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THIS IS NO. 224 OF erei^r^ityfD^s 












London: J. M. DENT & SONS, Ltd. 

Mew York: E. P. DUTTON & CO. 

First Issue of this Edition 


1910, 1912, 1915 


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Introduction ▼*' 

To TBS Itauan Working Class x, 

Thb Duties of Man — 

I. To THE Italian Working-man • • • . 7 

II. God ci 

III. The Law ...••••. 32 

IV. Duties to Humanity 41 

V. Duties to Country 51 ^ 

VI. Duties to the Family . • . • • 60 
VII. Duties to Yourself ...••. 67 

VIII. Liberty .76 

IX. Education • • 83 

X. Association — Progress . • • • • 90 
XI. The Economic Question . . • . .96 

XII. Conclusion 115 

Interests and Principles ..••.. 125 

Faith and the Future ...••. 141 

Notes to Faith and the Future • • . .184 

The Patriots and the Clergy • • . . •197 

To the Italians 221 

Thoughts on the French Revolution of 1789 . .251 
From the Council to God • • • .^ • . 281 
Appendix • • ^ . * • .» , • ^25 

Of the seven essays contained in this volume the first 
has been translated specially for this edition by Miss 
Ella Noyes, the last appeared originally in the 
Fortnightly Review, June 1870, from the pen of 
Miss L. Martineau^ the remaining five are reprinted 
from "Essays by Joseph Mazzini, most of them 
translated for the first time by Thomas Okey. 
Edited with an Introduction by Bolton King/' 
London^ 1894^ 


Joseph Mazzini died on March lo, 1872. Two days later 
the Times recorded the event in these words ** We have"^ 
to announce to-day the death of a man who in his time has 
played a most singular part upon the theatre of European 
politics ; one whose name has for years been regarded as 
a symbol of Revolution, or rather Republicanism ; one in 
whose personal character there were many fine and noble I 
qualities ; but still a man who was feared even more widely I 
than he was loved, and one whose departure from the scene \ 
of action, to say the least, will be no unwelcome news to 1 
several crowned and discrowned members of the family of | 
European sovereigns. He was the man who ever * troubled ^ 
Israel' by his ceaseless efforts in the cause of Republicanism, 
and now at length he is at rest. He died on Sunday at 
Pisa." A selection from the writings of this terror of 
principalities and powers is reprinted in this little book. 
The most timid and law-abiding citizen need not fear to 
turn over its pages. Two years ago the Italian people 
celebrated the centenary of Mazzini's birth. The King and 
his Ministers went in state to hear him eulogised ; com- 
memorations were held in the government schools by order 
of the Minister of Instruction ; and the flags of Italy and 
England were wrapped around his monument. 

Mazzini's name is not now as familiar to English ears 
as it was in the mid-Victorian period. Other days, other 
heroes. A Scottish university professor used sometimes to 
take a census of the students who had read Sartor as a 
rough test of Carlyle's place in the reading of young 

viii Introduction 

Scotsmen. The results showed that Carlyle was following 
the bag of meal and becoming a traditional diet. A teacher 
who should number the students of our universities who had 
read the Duties of Man would meet with a more intelligible 
but not less complete ignorance of an inspiring book, and 
with a knowledge of its author which never went beyond 
coupling him with Garibaldi. Their fathers, who were boys 
in the fifties and sixties, probably marched through the 
village street shouting : 

T wish I had a penny I 

WTiat for? What for? 

To buy a rope, to hang the Pope 

Instead of Garibaldi. 

Boys are readier to chant the exploits of a soldier in a red 
shirt than the ideas of a prophet in a black coat, and the 
people are mostly boys. But that Mazzini's name will live 
on among those of Italy's greatest citizens and the world's 
best men, seems now beyond dispute. He has never 
enjoyed the ready applause accorded to the successful 
soldier, nor the sometimes sinister fame achieved by the 
successful statesman. Just as in the days of his flesh he 
passed along the by-ways of Europe, an exile from every 
land but our own, ever conspiring and ever eluding the 
aul^iorities, so his subsequent influence has been fugitive, 
secret, noiseless, but none the less real, deep, persistent 
His best compositions have had little vogue, but they are 
treasured by the musicians who know. Out of print, and 
unguessed at by the multitude, their teaching has inspired 
some of the most unselfish activities of our time,— the 
devotion of some settlement worker or East-End doctor, of 
some incorruptible councillor or ardent co-operator, of some 
^ labour leader or nationalist. But Mazzini's most precious 

L bequest to the world was not a bundle of essays, but a noble 
life. Like Socrates he lived his philosophy, but in circum- 
stances much more intricate and bafHing than those which 
beset the Athenian. The story of those circumstances is 
part of the general history of Europe in the nineteenth 

Introduction ix 

century. In so far as Mazzini shared in them they have 
been narrated for English readers most fiilly and judicially 
by Mr. Bolton King. A sympathetic memoir was written 
by Madame Venturi, and there are the admirable Essays of 
F. W. H. Myers and William Clarke. The story of the 
Roman Republic has been well told by Mr. R. M. Johnston.^ 
Mazzini's own autobiographical notes are included in the 
collected edition of his writings.* These sources, and 
Mazzini's own words wherever possible, have been freely 
used in the short sketch which follows. 


In the eighteenth century princes ruled over tracts of 
land rather than nations. The distinction was clearly seen 
when the French Revolution threw the people to one side 
and the government to the other. It is a commonplace 
to say that Napoleon builded better than he knew, and 
that instead of making France supreme in Europe he 
roused the slumbering spirit of nationality everywhere. 
Himself an Italian, pride of race united with the desire 
to overthrow the Austrian dominion in Italy, and led him 
deliberately to encourage national aspirations there. In 
1800 he defeated the Austrians at Marengo, and proceeded 
to divide the Italian spoils among his relatives and generals. 
Their rule had all the unlovely features of the time — secret 
police, press censorship, nepotism, intrigue, plunder. Local 
prejudices were outraged ; tens of thousands of Italians 
fell fighting in Spain and Russia under a foreign flag. 
On the other hand, the Napoleonic regime crippled 
feudalism, strengthened the central authority, established 
schools, braced the soldiery, and generally quickened the 
energies of the people. Napoleon fell. Scheming diplo- 
mats at Vienna parcelled out the Italian peninsula afresh 
between scheming kings and clerics. Austria and Piedmont 
became the predominant partners. The republics of 

*To this list must now be added the important work of Mr. G. U 
Trevclyan : Garibaldi's Dtfence of tht Roman Republtc. 
* London : Smith, Elder. 

X Introduction 


Venice and Genoa were doomed. The people, always 
dreading absorption by France, welcomed back the old 
rulers, good and bad alike. With them came the ana- 
chronisms of the old order, "the legal abuses, the feudal 
privileges, monasteries, ecclesiastical courts, the disabilities 
of Jews and Protestants." Reaction against the disturbing 
ideas of the Revolution led to distrust of education and 
the suppression of opinion. An epidemic of criticism was 
endangering eternal salvation. " The Liberals are sinners,** 
declared the Duke of Modena : " pray for their repentance, 
but punish the unrepentant.'* 

Meanwhile a young Genoese was pondering over for- 
bidden French newspapers which his father kept hidden 
behind his innocent medical books. This inquisitive youth 
was Joseph Mazzini, bom on June 22, 1805. Visitors to 
the City of Palaces will recall the house in the Via 
Lomellini ; the Greek and Italian legends ; the faded 
wreaths from some loyal republican club ; the soiled and 
shabby copies of Guicciardini's History^ Robertson's 
Charles V., Emerson's English Traits ; the courteous 
attendant who presents the stranger with a copy of the 
Duties of Man. The father was a professor of anatomy 
at the university, the mother a woman of strong intellect 

tand deep affection. Both were alive to the mighty move- 
ments going on around them, and their son heard daily 
the republican talk of parents "whose bearing towards 
high or low was ever the same." He was a delicate child, 
and apparently never went to school. While a worthy old 
priest taught him the Latin declensions, the pupil was 
le mming to revere the republics of Greece and Rome. 
At fourttctn^e matriculated at the University. H^e liat ec 
at '* chapels** and the innumerable formalities expected 
from the students. His gentle nature and acute mind won 
him an easy ascendency over his companions. '* Simple 
and economical in his own habits," wrote one of them, 
"he always found means generously to assist the wants 
of those around him ; indeed he carried this disposition 
to excess ; for, not content with giving away his books 

Introduction xi 

and money, he constantly bestowed even his clothes upon 
the needy among his fellow-students.'' It was intended 
that he should follow his father's profession, but he sickened 
at the dissecting-room and turned to law. His real | 
mistress, however, was literature— "a thousand visions oil 
historical dramas and romances floated before my mental 
eye"— and he wouM have served her with fine devotion 
bad not a more imperious rival claimed his loyalty. 

The wind bloweth where it listeth. The call to Mazzini 
came on a Sunday in April 182 1, when he and his mother 
and a friend of the family were walking in the streets of 
Genoa. They were suddenly accosted by "a tall, black- 
bearded man, with a severe and energetic countenance, 
and a fiery glance that I have never since forgotten. He 
held out a white handkerchief toward us, merely saying, 
* For the refugees of Italy.' My mother and friend dropped 
some money into the handkerchief, and he turned from us 
to put the same request to others." The man was one 
of a crowd of revolutionists who had flocked to Genoa after 
a fruitless insurrection against Austria. The incident made 
a deep impression on the boy of sixteen. His spirit was 
crushed by the impossibility he felt of ever conceiving by 
what means to free his country from the foreign yoke. 
** In the midst of the noisy, tumultuous life of the scholars 
around me, I was sombre and absorbed, and appeared like 
one suddenly grown old. I childishly determined to dress 
always in black, fancying myself in mourning for my country. 
It was not easy to give up literature for politics. He read 
what books in Italian, French, and English he could lay 
hands on at a time when ** half the masterpieces of 
contemporary European literature came under the censor's 
ban." He steeped his mind in the Bible and Dante Shake- 
speare and Byron, Goethe and Schiller. Byron's passion 
for history, his hatred of the doctrines of the Holy Alliance, 
his sympathy with heroic endeavour, his exposure of the 
sterility of egoism, explain the high place which Mazzini 
always gave him among the world's poets. But it was 
from the pages of Dante that he drew the richest nourish- 

A ' 

xii Introduction 

ment. Across Ave centuries of glory and shame, liberty 
and servitude, deep called unto deep in the spirits of the 
two men. The thought that seethed within the soul of 
the great Florentine was now stirring afresh in the bosom 
'^ of the young Genoese — the yearning for unity, moral and 
' ^ political, founded upon some great organic authoritative 
idea, the love of country, the worship of Rome, the sublime 
vision of the destiny in store for her, leading the human 
race in holiness and truth. The pedantic critics and 
syllable-splitters were all astray. One had made Dante 
Guelph ; another Ghibelline ; nearly all proved him an 
orthodox Catholic. He was none of these, cried Mazzini ; 
he was a Christian and an Italian. 
But it was no time for variant readings. The critic must 
ive way to the apostle. He found a pulpit in a commercial 
per published at Genoa, then in another at Leghorn. 
[Both were suppressed. Three articles were written for the 
Italian review, the Antologia. But this was not enough 
for his ardent spirit. He joined the secret society of the 
C arbon ari It had once l>^eirtiie hillymg-grouud ol euliiusi- 
astic EiBerals who aimed in a vague way at independence, 
but it was now a declining force, and a number of unsuccess- 
ful risings had brought discredit upon it. It offered a way 
pf usefulness, however ; but Mazzini chafed under its fantastic 
^^. ritual, its negative progranune, its patriotism that looked to 
France for deliverance. He was already dreaming of a 
• ^ery different society. But despotic governments dislike 
dreamers. Mazzini was arrested, ostensibly on the charge 
I of introducing a recruit into the ranks of the Carbonari, 
really, as the Governor of Genoa told his father, because he 
was a thoughtful young man of talent, fond of solitary walks 
by night. " We don't like young people thinking without 
our knowing the subject of their thoughts." From his cell 
Hn the fortress of Savona he looked out upon " the sea and 
sky — two symbols of the infinite and, except the Alps, the 
sublimest things in nature." Here, with a Bible, a Tacitus, 
a Byron, and a friendly greenfinch for companions, he had 
leisure to elaborate the plan of ^ Young Italy." 

Introduction xiii 


The ideas of Italian unity and independence were not 
bom with Mazzini. In the distant past there had been , 
Dante and Rienzi. In the immediate past there had been the ] v 
French Revolution, Napoleon, Romanticism — ^all active in ^ , < 
the years surrounding Mazzini's birth. Romanticism has f < / 
been called the starting-point of the modem political schools 
in Italy, the precursor alike of Young Italy and the Moderates. 
It was more than a mere literary revolt ; it was a propaganda 
of political ideas for which some of its apostles suffered the 
horrors of the Spielberg. Songs, plays, pamphlets, novels, 
were the vehicles of the new movement. Editions of Dante 
appeared literally by the dozen. In 1820 the Antologia was 
founded in order ** to make Italy know itself." Seven years 
later Manzoni published his famous novel, in which the 
discerning could read the meaning as clearly as we now 
read it in Kathleen td Houlihan, Wherein did Mazzini 
differ from these distinguished predecessors and contem- 
poraries? He set their ideas on fire. Where they were 
literary he was political ; where they were critical he was 
constructive ; where they were merely moral he was passion- 
ately religious. 

He came out of prison with a programme, the magnificent 
daring of which can only be realised by those who know the 
Italy of the time — morselled out into a mosaic of states, 
divided by differences of speech and temper, honeycombed 
with secret associations and spies ; an aristocracy fawning 
on the foreign conqueror ; a common people " eating 
Austria with their bread," and dragged by opera, carnival, 
and charity ; a Church respected in proportion as one 
travelled away from the centre of her influence to the 
circumference. Out of the midst of this degradation, in it 
but not of it, Mazzini, yotmg and poor, lifted up his voice : 
*' I see the people pass before my eyes in the livery of 
wretchedness and political subjection, ragged and hungry, 
painfully gathering the cmmbs that wealth tosses insultingly 
to it, or lost and wandering in riot and the intoxication of 


xiv Introduction 

a brutish, angary, savage joy; and I remember that those 
brutalised faces bear the finger-print of God, the mark of 
the same mission as our own. 1 lift myself to the vision 
of the future, and behold the people rising in its majesty, 
brothers in one faith, one bond of equality and love, one 
ideal of citizen virtue that ever grows in beauty and might ; 
the people of the future, unspoilt by luxury, ungoaded by 
wretchedness, awed by the consciousness of its rights and 
duties." He bade his countrymen unite and drive the 
Austrian out, hee dless o f help from France. ** No nation \J 
deserves freedom or can lon£f retaifl it which does not win A 

it for itself. Revolutions must be made by the people and 
for the people." It was useless waiting for opportunities — 
* I they must be made. But it was to be war, not only on the 
, ] Austrian, but on Italian ignorance, dissension, and vice — 
;' • the wretched brood of oppression. Servile habits and 
inworthy affections must go. The nation must purify 
herself in order to fulfil her mission. The sole path to 
victory was through sacrifice— constancy in sacrifice. In 
le name of God and the people, he invited Italians to 
march through poverty, exile, and death to a free country. 
The second of these alternatives was to fall to his lot 
lediately. Released from Savona, he was offere d " in- 
te mment in »a small town, or exile JL He chose the latter, 
and in February 1831 said his good-byes to his family," 
crossed the Alps to Geneva, wpnf tt^ fnrfl tn T.yijii*. ^inf 
Marseilles . Here, in a small room, with a handful of 
patriots recruited from the refugees in the town, he unfolded 
his plans for transforming Italy into a fr^f^, inHppy>nHenfr^ 
re publica n na^ inn Unity was to be sought for by armed 
insjurrcction ; social reforrrTljy political action and education, 
le ^ims of Young Ita ly were to be public ; its methods , 
perforcej..5ecEet. To work in the open wouB be to march 
straight to the Spielberg or the scaffold. " 1 never saw," 
wrote Mazzini in after years, "any nucleus of young men 
so devoted, capable of such strong mutual affection, such 
pure enthusiasm, and such readiness in daily, hourly toil, as 
were those who then laboured with me. We had no office. 

Introduction xv 

no helpers. All day, and a great part of the night, we were 
buried in onr work, writing articles and letters, getting 
information from travellers, enlisting seamen, folding papers, 
listening envelopes^ dividing our time between literary and 
manual work. . . . We lived as equals and brothers ; we 
had but one thought, one hope, one ideal to reverence. The 
foreign republicans loved and admired us for our tenacity 
and unflagging industry; we were often in real want, but 
we were light-hearted in a way, and smiling because we 
believed in the future." The young leader united to an 
indomitable spirit a striking presence. His English bio- 
grapher quotes a description of him as he appeared at this 
time : ^ His long, curling black hair, which fell upon his 
shoulders, the extreme freshness of his clear olive com- 
plexion, the chiselled delicacy of his regular and beautiful 
features, aided by his very youthful look and sweetness and 
openness of expression, would have made his appearance 
almost too feminine, if it had not been for his noble forehead, 
the power of fimmess and decision that was mingled with 
their gaiety and sweetness in the bright flashes of his dark 
eyes and in the varying expression of his mouth, together 
with his small and beautiful moustachios and beard. 
Altogether he, was at that time the most beautiful being, 
male or female, that I had ever seen, and I have not since 
seen his equal." Thirty years later Jowett told a corre- 
spondent, ** Some friends of mine, who know him (Mazzini), 
assure me that he has the greatest fascination of manner 
they have ever met with." ♦' 

The young band worked with an enthusiasm which stirred 
a quick response at home. Articles, manifestoes, pamphlets 
poured from their leader's fervid pen, were printed and 
smuggled into Italy in barrels of pitch and bales of drapery, 
and thrilled their readers with their elevated thought and 
glowing prose. ** Climb the hills," he bade them, " sit at the- 
fiEtrmer's table, visit the workshops and the artisans, whom 
yon now neglect. Tell them of their rightful liberties, their ^^ 
ancient traditions and glories, the old commercial greatness jU 
which has gone ; talk to them of the thousand forms of \ 





oppression, which they are ignorant of, because no one points 
them out." Lodges sprang up in the chief towns of the 
north and centre, thousands of recruits were enrolled, 
and by J833 the A ustrian Govert^ypynt consid ered ** Young 
Ualy " s ufficiently dangerous to declare i pembership thereof 
high treason put ^ishable by d^at^ l. 


For centuries Piedmont had been a buffer state, struck now 
by France, now by Austria. In such a position it was 
natural that the arts of diplomacy and war should absorb the 
main energies of the little kingdom. It was natural, too 
that patriots of all parties should look to Piednioht tcTl ead 
in the st ruggl e against Austria. Mazzini n ow appealed to 
its king "to head the national movemen t. The character of 
Charl es Albert otters interesting parallels to that of another 
potentate wno in our own day has had to confront revolution. 
He was pathetically regarded as the leader of causes he 
dreaded. " Everybody," it was said, " expects a constitu- 
tion from Charles Albert." In his youth he had dallied with 
the Carbonari, but his Liberalism was a spent sympathy. 
** The religious mood grew upon him ; he became a devotee, 
easily played on by confessor and Jesuit, timidly scrupulous 
to prove himself a good son of the Church and gain Papal 
sanction for his acts." " He stood * between the dagger of 
the Carbonari and the poisoned chocolate of the Jesuits '. . . 
* a strange compound of the wo rldly and the martyr spirit, 
ilo hero, Put a pe rplexed, scruple-harassed man, the "vTct im 
of a fatal in decision between ""tlie - ttulliuiTty^ot conve ntion 
and the^noKe prompting's of his he art.'" His reply to 
Mazzini's appeal was to order him to be seiz ed should he 
rrn<ifi thq frnntjor The exilcs then plann ed a nsiflg with 
Genoa and Alessandria as centres, hopmg to Tprce the K ing 
to lead or abdicate, but an a ccident reveaieTtiie plo t and 
a skvage persecution crushed the conspirac y. There are 
senses mwnich mstory repeats itself with very little difference- 

Introduction xvii 

Forged sjgnatnres, enenrattng dn^s, physical torture were 
Qsed to force die prisoners to betray their comrades. 
Dreadh^ he might saccrnnh, Jaco po RoflSni, Mai2in i*s^ 
dearest friend, co mmitted suicide in his celL M anini hlm j 
self was oHidemned to death, and the Fp^nrli nnvgmm^nt' 
de creed his banishmen t ; but he re mained hidden in M ar^ 
seilles for a year, pushing on the crusade. In the middle 
of July 1 833 h e we nt to G f n<>v;i Ar\ organise an other in» 
sur r'ection, tne leadership of which, contrary to his advice, 
was vested in an adventurer who exhausted the funds and 
delayed action until all chance of success was gone. The 
fai lure of the two expeditions an d the strain of work, anxiety 
and secrecy which they involved, p reyed on Maziini*s he alth 
and plimged him for a tinoe into a black despa ir. The 
forms of his dead comrades rose up before him " like the 
phantoms of a crime and its unavailing remorse. I could 
act recall them to life. How many mothers I had caused to 
weep* How many more must learn to weep, should I 
persist in the attempt to arouse the youth of Italy to noble 
action, to awaken in them the yearning for a common 
country ! And if that country were indeed an illusion ! " 
Diplomatic notes poured down upon Switzerland, and 
Maz zini was banis hed from the Republ ic Again he 
nl anaged to elude the polict?. leading a hunted life, now 
sh eltered by some Protestant pasto r, now spending months 
in untenanted houses where in the moaning of the wind he 
heard Ruffini's voice calling to him. Gradually the tempest 
of doubt subsided '* One morning I awoke to find my mind 
tranquil and my spirit calmed, as one who had passed 
through a great danger. . . . The first thought that passed 
across my spirit was, * Your sufferings are the temptations of 
egoism, and arise from a misconception of life.'" He 
searched his heart to see if it had any wicked way in it. 
Was there any lurking selfishness? Material desires he 
had surrendered long ago, but he had clung to the affections. 
^ I should have thought of them, as of a blessing from God, 
to be accepted with thankfulness, not as of something to be 
expected and exacted as a right and a reward. Instead ol 


xviii Introduction 

this, I had made them a condition of fulfilling my duties 
I had not reached the ideal of love, love that has no hope in 
this life. I had worshipped not love but the joys of love.'* 
Hq bade a long farewell to individual hopes, dug the grave, 
, /not of his affections, but of all the desires and ineffable 
rY"*" comforts of affection, so that none might ever know the Ego 
buried beneath. In like manner he tr aced t<) Cj ^otism the 
failure of the French Revolution ^ d^^^.ya^Q" ? ^nsucc ess- 
ful JTsings m It aly. Men had sought aft er ha ppines s, 
/-lam/MirAJ fof fh**^'' "gM^ A hijfher note must be struck. 
"We fell as a political party^^we must rise as a relig ious 
party." L ife is a rpissinn ; fluty j therefore, its highest law. 
' ^ . . . . Each of us is bound to ptotfy his own soul as a temple ; 
,j ■ to free it from egotism ; to set before himself with a 
religious sense of the importance <5f the study, the problem 
of his own life ; to search out what is the most striking, the 
most urgent need of the men by whom he is surrounded, 
then to interrogate his own faculties and capacity, and 
resolutely apply them to the satisfaction of that need. . . , 
Young brothers, when once you have conceived and 
determined your mission within your soul, let nought arrest 
your steps. Fulfil it with all your strength ; fulfil it, whether 
blessed by love or visited by hate ; whether strengthened by 
association with others, or in the sad solitude that almost 

f always surrounds the martyrs of thought. The path is 
clear before you ; you are cowards, unfaithful to your own 
future, if, in spite of sorrows and delusions, you do not 
pursue it to the end." 

With M azzini in Switzerl and were Agostino and Giovanni 
RufHni. They lacked the heroic quality of their dead 
brother, and felt acutely the strain of a conspirator's life. 
For their sakes, chiefly, Ma zzini decided to come to Lond on, 
and they arrived here in Januar y 1837. Mazzmi grewjtp^ 
l ove^is "sunless and m^sidess islan d^" but his first 
experience of a dingy lodging in a back street filled him 

Introduction xix 

with longing for. the Alps which he had loved " almost as 
a mother.'' More trying still was the impatience of his 
comrades, who could not soar to Mazzini's transcendental 
heights. Where all are geniuses life may be tolerable for 
aU, but the odds are against the happiness of the family in 
which the genius is set solitary. Nor did a diet of potatoes 
and rice, with their undoubted vegetarian virtues, conduce 
to the harmony of the household near the Euston Road. 
And the maid-of-all-work had never heard of the Gospel of 
Duty ! Much may be endured where there is money to 
procure better, but the exiles were in the direst poverty. 
Mazzini was not the man to resist the importunities of his 
countrymen while he had a penny left, and some of them 
thought that "in the name of this chimera of human 
brotherhood ** they had a right to make themselves at home 
in his house. Precious souvenirs, books, clothes, began to 
find their way to the pawnshops, and he dragged himself 
from one moneylender to another, paying a ruinous rate 
of interest. In the daytime he found his way into '^the 
valley of the shadow of books " — the international workshop 
in Bloomsbury, and under its sheltering dome began to 
turn out an article or two. He g^nt^^^ know s ome English 
families, the Carlyles among the first. In 1840 he moved 
to Chelsea — then a suburb of hayfields and market gardens 
— to be near them, and they were very kind and helpful. 
Mrs. Carlyle had a deep affection for him, and took him 
into her confidence in her domestic troubles. He repaid 
her with a couple of letters which are surely the noblest 
ever penned in such a situation. 


London, July 1I46. 
To Janr Welsh Carlyle. 

Mt dear Friend, 

I was yesterday almost the whole day out, and did not 
receive your notes, except in the evening, when it was too late to 
answer them. Your few words sound sad, deeply, I will not say 

XX Introduction 

irreparably sad ; and the worst of it is that none can help joa but 
yourself. It is only you who can, by a calm, dispassionate, fair 
re-examination of the past, send back to nothingness the ghosts and 
phantoms that you have been conjuring up. It is only you who can 
teach yourself that, whatever the present may be, you must front it 
with dignity, with a clear perception of all your duties, with a dae 
reverence to your immortal soul, with a religious £ciith in times yet to 
come, that are to dawn under the approach of other cloudless suns. 
I could only point out to you the fulfilment of duties which can 
make life — not happy — what can ? but earnest, sacred and resignated; 
but I would make you frown or scorn. We have a different con- 
ception of life, and are condemned here down to walk on two 
parallels. Still it is the feeling of those duties that saves me from 
the atheism of despair, and leads me through a life every day more 
barren and burdensome, in a sort of calm, composed manner — such, 
I repeat, as the consciousness of something everlasting within us 
claims from every living mortal. For I now most coolly and 
deliberately do declare to you, that partly through what is known to 
you, partly through things that will never be known, I am carrying 
a burden even heavier than you, and have undergone even bitterer 
deceptions than you have. But by dint of repeating to myself that 
there is no happiness under the moon, that life is a self-sacrifice 
meant for some higher and happier thing ; that to have a few 
loving beings, or, if none, to have a mother watching you from 
Italy or from Heaven, it is all the same, ought to be quite enough 
to preserve us from falling, and by falling, parting, I have mustered 
up strength to go on, to work at my task as far as I have been able 
to make it out, till I reach the grave : the grave for which the 
hour will come, and is fast approaching without my loudly calling 
for it. 

Awake, arise, dear friend ! Beset by pain or not, we must go 
on with a sad smile and a practical encouragement from one another. 
We have something of our own to care about, something godlike 
that we must not yield to any living creature, whoever it be. Your 
life proves an empty thing, you say. Empty I Do not blaspheme. 
Have you never done good ? Have you never loved ? Think of 
your mother and do good — set the eye to Providence. It is not as 
a mere piece of irony that God has placed you here : not as a mere 
piece of irony that He has given us those aspirations, those yearnings 
after happiness that are now making us both unhappy. Gm't you 
trust Him a little longer ? . . . How long will you remain at Seaforth ? 

Introduction xxi 

Does he himself propose to go anywhere? 1 was coming to see yon 
on Saturday. Write if and when it does good even homoeopath!- 
cally to you, and be assured that to me it will always do. 

Ever yours, — 

Joseph Mazzini. 


July 15/A, 1846. 
To JANB Welsh Carltlk, Seaforth, 

Mt dear Friend, 

I could not write yesterday, as I intended, on account of the 
death of Scipioni Petrucci's wife. . . . Yes ; '* sad at death, but not 
basely sad." That is what you must be, what I want you to be, 
and what a single moment of truly earnest thought and faith will 
cause you to be. Pain and joy, deception and fulfilled hopes are 
just, as I often said, the rain and the sunshine that must meet the 
traveller on his way. Bless the Almighty if He has thought proper 
to send the latter to you. Button or wrap your cloak around you 
against the Brst, but do not think a single moment that the one 01 
the other have anything to do with the end of your journey. You 
know that ; but you want the faith that would give you strength 
to fulfil the task shown by the intellect. These powers will give 
you that too, if you properly apply to them— affection, a religious 
belief, and the dead. You have affection for me, as I have for you : 
you would not shake mine ? You would not add yourself to the 
temptations haunting me to wreck and despair? You would not 
make me worse than I am by your example, by your showing your- 
self selfish and materialist? You believe in God ; don't you think, 
after all, that this b nothing but an ephemeral trial, and that He 
will shelter you at the journey's end under the wide wing of His 
paternal love? You had, have, though invisible to the eyes of 
the body, your mother, your father, too. Can't you commune 
with them? I know that a single moment of true fervent love 
for them will do more for you than all my talking ! Were they 
now what you call living, would you not fly to them, hide your 
bead in their bosom and be comforted, and feel that you owe to 
them to be strong — that they may never feel ashamed of their own 
Jane ? Why can you think them to be dead^ gone for ever, their 
loving immortal soul annihilated ? Can you think that this vanish- 
ing for a time has made you less responsible to them ? Canyon, in 
a word^ lave them less because they are far from sight f I have often 

xxii Introduction 

dMNigfat that the amngement by which loved and loviiig bengy aic 
to pass through death is nothii^ bat the htft experiment appoiated 
by God to human love ; and often, as yoa know from me, I have 
felt that a moment of tme toul-commiinii^ with my dead friend 
was apcmng a source of strength for me unhoped for, down here. 
Did we not often agree aboat these glimpses of the link between 
ours and the superior life? Shall we now begin to disagree? Be 
strong, then, and tme to those you loved, and proud, nobly proud 
in the eyes of those yon love or esteem. Some of them are deeply^ 
silently suffering, but needing strength too, needing it periiaps ft'om 
you. Get up and work ; do not set yourself apart from us. Whea 
the Evil One wanted to tempt Jesus, he led Him into a solitude. 
Believe me, my dear friend, ever yours, 

Joseph Mazzini. 

It wa s in these years of forced peace that Mazzini wrote 
some of nis most important essavs o n Byron and Goethe ; 
on tbe minor works of Dante; on Lamennais, whose 
Words of a Believer^ condemned in the Pope's Encyclical 
as ''small in size but of huge depravity," may have in- 
fluenced Mazzini in writing the Duties of Man, In 1843 
he had subjected the teaching of Carlyle to a profound 
criticism which is still far from commonplace, and which was 
highly original then. In the followmg year Carlyle stood 
staunchly by his critic in the episode of the mutilated 
correspondence. Mi^^^j ( liscovered that his letters wer e 
b emg tampered with^ and that English officials in high 
pfaces were playing the spy for the Austrian Government. 
The case came up in the House of Commons, and roused 
general indignation. Sir James Graham made a lame de- 
fence, and charged Mazzini with promoting assassination— a 
charge afterwards honourably withdrawn. Carlyle pre- 
tended he knew nothing and desired to know nothing of 
Italian democracies and Young Italy's sorrows, of extraneous 
Austrian Emperors in Milan, or poor old chimerical Popes 
in Bologna ; but there was something else he did know, as 
he testified in the Times, " I have had the honour to know 
M. Mazzini for a series of years, and, whatever I may think 
of his practical insight and skill in worldly affairs, I can 

Introduction xxiii 

with great freedom testify to all men that he, if ever I have 
soen one such, is a man of genius and virtue, a man oi 
sterling veracity, humanity, and nobleness of mind, one ol 
those rare men, numerable, unfortunately, but as tmits in 
this world, who are worthy to be called martyr souls, who, 
in silence, piously in their daily life, understand and practise 
what is meant by that." The in cident turned out a blessing 
in di sguise. It lifted Mazzihi mto Knyii sh public life^ and 
brought to him and to the Italian cause a number of loyal 
helpers, particularly the Ashursts, of whose daughters one 
married James Stansfeld and another became Madame 
Venturi, Mazzini's biographer. Among other friends were 
William Shaen ; Peter Taylor, Member for Leicester, the 
friend of Mill and " redresser-general of imheeded wrongs " ; 
the Chartists, Thomas Cooper and Henry Vincent ; Joseph 
Toynbee, the father of Arnold Toynbee ; W. J. Fox, the 
Unitarian orator ; Joseph Cowen of Newcastle ; W. J. 
Linton, the engraver ; and George Jacob Holyoake, the 
veteran co-operator, who died but the other day. These 
names recall the social wrongs and remedies of the forties : on 
the one hand, bad harvests, famine, commercial crises, strikes^ 
unemployment ; on the other, the agitations for free trade^ 
a free press, and the six points of the Charter. Dr. Holland 
Rose has pointed out^ that there was much in common 
between the moral-force Chartists and the Italian democrat, 
though the latter was at first inclined to band all English- 
men as ^ materialist and sectarian.'' Residence in a country 
where the industrial struggle was more fierce, more squalid, 
than in his own sunnier, lazier land, deepened his sense ot 
the urgency of social reform. London, too, gave him the 
opportunity of knowing some Italian workmen at close 
quarters. He founded a political association among them, 
and began the publication of a journal in which a portion 
of the Duties of Man appeared. He befriended an un- 
fortunate woman, and for years devoted a large share of his 
scanty income to the education of her children. The organ- 
boys attracted his notice. He was amazed to find that five 

^ RiM of Democracy t p. 89. 

xxiv Introduction 

or six Italians made a practice of inducing them to leave 
their rural homes in Parma and Liguria under £air promises 
of food and lodging and pay. Once here they were drilled 
in all sorts of beggary and deceit, and were cruelly treated. 
He was able to bring some of the slave-dealers to justice in 
the English courts and thereby terrify the rest. Better still, 
in 1 84 1 he opened an evening school for the boys in Hatton 
Garden, and contmued it tor ^eVen yftkrs — till his return to 
Italy — " a holy work, holily fulfilled." "They used to come 
between nine and ten o'clock at night, bringing their organs 
with them. We taught them reading, writing, arithmetic, 
simple geography, and the elements of drawing. On the 
Sunday evenings we gathered all our scholars together to 
listen to an hour's lecture upon Italian history, the lives of 
our great men, the outlines of natural philosophy — any sub- 
ject in short that appeared to us calculated to elevate those 
unformed minds, darkened by poverty and their state of 
abject subjection to the will of others. Nearly every Sunday 
evening for two years, I lectured to them upon Italian history 
or elementary astronomy ; a subject eminently religious, and 
calculated to purify the mind, which — reduced to popular 
phraseology and form — should be among the first subjects 
chosen for the education of the young.'' 


The f ailure of the expeditions orpraniseH fry **Vniinfr 

It aly" and the protracted yyi1i> ^f itg rj^lAf haH Hiccipaf^rl 
t he society which had set out with «siirh rafjjant r^^^^nc 
hopes. Mazzini himself had his hours of disillusionment, 
which come to every high priest of the ideal, and which 
lower the level of life. He had failed to gauge the inertia 
of his countrymen. He read his own shining faith into 
them, and had fondly imagined that twenty millions fi'om 
the Alps to Etna were ready to strike for freedom when the 
bugle called. He was impatient of men who tepiporised ; 
he det ested diplomacy , and thought the straight line was 
the s hortest between two given points in^ Kignr ha^ 

* Cf. Th4 Roman Tiuoeraey and th4 Republic, 1846-49. By R. M. JohiH 

Introduction xxv 

such compelling power over his own pure soul that he 

roi^^H rtnX nnd^rSt?"'^ "^^" ^^" shranlc frnm plain rj^itig>g 

Their slackness made him blush — "as if I were lying." 
These were poor qualities for a conspirator, and Mazzini was 
a failure in that rS/e. H e was too doynatic in utterance . 
to oj)recipitate in action^ and he invariably exaggerated t he 
stren gth of his own side and underrated that of the enem y. 

Meanwhile a party was grow ing up w ] ^o had imbibed 
muc h of Mazzini's teaching, but who froni all the reasons 
which hover between prudence and cowardice was inclined 
to slower and less direct methods than his uncompromising 
democratic nature would permit. This was the party of 
the Moderates, led by a group of able patriotic writers 
of vary I rig vitiws. Some counselled the postponement of 
political insurrection and urged the establishment of schools, 
savings-banks, model farms and railways. Others, de- 
spairing of Unity, kind led ho pes of a Federal Independence 
under Charles Albert ana a Libefill Pontiff. — Tliiee years 
before the death of Gregory XVI., Gioberti, in a book which 
deeply moved all Italian hearts, had prophesied the coming 
of a reforming Pope who should mediate justly between 
princes and people, and assert the moral supremacy of 
Rome over the world. I n 1846 h is prophecy seemed likely 
of fulfilment in the a dvent of Pius IX . Pius had attended 
the conclave which was to elect Gregory's successor. So 
little did he, a recently elected Cardinal, anticipate the 
honour in store for himself, that he had brought with him 
a copy of Gioberti's book as a humble offering to the new 
Pope. One of his first acts as Pius IX. was to pardon the 
political prisoners and exiles, numbering some thousands 
in all. The enth usiasm of the populace knew no bounds. 
The d eliverer^ of ftalv had arrive d. All things sudd enlv 
seen ied possible. " To the religious, impulsive, ill-educated 
average Italian, a Pope's sympathy meant more than all 
the philosophy and idealism of Young Italy." That night, it 
was said, every house in Rome was illuminated, with one 
ominous exception— that of the Austrian Ambassador. Wild 
rumours attached thtmseVes to the new pontiff— that he 

xxvi Introduction 

was "un gran' Carbonaro,'' or even the secret head of 

** Young Italy," whispered some. But there were t hree 

forc es at work soon to shatte r th e popularj dol — theJ esuRs ^ 

/M ettemich , and the F ope nimseff" The Jesuits wielded 

/ theTr secret influence far and wide, and at Rome controlled 

I the police and civil service. They blocked the Pope at 

I every turn. Away in Vienna, where their power was great, 

1 Mettemich had pronounced a Liberal Pope "the greatest 

misfortune of the age,'' and openly insulted him by filling 

Ferrara, a Papal city, with Austrian troops. The Pope 

himself, full of good intentions, was bewildered, one day 

promising legal reforms and railway construction, the next 

.refusing to sanction a citizen guard, the third prohibiting 

^public meetings because they interrupted the studies of 

youth I The pep ple_ ^ere clam oiirinc tn go to war with 

Ai2Stua...JDiplomatic negotiations, however, led Mettemich 

to withdraw the imperial troops from Ferrara (December i6, 

1847). But the Pope had had enough of ** modem prog ress." 

" They are mistaken^who would see in the Council of State 

instituted by me," he declared at its opening ceremony, 

" the realisation of their Utopias and the germ of institutions 

incompatible with the Pontifical sovereignty." The Sultan 

was not the only " sick man " in Europe. 

Ma zzini watched this movementclosely, and advised his 
scattered followers to use ^e enth u siasm for nat ional ^ids 
at the s^acrifice of republicanjsmj ifjiecessarv. In this year 
he wrote several articles to the Peoples Journal^ in one 
of which he foretold the coming storm. '* Europe rapidly 
approaches a tremendous crisis ; a supreme contest between 
peoples and their despots, which no human power can 
henceforth hinder, but which the active concurrence of all 
the brave and good would render shorter and less severe 
and whose final result will be a new map of Europe." The 
year of revolutions arrived— -1848 — -" when all time's sea 
was foam." From Palermo and Paris, Vienna and Berlin 
came the shouts of the multitudes uprisen to reckon with 
their rulers. The King of the French escaped in a cab, 
and Mettemich in a cart. The Austrianpower^a^ rapidly 

Introduction xxvii 

cni mbling in the northern towns of Italy. Manini hur ried 
to Paris and thence to Milan, wher e he had an enthusiastic 
rece ption. But vi^ nry tarriftH. 'Pi^^ngmng fomented^ 
parfly^by Mazzini's presence, ar ose between monarch ists 
and re publicans over the form of government to be set 
up when the Austrians were routed 1 The f geble indecisi on 
and delay of Charles Albert, "the Wobbling Kingj^Jed^ 
to o ne disaster after another in the field, an d the enemy , 
under RaHAt^iiy^ rf>^ainAH t\(^ |ngt grmnn4 Te n years mor e 
were tn pajss h<» fnrft thft <9tgj gncr was finally ou sted^ and 
then the honours were to fall to Cavour and Victor 

In Rome, however, the fortunes of the Liberals were 
tm provingL so rapidly that the air of the Quinnal became 
stifling. The Pope, f ollowing the ruling foshion, es caped 
in a chaise to Gaeta. R ome was free. A provisional 
government was set up which appealed to universal suffrage 
to elect a Constituent Assembly of one hundred and fifty 
members. Among the deputies elected were a general of' 
volunteers and his standard-bearer who had come from 
the North, defeated but not beaten — Garibaldi and MazzinL 
Twenty years earlier Garibaldi had joined the ranks of 
^ Young Italy ** at Marseilles, and then tasted of exile and 
adventure in South America. The A ssembly by an ov er- 
whelming majority dec lared for a Republic, abolished the 
hated 'g mporal power o f thenpgpe, but guara nteed;"lirm 
liberty to exercise his spiritual offk ei Thus opened one 
of the Ihost movmg pages in history. Mazzini had entered 
the city ''one evening early in March, with a deep sense 
of awe, almost of worship.** It is not difficult to understand 
the fascination of Rome, and the desire to see her capital 
of a united Italy. But with Mazzini the desire had been 
a master passion which went far beyond the dream of a 
political centre. Gioberti looked to a reformed Papacy ; 
but in ^Mazz ini's visjCiPT Be dty 6t IhC suul " V^aslSE Temple 
of Hmnanit y senomg tortn a new religi on of duty, sacrifioc^ 
and b rptherhood7 When they cheered his first riskig m 
the Assembly he reiterated bis ifaith : " These maniiestackms 

xxviii Introduction 

of admiration should not be addressed by you to me, but 
rather by me to you,** he said ; " for what little of good I 
may have accomplished, or attempted, has owed its in- 
spiration to my lifers talisman, Rome. In my heart I have 
said. It is not possible that the City that has already lived 
two lives, should not arise to see a third. After the Rome 
of conquering soldiers, after the Rome of the triumphant 
Word, so I kept saying to myself, there shall come the 
Rome of virtue and of example ; after the City of the 
Emperors, after that of the Popes, shall come that of 
the People." It was a noble vision, seen by all good 
men under one form or another. 

Mazzini now e ndeavoure d to u nite t he scattered r epublican 
fo rces. Goaded by Austrian brutality, C harles Albe rt was 
once more marching against Rad etzky, but he was no mat ch 
for the old general and the^iecJmontese suffered a crushin g 
d^eat at Novara. The King abdicated in favour of his 
eldest son Victor Emmanuel II, and four months later 
died brokenhearted in a Portuguese monastery. In Rome 
the news ^of Novara led to the electio n o f Mazzini, Saffi an d 
Ar mellini as triumvirs^ and from the Papal Court at Ga eta 
this called rorth an appeal to the Catholic Powers for " armed 
intervention to free the States of the Church from the faction 
of rogues." The response came from an unexpected quarter. 
In the 5th Article of the French Constitution of 1848 it w as 
written, ** France respects foreign n a tionalities ; hei^ might 
shal l never be employed against the liberty of any peop le ! " 
Wit h what duplicity this promise was broken in " the 
m eanest of modem political crimes " can only be B riefly 
rec ounted hfc rfe,. French troops landed and marched on the 
young sister-republic. Mazzi ni was an idealist, but he was 
no coward. He would fight lor a ngnteous prin ciple. 
There were virtues more precious tnan peace! A Comm ittee 
of War was foimed to organise the defence under Roselli 
and Garibaldi. On May 7th Ferdinand de Lesseps on 
behalf of France came to terms with the Roman Republic. 
He acted in good faith, but the agreement was a ruse of his 
employers ; and the French general Oudinot laid siege tc 


Introduction xxix 

the city. Mazzini was the soul and strength of the defence 
He does not appear to have been sanguine of victory, but he 
was determined to leave a great republican example. " His 
def ence of Rome raised the Italian character,** wro te 
T owett. Unselfish, tireless, heedless of personal comfort," with 
a heart soft as a child's, with a colossal belief in his divine 
mission, this "pestiferous conspirator" displayed to the 
subjects of the Pope a spiritual grandeur the like of which 
had rarely if ever been seen in a Vicar of Christ through all 
the ages of Roman Christendom. ** Here in Rome," he told 
the quarrelling deputies with unconscious irony, "we may 
not be moral mediocrities." ** Stif fness to principles^ 
toler ance to individuals," was to be the watchwor d. And 
nobly he obeyed it Smaller men would have wrought their 
revenge on the Church which blocked Italian unity and 
national aspiration. A word from the Triumvir at this 
moment, and many a priest and church would have suffered. 
But when the crowd used confessional boxes to make 
barricades he ordered them to be taken back. He would 
allow no degradation of sacred symbols. " It is the duty 
of the government to preserve religion uncontaminated." 
Similarly plotters were left free and the Press hardly 
disturbed. After the French general had been driven back 
on April 30 the prisoners taken in the fight were marched 
to St. Peter's to be addressed in these words : ** Frenchmen 
and Italians, in this sublime and holy spot, let us together 
offer our prayers to the Almighty, for the liberty of all people 
and for universal fraternity ! " They were then escorted to 
the gates of the city and presented with a monster gift of 
cigars for their comrades beyond the walls. This was the 
gospel in action, neither papal nor imperial, but democratic. 
The Triumvir occupied a little room in the Quirinal accessible 
to high and low alike^ He dined at a cheap restaurant for 
two francs a day, lived during the siege on bread and raisins, 
spending his slender stipend entirely on others. His only 
luxury was a bunch of flowers sent to him daily by an 
unknown hand. But the s mall ba nd of her oes could no t 
withstand the overpowering numbers ot tne j* rench^ TEe 

XXX Introduction 

losses were heavy, and among them dear frends of Mazziiu 
— Mameli the poet, Manara, the Lomblurd leader in the Five 
Days of Milan, and many another. 

Mazzini hoped for a republican rising in France wfai< A 
would change tn e sTluation, but the Catholic party triunap &d. 
•Ganbaidi was br ave, but vain and difficult to woric w ith. 
He sullenly retused to obev Roselli in the most critical hour s 

of thc French attarl c, t^eti rniisi»fl himg^lf tn a gr^t <>flrnr» 

when It was too lat e. On T uly ist the Assembly met and 
vot ed surrende r. Mazzini, unwilling to foce the moumfiil 
fact of defeat, protested to the last ^ Monarchies may 
capitulate, republics die and bear their testimony even to 
martirdom.** Garibaldi marched out of the city at the head of 
three thonsand followers, to be pursued by the enemy and to 
suffer great hardship. His wife, Anita, who always accom- 
panied him, died amid the marshes of Comacchio. Ugo 
Bassi, the eloquent and fearless and gentle friar, was shot by 
the Austrians in ^e streets of Bologna. Mazzini— one 
thinks of Gordon — lingered on in Rome for some days, 
almost inviting assassination. ** In two short months,** wrote 
Margaret Fuller, one of the noble band who had nursed the 
wounded through the siege, "he had grown old ; all the vital 
juices seemed exhausted ; . . . but he had never flinched, 
never quailed ; had pro tested in the last hour ^ t^^inst stir- 
render, sweet and~caim, but full of a more fiery purpose than 
ever; m him I revered the hero, and owned myself not of 
that mould.* 


From Rome Mazzini went to Switzerland, and thence to 
England, where hfe W^s to i^iualu, cAtepi fl>r brief ifitenrab, 
to the closing years of his life. The task of liberating and 
unifying Italy passed largely into the Hands of d i plomatists ^ 
with whose devious ways he had such scant sympathy that 
he often judged their motives un&irly — Cavour, Louis 
Napoleon, Victor Emmanuel. Mazzini had repeatedly 
expressed ^s willingness to place unity first and the re ggfeftc 
second, buThe found it difficult to be taithtul to tE»^Ki* 

Introduction xxxi 

o^ifllU Baiiiahedfixunthesceiieofactioii, witbouitBioaeyv 
nad dependent on secret infbrmersi wba rarely possessed 
fiitt or accurate information, his grt gt powers of leadcag hip 
wvm ^ igtfted on dark conspiracies and futile insn rrectiona.. 
by w hi^l xi hurt and hindgred men who were ^WlgUH } ^ IllBr 
h unseU fi» a common country . Some of these men had 
bien ardent republicansi buthad been convinced by the 
disimion and failure of the Year of Revolutions that the 
casual o^osition of undisciplined forces would never drive 
out the trained troc^ of the enemy. Daniel Manin, a 
cepublican idealist with strong practical instincts backed 
by a stainkss life, in his defence of Venice against the 
Austrians, had raised the Venetian character to heights as 
hiMoic as those reached by the Romans under Masrini. But 
with Giuribaldi and many old members of ''.Young Italy,** 
Mania had ji ow come to b elieve that the help of the 
Pi^ montese army with its Kmg and Minister were indi s- 
pe nsaSeto the redemption of ift^ly, »nA that th<> rf>|iiihiir 
m ust be postponed Gioberti had awakened from hb dreams 
of a reformed Papacy, and had written a new book, in which 
Piedmont figured as the regenerator of Italy with the help 
of France. And it was to this policy that parties of all sorts 
were coming. Mazzini held obstinately to the programme 
of Savona, unaUe to imi^ine a profligate King and a cunning 
liinister as the saviours of the nation. But " men fight to 
lose the battle, and the thing they fought for comes stbout 
in spite of their defeat, and when it comes it turns out not 
to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for 
what they meant under another name.*' The temporal 
power of the Pap acy e nded and the u nity of Italy was 
a chieved, a recent JUigiisn nistonan divides the ho&ours, 
unequally, between the sw ord of Garibaldi and the brai n 
o f Cavour. and says nothing of the soul of Mazzini. It is 
a somewhat shallow judgment, but if it is meant to imply 
that the Italy of 1870 was not what Mazrini had wished to 
call into bein^^ it may stand. " This medley of opportunists 
and cowards and little Macchiavellis, that let themselves 
be dragged behind the suggestion of the foreigner^-! 


xxxii Introduction 

thought to call up the soul of Italy, and I only see its 
corpse." The Li beralism of Cavou r had triumphe d. The 
old generation had " praised God ; the new generation 
thought more of keeping its powder dry. The former had 
had its poetry, its great literary works, its appeals to history ; 
the latter wrote leaflets and pamphlets, and spoke through 
the press, which had come into power since 1847. . . • The 
h eroic idealism had la^one^ and rationalism and science to ok 
its place- The new spirit was matter-of-£^ct, thinking more 
of" the present than the future, fearful of pitching its hopes 
too high, quietly, cautiously laying the foundations, deter-' 
mined to go on no quixotic ventures, but slowly prepare, 
and only fight when the odds were on its side. Mazzini 
flinch ed from no sacrifice ; he was read y to surrenHef th e 

present convenien<*<> anH happT npss Ot the whole commu nity^ 

its family life, its trade, in a desperate struggle. The new 
movement snranK trom the terrible and hiipussible appeal ; 
but it p ut its faith in discipline , it was willing for the sake 
of union to sacrifice spontaneity, to be unfair to opponents, 
to crush minorities." 

