Imágenes de páginas

mentally, and are beings representing and sense of honour would have grown two distinct phases of European civili- more refined; the press and the courts zation.

of law might fail to arrange many of The seas kept the inhabitants of the our differences in a becoming manner, British Islands for centuries aloof from and we might find it imperative to most of those cruel wars which have recur to the chivalrous arbitrament of left deep marks upon the institutions the duel. and temper of Continental Europe, and This may perhaps appear a grotesquely protected that energetic pursuit of ma- exaggerated picture ; yet in America the terial wealth and commercial pre-emi- force of climate and circumstance is seen nence to be expected from the first to reproduce in a few generations the maritime position in the world, from lineaments of the indigenous inhabitant customs at once free and aristocratic, in the face of the Saxon settler, and to and not least from a climate which de- excite an eager restlessness of temperamands the labour which it renders ment wholly foreign to the ancestral easy, while precluding foreign modes type. And we have sketched but a few of existence and amusement.

of the influences which tend in France Twenty Continental summers, follow- to enervate the industrial spirit, and to ing the passing of the Reform Bill, give an undue force and direction to would work a total revolution in the other impulses and motives of action. social economy of Britain. They would It is not only that the Frenchman leave us a gayer and pleasanter, but naturally seeks the ideal more and the a vainer and an idler people. They material less than the sober Englishwould slacken our steps, and quicken man, but that his country affords fewer our eyes and tongues ; they would thin avenues for advancement and enterprise the city and crowd the parks, give a in civil life, and scarcely one safe pacific holiday air to English life, and improve theme of politics. Here the love of manners and the art of conversation change and excitement, the public spirit amazingly. We should lose the cold of the citizen, and the romantic impulse and sedate reserve, the calm concentra- of the man to transcend the narrow tion of the mind on serious business, boundary of home; and to become an and that earnest, patient, and practical actor on a greater stage than the market character which our history, our Puritan and the mill, find vent and exercise, not ancestry, and our clouds, have formed only in the discussions of a free press, for us. We should become less fond of but in the possession of a world-wide domestic life, less engrossed with per- empire, familiar to the imagination and sonal and family interests, living more yet full of the unknown--a consideration in the open air, and abandoning our- the more operative on the side of peace, selves much to subjects and feelings in that the magnitude of this empire is felt which passers-by could share and sympa- to be largely due to the conquests thise. It would become more agreeable to of industry, not of arms, and that, by spend than to get ; accumulation would universal consent, the nation may pause ; people would love most to shine have equals in war, but has no rival in society and at the table d'hôte, or to in the renown and blessings of wealth. see splendid spectacles. In the end per- The Frenchman, on the other hand, haps London might be so like Paris, we has but a soldier's tent abroad ; he should have found so many of the ways has no sphere of cosmopolitan action of our lively neighbours worthy of our save the campaign, nor anything beside imitation, that we might enact a loi de his famous sword to assure him of a conpartition and a conscription, elect an spicuous figure in Europe and a place emperor, place an immense army under in history. his command, talk about natural boun- Nor let us suppose entirely spent daries, and gladly wear red ribbons in the original forces of that triumphant our button-holes. Our susceptibilities Jacquerie, the Revolution of 1789,


» 2

which made a populace of serfs a people Vive la guerre !--uttered often unreof freedmen, with the pride and spirit buked by the writer's side, as the army of citizens and the vanity and suspicions of Italy defiled through the streets of of parvenus. The despot said, “ L'Etat, Paris on the 14th of August, 1859.1 c'est moi ;” the emancipated slave Never during the Crimean War would awoke to the intoxicating reflection, you have seen a Russian manufacturer “L'Etat, c'est moi.” Seldom, since, join the army as a volunteer, confessing has an idea of the dignity and glory of with pride, “Moi, je n'aime pas la the State been presented to the popular paix." mind of France in any other shape than There is, in truth, a natural relationthat of victory and military precedence. ship between the economic impulse, or

