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consequence is, that there are two the maintenance of the common distinct families in feeling, - there good — a fancied good ; for, after are two Frances; there is the France all, mother and daughters have of Paris, of Paris that asserts its the same blood, the same temper right to be all France, and the France and character, the same vain-glory, of the departments, that, in spite conceit, and irritability, the same of the assertions of Paris, desire strong prejudices of ignorance; and to put in their little claim for a they would join hands and clamour small share in the name, and would together in the same opposition to the like to have their own little fingers in stranger. But this common-cause the pies of revolutions, and changes of making, upon occasions of extraordigovernment in the family, that mamma nary pressure from without, detracts cooks up. True, they are supposed nothing, at other times, from the misto eat at the same table, but mamma trust, jealousy, and angry susceptihas all the tit-bits. They have a voice bility of the children in internal affairs. in the family council, but it is when · In moments of family crisis, will mamma has already issued her dictum, matters always go on as heretofore ? and declared that such and such things Nurseries will be obstreperous someshall be as she has decided it. They times, and children will revolt, and help to support the family establish mammas may pass very uncomfortment with the moneys which mamma able moments in the face of angry declares they must contribute out daughters in rebellion. Will the of their heritage ; but then mamma, children take upon themselves, at they declare, spends a most undne last, to protest against mamma's disproportion upon herself, in dressing dainful commands, and assert a will herself out with finery, keeping up an of their own, and a right to think for unnecessary state, and throwing away themselves ? This question is one the sums confided to her to overpay upon the solution of which depends a throng of unruly onhangers, with all the fate of France, as well as upon the the prodigality of fear; while they, the many thousand chances which the poor daughters, are made to put up capricious and ever-shifting gales of with cast-off finery, and to be thwarted a revolutionary atmosphere may, at and twitted by harsh governesses, any moment, suddenly blow, like a and to fight, as best they may, with spark into a powder barrel, shattering an obstreperous herd of unpaid pen- the face of the past, and changing sioners, which mamma's mismanage- the direction of the future. Twice ment has excited to uproar; and then, already, since the revolution of Febafter all, to kiss hands and thank ruary, has the question been nearly mamma for whatever they can get, answered in the affirmative. The --scanty sugar-plums and many cuffs. last instance, of which more anon, Is this to be endured? The children may be taken as a striking proof grumble much, and particularly since that the children may possibly not mamma has chosen to make changes always submit to the dictates of in the direction of the household the mother,—that family mistrust establishment of which they by no may break out into family quarrel, means approve, and has only produced and family quarrel in nations is confusion and disorder in it. But at civil war. Who again, however, present they can do no more than may venture to predict what shall be grumble ; mamma has the rod, and the destinies of Republican France they know that she will use it; what web of darkness or of light, of mamma has the supreme influence, blood-streaked stuff or of goldand habit makes them think they threaded tissue, it may be weaving must abide by it. There is no doubt, with its agitated and troubled hands, at the same time, that the children or what force it may interpose to and parent would unite in a common tear the work to shreds before bond of union were the family honour it be even yet completed ? Most to be asserted against an attack from may fear, none may say. But preany adversary to the family out of diction, upon whatever cunning forethe house. Their intestine jealousies sight it may be based, must always world be forgotten for the time, for call a sort of feeling of inspiration, nearly allied to superstition, to its prove unsavoury to its tastes, or inaid : and thus the fanciful mind may, digestible to its susceptibilities. Paris without taking upon itself the airs of is " Sir Oracle," and, when it speaks, a Pythoness, give way to a little super- no provincial dog dare bark.” stition, and yet, perhaps, be not too Paris, thus, is the great type of strongly condemned of folly. There ex- the mainspring of the national chaists an old prophecy in France, emanat- racter, which works sometimes, ing from a monk of the middle ages, we allow, for good as well as for the authenticity of which cannot be evil:-namely, of that mixture of doubted, or, at all events, cannot be vanity and overweening conceit, which disputed, in as far as it was in well- may be found at the bottom of almost known existence at the commence- every action of the French. It calls ment of this century. It predicts, in itself “the great capital of the mystic language, -dark, it is true, but civilised world;" and thus considers wonderfully clear after its verification, that, although the departments may be -all the many revolutionary changes admitted to the reflected rays of lustre that have taken place in France, and that emanate from its superior glory, now once more proclaims the reign they must look upon themselves as of the " sons of Brutus." "Armed mere satellites, created to revolve at its men," it distinctly says, “ will march liking and its high will, and perform upon the doomed city," "sword and their revolutions in whatever direction fire will prevail against it," " the it deems fit to make its own revoluwolves will devour each other." May tion. Let it not be supposed that this the seeming superstition of a fantasti- representation is exaggerated, or that cal question be pardoned ! May not it proceeds from the distorted views these words refer to the future out of a foreigner. Hear the Parisian himbreak of the provinces of France self speak ; list to his expressions of against the capital ? If they do, in contempt for those unknown and barwhat sense, with what tendencies, to barous regions called departments; forward the views of what party, may mark how he asserts the unutterable it be? Be that as it may, however, superiority of his Parisian essence ; it is not the obscure future that is see how he tosses his head and curls dealt with here, but the present con- hislip with an infinitely aristocratic air, fused and uncertain state of Republican when he condescends to notice them France.
