Lectures on Modern History/Inaugural Lecture on the Study of History

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Inaugural Lecture on the Study of History
by John Acton
612718Inaugural Lecture on the Study of History — From Lectures on Modern HistoryJohn Acton

Fellow Students—I look back to-day to a time before the middle of the century, when I was reading at Edinburgh and fervently wishing to come to this University. At three colleges I applied for admission, and, as things then were, I was refused by all. Here, from the first, I vainly fixed my hopes, and here, in a happier hour, after five-and-forty years, they are at last fulfilled.

I desire, first, to speak to you of that which I may reasonably call the Unity of Modern History, as an easy approach to questions necessary to be met on the threshold by any one occupying this place, which my predecessor has made so formidable to me by the reflected lustre of his name.

You have often heard it said that Modern History is a subject to which neither beginning nor end can be assigned. No beginning, because the dense web of the fortunes of man is woven without a void; because, in society as in nature, the structure is continuous, and we can trace things back uninterruptedly, until we dimly descry the Declaration of Independence in the forests of Germany. No end, because, on the same principle, history made and history making are scientifically inseparable and separately unmeaning.

"Politics," said Sir John Seeley, "are vulgar when they are not liberalised by history, and history fades into mere literature when it loses sight of its relation to practical politics." Everybody perceives the sense in which this is true. For the science of politics is the one science that is deposited by the stream of history, like grains of gold in the sand of a river; and the knowledge of the past, the record of truths revealed by experience, is eminently practical, as an instrument of action and a power that goes to the making of the future.[1] In France, such is the weight attached to the study of our own time, that there is an appointed course of contemporary history, with appropriate text-books.[2] That is a chair which, in the progressive division of labour by which both science and government prosper,[3] may some day be founded in this country. Meantime, we do well to acknowledge the points at which the two epochs diverge. For the contemporary differs from the modern in this, that many of its facts cannot by us be definitely ascertained. The living do not give up their secrets with the candour of the dead; one key is always excepted, and a generation passes before we can ensure accuracy. Common report and outward seeming are bad copies of the reality, as the initiated know it. Even of a thing so memorable as the war of 1870, the true cause is still obscure; much that we believed has been scattered to the winds in the last six months, and further revelations by important witnesses are about to appear. The use of history turns far more on certainty than on abundance of acquired information.

Beyond the question of certainty is the question of detachment. The process by which principles are discovered and appropriated is other than that by which, in practice, they are applied; and our most sacred and disinterested convictions ought to take shape in the tranquil regions of the air, above the tumult and the tempest of active life.[4] For a man is justly despised who has one opinion in history and another in politics, one for abroad and another at home, one for opposition and another for office. History compels us to fasten on abiding issues, and rescues us from the temporary and transient. Politics, and history are interwoven, but are not commensurate. Ours is a domain that reaches farther than affairs of state, and is not subject to the jurisdiction of governments. It is our function to keep in view and to command the movement of ideas, which are not the effect but the cause of public events;[5] and even to allow some priority to ecclesiastical history over civil, since, by reason of the graver issues concerned, and the vital consequences of error, it opened the way in research, and was the first to be treated by close reasoners and scholars of the higher rank.[6]

In the same manner, there is wisdom and depth in the philosophy which always considers the origin and the germ, and glories in history as one consistent epic.[7] Yet every student ought to know that mastery is acquired by resolved limitation. And confusion ensues from the theory of Montesquieu and of his school, who, adapting the same term to things unlike, insist that freedom is the primitive condition of the race from which we are sprung.[8] If we are to account mind not matter, ideas not force, the spiritual property that gives dignity and grace and intellectual value to history, and its action on the ascending life of man, then we shall not be prone to explain the universal by the national, and civilisation by custom.[9] A speech of Antigone, a single sentence of Socrates, a few lines that were inscribed on an Indian rock before the Second Punic War, the footsteps of a silent yet prophetic people who dwelt by the Dead Sea, and perished in the fall of Jerusalem, come nearer to our lives than the ancestral wisdom of barbarians who fed their swine on the Hercynian acorns.

For our present purpose, then, I describe as Modern History that which begins four hundred years ago, which is marked off by an evident and intelligible line from the time immediately preceding, and displays in its course specific and distinctive characteristics of its own.[10] The modern age did not proceed from the medieval by normal succession, with outward tokens of legitimate descent. Unheralded, it founded a new order of things, under a law of innovation, sapping the ancient reign of continuity. In those days Columbus subverted the notions of the world, and reversed the conditions of production, wealth, and power; in those days Machiavelli released government from the restraint of law; Erasmus diverted the current of ancient learning from profane into Christian channels; Luther broke the chain of authority and tradition at the strongest link; and Copernicus erected an invincible power that set for ever the mark of progress upon the time that was to come. There is the same unbound originality and disregard for inherited sanctions in the rare philosophers as in the discovery of Divine Right, and the intruding Imperialism of Rome. The like effects are visible everywhere, and one generation beheld them all. It was an awakening of new life; the world revolved in a different orbit, determined by influences unknown before. After many ages persuaded of the headlong decline and impending dissolution of society,[11] and governed by usage and the will of masters who were in their graves, the sixteenth century went forth armed for untried experience, and ready to watch with hopefulness a prospect of incalculable change.

That forward movement divides it broadly from the older world; and the unity of the new is manifest in the universal spirit of investigation and discovery which did not cease to operate, and withstood the recurring efforts of reaction, until, by the advent of the reign of general ideas which we call the Revolution, it at length prevailed.[12] This successive deliverance and gradual passage, for good and evil, from subordination to independence is a phenomenon of primary import to us, because historical science has been one of its instruments.[13] If the Past has been an obstacle and a burden, knowledge of the Past is the safest and the surest emancipation. And the earnest search for it is one of the signs that distinguish the four centuries of which I speak from those that went before. The Middle Ages, which possessed good writers of contemporary narrative, were careless and impatient of older fact. They became content to be deceived, to live in a twilight of fiction, under clouds of false witness, inventing according to convenience, and glad to welcome the forger and the cheat.[14] As time went on, the atmosphere of accredited mendacity thickened, until, in the Renaissance, the art of exposing falsehood dawned upon keen Italian minds. It was then that History as we understand it began to be understood, and the illustrious dynasty of scholars arose to whom we still look both for method and material. Unlike the dreaming prehistoric world, ours knows the need and the duty to make itself master of the earlier times, and to forfeit nothing of their wisdom or their warnings,[15] and has devoted its best energy and treasure to the sovereign purpose of detecting error and vindicating entrusted truth.[16]

In this epoch of full-grown history men have not acquiesced in the given conditions of their lives. Taking little for granted they have sought to know the ground they stand on, and the road they travel, and the reason why. Over them, therefore, the historian has obtained an increasing ascendency.[17] The law of stability was overcome by the power of ideas, constantly varied and rapidly renewed;[18] ideas that give life and motion, that take wing and traverse seas and frontiers, making it futile to pursue the consecutive order of events in the seclusion of a separate nationality.[19] They compel us to share the existence of societies wider than our own, to be familiar with distant and exotic types, to hold our march upon the loftier summits, along the central range, to live in the company of heroes, and saints, and men of genius, that no single country could produce. We cannot afford wantonly to lose sight of great men and memorable lives, and are bound to store up objects for admiration as far as may be;[20] for the effect of implacable research is constantly to reduce their number. No intellectual exercise, for instance, can be more invigorating than to watch the working of the mind of Napoleon, the most entirely known as well as the ablest of historic men. In another sphere, it is the vision of a higher world to be intimate with the character of Fénelon, the cherished model of politicians, ecclesiastics, and men of letters, the witness against one century and precursor of another, the advocate of the poor against oppression, of liberty in an age of arbitrary power, of tolerance in an age of persecution, of the humane virtues among men accustomed to sacrifice them to authority, the man of whom one enemy says that his cleverness was enough to strike terror, and another, that genius poured in torrents from his eyes. For the minds that are greatest and best alone furnish the instructive examples. A man of ordinary proportion or inferior metal knows not how to think out the rounded circle of his thought, how to divest his will of its surroundings and to rise above the pressure of time and race and circumstance,[21] to choose the star that guides his course, to correct, and test, and assay his convictions by the light within,[22] and, with a resolute conscience and ideal courage, to remodel and reconstitute the character which birth and education gave him.[23]

For ourselves, if it were not the quest of the higher level and the extended horizon, international history would be imposed by the exclusive and insular reason that parliamentary reporting is younger than parliaments. The foreigner has no mystic fabric in his government, and no arcanum imperii. For him the foundations have been laid bare; every motive and function of the mechanism is accounted for as distinctly as the works of a watch. But with our indigenous constitution, not made with hands or written upon paper, but claiming to develop by a law of organic growth; with our disbelief in the virtue of definitions and general principles and our reliance on relative truths, we can have nothing equivalent to the vivid and prolonged debates in which other communities have displayed the inmost secrets of political science to every man who can read. And the discussions of constituent assemblies, at Philadelphia, Versailles and Paris, at Cadiz and Brussels, at Geneva, Frankfort and Berlin, above nearly all, those of the most enlightened States in the American Union, when they have recast their institutions, are paramount in the literature of politics, and proffer treasures which at home we have never enjoyed.

To historians the later part of their enormous subject is precious because it is inexhaustible. It is the best to know because it is the best known and the most explicit. Earlier scenes stand out from a background of obscurity. We soon reach the sphere of hopeless ignorance and unprofitable doubt. But hundreds and even thousands of the moderns have borne testimony against themselves, and may be studied in their private correspondence and sentenced on their own confession. Their deeds are done in the daylight. Every country opens its archives and invites us to penetrate the mysteries of State. When Hallam wrote his chapter on James II., France was the only Power whose reports were available. Rome followed, and the Hague; and then came the stores of the Italian States, and at last the Prussian and the Austrian papers, and partly those of Spain. Where Hallam and Lingard were dependent on Barillon, their successors consult the diplomacy of ten governments. The topics indeed are few on which the resources have been so employed that we can be content with the work done for us and never wish it to be done over again. Part of the lives of Luther and Frederic, a little of the Thirty Years' War, much of the American Revolution and the French Restoration, the early years of Richelieu and Mazarin, and a few volumes of Mr. Gardiner, show here and there like Pacific islands in the ocean. I should not even venture to claim for Ranke, the real originator of the heroic study of records, and the most prompt and fortunate of European path-finders, that there is one of his seventy volumes that has not been overtaken and in part surpassed. It is through his accelerating influence mainly that our branch of study has become progressive, so that the best master is quickly distanced by the better pupil.[24] The Vatican archives alone, now made accessible to the world, filled 3239 cases when they were sent to France; and they are not the richest. We are still at the beginning of the documentary age, which will tend to make history independent of historians, to develop learning at the expense of writing, and to accomplish a revolution in other sciences as well.[25]

To men in general I would justify the stress I am laying on Modern History, neither by urging its varied wealth, nor the rupture with precedent, nor the perpetuity of change and increase of pace, nor the growing predominance of opinion over belief, and of knowledge over opinion, but by the argument that it is a narrative told of ourselves, the record of a life which is our own, of efforts not yet abandoned to repose, of problems that still entangle the feet and vex the hearts of men. Every part of it is weighty with inestimable lessons that we must learn by experience and at a great price, if we know not how to profit by the example and teaching of those who have gone before us, in a society largely resembling the one we live in.[26] Its study fulfils its purpose even if it only makes us wiser, without producing books, and gives us the gift of historical thinking, which is better than historical learning.[27] It is a most powerful ingredient in the formation of character and the training of talent, and our historical judgments have as much to do with hopes of heaven as public or private conduct. Convictions that have been strained through the instances and the comparisons of modern times differ immeasurably in solidity and force from those which every new fact perturbs, and which are often little better than illusions or unsifted prejudice.[28]

The first of human concerns is religion, and it is the salient feature of the modern centuries. They are signalised as the scene of Protestant developments. Starting from a time of extreme indifference, ignorance, and decline, they were at once occupied with that conflict which was to rage so long, and of which no man could imagine the infinite consequences. Dogmatic conviction—for I shun to speak of faith in connection with many characters of those days—dogmatic conviction rose to be the centre of universal interest, and remained down to Cromwell the supreme influence and motive of public policy. A time came when the intensity of prolonged conflict, when even the energy of antagonistic assurance abated somewhat, and the controversial spirit began to make room for the scientific; and as the storm subsided, and the area of settled questions emerged, much of the dispute was abandoned to the serene and soothing touch of historians, invested as they are with the prerogative of redeeming the cause of religion from many unjust reproaches, and from the graver evil of reproaches that are just. Ranke used to say that Church interests prevailed in politics until the Seven Years' War, and marked a phase of society that ended when the hosts of Brandenburg went into action at Leuthen, chaunting their Lutheran hymns.[29] That bold proposition would be disputed even if applied to the present age. After Sir Robert Peel had broken up his party, the leaders who followed him declared that no popery was the only basis on which it could be reconstructed.[30] On the other side may be urged that, in July 1870, at the outbreak of the French war, the only government that insisted on the abolition of the temporal power was Austria; and since then we have witnessed the fall of Castelar, because he attempted to reconcile Spain with Rome.

Soon after 1850 several of the most intelligent men in France, struck by the arrested increase of their own population and by the telling statistics from Further Britain, foretold the coming preponderance of the English race. They did not foretell, what none could then foresee, the still more sudden growth of Prussia, or that the three most important countries of the globe would, by the end of the century, be those that chiefly belonged to the conquests of the Reformation. So that in Religion, as in so many things, the product of these centuries has favoured the new elements; and the centre of gravity, moving from the Mediterranean nations to the Oceanic, from the Latin to the Teuton, has also passed from the Catholic to the Protestant.[31]

Out of these controversies proceeded political as well as historical science. It was in the Puritan phase, before the restoration of the Stuarts, that theology, blending with politics, effected a fundamental change. The essentially English reformation of the seventeenth century was less a struggle between churches than between sects, often subdivided by questions of discipline and self-regulation rather than by dogma. The sectaries cherished no purpose or prospect of prevailing over the nations; and they were concerned with the individual more than with the congregation, with conventicles, not with State churches. Their view was narrowed, but their sight was sharpened. It appeared to them that governments and institutions are made to pass away, like things of earth, whilst souls are immortal; that there is no more proportion between liberty and power than between eternity and time; that, therefore, the sphere of enforced command ought to be restricted within fixed limits, and that which had been done by authority, and outward discipline, and organised violence, should be attempted by division of power, and committed to the intellect and the conscience of free men.[32] Thus was exchanged the dominion of will over will for the dominion of reason over reason. The true apostles of toleration are not those who sought protection for their own beliefs, or who had none to protect; but men to whom, irrespective of their cause, it was a political, a moral, and a theological dogma, a question of conscience involving both religion and policy.[33] Such a man was Socinus; and others arose in the smaller sects,—the Independent founder of the colony of Rhode Island, and the Quaker patriarch of Pennsylvania. Much of the energy and zeal which had laboured for authority of doctrine was employed for liberty of prophesying. The air was filled with the enthusiasm of a new cry; but the cause was still the same. It became a boast that religion was the mother of freedom, that freedom was the lawful offspring of religion; and this transmutation, this subversion of established forms of political life by the development of religious thought, brings us to the heart of my subject, to the significant and central feature of the historic cycles before us. Beginning with the strongest religious movement and the most refined despotism ever known, it has led to the superiority of politics over divinity in the life of nations, and terminates in the equal claim of every man to be unhindered by man in the fulfilment of duty to God[34]—a doctrine laden with storm and havoc, which is the secret essence of the Rights of Man, and the indestructible soul of Revolution.

When we consider what the adverse forces were, their sustained resistance, their frequent recovery, the critical moments when the struggle seemed for ever desperate, in 1685, in 1772, in 1808, it is no hyperbole to say that the progress of the world towards self-government would have been arrested but for the strength afforded by the religious motive in the seventeenth century. And this constancy of progress, of progress in the direction of organised and assured freedom, is the characteristic fact of Modern History, and its tribute to the theory of Providence.[35] Many persons, I am well assured, would detect that this is a very old story, and a trivial common-place, and would challenge proof that the world is making progress in aught but intellect, that it is gaining in freedom, or that increase in freedom is either a progress or a gain. Ranke, who was my own master, rejected the view that I have stated;[36] Comte, the master of better men, believed that we drag a lengthening chain under the gathered weight of the dead hand;[37] and many of our recent classics—Carlyle, Newman, Froude—were persuaded that there is no progress justifying the ways of God to man, and that the mere consolidation of liberty is like the motion of creatures whose advance is in the direction of their tails. They deem that anxious precaution against bad government is an obstruction to good, and degrades morality and mind by placing the capable at the mercy of the incapable, dethroning enlightened virtue for the benefit of the average man. They hold that great and salutary things are done for mankind by power concentrated, not by power balanced and cancelled and dispersed, and that the whig theory, sprung from decomposing sects, the theory that authority is legitimate only by virtue of its checks, and that the sovereign is dependent on the subject, is rebellion against the divine will manifested all down the stream of time.

I state the objection not that we may plunge into the crucial controversy of a science that is not identical with ours, but in order to make my drift clear by the defining aid of express contradiction. No political dogma is as serviceable to my purpose here as the historian's maxim to do the best he can for the other side, and to avoid pertinacity or emphasis on his own. Like the economic precept laissez faire,[38] which the eighteenth century derived from Colbert, it has been an important, if not a final step in the making of method. The strongest and most impressive personalities, it is true, like Macaulay, Thiers, and the two greatest of living writers, Mommsen and Treitschke, project their own broad shadow upon their pages. This is a practice proper to great men, and a great man may be worth several immaculate historians. Otherwise there is virtue in the saying that a historian is seen at his best when he does not appear.[39] Better for us is the example of the Bishop of Oxford, who never lets us know what he thinks of anything but the matter before him; and of his illustrious French rival, Fustel de Coulanges, who said to an excited audience: "Do not imagine you are listening to me; it is history itself that speaks."[40] We can found no philosophy on the observation of four hundred years, excluding three thousand. It would be an imperfect and a fallacious induction. But I hope that even this narrow and disedifying section of history will aid you to see that the action of Christ who is risen on mankind whom he redeemed fails not, but increases;[41] that the wisdom of divine rule appears not in the perfection but in the improvement of the world;[42] and that achieved liberty is the one ethical result that rests on the converging and combined conditions of advancing civilisation.[43] Then you will understand what a famous philosopher said, that History is the true demonstration of Religion.[44]

But what do people mean who proclaim that liberty is the palm, and the prize, and the crown, seeing that it is an idea of which there are two hundred definitions, and that this wealth of interpretation has caused more bloodshed than anything, except theology? Is it Democracy as in France, or Federalism as in America, or the national independence which bounds the Italian view, or the reign of the fittest, which is the ideal of Germans?[45] I know not whether it will ever fall within my sphere of duty to trace the slow progress of that idea through the chequered scenes of our history, and to describe how subtle speculations touching the nature of conscience promoted a nobler and more spiritual conception of the liberty that protects it,[46] until the guardian of rights developed into the guardian of duties which are the cause of rights,[47] and that which had been prized as the material safeguard for treasures of earth became sacred as security for things that are divine. All that we require is a workday key to history, and our present need can be supplied without pausing to satisfy philosophers. Without inquiring how far Sarasa or Butler, Kant or Vinet, is right as to the infallible voice of God in man, we may easily agree in this, that where absolutism reigned, by irresistible arms, concentrated possessions, auxiliary churches, and inhuman laws, it reigns no more; that commerce having risen against land, labour against wealth, the State against the forces dominant in society,[48] the division of power against the State, the thought of individuals against the practice of ages, neither authorities, nor minorities, nor majorities can command implicit obedience; and, where there has been long and arduous experience, a rampart of tried conviction and accumulated knowledge,[49] where there is a fair level of general morality, education, courage, and self-restraint, there, if there only, a society may be found that exhibits the condition of life towards which, by elimination of failures, the world has been moving through the allotted space.[50] You will know it by outward signs: Representation, the extinction of slavery, the reign of opinion, and the like; better still by less apparent evidences: the security of the weaker groups[51] and the liberty of conscience, which, effectually secured, secures the rest.

