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plishment of a particular measure of the government, addresses a circular letter to the prefects, in which the urgency of the measure and the benefit which the government cannot fail to derive from it are dwelt upon with much emphasis ; while the favour of Buonaparte is held out as the recompence of alacrity in the execution. “Ilis Majesty, M. le Prefet," is the usual conclusion, “ relies upon the zeal which you will display in this business, in order to prove your devotion to his person, and your attachment to the interests of the throne." Each of the prefects amplifies the circular. The warmest expressions and the strongest colours are employed; no figure of rhetoric is forgotten, and the circular is transmitted to the sub-prefects of the department. The sub-prefects in their turn season it with still stronger language, and the mayors improve upon that of the sub-prefects.'--pp. 13, 15.
Such is the process. In the original conception of the civil constitution and magisterial forms of a country, there cannot be any great variety; a country of any considerable extent must be divided into districts, each with its superior magistrate, under whose general superintendance are the magistrates of subdivisions, and when in any sub-division so great a number of inhabitants accumulates as to render it necessary, another and more strictly local authority must be placed over them. This was the practice of the Romans, and of every other nation, when they began to have provinces; this was the ground work of the early institutions of England, of the hundreder and the tythingman, of the comes and the vice comes, and their subordinates. We are not, therefore, inclined to receive with much wonder or applause, the invention which gave prefects and sub-prefects, mayors and assistants, to the French constitution--the arrangement was obvious, and it is by no means certain that it is at present beneficial. In England (as in other countries) society grew too large and irregular for these fixed and arithmetical arrangements; and the original institutions have been modelled by the wisdom of ages according to the wants or conveniences of the ever varying state of society. In the time of Alfred, it was genius to invent, and wisdom to adopt, a scale similar to his; but it has not been, therefore, the less necessary that this scale should cease to be a standard when the stature of society had outgrown it. Our radical reformers, who clamour for the forms and practices of ancient times, (without, however, knowing or caring what these forms and practices were,) resemble the framers of the thousand and one' constitutions which the French revolution has scattered over Europe. They adhere to forms, and lose the substance. The French constitution-mongers had a formula of government which they applied to all countries, a balm of Gilead for all diseases, a regimen for the Swiss and the Dutch, the Fleming and the Neapolitan. We admire the fine and regular theories of the French, and we vene
rate the ancient forms of English policy, as much, though not as blindly as the theorists and reformers; but we think that France must wear her new garment long, and alter and amend it much, before it can fit her conveniently and completely
The following statements will show how far France yet is from having accommodated her administration to her convenience, and will give as much as M. Faber is pleased to communicate of the details of this part of his subject.
The prefects, the chief civil administrators have been for the most part selected by. Buonaparte for their military merit or for their personal devotion to him : their ignorance and presumption in their new office are extreme, and the instances of it by turns ludicrous and melancholy. Incapable from personal inability as well as from the restraints which the government imposes officially upon them, of exercising the real duties of civil administration, the occupation of the prefects seems to be to amass wealth by the meanest arts, and to lavish it in the most ostentatious profusion. The secretaries-general are however men of business, and while the prefect is parading, the secretary governs;' but his arts of government are like those of his superiors, to make the most of his place.' Descending from the prefects to the sub-prefects, we find the same thing in a different proportion-the sub-prefects, says M. Faber, • are the blind instruments of the superior, mere clerks, indeed we might say mere copying machines:' they receive and forward, with some declamatory addition perhaps, the circular of the prefect; and when they are called into action it is only to inforce the unpopular measures of the government. • Thus,'concludes our author, the places of sub-prefects are very bad ones; no power; duties odious or merely formal; little consideration; small salaries; and a great deal of parade. Inferior in rank to the sub-prefect, but of more utility and consideration, is the mayor, an officer unpaid, unless, as M. Faber states, he pays himself out of the public property intrusted to his care. He acts in a two-fold capacity, as a minister of the government, for the execution of the measures of which he is respousible, and as the chief of the commune, superintending its interests and managing its pecuniary property of every kind — For this latter reason the post of mayor, says, M. Faber, though the service according to law should be purely gratuitous, is an object of competition :' the following extracts will exhibit not only the kind of functions performed by the mayors, but also a proof of the inconveniences to which the unaccommodating sameness of the public institutions must subject districts of which the size, population and interests are infinitely varied.
' A budget for the regular and variable expences of each commune is annually fixed in the office of the minister of the interior at Paris.
According to the principle of unity established by the revolution, and preserved by the last of its governments, there is one general model for all the communes. It is doubtless an extremely convenient way, to manage the affairs of all the communes in one uniform manner, but assuredly it is not the best. All the communes are annually squeezed into a certain compass, like the companies in a regiment. Though the resources and expenditure of each vary ad infinitum, the expences authorized for each are fixed even to centimes and fractions of centimes, The most essential are frequently omitted, because it is impossible that the minister's clerks at Paris should be acquainted with them, or that the same principles should be equally adapted to Marseilles and Coblentz, to Strasburgh and L'Orient. The great art of the mayors consists then in retaining the denominations of the budget, and of causing all sorts of expences to be introduced into its columns. This art is carried to such a height that all the mayors insert, though not apparently, the salaries which they give themselves, as well as those of their assistants, and yet these salaries are very considerable. If the government were to pay men of education and acquainted with business, and make thein responsible for their conduct, it would be better served. But it thinks to save by this method, since the mayors receive no salary directly from the public exchequer. Little care the rulers about their extorting it from the subject, or how dear the word gratuitous comes to the citizens.'-p. 31.