with a word; and never was Paris more As it may be inferred from what has eager in the maintenance of its tyranbeen said, Paris, then, has put on its nical supremacy; never was it more crown, as capital, to some purpose. despotically and autocratically disNever did despot assert his right to posed; never more aristocratic, to use dictate his autocratic will to serfs and the pet phrase of the day, than under slaves more authoritatively than does the rule of soi-disant liberty, and of revolutionary and republican Paris liberty of opinion, above all other to the provinces of France. No liberties proclaimed by the French three-tailed Bashaw of old melo- republic. drams could be more imperative in What were the expressions of the his ordinances, more arrogant in first republican minister of the interior, the conviction of the indisputability that type of republican exclusiveness of his will. The bare supposition and despotism, in his famous and that the provinces could have a will rather too famous bulletins de la reof their own would strike Paris dumb publique, issued to all France as the with astonishment. Paris has been language and opinions of the governaccustomed to consider itself not only ment of the day? Paris, they informed as the heart, but the head, and the the world, was the heart of France, arms and legs to boot, of the whole from which all life and living principle country. The inert body has no more, emanated, through which every drop in its consideration, to do, than allow of the country's blood must flow, in itself to be fed with what scanty mor- order that it might beat in unison, and sels of bounty and importance Paris be refreshed with true republican may choose to afford, and then not to vitality. Paris, they said again, was dare to grumble afterwards if the food the hand that had created and fashioned the republic, and that was to direct its formed the task-how well they emsteps, lead it vigorously forward in its ployed the fiery passions of the mob to way-as it was the head that conceived, produce the desired red-hot effect, and it was the hand that executed : it then strike~is a matter of historical was more than all this, it was the soul fact. of France—the pure and true essence In the elections for the National emanating from the new deity, the re- Assembly, the same dogmas of repubpublic. Paris, they asserted in aslican religion were strenuously enmany direct words, was the mistress forced. No emissaries of the Inquiwhose will was to be obeyed. It is sition ever used more moral violence unnecessary to point out how little to propagate a faith among suspected such declarations were in accordance schismatics, than did these ministers with republican principles, what little of republican despotism to enforce the affinity they had with the three great full, entire, and uttermost doctrines of watchwords of the day, “ Liberty, their creed, even to the minutest Equality, and Fraternity." Repub- articles. Where the moral influence aplicanism in France, according to those peared unlikely to penetrate as deeply old traditions, to which those who call into men's hearts as was desired, other themselves the only true and pure re- and more direct methods were adopted publicans seem always to be looking to make entire converts ; and, when back as the only true and pure models these methods were found too mild to for their admiration and imitation, work the intended effect, and purge the was always based upon despotism, land of moderatism and anti-wholesupported by constraint, compulsion, hog-ism, another stronger and more violence, and even terrorism ; and the racking dose was administered : the first efforts of modern republicanism mob was excited to overawe with were evidently exerted to place their threat and terrorism, and, where it old, newfangled, statue of bastard could not prevent, to destroy. How liberty upon the same heterogeneous should the departments dare to have a pedestal. The instructions of the same will of their own ? The rebellious Bashaw-minister to the emissaries children were to be whipped like whom he despatched as Bashaws of schoolboys into learning their lessons lesser and fewertails into the provinces, of pure and undefiled republicanism, to see that they were duly disposed to and reciting them as Master Commisfall down and worship the Goddess Re- sioner taught them ; there was no public, that had been set up, were better rod in pickle for such naughty modelled after the same and still urchins than the scourge of the fury rougher fashion.
