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right, and for the maintenance of justice, and because you have known how to elevate France without humiliating Europe.”
Now, we suspect that when he is perfectly alone with his own conscience, M. de Morny knows as well as we do where lie the immense exaggerations of all this; we suspect he is perhaps even less deceived than many others, and (to take one phrase alone) is better aware than most people how far from truth it is to affirm that the desire for freedom, disguised under the term "Revolution,” is either vanquished by force, set to sleep by material benefits, or turned from its purpose by what he is pleased to denominate "generosity.” We suspect he knows how things really stand in France more accurately than ninetynine hundredths of the tribe of functionaries and court hirelings; yet still there is the same obsequiousness, there are the same servile expressions, and what we should like to call the same genuflexions of language, as in every official harangue that has been delivered since the year 1811! And how may we prove that they really are the same? What best proves to us that monotony of slavishness from which we involuntarily turn away? What best proves it is the reply of the very individual to whom it is all addressed. Louis Napoleon's answer to M. de Morny is the best criticism upon M. de Morny's speech; and if a little circumstance that has reached our knowledge be correct, this censure, to all appearance very gently applied, strikes not at the person of the President of the Legislative Chamber, but at the servility which inspires him as an abstraction. Strange to say, yet nevertheless true, by a mere chance, no copy of M. de Morny's speech reached the Emperor in time for him to frame his answer upon it! so that, in fact, the imperial reply, which so properly discourages fulsome flattery, and is, as several Paris journals ventured to remark, “so good a lesson to courtiers in general,” was framed in the absolute prevision of what could not fail to exist, of an explosion of servility, which was the thing to be expected, which must unavoidably characterize the discourse to be responded to!! This beforehandreckoning upon the extent of the platitude whereof a courtier and public functionary would infallibly be capable, is not one of the least curious features of the whole; and when we are made aware of it, it adds an increased interest to the Emperor's excellent speech. Rushing boldly and straight upon that which constitutes the whole difficulty, the whole embarrassment of the position, Louis Napoleon wisely says :
"All the acclamations I hear round my son's cradle cannot succeed in making me forget the fate of those who have been born in the self-same place, and under analogous circumstances. If I hope that his destiny may differ from theirs, it is only because, confident in Providence, I cannot doubt the fact of its protection, when I see so extraordinary a concourse of events combining to raise up anew what was thrown down forty years since. It is as though Providence had meant, by misfortune and by martyrdom, to give the consecration of age to a new dynasty sprung from the people's ranks. But history, too, has lessons that I will not forget. On the one hand, it tells that Fortune's favours should not be misused; on the other, that no dynasty has a chance of stability but in remaining faithful to its origin, and being wholly and solely occupied by the popular interests, for the safeguard of which it was founded."
This speech courts observation in more ways than one. First, for the manner in which it accepts the past, and for the exceeding unflinchingness in which it looks the situation in the face. A few words of explanation will not be wasted, for we think the extent of the Emperor's boldness and wisdom has not, upon this point, been sufficiently appreciated in England.
The impossibility of transforming the present imperial infant into the only heir to sovereignty in France, the total impracticability of disguising that he is the fourth child born in the same place, with the same high destiny apparently before him, has driven the flatterers to the adoption of one only device,that of imagining that the "place" being the same, the “circumstances” were different. This was the loophole through which all their servility was exhaled; but the Emperor has wisely and courageously stopped up this outlet. He himself is the first, he is the only person who ventures to declare that not only the "place" was the same, but that the “ circumstances" were also “analogous.” Here is, in fact, the pith and substance of the lesson given to M. de Morny, and at the same time to the courtier tribe in general. · Other parts of the Emperor's speech are equally interesting to note: that passage, for instance, where he thinks fit to talk of his dynasty as "sprung from the people's ranks.” If we and our readers had time for it, a discussion upon this would be fertile in argument; but we will only rapidly glance at one point of special interest which occurs to us. What is the principle opposed to the electoral or “popular” right ?—It is the right of tradition,—the hereditary right. Hereditary right is absolutely incompatible with the notion of a right conferred by the choice of a nation, of a crown given by universal suffrage to an individual. Yet here is the double origin which Louis Napoleon is for ever striving to give to his own power,-here are the two conflicting principles which he is eternally trying to conciliate. The self-same fault (if fault it was) that the Comte de Provence committed in styling himself Louis the Eighteenth, that identical fault has been and is daily committed by Louis Napoleon, who styles himself Napoleon III., whilst courting favour from the lower orders-les masses, as the French call them,-by talking of his dynasty as founded solely upon popular choice.
