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country. The first act of a tyrant has al. it possible to levy on such a populace a tax ways been to disarm the people, and to sur- which they were determined not to pay, round themselves with a standing army. and felt that they were not bound to pay The Tudor method was, as Mr. Froude either in law or justice ? Conceive Lord shews us by many interesting facts, to keep Palmerston's sending down to demand a the people armed and drilled, even to com- " benevolence” from the army at Alderpel them to learn the use of weapons. shot, beginning with the General in comThroughout England spread one vast mil. mand, and descending to the privates. ... itary organization, which made every adult What would be the consequences? Ugly a soldier, and enabled him to find, at a day's enough: but gentle in comparison with those notice, his commanding officer, landlord, of any attempt to exact a really unpopular sheriff
, or lieutenant of the county ; so that, tax from a nation of well-armed Englismen, as a foreign ambassador of the time remarks unless they, on the whole, thought the tax fit with astonishment, (we quote from memory,) to be paid. They would grumble, of course, “ England is the strongest nation on earth, whether they intended to pay or not-for for though the King has not a single merce were they not Englishmen, our own flesh nary soldier, he can raise in three days an and blood ?-and grumble all the more in army of two hundred thousand men.” person, because they had no press to grum
And of what temper those men were is ble for them: but what is there in the M.P.'s well known enough. "Mr. Froude calls them letter to Lord Surrey, quoted by Mr. Hal(and we beg leave to endorse, without ex- lam, p. 25, or in the more pointed letter of ception, Mr. Froude's opinion,)“ A sturdy Warham's, two pages on, which we do not high-hearted race, sound in body, and fierce see lying on our breakfast tables in half the in spirit, and furnished with thews and newspapers every week ? Poor, pedantic, sinews, which, under the stimulus of those obstructive, old Warham, himself very angry "great shins of beef,' their common diet, at so much being asked of his brother clerwere the wonder of the age.” “What com- gymen, and at their being sworn as to the yn folke in all this world,” says a state-paper value of their goods, (so like are old times in 1515, “ may compare with the comyns of to new ones ;) and being, on the whole, of England in riches,
freedom, liberty, welfare, opinion, that the world (the Church included) and all prosperity? What comyn folke is is going to the devil, says, that as he has so mighty, so strong in the felde, as the been showed in a secret manner of his comyns of England ?" In stories of authen- friends, the people sore grudgeth and murtie actions under Henry VIII., (and we will mureth, and speaketh cursedly among them. add, under Elizabeth likewise,) where the selves, as far as they dare, saying that they accuracy of the account is undeniable, no shall never have rest of payments as long as disparity of force made Englishmen shrink some liveth, and that they had better die from enemies whenever they could meet than be thus continually handed, reckoning them. Again and again a few thousands themselves, their wives and children, as deof them carried dismay into the heart of spoulit, and not greatly caring what they do, France. Four hundred adventurers, vaga- or what becomes of them." bond apprentices of London, who formed a Very dreadful — if true; which last point volunteer corps in the Calais garrison, were depends very much upon who Warham for years (Hall says) the terror of Norman- was. Now, on reading Mr. Froude's, or dy. In the very frolic of conscious power any other good history, we shall find that they fought and plundered, without pay, Warham was one of the leaders of that without reward, save what they could win party (which will always have its antitype for themselves; and when they fell at last, in England) represented now by Blackwood's they fell only when surrounded by six times Magazine, the Standard, and the Morning their number, and were cut to pieces in care- Herald. Have we, too, not heard within less desperation. Invariably, by friend and the last seven years, similar prophecies of foe alike, the English are described as the desolation, mourning, and woe- of the fiercest people in all Europe, (English wild Church tottering on the verge of ruin, the beasts, Benvenuto Cellini calls them ;) and peasantry starving under the horrors of this great physical power they owed to the free-trade, noble families reduced to the profuse abundance in which they lived, to verge of beggary by double income tax ? the soldier's training, in which every one of Even such a prophet seems Warham to them was bred from childhood.
