Front Page Titles (by Subject) 232.: FRENCH NEWS  EXAMINER, 19 JAN., 1834, PP. 40-1 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II
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232.: FRENCH NEWS  EXAMINER, 19 JAN., 1834, PP. 40-1 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXIII - Newspaper Writings August 1831 - October 1834 Part II, ed. Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson, Introduction by Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986).
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FRENCH NEWS 
This article is headed “London, January 19, 1834.” Mill’s bibliographic entry for this series (from 29 Dec., 1833, to 16 Feb., 1834; see No. 226) does not specifically say that he wrote the summary in each of those weeks, and in the Somerville College set of the Examiner, the listing is “Article on the ‘National’ Newspaper,” which would suggest that only that part here printed after a printer’s rule is his. However, no one else filled in the French news when Mill did not contribute a column, and the internal references to Nos. 230 and 233, as well as the correction to the second paragraph in his hand in the Somerville College set of the Examiner (“debate on the” added before “French King’s speech”) argue strongly for his authorship of the first section. In the second section Mill made three corrections: at 666.7, “Carrels” is altered to “Carrel”; at 667.6 “intruded” to “intended”; and at 667.13 “mark” to “wreak”.
we are under the necessity of deferring till next week our observations on the Société des Droits de l’Homme.1
The debate on the French King’s speech has now concluded, and the address has been carried by a majority of 288 to 43.2
The Duc de Broglie, whose retractation of acquiescence in M. Bignon’s speech we noticed last week, is reproached with eating his own words, &c.3 Be it so; but the motives which caused him to eat his own words are motives which must restrain the disposition to rush into war. The Times seems to take the disappointment much to heart, and rails against the wickedness of the “low Radicals” who preach peace.4 We frankly confess to all the wickedness of an earnest desire for peace, which we would not forego till some greater evil seemed likely to attend it than is certain in war. But these are low politics akin to the low morality so scoffed at by Jonathan Wild the Great, in his history by Fielding;5 nevertheless, we have shared in them with worshipful company; witness the following passage from the ministerial Globe, which appeared when Russia was going to war with Turkey in 1828:
If our diplomatists say to Russia, that no matter what provocation she has received, we cannot permit her to resent the injuries, lest she may come in contact with us in India, they may expect to be reminded how, and how lately, those possessions have come into our hands. If we plead, as with some truth we may, that we have been obliged to extend our territory in India by the weakness and folly of our neighbours, the Russians may reasonably be allowed to yield in the same manner, under the pressure of a similar necessity.
If, however, our Indian possessions are endangered by the progress of the Russian power southward—though it is not very apparent that this effect would be produced even by the advance of the Russians to Constantinople—it is by precautions in India itself that we should take measures for our security; not by embarking in a general war in Europe. India, if our power there be consolidated and well managed, has within itself sufficient means of defence. It will fall, like that of the Turks, if it deserves to fall—if it become feeble and odious, and then only; for the people subject to the British dominion in India are probably twice as many as those of the whole Russian Empire.6
So wrote the Globe when the Tories were in power. The withdrawal of the fleets of France and England, to Malta and Toulon, has strengthened the supposition that there will be no interruption of peace.
The National newspaper has declared itself defunct, from the close of the year 1833;7 and, with the 1st of January, 1834, M. Armand Carrel, its principal editor, assisted by the same body of writers as before, has commenced a new daily paper, entitled Le National de 1834.
The object of this proceeding is to escape from some of the effects of a most profligate sentence recently passed upon the National by the Cour Royale of Paris, and confirmed by the Court of Cassation.8 The whole story throws so much light upon the spirit in which justice is administered in France in political cases that we shall relate it at length for the edification of our readers.
The French Government have long smarted under the numerous failures which they have experienced in their attempts to crush by the arm of the law all public writers who are hostile to them. Out of upwards of eighty prosecutions against the Tribune, they have obtained verdicts in no more than ten or twelve; and the vindictive severity of the sentences which have been passed by the Judges in that small number of cases, together with the endless vexation and expense which the detestable Code d’Instruction Criminelle has enabled them to inflict upon the accused in all the cases, previously to the trial,9 have not seemed to them sufficient atonement for being frustrated of the ultimate aim of so large a majority of the prosecutions. Their disappointment and irritation have found a vent in various ways; one of which, though not immediately to our present purpose, we shall state. M. Persil, Procureur-Général for the Cour Royale, in the speech which, according to custom, he delivered when the Court resumed its sittings after the vacation,10 proclaimed the necessity of new laws to facilitate verdicts of condemnation in political cases; and, in particular, expressed his hope that the legislature would enact that jurors should vote by ballot, without any previous consultation with one another; and that a bare majority, not as at present a majority of eight to four, should be requisite for conviction. To the extent of this last proposition M. Persil was warmly supported by the Journal des Débats11 and the other Ministerial papers; and a paltry paper, called the Moniteur du Commerce, either from the excess of its zeal, or at the suggestion of powerful persons who wished by throwing up a feather to ascertain the strength of the wind, went the length of declaring a jury to be altogether an absurd institution in political cases, and expressing a wish that the article which establishes it, might be erased from the Charter.12 All these indications of an intended inroad upon almost the only check upon tyranny which the French possess, excited a disgust which appears to have prevented the prosecution of whatever projects may have been meditated by the Government: and even in so timid and compliant a body as the Chamber of Deputies, this feeling has manifested itself in the debate on the Address, with a strength to which the Government will be under the necessity of giving way.