The next point to be remarked (and which has been so considerably) is the assertion that the stability of a dynasty depends only upon its entire and exclusive devotion “to the popular interests for the safeguard of which it was founded.” This, coupled with what have hitherto been the manifest tendencies of the present government in France, does not exactly satisfy the majority of the reflecting public. People remember, in spite even of themselves, the words uttered by Louis Bonaparte's nearest friend and confidant, M. de Persigny, to M. de Montalembert immediately after the coup d'état of 1851,-“You ask how we mean to govern. Two words will tell: we mean to govern with and by the masses; with or without the middle and upper classes, according as they themselves choose; against them, if they attempt to resist us." Now, however we may admire or approve the policy of the Emperor Napoleon III.; however we may rejoice over our alliance with him, and feel grateful for the good faith he has kept with us throughout, we cannot, nor can any one, deny that the above programme has hitherto been strictly adhered to and carried out. The Government of France is set in movement by the lower orders,—by the masses,-to the detriment, and, in fact,
indirectly to the exclusion, of the upper and educated classes. This, it requires no witchcraft to discern, is to the inevitable disadvantage of the moral elevation, and to the grievous embarrassment of the financial resources of the country; and this, far from being likely to improve, is affirmed by the Emperor to be the proper basis upon which the edifice of government ought to rest. We have merely glanced at all this, because we could not leave it altogether unnoticed ; and we will now return to specify the analogous circumstances accompanying the successive births of the four heirs to sovereignty in France, analogies admitted and marked out by the Emperor Napoleon himself.
first compare the natural circumstances attendant upon the birth of the King of Rome with those which accompanied the recent birth of the Imperial Prince, we shall find a marked resemblance. A reference to the Moniteur of the 20th and 21st March, 1811, and to the official announcements coincident with the recent birth, will be found to justify this remark. And according to the recollections of those who were about the Tuileries forty-five years ago, and to the ocular testimony of the persons who witnessed the recent birth, the incidents of the two confinements were the same, excepting that, science having progressed, it was possible for Dubois the son to take upon himself a responsibility, which Dubois the father dared not assume without the famous question,—“Sire, which must be saved, the mother or the child ?"
If we examine the circumstances, in either case dependent upon the Sovereign's will, we shall find, for the most part, a close imitation in 1856 of what took place in 1811, even to such expressions as these (identical).
During the whole of the pains of labour, the Emperor did not cease to attend upon the Empress with the most touching solicitude."-(Moniteur, 21st March, 1811.) The very words, “N'a cessé de prodiguer à l'Impératrice les soins les plus touchants," were textually copied in the official journals of the 17th March, 1856. Also we find the following in the same Moniteur of 21st March, 1811:4"In order to respond to the eagerness of the crowd that forces its way to have news of the Empress and of her august child, there will be every day from eight o'clock in the morning till eight in the evening, a chamberlain on service in the first saloon of the state apart. ments, who will answer the questions of every visitor, and communicate to them the bulletins that her Majesty's physicians will give out twice a day.” This, too, was copied literally; so was the whole of the “ cérémonial,” with, we are bound to say, some few alterations much to the credit of the present Emperor's good sense. For instance, in the ceremony of the ondoiement, or christening, in 1811, we find the Marshal Duc de Canegliano holding up the train of Napoleon I. !-"portait la queue de son manteau” are the expressions,-a service from which the mar. shals and generals of our times have been as yet exempted by Napoleon III. Various little details, too, have also been spared the French public, which in 1811 were held to be of the intensest interest; as, for instance, the following announcement of the 23rd March, 1811 :-"His Majesty the King of Rome has passed a good night, although he has been slightly troubled with colics, which are known to be inevitable at this early period of his life.” (Three days old !) “This morning his Majesty is quite well.” And again, of the same date : “The colics experienced by his Majesty the King of Rome during a part of last night have quite ceased.” 1
From such puerilities as the above, to the public announcement of which the hero of Marengo and Austerlitz gave his gravest attention, we repeat it, the present Emperor has saved the French public, as also from such exhibitions as the ensuing :
“The Senate, Council of State, and other corps admitted to present their homage to the Emperor, were received by the King of Rome during the diplomatic audience. His Majesty lay in the cradle given to him by the town of Paris; close to his Majesty stood Madame la Comtesse de Montesquiou, head governess, and the officers on service about his Majesty's person. The various corps were introduced and presented successively by the master of the ceremonies. The presidents of the Senate and Council of State delivered speeches, to which Madame la Gouvernante replied. The other corps were named by the
1 See the numbers of the Moniteur of 22nd, 23rd, 24th March, 1811. VOL. I. NO. I.