Mr. Buckle has been led far astray the desire of a higher and better condiwhen he maintains that every great step tion, and those national sentiments to in national progress, and every consi- which, in France, an unfortunate course derable increase of mental activity, must of circumstances has given a military he at the expense of the warlike spirit; direction. Patriotic pride and emulation nor could he have happened on a more are personal ambition purified and exunfortunate reference than to the “mili- alted by the alliance of some disinterested tary predilections of Russia ”1 for an motives and affections. Nor can that illustration of his theory that a dislike feeling ordinarily fail to have an eleof war is peculiar to a people whose in- vating influence on the character of a tellect has received an extraordinary im- people which raises the aspirations of pulse from the advancement and general the multitude above selfish ends and diffusion of knowledge and civilization. material gain, and infuses some measure “ It is clear," he says,

~ that Russia is a of enthusiasm and public spirit into the “warlike country, not because the inha- most vulgar minds. Hence political econo“bitants are immoral, but because they mists of the highest philosophic genius, “are unintellectual.” But, in fact, what such as Adam Smith and William Humis clear is, that Russia is at present not boldt, have been far from reprobating a a warlike country. Its situation, climate, martial temper in a people as barbarous history, and institutions, have contri- in every

form and under all conditions. buted to make its inhabitants, in the To France, unhappily, we might apply opinion of the best authorities, “the Lord Bacon's lamentation on the im“most pacific people on the face of the proper culture of the seeds of patriotic “ earth.” 2

virtue : “But the misery is that the Never in Moscow or St. Petersburgh “most effectual means are applied to the would

hear the

of War for ever! ends least to be desired.” It is not

only that the structure of the French i Buckle's History of Civilisation, vol. i. polity is such that the ruling classes are

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those least fit to rule, and most liable to ?“ Upon this point, I believe, no difference of opinion exists among all observers. Having

be swayed by passion and caprice, while lived for several years in a position which there is no percolation through succesenabled me to mix much with the officers and men of the Russian army, such is my strong 1 This was among persons who were able to opinion of the Russian character. M. Hax- pay twenty francs a-piece for their seats. thausen mentions, as a point admitting of no The writer met returning from Solferino doubt, the absence of all warlike tendency a French manufacturer, who, deserting his among the Russian people, and their excessive business for the campaign, had attached him. fear of the profession of a soldier.' The Rus. self to the army of Italy, in which he bore the sinn people have no pleasure in wearing arms; rank of captain. He had served in like manner even in their quarrels among themselves, which in the Crimea, at the siege of Rome, and in are rare, they hardly ever fight, and the duel, Algeria. This individual made the above which now often takes place among the Russian declaration of his disrelish for peace; yet, officers, is contrary to the national manners, upon the truce, he quietly resumed his busi. and is a custom imported from the West." ness until another war, which he anticipated Russia on the Black Sea, by H. D. Seymour, the following spring, should relieve him of

the inglorious occupation.

p. 178.

p. 97.

sive grades, as in England, of the cooler the eagerness of our rivals to push their views and habits of aristocratic and frontiers to the Scheldt, the Rhine, and educated thought, but that a morbid the Alps, and to live in a larger world intolerance of superiority has been left of their own. by the remembrance of the tyranny of Let us not be too severe in our censure the feudal nobility. As Mr. Mill has of an ambition, which we must at the observed, “When a class, formerly same time manfully resist. Suppose “ascendant, has lost its ascendancy, the the conditions of the two empires to be “prevailing sentiments frequently bear suddenly reversed. Suppose England “the impress of an impatient dislike of to be rankling under a successful inva“ superiority.”1 Among the French sion, and a long occupation by a foreign democracy this hatred of superior army. Suppose the British flag to have eminence, being carried into every direc- been swept from every sea, and almost tion of the popular thought, continually every distant settlement and ancient recurs in the form of an envious and dependency transferred to the domain of hostile attitude towards Great Britain. France. Suppose at the same time that A nation prone to jealousy is placed by we felt or imagined our ability to restore the side of another, at the head of all the balance and resume our former place peaceful enterprise. Whatever envy of upon the globe ; and who shall say that, English fortune might thus arise, is less sensitive and less combative as we aggravated by traditions of defeat and

are, we should not be eager to refer the injury,

issue to the trial of the stronger batUngentle wishes long subdued,

talions once more? Or who shall say Subdued and cherished long.

