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'I think not,' said Ampère ; 'I think that you will find only the Piedmontese.
'Every day that Louis Napoleon holds Rome is a day of danger to him, a danger slight perhaps now, but serious if the occupation be prolonged. The Anti-papal party, and it includes almost all that are liberal and all that are energetic, are willing to give him time, but not an indefinite time. They are quiet only because they trust him. He is a magician who has sold himself to the Devil. The Devil is patient, but he will not be cheated. The Carbonari will support Louis Napoleon as long as he is doing their work, and will allow him to do it in his own way and to take his own time, as long as they believe he is doing it. But woe to him if they believe that he is deceiving them. I suspect that they are becoming impatient, and I suspect too, that he is becoming impatient. This quarrel between Mérode and Goyon is significative. I do not believe that Goyon used the words imputed to him. We shall probably keep Civita Vecchia, but we shall give up Rome to the Piedmontese.'
And will the Pope,' I asked, “remain ?' Not this Pope,' said Ampère, but his successor, Nor do I see the great evil of the absence of the Pope from Rome. Popes have often been absent before, sometimes for long periods.'
• Most of my French friends,' I said, 'are opposed to Italian Unity as mischievous to France.'
'I do not believe,' he answered, “in the submission of Naples to this Piedmontese dynasty, but I shall be de
Throne of Naples.
lighted to see all Italy north of the Neapolitan territory united.
*I do not think that we have anything to fear from the kingdom of Italy. It is as likely to be our friend as to be our enemy. But the Neapolitans, even if left to themselves, would not willingly give up their independence, and Celui-ci is trying to prevent their doing so.'
'What do they wish,' I asked, and what does he wish ?'
• I believe,' he answered, 'that their wishes are only negative.
• They do not wish to recall the Bourbons, and they are resolved not to keep the Piedmontese. His wish I believe to be to put his cousin there. Prince Napoleon himself refused Tuscany. It is too small, but he would like Naples, and Louis Napoleon would be glad to get rid of him. What would England say?'
"If we believed,' I said, 'in the duration of a Bonaparte dynasty in France, we should, of course, object to the creation of one in Naples. But if, as we think it probable, the Bonapartists have to quit France, I do not see how we should be injured by their occupying the throne of Naples.
'I should object to them if I were a Neapolitan. All their instincts are despotic, democratic, and revolutionary. But even they are better than the late king was. What chance have the Murats?'
None,' said Ampère. • They have spoiled their game, if they had a game, by their precipitation. The Emperor has disavowed them, the Neapolitans do not VOL. II.
care for them. The Prince de Leuchtenberg, grandson of Eugène Beauharnais, has been talked of. He is well connected, related to many of the reigning families of the Continent, and is said to be intelligent and well educated.'
'If Naples, I said, “is to be detached from the kingdom of Italy, Sicily ought to be detached from Naples. There is quite as much mutual antipathy.'
Would you like to take it?' he asked.
Heaven forbid !' I answered. "It would be another Corfu on a larger scale. The better we governed them, the more they would hate us. The only chance for them is to have a king of their own.'
August 15.- In the evening Ampère read to us a comedy called 'Beatrix,' by a writer of some reputation, and a member of the Institut.
It was very bad, full of exaggerated sentiments, forced situations, and the cant of philanthropic despotism.
An actress visits the court of a German grand duke. He is absent. His mother, the duchess, receives her as an equal. The second son falls in love with her at first sight and wishes to marry her. She is inclined to consent, when another duchy falls in, the elder duke resigns to his brother, he becomes king, presses their marriage, his mother does not oppose, and thereupon Beatrix makes a speech, orders her horses, and rives off to act somewhere else.
Ampère reads admirably, but no excellence of reading could make such absurdities endurable. It was written for Ristori, who acted Beatrix in French with success.
Familiarity with Death.
Friday, August 16.—We talked at breakfast of 1793.
It is difficult,' said Madame de Beaumont, 'to believe that the French of that day were our ancestors.'
• They resembled you,' I said, 'only in two things : in military courage, and in political cowardice.'
• They had,' she replied, 'perhaps more passive courage than we have. "My great-great-grandmother, my great-grandmother, and my great-aunt, were guillotined on the same day. My great-great-grandmother was ninety years old. When interrogated, she begged them to speak loud, as she was deaf. Écrivez,' said Fouquier Tinville, que la citoyenne Noailles a conspiré sourdement contre la République. They were dragged to the Place de la République in the same tombereau, and sat waiting their turn on the same bench.
My great-aunt was young and beautiful. The executioner, while fastening her to the plank, had a rose in his mouth. The Abbé de Noailles, who was below the scaffold, disguised, to give them, at the risk of his life, a sign of benediction, was asked how they looked.
"“Comme si,' he said, 'elles allaient à la messe.'
• The habit,' said Ampère, ‘of seeing people die produces indifference even to one's own death. You see that among soldiers. You see it in epidemics. But this indifference, or, to use a more proper word, this resignation, helped to prolong the Reign of Terror. If the victims had resisted, if, like Madame du Barry, they
1 This incident is described in a little book published last year, the Memoirs of Madame de Montaign.-ED.
had struggled with the executioner, it would have excited horror.'
• The cries of even a pig,' said Madame de Beaumont, *make it disagreeable to kill it.'
Sanson,' I said, long survived the Revolution; he made a fortune and lived in retirement at Versailles. A lady was run away with between Versailles and Paris. An elderly man, at considerable risk, stopped her horse. She was very grateful, but could not get from him his name. At last she traced him, and found that it was Sanson.' Sanson,' said Beaumont, 'may have been an honest
Whenever a place of bourreau is vacant, there are thirty or forty candidates, and they always produce certificates of their extraordinary kindness and humanity. It seems to be the post most coveted by men eminent for their benevolence.'
How many have you?' I asked. • Eighty-six,' he answered.
One for each department.' * And how many executions ?'
About one hundred a year in all France.' * And what is the salary?' * Perhaps a couple of thousand francs a year.'
• Really,' said Ampère, “it is one of the best parts of the patronage of the Minister of the Interior. M. le Bourreau gets more than a thousand francs for each operation.'
We pay by the piece,' I said, and find one operator enough for all England.'