[Footnote 1: For the subject-matter of this chapter I am largely indebted to Mrs. Oliphant's article on Lamartine in "Blackwood's Magazine."]

The Provisional Government hastily set up in France on Feb. 24, 1848, consisted at first of five members; but that number was afterwards enlarged. M. Dupin, who had been President of the Chamber of Deputies, was made President of the Council (or prime minister); but the real head of the Government and Minister for Foreign Affairs was Alphonse de Lamartine. He was a Christian believer, a high-minded man, by birth an aristocrat, yet by sympathy a man of the masses. "He was full of sentimentalities of vainglory and of personal vanity; but no pilot ever guided a ship of state so skilfully and with such absolute self-devotion through an angry sea. For a brief while, just long enough to effect this purpose, he was the idol of the populace." With him were associated Cremieux, a Jew; Ledru-Rollin, the historian, a Red Republican; Arago, the astronomer; Hypolite Carnot, son of Lazare Carnot, Member of the Directory, father of the future president; General Casaignac, who was made governor of Algeria; Garnier-Pages, who a second time became, in 1870, member of a Provisional Government for the defence of Paris; and several others.

The downfall of Louis Philippe startled and astonished even those who had brought it about. They had intended reform, and they drew down revolution. They hoped to effect a change of ministry: they were disconcerted when they had dethroned a king. There were about thirty thousand regular troops in Paris, besides the National Guard and the mounted police, or Garde Municipale. No one had imagined that the Throne of the Barricades would fall at the first assault. There were no leaders anywhere in this revolution. The king's party had no leaders; the young princes seemed paralyzed. The army had no leader; the commander-in-chief had been changed three times in twenty-four hours. The insurgents had no leaders. On February 22 Odillon Barrot was their hero, and on February 23 they hooted him.

The republicans, to their own amazement, were left masters of the field of battle, and Lamartine was pushed to the front as their chief man.

I may here pause in the historical narrative to say a few words about the personal history of Lamartine, which, indeed, will include all that history has to say concerning the Second Republic.

The love stories of the uncle and father of Alphonse de Lamartine are so pathetic, and give us so vivid a picture of family life before the First Revolution, that I will go back a generation, and tell them as much as possible in Lamartine's own words.

His grandfather had had six children, - three daughters and three sons. According to French custom, under the old regime, the eldest son only was to marry, and the other members of the Lamartine family proceeded as they grew up to fulfil their appointed destinies. The second son went into the Church, and rose to be a bishop. The third son, M. le Chevalier, went into the army. The sisters adopted the religious life, and thus all were provided for. But strange to say, the eldest son, to whose happiness and prosperity the rest were to be sacrificed, was the first rebel in the family. He fell in love with a Mademoiselle de Saint-Huruge; but her dot was not considered by the elder members of the family sufficient to justify the alliance. The young man gave up his bride, and to the consternation of his relatives announced that he would marry no other woman. M. le Chevalier must marry and perpetuate the ancestral line.

Lamartine says, -

"M. le Chevalier was the youngest in that generation of our family. At sixteen he had entered the regiment in which his father had served before him. His career was to grow old in the modest position of a captain in the army (which position he attained at an early age), to pass his few months of leave, from time to time, in his father's house, to gain the Cross of St. Louis (which was the end of all ambitions to provincial gentlemen), and then, when he grew old, being endowed with a small provision from the State, or a still smaller revenue of his own, he expected to vegetate in one of his brothers' old chateaux, having his rooms in the upper story, to superintend the garden, to shoot with the cure, to look after the horses, to play with the children, to make up a game of whist or tric-trac, - the born servant of everyone, a domestic slave, happy in his lot, beloved, and yet neglected by all. But in the end his fate was very different. His elder brother, having refused to marry, said to his father: 'You must marry the Chevalier.' All the feelings of the family and the prejudices of habit rose up in the heart of the old nobleman against this suggestion. Chevaliers, according to his notions, were not intended to marry. My father was sent back to his regiment, and his marrying was put off from year to year."

Meantime, the idea of marriage having been put into the Chevalier's head, he chose for himself, and happily his choice fell on a lady acceptable to his family. His sister was canoness in an aristocratic order, whose members were permitted to receive visits from their brothers. It was there that he wooed and won the lovely, saint-like mother of Alphonse de Lamartine.

The elder brother, as he advanced in life, kept up a truly affecting intercourse with Mademoiselle de Saint-Huruge. She was beautiful even in old age, though her beauty was dimmed by an expression of sadness. They met every evening in Macon, at the house of a member of the family, and each entertained till death a pure and constant friendship for the other.

No wonder that when the Revolution decreed the abolition of all rights of primogeniture, and ordered each father's fortune to be equally divided among his children, that M. le Chevalier refused to take advantage of this new arrangement, and left his share to the elder brother, to whom he owed his domestic happiness. In the end, all the property of the family came to the poet; the aunts and uncles - the former of whom had been driven from their convents - having made him their heir.

