Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER I. - The Origins of Contemporary France: The Modern Regime, vol. I
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CHAPTER I. - Hippolyte Taine, The Origins of Contemporary France: The Modern Regime, vol. I 
The Origins of Contemporary France: The Modern Regime, vol. 1, trans. John Durand (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1890).
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I. How Napoleon comprehends the sovereignty of the people.—His maxim on the will of the majority and on the office of government.—Two groups of evidently preponderating desires in 1799.—II. Necessities dating from the Revolution.—Lack of security for Persons, Property, and Consciences.—Requisite conditions for the establishment of order.—End of Civil war, Brigandage, and Anarchy.—Universal relief and final security.—III. Lasting effects of revolutionary laws.—Condition of the Émigrés.—Progressive and final amnesty.—They return.—They recover a portion of their possessions.—Many of them enter the new hierarchy.—Indemnities for them incomplete.—IV. Confiscation of collective fortunes.—Ruin of the Hospitals and Schools.—V. Complaints of the Poor, of Parents, and of Believers.—Contrast between old and new educational facilities.—Clandestine instruction.—Jacobin teachers.—VI. The Spirit and Ministrations of Catholicism.—How the Revolution develops a sense of this.—VII. Reasons for the Concordat.—Napoleon’s economical organization of the Church institution.—A good Bargainer.—Compromise with the old state of things.—VIII. State appropriations very small.—Toleration of educational institutions.—The interest of the public in them invited.—The University.—Its monopoly.—Practically, his restrictions and conditions are effective.—Satisfaction given to the first group of requirements.
However clear and energetic his artistic convictions may be, his mind is absorbed by the preoccupations of the sovereign; it is not enough for him that his edifice should be monumental, symmetrical, and beautiful; first of all, as he lives in it and derives the greatest benefit from it, he wants it habitable, and habitable for Frenchmen of the year 1800. Consequently, he takes into account the habits and dispositions of his tenants, the pressing and permanent wants for which the new structure is to provide; these wants, however, must not be theoretic and vague, but verified and defined; for he is a calculator as close as he is profound, and deals only with positive facts. “My political system,” says he to the Council of State,1 “is to rule men as the mass want to be ruled. . . . By constituting myself a Catholic I put an end to the war in La Vendée; by turning Mahometan I established myself in Egypt: by turning ultramontane I gained over the priests in Italy. Were I to govern a population of Jews, I would restore the temple of Solomon. I shall speak just in this fashion about liberty in the free part of St. Domingo; I shall confirm slavery in the Ile-de-France and even in the slave section of St. Domingo, with the reservation of diminishing and limiting slavery where I maintain it, and of restoring order and keeping up discipline where I maintain freedom. I think that is the way to recognize the sovereignty of the people.” Now, in France, at this epoch, there are two groups of preponderant desires which evidently outweigh all others, one dating back the past ten years, and the other for a century and more: the question is how to satisfy these, and the sagacious constructor, who estimates them for what they are worth, combines the proportions, plan, arrangement, and entire interior economy of his edifice to meet this requirement.
Of these two desires the first is urgent, almost a physical necessity. For the last ten years, the government has no longer answered its purpose, or has ruled in a contrary sense; its impotence and injustice, in turn or both at once, have been deplorable; it has committed or allowed too many outrages on persons, property, and consciences; in sum, the Revolution did nothing else, and it is time that this should stop. Safety and security for consciences, property, and persons is the loud and unanimous outcry in all directions.2
To restore tranquillity, many novel measures are essential. And first, the political and administrative concentration just decreed, a centralization of all powers in one hand, local powers conferred by the central power, and this supreme power in the hands of a resolute chief equal in intelligence to his high position; next, a regularly paid army,1 carefully equipped, properly clothed and fed, strictly disciplined and therefore obedient and able to do its duty without wavering or faltering, like any other instrument of precision; an active police-force and gendarmerie held in check; administrators independent of those subject to them, and judges independent of those under their jurisdiction—all appointed, maintained, watched, and restrained from above, as impartial as possible, sufficiently competent, and, in their official spheres, capable functionaries; finally, freedom of worship, and, accordingly, a treaty with Rome and the restoration of the Catholic Church, that is to say, a legal recognition of the orthodox hierarchy and of the only clergy which the faithful may acccept as legitimate, in other words, the institution of bishops by the Pope, and of priests by the bishops.
This done, the rest is easily accomplished. A well-led army corps marches along and tramples out the embers of the conflagration now kindling in the West, while religious toleration extinguishes the smouldering fires of popular insurrection. Henceforth, there is an end to civil war.2 Regiments ready to act in harmony with the military commissions3 purge the South and the valley of the Rhone; thenceforth, there are no more roving bands in the rural districts, while brigandage on a grand scale, constantly repressed, ceases, and after this, that on a small scale. No more chouans, chauffeurs, or barbets;1 the mail-coach travels without a guard, and the highways are safe.2
There is no longer any class or category of citizens oppressed or excluded from the common law: the latest Jacobin decrees and the forced loan have been at once revoked: noble or plebeian, ecclesiastic or layman, rich or poor, former émigré or former terrorist, every man, whatever his past, his condition, or his opinions, now enjoys his private property and his legal rights; he has no longer to fear the violence of the opposite party; he may rely on the protection of the authorities,3 and on the equity of the magistrates.4 So long as he respects the law he can go bed at night and sleep tranquilly with the certainty of awaking in freedom on the morrow, and with the certainty of doing as he pleases the entire day; with the privilege of working, buying, selling, thinking, amusing himself,1 going and coming at his pleasure, and especially of going to mass or of staying away if he chooses. No more jacqueries either rural or urban, no more proscriptions or persecutions and legal or illegal spoliations, no more intestine and social wars waged with pikes or by decrees, no more conquests and confiscations made by Frenchmen against each other. With universal and unutterable relief people emerge from the barbarous and anarchical régime which reduced them to living from one day to another, and return to the pacific and regular régime which permits them to count on the morrow and make provision for it. After ten years of harassing subjection to the incoherent absolutism of unstable despotisms, here, for the first time, they find a rational and stable government, or, at least, a reasonable, tolerable, and fixed degree of it. The First Consul is carrying out his declarations and he has declared that “The Revolution has ended.”2
The main thing now is to dress the severe wounds it has made and which are still bleeding, with as little torture as possible, for it has cut down to the quick, and its amputations, whether foolish or outrageous, have left sharp pains or mute suffering in the social organism.
One hundred and ninety-two thousand names have been inscribed on the list of émigrés.3 By the terms of the law, every émigré is “civilly dead, and his possessions have become the property of the Republic;” if he dared return to France, the same law condemned him to death; there could be no appeal, petition, or respite; it sufficed to prove identity and the squad of executioners was at once ordered out. Now, at the beginning of the Consulate, this murderous law is still in force; summary proceedings are always applicable,1 and one hundred and forty-six thousand names still appear on the mortuary list. This constitutes a loss to France of 146,000 Frenchmen, and not those of the least importance—gentlemen, army and navy officers, members of parliaments, priests, prominent men of all classes, conscientious catholics, liberals of 1789, Feuillantists of the Legislative assembly, and Constitutionalists of the years iii and v; and worse still, through their poverty or hostility abroad, they are a discredit or even a danger for France, as formerly with the Protestants driven out of the country by Louis XIV.2 —To these 146,000 exiled Frenchmen add 200,000 or 300,000 others, residents, but semi-proscribed;3 first, those nearly related and allied to each émigré, excluded by the law from “every legislative, administrative, municipal and judicial function,” and even deprived of the elective vote, and next, all former nobles or ennobled, deprived by the law of their status as Frenchmen and obliged to re-naturalize themselves according to the formalities.
It is, accordingly, almost the entire élite of old France which is wanting in the new France, like a limb violently wrenched and half-detached by the unskilful and brutal scalpel of the revolutionary “sawbones”; for both the organ and the body are not only living, but they are still feverish and extremely sensitive; it is important to avoid too great irritation; inflammation of any kind would be dangerous. A skilful surgeon, therefore, must mark the places for the stitches, not force the junctures, but anticipate and prepare for the final healing process, and await the gradual and slow results of vital effort and spontaneous renewal. Above all he must not alarm the patient. The First Consul is far from doing this; on the contrary his expressions are all encouraging. Let the patient keep quiet, there shall be no re-stitching, the wound shall not be touched. The constitution solemnly declares that the French people shall never allow the return of the émigrés,1 and, on this point, the hands of future legislators are already tied fast; it prohibits any exception being added to the old ones.—But, first, by virtue of the same constitution, every Frenchman not an émigré or transported has the right to vote, to be elected, to exercise every species of public function; consequently, twelve days later,2 a mere order of the Council of State restores civil and political rights to former nobles and the ennobled, to the kinsmen and relations of émigrés, to all who have been dubbed émigrés of the interior and whom Jacobin intolerance had excluded, if not from the territory, at least from the civic body: here are 200,000 or 300,000 Frenchmen already brought back into political communion if not to the soil.—They had succumbed to the coup-d’état of Fructidor; naturally, the leading fugitives or those transported, suffering under the same coup-d’état, were restored to political rights along with them and thus to the territory—Carnot, Barthélémy, Lafont-Ladébat, Siméon, Boissy d’Anglas, Mathieu Dumas, in all thirty-nine, designated by name;3 very soon after, through a simple extension of the same resolution, others of the Fructidor victims, a crowd of priests huddled together and pining away on the Ile-de-Ré, the most unfortunate and most inoffensive of all.4 —Two months later, a law declares that the list of émigrés is definitely closed;5 a resolution orders immediate investigation into the claims of those who are to be struck off the list; a second resolution strikes off the first founders of the new order of things, the members of the National Assembly “who voted for the establishment of equality and the abolition of nobility;” and, day after day, new erasures succeed each other, all specific and by name, under cover of toleration, pardon, and exception:1 on the 19th of October 1800, there are already 1200 of them. Bonaparte, at this date, had gained the battle of Marengo; the surgical restorer feels that his hands are more free; he can operate on a larger scale and take in whole bodies collectively. On the 20th of October 1800, a resolution strikes off entire categories from the list, all whose condemnation is too grossly unjust or malicious,2 at first, minors under sixteen and the wives of émigrés; next, plowmen, artisans, workmen, journeymen and servants with their wives and children; in fine, 18,000 ecclesiastics who, banished by law, left the country only in obedience to the law; besides these, “all individuals inscribed collectively and without individual denomination,” those already struck off, but provisionally, by local administrations; also still other classes. Moreover, a good many emigrants, yet standing on the lists, steal back one by one into France, and the government tolerates them.3 Finally, eighteen months later, after the peace of Amiens and the Concordat,4 a sénatus-consulte ends the great operation; an amnesty relieves all who are not yet struck off, except the declared leaders of the militant emigration, its notables, and who are not to exceed one thousand; the rest may come back and enjoy their civic rights; only, they must promise “loyalty to the government established under the constitution and not maintain directly or indirectly any connection or correspondence with the enemies of the State.” On this condition the doors of France are thrown open to them and they return in crowds.
But their bodily presence is not of itself sufficient; it is moreover essential that they should not be absent in feeling, as strangers and merely domiciliated in the new society. Were these mutilated fragments of old France, these human shreds put back in their old places, simply attached or placed in juxtaposition to modern France, they would prove useless, troublesome and even mischievous; let us strive, then, to have them grafted on afresh through adherence or complete fusion; and first, to effect this, they must not be allowed to die of inanition; they must take root physically and be able to live. In private life, how can former proprietors, the noblesse, the parliamentarians, the upper bourgeoisie, support themselves, especially those without a profession or pursuit, and who, before 1789, maintained themselves, not by their labor, but by their income? Once at home, they can no longer earn their living as they did abroad; they can no longer give lessons in French, in dancing, or in fencing.—There is no doubt but that the sénatus-consulte which amnesties them restores to them a part of their unsold possessions;1 but most of these are sold and, on the other hand, the First Consul, who is not disposed to re-establish large fortunes for royalists,2 retains and maintains the largest portion of what they have been despoiled of in the national domain, all woods and forests of 300 arpens3 and over, their stock and property rights in the great canals, and their personal property already devoted to the public service. The effective restitution is therefore only moderate; the émigrés who return recover but little more than one-twentieth of their patrimony, one hundred millions1 out of more than two milliards. Observe, besides, that by virtue even of the law and as admitted by the First Consul,2 this alms is badly distributed; the most needy and the greatest number remain empty-handed, consisting of the lesser and medium class of rural proprietors, especially of country gentlemen whose domain, worth less than 50,000 francs, brings in only 2000 or 3000 francs income;3 a domain of this size came within reach of a great many purses, and hence found purchasers more readily and with greater facility than a large holding; the State was almost always the seller, and thenceforth the old proprietor could make no further claim or pretension.—Thus, for many of the émigrés, “the sénatus-consulte of the year x is simply a permit to starve to death in France” and,4 four years later,5 Napoleon himself estimates that “40,000 are without the means of subsistence.” They manage to keep life and soul together and nothing more;6 many, taken in and cared for by their friends or relations, are supported as guests or parasites, somewhat through compassion and again on humanitarian grounds. One recovers his silver plate, buried in a cellar; another finds notes payable to bearer, forgotten in an old chest. Sometimes, the purchaser of a piece of property, an honest man, gives it back at the price he paid for it, or even gratis, if, during the time he had held it, he had derived sufficient profit from it. Occasionally, when the adjudication happens to have been fraudulent, or the sale too irregular, and subject to legal proceedings, the dishonest purchaser does not refuse a compromise. But these cases are rare, and the evicted owner, if he desires to dine regularly, will wisely seek a small remunerative position and serve as clerk, book-keeper or accountant. M. des Écherolles, formerly a major-general, keeps the office of the new line of diligences at Lyons, and earns 1200 francs a year. M. de Puymaigre, who, in 1789, was worth two millions, becomes a contrôleur des droits réunis at Briey with a salary of 2400 francs.
