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Kensington, April 30, 1852. My dear Tocqueville,-A thousand thanks for your letter. I saw M. de Lamoricière three times, and had a glimpse of Madame de L. who seemed very pleasing. I was delighted with his spirit and intelligence, but understand the criticism that he is soldatesque.
I had a long and very interesting conversation with the King, and saw much of my excellent friends Arrivabene and Quetelet. But after all Brussels is not Paris. I was more than ever struck by the ugliness of the country and the provincialness of the society.
I returned on April 18, sprained my ancle on the 19th, and have been on my back ever since. I have spent the time in looking through Fonfrède, who is a remarkable writer, and inakes some remarkable prophecies, in finishing Grote's ninth and tenth volumes, in reading Kenrick's · Ancient Egypt,' which is worth studying, and in reading through Horace, whom I find that I understand much better after my Roman experience.
I differ from you as to the chances of reaction in this country. I believe that we are still travelling the road which you have so well mapped out, which leads to democracy. Our extreme gauche, which we call the Manchester School, employs its whole efforts in that direction. It has great energy, activity, and combination. The duties of Parliament and of Government have become so onerous, and the facing our democratic constituencies is so disagreeable, and an idle life of society, literature, art, and travelling has become so pleasant, that our younger aristocracy seem to be giving up politics, and hence you hear the universal complaint that there are no young men of promise in public life.
i This letter is not to be found.-ED.
The House of Commons is full of middle-aged lawyers, merchants, manufacturers, and country-gentlemen, who take to politics late in life, without the early special training which fitted for it the last generation.
I fear that the time may come when to be in the House of Commons may be thought a bore, a somewhat vulgar spouting club, like the Marylebone Vestry, or the City of London Common Council.
I do not know whether Lord Derby has gained much in the last four months, but Lord John has certainly lost. His Reform Bill was a very crude gâchis, without principle, and I think very mischievous. I ventured to say nearly as much to Lord Lansdowne, who sat by my sofa for an hour on Sunday, and he did not take up its defence. Then his opposition to the present Ministry has been factious, and to punish him, he was left the other day in a minority of fifty per cent. People begin now to speculate on the possibility of Lord Derby's reconstructing his minority on rather a larger basis, and maintaining himself for three or four years; which, in these times, is a good old age for a Minister. One admirable result of these changes is the death of Protection. Those who defended it in opposition are found to abandon it now they are in power. So it has not a friend left.
Pray send me word, by yourself or by Mrs. Grote, when you leave Paris. My vacation begins on May 8, but I shall not move unless I recover the use of my legs, nor then I think, if I find that you will be absent. Kindest regards to Madame de Tocqueville.
N. W. SENIOR.
Paris, November 13, 1852. I am unlucky, my dear Senior, about your letters of introduction. You know how much I have wished and tried to make the acquaintance of Lord and Lady Ashburton, but without success. I should also, I am sure, have had great pleasure in meeting Mr. Greg.
This time I was prevented by ill health.
Two or three months ago, I wrote to you from the country a letter which was addressed to Kensington. Did you receive it? and if so, why have you not answered it?
I wrote upon politics, but especially I asked you about yourselves, your occupations and projects, some questions to which I was very anxious to have answers. At any rate, do now what you ought to have done then-write to me.
I do not now write about politics, because we do not talk, or at least write about them in France any more than in Naples ; besides, such subjects are not suitable to an invalid.
I will only tell you, as important and authentic pieces of information, that the new court ladies have taken to trains and little pages, and that the new courtiers hunt the stag with their master in the Forest of Fontainebleau in dresses of the time of Louis XIV. and cocked hats.
Good-bye! Heaven preserve you from the mistakes which lead to revolutions, and from the revolutions which lead to masquerades. A thousand kind regards.
A. DE TOCQUEVILLE.
London, December 4, 1852. . My dear Tocqueville,—Your letter of November 13 is, I think, the first that I have received from you since March.
That which you addressed to me at Kensington, two months ago, did not reach me. I have written to you one or two; I do not know with what success.
I grieve to hear of rheumatism and pleurisy. You say nothing of Madame de Tocqueville, whence I hope that I may infer that she, at least, is well.
We have all been flourishing. We passed the vacation in Wales and Ireland, and brought back a curious journal,' which I hope to send or bring to you.
I do not think that I shall venture to Paris at Christmas, though Ellice and Thiers are trying to persuade me. I have too vivid a recollection of the fog, cold, and dirt of last year; but I fully resolve to be with you at Easter—that is, about March 24.
The present Government, with all its want of principle
1 Published in 1868.-ED.
and truth, and with all its want of experience, is doing much better than I expected.
The law reforms are far bolder than any that my friends ever proposed, and the budget, which was brought forward last night, contains more that is good, and less that is bad, than was hoped or feared.
Its worst portion is the abolition of half the malt tax, which leaves all the expense of collection undiminished, besides being a removal of a tax on a luxury which I do not wish to see cheaper. It is probable, however, that the doubling of the house tax will be rejected, in which case Disraeli will probably retain the malt tax, and the budget will sink into a commonplace one.
The removal of certain burdens on navigation and the change in the income tax are thought good, and generally the Government has gained by the budget. I am now inclined to think that it may last for some months longer-perhaps for some years.
In the meantime we are in a state of great prosperity : high wages, great accumulation of capital, low prices of consumable articles, and high prices of stocks and land.
N. W. SENIOR.
February 27, 1853. My dear Tocqueville,—I profit by Sir H. Ellis's visit to write, not venturing to trust the post.
We are grieved to hear that both you and Madame de Tocqueville have been suffering. We have borne