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All the members, except two, of the left side (that is about 170) withdrew in a body, and the remainder voted the supplies for war. On Thursday, no deputies on the left side were present. The chamber met on Saturday, but no business of importance was transacted. The ministers were present, with only eight members of the left centre, and seven of the extreme left. The protest of the 60 members of the Chamber of Deputies against the exclusion of M. Manuel contained the following passage:"We are convinced that this first step is but the prelude to the system which conducts France to an unjust war abroad, in order to consummatethe counter-revolution át home, and to invite the foreign occupation of our territory."*
This protest, which was not allowed to appear on the records of the chamber, was expressed in these words.
"We, the undersigned Members of the Chamber of Deputies of the depart ments, declare, with profound grief and indignation, that we feel it to be our duty to proclaim before all France, the illegal act, which in hostility to the charter, the royal prerogative, and all the principles of representative government, has attacked the integrity of the national representation, and violated, in the person of a Deputy, the guarantees assured to all-the rights of every elector and every French citizen.
"We declare, in the face of our country, that, by this act, the Chamber has overstepped its legal pale and the limits of its authority.
"We declare, that the doctrine professed by the committee which proposed the exclusion of one of our colleagues, and on which that measure is founded, is subversive of all social order and of all justice; that the monstrous confusion of the functions of legislator, accuser, reporter, juryman, and judge, is an outrage unexampled except in that trial, the femembrance of which has served as a pretext for annulling the powers of M. Manuel.
"That the principles set forth in the
During the remainder of the session, the members of the extreme left abstained from again appearing in their places or taking any share in the proceedings of the chambers.
These discussions in the legisla ture were accompanied with great agitation in the public mind, which in some cases led to breaches of the peace. On Thursday, the 6th of March, crowds of people, amounting to between five and six hundred in number, assembled on the Boulevards San Martin, and du Temple. They were mostly of the working classes, though some few among them were of a better condition. The gendarmes arrested 29 of them.-Next day a crowd assembled at Port St. Den
report of the committee, as to the unlimited and retroactive authority of the Chamber, are no other than the anarchical principles which led to the most odious of crimes: That the protecting forms with which the law shields the most obscure person under accusation, and even the appel nominal, which on an important occasion can alone guarantee the independence of votes, have been rejected with a frantic and turbulent obstinacy.
"Considering the resolution adopted yesterday, the 3rd of March, 1823, against our colleague, as the first movement of a faction desirous of placing itself violently above all forms, and breaking through all the checks imposed on it by our fundamental compact;
"Convinced that this first step is but the prelude to the system which conducts France to an unjust war abroad, in order to consummate the counterrevolution at home, and to invite the foreign occupation of our territory;
"Unwilling to become accomplices of the misfortunes which this faction cannot fail to draw on our country, we protest against all the illegal and unconstitutional measures lately taken for the exclusion of M. Manuel, Deputy of La Vendee, and against the violence with which he has been torn from the bosom of the Chamber of Deputies."
nis; calling out "Vive Manuel: Vive la Charte!"-" Mort à la Bourdonnaye." The gendarmerie dispersed the assemblage in a few moments; but the rioters in their flight assailed a party of Swiss soldiers, and wounded some of them, dealing on their way blows on all sides, with bludgeons, knives, and stilettoes. Nine individuals were arrested and conveyed to the guard-house, and from thence to the Prefecture. Among them were a civilian, a physician, and a merchant; the rest belonged to the meaner classes. Several of them were subsequently brought to trial, and convicted of the riot.
The prospect of approaching war excited also much alarm in the manufacturing and commer cial districts of France.
On the 16th of February Lyons was the scene of a disturbance, occasioned by the opposition offered by the authorities and the military to the progress of a procession of masks, which, under the privilege of the Carnival, purported to represent the Funeral of Trade. The next day, in the afternoon, an individual utterred aloud several times on the Place Bellecour, the ominous cry of Vive l'Empereur. Attempts were made by the gendarmes and officers to arrest him, but he was suddenly surrounded by a number of persons, who struck them and rescued him. A strong military force having at last assembled, order was restored, and the offending individual arrested.
Addresses likewise were presented to the chambers, signed by multitudes of persons engaged in different branches of commercial and manufacturing industry, who deprecated war with Spain as fatal to the internal prosperity of
France. Among these classes the belief prevailed, that war with Spain would, sooner or later, lead to war with England; when their commercial marine would be instantly swept away in hopeless destruction. Even though Great Britain should remain neutral, great injury would be sustained from the depredations of Spanish privateers: and that their fears were not groundless, was already attested by the height to which the premiums of insurance had suddenly risen, and the increase which had taken place in the prices of the principal articles of colonial produce.
