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mended to him by another reason, our Wellington, had only faith in regunamely, that it is more conducive to iar troops, holding that no undisci. submission to authority than a more plined force could long resist a modern general teaching. Metaphysical and army. If this be true—and the authomoral speculation inevitably leads to rities whose names we have given are discussion as to the limits of authority at least as much entitled to deference and the obligation to obedience, while as Cobden and Bright, or any number the romance and poetry of all countries of declaimers on the patriotism of our extol the liberator and patriot, and ex- people-it is a serious question for us patiate on the charms of freedom. On whether we are safe to be content with the other hand, the lesson taught by a standing army much short of three the exact sciences, is that of implicit times the number of that which now obedience to uncontrollable law, of spe- stands on our muster-roll. culation confined within impassable After discussing in detail the admichannels, and regulated by preordained nistrative organisation of the Empire, rules. Hence the moral effect of ex: Louis Napoleon proceeds to criticise clusive devotion to such studies, un- its political organisation. As intro. conscious but inevitable, is to create ductory, he observes that the political á wish for the same order in human ideas of France have always been as caaction which we see in nature, leading pricious as fashion. Under the Republic to an approval of, or if not, an acquies- at first Brutus and Cato were her mocence in, the subjection of mankind to dels. As her fervor cooled down the laws equally as uncontrollable, by those Anglomania which had flourished under they govern, as the laws of nature are by the Regency revived; that gave way to the elements. Allowing, however, for án adoration of the American Republic; this most important and fundamerital and lastly, Napoleon I. brought his sysobjection, the institutions for instruc- tem into fashion, which was nothing tion under the Empire, so far as they else than a reproduction of the instituwent, were liberal and complete; and if tions of Imperial Rome. Our author ever we have a perfect National Edu- successfully demonstrates that none of cation, we cannot do better than copy these but the last could harmonise with the machinery instituted for this pur- the esprit Français ! The English conpose by Napoleon Bonaparte. We stitution in particular is inapplicable, must refer to the work before us, or to since, according to our author, and we Alison, for a detailed account of the must add, according to all foreign ausystem. One great principle gave it thors whose works we have read, its vitality - namely, that the offices of basis is the aristocracy - an element the State were the prizes open to the which he says does not exist in France. most distinguished sholars. This was As to America, he denies its nationa. a new idea for Europe, but the same lity, “ L'homme n'a pas encore pris system has existed in China from time racine en Amerique.” immemorial, and perhaps we may gather But we must be equally as cursory this lesson from the effete state of the in our observations as to the political Celestial Empire, that the principle of organisation, as we have been in refree competition of talent, like every spect to the administrative system. The other exclusive principle in politics, has matter of present importance to us is an inevitable tendency to lose all healthy not the material organisation of the influence, and that a compromise of empire, but its spirit, and the commenprinciples—a coexistence even of con. taries of our author upon it. tradictory principles, with a consider- The following summary of the poliable admixture of no principle at all- tical organisation by our author may in short, the anomalous system called a serve instead of detail : Constitutional Government, is, after “Les principes sur les quels repoall, most consistent with the welfare of saient les lois imperiales sont. communities.
“L'Egalité civile d'accord avec le It would be instructive, but hardly principe democratique. interesting, to enter into the details of “ La hierarchie d'accord avec les the French army under its great mili- principes d'ordre et de stabilité. tary organiser. We may, however, • Napoleon est le chef supreme de state that Napoleon I. regarded the l'etat. L'elu du peuple, le represenconscription as the palladium of na- tant de la nation." tional independence, and that he, like “The imperial power alone is trans. mitted by right of inheritance. There as affording an indication of what he is no other hereditary employment in
himself considers the proper fereign France. All the others are made by policy of France : which, with Louis election or acquired by merit.”
Napoleon, is no matter of mere opi. Such also we may presume to be a nion, but a theory which we may rest summary of the principles of the go- assured he will try to put in practice. vernment of Louis Napoleon ; but it Luckily he adopts the leading maxim strikes us as somewhat inconsistent, of his uncle-"Je n'avais pas le folie that the Emperor should be “ L'Elu de vouloir tordre les evènements à mon du peuple," and yet that his title should système, mais au contraire je pliais mon be hereditary. But whatever might systeme, sur la contexture des evènebe his title - notwithstanding the ments." So that we have in his very high-sounding institutions of Senates theory a counteraction to that native and Corps Legislative, of whose organ- obstinacy which might otherwise conisation Louis Napoleon bere gives us vulse Europe. Holding such a definian account, the Imperial government tion of the policy of Napoleon I. no was a pure autocracy, like that of the wonder our author can describe its reCzar, or like that of Louis Napoleon lations with foreign powers in no more bimself: the government of a great precise terms than that Napoleon allied country carried on by the same prin- himself with all those nations which ciples as a man carries on a manufac- followed him in what he conceived the tory or other private undertaking
track of progress.
