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We talked of Montalembert, and I mentioned his sortie the other day against the clergy.
'I can guess pretty well,' said Tocqueville, 'what he said to you, for it probably was a résumé of his article in the “Correspondant." Like most men accustomed to public speaking, he repeats himself. He is as honest perhaps as a man who is very passionné can be; but his oscillations are from one extreme to another. Immediately after the coup d'état, when he believed Louis Napoleon to be Ultramontane, he was as servile as his great enemy the “Univers" is now. “ Ce sont les nuances qui se querellent, non les couleurs ;' and between him and the “Univers there is only a nuance. The Bishop of Agen has oscillated like him, but began at the other end. The other day the Bishop made a most servile address to the Emperor. He had formerly been a furious anti-Bonapartist. “How is it possible,” said Montalembert, “that a man can rush so completely from one opinion to another? On the 4th of December in 1851 this same Bishop denounced the coup d'état with such violence that the President sent me to the Nuncio to request his interference. Now he is on his knees before him. Such changes can scarcely be honest." Montalembert does not see that the only difference between them is that they have trod in opposite directions the very same path.'
Thursday, May 5.—Tocqueville and I dined with M. and Madame de Bourke, and met there General Dumas and Ary Scheffer.
We talked of Delaroche's pictures, and Scheffer VOL. II.
agreed with me in preferring the smaller ones. He thought that Delaroche improved up to the time of his death, and preferred his Moses, and Drowned Martyr, painted in 1853 and 1855, to the other large ones, and his Girondins, finished in 1856, to the earlier small ones.
We passed on to the increased and increasing population of Paris.
•The population of Paris,' I said, “is only half that of London, while that of the British Islands is not threefourths that of France. If you were to double the population of Paris, therefore, it would still be proportionally less than that of London.'
•That is true,' said Tocqueville, “but yet there are many circumstances connected with the Parisian population each of which renders it more dangerous than the London one. In the first place, there is the absence of any right to relief. The English workman knows that neither he nor his family can starve. The Frenchman becomes anxious as soon as his employment is irregular, and desperate when it fails. The English workmen are unacquainted with arms, and have no leaders with military experience. The bulk of the Frenchmen have served, many of them are veterans in civil war, and they have commanders skilled in street-fighting. The English workmen have been gradually attracted to London by a real and permanent demand for their labour. They have wives and children. At least 100,000 men have been added to the working population of Paris since the coup d'état. They are young men in the vigour of their strength and passions, unrestrained by wives or families.
They have been drawn hither suddenly and artificially by the demolition and reconstruction of half the town, by the enormous local expenditure of the Government, and by the fifty millions spent in keeping the price of bread in Paris unnaturally low. The 40,000 men collected in Paris by the construction of the fortifications are supposed to have mainly contributed to the revolution of 1848. What is to be expected from this addition of 100,000? Then the repressive force is differently constituted and differently animated. In England you have an army which has chosen arms as a profession, which never thinks of any other employment, and indeed is fit for no other, and never expects any provision except its pay and its pension. The French soldier, ever since 1789, is a citizen. He serves his six years because the law and the colonel force him to do so, but he counts the days until he can return to his province, his cottage, and his field. He sympathises with the passions of the people. In the terrible days of June, the army withstood the cries, the blessings, the imprecations and the seductions of the mob, only because they had the National Guards by their side. Their presence was a guarantee that the cause was just. The National Guards never fought before as they did in those days. Yet at the Château d'Eau, the miraculous heroism and the miraculous good luck of Lamoricière were necessary to keep them together. If he had not exposed himself as no, man ever did, and escaped as no man ever did, they would have been broken.'
'I was there,' said Scheffer, 'when his fourth horse
was killed under him. As the horse was sinking he drew his feet out of the stirrups and came to the ground without falling; but his cigar dropped from his mouth. He picked it up, and went on with the order which he was giving to an aide-de-camp.
'I saw that,' said Tocqueville. • He had placed himself immediately behind a cannon in front of the Château d'Eau which fired down the Boulevard du Temple. A murderous fire from the windows in a corner of the Rue du Temple killed all the artillerymen. The instant that Lamoricière placed himself behind it, I thought that I saw what would happen. I implored him to get behind some shelter, or at least not to pose as a mark. “Recollect,” I said, "that if you go on in this way you must be killed before the day is over-and where shall we all be?")
"I see the danger of what I am doing," he answered, " and I dislike it as much as you can do ; but it is necessary. The National Guards are shaking ; if they break, the Line follows. I must set an example that everyone can see and can understand. This is not a time for taking precautions. If I were to shelter myself, they would run."
*How does Lamoricière,' I asked, "bear exile and inactivity in Brussels ?'
• Very ill,' said Scheffer. "He feels that he has compromised the happiness of his wife, whom he married not long before the coup d'état.'
*Changarnier at Malins, who lives alone and has only himself to care for, supports it much better.'
Tocqueville and I walked home together.
'Scheffer,' he said, 'did not tell all that happened at the Château d'Eau. Men seldom do when they fight over their battles.
*The insurgents by burrowing through walls had got into a house in the rear of our position. They manned the windows, and suddenly fired down on us from a point whence no danger had been feared. This caused a panic among the National Guards, a force of course peculiarly subject to panics. They turned and ran back 250 yards along the Boulevard St. Martin, carrying with them the Line and Lamoricière himself. He endeavoured to stop them by outcries, and by gesticulations, and indeed by force. He gave to one man who was trying to run by him a blow with his fist, so well meant and well directed that it broke his collar bone.
'At length he stopped them, re-formed them, and said: “Now you shall march, I at your head, and the drummer beating the charge, as if you were on parade, up to that house." They did so.
They did so. After a few discharges, which miraculously missed Lamoricière, the men in the house deserted it.'
“What were you doing at the Château d'Eau?' I asked.
We were marching,' he said, "with infantry and artillery on the Boulevard du Temple, across which there was a succession of barricades, which it was necessary to take one by one.
• As we advanced in the middle, our sappers' and