THE NATURAL PRINCIPLE OF THE POLITICAL ORDER
considered in connection with THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSAL COSMOPOLITICAL HISTORY.
THE NATURAL PRINCIPLE OF THE POLITICAL ORDER.
Whatever metaphysical theory may be formed regarding the Freedom of the Will, it holds equally true that the manifestations of the Will in human actions, are determined like all other external events, by universal natural laws. Now History is occupied with the narration of these manifestations as facts, however deeply their causes may lie concealed. Hence in view of this natural principle of regulation, it may be hoped that when the play of the freedom of the human Will is examined on the great scale of universal history, a regular march will be discovered in its movements; and that, in this way, what appears to be tangled and unregulated in the case of individuals, will be recognised in the history of the whole species as a continually advancing, though slow, development of its original capacities and endowments. Thus marriages, births and deaths appear to be incapable of being reduced to any rule by which their numbers might be calculated beforehand, on account of the great influence which the free will of man exercises upon them; and yet the annual Statistics of great countries prove that these events take place according to constant natural laws. In this respect they may be compared with the very inconstant changes of the weather which cannot be determined beforehand in detail, but which yet, on the whole, do not fail to maintain the growth of plants, the flow of rivers, and other natural processes, in a uniform uninterrupted course. Individual men, and even whole nations, little think, while they are pursuing their own purposes—each in his own way and often one in direct opposition to another—that they are advancing unconsciously under the guidance of a Purpose of Nature which is unknown to them, and that they are toiling for the realisation of an End which, even if it were known to them, might be regarded as of little importance.
Men, viewed as a whole, are not guided in their efforts merely by instinct, like the lower animals; nor do they proceed in their actions, like the citizens of a purely rational world, according to a preconcerted plan. And so it appears as if no regular systematic History of mankind would be possible, as in the case, for instance, of bees and beavers. Nor can one help feeling a certain repugnance in looking at the conduct of men as it is exhibited on the great stage of the World. With glimpses of wisdom appearing in individuals here and there, it seems, on examining it externally as if the whole web of human history were woven out of folly and childish vanity and the frenzy of destruction, so that at the end one hardly knows what idea to form of our race, albeit so proud of its prerogatives. In such circumstances, there is no resource for the Philosopher but, while recognising the fact that a rational conscious purpose cannot be supposed to determine mankind in the play of their actions as a whole, to try whether he cannot discover a universal purpose of Nature in this paradoxical movement of human things, and whether in view of this purpose, a history of creatures who proceed without a plan of their own, may nevertheless be possible according to a determinate plan of Nature.—We will accordingly see whether we can succeed in finding a clue to such a History; and in the event of doing so, we shall then leave it to nature to bring forth the man who will be fit to compose it. Thus did she bring forth a Kepler who, in an unexpected way, reduced the eccentric paths of the planets to definite Laws; and then she brought forth a Newton, who explained those Laws by a universal natural Cause.
All the capacities implanted in a Creature by nature, are destined to unfold themselves, completely and conformably to their End, in the course of time.
This Proposition is established by Observation, external as well as internal or anatomical, in the case of all animals. An organ which is not to be used, or an arrangement which does not attain its End, is a contradiction in the teleological science of Nature. For, if we turn away from that fundamental principle, we have then before us a Nature moving without a purpose, and no longer conformable to law; and the cheerless gloom of chance takes the place of the guiding light of Reason.
In Man, as the only rational creature on earth, those natural capacities which are directed towards the use of his Reason, could be completely developed only in the species and not in the individual.
Reason, in a creature, is a faculty of which it is characteristic to extend the laws and purposes involved in the use of all its powers far beyond the sphere of natural instinct, and it knows no limit in its efforts. Reason, however, does not itself work by instinct, but requires experiments, exercise and instruction in order to advance gradually from one stage of insight to another. Hence each individual man would necessarily have to live an enormous length of time in order to learn by himself how to make a complete use of all his natural Endowments. Otherwise, if Nature should have given him but a short lease of life—as is actually the case —Reason would then require the production of an almost inconceivable series of generations, the one handing down its enlightenment to the other, in order that her germs, as implanted in our species may be at last unfolded to that stage of development which is completely conformable to her inherent design. And the point of time at which this is to be reached, must, at least in Idea, form the goal and aim of man’s endeavours, because his natural capacities would otherwise have to be regarded as, for the most part, purposeless and bestowed in vain. But such a view would abolish all our practical principles, and thereby also throw on Nature the suspicion of practising a childish play in the case of man alone, while her wisdom must otherwise be recognised as a fundamental principle in judging of all other arrangements.
