The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain - Nineteenth Century Europe
by J. A. Cramb
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With us, let me repeat, the decision rests, with us and with this generation. Never since on Sinai God spoke in thunder has mandate more imperative been issued to any race, city, or nation than now to this nation and to this people. And, again, if we should hesitate, or if we should decide wrongly, it is not the loss of prestige, it is not the narrowed bounds we have to fear, it is the judgment of the dead and the despair of the living, of the inarticulate myriads who have trusted to us, it is the arraigning eyes of the unborn.

[1] I am aware of Spinoza's distinction of the "clara et distincta idea" and the "inadequat[oe] idea"; but the distinction above flows from a conception of the universe and of man's destiny which is not Spinoza's nor Spinozistic.

[2] Was machst du an der Welt? sie ist schon gemacht; Der Herr der Schoepfung hat alles bedacht. Dein Loos ist gefallen, verfolge die Weise, Der Weg ist begonnen, vollende die Reise. GOETHE, West-oestlicher Divan, Buch der Sprueche.

[3] Recent investigation has made it clear that the history of Islamic Arabia is not severed by any violent convulsion from pre-Mohammedan Arabia. "The times of ignorance" were not the desolate waste which Tabari, "the Livy of the Arabs," paints, and down to the close of the eighteenth century the comparison between England, Rome, and Islam offers a fair field for speculative politics.

[4] Yet the scientific conception of the destruction or decay of this whole star-system by fire or ice does of itself turn progress into a mockery. (See Prof. C. A. Young, Manual of Astronomy, p. 571, and Prof. F. R. Moulton, Introduction to Astronomy, p. 486.)

[5] Condorcet's biography (1786) of his master is one of the noblest works of its class in French literature. Turgot's was one of those minds that like Chamfort's or Villiers de L'Isle Adam's scatter bounteously the ideas which others use or misuse. The fogs and mists of Comte's portentous tomes are all derived, it has often been pointed out, from a few paragraphs of Turgot. And a fragment written by Turgot in his youth inspired something of the substance and even of the title of Condorcet's great Esquisse.

[6] References to the power over his mind of the French Revolutionary principles abound in Goethe's writings. The violence of the first impression, which began with the affair of the necklace, had reached a climax in '90 and '91, and this, along with the ineffaceable memories of the Werther and Goetz period, which his heart remembered when in his intellectual development he had left it far behind, accounts in a large measure for his yielding temporarily at least to the spell of Napoleon's genius, and for the studied but unaffected indifference to German politics and to the War of Liberation. Even of 1809, the year of Eckmuehl, Essling, and Wagram, and the darkest hour of German freedom, Goethe can write: "This year, considering the beautiful returns it brought me, shall ever remain dear and precious to memory," and when the final uprising against the French was imminent, he sought quietude in oriental poetry—Firdusi, Hafiz, and Nisami.

[7] Of his Contes Taine said: "Depuis les Grecs aucun artiste n'a taille un camee litteraire avec autant de relief, avec une aussi rigoureuse perfection de forme."

[8] It is remarkable that Carlyle and Schopenhauer should have lived through four decades together yet neither know in any complete way of the other's work. Carlyle nowhere mentions the name of Schopenhauer. Indeed Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, though read by a few, was practically an unknown book both in Germany and England until a date when Carlyle was growing old, solitary, and from the present ever more detached, and new books and new writers had become, as they were to Goethe in his age, distasteful or a weariness. Schopenhauer, on the other hand, already in the "thirties," had been attracted by Carlyle's essays on German literature in the Edinburgh, and though ignorant as yet of the writer's name he was all his life too diligent a reader of English newspapers and magazines to be unaware of Carlyle's later fame. But he has left no criticism, nor any distinct references to Carlyle's teaching, although in his later and miscellaneous writings the opportunity often presents itself. Wagner, it is known, was a student both of Schopenhauer and Carlyle. Schopenhauer's proud injunction, indeed, that he who would understand his writings should prepare himself by a preliminary study of Plato or Kant, or of the divine wisdom of the Upanishads, indicates also paths that lead to the higher teaching of Wagner, and—though in a less degree—of Carlyle.

[9] The friendship of Tourgenieff and Flaubert rested upon speculative rather than on artistic sympathy. The Russian indeed never quite understood Flaubert's "rage for the word." Yet the deep inner concord of the two natures reveals itself in their correspondence. It was the supreme friendship of Flaubert's later manhood as that with Bouilhet was the friendship of his earlier years. Yet they met seldom, and their meetings often resembled those of Thoreau and Emerson, as described by the former, or those of Carlyle and Tennyson, when after some three hours' smoking, interrupted by a word or two, the evening would end with Carlyle's good-night: "Weel, we hae had a grand nicht, Alfred." It is in one of Tourgenieff's own prose-poems that the dialogue of the Jungfrau and the Finsteraarhorn across the centuries is darkly shadowed. The evening of the world falls upon spirits sensitive to its intimations as the diurnal twilight falls upon the hearts of travellers descending a broad stream near the Ocean and the haven of its unending rest.

[10] Cf. Philostratus, Life of Appollonius. I. 28.



"Nineteenth Century Europe" was written by Mr. Cramb for the Daily News Special Number for December 31st, 1900. In it he presents a survey of the political events and tendencies throughout Europe during the nineteenth century. He outlines the development of the New German Empire from the war against Napoleon down to the days of Bismarck and Wilhelm II, and shows how the Russian general Skobeleff, the hero of Plevna and the Schipka Pass, foretold over thirty years ago the present death-struggle between Teuton and Slav in Eastern Europe. The future roles of France, Italy, and Spain are also clearly indicated by the author.




