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The result did not justify the fears of the publisher. The book was read with an avidity and greeted with a warmth of praise which must have satisfied the fondest hopes of its author. He was welcomed everywhere, and received advances which surprised him. Royer-Collard said that it was "the most remarkable political work that had appeared for thirty years," and a similar judgment was pronounced by Chateaubriand and De Lamartine. Men of opposite principles and opinions, and of all parties, vied in their commendation of it. Successive editions were eagerly called for, and it was speedily translated into most of the Continental languages, beside being reprinted in this country in an English version. In the year following its publication, the French Academy, on the recommendation of Villemain, conferred on the author the Monthyon prize, which was raised from six thousand francs, the usual amount, to eight thousand francs, in further testimony of their appreciation of its merits. "Talent, good sense, elevation, a simple, unaffected style, and the love of virtue eloquently expressed, are its characteristics," said Villemain in his report; "and they give the Academy little hope of crowning a work with similar claims." The popularity and reputation which the book acquired at the very outset, it has maintained down to the present time; and its position in literature may now be considered as unalterably fixed.

We have already had occasion to refer so frequently to the author's design, that any analysis of his work and any remarks on his treatment of his subject are scarcely necessary in this place; but we may venture to add a few words on these points, confining our observations at present to the portion of his work which was published in 1835, and which is contained in the first volume of Mr. Bowen's edition. We ought, however, to observe, in this connection, that it forms no part of our intention to point out the special errors into which De Tocqueville has anywhere fallen, or to offer any strictures on the particular views which he has occasionally advanced: we purpose only to attempt an estimate of the general character and worth of his labors; and our further remarks will be subordinate to this object. In reading his book, what first strikes an American reader is the extraordinary minuteness of his information,

even more than the general accuracy of his statements, and the vigor of intellect with which he has mastered the leading principles of our complicated system. Scarcely anything has escaped his notice, while, with consummate skill, every detail is exhibited, not only in its relation to the fundamental idea of the American polity, but also in its relation to the principles of European Democracy, with a specific reference to the institutions and laws then existing in France. He commences his survey with two preliminary chapters, the first giving a brief account of the "Exterior Form of North America," or, as we should now say, the physical geography of that part of the globe, and the other considering at somewhat greater length the origin of the Anglo-Americans, and the important relation which it bears to their history and future prospects. From this point he passes to an examination into the social condition of the people of this country, which he rightly regards as eminently democratic, the general equality of condition being, as he expresses it in his Introduction," the fundamental fact from which all others seem to be derived." Then follow several remarkable chapters, describing with great minuteness, and for the most part with singular accuracy of detail, the governmental and administrative system, as witnessed in the town, the county, and the State, under their respective organizations, and as embodied in the provisions of the Federal Constitution, together with incidental remarks on Parties in the United States, the Liberty of the Press, and Political Associations. The latter half of the volume, which corresponds with the second volume of the original edition, is devoted to secondary questions, and is mainly occupied in showing what are the real advantages which society in this country derives from a democratic government, what are the consequences of the unlimited power of the majority, and what causes mitigate the tyranny of the majority, and tend to uphold democratic institutions in the United States, the whole ending with some speculative observations on "The Present and Probable Future Condition of the Three Races which inhabit the Territory of the United States."

De Tocqueville's manner of dealing with the various questions involved in this survey is characterized by much candor and impartiality, and by an entire absence of national preju

dices. He studied our institutions carefully and thoroughly, and he analyzed and described them with the calmness of a philosopher. He freely criticised those parts which he regarded as dangerous or defective, but he also frankly admitted that "there is no country in which everything can be provided for by the laws, or in which political institutions can prove a substitute for common sense and public morality." At the same time, however, it must be conceded that he is not altogether innocent of the charge which has often been urged against his book, that he is too apt to indulge in generalizations, and that he has sometimes inverted the proper relation between his facts and his theories. It was natural, indeed, that he should approach his subject with some strong prepossessions, and that he should sometimes be inclined to make his facts fit into his theories, rather than revise his theories; but it is, nevertheless, a fault, and one, as we have remarked, from which he is not altogether free. With this exception, and with some allowance for mistakes in details and for conclusions which we believe are unfounded and erroneous, the work is a splendid monument to its author's thoroughness of research, his intellectual acuteness and candor, and his sincere desire "to persuade men that respect for law, both human and divine, is the best way to be free, and that to grant freedom is the best way to insure morality and religion."

