The Ancient Regime

The Ancient Regime

Read FREE!

The Ancient Regime

The Ancient Regime

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In 1849, being twenty-one years of age, I was an elector and was very much perplexed; for I had to participate in the election of fifteen or twenty deputies and, moreover, according to French practice, to select not only men but to discriminate as to theories. It was optional with me to be royalist or republican, democrat or conservative, socialist or Bonapartist; I was neither, nor even anything at all, and, at times, I envied so many people of faith who had the good fortune to be something. After hearing the various doctrines I felt there was undoubtedly some void in my mind. Motives valid for others were not so for me; I could not understand how, in politics, one could make up his mind according to his predilections. Peremptory advisers constructed a constitution as if it were a house, according to the most attractive, the newest and the simplest plan, holding up for consideration the mansion of a marquis, the domicile of a bour geois, a tenement for workmen, barracks for soldiers, the communist philanstery and even a camp for savages. Each one asserted of his model: "This is the true abode of man, the only one a man of sense can dwell in." In my opinion, the argument was weak; personal fancies, in my judgment, are not authorities. It appears to me that a house might not be built for the architect, nor for itself, but for the owner and occupant. To ask the opinion of the owner, to submit plans to the French people of its future dwelling, was too evidently a parade or a deception: in such cases the question is tantamount to the answer, and besides . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.