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Collected Letters of Elisée Reclus

To his brother-in-law, Pierre Faure, Sainte-Foy-La-Grande,

Paris, No date,

Friend and brother,

Do not worry about the unliveliness of the Réveil or the Marseillaise. The Réveil pleads for the socialists, because it is not thought to be so, and the Marseillaise has not changed its octave: it still employs its old vocabulary as if the situation had not changed.

We must all remember that the Republic was hailed by all as the supreme salute. It is not because of our principles that they beseeched us to replace Napoleon, but by instinct of conservation. If we had won the position of high vanquisher, If we had vanquished the monarchial parties, we would have had the right to immediately turn our ideas into practice : tax reform, suppression of the army, egalitarian education, we could have decreed everything, but the current Republic is actually nothing but a ceasefire between the parties. The Orleanists, legitimists, bourgeois simply patriots, told us : truce now, guide us, triumph for us and we shall see afterwards! Let’s accept the truce and if we fulfill well our mandate, if we save France as we were asked to do, then the Republic is safe, and we will have the joy of seeing an era of progress in justice and well-being opened for our children.

Therefore, Faure, my friend, I am more revolutionary than you, I am an horrible communist and an infamous atheist, I do not fear seeing the bourgeois element in affairs : I would have even accepted Thiers, as, I repeat again, we are not the one who built the Republic. Nevertheless, do not imagine that I do not want to continue to do propaganda for the social Revolution forever.


Having Louis Blanc as ambassador in London, seems to us, like to you, to be the best. As for Cluseret, he will get out of the situation. Do not doubt it.



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