The French Chamber of Deputies are still engaged in discussing
the Budget; a subject which seems to hang as long among our neighbours as the Reform Bill does with us. Under the head of Budget, however, it is to be recollected, the whole of the esti- mates, civil and military, fixed and contingent, are included. A committee of Peers has recommended the rejection of theprojet for reviving the Revolutionary law of divorce, Which had been sent up from the Deputies. The Minister continues to embroil himself with the press, notwithstanding the repeated failures of his prose- cutions. The editor and manager of the National, and a writer and the manager of the Mouvement, were tried for libel on Tuesday before the Cour d'Assises, and acquitted. The expedition to An- cona is very slightly alluded to in the Paris journals. From what has been divulged in our own House of Commons, rather than what has been divulged in Paris, it appears that the violence of the commander has been distinctly disavowed by his employers, and a satisfactory explanation entered into with the Emperor of Austria.
We have received from an old correspondent, and one for whose opportunities, intelligence, and strict adherence to truth, we can vouch—and to whose opinions, therefore, we attach more value than we do to most of the statements of either English or French journalists—a long letter on the present state of France and its IVIinisters, which we subjoin. Our correspondent is not very in- dulgent to M. PERIER. His opinion that no liberal commercial treaty is to be looked for from the present Chamber, is, we suspect, too well founded.
OUR CORRESPONDENT'S LETTER.
Mr DEAR Sin—The past week has presented sundry topics for debate, and one for history. The occupation of Ancona is a singular feat of the juste milieu, which, insignificant in itself, may heroine memorable by its consequences. Amidst a world of conjectures, the real pensee of M. PERIER has not yet trans- pired or been detected. It is surmised that accident has had some share in the business. The wind was so favourable, that the passage has been performed in half the time presupposed ; and Ancona occupied and garrisoned before the General could join his troops to assume command, or even gently break the matter, ac- cording to his instructions,;to the Holy Father. The Minister's calculations thus frustrated by the celerity of the passage, the blow has finally been struck, it is said, when M. PERIER, true to his piste milieu, had resolved to counter- mand it. Meanwhile, amidst much astonishment at this sudden casting up of some hundreds of French troops on the Italian coast, in face of more than twice as many thousand Austrians, as well as many ominous forebodings of the part which the Great Nation is to perform on that stage, a few gleams of satisfaction are visible. To be sure, the town and fortress have been carried without a struggle, the Apostolicals not forgetting that their employer's mission was one of peace ; but still the occupation wears the appearance of a coup de main ; and as none were to be got at the Apostolicals, the blows inflicted on the town-gates have singularly rejoiced the hearts of the French people. It is an achievement, an exploit ; and the promptitude of Colonel CONIBES has pleased the nation as much as it is supposed to have perplexed the Minister. The world is now look- ing eagerly out to descry what, between the Legations and the Liberals on the one hand, and the Apostolicals on the other, will he found to he the line de- scribed by the juste milieu. It is considered to be the hardest problem to which that principle has yet been applied. The Times and Sir RICHARD VYVYAN, it appears, are less patient than the rest of the world, and have begun to fulmi- nate before we have got to the solution. Dant reniam corris, &c. Forty thousand of these ill-omened birds have been long croaking in the heart of Italy, without disturbing the quiet of these sagacious upholders of the European ba- lance. A flock of gentle turtle-doves perching on an insulated spot of the coast, are denounced as disturbers of the public peace. Sir RICHARD VYVYAN is easily seen through,—his pens& is obvious to the most undiscerning ; not so the Times, whose vagaries on this and similar questions amuse the French almost as much as the philippics of Lord LONDONDERRY. The late froward demeanour of the Peers has been commented on at as great length as the occupation of Ancona. Their refusal to blot out from the code the law for a public mourning on the 21st of January, has been the subject of much animadversion; and more ink has been shed thereon than the importance of the question can justify, at least in the eyes of an Englishman. Our phleg- matic Revolutionists took the Bill of Rights, and left the Restoration its 30th of January. A people, whose individual liberty is not safe from the caprice of a magistrate or police-officer, might afford the journals a more substantial ground for discussion than the official mummery of the 21st of January. But the fact is, the most is made of every subject that offers ; not a point but is dis- puted with a vivacity that is apt to startle and alarm a stranger. Not so the native; who reads his journal, discusses it with his neighbour, and does not feel the less secure of peace and order