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as possible: but we do not think that it can end by the North subjugating the Southerns and forcing them to be its subjects.
“The best termination to which we look forward as possible, is that the North should beat the South, and then dictate its own terms of separation.
'If they wish to go farther than this, if they wish us to love or to admire our. Northern cousins in their political capacity, they wish for what is impossible.
We cannot forget that the Abolitionists have been always a small and discredited party; that the Cuba slave trade is mainly carried on from New York; that they have neglected the obligations formally entered into by them with us to co-operate in the suppression of the slave trade; that they have pertinaciously refused to allow us even to inquire into the right of slavers to use the American flag; that it is the capital of the North which feeds the slavery of the South; that the first act of the North, as soon as the secession of the South from Congress allowed it to do what it liked, was to enact a selfish protective tariff ; that their treatment of us, from the time that they have felt strong enough to insult us, has been one unvaried series of threats, bullying, and injury; that they have refused to submit their claims on us to arbitration, driven out our ambassadors, seized by force on disputed territory, and threatened war on every pretence.'
It is true,' said Beaumont,'that during the last twenty years American diplomacy has not been such as to inspire affection or respect. But you must recollect that
Politics of a Farmer.
during all that time America has been governed by the South'
• It is true,' I said, that the presidents have generally been Southerns, but I am not aware that the North has ever disavowed their treatment of us. This is certain, that throughout the Union, insolence to England has been an American statesman's road to popularity.'
Monday, August 19.-We walked in the afternoon over the commons overlooking the sea, and among the shady lanes of this well-wooded country.
We came on a group of about twelve or thirteen reapers taking their evening meal of enormous loaves of brown bread, basins of butter, and kegs of cider.
M. Roussell, the farmer in whose service they were, was sitting among them. He was an old friend and constituent of Tocqueville, and for thirty years was Maire of Tocqueville. He has recently resigned. He rose and walked with us to his house.
'I was required,' he said, 'to support the prefect's candidate for the Conseil général. No such proposition was ever made to me before. I could not submit to it. The prefect has been unusually busy of late. The schoolmaster has been required to send in a list of the peasants whose children, on the plea of poverty, receive gratuitous education. The children of those who do not vote with the prefect are to have it no longer.'
I asked what were the wages of labour.
• Three francs and half a day,' he said, 'during the harvest, with food—which includes cider. In ordinary VOL. II.
times one franc a day with food, or a franc and a half without food.'
• It seems then,' I said, 'that you can feed a man for half a franc a day?'
• He can feed himself,' said M. Roussell, 'for that, butI cannot, or for double that money.'
The day labourer is generally hired only for one day. A new bargain is made every day.
The house was not uncomfortable, but very untidy. There are no ricks, everything is stored in large barns, where it is safe from weather, but terribly exposed to vermin.
A bright-complexioned servant-girl was in the kitchen preparing an enormous bowl of soup, of which bread, potatoes, and onions were the chief solid ingredients.
'Roussell,' said Beaumont, 'is superior to his class. In general they are bad politicians. It is seldom difficult to get their votes for the nominee of the prefect. They dislike to vote for anyone whom they know, especially if he be a gentleman, or be supported by the gentry. Such a candidate excites their democratic
envy and suspicion. But the prefect is an abstraction. They have never seen him, they have seldom heard of his name or of that of his candidate, and therefore they vote for him.
*Lately, however, in some of my communes, the peasants have adopted a new practice, that of electing peasants. I suspect that the Government is not displeased.
• The presence of such members will throw discredit
on the Conseils généraux, and, if they get there, on the Corps législatif, much to the pleasure of our democratic master, and they will be easily bribed or frightened. Besides which, the fifteen francs a day will be a fortune to them, and they will be terrified by the threat of a dissolution. I do not think that even yet we have seen the worst of universal suffrage.'
What influence,' I asked, “have the priests ?'
'In some parts of France,' said Beaumont, where the people are religious, as is the case here, much. Not much in the north-east, where there is little religion; and in the towns, where there is generally no religion, their patronage of a candidate would ruin him. I believe that nothing has so much contributed to Louis Napoleon's popularity with the ouvriers as his quarrel with the Pope. You may infer the feelings of the lower classes in Paris from his cousin's conduct.'
'I study Prince Napoleon,' said Ampère, 'with interest, for I believe that he will be the successor.'
If Louis Napoleon,' I said, 'were to be shot tomorrow, would not the little prince be proclaimed ?'
* Probably,' said Ampère,' but with Jérôme for regent, and I doubt whether the regency would end by the little Napoleon IV. assuming the sceptre.
: Louis Napoleon himself does not expect it. He often says that, in France, it is more than two hundred years since a sovereign has been succeeded by his son.
On the whole,' continued Ampère, I had rather have Jérôme than Louis Napoleon. He has more talent and less prudence. He would bring on the crisis sooner.
On the 31st of October, 1849,' said Madame de Tocqueville, 'I was in Louis Napoleon's company, and he mentioned some matter on which he wished to know my husband's opinion. I could not give it. "It does not much signify," he answered, “for as I see M. de Tocqueville every day, I will talk to him about it myself.” At that very time, the ordonnance dismissing M. de Tocqueville had been signed, and Louis Napoleon knew that he would probably never see him again.'
*I do not,' said Ampère, 'give up the chance of a republic. I do not wish for one. It must be a very bad constitutional monarchy which I should not prefer to the best republic. My democratic illusions are gone. France and America have dispelled them: but it must be a very bad republic which I should not prefer to the best despotism. A republic is like a fever, violent and frightful, but not necessarily productive of organic mischief. A despotism is a consumption : it degrades and weakens, and perverts all the vital functions.
* What is there now in France worth living for? I find people proud of our Italian campaign. Why should the French be proud that their master's soldiers have been successful in a war as to which they were not consulted ; which, in fact, they disapproved, which was not made for their benefit, which was the most glaring proof of their servility and degradation? We knew before that our troops were better than the Austrians. What have we gained by the additional example of their superiority?