Another shift to which Louis Philippe has been driven in order to wreak that vengeance upon his political enemies in which he has found himself unable to induce juries to participate with him, is to stretch to the utmost all those provisions of the law by which the Court is permitted, from any peculiarity of circumstances, to withdraw a cause from the cognizance of a jury. This is the device which has been put in practice against the National. That journal having undergone ten prosecutions, in every one of which it had been acquitted, it appeared clear to Louis Philippe that there were no means of making its proprietors and writers feel the consequences of his resentment but by means of the judges alone, who he well knew would cheerfully consent to be his tools, although juries would not.
There exists in the French law an enactment, an absurd one enough, which enables the Court to convict and pass sentence for offences of the press, without a jury, provided the criminated passages occur in a report of their own proceedings.13 Thus it is when the cause is their own that they are empowered to be the sole judges in it. Now it so fell out, that on the occasion of the celebrated trial relating to Mademoiselle Boury and the pistol plot, the National, not in its report of the trial but in its leading article, made some severe strictures on the conduct of the judges.14 Hereupon the Cour Royale, at that time presided over by a man named Duboys, commonly called Duboys d’Angers, (we name this sycophant because he, with many others of his kind, helps to compose the Government majority in the Chamber of Deputies,) had the audacious profligacy to decide that the leading article of the National, containing remarks on the trial, was a report of the trial; passing over the real report, which stood in another column of the same newspaper, and which was not in any respect criminated. By this creditable proceeding the article in the National was brought within the enactment which empowers the judges to pass sentence without the verdict of a jury;15 and they proceeded to inflict upon the responsible manager of the paper the penalties of fine and imprisonment, and upon the paper itself that of an interdiction from giving any reports of judicial proceedings for a period of two years.16
All the world knows what to think of a law which empowers a court of justice, at its own discretion, to impose silence on any voice which has once been raised in condemnation of its proceedings. That a country is under such a law is quite enough to prove that the whole spirit of its Government must be that of arbitrary power. The legality of the decision was called in question by the proprietors of the National;17 but it was confirmed by the supreme law authority, the Court of Cassation, in every point except one: in one respect, indeed, the Court of Cassation decided that the Court below had exceeded its powers; that it had a right to interdict only from reporting its own proceedings, but not those of any other tribunal.18
The Cour Royale of Paris, however, is almost the only tribunal whose proceedings a Paris newspaper (except those which devote themselves exclusively to judicial proceedings) usually has occasion to report. The National, therefore, was arbitrarily precluded from furnishing to its subscribers, pursuantly to its contract with them, one of the most important articles of intelligence which a daily newspaper professes and undertakes to supply. In many cases such a sentence would amount to an entire—in all cases to a partial—confiscation of the property in the newspaper.
In order to frustrate the intentions of their oppressors, the proprietors of the National have dissolved their partnership, and a new partnership having been formed, a new paper has been established, to which the iniquitous interdiction put by the Cour Royale upon its defunct predecessor will not apply.
M. Paulin, who for three years has so worthily filled the office of gérant, or responsible proprietor of the National, remains under the interdiction, and is thus disqualified from filling his old office in the new paper. M. Carrel has in consequence come forward personally, and in conjunction with MM. Arnold Scheffer and Prosper Conseil,19 has assumed the legal responsibility of the journal, of which he will be, as he was of its predecessor, the editor and principal writer. A paper which appears under such auspices cannot fail of brilliant success.
M. Carrel is incontestably, and by the admission even of his political enemies, one of the first living ornaments of his country, as a mere writer, and stands almost alone among the journalists of France in being at an infinite distance on the one hand from any compromise with bad institutions or established errors, and, on the other, from any exaggeration or impatience in his schemes of social improvement; he is no less unrivalled in the union of vigour and audacity with dignity and moderation in the style and tone of his writings.
M. Scheffer is known to those who have attended to the political history of the last twenty years in France, by his able co-operation with MM. Comte and Dunoyer in the Censeur Européen, the first periodical work which, after the return of the Bourbons, again raised the standard of reflecting and philosophic liberalism. M. Conseil, known as the translator of Jefferson’s Correspondence, and the author of the able résumé of the principles of enlightened republicanism which stands prefixed to the translation,20 is a young lawyer of great acquirements as a jurist and economist, and versed to a degree extremely rare among Frenchmen, in the best English philosophy.