Here we reach a point at which my argument threatens to abut on a contradiction. If the supreme conquests of society are won more often by violence than by lenient arts, if the trend and drift of things is towards convulsions and catastrophes,[52] if the world owes religious liberty to the Dutch Revolution, constitutional government to the English, federal republicanism to the American, political equality to the French and its successors,[53] what is to become of us, docile and attentive students of the absorbing Past? The triumph of the Revolutionist annuls the historian.[54] By its authentic exponents, Jefferson and Sieyès, the Revolution of the last century repudiates history. Their followers renounced acquaintance with it, and were ready to destroy its records and to abolish its inoffensive professors. But the unexpected truth, stranger than fiction, is that this was not the ruin but the renovation of history. Directly and indirectly, by process of development and by process of reaction, an impulse was given which made it infinitely more effectual as a factor of civilisation than ever before, and a movement began in the world of minds which was deeper and more serious than the revival of ancient learning.[55] The dispensation under which we live and labour consists first in the recoil from the negative spirit that rejected the law of growth, and partly in the endeavour to classify and adjust the Revolution, and to account for it by the natural working of historic causes. The Conservative line of writers, under the name of the Romantic or Historical School, had its seat in Germany, looked upon the Revolution as an alien episode, the error of an age, a disease to be treated by the investigation of its origin, and strove to unite the broken threads and to restore the normal conditions of organic evolution. The Liberal School, whose home was France, explained and justified the Revolution as a true development, and the ripened fruit of all history.[56] These are the two main arguments of the generation to which we owe the notion and the scientific methods that make history so unlike what it was to the survivors of the last century. Severally, the innovators were not superior to the men of old. Muratori was as widely read, Tillemont as accurate, Leibniz as able, Fréret as acute, Gibbon as masterly in the craft of composite construction. Nevertheless, in the second quarter of this century, a new era began for historians.

I would point to three things in particular, out of many, which constitute the amended order. Of the incessant deluge of new and unsuspected matter I need say little. For some years, the secret archives of the papacy were accessible at Paris; but the time was not ripe, and almost the only man whom they availed was the archivist himself.[57] Towards 1830 the documentary studies began on a large scale, Austria leading the way. Michelet, who claims, towards 1836, to have been the pioneer,[58] was preceded by such rivals as Mackintosh, Bucholtz, and Mignet. A new and more productive period began thirty years later, when the war of 1859 laid open the spoils of Italy. Every country in succession has now allowed the exploration of its records, and there is more fear of drowning than of drought. The result has been that a lifetime spent in the largest collection of printed books would not suffice to train a real master of modern history. After he had turned from literature to sources, from Burnet to Pocock, from Macaulay to Madame Campana, from Thiers to the interminable correspondence of the Bonapartes, he would still feel instant need of inquiry at Venice or Naples, in the Ossuna library or at the Hermitage.[59]

These matters do not now concern us. For our purpose, the main thing to learn is not the art of accumulating material, but the sublimer art of investigating it, of discerning truth from falsehood and certainty from doubt. It is by solidity of criticism more than by the plenitude of erudition, that the study of history strengthens, and straightens, and extends the mind.[60] And the accession of the critic in the place of the indefatigable compiler, of the artist in coloured narrative, the skilled limner of character, the persuasive advocate of good, or other, causes, amounts to a transfer of government, to a change of dynasty, in the historic realm. For the critic is one who, when he lights on an interesting statement, begins by suspecting it. He remains in suspense until he has subjected his authority to three operations. First, he asks whether he has read the passage as the author wrote it. For the transcriber, and the editor, and the official or officious censor on the top of the editor, have played strange tricks, and have much to answer for. And if they are not to blame, it may turn out that the author wrote his book twice over, that you can discover the first jet, the progressive variations, things added, and things struck out. Next is the question where the writer got his information. If from a previous writer, it can be ascertained, and the inquiry has to be repeated. If from unpublished papers, they must be traced, and when the fountain-head is reached, or the track disappears, the question of veracity arises. The responsible writer's character, his position, antecedents, and probable motives have to be examined into; and this is what, in a different and adapted sense of the word, may be called the higher criticism, in comparison with the servile and often mechanical work of pursuing statements to their root. For a historian has to be treated as a witness, and not believed unless his sincerity is established.[61] The maxim that a man must be presumed to be innocent until his guilt is proved, was not made for him.

For us, then, the estimate of authorities, the weighing of testimony, is more meritorious than the potential discovery of new matter.[62] And modern history, which is the widest field of application, is not the best to learn our business in; for it is too wide, and the harvest has not been winnowed as in antiquity, and further on to the Crusades. It is better to examine what has been done for questions that are compact and circumscribed, such as the sources of Plutarch's Pericles, the two tracts on Athenian government, the origin of the epistle to Diognetus, the date of the life of St. Antony; and to learn from Schwegler how this analytical work began. More satisfying because more decisive has been the critical treatment of the medieval writers, parallel with the new editions, on which incredible labour has been lavished, and of which we have no better examples than the prefaces of Bishop Stubbs. An important event in this series was the attack on Dino Compagni, which, for the sake of Dante, roused the best Italian scholars to a not unequal contest. When we are told that England is behind the Continent in critical faculty, we must admit that this is true as to quantity, not as to quality of work. As they are no longer living, I will say of two Cambridge professors, Lightfoot and Hort, that they were critical scholars whom neither Frenchman nor German has surpassed.

The third distinctive note of the generation of writers who dug so deep a trench between history as known to our grandfathers and as it appears to us, is their dogma of impartiality. To an ordinary man the word means no more than justice. He considers that he may proclaim the merits of his own religion, of his prosperous and enlightened country, of his political persuasion, whether democracy, or liberal monarchy, or historic conservatism, without transgression or offence, so long as he is fair to the relative, though inferior, merits of others, and never treats men as saints or as rogues for the side they take. There is no impartiality, he would say, like that of a hanging judge. The men who, with the compass of criticism in their hands, sailed the uncharted sea of original research proposed a different view. History, to be above evasion or dispute, must stand on documents, not on opinions. They had their own notion of truthfulness, based on the exceeding difficulty of finding truth, and the still greater difficulty of impressing it when found. They thought it possible to write, with so much scruple, and simplicity, and insight, as to carry along with them every man of good will, and, whatever his feelings, to compel his assent. Ideas which, in religion and in politics, are truths, in history are forces. They must be respected; they must not be affirmed. By dint of a supreme reserve, by much self-control, by a timely and discreet indifference, by secrecy in the matter of the black cap, history might be lifted above contention, and made an accepted tribunal, and the same for all.[63] If men were truly sincere, and delivered judgment by no canons but those of evident morality, then Julian would be described in the same terms by Christian and pagan, Luther by Catholic and Protestant, Washington by Whig and Tory, Napoleon by patriotic Frenchman and patriotic German.[64]

I speak of this school with reverence, for the good it has done, by the assertion of historic truth and of its legitimate authority over the minds of men. It provides a discipline which every one of us does well to undergo, and perhaps also well to relinquish. For it is not the whole truth. Lanfrey's essay on Carnot, Chuquet's wars of the Revolution, Ropes's military histories, Roget's Geneva in the time of Calvin, will supply you with examples of a more robust impartiality than I have described. Renan calls it the luxury of an opulent and aristocratic society, doomed to vanish in an age of fierce and sordid striving. In our universities it has a magnificent and appointed refuge; and to serve its cause, which is sacred, because it is the cause of truth and honour, we may import a profitable lesson from the highly unscientific region of public life. There a man does not take long to find out that he is opposed by some who are abler and better than himself. And, in order to understand the cosmic force and the true connection of ideas, it is a source of power, and an excellent school of principle, not to rest until, by excluding the fallacies, the prejudices, the exaggerations which perpetual contention and the consequent precautions breed, we have made out for our opponents a stronger and more impressive case than they present themselves.[65] Excepting one to which we are coming before I release you, there is no precept less faithfully observed by historians.

Ranke is the representative of the age which instituted the modern study of History. He taught it to be critical, to be colourless, and to be new. We meet him at every step, and he has done more for us than any other man. There are stronger books than any one of his, and some may have surpassed him in political, religious, philosophic insight, in vividness of the creative imagination, in originality, elevation, and depth of thought; but by the extent of important work well executed, by his influence on able men, and by the amount of knowledge which mankind receives and employs with the stamp of his mind upon it, he stands without a rival. I saw him last in 1877, when he was feeble, sunken, and almost blind, and scarcely able to read or write. He uttered his farewell with kindly emotion, and I feared that the next I should hear of him would be the news of his death. Two years later he began a Universal History, which is not without traces of weakness, but which, composed after the age of eighty-three, and carried, in seventeen volumes, far into the Middle Ages, brings to a close the most astonishing career in literature.

His course had been determined, in early life, by Quentin Durward. The shock of the discovery that Scott's Lewis the Eleventh was inconsistent with the original in Commynes made him resolve that his object thenceforth should be above all things to follow, without swerving, and in stern subordination and surrender, the lead of his authorities. He decided effectually to repress the poet, the patriot, the religious or political partisan, to sustain no cause, to banish himself from his books, and to write nothing that would gratify his own feelings or disclose his private convictions.[66] When a strenuous divine, who, like him, had written on the Reformation, hailed him as a comrade, Ranke repelled his advances. "You," he said, "are in the first place a Christian: I am in the first place a historian. There is a gulf between us."[67] He was the first eminent writer who exhibited what Michelet calls le désintéressement des morts. It was a moral triumph for him when he could refrain from judging, show that much might be said on both sides, and leave the rest to Providence.[68] He would have felt sympathy with the two famous London physicians of our day, of whom it is told that they could not make up their minds on a case and reported dubiously. The head of the family insisted on a positive opinion. They answered that they were unable to give one, but he might easily find fifty doctors who could.

Niebuhr had pointed out that chroniclers who wrote before the invention of printing generally copied one predecessor at a time, and knew little about sifting or combining authorities. The suggestion became luminous in Ranke's hands, and with his light and dexterous touch he scrutinised and dissected the principal historians, from Machiavelli to the Mémoires d'un Homme d'État, with a rigour never before applied to moderns. But whilst Niebuhr dismissed the traditional story, replacing it with a construction of his own, it was Ranke's mission to preserve, not to undermine, and to set up masters whom, in their proper sphere, he could obey. The many excellent dissertations in which he displayed this art, though his successors in the next generation matched his skill and did still more thorough work, are the best introduction from which we can learn the technical process by which within living memory the study of modern history has been renewed. Ranke's contemporaries, weary of his neutrality and suspense, and of the useful but subordinate work that was done by beginners who borrowed his wand, thought that too much was made of these obscure preliminaries which a man may accomplish for himself, in the silence of his chamber, with less demand on the attention of the public.[69] That may be reasonable in men who are practised in these fundamental technicalities. We who have to learn them, must immerse ourselves in the study of the great examples.

Apart from what is technical, method is only the reduplication of common sense, and is best acquired by observing its use by the ablest men in every variety of intellectual employment.[70] Bentham acknowledged that he learned less from his own profession than from writers like Linnæus and Cullen; and Brougham advised the student of Law to begin with Dante. Liebig described his Organic Chemistry as an application of ideas found in Mill's Logic, and a distinguished physician, not to be named lest he should overhear me, read three books to enlarge his medical mind; and they were Gibbon, Grote, and Mill. He goes on to say, "An educated man cannot become so on one study alone, but must be brought under the influence of natural, civil, and moral modes of thought."[71] I quote my colleague's golden words in order to reciprocate them. If men of science owe anything to us, we may learn much from them that is essential.[72] For they can show how to test proof, how to secure fulness and soundness in induction, how to restrain and to employ with safety hypothesis and analogy. It is they who hold the secret of the mysterious property of the mind by which error ministers to truth, and truth slowly but irrevocably prevails.[73] Theirs is the logic of discovery,[74] the demonstration of the advance of knowledge and the development of ideas, which as the earthly wants and passions of men remain almost unchanged, are the charter of progress and the vital spark in history. And they often give us invaluable counsel when they attend to their own subjects and address their own people. Remember Darwin taking note only of those passages that raised difficulties in his way; the French philosopher complaining that his work stood still, because he found no more contradicting facts; Baer, who thinks error treated thoroughly nearly as remunerative as truth, by the discovery of new objections; for, as Sir Robert Ball warns us, it is by considering objections that we often learn.[75] Faraday declares that "in knowledge, that man only is to be condemned and despised who is not in a state of transition." And John Hunter spoke for all of us when he said: "Never ask me what I have said or what I have written; but if you will ask me what my present opinions are, I will tell you."

From the first years of the century we have been quickened and enriched by contributors from every quarter. The jurists brought us that law of continuous growth which has transformed history from a chronicle of casual occurrences into the likeness of something organic.[76] Towards 1820 divines began to recast their doctrines on the lines of development, of which Newman said, long after, that evolution had come to confirm it.[77] Even the Economists, who were practical men, dissolved their science into liquid history, affirming that it is not an auxiliary, but the actual subject-matter of their inquiry.[78] Philosophers claim that, as early as 1804, they began to bow the metaphysical neck beneath the historical yoke. They taught that philosophy is only the amended sum of all philosophies, that systems pass with the age whose impress they bear,[79] that the problem is to focus the rays of wandering but extant truth, and that history is the source of philosophy, if not quite a substitute for it.[80] Comte begins a volume with the words that the preponderance of history over philosophy was the characteristic of the time he lived in.[81] Since Cuvier first recognised the conjunction between the course of inductive discovery and the course of civilisation,[82] science had its share in saturating the age with historic ways of thought, and subjecting all things to that influence for which the depressing names historicism and historical-mindedness have been devised.

There are certain faults which are corrigible mental defects on which I ought to say a few denouncing words, because they are common to us all. First: the want of an energetic understanding of the sequence and real significance of events, which would be fatal to a practical politician, is ruin to a student of history, who is the politician with his face turned backwards.[83] It is playing at study, to see nothing but the unmeaning and unsuggestive surface, as we generally do. Then we have a curious proclivity to neglect, and by degrees to forget, what has been certainly known. An instance or two will explain my idea. The most popular English writer relates how it happened in his presence that the title of Tory was conferred upon the Conservative party. For it was an opprobrious name at the time, applied to men for whom the Irish Government offered head-money; so that if I have made too sure of progress, I may at least complacently point to this instance of our mended manners. One day, Titus Oates lost his temper with the men who refused to believe him, and, after looking about for a scorching imprecation, he began to call them Tories.[84] The name remained; but its origin, attested by Defoe, dropped out of common memory, as if one party were ashamed of their godfather, and the other did not care to be identified with his cause and character. You all know, I am sure, the story of the news of Trafalgar, and how, two days after it had arrived, Mr. Pitt, drawn by an enthusiastic crowd, went to dine in the city. When they drank the health of the minister who had saved his country, he declined the praise. "England," he said, "has saved herself by her own energy; and I hope that after having saved herself by her energy, she will save Europe by her example." In 1814, when this hope had been realised, the last speech of the great orator was remembered, and a medal was struck upon which the whole sentence was engraved, in four words of compressed Latin: Seipsam virtute, Europam exemplo. Now it was just at the time of his last appearance in public that Mr. Pitt heard of the overwhelming success of the French in Germany, and of the Austrian surrender at Ulm. His friends concluded that the contest on land was hopeless, and that it was time to abandon the Continent to the conqueror, and to fall back upon our new empire of the sea. Pitt did not agree with them. He said that Napoleon would meet with a check whenever he encountered a national resistance; and he declared that Spain was the place for it, and that then England would intervene.[85] General Wellesley, fresh from India, was present. Ten years later, when he had accomplished that which Pitt had seen in the lucid prescience of his last days, he related at Paris what I scarcely hesitate to call the most astounding and profound prediction in all political history, where such things have not been rare.