Some royalist or other applies for employment in every branch of the new administration;1 however slightly recommended, he obtains the place. Sometimes he even receives one without having asked for it; M. de Vitrolles2 thus becomes, in spite of himself, inspector of the imperial sheepfolds; this fixes his position and makes it appear as if he had given in his adhesion to the government.—Naturally, the great political recruiter singles out the tallest and most imposing subjects, that is to say, belonging to the first families of the ancient monarchy, and, like one who knows his business, he brings to bear every means, constraint and seduction, threats and cajoleries, supplies in ready money, promises of promotion with the influence of a uniform and gold-lace embroidery.3 It matters little whether the enlistment is voluntary or extorted; the moment a man becomes a functionary and is enrolled in the hierarchy, he loses the best portion of his independence; once a dignitary and placed at the top of the hierarchy, he alienates his entire individuality, for henceforth he lives under the eye of the master, feels the daily and direct pressure of the terrible hand which grasps him, and he forcibly becomes a mere tool.1 These historic names, moreover, contribute to the embellishment of the reign. Napoleon hauls in a good many of them, and the most illustrious among the old noblesse, of the court of the robe and of the sword. He can enumerate among his magistrates, M. Pasquier, M. Séguier, M. Molé; among his prelates, M. de Boisgelin, M. du Barral, M. du Belley, M. de Roquelaure, M. de Broglie; among his military officers, M. de Fézensac, M. de Ségur, M. de Mortemar, M. de Narbonne;2 among the dignitaries of his palace, chaplains, chamberlains and ladies of honor—Rohan, Croy, Chevreuse, Montmorency, Chabot, Montesquiou, Noailles, Brancas, Gontaut, Grammont, Beauvau, Saint-Aignan, Montalembert, Haussonville, Choiseul-Praslin, Mercy d’Argenteau, Aubusson de la Feuillade, and many others, recorded in the imperial almanac as formerly in the royal almanac.
But they are only with him nominally and in the almanac. Except certain individuals, M. de las Cases and M. Philippe de Ségur, who gave themselves up body and soul, even to following him to Saint Helena, to glorifying, admiring, and loving him beyond the grave, the others are submissive conscripts and who remain more or less refractory spirits. He does nothing to win them over. His court is not, like the old court, a conversational ball-room, but a hall of inspection, the most sumptuous apartment in his vast barracks; the civil parade is a continuation of the military parade; one finds one’s self constrained, stiff, mute and uncomfortable.1
He does not know how to entertain as the head of his household, how to welcome guests and be gracious or even polite to his pretended courtiers; he himself declares that2 “they go two years without speaking to him, and six months without seeing him; he does not like them, their conversation displeases him.” When he addresses them it is to browbeat them; his familiarities with their wives are those of the gendarme or the pedagogue, while the little attentions he inflicts upon them are indecorous criticisms or compliments in bad taste. They know that they are under espionage in their own homes and responsible for whatever is said there; “the upper police is constantly hovering over all drawing-rooms.”3 For every word uttered in privacy, for any lack of compliance, every individual, man or woman, runs the risk of exile or of being relegated to the interior at a distance of forty leagues.1 And the same with the resident gentry in the provinces; they are obliged to pay court to the prefect, to be on good terms with him, or at least attend his receptions; it is important that their cards should be seen on his mantelpiece.2 Otherwise, let them take heed, for it is he who reports on their conduct to Fouché or to Savary. In vain do they live circumspectly and confine themselves to a private life; a refusal to accept an office is unpardonable; there is a grudge against them if they do not employ their local influence in behalf of the reign.3 Accordingly, they are, under the empire as under the republic, in law as in fact, in the provinces as well as at Paris, privileged persons the wrong way, a suspicious class under “a special surveillance” and subject to exceptional rigor.4 In 1808,5 Napoleon orders Fouché “to draw up . . . . among the old and wealthy families who are not in the system . . . a list of ten in each department, and of fifty for Paris,” of which the sons from sixteen to eighteen years of age shall be forced to enter Saint-Cyr and from thence go into the army as second lieutenants. In 1813, still “in the highest classes of society,” and arbitrarily selected by the prefects, he takes ten thousand other persons, exempt or redeemed from the conscription, even the married, even fathers of families, who, under the title of guards of honor, become soldiers, at first to be slaughtered in his service, and next, and in the mean time, to answer for the fidelity of their relatives. It is the old law of hostages, a resumption of the worst proceedings of the Directory for his account and aggravated for his profit.—Decidedly, the imperial régime, for the old royalists, resembles too much the Jacobin régime; they are about as repugnant to one as to the other, and their aversion naturally extends to the whole of the new society.—As they comprehend it, they are more or less robbed and oppressed for a quarter of a century. In order that their hostility may cease, the indemnity of 1825 is essential, fifty years of gradual adaptation, the slow elimination of two or three generations of fathers and the slow elimination of two or three generations of sons.
Nothing is so difficult as the reparation of great social wrongs. In this case the incomplete reparation did not prove sufficient; the treatment which began with gentleness ended with violence, and, as a whole, the operation only half succeeded.
Other wounds are not less deep, and their cure is not less urgent; for they cause suffering, not only to one class, but to the whole people—that vast majority which the government strives to satisfy. Along with the property of the émigrés, the Revolution has confiscated that of all local or special societies, ecclesiastic or laic, of churches and congregations, universities and academies, schools and colleges, asylums and hospitals, and even the property of the communes. All these fortunes have been swallowed up by the public treasury, which is a bottomless pit, and are gone forever.—Consequently, all services thus maintained, especially charitable institutions, public worship and education, die or languish for lack of sustenance; the State, which has no money for itself, has none for them. And what is worse, it hinders private parties from taking them in charge; being Jacobin, that is to say intolerant and partisan, it has proscribed worship, driven nuns out of the hospitals, closed Christian schools, and, with its vast power, it prevents others from carrying out at their own expense the social enterprises which it no longer cares for.
And yet the cravings for which this work provides have never been so great nor so imperative. In ten years1 the number of foundlings increased from 23,000 to 62,000; it is, as the reports state, a deluge: there are 1097 instead of 400 in Aisne, 1500 in Lot-et-Garonne, 2035 in la Manche, 2043 in Bouches-du-Rhône, 2673 in Calvados. From 3000 to 4000 beggars are enumerated in each department and about 300,000 in all France.2 As to the sick, the infirm, the mutilated, unable to earn their living, it suffices, for an idea of their multitude, to consider the régime to which the political doctors have just subjected France, the régime of fasting and blood-letting. Two millions of Frenchmen have marched under the national flag, and eight hundred thousand have died under it;3 among the survivors, how many cripples, how many with one arm and with wooden legs! All Frenchmen have eaten dog-bread for three years and often have not had enough of that to live on; over a million have died of starvation and poverty; all the wealthy and well-to-do Frenchmen have been ruined and have lived in constant fear of the guillotine; four hundred thousand have wasted away in prisons; of the survivors, how many shattered constitutions, how many bodies and brains disordered by an excess of suffering and anxiety, by physical and moral wear and tear!1
Now, in 1800, assistance is lacking for this crowd of civil and military invalids, the charitable establishments being no longer in a condition to furnish it. Under the Constituent Assembly, through the suppression of ecclesiastical property and the abolition of octrois, a large portion of their revenue had been cut off, that assigned to them out of octrois and the tithes. Under the Legislative Assembly and the Convention, through the dispersion and persecution of nuns and monks, they were deprived of a body of able male and female volunteer servants who, instituted for centuries, gave their labor without stint. Under the Convention, all their possessions, the real-estate and the debts due them, had been confiscated;2 and, in the restitution to them of the remainder at the end of three years, a portion of their real-estate is found to have been sold, while their claims, settled by assignats or converted into state securities, had died out or dwindled to such an extent that, in 1800, after the final bankruptcy of the assignats and of the state debt, the ancient patrimony of the poor is two-thirds or one-half reduced.3 It is for this reason that the eight hundred charitable institutions which, in 1789, had one hundred thousand or one hundred and ten thousand occupants, could not support more than one-third or one-half of them; on the other hand, it may be estimated that the number of applicants tripled; from which it follows that, in 1800, there is less than one bed in the hospitals and asylums for six children, either sick or infirm.
Under this wail of the wretched who vainly appeal for help, for nursing and for beds, another moan is heard, not so loud, but more extensive, that of parents unable to educate their children, boys or girls, and give them any species of instruction either primary or secondary.—Previous to the Revolution “small schools” were innumerable: in Normandy, Picardy, Artois, French Flanders, Lorraine and Alsace, in the Ile-de-France, in Burgundy and Franche-Comté, in the Dombes, Dauphiny and Lyonnais, in the Comtat, in the Cévennes and in Béarn,1 almost as many schools could be counted as there were parishes, in all probably twenty or twenty-five thousand for the thirty-seven thousand parishes in France, and all frequented and serviceable; for, in 1789, forty-seven men out of a hundred, and twenty-six girls or women out of a hundred, could read and write or, at least, sign their names.1 —And these schools cost the treasury nothing, next to nothing to the tax-payer, and very little to parents. In many places, the congregations, supported by their own property, furnished male or female teachers,—Frères de la Doctrine Chrétienne, Frères de Saint-Antoine, Ursulines, Visitandines, Filles de la Charité, Sœurs de Saint-Charles, Sœurs de la Providence, Sœurs de la Sagesse, Sœurs de Notre-Dame de la Croix, Vatelottes, Miramiones, Manettes du Tiers Ordre, and many others. Elsewhere, the curate of the parish was obliged through a parish regulation to teach himself, or to see that his vicar taught. A very large number of factories or of communes had received legacies for maintaining a school; the instructor often enjoyed, through an endowment, a métayer farm or a piece of ground; he was generally provided with a lodging; if he was a layman he was exempt, besides, from the most onerous taxes; as sexton, beadle, chorister or bell-ringer, he had small perquisites; finally, he was paid for each child four or five sous a month; sometimes, especially in poor districts, he taught only from All Saints’ day down to the spring, and followed another occupation during the summer. In short, his salary and his comfort were about those of a rural vicar or of a suitably paid curate.
Higher education (éducation secondaire) was provided for in the same manner, and still better by local and private enterprise. More than one hundred and eight establishments furnished it completely, and more than four hundred and fifty-four partially.2 Like the others, and not less liberally than the smaller schools, these were supported by endowments, some of which were very ample and even magnificent; a certain upper school in the provinces, Rodez,1 possessed twenty-seven thousand livres income, and one in Paris, Louis-le-Grand, an income of four hundred and fifty thousand livres, each of these, large or small, having its own distinct endowment, in real property, lands and houses, and in revenues on privileges derived from the hotel-de-ville, the octroi and from transportation lines.—And, in each of them, the scholarships, or half-scholarships, were numerous—six hundred alone in Louis-le-Grand. In total, out of the seventy-two thousand scholars in the kingdom, there were forty thousand for whom a high-school education was gratuitous or half-gratuitous; nowadays, it is less than five thousand out of seventy-nine thousand.2 The reason why is that, before 1789, the revenues were not only large, but the expenses were small. The salary of a head-master, teacher, or assistant-teacher was not large, say four hundred and fifty, six hundred, nine hundred, or twelve hundred livres per annum at most, just enough for a single man to live on; in effect, most of the teachers were priests or monks, Benedictines, regular canons, Oratorians, the latter alone officiating in thirty colleges. Not subject to the expenses and necessities which a family imposes, they were abstemious through piety, or at least through discipline, habit, and respect for persons; frequently, the statutes of the school obliged them to live in common,3 which was much cheaper than living apart.—The same economical accord is found with all the wheels, in the arrangement and working of the entire system. A family, even a rural one, never lived far away from a high-school, for there were high-schools in nearly all the small towns, seven or eight in each department, fifteen in Ain, seventeen in Aisne.1 The child or youth, from eight to eighteen, had not to endure the solitude and promiscuity of a civil barracks; he remained within reach of his parents. If they were too poor to pay the three hundred francs board required by the school, they placed their son in a respectable family, in that of some artisan or acquaintance in the town; there, with three or four others, he was lodged, had his washing done, was cared for and watched, had a seat at the family table and by the fireside, and was provided with light; every week, he received from the country his supply of bread and other provisions; the mistress of the house cooked for him and mended his clothes, the whole for two or three livres a month.2 —Thus do institutions flourish that arise spontaneously on the spot; they adapt themselves to circumstances, conform to necessities, utilize resources and afford the maximum of returns for the minimum of expense.
This great organization disappears entirely, bodily and with all its possessions, like a ship that sinks beneath the waves; the teachers are dismissed, exiled, transported, and proscribed; its property is confiscated, sold and destroyed, and the remainder in the hands of the State is not restored and again applied to its former service; public education, worse treated than public charity, does not recover a shred of its former endowment. Consequently, in the last years of the Directory, and even early in the Consulate,1 there is scarcely any instruction given in France; in fact, for the past eight or nine years it has ceased,2 or become private and clandestine. Here and there, a few returned priests, in spite of the intolerant law and with the connivance of the local authorities, also a few scattered nuns, teach in a contraband fashion a few small groups of Catholic children; five or six little girls around a disguised Ursuline nun spell out the alphabet in a back room;3 a priest without tonsure or cassock secretly receives in the evening two or three youths whom he makes translate the De Viris.—During the intervals, indeed, of the Reign of Terror, before the 13th of Vendémiaire and the 18th of Fructidor, sundry schools spring up again like tufts of grass in a mowed pasture-ground, but only in certain spots and meagrely; moreover, as soon as the Jacobin returns to power he stamps them out pertinaciously;4 he wants to have teaching all to himself.—Now the institution by which the State pretends to replace the old and free establishments makes a figure only on paper. One école centrale in each department is installed or decreed, making eighty-eight on the territory of ancient France; this hardly supplies the place of the eight or nine hundred high-schools (collèges), especially as these new schools scarcely live, being in ruin at the very start,1 poorly maintained, badly furnished, with no preparatory schools nor contiguous boarding-houses,2 the programme of studies being badly arranged and parents suspicious of the spirit of the studies.3 Thus, there is little or no attendance at most of the courses of lectures; only those on mathematics are followed, particularly on drawing, and especially mechanical and geometrical drawing, probably by the future surveyors and engineers of roads and bridges, by building contractors and a few aspirants to the École Polytechnique. As to the other courses, on literature, history, and the moral sciences, as comprehended by the Republic and imposed by it, these obtain not over a thousand auditors in all France; instead of seventy-two thousand pupils, only seven or eight thousand seek superior education, while six out seven, instead of seeking self-culture, simply prepare themselves for some practical pursuit.1
It is much worse with primary instruction. The provision for this is enjoined on the local authorities. But, as they have no money, they generally shirk this duty, and, if they do set up a school, are unable to maintain it.2 On the other hand, as instruction must be laic and Jacobin, “almost everywhere,”3 the teacher is an outcast layman, a dethroned Jacobin, some old, starving clubbist without a situation, foul-mouthed and of ill-repute. Families, naturally, refuse to trust their children with him; even when honorable, they avoid him; and the reason is that, in 1800, Jacobin and scamp have become synonymous terms. Henceforth, parents desire that their children should learn to read in the catechism and not in the declaration of rights:1 as they view it, the old manual formed polished youths and respectful sons; the new one forms only insolent profligates and precocious, slovenly blackguards.2 Consequently, the few primary schools in which the Republic has placed its creatures and imposed its educational system remain three-quarters empty; in vain does she close the doors of those in which other masters teach with other books; fathers persist in their repugnance and distaste; they prefer for their sons utter ignorance to unsound instruction.3 —A secular establishment, created and provided for by twenty generations of benefactors, gave gratis, or at a much lower rate, the first crumbs of intellectual food to more than 1,200,000 children.4 It was demolished; in its place, a few improvised and wretched barracks distributed here and there a small ration of mouldy and indigestible bread. Thereupon, one long, low murmur, a long time suppressed, breaks out and keeps on increasing, that of parents whose children are condemned to go hungry; in any event, they demand that their sons and daughters be no longer forced, under penalty of fasting, to consume the patent flour of the State, that is to say a nauseous, unsatisfactory, badly-kneaded, badly-baked paste which, on trial, proves offensive to the palate and ruinous to the stomach.
