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have been deemed by the highest intellects of the day degraded and disgraced. Yet now, any Florentine who joined in a foray against Pisa would be deemed, even by the most ignorant of Tuscan peasants, a scoundrel worthy of the gallows. In the same way, but a few hundred years ago every brave and honest and unselfish man who lived north of the Tweed would have been fighting on the side of Bruce and Wallace against England; and now, if a Scotchman proposed to levy war against England, he would be set down by his own countrymen as a traitor or a lunatic. Scotchmen are not less patriotic now then they were in the days of Bannockburn; they would die, they have died, as readily for Great Britain as they ever died for Scotland; the only difference is, that their idea of patriotism is enlarged and exalted. Is it a heresy to imagine that some day or other the time may come-nay, can already be seen slowly advancing when patriotism shall extend over a yet larger area than that occupied by one country or one single race? At the time of the German War of Independence, Goethe was called upon to write patriotic songs stirring up the nation against France; but, in spite of taunts and entreaties, the old poetphilosopher declined to respond to the appeal. "No one," he said, "loves "the Germans more than I do; but "then I do not hate the French." Perhaps hereafter this sentiment may not be thought as monstrous as it was at the time of utterance,- -as it would be thought even now, under like circumstances. Possibly men may learn that, because you love your own people, it does not follow that you hate all others.
Nobody can study the course of events without seeing that the tendency of the age is to frame nations into larger communities. The days of small states are numbered; and the number of distinct nationalities throughout Europe is being diminished by a sort of Darwinian principle of selection. The strong nationalities are absorbing the weak into themselves. Much of suffering and
hardship attends this process of amalgamation. Nations, like men, die painfully; and every nation has a right to maintain its own vitality. Poland and Ireland and Denmark and Portugal may struggle hard to preserve their distinct place amidst the nations of Europe; and no wise man could state with absolute certainty that no one of them could succeed in its attempt; but in the mass they must succumb, in accordance with the law that the greater must swallow up the less. I quite admit that this absorption of the little by the big is not an unmixed gain to the world at large. There are arts, graces, studies, and even virtues which flourish more rapidly and more profusely in the coufined atmosphere of small states than in the larger life of great populous communities. Things were, doubtless, pos sible under the Heptarchy-and those not evil things-which are no longer possible in England; and yet the absorption of the Heptarchy has profited Englishmen. And so I think in the long ru Europe will be happier when her terri tory is divided-as it probably will be before long-into far fewer kingdoms than occupy it at present.
A change, however, in the political or economical conditions of the world might, I think, retard, if not suspend the operation of the forces which visibly and directly tend to diminish the European constituency. I rely far more on the operation of the silent and involuntary causes which, in my judg ment, are gradually bringing the constituents to feel that they are united with each other by common ties. The advantages of steam have been so dinned into our ears, so thrust down our throats, so pressed upon our remembrance in season and out of season, that we are inclined to ignore them altogether. Yet patriotism, in its low parochial sense of a passionate unreasoning preference for every custom, institution, interest of your country, as opposed to all others, received, I think, with many other bad things, its death-blow when steam was first invented. There is a story told that once, when Charles Lamb was
abusing somebody or other, he was asked if he knew the person he was attacking: "Know him?" was the answer; "of course I do not; if I did, I should be sure to like him." And this story seems to me, like many of Elia's sayings, to have contained within it the germ of a very serious truth. The great reason why nations dislike one another, as they do most cordially, far worse than governments or dynasties ever can do, is because they are so ignorant of each other. It has been my lot to live a good deal in foreign countries; and the one chief lesson I have learnt is, that one nation is very like every other. After all, as Sam Slick says, there is a great deal that is human about man; and men are very much alike, whatever may be their language, or race, or creed, or colour. Virtues and vices, cleverness and folly, honesty and dishonesty, industry and indolence, seem to me much more equally distributed about the world than patriotic admirers of different and rival countries would be disposed to allow. Of course, neither I, nor any rational person, would assume that there is no marked difference between Englishmen and Russians, or between Chinese and Malays, or between. American negroes and Hottentot bushmen. Each of these races occupies very distinct and definite stages in civilization, and cannot either judge or be judged according to a common standard. All I assert is, that between different nations the points of resemblance are more marked than the points of dissimilitude, and that therefore the effect of more intimate acquaintance between nations is inevitably to weaken the patriotic conviction, that all goodness and virtue and honesty are reserved to one particular branch of God's creation. the time when the prejudice against the Free Northern States was at its height in this country, an English nobleman, with that sublime naïveté which characterises his class, remarked to an American diplomatist who told me the story, "I cannot understand how it is, "but all Englishmen who have lived
across the Atlantic seem to be fond "of Americans." The plain truth is that, if you are gifted with the average amount of good sense and kindly feeling, you can hardly live long amidst a foreign nation without learning to look upon them as friends. Thus, if my view is right, the mere fact of one nation being brought into constant contact with another, forming with it ties of friendship, commerce, and marriage, removes the distinctions between the two countries, widens the area owned by their respective patriotisms, and thereby lessens the risk of war. To take a very simple and familiar instance: what reasonable man can doubt that the danger of war between France and England is far less now than it was five-and-twenty years ago? The political conditions of the two countries are, to say the least, not so favourable to peace as they were in the days when a constitutional monarch-the Napoleon of peace-sat on the throne of France. But, within the last quarter of a century, railways, excursion trains, treaties of commerce, cheap postage, increased knowledge of modern languages, have made Englishmen and Frenchmen so much more intimate with each other, that the provocation required to produce war on either side must be infinitely greater now than it would have been at the time of the Syrian difficulty.
