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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesNapoleon The Little - Book 2 - Chapter 1. The Constitution
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Napoleon The Little - Book 2 - Chapter 1. The Constitution Post by :sbeard Category :Long Stories Author :Victor Hugo Date :May 2012 Read :2659

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Napoleon The Little - Book 2 - Chapter 1. The Constitution

BOOK II
I. THE CONSTITUTION

A roll of the drums; clowns, attention!

THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC,

"Considering that--all the restrictive laws on the liberty of
the press having been repealed, all the laws against hand-bills
and posting-bills having been abolished, the right of public
assemblage having been fully re-established, all the
unconstitutional laws, including martial law, having been
suppressed, every citizen being empowered to say what he
likes through every medium of publicity, whether newspaper,
placard, or electoral meeting, all solemn engagements,
especially the oath of the 20th of December, 1848,
having been scrupulously kept, all facts having been
investigated, all questions propounded and discussed,
all candidacies publicly defeated, without the
possibility of alleging that the slightest violence
had been exercised against the meanest citizen,--in one
word, in the fullest enjoyment of liberty. "The sovereign
people being interrogated on this question:--

"'Do the French people mean to place themselves, tied
neck and heels, at the discretion of M. Louis Bonaparte?'

"Have replied YES by 7,500,000 votes. (_Interruption by
the author_:--We shall have more to say of these
7,500,000 votes.)

"PROMULGATES

"THE CONSTITUTION IN MANNER FOLLOWING, THAT IS TO SAY:

"Article 1. The Constitution recognises, confirms, and
guarantees the great principles proclaimed in 1789,
which are the foundation of the public law of the
French people.

"Article 2 and following. The platform and the press,
which impeded the march of progress, are superseded by
the police and the censorship, and by the secret
deliberations of the Senate, the Corps Legislatif
and the Council of State.

"Article last. The thing commonly called human
intelligence is suppressed.

"Done at the Palace of the Tuileries January 14, 1852.

"LOUIS NAPOLEON.

"Witnessed and sealed with the great seal.
"E. ROUHER.
"_Keeper of the Seals and Minister of Justice._"


This Constitution, which loudly proclaims and confirms
the Revolution of 1789 in its principles and its
consequences, and which merely abolishes liberty, was
evidently and happily inspired in M. Bonaparte, by an
old provincial play-bill which it is well to recall
at this time:

THIS DAY,

The Grand Representation

OF

LA DAME BLANCHE,

AN OPERA IN THREE ACTS.

Note. The _music_, which would embarrass the progress of
the plot, will be replaced by lively and piquant _dialogue_.

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