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early life by the depravity of its doctrines. Their first evil impressions were rendered passive by the military ardour which pervaded France under the Imperial government; but the idleness of a long peace has revived them in all their original deformity, and since the restoration a constant and increasing struggle has been going on for the purpose of once more subjecting that country to the baneful influence of their ascendancy.
This disposition to atheism is also still accompanied, as before, with a fierce intolerance of every form of government, which combines within it the elements of order, and appears likely to be permanent. The vision of a grand republic, indeed, still haunts the minds of the sect to whom we particularly allude; but if, by any coincidence of chances, they could realize that dream to-morrow, they would be as distant as they are at this moment from the accomplishment of their wishes. If a republic did not place the whole power of the country in their own hands; if, under the pretext of universal equality, they were not despotic; they would be as hostile to a republic as they are to the monarchy, and would be as clamorous against the rights of the people as they now are against the privileges of the aristocracy. Changes in the laws, revolutions in the frame of the government, must be frequent and incessant, until they are themselves the directors of the machine of the state, the controllers of the religion, the guardians of the morality, and the dispensers of the wealth, of the whole community.
Their cunning, taking counsel from their fears, has enabled them hitherto to carry on their operations under such garbs as appeared to be most popular. Before the prestige of Napoleon's name had altogether faded in France, they used it with an effect sufficient to endanger for a while the unsettled throne of the Bourbons. Failing in the conspiracies which they meditated in the dark, they approached the light, and claimed the full benefits of the charter. They next set up the standard of liberalism, round which they summoned all the discontented and irreligious men in the country. By their actions, however, they were soon discovered under the mask which they had assumed. They decried every salutary institution for education existing in the kingdom, because the principles upon which education was conducted were the very reverse of their own. They set up what they called philosophy in opposition to christianity; by means of the press they extended their doctrines to history, to poetry, to the lighter departments of fictitious literature, and to all the rules of criticism. They gave to religion the name of fanaticism, and they only wanted a Voltaire to point the ridicule, and a Rousseau to colour the invective, to which they alternately resorted, in order to oppose the progress of every theory of morals that was not in harmony with their system. They re-produced, however, the most mischievous works of those authors, on terms that rendered them accessible to the very
scavenger of the street, and they endeavoured to repair by their malignant industry the impotence of their talents.
Let us not be charged here with administering to any antiquated prejudices, or as opposed to what is understood in our own country by the term liberality. The meaning of no two words can differ more widely than that which is conveyed by liberality in England, and by liberalisme in France. With us it signifies a disposition towards a moderate reform in the laws, the revision of our institutions, for the purpose of repairing the damage done to them by the lapse of time; it signifies a patriotic and high minded line of policy abroad, complete and universal civil and religious liberty at home, a generous commercial system, hostility to every serious abuse, and a wise economy. In France it signifies a cold and cheerless philosophy, a hatred of Christianity in all its forms, disaffection to the reigning dynasty, an attachment to the worst principles, and even to the excesses of the revolution, and a violent impatience of every thing that tends to consolidate the peace and happiness of the country.
It is to this spirit of liberalism, in one of its most objectionable phases, that we owe the volume now before us. It is the work of a shallow mind, and a cold heart. The author has already informed the world of his political principles, in a fantastic and pompous dissertation, which he called a "Political View of Europe," but which was, more properly speaking, a romance of the most flimsy description. He has here reproduced them under another form, and applied them in a more extensive manner. As the book may be considered a pretty fair specimen of the notions which are most usually inculcated by the new sect of philosophers in France, it may not be altogether a waste of time if we stop to examine it with some attention.
In the first section of the five which compose it, the author presents a moral picture of the world, which, he says, is no longer what it was. Formerly instruction came from the highest classes; now it proceeds from the lowest. The light no longer remains above, it is seen shining by the side of the people, and it would be vain to seek it elsewhere. Minds are not transmissible like names; the race of great men is extinct, and they are succeeded by their shadows.
'On the other hand,' continues the author, there is no longer any affinity between governments and the people; the harmony that once subsisted between them is altogether destroyed. Their interests are not only different, but opposed. The people assail prejudice, the governments defend it. The people desire that force should belong only to justice, governments that it should depend on will. In every thing there is disunion and dissimulation between them. The march of the people, and the immobility of governments, places between them a space of several ages; one party remains in the infancy of the world, while the other attains its manhood. While they move with such unequal pace, and with such in
tervals between them, they naturally separate from each other, without perhaps any design to do so. But, as there can no more be a want of harmony in the moral world than in the physical, either the great must acquire the information of the people, or the people must fall back on the ignorance of the great. For the maintenance of society, it is necessary either that they should be on a level, or that, if there be any difference, the superiority must be on the part of the government. In the moral world, as in the physical, the light must come from on high.
It is in vain for kings to attempt to give the direction to public opinion; they must themselves be guided by it. It is impossible for them to resist the agitation which prevails throughout society, and which includes every thing that composes it. The world is impelled by an innate force; no person has created it, no person can check it. Those who attempted to check it are now within the sphere of its activity; if instead of yielding they had resisted it.'-pp. 3—8.
In these observations there is, no doubt, some truth to be discovered amid the vagueness which characterizes the school. We have, however, been obliged to cull them from amongst a number of unmeaning generalities by which they are surrounded, and even to take some liberties with the style, in order to render the author's meaning intelligible. He next launches out into a general view of Europe, which he considers as a world of perfection: it has no longer any barriers; all its prejudices are vanished-all its popular antipathies conquered-its religions and even its languages melted down to uniformity; political communities are no longer to recognize any divisions save those of their respective territories and institutions; the world, in short, to borrow the language of the great Macedonian, may justly be called "one common city." Whether such a vision as this may not be realized before we reach the grand millenium, it is not for us to predict; but we are tolerably certain that Europe is not at this moment one common city," nor any thing like it. The differences of language are as great as they ever have been; we doubt whether even the vulgar antipathies are at all diminished; and as to the religions of Europe, instead of becoming weaker and more uniform, one of them, on the contrary, is every year acquiring new strength, without losing one of its distinguishing features. We have, indeed, only to look at home to be convinced that there is neither uniformity of opinion nor peace on the subject.
