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well enough of his prospects to lend him any. He used to sit in the Assembly silent and alone, pitied by some members and neglected by all. Silence, indeed, was necessary to his success.'
Paris, January 2nd, 1852.—I dined with Mrs. Grote and drank tea with the Tocquevilles.
'What is your report,' they asked, ‘of the President's reception in Notre Dame. We hear that it was cold.'
'So,' I answered, “it seemed to me.'
'I am told,' said Tocqueville, 'that it was still colder on his road. He does not shine in public exhibitions. He does not belong to the highest class of hypocrites, who cheat by frankness and cordiality.'
'Such,' I said, 'as Iago. It is a class of villains of which the specimens are not common.'
*They are common enough with us,' said Tocqueville. 'We call them faux bonshommes. H. was an instance. He had passed a longish life with the character of a frank, open-hearted soldier. When he became Minister, the facts which he stated from the tribune appeared often strange, but coming from so honest a man we accepted them. One falsehood, however, after another was exposed, and at last we discovered that H. himself, with all his military bluntness and sincerity, was a most intrepid, unscrupulous liar.
"What is the explanation,' he continued, of Kossuth's reception in England ? I can understand enthusiasm for a democrat in America, but what claim had he to the sympathy of aristocratic England ?'
•Our aristocracy,' I answered, 'expressed no sym
Mischievous Public Men.
pathy, and as to the mayors, and corporations, and public meetings, they looked upon him merely as an oppressed man, the champion of an oppressed country.'
'I think,' said Tocqueville, 'that he has been the most mischievous man in Europe.'
* More so," I said, “than Mazzini ? More so than Lamartine?' At this instant Corcelle came in.
We are adjusting,' said Tocqueville, 'the palm of mischievousness.'
I am all for Lamartine,' answered Corcelle;' without him the others would have been powerless.'
• But,' I said, 'if Lamartine had never existed, would not the revolution of 1848 still have occurred ?'
• It would have certainly occurred' said Tocqueville ; 'that is to say, the oligarchy of Louis Philippe would have come to an end, probably to a violent one, but it would have been something to have delayed it; and it cannot be denied that Lamartine's eloquence and courage saved us from great dangers during the Provisional Government. Kossuth's influence was purely mischievous. But for him, Austria might now be a constitutional empire, with Hungary for its most powerful member, a barrier against Russia instead of her slave.'
'I must put in a word,' said Corcelle,' 'for Lord Palmerston. If Lamartine produced Kossuth, Lord Palmerston produced Lamartine and Mazzini and Charles Albert-in short, all the incendiaries whose folly and wickedness have ended in producing Louis Napoleon.'
1 It must be remembered that M. de Corcelle is an ardent Roman Catholic.-ED.
Notwithstanding,' I said, 'your disapprobation of Kossuth, you joined us in preventing his extradition.'
*We did,' answered Tocqueville. “It was owing to the influence of Lord Normanby over the President. It was a fine succès de tribune. It gave your Government and ours an occasion to boast of their courage and of their generosity, but a more dangerous experiment was never made. You reckoned on the prudence and forbearance of Austria and Russia. Luckily, Nicholas and Nesselrode are prudent men, and luckily the Turks sent to St. Petersburg Fuad Effendi, an excellent diplomatist, a much better than Lamoricière or Lord Bloomfield. He refused to see either of them, disclaimed their advice or assistance, and addressed himself solely to the justice and generosity of the Emperor. He admitted that Russia was powerful enough to seize the refugees, but implored him not to set such an example, and he committed nothing to paper. He left nothing, and took away nothing which could wound the pride of Nicholas; and thus he succeeded.
Two days after, came a long remonstrance from Lord Palmerston, which Lord Bloomfield was desired to read to Nesselrode, and leave with him. A man of the world, seeing that the thing was done, would have withheld an irritating document. But Bloomfield went with it to Nesselrode. Nesselrode would have nothing to say to it. “Mon Dieu !” he said, “We have given up all our demands; why tease us by trying to prove that we
15 ought not to have made them ?” Bloomfield said that his orders were precise. "Lisez donc, cried Nesselrode, “mais il sera très-ennuyeux.” Before he had got half through Nesselrode interrupted him. “I have heard all this,” he said, “from Lamoricière, only in half the number of words. Cannot you consider it as read?” Bloomfield, however, was inexorable.'
I recurred to a subject on which I had talked to both of them before-the tumult of January 29, 1849.
George Sumner,' I said, 'assures me that it was a plot, concocted by Faucher and the President, to force the Assembly to fix a day for its dissolution, instead of continuing to sit until it should have completed the Constitution by framing the organic laws which, even on December 2 last, were incomplete. He affirms that it was the model which was followed on December 2; that during the night the Palais Bourbon was surrounded by troops; that the members were allowed to enter, but were informed, not publicly, but one by one, that they were not to be allowed to separate until they had fixed, or agreed to fix, the day of their dissolution ; and that under the pressure of military intimidation, the majority, which was opposed to such a dissolution, gave way and consented to the vote, which was actually carried two days after.'
No such proposition was made to me,' said Tocqueville, 'nor, as far as I know, to anybody else ; but I own that I never understood January 29.
It is certain that the Palais Bourbon, or at least its avenues, were taken possession of during the night; that there was a
vast display of military force, and also of democratic force; that the two bodies remained en face for some time, and that the crowd dispersed under the influence of a cold rain.'
'I too,' said Corcelle, disbelieve Sumner's story. The question as to the time of dissolution depended on only a few votes, and though it is true that it was voted two days after, I never heard that the military demonstration of January 29 accelerated the vote. The explanation which has been made to me is one which I mentioned the other day, namely, that the President complained to Changarnier, who at that time commanded the army of Paris, that due weight seemed not to be given to his 6,000,000 votes, and that the Assembly appeared inclined to consider him a subordinate power, instead of the Chef d'État, to whom, not to the Assembly, the nation had confided its destinies. In short, that the President indicated an intention to make a coup d'etat, and that the troops were assembled by Changarnier for the purpose of resisting it, if attempted, and at all events of intimidating the President by showing him how quickly a force could be collected for the defence of the Assembly.'
Sunday, January 4.-I dined with the Tocquevilles alone. The only guest, Mrs. Grote, who was to have accompanied me, being unwell.
'So enormous,' said Tocqueville, 'are the advantages of Louis Napoleon's situation, that he may defy any ordinary enemy. He has, however, a most formidable one in himself. He is essentially a copyist. He can