Rumours, too, prevailed, that Russian armies were assembling in order to support those of Louis, and to be ready to crush any attempts which the disaffected in France might be encouragedto make. The supposed probability of en campments of these semi-barbarous hordes on the banks of the Moselle, the Seine, or the Loire-visitors scarcely less unwelcome as friends than as foes-was the subject of not very pleasing anticipations.
Amid these fears and doubts, Villèle and his associates continued their preparations for war. The supplies were voted by the chambers; and the hopes of the friends of peace (for up to the last moment their wishes led them to hope, contrary to every ground of reasonable calculation) were annihilated by a formal communication of the commencement of hostilities, made by the minister of war on the 10th of April to the Chamber of Deputies. "Gentlemen," said he, "all efforts to stop the course of the faction which governs the councils of Spain having proved fruitless, Monseigneur the Duke of Angoulême received or
ders to pass the frontier, and, on the 7th of this month, passed the Bidassoa at the head of the army." The financial measures were then completed; and in the month of May the session of the chambers closed.
The details of the war in Spain belong to another chapter. It is enough to state here, that the French ministry experienced, in the execution of their project, none of the embarrassments which had been anticipated. France remained quiet internally; her soldiers showed no reluctance to the service in which they were engaged; Spain presented nothing but treason and cowardice: the invaders did not conquer, because they had no need to fight, but they marched in triumphal procession from the Bidassoa to Cadiz, and saw a powerful nation surrender its independence into their hands without even a struggle for its honour and happiness.
The impression, produced in France by these events, proved, how little the great body of the people of that country (whatever might be the case with respect to enlightened individuals) either understood or cared for the principles of rational freedom. They expressed no regret at the progress of their army in Spain; they seemed rather to take a pride in again strutting upon the stage of Europe in the guise of conquerors; they were told that they were dictating to a neighbour, and their vanity looked no farther. The duke of Angoulême was metamorphosed into a hero, and loaded with eulogies, which would have been extravagant, even if applied to Turenne or to Napoleon. Of course, the language of flattery cannot be mistaken for an expression of
the actual sentiments of men. But the French make high pretensions to taste; and even that secondary principle of human nature would cause some proportion to be kept between the state of public feeling and the ceremonies and addresses which professed to be the expounders of it.
The triumphal entry of the duke of Angoulême into Paris was attended with one circumstance not unworthy of being mentioned. A sentinel at the Tuilleries, conceiving that he was insulted on his post by one of the mob, discharged his musket, and killed the man on the spot. For this he was tried before a courtmartial; and, it being proved that abusive language had been addressed to him, he was acquitted. [See Chronicle, p. 162.] Such a mode of proceeding must be admitted to be very singular; nor could it be tolerated in a country, where sound notions of government existed. A soldier is charged with the murder of an unarmed person in civil life; and for this the murderer is tried by a court-martial!—that is, the subjects are to appeal from the fury of one soldier to the equity of many the refuge of the ag grieved from military violence is to be sought in military law !
The occupation of Spain by French troops, led to negotiations between the French ministers and the English cabinet on the subject of the Spanish provinces of South America. France would have been glad to have figured in the, to her new, character of a trans-atlantic conqueror: but before such a wish could be explicitly avowed, or any step towards it ventured upon, it was necessary to ascertain how far England would permit her to go. And here, for
tunately for the world, the ministers of England interposed a decided negative. The language used by Mr. Canning in his correspondence with the Prince de Polignac, amounted in substance to this: - We claim and enjoy free commerce with the trans-atlantic provinces: we are willing to allow Old Spain the grace and advantage of being the first to acknowledge their independent sovereignty; but should she hesitate, our recognition can in no case be delayed long; that recognition and alliance, too, would be immediately consequent upon any attempt on the part of the mother country to regain possession of the separated states by the aid of foreign arms: neither will we pay the slightest regard to any attempts on the part of Spain to revive the obsolete interdiction of intercourse with countries, over which she has no longer any actual dominion.
The duke of Belluno was minister of war during the continuance of military operations. missal, however, had been expected for some time; for it was believed that Villèle distrusted him, and that the duke of Angoulême disliked him. On the 19th of October he was removed from his situation, and was replaced by the Baron de Damas. The displaced minister was, by way of consolation, appointed ambassador at Vienna; but that court refused to receive him under a title derived from a place within the Austrian dominions.
