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generous confidence of our faithful ally, the Emperor of the French.
In the beginning of 1858, an attempt was made on the emperor's life by a miscreant named Orsini, who was executed in consequence. It appeared, however, that the plot was contrived in London, and a Dr Bernard was tried at the Central Criminal Court for complicity in it. His acquittal caused a temporary coolness between the two countries, which was increased by the rejection of a bill introduced into parliament by Lord Palmerston for altering the law relating to such conspiracies.
The year 1859 and the following year were occupied by a war in Italy, in which the emperor took the field in person, in order to assist Victor Emmanuel in ridding the north of Italy from the Austrian rule. He aided Victor Emmanuel to gain the victories of Magenta and Solferino, and he 'dictated' to the Austrians the peace of Villafranca, which ceded to Victor Emmanuel both Lombardy and the Duchies, while leaving Venetia still subject to Austria. In recognition of his services on this occasion, Louis Napoleon gained Savoy for France; and in 1861 the emperor recognised his old ally as • King of Italy. In the following years the French emperor joined his forces with those of England in China and in Mexico; but the events which resulted thence belong less to an outline of his life than to history. In September 1864, he concluded with the king of Italy a treaty in which he pledged himself to withdraw the French troops from the occupation of Rome, if the papal government by that time should prove able to organise an army sufficient for the defence of its territories, which at the same time the king of Italy guaranteed to protect from external attack. Under the terms of this treaty, the French troops were withdrawn in the winter of 1866-7; but before the close of the following summer, they were obliged to return to Rome to defeat an ill-advised assault of Garibaldi and his followers, which was repressed, though not till after considerable blood had been shed on the fields of Mentana and Monte Rotondo.
It is perhaps needless to state here, that opinions must differ as to the imperial policy of Louis Napoleon, especially with regard to his conduct in the Mexican affair, which was so fatal to Maximilian ; blinded by the dust of contemporary conflict, we live too near the facts, the secret policy of which has yet to be revealed, for us to view them with that distinctness which hereafter will fall to the lot of some impartial historian.
On the whole, it may safely be said, looking back upon the career of Louis Napoleon, that he was born to be a leader of men. If not the most successful general of his day, he is one of the ablest administrators of the internal affairs of a kingdom, one of the first diplomatists, weightiest speakers, and best political writers of his age. His character is manly and upright, and we as a nation have found that implicit reliance may be placed on his word. Generous and magnanimous, he has ever shewn himself incapable of petty jealousy and revenge, and merciful to a fallen foe. While the English press lampooned him most severely, he not only never attempted to resent the affront, but remained our firmest and truest ally. And as to France itself, his reign has brought the most solid advantages to the country which he rules. When he ascended the throne, he found France distracted at home, and without power or influence abroad. Her exchequer was empty, her army was disorganised, her government corrupt, self-seeking, and arbitrary ; commerce, the arts, and works of industry all languished. Under his rule, France has grown steadily richer, greater, and more powerful. The counsels of her ministers, on the whole, have been supreme in Europe. Like his uncle the great emperor, he has ever been ready to find out, recognise, and reward high abilities when joined with honesty and integrity, and in consequence he has been served by brilliant and able ministers. The consequence is that the ancient renown of the arms of France under the former Empire has been revived, and the name of France itself held in honour and respect in every quarter of the world.
While we write (July 1869) the last act of Napoleon III. has been the concession of certain constitutional arrangements, which, properly followed out, will go far towards assimilating the civil liberty of France to that of Great Britain, and may tend to consolidate the controlling power in the family of the emperor. Let us hope that the French people are sufficiently chastened and qualified to appreciate and inake a good use of the political privileges thus granted by the good-will of the sovereign.
HEN one person expresses hatred to another, or attempts to injure him, the first feeling of the person so hated, or liable to be injured, is usually of an angry kind. He hates in turn, or he stands indignantly up for his rights.
This is natural, just as it is natural for a child to creep before he can walk, or lisp before he can speak. But as creeping and lisping at first do not form any objection to walking and speaking afterwards, so are those angry feelings which so readily occur to us, no argument why we should not come to treat those who hate or injure us in a different manner. If we always find that kindling up in anger, and returning evil for evil, prolongs mischief to ourselves as well as to the other party, but that we stop mischief, and make ourselves happy, by a kind and forgiving behaviour, there is no reason why we should not prefer the latter mode. The one plan is, in fact, as natural as the other, although with most persons it is not the one first thought of.
