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of the United States. The Judge is a tall venerable man, about eighty years
age, his hair tied in a cue, according to olden custom, and with a countenance indicating that simplicity of mind and benignity which so eminenıly distinguish his character. As a judge he has no rival, bis knowledge being profound, his judgment clear and just, and his quickness in apprehending either the fallacy or truth of an argument, as surprising. I had the pleasure of several long conversations with him, and was struck with admiration at the extraordinary union of modesty and power, gentleness and force, which his mind displays. What he knows he communicates without reserve: he speaks with a clearness of expression, and in a tone of simple truth, which compel conviction; and on all subjects on which bis knowledge is not certain, or which admit of doubt or argument, he delivers his opinion with a candid diffidence, and with a deference for that of others, amounting almost to timidity; still it is a timidity which would disarm the most violent opponent, and win respect and credence from any auditor. I remember having often observed a similar characteristic attributed to the immortal Newton. The simplicity of his character is not more singular than that of his life; pride, ostentation, and hypocrisy, are “Greek to him ;” and he really lives up to the letter and spirit of republicanism, while he maintains all the dignity due to his age and office.'-(1. 158.)
• In examining the structure of society in any country, it would seem natural to commence with that class which forms its basement or found. ation. If such be the proper course in examining the condition of other countries, more especially must it be so in America, where the operative or labouring class is possessed of privileges and power so great, as to render it, in fact, master both of the government and of the constitution. It is this class, this broad basis of society, which strikes the traveller in America with the greatest surprise and admiration, and of which the native American may be justly proud. It is a fact no less surprising than pleasing to record, that, during two years spent in travelling tbrough every part of the Union, I have only once been asked for alms, and that once was by a female who was very unwell, and who, although decently dressed, told me that she wanted a bit of money to buy some food.
• The labouring class are fully aware of their own power in the state, and have more than once formed themselves into associations, under the expressive but plebeian name of “Workies," which have proved extremely unmanageable in endeavouring to force an increase of wages, and in similar infractions of the privileges of other classes in the community.
• If a practical statesman was required to point out two principal à priori tests of the permanent prosperity of a nation, I think he could scarcely select any preferable to those here adduced : first, that every adult should be able to read and write; secondly, that every
able-bodied man willing to work, should find employment at a rate of wages sufficient to ensure him the necessaries and conveniences of life. Both these propositions, allowing for the exceptions necessarily incidental to any broad political statement, may be generally affirmed in respect to the United States.'-(II. 297.)
ART. V.-1. Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France ;
contenant la Première Livraison des Monuments des Règnes de Saint Louis, de Philippe le Hardi, de Philippe le Bel, de Louis X., de Philippe. V., et de Charles IV., depuis 1226 jusqu'en 1328. Par MM. DAUNOU et NAUDET, Membres de l'Institut. Tome Vingtième. Folio.
Folio. A Paris, de l’Imprimerie Royale, 1840. 2. Récits des Temps Mérovingiens : Précédés de Considérations
sur l'Histoire de France. Par Augustin THIERRY, Membre
de l'Institut. 2 tom. 8vo. A Paris, 1840. 3. Les grandes Chroniques de France, selon que elles sont Con.
servées en l'Eglise de Saint Denis en France: Publiées par M. PAULIN Paris, de l'Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. 5 tom. 8vo. A Paris, 1837.
he brilliant production of M. Thierry consists of two por
tions, not only quite distinct, but bearing very little relation to each other, except in their common character as illustrations of French history. The 'Récits des Temps Mérovingiens' are portions detached from the early annals of the Franks, worked up into a semi-dramatic form. The basis of these narratives, each of which centres round some one individual, is taken almost exclusively from the venerable Chronicle of Gregory of Tours, the Froissart of the age
of the Merovingian kings. The minor details, especially those relating to manners and customs, are sought by M. Thierry with great diligence in contemporary authorities. Poets and Hagiologists, Fortunatus and Saint Cæsarius, the laws of Arbogast and Widogast, and the formularies of Marculphus, are all put in requisition. Gregory furnishes the web, of which they constitute the rich embroidery. Yet upon this portion of the work, however attractive it may be, we shall not enlarge; for the promised continuation may better enable us to bring it before the English reader. And we shall on the present occasion confine ourselves to the Considérations sur l'Histoire de France ; an essay in which M. Thierry gives a rapid but very profound review of the constitutional writers of France-writers by whom, as he says, the national annals have been constantly misapplied, for the purpose of truckling to political party. From Gregory of Tours down to Comines, French history has been considered little else than a repository of texts for political sermons. All ranks and orders (as he states) in their turn--Aristocracy and Bourgeoisie- Church and Law surplice and long robe-cloth of gold and cloth of frieze—have constantly, by an appeal to the past, endeavoured to support the
justice of their claims to political power: and laboured to establish, upon historical grounds, the truth of the theories by which the scattered fragments of evidence, supporting, or supposed to support, their claims, have been grouped into systematic order. And thus has arisen a class of works almost peculiar (as he assumes) to French literature-half pamphlet, half history; and ' in which erudition, more or less solid, more or less ingenious, ' is enlisted in the service of political passion, and in which the spirit of historical system is only a reflection of the spirit of party. And amongst us,' he continues, “ abstract and specu• lative history, thus rendered subservient to the conflicts of
political discussion, has, from the revival of literature until the present day, acquired a most undue importance-domineering detrimentally over researches which ought to be impartial, and
over narrative history.'— The various historico-political theories to which M. Thierry alludes, and which he examines, criticizes, opposes, or refutes-always with much talent, often with successconstitute a living and instructive commentary upon the exertions, made by the French, to promote the study of that national history which has been so employed, or, if we agrte with M. Thierry, so perverted. The existence of these party works is not doubtful. Their complexion is not to be disguised. Yet, with great submission to so high an authority, it appears to us that his tone of complaint is scarcely well founded. Surely, it is only from the practical application of the facts of history that they derive their real value. Of what use are they in the abstract ?A hoarded treasure not brought into circulation-an armoury, in which the weapons hang idly against the wall. But for the lessons which they try to teach, or the opinions which they labour to diffuse, Sismondi or Hume would be of as little importance in historical science as Amadis of Gaul or Palmerin of England.
