand-
ing the charms which the name of
Bourbon once had for Frenchmen,
and which the flattering journals con-
tinued to ascribe to it, nothing is more
certain, than that the recollections
which the greater part of the present
generation had of the royal family
were merely historical, and as void of
animation as ours concerning the
On the
Plantagenets or Tudors.
other hand, this numerous body of

The course of promotion was another source of clamorous complaint to the army. The princes of the blood royal had been early declared colonels general by the king, and the army soon discovered, or supposed they discovered, that under their auspices the superior ranks of the army were likely to be filled by the emigrant nobility, whose military service was considered as having been continued while they were in attendance upon the king during his exile. The most indecent competition was thus excited between those whose claims were founded in their devoted attachment to the house of Bourbon, and those who had borne arms against that family, but still in the service of France. The truth is, that the derangement of the finances, and the jealousy of the ministers, each of whom claimed the exclusive patronage of his own department, left the king no means so ready for discharging his debts of gratitude, and affording the means of subsistence to his ancient friends and adherents, as by providing for them in the army. The measure was in many respects undesirable, though perhaps unavoidable. Old men past the age of service, or young men who had never known it, were, in virtue of these claims, placed in situations to which the actual officers conceived they had bought a title by their laurels and their scars. The appearance of the superannuated emigrants, who were thus promoted to situations ill-suited to age and infirmity, raised the ridicule and contempt of Buonaparte's soldiers, while the patriciar. haughtiness and youthful presumption of the younger nobles excited their indignation. The agents and

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