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to turn its anticipations (in part at ward by constitutional movements. least) into prophecies. It is as In these countries, ideas have outfollows:
grown the men whom they influence. Europe is hastening to a demo- France and England, like two enorcracy. France is nothing else than mous battering-rams, strike with a republic clogged by a director. redoubled strokes on the crumbling Nations have grown out of their ramparts of the ancient society. The pagehood. Arrived at their majority, boldest doctrines on property, equathey pretend to have no longer need lity, and liberty, are proclaimed from of tutors. From the time of David morning to evening in the face of to our own times, kings have been monarchs trembling behind a triple called-nations appear now to be hedge of suspected soldiers. The called in their turn. The brief and deluge of democracy is gaining on unimportant exceptions of the Gre- them. They mount from floor to cian, Carthaginian, and Roman re- floor, from the ground floor to the publics, do not alter the general top of their palaces, whence they political fact of antiquity, that the will throw themselves struggling into state of society was monarchical all the waves which will overwhelm over the globe. But now society is them." quitting monarchy, at least monarchy “ The discovery of printing has such as it has been understood till changed all social conditions—the now.”
press, a machine which can no longer “The symptoms of social transfor- be broken, will continue to destroy mation abound. It is in vain that the old world till it has formed a efforts are made to reorganize a new one. Its voice is calculated for party for the absolute government of the general forum of all people. The a single man--the elementary prin. press is nothing else than the word, ciples of this government no longer the first of all powers-the word exist-men are changed as much as created the universe. Unhappily principles. Although facts seem to the word in man participates of the be sometimes in collision, they con- human infirmity--it will mix evil cur nevertheless in the same result; with good, till our fallen nature has as in a machine, wheels which turn recovered its original purity." in opposite directions produce a “ Thus the transformation brought common action.”
about by the age of the world will "But sovereigns, submitting them have place. All is calculated in this selves gradually to the necessary plan. Nothing is possible now expopular liberties--detaching them. cept the natural death of society, selves without violence and without from whence will spring the regeneshock from their pedestals, may yet ration. It is impiety to struggle transmit to their sons, for a period against the angel of God, to believe more or less extended, their beredi- ' that we arrest Providence. tary sceptres, reduced to proportions perceived from this height, the measured by the law. France would French revolution is only a point of have done better for her happiness the general revolution—all impaand independence had she preserved tience should cease—all the axioms a child who could not have turned of ancient politics become inapplithe days of July into a shameful de cable. ception; but no one comprehended “ Louis Philippe bas ripened the the event. Kings are bent obsti. democratic fruit balf a century. The nately on guarding that which they Bourgeois soil in which Philippism cannot retain. Instead of descend- has been planted, being less worked ing gently on an inclined plane, they than the military and popular soil, expose themselves to fall into a gulf furnishes still some juices to the instead of dying gloriously, full of vegetation of the government of the honours and days, monarchy runs the 7th August; but it will be soon risk of being flayed alive-a tragic exhausted. mausoleum at Venice contains only “ There are some religious men the skin of an illustrious general.” who are revolted at the bare idea of
“ Even countries the least pre- the actual state of things having any pared for liberal institutions, such as duration. • There are,' say they, Spain and Portugal, are urged for- inevitable reactions, moral
actions, instructive, magisterial, by the excess of its crimes. Bonaavenging. If the monarch who first parte could have established his gave us liberty paid for the despotism dynasty, but he threw himself down of Louis XIV. and the corruption of from the pinnacle of his glory; but Louis XV., can it be believed that for the ordinances of July, the legithe debt contracted by Egalité at timate throne would be still standthe scaffold of the innocent King is ing. But the actual government will not to be acquitted ? Egalité, by not apparently commit the error losing his life, expiated nothing. which destroys—its power will never The tear shed at the last moment be suicidal-all its skill is exclusively redeems no one-the tears of fear, employed in its conservation-it is which moisten merely the bosom, too intelligent to die of folly, and it fall not upon the conscience. What! has not that in it which can render shall the race of Orleans reign by it guilty of the mistakes of genius, right of the vices and crimes of their or the weaknesses of virtue.. ancestors ? Where, then, is Provi. “ But, after all, it must perish. dence? Never could a more frightful What are, then, four, six, ten, or temptation come to unseat virtue, to twenty years in the life of a people ? accuse eternal justice, or insult the The ancient society perished with existence of God, than such a supposi- the Christian policy from whence it tion!'
