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anathématisait toutes celles qui ne se rencontraient pas sur sa ligne géométrique d'opinions; au lieu d'ajourner leurs débats, au lieu de s'affermir près du gouffre sur leurs points de coincidence, elles s'acharnaient à défendre les questions qui les séparaient.' (Considérations. See Mémoire, vol. i. p. 370.)
Thus the Party of Order went on, fighting with shadows when they were not engaged in the worse occupation of fighting with each other, until the tide of inevitable ruin had swelled so high that there was scarcely time to do more than note and signalise its close advance, before the waves had swept away the whole of them, with the futile bulwarks they were endeavouring to
It certainly seemed to mere lookers-on, that a single ruler, environed with all the strength of popular, ecclesiastical, and military support, arrayed against enemies so distracted by internal division, and so greatly miscalculating their own influence, had the game sufficiently in his hands to have played it out with ordinary patience and determination. Or, if this were not the case if, owing to combinations with which we are here imperfectly acquainted, it was impossible for him to break out of the paper labyrinth with which the constitution had surrounded him without a stroke of illegal force, it seemed that never was there an occasion on which the decisive blow might have been struck with a smaller amount of violence, and the unavoidable exhibition of brutal force more easily softened and redeemed by concession and conciliation. But violence begets violence, and one daring act of arbitrary power engenders a succession of similar violations of right. Perhaps, too, we are to recognise here another instance of the operation of that law by which the Revolution punishes itself, and must acknowledge that the inveterate habit of decrying all authority, and exalting conscience- that is, self-will-above law, has mainly produced the cynical disregard shown in this instance even of the wretched decencies of usurpation. Certain it is, at all events, that history, rich as it is in similar examples, can hardly show a more startling succession of blows, not directed only at the ephemeral institutions which subsisted in France, but against those few principles of right and order which had enabled society to live through so many turbulent years not against enemies in actual conflict, but prostrate and reeling in impotence under the recent infliction. Even those who were best prepared for a change so long predicted, stood aghast at its accompaniments at the absolute silence imposed on free discussion, the banishments and proscriptions, the invasion of social and domestic peace, the daringly obtruded substitution of the indi
Present State of France.
vidual will of the master for every other recognised source of authority.
On the character and prospects of the present government of France we have touched elsewhere in our present Number, and intimated our expectation that its excesses are of a kind to alarm and alienate the community; and that the French army is not likely to continue Buonapartist long after the body of the French people shall have ceased to be so. We leave for the present this ominous subject, and have neither space nor inclination to speculate on further results, either as to the present dangers to ourselves which these French movements assuredly involve, or as to the destiny of that great country itself. Like the lady who declined an introduction to Cagliostro, nous ne désirons pas connaître l'avenir ; il ressemble trop au passé.' It must be remembered that recent occurrences have only shown how general certain sentiments are in the nationnot how deep or durable. That remains to be proved. There is indeed nothing that we know of in the state of modern society-nothing in the progress of civilisation-to prevent the continuance of one of those periods of Cæsarism prophesied by M. Romieu, who has had the pleasure of hastening the fulfilment of his prophecy to the best of his power a period during which the government of the country might possibly pass, for years or generations to come, from one successful master of the army to another. But assuredly those who see more favourable signs in the firmament are not without some justification for their hopes. Thus much is certain, that revolution has reached its last ordinary phase; and that substantial freedom and sound institutions have always arisen, so far as history shows, from the partial decay or beating down of despotism-never from the consolidation of anarchy. Whatever be the merits of democracy in itself, it never yet ripened into any thing better than or different from itself. Its end has been uniformly by violence. Constitutional government has grown only by the gradual curtailment of despotic, never of popular power. And to that formula we are still old-fashioned and uninventive enough to look as the best calculated for modern European requirements. Except for those who are juvenile enough to indulge in Icarian speculations, the dull old science of politics can only ring its well-known changes on the established forms of government which have alternately prevailed since the world began. These are but instruments; yet instruments of different degrees of force and aptitude for their work; and it is not because feeble or impatient hands have repeatedly thrown away the best of
them, that we should believe it to have lost its virtues, or society to have become ill adapted for using it.
