Page:The imperial peace; an ideal in European history.djvu/12

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The Imperial Peace

out his true nature, and give free scope to the excellences which belong to his character. Peace is the power which enforces justice in society, which enables every man to behave fairly and justly to others, and which strengthens the tendency in each to be just to others. 'Where a monarch is, there justice is (or may be) strongest.' 'The monarch will most love the good of men.' Such is the true nature of man; and the monarch is free from the temptation to go outside of his real character. He has nothing to gain from doing so, and therefore he does not do so.

In the second place, the end of human society involves freedom, as well as justice. In freedom each man can develop his own nature; he can exist for himself and not at the caprice of others. This is possible only in the peace of the universal Empire, governed by the monarch for the good of all. Each man obeys the monarch; but the monarch orders each man to be free, to live for his own development, and to attain the true end of human existence.

The monarch, according to Dante, is to be the source of international law, and to govern in those matters which are common to all men in all the separate nations with a view to their peace. The cities and nations of the single Empire shall each be ruled by its own separate government or king, because each of these has its own special character and each requires laws adapted to its own conditions. He would not merge the separate states in a uniform and homogeneous Monarchy or Empire. These must retain, and ought to retain their own idiosyncracies: such is the law of nature and the character of man.

Dante's monarchy, therefore, is a balance of two different forces: on the one hand the individual character of the states, on the other hand the monarchically