Aware of this one master and a number of instru
vagueness, he labours hard to prove ments. In the case of the first Empe- that the wars of the Empire were es. ror, this autocracy was rendered less sentially defensive, and that England obtrusive by his habit of frequently con- was the only obstacle to the peace of sulting his senate and counsel ; though the world.' Her obstinacy, he says, in reality bis individual will always ultimately forced Napoleon to adopt prevailed, bis intellectual superiority an aggressive policy in retaliation, and being fully as imposing as his material thereafter his views developed as his power; still his condescension flattered
sphere of action enlarged, until he official men into the idea that they had aimed at nothing short of the regenesome share in the splendid govern- ration of Europe. Perhaps the conment which they served.
quest of Europe would be nearer the The code Napoleon was the fruit of truth. As regenerator of Europe, his one of these conferences between the nephew continues, he now had two Emperor and bis legislative council ; ends to pursue; as sovereign of France and as the subjects therein embraced all his energies were for her, but less concerned his personal ambition comme grand homme," his energies than questions of general policy, more were for Europe. And thus in bis effect was given to the views of the conquests he consulted both the moparties whom he consulted than was mentary interests of the war, and, at generally the case. Still as the code the same time, kept in view an ideal is the noblest heritage which the reconstruction of the European system. empire has left, it is but just that the Such is Louis Napeleon's account of Emperor's share in it should be recog- the matter; he, too, is sovereign of nised. Now, besides suggesting the France, and also a great man, and has idea, and carrying it into effect, all his own ideas of the regeneration of authors concur in stating that Napo. Europe. leon took an intelligent part in the dis- Louis cleverly supports the theory cussion of every article, and astonished of the provisional conquests of his the practised jurists by the justice of uncle, and his intentions for the regehis conclusions, and the facility with neration of Europe, by remarking that which he comprehended all the com- this was the reason he put his brothers plexities involved in the various rights on the thrones of the conquered states, and interests of society which this code as a species of viceroys, who could be was to regulate.
removed whenever it was time to carry Louis Napoleon next proceeds to into effect the new balance of power. treat of the foreign policy of his uncle ; Russia and England, however, could and bis views of it are of the utmost not be got to understand his benevoimportance ; not so much as being a lent intentions; and therefore Napotrue account of bis uncle's intentions, leon's life was spent in an attempt to compel them to acquiesce in the new questions of politics and human proorder of things which he wished to in. gress which at present agitate the troduce.
world, from the shores of the Atlantic Assuming that Louis Napoleon ad- to the Mediterranean from the Black beres to the policy of his uncle, which, Sea to the Baltic. They have at heart indeed, is no assumption, but a cer- one cause, and are determined on push. tainty, our present alliance with him ing it to one end. It is by no pitiful ri. to suppress one of these obstacles may valries that the union of the two nations be regarded by many as somewhat can be dissevered ; and while they fol. ominous. For our own part, as we
low the dictates of common sense, they think the danger to civilisation is at would be sure of the future.” present from Russia, not from France, Louis Napoleon next devotes a chapwe entertain no such misgivings. On ter to prove that his uncle did more the contrary, we believe the present good than harm to the countries he alliance to be the only combination ca- conquered ; and that in many instances pable of presenting an impassable bar- it would have been better to have left rier to the Slavonic invasion. What- his territorial arrangements undisever opinion we may entertain of Louis turbed. In Italy he formed a great Napoleon as a man of principle, we kingdom, with an administration and have implicit confidence in his intel. army of native Italians. In that part lect; and as an alliance with us is of Germany which he conquered, there clearly his interest, both individually were two hundred and eighty-four inand as representing France, bis saga- dependent states, each with different city and resolution are guarantees of laws; and undoubtedly the amalga. his loyalty
