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a letter of marque to put down the liberties of nations,' such is the sum and substance of Kossuth's speeches; such the one invariable form of appeal which he addresses to the population of the civilized earth, and especially to the Anglo-Saxon portions of it.
The two limitations of the law of non-interference which we have thus stated, constitute together what may be called the negative part of the doctrine and practice of the solidarity of peoples. An exposition of the various positive duties which this doctrine would include, would lead us into new and too extensive fields. Let us only allude in particular to one function which would fall to be provided for in any system of international arrangements for giving effect to the doctrine-a function quite as important, in our view, though more recondite in its nature, than some which will immediately suggest themselves. In any system of international arrangements conceived for the purpose of giving practical effect to the doctrine of the solidarity of peoples, there would, of course, be provisions for an organized study by all nations of social problems common to them all; for the arbitration of international disputes; and for the simultaneous education of nations in new principles of progress, and their simultaneous use of new inventions. A great part of the available force of such a system, however, would have to be devoted expressly to a function which we will call the regulation of the factitious influence in history. We have seen that in history, apart from the normal influence of nationalities, or already determined organisms, each working steadily within fixed limits, there has always operated another, and apparently antagonistic influence, originating in human restlessness, and manifesting itself in outrages, invasions, re-adjustments of nationalities. This spirit, this factitious influence, as we call it, this energy of new and ever new political invention, can never become extinct. The problem is to reconcile it with modern conditions. And the first step to this would be to recognise its existence, and to place it as far as possible under the control of the collective wisdom of nations. Were it once distinctly recognised that men must go on creating new political organisms, imparting factitious life and unity to new and even larger masses of the human race, modifying nationalities and sometimes fusing them together, it is quite possible that this essential function might no longer be left to the rude and fitful agency of war and conquest, but be undertaken as a part of the common business of confederated governments and peoples. On this immense speculation, however, opening as it does a vista of conjectural views of the globe as it will be—we cannot at present enter farther.
And now, what shall we say respecting the application of
APPLICATION OF THE PRINCIPLE.
the doctrines we have been discussing to the present state of European politics. Never, within the memory of the present generation, has the duty of a definite, bold, and consistent course of foreign policy been more incumbent upon Great Britain than at the present hour. There is not one of our questions of internal politics, as Kossuth has said, that outweighs in importance the question of our foreign relations. The honour, the glory, the interest of England, are concentrated now in what is done in the Foreign Office. What is likely to be done there, and what does the state of opinion out of doors indicate as the prescription of the people as to what ought to be done there?
Non-intervention has been the favourite doctrine of English politicians. To mind our own affairs, and to leave other peoples to mind theirs-this has been the sum and substance of our political creed. If there be any truth, however, in what has been advanced by us on this head, then, even on the narrow basis of this non-intervention principle, may be raised a vehement argument for active demonstration on the part of our Foreign Office at the present moment. England may, indeed, refuse to acknowledge the limitation to the non-intervention principle laid down by the ultra-democratic advocates of the rights of nationalities. Accepting the de facto arrangement of states, as, with one or two exceptions, national enough, England may refuse to join in any crusade for the purpose of amending it by the evocation of new peoples, or the assistance of existing peoples to obtain democratic constitutions. Farther, England, lagging behind America in this respect, may refuse to acknowledge that limitation of the non-intervention principle which would justify interposition to put down by force such enormities in the internal administration of foreign states as have taken place in Rome, Naples, and Lombardy. Many Englishmen, indeed, would go to the full length of this interposition; but the majority, perhaps, still shrink from going so far. But we cannot see how any consistent believer in the non-intervention principle can avoid agreeing to the remaining limitation, and accepting all its consequences. As firmly as we believe in the vital importance of the doctrine of non-intervention, so rigidly are we bound to employ all the resources of our national character and influence in compelling this doctrine to be respected. In acts of international piracy, such as the French invasion of Rome, and the Russian invasion of Hungary, there is an undoubted right on the part of England to exert her strength, whether for remonstrance or chastisement. The manner of exercising the right, of course, is a subject for prudential consideration. Peace or war is an alternative over which a statesman may well hesitate.
But woe to the country which proclaims to the world that on all occasions, and whatever betide, it will never go to war! To say that, would be to proclaim a maxim fraught with the last degree of evil to the civilized and virtuous portions of mankind! Let England only abstain from that; and without assuming the attitude of braggardism or courting war, let her simply say the word, stop,' to the pirates of liberty with that amount of good faith which men are supposed to have when they speak in ordinary life; and this alone, as Kossuth has said, and much more surely if America were to pronounce her hands off' at the same time, the same would secure the emancipation of all the oppressed peoples. As it is, the belief abroad is that England barks but never bites. The longer, however, we bark without biting, the more severely shall we have to bite at last to recover our character. What we might never do, as a nation, on motives of principle, we shall probably be compelled to do from motives of interest.