Madame de Lamartine had received part of her education from Madame de Genlis, and had associated in her childhood with Louis Philippe and Madame Adelaide. But though the influence of Madame de Genlis was probably not in favor of piety, Madame de Lamartine was sincerely pious. In her son's early education she seems to have been influenced by Madame de Genlis' admiration of Rousseau. Alphonse ran barefoot on the hills, with the little peasant boys for company; but at home he was swayed by the discipline of love. He published nothing till he was thirty years of age, though he wrote poetry from early youth. His study was in the open air, under some grand old oaks on the edge of a deep ravine. In his hands French poetry became for the first time musical and descriptive of nature. There was deep religious feeling, too, in Lamartine's verse, rather vague as to doctrine, but full of genuine religious sentiment. As a Christian poet he struck a chord which vibrated in many hearts, for the early part of our century was characterized by faith and by enthusiasm. Scepticism was latent, but was soon to assert itself in weary indifference. "As yet, doubt sorrowed that it doubted, and could feel the beauty of faith, even when it disbelieved."

From 1820 to 1824 Lamartine was a good deal in Italy; after the death of an innocent Italian girl, which he has celebrated in touching verse, he married an English lady, and had one child, his beloved Julia. He was made a member of the French Academy, and Charles X. had appointed him ambassador to Greece, when the Revolution of 1830 occurred, and he refused to serve under King Charles's successor.

In 1832, partly for Julia's health, he visited the Holy Land and Eastern Europe. Poor little Julia died at Beyrout. On the father's return he published his "Souvenirs of his Journey." Books descriptive of Eastern countries were then rare, and Lamartine's was received with enthusiasm.

In 1833 Lamartine began his political career by entering the Chamber of Deputies. Some one said of him that he formed a party by himself, - a party of one. He pleaded for the abolition of capital punishment, for the amelioration of the poorer classes, for the emancipation of slaves in the colonies, and for various other social reforms; but he was never known as a republican.

In 1847 he published his "Histoire des Girondins," which was received by the public with deep interest and applause. It is not always accurate in small particulars, but it is one of the most fascinating books of history ever written, and has had the good fortune to be singularly well translated. Alexandre Dumas is said to have told its author: "You have elevated romance to the dignity of history."

When the revolution of February, 1848, broke out, Lamartine, being unwell, did not make his way on the first day through the crowds to the Chamber of Deputies, nor did he go thither on the second, looking on the affair as an emeute likely to be followed only by a change of ministry. But when news was brought to him which made him feel it was a very serious affair, he went at once to the Chamber. On entering, he was seized upon by men of all parties, but especially by republicans, who drew him into a side-room and told him that the king had abdicated. He had always advocated the regency of the Duchess of Orleans in the event of Louis Philippe's death, in place of that of the Duc de Nemours. The men who addressed him implored him, as the most popular man in France, to put himself at the head of a movement to make the Duchess of Orleans regent during her son's minority, adding that France under a woman and a child would soon drift into a republic. Lamartine sat for some minutes at a table with his face bowed on his hands. He was praying, he says, for light. Then he arose, and after saying that he had never been a republican, added that now he was for a republic, without any intermediate regency, either of the duchess or of Nemours. With acclamations, the party went back into the Chamber to await events.

We know already how the duchess was received, and how a mob broke into the Chamber. A provisional government was demanded, in the midst of indescribable tumult; and by the suffrages of a crowd of roughs quite as much as by the action of the deputies, a provisional government of five members (afterwards increased to seven) was voted in, the names being written down with a pencil by Lamartine on the spur of the moment. The five men thus nominated and chosen to be rulers of France were Lamartine, Cremieux, Ledru-Rollin, Garnier-Pages, and Arago.

Meantime in the Hotel-de-Ville the mob had set up another provisional government under Socialistic leaders, and the first thing the more genuine provisional government had to do was to get rid of the others.

Lamartine says of himself that he felt his mission was to preserve society, and very nobly he set himself to his task. When he and his colleagues reached the Hotel-de-Ville, where the mob was clamoring for Socialism and a republic, a compromise had to be effected; and thus Louis Blanc, the Socialistic reformer, came into the Provisional Government. It was growing night, and the announcement of this new arrangement somewhat calmed the crowd; but at midnight an attack was made on the Hotel-de-Ville, and the new rulers had to defend themselves by personal strength, setting their backs against the doors of the Council Chamber, and repelling their assailants with their own hands. But the Press and the telegraph were at their command, and by morning the news of the Provisional Government was spread all over the provinces. "The mob," says Lamartine, "was in part composed of galley slaves who had no political ideas in their heads, nor social principles in their hearts, and partly of that scum which rises to the surface in popular commotions, and floats between the fumes of intoxication and the thirst for blood."

Lamartine was not a great man, but it was lucky for France, and for all Europe, that at this crisis he succeeded in establishing a provisional government, and that he was placed at its head. But for him, Paris might have had the Commune in 1848, as she had it in 1871, but with no great army collected at Versailles to bring it to subjection.

