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is a maxim which has stood the test of ages. The people will be blinded by the foolish charm of military glory, the favorite bauble thrown in the way by the Machiavelian politician ; and there can be little doubt against whom the military ardor of France will be first directed. The whole line of the Rhine would in a few days be secured—the field of Waterloo would again be contested; and happy should we be if the result gave no one more chance of profiting by the experience of past follies. The consequences, on the contrary, of an overthrow and of the final triumph of despotism would, it is to be feared, be manifested in the diffusion of total darkness over Europe for centuries yet to come.
If we can trust to appearances, the result of the late elections in France will infallibly be a change of the Administration in that country, and such a change must bring into power men who stand pledged to a liberal policy Be it Chateaubriand or Biguen, we may expect that their first step will be to endeavor to place France at the head of a constitutional league in her relations with Germany, Spain, and perhaps Italy, and to realise, as far as practice will admit, the amiable theory of Henry IV. What would be our feelings, if in such an event we again showed ourselves toto divisos orbe Britannos, with a continental system arranged against us, as much more formidable than that of Napoleon, as the resistance opposed to freedoni is more hazardous and arduous than that opposed to despotism. France might avail herself of the compensation-scheme, and exchange Lombardy, when rescued from Austria, for the Netherlands. How much is to be feared if we do not participate-I might say, lead the way—in establishing the system of representative monarchies throughout Europe, which ap: pears to be better adapted to States which have been gradually raised to civilisation than the republic forms of America, a country where all was to be begun anew. The path of happiness and true glory is open to us. At this moment we are invited to an union with France by the actual sympathy of the public feeling in that country. The late elections have strongly evinced that sympathy, and will guarantee its future co-operation with us in the cheerful efforts to be made in the cause of civilisation.
The universal manifestation of regret in all the French public prints on the death of our late Prime Minister, show that the return of our policy to the genuine principles of universal benevolence was hailed with enthusiasm ; and this last observation may apply to all the other States of Europe where the press is an organ of public opinion. Other circumstances of minor importance appear to exhibit a return of the kindly disposition which is ever natural between those who are sufficiently informed to perceive the intimate connexion of their own interest with that of others to taste; for English literature is now prevalent in France, an English theatre is encouraged, and harmony of feeling may, it is obvious, be produced by the interchange of ideas thus established between the two countries.
It would exceed the limits of this letter, were I to attempt to exhibit to your Lordship the lengthening chain of reciprocal benefits which would confirm our union with the constitutional Governments, were the principle once adopted. In addressing a firm supporter of the liberal measures adopted with regard to foreign trade, I need not expatiate on the benefits to be derived to England, France, and the Netherlands in particular, from a more unrestrained intercourse between these three countries. Many constitutional improvements may also yet be derived from the original source of constitutional liberty by the two latter kingdoms, whilst they offer to us in the arrangement effected between religions clashing with that of the State, and in some points of civil policy, a possibility of improvement in our own institutions well deserving our serious attention. The cessation of the desolating wars carried on between France and this country for so many centuries under the influence of a blind jealousy on the part of the people, and an equally blind ambition on that of the rulers of the one or the other of the two countries, is in itself a blessing which will be also duly appreciated, not only by the Netherlands, the usual theatre of those sanguinary contests, but also by the rest of Europe, perpetually exposed to being embroiled in the quarrel.
All subsequent and minor considerations, however, form but a part of the one great object to be kept in view—the extension of the civilising principle. Nor do I hesitate to allow, that whatever has been harshly spoken of the States suffering under despotic forms of government, has been spoken more in sorrow than in anger. The prospect of a possible recurrence of that dark night which the invading Goths threw in their harpy flight from the north over the fairest portion of Europe, may have given the force of indignation to the deprecating anxiety of prudence. The reigns of Theodoric in Italy, and the Gothic monarchs in Spain, would be sufficient to satisfy the least inquisitive that the alleged barbarism of the conquerors was but comparative ; and that comparison was instituted merely between the science and literature of the invaders and the invaded. An ingredient of civilisation which is of far more importance, the development of that part of moral principle which I have termed the civilising principle, was scarcely thought of. It is to this we must look in a comparison of the despotic and constitutional Governments; and the antipathy of the former to the latter is built on this difference alone. Yet, my Lord, I am too young to be destitute of enthusiasm ; and I dare to hope for a period when the exertions of our country, which have already diffused and protected civilisation throughout the whole extent of the new world, may be hailed in the old with generous applause, and seconded by the ardor of surrounding nations, till the full tide of civilisation be poured over every part of the inhabited globe ; and, traversing the vast empires of Austria and Russia, may meet with that current which already circulates around the southern part of the eastern continent, until despotism no longer knows where to find a restingplace.