In Europe, as the year 1800 dragged to its bloody close, and the fury of the conflict between the Monarchies and the Revolution was for a time stilled on the fields of Marengo and Hohenlinden, men then, as now, discussed the problems of the relation of a century's end to the determining forces of human history; then, as now, men remarked half regretfully, half mockingly, how pallid had grown the light which once fell from the years of Jubilee of mediaeval or Hebrew times; and then, as now, critics of a lighter or more positive vein debated the question whether the coming year were the first or second of the new century, pointing out that between the last year of a century and man's destiny there could be no intimate connection, that all the eras were equally arbitrary, equally determined by local or accidental calculations, that the century which was closing over the Christian world had but run half its course to the Mohammedan. Yet in one deep enough matter the mood of the Europe of 1800 differs significantly from the mood of the Europe of 1900. Whatever the division in men's minds as to the relation between the close of the century and a race's history, and the precise moment at which the old century ends and the new begins, one thing in 1800 was radiantly clear to all men—the glory and the wonder, the endless peace and felicity not less endless, which the opening century and the new age dimly portended or securely promised to humanity. The desert march of eighteen hundred years was ended; the promised land was in sight. The poet's voice from the Cumberland hills, "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive" traversed the North Sea, and beyond the Rhine was swelled by a song more majestic and not less triumphant:

Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen, Durch des Himmels praecht'gen Plan, Wandelt, Brueder, eure Bahn, Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen,

and, passing the Alps and the Vistula, died in a tumultuous hymn of victory long hoped for, of joy long desired, of freedom long despaired of, in the cities of Italy, the valleys of Greece, the plains of Poland, and the Russian steppes. Since those days three generations have arisen, looked their last upon the sun, and passed to their rest, and in what another mood does Europe now confront the opening century and the long vista of its years! Man presents himself no more as he was delineated by the poets of 1800. Not now does man appear to the poet's vision as mild by suffering and by freedom strong, rising like some stately palm on the century's verge; but to the highest-mounted minds in Russia, Germany, France, Norway, Italy, man presents himself like some blasted pine, a thunder-riven trunk, tottering on the brink of the abyss, whilst far below rave the darkness and the storm-drift of the worlds. From what causes and by the operation of what laws has the great disillusion fallen upon the heart of Europe? Whither are vanished the glorious hopes with which the century opened? Is it final despair, this mood in which it closes, or is it but the temporary eclipse which hides some mightier hope, a new incarnation of the spirit of the world, some yet serener endeavour, radiant and more enduring, wider in its range and in its influences profounder than that of 1789, of 1793, or of the year of Hohenlinden and Marengo?

In the year 1800, from the Volga to the Irish Sea, from the sunlit valleys of Calabria to the tormented Norwegian fiords, there was in every European heart capable of interests other than egoistical and personal one word, one hope, ardent and unconquerable. That word was "Freedom"—freedom to the serf from the fury of the boyard, to the thralls who toiled and suffered throughout the network of principalities, kingdoms, and duchies, named "Germany"; freedom to the negro slave; freedom to the newer slaves whom factories were creating; freedom to Spain from the Inquisition, from the tyranny and shame of Charles IV and Godoy; freedom to Greece from the yoke of the Ottoman; to Italy from the slow, unrelenting oppression of the Austrian; freedom to all men from the feudal State and the feudal Church, from civic injustice and political disfranchisement, from the immeasurable wrongs of the elder centuries! A new religion, heralded by a new evangel, that of Diderot and Montesquieu, Lessing, Beccaria, and Voltaire, and sanctified by the blood of new martyrs, the Girondins, offered itself to the world. But as if man, schooled by disillusionment, and deceived in the fifteenth and in the seventeenth centuries, trembled now lest this new hope should vanish like the old, he sought a concrete symbol and a reasoned basis for the intoxicating dream. Therefore, he spoke the word "Liberty" like a challenge, and as sentinel answers sentinel, straight there came the response, whispered in his own breast, or boldly uttered—"France and Bonaparte." Since the death of Mohammed, no single life had so centred upon itself the deepest hopes and aspirations of men of every type of genius, intellect, and character. Chateaubriand, returning from exile, offers him homage, and in the first year of the century dedicates to him his Genie du Christianisme, that work which, after La Nouvelle Heloise, most deeply moulded the thought of France in the generation which followed. And in that year, Beethoven throws upon paper, under the name "Bonaparte," the first sketches of his mighty symphony, the serenest achievement in art, save the Prometheus of Shelley, that the Revolutionary epoch has yet inspired. In that year, at Weimar, Schiller, at the height of his enthusiasm, is repelled, as he had been in the first ardour of their friendship, by the aloofness or the disdain of the greater poet. Yet Goethe did most assuredly feel even then the spell of Napoleon's name. And in that year, the greatest of English orators, Charles James Fox, joined with the Russian Czar, Paul, with Canova, the most exquisite of Italian sculptors, and with Hegel, the most brilliant of German metaphysicians, in offering the heart's allegiance to this sole man for the hopes his name had kindled in Europe and in the world. To the calmer devotion of genius was added the idolatrous enthusiasm of the peoples of France, Italy, Germany. And, indeed, since Mohammed, no single mind had united within itself capacities so various in their power over the imaginations of men—an energy of will, swift, sudden, terrifying as the eagle's swoop; the prestige of deeds which in his thirtieth year recalled the youth of Alexander and the maturer actions of Hannibal and Caesar; an imaginative language which found for his ideas words that came as from a distance, like those of Shakespeare or Racine; and within his own heart a mystic faith, deep-anchored, immutable, tranquil, when all around was trouble and disarray—the calm of a spirit habituated to the Infinite, and familiar with the deep places of man's thought from his youth upwards. Yes, Mirabeau was long dead, and Danton, Marat, and Saint-Just, and but three years ago the heroic Lazare Hoche, richly gifted in politics as in war, had been struck down in the noontide of his years; but now a greater than Mirabeau, Hoche, or Danton was here. If the December sun of Hohenlinden diverted men's minds to Moreau, the victor, it was but for a moment. In the universal horror and joy with which on Christmas Day, 1800, the rumour of the explosion and failure of the infernal machine in the Rue St. Nicaise spread over Europe, men felt more intimately, more consciously, the hopes, the fears, bound up inextricably with the name, the actions, and the life of the new world-deliverer, the Consul Bonaparte.

