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power and opinion; hence, that ea- belongs to utter truths which could gerness of government to enslave opi- not be expressed without danger even nion, which it would be soeasy for them in the Chamber. If the liberty of the to make an auxiliary; to enslave it press has inconveniences, it is like the sometimes openly, sometimes in an in- lance of Achilles, it heals the wounds sidious and deceitful manner, to seize which it makes. The Marquis of Chauand chain this Proteus, which escapes velin argued on the same side. This from them under a thousand shapes.” silence, at bottom so injurious to auIn such a case, did not a jury afford a thority, must be broken every year unbetter security than subaltern tribu- der a representative government; then nals, composed of judges naturally comes a moment when those severe connected with ministers, and expo- truths must break forth, particularly sed to their influence? In admiring, due to the people from their functionhowever, this institution, as it exist- aries, when they are become the sole ed in Britain and the United States, agents of their complaints. Then he reprobated the idea of a jury, such those late and long suppressed truths as was made by the men of Buona- produce, as they issue forth, a sort parte, the list of which was in the of explosion a hundred times more hands of a prefect. The orator then terrible than the daily expression inveighed strongly against the censor- of opinion purified by contradicship of the Journals, as subversive of tion. representative government, which it M. Villele, from whom, as a high tends to deceive respecting the na- royalist, other opinions might have tional opinion, and to surround it been expected, zealously supported with a factitious opinion ; as con. the same side.j“ An attempt,” said he, trary to the right of property, which “ thus to' substitute arbitrary power it controls and suspends at will in for the reign of the charter, to employ the hands of proprietors. It appear- under the Bourbons means worn out ed to him, that without this there under Buonaparte, shews a strangeigwould be a thousand modes of keep- norance both of the Bourbons and of the ing a watch over the Journals, and of French; it exposes equally France and preventing the imminent evil which legitimacy. France can avoid new they might produce. This might be convulsions, the throne new catastrodone, either by suspending their im- phes, only by the union of all Frenchpression, seizing their copies, or ex- men around their legitimate King. acting a large security from their pro- This union can be effected only by prietors ; as well as determining by confidence; confidence can be estalaw the punishments to be inflicted blished only by the frank and comon them according to the nature of plete execution of the laws substituthe offence.
ted at the restoration to those which, Mr_Ganilh supported the same during centuries, united France to : side. In studying history, observing, the reigning family.” Other members particularly in England, the effects of of the same party complained, that the liberty of the press, he could see those writings only were allowed to be no reason to suspend that of the Jour- published which were contrary to renals; their monopoly is like every ligion, to morals, and to the interests other monopoly, fatal to the country of a class whom the government wish. which it wishes to protect, and to the ed to cover with opprobrium ; that the government which it wishes to favour. Journals were open only to calumny, Nothing can supply the want of these and shut against the justification of echoes of public opinion. To them it the supposed opponents of ministry,
Even M. de Bonald, while strongly dertook to prove, that the institution supporting the censorship, lamented was not suited for such an object. the lot of writers, who, for some er- The function of a jury is to judge of roneous expressions, were obliged to the evidence of facts, a task which seat themselves between swindlers requires neither extensive knowledge and prostitutes. This party too de- nor any brilliant qualities of mind. manded a jury, but a jury composed The questions which ought to be put of men of rank, of great proprie- to them ought never to rise above tors, of persons essentially friendly the most common intelligence. Crime to stability.
has too obvious a character to escape In reply to those arguments, the the most common observation ; but Keeper of the Seals maintained, that it is otherwise with offences, the the arrangement respecting the Jour- shades of which, varying to infinity, nals was necessary for the re-esta- cannot be decided without a knowblishment of order, for the extinction ledge of law, and the talent of judi. of party enmities, and for the main- cial functions. How then are the tenance of the general tranquillity of offences of the press suited to the Europe. It appeared to him evident, cognizance of a jury? There are none that the ordinary means of repression surely more difficult to appreciate, could not be applied to these diurnal none more remote from that simplieffusions; and whatever may be said city and palpable evidence, of which of their influence and utility, he a jury stands in need. A special could never resolve to assimilate jury, composed of enlightened men, them to literary productions, inspired of great proprietors, would be no by genius and disinterestedness, ma- longer a jury, but judges, who would tured by reflection, and corrected in by no means present the same secuthe silence of the closet. With re- rity as those who sit daily in our gard to the seizure of books before tribunals. The irremoveability of publication, notwithstanding the op- judges, secures their independence, posite system of a neighbouring and the condemned have an appeal people, it appeared to him conform to the Royal Court, of which they able to the clearest laws of the just would be deprived after the judgand unjust. Could it be just, that ment of a jury. there should exist a species of crime M. Ravez insisted, that the depoor offence, which had the privi- sit of a book might at least be consilege of being boldly consummated dered as an attempt; and that the beneath the eyes of justice, the au- law punished the attempt to commit thor of which might be prosecuted, a crime. Indeed the deposit required yet the completion of which could by the law of 1814 is the official pubnot be prevented? If government lication of a work; and if it could not has a right to make the seizure on be seized before its circulation, seipublication, this right must exist zure would be altogether illusory. when the intention of publishing is Juries, to judge of minor offences, fixed and declared, and has begun to would be inconsistent with the prinbe executed. With regard to the ciple of French law, and would overappointment of a jury to try the throw the judicial hierarchy. The abuses of the press, he conceived variety of sentiments on the opposite that this would form too important side, some wishing a special jury,others a clause to be brought in as an a superior, and others the ordinary amendment ; at the same time he un- jury, shews the impossibility of agree
ing on the subject, and affords another was presented by the Count de Lalli argument of its unfitness for the ob- Tollendal. After stating a general opiject proposed.