From such a fate France was saved by the energy and enthusiastic patriotism of one man, to whom, it seems to me, justice in history has hardly yet been done. "Lamartine was not republican enough for republicans; he lost at last his prestige among the people, and from personal causes the full sympathy of his friends; and his star sank before the rising sun of Louis Napoleon." Mrs. Oliphant also says of him, -

"In the midst of his manifold literary labors there happened to Lamartine such a chance as befalls few poets. He had it in his power, once in his life, to do something greater than the greatest lyric, more noble than any verse. At the crisis of the Revolution of 1848, chance (to use the word without irreverence) thrust him, and no other, into the place of master, and held him for one supreme moment alone between France and anarchy, - between, we might almost say, the world and another terrible revolution. And then the sentimentalist proved himself a man. He confronted raving Paris, and subdued it. The old noble French blood in his veins rose to the greatness of the crisis. With a pardonable thrill of pride in a position so strange to a writer and a man of thought, into which, without any action of his own, he found himself forced, he describes how he faced the tumultuous mob of Paris for seventy hours almost without repose, without sleep, without food, when there was no other man in France bold enough or wise enough to take that supreme part, and guide that most aimless of revolutions to a peaceful conclusion, - for the moment, at least. It was not Lamartine's fault that the Empire came after him. Long before the Empire came, he had fallen from his momentary elevation, and lost all influence with his country. But his downfall cannot efface the fact that he did actually reign, and reign beneficently, subduing and controlling the excited nation, saving men's lives and the balance of society."

The seventy hours at the Hotel-de-Ville to which Mrs. Oliphant alludes were passed by Lamartine in making orations, in sending off proclamations to the departments, in endeavoring to calm the excited multitude and to secure the triumph of the Republic without the effusion of blood. The revolution he conducted was, if I may say so, the only respectable revolution France has ever known. Nobody expected it, nobody was prepared for it, nobody worked for it; but the whole country acquiesced in it, and men of all parties, seeing that it was an accomplished fact, gave in their adhesion to the Second Republic.

There were five great questions that came up before the Provisional Government for immediate solution, -

The relation of France to foreign powers.

The enlargement of the army.

The subsistence of working-men out of employment.

The property and safety of the exiled royal family.

And, above all, how to meet these expenses and the payment of interest on national bonds, due the middle of March, with assets in the treasury of about twenty-five cents in the dollar.

These questions were all met by the wonderful energy of Lamartine and his colleagues, seconded by genuine patriotic efforts throughout France.

Lamartine had taken the foreign relations of the new Republic into his own hands; and so well did he manage them that not one potentate of Europe attempted to interfere with the internal affairs of France, or to dispute the right of the French to establish a republic if they thought proper. But although Lamartine's policy was peace, he thought France needed a large army both to keep down communism and anarchy at home, and to show itself strong in the face of all foreign powers. The army of France in January, 1848, had been about three hundred thousand men, of whom one hundred thousand were in Algeria; by May it was five hundred thousand, not including the Garde Mobile, which was of Lamartine's raising. It is well known how fiercely boys and very young men fought when any occasion for fighting was presented in the streets and at the barricades; all business being stopped in Paris, thousands of these were out of employment. Lamartine had them enrolled into his new corps, the Garde Mobile. Their uniform at first was a red sash and a workman's blouse. They were proud of themselves and of their new position, and in May, by dint of discipline, they were transformed into a fine soldierly body of very young men, who several times rendered important help to the Government in maintaining the cause of order. The National Guard was broken up until it could be reorganized, and so was the Garde Municipale.

But how to feed the multitude? Two hundred thousand mechanics alone were out of employment in Paris, besides laborers, servants, clerks, etc. It was proposed to establish national workshops in Louis Philippe's pretty private pleasure-grounds, the Parc des Monceaux. The men applying for work were enrolled in squads; each squad had its banner and its officers, and each man was paid on Saturday night his week's wages, at the rate of two francs a day, - the highest wages in Paris at that time for an artisan. There was no particular work for them to do, but the arrangement kept them disciplined and out of mischief, though at an enormous cost to the country. At the Palace of the Luxembourg Louis Blanc was permitted to hold a series of great labor meetings, - a sort of Socialist convention, - and to inveigh against "capitalists" and "bloated bondholders" in a style that was much more novel then than it is now. Lamartine greatly disapproved of these Luxembourg proceedings; but he argued that it was better to countenance them than to throw Louis Blanc and his friends into open opposition to the Government. Louis Blanc was a charming writer, whose views on social questions have made great progress since his day. His brother Charles wrote a valuable book on art. He himself wrote a "History of the Revolution" and the "History of Ten Years," - that is, from 1830 to 1840. He bitterly hated Louis Philippe and thebourgeoisie, and yet his book is fair and honest, and the work of a gentleman. He was almost a dwarf, but his face was very handsome, clean-shaved, with bright eyes and brown hair. I may remark en passant that not one of the members of the Provisional Government wore either a beard or a moustache.

One of the first things the Provisional Government did was to decree that the personal property of the Orleans family should not be confiscated, but placed in the hands of a receiver, who should pay the king and princes liberal allowances till it became certain that their wealth would not be spent in raising an army for the invasion of France.

