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to lift, since every moment of ar almos infinite past has contributed to i crease it, and because, in order to raise the scale, one must place in the opposite scale a still greater number of actions and sensations. Such is the first and richest source of these master-faculties from which historical events take their rise; and one sees at the cutset, hai if it be powerful, it is because this is no simple spring, but a kind of lake, a deep reservoir wherein other spring" have, for a multitude of centuries, dis charged their several streams.

theless mar.ifests in its languages, religions, literatures, philosophies, the community of blood and of intellect which to this day binds its offshoots together. Different as they are, their parentage is not obliterated; barbarism, culture and grafting, differences of sky and soil, fortunes good and bad, have labored in vain: the great marks of the original model have remained, and we find again the two or three principal lineaments of the primitive stamp underneath the secondary imprints which time has laid upon them. There is nothing astonishing in this extraordi- Having thus outlined the interior nary tenacity. Although the vastness structure of a race, we must consider of the distance lets us but half per- the surroundings in which it exists. ceive and by a doubtful light-the For man is not alone in the world; na origin of species,* the events of history ture surrounds him, and his fellow-men sufficiently illumine the events anterior surround him; accidental and seconto history, to explain the almost im- dary tendencies overlay his primitive movable steadfastness of the primordial tendencies, and physical or social cirmarks. When we meet with them, fif- cumstances disturb or confirm the teen, twenty, thirty centuries before character committed to their charge. our era, in an Aryan, an Egyptian, a Sometimes the climate has had its Chinese, they represent the work of a effect. Though we can follow but great many ages, perhaps of several obscurely the Aryan peoples from their myriads of centuries. For as soon as common fatherland to their final settlean animal begins to exist, it has to rec- ments, we can yet assert that the prooncile itself with its surroundings; it found differences which are manifest breathes and renews itself, is differ- between the German races on the one ently affected according to the varia- side, and the Greek and Latin on the tions in air, food, temperature. Dif- other, arise for the most part from the ferent climate and situation bring it difference between the countries in various needs, and consequently a which they are settled: some in cold different course of activity; and this, moist lands, deep in rugged marshy again, a different set of habits; and forests or on the shores of a wild ocean, still again, a different set of aptitudes beset by melancholy or violent sensaand instincts. Man, forced to accom- tions, prone to drunkenness and glutmodate himself to circumstances, con- tony, bent on a fighting, blood-spilling tracts a temperament and a character life; others, again, within the loveliest corresponding to them; and his char-landscapes, on a bright and pleasant acter, like his temperament, is so much more stable, as the external impression is made upon him by more numerous repetitions, and is transmitted to his progeny by a more ancient descent. So that at any moment we may consider the character of a people as an abridgment of all its preceding actions and sensations; that is, as a quantity and as a weight, not infinite,t since every thing in nature is finite, but disproportioned to the rest, and almost impossible

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sea-coast, enticed to navigation and commerce, exempt from gross cravings of the stomach, inclined from the be ginning to social ways, to a settled organization of the state, to feelings and dispositions such as develop the art of oratory, the talent for enjoyment, the inventions of science, letters, arts. Sometimes the state policy has been at work, as in the two Italian civilizations. the first wholly turned to action, con quest, government, legislation, on account of the original site of its city of refuge, its border-land emporium, its armed aristocracy, who, by importing and drilling strangers and conquered

created two hostile armies, having no escape from its internal discords and its greedy instincts but in systematic warfare; the other, shut out from unity and any great political ambition by the stability of its municipa. character, the cosmopolitan position of its pope, and the military intervention of neighbering nations, directed by the whole bent of its magnificent and harmonious genius towards the worship of pleasure and beauty. Sometimes the social conditions have impressed their mark, as eighteen centuries ago by Christianity, and twenty-five centuries ago by Buddhism, when around the Mediterranean, as well as in Hindostan, the extreme results of Aryan conquest and civilization induced intolerable oppression, the subjugation of the individual, utter despair, the thought that the world was cursed, with the development of metaphysics and myth, so that man in this dungeon of misery, feeling his heart softened, begot the idea of abnegation, charity, tender love, gentleness, humility, brotherly love there, in a notion of universal nothingness, here under the Fatherhood of God. Look around you upon the regulating instincts and faculties implanted in a race-in short, the mood of intelligence in which it thinks and acts at the present time: you will discover most often the work of some one of these prolonged situations, these surrounding circumstances, persistent and gigantic pressures, brought to bear upon an aggregate of men who, singly and together, from generation to generation, are continually moulded and modelled by their action; in Spain, a crusade against the Mussulmans which lasted eight centuries, protracted even beyond and until the exhaustion of the nation by the expulsion of the Moors, the spoliation of the Jews, the establishment of the Inquisition, the Catholic wars; in England, a political establishment of eight centuries, which keeps a man erect and respectful, in independence and obedience, and accustoms him to strive unitedly, under the authority of the law; in France, a Latin organization, which, imposed first upon docile barbarians, then shattered in the universal crash was reformed from within under