Another plaint is heard, deeper and more universal, that of all souls in which regret for their established church and forms of worship still subsists or is revived.
In every religious system discipline and rites depend upon faith, for it is faith alone which suggests or prescribes these; they are the outcome and expansion of this; it attains its ends through these, and manifests itself by them; they are the exterior of which it is the interior; thus, let these be attacked and it is in distress; the living, palpitating flesh suffers through the sensitive epiderm.—In Catholicism, this epiderm is more sensitive than elsewhere, for it clings to the flesh, not alone through ordinary adhesiveness, the effect of adaptation and custom, but again through a special organic attachment, consisting of dogmatic doctrine; theology, in its articles of belief, has here set up the absolute necessity of the sacraments and of the priesthood; consequently, between the superficial and central divisions of religion the union is complete. The Catholic sacraments, therefore, are not merely symbols; they possess in themselves “an efficacious power, a sanctifying virtue.” “That which they represent, they really work out.”1 If I am denied access to them, I am cut off from the fountains to which my soul resorts to drink in grace, pardon, purity, health and salvation. If my children cannot be regularly baptized, they are not Christians; if extreme unction cannot be administered to my dying mother, she sets out on the long journey without the viaticum; if I am married by the mayor only, my wife and I live in concubinage; if I cannot confess my sins, I am not absolved from them, and my burdened conscience seeks in vain for the helping hand which will ease the too heavy load; if I cannot perform my Easter duties, my spiritual life is a failure; the supreme and sublime act by which it perfects itself through the mystic union of my body and soul with the body, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, is wanting.—Now, none of these sacraments are valid if they have not been conferred by a priest, one who bears the stamp of a superior, unique, ineffaceable character, through a final sacrament consisting of ordination and which is conferred only on certain conditions; among other conditions, it is essential that this priest should have been ordained by a bishop; among other conditions, it is essential that this bishop1 should have been installed by the Pope. Consequently, without the Pope there are no bishops; without bishops no priests; without priests no sacraments; without the sacraments no salvation. The ecclesiastical institution is therefore indispensable to the believer. The canonical sacerdoce, the canonical hierarchy is necessary to him for the exercise of his faith.—He must have yet more, if fervent and animated with true old Christian sentiment, ascetic and mystic, which separates the soul from this world and ever maintains it in the presence of God. Several things are requisite to this end; and first, vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, that is to say, the steady and voluntary repression of the most powerful animal instinct and of the strongest worldly appetites; next, unceasing prayer, especially prayer in common, where the emotion of the prostrate soul increases through the emotion of the souls that surround it; in the same degree, active piety, meaning by this the doing of good works, education and charity, especially the accomplishment of repulsive tasks, such as attending the sick, the infirm, the incurable, idiots, maniacs and repentant prostitutes; finally, the strict daily rule which, a sort of rigorous and minute countersign, enjoining and compelling the repetition of the same acts at the same hours, renders habit the auxiliary of will, adds mechanical enthusiasm to a serious determination, and ends in making the task easy. Hence, communities of men and of women, congregations and convents, these likewise, the same as the sacraments, the sacerdoce and the hierarchy, form a body along with belief and thus constitute the inseparable organs of faith.
Before 1789, the ignorant or indifferent Catholic, the peasant at his plow, the mechanic at his work-bench, the good wife attending to her household, were unconscious of this innermost suture; thanks to the Revolution, they have acquired the sentiment of it and even the physical sensation. They had never asked themselves in what respect orthodoxy differed from schism, nor how positive religion was opposed to natural religion; it is the civil organization of the clergy which has led them to distinguish the difference between the unsworn curé and the interloper, between the right mass and the wrong mass; it is the prohibition of the mass which has led them to comprehend its importance; it is the revolutionary government which has transformed them into theologians and canonists.1 Compelled, under the Reign of Terror, to sing and dance before the goddess Reason, and next, in the temple of the “Être Suprême,” subjected, under the Directory, to the new-fangled republican calendar, and to the insipidity of the decade festivals, they have measured, with their own eyes, the distance which separates a present, personal, incarnate deity, redeemer and savior, from a deity without form or substance, or, in any event, absent; a living, revealed, and time-honored religion, and an abstract, manufactured, improvised religion; their spontaneous worship, which is an act of faith, and a worship imposed on them which is only frigid parade; their priest, in a surplice, sworn to continence, delegated from on high to open out to them the infinite perspectives of heaven or hell beyond the grave, and the republican substitute, officiating in a municipal scarf, Peter or Paul, a layman like themselves, more or less married and convivialist, sent from Paris to preach a course of Jacobin morality.1 —Their attachment to their clergy, to the entire body regular and secular, is due to this contrast. Previously, they were not always well-disposed to it; the peasantry, nowhere, were content to pay tithes, and the artisan, as well as the peasant, regarded the idle, well-endowed, meditative monks as but little more than so many fat drones. The man of the people in France, by virtue of being a Gaul, has a dry, limited imagination; he is not inclined to veneration, but is rather shrewd, critical and a railler at the powers above him, with a hereditary undertone of distrust and envy at every man who wears a cloth suit and who eats and drinks without doing manual labor.—At this time, his clergy do not excite his envy, but his pity; monks and nuns, curés and prelates, roofless, without bread, imprisoned, transported, guillotined, or, at best, fugitives, hunted down and more unfortunate than wild beasts—it is he who, during the persecutions of the years ii, iv and vi, harbors them, conceals them, lodges them and feeds them. He sees them suffering for their faith, which is his faith, and, before their constancy, equal to that of the legendary martyrs, his indifference changes into respect and next into zeal. From the year iv,1 the orthodox priests have again recovered their place and ascendency in his soul which the creed assigns to them; they have again become his serviceable guides, his accepted directors, the only warranted interpreters of Christian truth, the only authorized dispensers and ministers of divine grace. He attends their mass immediately on their return and will put up with no other. Brutalized as he may be, or indifferent and dull, and his mind filled with nothing but animal concerns, he needs them;2 he misses their solemnities, the great festivals, the Sunday; and this privation is a periodical want both for eyes and ears; he regrets the ceremonial, the lights, the chants, the ringing of the bells, the morning and evening Angelus.—Thus, whether he knows it or not, his heart and senses are Catholic1 and he demands the old church back again. Before the Revolution, this church lived on its own revenues; seventy thousand priests, thirty - seven thousand nuns, twenty-three thousand monks, supported by endowments, cost the State nothing, and scarcely anything to the tax-payer; at any rate, they cost nothing to the actual, existing tax-payer, not even the tithes, for, established many centuries, the tithes were a tax on the soil, not on the owner in possession, nor on the farmer who tilled the ground, who has purchased or hired it with this tax deducted. In any case, the real property of the Church belonged to it, without prejudice to anybody, through the strongest legal and most legitimate of property titles, the last will and testament of thousands of the dead, its founders and benefactors. All is taken from it, even the houses of prayer which, in their use, disposition and architecture, were, in the most manifest manner, Christian works and ecclesiastical objects, thirty-eight thousand parsonages, four thousand convents, over forty thousand parochial churches, cathedrals and chapels. Every morning, the man or woman of the people, in whom the need of worship has revived, passes in front of one of these buildings robbed of its cult; these declare aloud to them through their form and name what they have been and what they should be to-day. This voice is heard by incredulous philosophers and former Conventionalists;1 all Catholics hear it, and out of thirty-five millions of Frenchmen,2 thirty-two millions are Catholics.
How withstand such a just complaint, the universal complaint of the indigent, of parents, and of believers?—The capital difficulty here reappears, the nearly insurmountable dilemma into which the Revolution has plunged every steady government, that is to say the lasting effect of revolutionary confiscations and the conflict which sets two rights on the same domain in opposition to one another, the right of the dispoiled owner and the right of the owner in possession. This time, again the fault is on the side of the State, which has converted itself from a gendarme into a brigand and violently appropriated to itself the fortune of the hospitals, schools, and churches; the State must return this in money or in kind. In kind, it is no longer able; everything has passed out of its hands; it has alienated what it could, and now holds on only to the leavings. In money, nothing more can be done; it is itself ruined, has just become bankrupt, lives on expedients from day to day and has neither funds nor credit. Nobody dreams of taking back property that is sold; nothing is more opposed to the spirit of the new régime: not only would this be a robbery as before, since its buyers have paid for it and got their receipts, but again, in disputing their title the government would invalidate its own, for its authority is derived from the same source as their property: it is established on the same principle as their rights of possession and by virtue of the same accomplished facts—because things are as they are and could not be different, because ten years of revolution and eight years of war bear down on the present with too heavy a weight, because too many and too deep interests are involved and enlisted on the same side, because the interests of twelve hundred thousand purchasers are incorporated with those of the thirty thousand officers to whom the Revolution has provided a rank, along with that of all the new functionaries and dignitaries, including the First Consul himself, who, in this universal transposition of fortunes and ranks, is the greatest of parvenus and who must maintain the others if he wants to be maintained by them. Naturally, he protects everybody, through calculation as well as sympathy, in the civil as in the military order of things, particularly the new property-owners, especially the smaller and the average ones, his best clients, attached to his reign and to his person through love of property, the strongest passion of the ordinary man, and through love of the soil, the strongest passion of the peasant.1 Their loyalty depends on their security, and consequently he is lavish of guarantees. In his constitution of the year viii,2 he declares in the name “of the French nation that after a legally consummated sale of national property, whatever its origin, the legitimate purchaser cannot be divested of it.” Through the institution of the Legion of Honor he obliges each member “to swear, on his honor, to devote himself to the conservation of property sanctioned by the laws of the republic.”1 According to the terms of the imperial constitution2 “he swears” himself “to respect and to enforce respect for the irrevocability of the sale of national possessions.”
Unfortunately, a cannon-ball on the battle-field, an infernal machine in the street, an illness at home, may carry off the guarantor and the guarantees.3 On the other hand, confiscated goods preserve their original taint. Rarely is the purchaser regarded favorably in his commune; the bargain he has made excites envy; he is not alone in his enjoyment of it, but the rest suffer from it. Formerly, this or that field of which he reaps the produce, this or that domain of which he enjoys the rental, once provided for the parsonage, the asylum and the school; now the school, the asylum and the parsonage die through inanition for his advantage; he fattens on their fasting. In his own house, his wife and mother often look melancholy, especially during Easter week; if he is old, or becomes ill, his conscience disturbs him; this conscience, through habit and heredity, is Catholic: he craves absolution at the last moment at the priest’s hands, and says to himself that, at the last moment, he may not probably be absolved.4 In other respects, he would find it difficult to satisfy himself that his legal property is legitimate property; for, not only is it not so rightfully before the tribunal of conscience, but again it is not so in fact on the market; the figures, in this particular, are convincing, daily and notorious. A patrimonial domain which brings in three thousand francs finds a purchaser at one hundred thousand francs; alongside of this a national domain which brings in just as much, finds a purchaser only at sixty thousand francs; after several sales and resales, the depreciation continues and forty per cent of the value of the confiscated property is lost.1 A low, indistinct murmur is heard, and reverberates from sale to sale, the muttering of private probity protesting against public probity, declaring to the new proprietor that his title is defective; it lacks one clause and a capital one, that of the surrender and cession, the formal renunciation, the authentic desistance, of the former owner. The State, the first seller, owes this voucher to the purchasers; let it procure this and negotiate accordingly; let it apply for this to the rightful party, to the owners whom it has dispossessed, to the immemorial and legitimate titularies, I mean to the ancient corporations. These have been dissolved by revolutionary law and have no longer a representative who can sign for them. Nevertheless, in spite of revolutionary law, one of these corporations, with more vitality than the rest, still subsists with its proper, if not legal, representative, its regular and undisputed chief. This chief is qualified and authorized to bind the body; for, institutionally, he is supreme, and the conscience of all its members is in his hand. His signature is of the highest value; it is very important to obtain this, and the First Consul concludes the Concordat with the Pope.
By this Concordat, the Pope “declares that neither himself nor his successors shall in any manner disturb the purchasers of alienated ecclesiastical property, and that the ownership of the said property, the rights and revenues derived therefrom, shall consequently remain incommutable in their hands or in those of their assigns.”1 Henceforth the possession of this property is no longer a sin; at least, it is not condemned by the spiritual authority, by that external conscience which, in Catholic countries, governs the inward conscience and often supplies its place; the Church, the moral head, removes with its own hands the moral scruple, the last small stone, troublesome and dangerous, which, lying underneath the cornerstone of lay society, breaks the level of the entire structure and compromises the equilibrium of the new government.—In exchange, the State endows the Church. By the same Concordat, and by the decrees which follow it, “the government2 ensures a suitable salary to bishops and curés,” fifteen thousand francs to each archbishop, ten thousand francs to each bishop, fifteen hundred francs to each curé of the first class and one thousand francs to each curé of the second class,3 also, later on,4 a maximum of five hundred francs and a minimum of three hundred francs to each assistant-priest or vicar. “If circumstances require it,5 the conseils-généraux of the large communes may grant to prelates or to curés an increase of salary out of their rural possessions or octrois.” In all cases, archbishops, bishops, curés and priests shall be lodged, or receive a lodging indemnity. So much for the support of persons.—As to real property,1 “all the metropolitan churches, cathedrals, parochial buildings and others, not alienated, and needed for the purposes of worship, shall be subject to the disposition of the bishops.”—The parsonages and gardens attached to these, not alienated, shall be given up to the curés and assistant-priests.”—“The possessions of the fabriques,2 not alienated, as well as the rentals they enjoyed, and which have not been transferred, shall be restored to their destination.—As to the outlay and expenditure for worship,3 for the parochial fabrique or cathedral, if its revenue is not sufficient, this shall receive aid from its commune or from its department; besides, “an assessment of ten per cent.4 shall be laid on the revenues of all the real estate of the communes, such as houses, woods, and rural possessions, for the formation of a common fund of subsidy,” a general sum with which to provide for “acquisitions, reconstructions or repairs of churches, . . . seminaries and parsonages.” Moreover,5 the government allows “the French Catholics to make endowments, if so disposed, in favor of churches . . . for the support of ministers and the exercise of worship,” that is to say to bequeath or make gifts to the fabriques or seminaries; in fine, it exempts seminarists, the future curés, from the conscription.