Thus, to my mind, the way in which progress ultimately works towards the promotion of peace is by a gradual assimilation of one nation to another. I am speaking, be it always understood, of remote tendencies, not of operations whose progress can be distinctly discovered from year to year, or even perhaps perhaps from century to century; Within any given period, no matter of how long duration, no cool-headed man would reckon on the world beholding one European nation; but in the course of modern times it is probable we have a Latin and a Teutonic and a Sclavonian people, comprising within themselves the different branches of those races, now divided by diversities of language, and history, and insti
tutions. Just as Italy has swallowed up the republics, and France has France has absorbed Burgundy and Navarre, so in the course of time Italy and Spain may become part and parcel of one great Latin people. No doubt, at this moment, Spaniards and Italians would regard the idea of sacrificing their separate nationality with the same horror as, centuries ago, Florentines and Venetians would have regarded the prospect of being merged in an Italian kingdom. And there is no doubt that, in all such absorptions, there is something lost to the world in the decay and disappearance of individual languages, and literatures, and traditions. But of this, I think, we may be sure, that in the long run the principle of selection holds good with regard to races and peoples, and that the one most fitted to live does live, to the exclusion of those less worthy. An Englishman, or a Frenchman, or a German, may be the staunchest of patriots, and yet may look forward without alarm to the possibility of a far distant future, when England, and France, and Germany shall be nothing more than geographical expressions. The principle of nationalities, of which we hear so much now-a-days, cannot be regarded as a permament resting-place for humanity, but only as a temporary arrangement good for our age, but not for all ages to come. "Qui veut le fin," says the French proverb, "veut les moyens ; and any one who holds that a united brotherhood is the ideal state of mankind cannot shrink with horror at the bare notion that in the course of time his own section of humanity may be absorbed in a larger polity. doctrine, at any rate, is not a novel one, but as old as the creed first taught eighteen centuries ago. Of all the varied faiths the world has known, Christianity is the one in which patriotism holds the least important and conspicuous place, just as Judaism, the faith of the "chosen people," is based upon the principle of patriotism in its narrowest form. In fact, from one point of view Christianity may be
regarded as a protest against the conception which underlay all the Mosaic religion, that the interest of the children of Israel superseded all claims of the outer world. When the Gospel was first preached to the Gentiles, the truth was asserted that the bonds which unite all mankind together are stronger and holier than those which unite together the members of each human brotherhood. To develop in practice this theory of Christianity as opposed to Judaism, is, to my mind, the especial work which progress, in our modern use of the word, has to perform.
It seems to me that there are indications of this work making way. The masses of different nations are obviously beginning to learn that they have common interests, which exist independently of their respective nationalities. During the recent strikes, to quote one example, the French and English tailors have come, it is said, to an agreement to assist each other's cause by refusing to take work from London and Paris houses respectively. I am not saying whether this course of action is wise, or just, or otherwise. The mere possibility of its adoption shows how far we have got on towards Internationalism when French and English workmen recognise the fact, that their interests are identical, not antagonistic. When the Republic was started in 1848, the first use almost the French "ouvriers" made of their liberty was to drive away the British mechanics domiciled in France; and, brutal as the act was, it can hardly be said to be inconsistent with the protective theories on which all Continental Governments of the day were based. That what one country gained another lo-t, was the fundamental principle of all protection; and Free Trade, amidst its many blessings to humanity, has conferred none greater than the shock it has given to this evil, and almost universal superstition. Fiveand-twenty years ago the idea that anything which took work away from the looms of Lyons could fail to benefit Spitalfields and Coventry would
have been regarded, by the workingclasses themselves, as an obvious absurdity. Now-slowly indeed, but still, I think, surely-the conviction is gaining ground, that the cause of labour is one on which French and English workmen are common allies, not hereditary enemies.