Nature has willed that Man shall produce wholly out of himself all that goes beyond the mechanical structure and arrangement of his animal existence, and that he shall participate in no other happiness or perfection but what he has procured for himself, apart from Instinct, by his own Reason.
Nature, according to this view, does nothing that is superfluous, and is not prodigal in the use of means for her Ends. As she gave man Reason and freedom of Will on the basis of reason, this was at once a clear indication of her purpose in respect of his endowments. With such equipment, he was not to be guided by instinct, nor furnished and instructed by innate knowledge; much rather must he produce everything out of himself. The invention of his own covering and shelter from the elements, and the means of providing for his external security and defence,—for which nature gave him neither the horns of the bull, nor the claws of the lion, nor the fangs of the dog,—as well as all the sources of delight which could make life agreeable, his very insight and prudence, and even the goodness of his Will, all these were to be entirely his own work. Nature seems to have taken pleasure in exercising her utmost parsimony in this case and to have measured her animal equipments very sparingly. She seems to have exactly fitted them to the most necessitous requirements of the mere beginning of an existence, as if it had been her will that Man, when he had at last struggled up from the greatest crudeness of life to the highest capability and to internal perfection in his habit of thought, and thereby also—so far as it is possible on earth—to happiness, should claim the merit of it as all his own and owe it only to himself. It thus looks as if Nature had laid more upon his rational self-esteem than upon his mere well-being. For in this movement of human life, a great host of toils and troubles wait upon man. It appears, however, that the purpose of nature was not so much that he should have an agreeable life, but that he should carry forward his own self-culture until he made himself worthy of life and well-being. In this connection it is always a subject of wonder that the older generations appear only to pursue their weary toil for the sake of those who come after them, preparing for the latter another stage on which they may carry higher the structure which Nature has in view; and that it is to be the happy fate of only the latest generations to dwell in the building upon which the long series of their forefathers have laboured, without so much as intending it and yet with no possibility of participating in the happiness which they were preparing. Yet, however mysterious this may be, it is as necessary as it is mysterious, when we once accept the position that one species of animals was destined to possess Reason, and that, forming a class of rational beings mortal in all the individuals but immortal in the species, it was yet to attain to a complete development of its capacities.
The means which Nature employs to bring about the development of all the capacities implanted in men, is their mutual Antagonism in society, but only so far as this antagonism becomes at length the cause of an Order among them that is regulated by Law.
By this Antagonism, I mean the unsocial sociability of men; that is, their tendency to enter into society, conjoined, however, with an accompanying resistance which continually threatens to dissolve this society. The disposition for this lies manifestly in human nature. Man has an inclination to socialise himself by associating with others, because in such a state he feels himself more than a natural man, in the development of his natural capacities. He has, moreover, a great tendency to individualise himself by isolation from others, because he likewise finds in himself the unsocial disposition of wishing to direct everything merely according to his own mind; and hence he expects resistance everywhere just as he knows with regard to himself that he is inclined on his part to resist others. Now it is this resistance or mutual antagonism that awakens all the powers of man, that drives him to overcome all his propensity to indolence, and that impels him through the desire of honour or power or wealth, to strive after rank among his fellow-men—whom he can neither bear to interfere with himself, nor yet let alone. Then the first real steps are taken from the rudeness of barbarism to the culture of civilisation, which particularly lies in the social worth of man. All his talents are now gradually developed, and with the progress of enlightenment a beginning is made in the institution of a mode of thinking which can transform the crude natural capacity for moral distinctions, in the course of time, into definite practical principles of action; and thus a pathologically constrained combination into a form of society, is developed at last to a moral and rational whole. Without those qualities of an unsocial kind, out of which this Antagonism arises—which viewed by themselves are certainly not amiable but which everyone must necessarily find in the movements of his own selfish propensities—men might have led an Arcadian shepherd life in complete harmony, contentment and mutual love, but in that case all their talents would have for ever remained hidden in their germ. As gentle as the sheep they tended, such men would hardly have won for their existence a higher worth than belonged to their domesticated cattle; they would not have filled up with their rational nature the void remaining in the Creation, in respect of its final End. Thanks be then to Nature for this unsociableness, for this envious jealousy and vanity, for this unsatiable desire of possession, or even of power! Without them all the excellent capacities implanted in mankind by nature, would slumber eternally undeveloped. Man wishes concord; but Nature knows better what is good for his species, and she will have discord. He wishes to live comfortably and pleasantly; but Nature wills that, turning from idleness and inactive contentment, he shall throw himself into toil and suffering even in order to find out remedies against them, and to extricate his life prudently from them again. The natural impulses that urge man in this direction, the sources of that unsociableness and general antagonism from which so many evils arise, do yet at the same time impel him to new exertion of his powers, and consequently, to further development of his natural capacities. Hence they clearly manifest the arrangement of a wise Creator, and do not at all, as is often supposed, betray the hand of a malevolent spirit that has deteriorated His glorious creation, or spoiled it from envy.
