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auctions, brokers, rag-gatherers, scale-makers, a word or two upon the arrangement and exwomen of the town, their registry, and health, pense of this corps from the work we have prisons, and houses of detention of all sorts, placed second at the top of this article, being the delivery and visa of passports, permissions the only words that we shall probably extract to remain in France and to bear arms (similar from a production which is one of those daily to our game licences), hotels, and lodging- disgraces to the French press, in which the houses, public markets, weights and meas- more than apocryphal scandals of past times ures, the dead-house of the Morgue, the navi- are raked out of long-condemned sources, gation and the baths on the Seine, steam- mingled with a great deal of very dull and boats, wood, charcoal, and coal yards, wine- doubtful matter of a later date, and dressed up sellers, brewers, the exchange, the cleaning in the most licentious and disgusting garb for and lighting of the streets, the care of the the depraved appetite of the debauched. The public edifices, public vehicles of all kinds, last volume of the six contains some small inpublic necessaries, sewers, aqueducts, wells, formation which may be depended on, and and fountains, fires, waggonage, and public such are the words that we are about to quote. health and salubrity of the city, the profes"The formation of the corps sapeurs-pomsions and trades of physicians, surgeons, mid-piers had for its principal object to remedy the wives, druggists, herbalists, and patent medi- danger of fire. This corps has a military organicine venders, mineral waters, epidemics, vac- zation, it is lodged in barracks placed in the four cine, cemeteries, disinterments. Now many principal points of Paris, and thirty posts are of these objects come indirectly under the eye spread through the different quarters of the town of our own police, and many, as we have ob- in such a manner that in case of fire there is alserved before, are superintended by distinct ways at hand a sufficient number of men to give immediate aid, and stop the progress of a confunctionaries, such as the board of sewers, &c.; siderable conflagration. The accounts of this but the police of France puts its hand upon corps are kept under the inspection of the prefect every thing, and all these various matters are of police, by a military intendant who follows, treated of and regulated by two particular in this respect, the laws and ordinances given offices in the prefecture of police. Some, un- for the administration of the corps of the army. doubtedly, are no subjects for police investi- The increase of expense (to the police) which results from this organization is amply compengation and regulation; but we cannot but sated by the important and daily services, in think that others might well be placed under preserving the inhabitants, that are rendered by the superintendence of our own municipal this corps, which besides, by its composition, is power. No one would wish to see the base an important auxiliary in maintaining public and tyrannical system of passports introduced tranquillity in case of disturbances. We have into this country, a system efficient only for shown that the total expense of the corps of evil, and so inefficient for good as to be fall- sapeurs-pompiers, personal and material, for the year 1826 was 439,998 francs: i. e. about ing into very general disrepute, even on the 17,5997. 10s.”—Peuchet, Memoires, vol. vi., p. continent; a system by which a man is pre- 304. vented travelling twenty miles in his own country without being stopped and questioned, and forced to exhibit a formal certificate that he is recognised as an honest man by the police. But few we believe will deny that the prevention and extinction of fires might well receive more attention from the police of London, or that it would be better to reorganize the whole system and borrow some hints from our neighbours as to the best means of remedying a great and growing evil in our metropolis.

We must interrupt the course of our remarks for a short time to say something more upon this not uninteresting subject. The extinction of fires in Paris is entirely under the direction of the police, but it is intrusted to a particular branch of that establishment, comprising a large body of men, instructed and disciplined for the purpose. These firemen are termed sapeurs-pompiers, and are organized upon a military system, with officers and subalterns, as in a regiment. We must quote

This is certainly a great expense, and we believe that in London the desired results might be produced as effectually for a less sum; but supposing that such were not the case, and that all things considered, the greater extent of the city, the more combustible materials of the houses, and the higher price of provisions, &c., the annual cost of such an establishment in our own metropolis would amount to 18,000l., would not the object be worth the outlay? ing that it would. number of fires which take place between the months of September and April, their desolating extent, the immense mass of valuable property each year destroyed, the public buildings that have fallen a sacrifice, and we believe that-doing all justice to the courage, activity, and skill both of our fire. men and our police, who are deserving of the highest praise-it will still be admitted that we want a well-organized establishment for

