S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.
[Pierre Paul Royer-Collard, a French philosopher and statesman; born at Sompuis, June 21, 1763; supported the Revolution, but retired during the Terror; professor in the University of France, 1810; founded the school of the Doctrinaires; member of the Chamber of Deputies, 1815; of the French Academy; protested against the arbitrary measures of Charles X.; died September, 1845.]
France is Left-Centre (La France est Centre-gauche).
In the old division of the French Chamber, the governmental party occupied the right of the House from the tribune, the opposition the left: at the present time conservatives sit on the presidents right hand, the radicals on the left. The centre is taken by the moderates; those tending to conservatism being called the Right-Centre, the more liberal half the Left-Centre. Royer-Collards mot was intended to indicate that the French people are always inclined to a moderate opposition to the government of the day.
The expression, So much the worse for the facts, is attributed to Voltaire; but Royer-Collard, writing against the opinions of the Jansenists of Port Royal on Grace, said, The texts are on their side, but I pity the texts (Ils ont les textes pour eux, mais jen suis faché pour les textes).
Respect is vanishing in France (En France le respect sen va).
The reproach, says Sainte-Beuve, which the new generation inspired by its forgetfulness of the sentiments of the past age, and which seemed like a menace of the future. Royer-Collards last words were: There is nothing solid and substantial in this world but religious ideas.