CHAPTER XIX. THREE FRENCH PRESIDENT'S.
He is a good man, who has made no enemies, either in public or private life. It may also be added that he seems to have attracted few personal friends. The Republic has grown in strength, and factious opposition has decreased during his administration. His republicanism is not advanced or rabid. He is rigidly honest. He has a charming wife, who, though slightly deaf, enjoys society and gives brilliant receptions.
[Footnote 1: See Robespierre's in the "Editor's Drawer," Harper's Magazine, 1889.]
Poor M. Grevy passed away into sorrow and obscurity. He took up his residence on his estate in the Department of the Jura, where, in September, 1891, he died. M. Wilson appears first to have made all his own relations rich, and then by speculations to have ruined them.
In contemplating the disastrous end of M. Grevy we must remember that the scandal which caused his fall, after so many years of honorable service for his country, amounts, so far as he was concerned, to very little. The only fault of which he can be accused was that of too great toleration of the speculative propensities of his son-in-law. It was proved, indeed, that there were agencies in the hands of disreputable persons in Paris for the purchase and sale of influence and honors, but there was little or no evidence that these agencies had had any influence with the public departments. The existence of such agencies under the Empire would have excited little comment. That the trials of Madame Limouzin, General Caffarel, and M. Wilson so excited the public and produced such consequences, may be proof, perhaps, of a keener sense of morality in the Parisian people.
Some one said of M. Grevy that he was a Radical in speech and a Moderate in action, so that he pleased both parties. The strongest accusation against him was his personal love of economy, and his entire indifference to show, literature, or art. It was also considered a fault in him as a French president that he showed little inclination to travel. Socially, the polite world accused him of wearing old hats and no gloves. On cold days he put his hands in his pockets, which in the eyes of some was worse than putting them for his own purposes into the pockets of other people.