Louis Philippe lived only two years after reaching England. They were apparently not unhappy years to him. He sat at the foot of his own table, and carved the joint daily for his guests, children, and grandchildren. He dictated his Memoirs, and talked with the greatest openness to those who wished to converse with him.

The Duc d'Aumale was head of the army in Algeria, and governor-general of the colony, when the Revolution broke out. Here is the address which he at once published to his soldiers and the people, and with which the whole of his after life has been consistent: -

Inhabitants of Algeria! Faithful to my duties as a citizen and a soldier, I have remained at my post as long as I could believe my presence would be useful in the service of my country. It can no longer be so. General Cavaignac is appointed governor-general of Algeria, and until his arrival here, the functions of governor-general ad interim will be discharged by General Changarnier. Submissive to the national will, I depart; but in my place of exile my best prayers and wishes shall be for the prosperity and glory of France, which I should have wished still longer to serve.


The greatest problem which demanded solution from the Provisional Government was how to make twenty-five cents do the work of a dollar. The first Minister of Finance appointed, threw up his portfolio in despair. Lamartine refused to sanction any arbitrary means of raising money. At last, by giving some especial privileges and protection to the Bank of France, and by mortgaging the national forests, a sufficient sum was provided for immediate needs. The people, too, throughout the provinces, made it a point of honor to come forward and pay their taxes before they were due. The priests preached this as a duty, for the priests were well disposed towards the Revolution of 1848. Lamartine had put forth a proclamation assuring priests and people that his Government was in sympathy with religion.

In the Provisional Government itself there were two, if not three, parties, - the party of order, headed by Lamartine; the Socialists, or labor party, headed by Louis Blanc; and the Red Republicans, or Anarchists, headed by Ledru-Rollin. The latter was for adopting the policy of putting out of office all men who had not been always republicans. Lamartine, on the contrary, said that any man who loved France and desired to serve her was not incapacitated from doing so by previous political opinions.

Elections for a Constitutional Assembly, which was to confirm or to repudiate the Provisional Government, were held on March 24, and the new Assembly was to meet early in May. Meantime all kinds of duties and anxieties accumulated on Lamartine. The Polish, Hungarian, Spanish, German, and Italian exiles in Paris were all anxious that he should espouse their causes against their own Governments. He assured them that this was not the mission of the Second French Republic, whatever might have been that of the First, and that the cause of European liberty would lose, not gain, if France, with propagandist fervor, embroiled herself with the monarchical powers. A deputation of Irishmen, under Smith O'Brien, waited upon him to beg the assistance of fifty thousand French troops in Ireland, "to rid her of the English." Lamartine peremptorily refused, saying: "When one is not united by blood to a people, it is not allowable to interfere in its affairs with the strong hand." Smith O'Brien and his followers, deeply mortified, repaired at once to Ledru-Rollin's Red Republican Club, where they were loudly applauded, and Lamartine condemned.

Meantime there were disturbances everywhere. Men out of employment, excited by club orators, were ready for any violence. At Lyons they destroyed the hospitals and orphan asylums, out of mere wantonness.

One afternoon Lamartine received news that the soldiers at the Invalides, dissatisfied with General Petit, their commander, had dragged him to the street, placed him on a cart, and were carrying him thus around Paris. On foot he rushed to the rescue, trusting to his powers of haranguing the multitude; but luckily the general had been released before his arrival. There is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous. We smile at the spectacle of the ruler of France rushing on foot, through dim streets, after a cart he could not find. General Petit was that officer of the Old Guard whom Napoleon had embraced when he took leave of his beloved corps at Fontainebleau. Lamartine re-established him as commander at the Invalides, and the mutiny was put down.

On the night of the first day of the Provisional Government, a mob having demanded that the red flag of Communism should be substituted for the tricolor, Lamartine replied, -

"Citizens! neither I nor any member of the Government will adopt the Drapeau Rouge. We would rather adopt that other flag which is hoisted in a bombarded city to mark to the enemy the hospitals of the wounded. I will tell you in one word why I will oppose the red flag with the whole force of patriotic determination. It is, citizens, because the tricolor has made the tour of the world with the Republic and the Empire, with your liberties and your glory; the red flag has only made the tour of the Champ de Mars, dragged through the blood of citizens."

Muskets in the crowd were here levelled at the speaker, but were knocked up by the more peaceable of his hearers.

There was soon great discontent throughout the departments because of the imposition of a land-tax; but as Lamartine said truly, farmers would have found war or the triumph of Red Republicanism more expensive still.

On March 17, about three weeks after the departure of the king, a great Socialist demonstration was made in Paris. Large columns of men marched to the Hotel-de-Ville, singing the old revolutionary chant of "Ca ira." Ledru-Rollin, in the fulness of his heart, seeing these one hundred and twenty thousand men all marching with some discipline, said to his colleagues in the Council Chamber: "Do you know that your popularity is nothing to mine? I have but to open this window and call upon these men, and you would every one of you be turned into the street. Do you wish me to try it?"

Upon this, Garnier-Pages, the Finance Minister, walked up to Ledru-Rollin, and presenting a pistol, said: "If you make one step toward that window, it shall be your last." Ledru-Rollin paused a moment, and then sat down.