For England, the whole question of our foreign relations is merging rapidly into a question of self-defence. The coupd'état of Louis Napoleon has brought despotism to our doors. The whole area of the continent being now virtually or really under Russian influence, the only part of Europe that remains to be conquered is England. Belgium, Sardinia, and Switzerland are already doomed. Let the present rules of Europe only feel that they have consolidated their powers, and as sure as fate there will be a determination of their whole strength against the power and liberties of this island. There are already symptoms of this in the treatment abroad of our tourists and our ambassadors. The Englishman, it seems, in place of being a special object of respect, is to become a mark for every petty official to spit at! Attacks on our commerce will come next. Last of all, when the time is ripe, will come, on some pretext or other, a declaration of war. England, which replaced all the kings of Europe, may have their enmity as her recompence. An invasion of the island itself, on the one hand, by the Algerian generals of Louis Napoleon; and a march into British India, on the other, by a Russian army proceeding through Persia, these are now contemplated possibilities. Hence those paragraphs about rifle-clubs, the accoutrements of our army, and the like, which appear daily in the newspapers. A month or two ago these demonstrations of alarm would have been denounced as ridiculous: now, even Mr. Cobden holds his tongue. Fortunately, however, there is a higher hope of safety for us than in ball-practice and rifle-clubs on our own account. In the battle, when it comes, we shall not stand alone. The
THE PROBABLE FUTURE.
same battle, which is a battle of self-defence for us, will be a battle of freedom for the whole world. When England takes up arms in defence of her liberties, there will be Polish, Hungarian, and Italian officers in her army; and other men than we now see will have place in her councils. England will then be the rendezvous of the Liberals of all the European nations. America, in such case, could scarcely be inactive. To be a mere looker-on, while the great interests of humanity were at stake, would be to sell herself to infamy as lasting as the world's civilization. The English worsted in such a struggle, the men of the United States would then have to lay their account with being scowled upon, as a race even less endurable, in every port and capital of Europe. Jonathan was not born to bear thatnot born to hazard the bearing of it. The battle, if come it does, will be a veritable battle of Armageddon-on the one side, Despotism, Jesuitism, Greek Church Erastianism, and Materialistic Socialism; on the other, Freedom, Protestantism, Anglo-Saxon chivalry, and the Nobler forms of Social Aspiration. This battle, among other things, will, perhaps, help to solve the problem of the fusion of nationalities. If the issue is as we are bound to hope, the peoples of the old world will be the willing members of one great commonwealth; if it is the reverse, liberty will seek a refuge in the new hemisphere, where all nationalities are already commingled.
Meanwhile, in the prospect of such questions, such chances, what are our Whig masters doing? The times at hand will try them; we could wish that the issue might be, as far as they are concerned, better than our fears.
AFFAIRS AND BOOKS, BRITISH AND FOREIGN.
THE phases of social life among peoples and continents come like layers in geology, each in its turn, to be overlaid and concealed in its turn. Long is the interval that passes as the deposit proceeds, and slow is the process through which one deposit is supervened by another.
The military monarchies of Europe have come as a work of the ages. The central force of old Rome had diffused itself like a sea of power, laying its superincumbent weight over all, and depressing all.
The upburst which followed gives us the feudal system. In this also the power is military. But it is a power of that order unlike the bygone. It is no longer central-it has become local. The ruler, with nations-with the half of two continents at his feet, has passed away. Now, every province, every petty district, has its sovereign, whose vassals do their service, as civilians or soldiers, under his protection and authority. The colossal ascendancy that was, has been broken into fragments, and the fragments seem endless.
But this again is not to endure. The church still retains her unity. Rome is still a centre, and Christendom is her circumference. It is true, her monarchy is not military, but spiritual. Still it is a monarchy. It supplied the model which secular men were not slow to follow-what is more, it supplied those maxims to the ambitious by which nearly all other monarchies have been reared. The pontiffs claimed to be the ultimate authority in the church. This plea of unity and supremacy was the lever by which their loftiest achievements were realized. By taking the democracy of the priesthood, if we may so speak, under their patronage, they succeeded in curbing the aristocracy of that priesthood, and, at length, in reducing both to something like the ideal point of dependence and subjection.
This course of affairs in the church, which reached its culminating point in the times of Gregory VII. and Innocent III., presents the exact image of the course that has been pursued by the great