The message in which M. Tillers proposed to the Assembly
to take its holiday, and which was read out in a very mournful manner by M. Jules Simon, was certainly one of the poorest and most pompous of his productions, and was received with a good deal of laughter at parts of the composition. The President appeared very anxious to repudiate the idea that the Government wished to escape from the supervision and restraint of the Assembly, and elaborated his denial in a metaphor which pro- voked general laughter :—" Rest assured it is not our wish to withdraw from under your control. We ask you to continue this control, we could wish that your eyes should not leave us for a single moment, for you would be but the witnesses of an incessant application to the difficult work of reorganizing the country ; you would see in us devoted labourers sinking under fatigue, but moved by that unique interest which animates the crew of a ship in danger. Fortunately, gentlemen, we may already perceive the port looming on the horizon. This sight cheers and sustains our hearts. Let U8 be united, let us work undisturbed, and under your guidance the State will once more find a country of order, liberty, and well-being, and will add to all its ancient glories that of having saved itself from the greatest and most threatening of shipwrecks." The conception of M. Thiers, " with eye like a skipper's cocked up at the weather," commanding a crew sinking with fatigue,—and M. Jules Simon's funereal tones elaborated this pathetic suggestion till it became positively tragic,—struck the Assembly as infinitely ludicrous, and the peroration of the docu- ment was received with general mirth. M. Thiers should beware of writing, especially when another than himself reads. He is so consummate an actor as to be natural, but then you cannot act to an absent audience.