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the English merchant, and his purpose, therefore, is accom"plished.'
Great care, however, should be taken not to confound the principle of equality itself with the revolution which finally establishes that principle, in the social condition, and the laws of a nation. In democratic ages, such as our own, that which is most fluctuating, amidst the fuctuation of all around, is the fallen heart of man. We now see anciently constituted powers in a state of dilapidation on every side, and the judgment of the wisest becomes troubled at the spectacle. Trade, legislation, philosophy, and literature, are all getting more and more imbued with elements, which, whilst they are in motion, will never suffer despotism, either in the shape of oligarchy or monarchy. But the present and approaching agitation may possibly not produce precisely those results which philanthropy and Christianity must unitedly wish to see. Hence the importance of watching as well as wondering We must read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, the extraordinary phenomena passing, or about to pass, before our vision. European nations are growing turbulent; yet let it also be made as manifest that they are becoming equally liberal, before we raise the lo Pæan! It has happened already in the world, that at the close of perturbations which have shaken thrones, the domination of sovereigns has waxed more proud and potent than before. During some lull of the hurricane, pilots have changed places; while the helm, in fresh or treacherous hands, has put the gallant ship round, whilst her crew, worn out with toil, have sunk into apathy or slumber. Let it not be so with ourselves. It can easily be demonstrated, that manners are softened as 'conditions become more equal; that democracy renders social intercourse simple and easy; that the polish even of aristocracies may remain when their monopolies and conventional distinctions have gone their way to the tomb of all the capulets. In fact, nobility does not give up the ghost, like an individual, in a single day; yet, when it has once lost the affections of the people, it is a mere tottering trunk, dead at the roots, the more easily overthrown the higher its branches have spread, and, when fairly down, ready to be cut up into handsome nic-nacs for the amusement of those whom, formerly, it would not have deigned to set with the dogs of its flocks. In the intermediate stages of such changes, many, no doubt, have to suffer exquisite tortures. Democracy raises its head hic et ubique. It affects the relations of masters and servants, as well as those of landlords and tenants. It raises rents, and shortens leases, as indifference and contempt come to be betrayed by one class, and jealousy or hatred by another. In aristocracies, the hire of a
farm is not only paid in rent, but in respect, regard, and duty towards the proprietor: in democracies, the whole is paid in cash.' Large properties also get more subdivided; and whilst the lord of
a hundred lettings feels disposed, and is able, to make considerable sacrifices for the sake of homage or popularity, the owner of a hundred acres cares but little to win the private regard of his tenant. With respect also to families, whilst an aristocracy is declining, the austere, conventional, and legal part of parental authority vanishes, and a species of equality prevails around the domestic fireside. In a democratic family, the father exercises no other power than that with which men love to invest the affection and experience of age; his orders would be perhaps disobeyed, but his advice would be, for the most part, authoritative. Democracy, moreover, binds brothers together, instead of separating them; through the unjust and partial operations of primogeniture. • Such is the charm of these democratic consequences, that even
the partisans of aristocracy are caught by it; and after having ex'perienced it for some time, are by no means tempted to revert to the respectful and rigid observances of aristocratic families. They would be glad to retain the domestic habits of democracy, if they might throw off its social conditions, and its laws; but these ele*ments are indissolubly united, and it is impossible to enjoy the • former, without enduring the latter. It may be fairly, in fact, stated, in a single proposition, that while democracy loosens social ties, it draws natural ones more tight; it brings kindred more closely together, whilst it places the members of the community more widely apart.
We would commend the twenty-first chapter, in the third book of the fourth volume to the candid and careful reflections of all honest conservatives. Some of them have recently quoted from the pages of an ingenious Frenchman, very much after the fashion in which the Prince of Darkness might be supposed to cite Scripture—and, indeed, as he did once do it. De Tocqueville proves to our satisfaction that principles of equality, when once established, are not favourable to revolutions. There is a class of eager and apprehensive holders of very moderate property created under a democracy opposed of necessity to change. ‘Aristocratic manners, and habits of thought, are far less really conservative than republican
Not that the human mind is at rest in America, it is rather in constant agitation; but it is engaged in infinitely varying the consequences of known principles, and in seeking for new consequences, rather than for new principles. Where great equality of condition prevails, there are fewer idle men. All are more or less thoroughly engaged upon the practical and pressing every-day duties of life. As people grow more alike, each one feels himself weaker in regard to all the rest. There is no need for a majority to constrain him ; it convinces him. “If the principle of equality
predisposes men to change, it also suggests to them certain interests and tastes which cannot be satisfied without a settled order • of things; equality urges them on; but, at the same time, it holds
"them back; it shows them, but fastens them to earth; it kindles
their desires, but limits their powers. Although, too, it may be true that democratic armies are naturally desirous of war, it must be borne in mind, that democratic nations are as naturally desirous of peace; and in the hands of the latter, their own military forces are a mere walking-staff. The United States maintain an army, consisting of six thousand soldiers; for the payment of which, thirteen millions of citizens are always sufficiently reluctant to raise the needful taxes. Larger armies, of course, might not be so manageable. Two more brief extracts shall conclude our analysis of the opinions entertained and promulgated by M. de Tocqueville, in his interesting work:
• The manners and laws of the Americans are not the only ones which may suit a democratic people; but the Americans have shown, that it would be wrong to despair of regulating democracy by the aid of manners and of laws. If other nations should borrow this general and pregnant idea from the Americans, without however intending to imitate them in the peculiar application that they have made of it-if they should attempt to fit themselves for that social condition, which it seems to be the will of Providence to impose upon the generations of this age, and so to escape from the despotism or the anarchy which threatens them, what reason is there to suppose that their efforts would not be crowned with success? The organization, and the establishment of democracy in Christendom, is the great political problem of the time. The Americans, unquestionably, have not resolved this problem, but they have furnished useful data to those who undertake the task.'
