M. (François) Guizot.

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Cfte lEuropcatt Uilifarii*




At the low p)ice of 3s. 6d. -per Volume.

Thierry.— History of the CONQUEST of ENGLAND by the Normans. B.v
AuGnsTiN Thiebbt. Two voh.

Guizot.— History of the ENGLISH REVOLUTION of HJ40, fi-om the Accession
to the Death of Charles I. By F. Guizot. One vol.

Guizot.— History of CIVILIZATION in EUROPE and in FRANCE; com-
prising the Cours d'Histoirc Moderne complete, and now translated ciUire for the first
time. Three vols.

Micbelet.— Life of LUTHER : written Hy Himself. Collected and arranged
by J. MicHELET ; with additions from Audin. One vol.

liUther.— TABLE-TALK. Translated by W. Hazlitt. One vol.

IWCichelet.— History of the ROMAN REPUBLIC. By J. Michelet. One vol.

Serington.— LITERARY HISTORY of the MIDDLE AGES, from the Reign
of Augustus to the Revival of Learning. By the Rev. Joseph Bebington.
One vol.

Carrel \ History of the COUNTER REVOLUTION, for the re-estabUshment
and > of Popery u» England imder Charles H. and James II., by Abmand
Fox. J Cabbel; and History of the Eakly Past of the REIGN of JAMES II.
by C. J. Fox. One vol.

De Vigny. — CINQ MARS ; or, a Consph-acy under Louis XIII.: an Historical
Romance. By Count Alfbed de Vignt. One vol

Buppa 1 I ;^.gg ^f j,^g ITALIAN PAINTERS.— Michael Angelo, by E.

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Be'ouincy J ^"''''■*' LL.B.; and EaSaeUo, by Q. De Qdincy.

^^V' iLifeof CARDINAL M'OLSEY. By John Galt. With additions

Cavendish./ fro^i Cavendish. One vol.

Roscoe.-Life of LORENZO DE MEDICI. By William Roscoe. Edited by
W. Hazlitt. One vol.

Roscoe.-Life and Pontificate of LEO X. By William Roscoe. Edited by
W. Hazlitt. Two vols.

Bumas.— MARGUERITE DE VALOIS: an Historical Romance. By Allx-
A.NDEK Dumas. One vol.

Bouterwek. — History of SPANISH LITERATURE. By Fkedebick
BouTERwtK. One vol.

Mignet.— History of the FRENCH REVOLUTION— 1789, 1S14. By F. A.
MiuNET. One vol.

Miller (Thomas).— History of the Anglo-Saxons. 12 plates, 3s. 6d.

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^^ The following Lectures were delivered by M, Guizot, in the
years 1828, 1829, and 1830, at the Old Sorbonne, now the
X seat of the Faculte des Lettres, of Paris, on alternate days
with MM. Cousin and Villemain, a triad of lecturers whose
c'^ brilliant exhibitions, the crowds which thronged their lecture
rooms, and the stir they excited in the active and aspiring
minds so numerous among the French youth, the future
historian will commemorate as among the remarkable appear-
ances of that important era.

The first portion of these Lectures, those comprising the
(^2 General History of Civilization in Europe, have already
^ appeared amongst us ; the Lectures on the History of Civili-
^ zation in France are now for the first time introduced to
English readers; a circumstance, from their high value, well
calculated to surprise those who are not acquainted with the
utter want of system in our adoption of the great productions
of the continent; a want of system which has hitherto kept
the English public in well-nigh total ignorance of the best
works, of the best continental writers, and which it is one
of the leading purposes of the European Library to ob-
viate. Of these Lectures, it is most justly observed by the
Edinburgh Review : " there is a consistency, a coherence, a
comprehensiveness, and, what the Germans would term.


many-sidedness, in the manner of M. Guizot's fulfilment of his
task, that manifests him one to whom the whole subject is
famiUar; that exhibits a full possession of the facts which have
any important bearing upon his conclusions; and a deliberate-
ness, a matureness, an entire absence of haste or crudity, in
his explanations of historical phenomena, which give evi-
dence of a general scheme so well wrought out and digested
beforehand, that the labours of research and of thought
necessary for the whole work seem to have been performed
before any part was committed to paper." The same writer
laments that a knowledge of M, Guizot's writings is even
now not a common possession in this country. It will be
rendered such by the pages of the European Library.