It is the exposition, the doctrinal elucidation of the historical text, by the philosophical or political historian, which makes it tell. This value, considering history as an exercise of intellect, is as appreciable by those who are of contrary opinions to the historian, as by those who adopt them; and if a decided political tendency be, as M. Thierry laments, a violation of the laws which govern historical disquisition, no one is a more successful culprit than he. M. Thierry does not fight in ambush, and there is no reason why he should. If Boulainvilliers endeavoured to cut down the tiers état by wielding the glittering battle-axe of Clovis, has not Thierry completely routed him by sounding the pealing tocsin from the civic beffroi ? M. Thierry dispels the talismanic power of the heraldic bearing by the more powerful magic of the merchant's mark. If the advocate of aristocracy deduces the title to social sovereignty from the long-haired warriors of Germany, M. Thierry annuls the pretensions of the pedigree by opening the communal charter. Nay, he is so absorbed in the political application of his pursuits, that his spirit breaks out in his official Reports. He is now employed in the truly great work of publishing the Records of the Municipalities of France; and whilst he is covered with the dust of the archives which he is exploring, he joyfully points out the triumphs of the principles which the ancient charters involve. Let it be recollected that it is not we who quarrel with M. Thierry for this mode of expounding history. We do not think it an unfair mode of giving a substratum for his doctrinės. But it is he who is at variance with himself—it is he who objects to the very source of the impulse of his successful labours. We do not say that an historian must be a politician, or that he cannot be laborious except as the expounder of a doctrine or a creed, or energetic without speaking as the organ of a particular party; but it is a great help to him if he is. It gives him a motive the more. No writer can express himself clearly unless he feels forcibly; and there is hardly any influence which will impel any one who really deserves the name of an historiographer so energetically, as the earnest desire of advocating or recommending religious or political opinions which (whether erroneously or not) he thinks it his duty to promulgate, to propagate, to proclaim. All that we can require from the historian is truth and fairness; and that he should not wilfully or perversely mistake the authorities, or corrupt the evidence, upon which his reasonings are grounded.
Furthermore, it is hardly necessary to remind the English historical reader, that M. Thierry is any thing rather than precise in supposing that the works which he designates as historie € and historical disquisitions—moitié histoire, moitié pamphlet, où l'érudition, plus ou moins solide, plus ou moins ingénieuse, est mise en quelque sorte au service d'une passion
politique,'—are at all peculiar to France. For, amongst us, if we try to recollect the names of any historical writers who are in anywise worth recollecting-whether for industry or capacitywe can hardly name any of a different description. Tyrrell and Brady, Carte and Oldmixon, Hume and Smollett, Burnett and Collier, have produced nothing but pamphlets in M. Thierry's sense of the word. All have compelled their erudition to put on a party uniform—High Church or Low Church, Whig or Tory. Prynne with his ears, and Prynne without his ears, was a pamphleteer according to the definition of M. Thierry. Selden was a pamphleteer, neither worse nor better. Of our own times we
will not speak. All that we can concede to M. Thierry is, that the writers of this class began earlier in France, and perhaps form a more continuous and effective series than our own.
Hottoman is placed by Thierry at the head of his political array. This writer, a Silesian by descent, his grandfather having entered the French service under Louis XI., undertakes in his Franco-Gallia (1574) to prove, that the fundamental laws of France establish an elective monarchy, conjoined, or rather subordinate to, the States-general of the Realm. He assumes that the Franks were the deliverers of the Gauls from the Roman yoke of bondage. Fused into one nation, the Franco-Galfic commonwealth is founded upon the sovereignty of the two races, united into one people. Of the king-deposing power, Hottoman finds a sufficient number of examples in the annals of the two first dynasties. The fact becomes a right. The dry and legal deductions which he makes from particular precedents, must have been more convincing to many minds than any argument upon general principles. And it is hardly too much to say, that there is no one dictum which we term constitutional, whose germ may not be found in this now forgotten treatise; which, so late as the reign of Queen Anne, was considered even here as a powerful vindication of the principles upon which our Revolution was founded.
Hottoman, a banished man, and during the full fury of the League, could give full scope to such soul-stirring topics. A calmer era ensued, and in which the prevailing feeling was still the attempt to preserve the national honour, by veiling the antagonism of the two races, amongst whom power was so unequally divided. Adrian de Valois (1646) tranquilly transforms into Bourbons the kings of the Merovingian dynasty-embracing the comforting hypothesis that the Franks were Gauls, returning home after their migrations : and their conquest, therefore, is a kindly government, and not the source of dependence and servitude.' In bold defiance of all history, this theory became popular, nor need we wonder—no food is too gross for vanity, whether national or individual. A tribe of savants and demi-savants, of whom the one class may be represented by Chantereau le Fevre (1668) and the jesuit Lacaray, (1677,) and perhaps Mezeray, and the other by Audigier, (1667,) all adopted the same theory; but the last-named writer carried it to the utmost verge of extravagance-Goths and Vandals, Burgundians and Heruli, are all own brothers to the Celtic Gauls, all of one blood and lineage. These Celtic reveries bear the closest analogy to the patriotic dreams of the Hibernians, whether native or adopted, from the M.R.I.A., who gives you the Milesian version of the speech in Plautus, down to the news-writer' in Felix Farley's