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if criticism without construction means anarchy, construction without criticism means building on sand. The Imperial idea, for example, which has come-and rightly-to mean so much to us, needs pruning, if very ugly parasites are not to attach themselves to it: the need of religion, however urgent, must not throw us back into mediæval superstition, or, what is perhaps a greater danger, a spiritualism in which the clear outlines of truth and falsehood are blurred in a metaphysical mist. A most crude recrudescence of neopan*theism has grown up in the last ten years in a manner singularly inconsistent with the bright and clear teaching of realities, and faith in realities, with which the century "commenced,' a distinguished scientist warns us : * nor is M. Faguet without fear of the possible consequences of a religious, or at least an ecclesiastical, revival.
"Je ne serais pas étonné du tout qu'il y eût au xx° siècle une France catholique très vigoureuse; et que Dieu nous en préserve, car elle ne serait pas tendre pour la minorité protestante et libre- penseuse. Et je ne serais pas étonné-car ce n'est pas toujours la majorité numérique qui gouverne-qu'il y eût au xxe siècle une France protestante très énergique; et que Dieu nous en garde pour la même raison que tout à l'heure en sens inverse.' (Politiques et Moralistes, jü. xv.) Here as throughout the One and the Many is the formula : law and liberty, the individual and the community, the whole and the parts-neither can be left out of account, or merged in the other; for the interests of both are, in the last resort, the same.
If knowledge is not itself foreknowledge, it is a step towards it; to know the past and the present is to know the future as an effect in its cause. In Que sera le XX • Siècle ?' M. Faguet, remembering the limitations to which the prophet is subject, and the part played by the unexpected in human affairs, considers coming events in so far as they can be discerned in the shadows they cast before them. Starting from three great facts of the present-democracy, the tendency to the formation of large States, and plutocracy-he deduces the probable characteristics of the future: from the first its conservatism, its pacific temper, its jealousy of anything like superiority or excellence; from the second the decline of patriotism or national sentiment; from the third the vast and increasing power of the financier:"Le roi du marché universel, et, à très peu près, le roi du monde
Lord Kelvin, British Association, 1901.
ne al and fout of all are,
the park the line facts ows theints in so
coming played by the
from thn in the
moderne.' 'Il n'est pas vrai encore, il le sera demain, que, sous tous les gouvernements officiels de la planète, il y a des gouvernements occultes qui dirigent tout sans paraître et qui élaborent la vie politique sans qu'il semble qu'ils s'y mêlent. Il ne sera pas vrai demain, mais il le sera après-demain peut-être, que sous tous les gouvernements officiels de la planète il y a un seul gouvernement qui mène le monde et qui tient, sans montrer ses doigts, tous les rouages, tous les leviers d'aiguilleur, tous les fils et toutes les ficelles.' (Questions Politiques, p. 261.)
It is against this government, impersonal, mechanical, unhuman, that socialism is a revolt; a revolt destined to failure, because the force against it protests so passionately, so blindly, is in the nature of things. The economic causes which have brought about our industrial civilisation are inevitable; they parta ke of that necessity against which even the gods fight in vain. Overgrown democratic States with a tendency to pass over into military depotisms; the disappearance of small nationalities ; a plutocracy fiercely but fruitlessly attacked from time to time by the proletariate; governments with socialist leanings restrained by the pressure of the anti-socialistic mass of the electorate; the all but complete disappearance of the old aristocracies, of religion, of morality even in so far as this is based on religion-marriage, the family, the subordination of women; the dying out of the higher forms of literature and art; an immense growth and popularisation of science—these, more or less, are the outlines which the coming age will fill in. The picture is not very attractive; but if it fails to meet our anticipations is it not possible that these have been exaggerated, and that we must resign ourselves to their nonfulfilment?
"On voudrait toujours que ce qu'a eu de bon l'humanité fût acquis et se conservât, en même temps qu'elle fait de nouvelles conquêtes. Il est probable que c'est impossible. Il est probable que ce que gagne l'humanité est compensé par ce qu'elle perd et que, depuis très longtemps, le vrai progrès n'existe plus. Il est probable que l'immense progrès matériel réalisé depuis cent cinquante ans est la rançou d'une décadence religieuse, morale et artistique qui me paraît indéniable, et qu'on ne peut nier que parce qu'elle n'est pas encore accomplie, mais qui est en train de s'accomplir et qui sera éclatante demain.' (Questions Politiques, p. 316.)
The pessimism of this outlook is, we believe, unwarranted. It might be controverted piece by piece. The progress of democracy, for example, has not, so far, been hostile to higher education ; such opposition as this has met with has come from VOL. CXCVI. NO. CCCCII.