The difference between the two protagonists could not 
be better illustrated than by repeating a couple of anecdotes 
which Mr. Myers put side by side. 

" When Cavour was about six years old he was taken on 
a posting journey. On one stage of this journey the horses 
were unusually bad. The little boy asked who was re- 
sponsible for the horses. He was told it was the postmaster. 
He asked who appointed the postmaster. He was told it 
was the syndic. He de mandec^ *^ "^ t?*^^" at once to the 
syndic to get the postmaster dlsmisli 

" Maz^a nJAS a child was very delicat e. When he was about 
six years old he was taken for Tiis first walk. For the first 
time he saw a beggar, a venerable old man. He stood 
transfixed, then broke from his mother, threw his arms 
round the beggar's neck and kissed him, crying, * Give him 
something, mother, give him something.' * Love him well, 
lady,' said the aged man; 'he is one who will love the 

Introduction xxxiii 

The ways of the children were the wa]r8 of the men. 
Who can imagine Mazzini bartering Savoy and Nice at 
Plombt^res, and negotiating the marriage of Prince' 
Napoleon and ^Princess Clotilde ? And in the article of 
death one passed away protesting his belief in God, while 
the other '* retained a devoted priest to absolve his last 
hour, and made his way into heaven itself by a stroke of 
diplomacy." * 

The Lon don to which Mazzini returned after the fell of 
the Roman kepublic was fer less desolate than the London 
of 1837. There were now old and new friends, not a few, 
pro ud to welcome the Triumvir w ho had focussed in himself 
the t'air est hop ^«> ^f p" a«8piringr p^npi^^ an 

" established point of light whence rays 
Traversed the world.** 

The homes of the Ashursts, the Stansfelds and others 
were always open to him. He met many distinguished 
men of the time. Swinburne sang his praises. But no 
man was less easily seduced from the path of duty by the 
temptations of friendship and wealth. Nor was he the 
transcendentalist who turns cynic in the fece of defeat. 
His head was still full of schemes and his days full of toil 
for the salvation of his country. 

Open my heart, and you will see 
Graved inside of it ** Italy. ** 

He worked incessantly to secure the '* moral help^* ot 
England, and gathered into the Society of the Friends of Italy 
a' numoer of the best Liberals of the day. England had 

' F. W. H. Myers, Essays Modtm^ p. ai. For a kindlier estimate se« 
the newly published papers of Senator Artom, Cavour's private secretary. 
H® desciibes his chiefs last moments in these words : 

** Ou lui avait apport6 le viatique k sept heures du soir, k cinq heures 
dn matin on lui administra I'huile sainte. Quelques mots s'6chappirent 
encore de ses l&vres, " Italia h fatta . . . ormai la cosa va. . . . L' armonia 
del la religrione e della civiltk farii cessare le rivoluzioni in Europa." Ces 
phrases entrecoup^s par les r&les de Tagonie t^moijj^nent les grandes 
pens^es qui occupaient cette vaste et noble intelligfence k son dernier 
moment. . Cinq minutes avant sept heures tQut ^tait fini." 


xxxiv Introduction 

indeed become his second home. Hb dotir fiather had died 
in 1848 and his mother four years later. She had bees lus 
supreme solace through the years of loneliness amd struggle 
— like Madame Rvffini, one of die hrave modicrs ' in wbom 
Italy revived.' ** My mother," be writes, " seems to me to 
be present, perhaps nearer than she was in her terrestrial 
life. I feel more and more die sacredness of duties ^diich 
she recognised, and of a mission she approved. I have now 
no mother on earth except my coimt^, and I shall be true 
to her, as my mother has been to me." She had left hnn 
a small annuity, " wisely invested with obdurate trustees," so 
that the money might not slip through his fingers into Us 
public work and chaHty. With the aid of earnings from 
literary work, his income rarely rose to ;£2op, and of 
this more than a third for some years went to educate the 
children of the poor woman he had befriended. His little 
room was littered with books and papers and clouded with 
the smoke of cheap cigars — his one luxury. When Bentham 
was planning Pantopticons and tabulating the SfMrings of 
Action, mice played in his study and fed from his lap. As 
became the apostle of a more soaring i^ilosophy, Maizini's 
pets were birds, and they flew about freely as he wrote and 
talked. Like most unselfish men with deep convictiois, he 
was an inspiring talker. Music and ppetry were favourite 
topics. Henry Sidgwick, we have recently learnt, was 
much impressed by him. '* London is a stimulating place," 
he wrote to his mother in 1867 ; " one meets stimulating 
people. I will tell you who is one — Mazzini. I met him 
the other night at dinner, and he attacked me about 
Spiritualism, and bore down upon me with such a current of 
clear, eager argument — I was quite overwhelmed." No one 
who met him forgot his honest eyes, ** readily flashing into 
indignation or humour, always with the latent expression <A 
exhaustless resolution." In spite of failing health he worked 
on tenaciously, obstinately. **I hear you are rather un- 
well," he wrote to a friend. *' Don't It is absurd to be 
ill, while nations are struggling for liberty." Once he was 
arrested and imprisoned at Gaeta, where through the chinks 


in Hie wan he saw the sea and sky as m the foitress of 
Savona neariy forty years before. On his release he spent 
a miglit secretly in Rome, and visited his modier's t<Hnb 
in Genoa. The mcmarchy had triumphed with the aid of 
France. ** He knew that the republic was afor off, that all 
he could do now was quietly to ed ucate his countrym en, 
e^>ecially the working classes. He helped to organise the 
fri endly societies ; he a dvocated ^y^miny rlagg^ fnr wft rlr. 
men, circ ulating popular libraries, the co llection of a fon d' 
to^Ste ist societies for coH)perative production ; he founded 
a paper, Jioma Oel fopolo^ to spread hisldeas. ... He 
published Frcm the Council to God^ and was delighted at 
the success it met with in its English translation in the 
Fortnightly, He was keenly interested in the English 
movements tot women's suffrage and against state regulation 
of vice. But his chief work in these last years was to fight 
the immature socialism of the time." 

In his last message to the working men of Italy, he bade 
them **Iove and work for this great, unhappy country of 
ours, called to high destinies, but stayed upon the road by 
those who cannot, will not know the road. This is the best 
way you can have of loving me." He died in the house of 
friends at Pisa, early ih March 1872, and was buried beside 
his mother,' on one of the highest terraces in the cemetery 
of Staglieno, outside hb native city. 

M AZZiNl's writings may be divided into literary, social, and 
political Among his earliest were '*Dell' Amor Patrio di 
Dante " (1826 or 1827}, published in '* II Subalpino " 1837, and 
c<Mitributions to the " Indicatore Genovese," founded by him 
in 1828, and to the " Indicatore Livomese," also founded by 
Mazzini after the suppression of the former journal, a fate 
shared by the latter. His chief literary essays were com- 
posed in England, in which country he lived for many years 
as an exile from 1837 : " Westminster Review " (" On the 
Literary Movement in Italy," October 1837 ; " Paolo Sarpi," 

xxxvi I ntroduction 

April 1838); "Apostolato Popolare," foimded in 1841 by 
Mazzini for the Italian working-men in England (Dante« 
1841 ; Luigi Angeloni, 1842; AdolfoBoyer, 1842); "Monthly 
Chronicle" (** Present State of French Literature," March 
1839 ; Lamennais, April 1839 ; Byron and Goethe, 1839 ; 
Carlyle's " French Revolution," 1843) ; " Foreign Quarterly 
Review "("On the Minor Works of Dante," April 1844); 
" British and Foreign Review " (" On T. Carlyle, his Genius, 
etc.," October 1843); "Revue R^publicaine" (**De PArt en 
Italie"); Essay on Foscolo's Commentary of the "Divina 
Commedia," 1842 ; Analytical review of the life and writings 
of G. Sand, to an edition of "La Petite Fadette," 1850.1 

Among his Social and Political writings are : A Letter to 
Carlo Alberto of Savoy, 1831 ; " Delia Guerra d' Insurrezione 
conveniente all' Italia," 1832, 1853 (with preface by Author) ; 
"Deir Ungheria," 1832 ; " Deir Unitii Italiana," 1833 ; Letter 
to General Ramorino, 1834 : " alia Gioventii Italiana," 1834 ; 
on the Encyclical of Gregory XVI., 1834 ; on the Revolution- 
ary Initiative ("Revue R^publicaine"), 1835; "Faith and 
the Future" (written in French), 1835 ; "The Patriots and 
the Clergy," 1835; "The Question of the Exiles" ("La 
Jeune Suisse "), 1836 ; "On the Present Condition and Future 
of Italy " (" Monthly Chronicle "), 1839 ; " On the Duty of 
Man" (the first four chapters appeared in "Apostolatq 
Popolare," 1844, the remainder in " Pensiero ed Azione " and 
** Unit^ Italiana," 1858) ; " Thoughts upon Democracy in 
Europe" ("People's Journal"), 1847. Extra pages were 
added by the author for the Italian Edition of his works, 
published in 1865 : Letter to Pius IX. on the Unity of the 
Italian States, 1847 ; on his Encyclical Letter, 1850 (" L' Italia 
del Popolo ") ; The Programma of the " Roma del Popolo," 
187 1. His latest published writing was an essay in the 
** Fortnightly " on Renan's " Rdforme Morale et Intellect- 
uelle," February 1874. 

Editions of Works, Letters, etc. : " Scritti editi ed inediti " 
(edited at first by the author, the later volumes by SafH), 
18 vols., 1861-91 ; " Life and Writings," 6 vols., 1864-70 ; 
in 4 vols., 1897 ; " Prose Politiche," with preface by M. 

Introduction xxxvii 

Consigli, 1848, 1849; "Discorsi Politici," 1849; English 
translation of ** Thoughts upon Democracy in Europe ^ and 
**On the Duties of Man," by E. A. Vcnturi, 1875 ; '*Pubbli- 
cazione Nazionale delle Opere di G. M.'' (*' La Questione 
d'Oriente," "Lettcre Slave," "Politica Intemazionale "), 
second edition, 1877 ; Inedited Letters, 1872 ; Letters to 
Daniel Stem (1864-72), 1873 ; French Letters (Paris), 1873 ; 
^'Lettere . . . alle Societk Operaie d' Italia scritte nel 
decennio 1861-71, etc,* 1873 ; other letters published (Turin) 
1887, (Paris) 1895 ; Lettere Inedite, edited by L. O. de 
Rosales, 1898 ; To A. Saffi and the Craufiird Family (1850-72), 
edited by Mazzatinti, 1905 ; Essays, republished and edited 
by W. Clarke 1887 ; Essays, Selected (Literary, Political, 
and Religious), edited by E. Rhys (Camelot Classics), 1887 ; 
Essays, most of them translated for the first time by T. Okey, 
edited by B. King, 1894 (with these is given an unpublished 
letter of uncertain date). 

Life and Work : Simoni, 1870 ; Nardi, 1872 ; Memoir, by 
E. A. Ventiui, 1875, 1877 » Mario, 1885 ; Comte de Schacl^ 

1891 ; Linton, '* Recollections of Mazzini and his Friends,'' 

1892 ; Bolton King (Temple Biographies), 1902 ; F. Donaver, 
1903 ; Prefatory Memoirs to editions of Essays (see above). 
Mazzini himself supplied autobiographical notices to the 
collected edition of his Works. 

* • ■» • 

• - • *. 

. • . • • • • 

• • • • 

« • • • 

• • 

• • T ■ • 

••••/»• .• 




• • * • • . 



To you, sons and daughters of the people, I dedicate 
this little book, wherein I have pointed out the principles 
in the name and strength of which you may, if you so 
will, accomplish your mission in Italy; a mission of 
republican progress for all and of emancipation for 
yourselves. Let those who are specially favoured by 
circumstances or in understanding, and able to com- 
prehend these principles more easily, explain and comment 
on them to the others, and may that spirit of love inspire 
them with which, as I wrote, I thought on your griefs and 
on your virgin aspirations towards the new life which — 
once the unjust inequality now stifling your faculties is 
overcome — you will kindle in the Italian country. 

I loved you from my first years. The republican 
instincts of my mother taught me to seek out among 
my fellows the Man, not the merely rich and powerful 
individual; and the simple unconscious virtue of my 
father accustomed me to admire, rather than conceited 
and pretentious semi-knowledge, the silent and unnoticed 
virtue of self-sacrifice so often found in you. Later on 
I gathered from the history of our country that the 
true life of Italy is the life of tiie people, and that the 
slow work of the centuries has constantly tended, amid 
the shock of different races and the superficial transitory 
changes wrought by usurpations and conquests, to pre- 
pare the great democratic National Unity. And then, 
thirty years ago, I gave myself to you. -\ 

I saw that the Country, the United Country of free 
and equal men could not issue from an aristocrac 


2 To the Italian Working Class 

which, among *tis has never had initiative or collective 
life, not from* the monarchy which insinuated itself into 
.. (5uTtni^t in the sixteenth century in the track of the 
'•/•.foreigner without a mission of its own and without any 
, • thought of unity or emancipation ; but must issue 
from the people of ItabL Alone. And I said so. I saw 
that it was needful for you to shake off the yoke of ksre, 
and little by little, through the means of free association, 
make Labour master of the soil and of the capital of Italy ; 
and before the French socialistic sects had come to 
confuse the question, I said so. I saw that Italy, such 
^ as our souls prefigured her, could not exist until a Moral 
\ Law, acknowledged as higher than all those now put as 
i intermediaries between God and man, should ovexthrow 
\tiie basis of every tyrannic authority, the Papacy/ And 
. T said so. Nor did the furious accusations, cafumnies, 
"^^and derision hurled at me ever make me befray you or 
your cause or desert the banner of the future, not even 
when you yourselves — led astray by the teachings of 
men, idolaters rather than believers — forsook me for 
those who, having trafficked in your blood, turned their 
looks away from you. The strong and sincere hand- 
clasp of some of the best of you, sons and daughters of 
the people, comforted me for the desertion of others and 
for the many most bitter disillusionments inflicted on 
my soul by men whom I had loved well and who had 
professed to love me. Not many years of life are left to 
me, but the bond sealed with those few of you shall not 
be broken by anything which may come until my last 
day ; and perhaps will live beyond it. 

Think of me as I think of you. Let us be as brothers 
in our affection for our Country. In you essentially her 
future lies. 

But you will not found this future for the Country 
and for yourselves, unless you rid yourselves of two 
maladies which infect the well-to-do classes too much 
to-day, though I hope for a short whi^ only, and threaten 
to lead Italian progress astray; \iachiavelism and 
I Materialism^ The first, a mean travesty of the doctrine 
I of a great but unhappy man, leads you away from love 

To the Italian Working Class 3 

and from the frank, bold, and loyal adoration of truth ;j 
the second precipitates you, through the worship of st^- 1 
inUrest^ into egoism and anarchy. 

If you would withdraw yourselves from beneath the 
arbitrary rule and tyranny of men, you must adore God. 
And in the war which is being fought in the world 
between Good and Evil, you must enrol yourselves 
under the Banner of Good and combat Evil without 
truce, rejecting every dubious course, every cowardly 
dealing, and every hjrpocrisy of leaders who seek to com- 
promise between the two. On the path of Uie first you 
will have me for comrade as long as I live. 

And because these two lies present themselves to y6u 
too often in seductive guise and with the. allurement of 
hopes which only the worship of God and of Truth can 
convert mXofacts^ I have ielt myself obliged to warn 
you against them by writing this book. I love you too 
well to flatter your passions or to indulge the golden 
dreams with which others try to win your favour. My 
voice may seem harsh and too insistent in teaching you 
the necessity of sacrifice and virtue towards others. But 
I know, and you who are good and unspoiled by false 
doctrine and by riches will understand before long, that 
every right you have can only spring from a iMy 

FarewelL Hold me now and for ever your brother. 

April 2$, i86a 





I WANT to speak to you of your duties. I want to speak 
to you, as my heart dictates to me, of the most sacred 
things which we know — of God, of Humanity, of the 
Fatherland, of the Family. Listen to me with love, even 
as I shall speak to you with love. My words are words 
of conviction matured by long years of sorrow and of 
observation and of study. The duties which I am going 
to point out to you I strive and shall strive as long as 
I live to fulfil, to the utmost of my power. I may make 
mistakes, but my heart is true. I may deceive myself 
but I will not deceive you. Hear me therefore as a 
brother; judge freely among yourselves, whether it 
seems to you that I speak the truth; abandon me if 
you think that I preach what is false; but follow me 
and do according to my teaching if you find me an 
apostle of truth. To be mistaken is a misfortune to be 
pitied ; but to know the truth and not to conform one's 
actions to it is a crime which Heaven and Earth 

Why do I speak to you of your duties before speaking 
to you of your rights ? Why in a society in which all, 
voluntarily or involuntarily, oppress you, in which the 
exercise of all the rights which belong to man is con- 
stantly denied you, in which misery is your lot, and 
what is called happiness is for other classes of men, 
why do I speak to you of self-sacrifice and not of 
conquest ; of virtue, moral improvement, education, and 

8 The Duties of Man 

not of material well-being} This is a question which 
I must answer before going further, because here pre- 
cisely lies the difiference between our school and many 
others which are being preached to-day in Europe ; 
because, moreover, it is a question which rises readily 
in the indignant mind of the suffering working-man. 

We are poor ^ enslaved, unhappy ; speak to us of better 
material conditions, of liberty, of happiness. Tell us if 
we are doomed to suffer for ever, or if we too may enjoy 
in our turn. Preach Duty to our masters, to the classes 
above us which treat us like machines, and monopolise 
the blessings which belong to all. To us speak of rights ; 
speak of the means of vindicating them; speak if our 
strength. Wait till we have a recognised eocistence ; then 
you shall speak to us of duties and of sacrifice. This is' 
what many of our working-men say, and follow teachers 
and associations which respond to their desires. They 
forget one thing only, and that is, that the doctrine 
which they invoke has been preached for the last fifty 
years without producing the slightest material improve- 
ment in the condition of the working-people. 

For the last fifty years whatever has been done for 
the cause of progress and of good against absolute 
governments and hereditary aristocracies has been done 
in the name of the Rights of Man; in the name of 
liberty as the means, and of well-being as the object 
of existence. All the acts of the French Revolution 
and of the revolutions which followed and imitated it 
were consequences of a Declaration of the Rights of 
Man. All the works of the philosophers who prepared 
it were based upon a theory of liberty, and upon the 
need of making known to every individual his own 
rights. All the revolutionary schools preached that man 
is born for happiness, that he has the right to seek it 
by all the means in his power, that no one has the 
right to impede him in this search, and that he has 
the right of overthrowing all the obstacles which he may 
encounter on his path. And the obstacles were over- 
thrown; liberty was conquered. It endured for years 
in many countries; in some it still endures. Has the 

The Duties of Man 9 

condition of the people improved ? Have the millions 
who live by the daily labour of their hands gained the 
least fraction of the well-being hoped for and promised 
to them ? 

No ; the condition of the people has not improved ; 
rather it has grown and grows worse in nearly every 
country, and especially here where I write the price 
of the necessaries of life has gone on continually rising, 
the wages of the working-man in many branches of 
industry falling, and the population multiplying. In 
nearly every country the lot of workers has become 
more uncertain, more precarious, and the labour crises 
which condemn thousands of working-men to idleness 
for a time have become more frequent. The yearly 
increase of emigration from one country to another, and 
from Europe to other parts of the world, and the ever- 
growing number of beneficent institutions, the increase 
of poor rates and provisions for the destitute, are enough 
to prove this. The latter prove also that public attention 
is waking more and more to the ills of the people ; 
but their inability to lessen those ills to any visible 
extent points to a no less continual increase of poverty 
among the classes which they endeavour to help. ^^^ 

And nevertheless, in these last fifty years, the sources | 
of social wealth and the sum of material blessings have 1 
steadily increased. Production has doubled. Commerce, \ 
amid continual crises, inevitable in the utter absence 
of organisation, has acquired a greater force of activity 
and a wider sphere for its operations. Communication 
has almost everywhere been made secure and rapid, 
and the price of commodities has £allen in consequence 
of the diminished cost of transport. And, on the other I 
hand, the idea of rights inherent in human nature is / 
to-day generally accepted; accepted in word and, hypo-/ 
critically, even by those who seek to evade it in deed./ 
Why, then, has the condition of the people not improved ?J 
Why is the consumption of products, instead of beifig 
divided equally among all the members of the social 
body in Europe, concentrated in the hands of a small 
number of men forming a new aristocracy? Why has 

lo The Duties of Man 

the new impulse given to industry and commerce prcK 
duced, not the wdl-being of die many, but the luxury 
of the few? 

The answer is clear to those who will look a little 
closely into things. Men are creatures of education, 
and act only according to the principle of education 
given to them. The men who have promoted revolu- 
tions hitherto have based them upon the idea of the 
rights belonging to the individual; the revolutions 
conquered liberty — ^individual liberty, liberty of teaching, 
liberty of belief, liberty of trade, liberty in everjrthing 
( j'imd for everybody. |But of what use was the recognition 
of their rights to thcbe who had no means of exercising 
them ? What did ^berty of teaching mean to those 
who had neither lime nor means to profit by it, or 
liberty of trade to those iriio had nothing to trade with, 

ither capital nor credit^?\ In all the countries where 
these principles were proclapimed society was composed 
of a small number of individuals who possessed the 
land, the credit, the capital, and of vast multitudes of 
men who had nothing but their own hands and were 
forced to give the labour of them to the former class, 
on any terms, in order to live, and forced to spend 
the whole day in material and monotonous toil. For 
these, constrained to battle with hunger, what was liberty 
but an illusion and a bitter irony ? To make it anything 
else it would have been necessary for the men of the 
well-to-do classes to consent to reduce the hours of 
laboiu:, to increase the remuneration, to institute free 
and uniform education for the masses, to make the 
instruments of labour accessible to all, and to provide 
a bonus fund for the working-man endowed with 
capacity and good intentions. But why should they do 
it? Was not well-being the supreme object in Hfe? 
Were not material blessings desirable before all other 
things ? Why should they lessen their own enjoyment 
for &e advantage of others ? Let those who could, help 
themselves. When society has secured to everybody 
who caii use them the free exercise of die rights 
belonging to human nature, it does all that is required 

The Duties of Man ii 

of it If there be any one who is unable from the 
Natality of his own circumstances to exercise any of these 
rights, he must resign himself and not blame others. 

It was natural that they should say thus, and thus,in 
fact, they did say. And this attitude of mind towar( 
the poor in the classes privileged by fortune soon became 
the attitude of every individual towards every otherJ 
Each man looked after his own rights and the improvel 
ment of his own condition without seeking to provide foi 
others ; and when his rights clashed with those of otherslf ^ 
there was war ; not a war of blood, but of gold and of 
cunning ; a war less manly than the other, but equally 
destructive; cruel war, in which those who had th( 
means and were strong relentlessly crushed the weak 
the unskilled. In £is continual warfare, men wt 
educ ated in ^oism and in greed for materia l _ welSre i 
excRisively. Liberty of belief destroyed all community 
of faith. Liberty of education produced moral anarchy. 
Men without a common tie, without unity of religious 
belief and of aim, and whose sole vocation was enjoys 
ment, sought every one his own road, not heeding if 
piu*suing it they were trampling upon ^e heads of th( 
brothers — brothers in name and enemies in (a^ T( 
this we ar/come to-day, thanks to the theory of rights. ^ 

Certainly rights exist; but where the rights of arij 
individual come into conflict with those of another, ) 
how can we hope to reconcile and harmonise them, ! 
without appealing to something superior to all rights^ 
And where th'e rights of an individual, or of many 
individuals, clash with the rights of the Country, to what 
tribunal are we to appeal ? If the right to well-beings to 
the greatest possible well-being, belongs to every living 
person, who will solve the difficulty between the working- 
man and the manufacturer ? If the right to existence is 
the first and inviolable right of every man, who shall 
demand the sacrifice of that existence for the benefit of 
other men ? Will you demand it in the name of Country, 
of Society, of the multitude of your brothers ? What is 
Country, in the opinion of those of whom I speak, but 
the place in which our individual rights are most secure ? 

12 The Duties of Man 

What is Society but a collection of men who have agreed 

to bring the strength of the many in support of the rights 

of each ? And after having taught the individual for 

fifty years that Society is established for the purpose of 

assuring to him the exercise of his rights^ would you ask 

him to sacrifice them all to Society, to submit himself, 

if need be, to continuous' toil, to prison, to exile, for the 

sake of improving it? (After having preached to him 

everywhere that the object of life is well-beingy would 

you all at once bid him give up well-being and life itself 

to free his country from the foreigner, or to procura 

\ better conditions for a class which is not his own?\ 

V'After having talked to him for years of materia/ interests J 

\ how can you maintain that, finding wealth and power in 

\ his reach, he ought not to stretch out his hand to grasp 

^hem, even to the injury of his brothers ? 

Italian Working-men, this is not a chance thought of 
my mind, without a foundation in fact It is history, 
the history of our own times, a history the pages of 
which drip with blood, the blood of the people. Ask all 
the men who transformed the revolution of 1830 into a 
mere substitution of one set of persons for another, and, 
for example, made the bodies of your French comrades, 
who were killed fighting in the Three Days, into stepping- 
stones to raise themselves to power ; all their doctrines, 
before 1830, were founded on the old theory of the 
rights of man, not upon a belief in his duties. You cal' 
them to-day traitors and apostates, and yet they were 
only consistent with their own doctrine. They fought 
with sincerity against the Government of Charles X. 
because that Government was directly hostile to the 
classes from which they sprang, and violated and 
endeavoured to suppress their rights. They fought in 
the name of the well-being which they did not possess 
as much of as they thought they ought to have. Some 
were persecuted for freedbm of thought; others, men 
of powerful mind, saw themselves neglected, shut out 
from offices occupied by men of capacity inferior to 
their own. Then the wrongs of the people angered 
them also. Then they wrote boldly and in good faith 

The Duties of Man 13 

about the rights which belong to every man. After- 
wards, when their own political and intellectual rights 
had been secured, when the path to office was opeded 
to them, when they had conquered the well-being which 
they sought, they forgot the people, forgot that the 
millions, inferior to them in education and in aspirations, 
were seeking the exercise of other rights and the 
achievement of well-being of another sort, and they set 
their minds at rest and troubled no longer about 
anybody but themselves. Why call them traitors? 
Why not rather call their doctrine treacherous ? 

There lived and wrote at that time in France a man 
whom you ought never to forget, more powerful in mind 
than all of them put together. He was our opponent 
then ; but he believed in Duty ; in the duty of sacrificing 
the whole existence to the common good, to the pursuit 
and triumph of Truth. He studied the men and the 
circumstances of the time deeply, and did not allow 
himself to be led astray by applause, or to be dis- 
couraged by disappointment When he had tried one 
way and failed, he tried yet another for the amelioration 
of the masses. And when the course of events had 
shown him that there was one power alone capable of 
achieving it, when the people had proved themselves in 
the field of action more virtuous and more believing 
than all those who had pretended to deal with their 
cause, he, Lamennais, author of the Words of a 
Believer^ which you have all read, became the best 
apostle of the cause in which we are brothers. There 
you see in him, and in the men of whom I have been 
speaking, the difference between the men of rights and 
those of duty. To the first the acquisition of their 
individual rights, by withdrawing stimulus, proves a 
sufficient check to further effort ; the work of the second 
only ceases here on earth with hfe. 

And among the peoples who are completely enslaved, 
where the conflict has very different dangers, where 
every step made towards a better state of things is 
signed with the blood of a martyr, where the operations 
against injustice in high places are necessarily secret and 

14 The Duties of Man 

lack the consolation of publicity and of praise, what obliga- 
tion, what stimulus to constancy can maintain upon the path 
of progress men who degrade the holy social war which we 
carry on to a mere battle for their rights} I speak, be it 
understood, of the generality and not of the exceptions 
to be met with in all schools of thought. When the hot 
blood and the impulse of reaction against tyranny 
which naturally draw youth into the conflict have calmed 
down, what can prevent these men, after a few years 
of effort, after the disappointments inevitable in any 
such enterprise, from growing weary? Why should 
they not prefer any sort of repose to an unquiet 
existence, agitated by continual struggles and danger, 
and liable to end any day in imprisonment, or the 
scaffold, or exile ? It is the too common story of most 
of the Italians of to-day, imbued as they are with the old 
French ideas; a very sad story, but how can it be 
altered except by changing the principle with which they 
start as their guide? How and in whose name are they 
to be convinced that danger and disappointment ought 
to make them stronger, that they have got to tight not 
for a few years, but for their whole lives ? Who shall 
say to a man. Go on struggling for your rights, when 
to struggle for them costs him dearer than to abandon 

And even in a society constituted on a juster basis 
than our own, who shall convince a believer in the 
theory of rights solely that he has to work for the 
common purpose and devote himself to the development 
of the social idea} Suppose he should rebel; suppose 
he should feel himself strong and should say to you : 
I break the social compact; my inclinations, my faculties^ 
call me elsewhere \ I have a sacred and inviolable right 
to develop them, and I choose to be at war with everybody : 
what answer can you give him while he keeps to his 
theory of rights ? What right have you, because you are 
a majority, to compel his obedience to laws which do not 
accord with his desires and with his individual aspirations ? 
What right have you to punish him if he violates them ? 
Rights belong equally to every individual; the fact of living 

The Duties of Man 15 

together in a community does not create a single one. 
Sixnety has greater strength, not more rights, than the 
individual. How, then, are you going to prove to the 
individual that he must merge his will in the will of 
those who are his brothers, whether in the Country or 
in the wider fellowship <^ Humanity ? By means of the 
executioner, of the prison? Societies existing up till 
now have used such means. But that is war, and we 
want peace ; that is tyrannical repression, and we want 

T?^.|^f;/^,.^ ^^ j^^^;a . 311(1 this is the great word 

which SUIUI Ufl'oui whole doctrine. The vital questi 
agitating our century is a question of education. Wha 
we have to do is not to establish a new order of things 
by violence. An order of things so established is always 
tyrannical even when it is better than the old. We have^ 
to overthrew by force the brute force which opposes itselj 
to-^ay to every attempt at improvement^ bnd then propose 
for the approval of the nation, free td express its will, 
what we believe to be the best order of diings and by 
every possible means educate men to develop it and act 
in conformity with it. The theory of rights enables us 
to rise and overthrow obstacles, but not to found a strong 
and lasting accord between all the elements which com 
pose the nation. With the theory of happiness, of welf- 
beings as the primary aim of existence we shall only form 
egoistic men, worshippers of the material, who will carry 
the old passions into the new order of things and corrupt 
it in a few months. We have therefore to fin 
prindple of education superior to any such theory, which 
shall guide men to better things, teach them constancy 
in self-sacrifice and link them with their fellow men 
without making them dependent on the ideas of a single 
man or on the strength of all. And this principle is Duty. 
We must convince men that they, sons of one only God, 
must obey one only law, here on earth ; that each one of 
them must live, not for himself, but for others ; that the 
object of their life is not to be more or less happy, but 
to make themselves and others better; that to fig^SH 
against injustice and error for the benefitof their brotl^rs 

1 6 The Duties of Man 


is not only a rights but a duty ; a duty not to be neg- 
VJected without sin, — the duty of their whole h'fe. 

Italian Working-men, my Brothers! understand me 
fully. When I say that the knowledge of their rights is 
not enough to enable men to effect any appreciable or 
lasting improvement, I do not ask you to renounce these 
-rights ; \^ only say th at they cannot exist except as a * 
conseqiiciiice of duties fulfilled, and that one muat begin 
^rWith the latter in order to arrive at the forHlof. ^d 
I when I say that by proposing happiness^ welAeingy or 

I material interest as the aim of existence, we run the 

II risk of producing egoists, I do not mean that you should 
ftneyer strive after these things. I say that material 

piterests pursued alone, and not as a means, but as an 
/end, lead always to this most disastrous result. When 
' under the Emperors, the old Romans asked for nothing 
but bread and amusements^ they became the most abject 
race conceivable, and after submitting to the stupid and 
ferocious tyranny of the Emperors they basely fell into 
slavery to the invading Barbarians. In France and 
elsewhere the enemies of all social progress have sown 
corruption and tried to divert men's minds from ideas 
of change by furthering the development of material 
activity. /And shall we help the enemy with our own 
hands ? Waterial improvement is essential, and we shall 
strive to win it for ourselves ; but not because the one 
thing necessary for man is to be well fed and housed, 
\ but rather because you cannot have a sense of your own 
• dignity or any moral development while you are engaged, 'X 
^as at the present day, in a continual duel widi want. J \ 
You work ten or twelve hours a day : how can you finer ^ 
time to educate yourselves? Most of you earn harc^ 
enough to keep yourselves and your families : how can 
you then find means to educate yourselves? The 
uncertainty of your employment and the frequent inter- 
ruptions in it cause you to alternate between too much 
work and periods of idleness : how are you to acquire 
habits of order, regularity, and assiduity ? The scanti- 
ness of your earnings does away with any hope of saving 
enough to be useful some day to your children, or to 

The Duties of Man 17 

your own old age : how are you to educate yourselves 
into habits of economy ? Many of you are compelled 
by poverty to separate your children, we will not say 
from the careful bringing-up — ^what sort of bringing-up 
can the poor wives of working-men give their children ? — 
but from, the love and the watchful eye of their mothers, 
and to send them out, for the sake of a few halfpei^ce, 
to unwholesome labour in factories : how, in such 
conditions, can family affection unfold itself and be 
ennobled ? You have not the rights of citizens, nor any 
participation, by election or by vote, in the laws which 
regulate your actions and your life : how should you feel 
the pride of citizenship or have any zeal for the State, or 
sincere affection for the laws ? Justice is not dealt out 
to you with the same equal hand as to the other classes : 
whence, then, are you to learn respect and love for justice ? 
Society treats you without a shadow of sympathy: 
whence are you to learn sympathy with society ? Cyou^ 
need, then, a change in your material conditions to enable I 
you to develop morally ; you need to work less so as to j 
have some hours of TOur day to devote to the improve- j 
ment of your minds ;| you need a sufficient remuneration j 
of your labour to put you in a position to accumulate i 
savings, and so set your minds at rest about the future, | 
and to purify yourselves above all of every sentiment of | 
retaliation^ every impulse of revenge, every thojught \ 
of injustice towards those who have been unjust to you. 
You must strive, then, for this change, and you will 
obtain it, but you must strive for it as a means, not as an 
end; strive for it from a sense of duty, not only as a 
rig^t; strive for it in order to make yourselves better, 
not only to make yourselves materially happy. If no t 
what difference would there be between you and your 
tyrants? They are tyrants precisely because they do 
not think of anything but well-being, pleasure and 

To make yourselves better ; this must be the aim of 
V Qur lif^ _Y ou cannot make yuuisehes Meimtmenily less 
unhappy except by improving yourselves. Tyrants will 
arise by the thousand among you, if you fight only in the 


1 8 The Duties of Man 

name of material interests, or of a particular organisatioii. 
A change of social organisation makes little diiOference if 
you and the other classes keep the passions and the 
^oism of to-day; organisations are like certain plants 
which yield poison or remedies according to the way in 
which they are administered. Good men make bad 
organisations good, and bad men make good organisa- 
tions bad. You have got to improve the classes which, 
voluntarily or involuntarily, oppress you to-day, and 
convince them of their duties; but you will never 
succeed in this unless you begin by making yourselves 
better as far as possible. 

When therefore you hear men who preach the necessity 
of a social transformation telling you that they can 
accomplish it by invoking your rights only, be grateful 
to them for their good intentions, but distrustful of the 
outcome. The ills of the poor man are known, in part 
at least, to the well-to-do classes; known but not felt 
In the general indifference bom of the absence of a 
common faith ; in the egoism, inevitably resulting from 
the continual preaching through so many years of the 
doctrine of material well-beings those who do not suffer 
have grown accustomed little by little to consider these 
ills as a sad necessity of the social order and to lesnre 
the trouble of remedjdng them to the generations to come. 
The difficulty is not to convince them, but to shake them 
out of inertia and to induce them, when they are con- 
vinced, to acts to associate themselves, to unite with 
you in brotherly fellowship for the purpose of creating 
such a social organisation as shall put an end, as far 
as the conditions of humanity allow, to your ills and 
to their own fears. Now, this is a work of faith, of 
faith in the mission which God has given to the human 
creature here upon earth ; of faith in the responsibility 
weighing upon all those who do not fulfil that mission, 
and in the duty which bids every one work continually, 
and with self-sacrifice, for the cause of Truth. All possible 
theories of rights and of material well-being can only 
lead you to attempts which, so long as they remain 
isolated and dependent on your strength only, will not 

The Duties of Man 

succeed, but can only bring about the worst of social 
crimes, a civil war between class and class. 

Italian Working-men, my Brothers ! When Christ 
and changed the fiice of the world, He did not speak 
of rights to the rich, who had no need to conquer them ; 
nor to the poor, who would perhaps have abused them, 
in imitation of the rich. He did not speak oi utility 
or of self-interest to a people whom utility and self- 
interest had corrupted. He spoke of Duty, He spoke 
of Loves, of Sacrifice, of Faith : He said that tAty 
imly should be first among all who had done good to 
all by their worh. And these thoughts, breathed into 
the ear of a society which had no longer any spar 
of life, reanimated it, conquered the millions, conquered 
the w<»rld, and caused the education of the human race 
to progress a degree. Italian Working-men 1 we live in 
an epodi like Christ's. I^e live in the %midst of a 
society rotten as that of tnb Roman Em^e, and feel 
in our souls the need of reviving and transforming it, 
of associating all its members and its workers in one 
single faith, under one single law, and for one purpose ; 
the free and progressive development of alMhe faculties 
wi^ch God has planted in His creatures. \We seek the 
reign of God upon earth as in heaven, or x>etter, that 
the earth shall be a (Hreparation for heaven, and society 
an endeavoim towards a progressive approach to the 
Divine Idea.y 

But evei^ct of Christ's represented the faith which 
He preached, and round Him there were apostles who 
embodied in their acts the faith which they had accepted. 
Be such as they, and you will conquer. Preach Duty 
to the men of the classes above you, and fulfil, as far 
as possible, your own duties; preach virtue, sacrifice, 
love; and be yourselves virtuous and prompt to self- 
sacrifice and love. Declare with courage your needs 
and your ideas; but without wrath, without vindictive- 
ness, without threats. The most powerful threat, if there 
are any who need threats, is firm, not angry, speech. 
While you propagate among your companions the 
conception of their future destinies, the conception of 

20 The Duties of Man 

a nation which will give them a name, education, work, 
and £ur wages, together with the self-respect and vocation 
of men, while you kindle their spirit for the inevitable 
struggle for which they must prepare themselves, so that 
they may conquer all this in spite of all the forces 
of our evil government and of the foreigner, strive to 
instruct yourselves, to grow better, and to educate your- 
selves to the full knowledge and to the practice of your 
duties. This is an impossible task for the masses in 
a great part of Italy; no plan of popular education 
could be realised among us without a change in the 
material condition of the people, and without a political 
revolution; they who deceive themselves into hoping 
for it, and preach it as an indispensable preparation for 
any attempt at emancipation, preach a gospel of inertia, 
^'nothing else. But the few among you whqse drcum- 
\ stances are somewhat better, and to whom a sojourn in 
foreign lands has afforded more liberal means of education, 
can do it, and therefore ought to do it. And these 
few, once imbued with the true principles upon which 
the education of a people depends, will be enough 
to spread them among the thousands as a guide for 
their path and a protection from the fallacies and the 
false doctrines which will come to waylay them. 



The origin of your duties is in God. The definition I 
of your duties is found in His law. The progressive h 
discovery and the application of His law is the task of / 
Humanity. / 

God exists. I do not need nor do I wish to prove iir 
to you j to try to do so would seem to me blasphemy, 
9S to deny it would seem foolishness. God exists, 
because we exist. God lives in our conscience, in the 
conscience of Humanity, in the universe which surrounds 
us. Our conscience invokes Him in the most solemn 
moments of grief and of joy. Humanity has been able 
to transform, to pollute, but never to suppress His holy 
name. The Universe manifests Him in the order, the 
harmony, the intelligence of its motions and of its laws. 
There are no atheists among you ; if there were, they 
would deserve not curses, but tears. He who can deny 
God on a starry night, or beside the graves of his dearest 
ones, or in the presence of martyrdom, is greatly un- 
happy or greatly wicked. The first atheist was doubtless 
a man who had hidden a crime from all other men and 
sought by denying God to rid himself of the only witness 
firom whom he could not hident, and to suffocate the 
remorse which tormented him. Perhaps he was a tyrant 
who had stolen half the soul of his brothers from them 
with their fireedom, and who tried to substitute the wor- 
ship of brute force for faith in duty and in Eternal Right. 
After him there came now and again, firom century to 
century, men whom philosophic^ aberration led to 
insinuate atheistic doctrines; but they were very few, 
and much ashamed. Then in days not long ago there 


22 The Duties of Man 

came a multitude who, irritated by a l^lse and stupid 
idea of God which some caste or tjrrannic power had 
set up for its own advantage, denied God Himself; but 
it was for an instant only, and during that instant their 
need of a divinity was so great that tiiey had to worship 
the goddess Reason, the goddess Nature. To-day 
there are men who abhor all religion because they see 
the corruption in actual creeds, and do not divine the 
purity of those of the future ; but not one among them 
dares to call himself an atheist. There are priests who 
prostitute the name of God to venal calculations, or to 
fear of the powerful ; there are tyrants who blaspheme it 
by invoking it as the protector of their tyranny. But 
because the light of the sun comes to us often dimmed 
and clouded by foul vapours, shall we deny the existence 
of the sun and the vivifying power of its ra3rs upon the 
universe? Because out of liberty wicked men some- 
times produce anarchy, shall we curse liberty ? Faith in 
God bums with an immortal light through all the lies 
and corruption with which men have darkened His name. 
Lies and corruption pass away, as tyrannies pass away : 
God remains, and the People remains, God's image upon 
earth. Even as the People, through slavery, sufferings 
and poverty, conquers, step by step, conscience, strength, 
emancipation, so out of the ruins of corrupt systems of 
religion the holy name of God arises resplendent, 
surrounded by a purer, a more fervent, and more rational 

I do not therefore speak to you of God in order to 
demonstrate His existence to you, or to tell you that you 
ought to adore Him — ^you do adore Him, even without 
naming Him, every time that joafeel your life and the 
life of the beings around you — but to tell you haw you 
ought to adore Him, and to admonish you of an error 
which dominates the minds of many men in the classes 
which rule you, and, through their example, many 
of your minds; an error as grave and as fatal as 

This error is the separation, more or less evident, of 
God from His work, from the earth upon which you have 

The Duties of Man 23 

to fulfil one period of your existence. On the one side 
there are people who say to you, " True, God exists ; but 
all you can do is to admit His existence and to adore 
Him. No one can understand and explain the relation 
between God and men. It is a question which your 
conscience must debate with God himself. Think what 
you will about it, but do not propound your belief to 
your fellows, or seek to apply it to the things of this 
earth. Politics are one thing, religion another. Do not 
confound them; leare the things of heaven to the 
established spiritual authority, whatever it may be, reservr 
ing to yourselves the right of refusing it credence if it 
seem to you to betray its mission ; let every one think 
and believe in his own way ; you need only occupy your- 
selves in common about earthly things. Materialists or 
spiritualists, whichever you may be, do you believe in 
liberty, and in the equality of man ? do you want well- 
being for the majority ? do you want universal suffrage ? 
Unite yourselves to obtain these desires; it is not 
necessary for this that you should have a common 
understanding on questions to do with heaven." 

On the other side you have men who tell you " God 
exists, but He is too great, too superior to all created 
things for you to hope to attain to Him by human works. 
The earth is clay. Life is but for an hour. Withdraw 
yourselves from the first as much as you can ; do not 
hold the second above its worth. What indeed are all 
earthly interests in comparison with the immortal life of 
your souls? Think of this ; look up to heaven. What 
does it matter in what condition you live here below ? 
You are destined to die ; and God will judge you accord- 
ing to the thoughts which you have given, not to earth, 
but to Him. Do you suffer ? Bless the Lord who sends 
you these afflictions. Terrestrial existence is a period 
of trial; your earth a land of exile. Despise it and 
rise above it. In the midst of sufferings, of poverty, 
of slavery, you can turn to God, and sanctify yourselves 
by adoration of Him, by prayer, by scorn of worldly 
things, and by faith in a future in which you will have 
a great reward." 

24 The Duties of Man 

Of those who speak to you thus, the first do net km 
God; the second do not knavo Him. 

Man is one, say to the first You cannot divide him in 
two, and so contrive that he should agree with you in 
the principles which ought to retgulate the organisation 
of society, while he differs firom you as to his origin^ 
his destinies, and his law of life here below. Religions 
govern the world. When the men of India believed 
themselves to be born, some from the head, others fix)m 
the arms, others from the feet of Brahma, Uieir divinity, 
they organised society by a division of mankind into 
castes, assigning to the first the heritage of intellectual 
work, to the second the business of war, to the third the 
servile labours, condemning themselves to an immobility 
which still endures and will endure while belief in this 
principle still exists. When the Christians declared to 
the world that men were all sons of God and brothers in 
Him, all the doctrines of the legislators and philosophers 
of antiquity laying down the existence of two natures in 
man did not avail to prevent the abolition of slavery 
involving a radically different organisation of society. 
For every advance in religious belief we can show you 
a corresponding social advance in the history of 
Humanity: but for your doctrine of indifiference in 
the matter of religion, you can show us no other conse- 
quence than anarchy. You have been able to destroy, 
never to build up ; deny this, if you can. By dint of 
exaggerating a principle contained in Protestantism and 
which Protestantism to-day feels the necessity of aban- 
doning — by dint of deducing all your ideas solely from 
the independence of the individual^ you have arrived — 
where ? In commerce at anarchy — that is to say, at the 
oppression of the weak ; in politics at liberty — that is to say, 
at the derision of the weak who have neither means, time, 
nor knowledge to exercise their proper rights ; in morals 
ja^ egoism*— tibat is to say, the isolation and the ruin of the 
■weak who cannot help themselves alone. But we want 
Association ; how is this to be securely obtained except 
by brothers who believe in the same guiding principle^ 
who are united in the same faith, who take the oath in 

The Duties of Man 25 


the same name? We want education; how is this to 
be given or received except in virtue of a principle 
containing the expression of our common belief con- 
cerning the origin and the aim oi man and of his life on 
this euth ? We want a common education ; how is this 
to be given or received, without a common faith ? We 
want to form a nation; how can we succeed in this, 
unless we believe in a common purpose, in a common 
duty ? And whence can we deduce a common iAUy i 
not from the idea which we form oi God and of His 
relation to us? Doubtless universal suffirage is 
excellent thing; it is the only l^;al means by which 1l 
country may govern itself without violent crises from 
time to time. But universal suffrage in a country 
dominated by one faith will give expression to the 
tendencies, to the will of the nation, while in a country 
lacking a common belief how can it express anything 
except the interests of those who are numerically 
strongest and the oppression of all the rest? AU 
political reforms in countries without religion or indif- 
ferent to religion will last as long as it suits the caprice 
or the self-interest of individuals, and no longer. The 
experience of the last fifty years has taught us enough 
on this point 

To the others who speak to you of Aeavem^ separating 
it from earthf you will say that heaven and earth, like 
the way and the end of the way, are one thing 
only. Do not tell us that the earth is clay. The earth { 
is God's ; God created it that we might climb by it to 
Him. The earth is not a sojourn of expiation and 
temptation ; it is the place appointed for our labour of 
self-improvement, and of development towards a higher 
state of existence. God created us not for contem- 
plation, but for action; He created us in His own 
image, and He is Thought and Action — nay, in Him 
there is no thought which is not simultaneous action. 
You say we oug^t to despise all worldly things, and 
spurn terrestrial hfe, so that we may concern ourselves 
only with the celettiaL But what is terrestrial life if not 
a prelude to the celestial, a step towards its attainment? 

26 The Duties of Man 

Do you not perceive that blessing as you do the last 
step of the ladder by which we must all climb, and 
declaring the first unholy, you cut away our path from 
us ? The life of a soul is sacred in every one of its 
stages, in the earthly stage as well as in the others 
which are to follow; so, then, every stage must be a 
preparation for the next, every temporary progress must 
help the continuous upward progress of the immortal 
life which God has kindled in each one of us, and in 
collective humanity which grows by the operation of 
each one of us. 

Now, God has placed you here below upon earth; 
He has surrounded you with millions of beings like 
3rourselves, whose minds are nourished by your minds, 
whose improvement progresses with yours, whose life 
is fertilised by your life. To save you from the perils 
of isolation He has given you needs which you canhot 
satisfy by yourselves, and dominating social instincts which 
distinguish you from the brutes, in whom they remain 
dormant. He has spread about you this world which you 
call material^ magnificent in beauty, and pregnant with 
life; with a life which, you must never forget, reveals 
itself everywhere as God's visible token, but nevertheless 
awaits your work, depends in its manifestations upon 
you, and increases in power in proportion to the increase 
in your activity. He has placed within you inextin- 
guishable sympathies, pity for those who mourn, joy 
with those who smile, wrath against those who oppress 
their fellow creatures, an incessant yearning for truth; 
admiration for the genius who discloses a portion of 
truth unknown before ; enthusiasm for those who trans- 
late it into action profitable to all ; religious veneration 
for those who, unable to make it triumph, die a martyr's 
death, bearing witness to it with their blood. Yet you 
deny, you scorn these indications of your mission 
lavished around you by God: you even cry anathema 
upon His manifestations, bidding us concentrate all our 
powers upon a work of inward purification which must 
be imperfect, nay impossible, when carried on alone. 

