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the purple is too scant to cover disgrace and vulgarity.

Let an American imagine what would be the inevitable consequences of local or sectional errors and excitements, of which we are never entirely free, if we did not live under a system of varied institutional self-government; each shock would be felt from one end of our country to the other with unbroken force. Had we nothing but uninstitutional Gallican universal suffrage, spreading like one undivided sea over the whole, we could not continue to be a free people, and hardly to be a united people, though unfree.

A similar remark may be made with reference to that period in French history which actually obliges the historian to be at least as familiar with the long list of royal courtesans as with the prime ministers. The effect of this example of the court has been most disastrous upon all France. The courts of England under Charles the Second and James the Second were no better. The conduct of George the First and George the Second added coarseness to royal incontinency. The English nobility followed very close in the wake of their royal masters; but here it stopped. The people of England-England herself-remained comparatively untouched, and while the court plunged into vices, the people went their own way, rising and improving. Had England been an uninstitutional country, the effect must have been the same which ruined France.

4 The very etymology, with its present meaning, is significant.

Another observation suggested by the subject which we contemplate is, that a wide-spread and penetrating institutional self-government has the same concentrative effect upon society which a careful and responsible occupation with one's own affairs and duties has upon the individual. This may indeed be counteracted and suspended by other and powerful circumstances; but the natural effect of institutional self-government is, I believe, such as I have just indicated.

A large and active nation, which therefore instinctively seeks a political field of action for its energy, and which nevertheless is destitute of selfruling institutions, will generally turn its attention to conquests or any other increase of territory, merely for the sake of conquest or of increased width until a political gluttony is produced which resembles the immoderate desire for more land of some farmers. They neglect the intensive improvement of their farm, and are known by every experienced agriculturist to be among the poorest of their class. Extension may become desirable or necessary; but extension merely for the sake of extension is at once the most debilitating fever of a nation and the rudest of glories, in which an Attila or Timour far excels a Fabius or a Washington. So soon as a nation abandons the intensive improvement of its institutions, and directs its attention solely to foreign conquest, it enters on its downward course, and loses the influence which may have been assigned to it by Providence. The truest, most intense and most enduring influence a people exercises upon others is

VOL. I.-5

through its institutions and their progressive perfection. The sword does not plough deep.

This is the reason, it may be observed, why the historian, the more truly he searches for the real history of nations, and the more philosophical strength his mind is gaining, becomes the more attentive to the political life manifested by the institutions of a people. It distinguishes a Niebuhr from a common narrator of Rome's many battles."

On the other hand, we may observe a similar

5 There are persons among us who have fallen into this error; and it will always be found that they proportionately disregard our institutions, or are not imbued with esteem for institutional government. I lately received a pamphlet in which the author wishes for a confederacy embracing America from Greenland to Cape Horn. "Universal governments" were the dream of Henry the Fourth, and again pressed into service by Napoleon. I am not able to answer the reader, why that confederacy should comprehend America only. There is no principle or self-defining idea in the term America. America is a name. The water which surrounds it has nothing to do with principles. Water, once the Dissociabile Mare, now connects. Polynesia ought to be added, and perhaps Further Asia, and why not Hindostan? Our oath of allegiance might be improved by promising to be faithful to the United States et cetera, as archbishop Laud's famous oath bound the person who took it upon an Et Cetera.

6 The same phenomenon may be observed in the more philosophical division of history. People begin to divide the history of a nation by the monarchs, or by any other labelling. When they penetrate deeper, they divide history by the rise and fall of institutions, of classes, of interests, of great ideas. To divide the history of England by George the First and George the Second is about as philosophical as if a geologist were to color a chart, not according to the great layers that constitute the earth, but by indicating where the people walking upon it wear shoes or sabots, or walk barefooted.

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effect. upon cabinets. It seems to me one of the best effects of local and national self-government, with its many elementary institutions and a national representative government, that diplomacy ceases to form the engrossing subject of statesmanship. Shrewd as English diplomacy has often proved, the history of that country, in the eighteenth century, is nevertheless a totally different one from that of the other European countries in the same period. It seems as if continental statesmanship sought for objects to act on, in foreign parts, in concluding alliances and making treaties; in one word, cultivated diplomacy for the sake of diplomacy. Yet nothing is surer to lead to difficulties, to wars and suffering, than this reversed state of things."

Some remarks on the undue influence of capitals in countries void of institutions would find an appropriate place here; but they are deferred until we shall have considered the peculiar attributes of centralization, the opposite of institutional self-government, somewhat more closely.

Patience, united with energy, is as much an element of progress and efficient action in public concerns as in private matters. Mr. Lamartine has feelingly said some excellent truths on this subject, in his Counsellor for the People; but it does not seem possible to unite the two in popular politics and in

7 We ought to compare the repeated advice of the greatest Americans, to beware of alliances, with the contents of such works as Raumer's Diplomatic Dispatches of the Last Century. It is for this reason that the present publicity of diplomacy has such vital importance.

of May 1852, called the Fête of Eagles, that is the distribution of eagles to all the regiments of the army. A cock had been adopted as symbol of the first republic, owing either to misunder ́standing the word Gallia, or intending to pun on it. The emperor adopted the Roman eagle; the Bourbons brought back the three fleurs de lys; and in 1830 the cock was restored. Louis Napoleon when president for ten years, restored the imperial eagle. It must be owned the cock looked very much as our turkey would have looked had we adopted Franklin's humorous proposition of selecting our native and respectable turkey, instead of our fine native eagle.

What feast will be celebrated on the same spot next? Whatever it will be, it will be again something intrinsically different from the last.

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