Page:Democracy in America (Reeve, v. 1).djvu/337

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mily. In this respect they imitated the Chancellor Meaupou, who, when he erected the new parliament upon the ruins of the old, took care to declare in the same ordinance that the rights of the new magistrates should be as inalienable as those of their predecessors had been.

The laws of 1830, like those of 1814, point out no way of changing the Constitution: and it is evident that the ordinary means of legislation are insufficient for this purpose. As the King, the Peers, and the Deputies all derive their authority from the Constitution, these three powers united cannot alter a law by virtue of which alone they govern. Out of the pale of the Constitution, they are nothing: where, then, could they take their stand to effect a change in its provisions? The alternative is clear: either their efforts are powerless against the Charter, which continues to exist in spite of them, in which case they only reign in the name of the Charter; or, they succeed in changing the Charter, and then the law by which they existed being annulled, they themselves cease to exist. By destroying the Charter they destroy themselves.

This is much more evident in the laws of 1830 than in those of 1814. In 1814, the royal prerogative took its stand above and beyond the Constitution; but in 1830, it was avowedly created by, and dependent on, the Constitution.

A part therefore of the French Constitution is immutable, because it is united to the destiny of a family; and the body of the Constitution is equally immutable, because there appear to be no legal means of changing it.

These remarks are not applicable to England. That country having no written Constitution, who can assert when its Constitution is changed?

 VOL. I.