I shall never again enjoy the opportunity of speaking my thoughts to such an audience as this, and on so privileged an occasion a lecturer may well be tempted to bethink himself whether he knows of any neglected truth, any cardinal proposition, that might serve as his selected epigraph, as a last signal, perhaps even as a target. I am not thinking of those shining precepts which are the registered property of every school; that is to say—Learn as much by writing as by reading; be not content with the best book; seek sidelights from the others; have no favourites; keep men and things apart; guard against the prestige of great names;[86] see that your judgments are your own, and do not shrink from disagreement; no trusting without testing; be more severe to ideas than to actions;[87] do not overlook the strength of the bad cause or the weakness of the good;[88] never be surprised by the crumbling of an idol or the disclosure of a skeleton; judge talent at its best and character at its worst; suspect power more than vice,[89] and study problems in preference to periods; for instance: the derivation of Luther, the scientific influence of Bacon, the predecessors of Adam Smith, the medieval masters of Rousseau, the consistency of Burke, the identity of the first Whig. Most of this, I suppose, is undisputed, and calls for no enlargement. But the weight of opinion is against me when I exhort you never to debase the moral currency or to lower the standard of rectitude, but to try others by the final maxim that governs your own lives, and to suffer no man and no cause to escape the undying penalty which history has the power to inflict on wrong.[90] The plea in extenuation of guilt and mitigation of punishment is perpetual. At every step we are met by arguments which go to excuse, to palliate, to confound right and wrong, and reduce the just man to the level of the reprobate. The men who plot to baffle and resist us are, first of all, those who made history what it has become. They set up the principle that only a foolish Conservative judges the present time with the ideas of the past; that only a foolish Liberal judges the past with the ideas of the present.[91]

The mission of that school was to make distant times, and especially the Middle Ages, then most distant of all, intelligible and acceptable to a society issuing from the eighteenth century. There were difficulties in the way; and among others this, that, in the first fervour of the Crusades, the men who took the Cross, after receiving communion, heartily devoted the day to the extermination of Jews. To judge them by a fixed standard, to call them sacrilegious fanatics or furious hypocrites, was to yield a gratuitous victory to Voltaire. It became a rule of policy to praise the spirit when you could not defend the deed. So that we have no common code; our moral notions are always fluid; and you must consider the times, the class from which men sprang, the surrounding influences, the masters in their schools, the preachers in their pulpits, the movement they obscurely obeyed, and so on, until responsibility is merged in numbers, and not a culprit is left for execution.[92] A murderer was no criminal if he followed local custom, if neighbours approved, if he was encouraged by official advisers or prompted by just authority, if he acted for the reason of state or the pure love of religion, or if he sheltered himself behind the complicity of the Law. The depression of morality was flagrant; but the motives were those which have enabled us to contemplate with distressing complacency the secret of unhallowed lives. The code that is greatly modified by time and place, will vary according to the cause. The amnesty is an artifice that enables us to make exceptions, to tamper with weights and measures, to deal unequal justice to friends and enemies.

It is associated with that philosophy which Cato attributes to the gods. For we have a theory which justifies Providence by the event, and holds nothing so deserving as success, to which there can be no victory in a bad cause; prescription and duration legitimate;[93] and whatever exists is right and reasonable; and as God manifests His will by that which He tolerates, we must conform to the divine decree by living to shape the future after the ratified image of the past.[94] Another theory, less confidently urged, regards History as our guide, as much by showing errors to evade as examples to pursue. It is suspicious of illusions in success, and, though there may be hope of ultimate triumph for what is true, if not by its own attraction, by the gradual exhaustion of error, it admits no corresponding promise for what is ethically right. It deems the canonisation of the historic past more perilous than ignorance or denial, because it would perpetuate the reign of sin and acknowledge the sovereignty of wrong, and conceives it the part of real greatness to know how to stand and fall alone, stemming, for a lifetime, the contemporary flood.[95]

Ranke relates, without adornment, that William III. ordered the extirpation of a Catholic clan, and scouts the faltering excuse of his defenders. But when he comes to the death and character of the international deliverer, Glencoe is forgotten, the imputation of murder drops, like a thing unworthy of notice.[96] Johannes Mueller, a great Swiss celebrity, writes that the British Constitution occurred to somebody, perhaps to Halifax. This artless statement might not be approved by rigid lawyers as a faithful and felicitous indication of the manner of that mysterious growth of ages, from occult beginnings, that was never profaned by the invading wit of man;[97] but it is less grotesque than it appears. Lord Halifax was the most original writer of political tracts in the pamphleteering crowd between Harrington and Bolingbroke; and in the Exclusion struggle he produced a scheme of limitations which, in substance, if not in form, foreshadowed the position of the monarchy in the later Hanoverian reigns. Although Halifax did not believe in the plot,[98] he insisted that innocent victims should be sacrificed to content the multitude. Sir William Temple writes: "We only disagreed in one point, which was the leaving some priests to the law upon the accusation of being priests only, as the House of Commons had desired; which I thought wholly unjust. Upon this point Lord Halifax and I had so sharp a debate at Lord Sunderland's lodgings, that he told me, if I would not concur in points which were so necessary for the people's satisfaction, he would tell everybody I was a Papist. And upon his affirming that the plot must be handled as if it were true, whether it were so or no, in those points that were so generally believed." In spite of this accusing passage, Macaulay, who prefers Halifax to all the statesmen of his age, praises him for his mercy: "His dislike of extremes, and a forgiving and compassionate temper which seems to have been natural to him, preserved him from all participation in the worst crimes of his time."

If, in our uncertainty, we must often err, it may be sometimes better to risk excess in rigour than in indulgence, for then at least we do no injury by loss of principle. As Bayle has said, it is more probable that the secret motives of an indifferent action are bad than good;[99] and this discouraging conclusion does not depend upon theology, for James Mozley supports the sceptic from the other flank, with all the artillery of Tractarian Oxford. "A Christian," he says, "is bound by his very creed to suspect evil, and cannot release himself.…He sees it where others do not; his instinct is divinely strengthened; his eye is supernaturally keen; he has a spiritual insight, and senses exercised to discern.…He owns the doctrine of original sin; that doctrine puts him necessarily on his guard against appearances, sustains his apprehension under perplexity, and prepares him for recognising anywhere what he knows to be everywhere."[100] There is a popular saying of Madame de Staël, that we forgive whatever we really understand. The paradox has been judiciously pruned by her descendant, the Duke de Broglie, in the words: "Beware of too much explaining, lest we end by too much excusing."[101] History, says Froude, does teach that right and wrong are real distinctions. Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity.[102] And if there are moments when we may resist the teaching of Froude, we have seldom the chance of resisting when he is supported by Mr. Goldwin Smith: "A sound historical morality will sanction strong measures in evil times; selfish ambition, treachery, murder, perjury, it will never sanction in the worst of times, for these are the things that make times evil—Justice has been justice, mercy has been mercy, honour has been honour, good faith has been good faith, truthfulness has been truthfulness from the beginning." The doctrine that, as Sir Thomas Browne says, morality is not ambulatory,[103] is expressed as follows by Burke, who, when true to himself, is the most intelligent of our instructors: "My principles enable me to form my judgment upon men and actions in history, just as they do in common life; and are not formed out of events and characters, either present or past. History is a preceptor of prudence, not of principles. The principles of true politics are those of morality enlarged; and I neither now do, nor ever will admit of any other."[104]

Whatever a man's notions of these later centuries are, such, in the main, the man himself will be. Under the name of History, they cover the articles of his philosophic, his religious, and his political creed.[105] They give his measure; they denote his character: and, as praise is the shipwreck of historians, his preferences betray him more than his aversions. Modern History touches us so nearly, it is so deep a question of life and death, that we are bound to find our own way through it, and to owe our insight to ourselves. The historians of former ages, unapproachable for us in knowledge and in talent, cannot be our limit. We have the power to be more rigidly impersonal, disinterested and just than they; and to learn from undisguised and genuine records to look with remorse upon the past, and to the future with assured hope of better things; bearing this in mind, that if we lower our standard in History, we cannot uphold it in Church or State.


  1. No political conclusions of any value for practice can be arrived at by direct experience. All true political science is, in one sense of the phrase, a priori, being deduced from the tendencies of things, tendencies known either through our general experience of human nature, or as the result of an analysis of the course of history, considered as a progressive evolution.—Mill, Inaugural Address, 51.
  2. Contemporary history is, in Dr. Arnold's opinion, more important than either ancient or modern; and in fact superior to it by all the superiority of the end to the means.—Seeley, Lectures and Essays, 306.
  3. The law of all progress is one and the same, the evolution of the simple into the complex by successive differentiations.—Edinburgh Review, clvii. 428. Die Entwickelung der Völker vollzieht sich nach zwei Gesetzen. Das erste Gesetz ist das der Differenzierung. Die primitiven Einrichtungen sind einfach und einheitlich, die der Civilisation zusammengesetzt und geteilt, und die Arbeitsteilung nimmt beständig zu.—Sickel, Goettingen Gelehrte Anzeigen, 1890, 563.
  4. Nous risquons toujours d'être influencés par les préjugés de notre époque; mais nous sommes libres des préjugés particuliers aux époques antérieures.—E. Naville, Christianisme de Fénelon, 9.
  5. La nature n'est qu'un écho de l'esprit. L'idée est la mère du fait, elle façonne graduellement le monde à son image.—Feuchtersleben, in Caro, Nouvelles Études Morales, 132. Il n'est pas d'étude morale qui vaille l'histoire d'une idée.—Laboulaye, Liberté Religieuse, 25.
  6. Il y a des savants qui raillent le sentiment religieux. Ils ne savent pas que c'est à ce sentiment, et par son moyen, que la science historique doit d'avoir pu sortir de l'enfance. … Depuis des siècles les âmes indépendantes discutaient les textes et les traditions de l'église, quand les lettrés n'avaient pas encore eu l'idée de porter un regard critique sur les textes de l'antiquité mondaine.—La France Protestante, ii. 17.
  7. In our own history, above all, every step in advance has been at the same time a step backwards. It has often been shown how our latest constitution is, amidst all external differences, essentially the same as our earliest, how every struggle for right and freedom, from the thirteenth century onwards, has simply been a struggle for recovering something old.—Freeman, Historical Essays, iv. 253. Nothing but a thorough knowledge of the social system, based upon a regular study of its growth, can give us the power we require to affect it.—Harrison, Meaning of History, 19. Eine Sache wird nur völlig auf dem Wege verstanden, wie sie selbst entsteht.—In dem genetischen Verfahren sind die Gründe der Sache, auch die Gründe des Erkennens.—Trendelenburg, Logische Untersuchungen, ii. 395, 388.
  8. Une telle liberté … n'a rien de commun avec le savant système de garanties qui fait libres les peuples modernes.—Boutmy, Annales des Sciences Politiques, i. 157. Les trois grandes réformes qui ont renouvelé l'Angleterre, laliberté religieuse, la réforme parlementaire, et la liberté économique, ont été obtenues sous la pression des organisations extra-constitutionnelles.—Ostrogorski, Revue Historique, lii. 272.
  9. The question which is at the bottom of all constitutional struggles, the question between the national will and the national law.—Gardiner, Documents, xviii. Religion, considered simply as the principle which balances the power of human opinion, which takes man out of the grasp of custom and fashion, and teaches him to refer himself to a higher tribunal, is an infinite aid to moral strength and elevation.—Channing, Works, iv. 83. Je tiens que le passé ne suffit jamais au présent. Personne n'est plus disposé que moi à profiler de ses leçons; mais en même temps, je le demande, le présent ne fournit-il pas toujours les indications qui lui sont propres?—Molé, in Falloux, Études et Souvenirs, 130. Admirons la sagesse de nos pères, et tachons de l'imiler, en faisant ce qui convient à notre siècle.—Galiani, Dialogues, 40.
  10. Ceterum in legendis Historiis malim te ductum animi, quam anxias leges sequi. Nullae sunt, quae non magnas habeant utilitates; et melius haerent, quae libenter legimus. In universum tamen, non incipere ab antiquissimis, sed ab his, quae nostris temporibus nostraeque notitiae propius cohaerent, ac paulatim deinde in remotiora eniti, magis è re arbitror.—Grotius, Epistolae, 18.
  11. The older idea of a law of degeneracy, of a "fatal drift towards the worse," is as obsolete as astrology or the belief in witchcraft. The human race has become hopeful, sanguine.—Seeley, Rede Lecture, 1887. Fortnightly Review, July 1887, 124.
  12. Formuler des idées générales, c'est changer le salpfitre en poudre.—A. de Musset, Confessions d'un Enfant du Siècle, 15. Les révolutions c'est l'avènement des idées libérales. C'est presque toujours par les révolutions qu'elles prévalent et se fondent, et quand les idées libérales en sont véritablement le principe et le but, quand elles leur ont donné naissance, et quand elles les couronnent à leur dernier jour, alors ces révolutions sont légitimes—Rémusat, 1839, in Revue des Deux Mondes, 1875, vi. 335. Il y a même des personnes de piété qui prouvent par raison qu'il faut renoncer à la raison; que ce n'est point la lumière, mais la foi seule qui doit nous conduire, et que l'obéissance aveugle est la principale vertu des chrétiens. La paresse des inférieurs et leur esprit flatteur s'accommode souvent de cette vertu prétendue, et l'orgueil de ceux qui commandent en est toujours très content. De sorte qu'il se trouvera peut-être des gens qui seront scandalisés que je fasse cet honneur à la raison, de l'élever au-dessus de toutes les puissances, et qui s'imagineront que je me révolte contre les autorités légitimes à cause que je prends son parti et que je soutiens que c'est à elle à decider et à regner.—Malebranche, Morale, i. 2, 13. That great statesman (Mr. Pitt) distinctly avowed that the application of philosophy to politics was at that time an innovation, and that it was an innovation worthy to be adopted. He was ready to make the same avowal in the present day which Mr. Pitt had made in 1792.—Canning, 1st June 1827. Parliamentary Review, 1828, 71. American history knows but one avenue of success in American legislation, freedom from ancient prejudice. The best lawgivers in our colonies first became as little children.—Bancroft, History of the United States, i. 494. Every American, from Jefferson and Gallatin down to the poorest squatter, seemed to nourish an idea that he was doing what he could to overthrow the tyranny which the past had fastened on the human mind.—Adams, History of the United States, i. 175.
  13. The greatest changes of which we have had experience as yet are due to our increasing knowledge of history and nature. They have been produced by a few minds appearing in three or four favoured nations, in comparatively a short period of time. May we be allowed to imagine the minds of men everywhere working together during many ages for the completion of our knowledge? May not the increase of knowledge transfigure the world?—Jowett, Plato, i. 414. Nothing, I believe, is so likely to beget in us a spirit of enlightened liberality, of Christian forbearance, of large-hearted moderation, as the careful study of the history of doctrine and the history of interpretation.—Perowne, Psalms, i. p. xxxi.
  14. Ce n'est guère avant la seconde moitié du XVIIe siècle qu'il devint impossible de soutenir l'authenticité des fausses décrtétales, des Constitutions apostoliques, des Récognitions Clémentines, du faux Ignace, du pseudo-Dionys, et de l'immense fatras d'œuvres anonymes ou pseudonymes qui grossissait souvent du tiers ou de la moitié l'héritage littéraire des auteurs les plus considérables.—Duchesne, Témoins anténicéens de la Trinité, 1883, 36.
  15. A man who does not know what has been thought by those who have gone before him is sure to set an undue value upon his own ideas.—M. Pattison, Memoirs, 78.
  16. Travailler à discerner, dans cette discipline, le solide d'avec le frivole, le vrai d'avec le vraisemblable, la science d'avec l'opinion, ce qui forme le jugement d'avec ce qui ne fait que charger la mémoire.—Lamy, Connoisiance de soi-même, v. 459.
  17. All our hopes of the future depend on a sound understanding of the past.—Harrison, The Meaning of History, 6.
  18. The real history of mankind is that of the slow advance of resolved deed following laboriously just thought; and all the greatest men live in their purpose and effort more than it is possible for them to live in reality.—The things that actually happened were of small consequence—the thoughts that were developed are of infinite consequence.—Ruskin. Facts are the mere dross of history. It is from the abstract truth which interpenetrates them, and lies latent among them like gold in the ore, that the mass derives its value.—Macaulay, Works, v. 131.
  19. Die Gesetze der Geschichte sind eben die Gesetze der ganzen Menschheit, gehen nicht in die Geschicke eines Volkes, einer Generation oder gar eines Einzelnen auf. Individuen und Geschlechter, Staaten und Nationen, können zerstäuben, die Menschheit bleibt.—A. Schmidt, Züricher Monatsschrift, i. 45.
  20. Le grand péril des âges démocratiques, soyez-en sûr, c'est la destruction ou l'affaiblissement excessif des parties du corps social en présence du tout. Tout ce qui relève de nos jours l'idée de l'individu est sain.—Tocqueville, 3rd January 1840, Œuvres, vii. 97. En France, il n'y a plus d'hommes. On a systématiquement tué l'homme au profit du peuple, des masses, comme disent nos législateurs écervelés. Puis un beau jour, on s'est aperçu que ce peuple n'avait jamais existé qu'en projet, que ces masses étaient un troupeau mi-partie de moutons et de tigres. C'est une triste histoire. Nous avons à relever l'âme humaine contre l'aveugle et brutale tyrannie des multitudes.—Lanfrey, 23rd March 1855. M. du Camp, Souvenirs Littéraires, ii. 273. C'est le propre de la vertu d'être invisible, même dans l'histoire, à tout autre œil que celui de la conscience.—Vacherot, Comptes Rendus de l'Institut, lxix. 319. Dans l'histoire où la bonté est la perle rare, qui a été bon passe presque avant qui a été grand.—V. Hugo, Les Misérables, vii. 46. Grosser Maenner Leben und Tod der Wahrheit gemaess mit Liebe zu schildern, ist zu allen Zeiten herzerhebend; am meisten aber dann, wenn im Kreislauf der irdischen Dinge die Sterne wieder aehnlich stehen wie damals als sie unter uns lebten.—Lasaulx, Sokrates, 3. Instead of saying that the history of mankind is the history of the masses, it would be much more true to say that the history of mankind is the history of its great men.—Kingsley, Lectures, 329.
  21. Le génie n'est que la plus complète émancipation de toutes les influences de temps, de mœurs et de pays.—Nisard, Souvenirs, ii. 43.
  22. Meine kritische Richtung zieht mich in der Wissenschaft durchaus zur Kritik meiner eigenen Gedanken hin, nicht zu der der Gedanken Anderer.—Rothe, Ethik, i. p. xi.
  23. When you are in young years the whole mind is, as it were, fluid, and is capable of forming itself into any shape that the owner of the mind pleases to order it to form itself into.—Carlyle, On the Choice of Books, 131. Nach allem erscheint es somit unzweifelhaft als eine der psychologischen Voraussetzungen des Strafrechts, ohne welche der Zurechnungsbegriff nicht haltbar wäre, dass der Mensch für seinen Charakter verantwortlich ist und ihn muss abändern können.—Rümelin, Reden und Aufsätze, ii. 60. An der tiefen und verborgenen Quelle, woraus der Wille entspringt, an diesem Punkt, nur hier steht die Freiheit, und führt das Steuer und lenkt den Willen. Wer nicht bis zu dieser Tiefe in sich einkehren und seinen natürlichen Charakter von hier aus bemeistern kann, derhat nicht den Gebrauch seiner Freiheit, der ist nicht frei, sondern unterworfen dem Triebwerk seiner Interessen, und dadurch in der Gewalt des Weltlaufs, worin jede Begebenheit und jede Handlung eine nothwendige Folge ist aller vorhergehenden.—Fischer, Problem der Freiheit, 27.
  24. I must regard the main duty of a Professor to consist, not simply in communicating information, but in doing this in such a manner, and with such an accompaniment of subsidiary means, that the information he conveys may be the occasion of awakening his pupils to a vigorous and varied exertion of their faculties.—Sir W. Hamilton, Lectures, i. 14. No great man really does his work by imposing his maxims on his disciples, he evokes their life. The pupil may become much wiser than his instructor, he may not accept his conclusions, but he will own, "You awakened me to be myself; for that I thank you."—Maurice, The Conscience, 7, 8.
  25. Ich sehe die Zeit kommen, wo wir die neuere Geschichte nicht mehr auf die Berichte selbst nicht der gleichzeitigen Historiker, ausser in so weit ihnen neue originale Kenntniss beiwohnte, geschweige denn auf die weiter abgeleiteten Bearbeitungen zu gründen haben, sondern aus den Relationen der Augenzeugen und der ächten und unmittelbarsten Urkunden aufbauen werden.—Ranke, Reformation, Preface, 1838. Ce qu'on a trouvé et mis en œuvre est considérable en soi: c'est peu de chose au prix de ce qui reste à trouver et à mettre en œuvre.—Aulard, Études sur la Révolution, 21.
  26. N'attendez donc pas les leçons de l'expérience; elles coûtent trop cher aux nations.—O. Barrot, Mémoires, ii. 435. Il y a des leçons dans tous les temps, pour tous les temps; et celles qu'on emprunte à des ennemis ne sont pas les moins précieuses.—Lanfrey, Napoléon, v. p. ii. Old facts may always be fresh, and may give out a fresh meaning for each generation.—Maurice, Lectures, 62. The object is to lead the student to attend to them; to make him take interest in history not as a mere narrative, but as a chain of causes and effects still unwinding itself before our eyes, and full of momentous consequences to himself and his descendants—an unremitting conflict between good and evil powers, of which every act done by any one of us, insignificant as we are, forms one of the incidents; a conflict in which even the smallest of us cannot escape from taking part, in which whoever does not help the right side is helping the wrong.—Mill, Inaugural Address, 59.
  27. I hold that the degree in which Poets dwell in sympathy with the Past, marks exactly the degree of their poetical faculty.—Wordsworth, in C. Fox, Memoirs, June 1842. In all political, all social, all human questions whatever, history is the main resource of the inquirer.—Harrison, Meaning of History, 15. There are no truths which more readily gain the assent of mankind, or are more firmly retained by them, than those of an historical nature, depending upon the testimony of others.—Priestley, Letters to French Philosophers, 9. Improvement consists in bringing our opinions into nearer agreement with facts; and we shall not be likely to do this while we look at facts only through glasses coloured by those very opinions.—Mill, Inaugural Address, 25.
  28. He who has learnt to understand the true character and tendency of many succeeding ages is not likely to go very far wrong in estimating his own.—Lecky, Value of History, 21. C’est à l’histoire qu’il faut se prendre, c’est le fait que nous devons interroger, quand l’idée vacille et fuit à nos yeux.—Michelet, Disc. d’Ouverture, 263. C’est la loi des faits telle qu’elle se manifeste dans leur succession. C’est la règle de conduite donnée par la nature humaine et indiquée par l’histoire. C’est la logique, mais cette logique qui ne fait qu’un avec l’enchaînement des choses. C’est l’enseignement de l’expérience.—Scherer, Mélanges, 558. Wer seine Vergangenheit nicht als seine Geschichte hat und weiss wird und ist characterlos Wem ein Ereigniss sein Sonst plötzlich abreisst von seinem Jetzt wird leicht wurzellos.—Kliefoth, Rheinwalds Repertorium, xliv. 20. La politique est une des meilleures écoles pour l’esprit. Elle force à chercher la raison de toutes choses, et ne permet pas cependant de la chercher hors des faits.—Rémusat, Le Temps Passé, i. 31. It is an unsafe partition that divides opinions without principle from unprincipled opinions.—Coleridge, Lay Sermons, 373.

