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THE MORAL POWER OF ENGLAND.
is the moral power of England that has carried her so high. Mind and skill multiply physical power a thousand-fold. It is as true of nations as of individuals. Every able-bodied man has two arms, and five fingers at their extremities; yet who estimates the power of the body so much as the power of the will that controls it ? An ox can draw more than fifty men, it may be; but a single man can set in motion machinery which wields a power greater than that of the fabled Cyclops. China, with her vast territory and exhaustless population, can be brought to her knees by a few English ships and a few English cannon, guided and pointed by English mind. The few on one side, are governed by mind; the many on the other by ignorance. It is this which has enabled England so long to stand at the head of Europe, and send her mandates over the world. No throne since the world stood, has had such intellects gathered round it as the British throne. The clear heads that encircled it have ever been her firmest bulwarks. The intellect of Pitt, or Canning, can do for England in diplomacy, what Malta and Gibraltar cannot. English monarchs have in most instances been mere puppets—the wires that moved them were in the hands of such men. It was this moral power alone that made America her successful antagonist. Hitherto she had met physical force with moral power ; but when she made her onset here, then “Greek met Greek.” In the conflicts of ignorant nations, it is only a trial of muscles and bones, like the strifes of brutes ; but in those of enlightened nations, it is the struggle of souls. England's soul, not her arms, has impressed itself on the world. It is the intelligence with which she speaks, that swells her voice so far, and makes it remembered so long. It is the intelligence that guides her fleets and armies, that renders them so formidable.
ESIDES, there is a humanity about her when not crushed
out by pride and love of power. The Commons of England have often shown a steadfast resistance to tyrants, that has
ANCIENT YEOMANRY OF ENGLAND.
blessed the cause of human freedom the world over. They have cut off one king's head, and can another's when necessary. The yeomanry of England were superior to those of any other nation in Europe. Bold, intelligent, and upright, they ought still to constitute no small share of her glory. Even amid the terrors and lawlessness of civil war, they acted with moderation and humanity. When king and commons, tyranny and aristocracy, were arrayed against each other, under the ascending star of Cromwell, civil law in England lost little of its sacredness. There is a love for the right and the true in the yeoman which equally resists lawlessness and oppression. There is also a religious feeling pervading this class, which, mingling with the rough elements of the old Norman and Saxon character, gives double power to them as a body. It is the intelligence and morality of these men, which ought to be the foundation of the English government, that will assert their power when revolutionary times come on again. There is no danger of the tyranny of British kings ever being reëstablished-all oppression now proceeds from the aristocracy—and the people are so fast advancing in a knowledge of human rights, and the consciousness of their power—which is always associated with intelligence that the danger of the aristocracy is fast increasing.
T will be unnecessary. to say much of the manufactures of
complishes more every year, than could be done by the entire population of the globe without it; the machinery of England does the work and puts forth the power, of a thousand million men, exceeding by one-half the entire number of men in the world. But I need not dwell on these facts, for they have been told a thousand times. England's commerce administers to the wants and the luxury of the world-finding its way to the farthest limits of the globe. Her merchants, like those of old Tyre and Alexandria, are clothed with scarlet, and dwell in pal
ENGLAND'S GREAT MEN IN THE PAST.
aces, while every nation, and every tribe of earth's great fam. ily, pour into her lap the gold, silver, precious stones and luxuries of every clime.