have been of all people in that day, one Mr. Froude's novel assertion about pro- of the last whom one would have asked for fuse abundance must be weighed by those an opinion. who have read his invaluable introductory Poor old Warham, however, was not so chapter. But we must ask at once, how was far wrong in this particular case; for the
"despoulit" slaves of Suffolk, not content (men of the present day, as compared with with grumbling, rose up with sword and the tyranny of Tudor times. Thank God, how, and vowed that they would not pay. there is no lack of that blessing now; but Whereon the bloated tyrant sent his præ- was there any real lack of it then ? ' Certorians, and enforced payment by scourge tainly, the outward notes of a tyranny exist and thumbscrew? Not in the least. They now in far greater completeness than then. would not pay; and, therefore, being free A standing army, a Government police, men, nobody could make them pay; and ministries who bear no love to a militia, although in the neighbouring county of and would consider the compulsory arming Norfolk, from twenty pounds (i.e., £200 of and drilling of the people as a dangerous our money) upward, (the tax was not levied insanity, do not look at first sight as much on men of less substance,) there were not like "free institutions” as a Government twenty but what had consented ; and though which, though again and again in danger not there was a great likelihood that this grant merely of rebellion, but of internecine wars should be much more than the loan was," of succession, so trusted the people, as to (the " salt tears ” shed by the gentlemen of force weapons into their hands from boyNorfolk proceeding, says expressly the Duke hood. Let us not be mistaken ; we are no of Norfolk, “ only from doubt how to find hankerers after retrogression; the present money to content the king's Highness,") the system works very well ; let it be; all that king and Wolsey gave way frankly and at we say is, that the imputation of despotic once, and the contribution is remitted, al- institutions lies, primâ facie, rather against though the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the reign of Queen Victoria than against writing to Wolsey, treat the insurrection that of King Henry the Eighth. Of lightly, and seem to object to the remission course, it is not so in fact. Many modern as needless.
methods, which are despotic in appearance, From all which facts (they are Mr. are not so in practice. Let us believe Hallam's, not Mr. Froude's) we can deduce that the same was the case in the sixteenth not tyranny, but lenity, good sense, and the century. Our governors now understand frank withdrawal from a wrong position, as their own business best, and make a very soon as the unwillingness of the people fair compromise between discipline and proved it to be a wrong one.
freedom. Let us believe that the men of This instance is well brought forward the sixteenth century did so likewise. All (though only in a line or two by Mr. we ask is, that our forefathers should be Froude) as one among many proofs that the judged as we wish to be judged ourselves, working-classes in Henry the Eighth's time" not according to outward appearance, but * enjoyed an abundance far beyond that with righteous judgment." which in general falls to the lot of that Mr. Froude finds the cause of this general order in long-settled countries, incomparably contentment and loyalty of the masses, in beyond what the same class were enjoying the extreme care which the government at that very time in Germany or France. took of their well-being. The introductory The laws secured them; and that the laws chapter, in which he proves to his own were put in force, we have the direct evi- satisfaction the correctness of his opinion, is dence of successive acts of the legislature, well worth the study of our political justifying the general policy by its success; economists. The facts which he brings and we have also the indirect evidence of seem certainly overwhelming; of course, the contented loyalty of the great body of they can only be met by counter-facts; and the people, at a time when, if they had been our knowledge does not enable us either to discontented, they held in their own hands corroborate or refute his statements. The the means of asserting what the law acknow- chief argument used against them seems to ledged to be their right. The Government” us, at least to shew, that for some cause or (as we have just shewn at length)" had no other, the working-classes were prosperous power to compel injustice. . . : . If the enough. It is said the Acts of Parliapeasantry had been suffering under any real ment regulating wages do not fix the grievances, we should have heard of them minimum of wages, but the maximum. when the religious rebellions furnished so They are not intended to defend the employfair an opportunity to press them forward. ed against the employer, but the employer Complaint was loud enough, when com- against the employed, in a defective state of plaint was just, under the Somerset Protec- the labour market, when the workmen, by torate."
the fewness of their numbers, were enabled Such broad facts as these (for facts they to make extravagant demands. Let this be are) ought to make us pause ere we boast the case, (we do not say that it is so,) what of the greater liberty enjoyed by English is it but a token of prosperity among the
working-classes ? A labour-market so thin they owed more to the strong hand and steady
"To conclude this chapter, then.
