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be matter for great regret. Weak as the Tories may be in policy and ability, they are yet a great party in the State, and as such no one would willingly see them discredited. It is of evil influence that public men should pursue office by running counter to the most cherished traditions of their party. The Tories have tried this once, and their success was not so great as to encourage a repetition of the experiment, and we are glad, for their own sakes and the sake of the country, that this is so.
On the ground of general politics, moreover, we should regard the accession of the Tories to office as a great evil. We have at the beginning of this paper fully indicated the differences in principle which seem to mark the two great parties in the State; and the Liberals excel their opponents in the power and character of their leaders hardly less than in the soundness of their opinions. Of Lord Russell we have already spoken. Beside him in the House of Lords sit as members of his Administration some of the most vigorous and powerful men in the Peerage. The House of Cominons, besides the loss of their great leader, find every day greater occasion to deplore the absence of the unrivalled knowledge, sterling principle, and unfailing sagacity which Sir George Lewis brought to their deliberations. But if new blood can at all give us hope, it has been energetically sought out. Mr. Goschen, Mr. C. Fortescue, Mr. Forster, and Mr. Stansfield restored with a generous courage heartily appreciated by the country, to the career from which the Tories had thought to hunt him,—from these men we may surely expect vigorous administration and a promise of future statesmanship. And last of all there is Mr. Gladstone, who, as if to crown his great reputation, has opened his career as leader of the House with a temper and a dignity and loftiness of tone which has surprised his warmest admirers. And it is for Lord Malmesbury, Lord Cranbourne, and Mr. Disraeli, that we are asked to displace these men !
It is to be desired, then, that Liberal Ministers should carry through a measure of Reform; and, that measure once settled, it is also to be desired that a Liberal Ministry should continue to govern the country. We have no wish to see any Government constantly devising new changes. 'Measures, not men,' is the shallowest of political cries. The converse would be far nearer the truth: By what men do we wish to be ruled ? For we do believe that Government can do much in fashioning the destinies of the people, and even something towards influencing the fortunes of other nations. Has Mr. Gladstone's finance been without effect upon his country? Did Lord Palmerston's
avowed sympathies afford no stimulus to the cause of Italian freedom?
An Englishman may be forgiven if he refuse to concur in the gloomy anticipations of England's future, which supply matter for so much cheerful meditation to Mr. Arnold's continental friends. Doubtless exciting and anxious times seem near at hand, in which England may find it hard to hold her own as heretofore. If she hopes to do so, she must, in her Foreign policy, forget the worn-out traditions which yet cling to her; must rise to a cordial sympathy with the new ideas which are stirring in Europe; must ally herself frankly with advancing Liberalism; must seek better to understand and enter into the difficulties of other nations; and, above all, must lay aside jealousies and self-seeking, recognising the great truth, that in the advancement and prosperity of those whom she thinks her rivals, lies her own surest safety : in Home affairs she must shape her legislation in enlightened accordance with sound political economy; and resolutely direct it towards equalizing, so far as may be, the rights and privileges of all men. May those things be! And so may we enjoy peace, and lessen our expenditure, and extend our prosperity, till it reach all classes of society! It is, we believe, the firm persuasion of the country, that the men most likely to realize these-perhaps too fondexpectations, are to be found among the members and supporters of the present Administration.
NORTH BRITISH REVIEW.
JUNE 186 6.
ART. I.-1. Tableau de L'Empire Romain depuis la Fondation
de Rome jusqu'à la fin du Gouvernement Impérial en Occi
dent. Par M. AMÉDÉE THIERRY. Paris: Didier et Cie., 1862. 2. Mommsen's History of Rome. Translated by Rev. W. P.
Dickson, D.D. London: Bentley, 1862. 3. Römische Geschichte von Dr. A. Schwegler. Laupps'che Buch
handlung. Tübingen, 1853.
The history of Rome has in a peculiar sense universal interest. Rome is the bridge between the ancient and the modern world, the vessel in which the treasure of ancient civilisation was preserved, till the nations of modern Europe were ready to receive it. The limit of ancient history is when all the various peoples who played a part in the first act of the great drama are dissolved and lost in the universality of Rome. The beginning of modern history is when a new order of peoples seek to sever themselves from the unity of the Roman Empire, and to acquire independence. Further: Roman history holds the middle place, not only in time, but in character. It combines the progressive continuity of modern, with something of the unity and simplicity of ancient political life. Through all the perplexing conflict and infinite variety of modern politics, Rome still seems to prolong the same monotone that awed the ancient world into silence.
Hence we do not wonder that Roman history has been made the battle-field of so many controversies. On this subject Niebuhr gave the first example of that species of historical criticism which has been called the peculiar gift and characteristic of modern thought; that criticism which enables us, in a far higher degree than ever before, to give vividness and meaning to the past, without turning it into an exaggerated image of the present. Niebuhr's work was indeed imperfect, and the power of historical divination' which he supposed himself to possess
VOL. XLIV.-NO. LXXXVIII.
often led him to attempt to make bricks without straw ; yet he cannot be denied the merit of having first taught us how to make criticism constructive as well as destructive; how to use aright the dangerous weapon of historical analogy; how to search for the higher interest of national life, even while we cast aside the lower interest of legend and romance. This Niebuhr was the first to do; and that he did it imperfectly is only a consequence of the fact that he did it first.
It is not now too much to say that since Niebuhr we have attained a far juster conception of Roman history as a whole than was possessed by the native historians. And the reason is, that this new criticism has taught us to ask questions which they did not ask, though they afford us sufficient data for the answers. It has taught us also to take full advartage of our position, and view Roman history as a continuous whole, in a sense in which no native historian could so regard it. To a certain degree, the continuity of the national life forced itself upon the observation of the Roman historians, who in this one point rise above their far greater Greek rivals. Livy has a far clearer notion of the relation of the present to the past than Thucydides : Tantæ molis erat Romanam condere gentem.' He sees how a nation makes and moulds itself by its own acts; yet he sees this only in part, and in its most obvious aspects. He was too much carried away by the passions of the time to understand the deeper unity of a progress of which the Empire was the necessary and legitimate end. And this was equally the case with all the writers on whom we have to depend for the image of Roman history.
* Livy, Cicero, and Sallust,' says M. Thierry, 'wrote at a period when the reaction of the conquered peoples upon Rome was only beginning to show its strength, and they could not sufficiently separate themselves from the imperial city to judge of it with fairness. They could look at it only as Romans, or even as Roman partisans. Tacitus, perhaps, might have seen farther, but he did not wish to see. Dominated by the religion of the past, enamoured of the ancient political forms, which the progress of the world had by a beneficent necessity destroyed, unjust to the conquered races, Tacitus turned away his eyes from a revolution made for their advantage. He would not see anything in the birth of a new Rome except the corruption of the national morality and the crime of the Cæsars. But he had this excuse, that he was not a witness of the great events which were to impress on the Roman Empire a final and universal character. He did not live to see the construction of that code of Roman law, so justly called “written reason;" nor the triumph of a political equality among all freemen; nor the