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as one of the regents of the Smithsonian Institution, he called on the Chief Magistrate, who was so much struck by his bearing and his talents that he sent in his name for that high mission. This glance at his career discloses his political sentiments; but nothing in it is so agreeable as the manner in which he disposed of his leisure abroad and at home. His
Residence at the Court of London,” from 1817 to 1825, is a diary of surpassing interest, abounding in personal anecdotes and incidents of the British Minister, Lord Castlereagh, who committed suicide in August, 1822, after a most brilliant life; of Wilberforce, the Duke of Wellington, Brougham, George Canning, Mr. Erskine, Mr. Stratford Canning, and hundreds of others of almost equal celebrity. His notes of the numerous diplomatic consultations and social reunions are charmingly written. He was in London when George the Third died; saw the coronation of George the Fourth, July 20, 1821; and was present as a private citizen in London at the death of his successor, William the Fourth, and the accession of Queen Victoria, in 1837. His "Occasional Productions,” published in 1860, were not less interesting. Here we find a view of “Washington in Domestic Life," made up from personal letters of Washington to his private secretary, Colonel Lear; also Colonel Lear's account of Washington's conduct when he heard of the treason of Major André, and of his great excitement over St. Clair's defeat by the Indians in 1791; also, the opening of Congress in Philadelphia, in 1794 or 1795, by Washington, as Mr. Rush saw it when he was a boy; and other recollections. There are fine sketches of John C. Calhoun and George Canning; but the chapters entitled "A Glance at the Court and Government of Louis Philippe and the French Revolution of 1848" are of unusual interest for their bearing upon the France of the present day, as we see it in the light of passing events.
There are many yet living in Philadelphia who remember the great meeting in Independence Square in 1848, when Louis
Philippe," the Citizen King," was driven out of Paris with his family, and the fervid resolutions of sympathy that were adopted, engrossed, signed by the officers and committees, enclosed in a silver case, and sent to Mr. Rush, to be presented to Lamartine, the poetic, imaginative, and kind-hearted President of the Provisional Government which rose upon the ruins of the Orleans dynasty. The demonstration included all parties, and our proffer of sympathy was only part of the chorus that thrilled our own country and convulsed the world. Germany, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, even England, felt the uprising in France. The overthrow of the Mexican arms; the election of General Taylor to the Presidency; the acquisition of California ; the fiery speeches of Thomas Francis Meagher; the meteor career of Kossuth, his welcome in America by the people and by the two Houses of Congress; the downfall of Lamartine; the short government of Cavaignac; the revolutions in Paris; the flight of the Pope, and the election of Louis Napoleon as President of France, virtually set the world on fire; and two continents throbbed with a delirium compounded of thirst for gold, for liberty, and for revolution. During most of these scenes, Richard Rush was American Minister at Paris, and wrote the graphic chapters to which I have referred. He was intimate with the family of the amiable French King, Louis Philippe, and met almost daily Guizot, Thiers, and their contemporaries. From the 21st of July, 1847, to the 23d of February, 1848, Mr. Rush enjoyed the delightful society of diplomatists and scholars. He formed the acquaintance of the veteran Humboldt, who had dined with his father, Dr. Rush, in Philadelphia. He conversed with the French King about the triumphs of our arms in Mexico; compared notes with the members of the Academy, maintained a delightful intercourse with Mr. Walsh, the invaluable American Consul in Paris ; introduced George Bancroft, then our Minister at London, to the Court circles, and watched the growing conflicts of the hour. At last the storm broke,
February 23, 1848, and in three days the King, Queen, and all the royal family were fugitives. Then came Lamartine and Cavaignac, and then the concerted effort in favor of Louis Napoleon.
