Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/423

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406

FEEET.

whom he summoned to retire. De- lecluze and other leaders of the movement offered to retire, provided their lives and the lives of their men might be spared. M. Ferry consented to allow those rioters who were in the Hdtel de Ville to leave it, and he at once took pos- session of the building*. The rioters, however, remained there, and M. Ferry was arrested by the Com- munists ; but in a very short time he was released by the National Guards, and he then succeeded in putting down the insurrectioniste. Subsequently he was delegated to the central mayoralty of Paris, after the resignation of M. Arago (Nov. 15, 1870). In this capacity he presided over the assembly of mayors, which, on Jan. 18, 1871, decided on the distribution of rations of bread, and two days later he issued a decree authorizing a search to be made for articles of food in the houses of absent persons. On Jan. 22 he was a second time called upon to resist a body of in- surgente, who, enraged at the defeat of the French armies in the sortie on Montretout and Buzenval, at- tacked the Hdtel de Ville, with the intention of overthrowing the Go- vernment of the National Defence. This was the closing episode of the siege, for Paris capitulated four days later. At the election of Feb. 8, 1871, he was elected one of the representatives of the depart- ment of the Vosges, and thereupon he resigned his functions as a mem- ber of the Government of the De- fence and administrator of the de- partment of the Seine, although he retained the latter office provision- ally until the 18th of March. After the second siege and the entry of the troops into Paris, M. Thiers nominated him Prefect of the Seine (May 24) ; but the api>ointment gave rise to so much hostile cri- ticism, that M. Ferry resigned after ten days, and was succeeded by M. L^on Say. Subsequently it was understood that M. Ferry would be

sent as Ambassador to Washington, but the proposed appointment wu 80 unpopular that it was never offi- cially announced. He was, however, sent as Minister to Athens (May, 1872) . After holding that appoint- ment for a year he resigned it, and resumed his place in the ranks of the BepubHcan Left, of which he became President. He was elected a member of the Council-General of the Vosges in 1871, and for some time he was vice-president of that body. He was re-elected for the arondissement of Saint Die at the general elections of Feb., 1876, and Oct., 1877. He was chosen one of the vice-presidente of the Budget Committee in May, 1878. After the resignation of Marshal MacMahon (Jan. 30, 1879), M. Ferry was appointed by the new President of the Bepublic, M. Grevy, to a seat in his Cabinet as Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arte. Differences arose whea M. Ferry brought forward his Edu- cation Bill, the seventh clause of which prohibited members of '* un- authorized religious communities " (meaning especially the Jesuits) from teaching or managing schools. The measure was carried by a large majority of the CJhamber of Depu- ties, but in the Senate a strong party, including many moderate Bepublicans, and led by M. Jules Simon, resisted the seventh clause. Owing to this determined opposi- tion the Bill was postponed. In the following year (1880) M. de Freycinet, who had become Prime Minister, authorized the insertion in M. Ferry's Government Educa- tion Bill of the dauae levelled at the unauthorized religious Orders. As before, the Chamber of Deputies passed the Bill by a large majority, but the Senate, led by M. Jules Simon, threw out the clause in question by a majority of 19 (March 9). The Ministry proceeded, how- ever, to effect ite purpose by decrees founded on laws that had fallen into disuse, and the prescription of