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and a very lofty virtue might bid him now make reparation by laying down the power he has acquired so ill; but unless he is prepared for this superhuman act of abnegation, he has no choice but frequent war. That he himself, with his cold temperament and shrewd common sense, can really wish for war, it is very difficult to believe. If he accepts it, it can only be because it is imposed upon him by the dangers of his position. We should rather pity his difficulties than blame him for choosing the only road of escape, if we could forget that the embarrassment is entirely of his own creation.

But at any rate it is the permanent cause, and not the temporary occasion, it is the inherent, incurable vice of the French nature, and not Napoleon's unscrupulous expedients for solving the difficulty of the moment, that merit the heaviest weight of public reprobation. For the last two centuries, under every form of government, and every dynasty except the maligned House of Orleans, the ambition of France has been a standing menace to Europe. It is not fair to charge it all upon the usurper. Louis XIV. was no usurper, and needed no appeal to bloodthirsty passions for the safety of his throne. He undertook the long series of wars, which, Frenchmen are wont to think, adorn his reign, for no other object than to gratify his own and his people's cruel and pitiless craving for fame. The devastation and the barbarity which marked the campaigns of his marshals on the Rhine can be described by no parallel drawn from modern European history-not even from the forays of the first Napoleon himself. To illustrate adequately his twice or thrice repeated desolation of the Palatinate, it is necessary to recur to the histories of Tamerlane and Zinghis Khan. And so it has been all along. The 'invasionismus' of the French, as the Germans phrase it, is of no recent date. Whenever their ruler has not been either a voluptuary or a fool, the inborn genius of the people, averse to all commercial enterprises and all conquests of peace, has spurred them on to seek the spoils of violence, and the barbarous honour that rests on feats of arms. One prince alone, to whom neither of those epithets can be applied, steadily set himself to resist the savage passions of his people, and to make the prosperity of France compatible with the peace of the world; and he has paid within the last few years the penalty for his uprightness by dying an exile on English ground. Napoleon III. may use this passion for his own ends or be driven by it to his own destruction; but whether his dynasty flourish or pass away, whether France be constant to Imperialism, or change it for some other form of government, the same temper

That mixture

producing the same consequences will remain. of cruel-heartedness and vanity which constitutes the thirst for military fame, will still, whenever she finds a leader, under whatever government, and under whatever dynasty, make her a perennial source of European trouble, and a blight on the prosperity of all the nations within her reach.

Though this much may undoubtedly be said in behalf of the present Emperor, that he is rather the accomplice than the originator of French combativeness, yet this disease is very much aggravated by the circumstances under which he gained his throne, and the traditions on which he relies for keeping it. Whatever we may think of the morality of his proceedings, or their probable result to ourselves, it is difficult now to contest the title which he has established to the sort of respect men are willing to pay to ability and success. But this was not equally true when he mounted the throne-still less when he was elected President. The world, for once wrong in its judgment, at that time unanimously looked upon him not only as a reckless adventurer, but as a very silly one. He was elected purely and simply as the representative of Napoleonism. The memory of Napoleon was dear to his people. The peculiarity of his régime was that, during a reign practically of sixteen years, he scarcely allowed a single year to pass without tickling the French vanity by the plunder and slaughter of other people. Therefore they looked upon his days as halcyon days which Bourbons and Orleanists were not likely to bring back; and they placed his nephew at the head of their affairs, because his blood and name recalled to their minds the Napoleonism of the past, and promised its renewal for the future. He had no conceivable recommendation to their suffrages except this-that his pedigree was a sort of pledge that he would be to them as much as possible what his uncle had been, and restore the only policy that was associated with his uncle's name. If the French people did not desire a renewal of the system which deluged Europe with blood from Moscow to Corunna, their votes at the presidential election in 1848 were absolutely without meaning.

Napoleon I. inflicted material misery enough on Europe in the shape of millions whom his ambition consigned to death or helplessness or want; but it is doubtful whether his career has not been even more mischievous in the moral evil it has bequeathed. It has deeply and poisonously tinged the traditional aspirations of his countrymen. The traditions of a nation are the life-blood of its existence as a nation. The consciousness of a national character, of which each man is proud to have his share, founded on the recollection of past achievements, is the