The revolution fell like a thunder-clap upon Paris. On the 25th of February the King signed an abdication in favor of the Comte de Paris, the Duchess of Orleans to be Regent. On the same day the royal family were all scattered and gone. Louis Napoleon was then an exile in London, himself and his relatives banished under the law of 1832, but all active in restoring themselves to power at the earliest moment, and ready to seize every advantage. The revolution which displaced the King was followed by the Provisional Government, headed by Lamartine; but he had hardly time to breathe before the Red Republicans began to operate against him. On the 2d of March, 1848, Prince Louis Napoleon returned to Paris from London, and declared his desire to rank himself under the flag of the Republic; and, in the meanwhile, his cousins, Pierre and Prince Jerome Bonaparte (Plonplon), were elected members of the National Assembly. On the 11th of May the Provisional Government was dissolved, and on the 15th another revolution broke out, and was suppressed with difficulty. Louis Napoleon, having returned to London, addressed a letter to the Assembly, dated May 25, in which he demands to know why he alone of all the Bonaparte family has been banished from France, and renews his claim to the rights that belong to him as a French citizen. On the roth of June cries in favor of Louis Napoleon were heard among the troops, and he was denounced in the Assembly as a Pretender, the cause being that he had just been elected a member of that body by three provinces and by the city of Paris. On the 13th his cousin, the present Prince Napoleon, defended the absent Louis, and demanded “common justice” for him. This scene was followed by renewed cries among the troops outside of Vive l'Empereur! An
attempt was made to revive the edict of banishment against Louis Napoleon, which was resisted by both his cousins, Pierre Napoleon and the present Prince Napoleon, and no action was taken upon the motion. On the 14th the Assembly voted by a great majority to admit Louis Napoleon to his seat as representative-a triumph for him and a defeat for the Government. In reply to this action, Louis Napoleon wrote a letter from London, in which he said he would prefer to remain in exile rather than be made the subject of disorder and anarchy. At this moment M. Jules Favre violently denounced him for that passage in his letter in which he hinted at his desire for supreme power, a fact not less significant because he had just supported the admission of Louis Napoleon as a member of the Assembly. On the 17th Louis Napoleon wrote another letter, in which, "in order to maintain the peace of the Republic," he resigned his seat as a member of the Assembly. On the 23d another revolution broke out in Paris, which caused much bloodshed, and ended in the Assembly making General Cavaignac Dictator for the time being. On the 31st of July Louis Napoleon addressed another letter from London to the Assembly, in which he stated, notwithstanding his former resignation, he had been elected to the Assembly for Corsica, which he again resigned, as he had resigned the others, adding that“he thought he ought not to return to his country until his presence in France could in no manner serve as a pretext to the enemies of the Republic.” On the 19th of September he was again elected by a still larger vote from Paris, receiving more ballots than all the other candidates; and on the 26th of the same month he formally took his seat, making a speech full of devotion to the Republic. On the roth of October an amendment was proposed that "no member of the families that have reigned in France can be elected President or Vice President of the Republic.” Louis Napoleon ascended the tribune, and said that he“ did not come to speak against the amendment, but, in the
name of the three hundred thousand electors who had chosen him, to disavow the appellation of Pretender so constantly brought against him.” On the 27th of October Louis Napoleon again addressed the Assembly in the same spirit, and on that very day the roth of December was fixed for the election for President of the Republic. On the 30th of November Louis Napoleon announced himself as a candidate, and was elected by 5,434,426 votes out of 7,324,682 votes, the opposing candidates being Cavaignac, Ledru-Rollin, Raspail, Lamartine, and General Changarnier. Cavaignac yielded to the decree, and Louis Napoleon ascended the tribune and took the oath in the words following:
“Before God, and in the presence of the French people, represented by the National Assembly, I swear to remain faithful to the Republic, democratic, one and indivisible; and to fulfil all the duties which the Constitution imposes on me."
Reading through the delightful pages in which these strange events are recorded by Mr. Rush, we trace the gradual steps by which Louis Napoleon began to fulfil his aspirations. Not Julius Cæsar himself, whose biographer he became ten years after, and whom he constantly held up as the original from which Napoleon the First had copied, and the ideal steadily kept before his own eyes, more craftily declined the crown of imperial Rome; and as we ponder his oath in the light of the succeeding twenty-three years, it is simple historic justice to say that no public character ever more deliberately violated a solemn covenant.
As in duty bound, Mr. Rush paid his respects to the new President at an early day, January 1, 1849. He thus records his presentation : "He (Louis Napoleon) spoke a few words to me, as to all, the occasion not leading to much conversation with any. I had seen him before, but only in the Assembly from the diplomatic box, and imperfectly. In stature, below rather than above the medium height, yet robust; a subdued