    Wer nicht von drei tausend Jahren sich weiss Rechenschaft zu geben,

    Bleib' im Dunkeln unerfahren, mag von Tag zu Tage leben!

    What can be rationally required of the student of philosophy is not a preliminary and absolute, but a gradual and progressive, abrogation of prejudices.—Sir W. Hamilton, Lectures, iv. 92.

  29. Die Schlacht bei Leuthen ist wohl die letzte, in welcher diese religiösen Gegensätze entscheidend eingewirkt haben.—Ranke, Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vii. 70.
  30. The only real cry in the country is the proper and just old No Popery cry.—Major Beresford, July 1847. Unfortunately the strongest bond of union amongst them is an apprehension of Popery — Stanley, 12th September 1847. The great Protectionist party having degenerated into a No Popery, No Jew Party, I am still more unfit now than I was in 1846 to lead it.—G. Bentinck, 26th December 1847; Croker's Memoirs, iii. 116, 132, 157.
  31. In the case of Protestantism, this constitutional instability is now a simple matter of fact, which has become too plain to be denied. The system is not fixed, but in motion; and the motion is for the time in the direction of complete self-dissolution.—We take it for a transitory scheme, whose breaking up is to make room in due time for another and far more perfect state of the Church.— The new order in which Protestantism is to become thus complete cannot be reached without the co-operation and help of Romanism.—Nevin, Mercersburg Review, iv. 48.
  32. Diese Heiligen waren es, die aus dem unmittelbaren Glaubensleben und den Grundgedanken der christlichen Freiheit zuerst die Idee allgemeiner Menschenrechte abgeleitet und rein von Selbstsucht vertheidigt haben.—Weingarten, Revolutionskirchen, 447. Wie selbst die Idee allgemeiner Menschenrechte, die in dem gemeinsamen Character der Ebenbildlichkeit Gottes gegründet sind, erst durch das Christenthum zum Bewusstsein gebracht werden, während jeder andere Eifer für politische Freiheit als ein mehr oder weniger selbstsüchtiger und beschränkter sich erwiesen hat.—Neander, Pref. to Uhden's Wilberforce, p. v. The rights of individuals and the justice due to them are as dear and precious as those of states; indeed the latter are founded on the former, and the great end and object of them must be to secure and support the rights of individuals, or else vain is government.—Cushing, in Conway, Life of Paine, i. 217. As it is owned the whole scheme of Scripture is not yet understood; so, if it ever comes to be understood, before the restitution of all things, and without miraculous interpositions, it must be in the same way as natural knowledge is come at—by the continuance and progress of learning and liberty.—Butler, Analogy, ii. 3.
  33. Comme les lois elles-mêmes sont faillibles, et qu'il peut y avoir une autre justice que la justice écrite, les sociétés modernes ont voulu garantir les droits de la conscience à la poursuite d'une justice meilleure que celle qui existe; et là est le fondement de ce qu'on appelle liberté de conscience, liberté d'écrire, liberté de pensée.—Janet, Philosophie Contemporaine, 308. Si la force matérielle a toujours fini par céder à l'opinion, combien plus ne sera-t-elle pas contrainte de céder à la conscience? Car la conscience, c'est l'opinion renforcée par le sentiment de l'obligation.—Vinet, Liberté Religieuse, 3.
  34. Après la volonté d'un homme, la raison d'état; après la raison d'état, la religion; après la religion, la liberté. Voilà toute la philosophie de l'histoire.—Flottes, La Souveraineté du Peuple, 1851, 192. La répartition plus égale des biens et des droits dans ce monde est le plus grand objet que doivent se proposer ceux qui mènent les affaires humaines. Je veux seulement que l'égalité en politique consiste à être également libre.—Tocqueville, 10th September 1856. Mme.Swetchine, i. 455. On peut concevoir une législation très simple, lorsqu'on voudra en écarter tout ce qui est arbitraire, ne consulter que les deux premières lois de la liberté et de la propriété, et ne point admettre de lois positives qui ne tirent leur raison de ces deux lois souveraines de la justice essentielle et absolue.—Letrosne, Vues sur la Justice Criminelle, 16. Summa enim libertas est, ad optimum recta ratione cogi.—Nemo optat sibi hanc libertatem, volendi quae velit,sed potius volendi optima.—Leibniz, De Fato. Trendelenburg, Beiträge zur Philosophie, ii. 190.
  35. All the world is, by the very law of its creation, in eternal progress; and the cause of all the evils of the world may be traced to that natural, but most deadly error of human indolence and corruption, that our business is to preserve and not to improve. {—}}Arnold, Life, i. 259. In whatever state of knowledge we may conceive man to be placed, his progress towards a yet higher state need never fear a check, but must continue till the last existence of society.—Herschel, Prel. Dis. 360. It is in the development of thought as in every other development; the present suffers from the past, and the future struggles hard in escaping from the present.—Max Müller, Science of Thought, 617. Most of the great positive evils of the world are in themselves removable, and will, if human affairs continue to improve, be in the end reduced within narrow limits. Poverty in any sense implying suffering may be completely extinguished by the wisdom of society combined with the good sense and providence of individuals.—All the grand sources, in short, of human suffering are in a great degree, many of them almost entirely, conquerable by human care and effort.—J. S. Mill, Utilitarianism, 21, 22. The ultimate standard of worth is personal worth, and the only progress that is worth striving after, the only acquisition that is truly good and enduring, is the growth of the soul.—Bixby, Crisis of Morals, 210. La science, et l'industrie qu'elle produit, ont, parmi tous les autres enfants du génie de l'homme, ce privilège particulier, que leur vol non-seulement ne peut pas s'interrompre, mais qu'il s'accélère sans cesse.—Cuvier, Discours sur la Marche des Sciences, 24 Avril 1816. Aucune idée parmi celles qui se réfèrent à l'ordre des faits naturels, ne tient de plus près à la famille des idées religieuses que l'idée du progrès, et n'est plus propre à devenir le principe d'une sorte de foi religieuse pour ceux qui n'en ont pas d'autres. Elle a, comma la foi religieuse, la vertu de relever les âmes et les caractères.—Cournot, Marche des Idées, ii. 425. Dans le spectacle de l'humanité errante, souffrante et travaillant toujours à mieux voir, à mieux penser, à mieux agir, à diminuer l'infirmité de l être humain, à apaiser l'inquiétude de son coeur, la science découvre une direction et un progrès.—A Sorel, Discours de Recéption, 14. Le jeune homme qui commence son éducation quinze ans après son pére, à une époque où celui-ci, engagé dans une profession spéciale et active, ne peut que suivre les anciens principes, acquiert une supériorité théorique dont on doit tenir compte dans la hiérarchie sociale. Le plus souvent le père n'est-il pas pénétré de l'esprit de routine, tandis que le fils représente et défend la science progressive? En diminuant l'écart qui existait entre l'influence des jeunes générations et celle de la vieillesse ou de l'âge mûr, les peuples modernes n'auraient donc fait que reproduire dans leur ordre social un changement de rapports qui s'était déjà accompli dans la nature intime des choses.—Boutmy, Revue Nationale, xxi. 393. Il y a dans l'homme individuel des principes de progrès viager; il y a, en toute société, des causes constantes qui transforment ce progrès viager en progrès héréditaire. Une société quelconque tend à progresser tant que les circonstances ne touchent pas aux causes de progrès que nous avons reconnues, l'imitation des dévanciers par les successeurs, des étrangers par les indigènes.—Lacombe, L'Histoire comme Science, 292. Verani creatae mentis beatitudinem consistere in non impedito progressu ad bona majora.—Leibniz to Wolf, 21st February 1705. In cumulum etiam pulchritudinis perfectionisque universalis operum divinorum progressus quidam perpetuus liberrimusque totius universi est agnoscendus, ita ut ad majorem semper cultum procedat.—Leibniz ed. Erdmann, 150a. Der Creaturen und also auch unsere Vollkommenheit bestehen in einem ungehinderten starken Forttrieb zu neuen und neuen Vollkommenheiten.—Leibniz, Deutsche Schriften, ii. 36. Hegel, welcher annahm, der Fortschritt der Neuzeit gegen das Mittelalter sei dieser, dass die Principien der Tugend und des Christenthums, welche im Mittelalter sich allein im Privatleben und der Kirche zur Geltung gebracht hätten, nun auch anfingen, das politische Leben zu durchdringen.—Fortlage, Allg. Monatsschrift, 1853, 777. Wir Slawen wissen, dass die Geister einzelner Menschen und ganzer Völker sich nur durch die Stufe ihrer Entwicklung unterscheiden.—Mickiewicz, Slawische Literatur, ii. 436. Le progrès ne disparait jamais, mais il se déplace souvent. Il va des gouvernants aux gouvernés. La tendance des révolutions est de le ramener toujours parmi les gouvernants. Lorsqu’il est à la tête des sociétés, il marche hardiment, car il conduit. Lorsqu’il est dans la masse, il marche à pas lents, car il lutte.—Napoleon III., Des Idées Napoléoniennes. La loi du progrès avait jadis l’inexorable rigueur du destin; elle prend maintenant de jour en jour la douce puissance de la Providence. C’est l’erreur, c’est l’iniquité, c’est le vice, que la civilisation tend à emporter dans sa marche irrésistible; mais la vie des individus et des peuples est devenue pour elle une chose sacrée. Elle transforme plutôt qu’elle ne détruit les choses qui s’opposent à son développement; elle procède par absorption graduelle plutôt que par brusque exécution; elle aime à conquérir par l’influence des idées plutôt que par la force des armes, un peuple, une classe, une institution qui résiste au progrès.—Vacherot, Essais de Philosophie Critique, 443. Peu à peu l’homme intellectuel finit par effacer l’homme physique.—Quetelet, De l’Homme, ii. 285. In dem Fortschritt der ethischen Anschauungen liegt daher der Kern des geschichtlichen Fortschritts überhaupt.—Schäfer, Arbeitsgebiet der Geschichte, 24. Si l’homme a plus de devoirs à mesure qu’il avance en âge, ce qui est mélancolique, mais ce qui est vrai, de même aussi l’humanité est tenue d’avoir une morale plus sévère à mesure qu’elle prend plus de siècles.—Faguet, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1894, iii. 871. Si donc il y a une loi de progrès, elle se confond avec la loi morale, et la condition fondamentale du progrès, c’est la pratique de cette loi.—Carrau, Ib. 1875, v. 585. L’idée du progrès, du développement, me paraît être l’idée fondamentale contenue sous le mot de civilisation.—Guizot, Cours d’Histoire, 1828, 15. Le progrès n’est sous un autre nom, que la liberté en action.—Broglie, Journal des Débats, 28th January 1869. Le progrès social est continu. Il a ses périodes de fièvre ou d’atonie, de surexcitation ou de léthargie; il a ses soubresauts et ses haltes, mais il avance toujours.—De Decker, La Providence, 174. Ce n’est pas au bonheur seul, c’est au perfectionnement que notre destin nous appelle; et la liberté politique est le plus puissant, le plus énergique moyen de perfectionnement que le ciel nous ait donné.—B. Constant, Cours de Politique, ii. 559. To explode error, on whichever side it lies, is certainly to secure progress.—Martineau, Essays, i. 114. Die sämmtlichen Freiheitsrechte, welche der heutigen Menschheit so theuer sind, sind im Grunde nur Anwendungen des Rechts der Entwickelung.—Bluntschli, Kleine Schriften, i. 51. Geistiges Leben ist auf Freiheit beruhende Entwicklung, mit Freiheit vollzogene That und geschichtlicher Fortschritt.—Münchner Gel. Anzeigen, 1849, ii. 83. Wie das Denken erst nach und nach reift, so wird auch der freie Wille nicht fertig geboren, sondern in der Entwickelung erworben.—Trendelenburg, Logische Untersuchungen, ii. 94. Das Liberum Arbitrium im vollen Sinne (die vollständig aktuelle Macht der Selbstbestimmung) lässt sich seinem Begriff zufolge schlechterdings nicht unmittelbar geben; es kann nur erworben werden durch das Subjekt selbst, in sich moralisch hervorgebracht werden kraft seiner eigenen Entwickelung.—Rothe, Ethik, 1. 360. So gewaltig sei der Andrang der Erfindungen und Entdeckungen, dass "Entwicklungsperioden, die in früheren Zeiten erst in Jahrhunderten durchlaufen wurden, die im Beginn unserer Zeitperiode noch der Jahrzehnte bedurften, sich heute in Jahren vollenden, häufig schon in voller Ausbildung ins Dasein treten."—Philippovich, Fortschritt und Kulturentwicklung, 1892, i., quoting Siemens, 1886. Wir erkennen dass dem Menschen die schwere körperliche Arbeit, von der er in seinem Kampfe um’s Dasein stets schwer niedergedrückt war und grossenteils noch ist, mehr und mehr durch die wachsende Benutzung der Naturkräfte zur mechanischen Arbeitsleistung abgenommen wird, dass die ihm zufallende Arbeit immer mehr eine intellektuelle wird.—Siemens, 1886, Ib. 6.
  36. Once, however, he wrote:—Darin könnte man den idealen Kern der Geschichte des menschlichen Geschlechtes überhaupt sehen, dass in den Kämpfen, die sich in den gegenseitigen Interessen der Staaten und Völker vollziehen, doch immer höhere Potenzen emporkommen, die das Allgemeine demgemäss umgestalten und ihm wieder einen anderen Charakter verleihen.—Ranke, Weltgeschichte, iii. 1, 6.
  37. Toujours et partout, les hommes furent de plus en plus dominés par l’ensemble de leurs prédécesseurs, dont ils purent seulement modifier l’empire nécessaire.—Comte, Politique Positive, iii. 621.
  38. La liberté est l’âme du commerce.—Il faut laisser faire les hommes qui s’appliquent sans peine à ce qui convient le mieux; c’est ce qui apporte le plus d’avantage.—Colbert, in Comptes Rendus de l’Institut, xxxix. 93.
  39. Il n’y a que les choses humaines exposées dans leur vérité, c’est-à-dire avec leur grandeur, leur variété, leur inépuisable fécondité, qui aient le droit de retenir le lecteur et qui le retiennent en effet. Si l’écrivain parait une fois, il ennuie ou fait sourire de pitié les lecteurs sérieux.—Thiers to Ste. Beuve, Lundis, iii. 195. Comme l’a dit Taine, la disparition du style, c’est la perfection du style.—Faguet, Revue Politique, lii. 67.
  40. Ne m’applaudissez pas; ce n’est pas moi qui vous parle; c’est l’histoire qui parle par ma bouche.—Revue Historique, xli. 278.
  41. Das Evangelium trat als Geschichte in die Welt, nicht als Dogma—wurde als Geschichte in der christlichen Kirche deponirt.—Rothe, Kirchengeschichte, ii. p. x. Das Christenthum ist nicht der Herr Christus, sondern dieser macht es. Es ist sein Werk, und zwar ein Werk, das er stets unter der Arbeit hat.—Er selbst, Christus der Herr, bleibt, der er ist in alle Zukunft, dagegen liegt es ausdrücklich im Begriffe seines Werks, des Christenthums, dass es nicht so bleibt, wie es anhebt.—Rothe, Allgemeine kirchliche Zeitschrift, 1864, 299. Diess Werk, weil es dem Wesen der Geschichte zufolge eine Entwickelung ist, muss über Stufen hinweggehen, die einander ablösen, und von denen jede folgende neue immer nur unter der Zertrümmerung der ihr vorangehenden Platz greifen kann.—Rothe, Ib. 19th April 1865. Je grösser ein geschichtliches Princip ist, desto langsamer und über mehr Stufen hinweg entfaltet es seinen Gehalt; desto langlebiger ist es aber ebendeshalb auch in diesen seinen unaufhörlichen Abwandelungen.—Rothe, Stille Stunden, 301. Der christliche Glaube geht nicht von der Anerkennung abstracter Lehrwahrheiten aus, sondern von der Anerkennung einer Reihe von Thatsachen, die in der Erscheinung Jesu ihren Mittelpunkt haben.—Nitzsch, Dogmengeschichte, i. 17. Der Gedankengang der evangelischen Erzählung gibt darum auch eine vollständige Darstellung der christlichen Lehre in ihren wesentlichen Grundzügen; aber er gibt sie im allseitigen lebendigen Zusammenhange mit der Geschichte der christlichen Offenbarung, und nicht in einer theoretisch zusammenhängenden Folgenreihe von ethischen und dogmatischen Lehrsätzen.—Deutinger, Reich Gottes, i. p. v.
  42. Das Evangelium trat als Geschichte in die Welt, nicht als Dogma—wurde als Geschichte in der christlichen Kirche deponirt.—Rothe, Kirchengeschichte, ii. p. x. Das Christenthum ist nicht der Herr Christus, sondern dieser macht es. Es ist sein Werk, und zwar ein Werk, das er stets unter der Arbeit hat.—Er selbst, Christus der Herr, bleibt, der er ist in alle Zukunft, dagegen liegt es ausdrücklich im Begriffe seines Werks, des Christenthums, dass es nicht so bleibt, wie es anhebt.—Rothe, Allgemeine kirchliche Zeitschrift, 1864, 299. Diess Werk, weil es dem Wesen der Geschichte zufolge eine Entwickelung ist, muss über Stufen hinweggehen, die einander ablösen, und von denen jede folgende neue immer nur unter der Zertrümmerung der ihr vorangehenden Platz greifen kann.—Rothe, Ib. 19th April 1865. Je grösser ein geschichtliches Princip ist, desto langsamer und über mehr Stufen hinweg entfaltet es seinen Gehalt; desto langlebiger ist es aber ebendeshalb auch in diesen seinen unaufhörlichen Abwandelungen.—Rothe, Stille Stunden, 301. Der christliche Glaube geht nicht von der Anerkennung abstracter Lehrwahrheiten aus, sondern von der Anerkennung einer Reihe von Thatsachen, die in der Erscheinung Jesu ihren Mittelpunkt haben.—Nitzsch, Dogmengeschichte, i. 17. Der Gedankengang der evangelischen Erzählung gibt darum auch eine vollständige Darstellung der christlichen Lehre in ihren wesentlichen Grundzügen; aber er gibt sie im allseitigen lebendigen Zusammenhange mit der Geschichte der christlichen Offenbarung, und nicht in einer theoretisch zusammenhängenden Folgenreihe von ethischen und dogmatischen Lehrsätzen.—Deutinger, Reich Gottes, i. p. v.
