« НазадПродовжити »
rate and pacific, and to be devoted rather to the arts of peace than to those of war.'
'France is changed,' answered Tocqueville, “and when compared with the France of Louis XIV., or of Napoleon, was already changed when you wrote, though the war-cry raised for political purposes in 1840 deceived you. At the same time, I will not deny that military glory would, more than any other merit, even now strengthen a Government, and that military humiliation would inevitably destroy one. Nor must you overrate the unpopularity of the last war. Only a few even of the higher classes understood its motives. “Que diable veut cette guerre ?” said my country neighbour to me; “si c'était contre les Anglais—mais avec les Anglais, et pour le Grand Turc, qu'est-ce que cela peut signifier ?” But when they saw that it cost only men, that they were not invaded or overtaxed, and that prices rose, they got reconciled to it.
'It was only the speculators of Paris that were tired of it. And if, instead of the Crimea, we had fought near our own frontiers, or for some visible purpose, all our military passions, bad and good, would have broken out.'
Wednesday, May 13.-Tocqueville came in after breakfast, and I walked with him in the shade of the green walls or arcades of the Tuileries chestnuts.
We talked of the Montijos, which led our conversation to Mérimée and V.
' Both of them,' said Tocqueville, 'were the friends of Countess Montijo, the mother.
'V. was among the last persons who knew Eugénie
Martin's History of France.
as Countess Théba. He escorted her to the Tuileries the very evening of her marriage. There he took his leave of her. “You are now," he said, "placed so high that I can only admire you from below.” And I do not believe that they have met since.
Mérimée took a less sentimental view of the change. He acknowledged his Empress in his former plaything, subsided from a sort of stepfather into a courtier, and so rose to honour and wealth, while V. is satisfied to remain an ex-professor and un homme de lettres.'
We met Henri Martin, and I asked Tocqueville what he thought of his History.
It has the merit of selling,' he said, 'which cannot be said of any other History of France. Martin is laborious and conscientious, and does not tell a story ill; but he is a partisan and is always biassed by his own likings and dislikings. He belongs to the class of theorists, unfortunately not a small one, whose political beau idéal is the absence of all control over the will of the people--who are opposed therefore to an hereditary monarchyto a permanent President—to a permanent magistracyto an established Church-in short, to all privileged classes, bodies, or institutions. Equality, not liberty or security, is their object. They are centralisers and absolutists. A despotic Assembly elected by universal suffrage, sitting at most for a year, governing, like the Convention, through its committees, or a single despot, appointed for a week, and not re-eligible, is the sort of ruler that they would prefer. The last five years have perhaps disgusted Martin with his Asiatic democracy, but his earlier volumes are coloured throughout by his prejudices against all systems implying a division of power, and independent authorities controlling and balancing one another.'
We talked of the Secret Police.
'It has lately,' said Tocqueville, ‘been unusually troublesome, or rather it has been troublesome to a class of persons whom it seldom ventures to molest. A friend of mine, M. Sauvaire Barthélemy, one of Louis Philippe's peers, was standing at the door of his hotel reading a letter. A gentleman in plain clothes addressed him, announced himself as an agent de police, and asked him if the letter which he was reading was political. “No," said Barthélemy, “you may see it.
It is a billet de mariage." "I am directed," said the agent, "to request you to get into this carriage.” They got in and drove to Mazas. There Barthélemy was shown into a neat room with iron bars to the windows, and ordered to wait. After some time Louis Pietri, the Préfet de Police, arrived.
"“I am grieved,” he said, “at giving you so much trouble, but I have been commanded to see you in this place, and to inform you that the Emperor cannot bear that a man in your high position should systematically misrepresent him.
L'Empereur fait tout ce qu'il peut pour le bonheur de la France, et il n'entend pas supporter une opposition aussi constante et aussi violente. Effectivement il ne veut pas d'opposition. Voulez-vous le tenir pour dit,
Visit to England.
Monsieur, et recevoir de nouveau mes excuses du dérangement que j'ai dû vous causer? Pour le présent vous êtes libre." ;
[Mr. Senior left Paris on the next day.
M. de Tocqueville paid his promised visit to England in June, and was received with a perfect ovation.—ED.]
London, July 10, 1857. I was too ill, my dear friend, to go to you yesterday. Dr. Ferguson tells me that I have been doing too much, and prescribes perfect rest.
I have already read half your journal of 1857. It is very curious; but I am glad that you have disguised me.
It is terrible to be in London, and to see so little of you; but the force of circumstances is greater than the force of wishes.
A. DE TOCQUEVILLE.
Tocqueville, August 6, 1857. You may already have had news of me through some of our common friends, my dear Senior, but I wish, besides, to give you some myself, and to thank you again for the kind welcome I received from you and in your house during my stay in London.
I regret only that I was unable to be more with you, and that, in spite of myself, I was drawn into a whirlpool which carried me away and prevented me from following my inclinations,
I have returned, however, full of gratitude for the marks of consideration and affection showered upon me in England. I shall never forget them.
I found my wife already installed here, and in good health; and I have resumed my busy and peaceful life with a delight which does honour to my wisdom. For I had been so spoiled in England that I might have been afraid of finding my retreat too much out of the way and too quiet. But nothing of the sort has happened. The excitement of the past month appears to have added charms to the present.
Nevertheless, I have not yet set to work again, but I am full of good resolutions, which I hope to execute as soon as I have completely returned to my usual habits. These first days have been devoted to putting everything into its regular order.
In France we are almost as much interested as you in England in the affairs of India. Everyone, even in the country, asks me for news of what is going on there.
There is a natural disposition to exaggerate the evil and to believe that your dominion is overturned. For my part, I am waiting with the utmost and most painful anxiety for the development of the drama, for no good can possibly result from it; and there is not one civilised nation in the world that ought to rejoice in seeing India escape from the hands of Europeans in order to fall back