EVERYTHING FOR AND BY THE PEOPLE
« For the Honour of France, for the sacred interests of Humanity »
(Napoleon the Great, 17th of Ventôse Year VIII – Saturday 8th March 1800)
Following the publication of Louis-Napoleon’s booklet ON EXTINGUISHING PAUPERISM, a great many workers met and addressed to him, and through Monsieur Castille, printer, one of the companions of the brave sergeants of La Rochelle, a touching letter in which they thanked the prisoner of Ham for thinking of them in his misfortune.
The reply from Louis-Napoleon was not slow in coming.
Fort of Ham, the 14th of October 1844.
« To Monsieur Castille, printer. »
I have been very touched by the letter that you have sent to me in the name of several persons of the working classes, and I am happy to think that some of my fellow citizens do justice to the patriotism of my intentions. An expression of sympathy from men from among the people seems to me one hundred times more precious than the official flattery that the supporters of all regimes freely dispense to the powerful ; thus I will always endeavour to deserve the praise, and work for the interests, of this immense majority of the French people, that today have neither political rights, nor the assurance of their welfare, despite being recognised as the source of all rights and of all wealth.
Companion of the unfortunate sergeants of La Rochelle, you must easily understand what are my opinions and what are my sentiments, for you have suffered for the same cause as I ; thus it is with pleasure that I ask you to be, among the signataries of the letter that you have addressed to me, the interpreter of my sentiments of gratitude.
Receive, Sir, the assurance of my esteem and of my sympathy. »