  43. Je suis arrivé à l’âge où je suis, à travers bien des évènements différents, mais avec une seule cause, celle de la liberté régulière.—Tocqueville, 1st May 1852, Œuvres Inédites, ii. 185. Me trouvant dans un pays où la religion et le libéralisme sont d’accord, j’avais respiré.—J’exprimais ce sentiment, il y a plus de vingt ans, dans l’avant-propos de la Démocratie. Je l’éprouve aujourd’hui aussi vivement que si j’étais encore jeune, et je ne sais s’il y a une seule pensée qui ait été plus constamment présente à mon esprit.—5th August 1857, Œuvres, vi. 395. Il n’y a que la liberté (j’entends la modérée et la régulière) et la religion, qui, par un effort combiné, puissent soulever les hommes au-dessus du bourbier où l’égalité démocratique les plonge naturellement.—1st December 1852, Œuvres, vii. 295. L'un de mes rêves, le principal en entrant dans la vie politique, était de travailler à concilier l’esprit libéral et l’esprit de religion, la société nouvelle et l’église.—15th November 1843, Œuvres Inédites, ii. 121. La véritable grandeur de l’homme n’est que dans l’accord du sentiment libéral et du sentiment religieux.—17th September 1853, Œuvres Inédites, ii. 228. Qui cherche dans la liberté autre chose qu’elle-même est fait pour servir.—Ancien Régime, 248. Je regarde, ainsi que je l’ai toujours fait, la liberté comme le premier des biens; je vois toujours en elle l’une des sources les plus fécondes des vertus mâles et des actions grandes. Il n’y a pas de tranquillité ni de bien-être qui puisse me tenir lieu d’elle.—7th January 1856, Mme. Swetchine, i. 452. La liberté a un faux air d’aristocratie; en donnant pleine carrière aux facultés humaines, en encourageant le travail et l’économie, elle fait ressortir les supériorités naturelles ou acquises.—Laboulaye, L’État et ses Limites, 154. Dire que la liberté n’est point par elle-même, qu’elle dépend d’une situation, d’une opportunité, c’est lui assigner une valeur négative. La liberté n’est pas dès qu’on la subordonne. Elle n’est pas un principe purement négatif, un simple élément de contrôle et de critique. Elle est le principe actif, créateur organisateur par excellence. Elle est le moteur et la règle, la source de toute vie, et le principe de l’ordre. Elle est, en un mot, le nom que prend la conscience souveraine, lorsque, se posant en face du monde social et politique, elle émerge du moi pour modeler les sociétés sur les données de la raison.—Brisson, Revue Nationale, xxiii. 214. Le droit, dans l’histoire, est le développement progressif de la liberté, sous la loi de la raison.—Lerminier, Philosophie du Droit, i. 211. En prouvant par les leçons de l’histoire que la liberté fait vivre les peuples et que le despotisme les tue, en montrant que l’expiation suit la faute et que la fortune finit d’ordinaire par se ranger du côté de la vertu, Montesquieu n’est ni moins moral ni moins religieux que Bossuet.—Laboulaye, Œuvres de Montesquieu, ii. 109. Je ne comprendrais pas qu’une nation ne plaçât pas les libertés politiques au premier rang, parce que c’est des libertés politiques que doivent découler toutes les autres.—Thiers, Discours, x. 8, 28th March 1865. Nous sommes arrivés à une époque où la liberté est le but sérieux de tous, où le reste n’est plus qu’une question de moyens.—J. Lebeau, Observations sur le Pouvoir Royal: Liège, 1830, p. 10. Le libéralisme, ayant la prétention de se fonder uniquement sur les principes de la raison, croit d’ordinaire n’avoir pas besoin de tradition. Là est son erreur. L’erreur de l’école libérale est d’avoir trop cru qu’il est facile de créer la liberté par la réflexion, et de n’avoir pas vu qu’un établissement n’est solide que quand il a des racines historiques.—Renan, 1858, Nouvelle Revue, lxxix. 596. Le respect des individus et des droits existants est autant au-dessus du bonheur de tous, qu’un intérêt moral surpasse un intérêt purement temporel.—Renan, 1858, Ib. lxxix. 597. Die Rechte gelten nichts, wo es sich handelt um das Recht, und das Recht der Freiheit kann nie verjähren, weil es die Quelle alles Rechtes selbst ist.—C. Frantz, Ueber die Freiheit, 110. Wir erfahren hienieden nie die ganze Wahrheit: wir geniessen nie die ganze Freiheit.—Reuss, Reden, 56. Le gouvernement constitutionnel, comme tout gouvernement libre, présente et doit présenter un état de lutte permanent. La liberté est la perpétuité de la lutte.—De Serre. Broglie, Nouvelles Études, 243. The experiment of free government is not one which can be tried once for all. Every generation must try it for itself. As each new generation starts up to the responsibilities of manhood, there is, as it were, a new launch of Liberty, and its voyage of experiment begins afresh.—Winthrop, Addresses, 163. L’histoire perd son véritable caractère du moment que la liberté en a disparu; elle devient une sorte de physique sociale. C’est l’élément personnel de l’histoire qui en fait la réalité.—Vacherot, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1869, iv. 215. Demander la liberté pour soi et la refuser aux autres, c’est la définition du despotisme.—Laboulaye, 4th December 1874. Les causes justes profitent de tout, des bonnes intentions comme des mauvaises, des calculs personnels comme des dévouemens courageux, de la démence, enfin, comme de la raison.—B. Constant, Les Cent Jours, ii. 29. Sie ist die Kunst, das Gute der schon weit gediehenen Civilisation zu sichern.—Baltisch, Politische Freiheit, 9. In einem Volke, welches sich zur bürgerlichen Gesellschaft, überhaupt zum Bewusstseyn der Unendlichkeit des Freien—entwickelt hat, ist nur die constitutionelle Monarchie möglich.—Hegel’s Philosophie des Rechts, § 137, Hegel und Preussen, 1841, 31. Freiheit ist das höchste Gut. Alles andere ist nur das Mittel dazu: gut falls es ein Mittel dazu ist, übel falls es dieselbe hemmt.—Fichte, Werke, iv. 403. You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured. For liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.—Patrick Henry, 1788; Wirt, Life of Henry, 272.
  44. Historiae ipsius praeter delectationem utilitas nulla est, quam ut religionis Christianae veritas demonstretur, quod aliter quam per historiam fieri non potest.—Leibniz, Opera, ed. Dutens, vi. 297. The study of Modern History is, next to Theology itself, and only next in so far as Theology rests on a divine revelation, the most thoroughly religious training that the mind can receive. It is no paradox to say that Modern History, including Medieval History in the term, is co-extensive in its field of view, in its habits of criticism, in the persons of its most famous students, with Ecclesiastical History.—Stubbs, Lectures, 9. Je regarde donc l’étude de l’histoire comme l’étude de la providence.—L’histoire est vraiment une seconde philosophie.—Si Dieu ne parle pas toujours, il agit toujours en Dieu.—D’Aguesseau, Œuvres, xv. 34, 31, 35. Für diejenigen, welche das Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit erkannt haben, bildet die denkende Betrachtung der Weltgeschichte, besonders des christlichen Weltalters, die höchste, und umfassendste Theodicee.—Vatke, Die Menschliche Freiheit, 1841, 516. La théologie, que l’on regarde volontiers comme la plus étroite et la plus stérile des sciences, en est, au contraire, la plus étendue et la plus féconde. Elle confine à toutes les études et touche à toutes les questions. Elle renferme tous les éléments d’une instruction libérale.—Scherer, Mélanges, 522. The belief that the course of events and the agency of man are subject to the laws of a divine order, which it is alike impossible for any one either fully to comprehend or effectually to resist—this belief is the ground of all our hope for the future destinies of mankind.—Thirlwall, Remains, iii. 282. A true religion must consist of ideas and facts both; not of ideas alone without facts, for then it would be mere philosophy; nor of facts alone without ideas, of which those facts are the symbols, or out of which they are grounded; for then it would be mere history.—Coleridge, Table Talk, 144. It certainly appears strange that the men most conversant with the order of the visible universe should soonest suspect it empty of directing mind; and, on the other hand, that humanistic, moral and historical studies—which first open the terrible problems of suffering and grief, and contain all the reputed provocatives of denial and despair—should confirm, and enlarge rather than disturb, the prepossessions of natural piety.—Martineau, Essays, i. 122. Die Religion hat nur dann eine Bedeutung für den Menschen, wenn er in der Geschichte einen Punkt findet, dem er sich völlig unbedingt hingeben kann.—Steffens, Christliche Religionsphilosophie, 440, 1839. Wir erkennen darin nur eine Thätigkeit des zu seinem ächten und wahren Leben, zu seinem verlornen, objectiven Selbstverständnisse sich zurücksehnenden christlichen Geistes unserer Zeit, einen Ausdruck für das Bedürfniss desselben, sich aus den unwahren und unächten Verkleidungen, womit ihn der moderne, subjective Geschmack der letzten Entwicklungsphase des theologischen Bewusstseyns umhüllt hat, zu seiner historischen allein wahren und ursprünglichen Gestalt wiederzugebären, zu derjenigen Bedeutung zurückzukehren, die ihm in dem Bewusstseyn der Geschichte allein zukommt und deren Verständniss in dem wogenden luxuriösen Leben der modernen Theologie längst untergegangen ist.—Georgii, Zeitschrift für Hist. Theologie, ix. 5, 1839.
  45. Liberty, in fact, means just so far as it is realised, the right man in the right place.—Seeley, Lectures and Essays, 109.
  46. In diesem Sinne ist Freiheit und sich entwickelnde moralische Vernunft und Gewissen gleichbedeutend. In diesen Sinne ist der Mensch frei, sobald sich das Gewissen in ihm entwickelt.—Scheidler, Ersch und Gruber, xlix. 20. Aus der unendlichen und ewigen Geltung der menschlichen Persönlichkeit vor Gott, aus der Vorstellung von der in Gott freien Persönlichkeit, folgt auch der Anspruch auf das Recht derselben in der weltlichen Sphäre, auf bürgerliche und politische Freiheit, auf Gewissen und Religionsfreiheit, auf freie wissenschaftliche Forschung u.s.w., und namentlich die Forderung, dass niemand lediglich zum Mittel für andere diene.— Martensen, Christliche Ethik, i. 50.
  47. Es giebt angeborne Menschenrechte, weil es angeborne Menschenpflichten giebt.—Wolff, Naturrecht; Loeper, Einleitung zu Faust, lvii.
  48. La constitution de l’état reste jusqu’à un certain point à notre discrétion. La constitution de la société ne dépend pas de nous; elle est donnée par la force des choses, et si l’on veut élever le langage, elle est l’œuvre de la Providence.—Rémusat, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1861, v. 795.
  49. Die Freiheit ist bekanntlich kein Geschenk der Götter, sondern ein, Gut das jedes Volk sich selbst verdankt und das nur bei dem erforderlichen Mass moralischer Kraft und Würdigkeit gedeiht.—Ihering, Geist des Römischen Rechts, ii. 290. Liberty, in the very nature of it, absolutely requires, and even supposes, that people be able to govern themselves in those respects in which they are free; otherwise their wickedness will be in proportion to their liberty, and this greatest of blessings will become a curse.—Butler, Sermons, 331. In each degree and each variety of public development there are corresponding institutions, best answering the public needs; and what is meat to one is poison to another. Freedom is for those who are fit for it.— Parkman, Canada, 396. Die Freiheit ist die Wurzel einer neuen Schöpfung in der Schöpfung.—Sederholm, Die ewigen Thatsachen, 86.
  50. La liberté politique, qui n’est qu’une complexité plus grande, de plus en plus grande, dans le gouvernement d’un peuple, à mesure que le peuple lui-même contient un plus grand nombre de forces diverses ayant droit et de vivre et de participer à la chose publique, est un fait de civilisation qui s’impose lentement à une société organisée, mais qui n’apparait point comme un principe à une société qui s’organise.— Faguet, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1889, ii. 942.
  51. Il y a bien un droit du plus sage, mais non pas un droit du plus fort.—La justice est le droit du plus faible.— Joubert, Pensées, i. 355, 358.
  52. Nicht durch ein pflanzenähnliches Wachsthum, nicht aus den dunklen Gründen der Volksempfindung, sondern durch den männlichen Willen, durch die Ueberzeugung, durch die That, durch den Kampf entsteht, behauptet, entwickelt sich das Recht. Sein historisches Werden ist ein bewusstes, im hellen Mittagslicht der Erkenntniss und der Gesetzgebung.—Rundschau, November 1893, 13. Nicht das Normale, Zahme, sondern das Abnorme, Wilde, bildet überall die Grundlage und den Anfang einer neuen Ordnung.—Lasaulx, Philosophie der Geschichte, 143.
  53. Um den Sieg zu vervollständigen, erübrigte das zweite Stadium oder die Aufgabe: die Berechtigung der Mehrheit nach allen Seiten hin zur gleichen Berechtigung aller zu erweitern, d. h. bis zur Gleichstellung aller Bekenntnisse im Kirchenrecht, aller Völker im Völkerrecht, aller Staatsbürger im Staatsrecht und aller socialen Interessen im Gesellschaftsrecht fortzuführen.—A. Schmidt, Züricher Monatschrift, i. 68.
  54. Notre histoire ne nous enseignait nullement la liberté. Le jour où la France voulut être libre, elle eut tout à créer, tout à inventer dans cet ordre de faits.—Cependant il faut marcher, l’avenir appelle les peuples. Quand on n’a point pour cela l’impulsion du passé, il faut bien se confier à la raison.—Dupont White, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1861, vi. 191. Le peuple français a peu de goût pour le développement graduel des institutions. Il ignore son histoire, il ne s’y reconnaît pas, elle n’a pas laissé de trace dans sa conscience.—Scherer, Études Critiques, i. 100. Durch die Revolution befreiten sich die Franzosen von ihrer Geschichte.—Rosenkranz, Aus einem Tagebuch, 199.
  55. The discovery of the comparative method in philology, in mythology—let me add in politics and history and the whole range of human thought—marks a stage in the progress of the human mind at least as great and memorable as the revival of Greek and Latin learning.—Freeman, Historical Essays, iv. 301. The diffusion of a critical spirit in history and literature is affecting the criticism of the Bible in our own day in a manner not unlike the burst of intellectual life in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.—Jowett, Essays and Reviews, 346. As the revival of literature in the sixteenth century produced the Reformation, so the growth of the critical spirit, and the change that has come over mental science, and the mere increase of knowledge of all kinds, threaten now a revolution less external but not less profound.—Haddan, Replies, 348.
  56. In his just contempt and detestation of the crimes and follies of the Revolutionists, he suffers himself to forget that the revolution itself is a process of the Divine Providence, and that as the folly of men is the wisdom of God, so are their iniquities instruments of His goodness.—Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, ii. 240. In other parts of the world, the idea of revolutions in government is, by a mournful and indissoluble association, connected with the idea of wars, and all the calamities attendant on wars. But happy experience teaches us to view such revolutions in a very different light—to consider them only as progressive steps in improving the knowledge of government, and increasing the happiness of society and mankind.—J. Wilson, 26th November 1787, Works, iii. 293. La Révolution, c’est-à-dire l’œuvre des siècles, ou, si vous voulez, le renouvellement progressif de la société, ou encore, sa nouvelle constitution.—Rémusat, Correspondance, 11th October 1818. A ses yeux loin d’avoir rompu le cours naturel des évènements, ni la Révolution d’Angleterre, ni la nôtre, n’ont rien dit, rien fait, qui n’eût été dit, souhaité, fait, ou tenté cent fois avant leur explosion. "Il faut en ceci," dit-il, "tout accorder à leurs adversaires, les surpasser même en sévérité, ne regarder à leurs accusations que pour y ajouter, s’ils en oublient; et puis les sommer de dresser, à leur tour, le compte des erreurs, des crimes, et des maux de ces temps et de ces pouvoirs qu’ils ont pris sous leur garde."—Revue de Paris, xvi. 303, on Guizot. Quant aux nouveautés mises en œuvre par la Révolution Française on les retrouve une à une, en remontant d’âge en âge, chez les philosophes du XVIIIe siècle, chez les grands penseurs du XVIe, chez certains Pères d’Église et jusque dans la République de Platon.—En présence de cette belle continuité de l’histoire, qui ne fait pas plus de sauts que la nature, devant cette solidarité nécessaire des révolutions avec le passé qu’elles brisent.—Krantz, Revue Politique, xxxiii. 264. L’esprit du XIXe siècle est de comprendre et de juger les choses du passé. Notre œuvre est d’expliquer ce que le XVIIIe siècle avait mission de nier.—Vacherot, De la Démocratie, pref., 28.
  57. La commission recherchera, dans toutes les parties des archives pontificales, les pièces relatives à l’abus que les papes ont fait de leur ministère spirituel contre l’autorité des souveraines et la tranquillité des peuples.—Daunou, Instructions, 3rd January 1811. Laborde, Inventaires, p. cxii.
  58. Aucun des historiens remarquables de cette époque n’avait senti encore le besoin de chercher les faits hors des livres imprimés, aux sources primitives, la plupart inédites alors, aux manuscrits de nos bibliothèques, aux documents de nos archives.—Michelet, Histoire de France, 1869, i. 2.
  59. Doch besteht eine Grenze, wo die Geschichte aufhört und das Archiv anfängt, und die von der Geschichtschreibung nicht überschritten werden sollte. Unsere Zeit, 1866, ii. 635. Il faut avertir nos jeunes historiens à la fois de la nécessité inéluctable du document et, d’autre part, du danger qu’il présente.—M. Hanotaux.
