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and character of that empire, dissipated many needless alarms in the public mind, and, though assailed and opposed by the critics, soon became their text-book and oracle on all concerning it. The stupendous effect which this last French revolution has produced, has necessarily rendered comparatively weak that which these volumes must now occasion; but they are not the less deserving of particular attention. The author has on this, as on his former appearance before the public, shown that he has a profound knowledge of the Continent, its affairs and men. The work abounds with facts and opinions that, at the present moment, we particularly desire to know from a sure source. The picture-gallery which his last chapter furnishes of almost all the conspicuous characters who have lately figured in France, is worthy of being studied by every one desirous of forming a true estimate of men op whom so much of present history depends. We see in it how exactly the greater part of them have acted as you would have predicted, if in possession of the information and insight into character which the author here affords.
As regards that portion of the work which gives the leading title, that which traces the national analogies between us and our lively neighbours, the features of similitude and of difference between us and them,-it appears to us not only very ably, but very justly, drawn, and calculated to create and cherish a feeling in both countries most conducive to the peace of the world, and the prosperity of these two greatest of its nations. The differences of our national characters he treats as salient, but superficial; the analogies as numerous, profound, and greater than between nations superficially less differing. These differences, again, he regards as perhaps due to political causes, and originating in neglect of, or attention to, liberty and equality, whence democratic feeling, and aristocratic spirit: the chief features of dissimilitude seeming to fit each other for a distinct, but co-operative part in the diffusion of civilization.
This is a doctrine which, if found to be true, is exceedingly comfortable. It is exactly that which, as philanthropists, we could wish to believe, and we think the author gives us ample ground for receiving it as a conviction. He places no reliance on the entente cordiale which was attempted to be got up between Louis Philippe and Queen Victoria, which, however sincere on the part of the English sovereign, was soon made evident to be a mere political cloak on the part of the French one; but he is of opinion that the entente cordiale may, by the people of Great Britain, be converted into a reality. In asserting this, he does not affect to conceal that there exist in the mind of the French nation strong feelings of jealousy of us, and hostility towards us. On our part, he says, there is an immense majority of the population of these islands, who are convinced that the prosperity of France can alone prove advantageous to Great Britain, whilst, as a matter of feeling, they bear nothing but good-will to the French people; and the wish to bury in oblivion all former animosities, and to establish a permanent good understanding with France, is universal in this country. But, says our author,
• The vast numerical majority of the French people are indisposed to such an arrangement. In the first place, the diffusion of knowledge has done less than with us, in dispelling the mutual prejudices and hostility to which the last war gave rise. In the second, the result of that war, so humiliating to a people so sensitive on the point of national glory, and previously intoxicated with unprecedented success, was not such as to have been as easily forgotten by the French as by the English people. The winner in a great game may say, let us forget and forgive, but the same good humour can hardly be expected from the loser; and, thirdly, the French population generally disbelieve in our good intentions and professions of amity towards it. This incredulity, it is true, is surely, though slowly, diminishing ; but it would be idle to deny that it still exists, to a degree which would assuredly lead to the interruption of peace, if the opinion of the numerical majority of the French people could be taken to-morrow.
The knowledge of this fact leads many Englishmen to advocate a repressive system, rather than a cordially conciliatory policy, towards France : not that they do not desiderate a good understanding with that country, but that they consider it unattainable. The masses in France disbelieve in the sincerity of our friendly protestations. The knowledge of that unbelief leads British politicians to regard our good understanding with the French people as hopelessly precarious.'— Vol. i. p. 37.
The author justly attributes this distrust of us to the rancorous enmity engendered by the long and bitter struggle of the last great war, and fomented since by the envious ingratitude of those for whom we fought and paid our money. This has, of course, been still further perpetuated by the contemplation of our enormous colonial possessions, and our commercial exertions, embracing every region of the world. Interested parties, and their own writers and politicians, acting under a natural feeling, to which we ourselves, under the same circumstances, would be as little insensible, have impressed them with a deep feeling that we are banded together to extend British commerce and prosperity, and to impede the commerce and prosperity of the remainder of mankind; that we are leagued in a vast conspiracy, and scatter broadcast through the world the seeds of misery and of calamities, unerringly calculated to ripen in due season into a guilty harvest of monopoly.
But wide and profound as is this national idea, the writer regards it, from personal experience, as in some degree disappearing, and that it may be successfully undermined by a system of policy which shall bear out practically all our friendly professions, a policy which will shew them that, though we are inclined to push our colonial and commercial advantages, we are quite as determined not to interfere with theirs. How much this national prejudice may be worn off by personal intercourse, the writer shows, and in this respect bears a testimony to the French character, compared with that of other nations, and especially the German, which every one who has resided much on the Continent must attest, as most singularly true.
