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State Prisoners on December 2.
tions, honours, gratuities, are already showered on the army of Paris.
It has already received a thing unheard of in our history—the honours and recompenses of a campaign for the butchery on the Boulevards. Will not the other armies demand their share of work and reward ? As long as the civil war in the Provinces lasts they may be employed there. But it will soon be over. What is then to be done with them? Are they to be marched on Switzerland, or on Piedmont, or on Belgium ? And will England quietly look on ?'
Our conversation was here interrupted by the entrance of the Abbé Gioberti, and of Sieur Capponi, a Sicilian.
Paris, December 31, 1851.—I dined with the Tocquevilles and met Mrs. Grote, Rivet, and Corcelle.
• The gayest time,' said Tocqueville, 'that I ever passed was in the Quai d'Orsay. The élite of France in education, in birth, and in talents, particularly in the talents of society, was collected within the walls of that barrack.
'A long struggle was over, in which our part had not been timidly played ; we had done our duty, we had gone through some perils, and we had some to encounter, and we were all in the high spirits which excitement and dangers shared with others, when not too formidable, create. From the courtyard in which we had been penned for a couple of hours, where the Duc de Broglie and I tore our chicken with our hands and teeth, we were transferred to a long sort of gallery, or garret, running along through the higher part of the building, a spare dormitory for the soldiers when the better rooms are filled. Those who chose to take the trouble went below, hired palliasses from the soldiers, and carried them up for themselves. I was too idle and lay on the floor in my cloak. Instead of sleeping we spent the night in shooting from palliasse to palliasse anecdotes, repartees, jokes, and pleasantries. “C'était un feu roulant, une pluie de bons mots.” Things amused us in that state of excitement which sound flat when repeated.
'I remember Kerrel, a man of great humour, exciting shouts of laughter by exclaiming, with great solemnity, as he looked round on the floor, strewed with mattresses and statesmen, and lighted by a couple of tallow candles, “Voilà donc où en est réduit ce fameux parti de l'ordre.” Those who were kept au secret, deprived of mutual support, were in a very different state of mind; some were depressed, others were enraged. Bédeau was left alone for twenty-four hours ; at last a man came and offered him some sugar. He flew at his throat and the poor turnkey ran off, fancying his prisoner was mad.'
We talked of Louis Napoleon's devotion to the Pope.
'It is of recent date,' said Corcelle. In January and February 1849 he was inclined to interfere in support of the Roman Republic against the Austrians. And when in April he resolved to move on Rome, it was not out of any love for the Pope. In fact, the Pope did not then wish for us. He told Corcelle that he hoped to be restored by General Zucchi, who commanded a body of Roman troops in the neighbourhood of Bologna. No one at that time believed the Republican party in Rome to be capable of a serious defence. Probably they would
Republic not probable.
not have made one if they had not admitted Garibaldi and his band two days before we appeared before their gates.'
I mentioned to Tocqueville Beaumont's opinion that France will again become a republic.
'I will not venture,' he answered, “to affirm, with respect to any form whatever of government, that we shall never adopt it; but I own that I see no prospect of a French republic within any assignable period. We are, indeed, less opposed to a republic now than we were in 1848. We have found that it does not imply war, or bankruptcy, or tyranny; but we still feel that it is not the government that suits us. This was apparent from the beginning. Louis Napoleon had the merit, or the luck, to discover, what few suspected, the latent Bonapartism of the nation. The roth of December showed that the memory of the Emperor, vague and indefinite, but therefore the more imposing, still dwelt like an heroic legend in the imaginations of the peasantry. When Louis Napoleon's violence and folly have destroyed the charm with which he has worked, all eyes will turn, not towards a republic, but to Henri V.'
Was much money,' I asked, “spent at his election ?'
*Very little,' answered Tocqueville. “The ex-Duke of Brunswick lent him 300,000 francs on a promise of assistance as soon as he should be able to afford it; and I suppose that we shall have to perform the promise, and to interfere to restore him to his duchy ; but that was all that was spent. In fact he had no money of his own, and scarcely anyone, except the Duke, thought
well enough of his prospects to lend him any. He used to sit in the Assembly silent and alone, pitied by some members and neglected by all. Silence, indeed, was necessary to his success.'
Paris, January 2nd, 1852.-I dined with Mrs. Grote and drank tea with the Tocquevilles.
What is your report,' they asked, 'of the President's reception in Notre Dame. We hear that it was cold.'
'So,' I answered, 'it seemed to me.'
'I am told,' said Tocqueville, ‘that it was still colder on his road. He does not shine in public exhibitions. He does not belong to the highest class of hypocrites, who cheat by frankness and cordiality.'
Such,' I said, as lago. It is a class of villains of which the specimens are not common.'
'They are common enough with us,' said Tocqueville. 'We call them faux bonshommes. H. was an instance. He had passed a longish life with the character of a frank, open-hearted soldier. When he became Minister, the facts which he stated from the tribune appeared often strange, but coming from so honest a man we accepted them. One falsehood, however, after another was exposed, and at last we discovered that H. himself, with all his military bluntness and sincerity, was a most intrepid, unscrupulous liar.
“What is the explanation,' he continued, ‘of Kossuth's reception in England ? I can understand enthusiasm for a democrat in America, but what claim had he to the sympathy of aristocratic England ?'
Our aristocracy,' I answered, 'expressed no sym
Mischievous Public Men.
pathy, and as to the mayors, and corporations, and public meetings, they looked upon him merely as an oppressed man, the champion of an oppressed country.'
'I think,' said Tocqueville, “that he has been the most mischievous man in Europe.'
• More so," I said, “than Mazzini ? More so than Lamartine?'
At this instant Corcelle came in.
We are adjusting,' said Tocqueville, 'the palm of mischievousness.'
I am all for Lamartine,' answered Corcelle; without him the others would have been powerless.'
But,' I said, 'if Lamartine had never existed, would not the revolution of 1848 still have occurred ?'
'It would have certainly occurred' said Tocqueville ; 'that is to say, the oligarchy of Louis. Philippe would have come to an end, probably to a violent one, but it would have been something to have delayed it; and it cannot be denied that Lamartine's eloquence and courage saved us from great dangers during the Provisional Government. Kossuth's influence was purely mischievous. But for him, Austria might now be a constitutional empire, with Hungary for its most powerful member, a barrier against Russia instead of her slave.'
'I must put in a word,' said Corcelle, 'for Lord Palmerston. If Lamartine produced Kossuth, Lord Palmerston produced Lamartine and Mazzini and Charles Albert-in short, all the incendiaries whose folly
1 It must be remembered that M. de Corcelle is an ardent Roman Catholic.-ED.