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under the Bourbons. If for country he would substitute CHAP. the upper class, not merely the old aristocracy of birth but the new aristocracy of intellect, wealth, and functionism, the observation may be correct. The Bonapartists and those attached to the revolution took no part in the vote, and had no voice in the new legislature. It was composed of new men. So it may be said was the celebrated Assemblée Constituante. But this assembly brought together all the thinkers and politicians of the kingdom, men who had studied its wants, meditated upon reforms, and shaped out in their minds the course to be taken by an emancipated people. It was only a proof that the ancien régime, however theoretically, and at times practically, despotic, did not or could not altogether paralyse the national mind. This had been at work for half a century, and had elaborated ideas, laws, projects. Napoleon had, on the contrary, kept the national mind fettered. He had allowed neither time nor liberty for thought. There was scant education, no press, and no intellectual society. The consequence was that the representatives or legislators who came together in 1814 and 1815 were ignorant as children and vengeful as savages. They had a new edifice to build, but they knew not how to set about hewing the corner-stone. Their whole thoughts were bent upon immolating victims to inaugurate their work.
The ministers whom Louis the Eighteenth had chosen, however royalist, were far from going the length of the Chamber. The responsibilities of power were alone sufficient to apprise them of the danger of a vindictive policy. They therefore sought to satisfy the passions of the ultra-Royalists by introducing a group of laws conferring upon the government and the tribunals the fullest power for suppressing sedition and the seditious, whilst not concealing the hope and the assurance that the throats they had cut would be sufficient to deter and to prevent rebellion. The first of these laws gave
government liberty to imprison as long as they pleased without bringing those arrested before any tribunal. Another, which punished seditious cries with terms of imprisonment, was met by loud cries of protest from the ultra-Royalists. Death was the least they would accord to the hoisting of Bonapartist colours. This was followed by the establishment of prevotal courts, in other words, drumhead courts-martial, for the summary punishment of conspirators.
Amidst the shouts of approbation which hailed these measures, proposed, not as exceptions, but as permanent laws, M. d'Argenson ventured to hint that there were other parties than Royalists which demanded protection; the Protestants, for example, were massacred in numberless towns of the south, and government was powerless to prevent it. His too true denunciation raised a storm, and were it in the power of the ultras they would have instantly applied to M. d'Argenson the penalty of having uttered seditious cries. They denied, but would not discuss his facts, had him called to order, and silenced. The Royalists entertained no objections to massacres if wreaked merely on Protestants and Bonapartists. When the laws of repression passed, M. Decazes, in a circular to his personal subordinates, recommended a moderate rather than a rigid execution of them. This, as soon as it became known, created at once a schism between the young minister and the ultra-Royalists of the Chamber, a schism which placed them soon in hostility, not merely to De Cazes and to the whole ministry, but to the King himself.
The ultra-Royalists in a short time came to perceive that laws of repression were of little use, unless they had ministers and judges of their way of thinking. They therefore set to work to overthrow M. Marbois, minister of justice, in which they succeeded at the close of the session, and at the same time to suspend, in order to change, the entire bench of judges. This bold attempt was only
defeated by the Chamber of Peers. With the bill for CHAP. the suppression of seditious cries, ministers had introduced an amendment, including amongst seditious cries any proposal to recover the sold property of the émigrés. It certainly was a dangerous clamour, though it was difficult to descry any guilt in it. On this subject, as well as on the removal of judges, and the punishment of the seditious, many of the Royalist orators distinguished themselves. La Bourdonnaye, says M. Guizot, was the spokesman of the passions of the party; whilst Villèle defended its interests, and Bonald expounded its philosophy. M. Guizot omits Chateaubriand, who at this time abetted that fierce and vindictive ultra-Royalism which he afterwards turned against and combated. Bonald preached counter-revolution as one of the consequences of divine right.*
The debates of the legislature were, however, thrown into the shade by those of the tribunals. Labedoyère had been condemned and executed previous to the opening of the Chambers. Lavalette, whose crime was to have seized and filled the functions of Post Master during the Hundred Days, had been arrested about the same time. But as a civilian he could not be sent before a court-martial. He was brought before a court of assize on the 20th of November. A jury made part of this court, but as the list was concocted at the prefecture, the jury of those days was little better than a government commission. Lavalette did not deny his having assumed the office of Post Director. He was condemned in consequence. His wife, led by Marmont, flung herself at the King's feet and at those of the Duchess D'Angou
* A recent critic makes merry on philosophy without having read with the utter ignorance of the po any author more original than Deliticians and philosophers of the gerando, and the third, as never Restoration. M. Renan represents having got further than the phiChateaubriand, Bonald, and De lology of the Jesuits.-Renan on Maitre-the first as too ignorant to Lamennais. write history, the secon 1 discoursing VOL. V.
