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he goes so far as to declare, that it is a problem not clear in his mind that the condition of the Indians, without any government, is not yet the best of all. This sort of language much more resembles the fanaticism of some fulminator of paradoxes like Rousseau, than the gravity of a statesman, to whose discretion the interests of a civilized community might be safely left.
The commentary on Montesquieu by Destutt Tracy, " unquestionably the ablest living writer on abstract subjects," appears to be his favourite work on the principles of government. It is called “the most precious gift the present age has received." Taylor's Enquiry, in opposition to Adams's Defence, represents the theory of the constitution of America, as understood by the dominant party at the present day; whilst Hume's History, as republicanized by Baxter, is referred to for the free principles of the English constitution. This latler work seems to have been printed in England, where it is said “ not to be popular, because it is republican." Popularity or unpopularity can hardly be predicated of a work, of whose existence the most omnigenous readers among our acquaintance have never heard. Brought up in the neighbourhood of indigenous Indians, and living at head-quarters during two revolutions, Jefferson had splendid opportunities for the examination and discussion of first principles. After complaining that there is no good work on the organization of society into civil government, he quotes the well-known condition of the Tribes, and especially the present example of the Cherokees, as conclusive against the patriarchal hypothesis. His expectations in 1789, were apparently turned not merely to the establishment of a national government in France, but to the discovery of new truths in politics. These truths were to be such as would rouse Americans even from the errors in which they had been hitherio rocked ;” but were scarce likely to benefit an Englishman, as they are pronounced to be reasonable beyond his reach,“ who, slumbering under a kind of half reformation in politics and in religion, is not excited by any thing he feels or sees to question the remains of prejudice!" We cannot compliment him on what appears to be the only discovery, in the class of new truths, he has thought worth preserving. It is a proof, which, in his horror of the corrupting consequences of a national debt, he volunteers against any possible right in one generation of men to bind another. This doctrine was so great a favourite with its author, that he sent it to Madison all the way from Paris, and at the lapse of a quarter of a century is seen urging it with undiminished earnestness, on the head of the Committee of Finance. Though, like some other natural rights, it has not yet entered inlo any declaration of them, it is said to be no less a law. Had we a shilling in the American funds, we should feel not over and above easy, when the honest and vigorous understanding of the ex-President could be duped by such strange sophistry; especially, since his school is zealous in preaching the necessity of declarations of natural rights, strenuous for re-setting the law of nations upon true principles, and resolved to establish their theories by force the year they are strong enough to do so.
It has been our object, by a reference to opinions upon general subjects, with which most readers might be supposed to take more or less interest, to give some idea of Jefferson himself. We perceive that we have said nothing of his views on religion, and his sanguine “ trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States, who will not die a l'nitarian.' Our extracts, too, will give a very feeble notion of the fierceness of his thoughts and language concerning a hundred things, as well as per
sons, on which his blood seems to have never cooled. The rage which breaks out on occasion of the honorary institution of the Cincinnati, and the arbilrary distinctions of Europe, is often like insanity. The Throne of Heaven should be besieged with eternal prayers “ to extirpale from creation that class of human lions, tigers, and mammoths, called Kings ;” among whom, “there is not a crowned head in Europe, whose talents or merits. would entitle him to be elected a vestry-man, by the people of any parish in America.” George the Third is “ maniac George.” Louis the Sixteenth "goes for nothing. He hunts one-half the day, is drunk the other, and signs whatever he is bid.” It ought to be acknowledged, that in the case of Louis the Sixteenth, as in that of Washington, it requires more ingenuity than we are master of, to reconcile the contradictions which wait upon the writer's spleen. Within a twelvemonth, the King of France“ is the honestest man in his kingdom, the most regular and economical.” A clergy is said to live like printers, by the zeal they can kindle and the schisms they can create. The mild and simple principles of the Christian philosophy would produce too much calm, too much regularity of good, to extract from iis disciples a support for a numerous priesthood, were they not to sophisticate it, ramisy it, split it into hairs, and twist ils texts, till they cover the divine morality of its author with mysteries, and require a priesthood to explain them. The Quakers seem to have discovered this. They have no priests, therefore no schisms.”