nion in favour of the law, it concluded The last speaker on this side was with the following somewhat remarkthe Count de Caze, then Minister of able expressions : “ Those whom the General Police. He expressed his sa- law is about to invest, for the fourth tisfaction at meeting adversaries in time, with an extraordinary power, the two opposite sides of the Cham- will certainly watch more scrupulousber, concluding that the law was ly than ever, that their agents may such as it ought to be, since it re- not renew the abuses which have been volted equally all violent extremes. complained of. It would be equally He then explained in a few words the fatal to themselves, contrary to the objects proposed by ministry: "To dignity, and dangerous to the sentiroyalize the nation—to nationalize ments of a great nation, and of loyal royalism-to protect all acquired in- subjects, to be ignorant of what is terests, all properties-to maintain passing amid them and around them. a direct and complete equality-to Thus we may hope, that, even during make the past be forgotten,—to ex- the suspension of the independence tinguish hatreds to make power be of the journals, the moral character loved and respected-were the objects of authority may effect what cannot proposed by government, the end yet be expected from the legal chawhich the King had in view,who can-racter of liberty." not be the King of two nations, and The discussion in this Chamber ascan only have one balance and one sumed a very different tone from that justice. Government demands the of the Lower Chamber. The Abbé censorship of the Journals, to prevent de Montesquieu hesitated not to ada struggle between passions and en- vance the boldest aristocratic prinmities, which would be fatal, not only ciples, and even to regret the departo the state, but even to the very per- ture of the feudal ages. “Our fathers," sons by whom it is desired.
said he, “set their chief value on After long debates, which lasted honour and chivalry,—we on money from the 11th to the 20th December, and commerce. They founded great the Keeper of the Seals announced, corporations, - we have destroyed that the King had granted his con- them; they dreaded the excess of sent to the clause by which the cen- population,--we think it cannot be sorship on the journals was to termi- too much encouraged; they cultivanate at the close of the session of ted literature with reserve, and al1818. This clause, however, was op- most with distrust,- wbile with us it posed by several members, and car- has become a favourite occupation." ried only by a majority of 131 to 97. The liberty of the Journals, he urged, The opposite side reproduced the necessary, perhaps, in England, to project of a jury, against which the temper the aristrocracy reigning in previous question was twice carried its government, would be destructive with great difficulty. At length, the to ours. France and England have entire law being put to the vote, nothing in common, but the combi. was carried only by a majority of 11 ; nation of the two Chambers in the there being 122 for, and 111 against making of laws. How could two goit.
