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“No great state," says Hannibal, claimed to the Israelites amidst the
can long remain quiet: if it ceases thunders of Mount Sinai, and has been to have enemies abroad, it will find felt by every succeeding generation of them at home-as powerful bodies men. But it is not now upon the third resist all external attacks, but are or the fourth generation that the punwasted away by their own internal ishment of transgression falls—it is strength."*
What a commentary on felt in its full bitterness by the transthe words of the Carthaginian hero gressors themselves. The extension does the last year—THE YEAR OF of knowledge, the diffusion of educaREVOLUTIONS-afford ! What enthu- tion, the art of printing, the increased siasm has it witnessed, what efforts rapidity of travelling, the long duraengendered, what illusions dispelled, tion of peace in consequence of the what misery produced ! How bitterly exhaustion of former wars, have so have nations, as well as individuals, accelerated the march of events, that within its short bounds, learned wisdom what was slowly effected in former by suffering-how many lessons has times, during several successive geneexperience taught-how much agony rations, by the gradual development has wickedness brought in its train. of national passions, is now at once Among the foremost in all the periods brought to maturity by the fervent of history, this memorable year will spirit which is generally awakened, ever stand forth, a subject of undying and the vehement passions which are interest to succeeding generations, a everywhere brought into action. lasting beacon to mankind amidst the Everything now goes on at the folly or insanity of future times. To gallop. There is a railway speed in it the young and the ardent will for the stirring of the mind, not less than ever turn, for the most singular in the movement of the bodies of scenes of social strife, the most men. The social and political pasthrilling incidents of private suffering: sions have acquired such intensity, to it the aged will point as the most and been so widely diffused, that striking warning of the desperate their inevitable results are almost effects of general delusion, the most immediately produced. The period unanswerable demonstration of the of seed-time and harvest has become moral government of the world. as short in political as it is in agricul
That God will visit the sins of the tural labour. A single year brings its fathers upon the children was pro- appropriate fruits to maturity in the
* “ Nulla magna civitas diu quiescere potest : si foris hostem non habet, domi invenit, ut prævalida corpora ab extremis causis tuta videntur, sed suis ipsa viribus onerantur. Tantum, nimirum, ex publicis malis sentimus, quantum ad res privatas pertinet; nec in eis quicquam acrius, quam pecuniæ damnum, stimulat."--Livy, XXX. 44.
VOL. LXV.-NO. CCCXCIX.
moral as in the physical world. in his own metropolis. Paris, the Eighty years elapsed in Rome from cradle in every age of new ideas, and the time when the political passions the centre of revolutionary action, were first stirred by Tiberius Grac- next felt the shock: a reform banquet chus, before its unruly citizens were was prepared as the signal for asfinally subdued by the art, or deci- sembling the democratic forces; the mated by the cruelty of Octavius. national guard, as usual, failed at the England underwent six years of civil decisive moment: the King of the war and suffering, before the ambition Barricades quailed before the power and madness of the Long Parliament which had created him; the Orleans were expelled by the purge of Pride, dynasty was overthrown, and France or crushed by the sword of Cromwell: delivered over to the dreams of the twelve years elapsed between the con Socialists and the ferocity of the Red vocation of the States-general in 1789, Republicans. Prussia soon shared the and the extinction of the license madness: the population of Berlin, all of the French Revolution by the trained to arms, according to the cusarm of Napoleon. But, on this occa tom of that country, rose against the sion, in one year, all, in the mean government; the king had not energy time at least, has been accomplished. enough to permit his faithful troops to Ere the leaves, which unfolded in act with the vigour requisite to upspring amidst the overthrow of hold the throne against such assailthrones, and the transports of revolu- ants, and the monarchy of Frederick tionists over the world, had fallen the Great was overthrown. Austria, in autumn, the passions which had even, could not withstand the conconvulsed mankind were crushed for tagion: neither its proud nobility, nor the time, and the triumphs of de- its light-hearted sensual people, nor mocracy were arrested. A terrible its colossal army, nor its centuries of reaction had set in; experience of suf- glory, could maintain the throne in fering had done its work; and swift as its moment of peril. The Emperor was the shades of night before the rays of weak, the citizens of Vienna were inthe ascending sun, had disappeared fatuated; and an insurrection, headed the ferment of revolution before the by the boys at the university and the aroused indignation of the uncorrupted haberdashers’apprentices in the streets, part of mankind. The same passions overturned the imperial government, may again arise; the same delusions and drove the Emperor to seek refuge again spread, as sin springs up afresh in the Tyrol. All Germany caught in successive generations of men; but the flame: the dreams of a few hotwe know the result. They will, like headed enthusiasts and professors the ways of the unrighteous, be again seemed to prevail alike over the diccrushed.
