Ferry came to power for the second time with one advantage, and one disadvantage, both deriving from Gambetta’s death. Though he need no longer fear the ‘occult power’ which, like Penelope’s fingers, undid the previous day’s work, he could no longer call on Gambetta’s infusing warmth to rally the waverers against the injurious Clemenceau. In his old age, talking to his secretary Martet, Clemenceau1 said Ferry was stupid, and added that he was heartless, alleging that when he and Barodet had approached Ferry with a request to support free education, he had rebuffed them. Neither comment is true. Ferry was not heartless; he had done much for education and he knew what he could not do, and he had no brutality of the Clemenceau kind. Nor was he stupid. But he was rigid and limited.
KeywordsElectoral College Judicial Independence Free Education February 1885 Senate Election
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