[From the Epoque, May 3, 1865.]
When we regretted a few days ago the indifference (not to say more) shown by the legislative chamber towards the United States in the discussion on the address, we were far from foreseeing that this indifference would so quickly give place to an expansive and enthusiastic sympathy. Whatever may be the feeling of indignation excited in everybody by the crime which has just been perpetrated in Washington, that crime changes nothing in the way of policy; and the partisans of the south, while deploring the kind of stain which has been impressed upon their cause, appear to have no reason to abandon it.
Now, we cannot help observing that in the sitting which took place yesterday in the legislative chamber, the government, the majority, and the opposition agreed not only to execrate an odious crime, not only to deplore the death of an excellent man, but to evince their sympathies for the American republic, and to express their wishes for the durable re-establishment of the Union.
We can give no other interpretation to the language of the minister of state? in the name of the government, and that of Mr. Schneider, in the name of the chamber. We point out especially to our readers in the speech of M. Rouher two passages significant in themselves, and the purport of which is made still more emphatic by the accent in which the minister delivered them:
“The first punishment which God inflicts on crime is to render it powerless to retard the progress of good.
“The profound emotion and high sympathy which are manifested in Europe will be received by the American people as a consolation and an encouragement. The work of appeasing the passions, commenced by a great citizen, will be finished by the will of the nation. * * * * *
“The Emperor, the public authorities, and the whole of France are unanimous in the reprobation of a detestable outrage, in their homage to a great political illustration, the victim to the most criminal passions, in their ardent wishes for the re-establishment of harmony and concord in the bosom of the great and patriotic American nation.”
Mr. Schneider was not less explicit.
The applause of the Chamber proved to the minister of state and the president that their sentiments were now universally shared. The same deputies, who exclaimed So much the worse! when Mr. Pelletan announced the taking of Richmond, cried “Very good!” when Mr. Rouher expressed his wishes in behalf of the American union, which could not be accomplished without the fall of that city.
For the rest, the Americans are receiving at this moment, on all sides, marks of sympathy as lively as they were unexpected; and it is known that the two English houses of Parliament occasion them a surprise analogous to that which has just come from the French legislative chambers.
It remains to ascertain how the Americans will receive the marks of sympathy which are now lavished upon them, and whether they will not have some recollection of somewhat different sentiments, which were lately exhibited towards them—we will not exactly say by the two governments of France and England, but at least by the principal organs, in which one is accustomed to look for the views and feelings of the government.