W. Hazlitt.

Middle Temple, June 1, 1846.


i^ «

On the 8th of April, 1794, three days after the bloody victory
of Robespierre over Danton, Camille Desmoulins, and the men
of the Committee of Clemency, the scaffold was prei)ared at
!Nimes for a distinguished advocate, who was also suspected
of resistance to the will of the terrible triumvirate, and desola-
tion had seated itself at the fireside of one of the worthiest
families of the country. A woman, all tears, was beseeching
God for strength to support a fearful blow; for the executioner
at that moment was rendering her a widow, and her two
children orphans. The eldest of these, scarcely seven years
old, already wore upon his contemplative countenance the
stamp of precocious intellect. IVIisfortune is a species of hot-
house; one grows rapidly within its influence. This child,
who had no childhood, was Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot.

Born a Protestant, on the 4th of October, 1787, under the
sway of a legislation which refused to recognise the legal
union of his pai-ents and denied him a name and social rank,
young Guizot saw the Revolution, with the same blow, restore
him definitively to his rightful place in God's world, and make
him pay for the benefit by the blood of his father. If we
designed to write anything more than a biography, perhaps
we might find in this concurrence of circumstances the first
germ of that antipathy which the statesman afterwards mani-
fested, almost equally for absolute monarchies and for demo-
cratic governments.

After the fatal catastrophe just related, Madame Guizot

• Chiefly from the Galerie des Contemporains IHustres, 3rd edition.
Paris, 1840.




left a city whicli was filled with such bitter recollections, and
went to seek at Geneva consolation in the bosom of her
family, and a solid education for her children. Young Guizot,
placed at the gymnasium of Geneva, devoted his whole soul
to study. His first and only playthings were books; and
at the end of four yeai-s, the advanced scholar was able to
read in their respective languages the works of Thucydides
and Demosthenes, of Cicero and Tacitus, of Dante and
Alfieri, of Schiller and Goethe, of Gibbon and Shakespere.
His last two years at college were especially consecrated to
historical and philosophical studies. Philosophy, in particular,
had powerful attractions for him. His mind, endowed by
nature with an especial degi'ee of logical strength, was quite
at home, was peculiarly enabled to unfold and open in the
little Genevese republic, which has preserved something of
the learned and inflexible physiognomy of its patron, John

Having completed his collegiate studies with brilliant suc-
cess, in 1805, M. Guizot proceeded to Paris to prepare himself
for the bar. It is well known that the law schools had dis-
appeared amid the revolutionary whirlwind. Several private
establishments had been formed to supply the deficiency; but
M. Guizot, not caring for an imperfect knowledge of the pro-
fession, resolved upon mastering it in solitude. At once poor
and proud, austere and ambitious, the young man found him-
self cast into a world of intrigue, frivolity, and licentiousness.
The period between the Directory and the Empire Avas a
multiform, uncertain, dim epoch, like all periods of transition.
Violently agitated by the revolutionary blast, the social
current had not yet entirely resumed its course. Many of
the ideas which had been hurled to the ground were again
erect, but pale, enfeebled, tottering, and, as it were, stunned
by the terrible blow which had prostrated them. Some
superior minds were endeavouring to direct into a new path
the society which was rising from its ruins; but the mass,
long debarred from material enjoyments, only sought full use
of the days of repose which they feared to see too soon ended.
Hence that character of general over-excitement, that disso-
luteness of morals which well nigh brouglit back the times
of the Regency.

The serious and rigid nature of the Genevese scholar


sufficed to preserve him from the contagion. The first year
of his residence at Paris was one of sadness and isolation.
He fell back upon himself, like all men who, feeling them-
selves strong, want the means of making essay of their

The following year he became attached as tutor to the
household of M. Stapfer, minister for Switzerland at the
French court, where he experienced almost paternal kindness,
and had opened to him treasures of philosophical learning
well calculated to direct and promote his intellectual develop-
ment. This connexion gave him admission to the salon of
M. Suard, where all the most distinguished minds of the
epoch w'ere wont to assemble, and where he saw for the first
time the woman who was destined to exercise so noble and
beneficial an influence over his whole life.