"As in the upper region of administration Buonaparte has retained a shadow of republican forms in his tribunate and his legislative body, so he has in the inferior administration. In every department there is a general council for that department; in every district is a district council; in every city, town, or village, which has a mayor and assists ant, there is a municipal council. Each of these councils deliberates upon the interests and wants of its jurisdiction; it discusses and fixes the expenditure, and in particular apportions the quotas of the contributions and the contingents towards the conscription. But in every thing they are obliged to obey superior orders; the subjects of deliberation, the duration of their assemblies, the time of their meeting, are all prescribed them under pain of being dissolved, and other punishments. Each of these councils is convoked by Buonaparte; the session must not in any case exceed a fortnight. The quota of the contributions of the department being fixed by the legislative body, the departmental council divides it into as many portions as there are districts in the department; and the district council subdivides its portion among the communes comprized in its jurisdiction. The municipal council hears and discusses the account of receipts and expences given in by the mayor, and the subdivision of the contingents is made by persons chosen from among its members.'- pp. 33, 34.
In this system our readers will be at no loss to find the seeds of almost every political evil except popular tumult. Ignorance, pride, rapacity, profusion, corruption and oppression, are the attributes by which our author characterizes it ; and we, with the best
consideration we can apply to the subjeet, cannot find any reason for dissenting from his opinion, or doubting the fairness and accuracy of his statements.
The amount of taxation is stated by M. Faber to be dreadful; to increase as the means of payment diminish, and to be levied with the most intolerable insolence, and the cruelest partiality and rapacity. But he only speaks in general terms :-We know, indeed, that the taxes of France are vastly greater than those of England, compared with the abilities of the two courtries ;, and we are convinced that one year's residence in France would work a complete conversion in the most obstinate of our grumblers; but we hesitate to believe that the tales which are related of the severity of French taxation can be true, to the extent to which they go: and the generality of M. Faber's assertions do not authorize us to submit implicitly to his authority. It is, however, fair to add, that he professes to reserve the details of this subject for the chapter of finances: but the chapter of finances (like the chapter of button-holes) does not appear, perhaps it made a part of the suppressed volume.
M. Faber proceeds to sketch, with a very sublime disregard of order, but not unimpressively, the other functious of the public officers, commencing with the police, which he describes as nothing else than an uneasy and restless system of suspicion and
espionage.' He states, loosely enough, a few instances of absurd and cruel mistakes and injuries committed in this branch of administration ; but they are not interesting, because they are not particular. The following case is hardly worse than ludicrous in the recital, and was not, we dare say, very tragical in the performance.
During the search for Georges, all fat men with a remarkable physiognomy were liable to be molested by the police. In various towns this mistake was actually committed, and I was acquainted with several fat people who were harassed on the occasion.'--pp. 40, 41.
The other duties of the public functionaries as enumerated by M. Faber, are the supervision of the newspapers,—the conscription,-the regulation and examination of passports,—the superintendance of fêtes in honour of the emperor,--the receiving him in his journeys, preparing the addresses and statements required on such occasions; and finally a general co-operation in the system of imposture and fraud, by which it is endeavoured to conceal the real state of the empire from France herself, and from the small portion of Europe which is not France.
The conscription is the subject of a separate chapter, in the consideration of which we shall endeavour to collect as much as may be necessary of what M. Faber communicates on this interesting topic. On the remaining points we shall select such ex
tracts as will convey to our readers some idea of the internal state of France.
"In no country in the world are people confined so strictly to their homes as in France; the inhabitants of that country still live as though in the midst of revolution. No person dares go from one commune to another without a passport; otherwise he is exposed to the risk of being conducted back to the place whence he came, by the first gendarme that meets him, and of at least losing time in his justification, or failing in the errand on which he set out. Since the conscription, in particular, nothing can equal the strictness with which every passenger is examined and questioned. The gendarmes and officers of the police are instructed to be particularly vigilant in regard to all those who appear to be of the age required for the conscription. The conscript must not leave his commune, and the passport of every citizen must expressly specify if he has been a conscript, and in what year, if he was drawn by lot, if he was for the regular army or for the reserve, if he served by substitute or not; in a word, all the circumstances which mark the individuality of the bearer of the passport.'-p. 44.
• The festivities, instituted for Buonaparte or his family out of Paris, are remarkable for a mingled character of ostentation and meanness, bustle and dullness. The prefects, sub-prefects, and mayors, do each in his respective sphere all that circumstances permit. Thrice a day they cause all the bells to ring, and at each time for an hour; the cannon, or at least the swivels, if there be any, are fired; they go to mass in their state dress ; Te Deum is sung; and if the place possesses a theatre, they repair thither. The play begins late, because the authorities have dined together At dinner toasts are given; the new imperial highnesses, princes, and princesses, are made as prominent as possible. Al night the town is illuminated by command, and a ball given though it were only in a pot-house. Next day the newspaper of the town, or the capital of the prefecture, gives a pompous description of these public festivities. I have been present at some of these dinners, and I have seen on every brow the legible confession of painful restraint and shame for submitting to be officially merry. The orders for these illuminations are sent to every house, and though in spite of these commands the scantiness of lights bear testimony to a compulsory rejoicing, the illuminations are in these same newspapers called spontaneous and general. These epithets figured one day in a brilliant description of an illumination in the town of B- I had seen it in the streets of the whole place were to be seen only five or six candles.'-pp. 50, 51, 52.
M. Faber's final and strongest charge against the administration of government in France will be found in the following striking statement.
• Here is now exhibited the most extraordinary phenomenon ever known--a moral prodigy unexampled in the history of mankind. I mean the regular, systematic, elaborate organization of falsehood, as the basis of the government, and the soul of all its public acts:-a total abnegation, in favour of the military ruler, of all individual feeling,