· The writer has found Frenchmen - usually misinformed as to other nations, but especially regarding Englishmen-prompt to express aversion or hostile feeling towards them. But that Frenchman who will readily confess to you his disgust at everything connected with the English name, and his enmity towards the English people, collectively and individually, turns out, in nine cases out of ten, a good sort of fellow after a few days' companionship. His bark was more than his bite, and even amongst his own people, he will not allow you to be cheated or imposed upon. If you get into difficulties in a foreign country, he will stand by you, and bear his testimony, regardless of consequences, in your favour; and, however difficult to convince, when once you have impressed him with your personal or national superiority on any point, no man will more readily avow, respect, or emulate it. If, on the contrary, you take a German, he is all smiles and cordiality, and, in nine cases out of ten, pretends a national or personal predilection; but he is apt to ridicule and calumniate you, when your back is turned; will allow every dishonest advantage to be taken of you by his countrymen, before your face ; invariably abandons you abroad in any scrape ; and those proofs which secure the appreciation of the Frenchman will only lead to envious detraction in him. Converse habitually with French travellers, landing, and about to embark from this country, and contrast the fearlessly expressed prejudices of those about to explore, with the frank admissions of those who have examined it; and then take the German, before and after be has travelled in these islands, insincerely fulsome when he lands, and disingenuously envious after his return to his own shores. The sharp angularities of national character, common to both French and English, tend, on being first brought into contact, to generate violent animosities, but when the trituration of time has worn them off, as there exists more homogeneity than is commonly imagined, in the stuff of which both are made, a better agreement than could bave been conceived from so inauspicious a commencement is the result of prolonged intercourse, Between many other people and the English, the early is the least unfriendly period of mutual acquaintance, hatred being induced, on one side, and contempt, upon the other, by such increase of intimacy as conveys to each a knowledge of the habits and opinions of the other. In France, it is worthy of remark, that those classes and individuals who have most familiarity with the English are the best disposed towards
them; while in other continental countries, amongst these the aversion is the most profound. French sailors, pilots, and fishermen, who, according to popular notions on these subjects, have more cause of rivalry and hostility than any other class of men, the writer has found better disposed than landsmen towards us, because they have seen and tested our nautical merit; yet the same observation does not apply to the Dutch maritime population.'—Ib. pp. 108–110.
The author proceeds to show that, comparing the present power and resources of the two countries, we can afford to dismiss all jealousy, and treat France with that generosity which gradually dispels mistrust. He reminds us that the preponderance of France, once truly perilous, is now a mere bugbear. Within the memory of a living generation, France was far more powerful than England, and, on every point, in contact with her. But though, during the lapse of years which has since occurred, France has grown in strength, we have decupled our own, and besides, the two nations having struck out different paths, we have left her so far behind, on that which we have chosen, as to render all chance of overtaking us hopeless. When the Duke of Wellington was born, the whole population of Great Britain and Ireland was only between ten and eleven millions. We had never had credit to borrow more than some seventy millions, to carry on a war of twenty-seven years duration; our shipping did not exceed three quarters of a million of tons; our Indian empire was in its infancy. France had then a concentrated population of twenty-three millions, a navy more formidable, colonies as valuable as our own, pecuniary resources more available, besides powerful national alliances. But now, our population is nearly thirty millions; we have added a prodigious empire to our possessions; our navy more than trebles that of France, doubles that of Europe, and equals that of all the chief maritime states of the world collectively; while the unimpaired credit which enabled us to borrow, during the last twenty-two years of war, nine hundred and seventy millions sterling, would give us, if required, a greater command of capital than all the world besides could accomplish.
The analogies of character between the French and the English, we cannot entirely follow the author in tracing; because this, which is ostensibly the main object of the book, is in reality only one of many of its contents, and could leave us no room to treat on some matters that are of still greater interest at the present moment. We may briefly state that the author shows, that though we generally look on the French character as light and frivolous, it conceals under this exterior much of our own earnestness. He proves this by their eminence in such studies as require this quality, and which produced in us a
Bacon and a Newton, in them a Lavoisier, a Cuvier, and a Laplace. By their zeal in overthrowing political tyranny, and destroying political error, and establishing liberty and social progress, they have exceeded us in throwing down aristocracies, and equal us in our zeal for popular reform, and even for emancipating other races than our own. Like us, they are so attached to the positive and the practical, that the dreamy metaphysics which prevail in Germany, could no more flourish in France, than the fanaticism of Thom of Canterbury, or the drivelling of Johanna Southcote. The chivalrous spirit, he truly observes, may in other countries animate a class : but in France and in Great Britain it pervades society, uniting its most opposite extremes. If not utterly excluded from the counter, it is in France chiefly distinctive of the artizan, the peasant, and the soldier; in England it descends to the inmate of the pot-house and the club. Of this he gives some curious instances. The faculty of appreciating, and the tendency to recognize, every species of merit, is a further characteristic which assimilates the French and Anglo-Saxon races, and will probably prove the most effective means of eventual fusion. The author refers, as proof of this magnanimity in the French, to their present admiration of Shakspeare, and their copying our equipages, fowling-pieces, and even dress. But it is in restless energy, that the French alone can be at the present day ranked with the Anglo-Saxons. And here he appeals to all history, to parallel the conquests of France and England :
*For which of these, if we look only to the achievements of that combination of cunning and of brute force which constitute political power, afford a spectacle to parallel the French armies bearing the tricolor, not through thinly peopled territories, or amidst the enervate or barbarous populations of the ancient world, but in the face of similarly armed and organized opponents, in triumph, within a few brief seasons, to Rome, Cairo, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Berlin, and Moscow ? Or the recently extended territories of that British empire, the most powerful and vast which has ever yet existed, immeasurably exceeding the vaunted empires of the Roman and Mogul; upon whose expanse the sun never sets, and which, trenching upon the arctic and antarctic circles, and on both hemispheres, comprises beneath its sway so many millions? Or finally, to the growth of that Anglo-Saxon colony, the United States, become, almost within human recollection, more populous and powerful than the races which have been cited as most remarkable in their influence on the destinies of mankind, throughout the past.
• The armies of Lahore, of Greece, of Naples, of Madagascar, and of Egypt; the fleets of Turkey, of Portugal, and of the South American states, commanded by Frenchmen or Englishmen; Bernadotte's dynasty in Sweden, and the Rajahship of Mr. Brooke in Sarawak; the French and English travellers, scaling the virgin peaks of Alps and Himalayahs,