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lousies exasperated by long oppression, and either intoxicated with the pride of victory and just revenge, or fiercely struggling with the shame and indignation of defeat. It might have been supposed, and may still indeed be supposed, that mankind had been made wise by the stern and convincing lessons of the previous half-century; that they would have learned how idle and expensive a luxury is war; that peace affords to the ruler, as well as to the subject, a nobler glory than military fame; that scarcely any territorial aggrandisement is worth the sacrifice which must be made to obtain it; and that there are few countries in which half the expenditure in the diminution of the burthens of the citizens, or the promotion of industry by some wise plan of internal improvement, would not add ten-fold to the wealth and power of the state, as well as to the happiness of the people.
The golden age of Roman peace and civilisation, in the nature of things, could not endure. Even now, indeed, we do not clearly comprehend the causes which pushed forward the vast successive waves of the northern and eastern barbarians on the enfeebled and degenerate empire-how it came to pass that these savage regions suddenly became so inexhaustible in their numbers, and irresistible in the inroads of their armies, century after century, from the first fearful gatherings on the Danube, in the time of M. Aurelius, to the Arabs under the Mahometan invaders, and the Tartars under Zengis, pouring forth their devastating hordes, and each spreading, as it were, another layer of barbarism over the whole surface of society. It might indeed appear as if the Divine Ruler had in his wisdom determined to infuse new and more vigorous life-blood into the remotest part of the effete and corJupted Roman empire, which even Christianity had not been able thoroughly to regenerate; that this was a severe but necessary process which alone could bring the whole of Europe—the north, as well as the south and west-into that general social system destined to give birth to modern civilisation.
But Europe and the civilised world may now seem perfectly secure from any barbarian invasion. The few tribes which wander over the steppes of Tartary, or plunder their neighbours in the ravines of the Caucasus, can never, humanly speaking, collect in such formidable masses as to endanger the kingdoms of the west. A few regular regiments, and some squadrons of flying artillery, would disperse them back to their native deserts; and in all quarters of the East, Europe is rapidly encroaching on the wildest recesses of savage life. These Tartar or Scythian hordes may be formidable as light-armed auxiliaries, as wild skirmishers around the regular armaments of that great power, which has once let them loose upon Europe in a war of defence and retribution, and may slip them again from the leash in a war of ambition and aggression : but of themselves they are utterly contemptible as a military power. The world will never see again a Tamerlane or a Zengis.
But are we so secure against an internal barbarism which may grow up in the bosom of our own society, and combine some of the arts, the sciences, the manual dexterity, the arms, and even the military discipline of a more advanced state, with a recklessness of human life, and a thirst for plunder, not less wild and remorseless than that of the Hun or the Tartar? May there not be, even within the pale of the most advanced and civilised nations, vast hordes of men who either do or may soon yearn for war for the sake of war, for its excitement, its adventure, its hazards, for the mere occupation of minds which are weary of inactivity, and oppressed by almost the greatest of human miseries-energy without employment, the suppressed fire which finds no vent; which, not setting their own lives at a pin's fee,' would think the lives of others as worthless as their own-which, as to property, have nothing to lose, and might gain at the great gambling-table of war—which have no reverence for law or order, or for that still higher restrictive authority which controls the Christian—which, in fine, are totally deficient in any check or restraint upon the resistless and unresisted propensity to agitation and violence?—This fierce and ungoverned population may, in the first place, be more dangerous to the internal peace of the unhappy nation within which it has grown up than to that of Europe. A civil revolution, if it is too strong for constitutional order—a civil war, if the constitution has vigour enough to resist its attack --may be its first result; but we may doubt whether a civil war in any of the great European countries would not lead of necessity to foreign war. The government of the disturbed country, by a false and wicked but yet not unnatural policy, may attempt to divert the raging torrent over its neighbours' fields rather than its own; or the fire, having consumed all within its reach, may of itself spread in inextinguishable fury into other regions. The sword once drawn in any one of the more important states of the civilised world, there is no knowing what lands it will go through.