Now, does not God punish those who strive to do this ? 

The Duties of Man 27 

Is not the slave d^raded ? Is not half the soul of the 
poor day labourer suffocated in sensual appetites, in 
the blind instincts which you call material^ so long as 
he is doomed to spend the divine life within him in 
a series of physical acts unenlightened by education? 
Do you find a more hvely religious faith in the Russian 
serf than in the Pole fighting the battles of his country 
and liberty ? Do you find a more fervent love of God 
in the degraded subject of a Pope and of a tyrant king 
than in the Lombard republican of the twelfth centiuy 
and the Florentine republican of the fourteenth? 
Wheresoever the spirit of God is, there is liberty, has 
been said by one of the most powerful apostles that 
we know ; and the religion which he preached decreed 
the abolition of slavery; for who can understand and 
adore God rightly while prostrate at the feet of God's 
creature? Yours is not a religion; it is a sect of men 
who have forgotten their origin, forgotten the battle 
which their fathers kept up against a rotten society, 
and the victories which they won, transforming this 
world which you, O men of contemplation, despise 
to-day. Whatever earnest belief shall arise out of the 
ruins of the old worn-out creeds will transform the 
existing social order, because every earnest belief seeks 
to apply itself to aU the branches of human activity ; 
because the earth has always sought in every age to 
conform itself to the heaven in which it believed; 
because the whole story of Humanity repeats under 
diverse forms and in diverse degrees, varying according 
to the times, the saying written in the Christian prayer, 
Thy kingdom come on earth, O Lord, as it is in heaven. 

Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Let these^» 
words, better remembered and better applied than in the i 
past, be the utterance of your faith, your prayer, O my i 
brothers. Repeat it, and act so that it may be fulfilled. | 
Do not heed those who try to teach you passive resigna- \ 
tion, indifference to earthly things, submission to every . 
temporal power even when unjust, repeating to you-^^ 
without understanding it this other saying, " Render 
unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God 


28 The Duties of Man 

the things which are. God's." Can they tell you any- 
thing which is not God's? Nothing is Caesar's except 
in so fiur as it is such in conformity with the divine law. 
Caesar — that is, the temporal power, the civil government — 
is nothing but the mandatory^ the executor, so far as its 
powers and the times allow, of God's design ; whenever 
it betrays its mandate it is, I will not say your rights 
but your duty to change it Why are you here below, if 
not to exert yourselves to work out the intention of God 
with the means you possess and in your own sphere? 
Why profess to believe in the unity of the human race, 
the necessary consequence of the unity of God, if you do 
not labour to realise it by combating the arbitrary divisions 
and the enmities which still divide the various tribes 
composing Humanity ? Why believe in human liberty, 
the basis of human responsibility, if we do not strive to 
destroy all the obstacles which impede the first and 
vitiate the second ? Why speak of Brotherhood and yet 
allow our brothers every day to be trampled, degraded, 
despised? The earth is our field o( lahnnr] we may 
not curse it, we must Sanctity it. fhe material forces 
which surround us are our mstruments of labour ; we 
may not reject them, we must use them for good. 

ut this without God you cannot do. I have spoken 
/to you of duties \ I have taught you that the mere 
knowledge of your rights is not enough to guide you 
permanently along the path of Progress, is not enough to 
give you that progressive continuous improvement in 
your conditions which you seek. Now without God 
whence can we derive Duty? Without God, you will 
find that whatever system of civil government you choose 
to attach yourselves to has no other basis than blind, 
brutal, tyrannic Force. There is no escape from this. 
Either the development of human things depends upon a 
law of providence which we are all charged to discover 
and to apply, or it is entrusted to chance, to the circiun- 
stances of the moment and the man who knows best 
how to avail himself of them. Either we ought to obey 
God, or to serve men — whether one or many matters 
not. If there be not a Supreme Mind reigning over all 

The Duties of Man 29 

human minds, who can save us from the tyranny of our 
fellow men, whenever they find themselves stronger than 
we? If there be not a holy and inviolable law, not 
created by men, what rule have we by which to judge 
whether an act is just or unjust ? In the name of whom, 
in the name of what, shall we protest against oppression 
and inequality ? Without God there is no other sove- 
reign than Fact ; Fact before which the materialists ever 
bow themselves, whether its name be Revolution or 
Buonaparte ; Fact, which the materialists of to-day also, 
in Italy and everywhere, use as a justification for inactivity 
even when they agree in theory with our principles. Now, 
how shall we demand of them self-sacrifice, martyrdom, 
in the name of our individual opinions? Shall we 
transform theory into practice and abstract principle 
into action, on the strength of our interests alone? 
Do not be deceived. As long as we speak as individuals 
in the name of whatever theory our individual intellect 
suggests to us, we shall have what we have to-day, 
adherence in words, not in deeds. The cry which rang 
out in all the great revolutions — the cry of the Crusades, 
God Wilis it! God wills it! — ^alone can rouse the 
inert to action, give courage to the fearful, enthusiasm of 
self-sacrifice to the calculating, faith to those who reject 
with distrust all merely human ideas. Prove to men"" 
that the work of emancipation and of progressive develop- 
ment to which you call them is pa^rt of God's design, 
and none will rebel. Prove to thfcm that the wori^ 
which has to be accomplished here on earth is an essendiF^ 
portion of their immoital life, and all the calculations of 
the moment will vanish before the importance of the 
future. Without God you can command, not persuade ; 
you can be tyrants in your turn, never educators and 

God wills it — God wills it ! It is the cry of the 
People, O Brothers ! it is the cry of your People, the 
cry of the Italian Nation. Do not let yourselves be 
deceived, you who work with sincerity of love for your 
nation, by those who will perhaps tell you that the 
Italian genius is not a political genius, and that the 

30 The Duties of Man 

religious spirit has departed from her. The leligious 
spirit never departed from Italy as long as she remained, 
in spite of her divisions, great and active ; but it departed 
from her in the sixteenUi century, when Florence had 
fallen, and all the liberty of Italian life had been crushed 
by the foreign arms of Charles V. and the deceit of the 
Popes, and we began to lose our national character, and 
to Kve as if we were Spaniards, Germans, and French. 
Then our learned men began to play the buffoon to 
princes, and to stimulate their listless patrons by laugh- 
ing at everybody and everything. Then our priests, 
seeing that any application of religious truth was im- 
possible, began to tniffic in holy things, and to think of 
themselves, not of the people whom they ought to have 
enlightened and protected. And then the people, 
despised by the learned, deceived and fleeced by the 
priests, banished from any influence in public matters, 
began to revenge themselves by deriding the learned, 
distrusting the priests, rebelling against all creeds, since 
they perceived that the old one was corrupt, and were 
not able to look beyond it. From that time forward 
we have dragged ourselves along, in abjectness and impo- 
tence, between the supetstitions imposedupon us by habit, 
or by our governors, and incredulity. But we want to rise 
r^again, great and honoured. And we will remember the 
natio^aitraiditionfc We will remember that, with the 
nSmt ofSWlJiTtheir lips, and with the symbols of their 
faith in the centre of the battle, our Lombard brothers 
in the twelfth century vanquished the German invaders, 
reconquered the liberties wrested from them. We 
will remember that the republicans of the Tuscan cities 
held their parliaments in the churches. We will re- 
member the Florentine artisans who refused to submit 
their democratic liberty to the domination of the House 
of Medici, and by solemn vote elected Christ as head of 
the republic ; and the friar Savonarola preaching in the 
same breath faith in God and the rights of the people, 
and the Genoese of 1746, who, with stones for weapons, 
and in the name of the Virgin Mary, their patron saint, 
liberated their city from the German army which 

The Duties of Man 31 

occupied it ; and a whole chain of other deeds like these, 
in which the religious thought protected and fertilised 
the popular thought of Italy. And the religious send* 
ment sdeeps in our people, waiting to be awakened. He 
who knows how to rouse it will do more for the nation 
than can be done by twenty political theories. Perhaps 
it is the lack of this sentiment in the imitators of the 
foreign monarchical constitutions' and tactics who led 
the past attempts at insurrection in Italy, as much as the 
lack of an openly popular puipose, which is responsible 
for the coldness with which the people have till now 
regarded these attempts. Preach therefore, O Brothers, 
in the name of God. He who has an Italian heart will 
follow you. 

Preach in the name of God. The learned will smile ; 
ask the learned what they have done for their country. 
The priests will excommunicate you ; say to the priests 
that you know God better than all of them together do, 
and that between God and His law you have no need of 
any intermediary. The people will understand you, and 
repeat with you : We believe in God the Father^ who is 
Intelligence and Love^ Creator and Teacher of Humanity 
And in this saying you and the People will conquer. 



You live : you have therefore a law of life. There is 
no life without a law. Whatever exists, exists in a 
certain manner, according to certain conditions, and 
under a certain law. A law of aggregation governs 
minerals ; a law of growth governs plants ; a law of 
motion governs the stars ; a law governs you and your 
life ; a law as much nobler and more lofty than these, 
as you yourselves are higher than all other created things 
on earth. To develop yourselves, to act, to live accord- 
ing to your law, is your first, nay, your only Duty. 
/ God gave you life : God therefore gave you the law. 
feod is the only Law-Giver to the human race. His 
/law is the only law which you are obliged to obey. 
Human laws are only valid and good in so far as they 
conform to His law, explaining and applying it : they 
are bad whenever they contradict or disregard it ; and it 
is then not only your right, but your duty, to disobey 
them and abolish them. He who best explains God's 
law and applies it to human occasions is your legitimate 
head: love him and follow him. But you have not, 
and cann ot have, any mas /er hut Go d, without being false 
and rebeliious to HifiT "^ 

In the knowledge of your law of life, of the law of God, 
lies, then, the foundation of Morality, the rule of your 
actions and of your duties, the measure of your responsi- 
bilities ; that, too, is your defence against the unjust laws 
which the arbitrary will of one man, or of many men, 
may strive to impose upon you. Without knowing this 
law you cannot pretend to the name or rights of men. 
All rights have their origin in a law, and as long as you 

The Duties of Man 33 

are unable to invoke it you may be tyrants or slaves, 
but nothing else ; tyrants, if you are strong, slaves of the 
strong if you are weak. To be men you must know 
the law which distinguishes human nature from that of 
brutes, plants, minerals, and you must conform your 
actions to it 

Now, /u?w are you to know it ? 

This is the question which Humanity in all time has 
addressed to those who have pronounced the word 
dafy : and to-day still the answers are different 

Some have answered by showing a code or a book and 
saying. Within this is contained the whole moral law. 
Others have said. Let every man interrogate his own 
heart; there he will find the definition of good and of evil. 
Others, again, rejecting the judgment of the individual, 
have invoked universal opinion and declared that where 
Humanity agrees in a belief that belief is the true one. 

All are wrong. And the history of the human race 
has proved by unimpeachable facts the impotence of all 
these answers. Those who affirm that the whole moral 
law is to be found in a book, or in the utterances of a 
single man, forget that there is no code which Humanity, 
after believing in it for centuries, has not abandoned in 
order to seek and preach a better one, and that there 
is no reason to believe, especially to-day, that Humanity 
will change its way of proceeding. 

Those who maintain that the conscience of the indtvi- 
dual alone is the criterion of the true and the false, that 
189 of good and evil, need only remember that no religion, 
however holy, has ever existed without heretics, without 
dissenters by conviction, ready to face martyrdom in 
the name of their conscience. Protestantism to-day is 
divided and subdivided into a thousand sects, all 
founded on the rights of individual conscience ; all eager 
to make war upon each other, and perpetuating that 
anarchy of belief which is the true and only source of 
the social and political discord now tormenting the 
peoples of Europe. And on the other hand, the men 
who reject the testimony of the individual conscience, and 
appeal only to the common belief of Humanity, must 



34 The Duties of Man 

remember that all the great ideas which have helped 
the i^ogress of Humanity began by being opposed to 
the general beliefe of Humanity, and were preached by 
individuals whom Himianity derided, persecuted, and 


Each of these rules, then, is insufficient to obtain for 
us a knowledge of the law of God, of Truth. Yet, 
nevertheless, the individual conscience is sacred; the 
general opinion of Humanity is sacred, and whoever 
refuses to interrogate either the one or the other 
deprives himself of an essential means of knowing the 
truth. The common error till now has been the desire 
to reach the truth by one of these means exclusively ; 
an error most fatal and decisive in its consequences, 
because the conscience of the individual cannot be set 
up as the only criterion of truth without falling into 
anarchy, nor can the general opinion of Humanity be 
invoked at any given moment as a rule firom which 
there is no appeal, without suffocating human liberty 
and plunging headlong into tyranny. 

Thus — and I give these examples to show that upon 
these primary foundations the whole social edifice rests, 
more than, is generally supposed — thus men, falling into 
the same error, have organised political society, some 
solely on respect for the rights of the individual^ 
forgetting altogether the educational mission of society, 
others solely upon social rights, sacrificing the liberty and 
action of the individual.^ And France, after her great 
revolution, and England conspicuously, have taught us 
how the first system leads only to inequality and 
oppression of the many; Communism, if ever it 
could become established fact, would show us, among 
other things, how the second condemns society to 
petrifaction by depriving it of all mobility and faculty 
of progress. 

Thus some, considering only the so-called rights of 
the individual, have organised, or rather disorganised, the 

\ > I am naturally speaking of countries where under a system of con- 

[ monarchy a certain organisation of society has been attemptecU 
es governed despotically there is no society ; social rights and 
of Individuals are equaUy sacrificed. 

stitutional monarchy 

In countries govcme< 

the rights of individuals are equa&y sacrificed. 

The Duties of Man 35 

economic system by founding it solely upon the theory 
of unlimited freedom of competition ; whilst the others, 
thinking only of social unity, would confide the monopoly 
of all the productive forces of the State to the Govern- 
ment ; of these two theories, the first has given us all 
the evils of anarchy, the second would lead to immobility 
and all the evils of tyranny. 

God has given you the general opinion of your fellow- 
men, and your own conscience, to be to you two wings 
with which to soar towards Him. Why should you 
insist on cutting off one of them ? Why should you 
isolate yourselves, or let the world absorb you altogether ? 
Why should you want to suffocate the voice of the 
individual or of the human race ? Both are sacred ; 
God speaks in both. Whenever they agree^ whenever the 
cry of your conscience is ratified by the general consent 
of Humanity, there is God, there you are sure of having 
the truth in your grasp ; the one is the verification of 
the other. 

If your duties were merely negative, if they consisted 
solely in not doing eml^ in not harming your fellow-man, 
perhaps in the state of development which even the least 
educated have reached to-day the voice, of your 
conscience would be enough to guide you. You are 
bom for good, and every time that you act directly 
contrary to the Law, every time that you commit what 
men call crime^ there is something in you which accuses 
you, some voice of reproof which you can conceal from 
others, but not from yourselves. But your most 
important duties are positive. It is not enough not to do \ 
you must do. It is not enough to content yourselves with 
not acting contrary to the law; you must act according to 
the law. It is not enough not to do harm ; you must do 
good to your brothers.* Hitherto morality hias too often 
presented itself to the majority of men in a form rather 
negative than affirmative. The interpreters of the Law 
have said, ''Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal " : 
few or none have taught them the obligations which belong 
to them as men, and m what way they ought to do good 
to their fellows and further God's design in creation. 



The Duties of Man 

Now, this is the chief aim of morality, and no individual, 
by consulting his own conscience only, may ever attain 

The conscience of the individual speaks in accordance 
with his education, his tendencies, his habits, his passions. 
The conscience of the savage Iroquois speaks a language 
different from that of the civilised European of the nine- 
teenth century. The conscience of the free man suggests 
to him duties which the conscience of the slave does not 
even suspect. Ask the poor Neapolitan or Lombard day- 
labourer, whose only teacher of morality has been a bad 
priest and to whom the only book allowed, if indeed he 
knows how to read, is the Austrian catechism ; he will 
tell you that his duties are to labour industriously for any 
wage he can obtain in order to support his family, to 
submit himself blindly to the laws whatever they may be, 
and to do no harm to others. Should you speak to him 
of duties which bind him to his country and to humanity ; 
should you say to him, *' You do hsurm to your fellow- 
men by consenting to work for a wage less than the 
value of your work, and you sin against God and against 
your own soul by obeying laws which are unjust," he 
would answer like one who does not understand, lifting 
his brows in bewilderment Ask the Italian working- 
man whom better circumstances or contact with men of 
more highly educated minds have taught a part of the 
truth ; he will tell you that his country is enslaved, that 
his brothers are unjustly condemned to live in material 
and moral wretchedness, and that he feels it his duty to 
protest as far as he is able against this injustice. Why so 
much divergence between the promptings of conscience in 
two individuals of the same time and the same country ? 
Why among ten individuals holding substantially the 
same creed, that which enjoins the development and the 
progress of the human race, do we find ten different 
convictions as to the manner of reducing belief to action — 
that is to say, as to their duties ? Evidently the voice of 
the individiud* conscience is not enough in all conditions 
of things, and without any other guide, to reveal the 
law to us. Conscience can only teach us that the law 

The Duties of Man 37 

exists, not the nature of the duties which it imposes. 
For this reason martyrdom has never been absent from 
among men, however much egoism may have prevailed ; 
but how many martyrs have sacrificed existence for 
imaginary duties, for the sake of errors patent to every- 
body to-day ! 

Your conscience has need, then, of a guide, of a h'ghtl 
to penetrate the darkness around it, of a rule by which I 
to confirm and direct its instincts. And this rule is I 
Intellect and Humanity. J 

God has give n intellect to each of you that you xeoLj 
ed ucate it to know His l aw. To-day poverty, the rooted 
errors ol' centttrtfes, and the will of your masters withhold 
from you even the possibility of educating it ; and for 
this reason it is necessary for you to overthrow those 
obstacles by force. But even when those obstacles are 
removed your individual intellect will not be enough to 
teach you the law of God, if it is not supported by the 
intellect of Humanity. Your life is short, your individual 
faculties are weak, uncertain, and need a support. Now, 
God has placed beside you a Being whose life is con- 
tinuous, whose faculties are the sum of all the individual 
faculties that have been exercised for perhaps four 
hundred centuries ; a being which amid the errors and 
the faults of individuals ever advances in wisdom and 
morality; a being in whose development God has written 
and writes in every epoch a line of His law. 

This Being is Humanity. 

Humanity, as a thinker of the last century has said, 'U\ 
a man who is always learning. Individuals die, but that 
much of truth which they have revealed, that much of 1 
good which they have done, is not lost with them; / 
Humanity treasures it up and the men who walk over^j 
their graves reap the benefit of it. Every one of us is 
born to-day in an atmosphere of ideas and of beliefs 
elaborated by the whole of bygone Humanity, and each 
of us brings, even without knowing it, a more or less 
important element to the life of Humanity to come. 
The education of Humanity progresses as those pyramids 
in the East rise, to which every passer-by adds a stone. 


The Duties of Man 

We pasSy the way£uers of a day, called to complete 
oar individual education elsewhere; the education of 
Humanity shows itsdf only by flashes in each of us, but 
is revealed sk>idy and progressivdyy continuously, in 
Humanity. Humanity is the living word of God. The 
spirit of God makes it fruitful and is manifested in it 
from age to age ever more pure, ever more active, now 
by means of an individual, now by means of a people. 
From labour to labour, from belief to belief, Humanity 
goes on gradually acquiring a clearer perception of its 
own life, of its own mission, of God and of His law. 

God incarnates Himself suaessrvefy in Humanity. The 
law of God is one, as God is one ; but we only discover 
it article by article, line by line, as the educative ex- 
perience of preceding generations accumulates more and 
more and the association of races, peoples, and individuals 
grows in extent and closeness. No man, no people, no 
century can presume to have discovered tiie whole oi it; 
the moral law, the law of life of Humanity, can only be 
discovered in its entirety by the whole of Humanity 
united in association, when all the powers, all the 
Acuities which constitute human nature shall be 
developed and in action. But meanwhile that part of 
Humanity which is most advanced in education teadies 
us by its development a part of the law which we seek. 
In its history we read the design of God ; in its needs 
our duties; duties which change, or rather arise, with 
I those needsJbecause our first duty is to co-operate in 
! lifting Humanity to that degree of improvement and of 
j education for which God and the times have prepared it. 
Therefore, to know the law of God you must in- 
terrogate not only your own conscience but the con- 
science, the general conviction, of Humanity. Morality 
is progressive, like the education of the human race and 
your education is. The morality of Christianity was not 
that of Pagan times ; the morality of our century is not 
that of eighteen centuries ago. To-day, your masters, 
by separating you from the other classes, by prohibiting 
all association, by imposing a double censorship upon 
the press, endeavour to conceal from you your duties. 

The Duties of Man 39 

together with the needs of Humanity. And nevertheless, 
even before the time comes when the nation will teach 
you gratuitously in schools of general education the 
history of Humanity in the past, and its needs in the 
present, you will be able, if you wish it, to learn the first, 
in part at least, and to divine the second. The actual 
needs of Humanity are expressed more or less violently, 
more or less imperfectly, in the events which occur every 
day in countries where the immobility of silence is not 
an absolute law. Who prevents you, our brothers of the 
enslaved lands, from knowing them? What power of 
suspicious tyranny can withhold the knowledge of 
European events for long fh>m the millions of men in 
Italy, very many of whom travel in other countries ? If 
public associations are forbidden almost everywhere in 
Italy, who can prevent secret ones, if they avoid outward 
tokens and complicated organisations, and only consist 
of a fraternal chain, stretching from town to town until it 
touches one of the numberless points of the frontier? 
Do you not find at every point of the land and maritime 
frontier your own friends and countr3anen, men whom 
your masters have driven out of the country because 
they wanted to help you, men who will be apostles of 
truth to you, and tell you out of their love for you that 
which their studies and the sad opportunities of exile 
have taught them concerning the tradition of Humanity 
and its aspirations in the present day ? Who can prevent 
you from receiving any of the writings which your 
brothers print there in exile for you, if only you wish it 
yourselves? Read them and bum them, so that next 
day the inquisitors, sent by your masters, may not find 
them in your hands, and make them a cause of accusa- 
tion against your family. Aid us with your offerings to 
enlarge the sphere of our mission, and to compile and 
print for you manuals of general history, and of the 
history of your country. Help us, by multiplying ways of 
communication, to circulate them more widely. Be 
assured that without instruction you cannot know your 
duties, and that when society does not allow you to be 
taught the responsibility for every offence rests not with 

40 The Duties of Man 

yoUy but with it ; your responsibility b^ins on the day 
when an opportunity of instruction is offered to you and 
you neglect it ; on the day when means are presented 
to you of transforming a society which condemns you 
to ignorance, and you do not exert yourselves to use 
them. You are not guilty because you are ignorant ; you 
are guilty because you resign yourselves to be ignorant, 
because, though your conscience warns you that God 
has not given you faculties without imposing upon you 
the duty of developing them, you allow the foculty of 
thinking to sleep in your soul, because though you know 
also that God would not have given you a love of truth 
without giving you the means of following it, you give up 
the search for it in despair and accept unquestioningly 
as truth the assertions of the powers that be, and of the 
priest who has sold himself to those powers. 

God the Father and Teacher of Humanity reveals 

His law to Humanity in space and in time. Interrogate 

the traditions of Humanity — which is the Council of 

your fellow-men — not in the confined circle of one 

^ century or of one school of thinkers, but in all the 

■J_ centuries and in the majority of men past and present 

( Whenever the voia rf your conscience corresponds with 

1 that general voice of Humanity you are certain of the 

\ truths certain of knowing one line of God's law. 

\ We believe in Humanity^ the sole interpreter of GocPs law 

\ upon earth; and from the general voice of Humanity 

I in agreement with our conscience we deduce what I 

^am now going to tell you concerning your duties. 



Your fiisL-duiifis, first not in point of time but of 
importance — because without understanding these you 
can only imperfectly fulfil the rest — are to Humani ty. 
You have duties as citizens, as sons, as husbanas,'as 
fathers — sacred, inviolable duties of which I shall presently 
speak at length; but what makes these duties sacred 
and inviolable is the mission, the dufy^ which your 
nature as men imposes on you. You are fathers in 
order that you may educate men to worship and to unfold 
God's law. You are citizens, you have a country, in 
order that in a limited sphere, with the concourse of people 
linked to you already by speech, by tendencies, and by 
habits, you may labour for the benefit of all men whatever 
they are and may be in the future — a task which each 
one could ill do by himself, weak and lost amid the 
immense multitude of his fellow-men. Those who 
teach morality, limiting its obligations to duties towards 
family or country, teach you a more or less narrow 
egoism and lead you to what is evil for others and 
for yourselves. Country and family are like two circles 
drawn within a greater circle which contains them both ; 
like two steps of a ladder without which you could 
not climb any higher, but upon which it is forbidden 
you to stay your feet. 

You are men \ that is, rational and sodal creatures 
capable^ by means of association only^ of a progress to 
which no one may assign limits; and this is all that 
we know to-day of the law of life given to Humanity. 
These characteristics constitute human nature^ which 
distinguishes you from the other beings around you and 

42 The Duties of Man 

which is entrusted to each of you as a seed to bring 
to fruit. All your life should tend to the exercise and 
the regular development of these fundamental faculties 
of your nature. Whenever you suppress one of these 
Acuities or allow it to be suppressed wholly or in 
part, you fall from the rank of men to the level of 
the inferior animals and violate the law of your life, 

tj^e Law of God. 

f You fall to the level of the brutes and violate God's 
Law whenever you suppress, or allow to be suppressed, 
one of the faculties which constitute human nature in 

V yourself or in others. What God wills is not only that 

^^s Law should be fulfilled in you as individuals — had 
He willed this only, He would have created you solitary 
— but that it should be fulfilled in the whole earth, 
among all the beings whom He created in His own image. 
What He wills is that the Idea of perfectibility and 
of love which He has given to the world should reveal 
itself in ever-increasing glory, ever more adored and 
better manifested. Your earthly and individual existence 
within its narrow limits of time and of capacity can 
only manifest it most imperfectly and by flashes. Human- 
ity alone, continuous through the generations and through 
the general intellect fed by the individual intellect of 
each of its members, can gradually unfold that divine 
idea and apply or glorify it. Life, then, was given you 
by God that you might use it for the benefit of 
humanity, that you might direct your individual faculties 
to the development of the faculties of your fellow-men, 
and that you might contribute by your work some portion 
to that collective work of improvement and that dis- 
covery of the truth which the generations slowly but 
continuously carry on. You must educate yourselves 
and educate others ; perfect yourselves and perfect others. 
God is in you, without doubt; but God is likewise 
in all the men who people this earth; God is in the 
life of all the generations which were, which are, and 
which are to be ; and which have progressively improved, 
and will continue to improve, the conception formed 
by Humanity of Him, of His Law, and of our Duties. 

The Duties of Man 


You must adore Him and glorify Him wheresoever He I 
is. The universe is His temple. And every unresisted^ 
and unexpiated profanation of God's temple is visited 
upon all the believers. It is of little avail that you can 
call yourselves pure ; even could you by isolating your- 
selves keep your purity, you are still false to your duty 
if you have corruption two steps off and do not strive 
against it. It is of little avail that you worship the truth in 
your hearts ; if error rules your brothers in some other 
corner of this earth, which is our common mother, and you 
do not desire, and endeavour as far as lies in your power, 
to overthrow it, you are false to your duty. The image 
of God is defaced in the immortal souls of your fellow- 
men. God wills that we should adore Him in His Law, 
and His Law is misinterpreted, violated, denied all 
around you. Human nature is false to itself in millions 
of men to whom, as to you^ God has entrusted the 
concordant fulfilment of His design. And you, while 
you remain inactive, do you dare to call yourselves 
believers ? 

A people, Greek, Polish, Circassian, raises the banner 
of the Fatherland and of Independence, fights, conquers, 
or dies for it. What is it that makes your hearts beat 
at the story of its battles, which makes them swell with 
joy at its victories, and sorrow over its defeats ? A man, 
perhaps your fellow-countryman, perhaps a foreigner, 
rises amid the universal silence, in some corner of the 
earth, gives utterance to certain ideas which he believes 
to be true, maintains them in persecution and in chains, 
and dies, still constant to them, upon the scaffold. Why 
do you honour him with the name of Saint and of 
Martyr ? Why do you respect and teach your children 
to respect his memory? 

And why do you eagerly read the miracles of patriotic 
love recorded in Greek story, and repeat them to your 
children with a feeling of pride, almost as if they were 
stories of your own fathers ? These deeds of the Greeks 
are two thousand years old, and belong to an epoch of 
civilisation which is not and never can be yours. That 
man whom you call martyr died perhaps for ideas which 

44 The Duties of Man 

you do not hold, and anyhow by his voluntary death 
he cut short his individud progress here below. That 
people whom you admire in victory and in defeat is 
a people foreign and perhaps almost unknown to you ; 
speaking a different language, and with a manner of life 
which has no visible influence upon yours ; what matters 
it to you whether it is dominated by the Sultan or the 
King of Bavaria, by the Russian Czar or by a govern- 
ment springing from the common will of the nation ? 
But in your heart a voice cries, "Those men of two 
thousand years ago, those far-off peoples that fight 
to-day, that martyr to ideas for which you would not 
die, were and are your brothers : brothers not only by 
community of origin and nature, but community of work 
and of purpose. Those ancient Greeks passed away; 
but their work did not pass away, and without it you 
would not possess to-day that degree of intellectual and 
moral development which you have reached. Those 
peoples consecrate with their blood an idea of national 
liberty for which you too are fighting. That mart3rr 
proclaimed by his death that man must sacrifice all 
things, and if needs be life also, for that which he 
believes to be the Truth. It is of little importance 
that he and all who seal their faith with their blood 
cut short their own individual development here upon 
earth ; God provides elsewhere for them. But the 
development of Humanity is of importance. It is of 
importance that the coming generation, taught by your 
combats and your sacrifices, should rise higher and grow 
mightier than you in the understanding of the Law, 
in the adoration of the Truth. It is of importance that 
human nature, fortified by example, should become 
better, and realise more and more God's will upon 
earth. And wherever human nature grows better, 
wherever a new truth is won, wherever a step forward 
is taken on the path of education, of progress, and of 
morality, it is a step, a gain, which will bear fruit sooner 
or later for the whole of Humanity. You are all soldiers 
of an army which moves by diverse ways, divided into 
different bands, to the conquest of a single enterprise. 

The Duties of Man 45 

At present you only look to your immediate leaders; 
different uniforms, different words of command, the 
distances which separate the operating corps, the 
mountains which conceal them from one another, make 
you often forget this truth, and fix your attention ex- 
clusively upon the end which is closest to you. But 
there is One above you all who sees the whole and directs 
all the movements. God alone has the secret of thel 
battle, and will be able to gather you all together into\ 
one camp and under one banner. 

How great the distance between this belief which stirs 
in our souls and which will be the basis of the morality of 
the epoch now about to open, and the faith which formed 
the basis of morality for the generation which we to-day 
call ancient ! And how close is the bond between the 
idea which we form of the Divine Government and that 
which we form of our duties ! The first men felt God, 
but without comprehending Him, without even seeking to 
comprehend Him in His Law; they felt Him in His might, 
not in His love ; they had a confused conception of some 
sort of relation between Him and the individual, but 
nothing more. Little able to detach themselves from 
the sphere of objects perceptible to the senses, they 
embodied Him in one of these — ^in the tree which they had 
seen struck by the thunderbolt, in the rock beside which 
they had raised their tent, in the animal which first 
presented itself to their eyes. This was the worship 
which is called in the history of religion fetichism. And 
at that time men knew of no bond except the family^ 
the reproduction in a certain sense of their own indivi- 
duality ; beyond the circle of the family there were none 
but strangers, or more usually, enemies; to preserve 
themselves and their family was the sole foundation of 
morality. In later days the idea of God was expanded. 
From objects of sense man rose timidly to the conception 
of abstractions; he generalised. God was no longer 
the protector of the family only, but of the association 
of many families, of cities^ of peoples. To fetichism suc- 
ceeded polytheism, the worship of many gods. Then 
morality also enlarged its sphere of action. Men recog- 


The Duties of Man 

nised the existence of more extended duties than those 
of the family, and laboured for the increase of the rauy 
of the nation. Yet nevertheless Humanity was ignored. 
Every nation called foreigners barbarians^ treated them 
as such, and sought by force or by fraud to conquer or to 
oppress them. Every nation had foreigners or barbarians 
in its midst, men, millions of men, not admitted to the 
religious rites of the citizens, and looked upon as of 
different nature, slaves among the free. The unity of the 
human race could only be admitted as the consequence 
of the unity of God. And the unity of God, divined by 
a few rare thinkers of antiquity, and loudly proclaimed 
by Moses (but with the fatal restriction that a single 
people were God's elect) was not recognised until 
towards the dissolution of the Roman Empire, through 
""the work of Christianity. Foremost in his teaching Christ 
places these two inseparable truths: there is one God 
only ; all men are the sons of God ; and the promulgation 

y~^ these two truths changed the aspect of the world and 
ilarged the moral circle to the confines of the inhabited 
irth. To the duties of man to his family and to his 
ountry they added duties to Humanity, Then man 
arnt that wherever he found a fellow man, there was a 
brother for him, a brother endowed with a soul immortal 
as his own, called to ascend to its Creator, a brother to 
whom he owed love, participation in his faith and the 
help of counsel and of deed when needed. Then upon 
the lips Qf the Apostles were heard sublime words, pro- 
phetic of other truths contained in germ in Christianity, 
words unintelligible to antiquity, and ill understood or 
disregarded by the successors of the Apostles. For as 
we have manv members in one body^ and all members have 
not the same office ; so we^ being many^ are one body in 
Christy and every one members one of another?- And 
there shall be onefold and one shepherd} And now, after 
eighteen centuries of study and experience and toil, the 
time has come for the development of these germs, for 
the application of these truths not only to every individual, 

* Paul, £p. to Romans, ch. ziL tv. 4, 5 

* Goapel of St. John, ch. z. ver. x6. 

The Duties of Man 47 

but to that whole sum of human faculties and powers, 
past and present, which is called Humanity; for the 
promulgation of the truth not only that Humanity is a 
single body and ought to be governed by a single Law, 
but that the first article of this Law is Progress, progress 
hereupon earth, where we have to accomplish God's design 
as much as in us lies, and to educate ourselves for better 
destinies. The time has come to teach men that, as 
Humanity is a single body, we are alLof us, as members ^ 

of that body, bound to work for its development, and tq^ 

make its life more harmonious, active, and strong. The 1 
time is come to convince ourselves that we can only rise ^ 
to God through the souls of our fellow-men, and that we 
ought to improve and purify them even when they do 
not ask it of us themselves. The time has come, since 
that portion of God's design which He wills should be^ 
fulfilled here below can only be fulfilled by entire 
Humanity, to . substitute for the exercise of charity to- 
ward s individuals a work of association^ aiming at the 
improvement ot^ the whole, and to organise for this pur- 
pose the Family and the Country, — 

Other and vaster duties will reveal themselves to us in 
the future, as we gradually acquire a clearer and less 
imperfect idea of our law of life. Thus God the Father, 
by means of a slow but continuous religious education, 
guides Humanity to better things, and in this improvement 
each individual improves also. 

We improve with the improvement of Humanity ; nor 
without the improvement of the whole can you hope that 
your own moral and material conditions will improve. 
Generally speaking, you cannot, even if you would, 
separate your life from that of Humanity ; you live in i^ 
by it, for it Your souls, with the exception of the very 
few men of exceptional power, cannot free themselves 
from the influence of the elements amid which they 
exist, just as the body, however robust its constitution, 
cannot escape from the effects of corrupt air around it. 
How many of you have the strength of mind to bring up 
your sons to be wholly truthful, knowing that you are 
sending them forth to persecution in a country where 




The Duties of Man 

tyrants and spies bid them conceal or deny two-thirds 
of their real opinions? How many of you resolve to 
educate them to despise wealth in a society where gold is 
the only power which obtains honours, influence, and 
respect, where indeed it is the only protection from the 
tyranny and insults of the powerful and their agents ? Who 
is there among you who in pure love and with the best 
intentions in the world has not murmured to his dear 
ones in Italy, Do not trust men ; the honest man should 
retire into himself and fly from public life; charity begins 
at home, — and such-like maxims, plainly immoral, but 
prompted by the general state of society ? What mother 
is there among you who, although she belongs to a faith 
which adores the cross of Christ, the voluntary martyr for 
humanity, has not flung her arms around her son's neck 
and striven to dissuade him from perilous attempts to 
benefit his brothers ? And even if you had strength to 
teach the contrary, would not the whole of society, with 
its thousand voices, its thousand evil examples, destroy 
the effect of your words ? Can you purify, elevate your 
own souls in an atmosphere of contamination and 
degradation ? 

And, to descend to your material conditions, do ^ you 
think they can be lastingly ameliorated by anything but 
the amelioration of all ? Millions of pounds are spent 
annually here in England, where I write, by private 
charity, for the relief of inc^viduals who have fallen into 
want ; yet want increases here every year, and charity to 
individuals has proved powerless to heal the evil, and the 
necessity of collective organic remedies is more and more 
universally ftlt. When a country, in consequence of the 
unjust laws which govern it, is continually threatened 
with a violent struggle between oppressors and oppressed, 
do you suppose that there can be a flow of capital in it 
copious enough for vast, lengthy, and costly enterprises ? 
Where taxes and restrictions can be imposed at the 
caprice of a despotic Government, the cost of whose 
armies, spies, agents, and pensioners grows with the 
increasing necessity of securing itself against overthrow, 
do you suppose that industries and manufactiures can 

The Duties of Man 49 

have any activity or continuous development? De 
you answer that it is enough for you to organise better 
the government and the social conditions of your own 
country? It is not enough. No people lives to-day 
exclusively on its own produce ; you live by exchange, 
by importation and exportation. An impoverished 
foreign nation, in which the number of consumers 
diminishes, is one market the less for you. A foreign 
commerce upon which a bad administration brings 
crises or ruin, produces crises and ruin in yours. The 
failures of England and of America bring about Italian 
failures. Credit nowadays is not a national but a 
European institution. Moreover, in any attempt at 
national reform you will have all the Governments 
hostile to you, in consequence of the alliances contracted 
between princes, who are the first to recognise that 
the social question is a general one in the present day. 
There is no hope for you except in universal refortS 
and in the brotherhood of all the peoples of Europe, 
and through Europe of all humanity. I charge you 
then, O my brothers, by your duty and by your 
own interest, not to forget that your first duties — dutie^ . 
without fulfilling which you cannot hope to fulfil those 1 
owed to family and country — are to Humanity. Let your, ^ 
words and your actions be for all, since God is for all, ^ 
in His Love and in His Law. In whatever land you 
may be, wherever a man is fighting for right, for justice, 
for truth, there is your brother; wherever a man 
suffers through the oppression of error, of injustice, of 
tyranny, there is your brother. Free men and slaves, 
YOU ARE ALL BROTHERS. Origin, law, and goal are one 
for all of you. Let your creed, your action, the banner 
beneath which you fight, be likewise one. Do not say. 
The language which we speak is different ; tears, actions, 
martyrdom form a common language for all men, and 
^ne which you all understand. Do not say. Humanity is 
too vast^ and we are too weak, God does not measure 
powers, but intentions. Love Humanity. Ask your- 
selves whenever you do an action in the sphere of your 
Country, or your family, If what I am doing were done 



50 The Duties of Man 

by all and for ally would it advantage or injure 
Humanity} and if your conscience answers, // would 
injure Humanity, desist ; desist, even if it seem to you 
ihat an immediate advantage for your Country or your 
family would ensue from your action. Be apostles of 
is faith, apostles of the brotherhood of nations, and 
he unity of the human race — a principle admitted 
to^ay in theory, but denied in practice. Bq such 
apostles wherever and in whatever way you are able. 
Neither God nor man can demand more of you. But 
I say to you that by becoming such apostles— even to 
yourselves only, when you are not able to do more — 
you will advantage Humanity. God measures the 
degrees of education which he allows the human race 
to ascend by the number and the purity of the believers. 
When you are pure and numerous, G<>d, who numbers 
you, will open for you the way to action. 


Your first Duties — first, at least, in importance — arc, as 
I have told you, to Humanity. You are men before you 
are citizens ox Jathers, If you do not embrace the whole 
human family in your love, if you do not confess your 
faith in its unity — consequent on the unity of God — and 
in the brotherhood of the Peoples who are appointed to 
reduce that unity to fact — if wherever one of your fellow- 
men groans, wherever the dignity of human nature is 
violated by falsehood or tyranny, you are not prompt, 
being able, to succour that wretched one, or do not feel 
yourself called, being able, to fight for the purpose of 
relieving the deceived or oppressed — you disobey your 
law of life, or do not comprehend the religion which will 
bless the future. 

But what can each of you, with his isolated powers, 
do for the moral improvement, for the progress of 
Humanity? You can, from time to time, give sterile 
expression to your belief; you may, on some rare 
occasion, perform an act of charity to a brother not 
belonging to your own land, no more. Now, charity ^ 
is not the watchword of the future faith. . The watch- 
word of the future faith is association^ fraternal co- 
operation towards a common aim, and this is as much 
superior to charity as the work of many uniting to raise 
with one accord a building for the habitation of all 
together would be superior to that which you would 
accomplish by raising a separate hut each for himself, 
and only helping one another by exchanging stones and 
bricks and mortar. But divided as you are in language^ 
tendencies, habits, and capacities, you cannot attempt 


52 The Duties of Man 

this common work. The individual is too weak, and 
Humanity too vast. My Gody prays the Breton mariner 
as he puts out to sea, protect me, my ship is so little^ and 
Thy ocean so great/ And this prayer sums up the condi- 
tion of each of you, if no means is found of multiplying 
your forces and your powers of action indefinitely. But 
God gave you this means when he gave you a Coimtry, 
when, like a wise overseer of labour, who distributes the 
different parts of the work according to the capacity of 
the workmen, he divided Humanity into distinct groups 
upon the face of our globe, and thus planted the seeds 
of nations. Bad governments have disfigured the design 
of God, which you may see clearly marked out, as far, at 
least, as regards Europe, by the courses of the great 
rivers, by the lines of the lofty mountains, and by other 
geographical conditions; they have disfigured it by 
conquest, by greed, by jealousy of the just sovereignty 
of others; disfigured it so much that to-day there is 
perhaps no nation except England and France whose 
confines correspond to tiiis design. They did not, and 
they do not, recognise any country except their own 
families and dynasties, the egoism of caste. But the 
divine design will infallibly be fulfilled. Natural 
divisions^ the innate spontaneous tendencies of the 
peoples will replace the arbitrary divisions sanctioned 
by bad governments. The map of Europe will be re- 
made. The Countries of the People will rise, defined 
by the voice of the free, upon the ruins of the Countries 
of Kings and privileged castes. Between these Countries 
there will be harmony and brotherhood. And then the 
work of Humanity for the general amelioration, for the 
discovery and application of the real law of life, carried 
on in association and distributed according to local 
capacities, will be accomplished by peaceful and pro- 
gressive development ; then each of you, strong in the 
affections and in the aid of many millions of mer 
speaking the same language, endowed with the same 
tendencies, and educated by the same historic tradition, 
may hope by your personal effort to benefit the whole 
of Humanity. 

The Duties of Man 53 

To you, who have been bom in Italy, God has allotted,' 
as if favouring you specially, the best-defined country in ^ - 
Europe. In other lands, marked by more uncertain or 
more interrupted limits, questions may arise which the 
pacific vote of all will one day solve, but which have 
cost, and will yet perhaps cos t,^ tears and blood; in 
yours, no. God has stretched round you sublime 
and indisputable boundaries; on one side the highest 
mountains of Europe, the Alps ; on the other the sea, 
the immeasurable sea. Take a map of Europe and place 
one point of a pair of compasses in the north of Italy on 
Parma ; point the other to the mouth of the Var, and 
describe a semicircle with it in the direction of the Alps ; 
this point, which will fall, when the semicircle is com- 
pleted, upon the mouth of the Isonzo, will have marked 
the frontier which God has given you. As far as this 
frontier your language is spoken and understood ; beyond 
this you have no rights. Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and 
the smaller islands between them and the mainland of 
Italy belong undeniably to you. Brute force may for a 
little while contest these frontiers with you, but they 
have been recognised from of old by the tacit general 
consent of the peoples ; and the day when, rising with one 
accord for the final trial, you plant your tricoloured flag 
upon that frontier, the whole of Europe will acclaim 
re-risen Italy, and receive her into the community of the 
nations. To this final trial all your efforts must be 

Without Country you have neither name, token, voice, 
nor rights, no admission as brothers into the fellowship 
of the Peoples. You are the bastards of Humanity. 
Soldiers without a banner, Israelites among the nations, 
you will find neither faith nor protection ; none wiU be 
sureties for you. Do not beguile yourselves with the 
hope of emancipation from unjust social conditions if 
you do not first conquer a Country for yourselve^j: 
where there is no Country there is no common agree-^ 
ment to which you can appeal ; the egoism of self-interest 
rules alone, and he who has the upper hand keeps it, 
since there is no common safeguard for the interests of ' 

54 The Duties of Man 

all. Do not be led away by the idea of improving your 
material conditions without first solving the national 
question. You cannot do it. Your industrial asscicia- 
tions and mutual help societies are useful as a means of 
educating and disciplining yourselves; as an economic 
fact they will remain barren until you have an Italy. 
The economic problem demands, first and foremost, an 
increase of capital and production; and while your 
Country is dismembered into separate fragments — while 
shut off by the barrier of customs and artificial diffi- 
culties of every soft, you have only restricted markets 
open to you — you cannot hope for this increase. To-day 
—do not delude yourselves — ^you are not the working- 
class of Italy; you are only fractions of that class; 
powerless, unequal to the great task which you propose 
to yourseWes. Your emancipation can have no practical 
beginning until a National Government, understanding 
the signs of the times, shall, seated in Rome, formulate 
a Declaration of Principles to be the guide for Italian 
progress, and shall insert into it these words. Labour is 
sacred^ and is the source of the wealth of Italy. 

Do not be led astray, then, by hopes of material 
progress which in your present conditions can only be 
illusions. Your Country alone, the vast and rich Italian 
Country, which stretches from the Alps to the farthest 
limit of Sicily, can fulfil these hopes. You cannot 
obtain your rights except by obeying the commands of 
Duty, Be worthy of them, and you will have them^ 
O my Brothers ! love your Country. Our Country is 
our home, the home which God has given us, placing 
therein a numerous family which we love and are loved 
by, and with which we have a more intimate and quicker 
communion of feeling and thought than with others ; a 
family which by its concentration upon a given spot, and 
by the homogeneous nature of its elements, is destined 
for a special kind of activity. Our Country is our field 
of labour; the products of our activity must go forth 
from it for the benefit of the whole earth; but the 
instruments of labour which we can use best and most 
effectively exist in it, and we may not reject them 

The Duties of Man 55 

without being unfaithful to God's purpose and dimint. 
ishing our own strength. In labouring according to true 
principles for our Country we are labouring for Humanity; 
our Country is the fulcrum of the lever which we have 
to wield for the common good. If we give up this 
fulcrum we run the risk of becoming useless to our 
Country and to Humanity. Before associating ourselves 
with the Nations which compose Humanity we must 
exist as a Nation. There can be no association except . 
among equals; and you have no recognised collective 1 
existence. ^ ^ 

Humanity is a great army moving to the conquest oi 
unknown lands, against powerful and wary enemies. 
The Peoples are the different corps and divisions of that 
army. Each has a post entrusted to it ; each a special 
operation to perform ; and the common victory depends 
on the exactness with which the different operations are 
carried out. Do not disturb the order of the battle. 
Do not abandon the banner which God has given you. 
Wherever you may be, into the midst of whatever people 
circumstances may have driven you, fight for the liberty 
of that people if the moment calls for it ; but fight as 
Italians, so that the blood which you shed may win 
honour and love, not for you only, but for your Country. 
And may the constant thought of your soul be for Italy, 
may all the acts of your life be worthy of her, and may 
the standard beneath which you range yourselves to 
work for Humanity be Italy's. Do not say /; say we. 
Be every one of you an incarnation of your Country, 
and feel himself and make himself responsible for his 
fellow-countrymen; let each one of you learn to act 
in such a way that in him men shall respect and love his 

Your Country is one and indivisible. As the memi 
of a family cannot rejoice at the common table if one of 
their number is far away, snatched from the affection of 
his brothers, so you should have no joy or repose as long 
as a portion of the territory upon which your knguage is 
spoken is separated from the Nation. ^ - 

Your Country is the token of the mission which God 

. / 


The Duties of Man 

has given you to fulfil in Humanity. The faculties, the 
strength of all its sons should be united for the accom- 
plishment of this mission. A certain number of common 
duties and rights belong to every man who answers 
to the Who are you ? of the other peoples, / am 
an Italian, Those duties and those rights cannot be 
represented except by one single authority resulting from 
'your votes. A Country must have, then, a single 

f ) government. The politicians who call themselves 

federalists, and who would make Italy into a brotherhood 

I of different states, would dismember the Country, not 

[ understanding the idea of Unity,. The States into 

f>hich Italy is divided to-day are not the creation of 
our own people ; they are the result of the ambitions 
and calculations of princes or of foreign conquerors, 
and serve no purpose but to flatter the vanity of local 
aristocracies for which a narrower sphere than a great 
Country is necessary. What you, the people, have 
created, beautified, and consecrated with your affections, 
with your joys, with your sorrows, and with your blood, 
is the City and the Commune, not the Province or the 
State. In the City, in the Commune, where your fathers 
sleep and where your children will live, where you 
exercise your faculties and your personal rights, you live 
out your lives as individuals. It is of your City that 
each of you can say what the Venetians say of theirs : 
Venezia la xe nostra : tavemo fatta nu^ In your City 
you have need of liberty as in your Country you have 
need of association. The Liberty of the Commune and 
the Unity of the Country — ^let that, then, be your faith. 
Do not say Rome and Tuscany, Rome and Lombardy, 
Rome and Sicily ; say Rome and Florence, Rome and 
Siena, Rome and Leghorn, and so through all the Com- 
munes of Italy. Rome for all that represents Italian life ; 
your Commune for whatever represents the individual 
life. All the other divisions are artificial, and are not 
confirmed by your national tradition. 

