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Even a majority of the former opponents of all these great measures now acknowledge their necessity, and the advantage resulting from them ; and, after this acknowledgment, they cannot remain stationary at an arbitrarily chosen spot. There may be disputes on isolated questions, on pounds, shillings, and pence; but, on the whole, and on a great scale, Lord John Russell's proposals of free trade, and a reform of the system of taxation, will inevitably triumph. In them, the entire future welfare of England is concealed, or rather, I should say, is plainly manifest; and when the persons of this Whig ministry, for various reasons, now forsake the field of battle, their principles, on the other hand, take possession of it, and the apparent defeat will be changed, sooner or later, into a victory for the weal of this country. At all events, England will persevere in its majestic course ; all parties, whether they will or not, must contribute to it; and what in many countries forms a dangerous crisis, is here only an element in a popular, natural development. The more cheering this certainly is, the brighter these light sides appear; the darker, on the other hand, are the shadows which (for instance, in the parliamentary elections, the state of Ireland, Chartism, the schools, the religious disputes, and the distribution of taxes) I am by no means disposed to palliate or conceal. That the light may overpower the shade, and the vigour of general health overcome these local defects, is the hope and the trust of all true Englishmen, and, with them, the hope and the trust of Europe.
Do the Continentals understand what is the present condition, and what the prospects of England ?-
England (I hear it constantly repeated) is in a state of revolution. Certainly it is, and a very great and important one, which would not be checked by commissioners assembled at Kopnick and Mayence; and this, because it is not children engaged in childish things, but men who apply all their energies to great objects. And yet, during so many years, not a single person has been arrested for political offences. * * When that which was once young and vigorous becomes old and decays, the feeling of compassion and sorrow is as natural as it is noble; but by preserving corpses as mummies, we do not give them new life. Who can seriously believe that slavery can be re-established, the monopoly of the Asiatic trade restored, the English municipal law abolished, the old poor law revived, the great towns
deprived of the elective franchise, and thus going still further back, the Habeas Corpus Act, the Bill of Rights, &c. up to Magna Charta, be abolished ? For all these things were called revolutionary in their time; and so indeed they were, but in the right, good sense of the word. Unreasonable haste is undoubtedly very dangerous ; but it arises, for the most part, from mistaken resistance. The ultra Tories are the real fathers and grandfathers of the Radicals; they daily produce them, and increase their numbers ; as, on the other hand, ultra Radicals produce high Tories.
England and France contrasted:-
history, power, and nationality; and with these trump cards they play off their own merit; but the French act very differently : a great number of Frenchmen place themselves in the centre, and la France is treated almost as hors d'auvre, or a small portion of what is French (the opinions of a day of some journal) is tendered as the whole. By thus neglecting or rejecting so much, which was, however, French, they really speculate à la baisse, and lose instead of gaining.
The following opinions are excessively pleasant:
I do not know, in the history of the world, a more noble destiny than that to which England is called, which she has already accomplished, or will infallibly accomplish in due time. The great projects of Alexander fell to the ground at his premature death ; Rome established her powers by the sword alone, and the destruction of other nations; and she perished in the sequel by her own fault, of a long-protracted disease. Mahometanism, in relation to Christianity, was a deplorable retrogression, and the empire of Napoleon only a meteor of arrogant tyranny. The Papal dominion of the Middle Ages had an eternal value for the education of the human race ; but it extended, at that time only to Europe, and fell into
The errors, however, are not the essence ; and this essence will survive all the trials of political mountebanks. England is the first empire which embraces the whole earth, every nation; yet the chief weight and the chief value are not in the extent of its dominion, but in the highest activity, united with progress in the sciences, and the most laudable solicitude for the spread of religion. England is the intellectual eye which turns to every quarter, penetrates through every zone, and prepares an exalted future destiny for the human race. Before this noble, comprehensive, glorious destination, the low and violent disputes of domestic parties lose all their importance, or are but shadows that relieve the higher lights.