The history of the nineteenth century centres in the successive transformations of this ideal so highly-pitched. In the gradual declension of the cause which was then a religion, and to mankind the warrant of a new era, into a local or party-cry, a watch-word travestied and degraded, lies the origin of the intellectual despair or solicitude which marks the closing years of the century. The first disillusionment came swiftly. Fifteen years pass, years of war and convulsion unexampled in Europe since the cataclysm of the fifth century, the century of Alaric and Attila—and within that space, those fifteen years, what a revolution in all the sentiments, the hopes, the aspirations of men! The Consul Bonaparte has become the Emperor Napoleon, the arch-enemy of Liberty and of the human race. France, the world's forlorn hope in 1800, is, in 1815, the gathering place of the armies of Europe, risen in arms against her! Emperors and kings, nations, cities, and principalities, statesmen like Stein, philosophers like Fichte, poets like Arndt and Koerner, warriors like Kutusov, Bluecher, and Schwartzenberg, the peoples of Europe and the governments of Europe, the oppressed and the oppressors, the embittered enmities and the wrongs of a thousand years forgotten, had leagued together in this vast enterprise, whose end was the destruction of one nation and one sole man—the world-deliverer of but fifteen years ago!

What tragedy of a lost leader equals this of Napoleon? What marvel that it still troubles the minds of men more profoundly than any other of modern ages. Yet Napoleon did not betray Liberty, nor was France false to the Revolution. Man's action at its highest is, like his art, symbolic. To Camille Desmoulins and the mob behind him the capture of a disused fortress and the liberation of a handful of men made the fall of the Bastille the symbol and the watchword of Liberty. To the Europe of Napoleon, the monarchs of Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Spain, the princes of Germany and Italy, the Papal power, "the stone thrust into the side of Italy to keep the wound open"—these were like the Bastille to the France of Desmoulins, a symbol of oppression and wrong, injustice and tyranny. And in Bonaparte, whether as Consul or Emperor, the peoples of Europe for a time beheld the hero who led against the tyrants the hosts of the free. What were his own despotisms, his own rigour, his cruelty, the spy-system of Fouche, the stifled Press, the guet-apens of Bayonne, the oppression of Prussia, and one sanguinary war followed by another—what were these things but the discipline, the necessary sacrifice, the martyrdom of a generation for the triumph and felicity of the centuries to come? Napoleon at the height of Imperial power, with thirty millions of devoted subjects behind him, and legions unequalled since those of Rome, did but make Rousseau's experiment. "The emotions of men," Rousseau argued, "have by seventeen hundred years of asceticism and Christianism been so disciplined, that they can now be trusted to their own guidance." The hour of his death, whether by a pistol bullet or by poison, or from sheer weariness, was also the hour of Rousseau's deepest insight into the human heart. That hour of penetrating vision into the eternal mystery made him glad to rush into the silence and the darkness. Napoleon, trusting to the word and to the ideal Liberty, to man's unstable desires and to his own most fixed star, yokes France in 1800 to his chariot wheels. But at the outset he has to compromise with the past of France, with the ineradicable traits of the Celtic race, its passion for the figures on the veil of Maya, its rancours, and the meditated vengeance for old defeats. Yet it is in the name of Liberty rather than of France that he greets the sun of Austerlitz, breaks the ramrod despotism of Prussia, and meets the awful resistance of the Slav at Eyiau and Friedland. Then, turning to the West, it is in the name of Liberty that he sends Junot, Marmont, Soult, and Massena across the Pyrenees to restore honour and law to Spain, and, as he had ended the mediaeval Empire of the Hapsburgs, to end there in Madrid the Inquisition and the priestly domination. The Inquisition, which in 300 years had claimed 300,000 victims, is indeed suppressed, but Spain, to his amazement, is in arms to a man against its liberators! But Napoleon cannot pause, his fate, like Hamlet's, calling out, and whilst his Marshals are still baffled by the lines of Torres Vedras, he musters his hosts, and, conquering the new Austrian Empire at Wagram, marches Attila-like across a subjugated Europe against the Empire and capital of the White Czar.

Napoleon's fall made the purpose of his destiny clear even to the most ardent of French Royalists, and to the most contented of the servants of Francis II or Frederick William III. At Vienna the gaily-plumaged diplomatists undid in a month all that the fifteen years of unparalleled action and suffering unparalleled had achieved; whilst the most matter-of-fact of all British Cabinets invested the prison of the fallen conqueror with a tragic poetry which made the rock in the Atlantic but too fitting an emblem of the peak in the Caucasus and the lingering anguish of Prometheus. And if not one man of supreme genius then living or in after ages has condemned Napoleon, if the poets of that time, Goethe and Manzoni, Poushkine, Byron, and Lermontoff, made themselves votaries of his fame, it was because they felt already what two generations have made a commonplace, that his hopes had been their hopes, his disillusion their disillusion; that in political freedom no more than in religious freedom can the peace of the world be found; that Girondinism was no final evangel; that to man's soul freedom can never be an end in itself, but only the means to an end.

The history of Europe for the thirty-three years following the abdication at the Elysee is a conflict between the two principles of Absolutism and Liberty, represented now by the cry for constitutionalism and the Nation, now by a return to Girondinism and the watchword of Humanity. In theory the divine right of peoples was arrayed against the divine right of kings. The conflict was waged bitterly; yet it was a conflict without a battle. The dungeon, the torture chamber, the Siberian mine, the fortresses of Spandau or Spielberg, which Silvio Pellico has made remembered—these were the weapons of the tyrants. The secret society, the Marianne, the Carbonari, the offshoots of the Tugendbund, the ineffectual rising or transient revolution, always bloodily repressed, whether in Italy, Spain, Russia, Austria, or Poland—these were the sole weapons left to Liberty, which had once at its summons the legions of Napoleon. And in this singular conflict, what leaders! In Spain, the heroic Juan Martin, the brilliant Riego; in Germany, Goerres, the morning-star of political journalism, Rodbertus or Borne; in France, Saint-Simon, and the malcontents who still believed in the Bonapartist cause. It was not an army, but a crowd, without unity of purpose and without the possibility of united action. Opposed to these were the united purposes, moved, for a time at least, by a single aim—the repression of the common enemy, "Revolution," in every State of Europe, in the great monarchies of Austria, France, Russia, as in the smaller principalities of Germany, the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Tuscany, Piedmont, Venetia, and Modena. To this war against Liberty the Czar Alexander, the white angel who, in Madame de Kruedener's phrase, had struck down the black angel Napoleon, added something of the sanctity of a crusade. From God alone was the sovereign power of the princes of the earth derived, and it was the task of the Holy Alliance to compel the peoples to submit to this divinely-appointed and righteous despotism.

