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throughout France, and these benefits were largely increased by the heartiness and sincerity of the pacific policy which the prince adopted in all his dealings with England. Meantime, though grateful for the benefits which it had already begun to reap from the adoption of the imperial system, the nation felt one ground of uneasiness in the thought that as yet the power which wielded it was not as complete and permanent as was desirable. An imperial system without an imperial head was an anomaly. In a word, the mind of the people went on from the idea of the 'Empire' to that which it logically implied-an "emperor. Accordingly, wherever and whenever the prince appeared in public, he found himself addressed by municipal and other bodies in terms which implied a desire that the Empire should be fully restored in his person. In the autumn, his tour or progress was one continuous ovation, and the crowds of all classes, ranks, and sexes as with one voice exclaimed : "Vive l'empereur!' On his return to Paris, deputations, addresses, memorials from every part of France, poured in upon him at the Tuileries, demanding formally 'the restoration of the Empire.'
It was not likely that Louis Napoleon would long hesitate to accept the gift thus forced upon him, the end and aim as it had been of his every aspiration in exile or in prison, at home or abroad. He convoked the Senate, and communicated to it the national desire, expressing his own strong wish that the constitution of 1852 should be maintained as the basis of the Empire. He-laid down also the memorable maxim, L'Empire c'est la Paix; and publicly declared that while the re-establishment of that form of government
satisfied the just pride of the nation, it also enabled France nobly to avenge its former reverses without shedding any blood, or making a single victim, or threatening the peace of the world.
On the 25th of November he addressed the Legislative Assembly in similar terms, begging it also to attest the spontaneous nature of that national movement which was bearing him to the imperial crown. An appeal on the question forthwith made to the country, as before, by universal suffrage, shewed the following result of votes : affirmative, 7,864,180; negative or neutral, 316,471. History records no more marked example of unity in the expression of a national feeling. Deeply impressed with the sense of the responsibilities of his position, the emperor elect declared that nothing cheered him so much as the perfect concord of the national voice. In order to aid you, sire, in this great work,' said the president of the legislative body, ‘France surrounds you with all her sympathies; she commits herself freely to you. Take then, sire, from the hands of France, that glorious crown which in our person she offers you. Never has a royal brow worn one more legitimate or more popular.'
Unwilling to seem to ignore the title, 'regular though ephemeral,' of his cousin, the Duc de Reichstadt, the prince took the oath of loyalty to France under the title of Napoleon III. ; and then, addressing the Senate, he said: 'Assist me, messieurs, all of you, to establish in this land, harassed by so many revolutions, a stable government, based on religion, justice, and probity, and on the love of the humbler classes. And here receive my oath that I will use every exertion to insure the prosperity of the country ; and that, whilst maintaining peace, I will never yield anything which affects the honour and dignity of France.'
Early in the following year, he gave a proof of his belief that the country with whose destinies he had always identified himself so closely had at length attained an assured and secure position. On the 22d of January following (1853), he announced to the Senate his intention to marry the Countess Eugénie de Theba, a lady of princely though scarcely of royal descent, and in whose veins flowed some of the best blood of Spain and Scotland. In announcing to the Senate his marriage, he paid a graceful tribute to the memory of the Empress Josephine, the first consort of his uncle, as 'the one woman, not the issue of royal blood, but modest and good, who alone seemed to bring happiness, and to live more than all others in the memory of the people ;' and then he proceeded as follows: 'She who has been the object of my preference is of princely descent. French in heart, by education, and the recollection of the blood shed by her father in the cause of the Empire, she has, as a Spaniard, the advantage of not having in France a family to whom it might be necessary to give honours and fortune. Endowed with all the qualities of the mind, she will be the ornament of the throne. In the day of danger, she would be one of its courageous supporters. A Catholic, she will address to Heaven the same prayers with me for the happiness of France. In fine, by her grace and her goodness, she will, I firmly hope, endeavour to revive in the same position the virtues of the Empress Josephine.
Without delay the emperor proceeded to the cathedral of NotreDame in state, and presented the empress to the people and the army. The marriage was celebrated in the midst of general rejoicing at Notre-Dame, on the 29th of the same month. The only issue of the marriage, as our readers are aware, is a son, known as the ‘Prince Imperial,' who was born at the Tuileries on the 16th of March 1856, and baptised by the name of Napoleon-EugèneLouis-Jean-Joseph.
The rest of the history of the French emperor is so thoroughly mixed up with the history of the people over whom he rules, and in its chief events it stands in such close proximity to the days in which we live, that we are obliged to content ourselves with the briefest possible outline of its leading features.
