Зображення сторінки


Tocqueville's Last Letter.


is true that I am in your debt: one great cause is, that a man who lives at Cannes knows nothing of what is passing. My solitary confinement, which is bad enough in every way, makes me a bad correspondent, by depressing my spirits and rendering every exertion painful.

Mrs. Grote, in a very kind and interesting letter, which I received from her yesterday, says, that Lord Brougham, on his late arrival in London, gave a lamentable description of my health. If he confined himself to January, he was right. It is impossible to exaggerate my sufferings during that month. But, since that time, all has changed, as if from day to night, or rather from night to day. To talk now of what I was in January is like making a speech about the Spanish marriages.

I am grieved to find that you have suffered so much this year from bronchitis. I fear that your larynx can scarcely endure an English winter. But it is very hard to be obliged to expatriate oneself every year. I fear, however, that such must be my fate for some winters to come, and the pain with which I anticipate it makes me sympathise more acutely with you.

We know not, as yet, whether we are to have peace or war. Whichever it be, a mortal blow has struck the popularity of Louis Napoleon. What maintained him was the belief that he was the protector of our material interests : interests to which we now sacrifice all others. The events of the last month show, with the utmost vividness, that these very interests may be endangered by the arbitrary and irrational will of a despot. The feelings, therefore, which were his real support are now bitterly hostile to him.

I feel, in short, that a considerable change in our Government is approaching.

Even our poor Corps législatif, a week ago, refused to take into consideration the Budget, until it was informed whether it were to be a war budget or a peace budget. Great was the fury of those who represented the Government. They exclaimed that the Chamber misapprehended its jurisdiction, and that it had nothing to do with political questions. The Chamber, however, or rather its committee on the Budget, held its ground, and extorted from the Government some explanations.

Adieu, my dear Senior. Say everything that is kind to the Grotes, the Reeves, the Lewises-in short, to all our common friends, and believe in the sincerity of my friendship


[This was M. de Tocqueville's last letter to Mr. Senior. He died on the 16th of April.—ED.]

Hôtel Westminster, Rue de la Paix, April 25, 1859. My dear Madame de Tocqueville,- I was in the country, and it was only last Friday, as I was passing through London on my way to Paris, that I heard of the irreparable loss that we, indeed that France and Europe, have suffered.

It cannot alleviate your distress to be told how uni


Grief of the English Public.


versal and deep is the sympathy with it_quite as much in England as in France.

It has thrown a gloom over society, not only over that portion which had the happiness and the honour of intimacy with M. A. de Tocqueville, but even of his acquaintances, and of those too whose acquaintance was only with his works.

I have, as you know, been for about a year, the depositary of a large packet confided to me by M. de Tocqueville last spring. About six months ago he begged me to return it to him, in Paris, when I had a safe opportunity. No such opportunity offered itself, so that the packet remains in my library awaiting your orders.

Since I began this letter I have been informed by M. de Corcelle that you are likely to be soon in Paris. I shall not venture to send it by the post, lest it should cross you on the road.

I shall anxiously inquire as to your arrival, in the hope that you will allow one who most sincerely loved and admired your husband, morally and intellectually, to see you as soon as you feel yourself equal to it.

Believe me, my dear Madame de Tocqueville, with the truest sympathy, yours most truly,


Mr. Senior continued an active correspondence with Madame de Tocqueville, and we saw her whenever we were in Paris. Our long-promised visit to Tocqueville took place in 1861.-ED.]

JOURNAL Tocqueville, Sunday, August 11, 1861.-We left Paris on Saturday evening, got to Valognes by the Cherbourg railway by six the next morning, and were furnished there with a good carriage and horses, which took us, and our servants and luggage, in three hours to Tocqueville.

Valognes has been immortalised by Le Sage in Turcaret. It is a town of about 6,000 inhabitants, built of granite, and therefore little altered from what it was 200 years ago. Over many of the doors are the armorial bearings of the provincial nobility who made it a small winter capital: the practice is not wholly. extinct. I asked who was the inhabitant of an imposing old house. "M. de Néridoze,' answered our landlady, 'd'une très-haute noblesse.' I went over one in which Madame de Tocqueville thinks of passing the winter. It is of two stories. The ground floor given up to kitchen, laundry, and damp-looking servants' rooms; the first floor in this form:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


Château de Tocqueville.


The longer side looks into the street, the shorter, which is to be Madame de Tocqueville's bedroom, into a small garden.

August 11.–At Tocqueville we find M. and Madame de Beaumont, their second son-a charming boy of ten years old, and Ampère.

It is eleven years since I was here. Nothing has been done to the interior of the house. This is about the plan of ground floor.

[blocks in formation]

The first floor corresponds to the ground floor, except that on the western sides a passage runs, into which the library, which is over the drawing-room, and the bedrooms open. The second consists of garrets. My room is on the first floor of the eastern tower, with deep windows looking south and east. The room dedicated by Tocqueville to Ampère is above me. Creepers in great luxuriance cover the walls up to the first floor windows. The little park consists of from thirty to forty acres, well wooded and traversed by an avenue in this form,' leading from the road to the front of the house. To the west the ground rises to a wild common commanding the sea, the lighthouses of Gatteville,

See next page. -ED.

« НазадПродовжити »