M. Thiers was right, and the Republic divides Frenchmen
least. It is not really popular with any class, except a section of the peasantry, who see that under the Constitution they are the masters of France; but on September 4th it reached itatwentieth anniversary. It has already, therefore, lasted longer than any previous form of government since the Revolution, and has survived the period within which it was supposed that every French form of government must perish. Two years hence, every man in barracks will have been born under the Republic, and ten years hence, the whole body of the young men of France will be in the same position. There is no sign, either, that it is destined to fall, or that the majority of the people look upon any other form of administration with either hope or fear. All the omens are therefore favourable; but it must be remembered that the Republic has not been tested by a defeat, and that it cannot be said to have produced even a second-rate states- man. The "plain men" who are governing manage to keep things going, though at an excessive expenditure of money; but no one among them has struck the imagination of the French people, much less that of the world. Note that, although the Republic has outwardly remained intact, one great change has taken place in it. The President, who was intended to be irremovable, can be removed, and in one case was removed, by the Assembly.