That the Government over which you, my Lord, preside, may have the immortal honor of opening the career leading to such sublime results, is the sincere prayer of, my Lord, your Lordship's obedient humble servant,
DELIVERED BEFORE THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,
ON THE 6th OF DECEMBER, 1826.
By NASSAU WILLIAM SENIOR,
OF MAGDALEN COLLEGE, OXFORD, A.M., PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY.
It is impossible to address such an assembly as I see before me without great diffidence and great anxiety; and I may, perhaps, plead more than the usual excuse for indulging in the egotism which is natural to an introductory lecture. If the science of Political Economy were in the situation in which, I trust, a very few years, and perhaps the exertions of some of those whom I am addressing, will place it; if its objects were clearly understood, its terms precisely defined, its general principles universally admitted ; if it ranked in public estimation, as then it will rank, among the first of moral sciences in interest and in utility, I should feel, as I now feel, great diffidence in my own powers, and the necessity of relying very much on your candor and indulgence. But this is not the situation of the science. It is, at present, in that state of imperfect development, which, though most attractive to the student who has made some proficiency, throws the greatest difficulty in the way of a beginner, and, consequently, of a teacher, and offers the fairest scope to the objections of an idle or an interested adversary. When I consider how numerous those adversaries are,
and how widely diffused are the prejudices which they excite and propagate, all apprehension for myself is lost in the fear that the failures of the professor may be imputed to his subject, and that the vague abstractions, the details, the truisms, the obscurities, and the inconsistencies which, with all my care, will, I have no doubt, be found in my lectures, may rather deter those among my hearers to whom the subject is new from proceeding in a study which, in my hands, may appear uninteresting, than lead them to prosecute it in the writings of the great masters of the science, and by patient meditation on the results of their own experience.
To prevent, as far as I am able, such a result, I shall devote
this lecture to an attempt to explain the objects of Political Economy, and the inquiries through which they are to be effected; and it will, I think, appear that the human faculties cannot be engaged in a pursuit more useful in its result, or more interesting in its progress.
If we compare the present situation of the people of England with that of their predecessors at the time of Cæsar's invasion ; if we contrast the warm and dry cottage of the present laborer, its chimney and glass windows, (luxuries not enjoyed by Cæsar himself,) the linen and woollen clothing of himself and his family, the steel, and glass and earthenware with which his table is furnished, the Asiatic and American ingredients of his food, and above all, his safety from personal injury, and his calm security that to-morrow will bring with it the comforts that have been enjoyed to-day ; -if, I repeat, we contrast all these sources of enjoyment with the dark and smoky burrows of the Brigantes, or the Cantii, their clothing of skins, their food confined to milk and flesh, and their constant exposure to famine and to violence, we shall be inclined to think those who are lowest in modern society richer than the chiefs of their rude predecessors. And if we consider that the same
of ground which afforded an uncertain subsistence to a hundred, or probably fewer, savages, now supports with ease more than a thousand laborers, and, perhaps, a hundred individuals beside, each consuming more commodities than the labor of a whole tribe of Ancient Britons could have produced or purchased, we may at first be led to doubt whether our ancestors enjoyed the same natural advantages as ourselves; whether their sun was as warm, their soil as fertile, or their bodies as strong, as our own.
But let us substitute distance of space for distance of time; and, instead of comparing the situations of the same country at different periods, compare different countries at the same period, and we shall find a still more striking discrepancy. The inhabitant of South America enjoys a' soil and a climate, not superior merely to our own, but combining all the advantages of every climate and soil possessed by the remainder of the world. His valleys have all the exuberance of the tropics, and his mountain-plains unite the temperature of Europe to a fertility of which Europe offers no example. Nature collects for him, within the space of a morning's walk, the fruits and vegetables which she has elsewhere separated by thousands of miles. She has given him inexhaustible forests, has covered his plains with wild cattle and horses, filled his mountains with mineral treasures, and intersected all the eastern face of his country with rivers, to which our Rhine and Danube are merely brooks. But the possessor of these riches is poor and miserable. With all the materials