tates of wisdom and the lessons of So rapid was the succession of re experience; and, amidst the transvolutions, when the tempest assailed ports of millions the chimera of the world last spring, that no human German unity seemed about to be power seemed capable of arresting it; realised by the sacrifice of all its means and the thoughtful looked on in mourn of independence. The balance of ful and impotent silence, as they would power in Europe appeared irrevohave done on the decay of nature or cably destroyed
cably destroyed by the breaking the ruin of the world. The Pope up of its central and most imporbegan the career of innovation : de
tant powers,-and England, in the crees of change issued from the Vati- midst of the general ruin, seemed can; and men beheld with amazement rocking to its foundation. The Charthe prodigy of the Supreme Pontiff- tists were in raptures, the Irish rethe head of the unchangeable Church bels in ecstasy: threatening meetings ---standing forth as the leader of po were held in every town in Great litical reform. Naples quickly caught Britain ; armed clubs were organised the flame : a Sicilian revolution in the whole south and west of Irethreatened to sever one-half of their land; revolution was openly talked of dominions from the Neapolitan Bour- in both islands, and the close of harvest bon; and internal revolt seemed to announced as the time when the Brirender his authority merely nominal tish empire was to be broken up, and
Anglian and Hibernian republics esta- the moral as well as in the material blished, in close alliance with the great world. As much as the vehement parent democracy in France. Amidst passions, the selfish desires, the insuch extraordinary and unprecedented experienced zeal, the expanding convulsions, it was with difficulty that energy, the rapacious indigence, the a few courageous or far-seeing minds mingled virtues and vices of man, preserved their equilibrium; and even lead at stated periods to the explosions those who were least disposed to of revolution,-do the desire of trandespair of the fortunes of the species, quillity, the interests of property, could see no end to the succession of the horror at cruelty, the lessons of disasters with which the world was experience, the force of religion, the menaced but in a great exertion of bitterness of suffering, reinduce the the renovating powers of nature, desire of order, and restore the influsimilar to that predicted, in a similar ence of its organ, government. If we catastrophe, for the material world, contemplate the awful force of the by the imagination of the poet. expansive powers which, issuing from “ Roll on, ye stars ! exult in youthful prime,
the great mass of central heat, find Mark with bright curves the printless steps
vent in the fiery channels of the volof Time!
cano, and have so often rent asunder Near and more
near your beaming cars the solid crust of the earth, we may approach,
well tremble to think that we stand And lessening orbs on lessening orbs encroach. Flowers of the sky! ye, too, to Fate must
suspended, as it were, over such an yield,
abyss, and that at no great distance Frail as your silken sisters of the field; beneath our feet the elements of uniStar after star, from heaven's high arch shall versal conflagration are to be found.* rush,
But, strong as are the expansive Suns sink on suns, and systems systems crush; powers of nature, the coercive are Headlong, extinct, to one dark centre fall, And Dark, and Night, and Chaos, mingle all;
still stronger. The ocean exists to Till, o'er the wreck, emerging from the
bridle with its weight the fiery gulf; storm,
the arch of the earth has been solidly Immortal Nature lifts her changeful form, constructed by its Divine architect; Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of
and the only traces we now discover, flame, And soars and shines, another and the same.
in most parts of this globe, of the yet
raging war of the elements, are the But the destiny of man, not less than twisted strata, which mark, as it were, that of the material world, is balanced the former writhings of matter in the action and reaction, not restoration terrible grasp of its tormentors, or from ruin. Order is preserved in a the splintered pinnacles of mountains, way which the imagination of the which add beauty to the landscape, poet could not have conceived. Even or the smiling plains, which bring in the brief space which has elapsed happiness to the abodes of man. It is since the convulsions began in Italy the same in the moral world. Action in January last, the reality and cease and reaction are the law of mind as less action of the preserving laws of well as matter, and the equilibrium of nature have been demonstrated. The social life is preserved by the opposite balance is preserved in social life by tendency of the interests which are contending passions and interests, as in brought into collision, and the counterthe physical world by opposite forces, acting force of the passions which are under circumstances when, to all successively awakened by the very human appearance, remedy is impos- convulsions which seem to menace sible and hope extinguished. The society with dissolution. orbit of nations is traced out by the A year has not elapsed since the wisdom of Providence not less clearly revolutionary earthquake began to than that of the planets; there are heave in Italy, since the volcano centripetal and centrifugal forces in burst forth in Paris; and how marvel
* DARWIN, Botanic Garden.
