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of virtues : but a present-taking king is less mischievous than he, whom a silly vanity and ignorance of the value of money, betrays into wasting the treasure which is not his own. Besides, a greedy monarch is further excusable, inasmuch as the cupidity of those who surround him, may be supposed to give an intelligible lesson : he has only to profit by the example.
If the great are fond of presents, the little make their gifts in the same spirit, in which the farmer commits the seed to the earth. M-, in reading Lucian this morning at breakfast, hit upon this curious question: whether, on occasion of some general assembly of the gods, the divinities should take precedence according to the respective value of their materials, as images, or according to the merit of their sculpture. The more weighty consideration very properly carried the day; for the gods, both of this world and the other, are honoured only as they have something to bestow. The reverence for mere wealth, which is the besetting sin of the English character, is a sad mark of moral degradation; but it is at least wiser than a stupid admiration of the oppressors and destroyers of mankind, or an adoration of titles, ribbons, and the accident of noble birth. It is a mistake to suppose that the homage paid to riches is an homage to the folly or roguery of the possessor : it is to his merit and utility as a conduit pipe, for distributing that, of which every one is desirous, that the worship is offered. The honors paid to mere aristocracy are like a pompous inscription over a dry pump; compared with which, Rothschildolatry is a return to simple nature.
The great error of all systems of education is, that they are systems ;-schemes built upon moral theories, instead of developments of physiological facts; they are the result of a neglect of elements which are indestructible, in the attempt to establish doctrines which are hypothetical.
Even Pestalozzi's system has this radical defect. His doctrine of “la foi et l'amour,” which he has taken for its basis, or " that which children feel for their parents," is to me unintelligible; for schoolmasters are not, and cannot be, parents; and his rejection of emulation, as a germ of dangerous passions,* is utterly unphilosophical. Until Nature ceases to give passions, man must use them. The lever of all action is motive
* He calls ambition “ la queue de Bonaparte."
All character, and much of conduct, is a mere affair of temperament. Early association will do something in forming opinions ; precepts may modify, and example influence; but nothing will give sensibility, where nature has denied it. Something may be effected by the friend or the physician; and caution and calomel may tell, in the long run. Nero, perhaps, might have been bled down to a maudlin methodist ; but returning health would have raised him to the zeal of a St. Dominick; and on a perfect convalescence, he would have ceased to cant, and began to burn. In General Count P. de Ségur's beautiful work, in which the story of a campaign is given, with all the charm of a romance, and all the dignity of an epic, the author accounts for the Russian war, and the headlong precipitation with which it was conducted, on the simple principle of a latent malady
“ in the world's great master,” which sharpened his passions, and urged him to his ruin ; "an acrid humour which reigned in his blood, which he considered as the cause of his irascibility, but without which,” said Napoleon himself, “there is no gaining battles.” “ Which of us,” adds the author, “ has penetrated sufficiently into the human organization to affirm, that this hidden vice was not one of the causes of that restless activity, which hurried on events, and occasioned at once his grandeur and his fall ?”
How these French soldiers write! Bred in the “ tented field,” where have they acquired the style so finely fitted to their subject, and the philosophy that belongs to their age? Who are the historians of the last thirty years, of the greatest events that ever shook the governments of the earth to their centre ? -not the “ hommes de lettres" of France, not her académiciens,-por her ex-ministers and statesmen,
rompus et corrompus,"—nor her professed authors;—they are the gallant soldiers who witnessed the events they so eloquently describe, and who call on cotemporary testimony to corroborate their statements. Ségur,