15 OCTOBER 1859, Page 18


AZONG ten articles in Bentley's Quarterly .Revieto, all good and some of them very good, two are especially deserving of attention at the present moment. These are the opening article on "France and Europe," and another on " Guizot's Memoirs," which is in some measure supplementary to the former, since it is in effect a review of the one experiment in constitutional government made by France, and of the errors in the conduct of that experiment Which have made Napoleonism possible. In "France and Europe" the writer takes as his point of departure the universal feeling that the present interval is more in the nature of an armistice than a peace. The hasty engagements of the Villafrancfareakfa.st-room, which the Zurich plenipotentiaries are painfully and vainly try- ing to translate into a practical measure, are felt by every one to be an unreal settlement, in the terms of which there is not on any side a genuine acquiescence. It leaves untouched the abomina- tions of Rome and Naples, and it has not deprived Austria of the power or of the will to uphold them. The power she will pro- bably retain as long as She is an. empire, but the will would de- part from her if she ha& no longer an interest in preventing the spread of liberalism from the south into her own portion of the Italian territory. She remains an Italian Power, and while she so remains her interest in Italian servitude is unabated, and there- fore, as the writer of Bentley contends, the war has been so far a failure ; bat it is by no means a war without results. In. the first place, Louis Napoleon sits fur firmer on his throne now that he has ehewn that he can fight, and this is a result which he doubtless considers cheaply bought with the blood of fifty thousand men._ But another result not so acceptable to him, is that the war has- wakened up the nations of Europe from the dream of security into which two generations of peace had lulled them. The con- viction has taken deep root among them all, that under its present ruler at least, France will never ()ease to be to Europe what the Faubourg St. Antoine used to be to Paris. Undoubtedly it may be said on behalf of the present Emperor that he is rather the accomplice than the originator of French combativeness, but its accomplice he must be from the necessity of his position, and he has not been the mere inert memento of his uncle's deeds—the mere shadow of a great name. Be has done everything in his power to revive in his people the recollections of the first Empire, and they are as apt pupils as he could wish. The commercial classes are of course too enlightened to desire anything so fatal to themselves as unnecessary war ; but all accounts seem to agree that the war fever has thoroughly taken. hold of the artisans and the peasantry, on whose goodwill the Emperor's dynasty is built. Their only civil superiors, the officials of the nearest mairie, are martial to please the Emperor ; and the priests are martial to lease the Univers, and to exterminate the heretics of Prussia and England. The Empire has two bases, a legal and a practical one.. Its legal base is the peasantry, and its practical base is the army, and whether the bourgeoisie like it or not, both army and pea- santry are for war.

As to the quarter in which the war will break out, the writer believes that the nation first aasailPd will not be England. The risk of invading England is great and the rewards are insecure ; and even if won they would be worth little, and would be paid for at a colossal and exhausting east of blood and treasure; for no nation so compact, so vigorous, so resourceful as the Ragland of the present day was ever permanently subdued.

"The issue is a terrible one for a French ruler to contemplate, even if his untried navies should be as successful at sea as his armies fresh from the Algerian training-ground have been on land. But it has doubtless not escaped the consideration of the Emperor that the issue may possibly he the other way. The sea is no Via Sacra.' to a French navy. Aboukir and; Trafalgar are sorry memories to substitute for Marengo and Lodi. And. if fortune should bees constant to England on her element as she has been to France on hers—if the conduct and courage of English seamen are true to their glorious traditions—if it should turn out that neither big dockyards, nor iron-cased rams can make a maritime nation, what fate has the Emperor to expect? To France it will matter comparatively little. She never was great in naval warfare, and no future defeats can make her leas so. But to the Emperor it is utter, absolute, irretrievable ruin. His throne is built on the memory of former glory, and can withstand anything except disaster

and disgrace ; and of all disgrace that which it can endure least is a defeat at the hands of England. Frenchmen will never forgive the man who shall reopen the wounds of Waterloo?'

It is probable that when France next goes to war it will be for something more tangible than " an idea,' and that her aim will be to recover the frontier of the Rhine. The Emperor knows well that even. the subjugation of England could not please his people more than the achievement of this darling project of am- bition, which French statesmen have never ceased to cherish since the days of Louis XI. Germany. and Belgium also know it well, and are fully alive to the necessity of active and immediate mea- sures of preparation. The spirit which animated the whole youth of Germany in the war of liberation is once more fully aroused, and England cannot behold its reawakening without feelings of the liveliest interest, for it is of the most vital importance to her that Germany should be strong. In the storm which is im- pending over Europe it is to Germany alone that we can look for the alliance of a people—the only alliance that will avail us now ; for the subtle policy of the Tuileries has loosed, and reduced to but two strands, the fourfold cord that for forty years has pinioned the arms of French ambition. England and Germany stand alone to repel the attack which, if the Emperor lives, one or other of them will surely have to face. But even so the rope is amply strong enough. We must, however, beware that the estate di- plomacy which has deprived us of two allies does not succeed in depriving us of a third, and that the doctrine of nonintervention be not misapplied to our own extreme injury. If we do not help our allies' our allies will not help us ; and those who are confi- dent that England can hold her own against the world may take warning from the consequences which the same reasoning brought upon Prussia in the first decade of the present century. If Eng- land isolates herself as Prussia did then, England too may have her Jena.

