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of elegance, urbanity, insincerity and kindness, the same scenic art and dexterous acting, the same semblance of unsuspicious ease or even stolid indifference, in the most acute and deliberate stratagems. Like Augustus, too, he unites a strenuous and untiring energy with a show of great moderation, and pursues his individual interests with a dexterous pretension to public policy alone. There is a similar imperturbability in his bearing, and an equal impassivity in his whole temperament. He conceals his partialities and resentments with singular self-control, and contrives admirably to subordinate his feelings to his interests. In both characters may be traced the same just appreciation of the disposition, the tastes, the whims, the necessities and the appetencies of their people. The arts pursued by both in maintaining and confirming their power have been strangely analogous. In both has been manifested the same hypocritical assumption of lowly deference to the popular will; but both had cautiously provided, beforehand, that that will should be only the expression of their own designs. Never was a bold or treacherous stroke of policy more to be apprehended from either than when the most sanctimonious subservience to the people was ostentatiously professed: the claws of the tiger were always most dangerous when most effectually cloaked and concealed by the soft, velvety touch of his paw. Each devoted himself assiduously to the cultivation of popular favour, and to the manufacture of public opinion--or, at least, of such a pretence of public desire as could not be resisted, refuted or ignored. When this result was attained, a coup d'état could be hazarded with little danger, and with an almost certain assurance of success. To mould, train, educate and direct the form and expression of the popular sentiment, every art was unhesitatingly employed. The manipulation was acute, dark, multifarious and long-continued. It was prepared afar off, it was applied in unsuspected and unrecognized modes, and performed by indirect methods. The masses yielded to influences which they did not apprehend, and which were never displayed to them in their naked and natural shapes; and they were pushed forward blindly, but with a silly conviction of their
own intelligent action, by forces which overwhelmed them without ever being fairly revealed. Like Orestes pursued by the Furies, they fled from the dark and shadowy horrors which filled the air with gloom, but presented no visible figure, to the predetermined doom which was prepared for them. In order to drive them along the destined road to the appointed goal, the people were coaxed, cajoled, wheedled, flattered, alarmed, bullied, threatened, bribed, misinformed, seduced and misled, by all the complicated maneuvres which cunning could devise, ingenuity conceal and the possession of the whole machinery of power effect. Ostentation, magnificence, liberality and the semblance of generosity ;-the reminiscences of the past and the vanities of the hour ;-present gratitude and future hopes ;-grand progresses through the country, the mummeries of municipal deputations and prepared addresses, military reviews and honorary distinctions ;-the fear of the soldiery and the interests of the army ;-local riots, got up or magnified by government intervention, and the dread of the lawless ascendancy of the turbulent men who thrive by anarchy and speculate on plunder ;-fabricated reports and falsified official information ;-the jealousies, intrigues, ambition of factions and designing men ;-the fear of punishment for offences committed against foriner dynasties, and the prospect of rewards under a new or revived system ;—the apprehensions of capital, and the anxieties of industry from a prolongation of the existing or probable disorder ;-all these things were contemplated by the French as well as by the Roman Emperor, as means towards the production of the desired public feeling, and employed with consummate sagacity for the attainment of that end. When we look behind the scenes, and detect the arts by which these great masters of chicanery and deception accomplished their purposes, we cannot refrain from recurring to the type of a similar procedure furnished by the incantations of the witches in Macbeth:
“Fillet of a fenny snake,
Adder's fork and blind worm's sting,
It need scarcely be added that the proposed results of the three applications of this sorcery are the same, and are summed up in the conclusion of the charm :
“ Black spirits and white,
Red spirits and gray ;
You that mingle may."
In the viewing of these poisonous ingredients, and in the management of the intricate machinery of intrigue, Louis Napoleon has proved himself the equal, if not the superior, of Augustus, inasmuch as he has been obliged to work in the calm of peace and not in the confusion of war; to operate in the nineteenth century of Christianity, and not in the last of heathenism ; and to act upon a larger, a freer, a more intelligent and a less depraved constituency. Like Augustus, too, he is indebted for much of his success to the adhesion of the capitalists, and to the interested and often dishonest eagerness of capital in an age of acquisition, to purchase tranquillity and protection for itself, and a free scope for its adventures, at any cost of either the public liberties or the public interests. It must be said, however, that the capitalists of France were only partially inclined to favour Louis Napoleon ; but those who were disposed to oppose him, he had the discretion and tact to compel to lend him their support.
