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And each Estate quite out of order go'th?
Encroach upon the Land there under thee
Were it not good that wrong were then surceased,
"Therefore I will throw down these mountains high, And make them level with the lowly plain : These towering rocks which reach unto the sky I will thrust down into the deepest main, And as they were them equalise again. Tyrants that make men subject to their law,
I will suppress, that they no more may reign; And Lordings curb that Commons overawe,
And all the wealth of rich men to the poor will draw."
"Of things unseen how canst thou deem aright,' Then answered the righteous Arthegal, "Sith thou misdeem'st so much of things in sight? What though the Sea with waves continual
Do eat the Earth, it is no more at all; Ne is the Earth the less or loseth aught;
For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide unto another brought :
For there is nothing lost but may be found if sought.
"For take thy balance (if thou be so wise)
And weigh the wind that under Heaven doth blow ;
Or weigh the light that in the East doth rise;
Or weigh the thought that from Man's mind doth flow:
For how canst thou those greater secrets know
The argument proceeds, not without the help of Talus, the faithful attendant of Arthegal; but the Giant is obstinate in error:
'Whom when so lewdly-minded Talus found, Approaching nigh unto him, cheek by cheek,
He shouldered him from off the higher ground,
And down the rock him throwing, in the sea him drowned.'
That portion of Spenser's argument which points to the restorative and compensatory character of apparent deprivations in the physical scheme of Nature, in order to be recognised as just in politics, should have been, perhaps, more distinctly connected with that other portion of his argument which insists upon the importance, in the lot of Man, of those elements which are not told by number, weight, or measure;
showing that equality of wealth does not produce equality of weal, and that Justice is concerned, not in making men equal, but in making them as much as may be, equally the arbiters and agents of their own happiness and fortunes. There is but this step wanting, however, to bring the opponents "cheek by cheek," and the Giant is fairly shouldered from the higher ground.
If Spenser and Milton, each in his way, the one copiously, the other succinctly, propounded the principles by which liberty and justice are distinguished from equality, Shakespeare, whose political philosophy was far-sighted in proportion to the light which his imagination cast upon all he saw, might almost be supposed, from a speech given to Ulysses in "Troilus and Cressida," to have descried in prophetic vision those consequences of the doctrines of equality, which, at the end of the last century, were exemplified in France.
"How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
And the rude son should strike his father dead:
(Between whose endless jar Justice resides,)
Should lose their names, and so should Justice too.
Power into will, will into appetite ;
And appetite a universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
In the progress of such a principle Ulysses beheld plagues, portents, and mutiny,
frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of States
Quite from their fixture.'
* Troilus and Cressida, Act. i., Scene 3.
That Shakespeare, living in a peaceful age, under a monarchy yet unshaken, should have traced with such curious precision the hypothetic results of the false philosophy which was to be long after exemplified in France; and that France in little more than sixty years after her first Revolution, should be brought again within the danger of these consequences, may serve to show how much we may learn from the imaginative reason without experience; and where the reason is not imaginative, how soon the lessons of experience are forgotten. In this country, where the imaginative character of the national intellect deepens and widens its contemplations, and retards its conclusions, -for the imagination is a self-questioning faculty, I trust it is superfluous to insist upon the truth that liberty has no interest in equality. In France, where, with great activity of the other faculties, the popular