a lurking cons; racy of the national instinct, was developed under heredi tary kings, ends in a sort of levelling republic, centralized, administrative, under dynasties exposed to revolution. These are the most efficacious of the visible causes which mould the primitive man: they are to nations what education, career, condition, abode, are to individuals; and they seem to comprehend everything, since they com prehend all external powers which mould human matter, and by which the external acts on the internal.

There is yet a third rank of causes; for, with the forces within and without, there is the work which they have already produced together, and this work itself contributes to ▷ xince that which follows. Beside the pennanent impulse and the given surroundings, there is the acquired momentum. When the national character and surrounding circumstances operate, it is not upon a tabula rasa, but on a ground or which marks are already impressed According as one takes the ground at one moment or another, the imprint is different; and this is the cause that the total effect is different. Consider, for instance, two epochs of a literature or art,-French tragedy under Cor neille and under Voltaire, the Greek drama under Eschylus and under Euripides, Italian painting under da Vinci and under Guido. Truly, at either of these two extreme points the general idea has not changed; it is always the same human type which is its subject of representation or painting; the mould of verse, the structure of the drama, the form of body has endured. But among several differences there is this, that the one artist is the precursor, the other the successor; the first has no model, the second has; th first, sees objects face to face, the second sees them through the first; that many great branches of art are lost, many details are perfected, that simplicity and grandeur of impression have diminished, pleasing and refined forms have increased,-in short, that the first work has influenced the second. Thus it is with a people as with a plant; the same sap, under the same temperature, and in the same soil, pro


duces, at different steps of its progressive development, different formations, buds, flowers, fruits, seed-vessels, in such a manner that the one which follows must always be preceded by the former, and must spring up from its death. And if now you consider no longer a brief epoch, as our own time, hut one of those wide intervals which embrace one or more centuries, like the middle ages, or our last classic age, the conclusion will be similar. A certain dominant idea has had sway; men, for two, for five hundred years, have taken to themselves a certain ideal model of man in the middle ages, the knight and the monk; in our classic age, the courtier, the man who speaks well. This creative and universal idea is displayed over the whole field of action and thought; and after covering the world with its involuntarily systematic works, it has faded, it has died away, and lo, a new idea springs up, destined to a like domination, and as manifold creations. And here remember that the second depends in part upon the first, and that the first, uniting its effect with those of national genius and surrounding circumstances,imposes on each new creation its bent and direction. The great historical currents are formed after this law-the long dominations of one intellectual pattern, or a master idea, such as the period of spontaneous creations called the Renaissance, or the period of oratorical models called the Classical Age, or the series of mystical systems called the Alexandrian and Christian eras, or the series of mythological efflorescences which we meet with in the infancy of the German people, of the Indian and the Greek. Here as elsewhere we have but a mechanical problem; the total effect is a result, depending entirely on the magnitude and direction of the producing causes. The only difference which separates these moral problems from physical ones is, that the magnitude and direction cannot be valued or computed in the first as in the second. If a need or a faculty is a quantity, capable of degrees, like a pressure or a weight, his quantity is not measurable like the pressure or the weight. We cannot define it in an exact or approximative formula; we can