mation he enforced, and the introducBut if it were not for these material tion of the code were advantages nearly guarantees,” the work before us might balancing the loss of their indepenexcite our misgivings. All the French dence. He also abolished the feudal wars, says Emperor Louis, have come institutions; but we do not join his from England. “Elle n'a jamais voulu nephew in considering that this was an entendre aucune proposition de paix." unmixed reform. Cumbrous and opEngland and France, he continues, pressive as the feudal institutions in in the late war mutually misunder- Germany undoubtedly were, they constood each other; England considered stituted the only guarantees of liberty; Napoleon merely as a despot who op- and the result of their abolition bas pressed his kingdom by exhausting all been that the kingly power has been its resources to satisfy his warlike am- exalted, till, with hardly an exception, bition. She would not acknowledge every state in Germany is under a deshim as the elect of the people, the re- potism, Still it was something to espresentative of the material interests tablish the equality of all before the of France. Napoleon, on the other law; and it may be a question, whehand, and the French of his time in ther the people, as distinguished from general, confounded the English nation the old privileged classes, have not, on with its aristocracy, which again was the whole, been gainers by the change, supposed to be the same as that aristo- Everywhere Napoleon insisted on reli. cracy of France, of whose oppression so gious toleration and the suppression lively a recollection was entertained. of monastic abuses. But whatever The mutual mistake consisted in each opinion may, on the whole, be formed as party supposing the ruling power of to the merit of the changes introduced the other to be anti-national, whereas by Napoleon in the conquered states, Napoleon represented the national the manner of their introduction exhispirit of France; and the English aris- bited his sagacity. He was an econotocracy, our author says, was, like mist in despotism; it was only when Briareus, “ Elle tient au peuple par dispatch was necessary that he altocent mille racines," and obtained from gether laid aside the drapery of quasi the people as many sacrifices as Napo. legal and constitutional forms. In leon obtained from the French. If we general the changes he introduced into are to believe Louis Napoleon, this the conquered states had some decent misunderstanding exists no longer. In show of national concurrence. They the memorable words used by him at were laid before delegates of the nation, Guildhall on the 19th April, "England and promulgated ostensibly on their and France are united in all the great authority. This was even the case
with Spain, the most barefaced of his which proves the efficiency of the sysusurpations.
tem. Keeping in view our author's theory, We now come to the conclusion, that the end his uncle had in view was which we will give nearly in the auto establish an universal peace under thor's own words. a new balance of power, we are now The period of the empire was a war favoured with a statement of the prin. to the death, England against France. ciples on which this was to be brought The former has conquered; but, thanks about, and we are somewhat sur- to the creative genius of Napoleon, prised to find that the Napoleonic idea France, though vanquished, has lost was identical with the plan of the less in material resources than EngPeace Society. Europe is to be made land. Who, then, are the greater a confederation somewhat like Ameri- statesmen those who have governed ca; with uniform laws and machinery countries which have gained in spite of of administration, and with courts of defeat, or those who have governed judicature and appeal, to which the countries which have lost in spite of disputes between nations are to be re- their victory? Again, the period of ferred. The supremacy or presidency the empire was a war to the death of French in the confederation was, of against the old European system. course, necessary.
That system triumphed; but in spite We believe that the notion that Na- of the fall of Napoleon, his ideas have poleon I. had any such idea exists only everywhere germinated, and have been in the imagination of Napoleon III. ; adopted by many of the allied con. but the important point to us is, that querors, while the people of the other these ideas are entertained by the lat- states waste themselves in efforts to reter, and that he considers it his mis- gain what Napoleon had established. sion to carry out the plans of his The Napoleonic ideas have thus the uncle. But, to continue our analysis. character of ideas which rule the After Europe had been arranged on movement of societies, since they adthe Napoleonic plan, our author says vance by their own force, though dehis uncle would have proceeded to prived of their author. These ideas the task of the internal amelioration are not ideas of war, but a social, inof France. “Il ent consolidé liberté." dustrial, and humanising system; and This is, of course, pure speculation. if this system appears to some always We have not even Napoleon the First's surrounded with the smoke of battles, word for it, though that would not have this was the fatality attending its inmade the matter more certain. But, auguration, a period its author did not again, the nephew thinks, or says, his survive; but now the clouds are dissi. uncle had such an idea. So here we pated, and we see, through the glory have the prospect which France has of arms, a civil glory greater and more of liberty. It is to be after the con- durable. solidation of Europe on Napoleonic principles.
