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has lent no small force to their jealousy of the present Government; and, considering the awful experience they had in former times, seems certainly a most unaccountable temerity. If it were merely one or two acts of an arbitrary nature they were trying to carry, they might be overlooked, or at least have the benefit of some equivocal interpretation; but when a number of convergent measures are attempted at the same time, the tendency of which is alike hostile to the spirit of the charter and the wishes of the people, surely little farther proof is necessary to convince them of the animus that presides in the councils of the nation. But, after all, it is only themselves the people have to thank for the whole. They committed a sad and most irretrievable oversight at the restoration. Before they allowed Louis XVIII. to put one of his gouty feet on the beach at Calais, they should have presented him, as we did in a similar conjuncture, with a bill of rights, as the positive and peremptory condition of his being accepted for their sovereign.
The attempts of Government to trammel the education of the rising generation is the more inexcusable and unaccountable, as it has been clearly ascertained, that the quantity of crime is invariably less where knowledge is most universal; and what one might suppose no Government would be likely to overlook for their own sakes, — the taxes are much more cheerfully paid. As a remarkable instance, the department of the Correze exhibits a greater amount of foul crimes than either the Creuze or the Haute Vienne; and it is well known that since the revolution, omitting the fatal crisis of 1790 and 1794, crimes have not only been much less frequent, but that comfort and security have prevailed every where, just in proportion as education has been more diffused. An English gentleman, some time resident in France, and well acquainted with the existing condition of the peasantry, assures me their industry and frugality are truly .exemplary, and that they are, upon the whole, much better off than the correspondent classes in England; and, as to morals, with wine almost for nothing, there is
hardly an instance of intoxication or intemperance to be met with; but, on the contrary, that they are, almost without exception, orderly, kind, cheerful, industrious, and contented.
The portrait of Charles X., by Sir Thomas Lawrence, has a very conspicuous place in the Louvre, on the left of the door as you enter the great saloon.
His Majesty is drawn in his robes, standing before the throne in an easy attitude, with his left foot advanced, and holding the sceptre in his right hand; the end of which rests upon a crimson velvet cushion, bearing the crown and other regalia. Had I no better evidence of the merit of the performance, the tone in which I heard that merit admitted by a French artist-for he did admit it, was conclusive. His praises were certainly the dullest antithesis to the laudatory that ever I heard from the lips of a Frenchman.
I find there is hardly an imaginable form of privation that is not provided for by some appropriate establishment. When a Frenchman would indulge a vein of boasting of his country, let him not forget its public charities, for they are admirable. One of the happiest of these provisions appears to me, that which supplies the poor with food and medicine at their own habitations. Their number is considerable; and as they are kept constantly in a state of effectiveness to meet a pressing exigence, there is little risk of the poor being very suddenly overtaken by any thing like absolute want. With us, when a failure of crops or a stagnation of trade bring distress in their train, we have our benevolent societies too frequently to form, or enormous subscriptions must be raised from the private purses of individuals, while our high roads are, perhaps, covered with a strike of Manchester cottonspinners, calling out for food, and in need of every thing that can render the load of their existence endurable: and as funds raised in this sort of way must be liable to be soon exhausted, the same misery perpetually recurs; one of the worst effects of which species of relief is, that it begets a habit of complaining, where the actual degree of distress may be
very equivocal ; so that when real miseries occur, they are in danger of being overlooked:
Nulla fides damnis, verisque doloribus adsit. The mere infirmity of age has numerous asyľums for both sexes, where they are maintained in comfort, I had almost said in a degree of luxury. We might search the whole world, perhaps, and not meet with another institution to be compared with the Salpetrière for every thing that can mitigate the wretchedness of declining years, in alliance with every species of affliction both of mind and body. Another asylum, which struck me as having special claims to the admiration of the philanthropist, is a house of refuge for repentant prisoners under sentence of capital punishment.” When a prisoner has given long and tried proof of his sincere contrition for any crime, however deep its complexion, he is sent hither, and in the course of time, obtains letters from the King, either commuting the sentence for pardon at once, or some punishment in a mitigated form.