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STATE OF AFFAIRS IN FRANCE.

[From the Spectator, June 15.] In observing the course of the French Government, the reader will be led astray by certain superficial appearances, unless he keep in mind two facts of no small importance — that it is impossible to understand the actual position so as to form any estimate of the future ; and thai one political element, so far from having been destroyed, is 'steadily increasing* we- mean 'that which is laxly but most nearly shadowed forth, by the name of " the Red Republic.',' Random guesses as to the next turn of affairs may be made with as much probability as betting on the colour of the next horse you ' meet in the streets; but those who are the best informed are precisely those to be most puzzled, because the facts on which a judgment should be guided are so many, so intricate, and in some cases so paltry, that it is impossible to follow them out to calculated consequences. The President and his personal advisers have gained some credit with English observers for concessions made to the party of " Moderate Republicans " — a term ' applied somewhat; recently to the party of whom M. Cavaignac is a good type ; and it is remarked that " the Thiers element " is banished from the Cabinet. But who are M. Bonaparte's personal advisers ?—lt? — It is with great probability supposed that M. Thiers has no small share in the President's confidence, or in suggesting his plans; and if so, we can perceive, first, why the cabinet is apparently 'cleansed of its "Thiers element;" and next, 'Why it is of a kind impossible to stand. Dufaure is an able man of affairs ; but he has shown a defect either of sagacity 'or Of firmness in accepting the lead of a Cabinet so unpromising. M. de Falloux, a Legitimist, whose unpopularity is scarcely mitigated by his accepting the part of a trimmer, can act sincerely with no set of republicans. De Tocqueville must break up either the policy of the French Government or his own reputation ; the latter branch of the alternative being calculated to destroy all his influence and the little remnant of French faith in public men. Perhaps his political rivals have not overlooked the dilemma in which M, de Tocqueville is placed. The Cabinet may be without any ostensible particle of the Thiers element, and yet fit well enough with his plans. The so much lauded concession to the " Moderate Republicans " betrays more weakness than honesty or mastery of purpose. The general composition of the cabinet is not Republican at all, but reactionary. In adopting a few colleagues of the Cavaignac colour, it is to be inferred, not that the cabinet wishes to adopt the policy of that small and not substantive section, but that it simply wishes to gain over a section which is supposed to be unable to stand alone : in other wordß, "the Cavaignac section is expected to waive its own opinions and subserve those of the reactionaries; a calculation as visionary as the political schemes of the sagacious Guizot. The traits 'which' distinguish the Cavaignac men from the rest of the Republicans are, not less sincerity, but in respect of many comparisons more hotiesty, with more common sense, more practical judgment, and more temperate and patient calculation. The Cavaignac men will side with, the present majority only so long as it is professedly Republican. ' ' The larger minority which is named just now from the Socialist element that pervades it is not to be confounded with a mere Parliamentary minority. In numbers above two hundred within the Assembly, it is far from contemptible. Speaking quite generally, it may be said to comprise by far the larger amount of political zeal, of personal devotion, and of active energy ; in a brawl, it would probably show, a vast preponderance of fighting powers. It is obstinate, reckless, and compacted by its hatred of the heterogeneous coalition which now keeps it from power, inverts its policy, and humiliates it with supercilious contempt. The Republique Sociale hates the combined reactionaries, for their apparent success ; a success which can hardly endure. Little has been done to restore the material prosperity of France : beneath the Parisian gaieties of the season likes a dark voice of hopelesß idleness in trade. The army in Italy is a terrible legacy from the late Government to its near relative the present: any effective use of that army against the Romans will disgust and exasperate Paris, and may at once array the people on two sides — the Republic, and the Anti- Republic. In such case, there can be no doubt of two events destructive to the party now in possession of office: the so-called moderate Republicans would take side with the Republic; and. the first successes of the bold and fighting Republicans would bring over a large mass of waverers who are. prepared to take part with the winning side, aojl who now fallaciously swell the seeming numbers of the majority. An unknown but certainly considerable proportion of the existing majority is ip that way a convertible sum.