On the 23rd of December a most unexpected creation of peers took place. Several of the most vehement of the ultra-royalists were included in this promotion ;*
• The following were the individuals
which gratified them and their
On the 24th of December an ordinance was published, dissolving the Chamber of Deputies, and ordering the electoral colleges of the departments to meet on the 6th of March, and those of the districts (arrondissements) and of departments having but one college, on the 25th of February. The opening of the session of the chambers of 1824 was fixed for the 23rd of March.
The public attention in Pari (and Paris is France) was, in November and December, more attracted by three trials, which came on before the Court of Assizes, than by the public concerns of Europe. The first was that of a physician, Dr. Castaing. The inelevated to the French peerage:-count Frère de Villefrancon, archbishop of Besançon; count de Vich, bishop of Autun; baron de Glandèves, brigadiergeneral; count de Puy-Segur (Gaspard); viscount Dode de la Brunerie, brigadier-general; viscount d'Agoult, idem; count de Mesnard, idem; count de Bourbon Busset, idem; marquis de Juigne; viscount Gabriel Dubouchage; chevalier de Charette; marquis de Croislin; count de Tournon, counsellor of state, formerly prefect of the Rhone; count de Breteuil, prefect of the Gironde; count de Bethisy, member of the Chamber of Deputies; count Chabrol de Crouzol, idem; count d'Orglandes, idem; count de Chastellux, idem; marquis de Villefranche, idem; Laine, minister of State, idem; viscount de Bonald, idem; count de Vogue, idem ; count de Marcellus, idem; count de Kergorlay (Florian), idem; marquis de Rastignac, idem; count de Courtavel (Peze), idem; count d'Ambrugeac, idem.
dictment charged him with three crimes 1st, with having administered poison to his young friend, Hippolyte Ballet, about the end of October, 1822; 2ndly, with having, in conjunction with the surviving brother, Auguste Ballet, destroyed the will of the deceased, to convert his property to their joint use; and 3rdly, with having, in the end of May, 1823, made his accomplice his victim, after he had secured the spoil by having induced Auguste to be queath it to him by testamentary instruments. The poison said to have been employed in both cases, was of a vegetable kind, called acetate of morphine; and it was alleged to have been administered in the last case in a tavern at St. Cloud, where Ballet and Castaing had gone to pass some days of pleasure or relaxation in the confidence of friendship.
There was evidence that Castaing had acetate of morphine in his possession; but there was not the slightest proof that either of the Ballets died of poison, or that any thing obnoxious was administered by Castaing. Many of the witnesses for the prosecution fell into gross contradictions. How ever, after a trial which lasted several days, [See Law Cases p. 1*] the unfortunate physician was found guilty by the voices of only seven to five, and the court, adding its own numbers to the jury, and thereby constituting a legal majority, condemned him to death, besides heavy damages for having destroyed the will. The proceeding exhibited a curious specimen of French justice. Hearsay-evidence in the third and fourth degree was admitted without scruple: when a difficulty arose, the prisoner was
called upon to explain it, in order to assist in his own conviction; and lastly, when five out of twelve jurors acquitted him, the Court, instead of giving the prisoner the benefit of a doubt which had weighed with five men out of twelve, joined itself to the scanty majority, in order to award the penalty of death!
The second trial was that of a Madame Boursier and her paramour for the murder of her husband. Boursier, one of the richest grocers in Paris, died two or three months before in terrible agonies, attended with circumstances of strong suspicion. It was proposed, on his death, to open the body. His widow, however, opposed the proposal, and he was interred in the cemetry of Père La Chaise. The widow's grief dried up as soon as her husband's remains were interred; and she received the visits of Kostolo her Greek lover, whom her husband had forbidden the house. The suspicions of the family could no longer be suppressed. Boursier's brother procured an order from the proper authoritics to disinter the body, and to examine the servant: and a great quantity of arsenic was detected in the contents of the stomach. The proof of death by poison was complete: but there was no evidence to show, how, or by whom, the poison was administered. Both the lady and her friend were acquitted. [See Law Cases, &c. p. 19*.]
The third trial was in some re◄ spects more extraordinary than either of the others. The accused were two persons, mother and son, of the name of Lecouffe. The murder was committed on Madame Jerome, a beggar, in the Faubourg du Roule. The crime was con