It also exempts the “Ignorantins,” or brethren of the Christian schools, who are the instructors of the common people. With respect to these and in relation to every other Catholic institution, it follows the same utilitarian principle, the fundamental maxim of laic and practical good sense: when religious vocations make their appearance and serve the public, it welcomes and makes use of them; it grants them facilities, dispensations and favors, its protection, its donations, or at least its tolerance. Not only does it turn their zeal to account, but it authorizes their association.1 Numerous societies of men or of women again spring up with the assent of the public authorities—the “Ignorantins,” the “Filles de la Charité,” the “Sœurs Hospitalières,” the “Sœurs de Saint-Thomas,” the “Sœurs de Saint-Charles,” the “Sœurs Vatelottes.” The Council of State accepts and approves of their statutes, vows, hierarchy, and internal regulations. They again become proprietors; they may accept donations and legacies. The State frequently makes presents to them. In 1808,2 thirty-one communities of Sisters of Charity, and mostly educational, thus obtain the buildings and furniture they ask for, in full possession and gratuitously. The State, also, frequently supports them;3 it repeatedly decides that in this asylum, or in that school, the “sisters” designated by the ancient foundation shall resume their work and be paid out of the income of the asylum or school. Better still, and notwithstanding comminatory decrees,4 Napoleon, between 1804 and 1814, allows fifty-four communities to arise and exist, outside of the congregations authorized by him, which do not submit their statutes to him and which dispense with his permission to exist; he lets them live and does not disturb them; he judges5 “that there is every sort of character and imagination, that eccentricities even should not be repressed when they do no harm,” that, for certain people, an ascetic life in common is the only refuge; if that is all they desire they should not be disturbed, and it is easy to feign ignorance of them; but let them remain quiet and be sufficient unto themselves!—Such is the new growth of the regular clergy alongside of the secular clergy, the two main branches of the Catholic trunk. Owing to the help, or to the authorization, or to the connivance of the State, inside or outside of its limitations, both clerical bodies, legally or in reality, recover a civil existence, and thus obtain, or at least nearly so, their physical maintenance.1
And nothing more. Nobody, better than Napoleon, knows how to make a good bargain, that is to say, to give a little in order to gain a great deal. In this treaty with the Church he tightens his purse-strings and especially avoids parting with his ready money. Six hundred and fifty thousand francs for fifty bishops and ten archbishops, a little more than four million francs for the three or four thousand cantonal curés, in all five million francs per annum, is all that the State promises to the new clergy; later on,2 he takes it on himself to pay those who officiate in the branch chapels; nevertheless, in 1807, the entire appropriation for public worship costs the State only twelve million francs a year;3 the rest, as a rule, and especially the salaries of the forty thousand assistant-priests and vicars, must be provided by the fabriques and the communes.4 Let the clergy benefit by occasional contributions;5 let it appeal to the piety of believers for its monstrances, chalices, albs and chasubles, for decorations and the other expenses of worship; they are not prohibited from being liberal to it, not only during the services, on making collections, but in their houses, within closed doors, from hand to hand. Moreover, they have the right of making gifts or bequests before a notary, of establishing foundations in favor of seminaries and churches; the foundation, after verification and approval by the Council of State, becomes operative; only,1 it must consist of state securities, because, in this shape, it helps maintain their value and the credit of the government; in no case must it be composed of real estate;2 should the clergy become land-owners it would enjoy too much local influence; no bishop, no curé must feel himself independent; he must be and always remain a mere functionary, a hired workman for whom the State provides work in a shop with a roof overhead, a suitable and indispensable atelier, in other words, the house of prayer well known in each parish as “one of the edifices formerly assigned to worship.” This edifice is not restored to the Christian community, nor to its representatives; it is simply “placed at the disposition of the bishop.”3 The State retains the ownership of it, or transfers this to the communes; it concedes to the clergy merely the right of using it, and, in that, loses but little. Parish and cathedral churches in its hands are, for the most part, dead capital, nearly useless and almost valueless; through their structure, they are not fitted for civil offices; it does not know what to do with them except to make barns of them; if it sells them it is to demolishers for their value as building material, and then at great scandal. Among the parsonages and gardens that have been surrendered, several have become communal property,1 and, in this case, it is not the State which loses its title but the commune which is deprived of its investment. In short, in the matter of available real estate, land or buildings, from which the State might derive a rent, that which it sets off from its domain and hands over to the clergy is of very little account. As to military service, it makes no greater concessions. Neither the Concordat nor the organic articles stipulate any exemption for the clergy; the dispensation granted is simply a favor; this is provisional for the seminarians and only becomes permanent under ordination; now, the government fixes the number of the ordained, and it keeps this down as much as possible;2 for the diocese of Grenoble, it allows only eight in seven years.3 In this way, it not only saves conscripts, but again, for lack of young priests, it forces the bishops to appoint old priests, even constitutionalists, nearly all pensioners on the treasury, and which either relieves the treasury of a pension or the commune of a subsidy.4 —Thus, in the reconstruction of the ecclesiastical fortune the State spares itself and the portion it contributes remains scanty; it furnishes but little more than the architectural plan, a few of the larger stones and the permission or injunction to build; the rest concerns the communes and private individuals. They must exert themselves, continue and complete it, by order or spontaneously and under its permanent direction.
Such is its steady course, and which it applies to the reorganization of the other two collective fortunes.—As to charitable institutions, under the Directory, the asylums and hospitals had their unsold property restored to them, and in the place of what had been sold they were promised national property of equal value.1 But this was a complicated operation; things had dragged along in the universal disorder and, to carry it out, the First Consul reduced and simplified it. He at once sets aside a portion of the national domain, several distinct morsels in each district or department, amounting in all to four millions of annual income derived from productive real-estate,2 which he distributes among the asylums, pro rata, according to their losses; he assigns to them, moreover, all the rents, in money or in kind, due for foundations to parishes, cures, fabriques and corporations; finally, “he applies to their wants” various outstanding claims, all national domains which have been usurped by individuals or communes and which may be subsequently recovered, “all rentals belonging to the Republic, the recognition and payment of which have been interrupted.”3 In short, he rummages every corner and picks out the scraps which may help them along; then, resuming and extending another undertaking of the Directory, he assigns to them, not merely in Paris, but in many other towns, a portion of the product derived from theatres and octrois.4 —Having thus increased their income, he applies himself to diminishing their expenses. On the one hand, he gives them back their special servants, those who cost the least and work the best, I mean the Sisters of Charity. On the other hand, he binds them down rigidly to exact accounts; he subjects them to strict supervision; he selects for them competent and suitable administrators; he stops, here as everywhere else, waste and peculation. Henceforth, the public reservoir to which the poor come to quench their thirst is repaired and cleaned; the water remains pure and no longer oozes out; private charity may therefore pour into it its fresh streams with full security; on this side, they flow in naturally, and, at this moment, with more force than usual, for, in the reservoir, half-emptied by revolutionary confiscations, the level is always low.
There remain the institutions for instruction. With respect to these, the restoration seems more difficult, for their ancient endowment is almost entirely wasted; the government has nothing to give back but dilapidated buildings, a few scattered investments formerly intended for the maintenance of a college scholarship,1 or for a village schoolhouse. And to whom should these be returned since the college and the schoolhouse no longer exist?—Fortunately, instruction is an article of such necessity that a father almost always tries to procure it for his children; even if poor, he is willing to pay for it, if not too dear; only, he wants that which pleases him in kind and in quality and, therefore, from a particular source, bearing this or that factory stamp or label. If you want him to buy it do not drive the purveyors of it from the market who enjoy his confidence and who sell it cheaply; on the contrary, welcome them and allow them to display their wares. This is the first step, an act of toleration; the conseils-généraux demand it and the government yields.2 It permits the return of the Ignorantin brethren, allows them to teach and authorizes the towns to employ them; later on, it graduates them at its University: in 1810, they already possess forty-one schoolhouses and eight thousand four hundred pupils.1 Still more liberally, it authorizes and favors female educational congregations; down to the end of the empire and afterwards, nuns are about the only instructors of young girls, especially in primary education.—Owing to the same toleration, the upper schools are likewise reorganized, and not less spontaneously, through the initiative of private individuals, communes, bishops, colleges or pennsionnats, at Reims, Fontainebleau, Metz, Évreux, Sorrèze, Juilly, La Flèche and elsewhere, small seminaries in all the dioceses. Offer and demand have come together; instructors meet the children half-way, and education begins on all sides.2
Thought can now be given to its endowment, and the State invites everybody, the communes as well as private persons, to the undertaking. It is on their liberality that it relies for replacing the ancient foundations; it solicits gifts and legacies in favor of new establishments, and it promises “to surround these donations with the most invariable respect.”3 Meanwhile, and as a precautionary measure, it assigns to each its eventual duty;4 if the commune establishes a primary school for itself, it must provide the tutor with a lodging and the parents must compensate him; if the commune founds a college or accepts a lycée, it must pay for the annual support of the building,5 while the pupils, either day - scholars or boarders, pay accordingly. In this way, the heavy expenses are already met, and the State, the manager-general of the service, furnishes simply a very small quota; and this quota, mediocre as a rule, is found almost null in fact, for its main largess consists in six thousand four hundred scholarships which it establishes and engages to support; but it confers only about three thousand of them,1 and it distributes nearly all of these among the children of its military or civil employees, so that the son’s scholarship becomes additional pay or an increased salary for the father; thus, the two millions which the State seems, under this head, to assign to the lycées are actually gratifications which it distributes among its functionaries and officials: it takes back with one hand what it bestows with the other. This being granted, it organizes the University and maintains it, not at its own expense, however, but at the expense of others, at the expense of private persons and parents, of the communes, and above all at the expense of rival schools and private boarding-schools, of the free institutions, and all this in favor of the University monopoly which subjects these to special taxation as ingenious as it is multifarious.2 —Whoever is privileged to carry on a private school must pay from two to three hundred francs to the University; likewise, every person obtaining permission to lecture on literature or on science. Every person or faculty obtaining a diploma for a public institution must pay from four to six hundred francs to the University; likewise every person obtaining permission to lecture on law or on medicine.1 Every student, boarder, half-boarder or day-scholar in any school, institution, seminary, college or lycée, must pay to the University one-twentieth of the sum which the establishment to which he belongs demands of each of its pupils. In the higher schools, in the faculties of law, medicine, science and literature, the students pay entrance and examination fees and for diplomas, so that the day comes when superior instruction provides for its expenditures out of its receipts and even shows on its budget a net surplus of profit. The new University, with its expenses thus defrayed, will support itself alone; accordingly, all that the State really grants to it, as a veritable gift, in ready cash, is four hundred thousand francs annual income on the public ledger, a little less than the dotation of one single collège, Louis-le-Grand, in 1789;2 it may even be said that it is exactly the fortune of the old college which, after being made use of in many ways, turned aside and with other mischances, becomes the patrimony of the new University.3 From high-school to University, the State has effected the transfer. Such is its munificence. This is especially apparent in connection with primary instruction; in 1812, for the first time, it allows twenty-five thousand francs for this purpose, of which only four thousand five hundred are received.4
Such is the final liquidation of the great collective fortunes. A settlement of accounts, an express or tacit bargain, intervenes between the State and all institutions for instruction, worship and charity. It has taken from the poor, from the young and from believers, five milliards of capital and two hundred and seventy millions of revenue;1 it gives back to them, in public income and treasury interest, about seventeen millions per annum. As it possesses the power and makes the law it has no difficulty in obtaining or in giving itself its own discharge; it is a bankrupt who, having spent his creditors’ money, bestows on these six per cent. of their claim by way of alms.
