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“Pichegru, Napoleon's monitor,

Tells me he's dull and calm, Tenacious, firm, submissive-yes,

Our chain is on his arm.
Volcanic natures, such as his,

I dread ;-may God direct
This boy to good-the evil quell-

His better will direct.
“ Here is his Euclid book-thie ink

Still wet upon the rings; These are the talismans some day

He'll use to fetter kings. To train a genius like this lad

I've prayed for years—for years ; But now I know not whether hopes

Are not half choked by fears. "Last Monday, when they built that fort

With bastions of snow,
The ditch, and spur, and ravelin,

And terraced row on row,
'Twas Bonaparte who cut the trench,

Who shaped the line of sap, — A year or two, and he will be

First in war's bloody gap. “I see him now upon the hill,

His hands behind his back,
Waving the tricolor that led

The vanguard of attack;
And there, upon the trampled earth,

The ruins of the fort,
This Bonaparte, the schoolboy king,

Held his victorious court.
“To see him give the shouting crowd

His little hand to kiss,
You'd think him never meant by God

For any lot but this.
And then with loud exulting cheers,

Upon their shoulders borne,
He rode with buried Cæsar's pride,

And Alexander's scorn.
Ah! I remember, too, the day

The fire-balloon went up;
It burnt away into a star

Ere I went off to sup;
But he stood weeping there alone

Until the dark night came,
To think he had not wings to fly

And catch the passing flame.
“Oh he is meant for mighty things,

This leader of my class ;-
But there's the bell that rings for me,

So let the matter pass.
You see that third-floor window lit,

The blind drawn half-way down;
That's Bonaparte's—he's at it now-

It makes the dunces frown.”

501

GUIZOT’S MEMOIRS.*

As might be expected, and even more than might be expected, M. Guizot's Memoirs are distinguished by vigour, solidity, moderation, sagacious reflection, and statesmanlike views both broad and deep, at once practical and philosophic. But what specially distinguishes them from almost all other French Memoirs—a distinction, however, which, from the character of the man and the author, was also to be expected -is the sustained dignity of their tone, the comparatively austere selfrespect, their singular freedom from that fussy vanity, and fidgety selfimportance, and obtrusive, incontinent, ever-uppermost egotism, by which the reading of Mémoires in general is made alternately an amusement and an affliction. Those, indeed, who crave the stimulant of much personal talk, and demand details about the writer's infancy, education, love passages, household arrangements, kitchen economics, and so forth, will do well to give M. Guizot the go-by: there is little in common between him and them. He writes no delicate Confidences, after Lamartine's model. Nor are his Memoirs dated d'outre tombe. There is no romance about them, no sentimentalism, no morbid taint of misanthropy, or worldweary and world-wearying affectation. They are not called simply Memoirs, and no more; but, Memoirs “to illustrate the History of My Time.” Not that M. Guizot undertakes to write the history of the time; but he relates what he did, saw, and thought himself, in the general course of events. And most characteristic is his reticence-noway designed, or assumed—when his narrative bears on scenes and events which, from other pens, would elicit a profusion of “fine writing," and personal impressions. Take his first introduction to Louis XVIII., for instance : "I have no turn for the minute and settled parade of such interviews,” he says. Nor any disposition to tickle the palate, much less to stuff to satiety the greedy maw, of those who have. So again, when alluding to his awaiting in suspense the issue of the struggle between Napoleon and Europe, and the complicated vexations” he then hourly felt, “ I shall not linger here to describe them," he says ; “nothing is more repugnant to my nature than to volunteer a display of my own feelings.” Every book he has written, if not every speech he has made, bears witness to the same effect.

