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but it will ask in vain. Ruthless wars are the result, and the inevitable end is that the younger and stronger and more honourable nation seizes the torch.

“ From the beginning and before the world,” says the spirit of human wisdom, “was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease, and in the holy habitation I have ministered before him. And so in Sion was I established, and in the sanctified city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem, and I took root in an honorable people.

Pass to me all ye that desire me, and be filled of my generations. My memory is unto generations of worlds.

I will penetrate all the inferior parts of the earth, and will behold them that sleep. I have not laboured for myself only, but for all that seek unto the truth."*

So the spirit of humanity passes from hand to hand among the nations, a mighty heritage, which each transfers richer than it received it. Do we wonder that it is struggled for? Can we cease to admire the irrevocable law by which each nation, as soon as it acquires its prize, seeks to enhance its value, and gives it up only when a rival comes forward more capable to pursue that work? Is there anything grander in nature than the decree, that the accumulated wisdom of the world should not lose a fragment of its substance at the death of its possessor, but ever keep passing on to those more worthy to receive and to enlarge it? Is there a nobler destiny for nations than to spend their life and strength in increasing the stock of human knowledge and human power? The best known of all the aphorisms of Pascal is that where with a burning thought, yet grander than those with which he abounds, he impresses this truth upon men's minds : “ Toute la succession des hommes, pendant la longue suite des siècles, doit être considerée comme un seul homme qui subsiste toujours, et qui apprend continuellement.”


* Ecclesiasticus, xxiv.

We cannot look far back along the lines of time. The inventions of language, of writing, and of the arts, now considered necessary to civilised life, belong to ages and to nations unknown to us. We know those who have advanced humanity in its later progress, but we forget those sojourners on earth who set it going.

“ The world knows nothing of the greatest men." Der Baura wow.

De Chevalier Bunsen has tracked human development Why

quire the among the pyramids ; we know that it came from India,
ya wanana Fuend but the sands of time have blown over and obliterated the
appellation? Why
not in Puglish course. But the beginning, that we cannot scrutinise; the
colokium is arou steady march for so many centuries unchecked by every

obstacle, ever passing from the failing to the strong, leaving
with unimpaired vigour the fallen cities which had
cherished it, itself the trophy which the victors have
borne away as the choicest spoil in their triumph, but
which in the end has been too rich a prize for the captors
to retain ; and lastly the prospect of a yet more glorious

future,—all these inspire a religious awe into the minds
of those who dare to contemplate this magnificent and
irresistible career.

But with this endeavour to distinguish between the
progress of humanity and the progress of nations, we
must dismiss the former from our inquiry. The states-
man has nothing to do with the progress of humanity,
except to help his nation to take part in the race as soon,
and to remain in it as long, as it can.

He is concerned, not with the torch, but with the bearers of the torch. It would have been well if those who, denominating themselves philosophers of history, have essayed to write manuals for statesmen, had borne that fact in mind. Not one of them except Vico has escaped the most lamentable confusion; and because Vico thought fit to confine his researches to national progress, he has been the subject of constant attacks by superficial pamphleteers, who attempt to refute his cyclical theory of national existence by

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pointing to the steady, intellectual advance of mankind. Even M. Cousin has indulged in remarks on the philosophy ? of history which I forbear to characterise. M. Comte, who in his views of the past displays acuteness and originality of the highest order, fails entirely where he comes to construct his dynamical scheme for the future. For instance, the whole drama of history is according to him a series of stages leading to one great result of inestimable good, called “The Rise of the Industrial Order," which means nothing but the establishment of a plutocracy with a first class of Bankers, a second of Merchants, a third of Manufacturers, a fourth of Agriculturists. Now, it is true enough that some such organisation has been brought about in France, where at this moment the plutocracy is the only body of men pretending to the slightest importance, if we except the functionaries, civil and military, the former of whom are often chosen out of them. But, in the name of positivism, how can M. Comte assert that the ultimate effect of the progress of humanity is the development of a plutocracy ? Surely this omnipotence of wealth is a sign of an advanced stage of national existence, not of the final stage of humanity. Should a hardy nation of rude warriors pour itself again over Europe, we may be sure that Vico's principle will hold true ; we shall have again a series of the same national evolutions that we have already seen twenty times repeated on our earth ; and it will not be till this new nation has advanced the torch of humanity yet farther than it is now, that it will itself arrive at the stage where wealth in money is the only or chief source of power.

