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occasioned by himself. Each carefully abstained from violence when it could be avoided, and sought by the circuitous process of intrigue the results which would have been less effectually achieved by more open natures by direct methods. Each seemed equally undiscouraged by temporary failure, and equally passionless in success; manifesting forbearance and almost generosity to their antagonists, moderate in the repression of opposition, and tolerant when toleration could be hazarded with safety. This conduct should give each the credit of sagacity, not of benevolence; it is the result of consummate prudence, not of good feeling. It indicates the absence of malice, but affords no assurance of natural gentleness.
The first coup d'etat of Louis Napoleon—that of 2d December, 1851—exemplified all these traits, but it most especially displayed the vigorous decision of his actions, and the impenetrable secrecy with which they were veiled. All the multifarious, widely extended and complex preparations for the great blow, were made without being detected, and were concealed for a fortnight, until the minute for their execution had arrived. A few hours in the early morning were sufficient to place all the powers of the government and nation absolutely in the hands of the Prince President, and three men, by their energetic and unscrupulous movements, were able to secure the result. It was a remarkable and resolute stroke of policy, and may be justly compared with the ablest and boldest manoeuvres of Octavius. In the measures adopted for transmuting the decennial Presidency, achieved by this licentious proceeding into a despotic sovereignty, Louis Napoleon closely imitated the intrigues by which his Roman model ascended the long and difficult grades which led him to absolute monarchy. The very name of Prince President was almost equivalent to that of Princeps. Imperator, first accepted by Octavius; the same term of ten years, which had been the limit for which the ancient imperium had been received, was that prescribed for the modern Presidency. It is true, Louis Napoleon cleared with larger strides the interval between a nominal republic and a real despotism; but then the French had lost the faculty of veneration, whilst the Romans had retained a superstitious and sanctimonious attachment to the effete forms of former freedom. The measures of Louis Napoleon, if somewhat diverse in appearance, were the same in principle as those adopted by Octavius. The progresses, reviews, displays and festivities of the one, constituted a legitimate counterpart to the provincial tours, episodical expeditions, spectacles and public buildings of the other. It was in absence from Rome, and by indirect influences brought to bear upon the public mind, that Octavius obtained the final powers which secured his ascendency; it was in absence from Paris, and by similar stratagems, that Louis Napoleon obtained the adhesion of the popular sentiment to his assumption of the Imperial title. Augustus "carefully abstained from claiming his uncle's title by virtue of descent." Napoleon III. with equal caution assured the courts of Europe that in taking his Imperial designation he did not pretend any right to the throne from inheritance, but derived his claim solely from the popular will. The Romans regarded the character of Augustus as one of the greatest enigmas of history, and he displayed his consciousness of the unfathomable mystery which shrouded his policy, by using the emblem of the sphinx as the device for his official seal. Louis Napoleon has abundantly proved himself to be an equally insoluble enigma to his contemporaries, and gives occasional indications of a similar consciousness of the general inability to appreciate his conduct. The Emperor Julian compared the consolidator of the Empire to a chameleon, so completely did he imbibe his hue from the surrounding colours; a future literary Emperor of France may apply the same simile to Napoleon III. But, notwithstanding all changes of external aspect, both these memorable sovereigns retained their inner nature unaltered, and pursued the uniform and even tenor of their way through all impediments and varieties of circumstance. The two intimate friends, advisers and instruments of Octavius, find their exact parallel in the French Court. Agrippa and Maecenas are suitably resuscitated in M. de Morny and M. de Persigny. In both cases, master and men associate on the same terms of esteem, confidence and familiarity; in both the monarch employs his ministers more ostensibly than himself, anil neither rejects their counsel, nor submits to their direction. In neither instance was any violent control exercised over the thought and action of the serviceable friends, but they were allowed to retain and exhibit independence of sentiment within due limits by an equally circumscribed independency of conduct. It is also to be observed that Louis Napoleon, like Augustus, seems partial to new men for his officials, and recurs more freely to the services of former or even prospective opponents, than to the ancient nobility or those who have already won eminent distinction.