of a mob, carefully taught another The missionaries were invested with lesson, and one it was not slow of autocratic powers to make and unmake learning-namely, that it was master, according to their own autocratic will; and must constrain obedience to its to send away functionaries who might will; while, in fact, itself obeyed the appear lukewarm in the cause ; to put influence, and was the instrument of in their places such acolytes as might the master-spirit that ruled up above, better serve the altars of the goddess, and made the best, or rather the worst and to offer up sacrifices to her, civil use of its rule. That all these meaand military, judicial and political, as sures failed in a great measure—those they might think pleasing to the di- of violence as well as those of moral vinity, or convenient and agreeable to constraint-is attributable to a variety their own hates and prejudices. They of complicated reasons, connected with were particularly requested to travail. the present state of the departments; ler the country, to torture it, as the and the how and why they failed, French phrase goes ; and were taught, will be the subject of a few consideraif they could not hammer the hard and tions presently. unbending metal of departmental What, again, were the expressions feeling to the shape they fancied, just of the more violent and so-called only gently to make the iron red-hot with true republican party in the capital, the fire of terrorism, and then twist it proceeding from its organs, the clubs, to the suitable form. How well the upon the same occasion of the elecworkmen, in many instances, per- tions ? To all the candidates who
presented themselves before them, the have been none the less furious in same question was propounded. If, their expressions of contempt for the when the votes of all France were openly declared will of all France. taken, it should be found that the They had long kicked down their idol departments declared themselves of universal suffrage with disdain, as averse to the establishment of a re- soon as they had found that, in spite public, what would be the duty they of all the hidden machinery they had would have to perform,-what steps set to work in it, the idol had not would they take? Those who did not obeyed their will, or declared their declare that they would turn against oracles. Universal suffrage they prothat National Assembly, of which nounced a hoax: constraint, tyranny, they themselves might then be mem- anarchy, conspiracy, civil war, were bers, and take up arms to march upon proclaimed by them the only true it, were denounced as traitors to their elements of the only true republic. country, unworthy of the votes of true Frantic with disappointment at the men, and hooted from the tribune, in result of their own manœuvres, by which they had dared to stand forward which they had been caught in their as future representatives of the people. own toils, they seized upon the preIt would have been in vain to insinu- text of sympathy in the sorrows of ate to these good gentlemen, that, in another country; and, aided by the the application of the principle of treachery of certain of their own party universal suffrage, in which every man in authority, invaded the obnoxious was not only an elector, but eligible Assembly, overthrew the government as representative, the voice of the
ma- for an hour, and proclaimed a terrorist jority would be the voice of all France; government of their own. Foiled and that it was for all France, by the again in this audacious attempt, foiled voice of its majority, to decide upon at least for the time being, they now the form of government best suited to endeavoured to patch up the shaking all France. In vain, indeed. The soil that has given way beneath their ready answer would invariably have feet, and plunged their leaders into a been—that Paris was the mistress of quagmire, and to build new foundations France, and had a right to dictate for fresh aggressions upon the disconits will; that Paris had made the tent of a part of the working-classes. revolution, and that, consequently, For this purpose they have taken two Paris was privileged to support the newfangled tools into their hands, the principles of that revolution, and to one of impulsion, the other of repularrogate to itself all its advantages : sion-the one of enthusiasm, the that the country at large, in fact, had other of alarm; and both are so nothing to do but to give in its ap- vaguely fashioned, and of so unin. proval, and be happy that its concur- telligible a nature, that the real rence was so far demanded, and that fact of their existence can never should it dare to have an opinion of be proved, although their use, its own, woe betide it! All this in their purpose, and their design, in solent bombast of the ultra party in the hands of these men, are very Paris might have been spared, how- clear. The one of these tools is a ever; the cause of “ Paris v. the De- bugbear, a phantom, a bogie, to which partments” was never called into the they endeavour to give as terrific an court of the country. The departments aspect as possible, in order to fright had accepted the