The French papers are full of stories as to coming
changes in the Constitution. The best authenticated of them is contained in a letter attributed to M. Thiers' private secretary and intimate friend, M. Barthelemy St. Hilaire, who advises that the Republic should be definitively proclaimed ; that M. Thiers should be appointed President for four years ; that the Assembly should be renewed by thirds every year, the first election to take place in 1873; and that a Second Chamber should be created, after inquiry by a Commission. This is a reasonable scheme enough, with the single serious drawback that the Chamber would always in serious crises be out of complete accord with the country, and it may possibly be carried. The Radicals say that M. Gambetta will resist, hoping that a total dissolution would return a majority pledged to his elevation ; but M. Gambetta in action is a cautious politician, and may well consider that the definitive establishment of the Republic, with the certainty of his election in 1876, offers a sufficiently fair prospect. At all events, M. Thiers has the strength, if he has really accepted his Secretary's plan, to make it the law of the land.