cement which binds a nation together, and makes national cohesion the first interest and the first duty in the mind of every individual. As those traditions are, so will the nation be. The quality which those achievements displayed will be the pattern on which succeeding generations will strive to mould themselves. The more extraordinary is the career of any great man or great epoch, the more penetrating and more lasting will be its influence. One splendid deed performed on a nation's behalf will give the key-note to the national character for centuries. On one great career may hinge for ages the moral code of a whole race. And, unhappily, the imprint of such a career will be equally deep, whether its tendency be for evil or for good. The example of successful war, waged for no end but a selfish thirst for plunder and renown, will be followed with at least as much avidity as a gallant struggle for a nation's freedom. Wallace or Arnold of Winkelried have scarcely had more influence on their successors than Edward III. of England or Catherine of Russia. It was scarcely possible that a career like Napoleon's should fail to leave deep traces on the character of the nation whom he had elevated to the summit of such glory as military success could give. It was not like the occasional victories of such generals as Condé, or such princes as Louis XIV., which might be speedily forgotten in their fruitlessness for good, or the embarrassments of which they were the source. There was something almost supernatural in the course of conquest, which shattered with such ease monarchy after monarchy, and republic after republic, each one of which in former times had been thought a fit antagonist for France. Under the leadership of Napoleon, Frenchmen seemed to be almost of a different species from the slow and timid populations on whose necks they so scornfully trampled. They could afford to look down upon Germans and Spaniards and Italians with the same sort of complacent contempt with which an Englishman looks down on a Bengalee. The consciousness of warlike superiority over every other nation on the earth brings a sweet but dangerous intoxication to the nation that enjoys it; and France has drunk of it too deeply, and relished it too greedily, to forget it in one generation. She is like a lion's whelp that has once tasted blood: no early teaching and no subsequent restraint will ever make it forget the sweet discovery. The career of Napoleon has had this terrible effect on her, that it has shifted her aims, her efforts, her ideal of progress, from within her frontiers to without them. Before it the masses of the population might have loved conquest, but now they care heartily for nothing else. Other nations of the European family have each their own special

object of ambition, but, with the exception perhaps of Russia, they are all of a peaceful character. England seeks development of trade, Austria desires the consolidation of her empire, Prussia aims at German influence, Sardinia, until infected by French ideas, was satisfied to aspire to influence in Italy. France and Russia alone, the one beckoned by the spirit of Catherine, the other by the spirit of Napoleon, look for the goal of their national exertions to the spoliation of other nations on the Bosphorus and the Rhine.

That among the family of nations to whom seems to be consigned the task of Christianizing and civilizing the world there should exist two great peoples who esteem it to be their mission to keep the others in a constant state of turmoil and insecurity, is a calamity to the human species, the extent of which it is difficult to overrate. But it is a calamity which it is useless merely to mourn over or to rail at. We must be content to make the sacrifices which are necessary to provide against the danger, and we must submit to those sacrifices as inevitable scourges, just as we should submit to a famine or a plague. Russia is happily blessed with a sagacious ruler, who seems anxious to unteach his people their military predilections, and lead them to the more solid conquests of internal development. With France, unfortunately, the case is exactly the reverse. The very presence of a Napoleon on the throne is sufficient to excite the passions which have scarcely slept since Waterloo. The mere name is associated with events with which every peasant's family was connected, and of which they remember the glory and have forgotten the grief. What has been once, they think may be again. Our version of the history of half a century ago is, that Napoleon with a French army conquered Europe. But in the minds of Frenchmen the order of prominence is inverted. With them the story runs, France under the guidance of Napoleon conquered Europe. What France has done once under Napoleon the uncle, France may do again under Napoleon the nephew.

But the nephew has not been the mere inert memento of his uncle's deeds-the mere shadow of a great name. He has done everything in his power to revive in his people the recollections of the first Empire. No occasion has been lost of recalling associations which for the peace of Europe were better buried for ever. The splendid celebration of St. Napoleon's day; the statue pointing to England; the glorification of the first Empire, which has been introduced into the school-books, and is sedulously taught in all schools; the appeal to the memory of the old Italian campaigns of Montebello and Marengo;

the very naming of new streets at Paris, are only illustrations of a policy which has been systematically pursued_down to the very minutest details throughout the present Emperor's reign. Is it possible that the people should learn only half the lesson? Is it possible that they should be taught to love Napoleonism, and yet taught not to desire conquest? Can they remember Rivoli, and forget the glories of Jena or the disgrace of Waterloo? Such assurances as that the Empire

is peace,' or that he has learned too well to appreciate his epoch to seek for conquest,' are contradicted by every act of his government and by the whole tenor of his policy. He has strenuously educating his subjects to love war and to seek for conquest; he has been unteaching them the bourgeois taste for peaceful commerce, which Louis Philippe was so anxious to instil, and has substituted in its place the martial aspirations which the French by nature are so much more ready to imbibe. And they have been as apt pupils as he could wish. The commercial classes, from whom the pacific addresses we have lately seen principally come, are of course too enlightened to desire anything so fatal to themselves as unnecessary war; but all accounts seem to agree that the warlike fever has thoroughly taken hold of the masses of the artisans and peasantry, on whose goodwill the Emperor's dynasty is built. That their warlike ardour will be worn out by a few years' taxation and bereavement we can well believe; but in the mean time Europe may be devastated. Their delusion will last long enough to enable the Emperor, if fortune favour him to the utmost, to run through the career of conquest, and to incur the final ruin which his uncle, with far loftier talents and better opportunities, could not escape. It is true that the misfortunes he may have to face will be as nothing to the misery he will bring on them. But they are too ignorant to profit by the bitter experience of their fathers, and all that they have of teachers encourages them to cherish the passion which ruins their country. Their only superiors, the officials of the nearest mairie, are martial to please the Emperor; and the priests are martial to please the 'Univers' and to exterminate the heretics of Prussia and England. They are misleading us into a false security who tell us that the French nation is averse to war. The people who write in books may be civilized enough to recognize in its true aspect the gorgeous butchery which the writers of an older day have conspired to extol as if it was one of the corporal works of mercy. The men of business whom our countrymen come across in railways and large towns naturally are and ever must be the enemies of trade's deadliest foe. But under a system of uni

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