Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE BARON AND BARONESS DE TOCQUEVILLE. - Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville, vol. 1
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TO THE BARON AND BARONESS DE TOCQUEVILLE. - Alexis de Tocqueville, Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville, vol. 1 
Memoir, Letters, and Remains of Alexis de Tocqueville. Translated from the French by the translator of Napoleon’s Correspondence with King Joseph. With large Additions. In Two Volumes (London: Macamillan, 1861). Vol. 1.
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TO THE BARON AND BARONESS DE TOCQUEVILLE.
Paris, April 6, 1830.
It was not without misgiving, dear friends, that I wrote to you in Rome. Something told me that I had better have directed my letters to Naples. But all our family went against me. Yet I was right. I thought that your calculations would be so exact, that we might be certain of your following your intended route, and that your silence ought to have been interpreted in my way. At length I yielded: my letter is in Rome with many others. No one can approve more strongly than I do your resolution to remain where you are. The holy week in Rome is finer seen from a distance than close; as in many other sights, there is more fatigue than real interest. Besides, it is said that the Pope will not officiate. Continue then to bask in the sunshine of Naples; content yourselves with enjoying the place you are now in, and the happiness that you find in each other. No one can appreciate better than I do your reasons for doing what many people will think extraordinary.
I was dining with some of my colleagues when Edward’s long letter on the Neapolitan Constitution arrived. I read all the political part aloud; many compliments were paid to me which I transmit to the rightful owner. I shall pay you no compliments, dear Edward; but I thank you heartily for your letter. It taught me more about the country which you are now in, than I learnt in the six months I spent in Italy. How is it that two grown-up men, one of whom had completed his legal studies, can have travelled together for so long without directing their attention to the subject of most interest?
I am sorry that you did not get the letter which I sent to Rome; it would have given you all our political news. I confess that I am too idle to write it over again. Besides, by this time you must be acquainted with the outline. The address from the Chamber, as might have been expected, was strong: the King showed, in his reply, that he was offended, and on the next day the Chambers were prorogued till the 1st of September. Little has happened since. The ministry becomes more and more illiberal. It is supposed that M. de Chabrol and two other moderate members will resign. The King talks of nothing but force, the ministers of firmness. The wise royalists are uneasy; the fools—and they are the majority, are enchanted. They are always discussing Coups d’Étât, changes in the election laws by proclamations, &c. &c. In spite of all this, the French people is perfectly quiet. Newspaper writers on both sides are condemned every day by the tribunals. Nobody is satisfied with their decisions. The newspapers scream like sea-gulls, which is natural, since the decision is against them. The government is equally dissatisfied, since the grounds of the decision maintain the right of resistance to every unconstitutional measure. As for me, I own that I think that the judges do their duty in each case.
I am alarmed for the ministry, 1st, on account of the mediocrity of its members—there is but one opinion of their chief; 2d, the warmth and number of its enemies; 3d, the lukewarmness of most of those who think themselves obliged by conscience to support it; 4th, the arrogance of its most ardent upholders. They imagine that they are still at Coblentz. The royalists proper are only a small handful; and yet they try all they can to make themselves still fewer. They abuse each other with a virulence which would be amusing if it were not lamentable. One would think that they had only to share the prizes of victory. And so M. de Villèle’s organ, La Gazette, and La Quotidienne, the ministerial organ, attack each other every morning, to the great delight of the liberals.
In the midst of all this we are preparing for war with incredible activity (the expedition to Algiers). It is worth remarking, that since war has been resolved on, the liberal papers have in general ceased to criticise both the end in view and the preparations. The unanimity of opinion upon this point shews the spirit of the nation.
You have heard, no doubt, of Hippolyte’s endeavour to be allowed to join the campaign. He even stopped the Dauphiness as she was getting into her carriage. This was well received, and has made him popular; but as yet there is no positive result. Adieu.