The object of the demonstration was to force the Provisional Government to take measures for raising and equalizing wages, and providing State employment for all out of employ. The main body was refused admittance into the Hotel-de-Ville, but a certain number of the leaders were permitted to address the Provisional Government. To Ledru-Rollin's and Louis Blanc's surprise, they found that half of these leaders were men they had never seen before, more radical radicals than themselves, - that revolutionary scum that rose to the surface in the Reign of Terror and the Commune.

A sense of common danger made Ledru-Rollin and Louis Blanc unite with their colleagues in refusing the demand of the deputation that the measures they advocated should be put in force by immediate decrees. Lamartine harangued them; so did Ledru-Rollin and Louis Blanc; and at last the disappointed multitude, with vengeance in their hearts, filed peaceably away.

A month later, April 15, another outbreak was planned. The chief club leaders wished it to be headed by Ledru-Rollin and Blanqui, - the latter a conspirator in Louis Philippe's time. But Ledru-Rollin refused to serve with Blanqui, having discovered from documents in his office (that of Minister of Justice) that Blanqui had once been a Government spy. "Well, then," said the club leaders, "since you decline to be our chief, you shall to-morrow share the fate of your colleagues." Ledru-Rollin, after a terrible night of vacillation, resolved to throw himself on Lamartine's generosity. He went to him at daybreak and told him of the impending danger. At once Lamartine sent him to call out the National Guard, while he himself summoned the Garde Mobile. The National Guard had been reorganized; but there were no regular soldiers in Paris, - they had been sent away to satisfy the people. The commander of the National Guard, however, refused to let his men be called out on the occasion; and Lamartine, on hearing this, went to the Hotel-de-Ville alone. But help came to him from an unexpected quarter. General Changarnier, who had been appointed ambassador to Berlin, called at Lamartine's house to return thanks for his appointment. Madame de Lamartine told him of the danger that menaced her husband, and he repaired at once to the Hotel-de-Ville. There he found only about twelve hundred boys of the Garde Mobile to oppose the expected two hundred thousand insurgents. He drew his Garde Mobile into the building, and prepared to stand a siege. There from early morning till the next day Lamartine remained with Marrast, the Mayor of Paris. He says that he harangued the mob from thirty to forty times. The other members of the Government remained in one of the public offices. With much difficulty the National Guard, whose organization was not yet complete, was brought upon the scene. The procession of the insurgents was cut in two, the commander of the National Guard employing the same tactics as those which the Duke of Wellington had used a week earlier, when dealing in London with the Chartist procession. The result was the complete discomfiture of the insurgents.

A few days afterwards the members of the Provisional Government sat twelve hours, on thrones erected for them under the Arch of Triumph, to see Gardes Mobiles, National Guards, troops of the line, and armed workmen, file past them, all shouting for Lamartine and Order! It was probably the proudest moment of Lamartine's life; in that flood-tide of his popularity he easily could have seized supreme power.

All through the provinces disturbances went on. The object of the Red Republicans had at first been to oppose the election of the National Assembly. So long as France remained under the provisional dictatorship of Lamartine and his colleagues, and the regular troops were kept out of Paris, they hoped to be able to seize supreme power, by a coup de main.

The National Assembly was, however, elected on Easter Day, and proved to be largely conservative. The deputies met May 4, - the anniversary of the meeting of the States-General in 1789, fifty-nine years before. Its hall was a temporary structure, erected in the courtyard of the Palais Bourbon, the former place of meeting for the Chamber of Deputies. There was no enthusiasm in the body for the Republic, and evidently a hostile feeling towards the Provisional Government, which it was disposed to think too much allied with Red Republicanism.

Two days after the Assembly met, the Provisional Government resigned its powers. To Lamartine's great chagrin, he stood, not first, but fourth, on a list of five men chosen temporarily to conduct the government. Some of his proceedings had made the Assembly fear (very unjustly) that he shared the revolutionary enthusiasms of Ledru-Rollin.

It was soon apparent that ultra-democracy in France was not favored by the majority of Frenchmen. The Socialists and Anarchists, finding that they could not form a tyrant majority in the Assembly, began to conspire against it. While a debate was going on ten days after it assembled, an alarm was raised that a fierce crowd was about to pour into its place of meeting. Lamartine harangued the mob, but this time without effect. His day was over. He was received with shouts of "You have played long enough upon the lyre! A bas Lamartine!" Ledru-Rollin tried to harangue in his turn, but with no better effect. The hall was invaded, and Lamartine, throwing up his arms, cried, "All is lost!"

Barbes, the man who led an emeute in 1839, and whose life had been spared by Louis Philippe through the exertions of Lamartine, led the insurgents. They demanded two things, - a forced tax of a milliard (that is, a thousand million) of francs, to be laid on the rich for the benefit of the poor; and that whoever gave orders to call out the National Guard against insurgents should be declared a traitor. "You are wrong, Barbes," cried a voice from the crowd; "two hours' sack of Paris is what we want." After this the president of the Assembly was pulled from his chair, and a new provisional government was nominated of fierce Red Republicans, - not red enough, however, for the crowd, which demanded Socialists and Anarchists redder still. By this time some battalions of the National Guard had been called out. At sight of their bayonets the insurgents fled, but concentrated their forces on the Hotel-de-Ville. This again they evacuated when cannon were pointed against it, and the cause of order was won.

