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their interests; which seems matter of very simple arithmetic. We must confess, that after all the ingenuity which has been used to perplex the subject, we cannot perceive the insuperable difficulty of these arrangements. And were they executed, the Income Tax, though still subject to all the unanswerable objections against its inquisitorial and vexatious provisions, and the minor inequalities which are inevitable in every impost, would be in other respects fair and equitable. But if onr practical statesmen laugh the idea of such modifications to scorn-if all attempt to equalize the present most unjust assessment be regarded as · merely visionary, and nothing is left for it but to submit to the simple and levelling operation of a despotic enactment—then we say that the tax is a discredit at once to the Ministry which imposes it, and the Country which submits to it. It has not—if Mr M Culloch's reasoning be correct—the redeeming quality of relieving the labouring classes from any portion of their burdens. It has, in the present circumstances of the country, no plea of necessity to justify its imposition. It is simply an abuse of power—the violation by the strong of the rights of the weak; for there cannot be a clearer right in civil society than that of bearing no more than an equal share of the public burdens. Were the amount of the injustice even far less than it is, still, injustice deliberately and unnecessarily perpetrated is a sin without excuse, and will ultimately prove to be no less a political fault than a sin.
Our readers will, we are aware, derive but little information, from the above brief discussion regarding the true character and value of the work of which we must here take leave. It is a work with which not only every Statesman and Legislator, but every reflecting member of the community, ought to make himself acquainted ; and we can have no hesitation, therefore, in saying, that Mr M‘Culloch has, by the thought and labour he has devoted to its composition, added another strong claim to those he had before established upon the gratitude of his country men.
ART. IV.-1. Essais sur l'Histoire de France. Par M. Guizot,
Professeur d'Histoire Moderne à l'Académie de Paris. Pour
servir de complément aux Observations sur Histoire de France · de Abbé de Mably. 8vo. Paris. 2. Cours d'Histoire Moderne. Containing, 1. Histoire Géné
rale de la Civilisation en Europe, depuis la chute de l'Empire Romain jusqu'à la Révolution Française. 2. Histoire de la Civilisation en France, depuis la chute de l'Empire Romain jusqu'en 1789. Par M. Guizot. 6 vols. 8vo.
THESE two works are the contributions which the present
Minister for Foreign Affairs in France has hitherto made to the philosophy of general history. They are but fragments : the earlier of the two is a collection of detached Essays, and is therefore of necessity fragmentary; while the later is all that the public possesses, or perhaps is destined to possess, of a systematic work cut short in an early stage of its progress. It would be unreasonable to lament that the exigencies or the temptations of politics have called from authorship and the Professor's Chair to the Chamber of Deputies and the Cabinet, the man to whom perhaps more than to any other it is owing that Europe is now at Peace. Yet we cannot forbear wishing that this great service to the civilized world had been the achievement of some other, and that M. Guizot had been allowed to complete his Cours d'Histoire Moderne. For this a very moderate amount of leisure would probably suffice. For although M. Guizot has written only on a portion of his subject, he has done it in the manner of one to whom the whole is familiar. There is a consistency, a coherence, a comprehensiveness, and what the Germans would term many-sidedness, in his view of European history ; together with a full possession of the facts which have any important bearing upon his conclusions ; and a deliberateness, a matureness, an tire absence of haste or crudity, in his explanations of historical phenomena—which we never see in writers who form their theories as they go on—which give evidence of a general scheme, so well wrought out and digested beforehand, that the labours both of research and of thought necessary for the whole work, seem to have been performed before any part was com
Little beyond the mere operation of composition seems to be requisite, to place before us as a connected body of thought, speculations which, even in their unfinished state, may be ranked with the most valuable contributions yet made to universal history.
mitted to paper.
Of these speculations no account, having any pretensions to completeness, has ever, so far as we are aware, appeared in the English language. We shall attempt to do something towards supplying the deficiency. To suppose that this is no longer needful, would be to presume too much upon the supposed universality of the French language among our reading public; and upon the acquaintance even of those to whom the language opposes no difficulty, with the names and reputation of the standard works of contemporaneous French thought. We believe that a knowledge of M. Guizot's writings is even now not a common possession in this country, and that it is by no means a superfluous service to inform English readers of what they may expect to find there.