“In the brief review of the system under which
England was governed, we have seen a state of prosperity to the employed, - a time of things in which the principles of political full work and high wages; of full stomachs, economy were, consciously or unconsciously, coninclined from very prosperity to "wax fat tradicted; where an attempt, more or less sucand kick.” If, however, any learned sta- cessful, was made to bring the production and tistician should be able to advance, on the distribution of wealth under the moral rule of opposite side of the question, enough to right or wrong; and where those laws of supply weaken some of Mr. Froude's conclusions, immutable 'ordinances
of natare, were absorbed
and demand, which we are now taught to regard as he must still
, if he be a just man, do honour or superseded by a higher code. It is necessary to the noble morality of this most striking for me to repeat that I am not holding up the sixchapter, couched as it is in as perfect teenth century as a model which the nineteenth English as we have ever had the delight of might safely follow. The population has become reading. We shall leave, then, the battle too large, and employment too complicated and of facts to be fought out by statisticians, default of control,
the relapse upon self-interest as
fluctuating, to admit of such control; while, in always asking Mr. Froude's readers to bear the one motive principle is certain to ensue, and, in mind, that though other facts may be when it ensues, is absolnte in its operations. But true, yet his facts are no less true likewise, as, even with us, these so-called ordinances of and shall quote at length, both as a specimen nature in time of war consent to be suspended, and of his manner and of his matter, the last duty to his country becomes with every good three pages of this introductory chapter, in citizen a higher motive of action than the advanwhich, after speaking of the severity of the tages which he may gain in an enemy's market; laws against vagrancy, and shewing how they so it is not
uncheering to look back upon a time
when the nation was in a normal condition of were excused by the organization which found employment for every able-bodied Government was enabled by happy circumstances
militancy against social injustice, --when the man, he goes on to say,
to pursue into detail a single and serious aim at the wellbeing - wellbeing in its widest sense
of all members of the commonwealth. There " It was, therefore, the expressed conviction of were great difficulties and drawbacks at that time the English nation, that it was better for a man as well as this. Of Liberty, in the modern sense of pot to live at all than to live a profitless and the word,- of the supposed right of every man worthless life. The vagabond was a sore spot to do what he will with his own, or with himself, upon the commonwealth, to be healed by whole there was no idea. To the question, if ever it some discipline if the gangrene was not incurable; was asked," May I not do what I will with my own!" to be cut away with the knife, if the milder treat- there was the brief answer, No man may do ment of the cart-whip failed to be of profit. what is wrong, either with what is his own, or
“A measure so extreme in its severity was with what is another's.' Producers, too, who partly dictated by policy. The state of the coun- were not permitted to drive down their worktry was critical ; and the danger from questionable men's wages by competition, could not sell their persons traversing it unexamined and uncontrolled goods as cheaply as they might have done, and was greater than at ordinary times. But in the consumer paid for the law in an advance of point of justice as well as of prudence, it har- price; but the burden, though it fell heavily on monized with the iron temper of the age, and it the rich, lightly touched the poor; and the rich answered well for the government of a fierce and consented cheerfully to a tax which insured the powerful people, in whose hearts lay an intense loyalty of the people. The working-man of hatred of rascality, and among whom no ope modern times has bought the extension of his could have lapsed into evil courses except by liberty at the price of his material comfort. The deliberate preference for them. The moral sinew higher classes have gained in wealth what they of the English must have been strong indeed have lost in power. It is not for the historian to when it admitted of such stringent bracing; but, balance advantages. His daty is with the facts." on the whole, they were ruled as they preferred to be ruled ; and if wisdom can be tested by