Towards the close of 1853, rumours arose of a difficulty that had arisen between Russia and Turkey, which threatened to increase and spread until it assumed the proportions of a European war, and involved the western powers as well as the eastern. The
Emperor Nicholas made overtures to France (as indeed he had done to England) to 'settle' Turkey comfortably by a private understanding or arrangement. But the emperor, who had always declared himself most desirous of being at peace with England, most honourably refused to act in concert with Russia or to desert his ally; and joining his policy and his forces with those of Great Britain early in the following year, he heartily united with England in its crusade against the spread of the Russian power in the Black Sea and the Baltic. Jointly with England he sent out an army to the Crimea, Marshal St Arnaud, and, after his death, Marshal Pelissier being united in the command with Lord Raglan, and after his death, with Generals Simpson and Codrington. His troops joined heart and soul with England in the battle of the Alma and the siege of Sebastopol, and fought side by side with the English flag at Inkermann and Balaklava. With England they stormed the Redan and the Malakoff, and in perfect concert with England, the emperor made peace with Russia, when the objects of that war had been fully attained. While that war was still pending, in the early summer of 1855, the emperor and his empress paid a state visit to London and Windsor. And it may be supposed that an immense change had come over the feelings of the English people in the interim, when we state that the visit of that same individual who was regarded with suspicion and almost with hatred by our countrymen in 1852, as president, was greeted in 1855 with a hearty festivity-not a mere outward display of courtly hospitality, but really and truly with a popular ovation. The merchant princes of London addressed him formally, as men of business expressing their sense of the benefits which had arisen from the imperial policy, and their sincere hope for the continuance of those blessings. In his reply the emperor said: 'I am grateful that your Queen has allowed me such an opportunity of paying my respects to her, and of shewing my sentiments of sympathy and esteem towards the English people. I hope that the two nations will always continue united in peace as in war; for I am convinced it will be for the welfare of the whole world and for their own prosperity.'
Scarcely had he quitted our shores and returned to France when Englishmen learned, with horror and disgust, that the emperor's life, on which the peace of the world so greatly depended, had been attempted by an assassin; and we then began to realise how valuable was the life of so faithful an ally, not only to France, but to England and the world.
On the 30th of March in the following year (1856) peace with Russia was signed at the Tuileries between the plenipotentiaries of the eastern and the western powers; and it was not without good reason that our government declared in parliament that 'the happy termination of a season of trial, suffering, and sacrifice must be ascribed in a very great measure to the cordial co-operation and
generous confidence of our faithful ally, the Emperor of the French.
In the beginning of 1858, an attempt was made on the emperor's life by a miscreant named Orsini, who was executed in consequence. It appeared, however, that the plot was contrived in London, and a Dr Bernard was tried at the Central Criminal Court for complicity in it. His acquittal caused a temporary coolness between the two countries, which was increased by the rejection of a bill introduced into parliament by Lord Palmerston for altering the law relating to such conspiracies.
The year 1859 and the following year were occupied by a war in Italy, in which the emperor took the field in person, in order to assist Victor Emmanuel in ridding the north of Italy from the Austrian rule. He aided Victor Emmanuel to gain the victories of Magenta and Solferino, and he ' dictated' to the Austrians the peace of Villafranca, which ceded to Victor Emmanuel both Lombardy and the Duchies, while leaving Venetia still subject to Austria. In recognition of his services on this occasion, Louis Napoleon gained Savoy for France; and in 1861 the emperor recognised his old ally as • King of Italy. In the following years the French emperor joined his forces with those of England in China and in Mexico; but the events which resulted thence belong less to an outline of his life than to history. In September 1864, he concluded with the king of Italy a treaty in which he pledged himself to withdraw the French troops from the occupation of Rome, if the papal government by that time should prove able to organise an army sufficient for the defence of its territories, which at the same time the king of Italy guaranteed to protect from external attack. Under the terms of this treaty, the French troops were withdrawn in the winter of 1866-7; but before the close of the following summer, they were obliged to return to Rome to defeat an ill-advised assault of Garibaldi and his followers, which was repressed, though not till after considerable blood had been shed on the fields of Mentana and Monte Rotondo.
It is perhaps needless to state here, that opinions must differ as to the imperial policy of Louis Napoleon, especially with regard to his conduct in the Mexican affair, which was so fatal to Maximilian ; blinded by the dust of contemporary conflict, we live too near the facts, the secret policy of which has yet to be revealed, for us to view them with that distinctness which hereafter will fall to the lot of some impartial historian.
On the whole, it may safely be said, looking back upon the career of Louis Napoleon, that he was born to be a leader of men. If not the most successful general of his day, he is one of the ablest administrators of the internal affairs of a kingdom, one of the first diplomatists, weightiest speakers, and best political writers of his age. His character is manly and upright, and we as a nation have found that implicit reliance may be placed on his word. Generous and magnanimous, he has ever shewn himself incapable of petty jealousy and revenge, and merciful to a fallen foe. While the English press lampooned him most severely, he not only never attempted to resent the affront, but remained our firmest and truest ally. And as to France itself, his reign has brought the most solid advantages to the country which he rules. When he ascended the throne, he found France distracted at home, and without power or influence abroad. Her exchequer was empty, her army was disorganised, her government corrupt, self-seeking, and arbitrary ; commerce, the arts, and works of industry all languished. Under his rule, France has grown steadily richer, greater, and more powerful. The counsels of her ministers, on the whole, have been supreme in Europe. Like his uncle the great emperor, he has ever been ready to find out, recognise, and reward high abilities when joined with honesty and integrity, and in consequence he has been served by brilliant and able ministers. The consequence is that the ancient renown of the arms of France under the former Empire has been revived, and the name of France itself held in honour and respect in every quarter of the world.
While we write (July 1869) the last act of Napoleon III. has been the concession of certain constitutional arrangements, which, properly followed out, will go far towards assimilating the civil liberty of France to that of Great Britain, and may tend to consolidate the controlling power in the family of the emperor. Let us hope that the French people are sufficiently chastened and qualified to appreciate and make a good use of the political privileges thus granted by the good-will of the sovereign.