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and wickedness have ended in producing Louis Napoleon.'
Notwithstanding,' I said, “your disapprobation of Kossuth, you joined us in preventing his extradition.'
“We did,' answered Tocqueville. “It was owing to the influence of Lord Normanby over the President. It was a fine succès de tribune. It gave your Government and ours an occasion to boast of their courage and of their generosity, but a more dangerous experiment was never made. You reckoned on the prudence and forbearance of Austria and Russia. Luckily, Nicholas and Nesselrode are prudent men, and luckily the Turks sent to St. Petersburg Fuad Effendi, an excellent diplomatist, a much better than Lamoricière or Lord Bloomfield. He refused to see either of them, disclaimed their advice or assistance, and addressed himself solely to the justice and generosity of the Emperor. He admitted that Russia was powerful enough to seize the refugees, but implored him not to set such an example, and he committed nothing to paper. He left nothing, and took away nothing which could wound the pride of Nicholas; and thus he succeeded.
“Two days after, came a long remonstrance from Lord Palmerston, which Lord Bloomfield was desired to read to Nesselrode, and leave with him. A man of the world, seeing that the thing was done, would have withheld an irritating document. But Bloomfield went with it to Nesselrode. Nesselrode would have nothing to say to it. “Mon Dieu !” he said, “ we have given up all our demands; why tease us by trying to prove that we
15 ought not to have made them ?" Bloomfield said that his orders were precise. “Lisez donc," cried Nesselrode, “mais il sera très-ennuyeux." Before he had got half through Nesselrode interrupted him. “I have heard all this,” he said, “ from Lamoricière, only in half the number of words. Cannot you consider it as read?” Bloomfield, however, was inexorable.'
I recurred to a subject on which I had talked to both of them before—the tumult of January 29, 1849.
George Sumner,' I said, 'assures me that it was a plot, concocted by Faucher and the President, to force the Assembly to fix a day for its dissolution, instead of continuing to sit until it should have completed the Constitution by framing the organic laws which, even on December 2 last, were incomplete. He affirms that it was the model which was followed on December 2; that during the night the Palais Bourbon was surrounded by troops; that the members were allowed to enter, but were informed, not publicly, but one by one, that they were not to be allowed to separate until they had fixed, or agreed to fix, the day of their dissolution ; and that under the pressure of military intimidation, the majority, which was opposed to such a dissolution, gave way and consented to the vote, which was actually carried two days after.'
'No such proposition was made to me,' said Tocqueville, 'nor, as far as I know, to anybody else ; but I own that I never understood January 29. It is certain that the Palais Bourbon, or at least its avenues, were taken possession of during the night; that there was a vast display of military force, and also of democratic force; that the two bodies remained en face for some time, and that the crowd dispersed under the influence of a cold rain.'
'I too,' said Corcelle, disbelieve Sumner's story. The question as to the time of dissolution depended on only a few votes, and though it is true that it was voted two days after, I never heard that the military demonstration of January 29 accelerated the vote. The explanation which has been made to me is one which I mentioned the other day, namely, that the President complained to Changarnier, who at that time commanded the army of Paris, that due weight seemed not to be given to his 6,000,000 votes, and that the Assembly appeared inclined to consider him a subordinate power, instead of the Chef d'État, to whom, not to the Assembly, the nation had confided its destinies. In short, that the President indicated an intention to make a coup d'etat, and that the troops were assembled by Changarnier for the purpose of resisting it, if attempted, and at all events of intimidating the President by showing him how quickly a force could be collected for the defence of the Assembly.'
Sunday, January 4.—I dined with the Tocquevilles alone. The only guest, Mrs. Grote, who was to have accompanied me, being unwell.
'So enormous,' said Tocqueville,' are the advantages of Louis Napoleon's situation, that he may defy any ordinary enemy. He has, however, a most formidable one in himself. He is essentially a copyist. He can
1852.] The Second Napoleon a copy of the First. 17
originate nothing ; his opinions, his theories, his maxims, even his plots, all are borrowed, and from the most dangerous of models—from a man who, though he possessed genius and industry such as are not seen coupled, or indeed single, once in a thousand years, yet ruined himself by the extravagance of his attempts. It would be well for him if he would utterly forget all his uncle's history. He might then trust to his own sense, and to that of his advisers. It is true that neither the one nor the other would be a good guide, but either would probably lead him into fewer dangers than a blind imitation of what was done fifty years ago by a man very unlike himself, and in a state of society both in France and in the rest of Europe, very unlike that which now exists.'
Lanjuinais and Madame B., a relation of the family, came in.
Lanjuinais had been dining with Kissileff the Russian Minister. Louis Napoleon builds on Russian support, in consequence of the marriage of his cousin, the Prince de Lichtenstein, to the Emperor's daughter. He calls it an alliance de famille, and his organs the Constitutionnel' and the ‘Patrie' announced a fortnight ago that the Emperor had sent to him the Order of St. Andrew, which is given only to members of the Imperial family, and an autograph letter of congratulation on the coup d'état.
Kissileff says that all this is false, that neither Order nor letter has been sent, but he has been trying in vain to get a newspaper to insert a denial. It will be denied, he is told, when the proper moment comes.
'It is charming,' said Madame de Tocqueville, 'to see the Emperor of Russia, like ourselves, forced to see his name usurped without redress.'
Madame B. had just seen a friend who left his countryhouse, and came to Paris without voting, and told those who consulted him that, in the difficulties of the case, he thought abstaining was the safest course. Immediately after the poll was over the Prefect sent to arrest him for malveillance, and he congratulated himself upon being out of the way.
One of Edward de Tocqueville's sons came in soon after ; his brother, who is about seventeen, does duty as a private, has no servant, and cleans his own horse ; and is delighted with his new life. That of our young cavalry officers is somewhat different. He did not hear of the coup d'état till a week after it had happened.
Our regiments,' said Lanjuinais, "are a kind of convents. The young men who enter them are as dead to the world, as indifferent to the events which interest the society which they have left, as if they were monks. This is what makes them such fit tools for a despot.'
Thursday, January 8, 1852.–From Sir Henry Ellis's I went to Tocqueville's.
1. In this darkness,' he said, 'when no one dares to print, and few to speak, though we know generally that atrocious acts of tyranny are perpetrated everyday, it is difficult to ascertain precise facts, so I will give you one. A young man named Hypolite Magin, a gentleman
1 This conversation was also retained in the Journals in France. -ED.