because the war is hot in the papers. The two Chambers at issue on the 21st of January—the Peers dragging the State back into the slough of the Restoration—the Deputies checked in their small at- tempts at movement—have, with all their probabilities and consequences, been debated with much logic, some persiflage, and great vehemence. The logic, as usual, is on the side of Movement ; the Restoration combats with plea- santries. How is Government to remove the impediment ? This is answered by the latter denying that Ministers are called on to interfere. The Ministers will continue to govern quite enough for one set of men ; the Chambers will ad- just their differences as they can. Is Government to come down into the arena every time they disagree on a point of mores, economy, religior, or history? They are at variance on the law that ordains the observance of Sunday. Must . Peers be created to abolish Sunday ? The Deputies are about to t anomie cer- tain departed worthies, and vote them to be great men. The Pet rs will most likely eject sonic of them from the calendar—and NEll in particular, whom they formerly ejected in another manner, as is known to all men. 'Must there be a creation to pass " great men? " By this sort of reductio ad absurdum, is refuted the argument of the Opposition, which is calling out for a et coati modifi- cation of the Peerage—not so much to settle the difference between tl.e Chambers, as to put the nobler one right with the country; not to pas§ this or that bill, but to pass the Revolution of 1831,—itself grossly compromised, in their opinion, by the refusal of the Peers to obliterate this vesti of the diseTat es of 1815. The Restoration invokes the sacred mystery of the Trinity in Unit ,y and depre- cates such violence to one of three powers, of whoa each is to be perfectly in- dependent, and all three to pull together. The Opposition langle at this ex- ploded Anglicism, and sees only a sort of Catholic state-wagesr, where the blacks are harnessed in front and the greys in the rear. If the fears are to be modified on every occasion into unison with the Deputies, whorl is the iude- pendence of the Peerage, and where the Constitution ? On the t ther hand, if the Peers will perversely pull in a direction opposite to the Deputies, how is the machine to move on at all? Oaly, it is obvious, 1w overcoming tl.e antagonist force, and dragging the grays up-idll backwards. The Oppositino has a great advantage over its adversary in being able to appeal at every step to, the Nation, which is its great political scarecrow. La France will not submit any longer to bear on its forehead the mark of the beast. La France will redress the wrong and judge the difference. Now the Restoration, whose scarecrow is the Holy Alliance, dare not so openly appeal to the influence that upholds it. But La France? You can call spirits, no doubt, from the vasty deep, but will they come when you do call them? At present, the Opposition is furious in the journals, but silent in the streets. The conflict of opinions keeps Paris in a state of excitation so agreeable to a Frenchman, but it stagnataei in the provinces, unless where Carlism wages war upon Civism from behind hedge-rows and stone-walls. La France—that is to say, the People—does not appear to take to heart the disagreement of the Chambers; and the state-waggon will be pulled backwards and forwards, as now, till, moved by- sonic influence from without, La France puts itself in harness, and drags the vehicle, blacks, greys, and all, in its own direction. Supposing no such external actors upon the march of affairs, the juste milieu appears strong enough to stand its ground. The two Chambers will continue to agree like cat and dog, joining only to pass the Budget, swell the debt, preserve monopolies, and iii all respects faithfully imitate the commercial policy of Great Britain, till individuals are gorged with riches, and the population, reduced to mendicity, cries out for universal suffrage. There are not in the Chamber of Deputies ten individuals who know more about political economy than Lord WELLINGTON or Mr. Gooram It N. The Centres are just equal to seeing, that whether England has or has not made her fortune, as is said, landed and commercial men have made theirs; and that restrictions and monopolies, if they make many beggars, make every now and then a millbmai re. Persons who, in England, flatter themselves into the prospect of a commercial treaty, on liberal principles, with France, may be reckoning without their host. The French Government, in consideration of the countenance lent it by that of England, in presence of the Hulks, may be willing to take off whatever restrictions are in its power to dispense with; but any great amelioration of the prohibitive system would require the concur- rence of the Deputies, who will most certainly Prohibit any such Utopian legis- lation from passing into law. The Chamber will name its commia-ion to ex- amine the project -of Government ; and the Commission, by the mouth of its reporter, one M. CIININ G n eIDA NE, cotton-m: nufacturer,great economist, and restrictionist, will declare the said project to be good in theory, but bad in practice, and utterly subversive of the commercial prosperity of the country. As long as the two hundred francs