Since the above article was written, we have learned that M. Carrel is already prosecuted for violating the order of the Court, by inserting reports of its proceedings in the new paper.21 M. Carrel had the authority of eminent lawyers for maintaining that by the course he has adopted, he has set himself free from the interdiction. But he will be tried by the Court without a jury; and that subservient body will scarcely fail to give Louis Philippe the intense satisfaction of inflicting the penalty of imprisonment upon one of the most formidable of his political enemies.
The judgment will be subject to the revision of the Court of Cassation, which has on one memorable occasion afforded a spirited example of resistance to the Court by refusing to sanction the sentences of the Courts Martial after the insurrection in June, 1832.22 But this apparent patriotism and disinterestedness are unfortunately explained by the fact that the Court of Cassation is principally composed of Carlists. In a cause between Louis Philippe and a republican journal, they will join even with the wrong King to put down, by whatever means, the men who are for no King at all; and their decision in this case, whatever it be,23 cannot be a more profligate perversion of the law than their confirmation of the former sentence.
[1 ]The promise, made in No. 230, was fulfilled in No. 233, as Mill indicates.
[2 ]Moniteur, 10 Jan., 1834, p. 68.
[3 ]The notice in the Examiner, 12 Jan., p. 21, under “Foreign Intelligence. France,” concludes “ ‘(Abridged from the Standard)’ ” and seems not to be by Mill. In the debate on 7 Jan. (Moniteur, 1834, pp. 53-4), Broglie, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed his approval of the speech just given by Bignon, in which the latter argued that peace must never be bought—with the implication that it had—at the sacrifice of France’s interests in allowing any one of the great powers of Europe to set aside treaties and to upset the status quo in Poland, in Turkey, or in Italy. On the next day, Broglie explained that he shared only Bignon’s principle, not his interpretation of recent events (ibid., pp. 59-60).
[4 ]Leading article on Foreign Policy, The Times, 17 Jan., 1834, p. 4.
[5 ]Henry Fielding, The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild, the Great (1743), in Works, 12 vols. (London: Richards, 1824), Vol. IV. See especially Bk. IV, Chap. xv, pp. 215-21.
[6 ]Leading article on the Russian threat to India, Globe and Traveller, 10 Apr., 1828, p. 2.
[7 ]Unheaded leader, signed by Paulin, Le National, 31 Dec., 1833, p. 1.
[8 ]For the sentence, see ibid., 19 Nov., 1833, p. 2.
[9 ]For the relevant laws, see No. 226, n4.
[10 ]For Persil’s speech of 4 Nov., see Moniteur, 1833, pp. 2284-6.
[11 ]Leading articles on juries, Journal des Débats, 20 Nov., 1833, p. 1, and 13 Nov., p. 1.
[12 ]“Du jury considéré comme institution politique,” Moniteur du Commerce, 9 Nov., 1833, pp. 1-2; juries were required by Art. 53 of the Charter of 1830.
[13 ]Art. 3 of Bull. 9, No. 68 (8 Oct., 1830).
[14 ]At the time of Mill’s earlier reports of the incidents (Nos. 185 and 187), Mlle Boury was held to be part of the conspiracy. Subsequently, however, two young men were charged, and she appeared only as a witness in their trial (reported in Le National, 14 Mar., 1833, pp. 2-4). In the same issue (p. 2) a leading article criticized the president of the Cour Royale, Jean Jacques Duboys (1768-1845), professor of law, former procureur-général of Angers and a deputy since 1830, and the two conseillers, Joseph Frédéric Chaubry de Troncenord (1793-1880) and Louis Crespin de la Rachée (b. 1757).
[15 ]For an account of the legal conflicts, see “Des poursuites contre la presse,” Constitutionnel, 16 Mar., 1833, p. 1.
[16 ]On 20 Mar. (Moniteur, 1833, p. 788).
[17 ]Le National, 21 Mar., 1833, p. 2.
[18 ]The decision came on 12 May (Moniteur, 1833, pp. 1337-9).
[19 ]Arnold Scheffer (ca. 1797-1853), radical journalist, one of the French Carbonari, as was his brother Ary, an artist and friend of the Grotes; and Louis Prosper Conseil (1796-1834), a radical lawyer and journalist, associate of Carrel.
[20 ]Mélanges politiques et philosophiques extraits des mémoires et de la correspondance de Thomas Jefferson, précédés d’un Essai sur les principes de l’école américaine, 2 vols. (Paris: Paulin, 1833).
[21 ]The notice of summons is reported in the National de 1834, 10 Jan., p. 2; see also Moniteur, 1834, p. 120.
[22 ]For the spirited example, see No. 176.
[23 ]See No. 247.