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plomacy is supposed to consist. It was pidity of the French railway system; due mainly to Richard Cobden; a man we, who read every morning, when we so op n, so honest, so upright in life, so are at home, of daring burglaries, of the devoid of all chicanery and subtlety, so commission of crime in a hundred forms, pure alike in his means and ends, that are struck with the perfect order of the when he died, his bitterest antagonists French cities, the surpri-ing and mysmourned the loss which England suf- terious control of the police, and the fered; yet a inan possessed of so lumi- rarity of those violations of law so comnous al mind, and so persuasive a tongue, mon with us; we see with delight the that what the tortuous course of pro- sparkle of Parisian society, the grandeur fessional diplomacy either could not have of Parisian streets and monuments, the done at :all, or could only have done by wealth of the Parisian world, the bright slow and tedious steps, he did briefly and unanxious semblance of prosperity and with ease. It is hard to over-esti. which pervades almost every quarier of mate the benefit both to France and the French metropolis. Passing beyond to England, and indeed to the world, Paris, we are yet more charmed to note which resulted from the Commercial everywhere the same cheerful and thrifty Treaty which Cobden persuaded the aspect; there are fields with their golden Emperor to conclude. Besides stimula- burdens of wheat and corn, manufacturting the trade of the two nations, and ing towns bustling with occupation, quiet, especially that of France, the announce- sunny little villages lying peacefully ment of that treaty heighteneri the esti- along the river-sides, where all seems mation in which the Emperor was held content and peace, and whither the jars by France, diminished that dislike and and miseries of man's lot seem distrust which had bitherto embarrassed to have penetrated; stately cathedral his reign, surprised and pleased the civ- towns, with their famous mernories, ilized nations, and seemed to confirm seemingly indolent, prosperous, ignorant the famous words of Bordeaux, that the of want, apparently revelling in a ccmEmperor was, in truth, Peace. Nothing plete sufficiency. llere, everywhere, all could be a stronger proof that Napoleon is order, security, peace, content. France III. bal committed his fortunes to the seems, in some places, to be resting from tide of public opinion—that he stood the turmoils of the past seventy years; ready to yield to the demands of his in other places, to have roused herself, generation. From the date of that and to be seizing the opportunity which Tr« aty, France seems to have fully en- orderly government has provided, to tered upon a new career, less brilliant, enrich herself and rival the industrial perhaps, than she had anticipated, but progress of the Anglo-Saxon races. Her far more wholesome, far inore produc- harbors you will find full of ships; her tive of happiness and content.
manufactories busy ; her farms under Could we, in trying to depict the Em- thrifty cultivation ; her vineyards, in pire, in its salient phases, stop here, it autumn, groaning under the prolific woull be a grateful ending; but, un- yield of their precious fruit. You are happily, the exigences of despotism have surprised to find such apparent prosperigiven the picture its darker side, and ty everywhere, such order in administhat, too, must be seen, to appreciate tration, such activity in public and prithe whole.
vate improvement! But this, for the To the stranger wlio, for pleasure or most part, is a bright and beautiful mask, business, passes rapidly from one coun- under which the sombre reality lies hid; try to another, France wears a beauti- the paint on the mask is too bright to ful mask. We Americans, especially, be natural, the over-redness of the who coine from the land par excellence cheeks, the over-whiteness of the brow, of railway and steamboat accidents and the over-blackness of the lashes, the dusky stations, contemplate with wonder rigidity of the smile, the staro of the the regularity, the comfort, and the ra- regard, reveal its want of truth. The
Empire has given to France at least a benefit, paid? An able French statissemblance of prosperity, and you must tician, turning the other side of the study her attentively to discover wheth- shield, has undertaken to show. Beer it is, or not, a veritable prosperity. tween 1851 and 1857 the sum-total of Without question, it is a veritable pros- the expenses of the Government amountperity, viewed in certain lights. Com- ed to 31,000,000,000 of francs; between pared with the days of the Bourbons, or 1857 and 1867 that sum was far more even those of Louis Philippe, there is a than doubled. Dividing up the present great material improvement. That is rates of taxation, it is found that the partly due to the feeling of security, quota due from every family in France resulting from the strength of the dy- is 240 francs, the mean incoine of each nas:y, and a confidence that it will hold family being 1,000 francs; that is to say, its own; partly to the liberal progress the State takes from each family a quarmade by reason of the adoption of free- ter of its annual income! And what a trade principles; and partly to the great story does that tell! Do you wonder administrative vigor of the Government, that, if you turn aside from the brilliant which has been active in carrying out thoroughfares of the cities (where the internal improvements. The truth, how- police are careful to keep mendicancy ever, is, that there is in France at once out of sight), the streets swarm with high prosperity, and great want; pros- beggars, whose air and manner of asking perity among the few ard the rich, want show them to be tyros in the most huamong the vast majority and the poor. miliating of earthly arts? Is it strange At the time of writing, the misery of that there are strikes, and here and great masses of the French population there a riot, and suicides, and emigraexceeds that of any period since the tions by the thousand ? You see nothing foundation of the second Empire. of it on the surface, where all is fair.