- vol. ii. p. 174. His closing words are as follow:
• Providence has not created mankind entirely independent, or entirely free. It is true that around every man a fatal circle is traced, beyond which he cannot pass ; but within the wide verge of that circle he is powerful and free; as it is with man, so with communities.
The nations of our time cannot prevent the conditions of man from becoming equal; but it depends upon themselves whether the principle of equality is to lead them to servitude or freedom, to knowledge or barbarism, to prosperity or to wretchedness.'-vol. iv. p. 353.
This brings us opportunely to some observations, bearing more immediately upon our own times and country, which we proposed to make in the course of the present article. Without at all committing ourselves to a perfect concurrence in the views taken generally by M. de Tocqueville, we nevertheless agree with him as to the certainty of great political changes being at hand throughont Europe. Amongst them, we think, there will be several important modifications of society in Great Britain and Ireland; amounting probably to what most persons would define as a revo
lution. Our reasons for entertaining such an opinion are as follow:
1. The larger portion of the middle, and nearly all the lower classes, throughout our three kingdoms, constitute one vast mass of open discontent, or sullen and secret dissatisfaction. Feelings of this sort have been making progress amongst them for years ; indeed ever since the peace of Vienne;
of Vienne; whilst newspapers, demagogues, oppression, poverty, and commercial disarrangement, have incessantly fed the flame. The rights of person, property, and conscience, however faithfully they may have been protected, in and among the rich, have suffered grievous violation as they concern the poor. Suspensions of habeas corpus, expensive justice, and ecclesiastical despotism, increased to the utmost limit of endurance, weaned away the affections of the people from government during the leaden administration of Lord Liverpool. That period may be described as the triumph of dulness, ushered in indeed with military glory, but followed up by vacillation and weakness, and terminating in popular contempt. The fact was becoming more and more apparent, that things did not answer to their names; that our monarchy was really a tyrannical aristocracy; that our parliamentary freedom formed part of a delusive drama, acted at high charges, for the benefit of the upper classes ; that representation, in other terms, was a mockery; and that paternal sovereignty, rendered into honest language, meant neither more nor less than most unrighteous robbery. As men gradually awoke to a sense of their situation, they began quickly to despise, and soon to hate, those who had cheated and fleeced them. Every attempt at improvement was resisted, until concession lost the possibility of retaining a single conciliatory characteristic. Mobs and multzades were taught the fearful lesson, that agitation might sometiines gain something; but that to reason or argument the ears of the mighty were deaf, and their hearts, if not their apprehensions, were cold as stones. When the Reform Bill was at length extorted, elements for future strife seemed so carefully kneaded into the measure, that one might suppose the peerage to have been paid for endeavoring to work its own undoing. The member for Sheffield never said a truer word than when he declared, where the franchise ends, there Chartism begins.' This is exactly the case; and when it is remembered, that in England not one adult male out of five possesses the elective franchise, whilst scarcely five in a hundred can exercise it with perfect liberty, it will be perceived that our operatives, whether agricultural or manufacturing, are just learning the value of that which they have not got; but which instinct and general knowledge begin to assure them, they ought most certainly to enjoy. We do not believe, that the operative millions, together with threefourths of our middling classes, will much longer allow themselves
to be trampled down from their rightful political position, either by the coronet, the capitalist, or the mitre. Toryism, Whiggery, or Radicalism, will all presently merge into two very simple subdivisions; namely, the friends, or the foes, of the whole people !
2. The degree of reform, already obtained, has so developed the democratic principle amongst us, that circumstances are favorable to its still further development. The struggle for obtaining Parliamentary Reform kept the country in a fever, through the years 1831 and 1832. Gainers, as well as losers, had both lost by that time their equanimity of temper. Their quarrel was no longer one of the Amantium iræ, as to which the happy conclusion amoris integratio est. It had rather become that of brethren offended, whose contentions,' we are told in the Proverbs, are harder than the bars of a castle.' Each party inwardly resolved to do its best still in annoying, irritating, and thwarting the other party. Yet nevertheless much had been actually won to the popular side. There are some senses, in which the measure of Earl Grey has proved a failure, just as was predicted by all sensible persons, except those in a state of hostility or delirium: but on the whole it has marvellously liberalized the anti-constitutional combatants. Conservatives, supported by bribery, corruption, and intimidation, worm their way into parliament even in boroughs: but they frequently succeed in the main by coaxing and cozening the electors. Tories, at the present time, with some exceptions, are incomparably more democratic personages than most of the Whigs, and popularity hunting orators, of the last century. Their professions may be, as they are, to a great extent false and hypocritical on the hustings; but they help to democratize the public mind: and what they do in parliamentary contests, once in three, five, or seven years, their municipal candidates promote annually. Our corporations constitute just so many local republics. Sir George Murray never dreams of going down to Manchester, and avowing himself a supporter of the immaculate and enlightened Lord Castlereagh; or an approver of the glorious massacre at Peterloo ! So far from it is the real fact of the matter, that he and his colleagues cuff and cudgel their poor brains, to find in some corner the scrapings and sweepings of friendliness to popular demands; which they then deposit in a prosing speech, with all imaginable prostration and humility, before the majesty of their masters, the unwashed but sovereign people! These are they, whom each declares that he hopes to have the honor of serving day and night, without cessation. Certain after-dinner harangues, delivered it is to be conceived from the inspiration of port and burgundy, before high Tory audiences, would have consigned their propounders to a prison in days not long gone by. Meanwhile the masses are thus let into the secret of their strength ; nor dare even the richest aristocrat