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قراءة كتاب Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. I

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Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. I

Memoirs of the Private Life, Return, and Reign of Napoleon in 1815, Vol. I

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 10

favoured and protected[10]; and it was whispered that the Great Personages, to whom we have already alluded, had deliberated on the means of realizing their hopes. All these tokens of the times united in giving too reasonable a ground for the apprehensions entertained by the proprietors of the confiscated lands; and the disorganization of the tribunals was considered as a national calamity.

It is calculated that the individuals who are interested directly or indirectly either in the purchases of the national domains, or in the rights and liabilities arising out of them, amount in number to somewhat between nine and ten millions.

An opportunity offered itself when all the uneasiness felt by this integral portion of the population of France might have been removed. It was when the law; by which the emigrants recovered possession of such part of their property as had not been alienated, came under consideration. It was natural to suppose that the administration would take advantage of the capability of the proceeding, in order to revive the confidence of the public, and to renew the guarantee of the charter. Such was not their conduct. On the contrary, M. Ferrand, the government orator, one of the men who did most mischief to the King and the kingdom, abandoned himself—we borrow the expression of the reporter of the committee—to all the acrimony of his passions, and all the profligacy of his principles. His fury could only be equalled by his folly. He did not scruple to maintain, in the midst of the representatives of the nation, that the emigrants had the greatest right to claim the justice and favour of the royal government, because they alone had not wandered from the righteous path. And starting with this position, he represented the forfeiture and sale of their property, not as the justifiable acts of a legislative body, but as revolutionary outrages and robberies which the nation ought to hasten to make good.

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