The greatest practical Problem for the human race, to the solution of which it is compelled by Nature, is the establishment of a Civil Society, universally administering Right according to Law.
It is only in a Society which possesses the greatest Liberty, and which consequently involves a thorough Antagonism of its members—with, however, the most exact determination and guarantee of the limits of this Liberty in order that it may coexist with the liberty of others—that the highest purpose of Nature, which is the development of all her capacities, can be attained in the case of mankind. Now Nature also wills that the human race shall attain through itself to this, as to all the other ends for which it was destined. Hence a Society in which Liberty under external laws may be found combined in the greatest possible degree with irresistible Power, or a perfectly just Civil Constitution, is the highest natural problem prescribed to the human species. And this is so, because Nature can only by means of the solution and fulfilment of this problem, realise her other purposes with our race. A certain necessity compels man, who is otherwise so greatly prepossessed in favour of unlimited freedom, to enter into this state of coercion and restraint. And indeed, it is the greatest necessity of all that does this; for it is created by men themselves whose inclinations make it impossible for them to exist long beside each other in wild lawless freedom. But in such a complete growth as the Civil Union, these very inclinations afterwards produce the best effects. It is with them as with the trees in a forest; for just because everyone strives to deprive the other of air and sun, they compel each other to seek them both above, and thus they grow beautiful and straight, whereas those that in freedom and apart from one another shoot out their branches at will, grow stunted and crooked and awry. All the culture and art that adorn humanity, and the fairest social order, are fruits of that unsociableness which is necessitated of itself to discipline itself and which thus constrains man, by compulsive art, to develop completely the germs of his Nature.
This Problem is likewise the most difficult of its kind, and it is the latest to be solved by the Human Race.
The difficulty which the mere idea of this Problem brings into view, is that man is an animal, and if he lives among others of his kind he has need of a Master. For he certainly misuses his freedom in relation to his fellow-men; and, although as a rational creature, he desires a law which may set bounds to the freedom of all, yet his own selfish animal inclinations lead him wherever he can, to except himself from it. He, therefore, requires a master to break his self-will, and compel him to obey a Will that is universally valid, and in relation to which everyone may be free. Where, then, does he obtain this master? Nowhere but in the Human Race. But this master is an animal too, and also requires a master. Begin, then, as he may, it is not easy to see how he can procure a supreme Authority over public justice that would be essentially just, whether such an authority may be sought in a single person or in a society of many selected persons. The highest authority has to be just in itself, and yet to be a man. This problem, is, therefore, the most difficult of its kind; and, indeed, its perfect solution is impossible. Out of such crooked material as man is made of nothing can be hammered quite straight. So it is only an approximation to this Idea that is imposed upon us by Nature. It further follows that this problem is the last to be practically worked out, because it requires correct conceptions of the nature of a possible Constitution, great experience founded on the practice of ages, and above all a good will prepared for the reception of the solution. But these three conditions could not easily be found together; and if they are found it can only be very late in time, and after many attempts to solve the problem had been made in vain.
The problem of the establishment of a perfect Civil Constitution is dependent on the problem of the regulation of the external relations between the States conformably to Law; and without the solution of this latter problem it cannot be solved.