not have more, or g 'e more, in respect of it, than a literary impression; we are limited to marking and quoting the salient points by which it is manifested, and which indicate approximately and roughly the part of the scale which is its position. But though the means of notation are not the same in the moral and physical sciences, yet as in both the matter is the same, equally made up of forces, magnitudes, and direc tions, we may say that in both the fna result is produced after the same method. It is great or small, as the fundamental forces are great or smal and act more or less exactly in th: same sense, according as the distinc effects of race, circumstance, and epoch combine to add the one to the other, or to annul one another. Thus are explained the long impotences and the brilliant triumphs which make their appearance irregularly and without visible cause in the life of a people; they are caused by internal concords or contrarieties. There was such a concord when in the seventeenth century the sociable character and the conversational aptitude, innate in France, en. countered the drawing-room manners and the epoch of oratorical analysis; when in the nineteenth century the profound and pliant genius of Germany encountered the age of philosophical systems and of cosmopolitan criticism There was such a contrariety when in the seventeenth century the harsh and lonely English genius tried blunderingly to adopt a new-born politeness; when in the sixteenth century the lucid and prosaic French spirit tried vainly to bring forth a living poetry. That hidden concord of creative forces produced the finished urbanity and the noble and regular literature under Louis XIV. and Bossuet, the grand metaphysics and broad critical sympathy of Hegel and Goethe. That hidden contrariety of creative forces produced the imper fect literature, the scandalou: comedy, the abortive drama under Dryden and Wycherley, the feeble Greek importations, the groping elaborate efforts, the scant half-graces under Ronsard and the Pleiad. So much we can say with confidence, that the unknown creations towards which the current of the cen turies conducts us, will be raised ur


and regulated altogether by the three | each of these, smaller territories, unti primordial forces; that if these forces we arrive at the numberless details of could be measured and computed, we life such as may be observed within might deduce from them as from a and around us every day. If now we formula the characteristics of future examine and compare these diverse civilization; and that if, in spite of the groups of facts, we find first of all that evident crudeness of our notations, and they are made up of parts, and that all the fundamental inexactness of our have parts in common. Let us take measures, we try now to form some first the three chief works of human idea of our general destiny, it is upon intelligence-religion, art, philosophy an examination of these forces that we What is a philosophy but a concep. must base our prophecy. For in tion of nature and its primordial enumerating them, we traverse the causes, under the form of abstraccomplete circle of the agencies; and tions and formulas? What is there when we have considered RACE, SUR- at the bottom of a religion or of an art ROUNDINGS, and EPOCH, which are the but a conception of this same ture internal mainsprings, the external pres and of these same causes under form sure, and the acquired momentum, we of symbols more or less oecise, and have xhausted not only the whole of | personages more or less ma ked; with the actual causes, but also the whole of this difference, tha: in the rst we bethe possible causes of motion. lieve that they exist, in the second we believe that they do not exist? Let the reader consider a few of the great It remains for us to examine how Scandinavia, Persia, Rom, Greece, creations of the intelligence in India, these causes, when applied to a nation and he will see that, throughout, art is or an age, produce their results. As a spring, rising from a height and flowing religion a poem, taken for true, philosoa kind of philosophy made sensible, downwards spreads its streams, accord-phy an art and a religion dried up, and ing to the depth of the descent, stage reduced to simple ideas. There is after stage, until it reaches the lowest therefore, at the core of each of these level of the soil, so the disposition of three groups, a common element, the intellect or soul impressed on a peo-conception of the world and its principle by race, circumstance, or epoch, spreads in different proportions and by regular descents, down the diverse orders of facts which make up its civilization.* If we arrange the map of a country, starting from the watershed, we find that below this common point the streams are divided into five or six principal basins, then each of these into several secondary basins, and so on, until the whole country with its thousand details is included in the ramifications of this network. So, if we arrange the psychological map of the events and sensations of a human civilization, we find first of all five or six well-defined provinces-religion, art, philosophy, the state, the family, the industries; then in each of these provinces natural departments; and in

For this scale of coordinate effects, consult Renan, Leagues Sémit.ques, ch. i.; Mommsen, Comparson between the Greek and Roman Civilians, ch. ii. vol. i. 3d ed.; Tocqueville, CAquences de la Démocratie en Americus. vol. iii.