In this crusade Austria and Metternich occupy in Europe till 1848 the place which France and Bonaparte had occupied in the earlier crusade. "I was born," says Metternich in the fragment of his autobiography, "to be the enemy of the Revolution." Nature, indeed, and the environment of his youth had formed him to act the part of the genius of Reaction. Beneath the fine, empty, meaningless mask of the Austrian noble lay a heart which had never quivered with any profound emotion, or beat high with any generous impulse. He was hostile to nobility of thought, action, and art, for he had intelligence enough to discern in these a living satire upon himself, his life, his aims. He despised history, for history is the tragedy of Humanity; and he mocked at philosophy. But he patronized Schlegel, for his watery volumes were easy reading, and made rebellion seem uncultured and submission the mark of a thoughtful mind. Metternich's handsome figure, fine manners, and interminable billets-doux written between sentences of death, exile, the solitary dungeon, distinguish his appearance and habits from Philip II of Spain, but, like him, he governed Europe from his bureau, guiding the movements of a standing army of 300,000 men, and a police and espionage department never surpassed and seldom rivalled in the western world. There was nothing in him that was great. But he was indisputable master of Europe for thirty-three years. Nesselrode, Hardenberg, Talleyrand even—whose Memoirs seem the work of genius beside the beaten level of mediocrity of Metternich's—found their designs checked whenever they crossed the Austrian's policy. Congress after Congress—Vienna, Carlsbad, Troppau, Laybach, Verona—exhibited his triumph to Europe. At Laybach, in 1821, the Emperor's address to the professors there, and thence to all the professors throughout the Empire, was dictated by Metternich—"Hold fast by what is old, for that alone is good. If our forefathers found in this the true path, why should we seek another? New ideas have arisen amongst you, principles which I, your Emperor, have not sanctioned, and never will sanction. Beware of such ideas! It is not scholars I stand in need of, but of loyal subjects to my Crown, and you, you are here to train up loyal subjects to me. See that you fulfil this task!" Is there in human history a document more blasting to the reputation for political wisdom or foresight of him who penned it? It were an insult to the great Florentine to style such piteous ineptitudes Machiavellian. Yet they succeeded. The new evangel had lost its power; the freedom of Humanity was the dream of a few ideologues; the positive ideals of later times had not yet arisen. Well might men ask themselves: Has then Voltaire lived in vain, and the Girondins died in vain? Has all the blood from Lodi and Arcola to Austerlitz and the Borodino been shed in vain? Hard on the address to the universities there crept silently across Europe the message that Napoleon was dead. "It is not an event," said Talleyrand, "but a piece of news." The remark was just. Europe seemed now one vast Sainte Helene, and men's hearts a sepulchre in which all hope or desire for Liberty was vanquished. The solitary grave at Longwood, the iron railings, the stunted willow, were emblems of a cause for ever lost.

The Revolution of July lit the gloom with a moment's radiance. Heine's letters still preserve the electric thrill which the glorious Three Days awakened. "Lafayette, the tricolour, the Marseillaise!" he writes to Varnhagen, when the "sunbeams wrapped in printer's ink" reached him in Heligoland, "I am a child of the Revolution, and seize again the sacred weapons. Bring flowers! I will crown my head for the fight of death. Give me the lyre that I may sing a song of battle, words like fiery stars which shoot from Heaven and burn up palaces and illumine the cabins of the poor." But when Lafayette presented to France that best of all possible Republics, the fat smile and cotton umbrella of Louis Philippe; when throughout Italy, Sicily, Spain, Germany, insurrection was repressed still more coldly and cruelly; when Paskievitch established order in Warsaw, and Czartoryski resigned the struggle—then the transient character of the outbreak was visible. France herself was weary of the illusion. "We had need of a sword," a Polish patriot wrote, "and France sent us her tears." The taunt was as foolish as it was unjust. France assuredly had done her part in the war for Liberty. The hour had come for the States of Europe to work out their own salvation, or resign themselves to autocracy, Jesuitism, a gagged Press, the omnipresent spy, the Troubetskoi ravelin, Spandau, and Metternich.

Eighteen years were to pass before action, but it was action for a more limited and less glorious, if more practical, ideal than the freedom of the world. Other despots died—Alexander I in 1825, the two Ferdinands, of Sicily and of Spain, Francis II himself in 1835, and Frederick William III in 1840. Gentz, too, was dead, Talleyrand, Hardenberg, and Pozzo di Borgo; but Metternich lived on—"the gods," as Sophocles avers, "give long lives to the dastard and the dog-hearted." The Revolution of July seemed but a test of the stability of the fabric he had reared. From Guizot and his master he found but little resistance. The new Czar Nicholas fell at once into the Austrian system; and, with Gerlach as Minister, Prussia offered as little resistance as the France of Guizot. Meanwhile, in 1840, by the motion of Thiers, Napoleon had returned from Saint Helena, and the advance of his coffin across the seas struck a deeper trouble into the despots of Europe than the march of an army.



In the political as in the religious ideals of men transformation is endless and unresting. The moment of collision between an old and a new principle of human action is a revolution. Such a turning-point is the movement which finds its climax in Europe in the year 1848. Two forces there present themselves, hostile to each other, yet indissolubly united in their determining power upon modern as opposed to ancient Republicanism—the principle of Nationality and the principle of the organization of Labour against Capital, which under various appellations is one of the most profoundly significant forces of the present age. The freedom of the nation was the form into which the older ideal of the freedom of man had dwindled. Saint-Simonianism preserved for a time the old tradition. But the devotees of Saint-Simon's greatest work, Le Nouveau Christianisme, after anticipating in their banquets, graced sometimes by the presence of Malibran, the glories of the coming era, quarrelled amongst themselves, and, returning to common life, became zealous workers not for humanity, but for France, for Germany, or for Italy. Patriotism was taking the place of Humanism.

