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till the spring in the South. We trust to meet you in Paris in March.
I say no more, for I cannot write to you on what would most interest you—French politics. Much is to be said on them; but you will understand my silence if you study our new Law of Public Safety, and remember who is the new Home Minister. For the first time in French history has such a post been filled by a generaland what a general !
I defer, therefore, until we meet, the expression of feelings and opinions which cannot be safely transmitted through the post, and only repeat how eager I am for our meeting Kind regards to Mrs. Senior.
A. DE TOCQUEVILLE.
Tocqueville, February 21, 1858. I received your letters with great pleasure, my dear Senior, and I think with still greater satisfaction that I shall soon be able to see you.
I shall probably arrive in Paris, with my wife, at about the same time as you will, that is to say, about the 19th of next month. I should have gone earlier if I were not occupied in planting and sowing, for I am doing a little farming to my great amusement.
I am delighted that you intend again to take up your quarters at the Hôtel Bedford, as I intend also to stay there if I can find apartments.
i General Espinasse.
I hope that we shall be good neighbours and see each other as frequently as such old friends ought to do. A bientôt !
A. DE TOCQUEVILLE.
[Mr. Senior ran over to England for a few weeks instead of remaining in Paris. The meeting between the two friends did not, therefore, take place till April. Ed.]
Paris, Saturday, April 17, 1858.—We had a discussion at the Institut to-day as to a bust to fill a niche in the anteroom. Rossi was proposed. His political merits were admitted, but he was placed low as to his literary claims as an economist and a jurist. Dupin suggested Talleyrand, which was received with a universal groan, and failed for want of a seconder. Ultimately the choice fell on Dumont.
* Nothing that is published of Talleyrand's,' said Tocqueville to me as we walked home, 'has very great merit, nor indeed is much of it his own. He hated writing, let his reports and other state papers be drawn up by others, and merely retouched them. But in the archives of the Affaires étrangères there is a large quarto volume containing his correspondence with Louis XVIII. during the Congress of Vienna. Nothing can be more charming. The great European questions which were then in debate, the diplomatic and social gossip of Vienna, the contemporary literature-in short, VOL. II.
all that one clever homme du monde could find to interest and amuse another, are treated with wit, brilliancy, and gaiety, supported by profound good sense. When that volume is published his bust will be placed here by acclamation.'
Monday, April 19.—I dined with Lanjuinais, and met Tocqueville, Rivet, Dufaure, Corcelle, Freslon, and one or two others.
They attacked me about the change of sentiment in England with respect to Louis Napoleon.
"While he was useful to you,' they said, 'you steadily refused to admit that he was a tyrant, or even an usurper.
You chose to disbelieve in the 3,000 men, women, and children massacred on the Boulevards of Paris—in the 20,000 poisoned by jungle fever in Cayenne -in the 25,000 who have died of malaria, exposure, and bad food, working in gangs on the roads and in the marshes of the Metidja and Lambressa.'
•We did not choose,' I answered, 'to disbelieve any thing. We were simply ignorant. I knew all these facts, because I have passed a part of every year since 1847 in Paris ; because I walked along the Boulevards on the 20th of December 1851, and saw the walls of every house, from the Bastille to the Madeleine, covered with the marks of musket-balls; because I heard in every society of the thousands who had been massacred, and of the tens of thousands who had ben déportés ; but the untravelled English, and even the travelled English, except the few who live in France among the French, knew nothing of all this. Your press tells nothing.
1858.] English Support of Louis Napoleon. 195 The nine millions of votes given to Louis Napoleon seemed to prove his popularity, and therefore the improbability of the tyranny of which he was accused by his enemies. I knew that those nine millions of votes were extorted, or stolen by violence or fraud. But the English people did not know it. They accepted his election as the will of the nation, and though they might wonder at your choice, did not presume to blame it.'
The time,' they answered, 'at which light broke in upon you is suspicious. Up to the 14th of January 1858 the oppression under which thirty-four millions of people within twenty-four miles of your coast, with whom you are in constant intercourse, was unknown to you. Their ruler insults you, and you instantly discover that he is an usurper and a tyrant. This looks as if the insult, and the insult alone, opened your eyes.'
•What opened our eyes,' I answered, 'was not the. insult but the loi de sûreté publique. It was the first public act which showed to England the nature of your Government.
When we found, erected in every department, a revolutionary tribunal, empowered to banish and transport without trial; when we found a rude soldier made Home Minister, and the country divided into five districts to be each governed by a marshal, we saw at once that France was under a violent military despotism. Until that law was passed the surface was smooth. There was nothing in the appearance of France to show to a stranger that she was not governed by a Monarch,
practically, indeed, absolute, but governing as many absolute Monarchs have done, mildly and usefully.
• Of course we might have found out the truth sooner if we had inquired. And perhaps we ought to have inquired. We busy ourselves about our own affairs, and neglect too much those of other countries. In that sense you have a right to say that we chose to be ignorant, since our conduct was such as necessarily to make us ignorant. But it was not because Louis Napoleon was our ally that we chose to be ignorant, but because we habitually turn our eyes from the domestic affairs of the Continent, as things in which we have seldom a right to interfere, and in which, when we do interfere, we do more harm than good.'
We talked of the manner in which the loi de sûreté publique has been carried out. And I mentioned 600 as the number of those who had suffered under it, as acknowledged to me by Blanchard in the beginning of March.
• It is much greater now,' said Lanjuinais. 'Berryer on his return from Italy, a week ago, slept in Marseilles. He was informed that more than 900 persons had passed through Marseilles, déportés under the new law to Algeria. They were of all classes : artisans and labourers mixed with men of the higher and middle classes. To these must be added those transported to Cayenne, who were sent by way of Havre. As for the number expulsés and internés there are no data.'
• In the Department of Var, a man was found guilty in 1848 of joining in one of the revolutionary movements