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of May 1852, called the Fête of Eagles, that is the distribution of cagles to all the regiments of the army. A cock had been adopted as symbol of the first republic, owing either to misunderstanding the word Gallia, or intending to pun on it. The emperor adopted the Roman eagle; the Bourbons brought back the three fleurs de lys; and in 1830 the cock was restored. Louis Napoleon when president for ten years, restored the imperial eagle. It must be owned the cock looked very much as our turkey would have looked had we adopted Franklin's humorous proposition of selecting our native and respectable turkey, instead of our fine native eagle.
What feast will be celebrated on the same spot next? Whatever it will be, it will be again something intrinsically different from the last.
ADVANTAGES OF INSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT,
THERE are some additional observations suggested by the subject of institutional self-government and by that of the institution in general, which have been deferred until now in order to avoid an interruption of the general argument, and to which it is necessary to turn now our attention,
It seems to me a symptomatic fact that the term People has at no period, so far as I am acquainted with the inner history of England, become in politics a term of reproach, not even in her worst periods. On the contrary, the word People has always been surrounded with dignity, and when Chatham was called “The people's minister," it was intended by those who gave him this name as a great honor. It was far different on the continent. In French, in German and in all the continental languages with which I am acquainted, the corresponding words sank to actual terms of contempt. The word Peuple was used in France, before the first revolution, by the higher classes, in a disdainful and stigmatizing sense, and often as equivalent with canaille—that terin which played so fearful a part in the sanguinary drama of the revolution, and which Napoleon purposely used, in order emphatically to express that he was or wished to be considered the man of the people, when he said somewhat soldierly: Je suis moi même sorti de la canaille. In German, the words Volk and Nation came actually to be used as vilifying invectives, even by the lower classes themselves. These words never ceased indeed to be used in their legitimate sense, but they were vulgarly applied in the sense of which I have spoken. They acquired this ignominious sense, because the nobility, a very numerous class on the continent, looked with arrogance upon the people, and the people, looking up to the nobility with stolid admiration, aped the pride of that class. It is a universal law of degradation that it never consists simply of degradation and degradedness, but always of a chain of degraded who at the same time are or try to be in turn degraders, as oppression begets the lust of oppressing in the oppressed.
On the other hand, the English word people has acquired, at no time, not even during her revolution, that import of political horror, which demos had in the times of Cleon for the reflecting Athenian, or Peuple in the first French revolution. What is the cause of these remarkable facts? I can see no other than that there has always existed a high degree of institutional self-government in Englanda very high degree, if we compare her to the con
1 The dictionary of the academy gives, as the last two meanings of the word Peuple—unenlightened men, and men belonging to the lowest classes.
tinent. The people never ceased to respect them. selves; and others never ceased to feel their partial dependence upon them. The aristocracy of England, a patrician body, far more elevated than any continental nobility, still remained connected with the people, by the fact that only one of the patrician family can enjoy the peerage; this distinction does not, therefore, indicate a social status, inhering in the blood, for that runs in the whole family; but it indicates a political position.
Possibly most of my American and English readers may not perceive the whole import of these remarks, but let them live for a considerable time on the continent of Europe, and their own observations will not fail to furnish them with commentaries as well as a full explanation of the preceding remarks,
Another subject to which I desire to direct attention is the usage, which, as it has been stated, forms an important element of the institution, and, consequently, of institutional government. This is
2 Aristocratic as England is in many respects, it is nevertheless true that there is no nobility in the continental sense. The law knows of peers, hereditary lawgivers, but it does not know even the word nobleman. The peerage is connected with primogeniture, but there is no English nobility in the blood. The idea of maésalliance has therefore never obtained in England. There is no doubt that the little disposition of the English shown at any time to destroy the aristocracy, is in a great measure owing to this fact, as doubtless the far more judicious spirit of the English peers to yield to the people's demands, if clearly and repeatedly pronounced, has contributed much. Mr. Hallam has very correct remarks on the subject of English equality of civil rights, where he speaks of the reign of Henry the Third.
frequently not only admitted by the absolutists, but in bad faith insisted upon. Continental servilists frequently eulogize the liberty of the English, but wind up by pointing at their institutions and their widely spread usages, observing that since these are necessary and do not exist on the continent, neither can liberty exist. It is a faithless plea for servilism. An adequate answer to this plea is this: that in no sphere can we attain a given end if we do not make a beginning, and are not prepared for partial failures during that beginning. If spelling is necessary before we can attain to the skill of reading, you must not withhold the spelling-book from the learner, because you do not want him to learn the art; and you must never forget the law to which I have alluded in a previous part of this work, that the advancement of mankind is made possible, among other things, by the fact that when a great acquisition is once made on the field of civilization, succeeding generations, or other clusters of men, are not obliged to pass through all the stages of painful struggle, error or tardy experience, which may have occupied the pioneering nation.
The third additional remark I desire to make is, that institutional and diffused self-government is peculiarly efficient in breaking those shocks which, in a centralized government, reach the farthest corners of the country, and are frequently of a ruinous tendency. This applies not only to the sphere of politics proper, but to all social spheres which more or less affect the political life of a nation. There are two similar cases in French and English his