A Country is a fellowship of free and equal men bound 
together in a brotherly concord of labour towards a single 

' Venice it our own : we have made ber. 

The Duties of Man 57 

end. You must make it and maintain it such. A r>| 
Country is not an aggregation, it is an association. There *^ 
is no true Country wiSiout a uniform right There is 
no true Country where the uniformity of that right 
is violated by the existence of caste, privilege, and 
inequality — ^where the powers and faculties of a large 
number of individuals are suppressed or dormant — ^where 
there is no common principle accepted, recognised, and 
developed by all. In such a state of things there can be 
no Nation, no People, but only a multitude, a fortuitous 
agglomeration of men whom circumstances have brought 
together and dififerent circumstances will separate. In 
the name of your love for your Country you must 
combat without truce the existence of every privilege, 
every inequality, upon the soil which has given you birth. 
One privilege only is lawful — the privilege of Genius 
when Genius reveals itself in brotherhood with Virtue ; 
but it is a privilege conceded by God and not by men, 
and when you acknowledge it and foUow its inspirations, 
you acknowledge it freely by the exercise of your own 
reason and your own choice. Whatever privilege claims 
your submission in virtue of force or heredity, or any 
right which is not a common right, is a usurpation and 
a tyranny, and you ought to combat it and annihilate 
it. Your Country your Temple. God at the 
summit, a People of equals at the base. Do not accept 
any other formula, any other moral law, if you do not 
want to dishonour your Country and yourselves. Let the 
secondary laws for the gradual regulation of your 
existence be the progressive application of this supreme 

And in order that they should be so, it is necessary 
that all should contribute to the making of them. The 
laws made by one fraction of the citizens only can never 
by the nature of things and men do otherwise than reflect 
the thoughts and aspirations and desires of that fraction ; 
they represent, not the whole country, but a third, a 
fourth part, a class, a zone of the country. The law 
must express the general aspiration, promote the good of 
all, respond to a beat of the nation's heart. The whole 


58 The Duties^ of Man 

nation therefore should be, directly or indirectly, the 
legislator. By yielding this mission to a few men, you 
put the egoism of one class in the ^lace of the Country, 
which is the union of ali the classes. 
r A Country is not a mere territory; the particular 
territory is only its foundation. The Country is the idea 
which rises upon that foundation ; it is the sentiment of 
love, the sense of fellowship which binds together all 
the sons of that territory. So long as a single one of 
your brothers is not represented by his own vote in the 
development of the national life- — so long as a single one 
vegetates uneducated among the educated — so long as a 
single one able and willing to work languishes in poverty 
for want of work — ^you have not got a Country such as it 
ought to be, the Country of all and for all. ^/g^, educa-^ 
tion^ work are the three main pillars of the nation ; do 
not resTuntil your hands have solidly erected them. 
■^ And when they have been erected — when you have 
secured for every one of you food for both body and 
soul — when freely united, entwining your right hands like 
brothers round a beloved mother, you advance in beauti- 
ful and holy concord towards the development of your 
faculties and the fulfilment of the Italian mission — 
remember that that mission is the moral unity of 
Europe; remember the immense duties which it im- 
poses upon you. Italy is the only land that has twice 
uttered the great word of unification to the disjoined 
nations. Twice Rome has been the metropolis, the 
temple, of the European world ; the first time when our 
conquering eagles traversed the known world from end 
to end and prepared it for union by introducing civilised 
institutions ; the second time when, after the Northern 
conquerors had themselves been subdued by the potency 
of Nature, of great memories and of religious inspiration, 
the genius of Italy incarnated itself in the Papacy and 
undertook the solemn mission — ^abandoned four cen- 
turies ago — of preaching the union of souls to the 
peoples of the Christian world. To-day a third mission 
is dawning for our Italy ; as much vaster than those of 
old as the Italian People, the free and united Country 

The Duties of Man 59 

which you are going to found, will be greater and more 
powerful than Cse^irs or Popes. The presentiment of 
this mission agitates £urope and keeps the eye and the 
thought of the nations chained to Italy. 

Your duties to your Country are proportioned to the 
loftiness of this mission. You have to keep it pure from 
egoism, uncontaminated by falsehood and by the arts 
of that political Jesuitism which they call diplomacy. 

The Rovemment of the country will be based through^ 
your labours upon the worship of principles, not upon \ 
the idolatrous worship of interests and of opportunity. J 
There are countries in Europe where Liberty is sacred 
within, but is systematically violated without; peoples 
who say. Truth is one things utility another: theory is one 
things practice another. Those countries will have in- 
evitably to expiate their guilt in long isolation, oppression, 
and anarchy. But you know the mission of our 
Country, and will pursue another path. Through you 
Italy will have, with one only God in the heavens, one 
only truth, one only &ith, one only rule of political 
life upon earth. Upon the edifice, sublimer than 
Capitol or Vatican, which the people of Italy will raise, 
you will plant the banner of Liberty and of Association, 
so that it shines in the sight of all the nations, nor will 
you lower it ever for terror of despots or lust for the 
gains of a day. You will have boldness as you have 
faith. You will speak out aloud to the world, and to 
those who call themselves the lords of the world, the 
thought which thrills in the heart of Italy. You will__^ 
never deny the sister nations. The life of the Country*^" 
shall grow through you in beauty and in strength, free 
from servile fears and the hesitations of doubt, keeping 
as its foundation the people, as its rule the consequences 
of its principles logically deduced and energetically 
applied, as its strength the strength of all, as its outcome 
the amelioration of all, as its end the fulfilment of the 
mission which God has given it. And because you will 
be ready to die for Humanity, the life of your Country 
will be immortaL -^^ 

'> : 



The Family is the Country of the heart There is an 
angel in the Family who, by the mysterious influence 
of grace, of sweetness, and of love, renders the fulfilment 
of duties less wearisome, sorrows less bitter. The only 
pure joys unmixed with sadness which it is given to 
man to taste upon earth are, thanks to this angel, the 
joys of the Family. He who through fatality of cir- 
cumstances has been unable to live the serene life of 
the Family, beneath the wings of this angel, has a 
shadow of melancholy resting upon his soul, and a 
void in his heart which nothing can fill; and I who 
write these pages for you know it. Bless God who 
created this angel, oh you who have the joys and 
consolations of the Family. Do not hold them of little 
account because you imagine that you can find elsewhere 
more ardent joys or more immediate consolation for 
your griefs. The Family contains an element of good 
rarely found elsewhere, constancy. Its affections wind 
themselves slowly around you, unheeded, but tenacious 
and enduring as the ivy round the tree ; they follow you 
hourly, and identify themselves silently with your life. 
Often you are not aware of them, because they are a 
part of yourselves ; but when you lose them you feel 
that an indefinable something, something intimate and 
necessary to your existence, is gone. You wander restless 
and uneasy. You may still be able to find brief joys 
or consolations; but not the supreme consolation, not 
calm, the calm of the wave upon the lake, the calm 
of trustful sleep, the sleep which stills the child upon 
its mother's breast 

The Duties of Man 


The angel of the Family 14 Woman. Mother, wife, or 
sister, Woman is the caress of life, the soothing sweet- 
ness of affection shed over its toils, a reflection for the 
individual of the loving providence which watches over 
Humanity. In her there is treasure enough of consoling 
tenderness to allay every pain. Moreover for every one 
of us she is the initiator of the future. The mother's 
first kiss teaches the child love ; the first holy kiss of 
the woman he loves teaches man hope and faith in life ; 
and love and faith create a desire for perfection and the 
power of reaching towards it step by step; create 
the future, in short, of which the living symbol is the 
child, link between us and the generations to come. 
Through her the Family, with its divine mystery of 
reproduction, points to Eternity. 

Hold the Family sacred, then, O my brothers. Hc4d 
it as an inseparable condition of life and repulse every 
assault which may be made upon it by men imbued with 
false and brutal philosophies, or by hasty thinkers who 
seeing it too often the nursery of selfishness and of the 
spirit of caste, grow angry and believe, like the barbarian, 
that the only remedy for its evils is to destroy it. 

The Family is^i^ conception of God, not ofjoan. No 
hu man po^^eT^S naEoiisn it. ±.ike tne Oountry,"^n< 
much ii75i'e Ihaii lh6 Coiihtry, the Family is an element 
of life. , t- 

Much more than the Country, I say.J The Country, 
sacred to-day, will perhaps some day dfisappear\ when 
every man shall reflect in his own conscience the) moral 

laws of Humanity 
as man endures, 
every element of 

but the Family willlendure ak long 
It is the cradle of Humanity. I Like 
imnn lifr*, if miiwl.bU (JJUii tu riJgress, 
and its tendencies, its aspirations, mun improve from 
epoch to epoch ; but no one may ever suppress it. 

To sanctify the Family more and more and to link it 
ever closer to the Country ; this is your mission. What 
the Country is to Humanity, the Family must be to the 
Country. I have told you that the task of the Country 
is to educate men ; even so the task of the family is to 
educate citizens ; Family and Country are the two extreme 

62 The Duties of Man 

fpoints of the same line. And where this is not so the 
'Family degenerates into egoism, the more disgusting 
and brutal the more it prostitutes that most holy thing, 
affection, by diverting it from its true purpose. 

In the present day, egoism by force of circumstances 
reigns too often and too much in the Family. Bad 
social institutions generate it In a society supported by 
spies, police, prison, and the gallows, the poor mother, 
trembling at every noble aspiration of her son, is im- 
pelled to teach him distrust ; to say : Beware ! the man 
who speahs to thee of Countiy^ of Liberty^ of the Future^ 
a nd wh o wishes to clasp thee to his breast^ is perhaps nothing 
.^^^Tse flttm^a traitor. In a society in which merit is 
dangerous^^^d wealth is the only basis of power, of 
safety, of defence against persecution and arrogance, 
affection impels the father to say to the youth athirst 
for Truth : Btvoare / in riches is thy safety ; Truth alone 
cannot shield thee from the power and corruption of others. 
But I am speaking to you of a time when you will have 
founded for your sons with your sweat and your blood a 
Country of free men built up on merit and on the good 
which each of you will have done for his brothers. Till 
that time it is too true that you have one way only of 
j)rogress open to you, one supreme duty only to fulfil : 
Ito enrol and prepare yourselves, to choose the right 
\ moment and to fight and win your Italy by insurrection. 
Then only will you be able to accomplish your other 
duties without grave and constant obstacles. And then 
when I shall probably be laid in the earth, you will read 
these pages of mine again ; the few brotherly counsels 
which they contain come from a heart which loves you, 
and they are written with sincerity and conviction. 

Love and respect Woman. Do not seek only con- 
solation in her, but strength, inspiration, a redoublins 
, of your intellectual and moral faculties. Blot out of yourl 
I mind any idea of superiority to her; you have none/ 
I whatever. The prejudice of ages has created through 
nonequal education and the perennial oppression of the 
laws that apparent intellectual inferiority which you use 
to-day as an argument for maintaining the oppression. 


The Duties of Man 63 

But does not the history of all oppression teach you 
that those who oppress rely always for their justification 
upon a fact created by themselves ? The feudal classes 
withheld education from you sons of the people almost 
up to our own day, and then from your want of education 
they drew, and still to-day draw, their arguments for 
excluding you from the sanctuary of the city, from the 
place where the laws are made, from that right to vote 
which initiates your social mission. The owners of the 
negroes in America declare the race radically inferior 
and incapable of education and yet persecute whoever 
seeks to educate it For half a century the supporters 
of the reigning families have affirmed that we Italians 
are ill-fitted for liberty, and meanwhile by laws and by 
the brute force of mercenary armies they keep every way 
closed by which, if the disability did really exist, we 
might overcome it for ourselves — as if tyranny could ever 
be an education for liberty. 

Now, we have all been, and still are, guilty of a like 
oflFence towards Woman. Put far firom you even the shadow 
of this oflFence, since there is no graver oflfence in God's 
sight than that which divides the human family into two 
classes and imposes or allows the subjection of one to the 
other. Before the one God and Father there is neither 
man nor woman^ but the human beings the being in whom, 
under the aspect of man or of woman, those characters 
exist which distinguish humanity from the order of the 
animals; namely, social tendency, capacity of learning, 
and the faculty of progressing. Wherever these characters 
reveal themselves, there human nature exists, and in 
consequence equality of rights and of duties. Like two 
distinct branches springing out of the same trunk, man 
and woman spring in differing forms from a common base, 
which is humanity,' No inequality exists between them, 
but, as often happens with two men, a difference of 
tendencies, of special vocations. Are two notes of the 
same musical chord unequal or of different nature? 
Man and Woman are the two notes without which the 
human chord is not possible. Take two Peoples, one 
called by its peculiar gifts or by its conditions of life 


The Duties of Man 

to spread the idea of human association by means of 
colonies, the other to preach it by the production of 
universaDy admired masterpieces in art and literature; 
are their general duties and rights different? Both these 
Peoples are apostles, consciously or unconsciously, of 
the same divine conception and are equals and 
brothers in their mission. Man and Woman, like those 
two Peoples, have distinct functions in Humanity, but 
these functions are equally sacred and necessary to the 
common development and are both representations of 
the Thought which God has put like a soul into the 
universe. Hold Woman, then, as the companion and 
partaker not only of your joys and your sorrows, but 
of your aspirations, your thoughts, your studies, and your 
efforts for social amelioration. Hold her as your equal 
in civil and political life. Be together, you and she, 
the two wings of the human soul, lifting it towards the 
ideal which we must attain. The Mosaic Bible has 
said, God created the man^ and the woman from the man ; 
but your Bible, the Bible of the future, shall say, God 
created Humanity^ manifested in the woman and in the 

Love the children whom Providence sends you ; but 
love them with a true, profound, stern love; not with 
a nerveless, irrational, blind love, which is egoism in 
you, and ruin for them. In the name of all that is 
most sacred never forget that you have the charge of 
the future generations, that towards these souls which 
are entrusted to you, towards Humanity, and before 
God, you have the most tremendous responsibility which 
the human being can be sensible of. You must initiate 
them not into the pleasures and greeds of life, but into 
life itself, into its duties, into the moral law which 
governs it. Few mothers, few fathers, in this irreligious 
century, especially in the well-to-do classes, understand 
the gravity and sanctity of their educational mission. 
Few mothers, few fathers, think that the many victims, 
the incessant struggles, and the long martyrdom of our 
times are in great measure the fruit of the egoism in- 
stilled thirty years ago into their children's minds by 

The Duties of Man 65 

weak mothers or careless fathers who allowed them to 
get into the habit of regarding life not as a duty and 
a mission, but as a search for pleasure, and an endeavour 
after selfish well-being. For you, sons of labour, the 
dangers are less great ; most of your children learn only 
too well the life of privation. And, on the other hand, 
you who are compelled by your inferior social condition 
to continual toil have fewer possibilities of educating 
them properly. Nevertheless even you can partly fulfil 
the arduous task by your example and by your word. 

You can do it by your example. 

" Your children will be like you, corrupt or virtuous, 
according as you yourselves are virtuous or corrupt. 

** How can they become honest, compassionate, and 
humane if you yourselves lack uprightness, and are 
without charity for your brothers? How shall they 
restrain their gross appetites if they see you give way 
to intemperance ? How shall they preserve their natural 
innocence intact if you do not fear to outrage modesty 
in their presence by indecent acts and obscene words ? 

"You are the living model upon which their im- 
pressionable nature forms itself. It depends upon you 
whether your sons turn out men or brutes." ^ 

And you can educate them by your words. Speak 
to them of their Country, of what it was, of what it 
ought to be. When at evening the smiles of the mother, 
and the artless prattle of the children upon your knee, 
make you forget the toils of the day, tell them over again 
the great deeds of the common people in our ancient 
republics ; teach them the names of the good men who 
loved Italy and her people, and endeavoured through 
suffering, calumny, and persecution to improve her 
destinies. Instil into their young hearts not hatred of 
the oppressor, but an energetic resolve to resist op- 
pression. Let them learn from your lips, and from the 
tranquil approval of their mother, how beautiful it is 
to follow the paths of virtue, how great to stand up as 
apostles of the truth, how holy to sacrifice oneself, if 
needs be, for one's brothers. Kindle in their tender 

* Lameniuui, Livrt du Ptuplt, zii. 


66 The Duties of Man 

minds, while planting the germs of rebellion against 
sdl authority usurped and sustained by force, reverence 
for the true, the only authority, the authority of Virtue 
crowned by Genius. See that they grow up hating 

anny and anarchy alike, in the religion of a conscience 
inspired but not chained down by tradition. The Nation 
ought to help you in this work. And you have in the 
name of your children the right to exact this from it. 
Without a National Education there is no true Nation. 

Love your parents. Do not let the family which 
ngs from you make you ever forget the family from 
which you sprang. Too often indeed the new ties relax 
the old, whereas they ought only to be a new link in 
the chain of love which should bind together the three 
generations of a Csimily. Surround the white heads of 
the mother and of the father with tender and resplectful 
affection till their last day. Strew their way lo the 
grave with flowers. Breathe over their weary souls a 
fragrance of faith and immortality with the constancy 
of your love. And may the affection which you keep 
inviolate for your parents be a pledge of that which 
your children will keep for you. 

Parents, sisters and brothers, ?nfe, children, let them 
all be to you as branches growing in different order upon 
the same tree. Sanctify the Family in the unity of love. 
Make it a temple in which you may sacrifice together 
to the Country. I do not know if you will be happy ; 
but I do know that if you do thus there will come to 
you even in the midst of adversity a sense of serene 
peace, the repose of a tranquil conscience, which will 
give you strength in every trial, and will keep an azure 
space of sky open before your eyes in every tempest. 




I HAVE said to you : You have life; therefore you haoe 
a law of life, . . , To develop yourselves^ to act^ to Ivoe 
according to the law cf lifcy is your firsts nay^ your only 
Duty, I have told you that God has given you two 
means of knowing what is your law of life: your 
own conscience and the conscience of Humanity, the 
general conviction of your fellow-men. I have told you 
that whenever you interrogate your conscience, and find 
its voice in harmony with the great voice of the human 
race which history has transmitted to you, you are certain 
of having the eternal, the immutable truth in your grasp. 

At the present day it is only with difficulty that you 
can properly interrogate the great voice with which 
Humanity speaks to you through history; you lack 
really good popular books and you have no time. But 
the men who by their ability and conscientiousness best 
represent historical study and the science of Humani^^^ 
in the last half-century have deduced from this voice^ 
some of the characters of our law of life. They have 
found out that human nature is essentially social 
and capable of education; that as there is and 
be but one God, there can be b ut one L aw for 
individu al man and foicollective HuinAfU^^ and that 
the ftindamental and umversaT character of" this Law 
P rogress . From this truth, incontestable to-day becau 
all tne branches of human knowledge confirm it, a 
derived all your duties to yourself, and also all yo 
rights^ which are summed up in one : the right to he 


68 The Duties of Man 



absolutely unfettered and to be aided^ within certain UmUs^ 
I in the fulfilment of your duties. 

You are and you feel yourselves free. All the 
sophisms of a wretched philosophy which would sub- 
stitute a doctrine of I know not what fatalism for the 
cry of the human conscience, cannot avail to silence 
two invincible witnesses in favour of liberty \ remorse and 
martyrdom. From Socrates to Jesus, from Jesus down 
to the men who die from time to time for their Country, 
the Martyrs of Faith raise their voices against that 
slavish doctrine, crying out to you : " We too loved life ; 
we loved the beings who made it dear to us and who 
implored us to yield ; every impulse of our hearts cried 
to us livel but for the salvation of future generations 
we chose to die." From Cain down to the vulgar spy 
of our day, all those who betray their brothers, all the 
men who have set forth on the path of evil, feel in the 
depths of their soul self-condemnation, restlessness, 
a reproachful voice saying to each of them. Why do you 
abandon the paths of good 1 

You zx^free^ and therefore responsible. From this 
moral liberty is derived your right to political liberty, 
our duty to conquer it for yourselves and to keep it 
nviolate, and the duty of others not to limit it. 

You are capable of education. In each of you exists 
a certain sum of faculties, of intellectual capacities and 
moral tendencies, to which education alone can give life 
and activity, and which otherwise would remain sterile 
and inert, or only reveal themselves by flashes without 
lingular development. 

Edij cation fs the br^ d ofjhe soyl. Just as physical 
and organic lite cannot grow andlmfold without nourish- 
ment, so the moral and intellectual life needs external 
influences for its full development and manifestation, and 

ust assimilate a part, at least, of the ideas, affections, 

d aspirations of others. The life of the individual 
springs up like the plant, each variety endowed with its 
own existence and with special characters, upon a 
common soil, and is nourished with the elements common 
to the life of all The individual is a shoot of Humanity, 

The Duties of Man 69 

and nourishes and renews its own strength in the 
strength of Humanity. This work of nourishment and 
renewal is accomplished by education, which transmits 
to the individual directly or indirectly the results of the 
progress of the whole human race. It is therefore not 
only because it is a necessity of your life, but because it 
is a kind of holy communion with all your fdlow-men, 
and with all the generations which have lived, that is to 
say, thought and acted, before yours, that you must win 
education for yourselves as far as possible ; a moral and 
intellectual education, which shall embrace and cultivate 
all the faculties which God has given you as seed to 
bring to fruit, and shall form and maintain a bond 
between your individual life and that of collective 

And in order that this work of education should 
be the more rapidly accomplished, and that your 
individual life should be linked more surely and in- 
timately with the collective life of all, vrith the life of 
Humanity, God has made you essentially social beings. 
Every kind of lower being can live by itself, without 
other communion than with nature, with the elements of 
the physical world ; you cannot. At every step you have 
need of your brothers ; and you could not satisfy the 
simplest needs of life without aiding yourselves by their 
work. Though superior to every other being by virtue 
of association with your fellows, you are when isolated 
inferior in strength to many animals, and weak and 
incapable of development and of a complete existj^ 
All the noblest aspirations of your heart, such as love oiy v /^ 
country, and also those less virtuous, such as desire on J^ 
glory and of others' praise, indicate your inborn tendencyP ' 
to unite your life with the life of the millions who] 
surround you. You are, then, created for association. 1\ 
multiplies your strength a hundredfold ; makes the i< 
of others yours, and the progress of others yours \ and 
raises, improves, and sanctifies your nature through the 
affections and the growing sentiment of the unity of the 
human family. The wider, the more intimate and 
comprehensive your association with your brothers, the 


70 The Duties of Man 

farther will 70a advance on the path of indhpidnal 

llie law of life cannot be wholfy accomplished 
except by the united work of all. And ibr every great 
advance, for every discovery of a portion of that law, 
history shows a corresponding extension of human 
association, a wider contact between peoples and peoples. 
When the first Christians came to proclaim the unity of 
human nature, in opposition to the pagan philosophy 
which admitted two human natures, that of masters and 
that of slaves, the Roman people had borne its eagles 
into the midst of all the known peoples of Europe. 
Before the Papacy — ^baleful tonlay, but beneficial in the 
first centuries of its institution — came to announce : the 
spiritual power is higher than the temporal^ the invaders, 
whom we call the Barbarians, had brought the Germanic 
and the Latin worlds into violent contact. Before the 
idea of liberty as applying to the peoples had started 
the conception of nationality which now agitates Europe 
and is destined to triumph, the wars of the French 
Revolution and of the Empire had roused and called 
into action an element separate till then from the rest of 
Europe, the Slav element 
." Lastly, vnn ^xt prog ressive beings. 

This word PROGR2^ar.«.mJg)Owir^ to antiquity, will 
be from henceforth a sacred word for Humanity. It 
comprehends a whole social, political, and religious 

Antiquity, the men of the old Oriental and Pagan 
religions, believed in Fate, in Chance, in a mysterious 
incomprehensible Power, the arbitrary disposer of human 
things, creating and destroying alternately, without men 
being able to understand, promote, or accelerate its 
action. They believed that man was powerless to found 
anything enduring and permanent upon our earth. 
They believed that the peoples were condemned to 
move for ever in the circle described by individuals here 
below ; that they rose, mounted upwards to power, then 
descended to old age, and fatally, irrevocably perished. 
With the narrowest horizon of ideas and of &cts before 

The Duties of Man 71 

them, and ?nthout any knowledge of history beyond that 
of their own nation, and often of their own city, they 
regarded the human race solely as an aggregate of men, 
without any life or law of its own, and derived their ideas 
of it from contemplation of the individual only. The 
consequence of such doctrines was a disposition to 
accept existing fads without troubling or hoping to 
change them. Where circumstances had founded a 
republican form of government, the men of those times 
were republicans; where despotism reigned, they were 
^bmissive slaves, indifferent to progress. But since 
they found the human family everywhere, under a 
republican government and under tyranny alike, divided 
either into four castes, as in the East, or into two, free 
citizens and slaves, as in Greece, they accepted the 
division of castes, or the belief in two different kinds 
of men ; even Plato and Aristotle, the most powerful 
intellects of the Greek world, accepted it The emanci- 
pation of your class would have been an impossibility 
among men like these. 

The men who founded upon the words of Jesus a 
religion superior to all the beliefs of the ancient East 
and of Paganism, dimly foresaw, but did not grasp the 
holy idea contained in this word. Progress, They under- 
stood the unity of the human race, the unity of the law, 
and the perfectibility of man ; but they did not understand 
the power of accomplishing it which God has given to 
man, nor the way in whidi it must be accomplished. 
They limited themselves also to deducing the rule of life 
from the contemplation of the individual. Humanity 
as a collective body remained unknown to them. They 
recognised a Providence and substituted it for the blind 
Fatality of the ancients ; but they recognised it as the 
protector of the individual, not as the law of Humanity. 
Their mental position between the immensity of the 
ideal of perfectibility which they had conceived, and the 
sense of the brief miserable life of the individual, created 
a need for an intermediary term between the two, 
between God and man ; and not having grasped the idea 
of a collective humanity, tiiey had recourse to that of 

72 The Duties of Man 

a divine incarnation; they declared that faith in this 
incarnation was the only source of salvation, of strength, 
of grace for men. 

Not suspecting the continuous revelation which 
descends from God upon man through Humanity, they 
believed in an immediate and single revelation given at 
one fixed moment, and by the special favour of God. 
They perceived the link which binds men together in 
God, but they did not perceive that which binds them 
together here upon earth in Humanity. The succession 
of the generations was of little importance to those who 
did not feel how one generation acts upon another ; they 
accustomed themselves therefore to disregard them, and 
strove to detach man from the world and from the thing$ 
which concern Humanity as a whole, and they finished 
by calling the earth, which they abandoned to the exist- 
ing powers, a mere abode of expiation, putting it in 
antagonism to heaven, whither man might climb by 
means of grace and faith, but from which without those 
means he was eternally exiled. Revelation being in their 
opinion immediate and vouchsafed once only at a given 
period, they concluded that nothing could be added to it, 
and that the depositaries of this revelation were infallible. 
They forgot that in a solemn moment, and with a sublime 
intuition of the jfiiture, Jesus had said: / have many 
things to say unto you, but ye cannot hear them now. 
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will 
guide you into all truth ;for he shall not speak of himself 
but whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speaks These 
words contain a forecast of the idea of progress and of 
the continuous revelation of the truth through the 
medium of Humanity ; in them is found the justification 
of the formula which reawakened Rome will offer to 
Italy in the words " God and the People " inscribed on the 
front of its republican decrees. But the men who held 
the beliefs of the middle ages could not understand it. 
The times were not yet ripe. 

The whole edifice of the creeds which succeeded to 
Paganism rests upon the foundations just indicated. It 

* St. John, chap. zri. 

The Duties of Man 73 

is clear that your emancipation here on earth cannot be 
based upon these. 

Thirteen hundred years after the words of Jesus 
which I haye quoted were spoken, a man, an Italian, the 
greatest of all Italians, wrote the following truths : " God 
is one, the Universe is God's thought; the Universe 
therefore is also one. All things come from God. All ^ 
partake more or less of the divine nature, according to 
the end for which they are created. Man is the noblest 
of all created things. God has poured into him more of 
His own nature than into the others. Everything which \ 
comes from God tends towards the perfection of which 1 
it is capable. The capacity of perfection in man is / 
unlimited. Humanity is one. God has made nothing / 
useless ; and because there is one Humanity only, there 
must be a single aim for ai/ men, a work to be accom- 
plished by the labour of all together. The human race 
must therefore work in union so that all the intellectual 
powers diffused in it may obtain the highest possible de- 
velopment in the sphere of thought and of action. There J 
exists, then, a universal Religion for the human race." 

The man who gave utterance to these thoughts was 
named Dante. Every city of Italy, when Italy is freei 
and united, ought to raise a statue to him, since these 
thoughts contain the germ of the Religion of the Future. 
He wrote them in Latin and Italian books entitled De 
Monarchia and // Convito^ difficult to understand, and 
neglected in the present day even by those who call 
themselves scholars. But these ideas, once sown in the 
world of intellect, can never die. Others reap them 
even when they forget their origin. Men admire the oak, 
but who remembers the acorn from which it sprang ? 

The seed which Dante cast abroad has borne fruit. 
Tended and fertilised from time to time by some 
powerful intellect, it developed towards the end of the^ 
eighteenth centuiy. The idea of Progress as the law 
of life, accepted and developed, verified by history, 
and confirmed by science, became the banner of the 
future. To-day there is no serious thinker who does 
not regard it as the pivot of his work. 

74 The Duties of Man 

We know to-day that the law of life is Progress. 
Progress for the individual^ progress for Humanity. 
Humanity fulfils that law on earth ; the Individual on 
earth and elsewhere. One only God; one only Law. 
From the first moment of its existence Humanity has 
^ been gradually but inevitably fulfilling that Law. Truth 
has never manifested itself wholly or all at once. A 
, continuous revelation manifests a fiagment of the truth, 
a word of the Law, firom age to age. Each of these wards 
profoundly modifies human life upon the path towards 
p^rfectifm^ and constitutes a beliefs a Faith. The develop- 
ment of the religious Idea is, then, indefinitely progressive; 
and the successive beliefs^ unfolding and purifying this 
Idea ever more and more, will one day, like columns of 
a temple, build up the Pantheon of Humanity, the one 
great religion of our earth. The men blessed by God 
with genius and with more than common virtue are its 
apostles; the People, the collective sense of Humanity, 
is its interpreter, and accepts this revelation of Truth, 
transmits it from generation to generation, and reduces 
it to practice by applying it to the different branches 
and manifestations of human life. 

Humanity is like a man who lives for an indefinite 
period and is always learning. There is not, therefore, 
and there cannot be, infallibSity in men, or in Powers; 
there is not, and cannot be, a privileged class of deposi- 
taries and interpreters of the Law; there \s not, and 
cannot be, a need of any intermediary betweenr God and 
man save Humanity alone. God, by preordaining a pro- 
vidential design of progressive education for Humanity, 
and planting ti^e instinct of progress in the heart of every 
^ man, has aho put into human nature the faculties and 
powers necessary to fulfil it Individual man, a free and 
responsible creature, is able to use or abuse them accord- 
ing to whether he keeps to the path of Duty, or yields to 
the blind seductions of Egoism ; he can delay or hasten 
his own progress; but the providential design cannot 
be annulled by any human power. The education of 
Humanity must complete itsdf ; thus we see out of the 
barbaric invasions which seemed to extinguish all civilised 


The Duties of Man 75 

life a new civilisation arise superior to the old, and 
diffused over a wider zone of the earth ; out of a tyranny 
exercised by individuals we see a more rapid develop- 
ment of liberty immediately issue. 

The Law of Progress must be accomplished here upon 
earth as elsewhere. There is no antagonism betweSirn 
earth and heaven : and it is a blasphemy to suppose that ' 
we can, without inciuring guilt, despise the work of God, ( 
the house which He has given us, and abandon it to the \ 
Powers that be, whatever their nature, to the influengjpr | 
of Evil, of Egoism, and of Tyranny. The earth is not a - 
place of expiation ; it is the place for working to realise 
the ideal of truth and justice which each of us bears im- ) 
planted in his soul ; it is a ladder towards that Perfection ' 
which we can only reach by glorifying God in Humanity > 
with our works and by consecrating ourselves to trans- ^ 
lating into fact as much as we can of His design. The J 
judgment which will be pronounced upon each one of us, 
either decreeing our upward progress upon the ladder of 
Perfection, or condemning us to drag ourselves once 
again along the course wtuch we have already trodden 
with barren results or in actual sin, will be founded on 
the good which we have done to our brothers, upon the 
degree of progress which we have helped others to 
attain. A more and more intimate and extended 
association with our fellow-men is the means by which 
our strength will be multiplied, the field on which our 
duties must be accomplished, the way to realise progress 
in action. We must aim at making the whole ofi 
Humanity one Family, each member of which shall! 
represent in himself the moral law for the benefit of the I 
others. And as the perfecting of Humanity is accom- 1 
plished from age to age, from generation to generation, I 
so the perfecting of the individual is accomplished from I 
existence to existence, more or less rapidly according to | 
our own efforts. 

These are some of the truths contained in that word 
Progress from which shall come forth the Religion of 
the Future. In that word alone can your emancipation 
be achieved. 






You live. The life which is in you is not the work of 
Chance; the word Chance has no meaning whatever 
and was only invented to express the ignorance of men 
about certain things. The life which is in you comes 
from God, and reveals in its progressive development 
an intelligent design. Your life h^s necessarily then an 
aim^ a purpose. 

The ultimate aim for which we were created is at 
present unknown to us and cannot be otherwise; but 
this is no reason why we should deny it. Does the babe 
know the purpose towards which it must tend through 
Family, Country, Humanity ? No ; but the purpose exists, 
and we are beginning to know it for him. Humanity 
is God's babe; He knows the end towards which it 
must develop. Humanity is only just beginning to- 
day to understand that Progress is its law; it is only 
just beginning to understand, uncertainly, something of 
the Universe around it, and the greater part of the indi- 
viduals who compose it are still quite unfit, in consequence 
of barbarism, slavery, or absolute lack of education, for 
the study of this Law and of the Universe which is 
necessary before we can understand ourselves. Only a 
minority of the men who people our little Europe are 
capable of developing their intellectual faculties for the 
purpose of acquiring knowledge. In you yourselves, 
most of you deprived of instruction and all subjected by 
necessity to a life of badly organised physical labour, 
those faculties lie dormant and are unable to bring 
their tribute to the pyramid of knowledge. How, then, 
can we expect to know to-day that which requires the 


The Duties of Man 77 

associated work of all? Why rebel against our not 
having yet reached the point which will constitute the 
last step of our earthly Progress, when as yet only a few 
of us, and those disunited, are beginning even to lisp 
that sacred and fruitful word ? Let us resign ourselves, 
then, to ignorance of the things which must be inacces- 
sible to us for a long while yet, and do not let us abandon 
in childish anger the study of those which we are able to 
discover. The discovery of the truth demands modesty 
and self restraint, as much as constancy. Many more souls 
have been lost or led astray from the right path by 
impatience and human pride than by deliberate wicked- 
ness. It is this truth which the ancients would teach 
us when they tell how the Despot ambitious of scaling 
the heavens could only build up a tower of confusion, 
and how the Giants who assailed Qlympus lie blasted 
by thunderbolts beneath our volcanic mountains. 

The important thing for us to be convinced of is, that 
whatever the end may be for which we are destined, we 
can only discover and attain it by the progressive develop- 
ment and the exercise of our intellectual faculties. Our 
faculties are the instruments of labour given us by God. 
It is necessary therefore that their development should 
be furthered and helped, and their exercise be free and 
protected. Without Liberty you cannot fulfil any of 
your duties ; you have therefore a right to liberty and 
the duty to wrest it by any means from any power 
whatever which denies it to you; 

Without Liberty morality does not exist, because if 
there is not freedom of choice between good and evil, 
between devotion to the common progress and th 
spirit of egoism, there is no responsibility. Without 
Liberty no true society exists, because between free men 
and slaves there can be no association^ but only dominion I 
of some over the others. Liberty is sacred as the indi- 
vidual whose life it represents is sacred. Where there 
is not Liberty, life is reduced to a mere organic function. 
A man who allows his liberty to be violated is false to J 
his own nature and a rebel against the decrees of God. -' 

There is no liberty where a class, a family, or a man 


The Duties of Man 

assumes dominion over others in virtue of a pretended 
divine right, or of a privilege derived from birth or 
wealth. Liberty must be for all and in the sight of aU. 
God does not delegate sovereignty to any individual; 
that degree of sovereignty which can be represented on 
our earth is entrusted by God to Humanity, to the Nations, 
to Society. And this also ceases and abandons the 
collective fractions of Humanity if they do not use it 
for good, for the fulfilment of the providential design. 
There exists, then, no sovereignty of right in any 
one; sovereignty is in the Aim, and in the actions 
whidi lead to it. The actions and the aim towards 
which we are advancing must be submitted to the 
judgment of alL There is not and cannot be, then, 
any permanent sovereignty. That institution which 
. we call Government is only a Direction ; a mission en- 
I trusted to a few in order to attain more speedily the 
I aim of the Nation ; and if they are false to this mission, 
I the directing power entrusted to these few must cease. 
^^^Every man called to the Government is an administrator 
of the common will ; he must be elected and must be 
subject to recall whenever he misunderstands or deliber- 
ately opposes that will. There cannot exist, then, I 
repeat, a class or family which holds the power by its 
own right, without a violation of your liberty. How can 
you call yourselves free in the presence of men who 
possess the power to command you without your consent ? 
The ^-i^mblir Ji^thi^jMily^ Ifgirimfltfi and-l^girfll i^rmrvi 

You have no master but God in heaven and the 
People on earth. When you have discovered a line of 
the Law, of God's will, you must bless it and obey it 
When the People, the collective body of your fellows, 
declare that they hold a certain belief, you must bow 
your head and abstain from every act of rebellion. 

But there are things which constitute your individual 
being and are essential to human life. And over these 
not even the People has any right. No majority, no 
collective force can rob you of that which makes you 
men. No majority can decree a tyranny and extinguish 

The Duties of Man 79 

or alienate its own liberty. Against a people who would 
commit such suicide you cannot use force, but the right 
of protest by whatever means circumstances may suggest 
to you lives and will live in each of you eternally. 

You ought to have liberty and everything that is 
indispensable for the moral and material nourishment 
of life. 

Personal liberty ; liberty of locomotion ; liberty of re- 
ligious belief; liberty of opinion on all subjects ; liberty of 
expressing opinion through the press or by any o^er 
peaceful method ; liberty of assodation'so as to be able to 
cultivate your own minds by contact with the minds of 
others ; hberty of trade in all the productions of your 
brains and hands : these are all things which no one may 
take from you— except on certain rare occasions which it 
is not necessary to mention now — ^without grave injustice, 
without arousing in you the duty to protest^ 

No one has the right, in the name of society, to imprison 
you or to subject your person to restraint or to espion- 
age, without telling you why with the least possible 
delay, and conducting you promptly before the judicial 
authority of the country. No one has the right to impede 
you by passports or other restrictions from passing from 
one part to another of your native land. No one has any 
right of persecution or intolerance or exclusive legislation 
over your religious opinions: nothing except the great 
pacific voice of Humanity has the right to interpose 
itself between God and your conscience. God has giveiri 
vou thought ; no one has the right to restrain it, or to for- 
bid the expression of it, which is the communion of your 
soul with the soul of your brothers, and the only way of / 
progress which we have. The press must be absolutely I 
free; the rights of the intellect are inviolable, and any 
preventive censorship is tyranny ; society may only punish | 
the offences of the pen, such as the inculcation of 
crime and openly immoral teaching, as it punishes other 
offences. Punishment decreed by a solemn publjo^ 
judgment is a consequence of human responsibility, 
whSe every intervention drforehand is a negation of 
liberty. Peaceful (usociation is sacred, like thought ; God 

8o The Duties of Man 

planted the tendency in you as a perennial means of 
progress, a pledge of that unity which the human family 
is destined one day to attain ; no power has any nght 
to impede or limit it The duty of each of you is 
to use the life which God gave you, to preserve and 
develop it; each of you, then, owes to life a debt 
of labour, the sole means of its material sustenance. 
Labour is sacred. No one has the right to forbid it or 
fetter it or make it impossible by arbitrary regulations : 
no one has*the right to restrain free traffic in its products ; 
your native land is your market, from no part of which 
you may be shut out. 

But when you have obtained the recognition of these 
liberties as sacred — when you have finally established 
the state upon the votes of all and in such a manner 
that all the ways which can lead to the development 
of human faculties shall be open to the individual — then, 
remember that still above each of you stands the great 
aim which it is your duty to attain : the moral perfection 
^ of yourself and of others, an ever more intimate and 
^ wider communion between all the members of the human 
family, so that at some future day it shall recognise one 
Law only. 

'* Your task is to form the universal family, to build 
the City of God, and by a continuous labour gradually 
to translate His work in Humanity into fact 

" When you love one another as brothers and treat each 
other reciprocally as such, and each one, seeking his own 
good in the good of all, shall identify his own life with 
the life of all, his own interests with the interests of all, 
and shall be always ready to sacrifice himself for all the 
members of the common family, and they equally ready 
to sacrifice themselves for him, most of the ills which 
weigh to-day upon the human race will vanish like the 
thick mists gathered upon the horizon vanish at the 
rising of the sun ; since it is His will that Love shall 
unite little by little, and ever more closely, the scattered 
elements of Humanity and order them in a single body, 
and Humanity be one, as He is one." * 

* Lamennait, LwrtjiH PiupU, iiU 

The Duties of Man 8i 

Do not let these words, spoken by a man who lived 
and died like a saint and who loved Uie people and their 
foture with an immense love, ever be out of your min 
O my brothers. Liberty is only a pteans : woe to 
and to your future if you ever accustom yourselves 
regard it as an end. Your individual being has duties 
and rights which may never be given up to any one ; but 
woe to you and to your future if the respect which you 
owe to what constitutes your individual life should ever 
degenerate into a fatal egoism ! Your Liberty is not the 
negation of all authority ; it is the negation of all authority 
wluch does not represent the collective purpose of the 
Nation, and which presumes to establish and support 
itself upon any other foundation than that of your free J 
and spontaneous consent. The doctrines of casuisl6> 
have in these latter times perverted the sacred concep- 
tion of Liberty ; some have reduced it to a mean immoral 
individualism — have said that the Ego is everything and 
that the one aim of human labour and social organisation 
ought to be the satisfaction of its desires ; others have 
declared that all government, all authority, is an inevit- 
able evil, but that it must be restricted and fettered 
as much as possible; that Liberty has no limits, 
that the sole task of every society is to promote it 
indefinitely ; that a man has the right to use and abuse 
Liberty, provided that his action does not result directly 
in evil to others ; and that a government has no mission 
beyond that of prtventit^ one individual from infuring 
another. Reject these false doctrines, O my brothers ; 
it is they who delay Italy even now upon the road of 
her future greatness. The first has generated the egoism 
of class ; the second turns society, which ought, if well 
ordered, to represent your collective purpose and life, 
into nothing more than a soldier or police officer charged 
to maintain an apparent peace. Both debase Liberty 
into Anarchy ; they abolish the idea of collective moral 
improvement ; abolish the mission of education and of 
Progress which Society ought to take upon itself. If 
you should understand Liberty in this way you would 
deserve to lose it, and sooner or later you would lose it 



82 The Duties of Man 

Your Liberty will be sacred so long as it develops 
under the nding influence of the Idea of Duty and of 
Faith in the common perfectibility. Your Liberty wHI 
flourish, protected by (jod and by men, so long as you 
regard it not as the right to use and to abuse your 
Acuities in any direction which it pleases you to choose, 
but as the right to choose freely and according to yamr 
specicU Undencies a means cf doing good 



God has made you capable of education. It is there- 
fore your duty to educate yourselves as far as in you lies, 
and your right that the society to which you belong 
should not hinder you in your work of education, but 
should help you in it and supply you with means of 
education when you lack them. J 

Your liberty, your rights, your emancipation from 
unjust social conditions, the life-work which each of you 
has to fulfil here on earth, depend upon the degree of 
education which it is given you to obtain. Without 
education you cannot choose rightly between good and 
evil; you cannot acquire a knowledge of your own 
rights ; you cannot obtain that share in political life with> 
out which you will never succeed in emancipating your- 
selves; you cannot define your own life-work to your- 
selves. Education is the bread of your souls. Without 
it your faculties lie numb and unfruitful, as the vital 
power which dwells in the seed lies sterile if it is cast into 
untilled soil and lacks the benefit of irrigation and the 
care of a diligent husbandman. 

At the present day you either have no education or else 
only bad or inadequate instruction, given you by men 
and powers which represent nothing except themselves 
and observe no guiding principle. The best of them 
believe that they have done all that is required of 
them if they have opened upon the territory which 
they govern a certain number of schools, unequally 
distributed, in which your children may receive some 
degree of elementary teaching. This teaching consists 
principally of reading, writing, and arithmetic. 



The Duties of Man 


Such teaching is called instruction ; and differs from 
education as much as our organs differ from our life. 
Our oigans are not life ; they are only its instruments 
and its means of manifesting itself; they do not rule or 
direct it, and they are equally the means of action for the 
most saintly or the most corrupt life. In the same way 
instruction provides the means of putting into practice 
what is taught by education, but cannot take the place of 
\^ Education is addressed to the moral faculties; 
instruction to the intellectual. The first develops in man 
the knowledge of his duties; the second makes him 
capable of fulfilling them. Without instruction^ education 
would be too often ineffective; without education 
instr uction would be a lever lacking a fulcrum. You can 
read ; what does that amount to if you cannot tell which 
books contain error, which the truth ? You are able by 
writing to communicate your thoughts to your brothers ; 
what is the use if your thoughts only express egoism ? 
Instruction^ like riches, can be a source of either good or 
evil according to the intention with which it is used. 
Consecrated to the general progress it is a means of 
civilisation and of liberty; used only for personal 
advantage it becomes a means of tyranny and corruption. 
In Europe to-day instruction unaccompanied by a 
corresponding degree of moral education is a very grievous 
evil; it keeps up the inequality between class and 
class of the same people and inclines the mind to 
calculation, to egoism, to compromises between justice and 
injustice and to all false doctrine. 

The distinction between the men who offer you more 
or less instruction, and those who preach education to 
you, is deeper than you suppose, and I must devote a 
few words specially to the subject 

Two schools of thought divide the camp of those who 
fight for liberty against despotism. The first declare 
that sovereignty resides in die individual i the second 
maintains that it belongs to society only, and rules by 
means of the expressed will of the majority. The first 
imagines that it has fulfilled its peculiar mission when 

The Duties of Man 85 

it has prodaimed the rights believed to be inherent in 
human nature, and has ^(^;uarded liberty ; the second 
looks almost exclusively to ossaaaHon, and deduces the 
duties of each individual from the compact which con- 
stitutes that association. The first does not see beyond 
what I have called instruction^ because instruction tends 
in fact to give facilities of development to the individual 
^Biculties, but without any general direction ; the second 
understands the necessity of an education which is foi 
it the manifestation of the social programme. The first 
leads inevitably to moral anarchy ; the second tends to 
forget the rights of liberty, and runs a risk of leading 
to the despotism of the majority. 

To the first of these schools that generation of men 
belonged who were called in France doctrinaires^ who 
betrayed the hopes of the people after the Revolution 
of 1830, and by proclaiming liberty of instruction and 
nothing else, perpetuated the governing monopoly in the 
hands of the middle doss, which possesses more means 
of devdoping its individual Acuities; the second is 
unfortunately only represented to-day by sects and 
powers belonging to antiquated beliefs, and hostile to 
the dogma of the future, Progress. 

Both these schools err through too narrow and 
exclusive aims. 

The truth is this : AU sovereignty is in God, in the 
moral law, in the providential design which governs 
the world — ^and which is gradually revealed by the in- 
spirations of men of virtuous genius, and by the natural 
tendency of Humanity in the different epochs of its | . 
existence — ^in the purpose which we have to attain, and J | 
the mission whidi we have to fulfil. There is no M 
sovereignty in the individual, there is none in society | 
except in so far as the one and the other conform to I 
that design, to that law, and direct themselves towards J 
the attainment of that purpose. An individual who / 
rules is either the best interpreter of the mond bw/ 
and governs in its name, or a usurper to be overthrown. | 
The mere vote of a majority does not constitute 
sovereignty, if it is evidently adverse to the supreme 



86 The Duties of Man 

tiond lawy or deliberately closes the way to foture 
rogress. Social good, liberty, progress; outside these 
iree terms there can be no sovereignty. 
f'' Education teaches in what social welfare consists. 
Instruction secures for the individual the free choice 
of means of obtaining a continuous progress in the 
conception of social welfare. 

It is of first importance to you that your sons should 
be taught what are the ruling principles and beliefs 
which guide the lives of their fellow-men in their own 
times and in their own country ; what the moral, social, 
and political programme of their nation is ; what the 
spirit oi the legislation by which their deeds will have to 
be judged; what degree of progress Humanity has 
already attained, and that which it has yet to attain. 
And it is important to you that they shoiUd feel them- 
selves from their earliest years united in the spirit of 
equality and of love for a common aim, with the 
llions of brothers that God has given them. 
r ^(T^^ ^^^^ Education which shall give your children this sort 
of teaching can come only from the Nation. 

moral teaching of to-day is mere anarchy. Left 
xclusively to the parents, it is nil where poverty and 
the necessity of an almost incessant material toil deprive 
them of time for educating their children themselves, 
and of means of providing other teachers; it is bad 
where egoism and corruption have perverted and con- 
taminated the family. When means exist the young 
\ ones are imbued with superstitious or materialistic ideas, 
with tendencies towards Liberty or towards cowardly 
resignation, towards aristocracy or reaction against aristo- 
cracy, according to whether a layman or priest is chosen 
for the instructor by the paternal inclination. Taught 
thus, how can they when they are grown to manhood 
associate themselves in brotherly union for a common 
task, and represent in their own persons the unity of the 
country ? Society calls upon them to further the develop- 
ment of a common idea into which they have never been 
initiated. Society punishes them for violation of laws 
of whkh they are still ignorant, and the spirit and 

The Duties of Man 87 

scope of which are never taught by society to the 
citizen. Society desires of them co-operation and 
sacrifice for an end which no teacher has unfolded to 
them at the opening of their lives as citizens. Strange 
to say, the Doctrinaire School which I have mentioned 
above recognises the right to rule and teach the young 
in each in£vidual^ but not in the assodatian of aU, not 
in the Nation. Their cry, Liberty ofteiuhifigi disinherits 
the country of its right of moral direction. They 
declare the uniformity of the monetary system and of 
weights and measures to be of first importance; but 
the uniformi^ of the principles on which the national 
life must be founded and developed is nothing to them. 
Yon should not let yourselves be beguiled by this cry 
which almost idl the modem supporters of Constitutional 
Governments repeat one after the other. 

