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to'entitle that period and the present to rank as the Silver age. The best proof of this title is, that the moral humanization has been steadily progressing, each generation exhibiting a slight improvement on its predecessor ; while the hope of farther advance, and in an accelerating ratio, never was better founded than at present. As a general allusion to modern times, or even lo modern Enrope, would be apt to lead to vague premises, and therefore disjointed conclusions, we shall keep England in our view when treating of the indicia of that mixture of civilization with barbarism, which marks the middle period, and which we bave agreed to designate by the convenient figure of the silver age. Whatever advances other countries have made in physical power, no one will deny that England is ahead of them in this branch of national improvement; nor will it be disputed that deductions from the sum of moral civilization which must be put to the account of barbarism in England, are true, to the like extent at least, of any other country in the world. Exceptions sball, of course, be noticed. Like the barbarous period, the mixed, in which we now live, exhibits a gradation of civilization, from the hour when it began to shed a glimmer of its mild beams on the deep shadows of barbarism, progressively to that broader light which, in the present day, serves both to bless society directly, and to expose yet more the monuments of ignorance which still disfigure the social system. We cannot fix the earliest dawn of English civilization earlier than the reign of Charles I. The popular intellect— we speak of the educated class--had then made a considerable advance. Arbitrary imprisonments and exactions were felt to be gross violations of conscientiousness as unjust, and of benevolence as cruel, and seen by the reflecting powers to be inconsistent with good government and sound policy. These were the moral impulses which first forced the barriers opposed to English liberty, and consequent civilization. Political tyranny is essential barbarism. As it is blind as well as selfish, it never has yet renounced its own unjust and merciless power. It was forced from John at Runnimede, one barbarism, however, in that case, only driving out another, for the king was weakened that the nobles might be strengthened. It was again forced from the
of the Stuarts; and Combativeness and Destructiveness were the necessary ministers which, in the people, vindicated the claims of higher moral feelings. These struggles were not themselves civilization, any more than labour is rest ; but they cleared the obstructed path to English civilization ; and this with various degrees of difficulty, arising from much ignorance that survived the revolution 1688, has progressed ever since ; has defeated three noted attempts to restore the reign of darkness ; and is daily removing the lingering bulwarks of barbarism which yet remain.
When despotism ceased, the era commenced of popular law and uninfluenced judicature. Equal laws and pure courts of justice are the offspring of prevailing Conscientiousness. The existence of these, no doubt, indicates the presence or possibility of the barbarism of injustice and selfishness in those whom they are meant to control. In this latter view, civilization will be slow indeed. Individual barbarism will be found in all in whom animal brain prevails, * for human beings who are criminally predisposed, from the great preponderance of animalism in their constitution, are savages in the midst of a civilized country. The greater the number of moral brains, the more will the balance incline to national as well as individual civilization. 1. Civil liberty, equal law, and upright administration of justice established in England, the progress of national improvement was rapid in a degree unheard of in former times. Person and property being safe, genius, talent, and enterprise were left free to run the course for which they were intended; physical science and literature have flourished, agriculture and the arts have advanced, commerce extended, wealth, with all its systems of interests, accumulated; while in mechanical and chemical power, in the vastness of the combinations of political economy, and in all the accommodations, luxuries, and elegances of life, England has decidedly outstripped all other nations, ancient and modern.
All this may be true, and yet England's moral civilization have lagged greatly behind her achievements in physical power; and we are inclined to think that this has been the fact just because of the engrossing tendency of these very achievements. Our social morality has got no farther than the negative position of the obstructions of bad government removed. When the barriers were withdrawn, the race was eminently selfish. Acquisitiveness has been the impelling power which has led by degrees to England's present physical gorgeousness. The ardent course of self-enrichment and aggrandizement would have jostled more generous purposes out of the course, had it been possible for them to have entered it in company so unsuitable; hence a vast systematic selfishness is the real aspect of England's moral condition, and selfishness is barbarism." Besides the heart-chilling effect of selfish pursuits, for which to this hour the youth of England are almost exclusively educated as the chief business of life, while every other, especially where benevolence is engaged, is regarded as waste of time, there remained, long after the age of Charles I., very many positive barbarisms, and there remain to this day not a few, inherited from darker times. We have not rocm for a particular enumeration, but a few examples will serve our purpose.
* See Tripartite Division of Human Beings, p. 111 of vol. viii.
* The Criminal Code of England, till the other day when justice and mercy have called for its mitigation too loudly to be denied, long continued its self-defeating exercise of vindictive animalism, only a little above the degradation of the crimes which it punished. It was not greatly worse in the darkest of the dark ages. All inflictions of pain and torture are barbarous, and the very term has been adopted to designate the common feeling of that truth. It is impossible to imagine a more barbarous, a more savage, a more immoral act, that the infliction of a military or naval flogging, the sufferer writhing in indeseribable torture for the long time necessary for the infliction, the flesh torn from the back with knotted cords, and the blood, as is actually the case, covering the persons of the inflictors, and sprinkling the very clothes of the byestanders. The treadwheel, though less cruel, is, from its being purely inflictive, not less barbarous.
The game-laws originated in a barbarous age, and bear its selfish character. The slaughter of game, yet held an elegant pastime for the highest ranks in society, and country sports, as they are called in mockery of the sufferings they inflict on sentient beings, are all as destructive as the occupations of the savage. Systematic fox-hunting, with all its costly accompaniments, is a custom so irrational, so unworthy of intelligent men, that in a more civilized age, when it has ceased as it must do, it will scarcely be credited that it could ever prevail as the serious and almost daily business of men who hold themselves, and are held by the multitude, who would hunt if they could, to be the elite of society.