His criticisms relative to our theatricals and Operas are not always so complimentary. Speaking of the benefit of Madame Puzzi, when “Don Juan" was performed at the Opera House, he says a whole book might be written about it. He however contents himself with sundry severe remarks. The overture, he tells us, was injudiciously enforced with cymbals. There was too little genuine enthusiasm. The choruses were bad; the dancing wretched. With regard to the text of Don Juan, he heard it twice over, “because I understood the prompter, from beginning to end, better than I did some of the singers.” Yet“ so much was left out, that I got quite confused, and lost the thread of the story.' « At the end of the first act, Signor Puzzi came forward and played Rode's variations on the horn; after the scene of the invocation of the ghost, the act was concluded, and M. Ivanoff came forward, in a frock coat and pumps, and sang a modern Italian flourish. What can we think of a manager who makes such arrangements? of an audience who
can tolerate-nay, approve of them ?" Couple with this the criticism now to be quoted :
I went on the 10th to the British Museum. The animals, excepting some gazelles and beautiful birds, found, as usual, no favour in my eyes ; but I was riveted with the Greek works of art; even in their state of mutilation, they are the most beautiful, the most sublime, the most diversified, the boldest, the most affecting objects that can be seen. How glorious must they have appeared in Athens and Greece! In their present darkened lustre, there is still more light, mind, and life, than in all produced elsewhere in thousands of years ! In the National Gallery, some admirable Francias and Murillos have been added to the other fine pictures. In the evening, I went to Covent Garden, to see the “Merry Wives of Windsor;" but the wives were not merry at heart ;-Falstaff without humour, only externally loaded with jokes, and squeaking in an unnatural voice. Much sing-song was introduced, which was encored, and highly applauded. Instead of laughing heartily, I almost fell asleep, and was glad when it was over; the only performer who had the least touch of poetic character, was Mathews, as Master Slender. My eyes were too weak to recognize the ruins, or the restoration, of the beauty of Madame Vestris.
Hear the German anent the law of copyright:
The endeavours of Mr. Serjeant Talfourd to obtain greater and longer protection for the literary works of authors have hitherto been unsuccessful. He said, “I wish to prevent an unanswerable violation of the natural rights which every one has to the productions of his mind. For what a man produces with his hand or his mind, belongs to him, and him alone.”— Mr. Warburton replied, "I do not recognize any such things as natural rights; I recognize only those rights which are founded on convenience and general expediency. If Mr. Talfourd's principle were adopted, such things as taxes, rent of land, and interest, would not exist. If we look at the plan according to expediency, the interest of the publishers and readers, not merely that of the authors, is to be considered. These relations must be so regulated as to dispel apprehensions of monopolies, high prices, voluntary or compulsory suppression of books, &c."-" Property," said Mr. Macaulay, " is a creature of the law; and a law which creates property, can be defended only on the ground, that it is advantageous to mankind. Thus, for instance, there is only one natural law of inheritance, but innumerable positive laws. The right of publication is a monopoly, consequently, hurtful; if extended beyond thirty years, it is of no value to the author.”—In these discussions, there is much which appears to me to be unconnected and unintelligible. The distinction, or the relation of right and expediency, of natural and positive laws, is neither logically conceived, nor fully illustrated. Setting aside, however, such profound philosophical or scientific questions, it is hard to conceive why intellectual property, as an injurious monopoly, shall cease at the expiration of thirty years, while every other description of property, with numberless obligations, conditions, divisions, &c. exists in perpetuity. The St. Simonists, in their universal attacks on all inheritance of property, were much more
consistent; and a great majority of the public, for whose reading such kind care is taken, would very willingly agree to an eternal right of publication, to the inviolability of intellectual property, on condition that the monopoly upon land and houses should cease every thirty years. The convenience and expediency of such a measure they would easily prove in a similar
Art. VI.- Political Philosophy. Chapman and Hall. “ Political Philosophy-Principles of Government: Monarchical Government; Eastern Monarchies; European Monarchies,” is the title of this stout cctavo, which is published under the superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge; having been written, as is not sedulously concealed, by Lord Brougham : at least such is the general report, and internal evidence is confirmatory of the hearsay.