To Lamartine, indeed, and to Victor Hugo, as to cultured Liberalism throughout Europe, the incidents in Paris of February, 1848, and the astounding rapidity with which the spirit of Revolutions sped from the Seine to the Vistula, to the Danube and the frontiers of the Czar—the barricades in the streets of Vienna and Berlin, the flight of the Emperor and the hated Metternich, the Congress at Prague, and all Hungary arming at the summons of Kossuth, the daring proclamation of the party of Roumanian unity—appeared as a glorious continuance, or even as an expansion, of the ideals of 1789 and 1792. Louis Napoleon, entering like the cut-purse King in Hamlet, who stole a crown and put it in his pocket, the flight of Kossuth, the surrender or the treason of Gorgei, the coup d'etat of December, 1851, shattered these airy imaginings. Yet Napoleon III understood at least one aspect of the change which the years had brought better than the rhetorician of the Girondins or the poet of Hernani. For the principle of Nationality, which in 1848 they ignored, became the foundation of the second French Empire, of the unity of Italy, and of that new German Empire which, since 1870, has affected the State system of Europe more potently and continuously than any other single event since the sudden unity of Spain under Ferdinand at the close of the fifteenth century. It was his dexterous and lofty appeal to this same principle which gave the volumes of Palacky's History of Bohemia a power like that of a war-song. Nationality did not die in Vienna before the bands of Windischgratz and Jellachlich, and from his exile Kossuth guided its course in Hungary to a glorious close—the Magyar nation. Even in Russia, then its bitter enemy, this principle quickened the ardour of Pan-Slavism, which the war of 1878—the Schipka Pass, Plevna, the dazzling heroism of Skobeleff—has made memorable. In the triumph of this same principle lies the future hope of Spain. Spain has been exhausted by revolution after revolution, by Carlist intrigue, by the arrogance of successive dictators, and by the bloody reprisals of faction; she has lost the last of her great colonies; but to Alphonso XIII fate seems to reserve the task of completing again by mutual resignation that union with Portugal of which Castelar indicated the basis—a common blood and language, the common graves which are their ancient battle-fields, and the common wars against the Moslem, which are their glory.

With the names of Marx and Lassalle is associated the second great principle which, in 1848, definitely takes its place on the front of the European stage. This is the principle whose votaries confronted Lamartine at the Hotel-de-Ville on the afternoon of the 25th February. The famous sentence, fortunate as Danton's call to arms, yet by its touch of sentimentality marking the distinction between September, 1792, and February, 1848, "The tricolour has made the tour of the world; the red flag but the tour of the Champ de Mars," has been turned into derision by subsequent events. The red flag has made the tour of the world as effectively as the tricolour and the eagles of Bonaparte. The origins of Communism, Socialism, Anarchism, Nihilism—for all four, however diverging or antagonistic in the ends they immediately pursue, spring from a common root—have been variously ascribed in France to the work of Louis Blanc, Fourier, Proudhon, or in Germany to Engels, Stirner, and Rodbertus, or to the countless secret societies which arose in Spain, Italy, Austria, and Russia, as a protest against the broken pledges of kings and governments after the Congress of Vienna. But the principle which informs alike the writings of individual thinkers and agitators, though deriving a peculiar force in the first half of the century from the doctrines and teachings of Fichte and Schleiermacher, is but the principle to which in all ages suffering and wrong have made their vain appeal—the responsibility of all for the misery of the many and the enduring tyranny of the few. Indignant at the spectacle, the Nihilist in orthodox Russia applies his destructive criticism to all institutions, civil, religious, political, and finding all hollow, seeks to overwhelm all in one common ruin. The Emancipation of 1861 was to the Nihilist but the act of Tyranny veiling itself as Justice. It left the serf, brutalized by centuries of oppression, even more completely than before to the mercy of the boyard and the exploiters of human souls. Michel Bakounine, Kropotkine, Stepniak, Michaelov, and Sophia Perovskaya, whose handkerchief gave the signal to the assassins of Alexander II, were but actualisations of Tourgenieff's imaginary hero Bazaroff, and for a time, indeed, Bazaroffism was in literary jargon the equivalent of Nihilism. If at intervals in recent years a shudder passes across Europe at some new crime, attempted or successful, of Anarchy, if Europe notes the singular regularity with which the crime is traced to Italy, and is perplexed at the absence of all the usual characteristics of conspiracy against society—for what known motives of human action, vanity or fear, hope or the gratification of revenge, can explain the silence of the confederates of Malatesta, and the blind obedience of the agents of his will?—if Europe is perplexed at this apparition of a terror unknown to the ancient world, the Italian sees in it but the operation of the law of responsibility. To the nameless sufferings of Italy he ascribes the temper which leads to the mania of the anarchist; and the sufferings of Italy in their morbid stage he can trace to the betrayal of Italy by Europe in 1816, in 1821, in 1831, in 1848, and supremely in 1856. As Europe has grown more conscious of its essential unity as one State system, diplomacy has wandered from such conceptions as the Balance of Power, through Gortschakoff's ironic appeal to the equality of kings, to the derisive theory of the Concert of Europe. But Communism and Anarchism have afforded a proof of the unity of Europe more convincing and more terrible, and full of sinister presage to the future.

A third aspect of this revolt of misery is Socialism. Karl Marx may be regarded as the chief exponent, if not the founder, of cosmopolitan or international Socialism, and Lassalle as the actual founder of the national or Democratic Socialism of Germany. Marx, whose countenance with its curious resemblance to that of the dwarf of Velasquez, Sebastian de Morra, seems to single him out as the apostle and avenger of human degradation and human suffering, published the first sketch of his principles in 1847, but more completely in the manifesto adopted by the Paris Commune in 1849. As the Revolution of 1789 is to be traced to the oppression of the peasantry by feudal insolence, never weary in wrong-doing, as described by Boisguilbert and Mirabeau pere, so the new revolutionary movement of the close of the nineteenth century has its origin in the oppression of the artisan class by the new aristocracy, the bourgeoisie. Factory owners and millionaires have taken the place of the noblesse of last century. And the sufferings of the proletariat, peasant and artisan alike, have increased with their numbers. Freedom has taught the myriads of workers new desires. Heightened intelligence has given them the power to contrast their own wretchedness with the seeming happiness of others, and a standard by which to measure their own degradation, and to sound the depths of their own despair.