We cannot help think

Let us remember the

discovering and stopping the progress of fires in the metropolis. We believe that the amount of property saved by a more effective system would amply repay the outlay of even 18,000l. per annum, and that the far more important object of saving human life might thus be attained not only without cost, but with an actual gain in mere money by the property rescued from the flames. As we are, as a nation, strongly disinclined to anything like organisation, and have certainly found great advantages in many branches of our polity to result from the stimulus given to emulation by trusting to desultory efforts without the interference of government in any of those undertakings that can be carried on by individuals or companies, it is probable that some difficulties which do not exist in France would be found to oppose the establishment of such a body as the sapeurspompiers in this country. Among the first objections started would be the difficulty of levying the expenses upon the persons really benefited. Men would say, "It is true a hundred thousand pounds may be saved every year or more, by the expense of eighteen thousand, but how will you make the people whose property is rescued acknowledge the benefit and pay the cost? Will you have a commission of salvage to estimate the amount of service rendered, as in the case of vessels saved from shipwreck, together with all the additional expenses, law-suits, and trouble, consequent thereupon ?" No! no such thing is necessary, especially while fire-insurance offices exist. They are the bodies that would most materially benefit in a pecuniary point of view, and a very small duty upon each policy to be paid annuallya duty that would hardly be felt either by insurer or insured-would amply pay the whole cost of the establishment.

tion-a term so often misapplied, that if one were to propose to remove the hackneycoach-office even next door to the chiefpolice-office, there would be many persons found to cry "Centralization!" at once.

Besides the several offices that we have mentioned as forming parts of the great police establishment of Paris, there is an architectural department and a council of salubrity. The latter consists of eighteen physicians, practical chemists and druggists, chosen from among the most expert in Paris. It meets at the prefecture of police every week, and takes into consideration all questions relating to the public health of the capital. This is certainly an excellent institution in itself, though it may be a question with some persons whether its objects come properly within the functions of the police. We cannot but think that they do ; for if general security be the great end of all police regulations, the public health must of course form a very important feature therein. Indeed we know of no land where, at some time, and under some circumstances, the public health is not brought under the superintendence of the police and if such be the case, the more regularly and systematically it is done the better.

The medical police of all great cities has indeed become a inatter of deep consideration and great importance in almost every state in Europe, and because it is attended to in a very minor degree in England, and that in a very irregular manner, we must not conclude that it is unworthy of better regulation. The health of our prisons, the health of our poor, is attended to with some degree of care; but the general health of the people, and the means to be employed for removing all nocuous causes, and promoting every measure of salubrity, are yet without the attention they This is one of the points in regard to which deserve. Central boards are established in we think that the French police, with all its times of pestilence, means are taken for preevils, may offer useful hints to our own gov- venting the extension of infection when disernment, and we do hope the time is not far ease is already raging, but no well-organized distant when those hints will receive atten- system for preserving the health of the capition. The consolidation also of many tal at all times, without interfering with the branches of the public service, now left to civil liberty of the subject, or spying into the act disjointedly, we cannot but believe might sanctuary of domestic life, has yet been deprove beneficial both in increasing efficacy vised. Everything in this case, too, is left and diminishing expense, and we imagine to desultory efforts; for the nation possessing that several matters not at present considered more mechanical genius than any other in as at all within the attributions of our police, the world, revolts strangely at the idea of might very well, according to the strictest applying the principles of mechanism to any reading of the legitimate functions of that part of her polity. Before we quit this subinstitution, be ascribed thereunto. How-ject of consideration let us remark, that one ever, we dare not enter further upon the subject at present, knowing the great susceptibility of our countrymen in regard to the much misunderstood question of centraliza

