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ed on misapprehension and mistake. " While I proclaim the advantages of Finally, that the immense majority of universal suffrage, I think there would M. de Dalmas over his opponent was

be danger in abandoning it to itself, as decisive of the question. They said,

one of the previous speakers has seemed

to wish. During the continuance of re“A majority so imposing cannot be stricted suffrage, certain electoral colleges obtained on the ground of abuse of did not contain more than 150 voters, authority and influence. Individuals and sometimes 76 or 80 votes were disappear in the infinite ramifications of enough to return a deputy. One can universal suffrage. (We are translating understand that in presence of so small literally.) There remain only the masses, a number of electors, all occupying a whom it would be in vain to attempt to certain social position, there was turn aside from the different currents room for the intervention of the Governthat draw them in; and if, speaking ment. But we must not forget that strictly, one could comprehend a system on the 18th and 19th of December last, of intimidation capable of making them 39,000 electors were convoked in the abstain from voting, it is impossible to department of Ille-et-Vilaine to choose a imagine an intimidation capable of mak- deputy; and were they to be abandoned to ing them vote contrary to their wishes.” themselvesthat is to say, to all their local

passions ? The duty of the Government The above was the substance of

was to enlighten them, and it had the the report, in which not a wo

right to recommend publicly the Govern. said of the promises made, and the ment candidate. As a general proposiinducements held out, by the prefect tion, I admit that it is a good thing and his subordinates, to the“masses" that places should be represented by in the different communes, provided men locally known there ; but all sysonly they voted right (s'ils votaient tems of electoral legislation have allowed bien), and which, considering the

that strangers may also be chosen. This enormous amount of Government in- local quarrels and dissensions ; and the

is especially necessary in the case of terference in France with matters which with us are left in the hands the introduction of a candidate who is

best mode of putting a stop to them is of parish vestries and local boards,

a stranger. If the Government did not were nothing short of bribery on the indicate its candidate-if it did not remost extensive scale. The conclu- commend him to the electors-if it did sion, however, at which the commit- not try and insure his success by all hontee had arrived was vigorously at- ourable means, it would be wanting to its tacked in the Corps Legislatif by M. own rights, and would fail in its duty. Plichon, M. Picard, and others; and Universal suffrage, which declares itself

with such an imposing appearance (avec M. Picard, who was himself a mem

un ensemble si admirable), when he who is ber of the committee, said that the

to be elected is placed so high that all feel Count de la Riboisière, a senator and

and know the interest they have the president of the Conseil général of choice they are about to make-[Oh, M. Îlle-et-Vilaine, had declared before Baroche ! we know well to whose electhem that, during the election, terror tion by seven millions you are now alprevailed in the district of Vitré and lurling: ]-universal suffrage, I say, beFougères, and had mentioned facts comes less enlightened in proportion as the that proved that intimidation, fraud, person to be elected is nearer to the elecand bribery (secluction) had been re

If, in that case, local passions sorted to. But the most interesting

were left without direction, universal part of the debate was a speech made suffrage might become, not, as some one by M. Baroche, President of the mystification, þut a great danger. The

has improperly called it, an universal Council of State, who enunciated administration has its candidate. Again certain principles which go far to

I say, it is its right and its duty. I, the explain the conduct of the officials organ of the Government, declare it within the particular case complained of, out hesitation.” and also to explain the majorities which the French Government is The question was put to the vote able to obtain at elections. After (by ballot) whether the report and declaring that France was as hon- recommendation of the committee oured and as free now as she had should be adopted, and there apever been, he said

peared 123 in favour of it, and 109


against it.* So M. de Dalmas was is to give support to the enemies of the declared duly elected, and the sous- country, who are not afraid to raise up chef du cabinet de l'Empereur now

their heads." sits in the French Chamber as repre- In this contest it was curious to sentative of the third circumscription see the eagerness with which both of the department of Ille-et-Vilaine. the candidates asserted themselves

Although we have selected the to be Protectionists, and the indignacase of M. le Beschu for the purpose tion with which each repelled the of giving a detailed account of the calumny that he was favourable to proceedings at the election at which Free Trade. Thus M. Descat, in an he was a candidate, it must not be address to the electors, said— supposed that it is an isolated or ex

“I am well known to you ; nevertheceptional instance. We have before less, malevolence hawks about (colporte) us documents which prove that the calumnies against me with such uninterference at elections of the em- wearied pertinacity that I owe you an ployés of Government in France, and explanation. It is said that I am a the unscrupulous use by them of all Free-Trader. It is an ENORMITY, against the influence which their position which my past life and all my interests gives them, is the constant and ha- alike protest.” bitual practice. In a memoire or On the eve of the election, M. “case," drawn up in June 1857 by Brame was attacked in an article of M. Jules Brame, who was a candidate a local newspaper, and charged with at a general election in the Departs having forged a document for elecment du Nord, and whose opponent tioneering purposes. M. Brame natur. was M. Descat, the former deputy ally wished to give an instant denial for the district, we find the prefect, to so odious an accusation, but he M. Besson, addressing the mayors of was actually told by the Procureur the electoral district in a circular, in Imperial that he was too late, and which he said,

that as the twenty days allowed by “The Government of the Emperor, to law, during which time alone a canwhom the country owes its grandeur and didate is permitted to issue placards prosperity, recommends (désigne) M. Des. and notices relative to his election, cat to the choice of the electors.”