  60. délicate, la plus déliée, elle n’a de crédit qu’auprès des esprits cultivés.—Cherbuliez, Revue des Deux Mondes, xcvii. 517. Nun liefert aber die Kritik, wenn sie rechter Art ist, immer nur einzelne Data, gleichsam die Atome des Thatbestandes, und jede Kombination, jede Zusammenfassung und Schlussfolgerung, ohne die es doch einmal nicht abgeht, ist ein subjektiver Akt des Forschers. Demnach blieb Waitz, bei des eigenen Arbeit wie bei jener des anderen, immer höchst mistrauisch gegen jedes Résumé, jede Definition, jedes abschliessende Wort.—Sybel, Historische Zeitschrift, lvi. 484. Mit blosser Kritik wird darin nichts ausgerichtet, denn die ist nur eine Vorarbeit, welche da aufhört, wo die echte historische Kunst anfängt.—Lasaulx, Philosophie der Künste, 212.
  61. The only case in which such extraneous matters can be fairly called in is when facts are stated resting on testimony; then it is not only just, but it is necessary for the sake of truth, to inquire into the habits of mind of him by whom they are adduced.—Babbage, Bridgewater Treatise, p. xiv.
  62. There is no part of our knowledge which it is more useful to obtain at first hand—to go to the fountain-head for—than our knowledge of History.—J. S. Mill, Inaugural Address, 34. The only sound intellects are those which, in the first instance, set their standard of proof high.—J. S. Mill, Examination of Hamilton’s Philosophy, 525.
  63. There are so few men mentally capable of seeing both sides of a question; so few with consciences sensitively alive to the obligation of seeing both sides; so few placed under conditions either of circumstance or temper, which admit of their seeing both sides.—Greg, Political Problems, 1870, 173. Il n’y a que les Allemands qui sachent être aussi complètement objectifs. Ils se dédoublent, pour ainsi dire, en deux hommes, l’un qui a des principles très arrêtés et des passions très vives, l’autre qui sait voir et observer comme s’il n’en avait point.—Laveleye, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1868, i. 431. L’écrivain qui penche trop dans le sens où il incline, et qui ne se défie pas de ses qualités presque autant que ses défauts, cet écrivain tourne à la manière.—Scherer, Mélanges, 484. Il faut faire volteface, et vivement, franchement, tourner le dos au moyen âge, à ce passé morbide, qui, même quand il n’agit pas, influe terriblement par la contagion de la mort. Il ne faut ni combattre, ni critiquer, mais oublier. Oublions et marchons!—Michelet, La Bible de l’Humanité, 483. It has excited surprise that Thucydides should speak of Antiphon, the traitor to the democracy, and the employer of assassins, as "a man inferior in virtue to none of his contemporaries." But neither here nor elsewhere does Thucydides pass moral judgments.—Jowett, Thucydides, ii. 501.
  64. Non theologi provinciam suscepimus; scimus enim quantum hoc ingenii nostri tenuitatem superet: ideo sufficit nobis τὸ ὅτι fideliter ex antiquis auctoribus retulisse.—Morinus, De Poenitentia, ix. 10.—Il faut avouer que la religion chrétienne a quelque chose d’étonnant! C’est parce que vous y êtes né, dira-t-on. Tant s’en faut, je me roidis contre par cette raison-là même, de peur que cette prévention ne me suborne.—Pascal, Pensées, xvi. 7.—I was fond of Fleury for a reason which I express in the advertisement; because it presented a sort of photograph of ecclesiastical history without any comment upon it. In the event, that simple representation of the early centuries had a good deal to do with unsettling me.—Newman, Apologia, 152.—Nur was sich vor dem Richterstuhl einer ächten, unbefangenen, nicht durch die Brille einer philosophischen oder dogmatischen Schule stehenden Wissenschaft als wahr bewährt, kann zur Erbauung, Belehrung und Warnung tüchtig seyn.—Neander, Kirchengeschichte, i. p. vii. Wie weit bei katholischen Publicisten bei der Annahme der Ansicht von der Staatsanstalt apologetische Gesichtspunkte massgebend gewesen sind, mag dahingestellt bleiben. Der Historiker darf sich jedoch nie durch apologetische Zwecke leiten lassen; sein einziges Ziel soll die Ergründung der Wahrheit sein.—Pastor, Geschichte der Päbste, ii. 545. Church history falsely written is a school of vainglory, hatred, and uncharitableness; truly written, it is a discipline of humility, of charity, of mutual love.—Sir W. Hamilton, Discussions, 506. The more trophies and crowns of honour the Church of former ages can be shown to have won in the service of her adorable head, the more tokens her history can be brought to furnish of his powerful presence in her midst, the more will we be pleased and rejoice, Protestant though we be.—Nevin, Mercersburg Review, 1851, 168. S’il est une chose à laquelle j’ai donné tous mes soins, c’est à ne pas laisser influencer mes jugements par les opinions politiques ou religieuses; que si j’ai quelquefois péché par quelque excès, c’est par la bienveillance pour les œuvres de ceux qui pensent autrement que moi.—Monod, R. Hist. xvi. 184. Nous n’avons nul intérêt à faire parler l’histoire en faveur de nos propres opinions. C’est son droit imprescriptible que le narrateur reproduise tous les faits sans aucune réticence et range toutes les évolutions dans leur ordre naturel. Notre récit restera complètement en dehors des préoccupations de la dogmatique et des déclamations de la polémique. Plus les questions auxquelles nous aurons à toucher agitent et passionnent de nos jours les esprits, plus il est du devoir de l’historien de s’effacer devant les faits qu’il veut faire connaître.—Reuss, Nouvelle Revue de Théologie, vi. 193, 1860. To love truth for truth’s sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.—Locke, Letter to Collins. Il n’est plus possible aujourd’hui à l’historien d’être national dans le sens étroit du mot. Son patriotisme à lui c’est l’amour de la vérité. Il n’est pas l’homme d’une race ou d’un pays, il est l’homme de tous les pays, il parle au nom de la civilisation générale.—Lanfrey, Hist. de Nap. iii. 2, 1870. Juger avec les parties de soi–même qui sont le moins des formes du tempérament, et le plus des facultés pénétrées et modelées par l’expérience, par l’étude, par l’investigation, par le non-moi.—Faguet, R. de Paris, i. 151. Aucun critique n’est aussi impersonnel que lui, aussi libre de partis pris et d’opinions préconçues, aussi objectif.—Il ne mêle ou parait mêler à ses appréciations ni inclinations personnelles de goût ou d’humeur, ou théories d’aucune sorte. G. Monod, of Faguet, Revue Historique, xlii. 417. On dirait qu’il a peur, et généralisant ses observations, en systématisant ses connaissances, de mêler de luimême aux choses.—Je lis tout un volume de M. Faguet, sans penser une fois à M. Faguet: je ne vois que les originaux qu’il montre.—J’envisage toujours une réalité objective, jamais l’idée de M. Faguet, jamais la doctrine de M. Faguet.—Lanson, Revue Politique, 1894, i. 98.
  65. It should teach us to disentangle principles first from parties, and again from one another; first of all as showing how imperfectly all parties represent their own principles, and then how the principles themselves are a mingled tissue.—Arnold, Modern History, 184. I find it a good rule, when I am contemplating a person from whom I want to learn, always to look out for his strength, being confident that the weakness will discover itself.—Maurice, Essays, 305. We may seek for agreement somewhere with our neighbours, using that as a point of departure for the sake of argument. It is this latter course that I wish here to explain and defend. The method is simple enough, though not yet very familiar.—It aims at conciliation; it proceeds by making the best of our opponent’s case, instead of taking him at his worst.—The most interesting part of every disputed question only begins to appear when the rival ideals admit each other’s right to exist.—A. Sidgwick, Distinction and the Criticism of Beliefs, 1892, 211. That cruel reticence in the breasts of wise men which makes them always hide their deeper thought.—Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies, i. 16. Je offener wir die einzelnen Wahrheiten des Sozialismus anerkennen, desto erfolgreicher können wir seine fundamentalen Unwahrheiten widerlegen.—Roscher, Deutsche Vierteljahrschrift, 1849, i. 177.
  66. Dann habe ihn die Wahrnehmung, dass manche Angaben in den historischen Romanen Walter Scott’s, mit den gleichzeitigen Quellen im Widerspruch standen, "mit Erstaunen" erfüllt, und ihn zu dem Entschlusse gebracht, auf das Gewissenhafteste an der Ueberlieferung der Quellen festzuhalten.—Sybel, Gedächtnissrede auf Ranke. Akad. der Wissenschaften, 1887, p. 6. Sich frei zu halten von allem Widerschein der Gegenwart, sogar, soweit das menschenmöglich, von dem der eignen subjectiven Meinung in den Dingen des Staates, der Kirche und der Gesellschaft.—A. Dove, Im Neuen Reich, 1875, ii. 967. Wir sind durchaus nicht für die leblose und schemenartige Darstellungsweise der Ranke’schen Schule eingenommen; es wird uns immer kühl bis ans Herz heran, wenn wir derartige Schilderungen der Reformation und der Revolution lesen, welche so ganz im kühlen Element des Pragmatismus sich bewegen und dabei so ganz Undinenhaft sind und keine Seele haben.—Wir lassen es uns lieber gefallen, dass die Männer der Geschichte hier und dort gehofmeistert werden, als dass sie uns mit Glasaugen ansehen, so meisterhaft immer die Kunst sein mag, die sie ihnen eingesetzt hat.—Gottschall, Unsere Zeit, 1866, ii. 636, 637. A vivre avec des diplomates, il leur a pris des qualités qui sont un défaut chez un historien. L’historien n’est pas un témoin, c’est un juge; c’est à lui d’accuser et de condamner au nom du passé opprimé et dans l’intérêt de l’avenir.—Laboulaye on Ranke; Débats, 12th January 1852.
  67. Un théologien qui a composé une éloquente histoire de la Réformation, rencontrant à Berlin un illustre historien qui, lui aussi, a raconté Luther et le XVIe siècle, l’embrassa avec effusion en le traitant de confrère. "Ah! permettez," lui répondit l’autre en se dégageant, "il y a une grande différence entre nous: vous êtes avant tout chrétien, et je suis avant tout historien."—Cherbuliez, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1872, i. 537.
  68. Nackte Wahrheit ohne allen Schmuck; gründliche Erforschung des Einzelnen; das Uebrige, Gott befohlen.—Werke, xxxiv. 24. Ce ne sont pas les théories qui doivent nous servir de base dans la recherche des faits, mais ce sont les faits qui doivent nous servir de base pour la composition des théories.—Vincent, Nouvelle Revue de Théologie, 1859, ii. 252.
  69. Die zwanglose Anordnungs—die leichte und leise Andeutungskunst des grossen Historikers voll zu würdigen, hinderte ihn in früherer Zeit sein Bedürfniss nach scharfer begrifflicher Ordnung und Ausführung, später, und in immer zunehmenden Grade, sein Sinn für strenge Sachlichkeit, und genaue Erforschung der ursächlichen Zusammenhänge, noch mehr aber regte sich seine geradherzige Offenheit seine männliche Ehrlichkeit, wenn er hinter den fein verstrichenen Farben der Rankeschen Erzählungsbilder die gedeckte Haltung des klugen Diplomaten zu entdecken glaubte.—Haym, Duncker’s Leben, 437. The ground of criticism is indeed, in my opinion, nothing else but distinct attention, which every reader should endeavour to be master of.—Hare, December 1736; Warburton’s Works, xiv. 98. Wenn die Quellenkritik so verstanden wird, als sei sie der Nachweis, wie ein Autor den andern benutzt hat, so ist das nur ein gelegentliches Mittel—eins unter anderen—ihre Aufgabe, den Nachweis der Richtigkeit zu lösen oder vorzubereiten.—Droysen, Historik, 18.
  70. L’esprit scientifique n’est autre en soi que l’instinct du travail et de la patience, le sentiment de l’ordre, de la réalité et de la mesure.—Papillon, R. des Deux Mondes, 1873, v. 704. Non seulement les sciences, mais toutes les institutions humaines s’organisent de même, et sous l’empire des mêmes idées régulatrices.—Cournot, Idées Fondamentales, i. 4. There is no branch of human work whose constant laws have not close analogy with those which govern every other mode of man’s exertion. But more than this, exactly as we reduce to greater simplicity and surety any one group of these practical laws, we shall find them passing the mere condition of connection or analogy, and becoming the actual expression of some ultimate nerve or fibre of the mighty laws which govern the moral world.—Ruskin, Seven Lamps, 4. The sum total of all intellectual excellence is good sense and method. When these have passed into the instinctive readiness of habit, when the wheel revolves so rapidly that we cannot see it revolve at all, then we call the combination genius. But in all modes alike, and in all professions, the two sole component parts, even of genius, are good sense and method.—Coleridge, June 1814, Mem. of Coleorton, ii. 172. Si l’exercice d’un art nous empêche d’en apprendre un autre, il n’en est pas ainsi dans les sciences: la connoissance d’une vérité nous aide à en découvrir une autre.—Toutes les sciences sont tellement liées ensemble qu’il est bien plus facile de les apprendre toutes à la fois que d’en apprendre une seule en la détachant des autres.—Il ne doit songer qu’à augmenter les lumières naturelles de sa raison, non pour résoudre telle ou telle difficulté de l’école, mais pour que dans chaque circonstance de la vie son intelligence montre d’avance à sa volonté le parti qu’elle doit prendre.—Descartes, Œuvres Choisies, 300, 301. Règles pour la Direction de l’Esprit. La connaissance de la méthode qui a guidé l’homme de génie n’est pas moins utile au progrès de la science et même à sa propre gloire, que ses découvertes.—Laplace, Système du Monde, ii. 371. On ne fait rien sans idées préconçues, il faut avoir seulement la sagesse de ne croire à leurs déductions qu’autant que l’expérience les confirme. Les idées préconçues, soumises au contrôle sévère de l’expérimentation, sont la flamme vivante des sciences d’observation; les idées fixes en sont le danger.—Pasteur, in Histoire d’un Savant, 284. Douter des vérités humaines, c’est ouvrir la porte aux découvertes; en faire des articles de foi, c’est la fermer.—Dumas, Discours, i. 123.
  71. We should not only become familiar with the laws of phenomena within our own pursuit, but also with the modes of thought of men engaged in other discussions and researches, and even with the laws of knowledge itself, that highest philosophy.—Above all things, know that we call you not here to run your minds into our moulds. We call you here on an excursion, on an adventure, on a voyage of discovery into space as yet uncharted.—Allbutt, Introductory Address at St. George’s, October 1889. Consistency in regard to opinions is the slow poison of intellectual life.—Davy, Memoirs, 68.
  72. Ce sont vous autres physiologistes des corps vivants, qui avez appris à nous autres physiologistes de la société (qui est aussi un corps vivant) la manière de l’observer et de tirer des conséquences de nos observations.—J. B. Say to De Candolle, 1st June 1827; De Candolle, Mémoires, 567.
  73. Success is certain to the pure and true: success to falsehood and corruption, tyranny and aggression, is only the prelude to a greater and an irremediable fall.—Stubbs, Seventeen Lectures, 20. The Carlylean faith, that the cause we fight for, so far as it is true, is sure of victory, is the necessary basis of all effective activity for good.—Caird, Evolution of Religion, ii. 43. It is the property of truth to be fearless, and to prove victorious over every adversary. Sound reasoning and truth, when adequately communicated, must always be victorious over error.—Godwin, Political Justice (Conclusion). Vice was obliged to retire and give place to virtue. This will always be the consequence when truth has fair play. Falsehood only dreads the attack, and cries out for auxiliaries. Truth never fears the encounter; she scorns the aid of the secular arm, and triumphs by her natural strength.—Franklin, Works, ii. 292. It is a condition of our race that we must ever wade through error in our advance towards truth: and it may even be said that in many cases we exhaust almost every variety of error before we attain the desired goal.—Babbage, Bridgewater Treatise, 27. Les hommes ne peuvent, en quelque genre que ce soit, arriver à quelque chose de raisonnable qu’après avoir, en ce même genre, épuisé toutes les sottises imaginables. Que de sottises ne dirions-nous pas maintenant, si les anciens ne les avaient pas déjà dites avant nous, et ne nous les avaient, pour ainsi dire, enlevées!—Fontenelle. Without premature generalisations the true generalisation would never be arrived at.—H. Spencer, Essays, ii. 57. The more important the subject of difference, the greater, not the less, will be the indulgence of him who has learned to trace the sources of human error,—of error, that has its origin not in our weakness and imperfection merely, but often in the most virtuous affections of the heart.—Brown, Philosophy of the Human Mind, i. 48, 1824. Parmi les châtiments du crime qui ne lui manquent jamais, à côté de celui que lui inflige la conscience, l’histoire lui en inflige un autre encore, éclatant et manifeste, l’impuissance.—Cousin, Phil. Mod. ii. 24. L’avenir de la science est garanti; car dans le grand livre scientifique tout s’ajoute et rien ne se perd. L’erreur ne fonde pas; aucune erreur ne dure très longtemps.—Renan, Feuilles Détachées, xiii. Toutes les fois que deux hommes sont d’un avis contraire sur la même chose, à coup sûr, l’un ou l’autre se trompe; bien plus, aucun ne semble posséder la vérité; car si les raisons de l’un étoient certaines et évidentes, il pourroit les exposer à l’autre de telle manière qu’il finiroit par le convaincre également.—Descartes, Règles; Œuvres Choisies, 302. Le premier principe de la critique est qu’une doctrine ne captive ses adhérents que par ce qu’elle a de légitime.