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whole life; it is the normal condition of the nobles; and so long as cach man does his duty and maintains his character in the camp and in the field, the actual amount of conquest is regarded with comparative indifference; in the other, the citizens burn for immediate results, and, after a long peace, rush to arms with the same passion as they rush to any other novelty, and once in armis, they cannot brook delay; in the one, those who are most eager for war go to battle themselves ; in the other, the fury for fighting and conquest burns most fiercely among the civic population, which remains at home, and measures out to unsuccessful generals the same remorseless condemnation as that with which they would fling away a tool, or a machine that had failed to produce the immediate result, whether possible or impossible, on which their impetuous desires are concentrated. The restless democracy, intent merely on the attainment of their object, are more ready to buy than to win victory; and if their own rural districts cannot furnish troops for their purpose, they hire the hardier frames of foreign adventurers and soldiers of fortune. Of such were the armies which fought for the Grecian republics in the days of Demosthenes ; of such were the armies which earned Carthaginian gold, by ministering to the Carthaginian passion for conquest ; of such were the armies which, in the latter days of the empire, carried to the extremes of the known world a fear of the restless ambition of the mobs of the capital; of such were the armies which the mercantile Florentines hired in the fifteenth century, as their fighting servants * ; of such were the armies which, with a considerable admixture of Frenchmen, in the name first of the republic and afterwards of Napoleon, aroused the fear and the revenge of the whole continent of Europe.

No passion burns in its turn more fiercely in the hearts of a restless democracy, no longer restrained by coni

* Machiavel, Ist. Flor. lib. i. fin.


merce to peaceful pursuits, than the love of military glory, albeit that that glory is won for them in distant countries and by foreign troops. The weaker the character of the individual, the greater his wish for extraordinary events and his fear of the consequences, and in no state of society are individual characters more weak than in extreme democracy. Such of their own citizens as go to the wars and return successful, return not as plain soldiers who have done their duty, but, by the popular adulation and vulgarity, which never calls things or persons by their right name, they are inflated into “ heroes.” Reduced as all men are to a social equality, the titles of military rank are sought after with immense avidity. They cannot eradicate a distinction of rank from the military system, and they cannot eradicate from the human heart a desire to rise, in however ignoble or paltry a manner, above the common level. In the great democracy of this age, which yet finds the chief gratification for its restlessness in commerce and in travelling, there prevails this passion for military rank, which, with many another indication, betokens that at some period, not perhaps far distant, America, like Carthage, Rome, and France, will burn with a passion for military distinction, acquired though it be by hireling champions and treacherous defenders. The frequent choice of a military man for the highest office in the state, is a circumstance not without significance.* The result of war, carried on after this fashion by a democracy, is generally a principate, a form of government which, to sum up the previous observations, naturally succeeds democracy and plutocracy, for some among the following reasons : -

Because centralisation has been established and acknowledged as the true principle; and centralisation wants a head.

* General Haurin in 1840 ; Zachary Taylor, 1848 ; Pierce in 1852 all chosen for their military exploits.

Because the government is taken out of the hands of unpaid independent grandees, who are the great enemies of a despot, and committed to paid functionaries, to whom the despot gives the alternative of serving or starving.

Because equality has diminished the respect for the governors, who now have no other claim to respect but their office.

Because restlessness leads to a love of military glory, and those who have achieved it are looked


with as much respect and admiration as in such an age it is possible for one man to feel for another.

Because the military ardour evokes great commanders, and one of them making himself the acknowledged head of the army, seems to be a not inapt head for the civil centralisation.

Because restlessness at last produces a tedium of restlessness, and induces every one to coincide in a government which gives prospect of being strong and settled.

Because every faction that has been oppressed by stronger factions hopes for equal justice from a single ruler; and the members of small oppressed factions are collectively more numerous than the majority that on each several question by allegiance of some of the smaller factions oppresses the others.