In reading the “Idée Napoleon" Bonaparte fell, according to Louis what has principally struck us is the Napoleon, because be attempted to do evident originality of the author's in his lifetime the work of ages, and views—not in the sense of being new, time took his revenge. The nations but in being evidently thought out by he successively conquered were never himself; – and, as we have also been properly consolidated, and deserted impressed with the idea that he bebim on the first reverse. This is true ; lieves wbat be writes, we think the bis scheme ultimately developed itself treatise explains much of his past po. into the old project of universal con- litical conduct, and suggests much quest, which history proves can be which we may expect. effected, not by any one man, whether Considered as an essay on the chaAlexander of Macedon or Napoleon racter of Napoleon I., we look upon it of France, but only by the means as giving an exaggerated view of that adopted by the Romans_namely, that which undoubtedly was his prominent of successive conquests and colonisa- peculiarity — we mean, the prepondetion, carried on by a national tradition. rance of the intellectual over the imThis career is now attempted by Rus- pulsive nature. Napoleon I. was more sia on the old Roman principles, and than any other man, a mathematician already a result has been attained by nature, a nearly passionless worker
VOL. XLVI.-NO. CCLXXI.
out of a system. Sometimes, indeed, not disposed to cavil at the verdicts he seems to have acted on impulse, on the contrary, we cordially agree and even, though on rare occasions, with him in condemning that least passion and prejudice overruled his chivalrous of all revolutions, which inajestic intellect. But these instances inaugurated the reign of Louis are exceptional to the general charac- Philippe. In that phase of French ter of his career; and even in many history we fail to discover one generous of them his more intimate associates sentiment, one noble principle. We were of opinion, that what apparently also willingly acquiesce in his animadwas impulsive was merely exquisite versions against the monarchy of the acting, employed in order to secure bourgeoisie ; and think it one of the the more energetic execution of his many happy accidents of Louis Nawill. But his nephew goes farther ; poleon's career, that such an inglorious the scope of this treatise being, as we epoch should have preceded his advent stated at the outset, to prove that Na- to power. poleon's career was the logical develop- Our author's views of the English ment of a preconceived plan; and so revolution are the same as those enrigidly is this the case, that the man tertained by our constitutional Whigs. Napoleon is lost in the “ Idée Napo- He professes intense admiration for leonienne."
William III., speaking of bim in e We think that by this exaggeration way, as nearly approaching to heroLouis Napoleon has taken the wrong worship as his cold and unimpassioned way to enlist the sympathy of his read. nature is capable of. We hope his ad. ers in the character of his hero. miration is sincere, because we know No one now doubts or denies the not a better kingly model than William pre-eminent abilities of that man of of Orange. Unfortunately Louis Na. ihe people, who raised himself to the poleon has another model in his uncle, empire of France, kept Europe at bay, whose unscrupulous ambition it is fully entered with victorious armies into as likely he will follow as the conscien. every capital of the Continent, and left tious moderation of the Protestant the impress of his mind on every de- hero. Indeed, the two may be repartment of human interest. But garded as his good and evil genius, what was wanting to enlist the sym- and according as the influence of the pathy as well as the wonder of man- one or the other prevails, will his kind was, a demonstration that Na- career in which great events are so poleon I, had a heart as well as a clearly involved - be regarded by hisnead ; that there was in him some- tory as one of the brigbtest or one of what of disinterestedness, benevolence, the most disastrous of epochs. or chivalry; that he had faith, if not But if we might expect that a simiin God, at least in some being higher larity of position, approaching nearly than himself. But there is no at- to absolute identity, should have any tempt at such a proof in the treatise influence on Louis Napoleon in selectwe have been considering, and the ing his model, the example of William want of it militates, not merely against of Orange, to use a legal phrase, runs the character of Napoleon I., but also on all-fours; and it would almost seem against the artistic merits of the essay as if that period of history had been itself and the character of its author. written precisely with a view to afford The “ Idée Napoleonienne,” if as pro- him a parallel case which he might found, is nearly as dull as a mathe- study in all emergencies. matical treatise ; and we are inclined We are templed to digress a little to suspect that the author, who seems to point out the leading features of this to think a man of pure intellect the remarkable coincidence. Take, in the model hero, is himself but partially first place, the English revolution of endowed with human affections.
1646 and the French revolution of
of 1789 as the starting points in the The treatise next in order is entitled parallel ; and if we make allowance "Fragmens Histroiques ;” the object
for the difference in the ruling princiof which is, to institute a comparison ple which lay at the bottom of these between our revolution of 1688 and two convulsions, we may fairly say the French revolution of 1830. The that, in the order of the successive comparison is, of course, to the dis- phases in each, the latter was merely advantage of the latter, and we are an intensified copy of the former. The