that the ideas of glory throughout the France has now no colonies save a few

civilized world are not such at this hour military stations. But a century ago

that the defeat of England by sea and it was otherwise, and her sons might

land would add immensely to the preshave found themselves in their own

tige of France, to the personal status country from Quebec to Pondicherry, of all her citizens in the maxima civitas and from the Strait of Dover to the of nations, and make the meanest of Strait of Magellan. Why are they now

them feel himself conspicuous in the bounded by the Bay of Biscay and the eyes of every people from America to Gulf of Lyons? How is it that Canada, China ? When, after such reflections, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and Prince we imagine the many roads to national Edward's Island, the Bahamas, Tobago, distinction upon which the French Grenada and Dominica, St. Lucia and might occupy the foremost place, but to St. Vincent, the Falkland ? Isles, Malta,

which they give little heed; when we the Ionian Islands, the Mauritius, Rod- find among them such an intense apprerique and the Seychelles, and India from ciation, and such prodigious sacrifices for the Kistna to Cape Comorin, once held or military fame ; when the accumulation claimed by France, are now undisputed of capital among them, and the consefragments of the British Empire ? It is a quent growth of a pacific political power, question which calls up the names of is prevented by the fundamental condiChatham and his son, of Wolfe and

tions of their polity; when the agrarian Clive, of Nelson and Wellesley, and other

division leaves a numerous youth of the memories retained with different emotions military age disposable for war, it would at each side of the Channel. And the

1 Since the above passage was in the press answer might throw some light upon

a remarkable map has been published in Paris, the source of the popularity at one side entitled “ L'Europe de 1760 à 1860,” designed of the theory of natural boundaries, and to excite attention to the territorial and co

lonial losses of France in the last hundred 1 Essay on Liberty.

years, and the immense aggrandizement of The French were driven from the Falk- Great Britain at her expense. land Isles in 1766 by the Spaniards, who in 2 See Mr. Laing's Observations on the State 1771 gave place to the British.

of Europe. Second Series. Pp. 104—8.


of a

seem impossible to deny that the latent Yet that chief has deeply studied force of the warlike element in France is history, and gathered the lesson that at all times prodigious; that so far as it monarchs must march at the head of is latent it occupies the place of the the ideas of their age. And there are deep general attachment to peace which indications that the vision of a holy is felt in England; and that its actual alliance of the sovereigns of Europe for ebullition in war depends partly upon the maintenance of the peace and brothe temper and life of a single indi- therhood of nations rose before his vidual, and partly on the occasions youthful mind as one of such ideas. offered by the state of Europe, and the In 1832, he mused as follows : 2— weakness of neighbouring powers.

But “We hear talk of eternal wars, of these are the conditions of a military “ interminable struggles, and yet it age and society. And thus it is that “would be an easy matter for the soveDe Tocqueville has described his coun- “ reigns of the world to consolidate an trymen : "Apt for all things, but excel- everlasting peace. Let them consult “ling only in war; adoring chance, “the mutual relations, the habits of “ force, success, splendour, and noise more “ the nations among themselves ; let “than true glory ; more capable of “them grant the nationality, the insti“heroism than of virtue, of genius than “ tutions which they demand, and they “ of good sense ; the most brilliant and " will have arrived at the secret of a true “the most dangerous of the nations of “political balance. Then will all nations “Europe ; and that best fitted to become “ be brothers, and they will embrace “by turns an object of admiration, of “ each other in the presence of tyranny “ hatred, of pity, of terror, but never of “dethroned, of a world refreshed and " indifference.”

“ consolidated, and

contented It is this people which has elected "humanity." an absolute monarch, and that monarch But experience has not increased the is Napoleon III. But it is a most ob- confidence of the wise in princes or vious inference from this fact alone, that holy alliances. One has indeed but a community, which, however advanced to glance at the conditions essential, in some of the arts of civilization, has in the mind of so subtle a politician as not outgrown the superintendence of Napoleon III., to the peace of Europe, despotic government, nor learned to and their inevitable consequence, to rest govern itself or to trust itself with assured that its present sovereigns could liberty, has not arrived at that stage of hardly grant them if they would, and progress in which the claims of industry would not concur to yield them if they and peace can be steadily and consis- could. For what are these conditions g tently paramount in the councils of the The nationality and the institutions state. The traditions of old, and still which the nations demand. And what more the exigencies and ambitions of is to be the consequence ? Tyranny new imperial dynasties, are incompatible dethroned. with the conditions of the greatest Such really are, if not the only requieconomical prosperity. Neither are the sites to consolidate the world and independence and robustness of thought content humanity," the indispensable educated by free industrial life favour- supports of "a true political balance." able to the permanence of an unlimited And let the history of the last twelve monarchy. Let us, indeed, ask if it be years--let the war in Hungary in 1849, auspicious of the entry of Europe upon and the war in Italy in 1859-let the the industrial and pacific stage, and the dungeons of Naples, the people of Venemillennium of merchants, that the trade tia, the Romagna, Sicily, and Hungary of the world has hung since the truce of in 1860 (should we not add Nice and Villafranca upon the tokens of peace,

