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Political Condition of Germany.
relief in emigration; but, on the whole, there is no country where the great mass of the people live in greater comfort and content. Such an extent of luxury, such a glittering aristocracy before their eyes, the restless ambition of mounting from rank to rank, have not, as with us, destroyed the ancient spirit of quiet enjoyment. All live well, but not splendidly. The greatest portion of the people, the peasantry, live on their own property,-live in the country all alike, and fully occupied with their labours. The middle classes again depend, in great numbers, on government for offices in the state, in all departments of the administration of justice, collection of duties and taxes, in colleges and schools. When, therefore, there is no great mass of distress to create a bitterness and coalition against the government, but on the contrary, a great body deriving substantial benefits from it, who shall be the first to sacrifice his present enjoyments for the more intellectual liberties of a free tongue and press? Who shall quarrel first with the constitution which affords him solid advantages, because it does not extend to him and others still more? The country is not commercial enough to have created such a wealthy middle class, as shall be independent enough of government, shall have cause of grievance enough and influence enough to lead the multitude to an attack. On the other hand, the government police is so complete, its cognisance is so extended to every part and into every matter, that a habit of obedience is induced which it is very difficult for any individual to break through."-Rural and Domestic Life.
We believe this latter review of the political circumstances of the country to be the true one. We believe that freedom in Germany consists in the enjoyment of useful rights,-rights which confer substantial prosperity upon the people. It is seen that every man has enough-that there are no great burdens to complain of -no misdeeds consummated in high places at the cost of the blood and treasure of the bulk of the people-that there are no idlers pampered at the public expense-that, in short, the material progress of the people keeps pace with the power and progress of the government and the national institutions, and that thus harmonising, thus moving onward equally and together, or, if it suit the case better, standing still together, the people have no present cause for discontent, no sufficient excuse or necessity for popular revolt, while the government wisely maintains the security of a position which it could not relax without risk of disorganisation, and durst not render more rigorous without danger to the established rule. We believe that such are the relations between the governed and the governing power in Germany-and that this relationship, however inapplicable to such a country as England, is, upon all accounts, the best that could be devised for the conservation of the multitude of small interests which intersect the surface of the Germanic empire.
Having spoken so freely concerning those passages in Mr.
Howitt's books which we deem open to objection, and having endeavoured to show, for the satisfaction of the national sentiment, in some sort compromised by such passages, that Mr. Howitt elsewhere qualifies them all, more or less, we think it nothing more than justice to that gentleman's labours to add, that we consider his larger work on Germany to be the most valuable publication we possess in English on the general subject of which it treats. It does not need any recommendation at our hands; but we would not have it supposed that in pointing out a few slight faults, we are insensible to the merits of diligent research and sound feeling so conspicuously displayed in its pages.
Our object is to testify to the people of Germany the regard in which they are held in this country-to show them that, differing as we do in a variety of small social usages, we are prompt to recognise the more important features of resemblance and sympathy which exist between us; and which, in some measure, give us a sort of common interest in their welfare and happiness. In conclusion, we beg to express our hearty concurrence in every syllable of the following passages-the truth and importance of which will be responded to, if we are not much mistaken, by every rightthinking man from one end of Germany to the other.
"Of all the continental countries it is with Germany that we have been oftenest compelled to alliance by the intrigues and assumptions of other nations. It is with Germany that least of all, through our whole history, have we had wars and rivalry. By the union of England and Germany must peace be achieved, or war successfully waged. But besides this there is no other continental nation with which, spite of our national dissimilarities, we have so many points of coincidence, or so kindred a character in literature, science, and social life. For the present we may safely assert that there is no country in Europe in which there is so great an amount of comfort and contentment enjoyed. All are industrious, moderate in their desires, and disposed to enjoy themselves in a simple and inexpensive sociality; music, books, the pleasures of summer sunshine and natural scenery, are enjoyments amply offered and widely partaken. The hurry and excitement of more luxurious countries; the oxygen atmosphere of such overgrown cities as Paris or London, have not reached even their largest capitals. Between the wild extremes of manufacturing misery and aristocratic splendour, their life lies, like one of their own plains, somewhat level, but full of corn, and wine, and oil; and however the track on which they are advancing may lead them nearer to national greatness, it cannot add greatly to the national happiness."- Rural and Domestic Life.
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ART. VIII.—1. Iles Taïti: Esquisse Historique et Géographique, précédée de Considérations Générales sur la Colonisation Française dans l'Océanie. Par MM. VINCENDON-DUMOULIN, Ingénieur Hydrographe de la Marine, Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, et C. DESGRAZ, Commis de Marine. II. Parties. Paris: Arthur Bertrand, Editeur. 1844.
2. O-Taïti, Histoire et Enquête. Par HENRI LUTTEROTH. Paris: Paulin, Libraire. 1843.
3. Brief Statement of the Aggression of the French on the Island of Tahiti. By the Directors of the LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY. London. 1843.
4. An Appeal to British Christians and the Public generally on behalf of the Queen of Tahiti and her Outraged Subjects. By SAMUEL TAMATOA WILLIAMS. Second Edition. London: John Snow. 1844.