other quarters : nor does patriotism show signs of diminution under popular government; the government of this country is probably the most popular in Europe, but our national sentiment is indisputable : les Anglais, comme de nature,
sont, non point par crises, mais d'une façon égale, le • peuple le plus patriote de l'Univers.'* But a larger issue may be taken. The belief in progress came in, M. Faguet tells us, in recent times, and is not to be taken for granted. Why should mankind progress ? he asks in effect; and, indeed, it is not easy to answer the question. Why should the sun rise to-morrow? We do not know; nor can we be certain, in one sense of the word, that it will do so. But, as the memory of man supplies no instance to the contrary, we are justified in supposing that it will, and in making our plans for to-morrow and a series of to-morrows accordingly. The case of progress is similar. The history of mankind has been one of progress-slow, painful, interrupted here and there, it is true, but still progress. Nor is it the fact that this progress has been limited to science, that morality and religion have declined, are declining, and are likely to decline. Were this so, a gloomier forecast than M. Faguet's would be justified ; but the reverse is, in fact, the case. That both have developed to such an extent that the old forms have become inadequate at certain points to the new content, and that this disproportion causes confusion for the time being, such confusion as the smoke and heat of a battle may occasion to the combatants, is true. But these results and the causes to which they are due are temporary; to doubt this is to misread the present and forget the past. The science of morals is, qua science, progressive; social morality, as yet in its infancy, is, it is scarcely too much to say, the creation of our own time. In a sense this may seem a return upon the past; for early morality was social, and attached to groups—the family, the clan-rather than to individuals. But it is a return with a fuller consciousness of itself and a larger content: ethical notions have been transformed and purified, as is the Rhône in the Lake of Geneva, by passing through the individual and interior stage. The duties of class to class, and of the individual not only to the class to which he belongs, but to the various social groups which make up the community, are recognised : if, to take M. Faguet's example, morality in the restricted sense of the term is less definite than it was, the uncertainty
* Questions Politiques, p. 270.
is due pot to a less but to a greater sense of moral obligation and of the foundation on which this rests. So with religion. Increasing knowledge has made certain religious conceptions no longer tenable: the moral content of theology means more to us than the metaphysical ; we distinguish the idea, which is eternal, from the clothing in which it comes to us, which changes as years change. Not a little of the historical basis on which Christianity was believed to rest has been discredited ; and, though we need not take the actual analysis as final, there is an increasing unwillingness to regard religion as standing or falling with any alleged fact or event, however well authenticated this may seem to us ; a disposition to fall back upon spiritual experience as the criterion of spiritual truth. But to suppose that this change of standpoint on our part is destructive of religion is to confuse its form with its substance: the landscape is not lost but extended as the traveller mounts the hill.
"Les religions, comme les philosophies, sont toutes vaines; mais la religion, pas plus que la philosophie, n'est vaine. Sans l'espoir d'aucune récompense l'homme se dévoue pour son devoir jusqu'à la mort. Victime de l'injustice de ses semblables, il lève les yeux au ciel. Une cause généreuse, où il n'a nul intérêt, fait souvent battre son coeur. Les Elohim ne logent pas dans les neiges éternelles ; on ne les rencontre pas, comme du temps de Moise, dans les défilés des montagnes ; ils habitent dans le coeur de l'homme. Vous ne les chasserez jamais de là. La justice, le vrai, le bien sont voulus par une force supérieure. Le progrès de la raison n'a été funeste qu'aux faux dieux. Le vrai Dieu de l'univers, le Dieu unique, celui qu'on adore en faisant une bonne action, ou en cherchant une vérité, ou en conseillant bien les hommes, est établi pour l'éternité.' (Renan, 'Histoire du Peuple d'Israël,' i. 15.)
M. Faguet's forecast errs by regarding the present only. If this stood alone, did we see only the actual condition of mankind-the sufferings of the poor, the evil passions of the bad, the vices and frailties of average humanity-we might despair. But these things are not new in history: in spite of, perhaps even through, them we have advanced from small beginnings to great achievements, to a higher level, into a purer air. And, if the present is the material out of which the future is made, the past gives the key to its making: mankind is not going back but forward, and what has been shall be. For
· Not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
But westward, look, the land is bright !'
If thind the rices
AET. 1-Perseil des Traités & Conventions conclus par
ks Pussie avec les Puissance Etrangères. Tomes XI. XII.: Traités aree l'Angleterre. Publié par ordre du Ministère des Afaires Etrangères. St. Petersburg : 1895–98. Ts a Journal that has for a hundred years taken a pro- minent part in the discussion of national events and transactions, we may properly look to find a valuable record of the course and changes of public opinion. To foreign affairs we have always given special attention; but a retrospective survey of so wide and varied a field, if it were extended over the whole century, would be manifestly beyond the scope of a single article. Our present purpose, therefore, is to take up the relations of Great Britain with one great European state, and to endeavour, by references to some of the leading discussions, in the Journal, of this subject, to illustrate the general principles that have been adrocated, and the lines of action that have been followed, at successive periods, in this very important branch of our external politics. It will be seen that frequent allusion is made, for information and guidance, to an official publication of the Russian Foreign Office cited at the head of this article, which is not only a Collection of the treaties and conventions between France and England, but also contains many curious and little-known particulars extracted from the unofficial correspondence between the Russian ambassadors in England and their Government.
The first thought that may occur to our readers will probably be that to go back a hundred years in our political annals is to revive questions that are practically obsolete, that such matters belong to the domain of history, and have no other present interest. We believe it to be possible, on the contrary, to show that the essential features of the situation have undergone little material change, that the immense territorial expansion of the British and Russian empires during that period has mainly served to accentuate apprehensions, and to confirm anticipations, that had already at the beginning of the century arisen between the two countries, and that through all the vicissitudes of European politics the same or similar considerations and circumstances, whether making for or against a good understanding between the two Governments, have influenced their reciprocal diplomacy.
The year 1802, when the first number of this Journal