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and almost individually, enjoyed sovereign and uncontrolled power, was reduced to a state of political nullity, the most abject and absolute that ever degraded mankind. In the magistrates then centered all the national power, but a power acting downwards only :-—they could repress the people, but dispersed, unconnected, and individually unimportant as they were, they had no means of opposing an usurper. Whoever by military force could have possessed himself, we will not say of Paris, but even of the public offices which direct the various ramifications of the magistracy, would, like Buonaparte, have made himself master of France. The army and the public functionaries are France; and the leader of the former is secure of the obedience of the latter.
• The French nation will not again display the spectacle which it did in 1789. It will never rise more. The modest Moreau, had he been as great a statesman as he was a soldier, might have seen a movement of joy and general assent, but would never have produced a movement of action. The army alone could have seconded him. Whatever change may in future take place in France will be effected solely by this instrument, the easiest set in motion, the surest and most expeditious. To make the army declare itself, it must be won by a general, surrounded with the glory of success and possessing the confidence of the soldiery. The nation itself will but look on, or follow if compelled, the track of the army. Tired of revolution, it dreads every thing that resembles it, or revives the remembrance of its horrors : deceived by men, it will not again bestow its confidence on any, to run the chances of which it has had such a melancholy experience. The French nation will always prefer any state whatever, provided that it exhibits the appearance of stability, were it even in other respects disagreeable, to the perplexities and torments of a revolution; it will prefer a certain ill to an uncertain good.'--pp. 11, 12.
M. Faber argues, and with considerable effect, that the appeals which Buona parte has affected to make to public opinion, have been in fact studied insults, and calculated to destroy its power by showing the contempt in which he holds it.
« The word was spoken :--- The Constitution nominates Buonaparte First Consul of the Republic. By this declaration, which Buonaparte pronounced soon after the 18th Brumaire in the face of thirty million French, and of the attentive world, he displayed his contempt of the public opinion; for nobody, in France at least, was ignorant that this constitution which nominated him was dictated by himself at the palace of the Luxembourg.'
" The first step dictated by the contempt of the public opinion being taken, its success laid the foundation of a system, whose consequences previously calculated, were speedily unfolded---from that moment the liberty of thought and the liberty of the press were at an end. It soon became unlawful to say or to think any thing but what the first consul approved of.'--p. 85. VOL. VI. NO. XI.
The first opportunity for the application of this system of despotic contempt for public opinion which has since been so invariably followed, was, as M. Faber states, on an occasion that had at first a contrary aspect,----when the French were summoned to vote upon the constitution of the year 8. On this occasion the zeal of the public functionaries in obtaining voices is stated to have been stimulated by every motive of hope and fear, and the result was such as might have been expected. Few indeed voted ; but all who voted, voted for the question. This success encouraged a repetition of the experiment as to the consulate for ten years, and for life.
• All the public functionaries of every kind in the communes were summoned to take the field. There was not a town in France in which these functionaries were not seen running with their lists from door to door, begging the signatures of the inhabitants, who, long disgusted with the exercise of municipal rights, would not take the trouble to go to the town-hall to vote. To fetch those votes which did not come in of themselves, was the way to make sure that none would be omitted. Nobody durst give a denial to a functionary, who might have it in his power, in due time and place, to do an injury or a service; and the underling employed by the magistrates had an interest in swelling his list of signatures, because he also made a merit of it with his superiors.'--p. 88.
M. Faber proceeds to farther details on this subject, from which our limits oblige us to refrain; one circumstance, however, may be noticed.- It must be admitted,' he says, 'that no hostility was shown to those few individuals who voted against the wishes of Buonaparte ;' and of this forbearance he produces one or two instances in persons sufficiently exalted to have attracted attention, and who yet continued to hold official situations under the new government. Of his own conduct in these cases M. Faber gives us a hint which savours, we think, a little more of French vanity than of German candour, and which has amused us by the clumsy endeavour to pass off a mean abandonment of duty and principle as a sturdy effort of upright patriotism.
Masson, secretary to the prefecture at Coblentz, who voted against the consulate for life, has retained his place and not been molested. There are few functionaries, or perhaps none at all, who gave a negative vote.For my part, I never voted on any occasion for the affirmative. When I would have inscribed my name against the question, my colleagues in office, or the functionaries who kept the registers, every time dissuaded me, representing the inconveniences that might thence result to themselves. I was therefore content to express my negative vote by my silence; I cannot say that this conduct produced any disagreeable consequences for me; or at least if it did, they were noi direct.'-p. 92. M. Faber, it seems, does not subscribe to the apophthegm which
infers consent from silence-neither was he inclined to imitate, though he approves (rather faintly, we think) the conduct of those who have on such occasions obeyed the dictates of their conscience, and who possess that kind of courage which never stops to calculate chances. M. Faber's courage was not of that kind; but if the story of his flight from France be true, it appears that he a little miscalculated the chances of safety: and we own that we cannot much admire the spirit, or commiserate the mishap of our author, who, after having been so subservient in the hour of trial, blusters so bravely when it is safely over.
But in this forbearance of Buonaparte towards those who voted against his elevation, M. Faber can find no traces of generosity, because, he says, the government looked only to the result, and did not think it worth while to notice, favourably or otherwise, the minute and humble eleinents that composed it. We are inclined to agree in M. Faber's original position, but not in the reason which he assigns for it. We do not believe that any thing is too humble for Buonaparte's resentment; but he chose to build bis title on election, and it was evidently not his policy to shake it by persecuting those few persons whose adverse votes gave to the farce some illusion of reality. Other considerations, sufficiently obvious, may have also contributed to this conduct, but that surely, which M. Faber assigns, can have been but a weak motive in the mind of the imperial assassin of the bookseller Palm.
