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Loi de Sureté Publique.
of that time. His complete innocence was soon proved ; he was released, and has lived quietly on his little estate ever since. He was arrested under the new law and ordered to be déporté to Algeria. His friends, in fact all his neighbours, remonstrated, and sent to Paris the proof that the original conviction was a mistake. "Qu'il aille tout de même," was Espinasse's answer.
'In Calvados the Préfet, finding no one whom he could conscientiously arrest, took hold of one of the most respectable men in the department. “If,” he said, “I had arrested a man against whom there was plausible ground for suspicion, he might have been transported. This man must be released.”
• Has he been released ?' I asked.
• I have not heard,' was the answer. `In all probability he has been.'
'In my department,' said Tocqueville, 'the sous-préfet, ordered by the Préfet to arrest somebody in the arrondissement, was in the same perplexity as the Préfet of Calvados. “I can find no fit person,” he said to me. I believe that he reported the difficulty to the Préfet, and that the vacancy was supplied from some other arrondissement.
What makes this frightful,' he added, “is that we now know that deportation is merely a slow death. Scarcely any of the victims of 1851 and 1852 are living.'
I foretold that,' I said, at the time, as you will find if you look at my article on Lamartine, published in the
See Journals in France and Italy.-ED.
April 20.—We talked of the political influence in France of the hommes de lettres.
• It began,' said Tocqueville, with the Restoration. Until that time we had sometimes, though very rarely, statesmen who became writers, but never writers who became statesmen.'
*You had hommes de lettres,' I said, 'in the early Revolutionary Assemblies-Mirabeau for instance.'
• Mirabeau,' he answered, 'is your best example, for Mirabeau, until he became a statesman, lived by his pen. Still I should scarcely call a man of his high birth and great expectations un homme de lettres. That appellation seems to belong to a man who owes his position in early life to literature. Such a man is Thiers, or Guizot, as opposed to such men as Gladstone, Lord John Russell, or Montalembert'
Wednesday, April 21.—I dined with D. and met, among several others, Admiral Matthieu the Imperial Hydrographer, and a general whose name I did not catch. I talked to the general about the army.
•We are increasing it,' he said, but not very materially. We are rather giving ourselves the means of a future rapid increase, than making an immediate augmentation. We are raising the number of men from 354,000 to 392,400, in round numbers to 400,000; but the principal increase is in the cadres, the officers attached to each battalion. We have increased them by more than one third. So that if a war should break out we can instantly—that is to say in three months, increase our army to 600,000 or even 700,000 men. Soldiers are
Power of Russia.
never wanting in France, the difficulty always is to find officers.'
'I hear,' I said, 'that you are making great improvements in your artillery.'
We are,' he answered. We are applying to it the principle of the Minié musket, and we are improving the material. We hope to make our guns as capable of resisting rapid and continued firing as well and as long as the English and the Swedish guns, which are the best in Europe, can do. And we find that we can throw a ball on the Minié principle with equal precision twice as far. This will double the force of all our batteries.'
*Are you,' he asked me, “among those who have taken shares in the Russian railways?'
'No,' I said. “They are the last that I wish to encourage.
'Englishmen or Frenchmen,' he answered, 'who help Russia to make railways, put me in mind of the Dutch who sold powder to their besiegers.
•The thinness of her population—that is, the vast space over which it is scattered—alone prevents Russia from being the mistress of Europe. If her 64,000,000 were as concentrated as our 34,000,000 are, she would be irresistible. She loses always far more men in marching than in fighting.'
The events of the war,' I said, 'lead me to believe that the goodness of the Russian soldier is exaggerated. They were always beaten, often by inferior numbers.'
'In the first place,' he answered, 'those who were beaten at Sebastopol were not the best Russian soldiers.
They were short small men, generally drawn from the neighbouring provinces. The Russian Imperial Guards and the Russian Army in Poland are far superior to any that we encountered in the Crimea. In the second place, they were ill commanded. The improvements of weapons, of science and of discipline, have raised the privates of all the great military nations to about the same level. Success now depends on numbers and on generalship. With railways Russia will be able to bring quickly a preponderating force to any point on her frontier. Her officers are already good, and for money she can import the best generals; indeed, I do not see why she should not breed them. Russia is civilised enough to produce men of the highest military qualities.'
I asked Admiral Matthieu about the naval preparations of France.
• The “Moniteur," ' I said, 'denies that you are making any.'
The “Moniteur," he answered, 'does not tell the truth. We are augmenting largely, both the number and the efficacy of our fleet.
Four years ago, at the beginning of the Russian war, we resolved to build a steam fleet of 150 steam ships of different sizes for fighting, and 74 steam ships for the transfer service, and to carry fuel and stores. Though we set about this in the beginning, as we thought, of a long war, we have not allowed the peace to interrupt it. We are devoting to it sixty-five millions a year (2,600,000l.) of which from fifteen to seventeen millions are employed every year in building new ships, and
from forty to forty-two in adding steam power to the old ones.
We hope to finish this great work in fourteen years.'
What,' I asked, 'is the amount of your present fleet of steamers ?'
•We have thirty-three screws,' he answered, 'fiftyseven paddles, and sixty-two sailing vessels in commission, and seventy-three, mostly steamers, en réserve, as you would say, in ordinary.'
*Manned by how many men?' I asked.
* By twenty-five thousand sailors,' he answered, and eleven thousand marines. But our inscription maritime would give us in a few months or less one hundred thousand more.
Since the times of Louis XVI. the French Navy has never been so formidable, positively or relatively.
*How,' I asked, “has your “ Napoleon" succeeded ?' * Admirably,' he answered. I have not seen the Wellington," but she is a much finer ship than the Agamemnon. Her speed is wonderful. A month ago she left Toulon at seven in the morning, and reached Ajaccio by four in the evening. But the great improvement is in our men. Napoleon knew nothing and cared nothing about sailors. He took no care about their training, and often wasted them in land operations, for which landsmen would have done as well.
'In 1814 he left Toulon absolutely unguarded, and sent all the sailors to join Augereau. You might have walked into it.
• In 1810 or 1811 I was on board a French corvette