Naturally, it turns to account the opportunity for bringing them under its strict and permanent dependence, in adding other claims to those with which the old monarchy had already burdened the corporations that administered collective fortunes. Napoleon increases the weight of these chains and screws them tighter; not only does he take it upon himself to impose order, probity, and economy on the administrators, but, again, he appoints them, dismisses them, and prescribes or authorizes each of their acts; he puts words in their mouths; he wants to be the great bishop, the universal genius, the sole tutor and professor, in short, the dictator of opinion, the creator and director of every political, social and moral idea throughout his empire. With what rigidity and pertinacious intent, with what variety and convergency of means, with what plenitude and certainty of execution, with what detriment and with what danger, present and to come, for corporations, for the public, for the State, for himself, we shall see presently; he himself, living and reigning, is to realize this. For his interference, pushed to extremes, is to end in encountering resistance in a body which he considers as his own creature, the Church: here, forgetting that she has roots of her own, deep down and out of his reach, he carries off the Pope, holds him captive, sends cardinals into the interior, imprisons bishops, transports priests, and incorporates seminarians in his regiments;1 he decrees the closing of all small seminaries,2 alienates forever the Catholic clergy like the royalist nobility, precisely at the same moment and through the same absolutism, through the same abuse of power, through the same recurrence to revolutionary tradition, to Jacobin infatuation and brutality, even to the frustration of his Concordat of 1802 as with his amnesty of 1802, even to compromising his capital work of the attempted reconciliation and reunion of old France with the new France. His work, nevertheless, although incomplete, even interrupted and marred by himself, remains substantial and salutary. The three grand machines which the Revolution had demolished with so little foresight, and which he had reconstructed at so little cost, are in working order, and, with deviations or shortcomings in result, they render to the public the required services, each its own, worship, charity and instruction. Full toleration and legal protection to the three leading Christian cults, and even to Judaism, would of itself already satisfy the most sensitive of religious demands; owing to the dotation furnished by the State and communes and by private individuals, the necessary complement is not wanting; the Catholic community, in particular, the most numerous of all, exercises and celebrates its system of worship in conformity with its faith, according to ecclesiastical canons under its own orthodox hierarchy; in each parish, or within reach of each parish, dwells one authorized priest who administers valid sacraments; in his stole he says mass publicly in a consecrated edifice, plainly decorated at first but gradually beautified; not less publicly, various congregations of monks and nuns, the former in black robes and the “sisters” in wimples and white caps, serve in the schools and asylums. On the other hand, in these well-equipped and well-governed asylums and hospitals, in the bureaux of charity, their resources are no longer inferior to their needs, while Christian charity and philanthropic generosity are constantly operating in all directions to fill the empty drawers; legacies and private donations, after 1802, authorized by the Council of State, multiply; we see them swelling the pages of the “Bulletin des Lois.”1 From 1800 to 1845, the hospitals and asylums are thus to receive more than seventy-two millions, and the charity bureaux over forty-nine millions; from 1800 to 1878, all together will thus receive more than four hundred and fifteen millions.2 The old patrimony of the poor is again reconstituted piece by piece; and on January 1, 1833, asylums and hospitals, with their fifty-one millions of revenue, are able to support one hundred and fifty-four thousand old men and the sickly.3 —Like public charity, public education again becomes effective; Fourcroy, after 1806,4 enumerates twenty-nine organized and full lycées; besides these, three hundred and seventy communal secondary schools and three hundred and seventy-seven private secondary schools are open and receive fifty thousand two hundred pupils; there are twenty-five thousand children in the four thousand five hundred primary schools. Finally, in 1815,5 we find in France, restored to its ancient boundaries, twelve faculties of Law or Medicine with six thousand three hundred and twenty-nine students, thirty-six lycées with nine thousand pupils, three hundred and sixty-eight colleges with twenty-eight thousand pupils, forty-one small seminaries with five thousand two hundred and thirty-three pupils, one thousand two hundred and fifty-five boarding-schools and private institutions with thirty-nine thousand six hundred and twenty-three pupils, and twenty-two thousand three hundred and forty-eight primary schools with seven hundred and thirty-seven thousand three hundred and sixty-nine scholars; as far as can be gathered, the proportion of men and women able to read and to sign their name is raised under the empire up to and beyond the figures it had reached previous to 1789.1
Thus are the greatest dilapidations repaired. The three new machines, with a different mechanism, do the service of the old ones and, at the expiration of twenty-five years, give an almost equal return.—In sum, the new proprietor of the great structure sacked by the Revolution has again set up the indispensable apparatus for warming, lighting and ventilation; as he knows his own interests perfectly, and is poorly off in ready money, he contributes only a minimum of the expense; in other respects, he has grouped together his tenants into syndicates, into messes in apartments, and, voluntarily or involuntarily, he has put upon them the burden of cost; in the mean time, he has kept the three keys of the three engines in his own cabinet, in his own hands, for himself alone; henceforth, it is he who distributes throughout the building, on each story and in every room, light, air and heat; if he does not distribute the same quantity as formerly he at least distributes whatever is necessary; the tenants can, at length, breathe comfortably, see clearly and not shiver; after ten years of suffocation, darkness and cold they are too well satisfied to wrangle with the proprietor, discuss his ways, and dispute over the monopoly by which he has constituted himself the arbitrator of their wants.—The same thing is done in the material order of things, in relation to the highways, dikes, canals, and structures useful to the people: here also he repairs or creates, through the same despotic initiative, with the same economy,1 the same apportionment of expense,2 the same spontaneous or forced aid to those interested, the same practical efficacy.3 In short, if we take things as a whole, and if we offset the worse with the better, it may be said that the French people have recovered possessions of which they had stood in need since 1789—internal peace, public tranquillity, administrative regularity, impartial justice, a strict police, security of persons, property and consciences, liberty in private life, enjoyment of one’s native land, and, on leaving it, the privilege of coming back; the satisfactory endowment, gratuitous celebration and full exercise of worship; schools and instruction for the young; beds, nursing and assistance for the sick, the indigent and for foundlings; the maintenance of roads and public buildings. Of the two groups of cravings which troubled men in 1800, the first one, that which dated from the Revolution, has, towards 1808 or 1810, obtained reasonable satisfaction.
Rœderer, iii., 334 (August 6, 1800).
Stanislas Girardin, “Mémoires,” i., 273 (22 Thermidor, year x): “The only craving, the only sentiment in France, disturbed for so many years, is repose. Whatever secures this will gain its assent. Its inhabitants, accustomed to take an active part in all political questions, now seem to take no interest in them.”—Rœderer, iii., 484 (Report on the Sénatorerie of Caen, Dec. 1, 1803): “The people of the rural districts, busy with its new affairs, . . . are perfectly submissive, because they now find security for persons and property. . . . They show no enthusiasm for the monarch, but are full of respect for and trust in a gendarme; they stop and salute him on passing him on the roads.”
Rocquain, “l’État de la France au 18 Brumaire.” (Report by Barbé-Marbois, p. 72, 81.) Cash-boxes broken open and exclamations by the officers: “Money and fortune belong ‘o the brave. Let us help ourselves. Our accounts will be settled at the cannon’s mouth.”—“The subordinates,” adds Barbé-Marbois, “fully aware of their superior’s drafts on the public treasury, stipulate for their share of the booty; accustomed to exacting contributions from outside enemies, they are not averse to treating as conquered enemies the departments they were called upon to defend.”
Ibid. (Reports of Barbé-Marbois and Fourcroy while on their missions in the 12th and 13th military divisions, year ix., p. 158, on the tranquillity of La Vendée.) “I could have gone anywhere without an escort. During my stay in some of the villages I was not disturbed by any fear or suspicion whatever. . . . The tranquillity they now enjoy and the cessation of persecutions keep them from insurrection.”
Archives nationales, F7, 3273 (Reports by Gen. Ferino, Pluviôse, year ix, with a table of verdicts by the military commission since Floréal, year viii.) The commission mentions 53 assassinations, 3 rapes, 44 pillagings of houses, by brigands in Vauclose, Drôme, and the Lower Alps; 66 brigands taken in the act are shot, 87 after condemnation, and 6, who are wounded, die in the hospital.—Rocquain, ibid., p. 17, (Reports of Français, from Nantes, on his mission in the 8th military division.) “The South may be considered as purged by the destruction of about 200 brigands who have been shot. There remains only three or four bands of 7 or 8 men each.”
Three classes of insurrectionary peasants or marauders.—Tr.
Archives Nationales, F7, 7152 (on the prolongation of brigandage). Letter from Lhoste, agent, to the minister of justice, Lyons, Pluviôse 8, year viii. “The diligences are robbed every week.”—Ibid., F7, 3267, (Seine-et-Oise, bulletins of the military police and correspondence of the gendarmerie). Brumaire 25, year viii, attack on the Paris mail near Arpajon by 5 brigands armed with guns. Fructidor, year viii, at three o’clock p.m., a cart loaded with 10,860 francs sent by the collector at Mantes to the collector at Versailles is stopped near the Marly water-works, by 8 or 10 armed brigands on horseback.—Similar facts abound. It is evident that more than a year is required to put an end to brigandage.—It is always done by employing an impartial military force. (Rocquain, Ibid., p. 10.) “There are at Marseilles three companies of paid national guards, 60 men each, at a franc per man. The fund for this guard is supplied by a contribution of 5 francs a month paid by every man subject to this duty who wishes to be exempt. The officers . . . are all strangers in the country. Robberies, murders, and conflicts have ceased in Marseilles since the establishment of this guard.”
Archives Nationales, 3144 and 3145, No.1004. (Reports of the councillors of State on mission during the year ix, published by Rocquain, with omissions, among which is the following, in the report of François de Nantes.) “The steps taken by the mayors of Marseilles are sufficiently effective to enable an émigré under surveillance and just landed, to walk about Marseilles without being knocked down or knocking anybody else down, an alternative to which they have been thus far subject. And yet there are in this town nearly 500 men who have slaughtered with their own hands, or been the accomplices of slaughterers, at different times during the Revolution. . . . The inhabitants of this town are so accustomed to being annoyed and despoiled, and to being treated like those of a rebellious town or colony, that arbitrary power no longer frightens them, and they simply ask that their lives and property be protected against murderers and pillagers, and that things be entrusted to sure and impartial hands.”
Rœderer, iii., 481. (Report on the Sénatorerie of Caen, Germinal 2, year xiii.)—Faber, “Notice sur l’intérieur de la France” (1807), p. 110, 112. “Justice is one of the bright sides of France of to-day. It is costly, but it cannot be called venal.”
Rocquain, ibid., 19. (Report of François de Nantes on the 8th military division.) “For the past eighteen months a calm has prevailed here equal to that which existed before the Revolution. Balls and parties have been resumed in the towns, while the old dances of Provence, suspended for ten years, now gladden the people of the country.”
Proclamation to the French people, Dec. 15, 1799.
See “The Revolution,” vol. iii., p. 292. (Notes.)
Decision of the Council of State, Pluviôse 5, year viii (Jan. 25, 1800).
Forneron, “Histoire générale des émigrés,” ii., 374. In 1800, the army of Condé still comprised 1007 officers and 5840 volunteers.
Decrees of Brumaire 3, year iv, and of Frimaire 9, year vi. (Cf. “The Revolution,” pp. 433, 460.)
Constitution of Frimaire 22, year viii. (December 13, 1799), article 93. “The French nation declares that in no case will it suffer the return of the Frenchmen who, having abandoned their country since the 14th of July 1789, are not comprised in the exceptions made to the laws rendered against émigrés. It interdicts every new exception in this respect.”
Opinion of the Council of State, Decem. 25, 1799.
Resolution of Decem. 26, 1799.—Two ultra-Jacobins, exiled after Thermidor, are added to the list, Barère and Vadier, undoubtedly by way of compensation and not to let it appear that the scales inclined too much on one side.
Resolution of Decem. 30, 1799.
Resolutions of February 26, March 2, and March 3, 1800
Thibaudeau, “Mémoires sur le Consulat,” 199. (Stated by the First Consul at Regnault at a meeting of the council of state, Aug. 12, 1801.) “I am glad to hear the denunciation of striking off names. How many have you yourselves not asked for? It could not be otherwise. Everybody has some relation or friend on the lists.”
Thibaudeau, ibid. (Speech by the First Consul.) “Never have there been lists of émigrés;” there are only lists of absentees. The proof of this is that names have always been struck off. I have seen members of the Convention and even generals on the lists. Citizen Monge was inscribed.”
Thibaudeau, ibid., 97.—“The minister of police made a great hue and cry over the arrest and sending back of a few émigrés who returned without permission, or who annoyed the buyers of their property, while, at the same time, it granted surveillance to all who asked for it, paying no attention to the distinction made by the resolution of Vendémiaire 28.”
Sénatus-consulte of April 26, 1802.
Sénatus-consulte of April 26, 1802, title ii., articles 16 and 17.—Gaudin, Duc de Gaëte, “Mémoires,” i., 183. (Report on the administration of the Finances in 1803.) “The old proprietors have been reinstated in more than 20,000 hectares of forests.”
Thibaudeau, ibid., p. 98. (Speech of the First Consul, Thermidor 24, year ix.) “Some of the émigrés who have been pardoned are cutting down their forests, either from necessity or to send money abroad. I will not allow the worst enemies of the republic, the defenders of ancient prejudices, to recover their fortunes and despoil France. I am glad to welcome them back; but it is important that the nation should preserve its forests; the navy needs them.”
An arpen measures about an acre and a half.
Stourm, “Les Finances de l’ancien régime et de la révolution,” ii., 459 to 461.—(According to the figures appended to the projected law of 1825.)—This relates only to their patrimony in real estate; their personal estate was wholly swept away, at first through the abolition, without indemnity, of their available feudal rights under the Constituent and Legislative assemblies, and afterwards through the legal and forced transformation of their personal capital into national bonds (titres sur le grand-livre, rentes) which the final bankruptcy of the Directory reduced to almost nothing.
Pelet de la Lozère, “Opinions de Napoléon au conseil d’état” (March 15th and July 1st, 1806): “One of the most unjust effects of the revolution was to let an émigré, whose property was found to be sold, starve to death, and give back 100,000 crowns of rente to another whose property happened to be still in the hands of the government. How odd, again, to have returned unsold fields and to have kept the woods! It would have been better, starting from the legal forfeiture of all property, to return only 6000 francs of rente to one alone and distribute what remained among the rest.”
Léonce de Lavergne, “Économie rurale de la France,” p. 26. (According to the table of names with indemnities awarded by the law of 1825.)—Duc de Rovigo, “Mémoires,” iv., 400.
De Puymaigre, “Souvenirs de l’émigration de l’empire et de la restauration,” p. 94.
Pelet de la Lozère, ibid., p. 272.
De Puymaigre, ibid., passim.—Alexandrine des Écherolles, “Une famille noble pendant la Terreur,” pp. 328, 402, 408.—I add to published documents personal souvenirs and family narrations.
Duc de Rovigo, “Mémoires,” iv., 399. (On the provincial noblesse which had emigrated and returned.) “The First Consul quietly gave orders that none of the applications made by the large number of those who asked for minor situations in various branches of the administration should be rejected on account of emigration.”
M. de Vitrolles, “Mémoires.”—M. d’Haussonville, “Ma jeunesse,” p. 60: “One morning, my father learns that he has been appointed chamberlain, with a certain number of other persons belonging to the greatest families of the faubourg Saint-Germain.”
Madame de Rémusat, “Mémoires,” ii., 312, 315 and following pages, 373.—Madame de Staël, “Considérations sur la révolution française,” 4th part, ch. iv.
Rœderer, iii., 459. (Speech by Napoleon, December 30, 1802.)—“Very well, I do protect the nobles of France; but they must see that they need protection. . . . I give places to many of them; I restore them to public distinction and even to the honors of the drawing-room; but they feel that it is alone through my good will.—Ibid., iii., 558 (January 1809): “I repent daily of a mistake I have made in my government; the most serious one I ever made, and I perceive its bad effects every day. It was the giving back to the émigrés the totality of their possessions. I ought to have massed them in common and given each one simply the chance of an income of 6000 francs. As soon as I saw my mistake I withdrew from thirty to forty millions of forests; but far too many are still in the hands of a great number of them.”—We here see the attitude he would impose on them, that of clients and grateful pensioners. They do not stand in this attitude. (Rœderer, iii., 472. Report on the Sénatorerie of Caen, 1803.)—“The returned émigrés are not friendly nor even satisfied; their enjoyment of what they have recovered is less than their indignation at what they have lost. They speak of the amnesty without gratitude, and as only partial justice. . . . In other respects they appear submissive.”
Duc de Rovigo, “Mémoires,” v., 297. Towards the end, large numbers of the young nobles went into the army. “In 1812, there was not a marshal, or even a general, who had not some of these on his staff, or as aids-de-camp. Nearly all the cavalry regiments in the army were commanded by officers belonging to these families. They had already attracted notice in the infantry. All these young nobles had openly joined the emperor because they were easily influenced by love of glory.”