Our forefathers, then, were not free, if success, the manner in which they passed the great crisis of the Reformation is the best justic- we attach to that word the meaning which cation of their princes. The era was great our Transatlantic brothers seem inclined to throughout Europe. The Italians of the age of give to it. They had not learnt to deify Michael Angelo; the Spaniards who were the self-will, and to claim for each member of contemporaries of Cortez; the Germans who the human race a right to the indulgence of shook off the Pope at the call of Luther ; and the every eccentricity. They called themselves splendid chivalry of Francis I. of France, were no free, and boasted of their freedom: but common men. But they were all brought face to their conception of liberty was that of all the English met them. The English alone never old nations, a freedom which not only allost their self possession, and if they owed some- lowed of discipline, but which grew out of thing to fortune in their escape from anarchy, lit. No people had less wish to exalt the
kingly power into that specious tyranny, a tia. While other nations are employing paternal government; the king was with conscription, we have raised in twelve them, and always had been, both formally months, a noble army, every soul of which and really, subject to their choice ; bound has volunteered as a free man; and yet, by many oaths to many duties; the minis- forsooth, we are not a military nation! Wé ter, not the master of the people. But their are not ashamed to tell how, but the other whole conception of political life was, never- day, standing in the rear of those militia theless, shaped by their conception of family regiments, no matter where, a flush of pride life. Strict obedience, stern discipline, com- came over us at the sight of those lads, but pulsory education in practical duties, was a few months since helpless and awkward the law of the latter; without such training country boors, now full of sturdy intellithey thought their sons could never become gence, cheerful obedience, and the manhood in any true sense men. And when they grew which can afford to be respectful to others, up, their civic life was to be conducted on because it respects itself, and knows that it the same principles, for the very purpose of is respected in turn. True, they had not the enabling them to live as members of a free lightness, the order, the practical case, the nation. If the self-will of the individual cumning self-helpfulness of the splendid was curbed, now and then, needlessly, (as it Gerinan legionaries who stood beside is the nature of all human methods to cari- them, the breast of every other private deeature themselves at times,) the purpose corated with clasps and medals for service was, not to weaken the man, but to strength in the wars of seven years since. As an en him, by strengthening the body to which invading body, perhaps, one would have he belonged. The nation was to be free, preferred the Germans ; but only because self-helping, self-containing, unconquerable ; experience had taught them already, what to that great purpose the will, the fancy, it would teach in twelve months to the even, if need be, the mortal life, of the in- Berkshire or Cambridge “clod." There, to dividual must give way. Men must be us, was the true test of England's military trained at all costs in self-restraint, because qualities; her young men had come by tens only so could they become heroes in the of thousands, of their own free-will, to be day of danger; in self-sacrifice for the com- made soldiers by her country gentlemen, mon good, because only so would they re- and treated by them the while as men to be main united, while foreign nations and evil educated, not as things to be compelled ; home influences were trying to tear them not driven like sheep to the slaughter, to be asunder. In a word, their conception of disciplined by men with whom they have life was as a warfare ; their organization, no bond but the mere official one of milithat of a regiment. It is a question whether tary obedience; and “what," we asked ourthe conception of corporate life embodied in selves, “ does England Jack' to make her a a regiment or army, be not, after all, the second Rome? Her people have physical best working one for this world. At least, strength, animal courage, that self-dependence the problem of a perfect society, howsoever of freemen which enabled at Inkerman the beautiful on paper, will always issue in a privates to fight on literally without officers, compromise, more or less perfect, (let us every man for his own hand. She has inhope more and more perfect as the centuries ventive genius, enormous wealth : and if, as roll on,) between the strictness of military is said, her soldiers lack at present the discipline, and the Irishman's laissez-faire self-helpfulness of the Zouave, it is ridiculous ideal, wherein "every man should do that to suppose that that quality could long be which was right in the sight of his own eyes, wanting in the men of a nation which is at and wrong too, if he liked.” At least, such this moment the foremost in the work of had England been for centuries; under emigration and colonization. If organizing such a system had she thriven ; a fact power and military system be, as is said, which, duly considered, should silence some- lacking in high quarters, surely there must what those gentlemen who, (not being of a be organizing power enough somewhere, in military turn themselves) inform Europe the greatest industrial nation upon earth, so patriotically and so prudently, that "Eng- ready to come forward, when there is a real land is not a military nation."
