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EDITOR'S TABLE.

the clamors of excited multitudes; who shall most effectively represent and uphold the permanent and universal interests of humanity against the narrower views of national self-love or the gratification of ephemeral passions. If the question is asked, Who shall these he? we answer that we know none fitter to render this service to society and the world than the true followers of science everywhere. We hope and trust they will recognize their mission and all its vast possibilities.

 

 

A VICTIM OF MILITARISM.

If the Dreyfus incident, coupled with the Zola trial, has made plain the fact that France is a military despotism pure and simple, it has not been without value. Because it has a constitution, a president, a legislature elected by universal suffrage, and other simulations of republican institutions, most people, particularly in the United States, have thought it a republic worthy of their sympathy. How often have they congratulated it upon its resistance to the allurements of the one-man power and its check to the advent of some military hero like MacMahon or Boulanger to the seat of an absolute executive! The spectacle has led some of them, especially gifted with the power of prophecy, to declare that free institutions have become so firmly established in France that the restoration of the monarchy can never occur.

But persons able to look beyond the form of government, and to detect the substance that it really represents, know full well that free institutions, properly speaking, have not existed in France for several hundred years. While the Revolution made sad havoc with some of the most characteristic features of the old régime, it did not vouchsafe the French people the personal freedom, the essence of free institutions, with which their ill-informed friends in this country have credited them. During the long peace that preceded that appalling event, a great change, as may be seen in De Tocqueville's masterly study of that period, had come over the pitiless despotism that culminated under the reign of Louis XIV. To be sure, the laws were just as ferocious as ever, but they were not enforced with the old-time vigor. The governing classes were not so cruelly indifferent to the classes governed. Indeed, it seemed as if France might as easily and as directly as England had done after the Revolution of 1688 pass under a constitutional régime and its people become as free and prosperous as those of its neighbor across the channel.

But this piece of good fortune was not destined to come to that most unhappy country. The anarchy of the Revolution not only destroyed the work of the beneficent influences that promised a complete social and political regeneration, but riveted upon the French people a despotism even more intolerable in some respects than that from which they had escaped. Called upon to restore order and thus prevent the threatened dissolution of society. Napoleon made use of all those agencies so natural and congenial to despots. Instead of trying to establish those institutions that would enable his countrymen to govern themselves, he established those institutions only that would enable him to govern them. He felt that they had no more capacity for self government than children. He knew that if he could tickle their fancy with the thought that they were again the dominant power in Europe they would not care whether they were governed from Paris, as under the