Madame de Rémusat ii., 299 (1806): “He began to surround himself about this time with so much ceremony that none of us had scarcely any intimate relations with him. . . . The court became more and more crowded and monotonous, each doing on the minute what he had to do. Nobody thought of venturing outside the brief series of ideas which are generated within the restricted circle of the same duties. . . . Increasing despotism, . . . fear of a reproof if one failed in the slightest particular, silence kept by us all. . . . There was no opportunity to indulge emotion or interchange any observation of the slightest importance.”
Rœderer, iii., 558 (January 1809).—“The Modern Régime,” ante, book i., ch. ii.
Madame de Rémusat, iii., 75, 155: “When the minister of police learned that jesting or malicious remarks had been made in one of the Paris drawing-rooms he at once notified the master or mistress of the house to be more watchful of their company.”—Ibid., p. 187 (1807): “The emperor censured M. Fouché for not having exercised stricter watchfulness. He exiled women, caused distinguished persons to be warned, and insinuated that, to avoid the consequences of his anger, steps must be taken to show that his power was recognized in atonement for the faults committed. In consequence of these hints many thought themselves obliged to be presented.”—Ibid., ii., 170, 212, 303.—Duc de Rovigo, “Mémoires,” iv., 311 and 393. “Appointed minister of police,” said he, “I inspired everybody with fear; each packed up his things; nothing was talked about but exiles, imprisonment and worse still.”—He took advantage of all this to recommend “everybody on his list who was inscribed as an enemy of the government” to be presented at court, and all, in fact, except stubborn “grandmothers” were presented.
Madame de Staël, “Considérations sur la révolution française” and “Dix ans d’exil.” Exile of Madame de Balbi, of Madame de Chevreuse, of Madame de Duras, of Madame d’Aveaux, of Madame de Staël, of Madame de Récamier, etc.—Duc de Rovigo, Ibid., iv., 389: “The first exiles dated from 1805; I think there were fourteen.”
Rœderer, iii., 472. (Report on the Sénatorerie of Caen, 1803.) The nobles “have no social relations either with citizens or with the public functionaries, except with the prefect of Caen and the general in command. . . . Their association with the prefect intimates their belief that they might need him. All pay their respects to the general of division; his mantelpiece is strewed with visiting-cards.”
Madame de la Rochejaquelein, “Mémoires,” 423: “We lived exposed to a tyranny which left us neither calm nor contentment. At one time a spy was placed amongst our servants, at another some of our relations would be exiled far from their homes, accused of exercising a charity which secured them too much affection from their neighbors. Sometimes, my husband would be obliged to go to Paris to explain his conduct. Again, a hunting-party would be represented as a meeting of Vendéans. Occasionally, we were blamed for going into Poitou because our influence was regarded as too dangerous; again, we were reproached for not living there and not exercising our influence in behalf of the conscription.”—Her brother-in-law, Auguste de la Rochejaquelein, invited to take service in the army, comes to Paris to present his objections. He is arrested, and at the end of two months “the minister signifies to him that he must remain a prisoner so long as he refuses to be a second-lieutenant.”
Sénatus-consulte of April 26, 1802: “Considering that this measure is merely one of pardon to the large number who are always more led astray than criminal . . . the amnestied will remain for ten years under a special government surveillance.” It may oblige each one “to leave his usual residence and go to a distance of twenty leagues, and even farther if circumstances demand it.”
Thiers, x., 41. (Letter to Fouché, Dec. 31, 1808, not inserted in the correspondence.)—“The Modern Régime,” book i., ch. ii.
Rocquain, “État de la France au 18 brumaire,” pp. 33, 189, 190. (Reports of Français de Nantes and of Fourcroy.)—“Statistique élémentaire de la France,” by Peuchet (according to a statement published by the minister of the interior, year ix), p. 260.—“Statistiques des préfets,” Aube, by Aubray, p. 23; Aisne, by Dauchet, p. 87; Lot-et-Garonne, by Pieyre, p. 45: “It is during the Revolution that the number of foundlings increased to this extraordinary extent by the too easy admission in the asylums of girls who had become mothers, along with their infants; through the passing sojourn of soldiers in their houses; through the subversion of every principle of religion and morality.”—Gers, by Balguerie: “Many defenders of the country became fathers before their departure. . . . The soldiers, on their return, maintained the habits of their conquests. . . . Many of the girls, besides, for lack of a husband took a lover.”—Moselle, by Colchen, p. 91: “Morals are more lax. In 1789, at Metz, there are 524 illegitimate births; in the year ix, 646; in 1789, 70 prostitutes; in the year ix, 260. There is the same increase of kept women.”—Peuchet, “Essai d’une statistique générale de la France,” year ix, p. 28. “The number of illegitimate births, from one forty-seventh in 1780, increased to nearly one eleventh of the total births, according to the comparative estimates of M. Necker and M. Mourgue.”
Rocquain, ibid., p. 93. (Report of Barbé-Marbois.)
“The Revolution,” lii., p. 416 (note), p. 471 (note).
“Statistiques des préfets,” Deux-Sèvres, by Dupin, p. 174: “Venereal diseases which, thanks to good habits, were still unknown in the country in 1789, are now spread throughout the Bocage and in all places where the troops have sojourned.”—“Dr. Delahay, at Parthenay, observes that the number of maniacs increased frightfully in the Reign of Terror.”
Decrees of March 19, 1793, and Messidor 23, year ii.—Decrees of Brumaire 2, year iv, and Vendémiaire 16, year v.
“Statistiques des préfets,” Rhone, by Verminac, year x. Income of the Lyons Asylums in 1789, 1,510,827 francs; to-day, 459,371 francs.—Indre, by Dalphonse, year xii. The principal asylum of Issoudun, founded in the twelfth century, had 27,939 francs revenue, on which it loses 16,232. Another asylum, that of the Incurables, loses, on an income of 12,062 francs, 7457 francs.—Eure, by Masson Saint-Amand, year xiii: “14 asylums and 3 small charity establishments in the department, with about 100,000 francs income in 1789, have lost at least 60,000 francs of it.—Vosges, by Desgouttes, year x: “10 asylums in the department. Most of these have been stripped of nearly the whole of their property and capital on account of the law of Messidor 23, year ii; on the suspension of the execution of this law, the property had been sold and the capital returned.—Cher, by Luçay: “15 asylums before the revolution; they remain almost wholly without resources through the loss of their possessions.—Lozère, by Jerphaniou, year x: “The property belonging to the asylums, either in real estate or state securities, has passed into other hands.”—Doubs, analysis by Ferrières: “Situation of the asylums much inferior to that of 1789, because they could not have property restored to them in proportion to the value of that which had been alienated. The asylum of Pontarlier lost one-half of its revenue through reimbursements in paper-money. All the property of the Ornans asylum has been sold,” etc.—Rocquain, p. 187. (Report by Fourcroy.) Asylums of Orne: their revenue, instead of 123,189 francs, is no more than 68,239.—Asylums of Calvados: they have lost 173,648 francs of income, there remains of this only 85,955 francs.—Passim, heart-rending details on the destitution of the asylums and their inmates, children, the sick and the infirm.—The figures by which I have tried to show the disproportion between requirements and resources are a minimum.
Abbé Allain, “l’Instruction primaire en France avant la Révolution,” and Albert Duruy, “l’Instruction publique et la Révolution,” passim.
“Statistique de l’enseignement primaire” (1880), ii., cciv. The proportion of instructed and uninstructed people has been ascertained in 79 departments, and at various periods, from 1680 down to the year 1876, according to the signatures on 1,699,985 marriage-records.—In the “Dictionnaire de pédagogie et d’instruction primaire,” published by M. Buisson, M. Maggiolo, director of these vast statistics, has given the proportion of literate and illiterate people for the different departments; now, from department to department, the figures furnished by the signatures on marriage-records correspond with sufficient exactness to the number of schools, verified moreover by pastoral visits and by other documents. The most illiterate departments are Cantal, Puy-de-Dome, Nièvre, Allier, Vienne, Haute Vienne, Deux-Sèvres, Vendée and the departments of Prittany.
Albert Duruy, ibid., p. 25. (According to the report of M. Villemain on common-school education in 1843.)—Abbé Allain, “la Question d’enseignement en 1789,” p. 88.—A. Silvy, “les Collèges en France avant la Révolution,” p. 5. The researches of M. Silvy show that the number of high-schools (collèges) given by M. Villemain is much too low: “The number of these schools under the ancient régime cannot be estimated at less than about 900. . . . I have ascertained 800. . . . I must add that my search is not yet finished and that I find new institutions every day.”
Lunet, “Histoire du collège de Rodez,” p. 110.—Edmond, “Histoire du collège de Louis-le-Grand,” p. 238.—“Statistiques des préfets,” Moselle. (Analysis by Ferrière, year xii.) Before 1789, 4 high-schools at Metz, very complete, conducted by regular canons, Benedictines, with 33 professors, 38 assistant teachers, 63 servants, 259 day-scholars and 217 boarders. All this was broken up. In the year ix there is only one central school, very inadequate, with 9 professors, 5 assistants, 3 servants and 233 day-scholars.
Albert Duruy, ibid., p. 25.
Lunet, ibid., p. 110.
“Statistiques des préfets,” Ain, by Bossi, p. 368. At Bourg, before the revolution, 220 pupils, of which 70 were boarders, 8000 livres income in real property confiscated during the revolution.—At Belley, the teachers consist of the congregationists of Saint-Joseph; 250 pupils, 9950 francs revenue from capital invested in the pays d’état, swept away by the revolution.—At Thoissy, 8000 francs rental of real property sold, etc.—Deux-Sèvres, by Dupin, year ix, and “analyse” by Ferrière, p. 48: “Previous to the revolution, each department town had its high-school.—At Thouars, 60 boarders at 300 livres per annum, and 40 day-scholars. At Niort, 80 boarders at 450 livres per annum, and 100 day-scholars”—Aisne, by Dauchy, p. 88. Before 1789, nearly all the small high-schools were gratuitous, and, in the large ones, there were scholarships open to competition. All their possessions, except large buildings, were alienated and sold, as well as those of the 60 communities in which girls were taught gratuitously.—Eure, by Masson Saint-Amand. Before 1789, 8 high-schools were suppressed and destroyed.—Drôme, by Collin, p. 66. Before the revolution, each town had its high-school,” etc.
Cf. Marmontel, “Mémoires,” i., 16, for details of these customs; M. Jules Simon found the same customs afterwards and describes them in the souvenirs of his youth,—La Chalotais, at the end of the reign of Louis XV., had already borne witness to the efficiency of the institution. “The people even want to study. Agriculturists and mechanics send their children to the schools in these small towns where living is cheap.”—This rapid spread of higher education contributed a good deal towards bringing on the revolution.
“Statistiques des préfets,” Indre, by Dalphonse, year xii, p. 104: “The universities, the colleges, the seminaries, the religious establishments, the free schools are all destroyed; vast plans only remain for a new system of education raised on their ruins. Nearly all of these rest unexecuted. . . . Primary schools have nowhere, one may say, been organized, and those which have been are so poor they had better not have been organized at all. With a pompous and costly system of public instruction, ten years have been lost for instruction.”
Moniteur, xxi., 644. (Session of Fructidor 19, year ii.) One of the members says: “It is very certain, and my colleagues see it with pain, that public instruction is null.”—Fourcroy: “Reading and writing are no longer taught.”—Albert Duruy, p. 208. (Report to the Directory executive, Germinal 13, year iv.) “For nearly six years no public instruction exists.”—De La Sicotière, “Histoire du collège d’Alençon,” p. 33: “In 1794, there were only two pupils in the college.”—Lunet, “Histoire du collège de Rodez,” p. 157: “The recitation-rooms remained empty of pupils and teachers from March 1793 to May 16, 1796.”—“Statistiques des préfets,” Eure, by Masson Saint-Amand, year xiii: “In the larger section of the department, school-houses existed with special endowments for teachers of both sexes. The school-houses have been alienated like other national domains; the endowments due to religious corporations or establishments have been extinguished.—As to girls, that portion of society has suffered an immense loss, relatively to its education, in the suppression of religious communities which provided them with an almost gratuitous and sufficiently steady instruction.”
My maternal grandmother learned how to read from a nun concealed in the cellar of the house.
Albert Duruy, ibid., 349. (Decree of the Directory, Pluviôse 17, year v, and circular of the minister Letourneur against free schools which are “dens of royalism and superstition.”—Hence the decrees of the authorities in the departments of Eure, Pas-de-Calais, Drôme, Mayenne and La Manche, closing these dens.) “From Thermidor 27, year vi, to Messidor 2, year vii, say the authorities of La Manche, we have revoked fifty-eight teachers on their denunciation by the municipalities and by popular clubs.”
Archives nationales, cartons 3144 to 3145, No. 104. (Reports of the Councillors of State on mission in the year ix.) Report by Lacuée on the first military division. Three central schools at Paris, one called the Quatre-Nations. “This school must be visited in order to form any idea of the state of destruction and dilapidation which all the national buildings are in. No repairs have been made since the reopening of the schools; everything is going to ruin. . . . Walls are down and the floors fallen in. To preserve the pupils from the risks which the occupation of these buildings hourly presents, it is necessary to give lessons in rooms which are very unhealthy on account of their small dimensions and dampness. In the drawing-class the papers and models in the portfolios become mouldy.”
Albert Duruy, ibid., 484. (“Procès-verbaux des conseils-généraux,” year ix,passim.)
Ibid., 476. (“Statistiques des préfets,” Sarthe, year x.) “Prejudices which it is difficult to overcome, as well on the stability of this school as on the morality of some of the teachers, prevented its being frequented for a time.”—483. (Procès-verbaux des conseils-généraux,” Bas-Rhin.) “The overthrow of religion has excited prejudices against the central schools.”—482. (Ibid., Lot.) “Most of the teachers in the central school took part in the revolution in a not very honorable way. Their reputation affects the success of their teaching. Their schools are deserted.”
Albert Duruy, ibid., 194. (According to the reports of 15 central schools, from the year vi to the year viii.) The average for each central school is for drawing, 89 pupils; for mathematics, 28; for the classics, 24; for physics, chemistry and natural history, 19; for general grammar, 5; for history, 10; for legislation, 8: for belles-lettres, 6.—Rocquain, ibid., p. 29. (Reports of Français de Nantes, on the departments of the South-east.) “There, as elsewhere, the courses on general grammar, on belles-lettres, history and legislation, are unfrequented. Those on mathematics, chemistry, Latin, and drawing are better attended, because these sciences open up lucrative careers.”—Ibid., p. 108. (Report by Barbé-Marboi on the Brittany departments.)
