Front Page Titles (by Subject) Correspondence. - Correspondence and Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834-1859, vol. 2 (1834-1851)
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Correspondence. - Alexis de Tocqueville, Correspondence and Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834-1859, vol. 2 (1834-1851) 
Correspondence and Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834-1859, ed. M.C.M. Simpson, in Two Volumes (London: Henry S. King & Co., 1872). Vol. II.
Part of: Correspondence and Conversations of Alexis de Tocqueville with Nassau William Senior from 1834-1859, 2 vols.
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London, July 10, 1857.
I was too ill, my dear friend, to go to you yesterday. Dr. Ferguson tells me that I have been doing too much, and prescribes perfect rest.
I have already read half your journal of 1857. It is very curious; but I am glad that you have disguised me.
It is terrible to be in London, and to see so little of you; but the force of circumstances is greater than the force of wishes.
A. de Tocqueville.
Tocqueville, August 6, 1857.
You may already have had news of me through some of our common friends, my dear Senior, but I wish, besides, to give you some myself, and to thank you again for the kind welcome I received from you and in your house during my stay in London.
I regret only that I was unable to be more with you, and that, in spite of myself, I was drawn into a whirlpool which carried me away and prevented me from following my inclinations.
I have returned, however, full of gratitude for the marks of consideration and affection showered upon me in England. I shall never forget them.
I found my wife already installed here, and in good health; and I have resumed my busy and peaceful life with a delight which does honour to my wisdom. For I had been so spoiled in England that I might have been afraid of finding my retreat too much out of the way and too quiet. But nothing of the sort has happened. The excitement of the past month appears to have added charms to the present.
Nevertheless, I have not yet set to work again, but I am full of good resolutions, which I hope to execute as soon as I have completely returned to my usual habits. These first days have been devoted to putting everything into its regular order.
In France we are almost as much interested as you in England in the affairs of India. Everyone, even in the country, asks me for news of what is going on there.
There is a natural disposition to exaggerate the evil and to believe that your dominion is overturned. For my part, I am waiting with the utmost and most painful anxiety for the development of the drama, for no good can possibly result from it; and there is not one civilised nation in the world that ought to rejoice in seeing India escape from the hands of Europeans in order to fall back into a state of anarchy and barbarism worse than before its conquest.
I am quite sure that you will conquer. But it is a serious business.
A military insurrection is the worst of all insurrections, at least in the beginning. You have to deal with barbarians, but they possess the arms of civilised people given to them by yourselves.
My wife, who has preserved her English heart, is particularly affected by the spectacle which Bengal at present affords.
If you have any more particular news than is to be found in the newspapers, you will give us great pleasure by communicating them.
Remember me to Mrs. and Miss Senior, and to your daughter-in-law.
My wife sends many kind regards to them, as well as to you.
Adieu, dear Senior. Believe in my sincere affection.
A. de Tocqueville.
P.S.—I fancy that the first effect of the Indian affair will be to draw still closer the alliance between England and France.
Tocqueville, November 15, 1857.
I am somewhat angry with you, my dear Senior, for not having yet given us your news.1 It is treating our friendship unfairly. I have not written to you because I doubted your following exactly your intended route, but I will write to you at Athens, as I think that you must now be there. If you have followed your itinerary your travels must have been most interesting to you, and they will be equally curious to us. I conclude that you only passed quickly through the Principalities in following the course of the Danube. I, however, had depended on you for furnishing me with clear ideas of a country which is at present so interesting to Europe, and which I think is destined to play an important part in the future. And what say you of our friends the Turks? Was it worth while to spend so much money and to shed so much blood in order to retain in Europe savages who are ill disguised as civilised men? I am impatient to talk to you, and almost equally so to read you.
I shall have little to tell you. I have not stirred from home since I left England, and am leading the life of a gentleman-farmer; a life which pleases me more and more every day, and would really make me happy, if my wife were not suffering from an obstinate neuralgic affection in the face. I fear that she may have to go to some mineral waters, which she would be sorry to do; for, as you know, she hates travelling, and does no justice to the reputation for wandering possessed by the English race.
I can tell you nothing on politics which you will not find in the newspapers. The great question at present for all civilised Governments seems to be the financial. The crisis from which America and England are suffering will probably extend everywhere. As for India, you are out, not perhaps of your difficulties, but of your greatest dangers. This affair, and that of the Crimea, show how little sympathy there is for England abroad. There was everything to interest us in your success—similarity of race, of religion, and of civilisation. Your loss of India could have served no cause but that of barbarism. Yet I venture to affirm that the whole Continent, though it detested the cruelties of your enemies, did not wish you to triumph.
Much of this is, without doubt, to be attributed to the evil passions which make men always desire the fall of the prosperous and the strong. But much belongs to a less dishonourable cause—to the conviction of all nations that England considers them only with reference to her own greatness; that she has less sympathy than any other modern nation; that she never notices what passes among foreigners, what they think, feel, suffer, or do, but with relation to the use which England can make of their actions, their sufferings, their feelings, or their thoughts; and that when she seems most to care for them she really cares only for herself. All this is exaggerated, but not without truth.
Kindest regards from us both to you and to Mrs. Senior.
A. de Tocqueville.
Tocqueville, February 10, 1858.
I was delighted, my dear Senior, to receive a letter from you dated Marseilles. You are right in remaining till the spring in the South. We trust to meet you in Paris in March.
I say no more, for I cannot write to you on what would most interest you—French politics. Much is to be said on them; but you will understand my silence if you study our new Law of Public Safety, and remember who is the new Home Minister.1 For the first time in French history has such a post been filled by a general—and what a general!
I defer, therefore, until we meet, the expression of feelings and opinions which cannot be safely transmitted through the post, and only repeat how eager I am for our meeting.
Kind regards to Mrs. Senior.
A. de Tocqueville.
Tocqueville, February 21, 1858.
I received your letters with great pleasure, my dear Senior, and I think with still greater satisfaction that I shall soon be able to see you.
I shall probably arrive in Paris, with my wife, at about the same time as you will, that is to say, about the 19th of next month. I should have gone earlier if I were not occupied in planting and sowing, for I am doing a little farming to my great amusement.
I am delighted that you intend again to take up your quarters at the Hôtel Bedford, as I intend also to stay there if I can find apartments.
I hope that we shall be good neighbours and see each other as frequently as such old friends ought to do. A bientôt!
A. de Tocqueville.
[Mr. Senior ran over to England for a few weeks instead of remaining in Paris. The meeting between the two friends did not, therefore, take place till April.—Ed.]
Mr. Senior was at this time in the East.—Ed.