+ " Thirty-five miles below the surface of the earth, the central heat is everywhere 80 great, that granite itself is held in fusion."--HUMBOLDT, Cosmos, i. 273.
lous is the change which already has tendency and abominable iniquity of taken place in the state of Europe ! the votaries of revolution in Germany; The star of Austria, at first defeated, and to the sufferings of the martyrs and apparently about to be extin- of revolutionary tortures on the banks guished in Italy, is again in the of the Maine, the subsequent overascendant. Refluent from the Mincio throw of anarchy in Vienna and to the Ticino, her armies have again Berlin is in a great degree to be entered Milan, – the revolutionary ascribed. They roused the vacillatusurpation of Charles Emanuel has ing cabinets of Austria and Prussiabeen checked almost as soon as it they sharpened the swords of Windcommenced ; and the revolutionary ischgratz and Jellachich-they nerved rabble of Lombardy and Tuscany the souls and strengthened the arms has fled, as it was wont, before of Brandenberg and Wrangel-they the bayonets of Germany. Ra- awakened anew the chord of honour detzky has extinguished revolution and loyalty in the Fatherland. The in northern Italy. If it still lingers national airs have been again heard in the south of the peninsula, it is in Berlin ; Vienna has been regained only because the strange and tortuous after a desperate conflict; the state policy of France and England has of siege has been proclaimed in both interfered to arrest the victorious capitals; and order re-established in arms of Naples on the Sicilian shores. both monarchies, amidst an amount Paris has been the theatre of a dread- of private suffering and general ful struggle, blood has flowed in tor- misery--the necessary result of revorents in itsstreets, slaughter unheard- lutions--which absolutely sickens the of stained its pavements, but order heart to contemplate. England has has in the end prevailed over anarchy. emerged comparatively unscathed A dynasty has been subverted, but from the strife; her time-lionoured the Red Republicans have been institutions have been preserved, her defeated, more generals have perished monarchy saved amidst the crash of in a conflict of three days than nations. Queen Victoria is still upon at Waterloo ; but the Faubourg the throne; our mixed constitution St Antoine has been subdued, the is intact ; the dreams of the Chartists socialists have been overthrown, have been dispelled ; the rebellion of the state of siege has been pro- the Irish rendered ridiculous; the claimed ; and, amidst universal suf- loyalty of the great body of the people fering, anguish, and woe, with in Great Britain made manifest. three hundred thousand persons out The period of immediate danger is of employment in Paris, and a de- over; for the attack of the populace ficit of £20,000,000 in the income of is like the spring of a wild beast-if the year, the dreams of equality have the first onset fails, the savage animal disappeared in the reality of military slinks away into its den. General despotism. It is immaterial whether suffering indeed prevails, industry the head of the government is called languishes, credit is all but destroyed, a president, a dictator, or an emperor a woful deficiency of exports has whether the civic crown is worn by a taken place--but that is the ineviNapoleon or a Cavaignac-in either table result of popular commotions ; case the ascendant of the army is
are suffering, in part at established, and France, after a brief least, under the effects of the instruggle for a constitutional monarchy, sanity of nations less free and more has terminated, like ancient Rome, in inexperienced than ourselves. Though au elective military despotism. last, not least in the political lessons
Frankfort has been disgraced by of this marvellous year, the papal frightful atrocities. The chief seat government has been subverted—a of German unity and freedom has second Rienzi has appeared in Rome ; been stained by cruelties which find a and the Supreme Pontiff, who began parallel only in the inhuman usages of the movement, now a fugitive from his the American savages; but the terrible dominions, has exhibited a memorlesson has not been read in vain. It able warning to future ages, of the produced a reaction over the world ; peril of commencing reforms in it opened the eyes of men to the real high places, and the impossibility of