Marx's greatest work, Das Kapital, published in 1867, was to the new revolution just such an inspiration and guide as the Contrat Social of Rousseau was to the revolution of '89. The brilliant genius of Lassalle yielded to the sway of the principle of Nationality, and ultimately of Empire, as strongly as the narrower and gloomier nature of Marx was repelled by these principles. It was this trait in his writings, as well as the fiery energy of his soul and his faith in the Prussian peasant and the Prussian artisan, that attracted for a time the interest of Bismarck. Even a State such as Austria Lassalle regarded as higher than any federal union whatever. The image of Lassalle's character, his philosophy, and too swift career, may be found in his earliest work, Heracleitus, the god-gifted statesman whom Plato delineated, seeking not his own, but realizing his life in that of others, toiling ceaselessly for the oppressed, the dumb, helpless, leaderless masses who suffer silently, yet know not why they suffer. A monarchy resting upon the support of the artisan-myriads against the arrogance of the bourgeois, as the Tudor monarchy rested upon the support of the yeomen and the towns against the arrogance of the feudal barons—this, in the most effective period of his career, was Lassalle's ideal State. And it is his remarkable pamphlet in reply to the deputation from Leipsic in 1863 that has fitly been characterized as the charter of the whole movement of democratic socialism in Germany down to the present hour.

The Revolution of 1848 revealed to European Liberalism a more formidable adversary than Metternich. The youth of Nicholas I had been formed by the same tutors as that of his elder brother, the Czar Alexander. The Princess Lieven and his mother, Maria Federovna, the friend of Stein, and the implacable enemy of Napoleon, had found in him a pupil at once devoted, imaginative, and unwearied. A resolute will, dauntless courage, a love of the beautiful in nature and in art, a high-souled enthusiasm for his country, made him seem the fate-appointed leader of Russia's awakening energies. The Teuton in his blood effaced the Slav, and the fixed, the unrelenting pursuit of one sole purpose gives his career something of the tragic unity of Napoleon's, and leaves him still the supreme type of the Russian autocrat. One God, one law, one Church, one State, Russian in language, Russian in creed, Russian in all the labyrinthine grades of its civic, military, and municipal life—this was the dream to the realization of which the thirty crowded years of his reign were consecrated. There is grandeur as well as swiftness of decision in the manner in which he encounters and quells the insurrection of the 26th December. Then, true to the immemorial example of tyrants, he found employment for sedition in war. He tore from Persia in a single campaign two rich provinces and an indemnity of 20,000,000 roubles. The mystic Liberalism of Alexander was abandoned. The free constitution of Poland, the eyesore of the boyards and the old Russian party, was overthrown, and a Russian, as distinct from a German, policy was welcomed with surprise and tumultuous delight. "Despotism," he declared, "is the principle of my government; my people desires no other." Yet he endeavoured to win young Russia by flattery, as he had conquered old Russia by reaction. He encouraged the movement in poetry against the tasteless imitation of Western models, and in society against the dominance of the French language. In the first years of his reign French ceases to be a medium of literary expression, and Russian prose and Russian verse acquire their own cadences. Yet liberty is the life-blood of art; and liberty he could not grant. The freedom of the Press was interdicted; liberty of speech forbidden, and a strict censorship, exercised by the dullest of officials, stifled literature. "How unfortunate is this Bonaparte!" a wit remarked when Pichegru was found strangled on the floor of his dungeon, "all his prisoners die on his hands." How unfortunate was the Czar Nicholas! All his men of genius died by violent deaths. Lermontoff and Poushkine fell in duels before antagonists who represented the tchinovnik class. Rileyev died on the scaffold; Griboiedov was assassinated at Teheran.

His foreign policy was a return to that of Catherine the Great—the restoration of the Byzantine Empire. Making admirable use of the Hellenic enthusiasm of Canning, he destroyed the Turkish fleet at Navarino. Thus popular at home and abroad, regarded by the Liberals of Europe as the restorer of Greek freedom, and by the Legitimists as a stronger successor to Alexander, he was able to crush the Poles. Enthusiastic Berlin students carried the effigies of Polish leaders in triumph; but not a sword was drawn. England, France, Austria looked on silent at the work of Diebitch and Paskievitch, "my two mastiffs," as the Czar styled them, and the true "finis Poloniae" had come. A Russian Army marching against Kossuth, and the Czar's demand for the extradition of the heroic Magyar, unmasked the despot. Yet his European triumph was complete, and the war in the Crimea seemed his crowning chance—the humiliating of the two Powers which in his eyes represented Liberty and the Revolution. Every force that personal rancour, and the devotion of years to one sole end, every measure that reason and State policy could dictate, lent their aid to stimulate the efforts of the monarch in this enterprise. The disaster was sudden, overwhelming, irremediable. Yet in one thing his life was a success, and that a great one—he had Russianised Russia.

The Crimean War marks a turning-point in the History of Europe only less significant than the Revolution of 1848. The isolating force of religion was annulled, and the slowly increasing influence of the East upon the West affected even the routine of diplomacy. The hopes of the Carlists and the Jesuits in Spain were frustrated, and Austria, deprived of the reward of her neutrality, could look no more to the Muscovite for aid in crushing Italian freedom, as she had crushed Hungary. From his deep chagrin at the treason of the Powers, Cavour seemed to gather new strength and a political wisdom which sets his name with those of the greatest constructive statesmen of all time. The defeat at Novara was avenged, the policy of Villafranca, and the designs of that singular saviour of society, Louis Napoleon, were checked. Venetia was recovered, and when in 1870 the lines around Metz and Sedan withdrew the French bayonets which hedged in Pio Nono, Victor Emmanuel entered Rome as King of Italy. Thirty years have passed since the 20th September, and the burdens of taxation and military sacrifices which Italy has borne, with the prisoner in the Vatican like a conspirator on her own hearth, can be compared only with the burdens which Prussia endured for the sake of glory and her kings before and after Rossbach. But instead of a Rossbach, Italy has had an Adowa; instead of justice, a corrupt official class and an army of judges who make justice a mockery, anarchism in her towns, a superstitious peasantry, an aristocracy dead to the future and to the memory of the past. This heroic patriotism, steadfast patience, and fortitude in disaster have their roots in the noblest hearts of Italy herself, but there is not one which in the trial hour has not felt its own strength made stronger, its own resolution made loftier, by the genius and example of a single man—Giuseppe Mazzini. To modern Republicanism, not only of Italy, but of Europe, Mazzini gave a higher faith and a watchword that is great as the watchwords of the world. Equal rights mean equal duties. The Rights of Man imply the Duties of Man. He taught the millions of workers in Italy that their life-purpose lay not in the extortion of privileges, but in making themselves worthy of those privileges; that it was not in conquering capitalists that the path of victory lay, but in all classes of Italians striving side by side towards a common end, the beauty and freedom of Italy, by establishing freedom and beauty in the soul.

