habitual and remarkable condescension of the unbeliever to the fervent multitudes in which he is immersed. We must also, I believe, assume that at the moment when a wave of mystic enthusiasm passes over them he takes his little part of it and finds his heart traversed by a fugitive faith. This being admitted and explained for pious crowds, we have a right to explain in the same way what passes in criminal mobs, where a current of momentary ferocity sometimes crosses and denaturalizes a normal heart.
It is a trite piece of exaggeration to glorify civil courage at the expense of military courage, which passes for something less rare; but the truth there is in this trite idea is explained by what has just been said. Civil courage consists in resisting a popular enthusiasm, in going against a current, in uttering before an assembly or a council a dissenting, isolated opinion, opposed to that of the majority; while military courage consists, generally, in distinguishing one's self in battle, in yielding most completely to the environing impulse, and in going further than the others in the direction that one is urged by them. When, in an exceptional case, military courage requires one to resist an impulse, when a colonel has to oppose a panic, or to restrain the inconsiderate eagerness of troops, bravery of that kind is still more rare, and, let us acknowledge, is more admirable than an opposition speech in the legislative chamber.—Translated for The Popular Science Monthly from the Revue des Deux Mondes.
|THE DISTRIBUTION OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS.|
IF there is any one portion of government machinery that would seem to demand a readjustment it is that portion which has to do with the distribution of public documents. I am not aware that there is any central bureau for the judicious distribution of the various publications of Government as there is, for example, for the issuing of patents or the payment of pensions. There is no government in the world more generous in the distribution of its multifarious publications than ours. The niggardly way in which Great Britain doles out her public documents has repeatedly excited the most adverse criticism from her own people. Knowing, as every one does, the slightly increased expense of printing extra copies after the first expense of composition, engraving, etc., has been provided for, it is most exasperating to see a rich country like Great Britain publishing the