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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 ’ 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
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.
may be lost.
· The work referred to was probably that on the Early History of Ronie.-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
i Mr. Senior was on his return from Egypt.—ED.
talked much of you with these two old friends. Good bye, or rather, thank God, à bientôt. A thousand kind remembrances to Mrs. Senior.
A. DE TOCQUEVILLE.
Paris, May 16.—M. de Tocqueville has scarcely been visible since my return to Paris. Madame de Tocqueville has been absent. She returned yesterday, and they spent this evening with us.
Tocqueville is full of his book, which is to appear in about a week. His days and nights are devoted to correcting the press and to writing notes—which he thought would be trifling, but which grow in length and importance.
The object of the work is to account for the rapid progress of the Revolution, to point out the principal causes which enabled a few comparatively obscure men to overthrow in six weeks a Monarchy of many centuries.
'I am inclined,' I said, 'to attribute the rapidity with which the old institutions of France fell, to the fact that there was no lex loci in France. That the laws, or rather the customs, of the different provinces were dissimilar, and that nothing was defined. That as soon as the foundations or the limits of any power were examined, it crumbled to pieces; so that the Assembly became omnipotent in the absence of any authority with ascertained rights and jurisdiction.'
Centralisation favours Revolution.
•There is much truth in that,' answered Tocqueville, 'but there is also much truth in what looks like an opposite theory_namely, that the Monarchy fell because its power was too extensive and too absolute. Nothing is so favourable to revolution as centralisation, because whoever can seize the central point is obeyed down to the extremities. Now the centralisation of France under the old Monarchy, though not so complete as its Democratic and Imperial tyrants afterwards made it, was great. Power was concentrated in Paris and in the provincial capitals. The smaller towns and the agricultural population were unorganised and defenceless. The 14th of July revealed the terrible secret that the Master of Paris is the Master of France.'
Paris, May 18.—I spent the day at Athy, the countryseat of M. Lafosse,' who had been my companion in our Egyptian journey.
•What do you hear,' 'I asked, 'of the Empress ??
Nothing,' he answered, but what is favourable; all her instincts and prejudices are good. Lesseps, who is nearly related to her, has many of her letters, written during the courtship, in which she speaks of her dear Louis with the utmost affection, and dwells on the hope that if ever she should become his wife, she may be able to induce him to liberalise his Government.'
* And now,' he said, 'tell me what you heard in England about our Canal ?'
M. Lafosse died many years ago. He was a friend of M. de Lesseps, by whom he and Mr. Senior were invited to join the expedition to Egypt.ED.