Now what is this "republique deinocratiqua et sociale," which is thus excluded from power, but is formidable enough to occupy the 1 intrigues of a government, and is awaiting tbe nest tumult for a return to power? It consists, in the first place, of divers sections; who under tbe various names of Fourierists, Blanciats, and Socialists, agree in tbe bases of Communism — the organization of labour and tbe> merging of individual property. Thd Fourierists, who clung to some ideas of individual property, are fast losing heart and uniting* more intimately with . tbe great body of Socialists. The immense majority are simple Communists, whose leading idea is the abolition of private property — peaceably . ' if possible, otherwise through bloodshed. To that staple is jqined the numerous band of Democratic Republicatfe, whose leading idea is the extinction of royalty, aristocracy, and' social inequality; arid this is the true heir toi.the great Revolution of 1780 ; in ferocity it equals — it cannot exceed— ithe fiercest and most fanatic section of the Communists. The leading men Of both sections exult in the force oif energy and will beneath them, and/ hope to guide the power which tbe mass of their followers supplies : they willfind guidance difficult in proportion as the outbreak is sudden, ' exasperated by impolitic resistance, or tempted by blindness. The; class. of practical and intelligent politicians who are willing to face risk and fatalitiej in the achievement of their own opinions and projects, exceeds any estimate which English politicians are likely to form, both in numbers and in audacity. " The Republic" will be defended against all' assailants or traitors by Communists; Red Democrats, and sincere but "Moderate" Republicans; and the army is extensively imbued with Communist doctrines. . , The prospect is unquestionably as doubtful and gloomy as the countenance which M. de Falloux is seen to wear amid the triumphs of the day. '

Unequal Distribution of Wealth in France. — A " Red "journal has the following statistics of the distribution of wealth in France : — There are '19,11^,000 paupers, 5^50,000 quasi paupers, 6,180,000 persons in embarrassed circumstances, . 244,000 persons in a state of affluence, and 6,600 persons having at least an income of 6,600 francs. "Such," exclaims, our Red contemporary, "such is the society that the Malthusians and the Moderates would save!" . A Farmer' 8 Remedy for Farmers' Ruin. — We are indebted to the Gloucester Journal for calling our attention to this clever pamphlet, from the pen of Mr. 'Caird, a Scotch tenantfarmer, renting 'land to (he amount of £1,000 a year. Mr. Caird reminds his brother farmers that there have been no less than six Parliamentary committees appointed since 1815, to examine into the* cause of agricultural' distress, all of Which committees were under Protection, which, though it was said they possessed, they did not enjoy. Two parties, he also reminds them, are interested in the' question of Protectection: — 1. The landlords and farmers. 2. The millions of ' consumers of the whole kingdom. The latter will not be taxed for the benefit of the former. If the farmer ia in distress, it is in common with the other ' classes. He divides farmers into four classes': '1. -Those with capital and skill. 2. Those with ■ capital but no skill, 3. Those with skill but no capital, 4. Those with neither skill nor capital; and among the latter he reckons the "greater portion of the tenant-farmers of the kingdom/ Immediately after the Queen's Vase at Ascot, Lord Eglinton entered the weighing-stand, and . presented Fobert, bis ldrdsbip's trainer, with a magnificent breast-pin, in the form of a horseshoe, of blue enamel, the eight nail marks being set with brilliants of the purest water,, as a present from the, King of Holland, who visited this country a few months back as Prince of Orange, in slight token ' of his excelleri* qualities as trainer and in cdmmemoranon of his victory at Epsom with the Flying Dutchman, tvhotn his Majesty greatly admired when - on a visit ttf Yorkshire at the commencement of the present year. • ' ■ ; . Building set on Fire 5y tab Sum.?— On, Friday week, the rafters of a coal shed in Malling- , street, Lewes,- the property at Mri >; Gfeorge Molineanx, caught fire by the concentration of fife sun's rays upon it, through a sky- light, the panes of which, having a slight convexity in the centre, acted as a, lens, in 'bringing the rays to a focus, The fire was discovered immediately by Mr; James Berry's workmen, who were at 1 work on' the premises, and put out before muck damage had been done. "A few years ago, 'a .quantity, of bark, which had been placed in the same shed took, fire from the same cause.— Hfqidst one Journal. Under the extenuating name of " business there lies a debateable ground between honesty arid roguery, amenable to : its own; laws of morality and understanding none; otber.--r.Mjw JetHtby,ry Vi -, A nautical friend, of pars is of opinion, that the, first gentleman who ihtroducted sail provisions* into the navy -was Noah, whpn he took n*m ' W° the ark.— ffypet Shim. 1 • - ' '•'

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NENZC18491110.2.3

Bibliographic details

STATE OF AFFAIRS IN FRANCE., Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume VIII, 10 November 1849

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1,687

STATE OF AFFAIRS IN FRANCE. Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume VIII, 10 November 1849

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