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of the chief objects of the medical council of the French police is to inquire into all fabrics. and manufactories which are supposed to be dangerous to the health either of the persons

employed therein, or of the neighbourhood France has yet to learn practically what in which they are situated; and to devise civil liberty is. Her ideas of political liberty means of rendering them less so. The mere are perhaps almost anarchical: but the chief statement of this fact is enough to suggest value of political liberty is as the safeguard very important considerations to the minds of civil liberty, and if she uses that great of our readers, without our pursuing the to- share of the former which she actually pospic further. sesses with discretion and calmness, she will attain the latter in full perfection. If, on

After speaking of a few other offices, not necessary to mention here, the ex-prefect the contrary, she continually stretches out proceeds to conclude his enumeration of the departments under the general control of himself and his successors, by naming the section of municipal police, comprising a president, vice-president, eight clerks, and twenty-four peace officers (who must not be confounded with the functionaries bearing the same name in England), besides all the brigadiers, town-sergeants, inspectors, &c. ; "the number of which," he says, "I shall abstain from mentioning, out of consideration for the public interest." He afterwards adds, "It must be well understood that the secret agents are over and above all that I have specified."

her powerful arms to grasp at shadows, she will waste her efforts upon empty air, and never attain the substance of that which she desires. The list of persons employed actually in the prefecture of police in the days of M. Gisquet, comprised eleven hundred and forty officers, besides the army of inferior agents, civil and military, secret and open, patrolling the streets of Paris. We have asked a few pages back if this enormous body be really necessary. Every reader can now answer the question for himself, for Monsieur Gisquet has shown that not one-half of these functionaries are employed upon the legitimate objects of police. The very existence of half the bureaus, and half the official posts, depends upon the mistake that police consists in ruling not protecting the people. Having now said as much as we can venture to say, for fear of fatiguing our readers, upon the organization of the French police, we must turn to its operation, taking M. Gisquet principally for our guide, and proposing, if we find room, to say a few words hereafter upon the effective police force actually employed in Paris, and its distribution.

It will strike the reader at once, from the brief picture now given of the French police, that the great mistake in principle which we pointed out in the beginning of this article was not exaggerated, and that this immense mass of political agents and spies, is an evil of a frightful extent, derived in regular desscent from days before the first revolution. The Bastille was indeed destroyed, but the system that filled it and other prisons under the kings of the ancien régime remained in full force; arbitrary power passed from the A few of the very first ordonnances of M. hands of monarchs to demagogues, but the Gisquet, will be sufficient to show not only jealousies and suspicions of arbitrary power the peril of civil liberty, but its absolute nulproduced the same results; the demagogues lity in a country where such a system of po-were trodden under the giant feet of a mighty lice exists, sanctioned by the law; and the and magnificent usurper, but the despot acknowledged motives of one of those ordonneeded the same host of spies that had been nances, though both the admitted and conrequisite to the hereditary despots of the cealed motive were just and proper, considpast and the anarchical tyrants whom he had ered separately, may serve to prove how succeeded. His fall replaced the old dy- objects, good in themselves, may become nasty on a tottering throne, and clinging to iniquitous by the means employed to attain all the memories of former years, it was not them. The first decree which we find the likely to abolish the only part of the ancient new prefect issuing in the end of 1831, resystem that had survived the deluge; and garded the hotels and lodging-houses of Paris. now that a new revolution has once inore The regular visitation of these abodes by a shaken society to its foundation, the very police agent, was not, it seems, sufficient to broken and disjointed state of all institutions satisfy the superintending curiosity of the affords a pretext, if not a reason, for still suf-government. Several of the revolutionary fering an establishment which is said to be laws, we are told by M. Gisquet, "had fallen the only safeguard against the fall of the into desuetude," and "the consequent irrewhole fabric. Men fear to cut away the gularity presented serious inconveniences, ivy which has aided to destroy an old build- especially in times of political agitation, when ing lest the walls, partly supported by that it is of importance that the floating portion which once injured them, should fall in utter of the population may be submitted to the ruin on the heads of those who would repair investigations authorized by law."-Gisquet, them. chap. xix.