Of his private life, then, M. Guizot tells us next to nothing: He publishes his Memoirs while he is still here to answer for what he writesnot prompted to this, he avers, by the weariness of inaction, or by any desire to reopen a limited field for old contentions. "I have struggled much and ardently during my life; age and retirement, as far as my own feelings are concerned, have expanded their peaceful influence over the past. From a sky profoundly serene, I look back towards an horizon pregnant with many storms. I have deeply probed my own heart, and I cannot find there any feeling which envenoms my recollections. The absence of gall permits extreme candour. Personality alters or de

* Memoirs to illustrate the History of My Time. By F. Guizot. Vol. I. London: Bentley. 1858.

teriorates truth. Being desirous to speak of my own life, and of the times in which I have lived, I prefer doing so on the brink, rather than from the depths of the tomb. This appears to me more dignified as regards myself, while, with reference to others, it will lead me to be more scrupulous in my words and opinions. If objections arise, which I can hardly hope to escape, at least it shall not be said that I was unwilling to hear them, and that I have removed myself from the responsibility of what I have done.” The day of history, he adds elsewhere, has not yet arrived for us—of complete, free, and unreserved history, either as relates to facts or men. On no such ambitious work does he venture-on nothing parallel to the historical annals of Thucydides, Xenophon, Sallust, Cæsar, Tacitus, Machiavelli, and Clarendon. But his own political history; what he has thought, felt, and wished in his connexion with public affairs; the thoughts, feelings, and wishes of his political friends and associates, their minds and his reflected in their actions, on these points he can speak clearly, and on these he is most desirous to record his sentiments, that he may be, if not always approved, at least correctly known and understood.

The first volume of his Memoirs is divided into eight chapters, which treat severally of France before the Restoration (1807-1814, at which latter date M. Guizot's public life commenced), the Restoration itself, the Hundred Days, the Chamber of 1815, the Government of the Centre (1816-1821), the Government of the Right-hand party, headed by M. de Villèle (1822–1827), the author's career and tactics in Opposition (1820—1829), and the Address of the Two Hundred and Twenty-One (1830). It was to speak in favour of this remonstrance with Charles X., that M. Guizot, new to the Chamber, ascended the tribune for the first time ; and M. Berryer at the same time made his début, on the Ministerial side. The Address was presented by a deputation of forty-six members; and his account of its reception gives our author an occasion for introducing one of those descriptive touches, of a personal kind, which are so rarely to be found in these pages. The forty-six waited some time in the Salon de la Paix, till the King should return from mass. They stood there in silence; opposite to them, in the recesses of the windows, were the King's pages and some members of the royal household, inattentive and almost intentionally rude. The Dauphiness (Duchess of Angoulême) crossed the saloon in her way to the chapel, rapidly and without noticing them. Upon which “oversight," voluntary or otherwise, M. Guizot remarks, that she might have been much colder still before he, as one of the slighted deputies, could have felt he had any right either to be surprised or indignant at her demeanour: there are crimes whose remembrance silences all other thoughts, and misfortunes before which we bow with a respect almost resembling repentance, as if we ourselves had been the author of them.

Another instance of this kind of byway observation, so seldom indulged, occurs in the account of his Majesty's demeanour in opening the session of 1830—which was, as usual, noble and benevolent, but mingled with restrained agitation and embarrassment. He read his speech mildly, although with some precipitation, as if anxious to finish ; and when he came to the sentence which, under a modified form, contained a royal menace, he accentuated it with more affectation than

energy. As he placed his hand upon the passage, his hat fell ; the Duke d'Orléans raised and presented it to him, respectfully bending his knee.” One other specimen, of an earlier date, and relating to quite another potentate, will nearly exhaust the sum total of ana. During the Hundred Days, Napoleon was fain to accept the homage and services of the so-called Confederates, of the Faubourg St. Antoine. Some days after these gentry had wearied the Emperor with a prolix address, M. Guizot happened to pass through the garden of the Tuileries. “A hundred of these Federates, shabby enough in appearance, had assembled under one of the balconies of the palace, shouting, Long live the Emperor!' and trying to induce him to show himself. It was long before he complied; but at length a window opened, the Emperor came forward, and waved his hand to them; but almost instantly the window was reclosed, and I distinctly saw Napoleon retire, shrugging his shoulders ; vexed, no doubt, at being obliged to lend himself to demonstrations so repugnant in their nature, and so unsatisfactory in their limited extent." Many readers may wish that M. Guizot had been less chary of such crumbs of anecdotage. Let them keep in mind that if anecdotage is not his forte, neither is it his faiblesse. And this volume is a clear demonstration of the fact, that a man's Memoirs may be replete with interest, unquestionable and unabating, without having recourse to the trifles light as air, and gossipy morsels, and piquant personalities, which are so commonly in request among writings in this department.

