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ruffians which is able to collect itself into an explosive mass. It would almost seem as if the princes of the House of Orleans imagined, if they were not indeed panic-stricken by the suddenness of the event, that, as they owed their elevation to the mob, the same or a similar mob had a perfect right to pull them down at any time; or, it may be, that the manes of Charles X. rose before their consciences in that hour of trial, and commanded them to accept with resignation a similar fate. Certain it is, that their conduct on that occasion was the least conducive to the welfare of France that they could have adopted. The troops would probably have remained faithful when they had confidence in those who commanded them, and a few volleys of musketry and artillery would have settled the whole question for some time to come. In any case blood was sure to flow, and in still greater abundance. Witness the four days' war in Paris in the summer of 1848, which is said to have cost the Republic five general officers and five thousand men hors de combat, when the principle at issue was not a political one, but simply the rescue of the city from universal pillage and destruction.
Whatever the private and personal grievances of the Orleans family against Louis Napoleon may be, they have no right to throw in his teeth his treatment of France, since imperialism was the only seeming possible solution of the difficulties in which France was left by their abandonment of the helm. In all probability, by the coup d'état, Louis Napoleon did save France from anarchy; whether he was justified in using the means he did to do so is another question. As far as his own personal character is concerned, it would have been far better had he kept the oath that he made to the constitution, such as it was; as far as the welfare of France is concerned, it seems now almost equally clear that he acted for the best. It was high time that
VOL. XC.-NO. DXLIX.
the barricade nuisance should, once for all, be put down, and the fallacy exploded, that an armed mob in any city was able to make effectual head against regular forces, even if they were allowed to make use of all the military means at their disposal. No one can doubt now that France was, in many respects, much better off under the Orleans régime: the press, the salons, the tribune, were free; literature flourished without fear of the censorship; there was a confidence in social relations that has never been known since. But, on the other hand, as that régime was destined to be abolished, the present reign of bayonets is far better for France than the prospective reign of terror under the Republic of 1848. As France did not know when she was well off, it was the duty of the Orleans family, as patriots, to have taught her; but they preferred leaving her to her own devices. As to our own relations with France, we cannot help thinking that the state of things during the Empire will bear a favourable comparison with that which prevailed during the Monarchy of July. That which makes France really dangerous to surrounding nationsan enormous standing army, raised by the tyrannical conscription, and officered by men, the majority of whom depend on their swords for their livelihood-existed then as now; at all events, as the Duc d'Aumale observes, the "cadres" of the regiments existed, and might be filled in at any time. And the same vain, restless, Celtic spirit in the nation, which accounts personal liberty as nothing compared with the satisfaction of its vanity, and alone could account for the toleration of the conscription in a nation politically free, as it was in Louis Philippe's time, existed then in the same force as now. The peaceable and unaggressive nature of Louis Philippe's policy, calculated to lull the apprehensions of the neighbours of France, was perhaps more fraught with real danger than the warlike name of Napoleon, which had the
instant effect of rousing national watchfulness. During the reign of Louis Philippe causes of disagreement between England and France arose on more than one occasion, which produced a popular excitement that the French Government had the greatest difficulty in controlling; and we were, as every one knows, at that time in a state of utter unpreparedness to resist invasion. And supposing, for the sake of argument, that France simply used the English alliance for her own purposes in the Crimean war, what better can be said of the joint interference of France and England in the Belgian revolution, by which we helped to rob the King of Holland, an old ally, of the fairest part of his dominions? Suppose that Louis Napoleon, instead of allowing the steam of France's repressed warlike ardour to escape by the safetyvalve of a Russian war, in conjunction with England, had yielded to the temptation which the unpreparedness of this country afforded, and made the first essay of arms against England? It was better that our military system should be taught its inherent defects and weaknesses on the shores of the Euxine than on the shores of the British Channel. Before the Crimean war we had no militia, no volunteers, no army in an organised shape, only a few dispersed regiments-even no navy, for the ships were without hands (and we know how hastily manned was the Baltic fleet); and the consequence of the Crimean war is the creation of a compact army, which, in proportion to its numbers, is second to none in the world, backed by volunteer and militia forces capable of indefinite extension; while the regimental combination, scarcely to be called an army, which went to the Crimea, covered itself with a glory in proportion to its sufferings, and forced our Government, for very shame, to give our magnificent soldiers the same military advantages which Continental armies have constantly possessed. We do not hesitate to
say, that Louis Napoleon has shown himself a true, though perhaps unconscious, friend of the British soldier. Subsequent to the Crimean war, the British army has proved itself to possess an efficiency equal to that of the wonderful mass of veterans whom the great Duke led across the Pyrenees into France. To the Crimean lesson is undoubtedly due, in a great measure, the miraculous suppression of the Indian mutiny, and that brilliant and perfectly successful campaign in China, the difficulties of which are apt to be lost sight of by the public from the very perfection of the arrangements by which they were surmounted. In that campaign French soldiers again fought by the side of our own; and what they witnessed at that time must have taught them, that whatever England may have been once, she would be now a much more desirable friend than enemy. Nothing can be more likely to disabuse the French of the notion that England is only a naval and not a military power, than the present reformed state of the British army. Indeed, a crisis in our history seems to have come, when it is absolutely necessary, for the safety of our country, that we should reassert our military supremacy as emphatically as in the days of the Plantagenet kings, when the archers of England used to make excursions when and where they pleased, unprovided with passports, on the continent of Europe. The value of seamanship, which no doubt will never cease to exist, becomes far less than it was in days when the barometer can always insure a few hours of fine weather to an ironplated steam fleet, and when a decisive naval battle at least a naval battle in our own narrow seas― would be almost certainly an affair of artillery alone.