The movement towards unity in Germany is old as the war of Liberation against Napoleon, old as Luther's appeal to the German Princes in 1520. The years following Leipsic were consumed by German Liberalism in efforts to invent a constitution like that of England. It was the happy period of the doctrinaire, of the pedant, and of the student of 1688 and the pupils of Sieyes. Heine's bitter address to Germany, "Dream on, thou son of Folly, dream on!" sprang from a chagrin which every sincere German, Prussian, Bavarian, Wuertemberger, or Rheinlander felt not less deeply. The Revolution of 1848, the blood spilt at the barricades in the streets of Vienna and Berlin, did not end this; but it roused the better spirits amongst the opposition to deeper perception of the aspiration of all Germany. Which of the multifarious kingdoms and duchies could form the centre of a new union, federal or imperial? Austria, with her long line of Hapsburg monarchs, her tyranny, her obscurantism, her tenacious hold upon the past, had been the enemy or the oppressor of every State in turn. The Danubian principalities, Bohemia, Hungary, pointed out to Vienna a task in the future calculated to try her declining energy to the utmost. Prussia alone possessed the heroic past, the memory of Frederick, of Bluecher, of Stein, Scharnhorst, and Yorck; and, if politically despotic, she was essentially Protestant in religion, and Protestantism offered the hope of religious tolerance. After Austria's defeat in Italy, the issue north of the Alps was inevitable. The question was how and in what shape the end would realize itself. Montesquieu insists that, even without Caius Julius, the fall of the oligarchy and the establishment of the Roman Empire was fixed as by a law of fate. Yet, with data before us, it is hard to imagine the creation of the new German Empire without Bismarck. His downright Prussianism rises like a rock through the mists, amid the vaporous Liberalism of the pre-Revolutionary period. His unbroken resolution gave strength to the wavering purpose of Frederick William IV. His diplomacy led to Koeniggraetz, and the manipulated telegram from Ems turned, as Moltke said, a retreat into a call to battle. And in front of Metz his wisdom kept the Bavarian legions in the field. From his first definite entry into a State career in 1848 to the dismissal of 1887, his deep religion, wisdom, and simplicity of nature are as distinctly Prussian as the glancing ardour of Skobeleff is distinctly Russian. From the Hohenzollern he looked for no gratitude. His loyalty was loyalty to the kingship, not to the individual. He had early studied the career of Strafford, and knew the value of the word of a King. False or true to all men else, he was unwaveringly true to Prussia, which to Bismarck meant being true to himself, true to God. He could not bequeath his secret to those who came after him any more than Leonardo could bequeath his secret to Luini. But the Empire he built up has the elements of endurance. It possesses in the Middle Age common traditions, deep and penetrating, a common language, and the recent memory of a marvellous triumph. Protestantism and the Prussian temper ensure religious freedom to Bavaria. Even in 1870 the old principles of the Seven Years' War, Protestantism and the neo-Romanism of Pius IX, reappear in the opposing ranks at Gravelotte and Sedan. The new Empire, whether it be to Europe a warrant of peace or of war, is at least a bulwark against Ultramontanism.

The change in French political life finds its expression in the Russian alliance. Time has atoned for the disasters at the Alma and Inkermann. Would one discover the secret at the close of the century of the alliance of Russia and France, freedom's forlorn hope when the century began? It is contained in the speech of Skobeleff which once startled Europe: "The struggle between the Slav and the Teuton no human power can avert. Even now it is near, and the struggle will be long, terrible, and bloody; but this alone can liberate Russia and the whole Slavonic race from the tyranny of the intruder. No man's home is a home till the German has been expelled, and the rush to the East, the 'Drang nach Osten' turned back for ever."



In modern Europe political revolutions have invariably been preceded or accompanied by revolutions in thought or religion. The nineteenth century, which has been convulsed by thirty-three revolutions, the overthrow of dynasties, and the assassination of kings, has also been characterized by the range and daring of its speculative inquiry. Every system of thought which has perplexed or enthralled the imagination of man, every faith that has exalted or debased his intelligence, has had in this age its adherents. The Papacy in each successive decade has gained by this tumult and mental disquietude. Thought is anguish to the masses of men, any drug is precious, and to escape from its misery the soul conspires against her own excellence and the perfection of Nature. Even in 1802 Napoleon in his Hamlet-like musings in the Tuileries despaired of Liberty as the safety of the world, and in his tragic course this despair adds a metaphysical touch to his doom. Five Popes have succeeded him who anointed Bonaparte, and the very era of Darwin and Strauss has been illustrated or derided by the bull, "Ineffabilis Deus," the Council of the Vatican, the thronged pilgrimages to Lourdes, and the neo-Romanism of French litterateurs. The Hellenism of Goethe was a protest against this movement, at once in its intellectual and its literary forms, the Romanticism of Tieck and Novalis, the cultured pietism of Lammenais and Chateaubriand. Yet in Faust Goethe attempted a reconciliation of Hellas and the Middle Age, and the work is not only the supreme literary achievement of the century, but its greatest prophetic book. Then science became the ally of poetry and speculative thought in the war against Obscurantism, Ultramontanism, and Jesuitism in all its forms. Geology flung back the aeons of the past till they receded beyond imagination's wing. Astronomy peopled with a myriad suns the infinite solitudes of space. The theory of evolution stirred the common heart of Europe to a fury of debate upon questions confined till then to the studious calm of the few. The ardour to know all, to be all, to do all, here upon earth and now, which the nineteenth century had inherited from the Renaissance, quickened every inventive faculty of man, and surprise has followed surprise. The aspirations of the Revolutionary epoch towards some ideal of universal humanity, its sympathy with the ideals of all the past, Hellas, Islam, the Middle Age, received from the theories of science, and from increased facilities of communication and locomotion, a various and most living impulse. As man to the European imagination became isolated in space, and the earth a point lost in the sounding vastness of the atom-shower of the worlds, he also became conscious to himself as one. The bounds of the earth, his habitation, drew nearer as the stars receded, and surveying the past, his history seemed less a withdrawal from the Divine than an ever-deepening of the presence of the Divine within the soul.