But for those who have been the chief subject of these pages -the literary politicians and philosophers of France, the chiefs of the press if they have been somewhat rudely awakened from that dream of playing the highest part in political life, in which they indulged with more or less of reason for thirty years, we doubt whether, substantially, this last change of all has reduced their actual influence on affairs much lower than before. If they are objects of jealousy and suspicion to the present Government, it cannot be said that their sentiments were in real unison with those of the nation before that Government was established, or that they substantially guided it during the last three years of anarchy. The people will not see with their eyes, or judge of the condition of things by their judgment. In their present humour, the masses are not to be moved by the supposed loss of rights and institutions institutions which they treated only with contempt, rights which, as regards the educated classes, had already been curtailed to the narrowest limits under the Republic, and the loss of which was not felt by the provincial multitude at all. Alas! those political idolatries, which in peaceful times we are apt to think the strongest, will scarcely hold firm against the most temporary pressure of actual fear. Ask the peaceable inhabitant of the North of Ireland what he thinks, just now, of trial by jury and the uncontrolled liberty of the press. The more reason why those who are as yet unaffected by such panic, should cling to them with jealous and reverential affection. But to the French in general, what is it to be told that freedom of thought is proscribed, and genius silenced? To freedom of thought they ascribe, in their present mood, the daily insecurity which besets social life with terrors: and when the national genius is represented, as in popular parlance it is, by the names of Hugo, Sue, George Sand, and the like, it cannot be denied that if the silencing them be a sin, their silence at least would be regarded as a blessing by most men of sound taste and uncorrupted moral
And as to the present exclusion of men of the higher intellectual class from political power, it must not be forgotten that their apparent importance under the late Republic was illusory. If the dream of 1848 had been possible to be realised in France, universal suffrage would soon have shown itself no less jealous of their authority than military sway may be. The ostracism of the populace is no less steadily enforced than that of the most suspicious despotism against pre-eminent genius and ability
Roebuck's Whig Ministry of 1830.
of this class. Men, says Chamfort, are like the fiends of Milton, they must make themselves dwarfs, before they can enter into the Pandemonium of political life in a republic. Even in America it is notorious that men of this stamp are all but systematically excluded from high public office, or that, at best, she recognises only a single Webster among a wilderness of Jacksons and Harrisons, Taylors and Scotts. And they must learn perforce, painful as the truth may be, that commanding talents, especially of their order, are not really in request, or needed, for the ordinary work either of democracy or autocracy. The American Union does not the less advance in its unparalleled career of success and prosperity, although its most eloquent, most accomplished, and noblest spirits remain at home, chafing impotently under the spell which bars their access to the place which they claim as the leaders of men. Their only substantial prospect of political importance is under a mixed Government; where room is left, even by the mutual opposition of the powerful ranks and classes, for those connected with neither to make way to eminence. And whatever may be the causes, yet unrevealed, which are destined to break up the present machine of French Government, it is not likely that the mere disaffection, or indignation, of the literary class will substantively conduce to it. Their pens will be ready enough, when the time comes, to pour bitterness into the wounds of defeat, and add vigour to the spirit of reaction; but they cannot render themselves necessary to the country; they will not of themselves disarm the hand which holds the sword, or turn back the current of the popular will.
ART. VIII. Roebuck's History of the Whig Party of 1830. 8vo. London: 1852.
THE literary pursuits of authors, the literary tastes of the public, are very far indeed from following any invariable law. On the contrary, from time to time, they suddenly change their course. One channel becomes choked up with sand and mud. A dry ravine is filled with running waters. Valleys are converted into lakes, lakes into valleys. Of these changes we have seen remarkable instances in our own times. The days of Rogers, Moore, Byron, Crabbe, Campbell, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Scott, Southey, Keats, and Shelley, seemed to strew the surface of the earth with flowers. The broad lands of England, Scotland, and Ireland appeared to be laid down in one universal garden. Alas! but one of this brilliant group
now survives. Around his venerable old age the sympathies of his friends and the respect and gratitude of the public cling, in admiration of those exquisite verses, and the scarcely less exquisite conversation, which contributed so greatly to refine our taste. It would, indeed, have been extraordinary if the poet of Memory should not live in our recollections; and although his great literary friends and associates are no more, Rogers may still feel confident that, among those who enjoyed his society, as well as among the wider circle to whom his poetry has become dear and familiar, as household words, there exists, and must continue to exist, a lasting sense of his varied accomplishments, and an earnest desire for his happiness. But though poets of considerable power still flourish amongst us, we fear that the enthusiastic love of Poetry has declined. Literature abhors a void, and in our later days our library tables are piled with works of a very different description. We witnessed a large development of metaphysical philosophy, partly home grown, under the safe guidance of Dugald Stewart, Reid, Sir W. Hamilton, and others. We have since had an importation of foreign goods from the transcendentalism of modern Germany. A heavy landslip has filled up our collections with weighty specimens of political economy; and, within the last twenty years, the writings of the Fathers of the Church have been recalled to life; Augustine, Chrysostom, and Cyprian lie on toilette tables and in boudoirs, where, in the last generation, a treatise 'de habitu Virginum' would have been of a very different kind.
History is of all branches of literature that which has of late years most usefully advanced; improving in character, both abroad and at home, as it has extended. Hallam and Macaulay may be taken to represent the sculpture and the painting of history; each admirable, though contrasted; the one having the force, truth, and gravity of the Pensiero of Michael Angelo; the other the fertility, beauty of design, and brilliancy of Tintoret and Titian. Grote spreads out his volumes like a newly disinterred Athenian relievo. Bishop Thirlwall and Merivale afford evidence how scholars can unite high professional pursuits with the investigation of early history. We lament over Arnold, too soon lost, and too slowly known and appreciated. The professor's chair at Oxford could never have been more worthily filled. His services to the young at Rugby, his earnest piety, his comprehensive toleration, his undaunted public spirit, would all have received fresh illustration had his career in the university he so affectionately loved been prolonged for the benefit of his fellow men. May the labours of his brother