Without National Education, from which alone a 
national conscience can issue, a Nation has no moral 

Without National Education common to all the 
citizens, equality of duties and of rights is a formula 
devoid of meaning ; the knowledge of duties and the 
capacity of exercising rights are left to the chance of 
fortune or to the arbitrary will of those who choose the 

The menj^fl4)tQclai m their uppu&ili u ii to u nifiarmt^ 
of educatiSTrnvokeUberty. Whose liberty? That of 
the fatHeraTsrofthe diil3ren ? The liberty of the children 
is violated, in their system, by the paternal despotism ; 
the liberty of the younger generations is sacrificed to 
the old ; the liberty of progress becomes an illusion. 
Individual beliefs, perhaps false and hostile to progress, 
are alone transmitted to the child, and with the weight 
of the paternal authority, at an age when inquiry into 
them is impossible. Later on, the destiny which chains 
most of you to material labour the whole day long 
will prevent the young soul, already impressed with 
these beliefs, fiK>m comparing them with others and 
modifying them. In the name of that lying liberty, 
the anarchical system, of which I now speak, tends to 



The Duties of Man 



found and perpetuate the worst of all despotisms, a moral 

What this system advocates should be properly called 
arbitrary will, not Liberty, True Liberty cannot 
exist without equality, and there can be no equality 
among those who do not proceed from one basis, from 
a common principle, from a uniform sense of Duty. 
Liberty cannot he ^y^q«;ed nufgiH^ ¥f ^t s^n^ of Dl^. 

ew pages back that true Liberty does 

not consist in the right to choose evil^ but in the right 

to choose between the paths which lead to good. The 

liberty invoked by these false philosophers is an arbitrary 

rs right given to the father to choose evil for the son. What ? 

I If a father threatened to mutilate or injure in any way 

11 the body of his child, society would interfere, invoked 

I by public opinion; and shall the soui^ the mind of this 

I being be of less accoimt than the body? Shall not 

I society protect it from the mutilation of its faculties, 

ignorance, and from the perversion of the moral sense, 


I That cry of liberty of teaching served a useful purpose 

I at the time when it first arose, and is useful also in the 

/ present day whenever moral education is the monopoly 

I of a despotic Government, of a retrograde caste, or 

I a priesthood antagonistic by the nature of its dogmas 

I to Progress. It was a weapon against tyranny, as 

imperfect but indispensable watchword of emandpatioiL 

Let it serve vo u wherever vou aie^ves. But I am 

'-f^^^kmg to you of a time when religious uuth shall 

write the word Progress on the doors of tiie temple, and 

every public institution shall repeat this word in various 

forms ; when National Education shall at the conclusion 

of its teadiing dismiss the pupils with these words: 

To you^ destined to live under a common compact with us^ 

we have taught the fundamental bcues of this compact^ 

the principles in whuh your Nation believes to^y. But 

remember that the first of theu principles is Progress. 

Remember that your mission as a man and as a citiun 

is to improve the mind and the heart of your brothers^ 

wherever you can. Go^ examine^ compare^ and if you 

The Duties of Man 89 

distover a truth superior to what we believe we possess^ 
publish it boldly and you will have the blessing of your 
Country. Then, but not before, renounce that cry of 
liberty of teaching as unequal to your needs and &tal 
to the unity of the Country. Ask, and exact, the 
establishment of a system of free national education, ] C 
compulsory for all. 

It is the duty of the Nation to communicate its^ 
programme to every citizen. Every citizen ough t to 

receive in its schools moral ti^arhmp^ a miirg<^ In rtitf> 

l | ^ story of nationalitie s, including a rapid survey of the 
progress of Uumsunty, and in 9ie history of his own 
country, a popular exposition of the principles which 
direct the legislation of the country, and the elementary 
instruction about which there is no dispute. Every 
citizen ought to learn in these schools equality and 

This programme once transmitted to the citizens. 
Liberty regains its rights. Not only the teaching of the 
family, but eveiy other is sacred. Every man has 
an unlimited right to communicate his own ideas to 
others ; every man has the right to hear them. Society 
ought to protect, to encourage, the free expression of 
thought in ef ery form, and to dirow open every way for 
the development and modification of the social pro- 
gramme in the direction of Good. 






Gophas m ade you social and prog ressive beings. It is 
your duty/tBen, to associate yourselves and to progress 
as much as is possible in the sphere of activity in which 
^ou are placed by circumstances, and it isygiULUghLiO: 
demand that the society to which you belong shall not 
impede you in your work of association and of progress, 
but shall M^ you in it and supply you with the means 
^association and of progress if you lack them. 

Liberty gives you the power of choosing between good 
and evil, that is, between duty and egoism. Education 
must teach you how to choose. Association must give 
you the means with which to put your choice into 
practice. Progress is the end which you must have in 
sight when you choose and is at the same time, when 
visibly achieved, the proof that you were not mistaken 
in your choice. When a single one of these conditions 
is betrayed or neglected, neither the man nor the citizen 
exists, or he exists only in an imperfect state, arrested in 
his development 

bu must fight, then, for all these things and especially 
for the right of Association, without which liberty and 
education would be useless. 

The right of Association is as sacred as religion, which 
is the association of souls. You are all sons of God ; 
you are therefore brothers, and is it not a crime to 
restrict association, communion between brothers ? 

The word communion, used deliberately here, was 
spoken to you by that Christianity whidi men pro- 
claimed in the past as the immutable truth, but which 
is in fact one step only in the ascending series of the 

The Duties of Man 91 

religious manifestatioDS of Humanity. And it is a hoij 
word. It taught men that they were a single &mtly of 
equals in God, and it united master and slave in the 
same thought of salvation, in the same hope, and the 
same love of heaven. 

It was an immense advance on earlier times when 
people and philosophers believed the souls of citizens 
and of slaves to be of different nature. This mission 
was enough for Christianity. The commumon was the 
symbol of the equality and the brotherhood of souls ; it 
remained for Humanity to expand and develop the truth 
hidden in that symbol. 

The Church could not and did not do it Timid and 
uncertain in its beginning, allied with princes and tem- 
poral powers later, and imbued by self-interest with an 
aristocratic tendency alien to the spirit of its Founder, it 
wandered from the right way and retrocraded so far as 
to diminish the value of the communion by limiting it for 
laymen to communion in bread alone and reserving for 
priests communion in the two kinds. 

Thenceforward the cry of all who felt the right of the 
whole human family to an unrestricted communion, 
without distinction between ecclesiastics and laymen, 
was, Communion in both kinds for the people; the chalice 
for the people I In the fifteenth century this cry was the 
cry of insurgent multitudes and the prelude, sanctified by 
martyrdom, of the religious reform. A holy man, John 
Huss of Bohemia, leader of this movement, perished in 
the fiames kindled by the Inquisition. Most of you to- 
day are ignorant of the history of these old struggles, or 
think they were only fanatical struggles over purely theo- 
logical questions. But when histoiy, popularised by 
National Education, has taught you ^t every step 
forward in religious thought brings a corresponding 
progress in ci^ life, you will understand the true 
value of these conflicts, and honour the memory of these 
martyrs as your benefactors. 

We owe to them and to the martyrs who preceded 
them our knowledge to-day that there S\vlo privileged 
class between God and man ; that the bes 


92 The Duties of Man 

virtue and in knowledge of divine and human things 
may and ought to counsel and direct us on the right 
pa^ but without a monopoly of power or any class 
supremacy ; and that the right of communion is equal 
for all. What is holy in heaven is holy on earth. TAnd 
the communion of men in God brings as itsxonseqience 
the association of men in the ear&ly life\ FronX/the 
religious association of souls springs the righ^of associa- 
tion in the faculties and works which convert thought 
into reality. 

Consider Association, then, as your duty and your n'ght. 

Some who would limit the citizen's right to association 
will ten you that the true association is the State, the 
Nation ; that you are and ought to be all members of it, 
and that therefore any partial association between you is 
either adverse to the State, or superfluous. 
I But the State, the Nation, only represents the associa- 
tion of the citizens in those things and those aims which 
are co mmon to all the men who compose it There 
«Ku^alUlfi and tillds which do not embrace all the 
citizens, but only a certain number of them. And as 
the aims and ends common to all constitute the Nation, 
so the aims and ends common to some of the citizens 
' ought to constitute the special association. 

Moreover — and this is the fundamental basis of the 

right of asjsodatinn— ysy^^iation is tl^ g^^arantee of 

Progress . The State ^represents a certain sum and set 
of principles in which the universal body of citizens are 
agreed at the time of its foundation. Suppose that a 
n^wknd true principle, a new and reasonable develop- 
ment of the truths which give life to Ihe State, is 
revealed to some of the citizens ; how can they spread 
the knowledge of it without association ? Suppose that 
in consequence of scientific discoveries, of new com- 
munications opened between one people and another, or 
from some other cause, a new interest becomes apparent 
to a certain number of men belonging to the State ; how 
can those who are first aware of it make a place for it 
amoi^ the long-existing interests, except oy uniting 
their individual means and strength ? Inertia and con- 

The Duties of Man 93 

tent with the condition of things already existing and 
sanctioned by the common consent of mankind are 
habits of mind too natural in men to allow a single 
indiyidual to shake them and overcome them. But Uie 
association of a minority which grows every day can do 
it. Association is the method of the future. Without 
it the State would remain stationary, enchained to 
degree of civilisation already reached. / 

The object of agociation should be pr ogrtssm^ 
contrary to the tnitbs established for ever by the 
universal agreement of Humanity and of the Nation, 
association instituted for the purpose of facilitating the 
robbery of other people's property, an association which 
makes polygamy obligatory on its members, an associa- 
tion which preaches the dissolution of the Nation or 
the establishment of Despotism, would be illegal. The 
Nation has a right to say to its members : " We cannot 
tolerate the spread of doctrines in our midst which 
violate that which constitutes human nature. Morality, 
or the Country. Go forth and establish among yoiu:- 
sdves, beyond our confines, the association which .^{our 
tendencies suggest ^ 

Association must be pea ceful. It ought to have no / 
other arms than the wrtrten- or spoken Word. Its / 
purpose must be to persuade, not to compel. / 

Association mus t be pub lic. Secret associations are 
weapons of lawful warfare when Liberty and Country do 
not exist, but are unlawful and may be dissolved by the 
Nation when Liberty is a recognised right and the 
Country protects the development and inviolability of 
thought. Even as association ought to open the way 
to Progress, so it ought also to be subject to the 
examination and judgment of all. 

And finally association must respect in others t he 
rights w )nch spring from tne essential con d^tiong of 
h uman nato e. An association which^ like the mediaeval 
corporationSTshould violate the liberty of labour, or 
should tend directly to restrict liberty of conscience, 
might justifiably be repressed by the Nation through its 


94 The Duties of Man 

. Outside these limits liberty of association among 
f citizens is as sacred and inviolable as Progress, to which 
it gives life. Anv government which should attempt to 
restrict it would betray its social mission ; it would be 
the dufy of the people, first to warn it, and, when all 
pacific means had been exhausted, to overthrow it 
And these, O my Brothers, are the principal grounds 
I upon which your Duties are based, die sources from 
\l which your Ri^ts spring. An infinite number of special 
1 questions may arise in your civil life ; but it is not the 
scope of this work to foresee, or help you to solve, them. 
The sole intention of my work is to point out to you the 
principles which, like torches for your path, should guide 
you in dealing with these questions, and which, if 
sincerely applied, will always supply you with a means of 
solving them. And this, I think, I have done. 

I have pointed to God as the source and pledge of 
equality among men ; to the moral law as the source of 
every dvil law, and the standard by which you must 
nudge the conduct of those who make the laws ; to the 
people, to you, ourselves, the universal body of citizens 
who form the nation, as the sole legitimate interpreter of 
the law, and the source of all political power. 

I have told you that the fundamental character of the 

law is Progress ; progress unlimited and continuous from 

e to age ; progress in every branch of human activity, 

n every manifestation of thought, from religion down to 

ndustiy and the distribution of wealth. 

I have pointed out to you what your duties are to 
Humanity, to the Country, to the Family, and to your- 
selves. And I have deduced these duties from the 
characters which constitute the human creature, and 
^jR4iich you are under an obligation to develop. These 
r diaracters, inviolable in eveiy man, are : liberty, 
I capability of education, social tendencies, capacity, and 
I the necessity of progressing. And hom ^ese essential 
^-^aracters, without which a human being is neither a 
man nor a citizen, I have deduced your duties, your 
rights, and the general nature of the government which 
you ought to seek for your country. Do not ever forget 

The Duties of Man 95 

these principles. Keep watdi so that they may never 
be violated Incarnate them in yourselves, and you will 
be free and will pogress. 

The work which I have undertaken for you would, 
then, be complete, if a tremendous obstacle to your 
fulfilment of these duties and the exercise of these rights 
did not arise out of the very heart of society as it is now 
constituted ; namely, the inequality of means. 

For the fulfilment of duties, and for the exercise ^T 
rights, three things are necessary: time, intellectual/ 
development, and an assured material existence. ^ 

Now, very many of you in the present day do not 
possess these elements of progress. Their life is a 
constant and uncertain struggle to gain the means of 
sustaining material existence; it is not a question for 
them oi progressing^ but oiiiving. 

There exists, then, a profound and radical evil in ( 
society as it is organised to-day. And my work would 
be useless if I did not define this evil, and point out to 
you the way to correct it 

The Economic question will:therefore be the subject of 
the final portion of my work. 



Many, too many of you, arc(DO<^ For three-fourths 
at least of the men who belong^to the working-classes, 
whether agricultural or industrial^ life is a daily struggle 
to gain the means indispensable to existence. They 
work with their hands ten, twelve, sometimes fourteen 
hours a day, and yet by this assiduous, monotonous, 
severe labour they barely earn the necessaries of physical 
existence. To point out to them the duty of progress, 
to speak to them of intellectual and moral life, of 
political rights, of education, is, in the actual state of 
society, sheer irony. They h ave neither the tim e nor 
the ^ggg^-^ig progress^ Worn out^ exhausted;Hialf- 
stupefied by alife'spent In a round of petty mechanical 
toils, they learn in it a dumb, impotent, often unjust 
rancour against the class of men who employ them ; 
they seek forgetfulness of their present sufferings and 
of the uncertainty of the morrow in the excitement of 
strong drink, and lay themselves down to rest in places 
more fitly described as dens than as rooms, to awake 
next day to the same dull exercise of thcor physical 
(^ This is a terrible condition, and it must be altered. 

You are mtn^ and as such you have faculties, not only 
physical, but intellectual and moral, which it is your 
duty to develop ; you ought to be citizens^ and as such 
you ought to exercise for the general benefit rights which 
demand a certain degree of education and a certain 
amount of time. 

The Duties of Man 97 

It is cle^ that y*^ii o^g*^** *^ ^nrk /of ""*^ ^m\ **'**^ 
than you do to-day. 

We who are all sons of God and brothers in Him 
one to another are called to form one single large 
family. In this family there may exist inequalities 
resulting from different aptitudes, different capacities, 
inclination to different kinds of work. But one principle 
ought to rule it. Whoever is willing to give far the good 
of all that much of toork of which he is capable ought 
to obtain enough recompense to enable him to develop his 
own special life more or less in all the aspects which define 
it cu human. 

This is the ideal which we ought to study how to 
approach more nearly from century to century. Every 
change, every revolution, which does not bring us one 
step nearer to it, which does not achieve a social advance 
in correspondence with the /£?/i/^a/ advance, which does 
not further by one degree the material improvement 
of the poorer classes, violates God's design, and debases 
itself to a war of factions, each seeking unlawful 
dominion; it is a lie and an evil. 

But how far can we realise this ideal to-day? And 
how and by what means can we realise it ? 

Some of your more timid friends have sought the 
remedy in the morality of the working-man himself. 
Founding savings-banks or other like institutions, they 
have said to the working-men ; Bring your wages here ; 
seme; abstain from cUl excess in drink and other 
things ; free yourselves from want by self-denial. And 
these are excellent counsels, since they seek the moral 
reform of the working-man, without which all reforms 
would be useless But they do not solve the question 
of poverty, nor do they take any account of social duty. 
Very few of you can save anything out of your wages. 
And those very few can only by slow and patient 
accumulation provide in part for their old age. But 
economic reform must have in view provision for the 
period of manhood, for the development and full t%^ 
pansion of life when it is active and strong and can 
help efficaciously towards the progress of the Country 


The Duties of Man 

and of Humanity. With regard to material wel&re, the 

( question is how to increase wealth and production ; and 
the counsels of which I have spoken do not indicate 
how this is to be done either, ^^oreover society, which 
lives by the labour of the sons of the people and 
demands of them a tribute of blood whenever danger 
threatens it, has a sacred debt towards them. Other 
thinkers there are, not enemies of the people, but only 
indifferent to them and to the cry of suffering which 
rises from the hearts of the men of labour, and fearful 
of any important innovation. These, attached to a so- 

C called school of economists who fought meritoriously and 
successfully all the battles for liberty of industry, but 
without taking into consideration the necessity oi progress 
and of association as inseparable from human nature, 

-^maintained, and still maintain, like the philanthropists 
of whom I have just spoken, that every one can, even 
in actual conditions, build up his own independence 
by his own activity. They declare that any change 
in the system of labour would turn out superfluous 
or harmful, and that the formula Every one for himself 
and liberty for all is sufficient to create little by little 
an approximate equilibrium of ease and comfort among 
the classes that constitute society. Freedom of internal 
trade, freedom of commerce among the nations, a gradual 
reduction of custom duties, especially upon raw materials, 
general encouragement given to great industrial enter- 
prises, to the multiplication of ways of communication 
and to all machinery that increases production — this 
is as much as society can do according to the econo- 

r- mists ; any further intervention on its part would be, 
according to them, a source of evil. 

If they were right the disease of poverty would be 
incurable; and God forbid, O my Brothers, that I 
should ever be persuaded to agree with them, and fling 
as an answer to your sufierings and your aspiratimis "1 
this despairing, atheistical, immoral conclusion. God / 
has decreed for you a better future than that contained / 
in the remedies of the economists. I 

These remedies only aim, in fact, at a possible and / 


The Duties of Man 99 

temporary increase in the production of wealth, not at I 
its more equal distribution. While the philanthropists 
contemplate the man alone, and endeavour to make - 
him more moral without troubling themselves to increase \ 
the general wealth by giving him any opportunity of 
improving his material conditions, the economists thinF7 
only of increasing the sources of production without / 
concerning themselves about the man. J Under the J 
exclusive regime of liberty which they preach, and whicfi 
has more or less regulated the economic world in the 
times nearest to us, the most unimpeachable documentary 
evidence shows us/an increase of productive activity 
and of capital, but not of universally diffused prosperity. \ | 
The poverty of the working-classes remains unchanged. ^ | 
Freedom of competition for those who possess nothing, J 

for those who are unable to save anything from their 
daily wages, and therefore have nothing with which to 
start any commercial undertaking, is a lie, just as political 
freedom is a lie for those who from want of education, 
instruction, opportunities, and time cannot exercise its 
rights. Increased facilities of trade, improvements in 
the means of distribution and exchange, might little by 
little emancipate labour from the commercial tyranny 
of the intermediate class between the producer and 
consumer;. but cannot avail to emancipate it from the 
tyranny of capita/, or give the means of labour to those 
who lack them. And for want of an equal distribution 
of wealth, a juster division of products, and a progressive 
increase in the number of consumers, capital itself is 
diverted from its true economic purpose, and remains 
in part stationary in the hands of a few instead of 
spreading itself wholly in circulation. It is used for 
the production of superfluous objects and luxuries, and 
for the satisfaction of fictitious needs, instead of being 
concentrated on the production of objects of first 
necessity for existence, and is risked in perilous and 
often immoral speculations. ^— 

In the present day capital — and this is the curse oi 
our actual ticunumlt' society — is the despot of labo ur. 
The three classes which to-day" forna" society in'^^ts 

loo The Duties of Man 

I economic sense are — capitaHsts^ that is, the possessors 
1 of the means and implements of labour, namely, lands, 
I factories, ready money, and raw material; contractors^ 
I that is, the heads and initiators of labour, commercial 
/ men, who represent or ought to represent intellect ; and 
I working-men^ who represent manual labour. Of these 
' — thB first class only is master of the field ; it is his to 
promote, delay, or accelerate the labour at will, and to 
direct it towards certain ends. And his share in the 
profits of the work and the value of the production is 
comparatively determined; the location of the instru- 
ments of labour does not vary except withm known and 
narrow limits; and time i^ to a certain point at least 
is his since he is not under the domination of absolute 
want. The share of the second is uncertain; it is 
dependent on their intellect and activity, but particularly 
on circumstances, on the greater and less development 
of competition, and on the flow and ebb of capital in 
consequence of events out of the reach of calculation. 
The share of the last class, the working-men^ is a wage 
determined before the work is done, and without regard 
to the greater and lesser profits which result firom the 
enterprise ; and the limits within which the wage varies 
are determined by the relation which exists between 
the labour offered and the labour required — ia other 
words, between the working population and the capital. 
Now, as the former tends to increase, and to an extent 
which generally surpasses, even if by only a little, the 
increase of the latter, wages tend, where other causes 
do not intervene, to decrease. And time is not in the 
hands of the working-man. Financial and political 
crises, the sudden application of new machinery to 
different branches of industrial activity, irregularities 
in production, and its frequent excessive accumulation 
in a single direction — an evil inseparable from a short- 
sighted competition — the unequal distribution of the 
labouring population on certain points and in certain 
branches of activity, and many other causes disturbing 
to labour deprive the working-man of the free choice 
of his conditions. His alternatives are absolute want. 

The Duties .of Man loi 

or the acceptance of any terms wy c^ m^y be offered 
to him. •' , . 

Such a state of things, I repeat, contaln8J't4M^ ^^rms 
of a malady which must be cured. But the Tem^dies 
proposed by the economists 2x^ ineffectual for this purpose. . 

And nevertheless, there is a progress in the condition 
of the classes to which you belong; an historical, 
continuous progress, which has overcome very different 
obstacles. You were once slaves ; then you were serfs ; 
now you are wage-earners. You have freed yourselves 
from slavery, from serfdom ; why should you not free 
yourselves from the yoke of wages^ and become free 
producers, master of the whole value of what you*^ 
produce? Why should you not by your own doing and 
the assistance of society, which has sacred duties towards 
its members, peacefully accomplish the greatest and most 
beautiful revolution that can be conceived — a revolution 
which should make labour the economic basis of human 
fellowship, the fruits of labour the basis of property, and 
should thus gather together under one single law of 
equilibrium between production and consumption, with- 
out distinction of classes, and without the tyrannic 
predominance of one of the elements of labour over 
another, all the children of our common Mother, our 


A sense of social duty towards the working-classes, 
such as I have been pointing out, bad been slowly grow- 
ing in men's minds — thanks chiefly to the republican 
propaganda — and thus insuring the popular revolution 
of the future, when in the last thirty years certain 
schools of thinkers arose, in France especially, mostly 
good men and friends of the people, but carried away 
by an excessive love of system and by individual vanity. 
Under the name of socialism these men introduced 
exclusive and exaggerated doctrines, often antagonistic 
to the wealth already gained by other classes, and 
economically impossible. By terrifying the masses of 
the lower middle-class, and producing distrust between 

r » V b 

I02 The Dutles/:bf Man 

.• . • - 

the different or^dk^^df'titizens, they threw the social 

question •intcV.the IxCckground and split up the republican 

r)ca^p4ji*^%a»* In France the first effect of this distrust 

^ • 'avidrfe^r was a more easy triumph for the coup eC^tat 

\,\ ••'! 'cannot now examine one by one with you these 

'jk ^different systems, which were called Sansimonism, 

I * Fourierism, Communism, or some other name. Founded 

I almost all of them upon ideas good in themselves and 

I accepted by all who belong to the Faith of Progress, their 

I promulgators spoiled or frustrated them by &e false or 

O V tyrannic methods by which they proposed to apply theuL 

And it is necessary that I should briefly point out to you 

in what their errors consisted, because the promises held 

out to the people by these systems are so dazzling that 

they might easily allure you, and you would run a risk 

by embracing them of retarding that future emancipation 

which you will certainly obtain, and before long. It is 

true — and this should be enough to awaken a strong doubt 

in your minds — that when circumstancescalled any of these 

men to power they did not even attempt a practical 

application of their own doctrines ; giants of audacity 

in their writings, they retreated when confronted by the 

reality of things. 

If you examine these systems attentively some day 
and remember the fundamental ideas which I have been 
pointing out to you, and the characters inseparable from 
human nature, you will find that they all violate the Law 
of Progress, the manner in which this is fulfilled in 
humanity, and one or other of the faculties which form 
the Man. 

Progress is accomplished step by step, through 
Lws which no human power can break, by development^ 
|by the perpetual modification of the elements which 
manifest the activity of life. Men have often in certain 
epochs, in certain countries, and under the influence of 
certain prejudices and certain errors, given the name of 
elements, of conditions of social liife, to things which 
have no root in nature, but only in the conventions and 
customs of a mistaken society, and which disappear after 
that particular epoch or beyond the boundaries of those 

The Duties of Man 103 

particular countries. But you can discover what are 
the true elements inseparable from human nature, by 
interrogating — as I told you elsewhere — the instincts of 
your souls and then testing by the traditions of all ages 
and of all countries these instincts of yours, whether they 
be such as have been always the instincts of Humanity. 
And those things which an inborn voice (and the great voige '^ 
of Humanity) indicates as constituent elements of life have ) 
to be modified, and dev eloped conti nuously from epoch / 
to epoch, but can never pe aDolisneq. 

Among these ehSSSEToT^SIBSI^fe, besides religion, 
liberty, association and others mentioned in the course of O 
this work, property is also one. 

T\it principle^ the origin, of property is rooted in humanH 
nature itself, and represents the necessities of that material i 
life which it is the duty of the individual to maintain. I 
As by means of religion, science, liberty, the individual I 
is called to transform, to improve, and to govern thef 
moral and intellectual world, so also he is called to! 
transform, to improve, and to govern Xh^ physical YfOildA 
by means of material labour. And property is thet 
token of the fulfilment of that mission and represents the 
amount of work by which the individual has transformed, 
developed, and increased the productive forces of 
nature. — ^ 

Property isl hfirefpge \ W \i\\ \ i n i l i ji pniiijiri, and you find 
it existing and ^mected throughout the whole existence ^ 
of Humanity. XSut the methods by which property is .^ 
governed are^ubject to change, and destined, like every A 
other manifjptation of human life, to obey the law of 
Progress. Those who, finding property already estab- 
lished in a particular form, declare that form to be 
inviolable jand oppose all attempts to transform it, deny 
Progress itself; one need only open two volumes of 
history doaling with two different epochs, to find in both 
a changel in the constitution of property. And those 
who, becluse they find it badly constituted at a certain 
epoch, daclare that it must be abolished, and wiped out 
of the social system, deny an element of human nature ; 
and coulq they ever have their way they ^^^uld only 

I04 The Duties of Man 

succeed in retarding Progress by mutilating Life. Pro- 
perty would inevitably reappear a short time after and 
probably in the same form which it had at the time of 
its abolition. 

PrgjwfrY tg haHly r/^|^fiH^ff^H at the present day 
because its actual distribution originated, generally 
speaking, in conquest; in the violence by which in 
remote times certain invading peoples possessed them- 
selves of lands and fruits of labour not their own. 
' Property is badly constituted because the basis of the 
/ division between proprietor and workmen of the fruits 
of a work accomplished by both together does not rest 
upon a just and equal rate, proportioned to the work 
itself. Property is badly constituted because by con- 
ferring on those who possess it political and legislative 
rights which are denied to the working-men, it tends to 
be the monopoly of a few and inaccessible to the greater 
number. Property is badly constituted because the / 
system of taxation is badly constituted and tends to / 
maintain a privilege of wealth in the proprietor, while / 
oppressing the poorer classes and depriving them of / 
:; every possibility of saving. But if, instead of correcting I 
evils and slowly modifying the constitution of property, I 
you sought to abolish it, you would suppress a source of I 
wealth, of emulation, and of activity, and you would be I 
^^JJfce the savage who to gather the fruit cuts down the tree. I 
C^ It is not necessary to abolish property because only a I 
\ ^few possess it now ; but the way must be opened for the 1 
\ many to acquire it. I 

J We must go back to the principle which makes it"*^ 
I legitimate, and so arrange that labour alone shall be able 
' to4)roduceit. 

— "^Society must be directed towards a more equable 
basis of remimeration between the proprietor or capitalist 
and the working-man. 

The system of taxation must be altered, so that it 
shall not touch incomes which only suffice for existence 
and shall leave the poor man the power of accumtdating 
savings and of thus gradually acquiring property. And to 
bring this to pass, the privileges conceded to property 

The Duties of Man 105 

must be suppressed and all must be allowed to con- 
tribute to the work of legislation. 

Now, all these thinp are possible and just. By 
casing yourselves and organising yourselves to demand 
tfa^n insistently and to resolve to have them, you could 
ol^ain them; but by seeking the abolition of property 
you would seek an impossibility, you would do an in- 
justice to those who have gained it by their own labour, 
and you would diminish production instead of increas-^ 


The abolition of individual property is nevertheless 
the remedy proposed by many of the socialistic systems 
of which I am speaking, and especially by Communism. 
Others go further ; and finding the religious conception, 
die conception of government, and the conception of 
country falsified by religious errors, by class privilege^ 
and by the ^oism of dynasties, they demand the aboli- 
tion of all rdigicm, all government, and all nationality.^ 
This is the proceeding of children or of barbarians.* 
Would it not be as reasonable, since maladies are often 
engendered by corrupt air, to seek the suppression of 
every respirable gas ? 

But you need no confutation from me of the error of 
those who in the name of liberty wish to found anarchy 
and to abolish socuty so as to teave only the individual 
and his rights. My whole work is directed against that \ 
wicked dream, which denies progress, duties, human I 
brotherhood, the solidarity of nations, everything that - 
you and I venerate. But the design of those who, con- 
fining themselves to the economic question, demand the 
abolition of individual property and the establishment of 
communism, touches die opposite extreme, denies the 
individual, denies Ubcrty^ closes the way to progress, and, ; 
so to speak, petrifies society. ^ ^ 

The geneial formula of communism is as follows : the^^ \ 
possession of aU the means of production, that is, lands, 
capital, machinery, and all instruments of labour, eta, 
shall be concentrated in the State ; the State shall assign 


1 06 The Duties of Man 

his share of work to each, and shall adjust the recom- 
pense, some say, with absolute equality, and others say 
in proportion to his needs. Such an existence, were it 
possible, would be a life of beavers, not of men. The 
liberty, the dignity, the conscience of the individual 
. I would all disappear in an organisation of productive 
K I machines. Physical life might be satisfied oy it, but 
moral and intellectual life would perish, and with it 
emulation, free choice of work, free association, stimulus 
to production, joys of property, and all incentives to 
progress. Under such a system the human family 
would become a herd needing nothing more than to be 
led to a sufficient pasture. Which of you would resign 
/himself to such a system ? 
— Equality is thus secured, they say. How ? 

Equality in the distribution of labour ? It is impos- 
sible. Work is of different kinds, and cannot be 
reckoned by its duration or by the amount performed 
in an hour ; but by the difficulty, by the lesser or greater 
unpleasantness of the work, by the expenditure of 
vitality which it involves, by the benefit which it confers 
on society. How can you reckon the equality between 
an hour passed m a coal mine, or in purifying the 
corrupt water of a marsh, and an hour spent in a spin- 
ning factory? The impossibility of such a calculation 
has suggested to some of the founders of these systems 
the idea of making every one perform in turn a certain 
amount of labour in every branch of useful industry ; 
an absurd remedy which would make good production 
impossible, while it could not succeed in suppressing 
the inequality between the weak and the strong, between 
the man of intellectual capacity and one slow of intellect, 
oetween the man of l3rmphatic temperament and the man 
of nervous temperament Work easy and agreeable to 
one is laborious and difficult to another. 

Equality in the distribution of products ? It is impos- 
sible. Either equality would have to be absolute and 
would constitute an immense injustice, as it would not 
distinguish between the different needs resulting from 
difference of organism, nor between the powers and 

The Duties of Man 107 

capacities acquired from a sense of duty, and those 
received, without any merit, from nature. Or else the 
inequality must be relative and calculated according to 
different needs ; and not taking account of individual 
production, it would violate those rights of property 
which ought to belong to the labourer as the fruit of 
his labour. 

Then who would be the judge to decide upon the 
needs of every individual ? The State ? 

Working-men, my Brothers, are you disposed to accept 
a hierarchy of lords and masters of the common property 
— masters of the mind in consequence of an exclusive 
education, masters of the body from possessing the 
power of determining your work, your capacity, and 
your needs ? Is not this a return to ancient slavery ? (^ 
Would not these masters, representing such great 
interests, be carried away by the theory of interests 
and be seduced by the immense power concentrated 
in their hands into founding again the hereditary 
dictatorship of the ancient castes ? _ 

No ; communism would not produce equality among ' 
the men of labour ; it would not increase production — 
which is the great necessity of the present day — because 
as soon as the means of life are secured human nature 
— in the average man at least — is satisfied and the 
incentive to an increase of production, to be diffused 
among all the members of society, becomes so small 
that it is not enough to stimulate his finculties;^ pro- 
duction would not be improved; there would be no 
incitement to progress in invention ; nor could progress 
ever be assisted by the uncertain and tmintelligent 
collective direction of the general organisation. For 
the evils which afflict the sons of the people thejon] 
re medy of Communism is prg| gcti on from hunger. Now,_^ 
cannot tbis be done, cannoT^e working-man's right 
to life and to work be secured without upsetting the 

* It has been calculated that if, in a hundred thonaand workmen, one 
nwkman ahould produce a hundred francs' worth in the year more than 
the average production, he would receive for himself a tnousandth part 
of a franc every year, three centimes every thirty years. Who can call this 
a simr to production ? 

io8 The Duties of Man 

I whole sodU order, widiout rendering production sterile, 
I impeding progresSf abolishing the liber^ of the indivi- 
\ dual, and chaining him down in a tyrannic organisation ? 


The remedy for your present condition cannot be found 
in any arbitrairy general organisation built up according 
to the plan of some particular mind, contradictii^ the 
universally adopted bases of civil existence and 
established all at once by means of decrees. We are 
not here below to create Humanity, but to continue it; 
we can and we must modify its constituent elements and 
order them better, but we cannot suppress them. 
Humanity rebels and always will rebel against any such 
attempt Time spent over these illusions would there- 
fore be time wasted. Nor can the remedy be found in 
an increase of wages imposed by the governing authority 
without other changes which would increase capital An 
increase in the money spent on wages — ^that is, an in- 
crease in the cost of production — would involve a rise in 
the price of products, a diminution of consumption, and 
consequently less employment for the working-man. 

It is not to be found in anything that would annul 
ii^rfy — consecration of labour and spur to efifort ; nor in 
anything which would diminish capital — ^instrument of 

r labour and of production. 
The remedy for your present condition is the unian of 
capital and laJxmr in the same hands. 
When Society shall recognise no distinction beyond 
that of producers and consumers^ or rather when every 
man shdl be 2l producer and a consumer — when the entire 
fruits of labour, instead of being distributed between that 
series of middle-men who, beginning with the capitalist 
and descending to the retail seller, often heighten the 
price of the product 50 per cent, shall be retained by 
labour — the permanent causes of poverty will disappear 
frop your midst Your future lies in your emancipation 
rom the exactions of capital, arbiter to-day of a produc- 
tion in which it has no actual share. 

The Duties of Man 109 

I speak of your material and moral future. Look 
round you. Wherever you find capital and labour 
united in the same hands---wherever the profits of labour 
are divided between all who labour, in proportion to the 
increase of those profits and to the amount by which 
each workman has helped in the collective work^you find 
a decrease of poverty and at the same time an increase of 
morality. In the Canton of Zurich, in the Engadine, an< 
in many other parts of Switzerland where the peasant is 
the proprietor, and land, capital, and labour are united in 
the same individual — in Norway, in Flanders, in Eastern 
Frisia, in Holstein in the German Palatinate, in Belgium, i y 
in the Island of Guernsey on the English coast — ^therc ) -^^xCT 
may be seen a prosperity comparatively superior to that i / 
of all the other parts of Europe where the land does not 
belong to the cultivator. A race of husbandmen not 
for honesty, dignity, and independence, and for their frank v 

and sincere manners, people these countries. The habits 
of the miners of Cornwall m England and of the American 
whalers who trade with China, among whom participation 
in the profits of the enterprise obtains, are recognised by 
official documents to be better than those of workers 
subject to the system of payment by a predetermined rate 
of wages. 

Assodatum cf labour, division of the profits of labour—^ 
that is, of the profits resulting from the sale of the / Ax' 
products — among the labourers, in proportion to the y^ 
amount and the value of the work accomplished : this is 1 v 
the social future. In diis is contained the secret of yo^ip^ 
emancipation. You were slaves once ; then seffs ; then 
wage-gamers ; before long you shall be, if you will it, free 
producers and brothers in Association, 

Association, free and voluntary, and organised on 
certain bases by yourselves, among men who know, love, 
and esteem one another; not compulsory association, 
imposed by the governing authority and ordered without 
regard for individual afiections and ties, and treating men 
as so many machines for production, rather than as beings 
of free and spontaneous will. 

Association administered in a spirit of republican 

no The Duties of Man 

brotherhood by your own delegates and from which you 
shall be able to withdraw yourselves if you wish ; not 
subject to the despotism of the State and of a hierarchy 
arbitrarily constituted and ignorant of your needs and 

Association oi groups formed according to your own 
tendencies, not, as the authors of the systems to which I 
have called your attention would have, of all the men 
belonging to a given branch of industrial or agricultural 

The concentration of all the individuals in the 
State, or even in a single city, engaged in the same 
craft, in one single productive society, would lead 
again to the old tyrannical monopoly of the Corpora- 
tions. It would make the producer arbiter of prices 
to the injury of the consumer, would give a legal 
form to the oppression of minorities, would deprive 
a dissatisfied workman of every possibility of getting 
work, and would suppress the necessity of progress 
by extinguishing all rivalry in work, all stimulus to 

Association has been attempted in the last twenty 
years, first timidly and in unfavourable circumstances 
in France, then in England and in Belgium, and has 
been crovmed with success wherever it was undertaken 
with energy, resolve, and the spirit of self-sacrifice. It 
contains the secret of an entire social transformation, 
a transformation which, in virtue of your traditions and 
of the initiative in social progress which you have always 
possessed, should be accomplished first in Italy. And 
this transformation, emancipating you from the slavery 
of wages, would at the same time give new life to 
production, to the advantage of all classes, and would 
l^knprove the economic condition of the country. Under 
uie present system the aim of the capitalist is usually 
to amass as much wealth as he can in order to retire 
from the arena of work ; under the system of association 
you would tend instead to secure the continuity of work, 
that is, of production. At present the head, the director 
of the work, who owes his fortune not to any special 


The Duties of Man iii 

aptitude, but to his possession of capital, is often im- 

Erovident, rash, or incapable; an association directed 
7 delegates, watched over by all its members, would 
not run any risks from such defects. To-day labour b 
often directed towards the production of superfluities^ 
not necessaries ; in consequence of capricious and unjust 
inequality in the payment workers abound in one branch 
of activi^ and are wanting in another ; the working-man 
limited to a flxed wage has no motive for devoting to 
his work all the zeal of which he is capable and all 
the activity with which he might increase or improve 
his output Association, it is evident, would remedy this 
and other causes of irregularity and of inferiority in 

Liberty to withdraw oneself without doing harm to 
the association ; equality of all members in the election 
of an executive appointed for a given time—- or better, 
subject to removal ; freedom of admission, subsequently 
to the foundation of the association, without the obli- 
gation of putting in capital, but with permission to 
supply it, for the good of the common fund, by a 
deduction from the profits of the first years ; indivisibility 
and perpetuity of the collective capital] remuneration for 
all, equal to the necessities of life ; distribution of the 
tools and instruments of labour, according to the j 
quantity and quality of each one's work, — these are \ 
the general principles upon which you must found your \ 
associations if you are willing to do a work involving ! 
present sacrifice but future gain for the class to which ^ 
you belong. Each of these principles, that especially 
which concerns the perpetuity of collective capital — the 
pledge of your emancipation and your link with future 
generations — needs a chapter to itself. But a special 
study of working-men's associations does not enter into 
the plan of my present work. Perhaps if God allows 
me yet a few years of life I shall do it separately, out 
of my love for you. Meanwhile be sure that these 
rules which I have laid down for you here are the 
fruit of deep and earnest study, and deserve your 
attentive consideration. 

112 The Duties of Man 

But the capital ? The capital with which to start the 

I association ; where is it to come from ? 
This is a grave question ; and I cannot treat of it here as 
I should wish. But I will point out to you briefly your 
own duty and the duty of others. 

/ The primary source of that capital must be in jour- 
___^ L savings, in your spiri i oi seif-saSfice. 
I know the posTtion ot most o r yoU ; but to s o m e iLe 
good fortune of regular or better-paid emplo3nnent 
affords the possibility of collecting, by the careful 
economy of eighteen or twenty combined together, the 
small sum sufficient for starting the work on your own 
account. And the consciousness of fulfilling a solemn 
duty and of deserving your desired emancipation ought 
to sustain you in this economy. I could tell you ctf 
industrial associations, now financially powerful, which 
were started here in England by the payment of a penny 
a day by a certain number of working-men. I could 
repeat to you many stories of sacrifice heroically endured 
in France and elsewhere by bands of working-men, 
are now possessors of considerable capital^ Th<^ 
scarcely any difficulty which a firm will, sustained by tht 

* In the year 1848 the delegmtee of some hundred* of workinf-men wb« 
bad united for the purpose of foundinr an Association for the manufactniv 
of pianofortes were led by the want of the larve capital necessary for the 
nndertaking to ask the Government for a subvention of 300,000 francs. 
The Government Commission refused to ^rant it. The Association bn^ 
np» but fourteen of the working-men decided to defy every obstacle and 
to re-establish it bv their own unaided efforts. They had neither 
money nor credit; tney had fidth. 

A few of them brought to the new Society materials and tools to the 
value of about s,ooo francs. But a floating capital was indispensaUe. Each 
of the associates contributed, not without difficulty, ten francs. A few 
working-men who had no direct interest in the Society added their small 
offerings to this slender capital. And on March io» 1849. the sum of sso 
francs and 50 centimes having been collected, the Association was declared 

This common fiind was barely suffident for the stert, snd f<Mr the small 
daily expenses indispensable to a manufacturing business. Nothing re- 
mained for wages, and more than two months passed without the woners 
receiving a sinele halfpenny of pay. How did thev live during this crititti 
time ? As working-men do live during interruptions of won, helped by 
the working-man who is fortunate enough to have work— selling, pawning 
one by one their household goods and utensils. 

Some work having been executed, the price was paid on May 4, 18^9. 
That day was for the Association what a victory is at the beginning or a 
war; and thev celebrated it. When the debts had been paid, and the 
money owed tnem collected, there remained for every memtMsr the sum of 
6 francs and 61 centimes. It was agreed that each should keep 5 francs as 
w«ges snd devote the rest to a fraternal dinner. The fourteen members. 

The Duties of Man 113 

consdoosness of doing good, may not overcome. Each 
of yoa might contritnite by means of your savings a 
little something to the small primary fund, in money or 
in material or in implements. You might be able, if 
your conduct were sudi as to win confidence and 
esteem, to collect small loans from relations or fellow 
workmen, w1k> would become merely shareholders in the 
association, and would not receive interest on their loans 
except on the profits of the enterprise. In many of your 
industries, in which the price of the raw material is very 
little, the capital required to start work independently is 
inconsiderable. If you are determined to get it you will 
find a way. And it will be better for you if the forma- 
tion of this small capital is all your own, gained by the 
sweat of your brow, or through the credit which you 
have acquired by working well. As those nations best 
preserve freedom who have conquered it with their blood, 
so your associations will draw a larger and steadier 
profit from the capital collected by long hours of work 
and by economy Uian from that derived from any other 
source. This is the nature of things. The Working-men's 

most id whom had not tasted wine for a year, met together with their 
families at a common feast, the cost of which was i6d, per family. 

For a whole month yet, the wages were not more than 5 francs a week. 
In June a baker, a mnsic-lover or speculator, proposed to bay a piano and 
pay for it in brMd. Theproposal was accepted and the price agreed on at 
the rate of 480 firuics. Diis was good fortune for the Association, which 
was now sure of hsTing at least the first necessary of life. The value of 
the bread was not calculated in the wages. Each had as much as he wanted, 
and for the married ones as much as their families needed. 

UtUe by little the Association, composed of very capable workmen, over- 
came all the obetades and privations which it had had to encounter in the first 
period. Its books present the best testimony of the progress made For 
the month of August, i&m> the weekly earnings of each man rose to zo, 15, 
ao francs, and this sum dia not represent the whole profits ; every memb^ 
paid into the common fund a larger sum than he kept. 

The books of the Society on December 30^ 1850^ gave the fbllowing 
results. There were 3a members at this time. The establishment paid a 
rent of 9,000 francs, and the premises were already too small for the work. 

Value of tools and plant, 5,93a francs 60 cents. 

Goods and raw material, aa,97a francs a8 cents. 

In hand, notes for 3,540 francs. 

Outstanding credits, neariy all good, 5,861 francs 90 cents. 

The balance therefore was 39,3x7 francs 88 cents. Out of this the Society 
only owed 4,937 francs 80 cents to a fisw creditors, and 1,690 francs to eighty 
friendly working-men of the same trade who had made loans to the 
Association in the first period. Actual balance, 30,950 francs a cents. 

The Association has continued to flourish ever mnce. 


114 The Duties of Man 

Associations, founded in Paris in 1848 with the aid of 
Government subsidies, prospered very much less than 
those which formed their original capital by their own 

But although I counsel you to self-sacrifice because I 
love you truly and do not with servile adulation flatter or 
make light of any possible weaknesses in you, that does 
not lessen the duty of others. The men whom circum- 
stances have provided with wealth must understand 
this ; they must understand that emancipation is a part 
of the Providential Design, and that it will be inevitably 
accomplished, either with them or against them. Many 
of these men, and especially those of republican faith, do 
understand this; and among these, if you give them 
proofs of determined will and honest intelligence, you 
will find help in your enterprises. They can — and as 
soon as they perceive that the desire for association is 
not the caprice of an hour, but the faith of a majority 
among you, they will — give you facilities for obtaining 
credit, either by advances, or by founding banks which 
will give credit on the security of the future work of a 
collective body of working-men, or perhaps by admitting 
you to a share in the profits of their imdertakings, an 
intermediate stage between the present and the future 
by which you might be able to obtain the small amount 
of capital necessary for an independent association. In 
Belgium more than elsewhere institutions such as I 
have described already exist under the name of Banks of 
Anticipation^ or of People^ s Banks. In Scotland many 
banks will give credit to any man of known probity who 
pledges his honour and offers as his security another 
man of equally proved honesty. And the admission of 
the workmen to a share in the profits is a plan adopted 
with singular success by several employers. 



But the State, the Government — an institution legiti- 
mate only when fomided upon a mission of education 
and of progress not yet understood — has a solemn debt 
towards you, a debt which it will easily fulfil if ever there 
is a really National Government, the Government of a free 
and united People. The Government will then be able 
to bestow assistance of many kinds upon the People, which 
will solve the social problem without spoliation, without 
violence, without laying hands on the wealth previously 
acquired by the citizens, without rousing that antagonism 
between class and class which is unjust, immoral, and 
fatal to the nation and which visibly retards the progress 
of the French in the present day. 

Powerful assistance might be given in the following 
ways : — 

The exercise of moral influence in favour of the 
associations by the publicly manifested approval of the 
Government agents, by frequent discussion of their 
fundamental principle in the Representative Assembly, 
and by legislation granted to all voluntary associations 
formed upon the basis described above. 

Improvement in ways of communication and abolition 
of whatever now hinders the free transport of produce. 

The institution of public storehouses and depdts, which 
when the approximate value of the consigned goods had 
been ascertained would granttotheassociationsadocument 
or bond similar to a bank bill and admissible for circu- 
lation and discount, so as to make it possible for the 
association to continue its work without being strangled 
by the necessity of an inmiediate sale at any price. 


ii6 The Duties of Man 

The concession of public works to the associations upon 
the same terms as those granted to individual enter- 

Simplification of judicial forms, which in the present 
day are ruinous and often inaccessible to the poor man. 

Legislative facilities granted for the sale and transfer of 
landed property. 
^^ A radical change in the system of taxation by the 
[ substitution of a single tax on incomes for the present 
complicated and costly system of direct and indirect 
taxatioil. And sanction given to the principle that 
life is sacred ; and that since without life neither work, 
nor progress, nor fulfilment of duties is possible, 
taxation must not begin until an income exceeds the sura 
of money necessary for the maintenance of life. 

But there are other means. The secularisation or 
.^) appropriation of ecclesiastic possessions — a step which 
V there is no advantage in discussing now, but which is 
inevitable when once the nation assumes a mission of 
education and of collective progress — ^will place in the 
hands of the State a vast sum of wealth. Now suppose 
that to this is added the value represented by land fertile 
I and capable of cultivation, but hitherto unreclaimed, 
' the value represented by the profits of the railwa3rs and 
of other public undertakings, of which the administration 
should be centred in the State : the value represented by the 
landed property belonging to the Communes,^ the value 
represented by collateral inheritances, which beyond the 
fourth degree ought to revert to the State, and the value 
of other sources of wealth which it is unnecessary to 
enumerate. Suppose that with all this immense 
accumulation of wealth a National Fund was 
formed, to be consecrated to the intellectual and 
economic progress of the whole country. Why should 
not a considerable part of this fimd be transformed, with 
the necessary precautions to prevent its being squandered, 

* This property belongs Ufmlly to the Commune, morally to the needy 
members of the Commune. It is not meant that it should be taken from 
the Communes, bat that it should be consecrated to the poor of each com- 
mnne by being constituted under the direction of elective Communal r 

Councils the inalienable capital of agricultural Associations. 