General Cavaignac, who had just come home from Algeria, was made War Minister, and the clubs were closed. Louis Blanc was sent into exile. The Orleans family, which had been treated considerately by Lamartine, was forbidden to return to France.

The Assembly was now dissolved, and a new Chamber of Deputies was to be chosen in June. Among the candidates for election was Prince Louis Napoleon. He had already, in the days of Lamartine's administration, visited Paris, and had replied to a polite request from the provisional Government that he would speedily leave the capital, that any man who would disturb the Provisional Government was no true friend to France. Now he professed to ask only to be permitted to become a representative of the people, saying that he had "not forgotten that Napoleon, before being the first magistrate in France, was its first citizen."

Then cries of "Vive l'empereur!" began to be heard. Louis Napoleon's earliest "idea" had been that France needed an emperor whose throne should be based on universal suffrage. To this "idea" he added another, - that it was his destiny to be the chosen emperor.

No one in these days can conceive the hold that the memory of the First Napoleon had, in 1848, on the affections of the French people. That he put down anarchy with an iron hand was by the Anarchists forgotten. He was a son of the Revolution. His marches through Europe had scattered the seeds of revolutionary ideas. The heart of France responded to such verses as Beranger's "Grand'-mere." In vain Lamartine represented the impolicy and unfairness of proscribing the Orleans family while admitting into France the head of the house of Bonaparte. Louis Napoleon was elected deputy by four departments; but he subsequently hesitated to take his seat, fearing, he said, that he might be the cause of dissension in the Assembly.

The deputies from Paris were all Socialists, but those from the departments were frequently men of note and reputation. The country members were nearly all friends to order and conservatism.

The first necessary measure was to get rid of the national workshops. On June 20, one hundred and twenty thousand workmen were being paid daily two francs each, only two thousand of whom had anything to do, while fifty thousand more were clamoring for admission.

Of course any measure to suppress the national workshops, or to send home those who had come up to Paris for employment in them, was opposed by the workmen. It was computed that among those employed, or rather paid, by the State for doing nothing, were twenty-five thousand desperate men, ready for any fight, and that half this number were ex-convicts. The Government had nominally large forces at its command, but it was doubtful how far its troops could be relied on.

On June 22, 1848, at nightfall the struggle began. By morning half Paris was covered with barricades. It was very hard to collect troops, but Cavaignac was a tried soldier. He divided his little force into four parts. It was not till the evening of the 23d that hostilities commenced, and at the same time General Cavaignac was named by the Assembly dictator. This inspired confidence. Cavaignac was well supported, and acted with the greatest energy. The street-fighting was fiercer than any Paris had ever seen, and no real success was gained by Cavaignac till the evening of the 24th, after twenty-four hours of hard fighting. That success was the storming of the church of Sainte Genevieve (called also the Pantheon) and the destruction of its walls. But still the fight went on. Many generals were wounded. Cavaignac used his cannon freely, and even his bombs. It was night on June 26 before the troops could be pronounced victorious, and then they had not stormed the most formidable of the barricades, - that of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Says Sir Archibald Alison, -

"But ere the attack on this barricade commenced, a sublime instance of Christian heroism and devotion occurred, which shines forth like a heavenly glory in the midst of these terrible scenes of carnage. Monseigneur Affre, archbishop of Paris, horror-stricken with the slaughter which for three days had been going on, resolved to attempt a reconciliation between the contending parties, or perish in the attempt. Having obtained leave from General Cavaignac to repair to the headquarters of the insurgents, he set out, dressed in his pontifical robes, having the cross in his hand, attended by his two chaplains, also in full canonicals, and three intrepid members of the Assembly. Deeply affected by this courageous act, which they knew was almost certain death, the people, as he walked through the streets, fell on their knees and besought him to desist; but he persisted, saying, 'It is my duty; a good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.' At seven in the evening he arrived at the Place de la Bastille, where the fire of musketry was extremely warm on both sides. It ceased on either side at the august spectacle, and the archbishop, bearing the cross aloft, advanced with his two priests to the foot of the barricade. A single attendant, bearing a green branch, preceded the prelate. The soldiers, seeing him advance so close to those who had already slain bearers of flags-of-truce, approached in order to give him succor in case of need; the insurgents, on their side, descended the barricade, and the redoubtable combatants stood close to each other, exchanging looks of defiance. Suddenly a shot was heard. Instantly the cry arose of 'Treason! Treason!' and the combatants, retreating on either side, began to exchange shots with as much fury as ever. Undismayed by the storm of balls which incessantly flew over his head from all quarters, the prelate advanced slowly, attended by his chaplains, to the summit of the barricade. One of them had his hat pierced by three balls, but the archbishop himself, almost by a miracle, escaped while on the top. He had descended three steps on the other side, when he was pierced through the loins by a shot from a window. The insurgents, horror-struck, approached him where he fell, stanched the wound, which at once was seen to be mortal, and carried him to a neighboring hospital. When told that he had only a few minutes to live, 'God be praised!' he said, 'and may He accept my life as an expiation for my omissions during my episcopacy, and as an offering for the salvation of this misguided people.' With these words he expired."