had just expired, he could neither And in another circular he said that placard his denial on the walls, nor to vote for M. Brame would be

insert a paragraph in the newspapers,

declaring that the charge was false. “An unjustifiable act, unworthy of the So that, according to this, a man loyalty of the population. Let us not,” who ventures to oppose a Governhe continued, “accustom the country to

ment candidate in France may, at ingratitude. It is a pernicious example, the most critical moment, just before which can only compromise the future. The Government of the Emperor, in its

the election, be made the object of sense of justice for services rendered, the most calumnious attacks-carerecommends to you M. Descat. You fully reserved until the twenty days will, M. le Maire, I am sure, exert your- in which he is permitted to address self to the utmost extent of your power the electors have elapsed--and he is to do all that is necessary to insure the not to be allowed even the liberty of success of his election, It must be denying them. made generally known that opposition can- Another ingenious mode of stifling didates have not the power to realise the opposition at elections is to prevent promises they make. It must be made known that, in rejecting M. Descat, the

as far as possible the cards of the obelectors are voting against a Govern

noxious candidate from getting into ment which has done everything for

the hands of the electors. This is their prosperity, and which they would

done by attempting to put in force attempt to enfeeble by giving votes the law relating to colportage, and which would be an act of hostility to- declaring that all who distribute the wards it. To vote for M. Brame cards or tickets are acting as un

This was a large minority, but it must be remembered that the vote was taken by ballot. It shows that the case was a flagrant one-so flagrant that even a submissive Chamber could hardly suffer it to pass.

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licensed hawkers, and so are guilty sometimes, as in the case of M. Thil, of a misdemeanour.

it overshoots the mark, is quickened The colportage law is part of the by the hope of thereby recommendLoi du 27-29 Juillet 1849, sur la ing them to the favour of GovernPresse, and is in the following terms: ment, the absolute dispenser of every "All distributors or hawkers of books, kind of patronage in France. writings, pamphlets, engravings, We might go on multiplying such and lithographs, shall be obliged to instances to an indefinite extent, but be furnished with an authority (or we think we have said enough to illicence), which shall be delivered to lustrate the way in which M. Bathem for the department of the Seine roche's maxim as to the necessity of by the prefect of police, and for not abandoning, electors to themthe other departments by the pre- selves, and of enlightening them with fects.” And the penalty of con- respect to the performance of their travention is fine and imprison- duties, is practically understood and ment. We cannot state that any carried out by the authorities; and French court of justice has actually how universal suffrage may and does held the distribution of electoral become universal “mystification." cards to be within scope of this law, We have seen the enormous amount but we know that individuals have of influence, both direct and indirect, been brought before juges de pair, which the Imperial Government and charged with it as a penal of- brings to bear upon elections--the fence. And in one case a candidate promises, the threats, the frauds, was himself arrested for handing which are employed to secure the reabout his own cards in a market- turn of the Government candidates ; place! At a late election which and how, then, can we accept the retook place for the arrondissement sults as a fair test of the political of Pont de l'Evêque, which embraces opinions of a majority of the populapart of the coast of Normandy, tion? When the masses are told by the report was carefully spread that their prefects, who have the power if the Government candidate did not ofverifying their own predictions, that obtain an imposing majority, there unless they return a particular dewould be a general impressment of puty, the roads of the commune will seamen, and that those who were not be repaired, and the bridges not known to exert themselves for the rebuilt, that the parish church will opposition candidate, would be com- be allowed to fall into decay, and no pelled to sail in the expedition to public money will be spent on the China. And to such an extent was district,—how can we wonder that the system of Government interfer- they vote as they are bid, and beence carried, that none of the licensed come passive instruments in the hands victuallers (débiteurs de boissons) of Government. To us, we confess dared to receive the addresses and it seems to be little short of a miracle cards of the opposition candidate, and that any opposition should succeed, they positively refused them, know- and we admire the moral courage ing well that they were at the mercy of the men who venture to confront of the prefect, who could, if he the serried phalanx of officials, with pleased, make them close their all their machinery of power, patronhouses. In one of the communes of age, and means of annoyance at comthe arrondissement of Lisieux, the mand. They run in a race where commissary of police threatened a the competitors are so unfairly distributor of some opposition tickets weighted as to make the chance of on the eve of an election, that if he victory on the side of opposition did not desist, his son, who was away almost impossible. from his regiment on furlough on But it may be said that opposition account of health, should be imme- members do sit in the Corps Legisdiately recalled to active service, and latif-and how did they get there of course the threat was effectual. if the system at elections is such as Sometimes opposition placards are we have described ? We answer torn down by or in presence of the first, that it would not serve the purauthorities, whose zeal, although pose of the Imperial Government not


