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radiate less, but can never radiate more. We search into the distant past, and what relic so significant and interesting can the philosophical eye fix upon as Law.* Analysis comes in here with her power and separates, Reason deduces, and an age is known. The code remains to be contemplated, when ages have rolled away and empires have crumbled into dust. What a living commentary upon the dead,—what a resuscitation, and reorganization of the disjecta membra of the mass that lived and moved, have we in the Institutes, the Pandects, the Rhodian Decrees and the Laws of Oleron, the Consolato del marc and the league of the Hanseatic! We would fain ask if the Code be not a revelation with all the certainty of a demonstration? You determine the character of the age that fashioned it. You recognize in it the Themistocles or the Pericles. You find the courtier as you find the court,--the lesser statesman following in the footsteps of the greater, the rush-light borrowing from the sun,-even as we are told that at the court of Alexander, the courtiers imitated the wry neck of their master as a real beauty, without intention to flatter. Sir Edward Coke and Lord Bacon led, in some degree, the times in which they lived; and who cannot recognize in the one the tyranny of Elizabeth, and in the other the contamination of James. We have assumed, then, the position, that as the government is, so will be the statesman, as containing enough of truth in it to ground the observations which it is our design to make; and without fatiguing the reader with unnecessary detail, shall endeavor to exhibit a picture of the statesman under two or three conditions of humanity and civilization, by a few hurried strokes, reserving to be dwelt upon more at large, what the present age in general, and our own country in particular, demands at his hands-which is the primary object of this article.
Were the question, What is the natural condition of mankind? proposed, it would be uttering a mere truism to answer, Society; and that one of the earliest products of society
* For what is the formal notion of government but Law ? Mr. Hume says that all the apparatus of government is for the distribution of justice; or, in other words, to support the twelve Judges-1 Essays, 64. Now, what is the duty of the Judges but jus diare? which supposes the existence, and admits the supremacy, of the thing (jus) which.is spoken. See also Buller, Analogy, p. 133, c. 2.
+ Elements of Criticism, p. 41, Lord Kames.
is government,* which enables it to sustain and perpetuate its own existence. Speculation has exhausted itself unnecessarily upon the subject, and schools of philosophy have been contending with each other in maintenance of their respective theories, without -satisfying themselves or their partisans. This controversy, of course, we have little concern with at present, except it be to adopt the principles, to some extent, of Des Cartes, Hobbes, Locke and others, whose principles leading them to develope the origin of things, find government originating in necessity, and the social principle maturing into social and then political society, which must be established as soon as the world contained a few individuals. Rude enough would be this incipient organization, and rude enough the general principles of its administration. In so early a condition of society, before light had dawned upon the world or letters been engendered,—when the numbers of the human race were limited and scattered abroad, to wander hither and thither where the fruit and the herbage grew more luxuriant, or the spring purled cooler and clearer, when an enlarged family was a tribe, whose wants, desires and aspirations were limited and circumscribed within the range of sense, and who, bound down to the animal, naturally enough discovered in their hearts the seat of the absolute dominion of passion and violence. In such an age, it will be little difficult to find the statesman; for it is to be supposed he exists even here; little difficult to determine the qualities which were demanded from him who aspired to the honors of ducal sway. Courage, physical courage, which defies and despises danger, strength and perfection of body, firmness of purpose and unflinching spirit, iron heart and nerves, these combined in the individual, evinced the virtue (vir) which conferred lasting fame upon its possessor. To have these, was to be the leader,—to be the prince when alive, and the demi-god when dead. Little favour would the weaḥ and deformed Agesilaus, according to Plutarch, have found in such an age, although in another he might storm the strongholds of Persia, and make its despot tremble upon his throne. In the chase or the battle-field was the states
* Human happiness depending upon government in this sense, it may be asserted that the powers that be are ordained of God," and are so ordained
long as they operate within their legitimate spheres. The old maxim, A' Deo, Rex; á Rege, Lex-will have few advocates now, and the 13th ch. of Romans will be less frequently misunderstood or perverted.
man made, and the "mighty hunter," or the son of Mars, crowned with victory, had undisputed right to enter the council chamber, and take, as of course, the highest seat. Legislation involved as yet no fixed and regular principles; its sphere was limited, and its decrees the will of the oligarchy, or more frequently the arbitrary mandate of the despot.