That which in speculation pre-eminently distinguishes the Europe of the nineteenth century from preceding centuries—the gradually increasing dominion of Oriental thought, art, and action—has strengthened this impression. An age mystic in its religion, symbolic in its art, and in its politics apathetic or absolutist, succeeds an age of formal religion, conventional art, and Republican enthusiasm. Goethe in 1809, from the overthrow of dynasties and the crash of thrones, turned to the East and found peace. What were the armies of Napoleon and the ruin of Europe's dream to Hafiz and Sadi, and to the calm of the trackless centuries far behind? The mood of Goethe has become the characteristic of the art, the poetry, the speculation of the century's end. The bizarre genius of Nietzsche, whose whole position is implicit in Goethe's Divan, popularized it in Germany. The youngest of literatures, Norway and Russia, reveal its power as vividly as the oldest, Italy and France. It controls the meditative depth of Leopardi, the melancholy of Tourgenieff, the nobler of Ibsen's dramas, and the cadenced prose of Flaubert. It informs the teaching of Tolstoi and the greater art of Tschaikowsky. Goethe, at the beginning of the century, moulded into one the ideals of the Middle Age and of Hellas, and so Wagner at the close, in Tristan and in Parsifal, has woven the Oriental and the mediaeval spirit, thought, and passion, the Minnesinger's lays and the mystic vision of the Upanishads into a rainbow torrent of harmony, which, with its rivals, the masterpieces of Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Tschaikowsky, make this century the Periclean age of Music as the fifteenth was the Periclean age of painting, and the sixteenth of poetry.

What a vision of the new age thus opens before the gaze! The ideal of Liberty and all its hopes have turned to ashes; but out of the ruins Europe, tireless in the pursuit of the Ideal, ponders even now some profounder mystery, some mightier destiny. More than any race known to history the Teuton has the power of making other religions, other thoughts, other arts his own, and sealing them with the impress of his own spirit. The poetry of Shakespeare, of Goethe, the tone-dramas of Wagner attest this. Out of the thought and faith of Judaea and Hellas, of Egypt and Rome, the Teutonic imagination has carved the present. Their ideals have passed into his life imperishably. But the purple fringe of another dawn is on the horizon. Teutonic heroism and resolution in action, transformed by the centuries behind and the ideals of the elder races, confront now, creative, the East, its mighty calm, its resignation, its scorn of action and the familiar aims of men, its inward vision, its deep disdain of realized ends. What vistas arise before the mind which seeks to penetrate the future of this union! The eighteenth century at its close coincided with an accomplished hope clearly defined. The last sun of the dying century goes down upon a world brooding over an unsolved enigma, pursuing an ideal it but darkly discerns.


Popular Edition, in Paper Covers, 1s. net.



By Professor Cramb.

With a Preface by A. C. Bradley and an Introduction by the Hon. Joseph Choate.

LORD ROBERTS said: "I hope that everyone who wishes to understand the present crisis will read this book. There are in it things which will cause surprise and pain, but nowhere else are the forces which led to the war so clearly set forth."

MR. CHOATE says: "Worthy to be placed among English Classics for its clearness of thought and expression, its restrained eloquence, and its broad historical knowledge ... it explains very lucidly, not the occasion, but the cause (the deep-seated cause) of the present war."

The Times says: "A book of warning and enlightenment, written with all a man's strength and sincerity, for which we must be profoundly grateful."

The Spectator says: "Let our readers buy this little book and see for themselves what the nature of the inspiration is at the back of the German Imperialism. They will learn in the smallest possible space what Germany is fighting for and what Britain is resisting."

Three Important Works


Being "The Usages of War on Land" issued by the Great General Staff of the German Army.

Translated, with a Critical Introduction, by J. H. MORGAN, M.A.

Professor of Constitutional Law at University College, London; late Scholar of Balliol College, Oxford; Joint Author of "War; Its Conduct and its Legal Results."

Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net.

This official and amazingly cynical War Book of the Prussian General Staff lays down the rules to be followed by German officers in the conduct of War in the field, e.g., as to non-combatants, forced levies, neutrals, hostages. Its importance and interest cannot be exaggerated.



Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net.

Monsieur Paul Vergnet in this book did for the French Public what Professor Cramb did for England. After a careful study of the Political Movements In Germany, and of German literature, he warned his countrymen that War was imminent. His aspect of the question has never been fully discussed in England, and the translation of this book ought to have a very special interest and value for all students of the Great War.


Including a critical examination of the whole of the emergency legislation (with a chapter on Martial Law); a chapter on the Neutrality of Belgium; a survey of the Rules as to the Conduct of War on Land and Sea, and a complete study of the Effect of War on Commercial Relations.

By THOMAS BATY, LL.D., D.C.L., and Professor J. H. MORGAN.

Crown 8vo.




With Map. Crown 8vo.

This is an attempt to describe truly the social and economic state of things in the Prairie Provinces of the Dominion in the years 1913-14, at the end of the great rush. The writer, who is neither a summer visitor nor a professional advertiser, nor a disappointed immigrant, had unusual opportunities for the study of life in a small prairie city and among the real prairie people on the farms; the picture drawn is neither all gloom nor all brightness. At the present time, when the War has made the whole Empire realize its unity anew, such a disinterested study of Western communities is specially useful and timely.



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