What is the price which France pays But leave the Rue de Rivoli behind in for her security? What does the Empire Paris, and work your way up those dark cost her-how does absolute despotism and repulsive labyrinths of which Fausustain itself? Several months ago there bourg St. Antoine is a complicated netappeared in Paris a pamphlet, which was work, and sights will present themselves written either by the Imperial hand or which are galling and dramatic satires under Imperial inspiration, triumphantly on this proud Empire, which rests on calling attention to the “Titles of the soldiers who are supported by a quarter Napoleonic dynasty.” We were told in of the incomes of France! Yet, with it how Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was this crushing taxation, so appalling to elected President of the Republic in 1848, the mind of one of the ablest writers in 3y five and a half millions of votes France that he recently exclaimed, against two millions; how he was elect- “France is ruining herself, without reaed, in 1851, President for ten years, by son or profit!" with this enormous inseven and a half out of eiglit millions ; come derived from the people, the debt how the Empire was reëstablished in has increased to nearly three thousand his person in 1852, by 7,800,000 out of millions; there have been no less than 8,140,000. And these were “ the titles six loans between 1854 and 1867, which of the dynasty," on the principle of Vox together have amounted to 2,700 milPopuli, coc Dci, which was, indeed, lions. the motto of the pamphlet. But a title Statistics are called dry; and yet, to power, even founded on universal sometimes, they have a touching and suffrage, is nowadays far less important romantic interest. I cannot but think than the manner in which that power is those quoted above tell a mournful and exercised. There is, therefore, a perfect sadly interesting tale. Let me refer to answer to the Imperial pamphlet. How them just a moment longer; let us comhave you used your power? What has pare America with France. it cost, and has it, balancing cost against lations of the two countries are not far
from equal. The expenses of the French relatives of every one of us, it drew away Government amount to considerably over
to the Southern field. It was never, at fifteen millions of francs--or, three mil- any one time, so large as that army lions of dollars--a day; while during our which the French Government created great Rebellion, when we had to sustain as its permanent army last winter. How the most gigantic war of modern times, hard it is to imagine a permanent army and at the same time to carry on our of a million and a half of men! Our internal administration and our foreign army was for a purpose; its end gained, service, our total expenses did not it would dissolve; its organization was amount to more than two thirds of that but for a time, its withdrawal of tillers sum.
