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IF the year 1848-" THE YEAR OF REVOLUTIONS" was one pre-eminent among all others for the magnitude and interest of the events it brought forth, the year which has just expired -THE YEAR OF REACTION-is still more worthy of serious reflection, and affords subjects for more cheering meditation. If the first exhibited the whirlwind of anarchy let loose, the second showed the power by which it is restrained; if the former filled every heart with dread at the fierce passions which were developed, and the portentous events which occurred in the world, the latter afforded reason for profound thankfulness, at the silent but irresistible force with which Omnipotence overrules the wickedness of men, and restrains the madness of the people.
"Celsâ sedet Æolus arce, Sceptra tenens, mollitque animos, et temperat iras. Ni faciat, maria ac terras cœlumque pro
and the long-established order of things is subverted-is nothing else but the folly and wickedness of man warring against the wisdom of nature. All history demonstrates that there is a certain order of things which is favourable to human felicity-under which industry flourishes, population increases, the arts are encouraged, agriculture improves, general happiness is diffused. The basis of such a state of things is the security of property; the moving power which puts in motion the whole complicated machine of society, is the certainty that every man will enjoy the fruits of his toil. As clearly do past events demonstrate, that there is a state of things wherein the reverse of all this takes place; when industry is paralysed, population arrested, the arts languish, agriculture decays, general misery prevails. The chief cause of such a state of things is to be found in the insecurity of property, the dread that industry will not reap its appointed reward; but that external violence or domestic spoliation may interfere between the labourer and the fruits of his toil. When such a commotion, it is generally preceded state of things arises from internal by the warmest hopes, and the most unbounded anticipations of felicity. It is universally characterised by a resolute disregard of experience, and a universal passion for innovation in all the institutions of society, and
Eneid, i. 56.