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the friends of freedom, who have such a horror of quenching rebellions in blood, and who, like Robespierre and Mr. Bright, most of them object to the punishment of death? Their latest utterance upon the subject may be found in the address of congratulation recently presented by the Emancipation Society to Mr. Adams. That philanthropic body of men, fully cognisant of the proceedings of Paine and Burbridge and their fellows, with a deplorable courage congratulate him that no rebel taken in arms had yet been condemned to death.

We might dismiss the oppression which is inflicted by the model Republic, and is applauded by those who talk most about freedom here, with the reflection that it is not the first time that the professed advocates of freedom have been detected in a rather exceptional predilection for sanguinary measures against those who differ from them in opinion. The celebrated apostrophe of Madame Roland to the statue of Liberty, as she turned from it to the guillotine, referred to crimes which were far deeper than any that have yet been committed in America, and which were preceded by a still more enthusiastic advocacy of freedom. But what to her was a simple marvel, to us becomes a lesson.

When similar phenomena are repeated under similar circumstances, they must be referable to some common cause. The excesses of so-called liberty were new to her, and she could not explain them; and moreover she had not much leisure for discussion at that particular moment. But the cause is not far to seek, and at this particular juncture it has no trivial interest for Englishmen. These men who preach freedom to us have no real desire for it in its literal sense. The protection of each individual human being from more interference than is indispensably necessary to protect the freedom of his neighbours, is what we used to understand as the meaning of freedom. But it is not the object which is prominent in the wishes of the Radicals of the present day. Their political ideal more nearly resembles one which is usually spoken of as antiquated, but which is antiquated only in the particular form that it assumed. They believe in a divine right; they uphold a legitimacy; they teach an unquestioning obedience; they look upon force as a legitimate weapon for the propagation of the faith. But their divine right is the right of the multitude ; their legitimacy enthrones the majority; the unquestioning obedience which they require is to the decree of the ballot-box; the faith which they do not shrink from propagating by force, is the sentimental pseudo-religion which, in this nineteenth century, has so widely usurped the place of faith. Amid all the evils which the American war has inflicted



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upon mankind, it will have done some service if it has brought home to men's minds the real character of the freedom of which America is the representative. It is impossible for two things to differ more widely than freedom in the old sense of the word, and the freedom of the democrat. According to the old English notion, that country was the most free where the least constraint was put upon each individual. Whether undue coercion is exercised by many, or by few, or by one, is not a matter of the faintest importance. Imprisonment without trial, a disregard of the laws which secure a fair and sufficient hearing to all. accused, an arbitrary power of conscription, a system of passports, an unlimited discretion of declaring martial law, are equally fatal to freedom, whether they proceed from a monarch who owes his throne to hereditary right, or a president who owes it to the suffrages of a majority. The evil lies in the nature of the measures themselves, not in the title of the authority from whom they come. Mr. Bright, in one of his recent speeches, in which he was contrasting America and England, went into extasies over the mode in which the President was appointed, observing, with characteristic loyalty, ‘They are ruled by a President chosen, it is true, not from some worn-out royal or noble blood, but from the people.' But this fact, however pleasing to Mr. Bright, is no sort of comfort to those who have lost or may be in danger of losing their freedom at the hands of the said President. Oppression is just as disagreeable, whether it comes from a Star Chamber or a polling-booth. The chief value of representative institutions is that they are believed, if rightly framed, to furnish the best security for personal freedom. But they do not confer any greater right to encroach upon it than is possessed by any other depositary of power. The fact that you possess the thirty-millionth part of a right to elect your own ruler does not give him any right to oppress you, or afford much consolation when he does so.

But the new school of ultra-Liberals, who urge upon us what they call Reform, and whose political views sympathise closely with those of the Northern politicians, preach a very different doctrine. They look to the origin of the supreme power in the State, and if that satisfies them they care little about the limitations by which it is restricted. Freedom, in their definition, is the supreme, unchecked power of the majority. The doctrine has not been nakedly stated here-it would be too repulsive to the ears of Englishmen who have been brought up to value freedom of a different kind. But in America, the school of politicians with whom our Radicals so closely sympathise do not conceal it. They think it a sufficient reply to all the grievances of the South




to appeal to the decision of the majority. Again and again in almost every contemporary vindication of the Federal cause, the dogma is broadly laid down that the majority must rule. The grievance of the Confederates, that during a period of half a century the numerical majority of the North has systematically used its power to divert trade and prosperity from the South, to Federal advocates seems to be beside the question. It is sufficient that the majority has spoken; and the majority is the source of all power upon carth. In the same spirit they judge of the flagrant oppression of which President Lincoln has been guilty in the North. The majority by which he has been re-elected has cured, to their minds, any formal errors in his conduct. Arbitrary imprisonments, illegal conscriptions, the suppression of hostile newspapers, when they are the act of a monarch or an aristocracy, are deserving of the deepest condemnation that language can be framed to express; but when they are the act of a majority, they are the people's will,' and against the people individuals have no rights. Injury, in short, does not consist in the nature of the act done, or in the sufferings of the victim, but only in the smallness of the number of those by whom it is done. It is the multiplication table which furnishes in the last resort the essential test that distinguishes right from wrong in the government of a nation. If one man imprisons you, that is tyranny; if two men, or a number of men imprison you, that is freedom.