ples; and if they differ among themselves, it is because each combines with the common, a distinct element: now the power of abstraction, again the power to personify and to believe, and finally the power to personify and not believe. Let us now take the two chief works of human association, the family and the state. What forms the state but a sentiment of obedience, by which the many unite under the authority of a chief? And what forms the family but the sentiment of obedience by which wife and children act under the direction of a father and husband? The family is a natural state, primitive and restra ned, as the state is an artificial family ulterior and expanded; and underneath the differences arising from the number, origin, and condition of its members, we discover in the small society as in the great, a like disposition of the fundamental intelligence which assimilates and unites them. Now suppose that this element receives from

as the products of the same climate
and the same intelligence
If, on
the other hand, a man naturally staid
and balanced in mind limits of his
own accord the scope of his ideas, in
order the better to define their form,

of artists and tale-tellers; distinctive gods, soon considered distinct from things, and transformed, almost at the outset, into recognized personages the sentiment of universal unity all but effaced, and barely preserved in the vague notion of Destiny; a philosophy rather close and delicate than grand and systematic, with shortcomings in higher metaphysics,* but incomparable for logic, sophistry, and morals; poetry and arts superior for clearness, artlessness, just proportions, truth, and beauty, to all that have ever been known. If, once more, man, reduced to narrow conceptions, and deprived of all specu lative refinement, is at the same time altogether absorbed and straitened by practical occupations, you will find, as in Rome, rudimentary deities, mere hollow names, serving to designate the trivial details of agriculture, generation, household concerns, customs about marriage, rural life, producing a

circumstance, race, or epoch certain special marks, it is clear that all the groups into which it enters will be modified proportionately. If the sentiment of obedience is merely fear,* you will find, as in most Oriental states, a bruta. despotism, exagge ated punish-you will find, as in Greece, a theology ment, oppression of the subject, servil'ty of manners, insecurity of property, impoverished production, the slavery of women, and the customs of the harem If the sentiment of obedience has its root in the instinct of order, sociality, and honor, you will find, as in France, a perfect military organization, a fine administrative hierarchy, a want of public spirit with occasional jerks of patriotism, ready docility of the subject with a revolutionary impatience, the cringing courtier with the counter efforts of the high-bred man, the refined pleasure of conversation and society on the one hand, and the worry at the fireside and among the family on the other, the equality of husband and wife, the imperfection of the married state, and consequently the necessary constraint of the law. If, again, the sentiment of obedience has its root in the instinct of subordination and the idea of duty, you will find, as among the Germans, security and hap-mythology, hence a philosophy, a piness in the household, a solid basis of domestic life, a tardy and incomplete development of social and conversational life, an innate respect for established dignities, a superstitious reverence for the past, the keeping up of social inequalities, natural and habitual regard for the law. So in a race, according as the aptitude for general ideas varies, religion, art, and philosophy vary. If man is naturally inclined to the widest universal conceptions, and apt to disturb them at the same time by the nervous delicacy of his oversensitive organization, you will find, as in India, an astonishing abundance of gigantic religious creations, a glow-in which every local change induces a ing outgrowth of vast and transparent epic poems, a strange tangle of subtle and imaginative philosophies, all so well interwoven, and so penetrated with a common essence, as to be in stantly recognized, by their breadth, their coloring, and their want of order,

* Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, Principes des trois gouvernements.

poetry, either worth nothing or borrowed. Here, as everywhere, the law of mutual dependence t comes into play. A civilization forms a body, and its parts are connected with each other like the parts of an organic body. As in an animal, instincts, teeth, limbs, osseous structure, muscular envelope, arc mutually connected, so that a change in one produces a corresponding change in the rest, and a clever naturalist can by a process of reasoning reconstruct out of a few fragments almost the whole body; even so in a civilization, religion, phi losophy, the organization of the family literature, the arts, make up a system

*The Alexandrian philosophy had its birth from the West. The metaphysical notions of Aristotle are isolated; moreover, with him as with Plato, they are but a sketch. By way of contrast consider the systematic vigor of Plctinus, Proclus, Schelling, and Hegel, or the wonderful boldness of Brahminical and Budd histic speculation.

† I have endeavored on several occasions to

give expression to this law, notably in the preface to Essais de Critique et d'Histoire.

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