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April 13 Breakfasted by invitation with Mr. Senior. Among the guests were M. de Tocqueville and Lord Granville.1 the conversation was chiefly in French. A topic which interested me was about public speakers. M. de Tocqueville said that Odilon Barrot was the only one he had known who absolutely spoke without preparation; not even Berryer did this. No one attempted to improvise. Royer-Collard,2 whose name was great, always placed his written discourse on the tribune before him, being unwilling even to seem to do what he did not, for he carefully prepared what he said. Thiers sometimes improvised a speech of five minutes, but his effects were all studied; so also with Guizot. Lamartine sometimes exercised the privilege of correcting the reports of his speeches, even so far as to introduce ‘bravos’ and ‘applaudissements’ which did not take place. Lord Granville said that Lord Palmerston told him that Brougham was the best speaker he had heard in Parliament. I inquired of De Tocqueville about prison discipline. For some years he had left this subject, being entirely absorbed in other directions, and he thought the separate system had lost ground with the government. When arrested on the morning of the coup daetat, he was sent to Vincennes in one of the voitures cellulaires which he had helped to introduce, and thus had a practical opportunity of trying. He was profoundly convinced that the cellular system, even if abandoned for long terms, ought to be established for short terms, and in houses of detention. He spoke of George with warm interest as a personal friend. After breakfast drove to M. Vattemare, who accompanied in to the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, where he introduced me to M. Sibbermann, who is much interested in the question of weights and measures for all the nations; next to the Mint, which I did not see, but I had a long interview with its head; and next to the Institute, where the Academy of Sciences was then in session. I heard several papers read; saw the ceremony of balloting for corresponding members; saw many of the men of science, among them M. Dumas,3 and particularly M. Le Verrier,4 who had a fresh and young look; dined with Appleton, and went with him to hear Ristori in “Maria Stuardo.” The Italian language was delicious to hear, much more than the French. It seemed to me that the beauty of her acting had not been exaggerated. When the play was over, I was inclined to think that I had never before seen so good an actor, with so much power and so little exaggeration.

April 14. Was with Appleton for some time selecting a dessert service for the Longfellows; then went to M. Vattemare, who took me to a creche, where the little children of laborers are kept during the day; then to the Corps Legislatif, which is the old Palais Bourbon, where I visited particularly the excellent library, and then the Chamber, and traversed the corridors of

1 Other guests were Jobez, Marcet, and Barthelemy St. Hilaire. N. W. Senior gives an account of conversations at this and other dates where Sumner was present. ‘Correspondence and Conversation of A. de Tocqueville with N. W. Senior from 1834 to 1859,’ vol. II. pp. 160-170; ‘Conversations with M. Thiers, M. Guizot, etc,’ vol. II. pp. 114-139.

2 Ante, vol. i. pp. 247, 248. The Marquis of Chambrun expressed to the writer the opinion that there were material points of resemblance between Sumner and Royer-Collard.

3 (1800-1884.) Ante, vol. i. p. 237.

4 Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier, astronomer and senator. (1811-1877.)

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