It is apparent from what has been said, if not sufficiently indicated by the comparison instituted, that we are not of the number of those who deny to Louis Napoleon the possession of varied and very remarkable talents. They are not brilliant, and are in consequence easily overlooked or misconstrued. But statesmanship, knowledge of men and of the French in particular, good sense, practical acuteness and tact, he certainly has manisested in an eminent degree. The judgment of the majority has been misled by con rasting him with his uncle; and his abilities have been under
rated because they are neither of the same kind, nor of the same dazzling splendour as those of the elder Napoleon. It is misled also by considering the absence of military aspirations, the apparent indifference to the acquisition of military renown, and the entire failure to imitate the plans of conquest prosecuted by his predecessor, as evidence of incompetency and a deficiency of genius. But Augustus was no general, even when in personal command of armies and personally engaged in war. These hasty critics only show that they themselves misconceive the character and the necessities of the times; that they mistake the problem which Louis Napoleon was required to solve, and that they are incompetent to estimate the policy and actions of rulers with a due regard to the characteristics of the periods in which their rôle is to be performed. The first Napoleon would have been hustled off the throne in the first year of his power, if he had followed his old line of procedure; the second, (or third, as he has chosen to call himself,) has strengthened his dominion with every month that has passed since his election to the Presidency. Julius Cæsar could never have retained and organized the Empire by his military genius during the long years in which Augustus appeared to occupy the throne reluctantly and without effort. A single generation of revolutions makes a greater change in national temperament and in the requirements of policy, than centuries of healthy and more orderly development. Philosophers, and the members of Peace Conventions, have confidently asserted that this is peculiarly the age of peace. Coming events portend a dissipation of these boasts; but it is undeniable that peace is the great want, and almost the necessity, of the present populations of Europe. The arts of peace are, therefore, those which must be principally cultivated by every potentate, and especially by every usurper, and by those arts alone can permanent dominion be won or secured. We have confidently relied on Louis Napoleon's professions of a desire for peace, not because he so continually repeated those professions, but because the desire was in consonance with the influences of the times and the policy of his own position. He may hereafter be engaged in wars,
and may seek an augmentation of territory from victory, but war must be the accident, and not the purpose of his
The position which Louis Napoleon occupies with respect to the history of France, and to the condition of the existing French nation, is essentially identical with that which Augustus bore to Rome and the Romans. In both instances we see a people highly cultivated, but politically corrupted by successive revolutions and the double injury of greedy capital aud hungry masses. In both instances the moral health of the people had been long sapped by the vices and example of the wealthy and the powerful, and selfish aspirations after individual gain had become the ruling passion of all classes, except the most needy, whose hopes were limited to the acquisition of bread. In both nations the complete cycle of political change had been traversed, all forms and almost all fantasies of political organization had been tried, exhausted and abandoned. The patients were sore, feverish and restless, and consequently impatient of restraint. The only control to which they were capable of yielding, had become the coercion of forcible compulsion. Both people still indulged wild and nympholeptic dreams of liberty, but had lost all apprehension of its true nature, and the capacity for its actual enjoyment. To both the only possible relief, still compatible with their situation, was tranquillity; and the only quiet attainable, the repose of a despotism sustained by military power, but preserving the outward show of civic procedure. One of the commentators on Herodian, borrowing probably the expression of a contemporary writer, has very happily designated the Roman Empire as a military democracy. Such, in truth, it was; and such must be essentially the Imperial rule in France. But, in the inception of this great change, policy taught Augustus the necessity of veiling the sword beneath the forms of earlier republicanism, and a similar expediency has dictated a similar discretion to Louis Napoleon. Still, it must be recognized that the real and ultimate support of the French throne is to be found in the fidelity and concurrence of the army; and, with each new change of dynasty, or even with each succession,