“Statistiques des préfets,” Meurthe, by Marquis, year xiii, p. 120. “In the communal schools of the rural districts, the fee was so small that the poorest families could contribute to the (teacher’s) salary. Assessments on the communal property, besides, helped almost everywhere in providing the teacher with a satisfactory salary, so that these functions were sought after and commonly well fulfilled. . . . Most of the villages had Sisters of Saint-Vincent de Paul for instructors, or others well known under the name of Vatelottes.”—“The partition of communal property, and the sale of that assigned to old endowments, had deprived the communes of resources which afforded a fair compensation to schoolmasters and schoolmistresses. The product of the additional centimes scarcely sufficed for administrative expenses.—Thus, there is but little else now than people without means, who take poorly compensated places; again, they neglect their schools just as soon as they see an opportunity to earn something elsewhere.”—Archives nationales, No. 1004, cartons 3044 and 3145. (Report of the councillors of state on mission in the year ix.—First military division, Report of Lacuée.) Aisne: “There is now no primary school according to legal institution.”—The situation is the same in Oise, also in Seine for the districts of Sceaux and Saint-Denis.
Albert Duruy, 178. (Report drawn up in the bureaux of the ministry of the interior, year viii.) “A detestable selection of those called instructors; almost everywhere, they are men without morals or education, who owe their nomination solely to a pretended civism, consisting of nothing but an insensibility to morality and propriety. . . . They affect an insolent contempt for the (old) religious opinions.”—Ibid., p. 497. (Procès-verbaux des conseils-généraux.) On primary school-teachers, Hérault: “Most are blockheads and vagabonds.”—Pas-de-Calais: “Most are blockheads or ignoramuses.”
Rocquain, 194. (Report by Fourcroy on the 14th military division, Manche, Orne, Calvados.) “Besides bad conduct, drunkenness, and the immorality of many of these teachers, it seems certain that the lack of instruction in religion is the principal motive which prevents parents from sending their children to these schools.”—Archives nationales, ibid. (Report by Lacuée on the 1st military division.) “The teachers, male and female, who desired to conform to the law of Brumaire 3 and to the different rules prescribed by the central administration, on placing the constitution and the rights of man in the hands of their pupils, found their schools abandoned one after the other. The schools the best attended are those where the Testament, the catechism, and the life of Christ are used. . . . The instructors, obliged to pursue the line marked out by the government, could not do otherwise than carry out the principles which opposed the prejudices and habits of the parents; hence their loss of credit, and the almost total desertion of the pupils.”
“The Revolution,” vol. iii., p. 81, note 2.
“Statistiques des préfets,” Moselle. (Analysis by Ferrière.) At Metz, in 1789, there were five free schools for young children, of which one was for boys and four for girls, kept by monks or nuns; in the year xii there were none: “An entire generation was given up to ignorance.” Ibid., Ain, by Bossi, 1808: “In 1800, there were scarcely any primary schools in the department, as in the rest of France.” In 1808, there are scarcely thirty.—Albert Duruy, p. 480, 496. (Procès-verbaux des conseils-généraux, year ix.) Vosges: “Scarcely any primary instruction.”—Sarthe: “Primary instruction, none.”—Meuse-Inférieure: “It is feared that in fifteen years or so there will not be one man in a hundred able to write,” etc.
These are the minimum figures, and they are arrived at through the following calculation. Before 1789, 47 men out of 100, and 26 women out of 100, that is to say 36 or 37 persons in 100, received primary instruction. Now, according to the census from 1876 to 1881 (official statistics of primary instruction, iii., xvi.), children from six to thirteen number about twelve per cent of the entire population. Accordingly, in 1789, out of a population of 26 millions, the children from 6 to 13 numbered 3,120,000, of whom 1,138,000 learned to read and write. It must be noted that, in 1800, the adult population had greatly diminished, and that the infantine population had largely increased. France, moreover, is enlarged by 12 departments (Belgium, Savoy, Comtat, Nice), where the old schools had equally perished.—If all the old schools had been kept up, it is probable that the children who would have had primary instruction would have numbered nearly 1,400,000.
Saint Thomas, “Summa theologica,” pars iii., questio 60 usque ad 85: “Sacramenta efficiunt quod figurant. . . . Sant necessaria ad salutem hominum. . . . Ab ipso verbo incarnata efficaciam habent. Ex sua institutione habent quod conferant gratiam. . . . Sacramentum est causa gratiæ, causa agens, principalis et instrumentalis.”
Except priests ordained by a bishop of the Greek church.
“The Revolution,” i. 161.—Archives nationales. (Reports of the Directory commissioners from the cantons and departments.—There are hundreds of these reports, of which the following are specimens.)—F7, 7108. (Canton of Passavent, Doubs, Ventôse 7, year iv.) “The sway of religious opinions is much more extensive here than before the revolution, because the mass of the people did not concern themselves about them, while nowadays they form among the generality the subject of conversation and complaint.”—F7, 7127. (Canton of Goux, Doubs, Pluviôse 13, year iv.) “The hunting down of unsworn priests, coupled with the dilapidation and destruction of the temples, displeased the people, who want a religion and a cult; the government became hateful to them.”—Ibid. (Dordogne, canton of Livrac, Ventôse 13, year iv.) “The demolition of altars, the closing of the churches, had rendered the people furious under the Tyranny.”—F7, 7129. (Seine-Inférieure, canton of Canteleu, Pluviôse 12, year iv.) “I knew enlightened men who, in the ancient régime, never went near a church, and yet who harbored refractory priests.”—Archives nationales, cartons 3144-3145, No. 1004. (Missions of the councillors of state in the year ix.) At this date, worship was everywhere established and spontaneously. (Report by Lacuée.) In Eure-et-Loire, “nearly every village has its church and minister; the temples are open in the towns and are well attended.”—In Seine-et Oise, “the Roman Catholic cult prevails in all the communes of the department.”—In Oise, “worship is carried on in all the communes of the department.”—In Loiret, “the churches are attended by the multitude almost as regularly as before 1788. One-sixth of the communes (only) have neither worship nor minister and, in these communes, both are strongly desired.”
Archives nationales, F7, 7129. (Tarn, canton of Vielmur, Germinal 10, year iv.) “The ignorant now regard patriot and brigand as synonymous.”
Archives nationales, F7, 7108. (Doubs, canton of Vercel, Pluviôse 20, year iv.) “Under the law of Prairial 11, the unsworn priests were all recalled by their former parishioners. Their hold on the people is so strong that there is no sacrifice that they will not make, no ruse nor measures that they will not employ to keep them and elude the rigor of the laws bearing on them.”—(Ibid., canton of Pontarlier, Pluviôse 3, year iv.) “In the primary assemblies, the aristocracy, together with spite, have induced the ignorant people not to accept the constitution except on condition of the recall of their transported or emigrant priests for the exercise of their worship.”—(Ibid., canton of Labergement, Pluviôse 14, year iv.) “The cultivators adore them. . . . I am the only citizen of my canton who, along with my family, offers up prayers to the Eternal without any intermediary.”—F7, 7127. (Côte-d’Or, canton of Beaune, Ventôse 5, year iv.) “Fanaticism is a power of great influence.”—(Ibid., canton of Frolois, Pluviôse 9, year iv.) “Two unsworn priests returned eighteen months ago; they are hidden away and hold nocturnal meetings. . . . They have seduced and corrupted at least three-quarters of the people of both sexes.”—(Ibid., canton of Ivry, Pluviôse 1, year iv.) “Fanaticism and popery have perverted the public mind.”—F7, 7119. (Puy-de-Dôme, canton of Ambert, Ventôse 15, year iv.) “Five returned priests have celebrated the mass here, and each time were followed by 3000 or 4000 persons.”—F7, 7127. (Dordogne, canton of Carlux, Pluviôse 18, year iv.) “The people are so attached to the Catholic faith, they walk fully two leagues to attend mass.”—F7, 7119. (Ardèche, canton of Saint-Barthélemy, Pluviôse 15, year iv.) “The unsubmissive priests have become absolute masters of popular opinion.”—(Orne, canton of Alençon, Ventôse 22, year iv.) “Presidents, members of the municipal councils, instead of arresting the refractory priests and bringing them into court, admit them to their table, lodge them and impart to them the secrets of the government.”—F7, 7129. (Seine-et-Oise, canton of Jouy, Pluviôse 8, year iv.) “Forty-nine out of fifty citizens seem to have the greatest desire to profess the Catholic faith.”—Ibid., canton of Dammartin, Pluviôse 7, year iv.) “The Catholic religion has full sway; those who do not accept it are frowned upon.”—At the same date (Pluviôse 9, year iv), the commissioner at Chamarande writes: “I see persons giving what they call blessed bread and yet having nothing to eat.”
Ibid., cartons 3144 and 3145, No. 1004, missions of the councillors of state, year ix.—(Report of Barbé-Marbois on Brittany.) “At Vannes, I entered the cathedral on the jour des Rois, where the constitutional mass was being celebrated; there were only one priest and two or three poor people there. A little farther on 1 found a large crowd barring the way in the street; these people could not enter a chapel which was already full and where the mass called for by the Catholics was being celebrated.—Elsewhere, the churches in the town were likewise deserted, and the people went to hear mass by a priest just arrived from England.”—(Report by Français de Nantes on Vaucluse and Provence.) One tenth of the population follows the constitutional priests; the rest follow the returned émigré priests; the latter have on their side the rich and influential portion of society.”—(Report of Lacuée on Paris and the seven surrounding departments.) “The situation of the unsubmissive priests is more advantageous than that of the submissive priests. . . . The latter are neglected and abandoned; it is not fashionable to join them. . . . (The former) are venerated by their adherents as martyrs; they excite tender interest, especially from the women.”
Archives nationales, cartons 3144 and 3145, No. 1004, missions of the councillors of state, year ix.—(Report by Lacuée.) “The wants of the people in this way seem at this moment to be confined. . . to a vain spectacle, to ceremonies: going to mass, the sermon and vespers, which is all very well; but confession, the communion, fasting, doing without meat, is not common anywhere. . . . In the country, where there are no priests, the village schoolmaster officiates, and people are content; they would prefer bells without priests rather than priests without bells.”—This regret for bells is very frequent and survives even in the cantons which are lukewarm.—(Creuse, Pluviôse 10, year iv.) “They persist in replanting the crosses which the priests have dug up; they put back the ropes to the bells which the magistrate has taken away.”
Archives nationales, cartons 3144 and 3145, No. 1004, missions of the councillors of state, year ix.—(Report by Fourcroy.) “The keeping of Sunday and the attendance on the churches, which is seen everywhere, shows that the mass of Frenchmen desire a return to ancient usages, and that the time has gone by for resisting this national tendency. . . . The mass of mankind require a religion, a system of worship and a priesthood. It is an error of certain modern philosophers, into which I have myself been led, to believe in the possibility of any instruction sufficiently widespread to destroy religious prejudices; they are a source of consolation for the vast number of the unfortunate. . . . Priests, altars and worship must accordingly be left to the mass of the people.”
Peuchet, “Statistique élémentaire de la France” (published in 1805), p. 228. According to statements furnished by prefects in the years ix and x, the population is 33,111,962 persons; the annexation of the island of Elbe and of Piedmont adds 1,864,350. Total, 34,976,313.—Pelet de la Lozère, p. 203. (Speech by Napoleon to the council of state, February 4, 1804, on the Protestant seminaries of Geneva and Strasbourg, and on the number of Protestants in his states.) “Their population numbers only 3 millions.”
Rœderer, iii., 330 (July 1800): “The First Consul spoke to me about the steps necessary to be taken to prevent the (émigrés) who had been struck off from getting back their possessions, in view of maintaining the interest in the revolution of about 1,200,000 purchasers of national domains.”—Rocquain, “État de la France au 18 Brumaire.” (Report by Barbé-Marbois on Morbihan, Finisterre, Ile-et-Vilaine, and Côtes-du-Nord, year ix.) “In every place I have just passed through the proprietors recognize that their existence is attached to that of the First Consul.”
Constitution of Frimaire 22, year viii, art. 94.—Article 93, moreover, declares that “the possessions of the émigrés are irrevocably acquired by the republic.”
Law of Floréal 29, year x, title 1st, article 8. The member also swears “to combat with all the means which justice, reason and the law authorize, every enterprise tending to restore the feudal régime,” and, consequently, feudal rights and tithes.
Organic Sénatus-consulte, Floréal 28, year xii (18th May 1804). Title vii., art. 53.
Rœderer, iii., 430-432 (April 4, 1802, May 1, 1802): “Defermon remarked to me yesterday, ‘This will all go on well as long as the First Consul lives; the day after his, death we shall all emigrate.’ ”—“Every one, from the sailor to the mechanic, says to himself, ‘All this is very well, but will it last? . . .—This work we undertake, this capital we risk, this house we build, these trees we plant, what will become of them if he dies?”
Ibid., 340. (Words of the First Consul, November 4, 1800.) “Who is the rich man to-day? The buyer of national domains, the contractor, the robber.”—These details, above, are provided for me by family narrations and souvenirs.
Napoleon, “Correspondance,” letter of September 5, 1795. “National and émigré property is not dear; patrimonies are priceless.”—Archives nationales, cartons 3144 to 3145, No. 1004, missions of the councillors of state, year ix. (Report by Lacuée on the seven departments of the division of the Seine.) “The proportion of value, in Seine, between national and patrimonial properties is from 8 to 15.”—In Eure, national property of every kind is sold about 10 per cent. off, and patrimonial at about 4 per cent. off. There are two sorts of national property, one of first origin (that of the clergy), and the other of second origin (that of the émigrés). The latter is much more depreciated than the former. Compared with patrimonial property, in Aisne, the former loses a fifth or a quarter of its value and the latter a third; in Loiret, the former loses a quarter and the latter one-half; in Seine-et-Oise the former loses one-third and the latter three-fifths; in Oise the former is at about par, the latter loses a quarter.—Rœderer, iii., 472 (December 1803). Depreciation of national property in Normandy: “But little is bought above 7 per cent. off; this, however, is the fate of this sort of property throughout France.”—Ibid., iii., 534 (January 1809): “In Normandy, investments on patrimonial property bring only 3 per cent., while State property brings 5 per cent.”—Moniteur (January 4, 1825). Report of M. de Martignac: “The confiscated property of the émigrés finds its purchasers with difficulty, and its commercial value is not in proportion to its real value.”—Duclosonge, former inspector of domains, “Moyens de porter les domaines nationaux à la valeur des biens patrimoniaux,” p. 7. “Since 1815, national property has generally been bought at a rate of income of 3 per cent. or, at the most, 4 per cent. The difference for this epoch is accordingly one-fifth, and even two-fifths.”