The circumstance which brought about the marriage of M.
Guizot was somewhat tinged ■with romance. Born of a dis-
tinguished family, which had been ruined by the Revolution,
Mademoiselle Pauline de Meulan had found resources in an
education as solid as varied, and, to support her family, had
thrown herself into the trying career of journalism. At the
period in question, she was editing the Puhliciste. A serious
malady, however, brought on by excess of toil, obliged her to
interrupt labours so essential to the happiness, the existence
of those she loved. Her situation threatened to become very
critical; she was almost in despair, when one day she received
an anonymous letter, entreating her to be tranquil, and offer-
ing to discharge her task during the continuance of her ill-
ness. The letter was accompanied by an article admirably
written, the ideas and the style of which, by a refinement of
delicacy, were exactly modelled upon her own. She accepted
this article, published it, and regularly received a similar con-
tribution until her restoration to health. Profoundly affected
by such kindness, she related the affair in the salon of M.
Suard, exhausting her imagination in endeavours to discover
her unknown friend, and never thinking for a moment of a pale,
serious young man, with whom she was scarcely acquainted,
and who listened to her in silence, as she pursued her conjec-
tures. J^arnestly supplicated through the columns of the journal
to reveal himself, the generous incognito at last Avent in per-
son to receive the well merited thanks. It was the young man
b 2


just alluded to, and five years afterwai'ds Mademoiselle de
Meulan took the name of Madame Guizot.

During tlie five years, M. Guizot was occupied with various
literary labours. In 1809, he published his first work, the
DictioiiJiaire des Synonyme, the introduction to which, a
philosophical appreciation of the peculiar characteristics of the
French language, displayed that spirit of precision and method
which distinguishes M. Guizot. Next came the Vies des
Poetes Frcmgais ; then a translation of Gibbon, enriched with
historical notes of the highest interest; and next, a translation
of a work of Rehfus, Sjmin in 1808.

All these works were produced before the author had
reached the age of twenty-five, a fact from which the character
of his mind may be judged.

In 1812, his talents were sufficiently well known to induce
M. de Fontanes to attach him to the university by appointing
him assistant professor of history in the Faculty of Letters.
Soon afterwards, he obtained complete possession of that Chair
of Modern History, in connexion with which he has left such
glorious recollections. There was formed his friendship with
M. Royer-Collard, then professor of the history of philosophy
— a friendship afterwards closely cemented by time.

This first portion of M. Guizot's life was exclusively
literary. It has been attempted to make him out at this
period an ardent legitimist, caballing and conspiring in secret
to hasten the return of the Bourbons. We have discovered
no fact that justifies the assertion. By his wife, by his literary
relations, and by his tastes, he belonged, it is true, to a certain
class, who retained, amid the roughness of the empire, tradi-
tions of the elegance and good taste of the ai'istocracy of the
previous age. A soi't of philosophical varnish was very much
in fashion among tlie literati of that class, whom Napoleon
'jsed to denominate ideologists. They ideologized, in truth, a
great deal; but they had little to do with politics. And it is
well known, moreover, that it was requisite for the pen of the
Chcintre des Martyrs to devote itself entirely to the task of
reviving the well nigh forgotten memory of the Bourbons in
the heart of a generation which had not beheld their fall.

The events of 1814 found M. Guizot in liis native town of
Nimes, whither ho had gone to visit Ins mother after a long
separation. On his retuin, the young professor was indebted