lême. She was enceinte. The Duchess had yielded to the intreaties of the Duke de Richelieu to ask Lavalette's pardon of the King, who was prepared to grant it; but the ultra-Royalist coterie interfered, and insisted on the execution.* The Countess Lavalette, with great address and courage, contrived to substitute herself in prison for her husband, who escaped in her garments, holding the hand of their little daughter. The Count's subsequent escape from Paris, accompanied by Sir Robert Wilson, is well known. The ultra-royalist society of Paris, even its great ladies, were mortified at Lavalette having baffled justice. They stigmatised his little daughter as a “scélérate” for having aided to save her father, and she was obliged to quit in consequence the convent where she was being educated.f
Marshal Ney was consigned to his Paris prison on the day of Labedoyère's execution. He suffered from the Royalists quite the same indignities that the Royal. ists suffered under Robespierre. He was confined in a gloomy cell of the Conciergerie, guarded and treated with severity. A court-martial was named to try him. Marshal Moncey, finding himself amongst the judges, declined the duty, very honourably and naturally. St. Cyr, the war minister, condemned him to several months' arrest in consequence. Massena, Augereau, and Mortier consented to sit, but when Ney declined their jurisdiction, and demanded to be tried by the Chamber of Peers, the marshals gladly declared themselves incompetent.
The Duc de Richelieu informed the peers that it was they who would try Ney, and offer to the world a striking reparation for the impunity which the court-martial had extended to the accused. When the prime minister, not a passionate man, spoke such language, what must have been the vindictive sentiments of the court and of
* Duvergier d'Hauranne, Mémoires de Marmont.
† Mémoires of Guizot, of Lavalette, &c.
its party? The marshal's friends appealed to the Duke of Wellington to protect Ney, as included in the capitulation of Paris. The Duke declined to act this generous part by the marshal, and observed that Ney could not have considered himself guaranteed by that capitulation, since he had left Paris immediately under a feigned name.
The trial opened on the 4th of December. The chief witness was the future Marshal de Bourmont, serving under Ney when he proclaimed that the Bourbon cause was lost. Bourmont, the marshal declared, far from opposing, encouraged the act as unavoidable. Bourmont retorted the accusation by seeking to prove that Ney had all along meditated the treason--and alleged that he had the cross of the Legion of Honour with the eagle, not the fleur-de-lis, in his pocket, and that he wore it. This was disproved, and with it the accusation of the marshal's defection having been premeditated. 139 peers voted for the sentence of death, many afterwards joining the 17 who had declared for deportation, and entreating the Duc de Richelieu to obtain the marshal's pardon and exile. Five peers also abstained. The royal family were, however, all of them, the Duchess d'Angoulême included, resolved on inflicting and demanding the extreme penalty against Ney. The Duke of Wellington was in the same sentiments, forgetting how anomalous were the circumstances, and how little the traditional laws of treason and allegiance were applicable to a time when events, even more than men, turned round with the wind. The scaffold, said Marshal Moncey, in his letter, never made friends. Not only did it make no friends in the present instance, but it awakened a whole country to enmity. A few weeks previous the Bonapartists were in general discredit, as the elections proved. The death of Ney restored the party at once to national sympathy and esteem. The blow which struck him down was considered to have been dealt to