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Enjoyment of Home.
its works, partly from the unskilfulness of its workers. Such a spectacle is useful to our Government.
I asked you some questions, which you have not answered. Is Mrs. Grote returned from Germany ? Is she well? Has she received my letter addressed to her at Heidelberg ? The last question is always doubtful when one writes from France.
I send you a letter from the Count de Fénelon, which I think will interest you. You will give it me back when we meet.
I am very curious to know what you will think of Egypt; and I hope that we shall be established in Paris when you return.
A. DE TOCQUEVILLE.
Tocqueville, September 19, 1855. Your letter, my dear Senior, of the 26th of August, has much interested me. I see that you are resolved on your great journey. I could say like Alexander, if the comparison were not too ambitious, that I should wish to be in your place if I were not in my own ; but I cannot get satiated with the pleasure of being at home after so long an absence. Everything is pleasure in this country life, among my own fields. Even the solitude is charming ; but were I anywhere else, I should envy you your tour.
Everything in Egypt is curious : the past, the present, and the future. I hope to learn much from your Journal, which I trust that I shall have. We shall certainly meet you in Paris.
The noise made by the fall of Sebastopol has echoed even to this distant corner of France. It is a glorious event, and has delighted every Frenchman of every party and of every opinion, for in these matters we are
I fear that the victory has been bought dearly. There is not a neighbouring village to which the war has not cost some of its children. But they bear it admirably. You know, that in war we show the best side of our character. If our civilians resembled our soldiers we should long ago have been masters of Europe.
This war has never been popular, nor is it popular, yet we bear all its cost with a cheerfulness admirable when you consider the sorrows which it occasions, aggravated by the distress produced by the dearness of bread. If, instead of the Crimea, the seat of war had been the Rhine, with a definite purpose, the whole nation would have risen, as it has done before.
But the object of the war is unintelligible to the people. They only know that France is at war, and must be made, at any price, to triumph.
I must confess, that I myself, who understand the object for which all this blood is shed, and who approve that object, do not feel the interest which such great events ought to excite; for I do not expect a result equal to the sacrifice.
I think, with you, that Russia is a great danger to Europe. I think so more strongly, because I have had peculiar opportunities of studying the real sources of her power, and because I believe these sources to be perma
How to Restrain Russia.
nent, and entirely beyond the reach of foreign attack. (I have not time now to tell you why.) But I am deeply convinced that it is not by taking from her a town, or even a province, nor by diplomatic precautions, still less by placing sentinels along her frontier, that the Western Powers will permanently stop her progress.
A temporary bulwark may be raised against her, but a mere accident may destroy it, or a change of alliances or a domestic policy may render it useless.
I am convinced that Russia can be stopped only by raising before her powers created by the hatred which she inspires, whose vital and constant interest it shall be to keep themselves united and to keep her in. In other words, by the resurrection of Poland, and by the re-animation of Turkey.
I do not believe that either of these means can now be adopted. The detestable jealousies and ambitions of the European nations resemble, as you say in your letter, nothing better than the quarrels of the Greeks in the face of Philip. Not one will sacrifice her passions or her objects.
About a month ago I read some remarkable articles, which you perhaps have seen, in the German papers, on the progress which Russia is making in the extreme East. The writer seems to be a man of sense and well informed.
It appears that during the last five years, Russia, profiting by the Chinese disturbances, has seized, not only the mouth of the Amoor, but a large territory in Mongolia, and has also gained a considerable portion of the VOL. II.
tribes which inhabit it. You know that these tribes once overran all Asia, and have twice conquered China. The means have always been the same
-some accident which, for an instant, has united these tribes in submission to the will of one man. Now, says the writer, very plausibly, the Czar may bring this about, and do what has been done by Genghis Khan, and, indeed, by others.
If these designs are carried out, all Upper Asia will be at the mercy of a man, who, though the seat of his power be in Europe, can unite and close on one point the Mongols. I know more about Sir G. Lewis's book 1 than
do. I have read it through, and I do not say, as you do, that it must be a good book, but that it is a good book. Pray say as much to Sir George when you see him, as a letter of mine to Lady Theresa on the subject may have miscarried.
It is as necessary now for friends to write in duplicate from town to town, as it is if they are separated by the ocean and fear that the ship which carries their letters may be lost. I hear that our friend John Mill has lately published an excellent book. Is it true? at all events remember me to him.
Adieu, my dear Senior. Do not forget us any more than we forget you. Kindest regards to Mrs. Senior, and Miss Senior, and Mrs. Grote.
A. DE TOCQUEVILLE.
✓ The work referred to was probably that on the Early History of Rome. -Ed.
Paris, April 1, 1856. I write a few lines to you at Marseilles, my dear Senior, as you wished.' I hope that you will terminate your great journey as felicitously as you seem to me to have carried it on from the beginning. The undertaking appears to have been a complete success. I wish that it might induce you next year to cross over the ocean to America. I should be much interested in hearing and reading your remarks upon that society. But perhaps Mrs. Senior will not be so ready to start off again ; so, that I may not involve myself in a quarrel with her, I will say no more on the subject.
I am longing to see you, for beside our old and intimate friendship I shall be delighted to talk with such an interesting converser, and, above all, to find myself again in the company of (as Mrs. Grote calls you) 'the boy.' You will find me, however, in all the vexations of correcting proofs and the other worries connected with bringing out a book. It will not appear till the end of this month.
I can tell you no more about politics than you may learn from the newspapers. Peace, though much desired, has caused no public excitement. The truth is that just now we are not excitable. As long as she remains in this condition France will not strike one of those blows by which she sometimes shakes Europe and overturns herself.
Reeve has been and Milnes still is here. We have
1 Mr. Senior was on his return from Egypt.-ED.