sprung. At Rome, the reign of a I have heard these reasonings man was substituted for that of the made, but must we thence conclude law by Cæsar; from the republic that the sceptre of the 9th August was the passage to the empire. Reis to be broken immediately? No. volution, at present, takes a contrary Raising our view to universal order, direction; the law dethrones the the reign of Louis Philippe is but an man: from royalty the transition is apparent anomaly, but an upreal in- to a republic. The era of the people fraction of the laws of morals and is returned-it remains to be seen equity : they are violated, these laws, how it will be filled. in a limited and relative sense, but “But first Europe must be levelled they are observed in a sense un- in one same system. A representative limited and general. From an enor- government cannot be supposed in mity consented to by God, I shall France, with absolute monarchies deduce a consequence still weigbtier around it. To arrive at this point, -I shall deduce the Christian proof it is but too probable that foreign of the abolition of royalty in France. wars must be undergone, and that, It will be this abolition itself, and in the interior, a double anarchy, not an individualchastisement, which moral and physical, must be trawill be the expiation of the death of versed. Louis XVI. None shall be admit “ If property alone were in quested, after this just one, to cincture his ' tion, would it not be touched ? would brow solidly with the diadem--from it remain distributed as it is ? A the forehead of Napoleon it fell in society, or individuals, have two spite of his victories, and from that millions of revenue, whilst others of Charles X. in spite of his piety! are reduced to fill bags with heaps To finish the disgrace of the crown of putrefaction, and to collect the in the eyes of the people, it has been worms from them—which worms, permitted to the son of the regicide to sold to fishermen, are the only means sleep for a moment in mock kingship of existence to their families, themin the bloody bed of the martyr. selves aborigines of the dunghill:
“ Another reason, taken from the can such a society remain stationary category of human considerations, on such foundations, in the midst of may also prolong, for a short time the progress of ideas ? more, the duration of the sophism “But if property is touched, imgovernment struck out of the shock mense disorder will result, which of paving stones.
will not be accomplished without the “ For
forty years every govern- effusion of blood; the law of sacrifice ment in France has perished by its and of blood is everywhere: God own fault: Louis XVI. could twenty delivered up his Son to the nails of times have saved his crown and his the cross, to renew the order of the life; the republic succumbed only universe. Before a new right shall
spring from this chaos, the stars will lation in agitation, which proclaims often have risen and set. Eighteen its power, exclaiming,—' I will-I hundred years since the promulga- am; the future belongs to me,I tion of Christianity have not sufficed have discovered the universe. Be. for the abolition of slavery; there is fore me nothing was known the still but a small part of the evange- world was waiting for me I am lic mission accomplished.
incomparable-my ancestors were “ These calculations go not quick children and idiots.' enough for the impatience of French- “ But have facts answered to these men. Never, in the revolutions they magnificent words ? have made, have they admitted the hopes in talents and characters have element of time; this is why they failed! If you except about thirty will always be disappointed by re- men of real merit, what a throng have sults contrary to their hopes. Whilst we — libertine, abortive without they are disordering, time is order- convictions, without faith, political ing; it puts order into their disorder or religious, and scrambling for -rejects the green fruit—detaches money and place like mendicants for the ripe—and sifts and examines a gratuitous distribution: a flock men, manners, and ideas.
