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though he cannot now buy an office there, he can and does lay out his money in the joint-stock speculations with which France is overrun, and which yield him a larger income than he could acquire on his farm, and allow him to live in the inglorious ease and the cheap luxury of his café and his theatre.

As soon as despotism and the national character have become appropriate to each other all progress ends, and stationarism supervenes. You may change the despot as often as you please; you cannot change the government. Revolutions, which are wars against principles, and have for their object to establish a new form of government, which, in the opinion of those who support it, is more suited to the national character, scarcely ever occur under a despotism which is appropriate to the national character; and when they do, they are invariably unsuccessful. But though revolutions never occur, rebellions do, and frequently, for they aim, not at a change in the form of government, but at a change in the functionaries who govern

" Combattent follement le choix des tyrans." The distinction deserves well to be remarked. The movement in France at the end of the last century was essentially a revolution, for it was caused by the incongruity between established institutions and social wants, and its effort was to remove those institutions and replace them by others more suited to the altered character of the nation. M. de Tocqueville's most recent book is an exposé of the growth, under the old French régime, of the social conditions which rendered the new régime necessary; for example, peasant proprietorship and centralised administration were both inconsistent with the retention of the feudal privileges without the substantive power which originally gave those privileges. The revolution was the violent effort by which the institutions and the national character were brought into harmony. It is often said on the Continent that the English make no


revolutions. On the contrary, we are always in a state of revolution, constantly adapting our institutions to our social changes; and as the machinery of our government admits this constant adaptation to take place without resort to arms, we have not, for nearly two centuries, had occasion for any of those violent efforts which are necessitated by an increasing incongruity that cannot otherwise be remedied. In proportion to the effect to be achieved, in proportion to the incongruity between the governmental system and the national character, are the violence and horror of the revolution. The first French revolution was the most violent of any of which we have record, because that incongruity was the greatest. The result of it was to establish a centralised administration, which the subsequent revolutions or rebellions have never shaken. All

agree in despairing of the decentralisation of France. If they support a Bourbon or a Napoleon, it is only to make him the centre of the present system. If they support a democracy, it is only that the functionaries who work the system may work in the name of a republic. All the movements in France since Napoleon I. have been gradually losing the character of revolutions and becoming mere rebellions; they have sought to change not the system but the men. There may be many more rebellions in France, but another revolution would be a portent.

Rebellions, as distinguished from revolutions, are the desperate remedies of men who, from political necessity, despair of shaking off the established system, while they determine to have it better administered. The motives which urge them to rebel are not ennobled by the intermixture of great principles and high discussions on the true form of government, or the rights and duties of the governors, but stand forward bare of all that could elevate and adorn them. They are the same motives which impel a starving slave to burst open his master's granary, and, when he is replete, allow him to subside to his former condition of subserviency. Rebellions with a good material cause,



such as starvation, over-taxation, cruelty, are far easier to bring to a successful issue in a despotism than they would be in a free government; for the sudden shout of a small knot of resolute rebels, which were lost in the perpetual hubbub of a people habituated to express their sentiments, resounds with an awful and thrilling echo through the still air of despotism.

For despotism is the government of silence. The best of those that escort him who founds an empire to his throne, escort him because they read upon his banners, “ Tranquillity,” and to tranquillity is essential the silence of “armed opinions." We know how eloquence ceased when Augustus ascended the throne. We know how the two Napoleons swept the schools clear of the disputatious professors of politics, the newspaper ideologists, and those who made the clumsy advocacy of an abstract principle the ill-disguised means of scaling the political ladder. We know also how, in the indiscriminate edicts against speech, the true and honest statesman, the free and plain citizen, who loves to talk over his opinions, is condemned, with the garrulous crowd, to a silence that breaks the spirit of those who, however unwillingly, submit to it

“ Cur facunda parum decoro

Lingua cadit silentio." And when they speak, they speak as those who can receive no second admonition, but air their vocabulary in the λόγοι επιδεικτικοί, - their orations at the academy, where they talk flat compliments in flowing periods. In a generation where despotism is in other ways appropriate, silence becomes a national habit, and the nation that became silent by force remains so, because it has lost the high and noble ideas that mutually inspire and are inspired by the liberty of speech. It speaks not, because it knows to speak no longer of anything but its sensual and material interests.

That these material interests, and these almost alone, are the causes of the rebellions which so often place in office a new but not a better set of functionaries, is one of the luminous facts which disclose at a flash the character and nature of these populations. When the government, true to the paternal theory, has taken upon itself all the provision for the material happiness of the people, and taught them to believe that they owe all their welfare to the government, it is not wonderful that, if their material happiness suffers severe diminution, the government should be considered the source of the evil. It wishes to enter into a partnership with nature, and share the profit of gratitude that belongs to nature's beneficence; but the simple equity of the subjects requires that if it does so it should also share the losses of popularity consequent on the shortcomings of nature. In the end, most governments find that it is a dangerous speculation to enter business as God's partner.

The Chinese, who, through all the time of historical memory, have lived under a stationary despotism, carry this feeling — with them become a second nature—further than nations who yet have among them the traditions of other kinds of government. Droughts, epidemics, piracies, earthquakes, wars, any grievances, whether arising from political or natural causes, are, in the convictions of the Chinese, the fault of his rulers, and rebellion, for the purpose of setting up a better set of rulers, is the remedy to which he invariably resorts if his harvest is short, his water deficient, or his house overthrown by a tornado. * Compare this with the state of the Swedish mind, not yet debased by centralisation. They bear with the utmost patience the pressure of a bad season, for, left to their own resources, they know that they are only submitting to a great law of nature, and not to the caprices of their rulers.t

This dependence on government is the most sure sign of accomplished centralisation. It is curious to trace it coming on ; to read in the history of pre-revolutionary France how the provincials, fully convinced of the inutility and inefficiency of their local potentates, implored the government to send them inspectors to regulate agriculture, markets, and all the other adjustments of rural life; and, as a logical consequence, when agriculture failed, or markets were out of order, or a murrain seized their cattle, their discontent fell upon the government. This feeling has been steadily increasing in France, upon it is founded the present régime, and if it goes on increasing at the same rate as it has done, the mind of the Frenchman will soon, like that of the Chinese, be unable to distinguish between the Divine Providence and that of the central government.

* See Meadows, The Chinese and their Rebellions. † Malthus, Population, i. 410.

Let us not mistake this feeling for loyalty. Loyalty, which is a sentiment worthy of a freeman, exists no longer in the fairest kingdoms of the Continent. It is the offspring of feudality. Each vassal regarded his lord with a mingled feeling of pride in having so great and powerful a chieftain to lead him to victory and glory; of respect due to his frank and honourable bearing and his illustrious ancestors ; often, too, joined with a personal affection, inspired by the many acts of condescension and kindness by which a man in high station may easily, without lowering the self-respect of those below him, conciliate their regard, and make them look upon him rather as the head of a family than as a master. The lords, thus honoured by their vassals, chose one of their number to be a king. Some of that respect which the vassals felt for their respective lords is paid to the king to whom those lords have sworn allegiance. When royalty becomes hereditary, and the power and stability of the baronial families decline, all that respect and affection which ebbs away from the mesne lord accrues to the holders of the throne. It is then he and his ancestors who have led the nation to battle; it is he who gives

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