llency is opposed to th▓e freedom of the press God forbid! A● Conservative régime is far from being a ▓police régime.We must have a public op▓inion and a respectable press, and a pr●ess without freedom cannot be resp▓ectable.A press which is under[Pg 243] string wit●h
ict l▓aws but not under police tyranny, ●and an honorable government, can both be broug●ht about more easily under an a▓bsolute monarchy than under parliamentary rule▓; but there will be no question ●of all this. I find hardly any es●sential difference between the ideas your ●excellency represents and thos▓e I have been hearing for months in● Russia. You cannot wonder at that.If yo▓u should ask me whether the ●snow out-of-doors is white or green, I al▓so, as a Conservative, ca
n only answer that▓ it is white.We are in a bad way; ou▓r peasantry is starving, our think▓ing class is in despair, our finances are ravage▓d.Yet I believe that far more ▓evil days are before us, and I thank Go●d that I am an old man who h▓as seen the worst. So ended my i●nterview with the Conservative, whom I ▓had sought out for the correction of the Ra▓dical views I had heard.In the e
vening I had to● make a report to my friends, who had waited ●it in suspense.My information created an ●immense sensation.Something entirely differ▓ent from the interview had been expec▓ted, and there was astonishment at hea●ring views as bitter as any one present▓
could have formulated.Had h▓e permitted me to publish the conversation ▓with his name The conversation, ●but not his name, I answered.
A ge▓neral Aha! went up from all present. Tha●t is the way with our chinovn▓iks, remarked[Pg 244] some one; in a ●tête-à-tête they ar
e all Liber▓al, and as soon as they are on the retired list ▓they are all Radical. I ●beg pardon.Count X—— spoke with decisi▓on against
a constitution, therefore he ▓is not a Liberal. We mus●t beg of you, came in an alm●ost unanimous chorus, for Heaven's sake, not ●to ado