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institutions is too formidable to leave room to doubt
that, in countries subject to their influence, very little
progress can be made for the present: coupled with
this, the resistance on the part of the higher classes
to popular sentiments, in countries not comprised
under this leaden despotism, may be considered as
forming nearly as potent an obstacle to the growth of
freedom as the resuscitated remnant of the Holy
Alliance itself.
If I am not misinformed, the bulk of the richer
inhabitants and noble families in the leading states
of Germany (certainly in Prussia, Hanover, Saxony,
and Bavaria) entertain a decided aversion to admit-
ting the element of “representation” into the machi-
nery of state government. Now, therefore, when
we hear of certain kings being disposed to grant con-
cessions to popular demands, it should always be
borne in mind, that in o: they alienate the main
body of their adherents among the upper ranks in the

__country, and find, in these, unwilling ministers of any

line of policy tainted with the sin of a democratic tendency. When this general fact is remembered, together with another, namely, that the mass of the people in Germany is both untrained to political action and ill-provided with individual organs or

leaders, it must appear hopeless to expect German

Social amelioration to proceed, save at a terribly slow rate. Still, I believe it does proceed, and that in spite of Austrian influence; and now the question suggests itself, why is Austria suffered to weigh like an incubus upon civilization and human development? Has she a friend among the Western family of Europe? No, I answer; not one at heart. But her

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position in the map, involved as it is with everlasting
traditions of bygone transactions, treaties, “under.
standings,” protocols, &c., mixed up with indefinable
apprehensions of “losing the key to the East” if
Austria ceased to bar the road to Constantinople—
all these and many more mysterious associations have
so hedged the old empire round about, in the minds
of red-tapists of the highest order, that her genuine
character, or the mischief her rule generates to the
millions subject to it, never counts for anything in
discussions bearing on Continental polity, among her
contemporaries. -
This ancient, time-honoured nuisance, thus con-
tinues to bear sway; thanks to the superstitions
embodied in her existence, and to the instinct of
sympathy which enlists every lover of absolute
government in her preservation. Nay, her very
resurrection, after the expulsion of her presiding
genius Prince Metternich, in 1848, was the fruit of too
respectful an attachment to ancient rights and forms
on the part of popular chiefs, who were thereby with-
held from pushing the advantages they had gained.
Among the motives, however (for they are multi-
form), which concur in maintaining the power of
Austria, is the desire to keep on foot an antagonist
force as against France in Europe. Whatever one
may wish as regards the maintenance of good and
amicable relations with that near and powerful neigh-
bour of ours, nothing is more clear than that we
ought “never to trust her out of our sight.” The
extreme sensitiveness of the French people on the side
of national importance, not to say vanity, enables
their governors to turn to account their foible, on

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occasion, often at perilous cost: with such a weak
side, it is natural to apprehend that our neighbours
would clap up an alliance with any power who should
offer them the tempting bait of an “arrondissement
de frontière,” or who would do homage to their
“greatness” in any other, even less substantial way.
The fact is, that the French nation is in too unsettled
a state to be counted on for any purpose beneficial to
the interests of mankind. They will be persuaded to
do anything—march anywhere—repudiate no matter
what principles of political morality—if they but hear
the old watchwords “French influence,” “legitimate
ascendancy,” “glory of the French arms,” and so
forth. For who can ever forget, much less forgive,
the monstrous application made of newly-established
republican powers, on these pretexts, to the extinc-
tion of nascent independence and republican govern-
ment in Rome?
That unpardonable act of the French rulers was,
indeed, I much fear me, far from offensive to the
nation itself: at least, I know that some of its most
estimable citizens, including, for instance, M. Léon
Faucher and M. Alexis de Tocqueville, viewed the

employment of French bayonets to force the Pope

upon an unwilling people as a suitable, nay, a praise-
worthy act, even of a government owing its existence
to the popular breath.
But to return to the general aspect of the
European world as it now stands. From France
small anticipations are to be cherished of co-operation
in the work of progress. Whatever disposition may
animate the masses of that nation, her present ruling
classes have too great a fear of the encroachments of

the popular element to encourage new efforts at re. forming social abuses. They would rather, in fact, accept the friendly support of some old despotism than that of a republic of any kind. It is tolerably evident, then, that from no existing government can the partisans of political reformation look for support, or even countenance. From England it is not likely to attend them—and I say this without meaning to cast blame on this nation for withholding it; the peculiar position in which she is placed in

reference to France being of itself a serious ground for

observing a discreet neutrality in the affairs of other countries. France and England might, indeed, newmodel the greater portion of these, if they could cordially agree upon fundamental principles. But how can this be hoped for, after the hateful crusade of the former in behalf of a crumbling priesthood, whose rule, already fallen into contempt and odium among its own subjects, was confessedly unsuited to the altered tone of sentiment prevalent in the modern world? What common action can there be on the part of the French and English people, after such a manifestation of attachment to the old doctrine of “divine right” on the part of a government of yesterday? There is no knowing on what mutual foundation we are to base our alliance, in short. And thus the idle dream of a cordial co-operation between the two countries melts away into thin air; and England turns to the more comprehensible, though ugly-looking partnership afforded by the alliance of Austria, as better calculated to help her in maintaining order in Europe. The two great elements now arrayed against each other are, democratic doctrines, and resistance by the actual depositaries of power to their encroachments.

How the conflict will finally end, is perhaps not difficult to foresee. But the phases it may have to pass through before the opposing forces come to a stand-still, will derive their complexion and importance from the individual actions of existing governments. And the interest one feels in the progress of this vast struggle arises from watching the conduct of these, month by month. The popular party naturally make blunders, and will commit more; whilst the reigning parties divide their tactics between concession and duplicity: and concession oftentimes proves an illusion; witness the Austrian and Wurtemberg Governments' retractation of those which were made in order to recover their position in 1848. If the French Revolution gave, as it seems it did, the first shake to absolute government throughout the Continent, it is not from that quarter that any farther help is to be expected to the Liberal

cause; and though its enemies the sovereigns are

alarmed, and their fears lead them to make terms with their subjects here and there, the powerful armies of Russia and Austria will probably overwhelm all resistance, should the spirit of revolt become sufficiently general to call for the employ. ment of so extreme a measure. The hopes of advancing in the path of reformation, then, depend on the peoples keeping within the limits of this necessity their manifestations of dissatisfaction. And thus a grumbling underground portentous note of change may be all that the present generation are destined to witness. A silent revolution, however,

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