1 Historical Fragments. Works of Napofew and far between, that have fallen

leon III. from the lips of a military chief?

* Political Reveries. Works of Napoleon III.


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peace built

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Savoy ?) say if the sovereigns of Europe

taught us.

The problem to be are ready to concede without a struggle resolved is thisto resist a coalition the nationality and the institutions for France needs an immense army: nay which the nations cry.

more, it needs a reserve of trained Let us not, however, ungratefully for- men in case of a reverse. get that the year 1860 opened with an We must infer, either that in 1843 assurance from the chief of the sovereigns Louis Napoleon foresaw that France of Europe, of his desire, "so far as de- was destined to pursue a policy which pends on him, to re-establish peace and would, to a moral certainty, bring her confidence." Yet this is but personal into conflict with the other powers; or security for our confidence. Should that in his deliberate judgment no great Napoleon III., in truth, be anxious and European state is secure without milresolute for peace, yet a few years, and lions of disciplined soldiers, against a the firmness of the hand which controls coalition of other states for its destrucan impetuous and warlike democracy tion. If this be a true judgment, in must relax, and afterwards the floods of what an age do we live! But, at least, national passion may come and beat the armaments of France prove that its against a house of


the sovereign has not hesitated to employ sand of an Emperor's words. Gibbon its utmost resources for the


of has remarked upon the instability of the enabling it to

enabling it to “resist a coalition;" happiness of the Roman Empire in the and a late despatch of Lord John era of the Antonines, because “ depend- Russell supplies the fitting comment. ing on the character of a single man.' “M. Thouvenel conceives that Sardinia The son and successor of Marcus Aure- "might be a member of a confederacy lius was the brutal tyrant Commodus. "arrayed against France. Now, on this Besides, we cannot forget that he who “Her Majesty's Government would ob

dreamed not of the Empire and of serve, that there never can be a con' war,

,"l in 1848, had, “at the end of federacy organized against France, four years," re-established the Empire ; unless it be for common defence that the third year of that Empire was against aggressions on the part of the beginning of strife with Russia, and “ France.” 1 Another natural reflection that its last was a year of unfinished presents itself, that if Napoleon III. war with Austria. Moreover, under the can solve “the problem," and make second Empire, all France is assuming France powerful enough to defy a conthe appearance of a camp in the centre federacy, he has but to divide, in order of Europe, and this phenomenon be- to tyrannize over Europe. An apology comes more portentous if we take in which has been made for the great connexion with it the Emperor's opinion military, and more especially the great respecting the precautions necessary to naval, preparations of France—that they preserve the honour and assert the indicate no new or Napoleonian idea, rightful claims of France. In 1843, he but are simply the realization of plans wrote: “At the present time it is not conceived under a former government" sufficient for a nation to have a few

may be well founded. But then the "hundred cavaliers, or some thousand question recurs--are these preparations “mercenaries in order to uphold its rank necessary, or are they not ? Does France " and support its independence; it needs really need “millions of armed men," millions of armed men.

The ter

or does she not? If she does, what rible example of Waterlo has not conclusions must we form respecting

the character of the age, and the 1“Je ne suis pas un ambitieux qui rêve theory of the extinction of the milil'Empire et la guerre. Si j'étais nommé

tary element in modern Europe ? Shall Président je mettrais mon honneur à laisser au but de quatre ans à mon successeur le pouvoir affermi, la liberté intacte." Proclamation 1 Further Correspondence relative to the of Louis Napoleon, December 10, 1848. Affairs of Italy, Part IV. No. 2.

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