So, after like fashion, I see a consolidating tendency-to coin a new phrase-in the peace addresses which different bodies of the French and German communities have addressed to each other when war between these two countries appeared imminent. I do not exaggerate the actual importance of these addresses. When Mr. Pease and his Quaker friends went to Russia before the outbreak of the Crimean War, their peace manifesto represented the sentiments of a small and insignificant minority; and I doubt very much whether the stilted proclamations of the Parisian students. and Proletarians would have done much in themselves to bring about a peaceful solution of the Luxemburg question. If war should come to pass, Frenchmen and Germans will hate each other for the time; and the natural patriotic instincts of each race will overpower the feeble resistance of the friends of humanity. But still there is something gained by the mere recognition of the truth that Frenchmen and Germans have higher and wider duties towards each other than those which pertain to them as members of the Latin and Teutonic races. The Utopias of one age become the truths of succeeding generations; and so I cannot regard it as absurd to imagine that the day may come when a war between European nations may appear as monstrous and wicked to the world, as a war between Wessex and Mercia would appear to Englishmen of our own time and country. I may add, that the idea of settling international difficulties by means of congresses and conferences, of which, from whatever motives, the Emperor Napoleon has been the chief advo
cate the doctrines of a brotherhood of humanity so popular amongst the advanced thinkers of the Continent-are also indications of the tendency to substitute for patriotism a larger and more comprehensive principle of human action.
In so short a space as these limits assign to me, it is impossible to discuss. so great a question with any fulness. I trust, however, I have made plain the general purport of my theory. To recapitulate it very briefly, I may say that, in my judgment, the direct and primary effect of material and mental progress is to strengthen the patriotic. instincts of mankind, and thereby to render wars certainly not less, possibly even more, probable. But the indirect and secondary effect of this progress I hold to be the substitution of a general for a local patriotism; and the consequent effectuation, of a state of things under which war would become impossible. I quite admit that this process is one of very slow and tardy growth. I think it possible that not only existing nations, but even the order of things to which existing nations belong, may live out their appointed time before peace becomes the permanent condition of humanity. Nor am I sanguine enough to hope that speculations of this kind will have any practical bearing either in our time or for a long. long time to come. But I do think that those who believe with me in the gradual advancement of the human race need not despair, because, in spite of the progress we have made in many ways, the war spirit remains as powerful as ever. "Ma la cosa va"-such were the last words almost of Count Cavour, when he lay dying with his great work only half accomplished; and so, after all, the most earnest workers in the cause of humanity must be content to remember with him that, in spite of all, "things are still moving,"-moving progresswards, and therefore peace-wards.
THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION.
THE eighth meeting of the National Rifle Association will commence in a few days, on Wimbledon Common, under the presidency of Earl Spencer, who has succeeded Lord Elcho as chairman of the Council. Lord Elcho has held that office since the autumn of 1859, when the Association was founded; and his retirement from the chief place of the Council marks an epoch in the history of the Association, and affords an opportunity for reviewing the proceedings of this society during the past seven years.
These seven years have been years of progress and success, and Lord Elcho hands over the Association in most excellent order. The financial condition of the Association is sound, and the influence which it exercises is immense. It is no exaggeration to say that the permanence of the Volunteer force depends more upon the action of the National Rifle Association than upon any other single cause, the Government Capitation Grant alone excepted. To prove that these years have been years of much anxiety and downright labour, as well as of prosperity, we have only to remember that during this time the entire system of rifle-shooting with
which we are so familiar has been
originated, gradually built up, elaborated little by little, and brought to its present
No. 93.-VOL. XVI.
satisfactory condition. It cannot be denied that we owe this national achievement most of all to "the great Association, "which, under the guidance of Lord 66 Elcho, has in seven years converted the people of this country into a nation "of marksmen." Nor must we forget that, while we owe this satisfactory state of things to the National Rifle Association, the Association owes a very large share of its marked success to the sound judgment, courteous bearing, and devoted labours of Lord Elcho. The
chairman of the National Rifle Association is the unofficial head of the entire Volunteer force, and exerts an influence upon the members of that force second only-if indeed at all inferior-to that of the Inspector-General and of the Secretary for War. Lord Elcho has long been regarded by the Volunteers of the country as one to whom they might appeal with a certainty of being listened to-upon any question directly or indirectly bearing upon the welfare of that service. If Mr. Hare's scheme or Mr. Stuart Mill's plan for the representation of minorities had existed for the last seven years, under which electors would be able to vote for any person they might select throughout the land, there can be but little doubt that, sinking politics and creeds, the Volunteers would have sent Lord Elcho to Parliament