By introducing genuine reforms for the benefit of officers and common soldiers alike, and by laying himself out for popularity in the most pronounced fashion - notably by his fire-eating attitude towards Germany in April 1887 in connexion with the Schnaebele frontier incident - Boulanger came to be accepted by the mob as the man destined to give France her revenge for the disasters of 1870, and to be used simultaneously as a tool by all the anti-Republican intriguers.
Freycinet was brought into power by the support of the Radical leader, Boulanger was given the post of war minister.
In the following year he entered the chamber, being elected deputy for the Marne, in opposition to General Boulanger, and joined the radical left.
Violently attacked by the Boulangist organs, L'Intransigeant and La France, he won a suit against them for libel, and in 1889 he contested the 18th arrondissement of Paris with General Boulanger, who obtained a majority of over 2000 votes, but was declared ineligible.
He returned to power next year, and decided to bring Boulanger and his chief supporters before the High Court, but the general's flight effectively settled the question.