The Party Of Honour

May 16, 2019

Portrait of French General Louis-Gaston de Sonis (1825-1887), who lost his leg during this war.

But Catholic France now asked of a fresh sacrifice at his hands. In spite of his absence, and although he had never dreamed of standing for any political constituency, the inhabitants of Tarn elected him in February as a deputy for the Department by 11,290 votes. This spontaneous testimony of the admiration and affection of his countrymen appeared to him an indication of the will of God in the matter. But he was not sanguine of ultimate success, and wrote to M. de Seze on the 10th of May: “They want to make me a deputy for the Department, but I do not think they will succeed. The municipal elections have been so bad, that there is little chance for men of our stamp beating the Radicals in the fresh ballot, which they are going to have on the 28th.”

Général Louis-Gaston de Sonis

He refused to canvass or take any active part in the contest, and only sent a short address to the local papers, in which he had no hesitation in declaring his principles insisting on liberty in all senses—liberty of worship and liberty of education above all. One sentence alone would have insured his defeat: “Faithful to the principles of my whole life, I have no hesitation in declaring that I am not a Republican but a Monarchist. France has made three trials of a Republic, and they have not been happy ones.” He concluded his address with the words: “Such are my principles. That they are not shared by some, I well know. But I think I have the right to say that I belong to a party which, in France, is called the party of honour.”

The life of General de Sonis, from his papers and correspondence by Baunard, Mgr., 1826-1919; Herbert, Mary Elisabeth À Court Herbert, Baroness, 1822-1911, p. 229

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 676

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