The Duties of Man 117 

into a fund of credit, to be distributed at a rate of 
interest of one and a half or of two per cent to the 
voluntary working-men's associations, formed according 
to the principles indicated above and offering the security 
of morality and of capacity ? That capital ought to be 
sacred to the work of the future also and not of a single 
generation only. But the vast scale of the (^rations 
would ensure compensation for inevitable losses from 
time to time. 

The distribution of this credit ought to be carried out, 
not by the Government nor by a Central National Bank, 
but by local Banks administered by elective Communal 
Councils and with the supervision of the Central Govern- 
ment Without lessening the actual wealth of 
various classes, and without allowing one class alone to 
monopolise the revenue from the taxation which is levied on 
all the citizens, and ought therefore to be devoted to the 
benefit of a//, the series of measures suggested here, by 
dififusingcredit, increasing and improving production, com- 
pelling a graduated diminution in the rate of interest and 
trusting to the zeal and the interest of all the producers 
to insure the progress and continuity of work, would | 
replace the limited sum of wealth now concentrated in a I 
few hands and ill-directed, by the rich nation^ manager of \ 
its own production and its own consumption. And this, \ 
Italian Working-men, is your future. You can hasten it J 
Win your Country ! Establish a popular Government 
which shall represent its collective life, its mission, its 
thought. Organise yourselves in a vast universal League 
of the People, so that your voice shall be the voice of 
millions and not of a few individuals only. You have 
Truth and Justice on your side : the Nation will listen 
to you. 

But beware ! Believe the words of a man who has 
studied for thirty years the course of events in Europe, 
and has seen the holiest and most useful enterprises ^il, 
at the moment of success, through the immorality of 

Thien : you will not succeed except hj growing better your- 
selves ; you will not win the exercise of your rights except 
by deserving them, through self-sacrifice, industry, and 

ii8 The Duties of Man 

love. If you seek them in the name of a duty fulfilled 
or to be fidfilled, you will obtain them, but if you seek 
them in the name of egoism or of some right to wtlh 
'^ being taught you by materialists, you will only achieve 
) momentary triumphs, followed by tremendous dis- 
illusionments. Those who speak to you in the name of 
well-beings of material happiness, will betray you. They 
also seek their own well-being, and to obtain it they will 
unite with you, as with an element of strength, while they 
have obstacles to overcome ; but as soon as they have 
obtained well-being by your aid, they will abandon you 
that they may enjoy their acquisition in tranquillity. This 
is the history of the last half-century, and the name of 
this half-century is materialism. 

And it is a history of sorrow and of blood. I have 
seen them — ^the men who denied God, religion, the 
virtue of duty and of self-sacrifice, and spoke only in the 
name of the right to happiness and enjoyment — ^fighting 
boldly with the words People and Liberty on their lips, 
and mingling themselves with us men of the new faith, 
who rashly received them into our ranks. As soon as an 
opportunity was offered to them, through a victory or a 
cowardly compromise, of securing comfort and pleasure 
for themselves, they deserted us, and became our bitter 
enemies the day after. A very few years of danger and 
privation were enough to weary them. Being unconscious 
of a law of duty, and without faith in a mission imposed 
upon men by a Power supreme over all, why should 
they have persisted in sacrifice until the end of life ? 
And with deep grief I have seen the sons of the people, 
^o had been educated in materialism by such philoso- 
phers as these, prove false to their mission, false to the 
future, false to their country and to themselves, beguiled 
by the stupid, immoral hope of perhaps finding material 
well-being in the caprices and the interests of tyranny. 
I saw the working-men of France stand by, indifferent 
spectators of the coup iPitat of the 2nd of December, 
because all social questions had been reduced for them 
to a question of material prosperity, and they deluded 
themselves into the belief that the promises^ artfully 

The Duties of Man 119 

circulated among diem by the man who had extinguished 
the liberty of their country, would become facts. To-day 
they lament their lost liberty, and have not acquired 
the promised well-being. No ! I tell you with profoundK 
conviction, that without God, without behef in a law, with-ll 
out morality, without the power of self-sacrifice, and by 
straying from the right path in the wake of men who have 
neiUier faith, nor worship of truth, nor the life of 
apostles, nor anything beyond the vanity of their own 
systems, you will never succeed. You may bring about 
insurrections, but never the true, the great Revolution 
which you and I invoke ; that Revolution, if it is not 
an illusion of egoists, spurred on by revenge, is a work 
of religion. 

To improve yourselves and others — this must be the 
first aim and the supreme hope of every reform, of every 
social change The lot of a man is not altered by reno- 
vating and embellishing the house in which he lives; 
where only the body of a slave breathes, and not the soul 
of a man, all reforms are useless ; the neat dwelling, 
luxuriously furnished, is a whited sepulchre, nothing 
else. You will never induce the society to which you 
belong to substitute the system of association for that 
of wages, except by proving that your association will be 
an instrument of improved production and of collective 
prosperity. And you can only prove this by showing 
yourselves capable of founding and maintaining the 
association by honesty, mutual kindliness, capacity for 
sacrifice, and love of work. To progress you must show 
yourselves capable of progressing. '^ 

Three things are sacred: Tnidition|__£i:ogses6y I 
Assgciationi — ^"I believe" — thus I wrote twenty yearsj 
ago — ** in the immense voice of God which the centuries 
transmit to me through the universal tradition of 
Humanity ; and it tells me that the Family, the Nation, 
and Humanity are the three spheres within which the 
human individual has to labour for the common end^ for 
the moral perfecting of himself and of others, or rather 
of himself through others and for others. It tells me / 
that property is designed to manifest the material activity f 

I20 The Duties of Man 

of the individual, the part which he takes in the trans- 
formation of the physical world, as the right to vote oug^t 
to manifest the part which he takes in the administration 
of the political world. It tells me that the merit or 
demerit of the individual before God depends upon his 
use of these rights in those spheres of activity. It tells 
me that all these things, being elements of human 
nature, are transformed and modified continuously as they 
approach ever more nearly to the ideal which our souls 
dimly apprehend, but that they can never be destroyed ; 
and that the dreams of communism^ of the abolition and 
absorption of the individual in the social w^U^ have 
never been more than accidental and transitory 
phenomena in the life of the human race, appearing 
in every great intellectual and moral crisis, and are 
incapable of realisation except upon a minute scale, as in 
the Christian Convents. I believe in the eternal progress 
of the life in God's creatures, and in the progress of 
Thought and of Action, not only in the man of the past, 
but in the man of the future. I believe that it is not of 
so much importance to determine the form of future 
progress, as to open, by means of a truly religious 
education, every path of progress to men and to render 
them capable of accomplishing it. And I believe that 
man cannot be made better, more worthy of love, more 
noble, more divine — ^which is our aimand ^;i^ upon earth — 
by heaping upon him physical enjoyments and by setting 
before him as the object of life that irony which is called 
happiness, I believe in Association as the sole means 
which we possess of accomplishing Progress, not only 
because it multiplies the action of the productive forces, 
but because it brings into closer relations all the various 
manifestations of the human soul, and puts the life of the 
individual into communion with the collective life. And I 
know that Association can never be fruitful unless it exists 
among free individuals^ among free nations capable of 
realising their solemn mission. I believe that man ought 
to be able to eat and live without having all the hours of 
his existence absorbed by material labour ; that he ought 
to have time for developing his superior faculties. But 

The Duties of Man 121 

I listen with terror to those voices which tell us : matis / 
aim in life is self-preservation i enjoyment is his rights | 
because I know that such maxims can only create \ 
egoists and that they have been in France and elsewhere, 
and threaten to be in Italy, the destruction of every noble 
idea, of all martyr spirit, and every pledge of future great- 
ness. ^ 

''That which saps the vitality of Humanity io 
present day is the want of a common faith, of a thought 
shared by all and reuniting earth and heaven, the Universe 
and God. Lacking this common faith, man has bow 
down before lifeless matter, and has consecrated himse 
to the adoration of the idol Self-Interest And the first 
priests of that fatal worship were the kings, princes, and, 
evil governments. They invented the horrible formula 
every one for himself', they knew that thus they woulH* ^ 
create egoism, and that between the egoist and the slav 
there is but one step." 

Italian Working-men, my Brothers, shun this step. 
On shunning it depends your future. 

A solemn mission is yours : to prove that we are all 
sons of God and brothers in Him. You can only do 
this by improving yourselves and fulfilling your Duty. 

I have pointed out .to you, to the best of my power, 
what your Duty is. And the chief and most essential 
duty of all is to your^ountry. To secure the freedom 
and unity of your Cojuntry is your duty ; and it is also 
a necessity. The encouragement and the measures of 
which I have spoken can only be the work of a Free and 
United Country. The amelioration of your social/ 
condition can only result fi:om your participation in the/ 
political life of the nation. Without the franchise youi 
will never find true representatives of your aspirations 
and needs. Without a popular government which 
seated in Rome, shall formulate the Italian Compact 
founded upon the oommon consent of the nation, anc 
directed to the progress of all the citizens of the State 
there is no hope of better things for you. That day iz 
which, f9&>wing the example of the French socialists 
you should separate the social from the political questioi 


122 The Duties of Man 

and should say : \Ve can emancipate ourselves whatever 
may be the form ofYonstitution which rules the Country^ 
you would yoursel^s seal the perpetuity of your social 
servitude. ^ 

And I will point out to you, in bidding you farewell, 
another Duty, not less solemn than that which obliges us 
to found a Free and United Nation. 

Your emancipation can only be founded on the 
tiiumph of one principle, the unity of the Human 
Family. To-day, half of the human family, the half from 
which we seek inspiration and consolation, the half to 
which is entrusted the first education of our children, is, 
by a singular contradiction, declared civilly, politically, 
and socially unequal, and is excluded from this unity. 
It is for you who seek your emancipation, in the name 
of religious truth, to protest in every way and upon every 
occasion against this negation of unity. 

The emancipation of woman should be always coupled 
by you with the emancipation of the working-man. It 
win give your work the consecration of a universal 




/amuuy 6ih^ 1836. 

Thsrs 18 a charge too often brought against those 
who, like us, love to dwell on political generalities, and 
insist at length on principles ; the charge, that we pay 
little attention to materisd interests, that we are apt to 
sacrifice or neglecty^^ for what they are pleased to call 
abstract theories. 

We are told : " You are dreamers. What use to us 
are all your discussions about principles which can only 
mature slowly, and which you can only address to a 
small minority of intellects ? At the present moment we 
want facts, and facts alone. Come down from the lofty 
sphere where we are not disposed to follow you, to the 
firm ground of practical work. Leave genendities; 
descend to particulars. Speak of what we can see, and 
what is palpable to the senses. Face the question of 
material interests; would you forsooth profess to make 
the masses progress by virtue of mere abstractions? 
Yonder are people dying for lack of food; men who 
are hungry and athirst, men who have not wherewith 
to clothe themselves in winter. All your theories of a 
social polity, of Humanity, of a unifying and rdigions 
feith, will never renew their strength, never clothe their 
nakedness. Proclaim those needs openly. Teach the 
proletariat its rights. Uncloak one by one the crimes, 
&e injustice, the infamy of our rulers. Denounce every 
act of authority that injures any interest whatever, that 
infringes a single right Fight, Fight. Shout Liberty 
in the ears of the People. Revolt is the principle of 
the century. Then guide it In the stormy atmosphere 

126 Interests and Principles 

that surrounds us, amid the political tempest that pursues 
and presses upon us on all sides, do not cheat yourselves 
into thinking that your message of peace, your weak 
speech of religion and love, wlQ be heeded. Let the 
Future and its Faith alone. The Present demands all 
our thought. Consecrate yourselves to it, and do not 
come apd weary us with your mysticism and spiritualistic 

They who speak thus are convinced that it is enough 
to crush us if they call us dreamers. 

And nevertheless those very men are attacked by dis- 
couragement ; they are silent — or if they speak, they curse. 
A hundred times they have thought to achieve their 
purpose; as often have they been compelled to start 
afresh. All they say has been already said; all they 
do has been already done, — but never to any purpose. 

All the war of criticism, all the opposition of detail and 
of practical reform that they urge on us to-day has been 
experimented to the uttermost in France. And where is 
France to-day ? She has fallen headlong from one wreck 
to another : from the Revolution to the Empire ; from 
the Empire to the Bourbon Monarchy ; from Charles X. 
to Louis Philippe. What has she gained by the change ? 
What difference can you see between the censorship of 
the first Restoration and the September Press Laws ? ^ 

The blood-stained wounds of the proletariat have been 
exposed. A thousand times have men counted the 
victims of the deep social inequality that insults the 
Cross of Christ. 

We know now the sweat and tears that the rich man's 
bread costs the poor. Yes, and the poor man, the work- 
man, has learnt to plead his cause before the tribunal of 
frightened Europe, his indictment, summarised in two 
words, terrible in their energy — Death or Work. A 
people of workmen has protested against the present 
division of labour, against the greed of the privileged 
classes. What has been the r^ult ? What has been 

* A series of Tiolently repressive laws npunst Uie freedom off the press, 
known in FVench History as the Laws or September, carried hy the De 
Broglie Ministry in September 1835. See Louis Blanc's HUiotn dt Due 
Ahb, Vol. IV. c zi. p. 31*. 

Interests and Principles 127 

done? Have any remedies been tried, or any great 
improvements made ? To the producer's cry of Death or 
Warky the unproductive and speculative class replied — 
Death. The cannon has thundered. All this opposition, 
so intrepid, so inde&tigable in the petty skirmishes for 
interests and rights, looked on at the butchery with thedr 
arms at rest. Not in all France did a single cry answer 
the cry of anguish of the Lyons workmen.^ Why is this ? 

Thanks to the writers of a whole century, — ^lanks to 
the martyrs of many centuries, — ^Liberty and Equali^ 
zs principles are to-day admitted in the series of social 
axioms. Independence is universally recognised as the 
fairest jewel in a People's crown. The right not to be 
oppressed, or maimed, or tortured by the tyranny of the 
few, or by foreign invasion, is enshrined in the hearts 
of all as a sacred imprescriptible right. But does this 
advance us further? Not only in Italy, and Poland, 
and Germany, but everywhere, material interests are 
openly violated; and yet we all are conscious of our 
rights. Ask whom you will in those unhappy countries. 
You will everywhere encounter hatred of the Russian 
and the Austrian ; a clear desire for freedom ; the 
consciousness of right that would justify insurrection; 
the conviction of the real advantages that would result 
for future generations. And yet they suffer in silence ; 
they bow their necks to the yoke; they do not strive 
to break it. Why is this ? 

Because between oppression and insurrection it ia 
necessary to pass through gendarmes, prisons, and the 
gallows. Because to Sice all that, the consciousness 
of the fact is not enough ; they must feel their duty to 
destroy it. Because the mere conviction does not suffice 
to begin a struggle : that must break forth as the mani- 
festation of 2i faith. 

There were men who preached insurrection to those 
peoples ; who said to them, " You have material in- 
terests ; those interests are trodden under foot ; see that 

* Arbitmj suppression of Che Workmen's Associations of Lyons bj the 
mUitanr forces, April 1834. See Louis BUnc's HisMrt d€ Dix An; 
Vol. IV. c T. pp. X96-30S. 


128 Interests and Principles 

you provide a remedy. You have rights; those rights 
are violated ; see that you assert free play for them.^ 
For this they conspired. But tjrranny was watching. 
It shed their blood before the conspiracy was ripe ; it 
sent a few heads rolling at the conspirators' feet Then 
they stepped back. A single chance of death outweighed 
a thousand chances of success. They said, ^' Our rights 
are valuable, and we should dearly wish to win them ; 
but first of all rights is the right to live. The interest 
of our own life surpasses ail other possible material 
interests. It embraces and outweighs them alL With- 
out life we can have neither rights, nor well-being, nor 
riches, nor material improvement Why should we 
hazard our life for an uncertain stake ? Where should 
we find a recompense?" Such were their words; and 
if we refuse to leave the circle of material calculations, 
we must own they are consistent. Two-thirds at least 
of popular Revolutions only benefit the succeeding 
generation. The generation that made them is nearly 
always condemned to mark with its own dead the road 
of progress for its successor. Itself can never enjoy the 
result of its travail. 

Now, what theory of material interests, what proof of 
individual rights, could argue a law of self-sacrifice, or 
martyrdom, 2f martyrdom be the goal that awaits us? 
Analyse, compare, phrase by phrase, all the doctrines 
of the utilitarians ; you will never harmonise with them 
the sacrifice of life. Martyrdom is folly to a People that 
has no stimulus outside material interests; to their in- 
telligence Christ has lost all meaning. 

For us, we maintain that there has never been a single 
great Revolution that has not had its source outside 
material interests. We know of riots, of popular in- 
surrections, but of none that has been crowned with 
success, or transformed into a Revolution. 


Every Revolution is the work of a principle which has 
been accepted as a basis of fiaith. Whether it invoke 

Interests and Principles 129 

Nationality, Liberty, Equality, or Religion, it always 
fulfils itsebf in the name of a Principle, that is to say, of a 
great truth, which, being recognised and approved by 
the majority of the inhabitants of a country, constitutes 
a common belief, and sets before the masses a new aim, 
while Authority misrepresents or rejects it A Revolu- 
tion, violent or peaceful, includes a negation and an 
affirmation : the negation of an existing order of thinp, 
the affirmation of a new order to be substituted for it 
A Revolution proclaims that the State is rotten; that 
its machinery no longer meets the needs of the greatest 
number of the citizens ; that its institutions are power- 
less to direct the general movement ; that popular and 
social thought has passed beyond the vital principle of 
those institutions; that the new phase in the develop- 
ment of the national faculties finds neither expression 
nor representation in the official constitution of the 
country, and that it must therefore create one for itself. 
This the Revolution does create. Since its task is to 
increase and not diminish the nation's patrimony, it 
violates neither the truths that the majority possess, nor 
the rights they hold sacred ; but it reorganises everything 
on a new basis ; it gathers and harmonises round the 
new principle all the elements and forces of the country ; 
it gives a unity of direction towards the new aim, to all 
those tendencies which before were scattered in the 
pursuit of different aims. Then the Revolution has done 
its work. 

We recognise no other meaning in Revolutions. If 
a Revolution did not imply a general reorganisation by 
virtue of a social principle ; if it did not remove a 
discord in the elements of a State, and place harmony 
in its stead ; if it did not secure a moral unity ; so far 
from declaring ourselves Revolutionists, we should believe 
it our duty to oppose the revolutionary movement with 
all our power. 

Without the purpose hinted at above, there may be 
riots, and at times victorious insurrections , but no Revo- 
lutions. You will have changes of men and adminis- 
tration ; one caste succeeding to another ; one dynastic 

130 Interests and Principles 

branch ousting the other. This necessitates retreat ; a 

slow reconstruction of the past, which the insurrection 

had suddenly destroyed; die gradual re-establishment 

jmder new names of the old order oi things, whidi the 

p&ople had risen to destroy. Societies have such need 

of unity that if they miss it in insurrection they turn 

back to a restoration. Then there is new discontent, 

a new struggle, a new explosion. France has proven 

it abundantly. In 1830 she performed mirades of 

daring and valour for a negation : she rose to destroy, 

without positive beliefs, without any definite organic 

\ pupose, and thought she had won her end when ^e 

\ cancelled the old {nindple of legitimacy. She descended 

I into that abyss which insurrection alone can never fill ; 

*mdi because she did not recognise how needful is some 

principle of reconstruction, she finds herself to-day, six 

years after the July Revolution, five years after the days 

of November, two years after the days of April, well 

on her way to a thorough restoration. 

We dte the case of France because she is expected 
to give political lessons, hopes, and sympathies; and 
because France is the modem nation in which theories 
of pure reaction founded on suspidon, on individual 
right, on liberty aione^ are most militant, therefore the 
practical consequences of her mistakes are shown most 
convincingly. But twenty other instances might be 
dted. For fifty years, every movement idiich, in its 
turn, was successful as an insurrection^ but foiled as a 
revolution^ has proven how everything depends on the 
presence or absence of a principle of reconstruction. 
Wherever, in fact, individual rights are exerdsed with- 
out the influence of some great thought that is common 
to all ; wherever individual interests are not harmonised 
by some organisation which is directed by a positive 
ruling prindple, and by the consciousness of a common 
aim^ diere must exist a tendency for some to usurp 
others' rights. In a society like ours, where a division 
into classes^ call them what you will, still exists in full 
strength, every right is bound to clash with another 
right, envious and mistrustful of it; every interest 

Interests and Principles 131 

naturally conflicts with an opposing interest : the land- 
lord's with the peasant's ; the manufacturer's or capital- 
ist's with the workman's. All through Europe — since 
equality, however accepted in theory, has been rejected 
in practice, and the sum of social wealth has accumu- 
lated in the hands of a small number of men, while the 
masses gain but a mere pittance by their relentless toil 
— it is a cruel irony, it gives inequality a new lease of 
life, if you establish unrestricted liberty, and tell men 
they are free, and bid them use their rights. 

A social sphere must have its centre; a centre to 
the individualities which jostle which each other inside 
it; a centre to all the scattered rays with diffuse and 
waste their light and heat. Now, the theory which 
bases the social structure on individual interests cannot 
supply this centre. The absence of a centre, or the 
selection among opposing interests of that which has 
the most vigorous life, means either anarchy or privilege 
— ^that is, either barren strife or the germ of aristocracy, 
under whatever name it disguises itself: this is the part- 
ing of the ways which it is impossible to avoid. 

Is this what we want when we invoke a Revolution, 
since a Revolution is indispensable to reorganise our 
nationality? Do we want to condemn ourselves to 
ceaseless eddying in the whirlpool where France and 
Europe have tossed fen: half a century ? Do we want 
to be always making and unmaking, and be stOl in 
a provisional dispensation, be still uncertain of the 
morrow? Do we want strife, or peace and harmony? 
This is the whole question. 

For us there is no doubt. To find a- centre for all 
the many interests we must rise to a region above them 
all, independent of them all. To close a provisional 
dispensation and organise a peaceful future, we must 
reconnect that centre with something, eternal as Truth, 
progressive as its development in the sphere of foots. 
To prevent the clash of individualities we must find an 
aim common to all, and direct ourselves towards it. To 
make it easier for all to reach it we must consolidate 
and associate the forces of all. What else is association 

132 Interests and Principles 

but a conception that makes for unity ? And how can 
such a conception be understood without a principle 
around which it may revolve ? 

We are, therefore, driven to the sphere oi principles. 
We must revive belief in them ; we must fulfil a work of 
faith. The logic of things demands it 


Principles alone are constructive. Ideab are never 
translated into facts without the general recognition 
of some strong belief. Great things are never done 
except by the rejection of individualism and a constant 
sacrifice of self to the common progress. Now, self- 
sacrifice is the sense of Duty in action. And the sense 
of Duty cannot spring from individual interests, but 
postulates the knowledge of a superior, inviolable Law. 
Every law rests on a principle : otherwise it is arbitrary 
and its violation is permissible. This prindple must be 
freely accepted by everybody : otherwise the law is 
despotic and its violation is a duty. The application of 
principle lies in a life in conformity with law. To dis- 
cover, to study, to preach the principle which shall be 
the basis of the social law of the country and of the 
times in which he lives, should be the aim of every man 
who directs his thought to any political organisation. 
Faith in that principle is the parent of effective and 
lasting work. The isolated and barren knowledge of 
individual interests can only lead to the isolated and 
barren knowledge of individual right. And the know- 
ledge of individual right will, where that right is denied, 
lead in its turn to discontent, opposition, strife, some- 
times insurrection, but insurrection which, like that of 
Lyons, results only in a bitterer hostility between the 
classes which compose society. Whenever, therefore, 
we desire to do one of those great deeds called Revolu- 

f lions, we must always return to the knowledge and 
preaching of principles. The true instrument of the pro- 
gress of the peoples is to be sought in the moral factor. 
■^But do we, therefore, neglect the economic factors^ 


Interests and Principles 133 

material interests ; the importance of industrial victories, 
and the labours that won them? Do we preach 
principles for principles' sake, fiuth for faith's sake, as 
the romantic school of literature to-day preaches art ffr 
arfs sake. 

God forbid ! We do not suppress the economic factor : 
we believe, on the contrary, that it is destined in the 
society of the future to admit an ever-increasing exten- 
sion of the principle of equality^ and to incorporate the 
fruitful principle of association. But we subordinate the 
economic to the moral factor, because if withdrawn from 
its controlling influence, dissociated from principles, and 
abandoned to the theories of individualism which govern 
it to-day, it would result in brutish egotism ; in perpetual 
strife between men who should be brothers; in the . 
expression of the appetites of the human species, whilst J 
it ought rather to represent on the ascending curve oT^ 
progress the material translation of man's activity, the 
expression of man's industrial mission. 

No, we do not neglect material interests: on the 
contrary, we reject as imperfect and irreconcilable with 
the needs of the age every doctrine which does not 
include them, or regards them as less important thaa 
they really are. We believe that to every stage of pro- 
gress there should be a corresponding positive improve- 
ment in the material condition of the people ; and this 
successive improvement, in a certain manner, verifies 
for us the progress made. But we maintain that 
material interests cannot be developed alone, that 
they are dependent on principles, that they are not 
the end and aim of society; because we know that 
such a theory is destructive of human dignity ; because 
we remember that when the material factor began to 
hold the field in Rome, and duty to the people was 
reduced to giving them bread and public shaws^ Rome 
and its people were hastening to destruction; because 
we see to-day in France, in Spain, in every country, 
liberty trodden under foot, or betrayed precisely in 
the name of commercial interests and that servile 
doctrine which parts material well-being from principles. 

134 Interests and Principles 

We do not forget the services rendered to the cause 
of progress by the political schod of Uie Itigkts cf Man, 
nor the importance of the economic teadiings, which 
towards the end of the eighteenth centmy assailed the 
absurd and immoral restrictive system under which 
governments committed the industrial development of 
- the nation to customs officers, as they committed its 
moral development to censors and constabulary.^ In 
an age when Uie rights of individuals were systematically 
violated, these teadbings were indispensable, and without 
them we should not now be where we are. But to-day 
we have passed beyond them; we cannot stand still 
within their limits without denying the new tendencies 
which aim at reconstruction. The peoples hailed the 
destructive work of the past century because they hoped 
that a new organisation would take the place of the old 
one ; but since then they have been disillusioned again 
and again, and now they will not stir unless rekindled 
by a new organic prognunme. K*he individual is sacred : 
his interests, his rights, are iilvidable. But to make 
them the only foundation of toe political structure, and 
tell each individual to win 1ms ftiture with his own 
unaided strength, is to surrender society and progress 
to the accidents of chance and the vicissitudes of a 
never-ending struggle ; to n^le(^ the great &ct of man's 
nature, his social instinct; to plant ^otism in the soul ; 
and, in the long run, impose the dominion of the strong 
over the weak, of those who have over those who have 
not. The many abortive attempts of the last forty 
years prove this. 

When, therefore, we preach almost exclusively those 
principles which seem to us to derive from the actual 
condition of human knowledge, we purpose following 
the way whidi leads to the material as wdl as the moral 
future of the nations. When we insist on the need of 
raising on those {Hrindples a structure of belief in the 
place of dead or dying creeds, we shall be responding 
to a prayer of the peoples, often ill-eiqiressed, more 

* Birrii anned Italian police with a militarj ovfaiiiaatioa aomewluU 
aiaular to the Royal Irish Coastabulary. 

Interests and Principles 135 

often ill-understood, but which has been revealed in 
many forms most dissociated and dissimilar, and is the 
historical secret of the nineteenth century. And when 
we say : " Rise to the sphere of principles ; guide the 
peoples, now wandering in darluiess, to the law of 
Progress, to Humanity, to God ; awake again the moral 
sense, the sentiment of Duty in men whom others would 
fain convert into calculating-machines; show a great 
purpose to the young, so easily assailed to-day by 
discouragement and doubt ; give to men by enthusiasm, 
and religion, and love, a new moral existence, since the 
old one of privilege and inequality is dust and ashes," — 
when we say this, we are convinced that every other 
method of treating public questions is an illusion, or 
a lie ; that political forms considered in isolation 
and by themselves are, as the ancients said of law, 
spiders' webs that imprison little insects, but which are 
torn through by big ones ; that the spirit alone gives 
importance to forms ; that institutions are a dead letter^ 
ineffectual and impotent, whenever the breath of popular 
progress, and brotherhood, and association does not 
inspire them ; that all written declarations are futile 
where men have surrendered themselves to individualism, 
and organised themselves on a basis of inequality, and 
therefore naturally tend to elude such declarations, 
and rather seek in them a weapon of defence against 
others; convinced that no other method can profit 
the cause of Humanity, the great interests of the People, 
and Labour, and Nationality, and moral growth — the only 
things which merit our sacrifices and our labours. 

Instil into a People's soul, or into its teachers and 
writers, one single principle, and it will be worth more 
to that People and Country than a whole system of 
interests and rights addressed to each individual; or 
a war to the death against the acts of a corrupt govern- 

If by dint of example you can root in a nation's 
heart Uie principle which the French Revolution pro- 
claimed but never carried out, that the State owes every 
member the means of existence or the chance to worh 

136 Interests and Principles 

f^r it^ and add a ^r definition of existence, you have 
prepared the triumph of right orer privilege ; the end 
of the monopoly of one class oyer another, and the 
end of pauperism ^ ; for which at present there are 
only palliatives, Christian charity, or cold and brutal 
maxims like those of the English school of political 

When you have raised men's minds to believe in 

the other principle: that society is an association ef 

labours^ and can, thanks to that belief, deduce both 

in theory and practice all its consequences; you will 

have no more castes, no more aristocracies, or civil 

wars, or crises. You will have a People. 

( And when the gospel of the brotherhood of all 

I the men of a nation has made the soul a sanctuary 

I of virtue and love; when the great conception ill 

1 Nationality is no more dwarfed to mean proportions; 

iwhen it seeks as a basis for its rights something more 

fhan mere material interest, interest that always has its 

rivals; when the mother repeats its pure and holy 

doctrine to the child at her knee, at those hours of 

mom and even when woman, angef-grown, teaches 

her offspring heavenly truths as axioms and principles 

immutable — then only will you have a nation such as 

you can never have from sophists who would found 

a godless Nationab'ty. For Nationality is belief in a 

common origin and end, and if set up to-day by one 

interest it can be overthrown to-morrow by another 

interest more daring and more powerful. 

And so it must ever be. Principles, which some 
would relegate among abstractions, by their nature 
lie so near material interests, and what is called the 
economic factor^ that they involve its practical triumph 
as an inevitable consequence. The sphere of principles 
includes and embraces them all. But all material 
progress is the infallible result of all moral progress. 
We cease to waste our strength in a petty war, nor try 
to defeat interests in detail and without guarantee 

' In text, iMMifftMte— mendicity. A phase of the social pcobleM ia 
Continental nations analogous to paapensat in England. 

Interests and Principles 137 

of pennanent success ; we strive instead to reach the 
common source and plant ourselves in the key of the 
position. The effects of our exertions may appear more 
slowly, but they are more certain, and alone are durable. 
The work of faith, the moral work, advances insensibly, 
like the movement of the hand on the clock, but it alone 
is called to mark the solemn hours of the nations. 

A newspaper is not a work of legislation : it operates 
indirectly only. A newspaper does not clothe the 
naked poor, or give bread to the starving: it preaches 
and insists that this should be done. Now, how shall 
we work on the reader's mind? How convince him, 
not only of the existence of the decease but of the 
need of a remedy? How communicate to him the 
spirit of activity, the power of self-sacrifice, which 
are necessary to overcome obstacles? A newspaper, 
generally speaking, is written for the well-to-do classes, 
and these classes, comfortable in their prosperity, have 
never experienced privation or suffering; they see at 
times the misery of the poor, but easily accustom 
themselves to consider it as a sad social necessity^ and 
leave to future generations the care of finding a remedy. 
Sweet are indifference and oblivion to the man who 
sits in the sanctuary of his family, surrounded by 
smiling faces^ while the wintry blast blows without, 
and the snowflakes, swift and fine, beat against the 
panes of a double window. Do you hope to drag 
these favourites of the world from their apathy, by the 
simple expression of the economic situation and what 
should be its substitute in a well-organised society? 
Do you hope to shake them from their selfish repose, 
merely by cold analysis of what happens in a sphere 
to which they never penetrate? They will approve 
perhaps in theory your utilitarian doctrines ; but do 
not ask them to promote them. Why should they? 
You speak in the name of interests. Is not the first 
of all interests enjoyment ? And they do enjoy. 

There is a great gulf between approving a thing 
and sacrificing yourself for it, a gulf which you with 
your methods cannot cross. And yet this is just the 


138 Interests and Principles 

problem. Man is thought and actian. Your theories 
may modify the former ; they cannot create die latter. 

We must therefore modify, reform, tnmsform, the 
whole man into a miity of life. We must teach him 
not rights but duty, awaken to better things his de- 
generate nature, his half-exhausted soul, his drooping 
enthusiasm; we must gire him the consciousness of 
human wordi and men's mission here below, and thereby 
raise the strength to act which now is crushed by h^ 
indifference. And this is a work for principles, and 
belief, and religious thought, and faith. 

This was the work of Jesi^. He did not try to save 
, dying world by criticism. Kedid not spea k of interest 
to men whose souls were |k>l^UiJud by lh6 cult 
interests. He preached, in God's holy name, certain 
truths till then imknown ; and these few truths, which 
now after eighteen centuries we are striving to realise, 
changed the face of the world. One single spark of 
faith achieved what all the sophisms of the philosophic 
schools had never caught a glimpse of: a forward step 
in the Education of the Human Race. 

The problem of to-day — ^we shall never weary of 
repeating — is, as in the days of Christ, an educational 
problem. But what is Education unless it rest upon 
principles, and draw its being from a common faith, and 
strive for its victory ? 


** Faith and the Future" wu written in French at Bienne in 1835, <it a 
time when Louis Philippe had thrown off the mask and frankly broken 
with the democratic movement to which he owed his throne. Its object 
was to hearten the popular part^» dispirited with the failure of the revo- 
lution of 181 
and small 

existing system, without suggesting a bettensubstitute. The constitutional 
reformers had been defeated by their own doubts and fears; the 
democratic party must reproduce the enthusiasm, the unflinching adhesimi 
to principle, of the Great Reyolution. It must cut itself clear from con- 
ventions and prejudices, and boldly avow a republican policy. Not that 
the mere form of republican institutions had any magic in it. The world 
■ceded the republican spirit, the essence of whioi was the devotion of the 
individual to the common good, and which found its outward expression in 
the substitution of associated effort for individual enterprise. Men who 
had a great principle like this to assert could not be patient or silent ; and 
in Italy and Poland and Germany, where the press was gagged, and 
public agitation led to the scaffold, there was no road but that of open 
conflict with the government. Not that Mazzini, as he was careful to ex- 
plain in a later note, advocated feverish, ill-considered, insurrectionary 
movements ; the education of the secret press and the secret society mnst 
precede revolution. 


The figures in parentheses on pages x«> onwards refer to notes too long 
to put at the foot of the text which will be found at the end of the essay, 
pages 184 to i«4. 


The crusade is being organised. The monarchy arrays 
itself for battle. It hs^ returned to the dictatorial habits 
of Louis XIV. and is preparing ^9t(^x d*itatynth the arms 
of the sixteenth century. 

In the midst of the great popular excitement of 1830 
the monarchy was distraught for a moment, and thought 
its doom had come. In truth we, and we alone, saved 
it from its doom. We lost a marvellous opportunity. 
We forgot that the morrow of victory is much more 
perilous than its eve. Intoxicated with triumph and 
pride, we pitched our tents when we ought to have 
hastened on, and, like thoughtless children, we betook 
ourselves to play with the arms of those we had 
vanquished. Diplomacy lay well-nigh crushed under 
the popular barricades, and yet we welcomed it as a 
friend into our ranks ; we made its arts ours, and, raining 
notes and protocols, learned to ape our discomfited 
masters. Like the condottieri of old, we sent back free 
and armed the prisoners of battle. The monarchy 
was stretched low and at our mercy, and we, like 
medieval knights, we republicans, drew back two paces 
as though to give it an opportunity to remount. Coldly 
calculating, it took advantage of our chivalrous ardour 
to begin its work again, a work undertaken with a 
constancy and unity of conception that should make us 
blush at our discords and slackness. 

While we were numbering our dead» they began 
silently to increase their ranks. While we were disput- 
ing among ourselves whether to march in the name of 


142 Faith and the Future 

'91 or of '93, of Robespierre or of Baboeuf, they were 
marching on, slowly, silently, caressing some, threatening 
others, working their way underground when they thought 
themselves not powerful enough to venture into Sie 
light of day, avoiding obstacles they could not overcome. 
Instead of snatching from the grave a shred or so of the 
banner of the past, they dotibed the whde past with 
a semblance of life, and re-decked it widi the colours 
of the future. Anger, ambition, jealousy, everything 
yielded to the one end of gaining Power. In the North 
the form was given up to preserve the substance, and the 
habits of despotism were renounced that the monarchy 
of the usurper might fraternise with the monarchy of 
divine right. In the South they knelt in the mire, and 
suffered the insults of diplomacy, to obtain from it peace 
and helpi To-day the alliance is concluded, the equili- 
brium re-established between the old and the new 
powers ; and both alike weigh upon us. The enemies of 
progress touch the apogee of power. Corruption has 
conquered souls that fear could not reach; gold has 
finished the work of the prisons. Consciences have been 
bought and sold, genius prostituted, anarchy sown among 
thinkers, crosses and pensions showered upon some, 
proscriptions and terrors upon others ; the bourgeoisie 
has been seduced by trickery, suspicion sown broadcast, 
espionage raised to a system. The monarchy in the pride 
of its strength has cast the cloak aside, and to-day 
impiously denies God, Progress, the People, Humanity. 
With the constable^ on one side and the executioner on the 
other, it wipes out our right to free movement and to the 
future ; it destroys our memories and hopes, puts brute 
force in the place of ideas, bids us to our knees as 
it bade our fathers when they were serfs, when thought 
was banned, intellect and conscience dumb, and silence 
the law for all. And we, what shall we do ? Shall we 
give way to despair ? Shall we renounce for a time our 
battle-cry, frank, loyal, strenuous as our soul ? Repeat 
the fifteen years' comedy? Show that we are tamed? 
Deceive the monarchy which we could, and would nojt, 

' See Note, p. 134. 

Faith and the Future 143 

vanquish? Copy its methods, its habits, its tactics? 
Lead it smilingly by tortuoas ways, to the precipice's 
^ge, then suddenly unmask ourselves, stab it in the 
back, and hurl it down the abyss ? 

Men who adopt and counsel such as the only policy 
left to us, who preach patience as the sole remedy for 
our ills, or who admit the necessity of the struggle but 
leave the powers that be to begin it, such men do not, 
I believe, understand the present state of affairs. They 
change a call to create into a call to oppose. They 
falsify the stamp of the age ; they betray unconsciously 
die cause they seek to fiirdier ; they forget that the task 
assigned to the nineteenth century is one whose very 
essence it is to create, initiate, xnake new, one which 
only free spontaneous action and a free and daring 
conscience can complete. 

It is not enough to drag a monardiy to the abyss : 
we must be prepared to fill up that abyss, fill it up 
for ever, and on it raise a lasting edifice. Monarchies 
can be un-made and re-made in a day. The mighty 
hand of Napoleon overturned half a score ; but monarchy 
still lives, and greeted his grave with a smile of triumph. 
In 1830, a throne of eight centuries vanished under 
three blows struck by the people; and yet we to-day 
are proscribed by a monarchy which has risen from 
its ruins. Let us never forget this. 

AVhat was called the jifteen year^ comedy was played 
in FraxK^e wondrous well. The skilfiil and fliawless 
Jesuitry of the actors might merit the envy of crowned 
heads. What were the consequences ? 

The fifteen year^ comeify killed the monarchy of the 
elder branch of the Bourbons; but it killed at the 
same time the firank, austere, revolutionary energy 
which had placed France at the head of the nations 
of Europe. While it doomed the powers that be to 
sleepless dread, it doomed the advanced party in 
France to a long rdle of dishonesty. For, through 
it hypocrisy wormed itself into the souls of men, 
in took the place of enthusiasm, the brain 
Itip^eded the heart, and theories of passive resistance 


144 Faith and the Future 

succeeded ito the genius that ever presses forward to 
things new. The masculine, vigorous national thought 
languished under a multitude of petty, bastard incom- 
plete conceits, and apostasy entered the sphere of 
political life. That disloyal, treacherous war of sub- 
terfuges spread over French civilisation a stratum of 
corruption whose results last to this day : another 
such war would be fatal indeed. Here is matter for 
reflection. When the times are ripe for breaking 
from the present and advancing towards the future, 
all hesitation is fatal : it unnerves and dissolves. Rapid 
movement is the secret of all great victories. When the 
consequences of a principle are exhausted, and the edifice 
which has sheltered us for centuries threatens to fall, we 
should shake the dust from our feet and hasten else- 
where. *Life is outside. Within, there is but the cold, 
benumbing air of the tomb, scepticism wandering among 
the ruins, egotism following in its track ; then, isolation 
and death. 

And to-day the times are ripe. The consequences 
of the principle of individualism which dominated the 
past are exhausted. The monarchy has reached its 
second restoration and finds no more creative virtue in 
itself \ its life is but a wretched plagiarism. Show me, if 
you can, a single important act, a single sign of European 
Ufe, that does not proceed from the social principle, 
which does not depend upon the people^ the king of the 
future. The old world can only resist \ its remaining 
strength is but the strength of passive resistance. The 
aristocracies of to-day are but corpses, now and again 
galvanised into motion. Monarchy is the reflection, the 
shadow of a life that has passed away. Since 18 14 the 
future calls to us. For twenty-two years the people, 
eager for a step forward, strain their ears for that cry. 
And would you travel once more over the old ground, 
fall back, begin again a task that is done, copy the past, 
and, because the monarchy is in its dotage, return to 
infancy ? 

What do you hope for when you beg inspiration in the 
enemy's camp, and follow in its footsteps? Whither 

Faith and the Future 145 

will you £Eure along the tortuous road of revolutionary 
diplomacy over which you would drag the younger 
generation ? Beware ! the roads of mere opposition such 
as yours lead only to monarchy. There exists generally 
an essential relation between the means and Sie end ; 
and constitutional tactics can only result in constitutional 
changes. The fifteen years' opposition gave birth to 
1 830. Every analogous opposition will (unforeseen circum- 
stances apart) give birth to similar results. In 1830 the 
peo|^ confined within the Charter the limits of the 
attack, because it had used itself to confine in the same 
boun<^ the limits of the defence. It will be ever the 
same. If, in the old revolution, the French people angrily 
answered the challenge of the allied monarchies of 
Europe by beheading a king and raising the republican 
banner, that challenge, we must never forget, was un- 
provoked and a war to the death. Of the members of 
the royal family, some were in arms against France on 
the frontier ; others were persistent conspirators against 
her in Paris. Without these causes the revolution would 
never have reached so easily that state of things. The 
impulse given by the demands of the States-General 
would not have passed beyond the movement of '91. 
But monarchical Europe to-day wages no open war of 
arms against the revolutions of a people thirty millions 
strong : she offers them a traitor's hand, and the kiss of 
Judas. She does not challenge them to battle : she tries 
to dishonour them. Then she creates a solitude about 
them ; surrounds them like scorpions with a circle of fire, 
and in that circle they consume their own strength, and 
since the life of revolutions consists in growth, they 

But suppose it happen otherwise ; suppose the people, 
outstripping the first impulse, wipe out a principle instead 
of simply modifying it; suppose they change a mon- 
archical revolution into a republican one, and attain the 
purpose you have at heart. You will then have gained 
the form, not the habits, customs, ideas, beliefs, of a 
republic. The people which moves not from faith, but ^ 
by simple reaction against the abuses of monarchy, will 



Faith and the Future 

preserve the antecedents, the traditions, the education of 
the monarchy : you will have the form of a republic, but 
the substance of a monarchy. Questions of politicml 
organisation will overlay the true, the supreme question, 
which is a moral and a social one. 

Criticism will not regenerate the peoples. Criticism 
is powerful to dissolve, not to create. Criticism is in- 
capable of passing beyond the theory of the individual \ 
and the triumph of individualism can only engender a 
revolution for protestantism and liberty. Far otherwise 
is the republic. The republic, as I at least understand 
it, means association, of which liberty is only an element, 
a necessary antecedent. It means association, a new 
philosophy of life, a divine Ideal that shall move the 
world, the only means of regeneration vouchsafed to the 
human race. Opposition is an instrument of mere 
criticism. It kills ; it does not give life. And when it 
declares a principle to be dead, it takes its seat upon the 
dead body and stirs no further. Only a new Ideal can 
thrust the corpse aside, and move forward in search of a 
new life. For this reason the revolution of '89, a revolu- 
tion essentially protestant in its character, ended by 
enthroning criticism, by affirming the brotherhood of 
individuals, by organising liberty. And by reason of this 
the revolution of 1830 — a revolution purely of opposition 
— proved itself from the first incapable of translating into 
action that social conception of which it had distant 
glimpses. Opposition can only demonstrate the barren- 
ness, the deoulence, the exhaustion of a principle. 
Beyond, for it, there is the void, whereon men build not. 
A republic is not planted upon a demonstration ad 
absurdum. Direct proof is indispensable. Authoritative 
Truth alone can give us salvation. 


Two things are essential to future progress : the mani- 
festation of a principle, and its incarnation in deeds. 
Apostles of a faith which aims at construction, we can- 
not advance save with banners unfurled, confronting the 

Faith and the Future 147 

hostile faith in deadly battle. Wait, they say. But for 
what ? For opportunities ? But what are opportunities 
save a special arrangement of the circumstances whose 
office it is to give birth to deeds? And whence can 
opportunities arise except from our own efforts? Do 
you want war? Whom will the combatants be drawn 
from? From those who are marching in full accord, 
peoples who have even now renewed a covenant of 
brotherhood, who have one end in view, one enemy, one 
fear? Will it be against peoples prostrate in the mire? 
War will never arise in Europe except by insurrection. 
Do you want coups tPitatl Only a strenuous, obstinate 
struggle can make them inevitable. But how maintain 
the struggle? By conspiracy? The preachers of 
patience object, even as they object to insurrection. 
By the printing press? The governments kill it: you 
have everywhere laws which fetter it, censors who vex 
the writer, judges who condemn thought and shut it 
within prison walls. Can you surmount these obstacles ? 
In France, perhaps. But take the case of a country 
absolutely without a Press ; without a Parliament or aC, 
Council where politics may be discussed; without 
literary journals; without a national theatre; without 
popular education; without foreign books. Suppose 
that coimtry to suffer, suffer terribly, the upper and 
middle classes as well as the mass of its people, from 
poverty, from domestic and foreign oppression, from^^ 
constant violation of the national principle, and the 
absence of all intellectual and industrial development. 
What is that country to do? Whence can arise that 
slow and gradual progress which you admire ? 

And yet that country does exist. Its name is Italy, / 
Poland, and for some time, Germany. It embraces 
nearly two-thirds of Europe. 

Look at Italy ! 

In her there is neither progress, nor any chance of 
progress, save by revolution. Tyranny has raised an 
impenetrable wall along her frontier. A triple army df 
spies, of customs officers, and of constabulary^ holds 

* See note to pafe 134. 


Faith and the Future 

nightly and daily vigil to prevent the circulation of 
thought. Mutual instruction^ it prescribed. The 
universities are closed or enslaved. The penalty of 
death hangs not only over those who print clandestinely, 
but over those who possess or read the forbidden book. 

The introduction of independent foreign newspapers 
is forbidden. Intelligence perishes in infancy for lack 
of nourishment. Young men sell their faith for self- 
indulgence, or waste their strength in fits of barren 
cynicism. They oscillate between Don Juan and 
Timon. And privileged souls, souls afire for Right, 
who for an instant caught glimpses of the Future, 
when environment weighs heavy upon them, let their 
light go out, and perisn, without an object, without a 
mission, like fiowers unwatered or the Peri shorn of 
her wings. Who, I ask again, shall give progress to 
this people? Who shall give it to Poland, who lies 
in ec^ual case ? Who shall give it to Germany, whose 
lot will soon be the same, when, in obedience to your 
counsels, her patriots have stayed the struggle which 
peoples indeed the prisons, but awakens, little by little, 
the masses? How may we introduce into those 
countries the undefined but sacred thought invoked by 
all, if we are influenced by personal calculations, and 
draw back in face of the danger, if we dare not with 
arms in our hands, like the smugglers of the Pyrenees, 
defend the contraband of the intellect ? 

Insurrection: I see for those peoples no other 
possible counsel : insurrection as soon as circumstances 
allow : insurrection, strenuous, ubiquitous : the in- 
surrection of the masses: the holy war of the op- 
pressed : the republic to make republicans : the people 
in action to initiate progress. Let the insurrection 
announce with its awful voice the decrees of God : let 
it clear and level the ground on which its own immortal 
structure shall be raised. Let it, like the Nile, fiood 
all the country that it is destined to make fertile. We 
speak here especially for those who lie at the base of 
the European social system — for those who wander in 

• /.#.— tiM Ucll*LaiicMMr sytUm of uaebiof 

Faith and the Future 149 

darkness condemned to silence by a double tyranny, 
while others more privileged can walk illumined by the 
sun, and discern clearly the end of the common labour 
— for enslaved races who for long centuries have sought 
in vain the mission assigned to them by God — for 
Poland, for Hungary, for Italy, for Spain, a country of 
great destinies, to-day wasting its strength between two 
systems, each one the translation of a false principle — 
for Germany also, poor, sacred Germany, who awoke 
us all with Luther's manly voice, for whom to-day we 
can only show a sympathy so lukewarm as to show like 
indifference. We speak for all, because all are in- 
dispensable elements of the European commonweal^ 
that is to be — ^because above and beyond the special 
mission which each of us is called to fulfil on earth, 
there is a common mission which embraces all Humanity 
— ^because we fail to see that men have as yet duly 
realised how essential it is that the republican Party 
should be morally united by the apostolic power of the 
written word, and that it is the written word which 
determines the choice of the system round which all the 
forces of the progressive press of Europe must rally. 
We have men to-day, republican writers of merit, who 
maintain that there is no light to guide the people to a 
better land except it come from the hands of those who 
hold watch and guard to keep them in the slough in 
which they lie — others who are content to implore, 
almost as an alms, some fraction of liberty for the 
people — others who desire that European association 
should ripen under the sun of constitutional monarchy, 
who reject as dangerous any attempt at regeneration by 
means of a great religious principle, who protest against 
every bold movement of the people as inopportune and 
ineffectual, against every really creative belief displayed 
by the defenders of the people. And I protest against 
the false theory, which confounds the material expression 
of progress with progress itself, and redoubles, as it were, 
the burdens of the peoples, by condemning them to an 
initiation by degrees, parallel to the stages of suffering 
they have passed through. 


