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Well, therefore can I conceive that there is in France, a party to which the editor of the National is an angel of light and wisdom-a political Apollo-and many, indeed, were those who used to prostrate themselves in the bureaucratic temple, where at 2 o'clock he responded to the faithful! Then and there it was that all phrases and opinions were unscrupulously sacrificed to his presiding veto; while the most ardent republicans, such is the force of character and ability, bowed down with pleasure to this Napoleon of the press, and clung to an absolute and voluntary dictatorship.
When M. Carrel assumed the direction of the National, he published the following singular and distinctive paragraph: "La responsabilité du National pèse en entier, dès ce jour, sur ma seule téte; si quelqu'un s'oubliait en invectives au sujet de cette feuille, il trouverait à qui parler."
Was I not right when I said the great journalist of France had assumed the place of the
Arago still occasionally writes for it, and M. St. Beuve, an author of a very peculiar style,-every sentence is so minutely chiselled, every thought so minutely developed, -added until very lately by the talent and reputation of his literary articles, to the weight and popularity of this journal.
great Lord? Is not this rather the defiance of a chivalric noble, than what we should call the puff of a newspaper editor? Why then say there is nothing in the character of a people, or tell me that I am light and frivolous, if I venture through its various ramifications to track it out? The dullest critic cannot despise me for the comparisons I have sometimes made, so much as I slight and despise those, who deem that the past is separate from the present-who consider that the destiny of a nation depends wholly upon its immediate and material interests-wanting the philosophy which they condemn the want of-and incapable of enlarging their dim intelligence to the view of those moral, but not inferior causes which have descended to us, an unavoidable heritage from far distant generations !*
What the Gazette is to the Quotidienne, and the Constitutionnel to the National-the National is to the Tribune.
* Le Bon Sens, a republican paper, not long established and at present not widely circulated, is written notwithstanding, with very great ability, and contains in MM. Cauchois Lemaire, l'Herminier and M. C. Didier, most able and eloquent contributors.
This paper almost treats M. Carrel and the National as aristocrats. It is supposed to
be in the pay of the Bonapartists; and having a certain circulation in the ateliers, possesses in M. Marrast its editor, a man of ability.
Opera Box of the Temps Newspaper-M. Thiers-Eminent Writers in Newspapers-Different Rank held in their respective countries by the French and English Journalists—Effect of High Taxes connected with the Press-System of Governing by Wealth-Education of the Working Classes-Unjust Restriction-Its Consequence-Advantages of the low price of Newspapers in France-The Daily Press in France embodies more of the Intelligence of France, than the Daily Press of England does of the Intelligence of England-Folly of a System of Persecution-Extent to which this System has been carried by the Government of Louis-Philippe.
If you went to the French opera and saw a very large and very brilliant box, rather larger and more brilliant than any other— whose would you suppose it to be? The king's? no: a minister's? no: an ambassador's? no: a Russian prince's? no: an English lord's ? no: a French peer's? a deputy's? guess again : That box is the Temps' newspaper's ! What! a newspaper have a box at the
opera? to be sure;-that box is where the newspaper does the greatest part of its business.
You see that fat smooth-faced little gentleman, and that tall thin pale figure in spectacles—one was a great man a little time ago, the other expects to be a great man soon. The editor is giving these statesmen an audience. They tell him their views, he listens. They tell him the strength of their party, he takes a note. They tell him what course they mean to pursue, he proffers advice.
The editor is a clever man. This is his way of conducting his journal. He pretends that to influence the politics of the day, and indeed to know the politics of the day, he must know the political men of the day. He makes his paper the organ of a party, and he makes himself the head of the party. But how to keep this party together?
He used to give dinners-he now takes an opera-box. I do not know any thing that better paints the character of the French, or of the state of France: than-the journalist at the head of his political party-assembled—in a box at the opera.
In England a paper has immense consideration; but the editor, however respectable, little. You rarely hear him spoken of-in