establishment of the ignorant men over into their own republic as a fait accompli : they never ranks. This evil spirit, they declare, desired to subvert the new order of has an existence, although no one things by another convulsion, that ever saw it, no one ever felt it, no one would have plunged the country, al- ever knew where it dwells. No superready so miserable, into an increase of stitious people was ever endeavoured misery ; but they protested in favour to be worked up into a more irreof a republic of peace and order, upon fragable belief of some mysterious moderate principles; and, lo and be- demon that haunts them in dark hold, Paris itself combined with them woods and obscure places to devour in this desire. The disappointed party them-nor, generally, with more comof the directing master-spirits of Paris plete success over the credulous ; for fear is the most powerful agent over structure upon the heads of the people, the minds of the masses, and more and crush it for ever beneath them. especially when the fear is of the un- In spite of the infinite harm worked known and mysterious : and certainly upon the spirit of the lower classes by no demon was ever described with a the establishment of the belief in this more hideous or blacker face. This phantom, there would, perhaps, be bogie, phantom, bugbear, is a supposed no real danger in the effect produced influence called “ Reaction." No by the clamovrs of insensate ultra precise form is given to it, for that journals, the preachings of agitating would be to deprive it of more than demagogues, and the insidious insinu. half its terrors. No! omne ignotum ations of anarchist meneurs among the pro terribili is the policy. Nothing crowd, did not certain members of the can be more vague or indefinite than government itself, and some of those this same monster, Reaction; it re- in authority, render themselves parmains an Ossianic cloudlike spectre, ties concerned to the propagation of floating no one knows whence, but the belief, either genuinely, from havbringing death and pestilence in its ing been themselves carefully inocutrain. If the working-classes suffer, lated with the virus of false fear, until it is the Reaction, they are told, that they have really taken the disease, or is the cause of all their sufferings. If designedly, for the advancement of all their exactions, however exorbi- their own purposes — did they not, tant and impossible, are not conceded in fact, throw a sop continually to at once, it is because that horrible Re- mob-lecturers, by insinuating their action labours that their just demands own conviction in the existence of should be withheld. If the most vio- “ bogie” by their decrees, edicts, and lent of their own body are not elected proclamations, and, when they are as the true representatives of the called to put down anarcby, never people, it is because that pestilential obey without crying “Reaction” at Reaction has cast a spell over the the same time, and vainly giving the minds of all the electors. The Reaction phantom a slap on the face. As it is has also, potent demon although it be, –and herein lies the evil—the people all the freaks and caprices of a lesser are taught that the National Assemimp; it performs the strangest and bly, as it is now constituted, is the most incomprehensible feats,- for if a concentrated essence of the spirit of discontented mass of workmen revolt Reaction—that the representatives of unsuccessfully, and gain not their ends, the people, with but few exceptions, it was the Reaction again that was the are the ministering imps in a visible cause of all. The Reaction, for its own form of the invisible demon. If a vile reactionary purposes, it was, that word of reason is spoken in the Assemtreacherously induced them to revolt, bly against the clamours of unreasonwhen they themselves were naturally able demand—“Look ye there ! reinclined to be the most peaceable, action!" is the cry; if it prepares safe contented, and the least exorbitant measures of repression against the people on the earth. See how perfi- open efforts of anarchy—“reaction ;" dious, Machiavelic, and Jesuitical, is if it defends its own existence against this horrible monster Reaction! Pity the subversive attempts of conspirait is that, in order to establish the tors—"reaction;" if it attempts to fact of its real existence, it should not establish the republic upon a firm as yet have made itself visible to and solid, but moderate basis—"remortal eyes in any incarnate form! action ;" if it does any thing—"reThe Reaction is, however, no less, action;" if it does nothing — " reacmen are told, the enemy of the repub- tion;" if it cannot perform impossible lic, the adversary of all true republican wonders for the amelioration and proprinciples, labouring ever to overthrow sperity of the lower working-classes, it; above all, the enemy of the people at which, however, it labours most and the people's interests, their under- hard, — "reaction — reaction-reacmining serpent, their secret assassin. tion; the reaction of aristocratic feeling It is already sapping, unseen, the foun--the reaction of ill will—the reaction dations of the republic,