But is it really best to treat our enemies kindly? This is the great question. We shall endeavour to prove that such is the case.
It is matter of common observation that, when unloving words or looks are resented by the like, a complete division takes place between the parties. The hatred of the first person is deepened : he becomes a more unpleasant neighbour than he was before. And, because bad words have been used to him, his pride is touched, and he determines to shew no symptom of relenting. But if, on the contrary, the object of his antipathy had refrained from angry words or looks, and addressed him in a friendly manner, his first feelings, which were probably of a slight kind, would have given way, and he would have been at once reconciled. Thus the evil would have been cut short at the very first, and those would have been friends who otherwise would be sure to become enemies, perhaps for the remainder of their lives. Now, if we consider how many disadvantages attend our having the ill-will of our neighbours, we shall be at no loss to see how important it is for us to prevent them by all proper means from becoming our enemies. And not only this, but let us also reflect on the sad fact, that our neighbour is unhappy in being our enemy; we are concerned to see that we do not become, however innocently, as we may think, the cause of his being haunted by unpleasant feelings. We are therefore bound, out of kindness to him, to act in such a way as to save him from the wretchedness of becoming our enemy. People will say it is difficult to be kind to one who has looked, or spoken, or acted harshly towards us. But a moment's reflection on what are his interests in the case, will go a great way to enable us to check angry feeling, and to call up the kind forgiveness which is so sure to win him to our friendship. It is not, in reality, difficult to act in this way when the other party has no just cause for being angry with us. The serenity of a mind at peace with itself rather disposes us to be forgiving. Should the case be otherwise, and we feel any cause for reproaching ourselves, then we are doubly called upon, by due expressions of contrition, to do all that in us lies to restore the broken peace. Though the anger of the offended person should appear unreasonably great, still it is our duty to seek to appease it, so that permanent enmity should be prevented.
It is equally evident that little or no good is ever got by using force, or even threatening to use it, for the assertion of our rights. Questions about right usually arise without any ill design on either side. The circumstances are usually such as to make it difficult to say how the right lies. At first there is mere difference of opinion on the subject. It would then be easy to come to a friendly agreement about it, or to find a friend to decide between the parties, to the satisfaction of both. But if one shews undue eagerness about the matter, the other is apt to become keenly interested also. The selfish feelings are then called into play. If the love of property does not take the lead, pride will do so; and each thinks it would be disgraceful to give in to the other. Thus arise fights among children and savages, wars among the so-called civilised nations, and lawsuits among individuals who think themselves Christians. Immense damage is the consequence to all, happiness is put to flight for the time, and often the object of dispute is lost to both parties. Now, if any one were to make a point of always trusting to reason and good feeling alone, if it became understood regarding him that he would take no other means of prosecuting his own interests, would it be for his hurt or his advantage? The just answer to this question, in our opinion, is, that a few very bad people would now and then take advantage of his gentleness to injure him, but the most would act quite differently. Their benevolence, their sense of justice, their very pride would be engaged to make them treat the rights of that person tenderly. In the long-run he would find himself a gainer, if not in actual property, at least in the comparative peace of his life ; for he would have avoided many troublesome contentions, and enjoyed a more than usual share of the esteem of the good, besides possessing, what is more precious than all, the consciousness of having done his best to promote sweetness, instead of sourness, in society.
LOVE IS POWER-BETWEEN MAN AND MAN. An affecting and beautiful example occurs in the history of David. Pursued by Saul in the wilderness of Engedi, he was lying concealed with his few followers in a cave, when the king and his party entered. David might have killed the king if he had chosen, and his friends advised him to do it. But he resolved upon a better course. He only cut off the skirt of Saul's robe. When the king had departed, David followed and called after him. The rest may be told in the language of Scripture. "And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lord had delivered thee to-day into mine hand in the cave : and some bade me kill thee; but mine eye spared thee : and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed. Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand : for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee : but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked : but mine hand shall not be upon thee. After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea. The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand. And it came to pass when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I : for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. And thou hast shewed this day how that thou