to have even the show of an opposi- inadequately represented, because reflection in the Chamber—that would be tion and judgment have no influence too transparent a mockery; and, over the elections; only passion and

excitement of the moment direct the secondly, public opinion is not so

vote. utterly powerless and dead in France

“A striking example of this truth as to make it safe to attempt such

presents itself in the democracy of the practices in the larger towns. It is Swiss cantons. The people assembled in therefore quite consistent with all

a body on the public place to choose their we have here stated, that M. Emile representatives; yet, though they enjoy. Ollivier should be elected in Paris, the plenitude of power, the retrogressive and M. le Beschu de Champsavin spirit is firmly implanted in the minds rejected in Brittany.

of the people in their Swiss cantons. We will, in conclusion, quote one

There is no ancient prejudice which they or two passages from the writings of do not sanction in their popular assemthe present French Emperor, which blies, and no improvement which they

do not reject. deserve to be carefully studied, as

“ In France just the contrary takes containing the opinions of a man

place. In our election system, founded who, more than any other in Europe, en fear and pririlege, the influence of the has the power to convert his ideas Government acts directly on the people, into facts. In a short essay on the and this influence, which might nevertheelectoral system which he published less be enlightened and protective, acts by in 1840, in L'Idée Napoléonienne, corrupting the consciences of the people, intended to be a monthly periodical, by deceitful promises, by making a real

, but of which only one number ever political traffic of the votes of the citizens." appeared, after proposing a system of electoral colleges based on univer- Prince Louis Napoleon of the action

Such is the character given by sal suffrage, he says :

of the Government on the electoral "In a well-organised body two con

system twenty years ago. It then, trary currents must always be percepts according to him, corrupted conible; one rising from the base to the

sciences and trafficked in votes. At summit, the other descending from the the present moment, Napoleon III. summit to the base.

wishes the world to believe that “ This influence of the Government, under the Imperial regime it is which must be felt in the lowest classes lightened and protective.” But, after of the people, and the authority of po- the facts we have adduced, we leave pular will, which even the head of the it to every one who reads this article State must acknowledge, must act and to declare whether the Emperor has react by mutual degrees in the ascend- not, in the above passage, pronounced ing as in the descending current. “When the people vote in a body in

his own condemnation, and given a the public street, and give their suffrage

true description of the system now directly

, it is as if all the blood of the body practised in France; and whether rose to the head, and the consequence is

universal suffrage and vate by ballot discomfort, congestion, giddiness.

in that country are not a mockery, “ Even the interests of the people are a delusion, and a snare.”





Όστις δ' άλιτών ώσπερ όδ' ανήρ
Χείρας φονίας επικρύπτει
Μάρτυρες ορθαι τοϊσι θανούσιν
Παραγιγνόμεναι πράκτορες αίματος

Αυτό τελέως εφάνημεν.
Though stark he lieth and cold in clay,
Though he utters neither good nor ill,
There is that which my dagger could not kill-
A haunting horror night and day,
That makes my blood stand still
That makes my spirit shrink and shiver,
That dwells within me for ever and ever,
A dark and terrible dream, wherewith I cannot away!
Nightly and daily I die with fear,
Lest the breeze, as it wanders far and near,
Should speak my story in mortal ear;
Or the Hand that writes in letters of fire,
When the raving clouds contend in heaven,
Should flash my name in the wild far-gleaming levin,
And the pattering rain should conspire,
With ever-heedful tones, as it fell,
This bloody rumour that cries from hell,
Slowly to shape and syllable.
Suddenly in a frenzied fright,
With cold damp brow, and stiffened hair,
And lips that trembled in vain for a prayer,
I started from my bed,
In the deep heart of the silent night-
For there grew in the dark a lurid light,
And my eyes were chained to a ghastly sight,
The white weird face of the dead ;
And I saw the blood of the red wound drip,
And the wasted finger laid on the lip-
O for darkness of eyes, darkness of mind !
Great God, let the heat of thine anger strike me blind!

very breath I breathe is a secret strife,
And might well make a coward of the brave.
I shudder to see the light of life;
But death with a hundred hells is rife,
And I dare not lift the poison or knife,
And suddenly seek the grave.
There is rest for all, but not for me ;
I discern not any term or scope,
But a ghastly hope, which is not a hope,
For an end which is never to be.
And still the Angel claims the price of guilt ;
Still the Voice haunts me through the weary years,
Full of anguish, full of fears,
Seeming to search the distant spheres,
And to whisper the tale in a thousand ears,
How the crimson river of life was spilt ;
And in the desert gloom of my breast
So long this fiery curse I bear,
That to me now, in my mad despair,
Change of pain would be almost as sweet as rest!



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