150 Faith and the Future 

No : those peoples will sink to the depths of hell in 
their fall ; but if they rise, they will attain to heaven. 

Nations are initiated into the worship of liberty by the 
sufferings of servitude. They have endured beyond 
words; when they rise, they will grow, beyond all 
imagination, to a giant's stature. Their grief was 
blessed. Every tear taught them a truth. Every year 
of martyrdom prepared them for an absolute redemp- 
tion. They have drained the cup to the dregs. 
Nothing is left to them but to dash it to pieces. 

What, then, is to be done ? 

(i) Preach ! fight ! act ! 

The republican Party must change neither attitude 
nor language. Eveiy modification introduced, for 
dubious tactical reasons, into its conditions of life, 
would bring it from its high estate to a mere political 
party. Now, the republican Party is not a political 
party t it is an essentially religious party. It has its 
faith, its doctrine, its martyrs from Spartacus onwards ; 
and it must have doctrine inviolable, authority infallible, 
the martyr's spirit and call to self-sacrifice. Forgetful- 
ness of this duty, imitation of the monarchy or 
aristocracy, the sul^titution of negations for positive 
beliefs, have often wrecked it. The Idea^ the religious 
thought, of which it is, even unconsciously, a manifesta- 
tion on earth, has raised it to giant stature when all 
men said that it had gone for ever. We must not forget 
that political parties fall and die : religious parties never 
die, except when the victory is won, when their vital 
principle has attained its full development, and become 
identified with the progress of civilisation and of morals. 
Then, but not till then, in the heart of the people, or 
in the brain of some individual, powerfiil by virtue of 
genius and love, God plants a new thought, vaster and 
more fruitful than that which is passing away ; the 
centre of faith advances a step, and only those who 
gather around it constitute the party of the future. 

The republican Party need not fear for the final issue 
of its mission, or be discouraged for temporary defeats 
that do not affect the main body, and only concentrate 

Faith and the Future 151 

around it the combatants who, in the heat of battle, have 
strayed too far away ; or fear because at every turn men 
try to set up might for right, matter for spirit. The 
danger is elsewhere. 

Having regard to the essence of things, and without 
reference to the passing hour or the men of our day, the 
position of the republican Party is, by reason of the 
recent persecutions, better than before. The law of 9th 
of September,^ which was to prove fatal to us, has given 
r^nresentative monarchy its death-blow. It has settled 
the eternal question between the citizen monarchy and 
the dynastic opposition. It has discredited systems 
which professed to reconcile the sovereignty of the 
people and the irresponsibility of its deputies, continued 
progress and the immobility of an hereditary power. It 
has demonstrated the impotence of the doctrinaire and 
destroyed political eclecticism. The period of transition, 
which unnerved the combatants by deceptive hopes and 
foolish terrors, is at an end. Slaves or victors : " To be 
or not to be": the question is now clearly stated in 
these terms: we must choose between debasing our 
nature and intelligence and become renegades to every 
sacred idea, every powerful conception, or rising in open 
war and appealing from the justice of kings to the justice 
of peoples, to the judgment of God, The truce is broken 
foe ever. People and monarchy are to-day enemies, 
enemies confessed and beyond recall. On one side 
monarchy, its centuries of life in the past, its traditional 
authority, its sicarii, its tax-gatherers, its constabulary ' : 
on the other, the people, its centuries in the future, its 
instinct of new things, its immortal youth, its countless 
hosts. The jousts are cleared for the two combatants. 
The battle may begin at any moment. 


" You are deceived, they tell us. " The peoples lack 
faith. The masses lie torpid. So used are they to wear 
chains that they have lost the habit of motion. You 

* See note to p. 196. * See note to p. 134. 

152 Faith and the Future 

have to do with helots, not with men. How will you 
drag them to battle, and keep them in the field ? Many 
a time have we called them to arms ; we have raised the 
cry of * people, liberty, vengeance I * and they lifted for a 
moment their drowsy heads, and then fell back into their 
old torpor. They saw the funeral procession of our 
martyrs pass by, knew not that their rights, their life, 
their salvation, were being bmied with them. They 
follow riches, and fear condemns them to stand stilL 
Enthusiasm is spent and cannot easily be rekindled. 
Yet, without the masses you are powerless to act; 
you can face martyrdom, not gain the victory. Die 
if you think that one day a generation of avengers 
will spring from your blood, but do not involve in 
your fate those who lack alike your strength and hope. 
Martyrdom cannot be made the baptism of a whole 
Party. It is useless to waste in abortive attempts forces 
which one day may be effectively employed. Do not 
delude yourselves about the times. Be resigned and 
wait patiently." 

The problem is a serious one. It involves the future 
of the Party. 

The peoples lack fiuth. But whati effects should we 
argue from this fact, and what are its causes ? Shall we 
affirm a false identity between faith and power? shall 
we say that where faith is wanting the power to achieve 
does not exist ; that to-day the people are impotent from 
the very nature of things, that they have not suffered 
enough, that the times are not ripe, that the atonement — 
if indeed the peoples have aught to atone — ^is yet un- 
accomplished ? 

To accept such opinions would be to accept a system 
of historical fatalism which the intelligence of the age has 
rejected. We should make cowardly obeisance to a fact, 
without any effort to explain it, and deny the innate 
potentialities of humanity. The existence of a fact does 
not prove its necessity : it can only govern the actions of 
those who press materialism to its extremes and renounce 
the study of causes to lie passive under their influence. 
Will you deny to a man power to walk because he stands 

Faith and the Future 153 

motionless before you ? The actual condition of things 
is no measure of the forces which are latent in the peoples. 
Are the peoples essentially weak, or do they simply lack 
faith, that faith which reveals itself in deeds and sets 
forces in motion? These are the true terms of the problem. 
Yes; the peoples lack faith; not the individual faith, 
which makes martyrs, but the common, x^^/a/ faith, which 
gains victories ; the faith which awakens the multitudes ; 
that faith in their destiny, in their mission, in the mission 
of the Age, which illumines and rouses, prays and fights ; 
which fearlessly advances along the paths of God and 
Humanity, bearing in its right hand the people's sword, 
in its heart the people's religion, in its soul the people's 
future. But this faith which was preached by Lamennais, 
the high priest of the age, and which should be translated 
by others in the terms of their own national life, will it 
come to us from our sense of strength or from our 
conscience ? Is it an instinct of our real impotence that 
has banished it from our lives, or is it opinions falsely 
conceived, and prejudices that we can fight? Would not 
one act of strenuous will suflfice to restore the balance 
between oppressor and oppressed ? And if this be so, 
are we working to evoke it ? Are our tendencies, our 
manifestations of the thought we would promote, sufficient 
to achieve our purpose ? Are we impelled by fate to lead 
the movement, or are the masses who follow us responsible 
for the present sleep of death ? 

Consider Italy. Misfortune, suffering, protests, in- 
dividual sacrifice, have reached their extreme limit in 
that land. The cup is full. Oppression, like the air, is 
all-pervading : rebellion also. Three separate States, 
twenty cities, two millions of men revolt in a week,^ over- 
throw their governments and declare themselves emanci- 
pated, and not a single protest was made, not a single 
drop of blood was shed. Insurrections foUow in quick 
succession. Is force wanting to those twenty-five millions ? 
Italy in revolution has strength enough to fight three 
Austrias. Do they lack the inspiration of traditions, 
the religion of memories, a storied past ? Nay, the people 

*■ See Appendix, p. 985. 

154 Faith and the Future 

still bow before the holy relics of a greatness that was 
once. Do they lack a mission ? Nay, Italy alone among 
the nations has twice given the gospel of Unity to Europe. 
Is courage wanting ? Ask of the days of 1746, of 1799 ; 
of the memories of the Grande Arniie \ of the martyrs, 
thrice holy, who for fourteen years have died for an idea, 
silent and inglorious. 

Consider Switzerland. Can any one deny true valour, 
the deep sense of independence, of those sons of the 
Alps ? Five centuries of struggle, of intrigues, of civil 
and religious strife, have failed to soil their flag of 130S 
with foreign oppression. And yet Switzerland — that 
Switzerland who defeated Austria in twenty battles, whose 
war-cry would suffice to raise Germany and Italy in 
insurrection, and who knows well how kings would pause 
ere they embarked on a European war that the peoples 
clamoured for, because they know that its last battle 
would be the Waterloo of Monarchy — yet Switzerland to- 
day, as the months come round, accepts dishonour and 
bows her head before each petty dispatch of an Austrian 

Remember 1813 and the German youth who deserted 
the lecture-rooms of the Universities to hasten to the 
battles of Independence ; remember the thrill of excite- 
ment at the cry of Nationality, Liberty, a common 
Fatherland, which ran through Germany from one end to 
the other, and then tell me if the Deputies, Electors, 
public writers, and all the men of position who were 
content to lose themselves in the maze of constitutional 
opposition, if all these had rallied around the banner of 
Ham bach,* whether that would not have sufficed to rouse 
the whole people. 

Remember Grochow, Waver, Ostrolenska,* and then 
tell me to what straits Russia would have been driven, if 
Poland had wasted no precious time, begging help of die 

^ The ConaMutioHsftsi of 1833 at Hambach— a great popular demonatra- 
cion in favour of Constitutional Reform held near the old castle of that 
name. It was an echo of the French Revolution of July 1830, and was 
attended by thousands of people from all parts of South-western Germany. 

' Battles during the Polish Insurrection of 1831. See Fyffe's History of 
Modem Europe^ Vol. II. c. v. 

Faith and the Future 155 

diplomaqr who had stabbed her for a hundred years ; if 
her armies had at once shifted the active revolutionary 
movement to its natural centre beyond the Boug ; if ~ 
some great conception of a people's freedom had called 
to insurrection the races, whose true heart Bogdan 
Chmielnicki revealed in 1648 ; if, while enthusiasm was 
dictator, and terror paralysed the enemy, while the 
masses of Lithuania, of Galicia, of Ucrania, were quivering 
with hopes of liberty, the insurrection had flown from the 
Belvedere to Lithuania. 

I state with profound conviction, that there probably 
does not exist a single people in Europe which is not 
able by faith, by self-sacrifice, and by the logic of 
revolution to break its chains in the face of monarchical 
Europe conspiring to work its doom — ^not a people that 
is not able through the holy creed of the Future and of 
Love, through the mighty watchward inscribed on its 
banner of insurrection, to start a crusade in Europe — no, 
not a people which has not had its chance since 1830. 

But in Italy, in Germany, in Poland, in Switzerland, 
in France, everywhere, men, unfortunately influential,/^ 
have perverted the orginal character of the revolution — 
ambitious and covetous men have seen in the uprising 
of a people only a chance to slake their own thirst of 
pelf or power — ^weak men who trembled at the difficulties 
of the undertaking, have, at the very onset, sacrificed the 
logical development of insurrection to their own fears. 
Everywhere false and deadly doctrines have tumed 
revolutions from their goal. The theory of class rule has 
supplanted the people's theory of the emancipation of all 
by efforts of all. The national idea has been weakened 
or destroyed by the idea of foreign assistance. Nowhere 
did the promoters and directors of the insurrection cast 
into the scale of their country's destiny the sum-total 
of the forces that a strenuous and inspired will would 
have brought into play: nowhere have consciousness of .^ 
a high mission, faith in its fulfilment, and a knowledge U 
of the age and its dominant idea, guided the men who 
assumed the control of events, and made themselves 
responsible to humanity for their success. 


Faith and the Future 

They bad before them a task for giants, and they 
grovelled on their bellies. They saw <JUirkly the secret 
of the generations ; they heard the cry of tribes of men 
eager to shake off ^e dust of their sepulchres, and, youth- 
ful or regenerate, confront a new life. It was their task 
to publish, without fear, on the housetops the gospel of 
the People and the Nations ; and instead, they stammered 
halting words of royal concessions, of a charter, of com- 
pacts between right and might, justice and injustice. 
They tried, like old men whose natural force is spent, to 
prolong an artificial existence, and sought in the policy of 
the old r^me the secret of its imperfect and fleeting life. 
They mingled life and death, liberty and servitude, 
privilege and equality, past and future. We were bound 
— though even on their dead bodies — ^to raise the flag 
of revolt so high that all nations might read on it a 
promise of victory. And they dragged it through the 
mire of royalty, overlaid it with protocols and naOed its 
motionless folds, like the sign of a bawdy house, on the 
doors of all the Foreign L^ations: they believed in 
the promises of every minister, in the hopes held out 
by every Ambassador; in everything, except in the 
people and its omnipotence. We saw revolutionary 
leaders immersed in die study of the treaties of 1815, 
seeking therein, forsooth, the charter of Polish or Italian 
liberty; others more guilty, denied Humanity, and 
made selfishness their God, when they wrote on theii 
banner a principle oi noH'tntervention worthy of the 
Middle Ages ; others, more guilty still, denied their 
brothers and their Fatherland, broke up national unity 
at the moment that they should have introduced its 
triumph; they uttered the impious words, "Men of 
Bologna, the cause of the Modenese is not our cause," 
even while the foreigner was advancing to their gates. 
They all forgot — in their zeal to give, as they said, a 
legal character to revolution — that every insurrection 
acquires l^ality from its aim, legitimacy from victory, 
means of defence from offence, pledges of success from 
expansion : they forgot that the charter of each nation's 
liberty is a clause in the Charter of Humanity, that they 

Faith and the Future 157 

alone deserve to conquer who are prepared to conquer 
or to die for all 

And then — seeing the men who started the revolu- 
tions pale in front of their undertaking, retreat when 
action became imperative, or take a devious and timid 
path, without a goal, without a programme, without 
hope except in foreign help, the people also were afraid 
and paused, or rather perceived that the hour had not 
yet come, and stopped short With revolutions before 
them betrayed in their inception, the masses abstained,^ 
nascent enthusiasm was stifLedf faith disappeared. 


JFatth disappeared; but what have we done, what 
are we doing, to raise it up again ? Oh shame and woe 
to us ! Since that holy light of the nations vanished, 
we have been wandering in the darkness, without a 
bond, without a purpose, without unity of direction ; 
or have folded our arms upon our breasts like men 
without hope. Some few lifted a long cry of anguish, 
renounced all earthly progress, to croon a chant of 
resignation, a death-bed prayer^; or they made them- 
selves rebels against hope,' and with a bitter smile 
proclaimed the advent of the powers of darkness : they 
accepted scepticism^ cynicism, l^ithlessness, as in- 
evitable, irrevocable facts of human nature; and the 
echo of their blasphemies translated itself in degraded 
natures into corruption, and in untainted natures into 
the suicide of despair. ' Our literature of to-day 
oscillates between these extremes. Others, suddenly 
remembering the light which illumined their infancy, 
dragged themselves back to the sanctuary whence it 
issued, and laboured to rekindle it ; ^ or were absorbed 
in contemplation of self, and began to live in the ego, 
and there forgetting or denying the world of phenomena, 
never advanced beyond the study of the individual, 

* #^.~The German Romandsto, and partly, Manzoni and Foacolo. 
■ *.^.— Byron. 

* See FoBColo'9 JtKop9 Otii9, a favourite book of Mazzini'a. 

* #^.— ChateauSriand, Mansoni, and, in hia early days, Victor Hugo. 


Faith and the Future 

And diis is our philosophy. Others, finally, born for 
battle, spurred by a passion of self-sacrifice, which, 
under wise guidance, would have worked miracles, 
dominated by sublime but imperfect and ill-defined 
instincts, snatched a banner firom their fathers' tombs, 
and rushed forward; but in the first few steps they 
parted. Each of them tore a shred from the flag and 
vaunted it as the flag of aU the host This is the 
history of our political life. 

We ask pardon of the reader for our insistence on 
these complaints. They are our delenda Carthago. 
Mine is not the work of a writer : it is the stem and 
fearless mission of an apostle. This mission permits 
of no diplomacy. I am investigating the causes of a 
delay which seems to me to have its source outside the 
hostile forces. I seek a way of stating the problem in 
such terms as may permit us quickly to win back the 
power of making a new departure. Therefore I must 
be silent or speak the whole truth. 

Now, it seems to me that the delay has two chief 
causes, both due to the Party wandering from its goal, 
both tending to substitute the worship of the past for 
the worship of the future. 

The first of these causes has led us to mistake for a 
programme what was nothing more than a concluding 
chapter, a powerful summary, a formula which gave 
expression to the work of a whole age and its conquests. 
It has made us confound two distinct philosophies 
of life and two distinct ages, and reduce a mission of 
social regeneration to the narrow proportions of a wc^k 
of development and deduction from old premisses. It 
has caused us to abandon the principle for its symbol, 
God for an idol; to stay the soul's flight towards a 
New Ideal, that fiery cross that is transmitted by the 
hand of God fxom one people to another ; to degrade 
and smother the national spirit of the peoples, which 
is their life, their mission and the strength given for 
its achievement, the part assigned to them by God in 
the common task, in the development of thought one 
and manifold, which is the soul of ^our life on earth. 

Faith and the Future 159 

(2) The second causehas led us to confound the principle 
with one of its manifestations, the eternal element of 
every social organisation with one of its successive 
developments, and to consider a mission as completed 
which was onlj expanding and, in consequence, changing 
its character. Because of that error we broke up the 
unity of the conception precisely when it required a wider 
development; we travestied the Unction of the eighteenth 
century; we made a negation the starting-point of the 
nineteenth, and abandoned religious thought when it 
was more than ever necessary to revive and to extend 
it till it embraced every element that is destined to be 
transformed, and to gather together in one great social 
conception all the truths that to-day lie unrelated and 

The eighteenth century, which is too generally regarded 
as a century of scepticism and negations, devoted entirely 
to a task of criticism, had its faith, its mission, and 
practical schemes to fulfil it. It was a titanic, boundless 
faith in human liberty and power. Its mission was to 
tabulate — if the expression be permissible — the assets of 
the first Epoch of the European world : to epitomise and 
reduce to a concrete formula that which eighteen cen- 
turies of Christianity had examined, developed, made a 
fact : to constitute die individual as he was called to be, 
free, active, sacred, inviolable: that was its mission. 
And achieved it by the French Revolution, a translation 
into political terms of the (3.) proteiistant revolution, a 
deeply religious manifestation, whatever superficial 
writers may think who judge the whole period by the 
aberrations of a few individuals, secondary actors in the 
drama. The instrument employed to effect the revolu- 
tion and to achieve its mission was Right, Its power, its 
mandate, the legitimacy of its actions, lay in a theory 
of Rights: it$ supreme formula was a Declaration of 
Rights. What else, in fact, is tnany the individual, save 
Eight} Does he not, within the ever-advancing bound- 
aries of progress, represent the human person and the 

' N 

1 60 Faith and the Future 

element of individual freedom ? And the aim of the 
eighteenth century was precisely to complete that human 
evolution which was foreseen by the ancients, announced 
by Christianity, and attained in part by protestantism. 
Between the century and that aim stood a multitude of 
obstacles ; fetters of all kinds on free spontaneity, on 
the free devolopment of individual faculties ; warnings, 
rules, and orders, that limited human action; the 
traditions of a force that was spent ; aristocracies which 
seemed capable and strong ; religious forms that forbade 
progress. It was necessary to overthrow them all, and 
the century overthrew them. It fought a long and 
terrible but victorious battle against every influence 
that frittered human power into disconnected fragments, 
that denied progress or stayed the flight of intellect. 
Every great revolutionary thought needs an ideal for its 
centre of action, its fulcrum. This ideal the century 
found by subjectively centring itself in the individual ; and 
it was the ego^ the human conscience, the "I am"^ 
of Christ to the Powers of His day. Centred in that 
conception, the Revolution, conscious of its own strength 
and sovereignty by right of conquest, disdained to prove 
to the world its origin, its roots in the past. First it 
professed its faith. It cried like Fichte : " Liberty ! 
without Equality there is no Liberty ; all men are equal." 
Then it proceeded to deny. It denied the dead past : 
it dienied feudalism, aristocracy, monarchy. It denied 
the (4.) Catholic dogma, a dogma of absolute resignation, 
that poisoned the springs of liberty and planted despotism 
at the summit of its structure. Unnumbered wrecks 
strewed the ground. But in the midst of them, amid 
all those negations, a mighty Yea arose — the creature 
of God ready to act, radiant with power and will — 
the ecce homoy repeated after eighteen centuries of 
suffering and strife, not by the voice of the martyr, 
but on the altar raised by the revolution to victory 
— Right, individual faith, rooted in the world for ever. 

Is this all we seek ? Should man, endowed with 
power to progress, idly repose like an emancipated slave 

* John viii. 58. 


Faith and the Future i6i 

content with his own solitary liberty ? Does nothing 
remain, to fulfil his mission on the earth, but to carry 
the principle to its logical conclusions, to translate them 
into facts, and to defend the ground we have won, but 
advance no further ? 

Is the series of terms which make the great equation 
closed because the human unknown quantity is known, 
because one of the terms of progress, that which con- 
stitutes the individual^ can be placed among quantities 
that are known and defined ? Is the faculty of pro- 
gress exhausted ? Is no movement possible but in a I 
circle ? 

Because man, consecrated by thought to the kingdom 
of the world, has broken through an outworn form of 
religion that imprisoned his activity and denied him 
independence, shall we never more possess a bond of 
common brotherhood, or religion, or conception of 
universal Providential law that all may take and believe h 

No, eternal God I Thy word is not finished ; Thy 
thought, the thought of the world, is not yet all re- 
vealed. It still creates, and will continue to create, 
for long ages beyond all human calculation. The 
ages that have run their course have only revealed to 
us a few fragments. Our mission is not ended. We 
scarcely know its origin; we know nothing of its final 
end: time and our discoveries do but extend its confines. 
It ascends firom century to century, towards destinies 
unknown to us : it seeks its own law, of which we possess 
but the first few lines. From initiative to initiative 
through the series of Thy successive incarnations it 
purifies and extends the formula of self-sacrifice : pursues 
its own path : learns thy ever-widening law. Forms are 
altered and dissolved. Religions die. The human spirit 
leaves them behind, as the wayfarer leaves the fires that 
warmed him in the night, and goes in search of other Suns, 
But Religion remains. Thought is immortal ; it survives 
all forms, and is bom again from its own ashes. The idea 
frees itself from the shrunken symbol, escapes from the 
chrysalis which prisoned it, which criticism had eaten 
through. It shines forth pure and bright, a new star 


1 62 Faith and the Future 

in the firmament of Humanity. How many has faith 
yet to add that the whole way of the future may be 
illumined ? Who can say how many stars, thoughts 
of the ages, have yet to rise in cloudless splendour 
and shine in the firmament of mind, that man may 
become a living epitome of the Word on the earth, 
and may say to himself, *' I have faith in myself ; my 
destiny is accomplished " ? 

This is the Law. One task succeeds to another ; one 
ideal of life to another. And for us the one that pre- 
cedes us directs our task and declares its method and 
order. It includes all the terms that the earlier systems 
have won, and adds the new one which becomes the end 
and aim of all our efforts, the unknown quantity that we 
have to solve. Criticism, too, has its work, but finds its 
performance in the positive belief of the age. Criticism, 
in fact, lives only a borrowed life ; it exists only in 
phenomena; it draws from other sources its purpose, 
mission, standard. A part of every age, it is the banner 
of none. The ^ thinker who divides Epochs into organic 
and critical falsifies History. Every Epoch is essentially 
^synthetic and organic. The progressive evolution of 
v,^ thought, of which our world is the visible manifestation, 
takes place by continual expansion. The chain cannot 
be broken. The diverse aims are bound together. The 
cradle is linked to the tomb. 


Thus, scarcely had the French Revolution concluded 
one Epoch, when the first rays of another appeared on 
the horizon; scarcely had the human individual^ with 
the charter of rights in his hand, proclaimed his triumph, 
when human thought presented another charter, that of 
principles. Scarcely was the unknown quantity of the so- 
called Middle Ages solved, and the great purpose of the 
(5.) Christian system attained, when another unknown 
quantity asked solution of the present generation, another 
aim called for its efforts. On every side men were ask- 

' TheSt.Simonian. 

Faith and the Future 163 

iog : What is the end of liberty, or of equality, which in 
its ultimate analysis is only the liberty of all ? The free 
man is only an cictvve force ready to work. In what 
manner shall it work ? Capriciously ? In every direction 
that presents itself? That is not life^ rather a simple 
sequence of acts, of phenomena, of symptoms of vitality, 
without connection or relation, or continuity : its name is 
anarchy. The liberty of one will inevitably clash with 
the liberty of another ; we shall have continually shock 
and counter-shock among individuals, waste of force and 
useless dissipation of that productive faculty within 
which should be held sacred. The liberty of all, without 
a common law to direct it, leads to a war of all, the more 
inexorably cruel, the more the individual combatants are 
equally matched. And men imagined they had found 
the remedy when they had disinterred from the foot of 
the cross of Christ — that cross which dominates a whole 
age in the history of the world — ^the phrase of brotherhood 
which the Man-God when dying had left to the human 
race: a sublime word unknown to the pagan world, 
through which the Christian world had, often uncon- 
sciously, fought many a holy battle from the Crusades to 
Lepanto. They wrote it on all their banners, and with 
its sister watch-words, liberty and equality, it formed the 
programme of the future. Then they tried to restrain 
progress within the circle marked out by those three 
points. But progress burst through the ring. Once 
again the eternal " cut bono " appeared. We all in fact 
demand an cUm^ a human aim : what else is existence 
but an end with means calculated to attain it? And 
brotherhood does not include a common social ideal for 
men on earth : it does not include even its necessity : it 
has no essential necessary relation to the development of 
a purpose, that shall bind together in harmony all our 
faculties and powers. Brotherhood is certainly the base \ 
of every society, the first condition of social progress, but \ 
it is not progress itself. It makes progress possible, it 
supplies it with a necessary constituent, but it does not , 
define it. The principle of brotherhood is compatible / 
with movement in a circle. And the human mind began 


Faith and the Future 

to understand that brotherhood — the necessary link 
between two principles of liberty and equality^ that 
y^ Epitomise the individualistic philosophy — ^never passes 
beyond their limits, that its activity can only operate 
between individuals, that it easily assumes the name of 
charity^ that though it can fix the starting-point whence 
Humanity shall reach the social Ideal, it can never be 
substituted for it. 

The quest was pursued further. We saw darkly that 
the end^ the function of existence, must also be the final 
goal of that progressive development which constitutes 
existence itself ; that hence in order to make straight and 
swift for this end^ it was necessary to know exactly the 
nature of such progression and bring our actions into 
harmony with it. To understand the Law and to regulate 
our work in accordance with it, is the true way to state 
the problem. Now the law of the individual can only 
be discovered in the species. The mission of the indi- 
vidual can only be learnt and defined from an elevation 
which commands the whole field. Hence to know even 
the law of the individual it is necessary to ascend. Only 
from a conception of Humanity can we deduce the 
secret, the standard, the law of life for man. Hence the 
necessity for the co-operation of all, for harmony in 
our labours, in a word, for association, in order that the 
work of all (6.) may be accomplished ; hence also the 
need for a thorough change in the organisation of 
the revolutionary Party, in theories of government, in the 
study of philosophy, politics, and economics, all of which 
have been till now inspired by the sole principle of 
liberty. The horizon has changed. The sacred word 
Humanity, uttered with new significance, has discovered 
to the eye of Genius a new world, which hitherto had 
been no more than a presentiment; a new Age has 

Do we need a book to prove it ? Do we need time 
for the principle to develop in order to demonstrate that 
such is really the present intellectual movement, that the 
century is labouring in search of its own philosophy of 
life ? Have we not seen, for a period of nearly twenty 

Faith and the Future 165 

years, all the schools of philosophy occupying themselves, 
even when they stray back to the past, in the search after 
a great unknown ? Is not this confessed almost despite 
themselves by those who would gain most by diverting 
men from the end ? We see to-day a Catholicism that 
attempts to reconcile Gregory VII. with Luther, the 
papacy with the free and independent human souL We 
have a retrograde and hypocritical party, that gropes 
dubiously among theories of government, and a stammer- 
ing mystic kind of Jesuitism, which sacrilegiously mutters 
the name of social party. And daily we hear the word 
Humanity on the lips of materialists, ^ who cannot under- 
stand its worth, and who betray every moment their 
natural affinities to the individualism of the Empire. 
Whether as a heartfelt belief, or homage given perforce, 
the new Age has won its rights over nearly all 
intellects. Some of the perfervid apostles of progress 
were not long since complaining that the hostile camp 
had pirated our words without even understanding their 
significance ; it was a puerile complaint It is just in 
this very accord, instinctive and unwilling as it is, that 
we find a potent mark of the Word of our Age, 

Now, every Age has its own peculiar faith. Every 
system includes the conception of an ideal and a mission. , 
And every mission has its own instrument, its own forces, 
its own lever. Any attempt to translate into facts the 
mission of one Age with the machinery of another, can 
only end in an indefinite series of abortive efforts. 
Defeated by the utter want of proportion between the 
means and the end, such attempts might produce martyrs, 
but never lead to victory. 

And this is the point we have reached. All our hearts 
and intellects have the presentiment of a great Age ; 
and yet we would give it, for the ensign of its faith, mere 
criticism and the negations with which the eighteenth 
century was forced to surround its new conquest of 
liberty. We mutter by God's inspiration the sublime 
words, regeneration, progress, a new mission, the future ; 

* St. Simonimns 


1 66 Faith and the Future 

and yet, when we try to realise the programme they 
contain, we obstinately use the weapons of a mission 
that is dead. We invoke a socicU world, a vast harmonious 
organisation of the forces which are seething confusedly 
in this vast workshop we call earth ; and to call that new 
world into life, to lay the foundations of a peaceful 
organisation, we hark back to old habits of rebellion, 
that waste our strength within the circle of individualism. 
We raise the cry of " the future ! '' with the wrecks of old 
systems all about us. Though our chains are lengthened, 
we are prisoners still, and we brag of our liberty because 
we are free to move round the post to which our chains 
are fastened. 

And because of this, faith slumbers in the hearts of 
the peoples : because of this not even the blood of a 
whole nation can revive it. 


Faith requires a purpose that shall embrace the 
whole of life^ that shall concentrate all its manifesta- 
tions and direct its diverse modes, or subordinate them 
to the controlling activity of a single one: it requires 
a fervid, unshaken belief that that purpose shall be 
attained; the profound conviction of a mission and 
the obligation to fulfil it; finally, the consciousness of 
a supreme power that guards the believer's progress to 
his goal. These are the indispensable elements: and 
where any one is wanting, we may have a sect, a school, 
a political party ; not a faith, nor an hourly self-sacrifice 
for the sake of a high religious ideal. 

But we have no definite religious ideal, or deep 
conviction of the duty implied in a mission, or the 
consciousness of a supreme and protecting authority. 
Our apostolate to-day is an opposition of criticism. 
We fight by appealing to selfish interests, and our 
weapon is a theory of rights. We are all, sublime 
presentiments notwithstanding, children of rebellion. 
We move, like renegades, without God, without Law, 
without a banner which shall beckon to the future. 

Faith and the Future 167 

The old aim has disappeared : the new one, which, 
for an instant we dimly saw, is annulled by the doctrine 
of rights, that alone directs our labours. For us the 
individual is at once end and means. We use the 
essentially religious phrase. Humanity^ and banish 
religion from all our works. We look only at the 
political side of things. We talk of harmonising human 
faculties, and neglect the most obvious and active 
element of human nature. We are bold enough not to 
shrink from the dream of a material European unity, 
and yet we thoughtlessly break up its moral unity by 
ignoring the fundamental conditions of all association 
— uniformity of belief and of religious sanction. In the 
midst of such contradictions we attempt, forsooth, to 
make a new world. 

Nor do I exaggerate. I know the exceptions and 
admire them. But the Party, speaking generally, is such 
as I describe it Its presentiments, its aspirations, belong 
to the new Age : the characteristics of its organisation 
and the means it proposes to adopt, belong to the old. 
The Party has long divined the mission entrusted to it, 
but without understanding its character or the machinery 
adapted to its fulfilment. Hence it is powerless to 
succeed, and will be, tmtil the day come, when it shall 
imderstand that the cry " God wills it " is the eternal 
cry of every movement which has, like ours, self-sacrifice 
for its foundation, the peoples for its instrument, 
Humanity for its end. 

What! You complain that faith is dead or dying! 
you lament that souls are scorched with the breath of 
egotism — and yet you mock at belief, and proclaim in 
your pages that religion no longer exists ; that its day is 
past, and the religious future of the peoples for ever 
closed ! You marvel that the masses advance but slowly 
along the path of self-sacrifice and association, and in 
the meantime you lay down as your principle a theory of 
individualism that hias only a negative value ; a theory 
that results not in association, but in loose concourses of 
human atoms, and which in ultimate analysis is only 
egotism draped in the mantle of i)hilosophical formulas. 

1 68 Faith and the Future 

Your purpose should be a work of regeneration, of moral 
reform — ^for without this any political organisation is 
barren — ^and you delude yourselves with expectations of 
success while you banish from your work the religious 

Politics deal with men where and as they are : they 
define their tendencies and regulate their actions in 
accordance with them. It is only religious thought that 
can transfigure both. 

Religious thought is the breath of life of Humanity : 
at once its life and soul, its spirit and its outward sign. 
Humanity exists only in the consciousness of its own 
origin, and the presentiment of its own destinies. It 
reveals itself only when it concentrates its forces on 
some point between the two. Now this is precisely 
the function of the religious idea. That idea establishes 
a belief in the common origin of all ; it places before us, 
as an article of belief, a common future ; it concentrates 
all the active faculties round a central point, from which 
they move on unceasingly in the direction of that future ; 
it directs all the forces latent in the human soul to its 
attainment It comprehends life in all its aspects; in 
its every manifestation, however minute ; it breathes 
good wishes over the cradle and the tomb ; supplies, in 
philosophic language, the higher and most general 
formula of a given Epoch of civilisation, the simplest 
and most comprehensive expression of its knowledge^ 
the common principle which governs the whole, and 
controls all its successive evolutions. That idea \s^ for 
the individual, the symbol of the relation that exists 
between him and the Age to which he belongs, the 
revelation of his function, and standard of conduct; 
the flag that makes him able to fulfil his mission. That 
idea elevates and purifies the individual ; dries up the 
springs of egotism, by changing and removing outside 
himself the centre of activity. It creates for man that 
theory oiduty which is the mother of self-sacrifice, which 
ever was, and ever will be, the inspirer of great and 
noble things ; a sublime theory, that draws man near 
to God, borrows from the divine nature a spark of 

Faith and the Future 169 

omnipotence, crosses at one leap all obstacles, makes 
the martyr's scafifold a ladder to victory, and is as 
superior to the narrow, imperfect theory of rights as the 
law is superior to one of its corollaries. (7.) ^^ 

Right is the faith of the individual : Duty is the QJ 
common, collective faith. Right can only organise ^"^ 
resistance; destroy, not found. Duty builds up and ^ 
associates ; it springs from a general law, whereas Right I 
has its origin only in individual will. Hence nothing ' 
prevents attacks on rights : every injured individual may 
rebel against them; and force alone is the supreme l 
arbiter between the antagonists. This, in fact, was th^^. I 
reply that societies founded upon ri^/^s often made to N^j 
their enemies. Now societies that make duty their basis L/l 
would not be driven to use force ; once admit the ( I 
principle of duty, and the possibility of strife has gone, V 
the individual is made subordinate to the common aim, 1 
and thus duty cuts at the very root of the evil for which / 
right has only palliatives^ Moreover, the doctrine of f 
rights does not include (Progress as a necessary element : V. 
it admits it merely as a simple fact The exercise of ^ 
rights being necessarily optional, progress is abandoned \ 
to the caprice of a liberty without rule or purpose. And /^^ 
Right kiUs self-sacrifice, and banishes martyrdom from M^ 
the world. In every theory of individual rights, material — ' 
interests alone dominate and martyrdom bec9mes absurd : 
what interests can exist beyond the tomb? But for all 
that, martyrdom is often the baptism of a world, the 
solemn initiation of progress. Every doctrine that does 
not rest on progress as an essential law of its being is 
inferior to the ideal and to the needs of the Age. And 
yet, the doctrine of rights even to-day reigns sovereign 
among us ; it rules that republican party which announces 
itself as the advanced party in Europe : and yet — for it 
matters litde if our lips instinctively utter the words/ ^ 
duty, sei/'SacHJke, mission — the liberty of the republicans^^-^ 
is merely a theory of resistance : their religion, if indeed 
they mention it, only expresses the relation between God 
and the individual : &e political order they invoke and 
honour by the name oisoaai is only a series of prohibitions 



170 Faith and the Future 

promoted into laws, ^diich ensure to each the power of 
pursuing his cwn aim, his cwn interests, his awn ten- 
dencies : their definition of Law does not go beyond the 
expression of the general will : their formula of association 
is the Society cf Rights : their creed does not pass beyond 
the limits laid down nearly half a century ago in a 
Declaration of Rights^ by a man who was himself the 
incarnation of the struggle : their theories of Authority 
are theories of mistrust i their organic problem — an old 
remnant of a patched-up constitutionalism — is reduced to 
finding a point around which individualism and association^ 
liberty and general law, may oscillate for ever in barren 
antagonism : their people is often a caste — the most 
numerous, it is true, and the most useful — ^in open 
rebellion against other castes in order to enjoy in its 
torn the rights that God intends for all : their republic 
if the turbulent, intolerant democracy of Athens (8.) : 
their war-cry is a cry of vengeance: their symbol, 

Now, this is the eighteenth century once more, its 
philosophy, its theory of mankind, its materialistic polity, 
its analysis, its protestant criticism, its sovereignty of the 
individual^ its rejection of an old religious formula, its 
mistrust of all authority, its spirit of strife and eman- 
cipation. It is the French Revolution over again ; the 
past with some new glimpses of the future ; servitude to 
(4d things surrounded by the prestige of youth. 


The past is fatal to us. The French Revolution, I 
state with conviction, is crushing us. It weighs almost 
like an incubus upon our heart and impedes its action. 
We are dazzled by the splendour of its gigantic struggles, 
fiascinated by its victorious glance, and so remain to-day 
still prostrate before it We expect everything, both in 
men and things, from its programme ; we attempt to copy 
Robespierre and St Just, and search in the records of the 
Clubs of 1792 or 1793 names for the sections of 1833 or 
1834. Now, while we are aping our fathers we forget 

Faith and the Future 171 

that our fathers aped no one, and were great because 
of this. Their inspirations flowed from contemporaiy 
sources, from the needs of the masses, from the nature 
of their environment. And precisely because the 
instrument they employed was adapted to the purpose 
they had in view, they worked miracles. Why do we not 
act as they did? Why, while studying and respecting 
tradition, should we not move onward? We ought to 
worship the greatness of our fathers, and seek in their 
tombs a pledge of the future, not the future itself. The 
future is before us, and God, the father of all revelations 
and all ages, alone can point out the infinite way. 

Up, then ! and let us be great in our turn. For this, it 
is necessary to understand our mission in its fulness. 
We stand to-day between two ages, between the grave 
of one world and the cradle of another, between the last 
boundary of the individualistic philosophy and the 
threshold of Humanity. With eyes fixed on the future, 
we must break the last links of the chain which holds us 
in bondage to the past, and with deliberate stages move 
on. We have freed ourselves irom the abuses of the old 
world : we must now firee ourselves from its glories. The 
task of the eighteenth century is accomplished. Our 
fathers repose tranquil and proud in their tombs. They 
sleep, like warriors after battle, wrapped in their flag. 
Fear not that you will grieve them. The red banner of 
the blood of Christ which Luther handed on to the 
Convention,^ to be planted on the slain in twenty battles 
of the peoples, is a trophy sacred to us all. None will 
dare to touch it But let us advance in the name of 
God. We will return hereafter to lay at its foot, there 
where our fathers lie, some of the laurels that our own 
hands have won. To-day we have to found the polity 
of the nineteenth century, to dimb through philosophy 
to faith I to define and organise association, proclaim 
Humanity, initiate the new Age. The old Age can 
attain its actual fulfilment only in the baptism of the 

These things are perhaps not new. I know this and 

* The French National Convention of 1793. 


172 Faith and the Future 

confess it gladly. My voice is but one among many 
that preadi nearly the same ideas, and proclaim asscda- 
Hon as the fundamental princii^ that most henceforth 
direct our political work. Many powerful intellects have 
condemned the cold doctrine <k r^its wherever they 
have found it alone and disconnected, coodenmed it as 
the last formula of imdwiduaUsm^ to-day d^eneratii^ 
into sheer materialism: many schools^ some extinct, 
some still active, invoke duty as an andior of salvation 
for a society tormented by fruitless desires. Why, then, 
do I insist on protesting against their want c^ fore- 
sight? What does it matter if the end preached be the 
centre of a new [nrognunme, or only the development of 
the old ; if men whose cry, like ours, is forward/ persist 
in confounding association with fraternity ^ or Humanity 
— the compendium of all human faculties organised to 
one end — ^with more tiberty and equality for sdl ? Why 
proclaim a new Age, and so involve ourselves in all the 
difficulties of a fresh task ? 

Is, then, our contest one of names alone ? 

I think not. 

It is important to proclaim a new Age: to affirm 
that all we preach to-day on earth is verily a new pro- 
gramme; and, for this reason, that it is bound to be 
henceforth universally recognised. 

We desire not only to think^ but to act. We desire 
not only the freeing of one people, and of others through 
it, but the freeing of all the peoples through their 
own efforts. Now, conscience alone frees the peoples. 
They will act only when they recognise a new ideal 
whose attainment demands die exertions of all, the 
equality of all, and a new departure. Without such 
recognition, there is no hope of faith, of self-sacrifice, 
of enthusiasm mighty to work. The peoples who lie 
crushed by the burden of &e earlier movement will 
lightly surrender the accomplishment of the new one to 
the nation that has taken the responsibility, and therewith 
the glory. They will be content to follow from a&r, and 
ask no more. And if through causes unknown to them 
that people shall halt on the way, they will halt with it 

Faith and the Future 173 

And then we shall have silence, inaction, suspended life. 
This is the spectacle that, while I write, the whole of 
Europe presents. 

The ideal of a new Age, ^ich includes a new 
end to be attained, gives the initiative to the future, 
and kindles the universal conscience into life. By 
it we learn to start afresh and not to copy; we work 
out our own mission, not execute another's; we put 
Europe in the stead of France. We furnish a potent 
element to feed revolutionary activity. By proclaiming 
a new Age we proclaim the existence of a new philosophy 
of life, a general conception destined to embrace all the 
terms of earlier philosophies with yet one more ; and, 
working from that new term, we co-ordinate all the his- 
torical series, all the facts that are grouped around it, all 
the manifestations of life, all the aspects of the human 
problem, all the branches of human knowledge. We give 
a second, a new impulse to the labour of the intellect. 
We proclaim the need of a new encyclopedia, which shall 
summarise all the progress we have made, and in itself 
be one step forward more. We place outside controversy 
aU the aims which formed the purpose of past revolu- 
tions, the liberty, the equality, the fraternity of men and 
of peoples ; we put them in the list of undisputed truths. 
We part for ever from the exclusively individualist Age, 
and with greater reason, from that individualism which 
is the materialism of that age. We block the roads to 
the past. 

And finally, by that affirmation we reject every 
doctrine of eclecticism and transition, every imperfect 
and issueless phrase that states a problem without 
attempting to solve it. We part from every school that 
tries to reconcile life and death, and to reform the world 
by an extinct philosophy. We bind God Himself surety 
for the sacred doctrine of the people, and its sovereignty. 
We place, in the very stamp of the age, a new title 
to universal suffrage. We raise politics to a philoso- 
phical conception. We establish an apostolate of 
Humanity, by vindicating that common right of nations 
which should be the symbol of our creed. We consecrate 


174 Faith and the Future 

those spontaneous, sudden, coUectiTe movements of the 
L peoples, whose work it is to proclaim the new Ideal 
of life, and translate it into action. We lay the corner- 
stone of a Humanitarian Faith, to which the republican 
Party must rise, if it still wish to conquer. Therefore it 
is that every Age has its baptism of faith ; ours still lacks 
it, and we can, if nothing more, prepare the way, and 
make ourselves its heralds. 


Ours is therefore no idle contest of words. The 
triumph or the failure of the cause we uphold depends 
upon the road which the Party takes. 

We fell as a political party : we must rise again as a 
religious party. 

The religious element is universal and immortal : it 
binds men together in a universal brotherhood. Every 
great revolution is marked with its imprint, and reveals 
it in its origin and aim. Heralds of a new world, 
we must found a moral unity, the Catholicism of 
Humanity. And we move encouraged by the holy 
promise of Jesus : we seek the new Grospel, of which He 
left us, ere He died, the immortal hope, and of which the 
Christian Gospel is the germ, as man is the germ of 
Humanity. On the soil fertilised by fifty generations of 
martyrs, we hail with Lessing that immensity of futiure 
which finds its fulcrum in the Fatherland, and its goal in 
Humanity. Then shall the peoples make a common 
covenant, and define in brotherly compact each one's 
mission in the future, the office which devolves on each in 
the general association, which owns one Law, one God for 
all. It is for us to hasten the moment when the Revolu- 
tion, the tocsin of the peoples, shall call together a new 
Convention, that shall be a true Council of the faith fuL 
Therefore our war must needs be a holy crusade. Let 
God shine on our banner, as on our destinies. Raise 
we on the old world's wreck an altar where the people 
may burn the incense of reconciliation. And know we 
all at least what answer to make to Him who would 

Faith and the Future 175 

ask of us : Whence come ye ? In whose name do ye 
preach ? 

Often have I heard such questions. Often has it 
been said of our little band of apostles : " The re- 
publicans have no philosophic basis, no indisputable 
principle, as the fountain of their creed." The accusers, 
it is true, were men who think they have a philosophy 
because some among their followers have made a 
collection of philosophies, a religion because they have 
priests, a political doctrine because they have soldiers 
and grapeshot None the less the charge was taken up 
by men of good faith, who could not fail to note in our 
ranks a visible lack of unity or of a harmonious 
philosophy; an absence of religious belief that could 
not be easily reconciled with the social and essentially 
religious end that republicanism now and again pro- 

Now, we are able to reply : We come in the name of C 
God and of Humanity. 

We believe in one God, author of all that exists, the (^ 
living absolute Thought, of which our world is a ray and 
the Universe an incarnation. 

We believe in one Law, general and immutable, that 
constitutes our mode of existence, that embraces every 
series of possible phenomena, and exercises a continuous 
influence upon the universe, and on all it contains, both 
in its physical and in its moral aspect. 

Since every law requires an end to be attained, we 
believe in the progressive development in all existing 
things, of faculties and forces — which are faculties in 
motion — towards that unknown end^ without which law , 
would be useless and existence unintelligible. 

And since every law is interpreted and verified in its 
own subject^ we believe in Humanity, a collective and 
continuous Being, in which is epitomised the whole 
ascending series of organic creations, and in which, as 
the sole interpreter of the law, is most fully manifested 
God's thought on earth. 

We believe, that inasmuch as harmony between the 
subject and the law is the condition of all normal 


Faith and the Future 

existence, the manifest and immediate end of all our 
labours is to effect the greater completion and security 
of that harmony, through the fuller discovery of the law 
and its realisation in its subject. 
-A We believe in Association — ^which is but the active 
belief in one God, in one Law, in one End — ^as the 
only means possessed by us to realise Truth, as the 
method of progress, as the only existing road to perfec- 
tion, so that the higher the scale of human progress the 
more embracing may be its corresponding formula of 
association won for men, and applied to their life. 

We believe therefore in the Holy Aluance of thk 
Peoples as the broadest formula of association possible 
in our age — in the liberty and equality of the peoples, 
without which association has no true life — in Nationality^ 
which is the conscience of the peoples, which assigns to 
them their share of work in the association, their office 
. in Humanity, and hence constitutes their mission on 
j earth, their individuality ; for without Nationality neither 
liberty nor equality is possible — and we believe in the 
holy Fatherland^ that is, the cradle of nationality, the 
altar and patrimony of the individuals that compose each 

And since the Law is one, since it governs equally 
the two aspects, internal and external, of the life of every 
being, the two modes of self and relativity, of the sub- 
jective and the objective that appertain to every existence, 
we believe for eadi people and its component individuals 
the same that we believe for Humanity and its com- 
ponent peoples. As we believe in the association of 
peoples, so we believe in association between the 
individuals who compose each nation, and in it as the 
sole means of their progress, the principle destined to 
govern aU their institutions, and the pledge of concord in 
their labours. As we believe in the liberty and equality 
of the peoples, so we believe in liberty and equality 
among the men of each Country, in the inviolability of 
the> ego^ which is the conscience of individuals, and 
assigns to them their share of work in the secondary 
association, an office in the Nation, a special mission of 

Faith and the Future 177 

citizenship in the sphere of the Fatherland. And as we 
believe in Humanity, the sole interpreter of God's Law, 
so we believe for every State, in the People, the sole 
master, the sole sovereign, the sole interpreter of the Law 
of Humanity which rules the mission of each Nation : in 
the People one and indivisible, that knows neither caste O 
nor privilege, save that of Genius and of Virtue, neither 
proletariat nor aristocracy of land or money, but only 
faculties and active forces consecrated, for the good of all, 
to the administration of the surface of the globe, our 
common heritage : — in the people free and independent, 
with an organisation that shall harmonise individual 
faculties and social thought ; the people living by its own 
labour and the fruits thereof, pursuing in concord the 
greatest possible good of all, yet respecting the rights of 
the individual : — in the people made one family, with 
one faith, one tradition, one thought of love, and 
advancing to the ever fuller accomplishment of its 
mission : — in the people, progressive, consecrated to an 
apostolate of duties^ never forgetful of a truth once won, 
never slacking its efforts because of that victory, reverent 
to the message of the generations, but resolved to use 
the present as a bridge betwixt past and future, wor- 
shipping revelation, not the revealers, able, little by little, 
to approach the soluton of its destiny here on earth. 