vernments so different, be subjected The bill had still to pass through the to the same regulations ? How could Chamber of Peers, where the report the monarchical principle, deprived of support, and left naked, as in our palpably unjust, the law which treatconstitution, sustain the same shocksed the act of deposit as a publication. as in England, where an imposing “ In vain,” said he, “is it incessantly aristocracy, covering it on all sides, repeated, that we must prevent crime, effectually repels the attacks directed in order to avoid the necessity of puagainst it? He did not wish to revive nishing it. This maxim is granted to the two extinguished orders of the an absolute, but cannot be applied nobility and clergy; but that there with the same rigour to a representashould be around the throne, and tive monarchy. There the indepenabove the people, a virtuous, enlight- dence of public opinion is the first ened, respected body of men, from want, the most powerful spring of gowhom the people might receive the vernment. Do you believe," said the degree of instruction suited to their noble orator, “ that favour would wants; for in vain could they be call- have been shewn to certain passages ed to share the benefits of more ex. in the Characters of La Bruyere, and tended information. Devoted by their the Persian Letters of Montesquieu ? condition to hard and painful labour, yet I cqnfess, I should see with pain the preservation and increase of bodily La Bruyere and Montesquieu drag, strength ought to be their only object. ged before the police, and confound. The culture of the mind, the sweets ed with pickpockets and prostitutes.” of civilization, are neither agreeable M. Chateaubriand finally complained nor useful to them. It is enough for of the treatment experienced by ina them to borrow from a more enlight- dividuals, and particularly of the ened class, notions of justice, of mora- persecution against his own party. lity of religion, which may guide them * What,” said he, “is become of the in the performance of their duty. All liberty of opinion, even in the Chamthe economy of society rests on the ber ? Every member of the minority existence of this higher class. Aris- who rises, must first ask himself if he tocracy is the basis of government; has any thing yet to lose, if all liis in attempting to remove it, we leave sacrifices are already made. If the the throne without support, and re- liberty of opinion ought to be respecte nounce every species of government. ed any where, is it not in a peer, in The orator then deplored the blind- a deputy, whom his oath obliges to ness of those, from whose sound declare it whenever he thinks it may monarchical principles better might be useful ?" He could not, without have been expected, who yet favour- profound grief, see the most worthy ed the liberty of the Journals, and servants of the king bearing the pesought the alliance of a party, which, nalty of this freedom of speech. He once victorious, would make them the preferred the existing law, as provifirst victims. Far from incurring such sional only, to the proposed one, which a reproach, he voted, as he always would render permanent the evils athad voted, and always would vote, tached to it. against a liberty, the evils of which M. de Cazes, and the Keeper of the did not appear to him compensated Seals, who, according to the French by any advantage whatever.
constitution, have the power of speakOn the other, M. Chateaubriand, ing in both Chambers, used the same who equally held the principles of argument in favour of the law, as high monarchy, adopted an entirely in the Lower House. The Keeper different opinion with relation to the of the Seals, however, opposed the present question. He considered as amendment made by the Chamber of
VOL. XI. PART I,
Deputies, by which deposit was no was now, like the lion in the fable, a longer to be assimilated to publica- prey to the weakest of its former enetion, and to form a ground of judicial mies. Those terrible legions, which procedure. If this amendment were scattered before them the veteran admitted, the author or printer, after armies of Russia and Germany, predepositing the book, might wait the sented now only a mass of officers favourable moment for its publica- without troops to command. Nor tion, and fatiguing the authorities by did France possess any present means delay, might surprise them by the of supplying this deficiency. Her resudden distribution of a dangerous venues, exhausted in supporting the work, which would otherwise have vast foreign armies with which her terbeen prevented. The clause, how- ritory was burdened, afforded no supever, was carried by 160 to 86. plies for maintaining an army of her
The crisis of the bill now came, and own. The minister himself, in subthe issue was different from what had mitting the project, stated, that it was been generally anticipated. On the in a great measure only for a proper 230 January, the vote being put on army, and that no more could be raithe entire law, there appeared for it sed at present than were neces
essary 59, against it 102; majority against for garrison-duty. It was now, howthe law, 43. Thus this project, which, ever, proposed to submit to the Chamduring nearly two months, had oc- bers the permanent system, upon cupied the exclusive attention of the which the peace establishment of the Chambers and of the public, and had kingdom was to be placed, leaving it called forth the talents of so many to time to enable the executive goorators, ended in nothing. As mat- vernment to carry it into full executers stood, however, the result was, tion. According to the plan submitagreeable to both parties. Ministers ted by ministry, the peace establishconsidered the clauses introduced, ment was to be fixed at 240,000 men. particularly that of deposit not form. The recruits were to be raised, as far ing a ground of legal procedure, as as possible, by voluntary enlistment nearly annulling all the checks which for six years; without, however, any they possessed upon the operations of bounty being given. The deficiencies the press, and preferred going on with of this enlistment were to be supplied the present law, which afforded them by what was called appels, or compulvery extensive jurisdiction. The op- sory service. The subjects of this posite side were also pieased, because, levy were to be the young men who, however unsatisfactory the present in the course of the preceding year, state of the law was, the growing had completed the age of twenty; but strength of the friends of free discus- the total number of recruits raised in sion, both in and out of the Chamber, one year was not to exceed 40,000. inspired sanguine hopes, that the re- The dimissed veterans were to be newal of the contest next year would formed, during six years, into legions produce a more favourable issue than for the defence of the territory to could have been hoped for on the pre- which they belonged. In time of sent occasion.
peace they were to be subject to no The next project submitted to the service, and in time of war could not Chambers, had in view the resto- be marched out of their own military ration of an army to France. That division, unless by virtue of an excountry, which once domineered so press law. The most remarkable part high over the other nations of Europe, of the plan consisted in the regula