It is as an American citizen that Jefferson earned and deserves his fame. We have not space to enter, except very briefly, on the honourable detail of his public life. As a Virginian legislator, himself a slave-owner, he there set the example of an effort (unfortunately for his countrymen, an unsuccessful one for permission to emancipate their slaves. Again, himself a lawyer, aided only by his two friends Wythe and Pendleton, he completed, and reported to the General Assembly, in eighteen months, the extensive improvements both in the principle and the form of their laws, which their new circumstances required. The extravagant compliments with which our own little attempts at consolidation of some chapters in criminal law have been overlaid, and the salted call which Sir Robert Peel kills thereupon regularly every session to his own glory, are things which must make our legislative wisdom reasonably suspected among the Americans. They know what they have themselves done in the self-same matter, and can therefore estimale our vaunting and our astonishment at its true value. In a few months, and in this single work, the three colleagues“ brought so much of the common law as it was thought necessary to alter-all the British statules from Magna. Charta to the present day, and all the laws of Virginia, from the establishment of their legislature in 4 Jas. I. to the present time, which they thought should be retained-within the compass of one hundred and tweniy-six bills, making a printed folio of ninety pages only. Nearly a volume and a half of the present Correspondence, and a considerable portion of his Memoir, relate to the remarkable period from 1785 to 1790, which Jefferson passed as the American minister at Paris. His walchfulness over every subject which might bear on the most favourable arrangement of their new commercial treaties; his perseverance in seeking to negotiate a general alliance against Algiers; the skill and knowledge with which he argued the different questions of national interest that arose during his residence, will not susior even in comparison with Franklin's diplomatic talents. Every thing he sees seems to suggest to him the question, Whether it can
countries, who, whilst her calm and deliberate voice might be yet listened to, would close these fatal questions on the just principles of Reason !
PARALLEL BETWEEN CROMWELL AND NAPOLEON:
Between Cromwell and Napoleon, Mr. Hallam has instituted a parallel, scarcely less ingenious than that which Burke has drawn between Richard C@ur de Lion and Charles the Twelfth of Sweden. In this parallel, however, and indeed throughout his work, we think that he hardly gives Cromwell fair measure. Cromwell,” says he, “far unlike his antitype, never showed any signs of a legislative mind, or any desire to place his renown on that noblest basis, the amelioration of social institutions." The difference in this respect, we conceive, was not in the characters of the men, but in the characters of the revolutions by means of which they rose to power. The civil war in England had been undertaken to defend and restore; the republicans of France set themselves to destroy. In England, the principles of the common law had never been disturbed; and inost even of its forms had been held sacred. In France, the law and its ministers had been swept away together. In France, therefore, legislation necessarily became the first business of the first settled government which rose on the ruins of the old system. The admirers of Inigo Jones have always maintained that his works are inferior to those of Sir Christopher Wren, only because the great fire of London gave to the latter such a field for the display of his powers, as no architect in the history of the world ever possessed. Similar allowance must be made for Cromwell. he erected little that was new, it was because there had been no general derastation to clear a space for him. As it was, he reformed the representative system in a most judicious manner. He rendered the administration of justice uniform throughout the island. We will quote a passage from his speech to the Parliament in September, 1656, which contains, we think, stronger indications of a legislative mind, than are to be found in the whole range of orations delivered on such occasions before or since.
“ There is one general grievance in the nation. It is the law .. I think, I may say it, I have as eminent judges in this land as have been had, or that the nation has had for these many years. Truly, I could be particular as to the executive part, to the administration ; but that would
But the truth of it is, there are wicked and abominable laws that will be in your power to alter. To hang a man for sixpence, threepence, I know not what, -to hang for a trifle, and pardon murder, is in the ministration of the law, through the ill framing of it. I have known in my experience abominable murders quitted ; and to see men lose their lives for petty matters! This is a thing that God will reckon for; and I wish it may not lie upon this nation a day longer than you have an opportunity to give a remedy; and I hope I shall cheerfully join with you in it.
Mr. Hallam truly says, that though it is impossible to rank Cromwell with Napoleon as a general, yet “his exploits were as much above the level of
Hallam's Constitutional History.-Vol. xlviii. page 142. Septeniber, 1828.
his contemporaries, and more the effects of an original uneducated capacity." Bonaparte was trained in the best military schools; the army which he led to Italy was one of the finest that ever existed. Cromwell passed his youth and the prime of his manhood in a civil situation. He never looked on war till he was more than forty years old. He had first to form himself, and then to form his troops. Out of raw levies he created an army, the bravest and the best disciplined, the most orderly in peace, and the most terrible in war, that Europe had seen. He called this body into existence. He led it to conquest. He never fought a battle without gaining a victory. He never gained a victory without annihilating the force opposed to him. Yet his triumphs were not the highest glory of his military system. The respect which his troops paid to property, their altachment to the laws and religion of their country, their intelligence, their submission to the civil power, their temperance, their industry, are without parallel. It was after the Restoration that the spirit which their great leader had infused into them was most signally displayed. At the command of the established government, a government which had no means of enforcing obedience, fifty thousand soldiers, whose backs no enemy had ever seen, either in domestic or in continental war, laid down their arms, and retired into the mass of the people—thenceforward to be distinguished only by superior diligence, sobriety, and regularity in the pursuits of peace, from the other members of the community which they had saved.