Treaty between the Pope and the French government, July 15, 1801. Ratifications exchanged September 1, 1801, and published with its articles April 8, 1802.—Article 13.
Ibid., article 14.
Articles organiques, 64, 65, 66.
Law of November 30, 1809, and opinion of the Council of State, May 19, 1811.
Articles organiques, 68.
Articles organiques, 71, 72.—Concordat, article 12.—Law passed July 26, 1803.
Councils of laymen entrusted with the administration of parish incomes.
Law of December 30, 1809, articles 39, 92 and following articles, 105 and following articles.
Law of September 15, 1807, title ix.
Concordat, article 15.—Articles organiques, 73.
Alexis Chevalier, “les Frères des écoles chrétiennes et l’Enseignement primaire après la révolution,” passim. (Act of Vendémiare 24 and Prairial 28, year xi, and Frimiaire 11, year xii; laws of May 14, 1806, March 7, 1808, February 17, 1809, Decem. 26, 1810.)
Alexis Chevalier, ibid., 189.
Ibid., p. 185 sequitur. (Decision of Aug. 8, 1803, of March 25, 1805, of May 30, 1806.)
Decree of June 22, 1804 (articles 1 and 4).—“Consultation sur les décrets du 29 Mars 1880,” by Edmond Rousse, p. 32. (Out of 54 communities, there were two of men, the “Pères du tiers-ordre de Saint-François” and the priests of “la Miséricorde,” one founded in 1806 and the other in 1808.)
“Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène.” Napoleon adds “that an empire like France may and must have some refuge for maniacs called Trappists.”—Pelet de la Lozère, p. 208. (Session of the council of state, May 22, 1804.) “My intention is to have the house of foreign missions restored; these monks will be of great use to me in Asia, Africa, and America. . . . I will give them a capital of 15,000 francs a year to begin with. . . . I shall also re-establish the ‘Sisters of Charity;’ I have already had them put in possession of their old buildings. I think it necessary also, whatever may be said of it, to re-establish the ‘Ignorantins.’ ”
Rœderer, iii., 481. (Sénatorerie of Caen, Germinal 17, year xiii.) Constant lamentations of bishops and most of the priests he has met. “A poor curé, an unfortunate curé. . . . The bishop invites you to dinner, to partake of the poor cheer of an unfortunate bishop on 12,000 francs salary.”—The episcopal palaces are superb, but their furniture is that of a village curé; one can scarcely find a chair in the finest room.—“The officiating priests have not yet found a fixed salary in any commune. . . . The peasants ardently longed for their usual mass and Sunday service as in the past, but to pay for this is another thing.”
Decrees of May 31 and Decem. 26, 1804, assigning to the Treasury the salaries of 24,000 and then 30,000 assistant-priests.
Charles Nicolas, “le Budget de la France depuis le commencement du XIXe siècle;” appropriation in 1807, 12,341,537 francs.
Decrees of Prairial 2, year xii, Nivôse 5, year xiii, and Sep. 30, 1807.—Decree of Decem. 30, 1809 (articles 37, 39, 40, 49 and ch. iv.)—Opinion of the council of state, May 19, 1811.
These are limited (articles organiques, 5): “All ecclesiastical functions are gratuitous except the authorized oblations fixed by the regulations.”
Articles organiques, 73.
Ibid., 74: “Real property other than dwellings with their adjoining gardens, shall not be held under ecclesiastical titles or possessed by ministers of worship by reason of their functions.”
Opinion of the Council of State, January 22, 1805, on the question whether the communes have become owners of the churches and parsonages abandoned to them by the law of Germinal 18, year x (articles organiques).—The Council of State is of the opinion that “the said churches and parsonages must be considered as communal property.” If the State renounces ownership in these buildings it is not in favor of the fabrique, curé or bishop, but in favor of the commune.
In 1790 and 1791 a number of communes had made offers for national property with a view to re-sell it afterwards, and much of this, remaining unsold, was on their hands.
Articles organiques, 26. “The bishops will make no ordination before submitting the number of persons to the government for its acceptance.”
“Archives de Grenoble.” (Documents communicated by Mdlle. de Franclieu.) Letter of the bishop, Monseigneur Claude Simon, to the Minister of Worship, April 18, 1809. “For seven years that I have been bishop of Grenoble, I have ordained thus far only eight priests; during this period I have lost at least one hundred and fifty. The survivors threaten me with a more rapid gap; either they are infirm, bent with the weight of years, or wearied or overworked. It is therefore urgent that I be authorized to confer sacred orders on those who are old enough and have the necessary instruction. Meanwhile, you are limited to asking authorization for the first eight on the aforesaid list, of whom the youngest is twenty-four. . . . I beg Your Excellency to present the others on this list for the authorization of His Imperial Majesty.”—Ibid., October 6, 1811. “I have only one deacon and one subdeacon, whilst I am losing three or four priests monthly.”
Articles organiques, 68, 69. “The pensions enjoyed by the curés by virtue of the laws of the constituent assembly shall be deducted from their salary. The vicars and assistants shall be taken from the pensioned ecclesiastics according to the laws of the constituent assembly. The amount of these pensions and the product of oblations shall constitute their salary.”
Laws of Vendémiaire 16, year v, and Ventôse 20, year v.
Decree of Novem. 6, 1800.
Decisions of February 23, 1801, and June 26, 1801. (We find, through subsequent decisions, that these recoveries were frequently effected.)
Law of Frimaire 7, year v (imposing one decime per franc above the cost of a ticket in every theatre for the benefit of the poor not in the asylums).—Also the decree of Decem. 9, 1809.—Decisions of Vendémiaire 27, year vii, and the restoration of the Paris octroi, “considering that the distress of the civil asylums and the interruption of succor at domiciles admit of no further delay.”—Also the law of Frimaire 19, year viii, with the addition of 2 decimes per franc to the octroi duties, established for the support of the asylums of the commune of Paris.—Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, “Traité de la science des finances,” i., 685. Many towns follow this example: “Two years had scarcely passed when there were 293 octrois in France.”
Law of Messidor 25, year v.—Alexis Chevalier, ibid., p. 185. (Decisions of Thermidor 20, year xi, and Germinal 4, year xiii.)—Law of Decem. 11, 1808 (article 1st.)
Albert Duruy, “l’Instruction publique et la Révolution,” p. 480 et seq. (“Procèsverbaux des conseils-généraux de l’an ix;” among others, the petitions from Gironde, Ile-et-Vilaine, Maine-et-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Haute-Saône, Haute Vienne, la Manche, Lot-et-Garonne, Sarthe, Aisne, Aude, Côte-d’Or, Pas-de-Calais, Basse-Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, and Lot.)
Alexis Chevalier, ibid., p. 182. (According to statistical returns of the parent-establishment, rue Oudinot.—These figures are probably too low.)
“Recueil des lois et règlemens sur l’enseignement supérieur,” by A. de Beauchamp, i., 65. (Report by Fourcroy, April 20, 1802.) “Old schools, since the suppression of upper schools and universities, have taken a new extension, and a pretty large number of private institutions have been formed for the literary education of the young.”
Ibid., 65 and 71. (Report by Fourcroy.) “As to the primary schools, the zeal of the municipalities must be aroused, the emulation of the functionaries excited, and charitable tendencies revived, so natural to the French heart and which will so promptly spring up when the religious respect of the government for local endowments becomes known.”
Ibid., p. 81. (Decree of May 1st, 1802, titles 2 and 9.—Decree of Septem. 17, 1808, article 23.)
“Histoire du collège des Bons-Enfans de l’université de Reims,” by abbé Cauly, p. 649.—The lycée of Reims, decreed May 6, 1802, was not opened until the 24th of September, 1803. The town was to furnish accommodations for 150 pupils. It spent nearly 200,000 francs to put buildings in order. . . . This sum was provided, on the one hand, by a voluntary subscription which realized 45,000 francs and, on the other hand, by an additional tax.
Law of May 1, 1802, articles 32, 33, and 34.—Guizot, “Essai sur l’instruction publique, i., 59. “Bonaparte maintained and brought up in the lycées, at his own expense and for his own advantage, about 3000 children . . . commonly selected from the sons of soldiers or from poor families.”—Fabry, “Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de l’instruction publique,” iii., 802. “Children of soldiers whose wives lived in Paris, the sons of office-holders who were prevented by luxury from bringing up their families—such were the scholarships of Paris.”—“In the provinces, the employees in the tax- and post-offices, with other nomadic functionaries—such were the communal scholarships.”—Lunet, “Histoire du collège de Rodez,” 219, 224. Out of 150 scholarships, 87 are filled, on the average.
“Recueil,” etc., by A. de Beauchamp, 1, 171, 187, 192. (Law of September 17, 1808, article 27, and decision of April 7, 1809.)
Ibid. Masters of private schools and heads of institutions must pay additionally every year one-quarter of the sums above fixed. (Law of Spp. 17, 1808, article 25. Law of March 17, 1808, title 17.—Law of February 17, 1809.)
Ibid., i., 189. (Decree of March 24, 1808, on the endowment of the University.)
Emond, “Histoire du collège Louis-le-Grand,” p. 238. (This college, previous to 1789, enjoyed an income of 450,000 livres.)—Guizot, ibid., i., 62.—This college was maintained during the revolution under the name of the “Prytanée français” and received in 1800 the property of the University of Louvain. Many of its pupils enlisted in 1792, and were promised that their scholarships should be retained for them on their return; hence the military spirit of the “Prytanée.”—By virtue of a decree, March 5, 1806, a perpetual income of 400,000 francs was transferred to the Prytanée de Saint-Cyr. It is this income which, by the decree of March 24, 1818, becomes the endowment of the imperial University. Henceforth, the expenses of the Prytanée de Saint-Cyr are assigned to the war department.
Alexis Chevalier, ibid., p. 265. Allocution to the “Ignorantin” brethren.
“The Ancient Régime,” pp. 13-15.—“The Revolution,” iii., p. 54.—Alexis Chevalier, “Les Frères des écoles chrétiennes,” p. 341. “Before the revolution, the revenues of public instruction exceeded 30 millions.”—Peuchet, “Statistique élémentaire de la France” (published in 1805), p. 256. Revenue of the asylums and hospitals in the time of Necker, 40 millions, of which 23 are the annual income from real-estate and 17 provided by personal property, contracts, the public funds, and a portion from octrois, etc.
D’Haussônville, “l’Église romaine et le premier Empire,” vol. iv. et v., passim—Ibid., iii., 370, 375. (13 Italian cardinals and 19 bishops of the Roman states are transported and assigned places in France, as well as many of their grand-vicars and chanoines; about the same date over 200 Italian priests are banished to Corsica).—v., 181. (July 12, 1811, the bishops of Troyes, Tournay and Ghent are sent to Vincennes.)—v., 286. (236 pupils in the Ghent seminary are enrolled in an artillery brigade and sent off to Wesel, where about fifty of them die in the hospital.)—“Mémoires,” by M. X——, iv., 358. (Numbers of Belgian priests confined in the castles of Ham, Bouillon and Pierre-Châtel were set free after the Restoration.)
Decree of November 15, 1811, art. 28, 29, and 30. (Owing to M. de Fontanes, the small seminaries were not all closed, many of them, 41, still existing in 1815.)
Collection of laws and decrees, passim, after 1802.
Documents furnished by M. Alexis Chevalier, former director of public charities. The total amount of legacies and bequests is as follows: 1st. Asylums and hospitals, from January 1, 1800, to December 31, 1845, 72,593,360 francs; from January 1, 1846, to December 31, 1855, 37,107,812; from January 1, 1856, to December 31, 1877, 121,197,774—in all, 230,898,346 francs.—2d. Charity bureaux. From January 1, 1800, to December 31, 1845, 49,911,090; from January 1, 1846, to December 31, 1873, 115,629,925; from January 1, 1874, to December 31, 1877, 19,261,065—in all, 184,802,080 francs. Sum total, 415,701,026 francs.
According to the statements of M. de Watteville and M. de Gasparin.
Report by Fourcroy, annexed to the exposition of the empire and presented to the Corps Législatif, March 5, 1806.
“Coup d’œil général sur l’éducation et l’instruction publique en France,” by Basset, censor of studies at Charlemagne college (1816),—p. 21.
“Statistique de l’enseignement primaire,” ii., cciv. (From 1786 to 1789, 47 out of 100 married men and 26 married women out of a hundred signed their marriage contract. From 1816 to 1820, the figures show 54 husbands and 34 wives.)—Morris Birbeck, “Notes of a Journey through France in July, August and September 1814.” p. 3 (London, 1815). “I am told that all the children of the laboring classes learn to read, and are generally instructed by their parents.”
Madame de Rémusat, i., 243. (Journey in the north of France and in Belgium with the First Consul, 1803.) “On journeys of this kind he was in the habit, after obtaining information about the public buildings a town needed, to order them as he passed along, and, for this munificence, he bore away the blessings of the people.”—Some time after this a letter came from the minister of the interior: “In conformity with the favor extended to you by the First Consul (later, emperor) you are required, citizen mayor, to order the construction of this or that building, taking care to charge the expenses on the funds of your commune,” and which the prefect of the department obliges him to do, even when available funds are exhausted or otherwise applied.
Thiers, viii., 117 (August 1807) and 124. 13,400 leagues of highways were undertaken or repaired; 10 canals were undertaken or continued, at the expense of the public treasury; 32 departments contribute to the expense of these through the extra centimes tax, which is imposed on them. The State and the department, on the average, contribute each one-half.—Among the material evils caused by the Revolution, the most striking and the most seriously felt was the abandonment and running down of roads which had become impracticable, also the still more formidable degeneracy of the dikes and barriers against rivers and the sea. (Cf. in Rocquain, “État de la France au 18 Brumaire,” the reports of Français de Nantes, Fourcroy, Barbeé-Marbois, etc.)—The Directory had imagined barrriers with toll-gates on each road to provide expenses, which brought in scarcely 16 millions to offset 30 and 35 millions of expenditure. Napoleon substitutes for these tolls the product of the salt-tax. (Decree of April 24, 1806, art. 59.)
“Mémoires,” by M. X——, i., 380. “Scarcely two or three highways remained in decent order. . . . Navigation on the rivers and canals became impossible. Public buildings and monuments were everywhere falling to ruin. . . . If the rapidity of destruction was prodigious, that of restoration was no less so.”