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This is the hell which awaiteth the nation that loveth

and maketh a lie. And a lie the Revolutionary
dogma assuredly is. Every one of the propositions
which constitute its ideal of man and of society, is
demonstrably, is obviously, false


Bishop Butler's question, whether nations can go mad, is

answered by a Century of Revolution. A nation
given over to the strong delusion to believe the
Revolutionary dogma, can hardly be accounted sane.


Still, not by its mendacity, but by the truth latent in it,

does any lie live. In the Revolutionary dogma are
hidden various verities


But the great fact called Modern Democracy is one thing.

The Revolutionary dogma is another. There is no
necessary connection between them. In truth, the
work of the Revolution for Modern Democracy has
been chiefly to pervert and falsify it, and to retard

indefinitely its development
The phase called Democracy into which Europe has

entered, is the latest term in a movement which has
been in progress since the beginning of our civilisa-



The history of that civilisation is the history of the ever

advancing vindication of human personality. Modern
Democracy expresses the realisation of this great


It means the conclusion within the equos, or populus, of

those large classes whom the ancient democracies
excluded; the full recognition of their status as
persons; and their direct influence upon public
affairs. The advent of the masses, of the numerical
majority, to immediate political authority is the
social fact of the day.



Democracy is not light, or leading, or wisdom, or inspiration. The masses

power: not reason, not right




We may say that, generally speaking, the modern world

exhibits two types of Democracy; there is the Revo-
lutionary type, faithfully represented by contemporary
France, which is moulded by an abstract idea, and
that a false one: which, in the name of a spurious
equality assassinates liberty and depersonalises man:
which gives the lie to the facts of science and the
facts of history: which is essentially chaotic, as
lacking those elements of stability and tradition that
are essential to society: which has no sense of any
law superior to popular wilfulness, and which is
condemned already, simply by the very fact that it is


And there is the German type of Democracy, temperate,

rational, regulated, the product of that natural pro-
cess of “persistence in mobility,” which is the law
of the social organism as of the physical; a Demo-
cracy recognising the differences naturally springing
from individuality, allowing full room for the free
play of indefinitely varying personalities, and so
constructive and progressive; a Democracy in har-
mony with the facts of history and of science; at
once the outcome and the subject of law


In this disciplined, law-abiding, and architectonic Demo

cracy of Germany, we may reasonably hope to see
the great social problem of the age receive its


Democracy must be scientific; it must accept all the facts

of all the sciences, and the lessons which they teach. 193

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And specially must it lay to heart what is implied in the

social organism.


But the one thing before all others necessary for it

to learn, is the true doctrine of Right; for the
State is essentially an ethical society, rooted and
grounded in the moral law. The very foundation of
the public order is the rational acknowledgment that
there are eternal, immutable, principles and rules of
right and wrong. This is the everlasting adamant
upon which alone the social edifice can be surely




England, of all countries, might have been expected, from

her past history, to be likely to organise and regulate
the contemporary democratic movement


But the changes whereby our institutions have been

brought into harmony with that movement, have
been leaps in the dark, taken in the quest for party


Now, a share of political power, nominally an equal share,

is in the hands of every householder. It is a change
which has been watched with anxiety by the clearest


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Mr. Bagehot's defence of it: that “the nominal con

stituency is not the real”



One of the latest and ugliest features of our political life

is the growth of a new school of Liberalism breath-
ing the spirit of the Revolutionary dogma


Mr. Gladstone its most notable adherent. His natural

dispositions for the new gospel. His claim to con-


The fundamental principle of this new school of English

Liberalism is the sovereignty of the masses- -the
sovereignty of the people is a very different thing-
the domination, not of the ethical idea, but of brute


The results of their application of this principle have

been to lay the axe to the very root of liberty which
is in “government by law,” and to sink the House of
Commons in an ever increasing degradation .


These things might well make us fear for the future of

England, were it not for her past


A portion of the materials for this work has been obtained from essays of mine in the Quarterly, Dublin, and Fortnightly Reviews, by permission of the respective Editors, whose kindness I desire here to acknowledge.

W. S. L.




A CENTURY has passed away since the Duke of Liancourt brought to Louis XVI. the tidings of the capture of the Bastille by the Parisian mob. is a revolt! " exclaimed the ill-fated monarch. “Sire,” replied the Duke, “it is a Revolution.” A Revolution indeed : or, rather, the Revolution of these latter days: the greatest which the world has experienced for well-nigh two thousand years, and which therefore we are accustomed to speak of, not inappropriately, without descriptive date or adjective. The movement which thus received its baptism of blood and fire has since been mani. festing itself to the world. The subsequent history of France is essentially the history of its endeavour "to mix itself with life.” This is the movement which, first distinctly formulated in 1789, and

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