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her resources, all her aspirations, all her What did he do with this army? There policy, all her thoughts, were to be once have been no Italian campaigns, no more turned to military glory. France Austerlitz and Jena, no heroio plunges must shine—and shing she could notinto Northern snows, no Waterloo deexcept by the paraphernalia, the trophies feats, shedding a last magnificent glory of victorious war. Upon sach promises, on the vanquisheid. Why? Because hinted if not loudly spoken, Napoleon this shrewd, grimly-silent man, having III. relied to win to his dynasty the been knocked about the world for thirty hearts of the people.
years-an exile in Germany, a prisoner Two things on the one hand, the in France, a loafur in New York, a traditions of Napoleonism and the prom- special policeman at the English capital ise held out by them, and on the other, --an observer everywhere, hearing men the mysterious and grimly-silent char. talk, and seeing them act, tanght by acter of the man hiinself, have operated, vicissitude not to trust too much, havfrom the first day of liis reign to this, to ing recognized the fact that thrones make Napoleon III. universally suspect grow more precarious, and the people ed and distrusted. Every movement of bolder and stronger and more knowing his, not sufficiently explained at the every year,-this shrewd man knew that moment, has been construed as the com- he had got into a generation of men mencement of some gigantic Napoleonio entirely different from that with which plot. The most commonplace expres- Napoleon I. had to deal--in a word, saw sions have been discovered to hold a that the age was not fit for and would bidden meaning. Every journey which never suffer a repetition of the first he undertook, every unusual courtesy Empire. The forces which finally made which he extended to this or that for. Napoleon I. a failure, which rendered eign dignitary, nay, almost every turn him, as a permanency, impossible, are a of his eye, or movement of his head, hundredfold stronger, happily, to-day. have set afloat a thousand suggestions Napoleon III. created this gre:it army, of sinister purposes and darkly contem- and promised a new Cæsarian military plated projects. It is singular that these Empire; but the diys of Cæsarianism ideas should, after eighteen years' ex- were gone by forever. perience of N:1peleon III., still cling to which was to win new glories for people's minds. In America, for ex- France, was quie'ly used to sustain him. ample, we are accustomed to regard this self; and that is the underlying fact of quiet and rather indolent man, who is this second Empire. Napoleon III. does only anxious to hold his own, and who, not trust the French people; he only if he ever did have an ambition to sub- half trusts, while coquetting with, the ject Europe to one great Empire, bas priesthood; he does not trust to the long since abandoned it—a man by no popularity of his own policy, nor to the
as mysterious as is supposed, splendor of his name, nor to his Imperial and whose chief political mint lies in his patronage, nor to conquests now become worldly experience, his knowledge of impossible; his only trust, his only men, and his shrewd reading of the rampart, his only safety, is in the army. necessities and the weaknesses of the And to sustain and increase this last, French character,—we are wont to look but hitherto efficient defence, he has npon him as a very ogre, as a royal repeatedly,-and especially of late,– Balsamo, who, by his dark acts, may, risked not only his popularity, but inwhen his concoctions are prepared, surrection, open resistance to his authorcharm the nations to sleep, and thus ity, the raising of ominously seditious win their helpless homage at his will. cries beneath the windows of his palaces. Let us see.
Promising that the old The writer heard, last spring,—when the Empire should be restored, with a re- new army-law, increasing the available newed and vigorous youth, he estab- force at the disposition of the Governlished himself, and created a great army. ment to 1,400,000 men, was put in
operation,—the boisterous singing of the other words, to preserve the equilibrium Marseillaise in French streets, which, as of Europe. The second, if it was a war is known, is an offence before the law; of aggrandizement, had also other and he heard crowds of ouvriers shouting far nobler objects, which threw the lust "Vive la Républiqne!” and “A bas of gain into obscurity. The third was l'Empereur ! ” in the face of the soldiery distinctly a war of aggrandizement, and and the gendarmerie; and in the scho- more; it was a war in which a crime lastic and historic town of Toulouse, bar- was attempted to be committed, far ricades, those significant symbols of the more heinous and more treacherous to revolutionary spirit, were thrown up, in civilization than the crime of lust of resistance to the new conscription. Yet conquest. What was the result of each the conscription went on; the rioters of these wars? Did they remind one were subdued; the new army was of the old Empire? Was there among raised; and, in spite of popular emo
10- them an Austerlitz or a Lodi ? tion, the new Empire was safe. While The Crimean war, undertaken in althe promise of military glory and ter- liance with England to check the dreaded ritorial aggrandizement has not been growth of Russia southward, was long kept, the army has been, and still is, and painful; there were few of those kept up, in order to act as an auxiliary brilliant actions which can alone charm to the most extensive and most perfect the martial pride of the Frenchman, and police system in the world.