Because in disunion, civil war, and tyranny of factions there is no real liberty, and a prince gives hope of securing a larger share of liberty to each individual.

Because the national character is corrupted by jobbery,

* Gaultier, Duke of Athens, coming at the head of the forces of the King of Naples to assist the Florentines in their contest with the Pisans, took advantage of the internal broils in Florence, and harangued the people, saying “ that it was so far from his design to take away their liberty, that he came on purpose to restore it; that citizens divided amongst themselves were slaves, whilst those who were united were really free ; that if he should extinguish private ambition and intestine discord in Florence by his manner of governing, surely he might be said to re-establish their freedom, and not to deprive them of it."Machiavel, Hist. Flor. bk. ii.

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despotism, sycophancy of the electors, the habit of regarding politics as a trade *, and of struggling for infamous honours instead of true glory.t

Because universal licence has produced a complete disorganisation of civil government, and the organisation of military life, which is based upon centralisation, is the only organisation remaining in the state.

Because the exhausted plutocracy (if one exists) hopes to have the best offices under an autocrat, and is glad to have his assistance in expelling or at least silencing the sycophants of the populace, forgetful that, like the Soderini, the Strozzi, the Rodolfi of Florence, they will soon sink into the condition of unknown and servile functionaries; and even when a plutocracy are hostile to a prince, they make but a poor stand against him, if he is otherwise supported, for no order of men are so given to fear as those who have their property in the shape of money. I

Because in the last stage of disorganisation the party of order desires quiet and security for property at any price, and the party of progress identifies itself with numbers and intelligence. The triumph of the latter produces a republican anarchy, from which the national reaction, accompanied by the influence of the party of order, leads to the only form of government that can secure order. Despotism is that only form of government;

; and despotism the friends of order support, as their only security, although before the anarchy they may have been monarchists, aristocrats, or constitutionalists. Anarchy, therefore, transforms its antagonists into the supporters of despotism.

* Οι γαρ εν ταις πόλεσι προστάντες μετ' ονόματος εκάτεροι ευπρεπούς πλήθους τε ισονομίας πολιτικής και αριστοκρατίας σώφρονος προτιμήσει, τα μεν κοινά λόγω θεραπεύοντες άθλα έποιούντο.-Τhucyd. iii. 82.

† Montesquieu remarks pointedly, that after the plebeian knights became judges at Rome, there was no virtue, no police, no law, or magistrates.

See Niebuhr, Hist. Rom. iv. 352.

Because, even if so disposed, the turbulent rabble have not strength or condensation enough to resist an incoming despot supported by the army, who make them fear for their condition in this world, and the priests, who make them fear for their condition in the next.

Because the tyranny of the opinion of the majority which admits no dissent, a tyranny like that established during the first French revolution, and which now prevails in America, implants in the minds of the people a sentiment of political fear; and fear is the principle of despotism. Thought is crushed by absolutism of any kind; by absolutism of democracy, as in America and France; by absolutism of plutocracy, as in Venice; and the operation of crushing thought has not therefore to be commenced but only continued by an incoming despot.

Because the nation under a plutocracy or democracy has been derided for its love of peace, and its sole addiction to commerce; and hopes in the military glory of its despot to recover its wounded vanity.

Because utility, the principle of democracies, leads to luxury, and luxury tends to its own augmentation, till at last material interests are the only interests regarded in such a society ; and one who aspires to a principate seldom fails to express his devoted attachment to the material interests of those who are to elect or to accept him. He responds to their cry of Panem et Circenses, and they are satisfied. For the sagacious despot is one who, not content with professing, acts on the principle that the greatest sensual happiness of the greatest number is the true object of government. An autocrat has the power to overrule petty vested interests, which in free countries impede vast and uniform undertakings, for promoting material interests. In short, he can make straight roads.

Because an autocrat gratifies the love of novelty by making new laws and institutions; gratifies the love of equality, by assuming as the basis of these laws and

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