It is impossible to deny, that of all countries in Europe, France is the most likely to pour forth what we do not scruple to call this new tide of barbarism-of war with all its destructive ferocity, without those high and generous motives which may dignify war, and entitle its more distinguished captains to the lofty but much misused title of hero and patriot. Independent of the in. fluence of recent changes in their political institutions, and the circumstances of our stormy times, during which agitation has
become, as it were, the breath of life, and events which, in more peaceful ages, would have been wondered at through centuries, and would have vibrated, as it were, through successive generations, have succeeded each other so rapidly as scarcely to raise a few days' astonishment—the mere fact of the vast increase of population, with comparatively little increase in employment, or industrial and honourable occupation, might of itself be sufficiently formidable; and this has taken place among a people of peculiarly lively, active, and, we may say without offence, unquiet character. It is a vast condensation of still collecting steam, without wheels to set in motion, and almost without a safety-valve. We are not ignorant, nor disposed to dissemble our own danger from the masses of our uneducated--we fear widely un-Christianised manufacturing population. The smothered war-cries of Chartism and Socialism demand our gravest attention; yet our miners and manufacturers, at least while at work, have some occupation : their energy, however they may reserve it for their midnight treasonable meetings, or even for secret drillings, is at least partially exhausted by the inevitable labours of the day. But we are mistaken if in France there is not a much larger mass of energy and activity, in some places compressed in a narrow space, almost entirely without regular or absorbing occupation, and utterly stag. nant, and therefore liable to be ruffled or fiercely agitated by the slightest breath. In the higher as well as the lower classes there is the same want of straight and regular paths in which steady industry or persevering ambition may ensure success in life. France has no backwoods' to which her discontented peasant may resort— to spend his surplus energy in warring with the forest, indulge his now harmless passions in the remote log-hut, and contend with the bear or the savage for his crop of Indian corn or hive of wild honey. How many a dangerous demagogue, who in a more crowded state of society might have endangered the peace of New York or Philadelphia—how many a fierce ruffian who would be panting to shoulder a musket (he cares not in what cause), is now hewing away at some trunk of tough hickory, or pointing his innocent rifle at a wild turkey! France is not, like America-almost throughout the Union—and England to a great extent-pervaded with an incessant commercial activity; she is not perpetually intent on going a-head; her state of society, the character of the people, the habits of subsisting on coarse food, and dispensing, in the remoter districts, with many of the comforts and conveniences which are become necessary to the lower orders in some other countries, combine, with the want of opportunity, to keep down that which is the main principle of industry and exertion in more enterprising and mercantile nations,
-the desire of working out an honourable independence-or at least of advancing in the scale of society, either by regular and uninterrupted perseverance, or bold and adventurous speculation. Nor does France, nor can she indeed, relieve herself by continual and extensive emigration. Individual Frenchmen are scattered, by their own enterprising disposition, and by the easy facility with which they accommodate themselves to the habits and manners of other countries, over the face of the world. They are in the service not of Mehemet Ali alone, but of many other eastern sovereigns: they lie hid under foreign names, or high-sounding oriental titles. But France has no remote empire to which she is transmitting by every fleet masses of her superfluous people-a number of active, spirited, and adventurous youths, who may not now indeed hope to return with the wealth of nabobs, or the glory of a Clive or a Hastings, but have a path before them both of honourable ambition and by no means contemptible wealth; she is not covering the sea with her navies, and watching the first cravings of civilisation in the most remote nooks of the world, in order that she may pour in her manufactures; she has no Cape of Good Hope or Australasia, or Canada, upon which she can cast off her swarms; she is not, in short, propagating her language over regions to be measured by degrees of latitude and longitude rather than by miles or leagues.
We acknowledge that we looked not merely with forbearance, but with satisfaction, on the French conquests in Algiers. Whatever apprehensions more jealous, and perhaps far-sighted, politicians might entertain of the growing predominance of France in the south ; however formidable it might appear if she should eventually (as some of her ardent writers have boasted) make the Mediterranean a French lake, we could not but consider the opportunity of an outpouring of her burning lava upon districts which it might hereafter fertilise to a happier vegetation, as far more than a compensation to the other nations of Europe. That Africa, not so much from the warfare in which France is engaged with the Arabs as from the insalubrious climate, has been the grave of so many of her brave soldiers that the service is therefore become unpopular-and that, by some fatality or infelicity, the French have rarely been successful in colonisation on a large scale-all this appears to us a subject not merely of generous regret, but a serious political or rather social misfortune. We cannot but hail any prospect of restoring that once rich and fertile land of culture and prosperity, the granary of Europe, and, in the early centuries of Christianity, the site of crowded cities and countless bishoprics, to its connexion with European civilisation--of reconquering that most utterly blasted
and desolated conquest of barbarism. For surely those who entertain the most jealous and hostile estimate of the French character since the Revolution will at least allow that anything is better than the savage pirates who have so long preyed with impunity on the commerce and even on the freedom of Europe. Northern Africa is irretrievable but by a foreign, and we may say, an European colonisation. But however successful and prosperous, beyond all present appearances, might be the French settlements in Africa, even this, we conceive, would be but an insufficient vent for the over-boiling population and compressed activity of the nation, if it should continue in its present internal state.
Yet what a nation might France have been if, to reckon only from the reign of Louis XIV., she had consumed one-tenth part of the energy or expenditure which she has wasted in disturbing the peace of her neighbours, and in conquests which have always been wrested from her hands, on the internal improvement of her provinces, on the development of her natural resources, on industrial opulence, and the advancement of her people in real civilisation. What might France be even now, if she would wisely avail herself of her natural advantages, and, instead of lingering behind--we will not say our own more narrow and richlycultivated fields, but a large part of Germany—work out her own soil to its highest productiveness; establish a free and cheap communication between her remote provinces ; make her vineyards and her corn-fields vie with each other by the rapid interchange of commodities !-if, instead of concentrating all her high-wrought and over-refined civilisation in one spot, she would equably disperse it over her whole surface; if, instead of the singular anomaly of a capital, at least vying with any city of Europe in splendour, in arts, in science—and provinces, where the most careless traveller may see how much is wanting to do justice to the capacities of the soil, and to the commercial resources-she would cease to be Paris with a vast tributary domain, and become really France, with only a noble capital for the residence of her monarch and legislature.
France might yet surely find at home an honourable and a profitable employment for a large portion of that energy and enterprise of character which is now either wasted, by being constantly drawn off to the overgrown capital, to increase the dangerous fermentation of its dissipated streets, to lie in unproductive idleness, or sit brooding over the ill-suppressed hope of some outburst either of foreign warfare or civil commotion, which may improve, and cannot well deteriorate, their condition. VOL. LXVII. NO. CXXXIV.