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On these topics our author has written with considerable judgment and impartiality. In his Animal Magnetism he details the observations of Reichenbach; and there is an instructive history of the experiments by which the Austrian philosopher sought to prove that light was emitted from the poles of a magnet.
His friend, Carl Schuh, an expert heliographist, shut up a prepared silver plate with a magnet before it, in a dark box, and another without a magnet, in a dark drawer. After some hours, the former was found, by exposure to mercurial vapour, to be affected by light; the latter not; " but the difference was not very great.' Why were the plates not in exactly similar dark boxes, or drawers? A dark box and a dark drawer are worth nothing wbatever in an experiment so infinitely dainty as this. Schuh next placed the magnet over against a plate within a box, wrapped in thick bedding; and after sixty-four hours, the plate, on exposure to the vapour of quicksilver in the dark, showed the effect of light over its whole surface.'
Dr. Brown well argues that such experiments prove nothing, and narrates how Messrs. Braid and Akers performed strictly comparative and careful experiments during a longer period, and found that there was no indication of the photographic action of light, but only such changes 'as generally arise from keeping prepared plates for some time before exposing them to mercury.' Would that the investigators who affect the study of these quasi-sciences brought to it those methods of rigid proof which are demanded in the well-accredited departments of human inquiry; indeed, as their researches are more difficult, and their conclusions more liable to misapprehension, accuracy of thought, experiment, and statement, is even more absolutely required. Yet the reverse is almost invariably the case.
We confess a certain liking for suggestive writers: their thoughts may often be erroneous, but they must sometimes be true. Before common men can know, men of genius must guess; and if in assaulting the citadel of the unknown they sbould fall in the breach, we will still chronicle their names with honour. We are not prepared, however, to call such men martyrs if they have to contend with some pecuniary difficulty, and are slighted and misapprehended by the mass of their fellowcitizens. They hare their reward.
• Their bread uncertain, their ambrosia sure.' While the merely practical men, if they receive no money wages, can enjoy no other recompense.
As far as aware, Samuel Brown added no new fact to the store of our knowledge ; of his speculations very different estimates will be formed by different minds. We have endea
voured to examine some of them carefully, especially that notable atomic theory, so closely connected with his name. We see no reason for believing in the one element as he apprehended it; yet we doubt not that future chemists will show us simpler forms of matter, and we expect that there is a material unity pervading the universe-a unity not so much of ultimate substance as of ultimate plan; a typical resemblance perhaps, something like that which obtains among the various orders of animated beings. And when we reflect on the co-operation of men of genius and men of laborious research, and on the wondrous means by which the advancement of knowledge is secured, of knowledge both natural and divine, we too can adopt the language with which Tennyson closes his In Memoriam, and reverentially express our belief in
• That God, who ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event
ART. VI.-(1.) Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire de Mon Temps. Par
M. Guizot. Tome Premier. Paris : Lévy Freres. 1858. (2.) Memoirs to illustrate the History of My Time. By M. Guizot.
Vol. I. Bentley. 1858. We do not profess to be of the fatalist school in history—a school which M. Thiers and others have recently much popularized; but without being necessarily fatalists, every attentive reader of history, and even of memoirs illustrative of history, must see that the errors, the mistakes, and the crimes of one epoch necessarily affect a succeeding generation, and, unless counteracted, possess a disastrous and corrupting influence.
In no European history does this truth appear more salient than in the history of France. Without going back to the earlier kings, the most superficial student must be aware that the uncontrolled exercise of his own will by Louis XIV., led to wars of aggrandizement and ambition; these in their turn to disaster and defeat—to ruined finances and the consequences natural to such ruin. Blenheim was the precursor of Rumillies, Ramillies of Barcelona, and Barcelona of Oudenarde and Malplaquet. The labours of a long life and of a long reign had been directed by Louis XIV. to concentrate all power in his own hands to the exclusion of every other creature ; to make every one move and have his very being by the Monarch's own energetic will. Yet the autocrat, notwithstanding his unlimited power, died with all his hopes and wishes frustrated. His family and his legitimate offspring had all preceded him to the tomb; and when he himself departed in his seventy-seventh year, gangrened in body, and miserable in heart and mind, there remained but a despotism without a despot-a state of things which foreshadowed inevitable and organic changes. Financial were superadded to governmental difficulties; and though the revenues of the State were by fifteen months anticipated, there remained at the decease of Louis XIV. a debt of four millions of francs.
Under Louis XV. France saw her debt increased, her navy, if not wholly destroyed, greatly diminished, and one of her provinces, Provence, invaded by Imperial troops. This was the age of the Pompadours and the Dubarrys; of the Parc aux Cerfs and the Eil de Bauf. When courtesans made and unmade ministers, it is not wonderful that France lost all her colonies, and that Pondicherry and Canada became the prizes of a rival nation. A sensual and a shameless monarch, almost on the brink of the grave, exclaimed, “after me the deluge,' and died in 1774 of a disease contracted in a loathsome drunken debauch. If a virtuous and well-intentioned, though weak king, could have saved the monarchy, most certainly Louis XVI. would have accomplished the difficult task. But good intentions without energy of character and a firm will were insufficient to repair the political errors and crimes of a century and a half of Royal misrule. This is not the place to write the History of the Constituent Assembly, which arose on the destruction of the Monarchy; but it may be said in passing, that during its short existence that body effected a greater number of useful reforms than had been inaugurated in the three centuries of Royal Government antecedent to 1789.