Besides the magistracy, says M. Faber, Buonaparte employed, as one of his chief instruments, the public press. It is true that at an early period of his eventful history, he employed in his service all the power, all the licence of the press; but of his present system, its oppression and slavery have been the instruments, and continue the support.
"Since the first operation relative to votes, the public functionaries have been merely passive instruments in the hands of Buonaparte, to procure such an expression of the public opinion as he had occasion for. We have seen how these functionaries produced this effect, by the exertion of all the means in their power, and under all circumstances. The newspapers were the second grand vehicle which kept pace with the former. Within two months after Buonaparte assumed the reins of government, the Moniteur was proclaimed to be the only official journal, which declaration has been displayed in its title ever since. But its political articles soon became so rare, so brief and so reserved, that the other papers, finding themselves doomed to a provoking barrenness, bitterly complained of the sterility of their model. No reflexions were now to be introduced but what had originated with government, or were written in its spirit. Suspension and suppression were the two words which the police incessantly sounded in the ears of the affrighted editors. All the newspapers in France soon displayed Q 2
one and the same physiognomy, one and the same style and language
that of the government.-- At every moment the unfortunate editors are summoned before the police, and called to account for this or that passage; they are ordered to abstain in future from treating particular subjects, urder pain of having their papers suppressed.'---p. 92.
M. Faber goes on to state, in a strange kind of phraseology, that the newspapers have a two-fold system to pursue; the one, he calls the negative system, and the other the positive;' under these heads, he discourses metaphysically on the composition of the French journals, but his learned distinctions may be abridged into one of our ancient and pitby law-sentences—'Suppressio veri, suggestio falsi'--the former is M. Faber's negative, and the latter his positive system. And it must be confessed that, by whatever name the system may go, the French editors have, under the disgraceful guidance of their government, brought the practice of servility, falsehood, and effrontery to the most shameless perfection.
One other instance adduced by M. Faber of Buonaparte's studied contempt of public opinion, is too remarkable to be passed over unobserved. This, our readers will be surprised to hear, is no other than bis obstinate refusal to divorce * Madame Buonaparte:-By continuing to associate the foundress of his fortunes with their increasing splendour-by not taking advantage of her supposed levity and her confirmed sterility, to repudiate her, he outraged, says M. Faber, public opinion, and to act as he did on this occasion,
amounted to the same thing as declaring himself omnipotent!' This appears to us equally false and foolish ; and to say no worse of it, to spring from a determination to find fault with every part of Buonaparte's proceedings. What would M. Faber say now? Buonaparte has divorced the suspected and sterile partner of his bed. Is M. Faber content: Are public morals satisfied: Is the public opinion conciliated? He asserts that it was neither religion, nor morality, nor gratitude, nor affection that induced Buona parte to respect his inarriage-contract; but if he could have foreseen that it would have been so soon dissolved, he would, doubtless, have taken a very different view of the subject, and have reserved for the divorce the graver and truer charges of ingratitude, immorality, irreligion, and contempt of public opinion.
On the topics of administration and justice, we could have wished that M. Faber had given us, instead of rhetorical flourishes, a little sober discussion. We should have been pleased to obtain from a person qualified by his babits and opportunities for the task, a view of the system by which the internal policy and economy of France is conducted; to have been enabled to present to our readers a statement from M. Faber's pen, of the various ranks and distinct functions of the magistracy, and of the composition and character of the several tribunals, fiscal, criminal, and civil. Some information on these points is indeed to be gleaned from works already before the public, which a collation with our own materials might have enabled us to render less imperfect. But we have but little relish for disquisitions thus composed; we have not ourselves had an opportunity of observing the system in actual operation; and the meagre outline of the few facts we possess, filled up and coloured according to our own fancy, might perhaps amuse, but could not inform our readers; and above all, could not inform them of the scope and merit of the work now under our consideration; to which, therefore, we must confine our observations, and content ourselves with hoping that we may be afforded an early opportunity of supplying its deficiencies.
* M. Faber professes to write in 1806.
The business of administration,' says M. Faber, 'in the meaning given to that word in France, consists almost exclusively in promoting the conscription and in the collection of the taxes. Money and men are, we can easily believe, to the French government the necessaries, as it were, of life. War is indeed the element to which it is 'native and indued.' Its stability rests not on the foundations on which most other dominions are built : it is supported by no ancient forms—no established opinions—no long course of connected and cemented events and feelings; it has not yet been subjected to the ordinary vicissitudes of nature: born in war, in war it still exists; how well or ill adapted it may be for times of peace, those times only can show. It is, however, no extravagant scepticism to doubt its suitableness to the peaceful circumstances of that heterogeneous mass of states now called France. Historical examples are abundant, of governments suited some to the activity of warfare, and others to the maintenance of tranquillity ; but none have been found equally fitted for both ; and the government of France has proved itself so adequate to the former, that we may suspect its applicability to the latter. The present system is thus described by M. Faber, and we have seen quite enough of the kind of correspondence to which he refers, to be able to give implicit credit to this part of his statement.
The true spirit of the domestic policy, and that which all the public functionaries must imbibe in regard to those whom they govern, is this—to demand, but never to grant ; to take, but never to give. This is the whole amount of the administrative science. This is dispersed through the circulars and orders; it breathes in every one of their lines ; and in circulars and orders the entire business of administration consists. The minister of the interior, sometimes of the police, or of religious worship, or of the finances, in order to expedite the accom