What avails it to labour at the arrangement of a Commonwealth as a Civil Constitution regulated by law among individual men? The same unsociableness which forced men to it, becomes again the cause of each Commonwealth assuming the attitude of uncontrolled freedom in its external relations, that is, as one State in relation to other States; and consequently, any one State must expect from any other the same sort of evils as oppressed individual men and compelled them to enter into a Civil Union regulated by law. Nature has accordingly again used the unsociableness of men, and even of great societies and political bodies, her creatures of this kind, as a means to work out through their mutual Antagonism a condition of rest and security. She works through wars, through the strain of never relaxed preparation for them, and through the necessity which every State is at last compelled to feel within itself, even in the midst of peace, to begin some imperfect efforts to carry out her purpose. And, at last, after many devastations, overthrows, and even complete internal exhaustion of their powers, the nations are driven forward to the goal which Reason might have well impressed upon them, even without so much sad experience. This is none other than the advance out of the lawless state of savages and the entering into a Federation of Nations. It is thus brought about that every State, including even the smallest, may rely for its safety and its rights, not on its own power or its own judgment of Right, but only on this great International Federation (Fœdus Amphictionum), on its combined power, and on the decision of the common will according to laws. However visionary this idea may appear to be—and it has been ridiculed in the way in which it has been presented by an Abbé de St Pierre or Rousseau (perhaps because they believed its realisation to be so near)—it is nevertheless the inevitable issue of the necessity in which men involve one another. For this necessity must compel the Nations to the very resolution—however hard it may appear—to which the savage in his uncivilised state, was so unwillingly compelled, when he had to surrender his brutal liberty and seek rest and security in a Constitution regulated by law.—All wars are, accordingly, so many attempts—not, indeed, in the intention of men, but yet according to the purpose of Nature—to bring about new relations between the Nations; and by destruction or at least dismemberment of them all, to form new political corporations. These new organisations, again, are not capable of being preserved either in themselves or beside one another, and they must therefore pass in turn through similar new Revolutions, till at last, partly by the best possible arrangement of the Civil Constitution within, and partly by common convention and legislation without, a condition will be attained, which, in the likeness of a Civil Commonwealth and after the manner of an Automaton, will be able to preserve itself.
Three views may be put forward as to the way in which this condition is to be attained. In the first place, it may be held that from an Epicurean concourse of causes in action, it is to be expected that the States, like the little particles of matter, will try by their fortuitous conjunctions all sort of formations which will be again destroyed by new collisions, till at last some one constitution will by chance succeed in preserving itself in its proper form,—a lucky accident which will hardly ever come about! In the second place, it may rather be maintained that Nature here pursues a regular march in carrying our species up from the lower stage of animality to the highest stage of humanity, and that this is done by a compulsive art that is inherent in man, whereby his natural capacities and endowments are developed in perfect regularity through an apparently wild disorder. Or, in the third place, it may even be asserted, that out of all these actions and reactions of men as a whole, nothing at all—or at least nothing rational—will ever be produced; that it will be in the future as it has ever been in the past, and that no one will ever be able to say whether the discord which is so natural to our species, may not be preparing for us, even in this civilised state of society, a hell of evils at the end; nay, that it is not perhaps advancing even now to annihilate again by barbaric devastation, this actual state of society and all the progress hitherto made in civilisation,—a fate against which there is no guarantee under a government of blind chance, identical as it is with lawless freedom in action, unless a connecting wisdom is covertly assumed to underlie the system of Nature. Now, which of these views is to be adopted, depends almost entirely on the question, whether it is rational to recognise harmony and design in the parts of the Constitution of Nature, and to deny them of the whole? We have glanced at what has been done by the seemingly purposeless state of savages; how it checked for a time all the natural capacities of our species but at last by the very evils in which it involved mankind, it compelled them to pass from this state, and to enter into a civil Constitution, in which all the germs of humanity could be unfolded. And, in like manner, the barbarian freedom of the States when once they were founded, proceeded in the same way of progress. By the expenditure of all the resources of the Commonwealth in military preparations against each other, by the devastations occasioned by war, and still more by the necessity of holding themselves continually in readiness for it, the full development of the capacities of mankind are undoubtedly retarded in their progress; but, on the other hand, the very evils which thus arise, compel men to find out means against them. A law of Equilibrium is thus discovered for the regulation of the really wholesome antagonism of contiguous States as it springs up out of their freedom; and a united Power, giving emphasis to this law, is constituted, whereby there is introduced a universal condition of public security among the Nations. And that the powers of mankind may not fall asleep, this condition is not entirely free from danger; but it is at the same time not without a principle which operates, so as to equalise the mutual action and reaction of these powers, that they may not destroy each other. Before the last step of bringing in a universal Union of the States is taken—and accordingly when human nature is only half way in its progress—it has to endure the hardest evils of all, under the deceptive semblance of outward prosperity; and Rousseau was not so far wrong when he preferred the state of the savages, if the last stage which our race has yet to surmount be left out of view. We are cultivated in a high degree by Science and Art. We are civilised, even to excess, in the way of all sorts of social forms of politeness and elegance. But there is still much to be done before we can be regarded as moralised. The idea of morality certainly belongs to real Culture; but an application of this idea which extends no farther than the likeness of morality in the sense of honour and external propriety, merely constitutes civilisation. So long, however, as States lavish all their resources upon vain and violent schemes of aggrandisement, so long as they continually impede the slow movements of the endeavour to cultivate the newer habits of thought and character on the part of the citizens, and even withdraw from them all the means of furthering it, nothing in the way of moral progress can be expected. A long internal process of improvement is thus required in every Commonwealth as a condition for the higher culture of its citizens. But all apparent good that is not grafted upon a morally good disposition, is nothing but mere illusion and glittering misery. In this condition the Human Race will remain until it shall have worked itself, in the way that has been indicated, out of the existing chaos of its political relations.
