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you may be very sure that there would be riots if there were no soldiers there. How can you prevent thefts, murders, and riots in your great towns without soldiers?" Here I endeavor to explain to him how, in cases of riot, our governors call out volunteers (I should have said. militia). "We could not wait," he says, "for volunteers— for the army of the reserve-twenty-four hours; for if there were a great riot at Paris or at Lyons, there would be barricades in the streets, the rioters would have seized the arsenals and supplied themselves with cannon, guns, and munitions; and how, madame, would you keep your kingdom from being overthrown by such people?"
I endeavor to show him what insignificant things, comparatively, are our arsenals. I tell him that we are a republic, upon a broad foundation; we are not afraid of being overturned.
"But that will come one day, madame. I assure you, madame, that your republic will not last three hundred years; it will divide of itself, you may be sure, when your people become more numerous and more unfortunate. The Roman republic was overthrown: it was civil wars that overthrew it." "But what do you think of the Swiss republic, sir?" "I think that it may last a long time; it is a very small country, and its people are all of the same nation." "But they speak three different tongues and are divided in religion, and they had a civil war lately,"—I should have said serious difficulties. "But their country is too small to divide, while yours is very great," says Pierre. "What," I ask, "do you think of your own republic?" "I think that if we can have a good army and republican chiefs we shall long be able to preserve it." "But see, sir, it was by means of the army that the two Napoleons overthrew your republics: the Roman armies chose a general to be sena
tor, and sent word to the senate to confirm it." 'But the history of civilization," he adds, "is a ball always turning. Nations become civilized like the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, and then that passes away. All those ancient civilizations passed away, and so will many others." "But, sir, you have not much hope for the human race." "I do not hope that there will ever be a man who can control the sun. Do you think that the human race is always 'progressing? Then they would equal God."
Afterwards I ask him whether it would not be better to take all this money that great armies cost-all these fortifications, these barracks, these munitions of war—and give it to the poor.
"That would be better, indeed," he admits, "if we could do without them."
I tell him of that saying of General Grant about all the world's becoming one nation, speaking one language, and war's being no more. "And how long will it take to bring about that state of things?" I inquire; "and even then we shall be far enough from controlling the sun.'
But perhaps their frequent changes have made them less hopeful, like people living in a volcanic region.
On another occasion Pierre says that there would not be a republic here now if it were not for the army. He or some other person I meet in France tells me that the republican ascendency is owing to their opponents being divided. There are now three candidates for a throne, the descendant of the old Bourbon line, Henry V., count of Chambord; the descendant of Louis Philippe, or the Orleans branch; and the son of Louis Napoleon.*
* Since the above conversation was held, the elections have proved very favorable to the republicans.
Pierre has an aunt living near us. He tells me that her husband is not a republican because he has a brother who is a curé, and he says that there will not be order under a republican government. Thus we see that I have not succeeded in avoiding the subject of politics with Pierre ; let us see how it will be with religion.
While I am sitting on the front porch this afternoon, there comes in the young shepherdess whom we saw upon the hill. She cries while she tells us about her mother, who has fallen from a cherry-tree, and they have had to send for a doctor, and how she herself has been up since half-past three, and has been to market. Madame afterwards praises their young neighbor much, speaking of her goodness and her industry. "Did you see how she cried," she says, "about her mother's being hurt?"
I inquire of Mrs. L. upon a different subject, and she informs me that unmarried women here who have children can recover nothing from the father if they are over eighteen; they are then considered to be old enough to take care of themselves. It may be remembered that I met at Paris persons who desire that a law shall be passed to prove paternity. If they do not care in France to protect women, they might be willing to protect the community from the expense of fatherless children. Mrs. L. further tells me that there are years that no illegitimate children are born in this commune. I speak to her about the great number at Paris, and she says that there is no city in the world so debauched as Paris, and that they say that the girls who have done leading a good life go there. None
of this family have been to that great city: the proportion of French people who have visited their capital is not great.
I further understand from what Mrs. L. says that if men here do whip their wives, if the women have domestic troubles, they do not complain of their husbands to the judge of peace and have them bound over. This justice of the peace lives in the cantonal town of St. Jean. He gives an audience every Monday. The principal troubles are about boundary-lines,—there being no fences,—and about water in the ditches to water the meadows.
Sunday, July 7th.-This is the second Sunday of the festival of St. Peter, or our village fête. There are three masses this morning, the last at ten o'clock.
I observe the church-bells much more than those who, have always heard them. The church is in the village, about a mile off, and at evening we hear the Angelus. In the early morning, before five, our church-bell can be heard, as well as that of the next village, and our chimes sound on Saturday evening. These awake enthusiasm in me, but none in the people here. They have rung under republic, king, emperor, republic. But many of the church-bells were broken and the churches demolished in “'93." Was it because then patriotism was stronger than the sentiment of religion? or was it because the ministers of their religion were joined with the nobility to bring in foreign armies? For three years the churches were closed.
I remarked lately before Mrs. Lesmontagnes that our government does not support churches, but that we let all those who believe in these different religions pay for their support. This appears to produce an argument in patois between madame and her eldest son; and I have thought that it sounded brutal to her, as it would to me, to hear an Englishman say, "I don't believe in the government's supporting schools; let every one who wants education pay for it." I am very fearful of a religious discussion with Mrs. L., but when I have a good opportunity I ask Pierre what was the subject. He tells me that his mother said, "Now you see that what said was true when he sent here to raise money to build a church in America." Habitually the family speak patois,—or jargouin, as they call it, but to me they speak good French. I suppose that the patois is easier from not having so many difficult grammatical forms. And there are generally enough words that I understand for me to catch the subject.
Last evening Toinette combed and braided Mrs. L.'s hair, as if to be ready for early mass this morning. Madame has black hair, and wears a thick white cap. Were it not for the ruffle on her cap, her little ear-rings, and her slender wedding-ring, she might pass for one of the plain "Dutch" women among whom I live in Pennsylvania; and in character she is not unlike them, in her industry and economy. They, however, are very Protestant,-descendants often of Swiss Anabaptists. Mrs. Lesmontagnes walked over to early mass, and later in the morning she had Henri, the youngest, to go, and the little niece. Toinette went also; so that madame was working alone for a while at the Sunday dinner,—a much better meal for them than the week-day one.
At the breakfast-table they did not scruple to speak of the