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in our most murderous wars, when in the course of a year a regiment was killed twice over. It was hiring a man, not indeed to be beheaded, but to be shot for you.'
"The destructiveness,' said Beaumont, ‘of a war is only gradually known. It is found out soonest in the villages when the deaths of the conscripts are heard of, or are suspected from their never returning ; but in the towns, from which the substitutes chiefly come, it may be long undiscovered. Nothing is known but what is officially published, and the Government lies with an audacity which seems always to succeed. If it stated the loss of men in a battle at one half of the real number, people would fancy that it ought to be doubled, and so come near to the truth; but it avows' only one-tenth or only one-twentieth, and then the amount of falsehood is underestimated.'
"Marshal Randon,' I said, told me that the whole loss in the Italian campaign was under 7,000 men.'
*That is a good instance,' said Beaumont. . It certainly was 50,000, perhaps 70,000. But I am guilty of a délit in saying so, and you will be guilty of a délit if you repeat what I have said. I remember the case of a man in a barber's shop in Tours, to whom the barber said that the harvest was bad. He repeated the information, and was punished by fine and imprisonment for having spread des nouvelles alarmantes. Truth is no excuse; in fact it is an aggravation, for the truer the news the more alarming.'
'In time of peace,' I asked, “what proportion of the conscripts return after their six years of service ?'
Loss in War.
About three-quarters,' answered Beaumont.
‘Then,' I said, “as you take 100,000 conscripts every year even in peace, you lose 25,000 of your best young men every year
Certainly,' said Beaumont.
* And are the 75,000 who return improved or deteriorated?' I asked.
'Improved,' said Ampère;' they are dégourdis, they are educated, they submit to authority, they know how to shift for themselves.'
Deteriorated,' said Beaumont. *A garrison life destroys the habits of steady industry, it impairs skill. The returned conscript is more vicious and less honest than the peasant who has not left his village.'
* And what was the loss,' I asked, “in the late war?'
• At least twice as great,' said Beaumont, ‘as it is in peace. Half of those who were taken perished. The country would not have borne the prolongation of the Crimean War.'
. These wars,' I said, “were short and successful. A war with England can scarcely be short, and yet you think that he plans one ?'
'I think,' said Beaumont, ‘that he plans one, but only in the event of his encountering any serious difficulty at home. You must not infer from the magnitude of his naval expenditure that he expects one.
*You look at the expense of those preparations, and suppose that so great a sacrifice would not be made in order to meet an improbable emergency. But expense is no sacrifice to him. He likes it. He has the morbid taste for it which some tyrants have had for blood, which his uncle had for war. Then he is incapable of counting. When he lived at Arenenburg he used to give every old soldier who visited him an order on Viellard his treasurer for money. In general the chest was empty. Viellard used to remonstrate but without effect. The day perhaps after his orders had been dishonoured he gave new ones.'
Is it true,' I asked, that the civil list is a couple of years' income in debt?'
'I know nothing about it,' said Beaumont; 'in fact, nobody knows anything about anything, but it is highly probable. Everybody who asks for anything gets it, everybody is allowed to waste, everybody is allowed to rob, every folly of the Empress is complied with. Fould raised objections, and was dismissed.
'She is said to have a room full of revolutionary relics : there is the bust of Marie Antoinette, the nose broken at one of the sacks of the Tuileries. There is a picture of Simon beating Louis XVII. Her poor child has been frightened by it, and she is always dwelling on the dangers of her position.'
“So,' I said, "did Queen Adelaide-William IV.'s Queen. From the passing of the Reform Bill she fully expected to die on the scaffold.
“There is more reason,' he answered, ‘for the Empress's fears.'
Not,' I said, “if she fears the scaffold. Judicial murder, at least in that form, is out of fashion. Cayenne
and Lambressa are your guillotines, and the Empress is safe from them.!
But there are other modes of violent death, he answered ; 'from one of which she escaped almost by miracle.'
• How did she behave,' I asked, “at the attentat ?'
Little is known,' he answered, except that the Emperor said to her, as he led her upstairs to her box : "Allons, il faut faire notre métier."
•Then she is disturbed by religious fears. The little prince has been taught to say to his father every morning: “Papa, ne faites pas de mal à mon parrain." The Pope was his godfather.'
'If the Emperor dies, the real power will pass into the hands of Prince Napoleon. And very dangerous hands they will be.
He has more talent than the Emperor, and longer views. Louis Napoleon is a revolutionist from selfishness. Prince Napoleon is selfish enough, but he has also passion. He detests everything that is venerable, everything that is established or legal.
•There is little value now for property or for law, though the Government professes to respect them. What will it be when the Government professes to hate them?'
Wednesday, August 14.--We talked at breakfast of Rome.
'Is there,' said Beaumont to Ampère, ‘still an Inquisition at Rome?'
'There is,' said Ampère, “but it is torpid. It punishes bad priests, but does little else.'
. If a Roman,' I asked, were an avowed infidel, would it take notice of him?'
Probably not,' said Ampère, but his curé mightnot for his infidelity, but for his avowing it. The curé, who has always the powers of a commissaire de police, might put him in prison if he went into a café and publicly denied the Immaculate Conception, or if he neglected going to church or to confession: but the Inquisition no longer cares about opinions.'
'Is there much infidelity,' I asked, “in Rome?'
• Much,' said Ampère, ‘among the laity. The clergy do not actively disbelieve. They go through their functions without ever seriously inquiring whether what they have to teach be true or false. No persons were more annoyed by the Mortara' business than the clergy, with the exception of Antonelli. He hates and fears the man who set it on foot, the Archbishop of Bologna, and therefore was glad to see him expose himself, and lose all hope of the Secretaryship, but he took care to prevent the recurrence of such a scandal. He revived an old law prohibiting Jews from keeping Christian nurses. But he could scarcely order restitution. According to the Church it would have been giving the child to the Devil, and, what is worse, robbing God of him. The Pope's piety is selfish. His great object is his own salvation. He would not endanger that, to confer any benefit upon, or to avert any evil from Rome ; or indeed from the whole world. This makes him difficult to
1 The Jewish child who was taken away from his parents and converted.-ED.