Front Page Titles (by Subject) LIST of M. DE SISMONDI\'s WORKS.. - Political Economy and the Philosophy of Government
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LIST of M. DE SISMONDI's WORKS.. - Jean Charles Léonard Simonde de Sismondi, Political Economy and the Philosophy of Government 
Political Economy and the Philosophy of Government; A Series of Essays selected from the Works of M. de Sismondi. With an Historical Notice of his Life and Writings by M. Mignet (London: John Chapman, 1847).
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Surprised, without doubt, that lips Perfectly pure, a mind as liberal as it was enlightened, should have undertaken his defence. Napoleon wished to see Sismondi a .
The marshal came out soon after, and told me to wait some minutes. I had put on a sword with a plain coat; he advised me to lay it down. In half an hour the door opened; I was called. The emperor was in the hall, with several generals and aides-de-camp, among whom I recognised M. de Flahaut, and Labedoyère; he immediately went into the next room, where he called me to him. “Your name is Italian,”he said to me, “M. de Sismondi; you are, however, I believe, from Geneva? “I explained to him my origin. “I have read your writings with much pleasure,”said he, “and particularly what you have just written on the Constitution.” “I am happy, Sire, that this paper has obtained your approbation, but it frankly expresses my thoughts; and in fact, I look upon this Constitution as the best of all that have been given to France.” “Let us go into the garden,”said he, and he made me put on my hat, and he led me into a large alley of hornbeam, where we walked about for three quarters of an hour alone, tête-à-tête. “I see with much sorrow,”added I, “that this truly liberal constitution has been received with so much ill humour, and with such senseless clamour.” “But I hope that that will become less,”he said, “and my decree on the municipalities, and the presidents of the electoral colleges or assemblies a , will do good; besides, look at this nation, it is not yet ripe for such ideas. They contest my right to dissolve the assemblies, and if afterwards I were to dismiss them by means of bayonets, they would think that quite natural.” “What afflicts me,”answered I, “is that they cannot see that the system of your Majesty is necessarily changed; henceforward you are become the representative of the Revolution, the associate of liberal ideas. You have so cruelly experienced during the last year the feebleness of royal alliances, the bad faith, and the secret hatred of all those whom you had sought and protected, that you can no longer have any doubt that the party of liberty is here, and throughout Europe, your only faithful ally.” “It is indubitably so,”answered he, “I feel it perfectly, and I shall never depart from it. The people have felt that very well, and this it is that makes them favourable to me, because, in fact, I have never deviated in my administration from the system of the revolution, not principles as men like you understood them, (vous autres). I had then other views, great projects to which I was tending, but I have applied it, as for example, in me equality of justice, of the taxes, the eligibility to all places. These are the things which the peasantry remained in enjoyment of, and it is on that account that I am popular among them; hut the French, when it regards principles, are extreme in every thing; they judge them with la furia Français; they are distrustful suspicious. The English have much more reflection; their ideas are more matured on all these subjects; there is a justness of thought found in almost all of them. I saw much of them in the Isle of Elba; many were awkward, had a bad carriage, did not know how to come into my salon; but when once entered into conversation with them, one found baneath this rough exterior a mature man, ideas just, profound, and moderate.”
He spoke to me afterwards of Italy. “They are also a fine people,”said he; “there is stuff there to make a nation of; I had done much for them; I had given them the military spirit which they wanted, and national feeling. They were going on very well, and now they are very unhappy.” “In fact, Sire, you have made very good soldiers of them, I believe.” “Oh, they were quite as brave as the French; they had the same ardour under fire, and the same steadiness.” “I was in Italy last year, when Murat declared himself against you.” “Ah, how he conducted himself then! What bad faith!” “Sire, it must be said in his praise, that he saved the persons and property of twenty thousand Frenchmen, who would have been massacred if he had not very actively protected them.” “Ah, that is the only thing that can be said in his favour.” “I think that there is another still, Sire; seeing the steps he took, and his hesitation, I did not doubt that he was secretly friendly to you, and was only waiting events.” “Oh, not at all; even now he has committed another folly by those unseasonable great preparations.” “He has, then, been beaten?” No, he has even had some advantage at Cisene, but he was not the less obliged to draw back. He ought to have kept on his frontier, with his army well disciplined, on the defensive: his exact force could not have been estimated, and there would have been some hesitation in attacking him, whilst by advancing, he has immediately made the extent of his power known.” “There is, then, no rising in his favour?” “There has been a little, but he has no means of arming them; he has laid up no store of arms; it would not have been very difficult during a year of peace, especially as he had free trade with England, to buy a hundred thousand muskets, but as they are at present, the Italians can do nothing. They have made me many proposals, and were continually sending me solicitations to Elba, but I always answered them—Be quiet at present, there is nothing for you to do. In fact, in France, it was sufficient to gain the army and the people, and all the depôts of artillery, all the arsenals, all strong places were immediately in my hands. But, however much Italy might have been in my favour, Alexandria, Mantua, with all their arsenals, would not the less have remained in the hands of the Austrians. Besides, all those who have most consideration in the nation, who were most able to put themselves at its head, are arrested.” “How is that?” “There has been presented to them a conspiracy in the name of the Duc de Berri, as if he were on the point of entering Italy, to put himself at the head of the French party; it was not true, he knew nothing about it, but they fell into the snare, and those who had scduced them have given their names to the General Bellegarde, who has caused them to be arrested.”I told him that I thought Tuscany was less disposed to a revolution than the rest of Italy. “It was so from the beginning,”said he, “but now they begin to regret the French tribunals, and to complain of the disorder into which they have been thrown by the abolition of the Code. The other day they followed the Grand Duke to Pisa, saying to him, Ma non eta bene, Altezza Reale, tulta quella mutazione: non vogliamo più quelle leggi antiche, ne que' “dicelli, ne tante stravaganze.”∗ He spoke Italian very well, and with a very good accent. I spoke to him afterwards of Switzerland, and said how important her neutrality appeared to me. I related that I had sent an article to the Moniteur, which had not been inserted; he promised to look at it, and to cause it to appear. I said to him, that if Switzerland wished to maintain her neutrality, it would not be violated. He asked me what I thought of the disposition of the Cantons. I said that the new Cantons were favourable to France; that in the aristocratic Cantons the government was very much opposed to him, but that the people saw with much sorrow the changes of the last year; that the small Cantons were his enemies. “Taking it altogether,”said he, “the mass of the population regrets the act of mediation, and I could, with this act, cause a revolution in Switzerland as I have done in France.”He asked me how we were pleased with our constitution at Geneva. I told him that the theory of it was very bad, but that it did not act badly, and that we were very much attached to our independence. “The Genevese,”said he, “have the spirit of wisdom, and the habit of liberty, but is it then an hereditary aristocracy which has been established there? ”