to the active friendship of Royer-CoUard for his selection by
the Abbe de Montesquiou, then INIinister of the Interior, to
fill tlie post of Secretary- General in his department. This was
the first step of M. Guizot in the path of politics. Although
he was placed in a secondary position, his great abilities
exerted a considerable influence upon the administrative
measures of the time. The partisans of the liberal cause
reproached him especially with having, in conjunction with
l\oyer-Collard, prepared that severe law against the press
which was presented to the Chambers of 1814 by M. de
Montesquiou, and also with having taken a seat in the com-
mittee of censorship, by the side of M. de Frayssinous. On
the other hand, the ultra-royalist faction was indignant at
hearing an insignificant plebeian, a professor, a protestant,
employed in affairs of state, with a court abbe, talk of con-
stitutional equilibrium, of balance of powers; to see him
endeavouring to conciliate monarchical ideas with the new
interests created by the Revolution. In the eyes of the one
party, he did too little, in the eyes of the other, too much;
Napoleon's return from Elba released him from his difficult
position. After the departure of the Bourbons, he resumed
his functions in the Faculty of Letters ; and two months
after, when the fall of the emperor became evident to all, he
was charged by the constitutional royalists with a mission to
Ghent, to plead the cause of the Charter before Louis XVIII.,
and to insist upon the absolute necessity of keeping M. de
Blacas, the chief of the old regime party, from all participa-
tion in affairs. This is the statement of the affair given by
his friends, and what seems to prove that it was in fact the
object of M. Guizot's mission, is, that a month afterwards, on
his return into France, the king dismissed M. de Blacas, and
published the proclamation of Cambrai, in which he acknow-
ledged the faults of his government, and added new guaran-
tees to the Charter.

Every one knows what violent storms agitated the Chamber
of 1815, composed of the most heterogeneous elements, and
wherein the majority, more royalist than the king himself,
constantly opposed every measure calculated to reconcile the
country to the dynasty of the Bourbons. To say that
M. Guizot then filled the office of Secretary- General, in the
department of justice xinder the Marquis de Barbe-Marbois.


is to say that, -vvliilst he conceded much, too much, perhaps,,
to the demands of the victorious party, he endeavoured to
arrest, as far as he could, the encroaching spirit of the parti-
sans of absolute royalty. His first political pamphlet. Die
Gouvernement Representatif, et de VEtat actuel de la France,
which he published in refutation of a work by M, de VitroUes,
gave the criterion of his governmental ideas, and placed him
in the ranks of the constitutional royalist minority, repi'esented
in the Chamber by Messrs. Royer-CoUard, Pasquier, Camille
Jourdain, and de Serres. It was about this epoch, after the
victory of the moderate pai'ty, the dissolution of the Chamber
of 1815, and the accession of the ministry of the Duke De-
cazes, that a new word was introduced into the political lan-
guage of France. It has not been consecrated by the diction-
ary of the French Academy, for want, perhaps, of ability to
give it a precise definition; but it appeal's to us desirable to
furnish, if not its signification (which would be a difiicult
matter), at least its history.

It is well known that prior to 1789, the Doctrinaires were
an educational body. M. Royer-Collard had been educated
in a college of Doctrinaires, and in the debates of the Chamber
his logical and lofty understanding always impelling him to
sum up the question in a dogmatical form, the word doctrine
was often upon his lips, so that one day a wag of the royalist
majority cried out, Voila hien les doctrinaires ! The phrase
took, and i-emained as a definition, if not clear, at all events
absolute, of the political fraction directed by Royer-Collard.

Let us now explain the origin of that famous canape de la
doctrine, which awakens ideas as vague as the divan of the
Sublime Porte. One day, Count Beugnot, a doctrinaire,
was asked to enumerate the forces of his party. " Our
party." he replied, " could all be accommodated on this canape
(sofa)." This phrase also was successful, and the changes were
rung on it to such a degree that the multitude came to regard
the doctrinaires as a collection of individuals, half-jesuits,
half-epicureans, seated like Turks, upon downy cushions, and
pedantically discoursing about public affairs.

The reaction consequent upon the assassination of the Duke
de Berri is not yet forgotten. The Decazes ministry fell, and
the firmest supporters of the constitutional party were driveiv


from office. Messrs. Royer-CoUard, Camille Jourdain, and de
Barante left the council of state; IM. Guizot accompanied
them, and from that moment until the accession of the Mar-
tignac cabinet, of 1828, his political life was an incessant
sti'uggle against the administration of Yillcle. Whilst the
national interests of France had eloquent defendei's in the
Chambers, M. Guizot, who was still too young to be per-
mitted to ascend the tribune, sustained the same cause in
writings, the success of which was universal. We cannot
here analyze the entire series of the occasional productions of
M. Guizot from 1820 to 1822. In one he defends the system
of the Duke Decazes, trampled upon as revolutionary by the
counter revolution; in another he investigates the cause of
those daily conspiracies which appear to him to be insidiously
provoked by the agents of government for the overthrow of
constitutional institutions. ElscAvhere, in his work, entitled
La Peine de Mart Maticre Politique, without pretending
to erase completely from our laws the punishment of death,
even for political crimes, he demonstrates, in a grave and
elevated style, that power has a deep interest in keeping
within its scabbard the terrible Aveapon which transforms
into persecutors those who brandish it, and into martyrs those
whom it smites.