5. History of the London Missionary Society. By the Rev. W. ELLIS, Author of Polynesian Researches.' (Unpublished.)
A GOVERNMENT disposing of the collective forces of a nation cannot manifest its existence in foreign lands otherwise than by armies or diplomatic representatives. In a barbarous state of society the latter have no existence, and no power is respected beyond the immediate sweep of its sword. Kings, who make a daily practice of plundering one another's subjects, have often been known to live in close amity together. This is the despotic period. But as soon as the will and wish of the nation, speaking in whatever language, begin to influence the decisions of a government, it becomes more and more necessary that every individual should be considered a member of the sovereign, and that an injury to one should be resented by all. Before this epoch wars are only entered on to resent the wrongs of the monarch, consisting generally in aggressions on his estate, territory, or dominion. His people, mere instruments for wringing riches from the soil, no sooner traverse his frontiers than they give up all claim to protection. Commerce, therefore, is undertaken solely at private risk, and merchants are the natural enemies of every state, forming a commonwealth among themselves. No sovereign's influence, except on some rare occasions of the terror of a great name, extending far beyond his borders, traders, who require the whole world to breathe freely in, are necessarily compelled to league together for their own defence. They are considered as strangers and pillaged on every side. Monopolies therefore arise, and in the war between governments on the one hand, and the carriers of wealth on the other, perplexing and pernicious theories get afloat which
are bequeathed as heirlooms to a better age. Wherever juster ideas begin to prevail, and a state is considered as composed of men, not of acres, and these men begin to assert a legitimate influence on the conduct of public affairs, and to perceive that bodies politic are associations for mutual protection, there wealth begins to gather and happiness to abound. But in order to secure this result one thing is necessary, that the whole power of the state be employed to redress the wrongs offered to any one member, that its very existence should be perilled rather than that one individual having a right to its protection should receive an unpunished injury.
A nice distinction has been drawn between a consul and a subject. No one, however, has dared to maintain in theory that the latter might be abandoned, though the former might not. An insult to one must be revenged as much as an insult to the other. But the consul certainly has privileges - personal inviolability and right of residence at the place whither he is accredited, are among them-and these may be infringed by an act which, towards a mere subject, would be indifferent. A consul, according to the law of nations, cannot be removed except by the government that appointed him. No country can be considered civilised in which these principles are not acknowledged. In England their rigid application has always been more necessary than elsewhere. Our greatness is very much the result of individual energy and enterprise. Our gospel has been preached by self-elected apostles. The reason of our expansion and development on all sides, must be sought in the bosom of every Englishman. But that love of adventure, that eagerness for commercial pursuits, that recklessness of daring, that indefatigable industry, that patience, that perseverance, that obstinacy, from which our empire, moral and material, derives its origin, would have been of worse than no avail, if unnourished, unsupported by the consciousness that, wherever a Briton penetrated, however far he might roam, his country ceased not to care for his welfare, and would not fail, in case of danger, to stretch out her strong arm to protect him. Our national character is an extraordinary assemblage of seemingly opposite qualities. There is no nation more apt to wander, no nation has produced more enterprising travellers, or navigators, or colonists, and yet none are more distinguished by the love of home. The consequence is, that in whatever place an Englishman settles down, he soon learns to consider it as his home, not by abandoning his reverence for the land of his birth, but by looking upon his new abode as a sort of appendage, an addition, an enlargement of that. Wherever he establishes a hearth and a roof, he conceives that his country acquires some claim upon the soil; or, at
Development of English Power.
least, that so long as he remains upon that spot the shadow of the union-jack overspreads and hallows it, rendering it as inviolable as any part of Kent or Middlesex. And why should it not be so? Every man, every people has a vocation. To some it is given to grow cotton, corn, or wine; to others, manufactures and commerce are allotted; others seek, and perhaps find, military glory; but it has been decreed, not to make an Anacreontic enumeration, that the English shall fill the face of the earth with civilisation and knowledge. We, who have outstripped most nations in the arts of peace and war, are, above all, the appointed emissaries for the dispersion of truth among the ignorant and barbarous. But we pretend to no peculiar dispensation. The cause of our activity in sowing the seeds of knowledge is to be found in the circumstances by which we are surrounded, partly, perhaps, in our climate, partly in the accident, if we may call it so, of our position; but, above all, in the constitution of our minds. If, however, we scatter ourselves far and wide in every quarter of the globe, we never cease to be linked indissolubly to our mother country. Wealth, honour, titles, distinctions, are little valued by us apart from our quality as Englishmen. No nation adopts with so much reluctance the costume and manners of foreigners. We exult in our ungainly dress in the midst of the silks and brocades of barbarians. Other people no sooner approach the outer orbit of savage life than they are drawn irresistibly into its vortex. We remain John Bulls in the midst of anthropophagi.
Such are some of the reasons of the gradual and sure development of English power. The crown has conquered, of its own accord, few of our valuable possessions. We have been preceded everywhere by our merchants and our seamen, and the nation has rarely intervened in their relations with foreign states, except to protect them from wrong. Such intervention we have seldom refused to grant. In the infancy of our power, when our force bore no comparison to its present triumphant efficacy, the theory had not been advanced that an agent of a private body must rely only for protection on that body. Such pusillanimous doctrines have been reserved for the present age. It was reserved, also, for the present age to discover the dignity of sacrificing an individual whose cause we espouse, of speaking with contempt of his character and abilities, in order to appease the anger of a foreign press. Fine expedient! Enlarged policy! Throw the man overboard,' but hold fast to the principle. We have no sympathy with such abstract modes of dealing with political questions, and, while acknowledging the necessity of separating a private from a public wrong, we think this country should be as ready to defend the character as the person of a subject.