In the general spirit and character of his administration, we think Cromwell far superior to Napoleon. “In civil government," says Mr. Hallam, there can be no adequate parallel between one who had sucked only the dregs of a besoiled fanaticism, and one to whom the stores of reason and philosophy were open.” These expressions, it seems to us, convey the highest eulogium on our great countryman. Reason and philosophy did not teach the conqueror of Europe to command his passions, or to pursue, as a first object, the happiness of his people. They did not prevent him from risking his fame and his power in a frantic contest against the principles of human nature and the laws of the physical world, against the rage of the winter and the liberty of the sea. They did not exempt him from the influence of that most pernicious of superstitions, a presumptuous fatalism. They did not preserve him from the inebriation of prosperity, or restrain him from indecent querulousness and violence in adversity. On the other hand, the fanaticism of Cromwell never urged him on impracticable undertakings, or confused his perception of the public good. Inferior to Bonaparte in invention, he was far superior to him in wisdom. The French Emperor is among conquerors what Voltaire is among writers, a miraculous child. His splendid genius was frequently clouded by fits of humour as absurdly perverse as those of the pet of the nursery, who quarrels with his food, and dashes his playthings lo pieces. Cromwell was emphatically a
He possessed, in an eminent degree, that masculine and full-grown robusiness of mind, that equally diffused intellectual health, which, if our national partiality does not mislead us, has peculiarly characterised the great men of England. Never was any ruler so conspicuously born for sovereignty. The cup which has intoxicated almost all others, sobered him. His spirit, restless from its buoyancy in a lower sphere, reposed in majestio placidity as soon as it had reached the level congenial to it
. He had nothing in common with that large class of men who distinguish themselves in lower posts, and whose incapacity becomes obvious as soon as the public voice
summons them to take the lead. Rapidly as his fortunes grew, his mind expanded more rapidly still. Insignificant as a private citizen, he was a great general ; he was a still greater prince. The manner of Napoleon was a theatrical compound, in which the coarseness of a revolutionary guardroom was blended with the ceremony of the old Court of Versailles. Cromwell, by the confession even of his enemies, exhibited in his demea nour the simple and natural nobleness of a man, neither ashamed of his origin, nor vain of his elevation ; of a man who had found his proper place in society, and who fell secure that he was competent to fill it. Easy, even to familiarity, where his own dignity was concerned; he was punctilious only for his country. His own character he left to take care of itself; he left it to be defended by his victories in war, and his reforms in peace. But he was a jealous and implacable guardian of the public honour. lle sulfered a crazy Quaker to insult him in the midst of Whitehall, and revenged himself only by liberating him and giving him a dinner. But he was prepared to risk the chances of war to avenge the blood of a privale Englishman.
No sovereign ever carried to the throne so large a portion of the best qualities of the middling orders—so strong a sympathy with the feelings and interests of his people. He was sometimes driven to arbitrary measures; but he had a high, stout, honest, English heart. Hence it was that he loved to surround his throne with such men as Hale and Blake. Hence it was that he allowed so large a share of political liberty to his subjects, and that even when an opposition dangerous to his power, and to his person, almost compelled him to govern by the sword, he was still anxious to leave a germ from which, at a more favourable season, free institutions might spring. We firmly believe, that if his first Parliament had not commenced ils debates by disputing his title, his government would have been as mild at home as it was energetic and able abroad. He was a soldier ;-he had risen by war. Had bis ambition been of an impure or selfish kind, it would have been easy for him to plunge his country into continental hostilities on a large scale, and to dazzle the restless factions which he ruled, by the splendour of his victories. Some of his enemies have sneeringly remarked, that in the successes obtained under his administration, he had no personal share ; as if a man who had raised himself from obscurity to empire solely by his military talents, could have any unworthy reason for shrinking from military enterprise. This reproach is his highest glory. In the success of the English navy he could have no selfish interesi. Its triumphs added nothing to his fame; its increase added nothing to his means of overawing his enemies ; ils great leader was not his friend. Yet he took a peculiar pleasure in encouraging that noble service, which, of all the instruments employed by an English government, is the most impotent for mischief, and the most powerful for good. His administration was glorious, but with no vulgar glory. It was not one of those periods of overstrained and convulsive exertion which necessarily produce debility and languor. Its energy was natural, healthful, temperate. He placed England at the head of the Protestant interest, and in the first rank of Christian powers. He taught every nation to value her friendship and to dread her enmity. But he did not squander her resources in a vain allempl to invest her with that supremacy which no power, in the modern system of Europe, can safely affect, or can long retain.
This noble and sober wisdom had its reward. If he did not carry the