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this disagreeable winter better than perhaps we had a right to expect ; but still we have suffered.
Mrs. Grote tells me that you rather complain that the English newspapers approve of the marriage ; ? a marriage which you all disapprove.
The fact is that we like the marriage precisely because you dislike it.
We are above all things desirous that the present tyranny should end as quickly as possible. It can end only by the general alienation of the French people from the tyrant; and every fault that he commits delights us, because it is a step towards his fall. To say the truth, I wonder that you do not take the same view, and rejoice over his follies as leading to his destruction.
Our new Government is going on well as yet. As the Opposition has turned law reformers, we expect law reform to go on as rapidly as is consistent with the slowly-innovating temper of the English. Large measures respecting charities, education, secondary punishments, and the transfer of land are in preparation, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer is at work on the difficult-I suspect the insoluble-problem of an equitable income tax. I foresee, however, a rock ahead.
This is reform of the constituencies. Lord John Russell, very sillily, promised two years ago a new Reform Bill.
Still more sillily he introduced one last year, deservedly turned out for it.
Still more sillily the present Government has accepted his responsibility, and is pledged to bring in a measure of reform next year.
| That of the Emperor. -ED.
and was 1853)
New Reform Bill.
I have been trying to persuade them to pave the way by a Commission of Inquiry, being certain that the facts on which we ought to agitate are imperfectly known. But Lord John is unfavourable, and the other Ministers do not venture to control the leader of the House of Commons. There will, therefore, be no previous inquiry ; at least only the indirect one which the Government can make for itself. The measure will be concocted in secrecy, will be found open to unforeseen objections; it will be thrown out in the House, and will excite no enthusiasm in the country. If the Government dissolve, the new Parliament will probably be still more opposed to it than the present Parliament will be ; and the Government, being beaten again, will resign.
Such is my prophecy.
I hope to be in Paris either for the Easter or for the Whitsun vacation—that is, either about the 24th of March or the 5th of May next-and I trust to find you and Madame de Tocqueville, if not quite flourishing, at least quite convalescent.
N. W. SENIOR.
Paris, May 9, 1853.—I drank tea with the Tocquevilles. Neither of them is well.
In February they were caught, on their journey from
Tocqueville to Paris, by the bitter weather of the beginning of that month. It produced rheumatism and then pleurisy with him, and inflammation of the bowels with her; and both are still suffering from the effects either of the disorder or of the remedies.
In the summer Paris will be too hot and Tocqueville too damp. So they have taken a small house at St. Cyr, about a mile from Tours, where they hope for a tolerable climate, easy access to Paris, and the use of the fine library of the cathedral. He entered eagerly on the Eastern question, and agreed on all points with Faucher ; admitted the folly and rashness of the French, but deplored the over-caution which had led us to refuse interference, at least effectual interference, and to allow Turkey to sink into virtual subservience to Russia.
Paris, Tuesday, May 17.-Tocqueville and I stood on my balcony, and looked along the Rue de Rivoli and the Place de la Concorde, swarming with equipages, and on the well-dressed crowds in the gardens below. From the height in which we were placed all those apparently small objects, in incessant movement, looked like a gigantic ant-hill disturbed.
'I never,' said Tocqueville, ‘have known Paris so animated or apparently so prosperous. Much is to be attributed to the saving of the four previous years. The parsimony of the Parisians ended in 1850; but the parsimony of the provinces, always great, and in unsettled times carried to actual avarice, lasted during the whole of the Republic. Commercial persons tell me that the arrival of capital which comes up for investment from
Revolutions by Discharged Workmen.
the provinces deranges all their calculations. It is like the sudden burst of vegetation which you have seen during the last week. We have passed suddenly from winter to summer.
'I own,' he continued, that it fills me with alarm. Among the innumerable schemes that are afloat, some must be ill-founded, some must be swelled beyond their proper dimensions, and some may be mere swindles. The city of Paris and the Government are spending 150,000,000l. in building in Paris. This is almost as much as the fortifications cost. It has always been said, and I believe with truth, that the revolutionary army of 1848 was mainly recruited from the 40,000 additional workmen whom the fortifications attracted from the country, and left without employment when they were finished. When this enormous extra-expenditure is over, when the Louvre, and the new rue de Rivoli, and the Halles, and the street that is to run from the Hôtel de Ville to the northern boundary of Paris, are completed—that is to say, when a city has been built out of public money in two or three years—what will become of the mass of discharged workmen ?
"What will become of those on the railways if they are suddenly stopped, as yours were in 1846? What will be the shock if the Crédit Foncier or the Crédit Mobilier fail, after having borrowed each its milliard ? Everything seems to me to be preparing for one of your panics, and the Government has so identified itself with the state of prosperity and state of credit of the country that a panic must produce a revolution. The Govern
ment claims the merit of all that is good, and of course is held responsible for all that is bad. If we were to have a bad harvest, it would be laid to the charge of the Emperor.
Of course,' he continued, 'I do not desire the perpetuation of the present tyranny.
Its duration as a dynasty I believe to be absolutely impossible, except in one improbable contingency-a successful war.
But though, I repeat, I do not desire or expect the permanence of the Empire, I do not wish for its immediate destruction, before we are prepared with a substitute. The agents which are undermining it are sufficiently powerful and sufficiently active to occasion its fall quite as soon as we ought to wish for that fall.'
• And what,' I said, 'are those agents ?'
* The principal agents,' he answered, are violence in the provinces and corruption in Paris. Since the first outbreak there has not been much violence in Paris. You must have observed that freedom of speech is universal. In every private society, and even in every café, hatred or contempt of the Government are the main topics of conversation. We are too numerous to be attacked. But in the provinces you will find perfect silence. Anyone who whispers a word against the Emperor may be imprisoned, or perhaps transported. The prefects are empowered by one of the decrees made immediately after the coup d'état to dissolve any Conseil communal in which there is the least appearance of disaffection, and to nominate three persons to administer the commune. In many cases this has been done, and