—Renan, Essais de Morale, 184. Was dem Wahn solche Macht giebt ist wirklich nicht er selbst, sondern die ihm zu Grunde liegende und darin nur verzerrte Wahrheit.—Frantz, Schelling’s Philosophie, i. 62. Quand les hommes ont vu une fois la vérité dans son éclat, ils ne peuvent plus l’oublier. Elle reste debout, et tôt ou tard elle triomphe, parce qu’elle est la pensée de Dieu et le besoin du monde.—Mignet, Portraits, ii. 295. C’est toujours le sens commun inaperçu qui fait la fortune des hypothèses auxquelles il se mêle.—Cousin, Fragments Phil. i. 51, Preface of 1826. Wer da sieht, wie der Irrthum selbst ein Träger mannigfaltigen und bleibenden Fortschritts wird, der wird auch nicht so leicht aus dem thatsächlichen Fortschritt der Gegenwart auf Unumstösslichkeit unserer Hypothesen schliessen.—Das richtigste Resultat der geschichtlichen Betrachtung ist die akademische Ruhe, mit welcher unsere Hypothesen und Theorieen ohne Feindschaft und ohne Glauben als das betrachtet werden, was sie sind; als Stufen in jener unendlichen Annäherung an die Wahrheit, welche die Bestimmung unserer intellectuellen Entwickelung zu sein scheint.—Lange, Geschichte des Materialismus, 502, 503. Hominum errores divina providentia reguntur, ita ut saepe male jacta bene cadant.—Leibniz, ed. Klopp, i. p. lii. Sainte-Beuve n’était même pas de la race des libéraux, c’est-à-dire de ceux qui croient que, tout compte fait, et dans un état de civilisation donné, le bien triomphe du mal à armes égales, et la vérité de l’erreur.—D’Haussonville, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1875, i. 567. In the progress of the human mind, a period of controversy amongst the cultivators of any branch of science must necessarily precede the period of unanimity.—Torrens, Essay on the Production of Wealth, 1821, p. xiii. Even the spread of an error is part of the wide-world process by which we stumble into mere approximations to truth.—L. Stephen, Apology of an Agnostic, 81. Errors, to be dangerous, must have a great deal of truth mingled with them; it is only from this alliance that they can ever obtain an extensive circulation.—S. Smith, Moral Philosophy, 7. The admission of the few errors of Newton himself is at least of as much importance to his followers in science as the history of the progress of his real discoveries.—Young, Works, iii. 621. Error is almost always partial truth, and so consists in the exaggeration or distortion of one verity by the suppression of another, which qualifies and modifies the former.—Mivart, Genesis of Species, 3. The attainment of scientific truth has been effected, to a great extent, by the help of scientific errors.—Huxley: Ward, Reign of Victoria, ii. 337. Jede neue tief eingreifende Wahrheit hat meiner Ansicht nach erst das Stadium der Einseitigkeit durchzumachen.—Imering, Geist des R. Rechts, ii. 22. The more readily we admit the possibility of our own cherished convictions being mixed with error, the more vital and helpful whatever is right in them will become.—Ruskin, Ethics of the Dust, 225. They hardly grasp the plain truth unless they examine the error which it cancels.—Cory, Modern English History, 1880, i. 109. Nur durch Irrthum kommen wir, der eine kürzeren und glücklicheren Schrittes, als der andere, zur Wahrheit; und die Geschichte darf nirgends diese Verirrungen übergehen, wenn sie Lehrerin und Warnerin für die nachfolgenden Geschlechter werden will.—München Gel. Anzeigen, 1840, i. 737.
  74. Wie die Weltgeschichte das Weltgericht ist, so kann in noch allgemeinerem Sinne gesagt werden, dass das gerechte Gericht, d.h. die wahre Kritik einer Sache, nur in ihrer Geschichte liegen kann. Insbesondere in der Hinsicht lehrt die Geschichte denjenigen, der ihr folgt, ihre eigene Methode, dass ihr Fortschritt niemals ein reines Vernichten, sondern nur ein Aufheben im philosophischen Sinne ist.—Strauss, Hallische Jahrbücher, 1839, 120.
  75. Dans tous les livres qu’il lit, et il en dévore des quantités, Darwin ne note que les passages qui contrarient ses idées systématiques.—Il collectionne les difficultés, les cas épineux, les critiques possibles.—Vernier, Le Temps, 6th Décembre 1887. Je demandais à un savant célèbre où il en était de ses recherches. "Cela ne marche plus," me dit-il, "je ne trouve plus de faits contradictoires." Ainsi le savant cherche à se contredire lui-même pour faire avancer sa pensée.—Janet, Journal des Savants, 1892, 20. Ein Umstand, der uns die Selbständigkeit des Ganges der Wissenschaft anschaulich machen kann, ist auch der: dass der Irrthum, wenn er nur gründlich behandelt wird, fast ebenso fördernd ist als das Finden der Wahrheit, denn er erzeugt fortgesetzten Widerspruch.—Baer, Blicke auf die Entwicklung der Wissenschaft, 120. It is only by virtue of the opposition which it has surmounted that any truth can stand in the human mind.—Archbishop Temple; Kinglake, Crimea, Winter Troubles, app. 104. I have for many years found it expedient to lay down a rule for my own practice, to confine my reading mainly to those journals the general line of opinions in which is adverse to my own.—Hare, Means of Unity, i. 19. Kant had a harder struggle with himself than he could possibly have had with any critic or opponent of his philosophy.—Caird, Philosophy of Kant, 1889, i. p. ix.
  76. The social body is no more liable to arbitrary changes than the individual body.—A full perception of the truth that society is not a mere aggregate, but an organic growth, that it forms a whole, the laws of whose growth can be studied apart from those of the individual atom, supplies the most characteristic postulate of modern speculation.—L. Stephen, Science of Ethics, 31. Wie in dem Leben des einzelnen Menschen kein Augenblick eines vollkommenen Stillstandes wahrgenommen wird, sondern stete organische Entwicklung, so verhält es sich auch in dem Leben der Völker, und in jedem einzelnen Element, woraus dieses Gesammtleben besteht. So finden wir in der Sprache stete Fortbildung und Entwicklung, und auf gleiche Weise in dem Recht. Und auch diese Fortbildung steht unter demselben Gesetz der Erzeugung aus innerer Kraft und Nothwendigkeit, unabhängig von Zufall und individueller Willkür, wie die ursprüngliche Entstehung.—Savigny, System, i. 16, 17. Seine eigene Entdeckung, dass auch die geistige Produktion, bis in einem gewissen Punkte wenigstens, unter dem Gesetze der Kausalität steht, dass jedeiner nur geben kann, was er hat, nur hat, was er irgendwoher bekommen, muss auch für ihn selber gelten.—Bekker, Das Recht des Besitzes bei den Römern, 3, 1880. Die geschichtliche Wandlung des Rechts, in welcher vergangene Jahrhunderte halb ein Spiel des Zufalls und halb ein Werk vernünftelnder Willkür sahen, als gesetzmässige Entwickelung zu begreifen, war das unsterbliche Verdienst der von Männern wie Savigny, Eichhorn und Jacob Grimm geführten historischen Rechtsschule.—Gierke, Rundschau, xviii. 205.
  77. The only effective way of studying what is called the philosophy of religion, or the philosophical criticism of religion, is to study the history of religion. The true science of war is the history of war, the true science of religion is, I believe, the history of religion.—M. Müller, Theosophy, 3, 4. La théologie ne doit plus être que l’histoire des efforts spontanés tentés pour résoudre le problème divin. L’histoire, en effet, est la forme nécessaire de la science de tout ce qui est soumis aux lois de la vie changeante et successive. La science de l’esprit humain, c’est de même, l’histoire de l’esprit humain.—Renan, Averroës, Pref. vi.
  78. Political economy is not a science, in any strict sense, but a body of systematic knowledge gathered from the study of common processes, which have been practised all down the history of the human race in the production and distribution of wealth.—Bonamy Price, Social Science Congress, 1878. Such a study is in harmony with the best intellectual tendencies of our age, which is, more than anything else, characterised by the universal supremacy of the historical spirit. To such a degree has this spirit permeated all our modes of thinking, that with respect to every branch of knowledge, no less than with respect to every institution and every form of human activity, we almost instinctively ask, not merely what is its existing condition, but what were its earliest discoverable germs, and what has been the course of its development.—Ingram, History of Political Economy, 2. Wir dagegen stehen keinen Augenblick an, die Nationalökonomie für eine reine Erfahrungswissenschaft zu erklären, und die Geschichte ist uns daher nicht Hülfsmittel, sondern Gegenstand selber.—Roscher, Deutsche Vierteljahrschrift, 1849, i. 182. Der bei weitem grösste Theil menschlicher Irrthümer beruhet darauf, dass man zeitlich und örtlich Wahres oder Heilsames für absolut wahr oder heilsam ausgiebt. Für jede Stufe der Volksentwickelung passt eine besondere Staatsverfassung, die mit allen übrigen Verhältnissen des Volks als Ursache und Wirkung auf’s Innigste verbunden ist; so passt auch für jede Entwickelungsstufe eine besondere Landwirthschaftsverfassung.—Roscher, Archiv f. p. Oek. viii. 2 Heft 1845. Seitdem vor allen Roscher, Hildebrand und Knies den Werth, die Berechtigung und die Nothwendigkeit derselben unwiderleglich dargethan, hat sich immer allgemeiner der Gedanke Bahn gebrochen, dass diese Wissenschaft, die bis dahin nur auf die Gegenwart, auf die Erkenntniss der bestehenden Verhältnisse und die in ihnen sichtbaren Gesetze den Blick gerichtet hatte, auch in die Vergangenheit, in die Erforschung der bereits hinter uns liegenden wirthschaftlichen Entwicklung der Völker sich vertiefen müsse.—Schonberg, Jahrbücher f. Nationalökonomie und Statistik, Neue Folge, 1867, i. I. Schmoller, moins dogmatique et mettant comnie une sorte de coquetterie à être incertain, démontre, par les faits, la fausseté ou l'arbitraire de tous ces postulats, et laisse l'économie politique se dissoudre dans l'histoire.—Breton, R. de Paris, ix. 67. Wer die politische Oekonomie Feuerlands unter dieselben Gesetze bringen wollte mit der des heutigen Englands, würde damit augenscheinlich nichts zu Tage fördern als den allerbanalsten Gemeinplatz. Die politische Oekonomie ist somit wesentlich eine historische Wissenschaft. Sie behandelt einen geschichtlichen, das heisst einen stets wechselnden Stoff. Sie untersucht zunächst die besondern Gesetze jeder einzelnen Entwicklungsstufe der Produktion und des Austausches, und wird erst am Schluss dieser Untersuchung die wenigen, für Produktion und Austausch überhaupt geltenden, ganz allgemeinen Gesetze aufstellen können.—Engels, Dührings Umwälzung der Wissenschaft, 1878, 121.
  79. History preserves the student from being led astray by a too servile adherence to any system.—Wolowski. No system can be anything more than a history, not in the order of impression, but in the order of arrangement by analogy.—Davy, Memoirs, 68. Avec des matériaux si nombreux et si importants, il fallait bien du courage pour résister à la tentation de faire un système. De Saussure eut ce courage, et nous en ferons le dernier trait et le trait principal de son éloge.—Cuvier, Éloge de Saussure, 1810.
  80. C'était, en 1804, une idée heureuse et nouvelle, d'appeler l'histoire au secours de la science, d'interroger les deux grandes écoles rivales au profit de la vérité.—Cousin, Fragments Littéraires, 1843, 95, on Dégerando. No branch of philosophical doctrine, indeed, can be fairly investigated or apprehended apart from its history. All our systems of politics, morals, and metaphysics would be different if we knew exactly how they grew up, and what transformations they have undergone; if we knew, in short, the true history of human ideas.—Cliffe Leslie, Essays in Political and Moral Philosophy, 1879, 149. The history of philosophy must be rational and philosophic. It must be philosophy itself, with all its elements, in all their relations, and under all their laws represented in striking characters by the hands of time and of history, in the manifested progress of the human mind.—Sir William Hamilton, Edin. Rev. l. 200, 1829. Il n'est point d'étude plus instructive, plus utile que l'étude de l'histoire de la philosophie; car on y apprend à se désabuser des philosophes, et l'on y désapprend la fausse science de leurs systèmes.—Royer Collard, Œuvres de Reid, iv. 426. On ne peut guère échapper à la conviction que toutes les solutions des questions philosophiques n'aient été développées ou indiquées avant le commencement du dix-neuvièeme siècle, et que par conséquent il ne soit très difficile, pour ne pas dire impossible, de tomber, en pareille matière, sur une idée neuve de quelque importance. Or si cette conviction est fondée, il s'ensuit que la science est faite.—Jouffroy, in Damiron, Philosophie du XIXe Siècle, 363. Le but dernier de tous mes efforts, l'âme de mes écrits et de tout mon enseignement, c'est l'identité de la philosophie et de son histoire.—Cousin, Cours de 1829. Ma route est historique, il est vrai, mais mon but est dogmatique; je tends à une théorie, et cette théorie je la demande à l'histoire.—Cousin, Ph. du XVIIIe Siècle, 15. L'histoire de la philosophie est contrainte d'emprunter d'abord à la philosophie la lumière qu'elle doit lui rendre un jour avec usure.—Cousin, Du Vrai, 1855, 14. M. Cousin, durant tout son professorat de 1816 à 1829, n pensé que l'histoire de la philosophie était la source de la philosophie même. Nous ne croyons pas exagérer en lui prêtant cette opinion.—B. St. Hilaire, Victor Cousin, i. 302, Il se hâta de convertir le fait en loi, et proclama que la philosophie, étant identique à son histoire, ne pouvait avoir une loi différente, et était vouée à jamais à l'évolution fatale des quatre systèmes, se contredisant toujours, mais se limitant, et se modérant, par cela même de manière à maintenir l'équilibre, sinon l'harmonie de la pensée humaine.—Vacherot, Revue des Deux Mondes, 1868, iii. 957. Er hat überhaupt das unvergängliche Verdienst, zuerst in Frankreich zu der Erkenntniss gelangt zu sein, dass die menschliche Vernunft nur durch das Studium des Gesetzes ihrer Entwickelungen begriffen werden kann. —Lauser, Unsere Zeit, 1868, i. 459. Le philosophe en quête du vrai en soi, n'est plus réduit à ses conceptions individuelles; il est riche du trésor amassé par l'humanité.—Boutroux, Revue Politique, xxxvii. 802. L'histoire, je veux dire l'histoire de l'esprit humain, est en ce sens la vraie philosophie de notre temps.—Renan, Études de Morale, 83. Die Philosophie wurde eine höchst bedeutende Hülfswissenschaft der Geschichte, sie hat ihre Richtung auf das Allgemeine gefördert, ihren Blick für dasselbe geschärft, und sie, wenigstens durch ihre Vermittlung, mit Gesichtspuncten, Ideen, bereichert, die sie aus ihrem eigenen Schoosse sobald noch nicht erzeugt haben würde. Weit die fruchtbarste darunter war die aus der Naturwissenschaft geschöpfte Idee des organischen Lebens, dieselbe auf der die neueste Philosophie selbst beruht. Die seit zwei bis drei Jahrzehnten in der Behandlung der Geschichte eingetretene durchgreifende Veränderung, wie die völlige Umgestaltung so mancher anderen Wissenschaft…ist der Hauptsache nach ihr Werk.—Haug, Allgemeine Geschichte, 1841, i. 22. Eine Geschichte der Philosophie in eigentlichen Sinne wurde erst möglich, als man an die Stelle der Philosophen deren Systeme setzte, den inneren Zusammenhang zwischcn diesen feststellte und—wie Dilthey sagt—mitten in Wechsel der Philosophien ein siegreiches Fortschreiten zur Wahrheit nachwies. Die Gesammtheit der Philosophie stellt sich also dar als eine geschichtliche Einheit.—Saul, Rundschau, February 1894, 307. Warum die Philosophie eine Geschichte habe und haben müsse, blieb unerörtert, ja ungeahnt, dass die Philosophie am meisten von allen Wissenschaften historisch sei, denn man hatte in der Geschichte den Begriff der Entwicklung nicht entdeckt.—Marbach, Griechische Philosophie, 15. Was bei oberflächlicher Betrachtung nur ein Gewirre einzelner Personen und Meinungen zu sein schien, zeigt sich bei genauerer und gründlicherer Untersuchung als eine geschichtliche Entwicklung, in der alles, bald näher, bald entfernter, mit allem anderen zusammenhängt.—Zeller, Rundschau, February 1894, 307. Nur die Philosophie, die an die geschichtliche Entwickelung anknüpft kann auf bleibenden Erfolg auch für die Zukunft rechnen und fortschreiten zu dem, was in der bisherigen philosophischen Entwickelung nur erst unvollkommen erreicht oder angestrebt worden ist. Kann sich doch die Philosophie überhaupt und insbesondere die Metaphysik ihrer eigenen geschichtlichen Entwickelung nicht entschlagen, sondern hat eine Geschichte der Philosophie als eigene und zwar zugleich historische und spekulative Disziplin, in deren geschichtlichen Entwickelungsphasen und geschichtlich aufeinanderfolgenden Systemen der Philosophen die neuere Spekulation seit Schelling und Hegel zugleich die Philosophie selbst als ein die verschiedenen geschichtlichen Systeme umfassendes ganzes in seiner dialektischen Gliederung erkannt hat.—Gloatz, Spekulative Theologie, i. 23. Die heutige Philosophie führt uns auf einen Standpunkt von dem aus die philosophische Idee als das innere Wesen der Geschichte selbst erscheint. So trat an die Stelle einer abstrakt philosophischen Richtung, welche das Geschichtliche verneinte, eine abstrakt geschichtliche Richtung, welche das Philosophische verläugnete. Beide Richtungen sind als überschrittene und besiegte zu betrachten.—Berner, Strafrecht, 75. Die Geschichte der Philosophie hat uns fast schon die Wissen schaft der Philosophie selbst ersetzt.—Hermann, Phil. Monatshofte, ii. 198, 1889.
  81. La siècle actuel sera principalement caractérisé par l'irrévocable prépondérance de l'histoire, en philosophie, en politique, et même en poésie.—Comte, Politique Positive, iii. 1.