what there were of these, the English There is doubtless another reason had in them the lion's share of the glory. why the dazzling temptation to seek Victory came in the end, but it was military glory has not prevailed-apart divided with the ancient and hated rival from the fact that success would be far of France, the detested victor of Watermore difficult, and, indeed, far more loo—it was, more than half of it, Engempty, in this age than in that of Na- land's victory. The French went back poleon I. The present Emperor has to Paris, half dissatisfied, thinking of disc)vered that he bas not a great mili- their own many failuris, and of Engtary gevius. He is an abler politician land's repeated triumphs. and a more efficient governor than was
Whether the Italian war of 1859 was his uncle. Perhaps, too, as a scientific undertaken to increase the French terrisoldier, as one comprehending the utility tory, is not yet known; that was one of arms, and the art of strategy, he is of its results; but in that it was underhis equal. But as a general in the field, taken by Napoleon III. to free and to he is a failure. And military glory, create Italy, it was noble, justly popular unless he appeared as its ostensible hero, in France and throughout the world. would lose, for him, its lustre. At It was successful “in spite of bad genSolferino, it is said, the Emperor, com- eralslip; ” but the contest was between manding in person, well-nigh lost the a great military power allied with a battle; only the great ability of Niel people of hot enthusiasm and reckless and the other generals saved it; and it bravery, fighting for its lite, and a decay. was won, as an opposition journal said, ing nationality, burdened with almost referring to the part wbich the Emperor bopeless debt, with which defeat was took iu it," in spite of bad generalship.” traditional, and which must, from the
Three times in the history of the beginning, have been discouraged by the second Empire have we seen an attempt thought that it was playing a losing on the part of the French to attract the game. Such being the circumstances, rays of military glory to their arms; in the victory could not bave been one of neither case, however, could it be said those victories which astound and dazzle that a repetition of the old Napoleonic men, which call forth the adoration of a design was essayed. One of these wars people, and which link a sovereign to was not undertaken for argrandizement, the hearts of his subjects with “ hooks but on the balance-of-power idea-in of steel.” Solferino and Magenta did shed a glory upon the French Empire; ful enemy-successful republicanismbut it was a moral, not a martial glory. and we will add to the Napoleonic It was the moral spectacle of a great crown a glory which will give to it the and generous nation, lifting up and giv- old martial and Cæsarian balo. Who ing lite to a historic and long-degraded among my readers now doubts that this people, which gave it its lustre.
was the double end of the Mexican enThe military triumph was not a splen- terprise ? Who hesitates to believe that did one; there were no wonderful mili- it was a covert blow directed at the extary exploits; the odds were from the istence of our Union ? Let it be rememfirst with the victorious allies. But it bered that Napoleon tried his utmost to was the triumph of France over herself, seduce England into joining with him to -over the priesthood, over old-world recognize the Confederacy, at our direst bigotries; it was a whole nation bleed- hour; that he made more than one ating for its friendship toward a weaker tempt to engage the South to unite with sister. To-day, alas, that moral glory is the new Empire; that the French expeclouded; there will be an election soon, dition was undertaken exactly at the time and the Empire must, at all hazards, win when the opportunity for effecting his the priests; and hence we have seen end was apparently ripe ; and let us French soldiers trying the murderous thank God for baffling the miserable Chassepôt on the followers of the John intrigues of our enemies! If these proofs Brown of Italy; we see them still there, are not enough, let the revelations made amid the grand old ruins which tell us by Keratry and a hundred others be of Cato and of Rienzi, holding Italy back pondered; and you will laugh to scorn from her ancient capital, and, while pre- the pleas that were put forth in defence venting the completion of her unityof that meditated wrong. The Mexican serving as the defenders of the worst expedition was a farce darkly tinged and most decrepit of earthly govern- with tragedy, which broke down in the ments. Solferino is disgraced, France is middle of the act. Puebla was the disgraced, and she is conscious of it; moral Waterloo of Napoleon III., with and this alliance, treacherous to the this difference—that while Waterloo French people, between the military was a glorious defeat, Puebla was despotism and the despotism of the most inglorious victory. Of military hierarchy, is the gloomiest of all the glory there was not a whit; of outrage gloomy facts of the past twenty years.
