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commercial depression and general suffering, would have been unknown. The national revenues, sustained by an adequate currency and unbroken industry, would have afforded an ample surplus to Government, both for the public service and the promotion of objects of general utility, after providing for the maintenance of the sinkingfund. Emigration, supported, so far as the destitute are concerned, by the public resources, and conducted in Government vessels, would have poured a ceaseless and prolific stream into the colonies, at once vivifying their industry, and converting the paupers of England and Ireland into consumers of our manufactures, at the rate of six or seven pounds a-head per annum. Pauperism at home, relieved in the classes where it originates, by this wise and paternal policy, would have been arrested. Crime itself would have been made to minister to the general good : the jails of Great Britain would have been converted into industrial academies for behoof of the distant parts of the empire : penal emigration, adequately diluted by a triple amount of unstained emigrants, sent out at the public expense, would have been everywhere hailed as a blessing, not resisted as
The industry of the colonies, encouraged by the protective policy of the mother country, and supported by the ceaseless streams of its emigration, would have advanced with rapid strides, and afforded a rising and inexhaustible mart for domestic manufactures. The ocean would have become a British lake : the navy of England, the floating bridge which at once united and protected its distant dependencies.
Colonial discontent would have been unknown. The West Indies, Canada, and Australia, would have been the most loyal and contented, because the most flourishing and justly governed parts of the empire. The foreign trade of the world would have been to the British empire what Adam Smith justly called the most profitable of all trades, a home trade. We should have raised the raw material for all our staple branches of industry within ourselves; wool from Australia, cotton from the East and West Indies, grain from the British isles and Canada. Agriculture at home and abroad would have advanced abreast of manufactures; commerce and shipping would have risen
with the increase of their productions; the Navy, fed by an ample and protected commercial marine, and sustained at an adequate amount by a well-filled treasury, would have secured our independence, and enabled us to attend to the interests and anticipate the wants of our remotest dependencies. We should have been alike independent of foreign nations for the materials of pacific industry, and superior to them in warlike resources. Great Britain, though gray in years of renown, would have retained for centuries the vigour of youth, because she would have been continually renovated by the energy of her descendants. The paternal hall would have been constantly cheerful and happy, because it would have been always filled with children and grandchildren, or enlivened by their exploits. Amidst general prosperity and unceasing progress, the National Debt-constantly encroached on by a sustained sinking-fund—would have disappeared. Before this time it would have been all extinguished; and the taxation of the empire, reduced to £30,000,000 or £35,000,000 a-year, would have enabled us for ever to maintain the national armaments on such a scale as would have qualified us to bid defiance alike to the covert encroachments of our rivals, or the open hostilities of our enemies. Under the opposite or cheapening system, the public debt has, on the admission of its ablest supporters, been virtually doubled; the sinking-fund has, amidst general and almost constant distress, disappeared; Colonial discontent threatens the empire with dismemberment; agricultural distress will speedily render it dependent for its daily bread on its enemies; and the maintenance of the national independence, if the present system is persisted in, has been rendered, for any length of time, impossible.
THE ROYAL PROGRESS
[BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE, SEPT. 1849]
QUESTION—“What is a King ?" Answer—“A monster who devours the human race.' Such was a part of the catechism taught to all the children of France during the first fervour of the Revolution in 1789. “I wonder the people should die of want,” said a princess during the dreadful famine of 1774 ; " for my part, if I was one of them, I should live on beef-steaks and porter, rather than perish. Such are the feelings with which the members of the same community, children of the same family, unhappily sometimes come to regard each other during periods of democratic excitement or mutual estrangement. Ignorance, worked on by falsehood, and misled by ambition, is the main cause of this fatal severance. Nothing removes it so effectually as bringing them together. So natural are the feelings of loyalty to the human heart, so universally do they spring up when the falsehood which has smothered them is neutralised by the evidence of the senses, that it may be considered as one of the greatest evils which can afflict society, when circumstances occur which keep sovereigns aloof from their people, and one of the greatest blessings when they can rejoin each other. Of this, a signal example occurred on the return of the royal family of France from the fatal journey to Varennes, when Barnave, who had been sent down with Petion, as one of the most vehement and stern republicans, to bring them back to Paris, was so impressed with the philanthropic benevolence of the King, and so melted by the heroic magnanimity of the Queen, that he became thenceforward one of the most faithful defenders of the royal cause. “How often,” says Thiers, in recounting this
remarkable conversion, “would factions the most inveterate be reconciled, if they could meet and read each other's hearts !”
