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nerva for the abode of the priests of her temple ; but, at any rate, such as it was, this England, surrounded by her shipping, covered by her flocks, and professing the worship of her great men, was charming
Now, her valleys are darkened by the smoke of forges and manufactories; her highways are turned into rail-roads : and, on these roads, instead of meeting Milton and Shakspeare, you encounter itinerant steam-engines. Already those nurseries of science, where flourished the palms of glory, Oxford and Cambridge, which will soon be despoiled, are assuming a deserted look : their colleges and their Gothic chapels, half forsaken, pain the eye; in their dusty cloisters, beside sepulchral stones of the middle ages, repose forgotten the marble annals of those tribes of Greece that no longer exist-ruins the keepers of ruins.
Society, such as it is at present, will not continue to exist. As instruction descends to the lower classes, these will discover the secret cancer which has been corroding social order ever since the beginning of the world ; a complaint which is the cause of all popular discontents and commotions. The too great inequality of conditions and fortunes has been able to uphold itself so long as it was hidden on the one hand by ignorance, on the other by the factitious organisation of the City;
but no sooner is this inequality generally perceived, than a mortal blow is given to it.
Enforce again, if you can, the aristocratic fictions. Strive to persuade the poor man, when he has learned to read—the poor man, who is daily prompted by the press, from time to time, from village to village-strive to persuade this poor man, possessing the same knowledge and understanding as yourself, that he ought to submit to all privations, whilst such-a-one, his neighbour, possesses, without labour, a thousand times as much he needs--your efforts will be useless. Expect not of the multitude virtues that are beyond nature.
The material development of society will advance the development of mind. When steam communication shall be brought to perfection, when, jointly with the telegraph and rail-roads, it shall have annihilated distance, not merchandise alone, but ideas also, will travel from one extremity of the globe to the other with the rapidity of lightning. When the fiscal and commercial barriers between different states shall be abolished, as they already are between the provinces of one and the same state; when wages, which is but a prolonged slavery, shall have emancipated themselves with the assistance of the equality established between the producer and the consumer; when the different countries, adopting each other's manners, forsaking national prejudices, the old ideas of supremacy or conquest, shall tend to a unity of nations; by what means will you make society turn back to worn-out principles ? Bonaparte himself could not do this : equality and liberty, to which he opposed the unyielding bar of his genius, have resumed their course, and borne down his works; the world of force which he created is gone; his institutions are decaying; nay, his very race has become extinct with his son. The light which he kindled was but a meteor; of Napoleon there remains and will remain nothing but his memory.
From thee, Napoleon,
There was but a single monarchy in Europethe French monarchy: all the others were its daughters; all of them are going with their mother. Kings have hitherto, unknown to themselves, lived behind that monarchy a thousand years old, under the protection of a race incorporated, as it were, with ages. When the blast of the revolution had thrown down that race, Bonaparte came; he upheld the princes tottering upon thrones by him demolished and raised again.
Napoleon,” by Edgar Quinet.
Bonaparte gone, the remaining monarchs live cowering in the ruins of the Napoleonic Coliseum, like the hermits to whom the traveller doles out alms in the Coliseum at Rome; but soon these ruins themselves will fail them.
Legitimacy might have continued to lead the world for more than another century to a transformation gradually accomplished, without shock and without catastrophe: more than a century was still necessary to complete under paternal guardianship the free education of nations. Against faults which might easily have been repaired, passions, which did not at first see that every thing inight be arranged, and that the world might still be indebted to legitimacy for an immense and a last benefit, have resorted to arms. Instead of descending by a gentle and easy slope, we must, therefore, continue to pursue ways intersected by chasms and quagmires. What are halts of a few months or a few years for a nation launched at random into a boundless space ? What mind possessing any discernment could take these intervals of rest for a definitive repose? Is a casual bait a permanent feast? Has the traveller who sits down by the road-side to refresh himself reached his journey's end? Any power, overthrown, not by accident, but by time, by a change gradually effected in convictions or ideas, is never re-established ; in
vain you would strive to raise it under another name, to regenerate it under a new form: it cannot re-adjust its dislocated limbs in the dust in which it lies, an object of insult or of derision. Of the divinity which people had forged for themselves, before which they had bent the knee, nothing is left but ironical miseries. When the Christians broke in pieces the gods of Egypt, they saw rats run forth from the heads of the idols. All things pass away. Not an infant now issues from the womb of his mother but is an enemy to the old society.
But when shall we arrive at that which is destined to remain ? When will society, heretofore composed of concentric aggregations and families, from the hearth of the labourer to the hearth of the king, be re-composed upon an unknown system, a system more approximated to nature, according to ideas and by the aid of means which are not yet in existence ? God knows. Who can calculate the resistance of the passions, the friction of vanities, the perturbations, the accidents, of history? The breaking out of a war, the appearance at the head of the state of an able or a stupid man, the slightest event, may beat back, suspend, or accelerate, the march of nations. More than once death will paralyse races full of fire, and throw silence over events on the point of accom