to the liberal feelings of France, of opThis great Republic of the West, pressive taxation, of utter folly, there th ght Napoleon III., when he wit- was enough to make France groan to nessed the outbreak of the American this day. It was not only the greatest rebellion, is and has been the huge par blot on the record of the Empire, it ticul:r thorn in the side of despotism was a severe blow self-directed and selfeverywhere. To me, who rule over a wounding;
it will never be recovered nation which has been republican, and from; it has permanently alienated from is easily struck by a shining example, its the Empire many of its former partisans, prosperity is a continual, and may be a and has given a weapon to that eloquent vita!, injury. Let us crush it. Turning and ever-active Opposition in the nationto Mexico, southward of us, he saw a al legislature, of which Jules Favre and people, weak, divided against itself, Adolphe Thiers are the spokesmen, and struggling anid a pandemonium of rival who have not yet ceased to use it with factions, lying at the mercy of the first effect. There was a time when the strong-armed comer. We will kill two prince who now reigns in France, progreat birds with one stone, was the Im- posed the Republic of the United States perial idea. By the same stroke, we as a model to France; it was, he dewill kill the Republic, and we will found clared in 1831, the most perfect governa Latin Empire in the West. We will ment which had ever been devised. at the same time rid ourselves of a fear. But that was in the generous heat of his
youth, when exile and misfortune had shaken at least as far back as the Meximade him honest. Now it is quite dif- can expedition. The increase of the ferent; nous avons changé tout cela. army has undoubtedly increased also You can hardly expect a man in power that first effect. If any French party to praise or to be friendly to his greatest has ever had, within these twenty years, bugbear.
the ambition of military glory, they seem Out of neither of these wars, then, now to have ceased to hope for it. It is came miitary glory of the genuine Na- recognized that Napoleon is not the man, poleonic sort. All that France got for and this is not the age, to supply it. then was Savoy and Nice; to the There is, therefore, no distrust of Napoeighty-seven departments, two more- leon on the score of military ambition ; an Alpine and a Mediterranean depart- and that suspicion which many intelligent ment-were added. We may conclude Frenchmen felt at the outset of his cathat the idea of aggrandizement and reer, lest he should drag France into glory has been definitely abandoned. another splendid misery like that of The foreign policy of the Empire has 1814, has given place to another, that never been what could be called an he has devoted himself to arbitrary powaggressive one, except in the instance of er, to the security of his dynasty within Mexico; and that failure was enough the nation, and to rendering it permato check all other essays of a similar nent by a despotic rule, periodically kind. It hes drawn further and further tempered by petty concessions, intended from such an one every year, until at to conciliate the masses. It seems cerlast, it may almost be characterized as a tain that France has ceased to be, what timid policy. France yielded to arbitra- she was before the Mexican fiasco, the tion in the Luxembourg matter; she arbiter of nations ; Germany has become threw no obstacle in the way of the her rival; she can no longer impose her unity of Germany,—a forbearance which diplomatic will upon the cabinets, and Thiers calls the most grievous of blun- she now shrinks from a collision with ders; she now witnesses the growing the new power, with as much eagerness power and insolence of Russia in the as she was at first fierce to provoke it. East, with hardly a protest; we Wise enough to perceive that the genlonger hear of a crusade in behalf of uine Cæsarism of Napoleon I. was not to Poland, or the Turk, or the Hungarian. be attempted-cognizant, in a word, of She has interfered at Rome, but there the age, its demands and its impossibili. the Emperor ran no danger-being the ties, - Napoleon III. has departed widely bigger and stronger of the combatants from the model of his uncle. He has tacexcept from his own people; and they itly declared himself independent of the are under the lieels of the army. Tak- traditions of the Empire. At Bordeaux ing a general view of all these years of there stands, in one of the public squares, Imperial rule, it is clear that the Em- a statue of the present Emperor, upon peror has generally been content to sus- the pedestal of which is graven the tain the dignity and integrity of France, memorable words, “ L'Empire, c'est la to engage in no more military enterprises Pair"_“The Empire is Peace;" words than were either necessary to that dig- which he himself uttered there not long nity, or else necessary to serve as a after he attained to the Imperial purple. distraction to his fickle and easily dis- By those words he broke loose from the contented subjects. Sometimes, true, the promise implied by his elevation ; and, if appearance has been otherwise ; but it they keenly disappointed the restless and has begun and ended in an appear. vainglorious spirits who blindly hoped ance.
