[From the Avenir National, May 1, 1865.]
The northern cause is a cause doubly French; it is French by the traditions of our international policy; it is especially so by the identity of our principles and interests. Thus, France, who sees all the parliaments spontaneously addressing to the United States an evidence of their sympathy, is astonished at the silence of the legislative chambers. This astonishment is well expressed in the letter addressed to Mr. Schneider, and will be approved without reserve.
As for the address, there is much reason to fear that it will not obtain the same approbation. Under circumstances like these, an address signed by the deputies of the left must be a political act. Now a simple testimony of grief and sympathy is not a political act.
Lincoln represented the cause of democracy in the largest and the most universal acceptation of the word. That cause is our cause, as much as it is that of the United States. This is what the address of the deputies ought to have said, or said nothing at all. It should have expressed the sentiments which M. Pelletan expressed, when he spoke at the close of the discussion on the address. That which the chamber, agitated and fatigued, was unwilling to listen to, is precisely that which ought to have been embodied in their address. [Page 112] Such as it is, this address may be signed by everybody without distinction of opinion, for the excellent reason that no opinion is either expressed or implied in it.
It is a manifestation without meaning, an act without character; and we believe that the address of the deputies on this occasion ought not to have been destitute of these qualities.