We have little to offer on the author's sketches of the sovereigns who have from time to time wielded the destinies of the world. They form altogether a class of men, of whom it is perhaps sufficient to say, that they have given more fatal examples of immorality and crime than any other. There are unquestionably amongst them a few brilliant exceptions, sovereigns who have ruled over the hearts of their people, and have won even the admiration and love of mankind. But how few are these exceptions compared with
the Neros, the Pauls the Henrys, the Ferdinands, and the Miguels, who figure in the history of royalty. Even of those amongst them who have committed no extraordinary acts of tyranny, how few can be held out as examples for the imitation of mankind! In point of talent and information, perhaps the sovereigns of England have, upon the whole, been more on a level with the genius of their nation than those of any other country. The sovereigns of France have been usually below theirs, and although this circumstance might not have much influence in a free country, it produces many evils in a nation that receives all its impulses from the go
The more extraordinary, therefore, certainly, in every point of view, was the revolution which took place under the Bourbons. Our author can account for it only by the laws of compression. It calls forth, of course, his wonder and praise. It shut out the past and opened future ages,' he exclaims, in the language which he seems to have learned from the bulletins of Napoleon. He believes that it never would have occurred if the French had not adopted Christianity, and neglected those precious remains of ancient genius, the philosophy of Greece and Rome! But he thinks that France, which plunged Europe into darkness and then brought it back into light, which has erected despots and destroyed them, is now about to commence its sublime reparation towards all mankind.' 'If its power be reposing at present, its meditations are not suspended; it is instructing the people whom it is about to deliver. In the midst of the light which it is diffusing on all sides, it must nevertheless closely watch over itself. Every thing threatens it both within and without; it has to fear national as well as foreign factions, which are leagued in conspiracy against it.' Such is the mysterious language in which our author speaks of the actual condition of France, and the destinies which she is about to fulfil.
Concerning Austria he is not altogether so sanguine. Silence. indeed reigns at present in her states, but murmurs are heard all round her confines.
The odious politics of this empire,' he observes, have excited an indignation that dates from our ancestors, that has increased with time, and every day becomes more menacing. The Roman empire was a very different colossus from the empire of Austria, but it perished beneath the universal hatred of mankind. The Roman empire, however, was destroyed by the anger of barbarians; the colossus of Germany is menaced by people the most civilized. When Napoleon deliberated whether he would not erase that empire from the earth, he had at least nothing to fear from the reproaches of the nations. Its fall would not have raised a single cry in its favour; and far from receiving any sympathy from Europe, Europe would have rejoiced in its destruction, and thus have seen Germany, Poland, and Italy avenged."--pp. 35, 36.
• But although Austria forms the bulwark and guarantee of European slavery at this day, how long can she expect her insensate policy to endure? She has numerous enemies within and around her; a single hand may revolutionize her. What would not Joseph 11. have done for her, if he had lived and reigned forty years later!
'Austria is absolutely writhing in despair, in the cause of despotism; it is with her a passion which hurries her beyond the ordinary bounds of prudence. If she were alone and unassisted, she would still struggle for the honour of the cause; but she has only too many allies united in aid of her exertions, and she draws into the hazards of her policy the blinded cabinets of France, Spain, and Italy.'-pp. 39, 40.
If this be so, it is impossible that the destinies which our author has predicted for France, can be accomplished without another revolution-a revolution that is to overthrow the existing state of things, as well in that country as in Austria, Italy, and Spain; hence we may gather the principles and the objects of his work. Indeed he states them in a subsequent paragraph without much circumlocution :
The three thrones occupied by the race of the Bourbons have been established on the same political principles; they form, as it were, the same genius who has beaten down the south of Europe, but who is not understood by the new generations. We have seen in our time three nations in revolt against their Kings, the French, the Spaniards, and the Neapolitans; and all these Kings are Bourbons. Here are facts stronger and more eloquent than reflections. It is for these Kings to reflect on the counsels which direct them, and on the principles of a policy which has been so unlucky for them.'-pp. 40, 41.
After this, it will not excite our surprise to find the author discussing the question, whether Europe will remain monarchical, or become republican? Perhaps, gravely speaking, this is a question which it would not be very easy to solve. But let us see how it is treated by the French liberal: :
Here, elevating ourselves above every consideration of country, of Kings, of citizen, of family, without prejudice, or partiality, without even considering whether Kings have done most good or most mischief to mankind, we shall speak as if we had no interest in the question. At this moment royalty and liberty exhibit, in the eyes of the world, their boldest propositions, and in the ardour of their pretensions, one and the other are more anxious to support them than to legitimate them. Being mutually irritated, they both quit the bounds of moderation; royalty hurries towards despotism, and liberty towards republicanism. But in this unequal war, royalty has always its power, and liberty has, as yet, only its courage and its hopes.
It cannot be dissembled, that the people perceive with the most serious alarm, the effects of royalty. Its audacity in France and Spain, its plots in Austria and Italy, its arrogance and its menaces in the empires of the north-every thing spreads a fear of the monarchies. In this respect, even England offers no exception; if it have less to complain than other nations of monarchy, it has much to apprehend from its aristo