To take one more instance : M. Comte remarks the growing unpopularity of the military life, and its tendency to become a very subordinate office of modern society, but this arises from the fact that the nations whom he contemplates are in that advanced stage in which, as Lord Bacon remarks, arms are no longer of exclusive honour, manufactures and commerce flourish. It is

again manifest that this observation applies only to particular nations of the day. Can M. Comte extend it to the great hordes of Russia, to the Swedes, or to any people that has as yet not passed through the national cycle of changes ? And were not the same effects to be seen in Greece when the military spirit declined, in the Roman Empire when its armies were composed of barbarians, in Italy when the citizens resigned their wars to mercenary bands of foreigners? These examples and many more might be adduced, display the painful confusion between these two sorts of progress that runs through the whole of M. Comte's works.

The same confusion pervades the “Introduction ” of M. Gervinus. “ The States of Europe,” he says, “ since the commencement of the Christian era form as connected and general a history as that of the group of states of the Greek peninsula and its colonies in antiquity. The same order and the same law is revealed in the course of their internal development in both periods, and in the history of the whole human race this law may be again observed in its largest manifestations. From oriental despotism to aristocracy, from the government of the ancients, and of the middle ages, founded on slavery and serfdom, to the policy of modern times which is yet in the course of development, a regular progress may be perceived from the intellectual and civil freedom of one alone, to that of the few and of the many."

Now the error is this : The law is true for every state. It is one of the laws of national progress. In this I with M. Gervinus, but when he says it is one of the laws of the progress of humanity, it is necessary to dissent. The old states of the East, India, China, Egypt, the old Constantinopolitan empire, ruled over and patched up by the Turks, have all passed through the cycle of nation life, and are now in that post-mortem condition in which the anarchical sandheaps of human units whereof such nations are composed, are kept together for ages by a


In this I agree

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rigid despotism, a despotism quite different from that of a warrior king over his tribe, or of a monarch who rules the yet undeveloped commons with the power of an autocrat, because he has succeeded in quelling the aristocracy (as for example Russia at the present day, Denmark from 1660 to the beginning of this century). Now, to trace a progress from such a despotism to the feudal system of the middle ages, and thence to the civil frecdom of our day, is nothing else but putting the cart before the horse. The Gothic monarchies were young nations, the constitutional kingdoms of this century are middleaged nations, and the Oriental despotisms are old nations. The fact that these Gothic nations rose into life after the others fell away into insignificance is all that connects them in an order of sequence, otherwise they ought rather to be put side by side as individual nations going through substantially the same course of progress. There was a progress of M. Gervinus's family (at least we hope so) from his grandfather to his father, and thence to the Professor; but the grandfather, father, and Professor might be put side by side as men who have - unless cut short by premature death -- passed through the course of human life. Just so with our political greatgrandfathers, the Oriental nations; our grandfathers, the Greeks ; our fathers, the Romans. We being in this instance the Gothic nations of modern Europe, who are brothers and sisters of very different dispositions and fortunes, but all doing the same thing, namely, living a nation-life.

Nations, then, however remote in time, bear a resemblance in their common nature, which in the gross effaces the difference caused by the relation of succession. No one denies that every nation has been marked by strong individual features which distinguish it from all its fellows, but we contend that all nations have developed themselves according to a more or less modified action of the same laws, and have — the most prominent of them — cach

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