"These considerations," he continues, vigorous and successful struggle for the power "brought forth the ordonnance which I pub- he assumed, and the Court of Cassation put lished, 19th of November, 1831, by which his interpretation upon the law of August, all the inhabitants of Paris indiscriminately 1790, "which places in the hands of the mu were enjoined to make a declaration to the nicipal authority all that concerns the safety commissary of police of their quarter, within and convenience of passage in the streets, twenty-four hours, specifying every person quays, squares, and public ways." The lodging in their houses, even gratuitously, law itself is certainly vague and sweeping under pain of incurring," &c., &c., &c.-enough, but the interpretation thereof was Ibid. still more sweeping and dangerous, and the

The winter of 1831-2, was a disastrous court virtually allowed a claim on the part one in Paris. The first results of a great of the police to consider the above-cited change were in all their pernicious force; words merely as the title to a whole chapter political factions raged unrestrained, civil of laws, to be enacted afterwards by prefects order could scarcely be maintained, the de- of police, for the regulation of the streets of solating effects of the convulsion of 1830 Paris, even to taxing to an immense amount upon public credit and upon private re- the citizens for whatever might be considered. sources, had thrown thousands out of employ- "the convenience of circulation," to use ment, while the necessaries of life had become Monsieur Gisquet's own words. Doubtless enormously dear, and a threatened famine the court judged sanely and discreetly acaggravated all other evils. The weather cording to the maxims of French law; but was cold, rainy, and tempestuous, and Mon- the matter would have been looked upon sieur Gisquet determined to do something to very differently in this country. Monsieur support a part of the starving population. Gisquet, indeed, says, "It could not be otherBut how did he set about this laudable ob- wise;" and after citing the law of 1790, ject? Not by public subscriptions; not by adds, "They could not deny me the right of the aid of government supplies. No! He suppressing a thing essentially destructive to was prefect of police, and he ordered all the convenience of circulation." Even here, the citizens of Paris to make gutters to their with such a law before us, we should not houses. It was a very neccssary and conve- have denied his right to suppress the nuinient provision for the French capital, which sance; but we should, it is presumed, have had lately adopted the English fashion of denied him the right on his own authority of affording a flat pavement at the side of the taking the money to suppress it out of the street for the comfort of foot passengers. On pockets of the householders. That one man this pavement, before the edict of M. Gis- should have it in his power without the conquet, all the rain-water and melted snow from sent of any representative body to tax the the tops of the houses was wont to discharge capital city of his country, on any pretence, itself; and had the government, which con- to the amount of eight hundred thousand structed the trottoirs, provided a sum for pounds in one year, is so monstrous, that it furnishing the house-gutters and troughs, the is scarcely credible-and yet such is police measure would have been unexceptionable. But the prefect of police, with a view to support the indigent without troubling the finances, ordered each householder of Paris to provide those articles for his own house, and so vigorously did he force his ordonnance into execution, that before the end of six months, twenty thousand houses out of the forty thousand, which the capital then contained, were provided with the prescribed appendages. No pity was felt for the poor But it is upon the shoulders of each other householders, though the average expense for that they try experiments, not their own. each house was between four and five hun- It is but fair, however, to Monsieur Gis dred francs, and thus a sum of from fifteen to quet, and to the police of which he is the adtwenty millions was spent amongst the work-vocate, to mention the state of Paris about men, by order of the prefect of police. the time of his entering upon office; a state Some proprietors, however, contended that which would justify, if anything could jusMonsieur Gisquet had no right to tax the tify, the concession of such immense powers landlords of Paris at his own will to the tune to the municipal authorities. Besides the of fifteen or twenty millions, and carried the poverty and misery of the lower classes, the matter into the courts. The Edile made a dearness of provisions, and the want of em

in France-such the natural results of a sys-
tem founded upon a total mistake of the le-
gitimate objects of the institution. It seems
to us from the mutual inflictions of the gov-
ernors and the governed in the neighbouring
country, that both parties are willing to
practice the advice of Horace:

"Versate diu, quid ferre recusent,
Quid valeant humeri."