That is, France has to sustain, in from their fields, of merchants from their time of peace, a burden one third greater desks, of carpenters from their shops, than we sustained in the midst of the was but temporary, and it would soon Rebellion! Do not figures speak? and yield the greater part of them back to is not security an unwonted luxury in the generative arts of peace. But France France? One more statistical fact, not lies weak under the continual drain ; unallied with historic significance, and there, the subtraction of strong hands we have done. What wos the keynote from industry is constant and enormous. of the first French Revolution-what Who will calculate what these thousands was its grim watchword ? “ Bread of strong hands, forced from the plough give us bread!” The want of bread, and the anvil to make sure her security, quite as much as the want of liberty, are worth to France? Is not there in brought that sweeping, gaunt human this, a fine yet more oppressive than even torrent, out of the squalid depths of St. the direct financial one? But the Em. Antoine down upon the Tuileries. Well, pire must be sustained, even if the wobread is to-day in France worth five sous men alone are left to garner the harvests (cents) a pound-loaf. Your workman, and shoe the horses ; even if the obwho earns two francs a day, and has a stacles to marriage do become so great family, must give nearly half his day's that the population will deteriorate in earning for bread to fill his and their numbers and capacity; even if bread be mouths between sun-up and sun-down. dear, and poor devils sing the MarseilAs for meat, it is quite beyond his luise, and beggars multiply, and gaunt means; 'tis a hard struggle even to get want stares you in the face everywhere bread. The ominous discontent of old for where else can you find security ? revolution times is abroad once more ; The "titles of the Napoleonic dynasty," its watchword, as of old, is “bread;' founded on votes taken, not entirely its rallying cry is the law-tabooed Mar without violence, when the French, scillaise. So that security for the support wearied with long disorder, were rather of which Monsieur is mulcted a quarter “ drummed” than invited to the polls, of his income, is not so reliable a thing, -are they such, or not, as to give an after all. Beggary is frightfully on the excuse to what may be called this miliincrease; the number of starved, and of tary extravagance, which yet does not dead from exposure, last winter, was yield any fruit of conquest, or even of appalling. And affairs grow no better greater respect compelled from other as the months pass on. For the security nations ? The very appearance of this which despotism offers, Franco groans Imperial pamphlet, which is seen to be with taxes, is crowded with beggars, clearly an electioneering document, adand becomes again volcanic.
dressed to the people on the eve of an But is this all that the Empire costs election, having a similar mission to the nation ? Think of our glorious that of those little congressional broNorthern army, in Rebellion days: bow chures which “my constituents " receive enormous we thought it, how large a from the lIon. So-and-so at Washington, proportion of our stalwart arms and indicates a distrust on the part of Nasinews, how many of the friends and poleon, a fear lest his popularity has
vaníshed under grievous taxation and been taken of it; but he had desereleniless conscription. The necessity crated the natal day of a Romish saint, of such a pamphlet would seem to prove and hence must pay the penalty. Here that the Empire is having constantly is another case, showing the al.sence of increasing demands upon its strength, religious freedom. A young student of and diminished powers of satisfying medicine recently passed his examinathem; and when a Government has tion, and received his diploma as a reached that point, it is vain to point to doctor. It is necessary for all candidates its “titles.”
for the doctorate of medicine in France, But are burdensome taxation, and to write a medical thesis and present it remorseless conscription-the constant to his professor. By some means or drain upon those two sinews of internal other, the thesis of the young man prosperity, money and men--all that the referred to, reached the eyes of the Empire has cost France ?
Bishop of Orleans. That worthy prelate when the edifice is declared to be found some expressions in the paper crowned, there is seen to be one great which he did not regard as “ orthodox." and vital loss which France has sus- He protested against it, and the result tained-one terribly usurious price she was that a ministerial decree was issued, has had to pay for her security. Verily, by which the new doctor was suspended she gave up her liberty for a mess of from practice, until the obnoxious thesis pottage—and the mess of pottage having was re-written, and the “heresies" turned out to be less savory and less erased. It is, perhaps, notorious to healthful than she had thought, she American readers that no Protestant wants her liberty back again-too late. church can be established in Franco The Empire has cost France her liberty. without especial permission from the Its chief is an irresponsible, absolute, Government, which is rarely given, and irremovable Executive. Pretending to when given, is so hampered by degradrule by means of a representative legis- ing and discouraging conditions, as to lature, he really rules by the simple deprive the project of its utility. Could exercise of his own will. If the Cham- I pause to consider this topic more in ber adopts the proposals of his minis- detail, it could easily be shown that not terial instruments, well and good; if only is there very little religious freenot, neither he nor bis Ministers are dom in France, but that, in some parts effected, but go on in spite of the Cham- of the Empire, the persecutions which bers. There is neither religious, politi- all those who dissent from Romanism cal, legislative, press, nor verbal freedom undergo, are suggestive of the age of in France. Let me adduce some in. Louis XIV. and Charles IX. Political, stances of each, personally known to or electoral freedom, is much circum