INGLAND also stands unrivalled in the great men and the
laid the foundation of British Glory, down through British history till now, she presents a galaxy of illustrious men, furnished in the annals of no ancient or modern empire. In her Milton she has more than a Homer; in her Bacon more than a Solon ; and in her Shakspere, more than the earth has ever beheld in any other mortal mould. Her literature has done more for human freedom and civilization, than all the literature of other nations. Expansive in its nature, it has revealed the true sources of power, and taught men to know their strength. Bacon unbound the earth and set men acting intelligently, or rather marching forward, instead of marking time. Newton unbound the heavens, and bade them roll in harmony and beauty before the eye of intelligence. England has waked up the world. Not satisfied with knowing and improving the present, she has hastened the future. In her impetuous valor she has called on the tardy ages, as if in haste to meet their unknown events. But this she attempts no more. The future she invoked has come, and like Hamlet she starts at the spirit she has summoned forth. Having taught the people some knowledge—they are now sternly and intelligently demanding their rights ; having taught the people strength—they are shaking the throne with its first experiment. Proud in her power, she has dared to do what no other nation has ever attempted-she has given her people the book of human rights, and yet told them not to ask for their own. She has told them they were free, and yet cheated them into the submission of serfs. In every other experiment she has been thus far successful--but here she has overrated her strength. If it could be done, Eng
THE DILEMMA OF ARISTOCRACY.
land could do it. But it is attempting a contradiction, an impossibility; and yet we can hardly see how she could escape the dilemma. Without being an enlightened nation, she could not have been great; and being an enlightened nation, she cannot exercise despotic power with safety. Yet starting on this broad basis, we cannot well see how she could have passed from it easily; not that it would have been impossible had there been a will; but taking into the account the prejudices of men, their love of power and wealth and pride, it is natural England should retain the form of government she adopted, even after its workings were seen to be evil. She could most easily have been a free and a great nation when in the transition state to which Cromwell brought her, had a second Cromwell been found to take the place of the first. Here Macaulay thinks England made her great mistake—“Either Charles the First never should have been brought to the block, or Charles the Second never should have been brought to the throne.” Had the great Hampden lived, no man could say this consummation would not have been reached.
10 do it now, would be to wipe out at one stroke the long
line of Kings-bury the Peerage-rend Church and State from their harlot embrace-fling the reins of government to the people, and bid them guide their own destinies, and relieve their own wants. This, King, Peerage and Hierarchy will never willingly permit. To lay down their honors and ill-gotten wealth and, like the slaveholding aristocracy of the South, be reduced to the painful necessity of acquiring them by industry and merit, is a task they cannot perform. Honors they must have, and opulence too, though millions perish. Their rentroll must be as great, though millions more fill the land with the cry for bread. To sustain the splendors of royalty, aristocracy, and hierarchy, there must be a perpetual drain of wealth from the people, to flow round the throne and privi
SHADOWS AROUND THE BRITISH THRONE.
leged classes. This flow of wealth does not pass through the natural channels of trade. The people receive no equivalent for it. To go and take it from the poor man's pocket at the bayonet's point would be too bare-faced a robbery in the sight of the world. Hence inordinate taxation—tithes, church rates, excise and custom duties, etc., must be employed to legalize the robbery. The mass of the people behold this stream of gold incessantly flowing from them towards their idle and profligate oppressors, while there returns not even a scanty supply of bread. Such a sight naturally awakens the keenest inquiry, and as the injustice of it all forces itself upon them, the strongest, stormiest passions of the human soul are aroused.
HE English government is a solid one, but it must be infi
nitely more so to sustain itself amid such a wild waking up of men to their rights. There is a glory round her throne and her peerage, whose honors were laid in the days of Norman chivalry ; but it must be brighter than it has ever yet been, to dazzle the eyes of wronged and starving men, for the first time open to the true and only means of redress. The Church with its long train of mitred bishops, led on by Royalty itself, is an imposing spectacle, but it must invent some new majesty to awe a people that openly, boldly cry,“ Give us more bread and fewer priests /” The throne of England towers as majestic as ever, but fearful shadows are flitting over it, the visages of famine-struck, hate-filled men. The chariot with its blazing coronet, and lazy lord within, rolls by as imposingly as ever ; but there is an ominous sound in the streets which the rumbling of its wheels cannot utterly drown; it is the low,
i half-suppressed threat, YOUR TIME WILL COME! Her cathedrals and bench of bishops retain their ancient splendor, but there are eyes looking on them with other purpose than to admire
To the careless observer, England is as powerful and mag