can doubt either that, even with so excitable a people as the French, that system would not have been half so successful, if the French police had not been furnished with attributes essentially incompatible with civil liberty.

ployment, which followed the last revolution, | unjust means, few can doubt; but no one the political factions of the French capital seemed to consider that all check was removed, and that they might exercise their virulence in whatsoever manner and to whatsoever extent they pleased. In the chapters of the ex-prefect's work devoted to the years 1831 and 1822, we find plot after plot of Bonapartists, Carlists, and republicans, each more absurd and reprehensible than another, and yet sufficiently serious to affect public order in a very high degree, and endanger the lives and property of the peaceable citizens. We find numerous public journals defending the conspirators and assassins who took part in these plots; we find lawyers pleading their cause, not as mere advocates, but as partisans; we find juries acquitting them or treating their crimes with more than forbearance. A regular system of conduct was organized by the fautors and protectors of the plotters. Before their trial, if we are to believe M. Gisquet, and we do believe him, a general outcry was raised in their favour, and against the police which had arrested them. They were represented to be the most loyal, innocent, and virtuous persons; it was asserted that the whole conspiracy was a scheme of the police for entrapping political enemies; and after the journals had thundered in this style for some time, the advocates took it up in court, and tried to make out the same case to a predisposed jury. As soon as the trial was over, however, affairs assumed a new face, whether the accused was condemned or acquitted; his party then boldly avowed and gloried in his guilt: if acquitted, he was feasted and honoured as one of the apostles of the sect; if condemned, he was cried up and pitied as a martyr, and new plots succeeded on those that were overthrown. Thus, in a few short months, Lyons was seized and kept for several days by the people; a plan was organized for setting fire to Paris in various quarters, a Bonapartist plot was discovered and frustrated, the towers of Notre Dame were set on fire by incendiaries, and several police agents were killed and wounded in extinguishing the flames and arresting the criminals; and a Carlist conspiracy for seizing the palace, being frustrated in the very act of execution, several hundred of the parties were apprehended.

The legitimate operation of the police in preventing such lamentable crimes, and bringing the guilty to justice, nobody can impugn; but that the French police goes far beyond that object, in many ways, has already been shown. That a system of decrying and pointing public indignation at the police was steadily followed and carried out by the most

Nothing, perhaps, in former days, or at the present moment, has brought more odium on the police of France, than the system of espionage which has always formed its right arm. Any one who will look through the authentic memoirs of the latter days of Louis XIV., and of the whole reigns of Louis XV. and XVI., or examine the works of good authority which give us a picture of the ancien régime, will find that this system of espionage extended to every rank and class of society; that, from the prime minister himself down to the lowest valet-de-chambre (and we cannot conceive that degradation can go farther than a low valet-de-chambre of those days), each man had a spy at his elbow; and indeed there is even reason to suppose that the monarch upon his throne was not exempt from the surveillance of the police, and that his words and actions were very regularly reported to his lieutenant-general. We would recommend our readers to look into the Tableau de Paris, and study the various items in that extraordinary work, which refer directly or indirectly to the police of the reign of Louis XV.; and also to examine some of the many accounts of the different prisons of France, especially the Bastille, if they would have an idea of the universality of espionage in those ages. We shall content ourselves here with naming one class of spies, whose operations were laid bare on the fall of that famous prison, so long both the object of fear and horror to the French nation. These were the keepers of infamous houses of every class and degree. We find, in a work published periodically for some time after the destruction of the Bastille, and in which there is every reason to place confidence, called La Bastille Devoilée, some of the regular-written reports of these persons, addressed to a high magistrate, whose name we do not know, but to whom they write as "Votre Grandeur." Of course we cannot enter into the details of these curious but disgusting documents, which are not less fitted to afford materials for calculating the statistics of debauchery than to throw light upon the old police of France. There is one passage, however, which we can venture to translate, and which will serve as a good specimen of the minute information of all that took place in Paris which was furnished to the police. In the journal of one of these ladies we find the following:

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