which acknowledges no shepherd“ What will the new society be? which runs from the mountain to the I am ignorant. Its laws are to me plain, from the plain to the moun. unknown. I cannot conceive it, any tain, disdaining the experience of more than the ancients could con- their aged pastors—bardened to the ceive the society without slaves pro- wind and to the sun! We, the duced by Christianity. How will pastors, are only generations of pasfortunes become levelled ? how will sage—intermediate generations-oblabour be balanced by recompense ? scure-devoted to oblivion—forming how will the woman arrive at her the chain reaching only to those complete emancipation ? I know hands which will pluck the future. not. Till now, society has proceeded by aggregation and by families ; what “Respecting misfortune, and reaspect will it offer, when it shall be specting myself — respecting the merely individual, as it tends to be- cause which I have served, and come, and as we see it already which I shall continue to serve at forming itself in the United States ? the sacrifice of the repose due to my Probably the human race will be age, I fear to pronounce, living, a aggrandized, but it is be feared word which may wound the unforthat man will diminish--that the tunate, or even destroy their chieminent faculties of genius will be meras. But when I shall be no more, lost—that the imagination, poetry, my sacrifices will give to my tomb the arts, will die in the narrow ca- the privilege of speaking the truth; vities of a bee-hive society, in which my duties will be changed—the inevery individual will be no more terest of my country will prevail than a bee-a wheel in a machine over the engagements of honour an atom of organized matter. If the from which I shall be freed. To the Christian religion should become ex- Bourbons belongs my lifemto my tinct, man would arrive, by liberty, country belongs my death. A proat that social petrifaction which phet, in quitting the world, I trace China has arrived at by slavery. my predictions on my declining
“ Modern society has taken ten hours—light withering leaves, which centuries to arrive at its consistency. the breath of eternity will soon have At present, it is in a state of de- blown away. composition. The generations of “ If it be true that the lofty races the middle age were vigorous, be- of kings, refusing enlightenment, apcause they were in a state of pro- proach the term of their power, were gressive ascendency; we are feeble, it not better, and more in their hisbecause we are in progressive de- toric interest, that they should, by scent. This descending world will an end worthy of their grandeur, not resume its vigour till it has at- retire into the sacred night of the tained the lowest grade, whence it past with bygone ages ? To prolong will commence to reascend towards life beyond its brilliant illustration a new life. I see, indeed, a popu. is worth nothing. The world wearies
and of your noise. It owes ready to take any shape, so that it you a grudge for being there to hear
may repose in its inertness, are reit. Alexander, Cæsar, Napoleon, publicans. In truth, a very first have all disappeared according to the glance over the political landscape rules of glory. To die gloriously, in France, will show that monarchy one must die young. Let it not be is there out of its place. Monarchy said to the children of the spring, is in itself the feeblest of things. It
What; is there still that name of requires support strong and natural, past renown, that person, that race, not artificial and temporary, all at whom the world clapped its hands, around it. An aristocracy, a clergy, and for whom one would have paid great landed interests, great comfor a smile, for a look, for a hair, mercial bodies, these are its visible the sacrifice of a life!' How sad it outward bulwarks, and through these is to see Louis XIV, in his old age, are its roots spread, and its sympaa stranger to the rising generation, thies diffused throughout a populaand having none about him to speak tion. But in France none of these to of his own age, but the aged Duke things, better than in mockery, exist. de Villeroi ! It was the last victory The monarchy is isolated. It exists of the great Condé in his second only individually, not nationally, It childhood, to have met Bossuet on is, therefore, the butt for every shaft, the borders of his grave; the orator the object of all scorn, and all mareanimated the mute waters of Chan- lice, a gorgeous useless thing, set up tilly—the superannuation of the old only to be hated for its eminence, man he impregnated with his adoles- and its inevitable want of sympathy cence-he re-embrowned the locks with the people, decked in purple on the front of the conqueror of and regal attire, and placed upon a Rocroi, by bidding an immortal adieu height, only to whet envious passions, to his grey hairs. Men who love and to glut them by its ultimate glory, be careful for your tomb_lay downfall and destruction. To this yourselves gracefully down in it consummation, which the sagacity of try there to make a good figure, for M. de Chateaubriand has foreseen, you will remain there!”