The Romans, it must be remembered, under Duilius, in the first Punic war, beat the sailor Carthaginians in the middle of the Mediterranean, by grappling their ships,
and fighting it out on the decks with heavy-armed infantry; and the nautical Athenians were beaten by the same manoeuvre, earlier in the history, in the harbour of Syracuse. Our seamanship will no doubt continue to secure an ascendancy on the ocean and in distant countries, but our safety must henceforth depend on our quasi-military strength, and our ability to supply deficiency of number, as compared with the armies of the Continent, by the perfect equipment and superior quality of our soldiery. The Channel will still give us a great advantage, by rendering it difficult or impossible for any invader to concentrate for offence a force so great as, by means of railroad, we can gather for defence on any given point of the coast. Before the time of Louis Napoleon, we lay at the mercy of France or any other Continental power which might take the trouble to invade us. The name of England alone may have kept them at bay if any were mischievously disposed, as Achilles, without his armour, once drove the Trojans from the ships; but what if the Trojans had turned on Achilles?
Louis Napoleon and the French Empire are popularly looked upon in England, Germany, and elsewhere, as a standing menace to Europe. But the standing menace is more truly the standing army of France, and that standing barbaric element in the character of the else most civilised of nations which supports that standing army. France is the only nation of Europe, with the exception perhaps of Russia, confessedly still half barbarous, which has not exploded the notion that extensions of territory mean increase of internal prosperity and national happiness. France is the only adult nation over whose pillow juvenile dreams of conquest still continue to hover. If such notions have been communicated by her to Spain, it must be because Spain is in her dotage. Not that England is unambitious,
but her ambition is of a different kind. She finds herself happy under her own institutions, and wishes to see those institutions extended by fair means throughout the world. But without being possessed of sufficient brute force to resist the brute force of the enemies that all friends of their kind are sure to raise against themselves, she would be always liable to be bullied out of her legitimate influence. The antique Athene, the goddess of civilisation, was never seen without her shield and spear, and it is the duty of the modern Britannia to keep up the character which she professes on her coinage.
The Duc d'Aumale, one is not surprised to find, takes the popular view of the inconsistency of Louis Napoleon's promises and professions, and of course contrasts the facts of the Crimean and Lombard wars with the theory expressed in the dictum, "L'empire c'est la paix." Louis Napoleon is under the disadvantage of being nominally a despotic sovereign, whereas his power is limited, not by constitutional, but only unconstitutional powers in the background. No doubt he would have spoken more truly, if not more judiciously, had he been able to say, The empire was war, but I mean to make it peace if I can." Having no prestige of legitimacy, but a prestige of arms, his dynasty must keep up the military glory of France, and, if possible, extend her territory. The dead tell no tales, and therefore Count Cavour can no more confess the exact conditions on which the aid of France was promised to Sardinia against Austria; but we may be quite sure that a war for an idea could never have satisfied the aspirations of the French military. The Russian war was a war for an idea-a war for the balance of power; and Louis Napoleon saw that it had not satisfied France. But he made the Austrian war as safe and short as possible, patched up a peace at Villafranca, while Italy was not yet free from
the Alps to the Adriatic, but secured for France what she wanted -an accession of territory in Savoy and Nice. The French Government is now almost in open conflict with the ultramontane clergy, whom it before found it politic to conciliate; the Emperor will no doubt throw the Pope over as soon as he can find it safe to do so, and acknowledge the kingdom of Italy, with Rome as its capital; but in doing so, he must of course mortally offend the ultramontanists in France, who are so strong among the parochial clergy, and through them among the ignorant peasantry of the departments. To afford to lose this class of his former supporters he must do something to keep up his popularity with another, and that something would naturally assume the shape of demanding a further cession of territory from Sardinia as the price of withdrawing his troops from Rome; perhaps the island of Sardinia, or more probably because that island would be in danger of becoming a hostage in the hands of the first maritime power-the town and territory of Genoa, the great gate of Italy; the effect of which cession would be to make the new-born kingdom a mere satellite of France; and on which subject England ought to say most emphatically that she will acknowledge no Italian unity unless Italian independence be guaranteed at the same time. We find that the Duc d'Aumale does, in a measure, see the Emperor's position, but he does not seem to us to give him sufficient credit for his personal intentions, as compared with the influences to which he is obliged to bow. "I know that it is difficult to promise so much, and to always make such promises good; I am aware of the convenient part which is played in turn, according to the necessities of the situation; sometimes by the ancient parties, sometimes by the manifestations of different national wills, not to mention the policy of England," &c.