The Confederates are now, in many a widowed home, and many a desolated valley, suffering under the application of this curious gloss upon their own principle that governments derive their rights exclusively from the consent of the governed. If their present gallant resistance should fail, they will suffer more cruelly still. It is a fate which is certain in some form or other to wait upon minorities who weakly trust their lives and properties to the unchecked dominion of the multitude. The time appears to have passed when it was possible to indulge the hope that any share might fall to England in the work of bringing their trials to a close. But for ourselves there is yet time to care. avoid falling into the mistake which has been so perilous to them. Renewed efforts have been made during the past autuinn, and will probably be made again in the spring, to induce us to travel a stage further upon the road which the United States have travelled before us. The bills to which our consent is invited, if they do not at once place the country under the absolute government of the majority, so enfeeble the Conservative forces of the constitution that it will be hopeless to resist further proposals of change in the same direction. If we resign ourselves to that fate, at least we do it with an ample knowledge of all that it involves. We have seen democracy both in its contemptible and in its terrible aspect, in the weakness of an apathetic security, and in the frenzy of an unbridled passion. In the enjoyment of a prosperity conferred by boundless natural resources, it was incapable of the self-restraint necessary for sustaining an effective system of government. Its insatiable taste for adulation degraded statesmanship into a disreputable craft; and it failed to produce rulers able either to avoid or to foresee the danger upon which its splendid promise has been shattered. When the hour of trial came, its institutions were found to be too feeble to bear the strain, until propped up by the perilous support of a military despotism. Now we see the government of the multitude under its other aspect. It is animated by a passion as thoughtless and unreasonable as its former security. All care for the prosperity which formerly was its first care, all thought of freedom, all scruples of humanity, have been swallowed up in the one longing for a colossal empire. Every right is trodden down, every sentiment of compassion is repressed, in order that this aspiration may be gratified. For this purpose it proclaims, and is straining every nerve to execute, a scheme of slaughter and devastation, upon a scale so gigantic and so ruthless that no civilized government has ever even approached to it before,-a scheme from the mere suggestion of which it is to be hoped that every other civilized government would turn away with disgust. We have a fair picture of democracy under both its conditions before us. We know what is its capacity for good government in repose; we know what is its justice or its humanity, what its regard for the rights or the freedom of a minority, in times of trouble. If with this knowledge in their possession, the classes who govern in this country, and who are in a minority, suffer themselves to be enticed into an advance towards democracy, their recompense will not be slow to reach them, and will be richly merited when it comes.


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Art. 1.-1. Notice des Tableaux exposés dans les Galeries du

Musée Impérial du Louvre. Par Frédéric Villot. 3e partie.

Ecoles d'Italie et d'Espagne. 13e édition. Paris. 2. Histoire du Louvre. Par le Comte Clarac. 1 vol. 3. Supplementary Despatches of Field - Marshal the Duke of

Wellington. Occupation of France by the Allied Armies, Surrender of Napoleon, and Restoration of the Bourbons.

Vol. XI. 4. Correspondance de Napoléon I". Par ordre de l'Empereur

Napoléon III.
THE chief events of a nation's life are presented to the his-

torian under various forms. It is not only the main stream of public affairs which reflects the character of the age. Every tiny rill and pool equally renders back an image; all alike show that the same tide has swept them, the same storm perturbed them. Each has a particular speech and language, but the story is the same, and may sometimes be deciphered with greater distinctness in the part than in the whole. More particularly do we look for the high-water marks and other signs of the social weather on those luxuries and adornments which cluster round the more exposed portions of the social structure. Obscure things, like lowly people, escape those tempests which fly over ditches ;' but the annals of a jewel will be found identical with those of an empire.

And especially are these varying watermarks discernible to the philosophic eye along the walls which have witnessed the formation, growth, and fluctuations of great collections of art and virtù, the records of which are among the clearest and most copious commentaries on the pages of general history. How much, for instance, might be read of the closer details of the history of the Italian race, if the rise and fall and fall and rise of the great Medici accumulations could be now clearly traced ! How much is told by a glance at the catalogue of the sale of King Charles I.'s collection by the Commonwealth ! And above all, for the grandeur and taste that formed--the Terror which devastated--the conquest which enriched—and the retriVol. 117.-No. 234.



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