As soon as the archbishop's death was known, the insurgents made proposals to capitulate, on condition of a general pardon. This Cavaignac refused, saying that they must surrender unconditionally. The fight therefore lasted until daybreak. Then the insurgents capitulated, and all was over.

No one ever knew how many fell. Six generals were killed or mortally wounded. Ten thousand bodies were recognized and buried, and it is said that nearly as many more were thrown unclaimed into the Seine. There were fifteen thousand prisoners, of whom three thousand died of jail-fever. Thousands were sent to Cayenne; thousands to the galleys. This terrible four days' fight cost France more lives than any battle of the Empire.

The insurrection being over, and Cavaignac dictator, the next thing was for the Assembly to make a constitution. This constitution was short-lived. A president was to be chosen for four years, with re-election as often as might be desired. He was to be elected by universal suffrage. He was to have a salary of about one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars per annum, and he was to have much the same powers as the President of the United States.

There were two principal presidential candidates, - Prince Louis Napoleon, who had taken his seat in the Assembly; and Cavaignac, who had the power of Government on his side, and was sanguine of election. The prince proclaimed in letters and placards his deep attachment to the Republic, and denounced as his enemies and slanderers all those who said he was not firmly resolved to maintain the constitution.

The result of the election showed Louis Napoleon to have had five and a half millions of votes; Cavaignac one and a half million; Lamartine, who six months before had been a popular idol, had nineteen thousand.

An early friend of Louis Napoleon, who seems to have been willing to talk freely of the playmate of her childhood, thus spoke of him to an English traveller.

"He is," she said, "a strange being. His mind wants keeping. A trifle close to his eyes hides from him large objects at a distance.... The great progress in political knowledge made by the higher classes in France from 1815 to 1848 is lost on him. When we met in 1836, after three years' separation, I was struck by his backwardness in political knowledge. Up to 1848 he never had lived in France except as a child or a captive. His opinions and feelings were those of the French masses from 1799 to 1812. Though these opinions had been modified in the minds of the higher classes, they were, in 1848, those of the multitude, who despise parliamentary government, despise the pope, despise the priests, delight in profuse expenditure, delight in war, hold the Rhine to be our national frontier, and that it is our duty to seize all that lies on the French side. The people and he were of one mind. I have no doubt that the little he may have heard, and the less that he attended to, from the persons he saw between 1848 and 1852 about liberty, self-government, economy, the supremacy of the Assembly, respect for foreign nations, and fidelity to treaties, appeared to him the silliest talk imaginable. So it would have appeared to all in the lower classes of France; so it would have appeared to the army, which is drawn from those classes, and exaggerates their political views."

"The prince president is romantic, impulsive, and bizarre," said one of his officials to the same English gentleman, "indolent, vain, good-natured, selfish, fearing and disliking his superiors;... he loves to excite the astonishment of the populace. As a child he liked best bad children, - as a man, bad men."

But one good quality he had pre-eminently, - no man was ever more grateful for kindness, or more indulgent to his friends.

Such was the man, untried, uneducated in French politics, covered with ridicule, and even of doubtful courage, whom the voices of five and a half millions of French voters called to the presidential chair. It was to the country Louis Napoleon had appealed, to the rural population of France as against the dangerous classes in the great cities. Paris had for sixty years been making revolutions for the country; now it was the turn of the provincials, who said they were tired of receiving a new Government by mail whenever it pleased the Parisians to make one. Paris contained one hundred and forty thousand Socialists, besides Anarchists and Red Republicans. With these the rural population had no sympathy. Louis Napoleon was not chosen by their votes, nor by those of their sympathizers in other great cities. His success was in the rural districts alone.

His election was a great disappointment to the Assembly, and from the first moment the prince president and that body were antagonistic to each other. The president claimed to hold his powers from the people, and to be in no way under the control of the Assembly; the Assembly was forever talking of deposing him, of imprisoning him at Vincennes, and so on.

Immediately after his election the prince president found it very difficult to form a cabinet. After being repulsed in various quarters, he sent a confidential messenger to Lamartine, asking him to meet him by night on horseback in a dark alley in the Bois de Boulogne. After listening to his rival's appeal for assistance in this emergency, Lamartine frankly told him that for various reasons he felt himself to be not only the most useless, but the most dangerous minister a new Government could select. He said, "I should ruin myself without serving you." The prince seemed grieved. "With regard to popularity," he answered, with a smile, "I have enough for both of us." "I know it," replied Lamartine; "but having, as I think, given you unanswerable reasons for my refusal, I give you my word of honor that if by to-morrow you have not been able to win over and to rally to you the men I will name, I will accept the post of prime minister in default of others."