"We earnestly trust that whatever beneficent will-o'-the-wisp our Go- vernment may amuse itself with pursuing among the mazes and the pitfalls of Italian politics, they will allow no chase after the ideal to make them, forget the essential importance of friendly relations with Germany. The Germane must always be our natural allies ; for they are the only great people beside ourselves who harbour no schemes of European conquest, and whose welfare is bound up with peace; and the present crisis is one that should draw the alliance closer. The course of events has linked our in- terests together, and our common necessities trace out for us a common path. 'The frontiers of both are threatened by the same storm, and on the bearing of the two it will perhaps depend whether it is to buret at once in all its fury, or for the present pass away. The part that events are assigning to these two nations to fill is one that they have filled together more than once before. Europe has more than once owed its independence to the same com- bination against the same foe. It is melancholy, but it seems to be decreed, that history should always move on round this one dreary, unvarying circle, and that the hard-working, peace-loving Teutonic race should be doomed every fifty years to waste its wealth and halt in its onwardprogress in order to battle with and curb the restless rapacity of France. Apparently the era is coming round again, and the unwelcome task is about to be reimposed. Neither England nor Prussia are nations of a temper to equip costly arma- ments out of mere vanity, or to paralyze their own commerce by a causeless war. But the history of Prussia during the last war has proved that com- pliance, pushed even to servility, will, not avail to avoid the struggle ; and our own experience warns us that every farthing we stint in our prepara- tions now will have to be repaid a hundred-fold later on. Let us hope that both Powers, when the conflict comes, may not only be ready for its utmost exigencies, but that no foolish policy of isolation may have robbed them of the strength which can only be derived from perfect union." Such are the views on European polities put forward with great force by the new Conservative Quarterly. We have confined ourselves to a simple epitome of this remarkable paper.

Halkett's system of steam-culture, a brief account of which appeared in the Spectator of the 26th February last, is the sub- ject of an extremely interesting paper by "An Old Norfolk Farmer," in the new number of the Journal of Agriculture. The writer fully describes the system, and. to him we refer our readers for details.. Enough for the present to say, that its distinguishing feature is the adoption of permanent lines of railway as the basis of operation ; that it wholly dispenses with horse-power, and con- ducts the whole routine of the farm from the breaking-up of the land to the harvesting of the crop by one machine, propelled by steam, and having the implements of husbandry attached to it. The Norfolk Farmer is of opinion that the Elalkett system is "the only one at present before the public that completely fulfils the mission of steam-power' as applied to the operations of husbandry, being the only one that is productive of a real economy, with the large additional advantage of increased produce resulting from a more rapid, timely, seasonable, and perfect cultivation." Ad- verting to the infancy of locomotive steam-power, he makes the very pertinent remark that attempts were made in the first in- stance to propel carriages by it on common roads, the idea of a permanent railway not having been then entertained. The pro- jectors— "Fell into the very natural error of endeavouring to adapt the:new power to the existing medium of transit, instead of forming the latter to the re- quirements of the new power. The mind of the late Mr. Huskisson set them right ; and the completion of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway showed that, if steam-power was to be used, it would necessitate an entire change in the medium by which it must be applied. The experiment suc- ceeded, for, notwithstanding the large outlay, the economic results showed that asaving of at least two-thirds was effected in both time and expense of travelling, as well as in the transit of goods. And what followed ? why, that an entire revolution has been effected, in which the old lumbering ap- paratus of stage-coaches and waggons was swept away, and in lieu of the turnpike-roads, thousands of miles of railway have threaded the country from 'the Land's End to John o' Groats,' at an outlay of capital amounting to hilly half the National Debt."

Applying this lesson of history to agriculture, the Norfolk Farmer declares his conviction that the promoters of the steam.-

plough have committed a similar error in endeavouring to adapt the power to the existing system of the land, instead of throwing the latter into a form to meet the requirements of the power. He feels assured that when 011Ce the Hett system has been adopted, there will be such a competition for farms on that principle as will drive the landlords to adopt it universally.