When the Government of the Centre began, the ministerial majority was formed from two different although at that time closely-united elements—the Centre, properly called the grand army of power, and the very limited staff of that army, who soon received the title of doctrinarians. Every one will be curious to examine M. Guizot's account of the latter party, with which his own career has been so intimately connected. Of the Centre he says, that it has been misunderstood and calumniated, when servility and a rabid desire for place have been named as its leading characteristics: their ruling idea he declares to have been, the necessity of established government for society, after so many revolutions; "citizen Tories,” is what he calls these persevering supporters of Government; while their defamers are dismissed by him as weak politicians and shallow philosophers, who neither understand the essential interests of society, nor the moral instincts of the soul. As for the heavilyattacked doctrinarians—his endeavour is rather to explain than defend them. It was neither intelligence, he says, nor talent, nor moral dignity -qualities which their acknowledged enemies have scarcely denied them --that established their original character and political importance. Their peculiar characteristic, and the real source of their importance in spite of their limited numbers, was that they maintained, against revolutionary principles and ideas, ideas and principles contrary to those of the old enemies of the Revolution, and with which they opposed it, not to destroy but to reform and purify it in the name of justice and truth. While frankly adopting the new state of French society, they undertook to establish a government on rational foundations, but totally opposed to the theories in the name of which the old system had been overthrown, or the incoherent principles which some endeavoured to conjure up for its construction. It was to a mixture of philosophical sentiment and poliVOL. XLIII.

2 L

tical moderation, a rational respect for opposing rights and facts, to prins ciples equally new and conservative, anti-revolutionary without being retrograde, and modest in fact although sometimes haughty in expression, that the doctrinarians, as here defined and “explained,” owed their importance as well as their name. Accordingly they found points of contact with the two opposing parties. In 1816 their co-operation was felt to be necessary by the Cabinet, already standing between two fires. They acquired their parliamentary influence and moral weight by principles and eloquence, however, rather than by deeds—maintaining their opinions without applying them to practice—for the flag of thought and the standard of action were in different hands. The degree of that influence is illustrated by an answer made by the Duke de Richelieu, in 1818, to some one who asked a triling favour of the Minister.

“ It is impossible,” replied the Duke, sharply; “MM. Royer-Collard, De Serre, Camille Jordan, and Guizot, will not suffer it.” M. Guizot sees no reason to complain that his name was included in this ebullition. Although not a member of the Chamber, he openly adopted the opinions and conduct of his friends—having both the opportunity and the means, in the discussions of the Council of State (in which body he filled the office of Master of Requests), in the drawing-room, and through the presschannels which all parties employed with ardour and effect. The doctrinarians at that period represented the power of philosophic deduction, and employed it fearlessly against the spirit of revolution, as well as in favour of the constitutional system. It is admitted that, in their relations with power, they were sometimes intemperate and offensive in language, unnecessarily impatient, not knowing how to be contented with what was possible, or how to wait for amelioration without too visible an effort.“ In the Chambers, they were too exclusive and pugnacious, more intent on proving their opinions than on gaining converts, despising rather than desiring recruits, and little gifted with the talent of attraction and combination so essential to the leaders of a party." The English reader will perhaps be reminded of certain leaders of the Peelites, as that party at present exists within the walls of St. Stephen’s.

The Centre, in its governing mission, says M. Guizot, had considerable advantages; it suffered neither from moral embarrassments nor external clogs, it was perfectly free and unshackled-essential qualifications in a great public career, and which at that time-the opening years of the Restoration—belonged neither to the Right nor to the Lefthand party. The Right had only accepted the Charter after strenuous resistance, and a conspicuous and energetic section of this party still persisted in opposing it. The Left represented the interests and sentiments not of France in general, but of that portion of France which had ardently supported the Revolution, under its republican or imperial form -cherishing against the House of Bourbon and the Restoration an old habit of hostility, which the Hundred Days had revived, and which the most rational of the party could scarcely throw off, the most skilful with difficulty concealed, and the gravest considered it a point of honour to display as a protest and corner-stone. The Cabinet of M. Decazes, succeeding to that of the Duke de Richelieu, had to contend against the

"*

* Cf. pp. 151 sq., 188, 190-5, 199, 200 sq., 212, 302-3, 310.

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