are things rapidly tending in France. The above passage opens certainly What is there, save physical force a fearful vision of the present state -which will be found ineffectual, and future prospects of France. We for the spirit of Evil as well as of cannot, we confess, include the en- Good, bloweth where it listeth, and tire of Europe so unreservedly in its is not to be controlled or limited by prophetic anticipations. The ten- material violence-what is there, we dency, however, of the democratic repeat, which can avert this catasprinciple goes fully to the length of trophe ? Nothing. Religion and motheir complete realization; but its rals, those great conservatives, those universal triumph is what we have great safety-valves of a state, went to yet heart and hope enough to dis- wreck with every thing else at the believe in. With respect to France, first revolution, (perhaps before,) it is true, we see nothing but her and went into more complete wreck foreign relations which would pre- than any thing else, as they have vent its triumphing completely to- never been in any degree re-estamorrow. In fact, it does at this mo- blished. While these remain, disorment, in theory, triumph; and there is ganization, however violent, can neno antagonist national theory, which ver be of any long continuance, for deserves the name, which could even they naturally seek, and will find, in semblance be opposed to it. The stability in the organs by which they legitimists, according to M. Chateau- are to be exercised. The spirit of briand's own confession, are in spirit disorganization, which is nothing but defunct. They talk, we see, of oppo- their absence, can never, whilst they sing the angel of God, and would sit survive, be propagated from system in supineness, and see the work of to system, from revolution to revedisorganization completed. The lution, from dynasty to dynasty, from Philippists are simply the ministry, change to change, carrying the prinand their employés ; and all the rest, ciple of decomposition through its excepting the inert mass, which is every transition. But this has been,
and will apparently continue to be, make them the scourges of its judgthe case in France, till a moral revo- ments on the earth, till, by a renewlution, which is the real want, and ed, not a new, moral revolution, ornot a political one, takes place. To der and progress be again restored, create such a revolution, out of which and a new era dawn upon the world. alone stability for any form of go- We have dwelt, perhaps somevernment can grow, is humanly im- what too much at length, on the mopossible. The want, however, is ral condition of France, because we felt—and this is the only saving regard the state of the human heart in sign we bave perceived in the na- any country to be a much more untion-by all classes and all parties. erring criterion of its future destiA moral citizen education, it is sup- nies, than any external political posed by the Republicans, would events whatever. work the wonder; but even the Pa- The lines from the above extract, gans had religious principles, which which we have printed in italics, inspired their civic virtues--the ob- terrible and blasting as they are to ject and model for emulation—and the Orleans dynasty, have not been which, therefore, cannot be imitated, taken any public notice of by the gothough they may be shammed and vernment. What! does it fear to burlesqued. Others insist upon re- prosecute Mons. de Chateaubriand ? viving a respect for Christianity, but Yes, truly. Discretion is with it the Catholicism, its only form in France, better part of valour, and Mons. de has been degraded so thoroughly, so Chateaubriand is allowed an unlipierced through and through, and so mited impunity, whilst poor jourutterly disabled, that it can never nalists and printers are hunted and again raise its head in that country, persecuted to ruin and beggary, in And what are morals without reli- violation of the charte, and by all the gion (supposing them possible ) ? arts of despotism. But Mons. de Merely the excogitation of human Chateaubriand's name is not good to wisdom for human convenience, and conjure with. It might raise a spirit therefore always subject to be ques. which might tear the conjurer to tioned and disputed. How loose does pieces. such a notion-for it is nothing more We now hasten to our concluding -leave man of all obligations, and extract. Having presented, from how utterly does it annihilate all Mons. de Chateaubriand, a distractmoral convictions ; for how can there ing picture of human politics and be convictions, when the very foun- miseries, we have now the pleasure dations on which they should rest of contrasting it with one from naare merely opinions ? According to ture, which may calm and elevate this doctrine, there is nothing within the troubled thoughts his prophetic the vail : his erect form was given to vision has raised up. man in vain, for be is forbidden to “ It was twenty-two years ago, as look up to heaven! Truly with these I have just said, that I sketched, in sentiments, and they are nearly uni. London, the Natchez and Atala. I versal in France, it is only natural to am precisely now, in my Memoirs, look forward to a new era of experi- at the epoch of my voyage to Amements on human nature in that rica. This conjunction happens adcountry. We believe not, however, mirably. Let us suppress these with Monsieur de Chateaubriand, (if twenty-two years, as they are in his supposition be any thing more fact suppressed in my life, and let than bitter irony,) that these experi- us depart for the forests of the new ments will ever attain to any practi. world. The recital of my embassy cal consistency. We believe the dis- will come in its place. Should I reorganizing principle to be inconsists main here a few months, I shall bave ent with any stable society, even the leisure to arrive at the cataract of bee-bive society, the materializing Niagara, the army of the Princes in animalizing society, which he has Germany, and from the army of the anticipated. We would anticipate Princes to my retreat in England. rather that Providence will leave The ambassador of the King of those wicked men, to whom our re- France can relate the history of the marks point, in their wickedness, and French emigrant, in the place itself