The sudden change often produced in the general mind, by the veil of ignorance and prejudice being withdrawn, which had concealed from them the real character of their rulers, is not to be ascribed merely to the lustre of royalty, or the dazzling of the public gaze by the magnificent pageants which, on such occasions, generally surround it. It arises mainly from a different cause : it is allied to the generous affections—it springs from the feelings planted by the Author of nature in the human heart, to bind society together. It is often seen most strongly when the royal pageants are the most unpretending, and the royal personages, laying aside their previous state, mingle almost without distinction, save from the superior grace of their manners, with the ordinary citizens. It is more like the irresistible gush of affection which overspreads every heart, when the members, long severed, of a once united family are reassembled; or when the prodigal returns to his father's home, only the more dear from the events which had estranged him from it.
It is sometimes said that loyalty is an instinctive principle, meant to supply the place of reason before the intellectual faculties have grown to their full strength among a people, but unnecessary, and which gradually dies out, when society, under the direction of self-government, has come to be regulated by the rational faculties. There never was a greater mistake ; and every day's experience may convince us that it is not only false, but directly the reverse of the truth. The time will never come, when the aid of loyalty will not be required to bind society to its chief; and if the period should ever arrive that its generous influence is no longer felt, it may safely be concluded that the sun of national prosperity has set, and that a night of darkness and suffering is at hand. Mankind cannot be attached, save in a passing moment of fervour, to an abstract principle, or a vast community without a head, or something which may supply its want to the senses. The aid of individuals or localities is required to concentrate and keep alive the patriotic affections, where they are not centred on an individual sovereign. What the Acropolis was to Athens, the Capitol to Rome, St Mark's to Venice, that the sovereign is to a monarchical community; and so it will remain to the end of the world.
All the fervour of the Revolution could not supply in France the want of one chief, till Napoleon concentrated the loyal affections on himself. The real enemy to loyalty is not reason, but selfishness. It dies away, not under the influence of enlarged education, but under that of augmented corruption; and till that last stage of national decay has arrived, its flame will only burn the more steadily from reason adding the fuel by which it is to be fed.
If any doubt could be entertained, by a well-informed mind, of the incalculable importance of loyalty, as the chief and often the only bond which holds society together, it would be removed by two events which have occurred in our own times,—the Moscow invasion, and the steadiness of England during the mind-quake of 1848. On the first occasion, this sacred principle defeated the mightiest armament ever assembled by the powers of intellect against the liberties of mankind; on the last, it preserved unshaken and unscathed the ark of the constitution in the British islands, amidst the deluge which had shaken the thrones of almost all the other European monarchies. In these two examples, where two states in the opposite extremes of infancy and civilisation were successively rescued from the most appalling dangers, amidst the ruins of all around them, by the influence of this noble principle, we may discern the clearest proof of its lasting influence upon man, and of the incalculable blessings it is fitted to confer, not less in the most enlightened than in the most unenlightened ages of society. But for it, the social institutions of Great Britain would have been overturned on the 10th April 1848, and England, with all its education, civilisation, and habits of freedom, would have been consigned to destruction by a deluge of civilised barbarians, compared to whom, as Macaulay has well said, those that followed the standard of Attila or Alaric were humane and temperate warriors.
Hence we may learn how wonderfully loyalty is strengthened, instead of being weakened, by the progress of knowledge and the spread of civilisation in a really free community, and what force that noble principle acquires when, to the generous enthusiasm which binds the unlettered warrior to his chief, is added the determination of freemen to defend a throne which all feel to be the keystone in the arch of the national fortunes.
It is a fortunate, perhaps it would be nearer the truth to