It is scarcely necessary, and would be barely decent, to chronicle or examine the gallantries of Louis Napoleon, or to make a public parade of the reputed debaucheries of bis private hours. It is enough to allude to them, and to suggest a reference to the licentiousness of Augustus. Although, in a matter so purely dependent on personal idiosyncrasies, there would be no great interruption of the parallel if no resemblance could be fancied, it is strange that the twin potentates should have so closely followed the same career. There is a slight touch of similarity in the frivolous inconstancy with which Octavius received and divorced, and Louis Napoleon sought and resigned, successive matrimonial alliances; and, at last, in the very crisis of their tangled schemes, married most politically, though with apparent folly, for love.
In the intricate and complicated characters of the two men compared, there are many important trails which have been left unnoticed, and abundant materials still remain for a fuller and more minute parallelism. Our limits are, however, exhausted, and the suggestion of the leading resemblances is the only point of very great moment. After the analogy has been indicated, it may be easily pursued. Cc n'est que le premier pas qui coMe. The further prosecution of the task may be, without much regrpt, resigned to others.
It is to be hoped, however, th:it enough has been said to justify a higher, if not a more favourable estimate of Louis Napoleon's character, and to save us from the repetition of the crude imbecility of depreciation which has been so current hitherto. A truer and juster comprehension of his future policy and probable fortunes may be thus obtained, and those ridiculous and unfounded anticipations may be hereafter avoided, which the event so speedily dissipates, and which only demonstrate that in all ages there are, at least, four hundred false prophets for every true one. We do not venture to assert (for prophecy is notourrd/e in such cases), that the enduring success and permanent dominion won by Octavius will be reserved for Louis Napoleon; but we do state, that if his character, motives, actions and prospects are studied, they must be elucidated by an attentive reference to the genius, career and times of Augustus. This is the sole burthen of our song.
Art. II.—Political Philosophy Of South-carolina.
1. Constitution of the State of South-Carolina. June 3d, 1790.
2. Constitution of the United States of America. September 17th, 1787.
In a previous article,* entitled as above, an effort was made to illustrate, in brief terms, some of the prominent features in the structure of our society and government; and, in prosecution of the same design, we propose now to renew the subject on a more extended scale.
The learned Dr. Ferguson opens his essay on civil society with the following Analogy:
"Natural productions are generally formed by degrees. Vegetables are raised from a tender shoot, and animals from an infant state. The latter, being active, extend together their operations and their powers, and have A progress in what they perform, as well as in the faculties they acquire. This progress in the case of man is continued to a greater extent than in that of any other animal. Not only the individual advances from infancy to manhood, but the species itself from
• January, 1853—Art. 4.
rudeness to civilization. Hence the supposed departure of mankind from the state of their nature; hence our conjectures and different opinions of what man must have been in the first age of his being. The poet, the historian and the moralist frequently allude to this ancient time; and, under the emblems of gold or iron, represent a condition, and a manner of life, from which mankind have either degenerated, or on which they have greatly improved."*
The same, we think, may be said of all human schemes. Not only the species, but all their arrangements, designs, institutions and policies advance progressively, we will not say from a state of nature, but from a previous condition. Theorists, indeed, are prone to select a few of the human qualities, and some of the particulars of man's history, in hopes of setting up some favourite system. But we are content with our own conclusions drawn from such sources as are within our reach. For there seems to be no term more generally used, and at the same time more vaguely understood, than " nature" What, after all, is a state of nature? The rudeness of the dark ages can hardly be said to have been more natural to the men of those times, than the civilization of the nineteenth century is to us. Who would not be called an unnatural person, that observed all the barbarous habits and tastes of an ancient Goth? How unnatural even, would the knee breeches and top-boots of our own sires, appear in the sight of well-dressed people of the present day!
The analogy between the growth of the individual and the advancement of the species, may be strictly carried out in answering the question—what is a state of nature? The cries of infancy are natural; so are the smiles and laughter of youth, the gravity of mature age, and the infirmities of declining life; why not then call those conditions natural which are observed to accompany the several stages of civilization and enlightenment? The very art which may be spoken of in contradistinction to nature, is itself natural. Where, in fact, is it that art may be said to be unknown? The rough covering which the savage lashes about his loins,
•Esf ay on the History of Civil Society, by Adam Fergus on, L.L.D., Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Edinburgh. 6th edition. Loudon, 1793.