The history of the human race, viewed as a whole, may be regarded as the realisation of a hidden plan of Nature to bring about a political Constitution, internally, and, for this purpose, also externally perfect, as the only state in which all the capacities implanted by her in Mankind can be fully developed.
This proposition is a corollary from the preceding proposition. We see by it that philosophy may also have its millennial view, but in this case, the Chiliasm is of such a nature that the very idea of it—although only in a far-off way—may help to further its realisation; and such a prospect is, therefore, anything but visionary. The real question is, whether experience discloses anything of such a movement in the purpose of Nature. I can only say it does a little; for the movement in this orbit appears to require such a long time till it goes full round, that the form of its path and the relation of its parts to the whole, can hardly be determined out of the small portion which the human race has yet passed through in this relation. The determination of this problem is just as difficult and uncertain as it is to calculate from all previous astronomical observations what course our sun, with the whole host of his attendant train, is pursuing in the great system of the fixed stars, although on the ground of the total arrangement of the structure of the universe and the little that has been observed of it, we may infer, confidently enough, to the result of such a movement. Human Nature, however, is so constituted that it cannot be indifferent even in regard to the most distant epoch that may affect our race, if only it can be expected with certainty. And such indifference is the less possible in the case before us when it appears that we might by our own rational arrangements hasten the coming of this joyous period for our descendants. Hence the faintest traces of the approach of this period will be very important to ourselves. Now the States are already involved in the present day in such close relations with each other, that none of them can pause or slacken in its internal civilisation without losing power and influence in relation to the rest; and, hence the maintenance, if not the progress, of this end of Nature is, in a manner, secured even by the ambitious designs of the States themselves. Further, Civil Liberty cannot now be easily assailed without inflicting such damage as will be felt in all trades and industries, and especially in commerce; and this would entail a diminution of the powers of the State in external relations. This Liberty, moreover, gradually advances further. But if the citizen is hindered in seeking his prosperity in any way suitable to himself that is consistent with the liberty of others the activity of business is checked generally; and thereby the powers of the whole State, again, are weakened. Hence the restrictions on personal liberty of action are always more and more removed, and universal liberty even in Religion comes to be conceded. And thus it is that, notwithstanding the intrusion of many a delusion and caprice, the spirit of Enlightenment gradually arises as a great Good which the human race must derive even from the selfish purposes of aggrandisement on the part of its rulers, if they understand what is for their own advantage. This Enlightenment, however, and along with it a certain sympathetic interest which the enlightened man cannot avoid taking in the good which he perfectly understands, must by and by pass up to the throne and exert an influence even upon the principles of Government. Thus although our rulers at present have no money to spend on public educational institutions, or in general on all that concerns the highest good of the world—because all their resources are already placed to the account of the next war—yet they will certainly find it to be to their own advantage at least not to hinder the people in their own efforts in this direction, however weak and slow these may be. Finally, war itself comes to be regarded as a very hazardous and objectionable undertaking, not only from its being so artificial in itself and so uncertain as regards its issue on both sides, but also from the afterpains which the State feels in the ever-increasing burdens it entails in the form of national debt—a modern infliction—which it becomes almost impossible to extinguish. And to this is to be added the influence which every political disturbance of any State of our continent—linked as it is so closely to others by the connections of trade—exerts upon all the States and which becomes so observable that they are forced by their common danger, although without lawful authority, to offer themselves as arbiters in the troubles of any such State. In doing so, they are beginning to arrange for a great future political Body, such as the world has never yet seen. Although this political Body may as yet exist only in a rough outline, nevertheless a feeling begins, as it were, to stir in all its members, each of which has a common interest in the maintenance of the whole. And this may well inspire the hope that after many political revolutions and transformations, the highest purpose of Nature will be at last realised in the establishment of a universal Cosmopolitical Institution, in the bosom of which all the original capacities and endowments of the human species will be unfolded and developed.