It has been said that by increas. for war, they fell gratefully upon the ears ing his armament early in 1867, Napo- of those who only asked tranquillity, poleon first shook the foundation of his litical security, and the internal develthrone. But the wiser opinion would opment of France. And the Empire seem to be, that that foundation was has been, for the most part, Peace.
Only twice has Napoleon III. openly sudden alliances, a thriving people, that defied the ideas of the progressive age- unworthy suspicion which saw in every in Mexico, and at Rome; and, os we forward step, in every territorial acceshave shown, these acts were rather sion, in every wholesome improvement, defensive than aggressive. The world a menace and a defiance, -in place of naturally looked forward to European these, Napoleon frankly announced the troubles, to great devastating wars, to rise of great nationalities, and welcomed gigantic schemes of conquest; but the them; he spoke, not without a tone of temptation, if temptation it was, has been complacency, of the final downfall of shunned, and France lias been able to feudalism, and of the resolving of many pursue the peaceful arts of internal small states into a few large ones. Ingrowth almost without interruption. stead of distrust in view of this prospect,
Let us do justice to the Empire. he would generously welcome the event; Faults, blunders, crimes there have France wished no more territory, France been; but the picture is not without wished peace; France would congratulights as well as shadows. The Empire late and make friends with the new has certainly kept apace with the popu- powers, and would insure her safety in lar current. Unlike the Bourbons, it their midst by friendly confidence, while can forget, and it can learn; and the her competition with them would rather secret of its success lies in its capacity be in the fields of peace, industry, and for receiving and satisfying the tone of education, than on those of battle. popular opinion. Popular opinion sent And this course was consistent in the the Empire on the glorious errand of heir of Napoleon. It was by the feudal freeing Italy, and creating a new and elements of Europe, with which the extensive constitutional kingdom. More balance-of-power principle was indisrecently, we have seen another, and solubly linked, that the first Empire equally famous, acknowledgment of the was opposed, and finally crushed. It march of events. When the German was against feudalism and that principle, war was in progress, it would have that Napoleon fought all his life. Wabeen easy for France to extend her terloo was at once his ruin, and their frontier to the Rhine, thus accomplish- triumph; and the Treaty of Paris, which ing an ambition of fvur hundred years. restricted France to its present limits, But the temptation passed, then the was concluded in the name of the balopportunity. Not only did the Empire ance of power, and was the compact of gracefully yield to the ascendency of feudal Europe, pledging itself against Prussia. For the first time in the his. the freedom of nationalities. By antory of the world, we heard the Em- nouncing, therefore, the doctrine of peror of the French, in the presence of nationalities, by conceding the right of the representatives of the nation, casting Germany to unification, by sustaining to the winds the old idea of balance of the independence of Italy, Napoleon III. power, and in one grand sentence an- asserted the cause of the first Empire, nouncing the new doctrine of NATIONAL- and protested against that fendal princi
Peoples of the sanie race, he ple by the successful maintenance of declared, had a right to unite together. which the first Empire fell. The Germans could resolve themselves There is one more act of the present into a single nation, if they would: it dynasty, which it would be unjust to was not for France to say them nay. overlook, and which reflects upon it the No longer was Europe to be convulsed fulness of that honor which is due to from the seas to the centre, because this true political wisdom. I refer to the or that power was found to be a grow. frank adoption of an enlightened coming power. In place of that petty jeal- mercial policy. And it is remarkable to ousy which begrudged a neiglibor his note, that this was accomplished by a progress and prosperity, that sensitive diplomacy which was completely wantalarm which hastened to enfeeble, by ing in those intricate arts of which di