It is well known that it is per- scribed in France. The extent of official mitted to a Frenchman to work or play manipulation in the rural elections can on Sunday, if he desires it; and it is a never be known; but that it is extenfact that a very large proportion of the sive, is certain. The police are known population du both. But to work on a to be active on election-days, drumming Romish saint's day is a grave offence. up ignorant farmers and ouvriers, thrustA farmer near Bordeaux, a Protestant, ing votes into their hands, and leading who therefore did not observe saints' them to the polls. . The right of canvasdays, had some hay cut, and, on the sing is confined to the government morning of a fëte, being apprehensive agents; the Opposition atteinpts it at of rain, proceeded to gather it into his its peril. I have heard of a case of a barn. The curé of his village gave farmer, who being sick on election-day, information to the police, the farmer and having been requested by the mayor was arrested, and suffered a month’s of the village to go and vote, sent his imprisonment. Had he gathered his wife thither to excuse his absence; hay on a Sunday, no notice would have whereupon the mayor naïvely remarked
that she could vote in place of her back, and effectually prohibits that husband, and thrusting a government greater educator of the lower classes—a ballit in her hand, pointed out the cheap press. But that is the least of its ballot box. It is not needful to give restraints. The main alleviation which further illustrations; suffice it to say the bill of last winter effects, is that, that the Government, with its va:t offi- under its provisions, newspapers are ro cial machinery and patronage, its troops longer under the direct control of the and gendarmes, its protection by law, Minister of the Interior. Ilis authority has every facility to influence the Vox is transferred to the judges of the triPopuli, and to intone it to grateful bunals of correctional police. The strinexaltati ns of the Empire ; while the gent laws against the press remain in all Opposition is so cramped and fettered by their ancient force; the change is one the law, that it is, as an active political simply of jurisdiction; the power to ageni, almost powerless. You ask, why punish is judicial, wiere it was before such tings are not generally known, ministerial. The judges being, as well and, being known, why they do not as the ministers, creatures of and deproduce a great reaction against the pendent on the Emperor, and being, Empire? The answer is simple. It is moreover, notoriously devoted to the because the press dare not publish such dynasty and severe upon its opponents, things. Thus, you see, one despotic law the gain to the press even in tliis respect aids another. Were a paper to publish does not seem to be a very great one. such facts, it would deliberately commit Compare the offences of the press with suicide. The official power may do such the punishments awarded to them, and things with impunity, because there is you will see, at a glance, how unduly no fear of publicity; they are done in the press is restricted in France. Pathe rural districts, and the rumor of pers are prosecuted for false news, for them, unaided by wide-informing type, abridged reports of the debates in the will not go far. And this brings us to Chambers, for “exciting to hatred and the state of the French press, of which contempt of the Government”-and we can only speak with great brevity. under this head, almost every imaginable Perfect liberty of the press, I do not expression distasteful to the authorities believe to be a thing desirable for may be punished—for defamation of France. French passions are too vio- private character (as is proper), for lent, French ideas are too visionary, threatening articles, for articles tending the French love of agitation is too over
to disturb the public peace, and many powering. Were there complete liberty other kindred causes. If a paper states of the press, there would be a chronic that the Pope is dangerously ill, and it state of revolution. It is almost impos- turns out to be not true, that paper is sible for a French journalist, unless liable to prosecution. If it states that severely restrained, to discuss political the Emperor's health is poorly, and and religious subjects with calmness. creates misgiving, and this is simply the Liberty of the press would mean war truth,—the paper may and probably will of the press forever and ever. But this be prosecuted for publishing news whicla is, only to a certain limit, a justification “tends to discurb the public peace.” In of restraints put upon the press. Taking fact, a paper can hardly say any thing at advantage of the dangers of a perfectly all on a political subject, in a sense in free press in France, the Empire, for its the slightest degree adverse to the Govown ends, has gone to the furtherest, ernment, which will not render it amenaand a 'most lamentable, extreme; and ble, under one or other of these leads, the new bill on the press, passed last to punishment. The customary punishwinter, makes but a trifling improve- ments, for offences of lesser gravity, are ment. The stamp-duty on daily politi- fine and imprisonment; the fines rangcal papers is six centimes (1} cents). ing from 100 to 10,000 francs, the imThat is a first and very material draw. prisonments from a fortnight to two