A philosophical attempt to work out the Universal History of the world according to the plan of Nature in its aiming at a perfect Civil Union, must be regarded as possible, and as even capable of helping forward the purpose of Nature.
It seems, at first sight, a strange and even an absurd proposal to suggest the composition of a History according to the idea of how the course of the world must proceed, if it is to be conformable to certain rational laws. It may well appear that only a Romance could be produced from such a point of view. However, if it be assumed that Nature, even in the play of human freedom, does not proceed without plan and design, the idea may well be regarded as practicable; and, although we are too short sighted to see through the secret mechanism of her constitution, yet the idea may be serviceable as a clue to enable us to penetrate the otherwise planless Aggregate of human actions as a whole, and to represent them as constituting a System. For, the idea may so far be easily verified. Thus, suppose we start from the history of Greece, as that by which all the older or contemporaneous History has been preserved, or at least accredited to us. Then, if we study its influence upon the formation and malformation of the political institutions of the Roman people, which swallowed up the Greek States, and if we further follow the influence of the Roman Empire upon the Barbarians who destroyed it in turn, and continue this investigation down to our own day, conjoining with it episodically the political history of other peoples according as the knowledge of them has gradually reached us through these more enlightened nations, we shall discover a regular movement of progress through the political institutions of our Continent, which is probably destined to give laws to all other parts of the world. Applying the same method of study everywhere, both to the internal civil constitutions and laws of the States, and to their external relations to each other, we see how in both relations the good they contained served for a certain period to elevate and glorify particular nations, and with themselves, their arts and sciences,—until the defects attaching to their institutions came in time to cause their overthrow. And yet their very ruin leaves always a germ of growing enlightenment behind, which being further developed by every revolution, acts as a preparation for a subsequent higher stage of progress and improvement. Thus, as I believe, we can discover a clue which may serve for more than the explanation of the confused play of human things, or for the art of political prophecy in reference to future changes in States,—a use which has been already made of the history of mankind, even although it was regarded as the incoherent effect of an unregulated freedom! Much more than all this is attained by the idea of Human History viewed as founded upon the assumption of a universal plan in Nature. For this idea gives us a new ground of hope, as it opens up to us a consoling view of the future, in which the human species is represented in the far distance as having at last worked itself up to a condition in which all the germs implanted in it by Nature may be fully developed, and its destination here on earth fulfilled. Such a justification of Nature,—or rather, let us say, of Providence,—is no insignificant motive for choosing a particular point of view in contemplating the course of the world. For, what avails it, to magnify the glory and wisdom of the creation in the irrational domain of Nature, and to recommend it to devout contemplation, if that part of the great display of the supreme wisdom, which presents the End of it all in the history of the Human Race, is to be viewed as only furnishing perpetual objections to that glory and wisdom? The spectacle of History if thus viewed would compel us to turn away our eyes from it against our will; and the despair of ever finding a perfect rational Purpose in its movement, would reduce us to hope for it, if at all, only in another world.
This Idea of a Universal History is no doubt to a certain extent of an a priori character, but it would be a misunderstanding of my object were it imagined that I have any wish to supplant the empirical cultivation of History, or the narration of the actual facts of experience. It is only a thought of what a philosophical mind—which, as such, must be thoroughly versed in History—might be induced to attempt from another standpoint. Besides, the praiseworthy circumstantiality with which our history is now written, may well lead one to raise the question as to how our remote posterity will be able to cope with the burden of history as it will be transmitted to them after a few centuries? They will surely estimate the history of the oldest times, of which the documentary records may have been long lost, only from the point of view of what will interest them; and no doubt this will be what the nations and governments have achieved, or failed to achieve, in the universal world-wide relation. It is well to be giving thought to this relation; and at the same time to draw the attention of ambitious rulers and their servants to the only means by which they can leave an honourable memorial of themselves to latest times. And this may also form a minor motive for attempting to produce such a philosophical History.