  82. The historical or comparative method has revolutionised not only the sciences of law, mythology, and language, of anthropology and sociology, but it has forced its way even into the domain of philosophy and natural science. For what is the theory of evolution itself, with all its far-reaching consequences, but the achievement of the historical method?—Prothero, Inaugural; National Review, December 1894, 461. To facilitate the advancement of all the branches of useful science, two things seem to be principally requisite. The first is, an historical account of their rise, progress, and present state. Without the former of these helps, a person every way qualified for extending the bounds of science labours under great disadvantages; wanting the lights which have been struck out by others, and perpetually running the risk of losing his labour, and finding himself anticipated.—Priestley, History of Vision, 1772, i., Pref. i. Cuvier se proposait de montrer l'enchainement scientifique des découvertes, leurs relations avec les grands évènements historiques, et leur influence sur les progrès et le développement de la civilisation.—Dareste, Biographie Générale, xii. 685. Dans ses éloquentes leçons, l'histoire des sciences est devenue l'histoire même de l'esprit humain; car, remontant aux causes de leurs progrès et de leurs erreurs, c'est toujours dans les bonnes ou mauvaises routes suivies par l'esprit humain, qu'il trouve ces causes.—Flourens, Eloge de Cuvier, xxxi. Wie keine fortlaufende Entwickelungsreihe von nur Einem Punkte aus vollkommen aufzufassen ist, so wird auch keine lebendige Wissenschaft nur aus der Gegenwart begriffen werden können.—Deswegen ist aber eine solche Darstellung doch noch nicht der gesammten Wissenschaft adäquat, und sie birgt, wenn sie damit verwechselt wird, Starke Gefahren der Einseitigkeit, des Dogmatismus und damit der Stagnation in sich. Diesen Gefahren kann wirksam nur begegnet werden durch die verständige Betrachtung der Geschichte der Wissenschaften, welche diese selbst in stetem Flusse zeigt und die Tendenz ihres Fortschreitens in offenbarer und sieherer Weise klarlegt.—Rosenberger, Geschichte der Physik, iii. p. vi. Die Continuität in der Ausbildung aller Auffassungen tritt um so deutlicher hervor, je vollständiger man sich damit wie sie zu verschiedenen Zeiten waren, vertraut macht.—Kopp, Entwickelung der Chemie, 814.
  83. Die Geschichte und die Politik sind Ein und derselbe Janus mit dem Doppelgesicht, das in der Geschichte in die Vergangenheit, in der Politik in die Zukunft hinschaut.—Gügler's Leben. ii. 59.
  84. The papers inclosed, which give an account of the killing of two men in the county of Londonderry; if they prove to be Tories, 'tis very well they are gone.—I think it will not only be necessary to grant those a pardon who killed them, but also that they have some reward for their own and others' encouragement.—Essex, Letters, 10, 10th January 1675. The author of this happened to be present. There was a meeting of some honest people in the city, upon the occasion of the discovery of some attempt to stifle the evidence of the witnesses.—Bedloe said he had letters from Ireland, that there were some Tories to be brought over hither, who were privately to murder Dr. Oates and the said Bedloe. The doctor, whose zeal was very hot, could never after this hear any man talk against the plot, or against the witnesses, but he thought he was one of these Tories, and called almost every man a Tory that opposed him in discourse; till at last the word Tory became popular.—Defoe, Edinburgh Review, l. 403.
  85. La España será el primer pueblo en donde se encenderá esta guerra patriotica que solo puede libertar á Europa.—Hemos oido esto en Inglaterra á varios de los que estaban alli presentes. Muchas veces ha oido lo mismo al duque de Wellington el general Don Miguel de Alava, y dicho duque refirió el suceso en una comida diplomatica que dió en Paris el duque de Richelieu en 1816.—Toreno, Historia del Levantamiento de España, 1838, i. 508.
  86. Nunquam propter auctoritatem illorum, quamvis magni sint nominis (supponimus scilicet semper nos cum eo agere qui scientiam historicam vult consequi), sententias quas secuti sunt ipse tamquam certas admittet, sed solummodo ob vim testimoniorum et argumentorum quibus eas confirmarunt.—De Smedt, Introductio ad historiam critice tractandam, 1866, i. 5.
  87. Hundert schwere Verbrechen wiegen nicht so schwer in der Schale der Unsittlichkeit, als ein unsittliches Princip.—Hallische Jahrbücher, 1839, 308. Il faut flétrir les crimes; mais il faut aussi, et surtout, flétrir les doctrines et les systèmes qui tendent à les justifier.—Mortimer Ternaux, Histoire de la Terreur.
  88. We see how good and evil mingle in the best of men and in the best of causes; we learn to see with patience the men whom we like best often in the wrong, and the repulsive men often in the right; we learn to bear with patience the knowledge that the cause which we love best has suffered, from the awkwardness of its defenders, so great disparagement, as in strict equity to justify the men who were assaulting it.—Stubbs, Seventeen Lectures, 97.
  89. Caeteris paribus, on trouvera tousjours que ceux qui ont plus de puissance sont sujets à pécher davantage; et il n'y a point de théorème de géométrie qui soit plus asseuré que cette proposition.—Leibniz, 1688, ed. Rommel, ii. 197. Il y a toujours eu de la malignité dans la grandeur, et de l'opposition à l'esprit de l'Évangile; mais maintenant il y en a plus que jamais, et il semble que comme le monde va à sa fin, celui qui est dans l'élévation fait tous ses efforts pour dominer avec plus de tyrannie, et pour étouffer les maximes du Christianisme et le régne de Jésus-Christ, voiant qu'il s'approche.—Godeau, Lettres, 423, 27th March 1667. There is, in fact, an unconquerable tendency in all power, save that of knowledge, acting by and through knowledge, to injure the mind of him by whom that power is exercised.—Wordsworth, 22nd June 1817; Letters of Lake Poets, 369.
  90. I cieli han messo sulla terra due giudici delle umane azioni, la coscienza e la storia.—Colletta. Wenn gerade die edelsten Männer um des Nachruhmes willen gearbeitet haben, so soll die Geschichte ihre Belohnung sein, sie auch die Strafe für die Schlechten.—Lasaulx, Philosophie der Künste, 211. Pour juger ce qui est bon et juste dans la vie actuelle ou passée, il faut posséder un criterium, qui ne soit pas tiré du passé ou du présent, mais de la nature humaine.—Ahrens, Cours de Droit Naturel, i. 67.
  91. L'homme de notre temps! La conscience moderne! Voilà encore de ces termes qui nous ramenent la prétendue philosophie de l'histoire et la doctrine du progrés, quand il s'agit de la justice, c'est-à-dire de la conscience pure et de l'homme rationnel, que d'autres siècles encore que le nôtre ont connu.—Renouvier, Crit. Phil. 1873, ii. 55.
  92. Il faut pardonner aux grands hommes le marchepied de leur grandeur.—Cousin, in J. Simon, Nos Hommes d'État, 1887, 55. L'esprit du XVIiie siècle n'a pas besoin d'apologie: l'apologie d'un siècle est dans son existence.—Cousin, Fragments, iii. 1826. Suspendus aux lèvres éloquentes de M. Cousin, nous l'entendimes s'écrier que la meilleure cause l'emportait toujours, que c'était la loi de l'histoire, le rhythme immuable du progrès.—Gasparin, La Liberté Morale, ii. 63. Cousin verurtheilen heisst darum nichts Anderes als jenen Geist historischer Betrachtung verdammen, durch welchen das 19. Jahrhundert die revolutionäre Kritik des 18. Jahrhunderts ergänzt, durch welchen insbesondere Deutschland die geistigen Wohlthaten vergolten hat, welche es im Zeitalter der Aufklärung von seinen westlichen Nachbarn empfangen.—Jodl, Gesch. der Ethik, ii. 295. Der Gang der Weltgeschichte steht ausserhalb der Tugend, des Lasters, und der Gerechtigkeit.—Hegel, Werke, viii. 425. Die Vermischung des Zufälligen im Individuum mit dem an ihm Historischen führt zu unzähligen falschen Ansichten und Urtheilen. Hierzu gehört namentlich alles Absprechen über die moralische Tüchtigkeit der Individuen, und die Verwunderung, welche bis zur Verzweiflung an göttlicher Gerechtigkeit sich steigert, dass historisch grosse Individuen moralisch nichtswürdig erscheinen können. Die moralische Tüchtigkeit besteht in der Unterordnung alles dessen, was zufällig am Einzelnen unter das an ihm dem Allgemeinen Angehörige.—Marbach, Geschichte der Griechischen Philosophie, 7. Das Sittliche der Neuseeländer, der Mexikaner ist vielmehr ebenso sittlich, wie das der Griechen, der Römer; und das Sittliche der Christen des Mittelalters ist ebenso sittlich, wie das der Gegenwart.—Kirchmann, Grundbegriffe des Richts, 194. Die Geschichtswissenschaft als solche kennt nur ein zeitliches und mithin auch nur ein relatives Maass der Dinge. Alle Werthbeurtheilung der Geschichte kann daher nur relativ und aus zeitlichen Momenten fliessen, und wer sich nicht selbst täuschen und den Dingen nicht Gewalt anthun will, muss ein für allemal in dieser Wissenschaft auf absolute Werthe verzichten.—Lorenz, Schlosser, 80. Only according to his faith is each man judged. Committed as this deed has been by a pure-minded, pious youth, it is a beautiful sign of the time.—De Wette to Sand's Mother; Cheyne, Founders of Criticism, 44. The men of each age must be judged by the ideal of their own age and country, and not by the ideal of ours.—Lecky, Value of History, 50.
  93. La durée ici-bas, c'est le droit, c'est la sanction de Dieu.—Guiraud, Philosophie Catholique de l'Histoire.
  94. Ceux qui ne sont pas contens de l'ordre des choses ne sçauroient se vanter d'aimer Dieu comme il faut.—Il faut toujours estre content de l'ordre du passé, parce qu'il est conforme à la volonté de Dieu absolue, qu'on connoit par Il faut tâcher de réndre l'avenir, autant qu'il dépend de nous, conforme à la volonté de Dieu présomptive.—Leibniz, Werke, ed. Gerhardt, ii. 136. Ich habe damals bekannt und bekenne jetzt, dass die politische Wahrheit aus denselben Quellen zu schöpfen ist, wie alle anderen, aus dem göttlichen Willen und dessen Kundgebung in der Geschichte des Menschengeschlechts.—Radowitz, Neue Gespräche, 65.
  95. A man is great as he contends best with the circumstances of his age.—Froude, Short Studies, i. 388. La persuasion que l'homme est avant tout une personne morale et libre, et qu'ayant conçu seul, dans sa conscience et devant Dieu, la règle de sa conduite, il doit s'employer tout entier à l'appliquer en lui, hors de lui, absolument, obstinément, inflexiblement, par une résistance perpétuelle opposée aux autres; et par une contrainte perpétuelle exercée sur soi, voilà la grande idée anglaise.—Taine; Sorel, Discours de Réception, 24. In jeder Zeit des Christenthums hat es einzelne Männer gegeben, die über ihrer Zeit standen und von ihren Gegensätzen nicht berührt wurden.—Bachmann, Hengstenberg, i. 160. Eorum enim qui de iisdem rebus mecum aliquid ediderunt, aut solus insanio ego, aut solus non insanio; tertium enim non est, nisi (quod dicet forte aliquis) insaniamus omnes.—Hobbes, quoted by De Morgan, 3rd June 1858: Life of Sir W. R. Hamilton, iii. 552.
  96. I have now to exhibit a rare combination of good qualities, and a steady perseverance in good conduct, which raised an individual to be an object of admiration and love to all his contemporaries, and have made him to be regarded by succeeding generations as a model of public and private virtue.—The evidence shows that upon this occasion he was not only under the influence of the most vulgar credulity, but that he violated the plainest rules of justice, and that he really was the murderer of two innocent women.—Hale's motives were most laudable.—Campbell's Lives of the Chief Justices, i. 512, 561, 566. It was not to be expected of the colonists of New England that they should be the first to see through a delusion which befooled the whole civilised world, and the gravest and most knowing persons in it.—The people of New England believed what the wisest men of the world believed at the end of the seventeenth century.—Palfrey, New England, iv. 127, 129 (also speaking of witchcraft). II est donc bien étrange que sa sévérité tardive s'exerce aujourd'hui sur un homme auquel elle n'a d'autre reproche à faire que d'avoir trop bien servi l'état par des mesures politiques, injustes peut-être, violentes, mais qui, en aucune manière, n'avaient l'intérêt personnel du coupable pour objet.—M. Hastings peut sans doute paraitre répréhensible aux yeux des étrangers, des particuliers même, mais il est assez extraordinaire qu'une nation usurpatrice d'une partie de l'Indostan veuille mêler les règles de la morale à celles d'une administration forcée, injuste et violente par essence, et à laquelle il faudrait renoncer à jamais pour être conséquent.—Mallet du Pan, Mémoires, ed. Sayous, i. 102.
  97. On parle volontiers de la stabilité de la constitution anglaise. La vérité est que cette constitution est toujours en mouvement et en oscillation et qu'elle se prête merveilleusement au jeu de ses différentes parties. Sa solidité vient de sa souplesse; elle plie et ne rompt pas.—Boutmy, Nouvelle Revue, 1878, 49
  98. This is not an age for a man to follow the strict morality of better times, yet sure mankind is not yet so debased but that there will ever be found some few men who will scorn to join concert with the public voice when it is not well grounded.—Savile Correspondence, 173.
  99. Cette proposition : L'homme est incomparablement plus porté au mal qu'au bien, et il se fait dans le monde incomparablement plus de mauvaises actions que de bonnes—est aussi certaine qu'aucun principe de métaphysique. Il est donc incomparablement plus probable qu'une action faite par un homme, est mauvaise, qu'il n'est probable qu'elle soit bonne. Il est incomparablement plus probable que ces secrets ressorts qui l'ont produite sont corrompus, qu'il n'est probable qu'ils soient honnêtes. Je vous avertis que je parle d'une action qui n'est point mauvaise extérieurement.—Bayle, Œuvres, ii. 248.
  100. A Christian is bound by his very creed to suspect evil, and cannot release himself.—His religion has brought evil to light in a way in which it never was before; it has shown its depth, subtlety, ubiquity; and a revelation, full of mercy on the one hand, is terrible in its exposure of the world's real state on the other. The Gospel fastens the sense of evil upon the mind; a Christian is enlightened, hardened, sharpened, as to evil; he sees it where others do not.—Mozley, Essays, i. 308. All satirists, of course, work in the direction of Christian doctrine, by the support they give to the doctrine of original sin, making a sort of meanness and badness a law of society.—Mozley, Letters, 333. Les critiques, même malveillants, sont plus près de la vérité dernière que les admirateurs.—Nisard, Lit. fr., Conclusion. Les hommes supérieurs doivent nécessairement passer pour méchants. Où les autres ne voient ni un défaut, ni un ridicule, ni un vice, leur implacable œil l'aperçoit.—Barbey d'Aurevilly Figaro, 31st March 1888.
  101. Prenons garde de ne pas trop expliquer, pour ne pas fournir des arguments à ceux qui veulent tout excuser.—Broglie, Réception de Sorel, 46.
  102. The eternal truths and rights of things exist, fortunately, independent of our thoughts or wishes, fixed as mathematics, inherent in the nature of man and the world. They are no more to be trifled with than gravitation.—Froude, Inaugural Lecture at St. Andrews, 1869, 41. What have men to do with interests? There is a right way and a wrong way. That is all we need think about.—Carlyle to Froude, Longman's Magazine, December 1892, 151. As to History, it is full of indirect but very effective moral teaching. It is not only, as Bolingbroke called it, "Philosophy teaching by examples," but it is morality teaching by examples.—It is essentially the study which best helps the student to conceive large thoughts.—It is impossible to overvalue the moral teaching of History.—Fitch, Lectures on Teaching, 432. Judging from the past history of our race, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, war is a folly and a crime.—Where it is so, it is the saddest and the wildest of all follies, and the most heinous of all crimes.—Greg, Essays on Political and Social Science, 1853, i. 562. La volonté de tout un peuple ne peut rendre juste ce qui est injuste: les représentants d'une nation n'ont pas le droit de faire ce que la nation n'a pas le droit de faire elle-même.—B. Constant, Principes de Politique, i. 15.
  103. Think not that morality is ambulatory; that vices in one age are not vices in another, or that virtues, which are under the everlasting seal of right reason, may be stamped by opinion.—Sir Thomas Browne, Works, iv. 64.
  104. Osons croire qu'il seroit plus à propos de mettre de côté ces traditions, ces usages, et ces coutumes souvent si imparfaites, si contradictoires, si incohérentes, ou de ne les consulter que pour saisir les inconvéniens et les éviter; et qu'il faudroit chercher non-seulement les éléments d'une nouvelle législation, mais même ses derniers détails dans une étude approfondie de la morale.—Letrosne, Réflexions sur la Législation Criminelle, 137. M. Renan appartient à cette famille d'esprits qui ne croient pas en réalité la raison, la conscience, le droit applicables à la direction des sociétés humaines, et qui demandent à l'histoire, à la tradition, non à la morale, les règles de la politique. Ces esprits sont atteints de la maladie du siècle, le scepticisme moral.—Pillon, Critique Philosophique, i. 49.
  105. The subject of modern History is of all others, to my mind, the most interesting, inasmuch as it includes all questions of the deepest interest relating not to human things only, but to divine.—Arnold, Modern History, 311.