INFLUENCE OF PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL CAUSES. 541 ever concerns the public good, will wither under a despotism with all the readiness of a court to reward talent, it can hardly be doubted. A class of writers which is increasing in Importance, although of very modern origin, is that of journalists. As this class of writers represent through the press all the varieties of political thought which are floating in society, it might be supposed that they can only intensify the shades of political opinion. But this is by no means their whole work. Their main offices are to give the news and to comment on public affairs. A subor- dinate one, outside of the political sphere, is to keep men in- formed of the social and scientific progress of the world. The distribution of news is so important that a free, progressive civilization could hardly exist without it. In politics, if there were no such check as journals exercised on politicians by the speedy disclosure of their plans, the evils from this source would be far greater than they are now. They enable the constituent in a large country to watch his representative, and in some sort fill the same office which the citizen in the small state entrusted to the orators in the ecclesia. When a journal is committed to able hands, its services to the state will be at least on a par with those of the principal statesmen of a country. In a country where journalists find encouragement, there must be parties with free room to act and free expression of opinion. The journal need not exactly represent a political party in all its doctrines and measures, but, as there are mod- erate men and intense men in every party, as there are those who go half-way with a party and those who favor all its measures, so there will be journals of every sort and suited for every class of readers. Journals do not make but rather fol- low parties, and bring them into their most advantageous condition for acting. Parties without journals will be far less intelligent than parties with journals. But what do parties themselves do in a state, especially in a free state, where alone they can fairly act out their nature ? This we propose to consider in the next chapter.