For it is not with speculations of this kind as it is with those for which there exists in this country a confirmed and long-established taste. What is done in France or elsewhere for the advancement of Chemistry or of Mathematics, is immediately known and justly appreciated by the Mathematicians and Chemists of Great Britain. For these are recognised sciences, the chosen occupation of many instructed minds, ever on the watch for any accession of facts or ideas in the department which they cultivate. But the interest which historical studies in this country inspire, is not as yet of a scientific character. History with us has not passed that stage in which its cultivation is an affair of mere literature or of erudition, not of science. It is studied for the facts, not for the explanation of facts. It excites an imaginative, or a biographical, or an antiquarian, but not a philosophical interest. Historical facts are hardly yet felt to be, like other natural phenomena, amenable to scientific laws. The characteristic distrust of our countrymen for all ambitious efforts of intellect, of which the success does not admit of being instantly tested by a decisive application to practice, causes all widely extended views on the explanation of history to be looked upon with a suspicion surpassing the bounds of reasonable caution, and of which the natural result is indifference ;—and hence we remain in contented ignorance of the best writings which the nations of the Continent have in our time produced; because we have no faith in, and no curiosity about, the kind of speculations to which the most philosophic minds of those nations have lately devoted themselves;even when distinguished, as in the case before us, by a sobriety and a judicious reserve, borrowed from the safest and most cautious school of inductive enquirers.
In this particular, the difference between the English and the Continental mind forces itself upon us in every province of their respective literatures. Certain conceptions of history considered
as a whole, some notions of a progressive unfolding of the capabilities of humanity-of a tendency of man and society towards some distant result-of a destination, as it were, of humanitypervade, in its whole extent, the popular literature of France. Every newspaper, every literary review or magazine, bears witness of such notions. They are always turning np accidentally, when the writer is ostensibly engaged with something else; or showing themselves as a background behind the opinions which he is immediately maintaining. When the writer's mind is not of a high order, these notions are crude and vague; but they are evidentiary of a tone of thought which has prevailed so long among the superior intellects, as to have spread from them to others, and become the general property of the nation. Nor is this true only of France, and of the nations of Southern Europe which take their tone from France, but almost equally, though under somewhat different forms, of the Germanic nations. It was Lessing by whom history was styled the education of the
. « human race. Among the earliest of those by whom the succession of historical events was conceived as a subject of science, were Herder and Kant. The latest school of German metaphysicians, the Hegelians, are well known to treat of it as a science which might even be constructed a priori. And as on other subjects, so on this, the general literature of Germany borrows both its ideas and its tone from the schools of the highest philosophy. We need hardly say that in our own country nothing of all this is true. The speculations of our thinkers, and the commonplaces of our mere writers and talkers, are of quite another description.
Even insular England belongs, however, to the commonwealth of Europe, and yields, though slowly and in a way of her own, to the general impulse of the European mind. There are signs of a nascent tendency in English thought to turn itself towards speculations on history. The tendency first showed itself in some of the minds which had received their earliest impulse from Mr Coleridge ; and an example has been given in a quarter where many, perhaps, would have least expected it by the Oxford school of theologians. However little ambitious these writers may be of the title of philosophers; however anxious to sink the character of science in that of religion—they yet have, after their own fashion, a philosophy of history. They have, as Mr Carlyle would say, a theory of the world—in our opinion an erroneous one, but of which they recognise as an essential condition that it shall explain history; and they do attempt to explain history by it, and have constituted, upon the basis of it, a kind of historical system. By this we cannot but think that they have done much good, if only in contributing to impose a similar necessity upon all other theorizers of like pretensions. We believe the time must come when all systems which aspire to direct either the consciences of mankind, or their political and social arrangements, will be required to show not only that they are consistent with universal history, but that they afford a more reasonable solution of it than any other system. In the philosophy of society, more especially, we look upon history as an indispensable test and verifier of all doctrines and creeds; and we regard with proportionate interest all explanations, however partial, of anyimportant part of the series of historical phenomena-all attempts, which are in any measure successful, to disentangle the complications of those phenomena, to detect the order of their causation, and exhibit any portion of them in an unbroken series, each link cemented by natural laws with those which precede and follow it.
M. Guizot's is one of the most successful of these partial efforts. His subject is not history at large, but modern European history; the formation and progress of the existing nations of Europe. Embracing, therefore, only a part of the succession of historical events, he is precluded from attempting to determine the law or laws which preside over the entire evolution. If there be such laws; if the series of states through which human nature and society are appointed to pass, have been determined more or less precisely by the original constitution of mankind, and by the circumstances of the planet on which we live; the order of their succession cannot be determined by modern or by European experience alone : it must be ascertained by a conjunct analysis, 80 far as possible, of the whole of history, and the whole of human nature. M. Guizot stops short of this ambitious enterprise; but, considered as preparatory studies for promoting and facilitating it, his writings are most valuable. He seeks not the ultimate but the proximate causes of the facts of modern history; he enquires in what manner each successive condition of modern Europe grew out of that which next preceded it; and how modern society altogether, and the modern mind, shaped themselves from the elements which had been transmitted to them from the ancient world. To have done this with any degree of success, is no trilling achievement.
The Lectures, which are the principal foundation of M. Guizot's literary fame, were delivered by him in the years 1828, 18:29, and 1830, at the old Sorbonne, now the seat of the Faculté des Lettres of Paris, on alternate days with MM. Cousin and Villemain ; a triad of lecturers, whose brilliant exhibitions, the crowds which thronged their lecture rooms, and the stir they excited in