Among these political lucubrations, there is one which
strikes us as worthy, in many respects, of special mention.
In his treatise upon Des Moyens d' Oppositioti et de Gou-
vernement dans VEtat actnel de la France, published in
1821, M. Guizot completely lays bare the nature of his
political individuality, and furnishes both an explanation of
his past, and the secret of his future career. It was not an
ordinary opposition, that of M. Guizot. He defends the
public liberties, but he defends them in his own way, which
is not that of all the world. He may be said to march alone
in his path, and if he is severe towards the men whom he
combats, he is not less so towards those who are fighting
with him.

In his view, the capital crime of the Villele ministiy was >
not the abuse of power in itself, but rather the consequences o£^
that abuse which placed in peril the principle of authority by
exposing it to a fatal conflict.


Unlike otlier polemical writings, which are usually alto-
gether negative and dissolving, those of M. Guizot are
eminently afiirmative, governmental, and constituent. When
the word right comes from his pen, you may be sure that the
word duty is not far off; and never does he put his finger on
an evil without indicating at once what seems to him a

At the height of his strife with the ministry, M. Guizot
was engaged in developing, from his professional chair, amid
the applause of a youthful and numerous audience, the va-
rious phases of representative government in Europe, since
the fall of the Roman empire, in the course of lectures given
in the following pages. The minister revenged himself upon
the professor for the assaults of the publicist: the lectures were
interdicted in 1825. Retiring into private life, after having
passed thi'ough high political functions, M. Guizot was still
poor; but his pen remained to him. Renouncing the in-
flammatory questions of the moment, he undertook a series
of great historical works, which the biographer may confi-
dently praise; for his merits as an historian have never been
denied. Then were successively published, the Collection des
Memo-ires relatifs a la Revolutio7i d'Angleterre; the Histoire
de la Revolution d^ Angleterre, en 1640; which forms one of
the previous volumes of the European Library; a Collection
desMemoires relatifs a V Histoire de France; and, finally, Essais
sur r Histoire de France, a work by which he carried light
into the dark recesses of the national origin. At the same
time he presented the public with historical essays upon
Shakespere and upon Calvin, a revised translation of the Avoi'ks
of the great English dramatist, and a considerable number of
political articles of a high order in the Reime Fram-aise.

In 1827, death deprived him of the companion of his
labours — that beloved wife, whose lofty intelligence and
moral strength had sustained him amid the agitations of his
career. It was sad, though calm, philosophical, Christian, that
parting scene between the husband and the dying wife, and
their young son, soon about to follow his mother to the tomb.
Though born and bred a catholic, Madame Guizot had just
before this Joined the faith of her husband; that husband
now soothed the last moments of his beloved partner by


reading to her, in his grave, solemn, impressive tones, one of
the finest productions of Bossuet, his funeral oration upon the
Queen of England. •

Some time afterwards, M. Guizot became one of the most
active members of the society Aide-tot, le del faidcra, the
object of which was to defend, in all legal modes, the free-
dom of elections against the influence of power. The
Villele ministry fell, and that of Martignac restored M. Gui-
zot to his professorial chair and to the circle of admiring
students, whom he proceeded to delight with his lectures on
the History of Civilization in France. A short time after
the formation of the Polignac cabinet, he was elected deputy
for Lisieux, and voted for the address of the 221, adding to
his vote these words: "Truth has already trouble enough in
penetrating to the council of kings; let us not send it there pale
and feeble J let it be no more possible to mistake it than to
doubt the loyalty of our sentiments." He wished to oblige
power to live, but power was determined to die. On the
26th of July he returned from Nimes to Paris; on the
27th he drew up the protest of the deputies against the ordi-
nances — a protest more respectful than hostile, manifesting a
conservative spirit, dreading rather than desiring a revolu-

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