The inheritance of honour and distinction, whether the corresponding merit be inherited or not, the mere wearing a badge or bearing a name, is perhaps one of the most irrational remnants of a ruder age, and therefore we think cannot survive a higher grade than that of the present of social civilization. France has got the start of England in freeing herself from this last mentioned absurdity. Titles of honour remain, but being bestowed as the personal and intransmissible rewards of actual merit, are not nearly so likely to be found disjoined from it. A high degree of civilization, we have before observed, will bring Self-Esteem and Love of Approbation to their just level as inferior sentiments, and badges of distinction will be felt to be too much associated with them to be worn with satisfaction. It is the misapplied Veneration of the multitude, -itself a proof of barbarism,—which pays homage to what reason declares to have no right to it. When that homage shall cease, the badge will be voluntarily disused by its wearer ; and it will be matter of almost incredulous speculation to future enlightened times, that there ever was a stage of intelligence and moral feeling when, like the ring in the nose of the South Sea chief, it was valued and almost worshipped...!!!
The slave-trade and slavery, but very lately abolished, were the result of Acquisitiveness utterly extinguishing mercy and justice for nearly two centuries, and demonstrating to what an extent; in the mixed period, the iron of former times predominated over the silver of our yet imperfectly civilized inconsistent age.
England's jealousies of other nations and restrictions on their commerce are founded in ignorant, selfish, and withal selfdefeating barbarism. The navigation code is no advance upon the days of the Heptarchy. The Moral Sentiments and Intelleet disclaim the whole system, and will infallibly clear it away. The internal monopolies which remain to certain trades, and all the injustice of petty corporations, must likewise fall before the same intelligence and morality which will not endure the navigation laws. The trades absurdly protected by monopolies are what are called the ancient crafts of towns, which have existed since men associated in conímunities as indispensable to their daily wants. The occupations which science has added, have no such protection, and these are after all the most thriving.
National antipathies are barbarous. To hold another nation to be our "natural enemies," is to sacrifice every moral feeling to an absurd Self-Esteem and Destructiveness. It is not easy to determine how much of England's wars, during her last 150 silver years, has arisen out of this puerile temper. That people is not civilized which has been engaged in war for a century and a half, with short intervals of truce rather than peace. Öffensive war is the eldest born of barbarism. Defensive war may be forced upon a highly moral people ;* but every step of the foot, and stroke of the sword, beyond the strictest line of selfdefence, actual or preventive, is immoral, and therefore barbarous. England's wars of the last century and a half, will stand this test in some degree better, certainly, than the barefaced slaughter and robberies perpetrated by her previous barbarous kings; but they will, one and all, be found grievously wanting when weighed in a justly poised moral balance.
There are other barbarisms disfiguring our public polity which it were unnecessary to enumerate. Keeping in view the standard we have laid down, and the examples which we have adduced, the reader has the means of judging for himself, the test is in his own hands; when he contemplates any institution, custom, act or practice, if its directing impulse is disowned by Benevolence and Conscientiousness, if it is either unfeeling or unjust in both, if it rises no higher than, or at least is an abuse of, Acquisitiveness, Selt-Esteem, or
• See the subject treated, vol. vii. p. 529. of this Journal.
Love of Approbation, it is marked with the brand of barbarism, and is out of place in a civilized community. in 3..)
Barbarism may continue to deform the manners of a people long after they declare and believe themselves civilized. Duelling, the lineal descendant of trial by " singular battel," affords an example, and that operating in a two-fold manner. It is, on the one hand, defended as a check upon insolence and rude, ness, and a protection from insult; an admission that these characteristics of barbarism do yet debase society in England, and that portion of it, moreover, which is deemed the highest and most polished. It is, on the other hand, itself a barbarous custom, prompted by Self-Esteem, and executed by Combativeness and Destructiveness, and an absurdity, when viewed intellectually, as a mode of redress. Reflection, Mercy, and Justice, enter not into its conception or perpetration. Phrenologists might call Self-Esteem the duelling faculty,
Gambling of all kinds is a barbarian's pastime. It consists in an active Acquisitiveness and Hope, both in abuse, and is disowned by the Moral Sentiments and Intellect. Our uncivilized ancestors were passionate gamesters. Savages gamble their very persous into slavery. Even the refined card-table is a remnant of barbarism, and is fast disappearing.
Excessive conviviality is barbarous. If it have yet entirely ceased to be the reproach of the gentry of England, it has but lately ceased to be so, that drinking is not only a sensual indulgence, but an accomplishment and boast, as much as it was among the hordes of her Danish invaders. Intemperance was, till very lately, held a point of honour, a sort of duty which it was fair, nay imperative, to enforce; and while the guest felt ill treated, and even affronted, if so far neglected as to be left sober, the host fulfilled his part by locking the door, if his visitor was not to be depended upon, and, by a special appliance of the most wasteful hospitality to his particular case; lodging him under the table, or carrying him to bed. When this degree of beastliness was current in society, it was of course attended with other kindred abominations; besides much additional profligacy, and violence to the public peace, which filled the watch houses with young men of fashion, who had been breaking lamps and heads as they staggered home, it must be known to many who have arrived at even middle life, that the conversation current at these coarse banquets was gross and disgusting, to a degree which the young men of the present day refuse to credit.
It is consolatory to the moralist to observe, that the hour is advancing when he will be enabled to say of most if not of all the barbarisms, public and private, which we have enumerated, “ fuerunt.” A century ago there were professed duellists who
VOL, IX.-NO, XLIV.