Before morning the prince president had succeeded elsewhere; but he retained a sincere respect and regard for Lamartine, who after this incident fades out of the page of history. He lived a few years longer; but he was oppressed by pecuniary difficulties, from which neither his literary industry, nor the assistance of the Government, nor the subscriptions of his friends, seemed able to extricate him. Several times Milly, the dear home of his childhood, was put up for sale by his creditors. It was more than once rescued on his behalf, but in the end was sold.

Lamartine was buried with national honors; but among all the chances and changes that have distracted the attention of his countrymen from his career, he does not seem to have received from the world or the French nation all the honor, praise, and gratitude that his memory deserves.

Louis Napoleon, who had all his life dreamed of being the French emperor, though he took care to repudiate such an idea in all his public speeches, had not been president of the Republic six weeks before he read a plan for a coup d'etat to General Changarnier, who utterly refused to listen to it.

We need not here dwell on the struggles that went on between the prince president and the Assembly, from December, 1848, to November, 1851. It is enough to say that the Chamber, from being the governing power in France, found itself reduced to a mere legislative body much hampered by the mistrust and contempt of the Executive. Its members of course hated "the Man at the Elysee," or "Celui-ci," as they called him. The Socialists hated the Assembly even more than they hated the president. The army was all for him. The bourgeoisie were thankful that under his rule they might at least find protection from Socialism and anarchy.

From the election of Prince Louis to the coup d'etat in December, 1851, there were four serious emeutes in Paris, and once the city was in a state of siege. It was estimated that to put down the smallest of these revolts cost two hundred thousand dollars.

Foreign nations were too busy with their own affairs in 1848 to have time to meddle with the Government of Louis Napoleon, - indeed, Russia and Prussia were much obliged to him for keeping out the Orleans family, whom they by no means wished to see on the French throne.

One thing that Louis Napoleon did to gain favor with the country party caused great indignation among genuine republicans, and, indeed, throughout Europe. This was the part he took against the Republic of Rome.

Pio Nono, having been elected pope in 1846, had started on his career as a liberal pontiff and ruler; but before 1848 he had disappointed the expectations of all parties, and had fled from Rome to Gaeta, where Ferdinand, king of the Two Sicilies (commonly known as King Bomba) had also taken refuge. Lamartine, at the time his power ceased, had been fitting out a French army to lend help to the Romans if they should be attacked by the Austrians, and if need were, to protect the pope, who before his flight was supposed to be opposed to Austrian domination. Louis Napoleon ordered General Oudinot, who commanded the French forces, to disembark his troops at Civita Vecchia, and either to occupy Rome peaceably, or to attack the revolutionists. A battle was fought, and the French worsted; but they ended by gaining the city and holding it, putting down the Roman republicans, and handing the city over to Austrian and papal vengeance on Pio Nono's return.

The new president, anxious to strengthen his popularity in the provinces, made several tours. Everywhere, as the nephew of his uncle, he was received with wild enthusiasm. He was not a man to captivate by his manners on public occasions, neither was he a ready speaker; but he looked his best on horseback, and above all, there was in his favor, among the middle class of Frenchmen, a very potent feeling, - the dread of change.

As a deputy, before his election by the country as its president, he used to sit in the Chamber silent and alone, pitied by some, and neglected by all. Silence, indeed, was necessary to his success, for, "silent and smoking, he matured his plans." One of the first things he did when he became president was to attempt to get possession of all papers in the archives concerning his conduct at Strasburg and Boulogne.

There had been a new Assembly elected. It had few of the old republican leaders in it, but the Left and the Right and half the Centre were opposed to the prince president. The Left in the French Chamber means the Red Republicans; the Right, those members who are in favor of monarchy; the Centre, the Moderates, who are willing to accept any good government.

One of the objects of this Assembly, which foresaw that a coup d'etat might be at hand, was to get command of a little army for its own protection. It appointed as commander of this force General Changarnier, with whom the prince president had recently quarrelled, and designated four of its members, whom it called quoestors, to look into all matters relating to its safety.

The constitution was to be revised by this Assembly. Nobody cared much about the constitution, which had not had time to acquire any hold on the affections of the people, and Louis Napoleon had recently acquired popularity with the turbulent part of the population of Paris by opposing a measure calculated to restrict universal suffrage, and to prevent tramps, aliens, and ex-convicts from voting at elections. The prince president, who wanted, for his own purposes, as large a popular vote as possible, was opposed to any restrictions on the suffrage.

Such was the condition of things on Nov. 26, 1851, when Louis Napoleon summoned the principal generals and colonels of the troops in and around Paris to meet him at the Elysee. At this meeting they all swore to support the president if called upon to do so, and never to tell of this engagement. They kept the secret for five years.

Meantime the Assembly on its part was hatching a conspiracy to overturn the president and send him to a dungeon at Vincennes; while all who refused to support its authority were to be declared guilty of treason.

The three men called the generals of the Army of Africa, - namely, Cavaignac, Changarnier, and Lamoriciere, - were opposed to the prince president. They were either Republicans or Orleanists.

Thus the crisis approached. Each party was ready to spring upon the other. Again France was to experience a political convulsion, and the party that moved first would gain the day.