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the general calamities. Without actually drawing the sword she has possession of the Principalities, she has thrust down Prussia into the second rank, she has emancipated herself from Russia, she has become the ally cf France and of England, and even of her old enemy Piedmont, she is safe in Italy. Poland and Hungary are still her difficulties, and very great ones, but as her general strength increases, she can better deal with them.'
‘Has not France,' I said, 'been also a gainer, by becoming head of the coalition against Russia ?'
• Whatever we have gained,' answered Tocqueville, 'has been dearly purchased, so far as it has consolidated this despotism. For a whole year we have felt that the life, and even the reign, of Louis Napoleon was necessary to us. They will continue necessary to us during the remainder of the war. We are acquiring habits of obedience, almost of resignation. His popularity has not increased. He and his court are as much shunned by the educated classes as they were three years ago ; we still repeat“ que ça ne peut pas durer," but we repeat it with less conviction.'
We passed the spring in Algeria, and returned to Paris the latter part of May.
Paris, May 26, 1855.—After breakfast I went to the Institut.
M. Passy read to us a long paper on the Art of Government. He spoke so low and so monotonously that no one attended. I sat next to Tocqueville, and, as it was not decent to talk, we conversed a little in writing.
Centralisation in Algeria.
He had been reading my Algiers Journal, and thus commented upon it :
'Il y a tout un côté, particulièrement curieux, de l'Algérie, qui vous a échappé, parce que vous n'avez pu ou voulu vous imposer l'ennui de causer souvent avec les colons, et que ce côté-là ne se voit pas en parlant avec les gouvernants; c'est l'abus de la centralisation. L'Afrique peut être considérée comme le tableau le plus complet et le plus extraordinaire des vices de ce système.
* Je suis convaincu que seul, sans les Arabes, le soleil, le désert, et la fièvre, il suffirait pour nous empêcher de coloniser. Tout ce que la centralisation laisse entrevoir de défauts, de ridicules et absurdités, d'oppression, de paperasseries en France, est grossi en Afrique au centuple. C'est comme un pou vu dans un microscope.'
J'ai causé,' I answered, 'avec Violar et avec mon hôte aux eaux ferrugineuses. Mais ils ne se sont pas plaints de la centralisation.'
• Ils ne se sont pas plaints,' he answered, ‘du mot que, peut-être, ils ne connaissaient pas. Mais si vous les aviez fait entrer dans les détails de l'administration publique, ou même de leurs affaires privées, vous auriez vu que le colon est plus gêné dans tous ses mouvements, et plus gouverné, pour son plus grand bien, que vous ne l'avez été quand il s'est agi de votre passeport.
· Violar faisait allusion à cela quand il vous a dit que les chemins manquaient parce que le Gouvernement ne voulait pas laisser les gouvernés s'en mêler.' 1
• One whole side, and that a very curious one, of Algeria, has escaped you, because you could not, or would not, inflict on yourself the bore of
Monday, May 28.–Tocqueville called on me.
I asked him for criticisms on my article on the State of the Continent in the North British Review of February 1855. : 'Of course, I said, it must be full of blunders. No one who writes on the politics of a foreign country can avoid them. I want your help to correct a few of them.'
Since you ask me,' he answered, for a candid criticism, I will give you one. I accuse you rather of misappreciation than of misstatement. First with respect to Louis Napoleon. After having described accurately, in the beginning of your paper, his unscrupulous, systematic oppression, you end by saying that, after all, you place him high among our sovereigns.'
You must recollect,' I answered, that the article
talking frequently with the colonists, and this side cannot be seen in conversing with officials—it is the abuse of centralisation. Africa may be considered as the most complete and most extraordinary picture of the vices of this system. I am convinced that it alone, without the Arabs, the sun, the desert and the fever, would be enough to prevent us from colonising. All the defects of centralisation, its oppressions, its faults, its absurdities, its endless documents, which are dimly perceived in France, become one hundred times bigger in Africa. It is like a louse in a microscope.'
'I conversed,' I answered, with Violar and with my landlord at the mineral waters, and they did not complain of centralisation.' "They did not complain,' he answered, of the word, which perhaps is unknown to them. But if you had made them enter into the details of the public administration, or even of their own private affairs, you would have seen that the colonist is more confined in all his movements, and more governed, for his good, than you were with regard to your passport.
• This is what Violar meant when he told you that roads were wanting, because the Government would not permit its subjects to interfere in making them.'
i See p. 107
Emperor has designs on the Rhine.
was written for the “Edinburgh Review," the organ of our Government, edited by Lord Clarendon's brother-inlaw-and that the editor thought its criticisms of Louis Napoleon so severe, that after having printed it, he was afraid to publish it. I went quite as far as I prudently could. I accused him, as you admit, of unscrupulous
. oppression, of ignorance of the feelings of the people, of being an idle administrator, of being unacquainted with business himself, and not employing those who understand it, of being impatient of contradiction, of refusing advice and punishing censure—in short, I have praised nothing but his foreign policy—and I have mentioned two errors in that.'
‘But I have a graver accusation to bring against you,' replied Tocqueville. "You couple as events mutually dependent the continuance of the Imperial Government and the continuance of the Anglo-Gallic Alliance. I believe this opinion not only to be untrue, but to be the reverse of the truth. I believe the Empire and the Alliance to be not merely, not mutually dependent, but to be incompatible, except upon terms which you are resolved never to grant. The Empire is essentially warlike—and war in the mind of a Bonaparte, and of the friends of a Bonaparte, means the Rhine. This war is merely a stepping stone. It is carried on
It is carried on for purposes in which the mass of the people of France take no interest. Up to the present time its burthens have been little felt, as it has been supported by loans, and the limits of the legal conscription have not been exceeded. But when the necessity comes for increased
taxation and anticipated conscriptions, Louis Napoleon must have recourse to the real passions of the French bourgeoisie and peasantry—the love of conquest, et la haine de l'Anglais. Don't fancy that such feelings are dead, they are scarcely asleep. They might be roused in a week, in a day, and they will be roused as soon as he thinks that they are wanted.
What do you suppose was the effect in France of Louis Napoleon's triumph in England ?
* Those who know England attributed it to the ignorance and childishness of the multitude. Those who thought that the shouts of the mob had any real meaning either hung down their heads in shame at the felf-degradation of a great nation, or attributed them to fear. The latter was the general feeling. “Il faut,” said all our lower classes, " que ces gens-là aient grande peur de nous.”
You accuse, in the second place, all the Royalist parties of dislike of England.
Do you suppose that you are more popular with the others? That the Republicans love your aristocracy, or the Imperialists your freedom ? The real friends of England are the friends of her institutions. They are the body, small perhaps numerically, and now beaten down, of those who adore Constitutional Liberty. They have maintained the mutual good feeling between France and England against the passions of the Republicans and the prejudices of the Legitimists. I trust, as you trust, that this good feeling is to continue, but it is on precisely opposite grounds. My hopes are founded, not