10 FEBRUARY 1838, Page 15


A SINGULAR change in the character of our French neighbours appears to be in progress. Formerly they were eager after glory, and military men were the idols of all classes. But there have been several indications recently of the prevalence of more rational notions. The Chamber of Deputies consented reluctantly to vote the supplies of the Algerine expedition ; and there is a strong party desirous of abandoning the African colony alto- gether. To increase their physical comforts is the chief aim of the middle classes, who form the bulk of the electoral body. They pay attention to questions of trade, and look closely into the budget of the Finance Minister. Knowing how expensive a thing glory is—that war breeds taxes, and ruins commerce—the French Representatives discourage the appetite for military fame by cutting down the pecuniary rewards thereof. And in this they act shrewdly enough ; for if glory were left to be its own reward, and garters and stars the oniy recompense of successful fighting, commissions would soon become plentiful and warriors scarce. The most effectual method of maintaining the peace of the world, would be to postpone the Army Estimates ; and in default of that extreme measure, to reduce the pay and profits of the genteel men of battle. That the French Deputies have resolved to dis- countenance the passion for glory, is pretty evident from their treatment of the Ministerial proposition to vote a pension cf 4001. a year to the widow of General DAMREMONT, who fell at Constantine. In spite of the influence of the King and the Ministers, and eloquent speeches from the leading orators of all parties,—GtrizoT, TRIERS, BARROT, and BERRYER,—they cut down the sum proposed to 240/.; and when the orators ap- pealed to the national pride, and tried to awaken the old feel- ing in favour of military glory, the worthy Deputies greeted them with contemptuous laughter instead of cheers. They wished it to be understood that the day was gone when the people would submit to practical privations for the sake of staring on men be- +need with orders, and of reading accounts of slaughter in Ex- traordinary Moniteurs. Englishmen would do well to adopt this new French fashion ; but they will not, just yet.