The volume consists of a number of separate chapters, several of them aiming at philosophical disquisition ; others being devoted to an account of Feudalism and its effects; while a greater and more valuable class presents a condensed account,--with, however, many curious, incidental, sometimes eccentric notices,-of the existing monarchical governments in the world, excepting that of Great Britain. Accordingly, we have the European as well as the Asiatic, —those of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Sweden, as well as the absolute monarchies of Turkey, Persia, India, China, Japan, and Russia. An early essay, which is on government in general, treats chiefly of the doctrine of Resistance ; and, although the volume presents to us a good deal that is now out of date, and having comparatively little force for the people of England as they are now governed, and as they now feel,--such as dissertations about Divine Right and Passive Obedience, yet the intention, the plan, and the execution of the work are of high mark, furnishing popular treatises filled with political instruction, which is not elsewhere to be found in such a succinct, plain, and agreeable shape. When the undertaking is completed, when the author has gone into the Political Philosophy which the British Monarchy illustrates, we shall be in a better condition to pronounce upon the merits of the book, and more closely to test the writer's principles and displays.
But after all, “ Political Philosophy," so far as the work goes, is, like everything else which Lord Brougham has published, written, or said, an unequal performance. It contains many eloquent passages; much that evinces a vast range of knowledge; principles that aim rightly; sentiments that are earnest; and a host of proofs that the objects, pleasures, and advantages of political science are worthy of the culture of such a writer. Its view of general history
is masterly, although opinions are frequently advanced, some of which are hasty, others questionable, and others again commonplace. To us, however, it is wonderful how the author has avoided confusion when dealing with such a multitude of particulars, and dryness when lecturing on political science. Even when he may be charged with inconsistencies he contrives to be suggestive, and for the most part entertaining. True, the entertainment is not merely what might be expected from Lord Brougham, but from a Whig-chancellor reading lectures on statesmanship, and delivering judgments strewed with anecdote de omnibus rebus. Still, the portraits of character are frequently exceedingly happy, while the pictures of manners in very different conditions, and at far removed distances, are graphic and lively. All this at the very time too when he appears to have been anxiously guarding himself against overstrained effect, and to have been mainly anxious about the improvement of the people within a range of subjects where it is needful for them to expatiate and pursue their studies, were it only to become the rational custodiers of individual and public rights; not to speak of lending pressure in a right and positive direction to persons placed in power, and needing to be instigated so as to keep in advance of the many as regards the great principles of legislation and government.
It is impossible by means of any specimens of which we can avail ourselves to convey an adequate idea either of our author's more philosophical disquisition, or of the peculiar features, tendencies, and dangers of any one monarchy. We therefore follow the example of some of our contemporaries, and quote two or three passages, each of which may, without much damage to its integrity, stand by itself. The first concerns the good breeding of highly polished society :
The same observations which were made on the arts are applicable to a certain refinement of manners, which is common to all highly civilized states, but which perhaps arises in despotic countries at an earlier stage of society. This refinement is in itself of little merit or value, if indeed it is not rather to be accounted a defect. Its chief characteristic is luxurious indulgences of various kinds, and a politeness which consists so much in suppression of the natural feelings that it is nearly akin to falsehood. Never to say any thing that may give pain, unless where our duty requires it, is a rule of sound morals as well as of good manners. But never to say any thing which those present may dislike, nay, from which they may dissent, is the rule of refined and courtly breeding. Absolute command of countenance and figure- calm, placid deportment, unbroken ease, sustained dignity, habitual smiles, indiscriminate respect, nay, the semblance of esteem or even lo for every thing that approaches, and the taking a ready interest in whatever concerns every one, but showing none at all in what regards ourselves merely-these are the constituents of highly-refined