We are scarcely able to sympa
thise with the Duke when he comes to speak of Napoleon I. as an exception to the general worthlessness of his family. To us it seems as if Louis, Joseph, Jerome, Lucien, and Murat, were angels of light in comparison with that meanest and most selfish of all scourges of mankind commonly called the Great Napoleon.
"When I think on the prodigious efforts which the genius of the Emperor made to save France in 1814, admiration and patriotism quench every other sentiment in my bosom; and when I contemplate the great misfortune of the captive of St Helena, there is no place in my heart but for grief and sympathy."
These are, of course, words written for French readers, and it would have been better for the writer's character for sincerity had they been spared; for in what follows, his real conviction comes to light, although mildly expressed, that "he it was whose passions and faults inflicted on France a humiliation without parallel in our history." It may not be a pleasant consideration for Frenchmen, but it is nevertheless true, that that salvation of France in 1814 which Napoleon I. failed to accomplish, having, on the contrary, brought France to the lowest stage of misery and ruin, was in reality accomplished, under Providence, by a certain English general called Arthur, Duke of Wellington, who prevented the indignant Allies, by his personal influence alone, from taking condign vengeance on the country when it lay at their feet, and guarded, from domestic and external enemies, the development of the constitutional regime of Louis XVIII. Tested by even the false criterion of extension of territory, as the Duke observes, Louis XIV. was greater than Napoleon, for in the midst of all his disasters he left France enriched by several provinces, whereas Napoleon I. left nothing to France but a legacy of disgrace-the feelings of a disappointed burglar when taken in the act of burglary. That the Duc
d'Aumale should think it necessary to allude to the myriads of French lives that this enormous wretch sacrificed to his wanton ambition, only shows how necessary it is to repeat any commonplace reasonable statement, in order to diminish the insane veneration that France feels for his memory. As for St Helena, the question naturally suggests it self to minds of the present day, how our fathers could have been so short-sighted as willingly to take upon themselves the invidious office of Napoleon's jailers, an office which, however mildly administered, was sure to be unpopular in France. If Napoleon surrendered at discretion, it would have been discreet in us to have handed over the murderer of the Duc d'Enghien to the tender mercies of a Prussian court-martial. One remark of the Duc d'Aumale we are glad to reproduce, as it is indicative of the entire absence of chivalry in the character of Napoleon I., as well as an answer by a Frenchman to the absurd notion, that at Waterloo the English were fairly beaten though they did not know it.
"You have always 1815 on your lips; but you cause us to remember that, on the return from Waterloo, the Emperor had only an insult to throw as a last adieu to that army which had just enacted such prodigies of valour: 'Une bataille terminée, une journée finie, de fausses mesures réparées, de plus grands succès assurés pour le lendemain, tout fut perdu par un moment de terreur panique.' Well, when your uncle wrote those lines, he was perfectly well aware that the victory had not been for a single instantI do not say certain-but probable; he knew well that there was no panic, and that our soldiers fought still, when, so far from there being any chance of conquering, there was not even a chance of resistance." After all, we may well ask, On what is the prestige of the name of Napoleon I. founded? No doubt he was a skilful general; but what other general was ever possessed
of his means? Given a nation of indomitable courage and peculiar restlessness of character, showing itself in a monomania for military glory, and a willingness to offer up any number of human lives to achieve it, and nothing is wanting but an utterly unscrupulous leader to enable that nation to terrorise all its neighbours for a while, before it was itself crushed; for this is the sum and substance of all the glories of the great conqueror whom France delights to honour, and even Europe apologetically admires. Louis Napoleon, it must always be remembered, had no other ladder to mount to his present elevation but the infatuated attachment of France to this disastrous memory; and, considering with how great prudence he has played the difficult game which he found in his hands, we cannot help thinking that he deserves the cognomen of Great more justly than his uncle. Bound as his hands are, he is doing all he can to promote the material prosperity of France; and he has encouraged, in spite of occasional bickerings, much more pleasant international relations with England than the boasted "entente cordiale" of the reign of Louis Philippe. If he could only live to modify the nature of the enormous standing army of France, so as to give it more the character of a localised militia, and deprive it of its aggres sive character-a character which dates from the days of Louis XIV.
he would probably be the greatest benefactor of France, Europe, and mankind, that the nineteenth century has produced.
We see that the general liberalism of the Duke's letter is modified by a filial regard for the temporal power of the Pope, and an unqualified admiration for poor Lamoricière. These sentiments, as in the case of Montalembert, make us suspicious of the perfect sincerity of his praises of liberty and constitutionalism. Any power, however despotic, which is free from spiritual thraldom, may encourage human