electors have a monopoly of the Chamber, the Chainber will maintain all monopolies that it can create or has inherited ; and how far the people are from any idea of finding the redress of their grievances in a better legislature, may be inferred from the total silence of the triumphant weavers of Lyons, who have let pass a notable occasion for saying, that they could hope no amelioration of their hard fortune as long as their masters' interests were exclu- sively represented in a Chamber that undertook to legislate for the interests of all. The French people, militarily, and, it is to be feared, morally, much better educated than our own, is sunk in yet deeper political ignorance. Let not the British reader apprehend, from the fulminations of the Opposition journals, that a general explosion is impending. These thunders roll in a region high above the hearing of the Masses. The populace of Paris rose upon CHARLES the Tenth; but it was at the summons neither of the Debats nor the National, nor the Courtier, nor the Omstitutionnel ; who might have debated every step of Government a hundred times over—as in fact they did—without effect upon the Masses. The authors of the Revolution were all those who retained one or more workmen in their service, and who, on the issuing of CHARLES the Tenth's ordonnances, shut up shop and factory, saying to their men, "If you would have work, you must fig-ht." This rhetoric was understood by the people—are they likely to be so addressed again? The Chamber has come in for the lion's share in the government; the Centres govern the Chamber ; and those who have employment
to give, return the Centres. Is not here a basis broad enough for social order? Thejuste milieu is the system of the majority of those who have much to lose. Fifteen years of peace and industry have done more to tame down the Bona- partism of the Great Nation, than all the coalitions Europe ever formed against it. The present order of things, uninterrupted from abroad, will last, till it breaks
np as our's is breaking up ; for, like our's, it is founded on the principle of work- ing the many for the good of the few. Men of sense, like CA VAIGNAC, laugh at the idea of conspiracy. Why conspire, when time will do the thing better?
It is an idea popular with the adherents of the Opposition, that the Allies will look on till the order of things established in 1831 is lost in universal disorder, and will then seek, by favour of the general distraction, to impose a third resto- ration. Maccurat concluded his last speech on foreign affairs with this pro- phetic denunciation. If the Toryism of the Continent be indeed so waiting, rusticus expectat ; but if it is meditating an overt act of counter-revolution, it may succeed in upsetting the juste milieu, but it will only make way for the Propagande, which it will like less.
Of all events unfavourable to the peace of France and the Continent, the re- turn of our old Tories to power would be the most fatal. They are precisely in the condition of the Propagandists; war is necessary to them. It is currently said here, that the Holies are waiting the issue of the Reform Bill, to decide upon their measures. The old Tories are deep in the policy by which a given country may be exasperated into acts of offence. Their diplomacy, execrated in this country for its heartlessness—and the Whigs are in not much better repute—is feared for its activity and perseverance. An Orange revolution will be attempted in Belgium, not for the sake of Holland, but to draw out France. There will be battles and sieges in Flanders, and on the Rhine; the Holies will be beaten, as is to be hoped ; and then the old Tories will come down to Parliament with the old story of French ambition, and the old Times will swell the cry; and a demand will be made for subsidies, and Country Gentlemen will pledge their lives and fortunes, and it will be a hanging matter to talk of Retrenchment and Reform. It may be thought that there is not a spirit of madness in this inveterately cankered as it is, to work so soon again a repetition of the old mis- chief. Read the Quarterly Review—read Su R. VYVYAN, and the 111e—read the old Times; and remember that it is not the Devil alone we have to keep down. The old NapoMon spirit will gain head with every advance of the Tories; and the last will not have been long in power, before Bonapartism will be up in arms, from Dunkirk to the Pyrenees. It is easy to see that the Propagandists here do not desire the success of the Rifinm Rill. They want the Tories back, as much as the Tories want them. Each is necessary to its antagonist. You cannot have one without the other ; and you will not have one unless you have the other. The Reform Bill, as it may tend to a correction of the evils under which our land of promise is in grievous plight, will be a benefit to the country, but the good will be confined to two islands in the Atlantic Ocean. But as it will certainly shut the door of office on Toryism for ever, at least if the ilrhigs are not fooled into modifying it so as to suit their adversaries, it may preserve the peace of the Continent and he a bkasing to Europe. It is Carnival here; and I intended, when I sat down, to write befitting, the season, but politics are obtrusive in this age, and will be attended to first.