In the same year in which his book was published he visited England, in company with De Beaumont, and passed a few weeks in the congenial society which his literary success at once opened to him. On his return he married Miss Mary Mottley, a young Englishwoman with whom he had long been deeply in love. Their union terminated only with his death, and proved to him a source of unalloyed happiness. In a letter written a year after his marriage he says, in speaking of a recent visit to Switzerland: "I cannot tell you the inexpressible charm which I found in living so continually with Marie, nor the treasures that I was perpetually discovering in her heart. You know that in travelling, still more than at other times, my temper is uneven, irritable, and impatient. I scolded her frequently and almost always unjustly, and on each occasion I discovered in her inexhaustible springs of

tenderness and indulgence; and then I cannot describe to you the happiness yielded in the long run by the habitual society of a woman in whose soul all that is good in your own is reflected naturally, and even improved. When I say or do a thing which seems to me to be perfectly right, I read immediately in Marie's countenance an expression of proud satisfaction which elevates me. And so, when my conscience reproaches me, her face instantly clouds over. Although I have great power over her mind, I see with pleasure that she awes me; and so long as I love her as I now do, I am sure that I shall never allow myself to be drawn into anything wrong." This warmth of affection continued unabated to the last, and twenty years after his marriage we find him, in a letter referring to his father's death, giving a similar expression to his feelings. "I may say," he writes, "that he and my dear Marie were the only two beings who bound me strongly to life, and I tremble when I think that only one of them is left." And in another letter, written a year later, he says, in allusion to the circumstance that his marriage had been childless, "It is terrible to feel that only one single being attaches me to life, and to consider what interest this world would have for me if I lost her."

The first few years of his married life were passed mainly at Tocqueville, which by a family arrangement had come into his possession after his mother's death. In 1837 he offered himself to the electors of the Department of La Manche as an independent candidate for the Chamber of Deputies, and would probably have been chosen by a considerable majority, if a mistaken sense of honor had not led him to do a very weak and foolish act. As soon as Count Molé, who was then at the head of the government, learned that his young kinsman was desirous of entering public life, he had intimated to his friends a desire that they should throw their influence in favor of the new aspirant; but when De Tocqueville heard of this recommendation he was so much annoyed by it that he at once wrote to Count Molé a somewhat hasty remonstrance, declaring that it would be impossible for him to be a government candidate. Count Molé replied in a temperate and manly letter, expressing his regret at De Tocqueville's

decision, and briefly setting forth the principles on which he and his friends in power acted. A further correspondence ensued, without shaking De Tocqueville's resolution, but without seriously interrupting the friendly relations of the two kinsmen; and the government recommendation having been withdrawn, De Tocqueville was defeated. Two years afterward he was more successful, and was elected for the arrondissement of Valognes, in La Manche; for which place he continued to sit until the subversion of the monarchy in 1848, uniformly acting with the dynastic opposition under the leadership of Thiers and Odillon Barrot. As a member of the Chamber of Deputies he never distinguished himself very greatly; he was too fastidious and sensitive, and though he always spoke with ease, and often with eloquence, his voice was too weak for so large an assembly, while his habits as a writer were not such as are likely to render any one successful in addressing a popular body, which needs to be animated and excited as well as to be taught and convinced; his style was too concise, methodical, and exact to be effective; and consequently as a statesman and an orator he never rose to the first rank among his contemporaries. Nevertheless, during these eight or nine years he took part in the discussion of some important measures, and rendered some valuable service to his country. Among the most useful of his acts as a legislator was the preparation, in different years, of elaborate reports on the abolition of colonial slavery, which he warmly advocated, on prison reform, and on the condition and wants of Algeria, a subject which he had twice investigated on the spot, and had thoroughly mastered.

Meanwhile he had not been unmindful of the claims of literature, and the year after his first election to the Chamber of Deputies he published two more volumes of the "Democracy in America," completing the work. The success of the new volumes was not equal to that of the first part; and in this respect De Tocqueville seems to have been disappointed, though in a letter to Mr. Mill he expresses the belief" that the comparatively little effect produced by my book is to be attributed to the original sin of the subject itself, rather than to the manner in which I have treated any particular portion." The

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