But, as men emerged from this barbarism, urged onward by the progressive tendencies of mind, their intellectual powers began slowly to break the fetters which had so long restrained them. No longer unanimous in the council, the war party with their bloody ensigns,-no longer humanity swallowed up in man,—but developing or recovering itself, bestowed upon the arts of peace the sublime resources with which it is endowed. Softer and gentler influences were at work,—the blood-stained laurel lost its dazzling lustre in the mild resplendence of the civic crown. Mind was provided with food suitable to its wants and destinies, and mind will not exist without it. Illimitable and delightful prospects opened upon the mental vision,-appetite elevated itself,ambition sprung upwards from the earth, dislodged her grasp from its sensualities, and pluming her pinions for the sky, soared away amid the high and noble creations of the soul. The fine arts, engrafted upon the useful, soon began to be jealous of a separate existence. Poetry, the first and noblest of these, began to breathe, to live, to struggle, to embody “in words that burn," the conceptions that started into life as her dulcet notes melted and refined the rugged natures upon which they operated. Wandering upon the seashore, Mercury strikes his foot against the remaining tendon of a tortoise's back,-it vibrates in melody, and."Music, heavenly maid,” is born. Eloquence, with her burning heart, with her fire of passion, touches the soul, wakes its high and noble aspirations, penetrates the seats of feeling, developes the tenderest emotions, and sweeping onward with resistless energy, charms and ravishes the sout with the tropes and figures of imagination. Science unlocks Nature's Arcana, and teaches her offspring Art to strike out her high creations. Night, with its gloomy concomitants, is chased away, and morning, bright and beautiful morning, sheds its light upon the world.
The obligations of natural justice came now to be perceived, admitted and made a rule of action. Force yielded to influence,-the immutable principles of right were recog
nized as the foundation upon which the loftiest superstructures were to be erected,—the privileges appertaining to every department of society, discussed with warmth and judgment, were cemented into and formed divisions of the noble edifice. Honor, patriotism and humanity, cultivated and refined, prevailed over the craft, the arrogance of pow. er, and the invigorating principles are diffused widely throughout all the ramifications of society. There is a remodeling and a reorganization,--the “warrior's laure” yields to the "palm of eloquence,” and a moral glory is refulgent on the brow of the patriot statesmen and philosophers, whose highest wish it is to elevate the institutions and augment the happiness of their country, by the excellency of her policy, the wisdom of her laws, the intelligence and virtue of her people. The age developes the men, and the stage is filled with their thronging numbers ---Aristotles and Platos, Solon, Demosthenes, Phocion, Aristides, Thucydides, commence the giant conflict, and heap Ossa upon Pelion in the great arena of Thought.
The complex form which government begins to assume in this its intermediate stage, presents a striking contrast to the simplicity which naturally grows out of the savage state; for how limited must be the elements which enter into the science of legislation, when the will of a leader is the arbiter of right, and determines those contests which afterwards demand the ministerial offices of law and equity ; how limited, we say, when in a single chieftain is concentered all the functions of the executive, judiciary and legislative, and whose province it is, but to
“Give the nod
The stamp of fate," etc.* What refinement, indeed, could be engendered in judicial determinations, if such existed, when the acknowledged principle was that which was adopted long afterwards by the civilians, although, perhaps, only nominally,—Quod placuit principi vigorem legis habet.
Here, then, was the period which called into the service of peace and public spirit, the energies of the most giant intellects, and supplied the material for them to fashion. Here was legislation beautified, adorned and strengthened, until it
Pope's Iliad, Bk. I, 528-30, although badly translated.
attained to something like the perfection of a science ; here the declaimer and the demagogue, whose ranting harangues had moved assemblies, was shorn of his strength; the Thersites of the Iliad hurried from the stage with the foul words yet warm upon his lips :
Ω πεπονες κακ' ελεγχη Αχαισες ουκεσ’ Αχαιοι ! And the statesman, with the lofty and polished weapons of reason,—with vast resources of knowledge, exchained the attention and struck down all opposition by the strength and majesty of truth. It was only such a one that dared aspire to ihe helm of State, and it was only with such qualifications he could hope to guide the agitated vessel through the storms and tempests which threatened to submerge it. Some Demosthenes, whose mere appearance in the councils of his countrymen, in the most desperate crisis, inspired vague hopes of relief,—whose . voice silenced apprehension and despair, dissipated the mists of terror, and diffused the brightest hopes:
"Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greece
To Macedon and Artaxerxes throne.” Some Phocion, stern and inflexible in virtue, devoted in his adherence to his country, with vast acquaintance with her policy, and uncompromising hostility to her' demagogues. Some Aristides, the synonome of whose name was Justice; or Pericles, whose public spirit might be felt in the councils of his country, contributing to the glory of her literature, and the extension of the arts and sciences.*
The politics of a nation becoming intricate and involved, (as we have remarked in another place.) in proportion to the advance of civilization and the continually increasing development of the higher wants of society, how perplexed and comprehensive must we expect to find the legislation of modern ages ;—that legislation to which our attention must now be directed and confined, if the reader will pardon us
* All will not think so highly of Phocion, deeming him rather an austere conservative, possessed with but little of the democratic spirit; but Phocion certainly had the virtues we attribute to him, if he had not others. And with respect to Pericles, it is difficult to form any opinion. That his administration was a splendid one for the advance of literature, the arts and sciences, is clear, that he was himself a pure patriot, is less clear,-that he laid a foundation for the duration and perperuity of Athenian glory, is beyond all things confused and obscure.