The Legislative Assembly and the Revolutionary Governments springing from it chiefly led to foreign and civil war-to domiciliary visits—to the progress of Jacobinism and a Reign of Terrorto the Convention-to the Directory—to the. Consulate ---and, finally, to the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte-a power which, as M. Guizot truly says, still remained Revolutionary while combating Revolution. To what, however, did the fifteen
, or sixteen years of epical struggle lead which commenced on the 18 Brumaire, and ended on the plains of Waterloo ? In the first place, undoubtedly to an extension of the territory and population of France. But if the empire at one period numbered 43 millions of inhabitants, and extended from Hamburgh
Bonaparte the First a warning to his successor. 151 to the mouths of the Cattaro, numbering Venice, Rome, Amsterdam, and Antwerp among its subject cities, let us remember also that within the same period France had to undergo the penalties and humiliations of a double invasionthat Paris was long in the possession of the Allied troops-and that the wonderful man and successful tyrant, whose errors and whose better qualities have left ineffaceable traces in the memory of his country, died an exile on a barren rock in the Atlantic Ocean. As General, as Consul for a term, or for life, as absolute Emperor without check or control, Bonaparte never had but one object in view, and that was to render the intelligence, the valour, and the centralized enthusiasm, vanity, and vigour of his countrymen subsidiary to his own supreme and absolute power. In achieving this object he exhibited wonderful administrative and organizing capacity ; but there are limits beyond which absolute power cannot pass, and at length there came a day when the victor was overturned and the arbiter of the fate of Europe became, to use the words of Lord Byron, a suppliant for his own. It will be well if tenants at present in temporary possession in France draw a moral and a warning from past history.
It was in the first year of the Empire of which we have been speaking, that the author of the Memoirs at present before us set foot in Paris, somewhere about the middle or ending of 1805 or the beginning of 1806. There was nothing in the history or antecedents of this youth of eighteen or nineteen, named Guizot, calculated to prejudice him in favour of either the Consular or the Imperial Government. Although the father of M. Guizot, a distinguished lawyer of Nismes, had hailed the dawn of the first Revolution, like most Frenchmen of the Huguenot faith, yet, like many of its earlier partisans also, he became one of its victims, and perished on the scaffold in 1794, by the order of Maignet, whose cruelties surpassed those of Fouché at Nantes, or those of the sensual and corrupt Barras at Toulon. This circumstance was not calculated to render the son partial to a Revolutionary Government, or to a power deriving its origin from successful revolution. Neither was the education of M. Guizot, who had spent his earlier years at the gymnasium of Geneva, reading the Greek and Roman classics, and the chef-d'ouvres of German, English, and Italian literature, likely to render him a partisan of a military autocracy, or a mere stratocracy, such as existed half a century ago, and exists now. For some time after his arrival in Paris, he led at the house of the Swiss minister a life of study and seclusion, cultivating his mind, and improving his taste, by the study of the best authors; but he soon emerged from this studious retreat, and, furnished with good introductions, began to mix with the world in 1807. Half a century has passed since he was thus launched into the salons of the Parisian metropolis; and he remarks now, after a long life of fierce contention, that he recurs with pleasure to the remembrance of the enchanting society into which he then for the first time entered. He tells us that Talleyrand once said to him, that those who were
not living in and about the year of 1789, kuew little of the enjoyments of life. In speaking of the society of eighteen years afterwards—a society which had received the impress of the great intellectual and social movement-he remarks that it was animated by mingling serious thoughts with frivolous recreations. In the midst of the general reaction towards despotism and military government, the best company of the day, in which M. Guizot freely mingled in the salons of Madame de Remusat and Madame d'Houdetot, preserved two of the noblest propensities of the agema disinterested taste for the pleasures of the mind, and that readiness of sympathy, that necessity for moral improvement and free discussion, which embellished the social relations with so much variety and sweetness.
In this society the writer of the Memoir now before us became acquainted with Suard and the Abbé Morellet, the latter a man of sound and serious views, of excellent scholarship—the friend and schoolfellow of Loménie and Brienne-and the friend of our own Lord Shelburne, one of the ablest statesmen and politicians of the last century. About the period when M. Guizot was introduced to Morellet, the latter had become a member of the Corps Législatif. The friendship of such a man, of amiable manners, ripe scholarship, well versed in political economy, and the theory of Government and Representative Assemblies, must have been a great advantage to the young student destined one day to be the future minister of the junior branch of the Bourbons. Morellet introduced him to some of the sceptical disciples of Voltaire and Condillac, and these men pardoned his German metaphysics, his poetry, his enthusiasm, and even his Christianity, because they felt he was attached to that political and civil liberty which, extinct elsewhere, only breathed a precarious and fitful existence in certain select and social salons of the capital.
Once fairly embarked in society, M. Guizot soon extended the circle of his acquaintance. He addressed an epistle in verse to Chateaubriand, who had just published his Martyrs, to which the great author responded in polished and unassuming style. Antecedent to his acquaintance with Chateaubriand, and while