demand for it, and, whatever be the defects From this dogma we beg leave to differ of our system, we are surely not as far beutterly. Britain is at this moment, in our hind Prussia or France, as Rome was beeyes, the only military nation in Europe. hind the Carthaginians and the Greeks whom All other nations seem to us to have mili- they crushed. A few years sufficed for tary governments, but not to be military them to learn all they needed from their theraselves. As proof of the assertion, we enemies ; fewer still would suffice us to learn appeal merely to the existence of our mili- from our friends. Our working-classes are
not, like those of America, in a state of try compared with that toward which God is physical comfort too great to make it worth guiding it, and for which he is disciplining it while for them to leave their home occupa. by awful lessons; and to fight on, if need be, tions; and whether that be a good or an evil, ruthless and yet full of pity, (and many a it at least insures us, as our militia proves, noble soul has learnt within the last two an almost inexhaustible supply of volunteers. years how easy it is to reconcile in practice What a new and awful scene for the world's that seeming paradox of words) smiting drama, did such a nation as this once set be- down stoutly evil, wheresoever we shall find fore itself, steadily and ruthlessly, as Rome it, and saying, “ What ought to be, we did of old, the idea of conquest. Even now, know not; God alone can know: but that waging war as she has done, as it were év this ought not to be, we do know, and here, Tapepyw, thinking war too unimportant a part in God's name, it shall not stay." of her work to employ it on her highest in We repeat it: war, in some shape or tellects, her flag has advanced, in the last other, is the normal condition of the world. fifty years, over more vast and richer tracts It is a fearful fact : but we shall not abolish than that of any European nation upon it by ignoring it, and ignoring by the same earth. What keeps her from the dream method the teaching of our Bibles. Not in which lured to their destruction, Babylon, mere metaphor does the gospel of Love deMacedonia, Rome?"
scribe the life of the individual good man as This : that, thank God, she has a con- a perpetual warfare. Not in mere metaphor science still; that feeling intensely the sa- does the apostle of love see in his visions of credness of her own national life, she has the world's future no Arcadian shepherd learnt to look on that of other people's as paradises, not even a perfect civilisation, sacred also; and since, in the fifteenth cent- but an eternal war in heaven, wrath ury, she finally repented of that wild and and woe, plague and earthquake; and unrighteous dream of conquering France, she amid the everlasting storm, the voices of has discovered more and more that true mil. the saints beneath the altar, crying, Lord, itary greatness lies in the power of defence, how long ? Shall we pretend to have more and not of attack; in not waging war, but tender hearts than the old man of Ephesus, being able to wage it; and has gone on her whose dying sermon, so old legends say, true mission of replenishing the earth more was nought but—"Little children, love one peacefully, on the whole, and more humane- another;" and yet could denounce the liar ly, than did ever nation before her, conquer- and the hater and the covetous man, and ing only when it was necessary to put down proclaim the vengeance of God against the lawlessness of the savage few, for the all evil.doers, with all the fierceness of an well-being of the civilized many. This has Isaiah? It was enough for him—let it be been her idea; she may have confused it and enough for usthat he could see, above herself, in Caffre or in Chinese wars; for the thunder-cloud, and the rain of blood, who can always be true to the light within and the scorpion swarm, and the great him? But this has been her idea; and angel calling all the fowl of heaven to therefore she stands and grows and thrives, the supper of the great God, that they a virgin land for now eight hundred years. might eat the flesh of kings and valiant men,
But a fancy has come over us, during the a city of God eternal in the heavens, and yet last blessed forty years of unexampled peace, eternally descending among men; a perfect from which our ancestors of the sixteenth order, justice, love, and peace, becoming century were kept, by stern and yet most actual more and more in every age, through wholesome lessons; the fancy that peace, all the fearful training needful for a fallen and not war, is the normal condition of the race. world. The fancy is so fair, that we blame Let that be enough for us: but do not let none who cherish it; after all, they do good us fancy that what is true of the two exby cherishing it; they point us to an ideal tremes, must not needs be true of the mean which we should otherwise forget, as Baby- also; that while the life of the individual and lon, Rome, France in the seventeenth cen- of the universe is one of perpetual self-detury, forgot utterly. Only they are in haste fence, the life of the nation can be aught else: (and pardonable haste too) to realize that or that any appliances of scientific comforts, ideal, forgetting that to do so would be real any intellectual cultivation, even any the ly to stop short of it, and to rest contented most direct and common-sense arguments of in some form of human society, far lower self-interest, can avail to quiet in man those than that which God has actually prepared outbursts of wrath, ambition, cupidity, for those who love him. Better to believe that wounded pride, which have periodically conall our conceptions of the height to which vulsed, and will convulse to the end the huthe human race might attain, are poor and pal. man race. The philosopher in his study may