God and His Law, Humanity and its work of inter- 
pretation, progress, association, liberty, equality, the 
doctrine of the People, which is the vital principle of the 
republican Party, all meet on the common ground of our 
creed. (9.) We reject no conquest of the past. Before 
us spreads a future where meet in close embrace the two 
eternal principles of every organisation, the individual 
and Humanity, liberty and association; where one 
philosophy, a genuine expression of religion, shall em- 
brace in equal balance, every revelation of progress, 
every holy idea which by providential design has been 
successively transmitted to us. 

" When before Young Europe's dawn all the altars of 
the old world have fallen, two dtars shall be raised upon 
this soil that the divine Word has made fruitful: and 



Faith and the Future 

the finga: of the herald-people shall inscribe upon one. 
Fatherland^ and upon the o&er, Humanity. 

" Like sons of the same mother, like brothers who will 
not be parted, the people shall gather around those two 
altars, and offer sacrifice in peace and love. And the 
incense of the sacrifice shall ascend to heaven in two 
columns that shall draw near each other as they mount, 
until they are confounded in one point, which is God. 

" And so often as they move asunder whilst they rise, 
fratricide shall be on earth, and mothers shall weep on 
earth, and angels in heaven." ^ 

Now, suppose these things repeated in Europe, not as 
an expression of the individual, but as the expression, 
the Word, the Conscience of the republican Party, of the 
whole party of progress— suppose the religious principle 
to shine again on our path and unify our labours — 
suppose God and Humanity conjoined in our popular 
S3rmbolism, as phenomenon and idea, thought and form ; 
think ye not that our word would not kindle the doubt- 
tossed multitudes who pray, and wait, and hope, because 
no crusader's cry, no religious cry, sounds in their ears ? 
Do you believe that between our Holy Alliance and 
the accursed compact, between the apostles of progressive 
free movement, and the stagnant sophists of old Europe, 
they would discern on which side stands God, his Love, 
his Truth ? And where God is there is the people also. 
The people's philosophy is its faith. 

And when faith shows not only on your lips, but in 
your hearts ; when your deeds answer to your words, and 
virtue hallows your lives as liberty hallows your minds ; 
when as a band of brothers, believers in one flag, you 
appear before men as they who seek the good ; when the 
people say of you, th^ are a living faithy — ^think ye the 
people will be slow to answer to your call ? Think ye 
that the guerdon desired of all, of saving power to all, 
which ia\]k to them who shall herald the way to Europe, 
think ye that that will not be gathered, aye and quickly ? 

Great thoughts make great peoples. Let your life be 
the epitome of one great organic thought Widen the 

> The Faiih of Young Enropo (unpablithed). 

Faith and the Future 179 

peofries* hcmzon. Free their conscience from the 
materialism that weighs it down. Point them to a yast 
mission. Baptize them once again. Anger at wrong 
done to material interests can only bring forth rerolts ; 
principles alone effect revolutions. Go back to first 
principles and the people will follow jou. 

The question which agitates the world is a religious 
question. Criticism and anarchy of belief hare ex- 
tinguished faith in the hearts of ^e peoples. A philo- 
sophy that constructs, and unity of belief, will revire it. 

Then — but not till then — will return that active energy 
which grows with difficulties, but now collapses at each 
trifling disappointment. Then will cease tiiat state of 
isolation and mistrust which wearies us, which multiplies 
parties, obstructs association, makes of each individual a 
separate ralljring point, which makes us camps enough 
but no armies to tenant them, which parts the poets to 
one side, the men of prose and calculation to the other, 
divides yet further the men of action, and further still 
the high speculative intellects. Then we shall lose from 
our ranks those who dishonour us, the clan of unclean 
hearts and canting tongues, whose inconsistency of 
language and performance suggests doubt concerning 
our symbol, who prate of virtue, of self-sacrifice, of 
charity, while vice is in their hearts, shame on their 
foreheads, and selfishness in their souls ; who nail their 
immorality on our banner, and hide themselves in the 
day of battle, to reappear when danger is past that they 
may gather die spoils of the vanquished and stain our 
triumph by robbing it of its fruits. Then will disappear, 
one by one, the prejudices and the influence of those 
nameless, feeble men, who blame our war-cry because 
themselves lack courage, who beg at an ambassador's 
gate a dole of hope for their country, who drag the 
exile's sacred name in the mire of cabinet intrigues, who 
dream of salvation for the nations from the chicanery of 
diplomatists; men who ape in their conspiracies the 
rusty tricks ci the police, who mock at enthusiasm, deny 
the power of inspiration and self-sacrifice, call martyrdom 
quixotic, and try to r^enerate the peoples by statistics. 

i8o Faith and the Future 

Then will vanish the thousand inconsistencies that make 
the party inferior to its mission; patriots' lips lisjnng 
; J forei^yter almost as a reproach — what a blasphemy on the 
cross of Christ from men who call themselves ClmstianSy 
republicans, and brothers — the guilty hesitation that robs 
so many of our friends of strength to confess their 
belief, that frightens them at every charge made from 
the enemy's camp, that makes apostles of truth appear 
as erring and guilty men ; that fascination of old names 
which, by supplanting principles, has ruined so many 
revolutions, and sacrificed fresh ideas to the petty tradi- 
tions of the past ; the illogical, inconsistent spirit that 
"^denies the oneness of mankind, that demands unlimited 
liberty for some and absolute intolerance for others, 
preadies political freedom and refuses literary freedom, 
which shsdces the social edifice to its foundations, and 
petrifies religion. Then we shall see no more the angry 
polemic that feeds on hatred, which snarls at every 
reminder, which neglects principles for personalities, 
which betrays in every sentence its jealous national 
exclusiveness, and wastes its strength in unimportant 
petty scuffles ; and lastly, we shall lose the frivolity, the 
inconstancy of opinions, the forgetfulness of the martyrs 
who are our saints, of the great men who are our priests, 
of the great actions which are our prayer. 7^//^, which 
is intellect, will, love, will blot out aU those vices, and 
end the discords of a society without a church, without 
a head, that invokes a new world, but forgets to ask its 
secret from God. And then, made fruitful by the breath 
of God and of holy beliefs, poetry, now exiled from a 
world that is a prey to anarchy, will blossom yet again ; 
poetry, the flower of the angels, that martyrs' blood and 
mothers' tears have fed, that oft will grow amid ruins, 
but is ever coloured by a rising Sun. It speaks to us in 
prophetic tones of Humanity, European in substance, 
national in form. It will teach the Fatherland of the 
fatherlands to the nations still divided ; it will translate 
into Art the religious, social philosophy ; it will surround 
with its own beautiful light, woman, who though a fallen 
angel, is ever nearer to heaven than we. It will hasten 

Faith and the Future i8i 

her redemption, restoring to her the mission of inspira 
tion, of pity, and of prayer, which Christianity divinely 
symbolised in Mary. It will sing the joys of martyrdom, 
the immortality of the vanquished, the tears that expiate, 
the sufferings that purify, the memories and the hopes, 
the traditions of one world interwoven in the cradle ck 
another. It will murmur words of holy consolation to 
those children of sorrow bom before their time, those 
fated and puissant souls who, like Bjrron, have no con- 
fidants on earth, and whom the world of to-day strives 
to rob even of God. And it will teach the young the 
greatness of self-sacrifice, the virtue of constancy and 
silence, how to be alone and yet despair not, how to 
endure without a cry an existence of torments half 
understood, unknown, long years of delusions and 
bitterness and wounds, all without a complaint ; it will 
teach a belief in future things, an hourly travail to pro- 
mote it, without a hope in this life of seeing its victory. 

Are these illusions ? Do I presume too much when I 
ask of faith such prodigies in a century still corrupted by 
scepticism, among men who are slaves of self, who love 
little, and quickly forget, who are troubled in soul, and 
heed only the calculations of egotism, and the sensations 
of the hour ? 

No; I do not presume too much. It is necessary 
that this come to pass, aye, and it will come. I have 
faith in God, in the potency of truth, and in the spirit 
of the age. I feel in the depths of my heart that we 
cannot stay as we are. The principle which was the 
soul of the old world is exhausted. It is for us to open 
the way to the new principle, and even should we perish 
in the attempt we will lead the way. 

The times were wrapped in shadow. Heaven was 
a void. The peoples wandered, pricked by strange fears, 
or paused in torpid, puzzled wonderment. Whole nations 
disappeared ; others just raised their heads as though to 
see them die. A hollow sound as of dissolution was 

i82 Faith and the Future 

heard in the world. All creation, earth and sky^ 
trembled. Man seemed in hideous case. Placed be- 
tween two Infinites, he knew neither ; he knew not past 
nor future. All belief was dead : dead the belief in the 
Gods, dead the belief in the public. Society was not ; 
nought but a Power that drowned in blood, or ate itself 
away in deeds of shame and sin ; a senate, poor parody 
of the majesty that had been, which voted gold and 
statutes to the tyrant ; pretorians who despised the one 
and slew the other; informers, sophists, and a slavish 
and obsequious multitude. There were no principles of 
saving virtue : there existed but the calculation of 
antagonistic interests. The Fatherland was exhausted. 
The solemn voice of Brutus from the tomb had told the 
world that Virtue was but a name. And the good 
Withdrew from that world, to keep their souls and 
intellects from stain. Nerva starved himself to death. 
Thraseas made libation of his own blood to Jove the 
Liberator. The soul had disappeared : the senses alone 
reigned. The people asked for bread and circus games. 
Philosophy had become scepticism, epicureanism, or 
mere sophistries and words. Poetry was satire. From 
time to time man stood appalled at his own solitude, 
and drew back from the wilderness. Then voices of fear 
were heard at night by the wayside. Then the citizens, 
almost frenzied with dread, clasped the bare, cold statutes 
of the Gods that once they worshipped, and prayed of 
them a spark of moral life, a ray of faith, even some 
illusion; but they went away unheard, with despair in 
their hearts and blasphemy on their lips. Such were 
those times, so like our own. 

But yet, that was not the death-agony of the world ; 
It was but the end of one phase of the world's evolution. 
A great epoch was exhausted, passing away to leave the 
road clear for another, whose first notes were already 
ringing in the north, and that awaited only its initiator 
to declare itself. He came. His was the soul most full 
of love, most virtuous and holy, most inspired by God 
and the future, that men have ever hailed on this earth : 
it was Jesus. He bent over the decaying world, and 

Faith and the Future 183 

murmured in its ear a word oi faith. To that obscene 
thing which retained nought but the aspect and notions 
of a man, he uttered words unknown up to that day : 
iave, self'Scurifice^ celestial origin. The dead arose; a 
new life thrilled through that obscene thing which 
philosophy had tried in vain to bring to life. From it 
came forUi the Christian world, the world of liberty and 
equality. Man was made manifest, the image and fore- 
shadowing of God. Jesus died. As Lamennais has 
said, he asked of men to save them only a cross to 
die on. But ere he died, he announced to the people 
the good news. To those who asked him whence he had 
it, he answered : From God the Father ; and from the 
cross twice he called on Him. But from that cross his 
victory began, and still endures. 

Have faith, then, O ye that suffer for the noble cause, 
apostles of a Truth that even to-day the world ignores, ye 
soldiers of the holy battles which the world condemns 
and calls rebellious. To-morrow, perhaps, that world, 
to-day incredulous or careless, will bow with fervour 
before you. To-morrow, victory will crown your 
crusading banner. Onward in faith, and fear not That 
which Christ did Humanity can do. Believe, and you 
will conquer. Believe, and the peoples will end by 
following you. Believe, and act. Action is the Word 
of God : passive thought is but its shadow. Those who 
simder Thought and Action dismember God, and deny 
the eternal Unity of things. Thrust them from your 
ranks ; for whoso is not ready to testify to his faith with 
his blood is no believer. 

From your cress of misfortune and persecution 
announce the whole faith of the Age; but few days 
will pass ere it receive its consecration of faith. Let 
your lips not utter the cry of hate, nor the conspirator's 
hollow phrase, but the tranquil, solemn word of the 
days that are to come. From our cross of poverty and 
proscription, we, the men of exile, who represent in our 
heart and faith the races of the enslaved, the millions 
doomed to silence, we will reply to you, and say to our 
brothers : the alliance is made. Hurl at your persecutor* 


Faith and the Future 

the legend God and Humanity. For yet a little time 
they may rebel and strive against it and stammer 
blasphemy. But the masses will worship it. 

There was a day in the sixteenth century, in Italy, in 
Rome, when men called inquisitors^ who pretended to 
have science and authority from God, were gathered 
together to decree the immobility of the Earth. Before 
them stood a prisoner. Genius illumined his face. He 
had outstripped his times and his fellow-men, and 
revealed the secret of a world. 

He was Galileo. 

He shook his bald and venerable head. The soul 
of that sublime old man rose in rebellion against the 
senseless violence of men, who would have forced him 
to deny the truth that God had taught him. But long 
oppression had tamed his former energy. Frightened 
by the threats of those monks, he was at the point of 
yielding. He raised his hand to swear, even he, the 
immobility of the Earth. But as he raised his hand, he 
lifted his weary eyes to the sky which he had scanned 
during long nights, to read in it a line of universal law ; 
they caught a ray of that sun which he knew to be fixed 
in tiie centre of the revolving spheres. Remorse pricked 
his heart, and a cry in his own despite escaped from the 
depths of his soul : Still it moves ! 

Three centuries have passed away. Inquisitors, in- 
quisition, the senseless propositions that force dictated, 
all have disappeared. But still the Earth moves on, its 
motion proved beyond a doubt, and still the words of 
Galileo soar over the generations of Mankind. Lift thy 
countenance to the sun of God, thou child of Humanity, 
and read that legend in the heavens : it moves. Faith 
and action. The future is ours. 


(i.) Act, I say; but, by making this principle of 
Action a standard of conduct, I do not mean action at 
any price, feverish, disorganised, unreflecting action. I 

Faith and the Future 185 

mean Action as a principle, a programme, a banner, as 
that which ought to be the tendency and avowed end of 
all our strivings. The rest is a question of time, with 
which it is futile now to concern ourselves. It is sufficient 
for us that a temporary necessity be not elevated to a 
permanent theory; that the peoples be not deluded 
into substituting for revolutionary activity an indefinite, 
uncertain, peacefully progressive force of events ; that we 
no longer persist in handing over the great illumining 
power of the revolutionary philosophy, to a spasmodic, 
coldly critical work of constituted opposition. We reject 
the systematic want of movement, the silence that broods, 
the dissimulation that betrays ; we invoke the frank, loyal 
preaching of our doctrine. Ours is the cry of Ajax. We 
want to fight in the open day illumined by the light of 
heaven. Is this childish impatience ? No : it is the 
complement of our doctrine, the baptism of our faith. 
The principle of action that we inscribe on our banner is , 
closely bound up with our belief in a new Age. How 
shall we initiate it save by the people and by Action, the 
Word of the people ? Without this principle of Action, 
which we take as the standard of our efforts, we should 
only produce a purely reactionary movement, and hence 
an imperfect, superficial, material change of things. ^ 

(2.) My ideas on the French Revolution, considered as > 
the last word of the expiring Age rather than the first ^ 
word of the age which the nineteenth century initiates, 
are already indicated in an article " On the Revolutionary 
Initiative " published in the Revue Rkpublicaine of 1835, 
and I intend to develop my argument further when the 
opportunity offers.^ I shall then perhaps be permitted 
to prove that, in subjecting the past to a new test, I am 
seeking, in the historical evolution of the stages of 
progress, data for a new social aim\ a new European 
philosophy that shall shift the new departure from a single 
predominant people, in order to communicate to all that 
activity which is now lacking ; that I am not following 
nebulous German metaphysics ; but only desire that thought v 
may be translated into fact^ that the vicious circle in 

"Tlioashts on the French Reyolution," p. asi. 


1 86 Faith and the Future 

which our activity is confined may be broken, and m 
decisive battle forced between the two principles that are 
now struggling for mastery in Europe. 

It was said, in the preamble to my article in the Revue i 
"Ought we to forget facts in order to improvise, by 
merely wishing it, a Revolutionary force where it does 
not really exist? Can we blot out the past? Can we 
leave out of our calculations the Revolutions of Modena 
and Bologna ? " 

Theoretically, the position in which we are placed by 
our religious and philosophical belief leaves us untouched 
by any argument deduced from those facts. We are near 
to one of those periods of regeneration which, by intro- 
ducing a new element into the great terrestrial scheme of 
life, generates new forces and shifts the central point of 
all questions. We hail the dawn of a new age. The 
Revolution of which we have a presentiment will embrace 
a large part of Humanity. Now, every new purpose calls 
into action new forces latent in the peoples. But, putting 
aside the main question, why do our critics forget that in 
Italy the people — the only true Revolutionary force — has 
never entered the lists ; that our insurrections never went 
outside the circle of a military or bourgeois caste ; that 
the masses were never called upon to share in the under- 
taking ? Why do they forget that the insurrection never 
assumed an SLvowed Italian character ? Why argue from 
the monarckical risings of 1821 to the prejudice of the 
republican insurrection for which we are striving ? How 
possibly calculate the results of a principle by studying 
the consequences of a contrary principle ? Between us 
republicans of " Young Italy " and those who laboured 
bdbre us, between those who desire to move the masses 
with the cry of " God and the People " and the incon- 
sistent, timid men who forget God and fear the People, 
a great gulf is fixed. 

"The risings of Modena and Bologna failed because 
France did not support them." True. How is it 
possible for an insurrection not to fail when betrayed by 
the very principle upon which its life was based ? Now, 
this principle on which the leaders of the Italian 

Faith and the Future 187 

Insurrection took their stand was the principle of n^- ( 
intervention. And blind faith in non-intervention pre- 
vented them from taking the steps that self-preservation 
demanded in order to work out their salvation. The 
masses were repulsed, the young discouraged, every force 
that had a germ of life ignored ; they omitted to procure 
arms, they denied the idea of Nationality, they confined { 
the area of the insurrection within the limits of a single ^ 
province. Are these permanent causes of weakness? 
From then till now every Italian who has not perverted 
his national sentiment in the conventions of the Parisian 
juste milieu will reply that if our forces are still sterile, 
if even to-day we number so many martyrs and so few 
fighters, we owe it mainly to the doctrine that the initiative 
of the European struggle devolves upon France, and that 
when she will not stir no one must attempt to move. It 
is urgent, therefore, to combat this doctrine preached 
among us by those very men who, from their resources in 
means and influence, should be first to take action. It 
is a doctrine that destrojrs the conscience and future of 
the peoples, a doctrine which the French republicans 
ought to join with us in fighting. I do not therefore 
blame France. I only ask the republican Press to intro- 
duce the new tendencies and language that correspond 
to the new mission. But I deservedly blame the men 
who, living in the midst of oppressed peoples, increase 
the difficulties of the work of emancipation by the 
insincere belief that marks worse than lukewarm con- 
victions ; I blame those who boast themselves theaposdes 
of a humanitarian philosophy, and yet, with their theory 
of a single revealer and their rejection of the continuity 
of progress, sink by stress of logic to the rejection of the 
doctrine of the intelligence and sovereignty of the people, 
only to evoke some vague revival of the Papacy ; I blame 
the men who declare Humanity to be impossible until 
France be hailed Queen of the universe. (See Histoire 
Parlementaire de la Revolution Franfoise — Christ et le 
Peuple, par A. Siguier,) And this is not an isolated 
thought of one individual ; it is the doctrine of a whole 
school Now, we protest against the doctrine of that 

1 88 Faith and the Future 

school, against its national egotism, its tendencies to 
trespass on others' rights. Brothers of all who desire the 
Association of the equal and free, we feel a special affection 
iot that people which for fifty years has fought for the 
emancipation of the nations, and translated into the 
sphere of politics the grand results of the Christian 

(3.) It is an error to base our estimate of the work of 
moral freedom achieved by the Reformation upon the 
accident of a protest against the Diet of Spires, from 
which the term protestantism originated. Protestantism 
was not, as the neo-Christians affirm, a negation, a work 
of criticism in relation to the age. It was a positive 
Christian product, a solemn manifestation of the individual 
— which is the aim of Christianity. It protested, doubt- 
less, but only against the Papacy, which by desiring what 
It was unable to perform, and attempting to establish a 
social unity with an individualistic instrument, was 
necessarily fated to degenerate into tyranny and thus 
place itself outside that Christian philosophy of life 
which, before it had attained its complete development, 
said to man, "Be free.** It is not therefore a protest 
against the philosophy of its age, but in favour of the 
philosophy which the Papacy, impotent to realise a 
sublime instinct of the future, destroyed instead of de- 

(4.) No one can reasonably charge us with ignoring 
the catholic spirit that presides over the destinies of 
modem civilisation. Everybody knows the meaning 
generally given to the word Catholicism. If Catholicism 
were only synonymous with universal, we might recall 
the fact that every religion by its nature tends to be- 
come catholic^ and notably so the philosophy that writes 
Humanity at the head of its articles of faith. 

^5.) I anticipate the objection : " Success is a de- 
lusion: slavery, inequality, remain everywhere. The 
struggle was scarcely begun by the French Revolution. 
The individual still dominates every question ; and while 
you talk of a new age, unanswered prayers are raised on 
every side imploring that the social ideal declared by you 

Faith and the Future 189 

to be exhausted, may even now be attained and trans- 
lated into fact." 

We must not confound the discovery of an element 
of progress with its realisation and triumph, the ideal 
evolution of the thought of an age with its material 
application, the conquest with its practical consequences. 
The positive application of a given principle to the 
different parts of the political, economic, and civil 
organism cannot successfully begin except its moral 
development in men's minds be completed. That 
development constitutes the work of an Age. Scarcely 
is it completed when some power — an individual or a 
people — ^proclaims its results and hands its formula to 
the nations. Then a new Age has already begun, in 
which, while men's minds are working at the newly 
revealed principle, the gradual completion is effected of 
the principle of the dead or dying Age. The thought 
of one Age is only realised when the mind is already 
fixed upon the ideal of the new Age. Were this other- 
wise, the chain that connects the Ages would be broken, 
and what is termed a lapse of continuity would take place. 

Now I affirm, that if on the one hand the material 
application of the two principles, liberty and equality, 
that constituted the doctrine of the individual, be not 
effected — ^nor will it be effected until a people has 
marked the new principle as the end and aim of the 
common task — ^yet, on the other hand, their develop- 
ment is morally accomplished. I maintain that the 
unknown factor of the Middle Ages can now be placed 
in the category of known quantities, that what was 
hypothesis is now an axiom; that the theory has 
become an admitted, recognised law. Who denies 
liberty or equality? Who doubts the Right? The 
most illiberal king speaks in the name of that liberty 
he abhors in his heart. If we may believe him, he is 
protecting the liberties and rights of his subjects against 
the anarchy of factions. The question is decided in 
the sphere of principles : the only difference of opiniop 
relates to its application. We dispute, not about the 
law, but about its interpretation. 

190 Faith and the Future 

The indwidual is now no longer the end oi our 
labours. He, even he, indeed, will be seen to be 
sacred when the sodal law is proclaimed, and we are 
bound to bring our duties and rights into harmony with 
it j while the worship of individuality has given place 
to an ignoble individualism^ to egotism, to a nameless 

(6.) Association, say some, is no new principle : it 
cannot therefore, as the objective of the forces of 
mankind, constitute a new system or induce its necessity. 
Association is nothing but a method, a means for realis- 
ing liberty and equality. It belongs to tiie old system, 
and we see no necessi^ for a new one. 

Association, I admit, in its more general signification, 
ia no more than the method of progress^ the means by 
which it is gradually achieved. To every step forward 
there corresponds a new degree of force, a new expansion 
of association. And in this sense, so far as we are con- 
cerned, association began with the progress that is coeval 
with the origin of our planet. Its work appeared in 
every dead philosophy, most of all in that which men 
wish to see dominant to-day. 

Nevertheless, though association has always exercised 
an influence upon us, it has been without our knowledge. 
Men were unconsciously under its influence. Thus it 
was with progress, with the law of gravitation, with all 
great physical and moral truths. They were at work 
before they were revealed. 

But is there not a difference between an undiscovered 
law and one that is proclaimed, recognised, accepted — 
a difference sufficient to change the starting-point of 
intellectual labour ? The law, when defined, imposes a 
duty on us of ruling our actions in accordance with it. 
The fulfilment of the law becomes an end for all our 
efforts, and the study of every thinker is how to derive 
the greatest possible results from it Minds no longer 
risk going astray and osing precious time in researches 
whose object has been already obtained. Forces are 
increased a hundredfold by concentration : they work in 
a determined directioa Formerly the instinct of law 

Faith and the Future 191 

only produced a right — and a right that was nearly always 

The great historical ages date, not from the birth of a r 
law, a truth, a principle, but from their promulgation. / 
Were this not so, it would be absurd to speak of distinct ; 
ages or philosophies. Truth is one and eternal : thought^ 
the germ of the world in God, contains it all. 

Equality existed in principle long before Jesus, and 
the world was unconsciously tending towards it. Why, 
then, recognise the Christian age ? 

The eardi did not wait for the revelations of Copernicus 
or Galileo, or the formulas of Newton, to describe its orbit 
round the sun. Why, then, do we recognise the two dis- 
tinct astronomical Ages of the Ptolemaic and Newtonian 
systems? And, coming nearer to the present day, did 
not the theories of the English economists, and those, 
too quickly forgotten, of the St. Simonians, mark out two 
radically different periods of economic science ? Yet the 
only difference between them is the substitution of the 
principle of association for that of liberty. 

Now, we believe the time has arrived for the principle 
of association to be solemnly and universally proclaimed, 
and become the centre of all study, theoretical and 
practical, which aims at the progressive organisation of 
human societies, to shine at the head of our constitu- 
tions, our codes of law, the articles of our faith. And 
furthermore, I maintain that the promulgation of a 
principle which marks out an entirely new direction for 
our studies is sufficient to constitute, or at least to 
indicate, a new Age, if nothing more. 

And, moreover, our motto is not Association merely : it 
implies the association of Europe, and by its means of 
Humanity in all its faculties and forces, with the neces- 
sary conditions of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, for 
the purpose of achieving a common end^ namely, the 
discovery and progressive application of its law of 

^7.) Right is obviously a secondary idea, a deduction 
which forgets the principle it sprang from, a mere con- 
sequence which has been inflated to an absolute and 

192 Faith and the Future 

independent doctrine. Eveiy right exists in virtue of a 
law, the law of Being, the law that defines the nature of 
the subject treated. Where is this law ? I do not know. 
Its discovery is the aim of the present Age, but the 
certainty of its existence is enough to m2Js:e us sub- 
stitute the idea of duty for that of right. 

(8.) The word democracy^ although when endowed with 
historical precision it may express vigorously enough 
the ideal of a world, at least of the ancient world, is, 
like all the political phrases of antiquity, unequal to the 
conception of the future Age which we republicans are 
called to initiate. The expression social government 
would be preferable as indicating the conception of 
association^ which is the life of the Age. The word 
democracy was inspired by an idea of rebellion, sacred 
indeed, but still rebellion. Now, every such conception 
is evidently imperfect and inferior to the idea of Unity 
which will be the doctrine of the future. There is a 
note of strife in the word democracy : it is the cry of 
Spartacus, the expression of a people in its first attempt 
to rise. "Social government," "Social institutions," 
represent a people organising itself after victory. The 
extinction of aristocracy will efface the name democracy, 

(9.) We are not expounding a doctrine, but a series 
of bases for belief, disjointed and merely stated, but 
nevertheless sufficient to indicate the nature of our 
religious and philosophical conceptions. Our political 
beliefs are only consequences more or less direct and 
evident It is easy to understand how the mere fact of 
preaching a new age, and a new philosophy of life, 
separates us from ^1 who believe themselves to be 
carrying on the old principle, and entrust a new de- 
velopment only to those nations who are guardians of 
the highest expression of progress yet attained to. The 
principle that a new system of philosophy must include 
all the elements of the preceding philosophies besides 
its own, is the formal rejection of every theory that 
destroys and does not harmonise \ of every political 
school which only asks to substitute one class for another, 
one social element for another; of every exclusive 

Faith and the Future 193 

system which, like that of Baboeuf, destroys liberty for O 
the sake of a chimerical, deceptive equality, which 
eliminates the most sublime moral factor, that of the 
egOy and renders all progress impossible ; or which, like 
the America'^ School, centres itself in the individual, I ^ 
solves every political problem in the sense of liberty 
alone, smothers the principle of association under the 
omnipotence of the ego, condemns progress to the 
irregularities of a fitful, intermittent movement which 
defies calculation, plants distrust in the civil organisa- 
tion, dismembers social unity in an independent dualism 
of the temporal and spiritual powers, and introduces 
materialism, individualism, egotism, and contradiction 
into the minds of men through the doctrine of the 
atheism of the law and the sovereignty of rights and 
interests. Our conception of Humanity as the sole 
interpreter of the Law of God separates us from every 
School that divides progress into two distinct Ages, 
confines it almost by force within one single defined 
philosophy or religion, or which imprisons the traditions 
of Humanity in the theory of one sole revealer, or 
which breaks the continuity of our labours by the 
theory of a constant supernatural intervention, by the 
theory of a series of complete dispensations without 
relation to each other, by a chain of social formulas 
all revealed, all sundered by a void between. Our 
principle of the People, which is simply the appli- 
cation of the doctrine of Humanity to every nation, 
is the direct and sufficient cause of the principle of 
universal suffrage, which is the manifestation of the 
people, and of the exclusion of all authority that is 
not delegated by the people, or is exercised by one 
caste or individual. The principle of association, con- 
sidered as the sole method of progress, involves un- 
limited liberty for all associations for secondary or 
special objects not in conflict with the moral law. 
The principle of moral unity, without which association 
is impossible, implies the duty of a general elementary 
education to expound the programme of such association 
to all who will be partners in it. Lastly, the principle 

194 Faith and the Future 

that declares the indiTidual sacred and inviolabte, carries 
with it not only the absolute liberty of the press, the 
abolition of the death penalty, and of every other 
punishment, that, instead of developing, improving, and 
perfecting the individual, tends to suppress and limit 
him, but also a whole theory of work considered as 
a manifestation of the individual and the representation 
of his worth. 



The EsMv on "The PfttnoU and the aergy" U an appeal to the 
liberals and the clergy to show mutual tolerance. There nad been a 
food deal of the ultramontane propaeandism, which culminated ten years 
later in the Sonderbund. The liberals, on their side, had been disposed 
to put it down with a high hand. Mazzini believed that there were many 
among the Catholic clergy whose real sympathies were with reform, ana 
he appeals to them to carry out the democratic teaching of the Gospel. 
The sceptical and stunted ideas of the liberals were largely responsible 
for their alienation. A bigger national policy and mutuaf forbearance 
would, he hoped, range many of the priests on the side of progress. 

The lasting interest of the Essay lies in Mazzini's exposition of hia 
▼lews as to the relations of Church and State. In advocatine the inde- 

Sendence of the two, he was, as he recognised, at variance with his ideal, 
roueht up in a Catholic country, he had a Catholic's craving for unity of 
belief. Fusing as he did in his mind religion and politica, the conception 
of a " Free Church in a Free State " was repugnant to him. Sooner or 
V, later, he had no doubt. Church and State would be identified, and till 
then there could be no true social unity. But at present such an identifica- 
tion could only work harm. The Church taught aoctrinea that intelligence 
could not accept. The men who ruled the State were too limited in their 
ideals to be entrusted with spiritual authority : the future social unity lay 
outside their comprehension, and their only logical position was to apply 
the principle of lA>erty all round. Hence, all religious propagandism, so 
long as it respected the liberty of others, should oe treated as a matter 
of opinion, and the Government must hold its hands off. Possibly, had 
Mazzini's advice been followed, the Civil War of the Sonderbund might 
have been avoided : it is probable though that the ultramontane party was 
too aggressive, and the question too much complicated with that of 
cantonal rights, to have made it poaaible for the Government to leare 
matters alone. 

Incidentally the Essay touches a good deal on contemporary Swiss 

They had a dull outlook at the time. The different cantons were con- 
nected by the loosest of bonds ; the Diet was a mere '* ghost of authority," 
and meekly obedient to ordera from Paris or Vienna. Many of the cantons 
were governed by narrow oligarchies ; the reforming movement which had 
followed the French Revolution of 1830 had been checked. The Great 
Councils of the cantons debated with closed doors. Customs' lines 
diecked trade, privileged guilds fettered industry, there was no common 
money or common standard of weights and measures, public offices were 
openly sold, Jesuits had been admitted into the Catholic cantons. There 
were three political parties : the Conservatives, anxious to preserve the 
old cantonal autonomy ; the party of Union, aiming at a single centralised 
Government and the practical abolition of the canton ; and the Federalists, 
who wished to combine a strong Federal Government with a large deeree 
of local independence. Mazzini threw in his lot with the latter ; he held 
unity to he tne ideally best policy for Switzerland, but thought that the 
canton was too deeply rooted in the history of the country to be abolished. 
He exerted himse» to persuade the Unionists to combine with the 
Federalists. Federalism, he thought, would lift Swiss politics into a 
purer air. Switzerland was in acritical condition : the absence of a strong 
Government laid her at the mercy of Austria and France ; timidity and 
compromiae predominated in all her political actions : the narrow cantonal 
life threatened to smother her in " a mud-death." Publicity of delibera- 
tion, a constituent assembly to determine the question of Federalism, 
greater independence towards foreign powers, was his programme. 
Thirteen years later the constitution of 1848 realised his wishes except on 
the latter point, and it is worthy of note that Druey, one of the two 
fnuners of ths constitution, was his personal friend 




October 7, 1835. 

" There is no power on earth that surpasses or equals 
that of the Clergy, when they are imbued with the genius 
of a nation, and guide it faithfully in its natural progress 
according to the laws that direct the procession of its 
life. But if, by error or from interest, they set them- 
selves in opposition to those eternal laws, if they attempt 
to hold the people in a state which it knows to be not 
good, and so block the roads to the Future, they lose 
thereby the power they had. Their words excite mis- 
trust, they are involved in the hate bom of the evil 
they have tried to perpetuate, and the people regard 
them as the enemy. Once they lived by the love the 
People gave them for then: own trust in it ; now faith and 
love have vanished, their living force is spent, and voices 
of scorn and cursing are the only obsequies that follow 
their dishonoured bier. 

" Ireland and Poland have given, and still give, us the 
example of a clergy strong in its union with the People 
whose rights they have ever defended. But where the 
priesthood ranges itself with despotism against the People, 
what is its fate ? Will the Anglican clergy save a de- 
crepit aristocracy rejected by the nation? Will the 
Spanish monks perchance place the legitimate Don Carlos 
on the throne of Philip the Second ? Will they restore 
the system under which Spain has suffered so much and 
fallen so low ? Yet, is there another country where the 
influence characteristic of their organisation was more 



198 The Patriots and the Clergy 

widely diffused ? But yesterday men spoke of MonMsh 
Spain ; to-morrow, probably they will seek in yain from 
one end of the pemnsula to the other a single remnant 
of those who but a short time since were so powerful" 

He who recently wrote these grave and true words is 
a Christian and republican priest,^ who spent half his 
life combating the movement towards freedom of those 
Peoples whom God is urging to an unknown end. One 
day, perhaps while reading the Gospel over again with all 
the faith of which a man is capable, he perceived that 
he had erred ; he reconsidered his position, and, like a man 
of high inteUect and pure conscience, he confessed his 
error. Then, after having at Rome looked his idol in 
the face, he returned a sad and disillusioned man, and 
placed lumself at the head of the crusade which the men 
of progress in all countries have proclaimed in Christ's 
name for the People's cause. 

We, on our side, have long felt the need of expressing 
something similar, to that portion of the Swiss clergy, 
which is reactionary at heart and takes its orders from 
Rome and Vienna alike ; which fights, without rest and 
apparently with some definite purpose, against that 
national progress which leads our people to new con- 
quests of science and liberty and equality. 

Between the dark plots of one party and the growing 
irritation of the other, our feeble voice will not perhaps 
be listened to to-day. Our words will pass by like so 
many others, barren and unheeded ; none the less, we are 
forced to utter them, if only to discharge a duty to our 
conscience, [in the party which we are apt perhaps too 
much in Voltairian fashion to prejudice under the name 
of the clerical party ^ there are men of good faith ; men 
who are not perverse but only misled; devout souls, 
whose sincerity and zeal only serve the machinations of 
those who libel the patriots and liberalism, who paint the 
former as the enemies of all religion, and insult the latter 
by giving it the characteristics of anarchy. To those 
we offer sincere words of peace and fraternity ; because, 
although they have turned to reactionary ways, they 

* Lamennais 

The Patriots and the Clergy 199 

xepresent in the Church what we are accustomed to 
respect wherever it shows \tsi^— faith and religious feel- 
ing. The others, conspirators and reactionaries by system, 
only represent dass interests and greed and lust of 
power. For those we only feel contempt, y 

We must leave on one side all that touches the pre- 
sent time : we attach no importance to intrigues of the 
moment or petty local encroachments ; they were easily 
foreseen. The coups d'itat that have lately taken place 
in France could not fail to find a certain correspondence 
among us. Rome, Paris, St Petersburg, Vienna, and 
Berlin, all form an alliance of homogeneous elements, 
so many links in a chain, so many fires that radiate in 
unison their sinister flashes, now singly, now together; . 

and just at the present moment we see their imited ^ 

flare. The word of command was passed round that 
the whole chain should move. Hence there is no need 
to wonder at all those petty plots that are being hatched 
and unhatched in the night, and will perish in the night, 
unless they win a fictitious importance. We are bound 
to say that, if considered in a merely political light, the 
question does not seem to us worthy of serious attention ; 
nor do the acrid polemics started on Ifae subject 
some cantonal newspapers deserve it ao far as 
are concerned, we recognise in politics neither clerical 
party, nor catholic party, nor romanist party. From 
our point of view there are onlv two great parties : the 
^ rozressivs ^nd. th^reactigpary^ They are composed o; 
individuals of every orde^ of every rite, of every sect 
But neither order, nor rite, nor sect should save 
factious from punishment Governments have the right^^^^,,^^^ 
to control and repress any individual interest which' 
disturbs the social order, or arbitrarily overrides o; 
excepts itself from the public law (which is the bone 
and seal of association for all the inhabitants of s. 
country), and thus revolts de facto against the commoi 
weal. But, outside the circle within which this legit% 
mate authority may be exercised, there is not, and 
cannot be, especially in the existing state of things, any. 
rule save full and perfect liberty; liberty for every 

200 The Patriots and the Clergy 

citizen and every opinion, it matters not whether they 
be reactionary or progressive; liberty for all actions 
that have naturally the sanction and support of the 
public law. In the present state of theories and facts, 
every question of religious worship and organisation is 
a question of the public law and liberty. So long as 
the actions and pretensions of a sect, or of any religious 
association, do not exceed the limits of its own constitu- 
tion, or do not touch the civil order of society, you 
have no right to interfere. The intervention of Govern- 
ment can only be applied at the present day to actions 
that directly violate existing laws. The rest belongs 
to the sphere of ideas, and is a question of belief. 
Reform belief, spread the light, meet fanatical news- 
papers with other newspapers. Do not thwart the work 
of the patriots, do not obstruct their progress with 
unjust suspicions, or a disgraceful and cowardly com- 
pliance with the demands of foreign courts, or an obvious 
disposition to stagnate in the status quo. Defend the] 
free press instead of being frightened by it, and have no4 
other fears. Allow the Pope to select at his pleasure f\ 
bishops who are foolish, and ignorant, and out of touch \ 
with the times: what can they do other than hasten 
the downfall of the papal power? Let the Jesuits and 
others of the factious make expensive journeys, hold 
their conferences, write their wretched articles, their 
contemptible and inept pamphlets: suffer them to go 
their ways. Persecution would only exalt them by 
giving them an excuse to pose as victims; it would 
invest them with an importance that neither their 
writings, nor their meetings, nor the intrigues in which 
they exhaust themselves could ever win for their sect 
The old Catholicism is dying : let it struggle even in 
its death-throes. Its death-blow will come from some 
idea that shines with the light of truth, not from the 
hammer of restrictive laws. All the regulations and 
curbs you may invent will not be worth one single 
school of thought. 

Therefore, as far as the political question is concerned, 
we agree with the opinion expressed by Troxler at the 

The Patriots and the Clergy 201 

time of the Baden Conference, an opinion supported 
afterwards, if our memory serves us rightly, by a daily 
paper that gave effective assistance to the cause 6i 
progress in Geneva: we mean the ^^ Europe Centrales 
There is a conception which must one day (we, at least, 
have no doubt) harmonise, or rather identify the two 
1 Powers of Church and State ; but until this is clear and 
'^ definite in the mind and conscience of the Nations, until 
\ political thought rises to the height and sacredness of a 
/ religious idea, and true social unity is established, till 
I then ecclesiastical and political authority should be 
j exercised freely, and, so far as possible, independently 
^C^ch other on distinct lineju Their respective activities 
must not clash, and" hence they must not interfere with 
each other. Each has the right to associate itself with 
whomever it pleases; to receive inspirations from any 
source it likes ; to pay those whom it chooses and accepts 
as the interpreters of its religion and the rulers of its 
conscience. So long as ecclesiastical bodies do not 
overstep the limits of the religious sphere in which they 
move, it is within their power to do whatever they please, 
and propagate their beliefs by speech or writing in the 
way that seems good to them. We do not fear the 
influence of political or religious prejudices where we 
are allowed a free hand and a fair field to confute them. 
We do fear — ^if for nothing else, for the example of a 
dangerous precedent — the intervention of Government 
where it is not absolutely required by the force of 
circumstances. vWe wish to concede the smallest 
possible amount of power to the present^Governments, 
just because we havejao faith in themA Nor do we 
expect from their eBorts any fruit of national progress, 
because we suspect that, while they accentuate certain 
questions under the colour of religion, their only purpose 
is to distract public attention from national questions. 
In 1830 the conquest of Algeria was designed to con- 
ceal from the French — a brilliant and chivalrous people — 
the odious nature of the projected decrees. And now, in 
our case, it is perhaps not too daring to presume, that 
the ostentatious energy displayed against the foolish 



2.02 The Patriots and the Clagy 

encroachments of the uUramontane clergy has been 
merely used to defend the want of energy in dealing 
with political encroachments modi more pemidotis. We 
desire to substitute for governmental influence quite 
another weapon. We should wish to see the activity 
necessary to (^ogress transferred from that influence to a 
national Centre. We should like to find the breadi less 
often filled by the Authority of the law, and more often 
by the men di progress, not exduding those members of 
the Christian priesUiood who are equally insfMred by the 
love of fiatheriand and liberty. The latter should i^ace 
themselves as 2^)ostles of truth and light between the 
people, who have strayed through lack of education, 
and the leaders of agitations. Tliey should apply the 
activity and constancy that evil-minded priests give to 
the cause of Satan and his powers of darkness, to the 
defence of Christ's heritage — ^that is to say, equsdity and 
the improvement of the greatest number. 

With these premisses we purpose ascending to the social 
question, and, horn the Pisgah of a religious conception 
and of the future destinies of the People — or rather of the 
Peoples — ^to address, with faith in our own rectitude, with 
our hand on our heart, the following words to the erring 
members of the dergy. 


October lo, 1835. 

In the name of Christ, whither are you hastening ? In 
the name of Him who walked with the People and whom 
the mighty put to death, why walk you with the mighty ? 
Why do you abandon the People's cause? Why do 
you stand aloof fi-om those who hold His banner on 
hi^ and seek to translate into facts the teachings of 

Christ said : ** Love God first, and love ye one another 
with brotherly affection." 

And He sdso said: ''He who would be first among 
you let him be the servant of all." 

In those words is comprehended the whole essence 
of Christianity. Unity of faith, mutual love, human 

The Patriots and th€ Clergy 203 

brotherhood, activity in good works, the doctrine of 
self-sacrifice, the affirmation of the doctrine of equality, 
the abolition of all aristocracy, the perfecting of the 
individual, and liberty, without which neither love nor 
perfection can exist--all this is summed in those two 

If we inscribe on our banner the words : Liberty^ 
Equality^ Humanity^ we become the heralds of a 
Christian faith. We seek the unity of belief that Christ 
promised for all Peoples, for all the earth. We are neither 
Catholics nor Protestants : the true doctrine of Christ ( 
has made Christians only. 

If we cry to the Masses : " God and the People ! There 
is only one master in heaven, God : one master on the 
earth, the People; the whole People associated in an 
active belief, fruitful in peace and love, in order to 
advance under the eye of God to the knowledge and 
interpretation of his universal law," we take upon our- 
selves the office of Christ's apostles. Christ came for 
all ; He spoke to all and for all. He did not have one 
teaching for some, another for others. He spoke ff5m 
the Mount in the same language to all who crowded 
around Him. He hurled His anathema against the Scribes 
and Pharisees, who were the men of caste, the privileged 
classes of His time. Before His coming there were, in 
the opinion of the world, two natures of men — ^the nature ~^ 
of the master and the nature of the slave. He destroyed \ 
this fallacy. He proclaimed the unity of human nature ' 
by teaching the unity of its origin. He burst the 
chains of servitude. He raised up the People and died..^ 
for it. ^S 

And if we follow out His teachings to their consequences, 
if we try to apply them to civil society, if we protest with 
all our might against every opposition, every inequality, 
every violation of His Holy Word, we incarnate in our 
very selves the moral teaching of Christ. We are 
labouring for His faith, for the salvation and organisation 
of the Church of Humanity, which is the congregation oj 
the believers in that faith. Since man was made in the 
image of God, we are labouring that human society may 


204 The Patriots and the Clergy 

be fashioned, so far as possible, in the image of the 
divine society, of that celestial country where all are 
equal, where the same love and the same happiness exist 
for all. We seek to learn the ways of God upon the 
earth because we know that this earth was given to us as 
the workshop of our labour ; because only by fulfilling 
His task upon it, does man become worthy to ascend to 
heaven ; because we know we are to be judged by our 
works in this world, by the help we have given to the 
poor, by the consolation we have shown to the afflicted. 
We may not lock ourselves up in barren and selfish 
prayer for our own souls, while the cry of the poor and 
toppressed smites our ears, nor turn away our faces from 
>ur neighbour, and be content with our own spiritual 
progress, while all around us is falling to wreck ; while 
he country that God has given us is in danger of a dis- 
lonourable death from the despotic influence of the 
. prfii|jri;y^j^ i|nH the germs of anarchy that vitiate its 
mstitutions ; while those who should be first to expel the 
evils that threaten us allow themselves to drift on in 
fatuous security, and prostitute the house of God to 
foreign insolence and that base trickery that goes by the 
name of diploma ^ The law of God has not two 
measures!^ ItisT^ law for heaven as for earth. We 
cannot wish that our immortal spirit should deny on 
earth the gift of liberty, which is the source of Good and 
Evil in human actions, and whose exercise constitutes in 
the eyes of God the virtuous and the wicked man. We 
cannot wish that the brow that was made to lift itself to 
heaven should bend in the dust before any man, whoever 
he may be, nor suffer that soul which aspires to eternal 
Truth to grovel in the mire, ignorant of its rights, its^ 
power, and its noble origin. We cannot call ourselves 
Christians, and permit men, instead of loving one another 
like brothers^ to be selfish, hostile, divided, city from city, 
canton from canton, nation from nation. We therefore 
preach Association as the means of general perfectibility; 
liberty, equality, human dignity, enfranchisement from all 
servitude ; the progress of all institutions ; the sacredhess 
of every land from the invader ; the honour and well- 


The Patriots and the Clergy 205 

being of every People ;\sn^1ianfift ofitirnations ; the 
destruction by free speech of all prejudices. We preach 
the doctrine of the Fatherland^ the abode and temple of 
our race ; the doctrine of Humanity that Christ announced, 
the ambit and bond of fellowship of all countries, who 
shall be free and independent, but sisters in one faith, 
one love, one Gospel. And when we preach these things, 
we are ready, if needs be, to seal them with our blood, to 
die as Christ died for their realisation and the salvation j 
of all men. 

Now, these ideas germinated at the foot of the 
cross of Christ — of the Christ you serve. For eighteen 
hundred years they have been permeating the world, 
now under one, now under another form ; to-day they 
are applied to politics, a short time since to the move- 
ment of the intellect. Their virtue destroyed feudalism, 
abolished in nearly every country the aristocracy of 
blood, and is about to deal it the last blow in feudal 
England. The princes of Europe leagued themselvesy^ / 
against these ideas; the forces of all the privileged 
classes were often gathered to oppose them ; but in the 
end every one of their attempts failed. Those ideas ^^^^^ 
seemed to faU vanquished; you would have said they fO 
were banished for ever from the world; yet they re- 
appeared. They were drowned in blood, and they ^ 
reappeared. In one age they were condemned to the \> 
fires of the Inquisition, in another to the gallows 
of kings ; and they reappeared more potent, more 
ubiquitous, more threatening than ever. They in- 
vaded the armies assembled to destroy them, the 
tribunals called to condemn them, and even the 
remnants of those very aristocracies that had been 
wounded to death by them. They marched to a 
national crusade in Poland under the banner of the 
mother of Christ. In the name of the cross of Christ 
they gave back Greece to Europe. They move the 
world, advancing between victory and martyrdom. 
And do you call movements like these the work of 
a sect? In this potency of new life that is agitating 
the whole of society, can you see nothing but the 


206 The Patriots and the Clergy 

underground work of a few conspirators? In this 
ever-increasing sound of Peoples rising in their might, 
of multitudes who desire to found a better future, of 
oppressed races that demand their place in the lig^t 
of the sun, do you see nothing but the effect of an 
obscure word thrown at a venture to the crowd, by 
a few factious men? 

Men of the clergy, clear your minds of cant ! There 
is in this an influence more serious and potent than 
the vain conceit of a writer, or some rebels' plot The 
stake is the whole destiny of the civilised world, 
ordered and impressed by the finger of God on the 
heart of the generations. It sweeps you also along 
i with it in its advance. It involves a law of continual 
progress of which we are the conscious or unconscious 
agents, and without which there would be neither life, 
nor progress, nor religion. If you oppose it, you are 
fighting against Christ, against God, and against 
Humanity — God's interpreter on earth. 

Now, do you realise the effect of this impotent strife 
of yours ? Do you see the fiiiit of your exertions among 
the Peoples whom you wish to fetter ? 

It is the fruit of scepticism, of doubt, of negation. 
It is the fruit of anarchy in belief, and all the im- 
morality that has its roots therein. Its offspring are 
violent reactions, excesses of civil anger, the fires of 
Bristol, or of the Spanish convents, tit dissooates 
religion from the great humanitarian meivemei^c. It 
dishonours the priest and the altar. It destroys the 
temple. It has ruined the people, and will ruin, if 
you persevere long in your reactionary path, the Christian 
faith and its future. 


October 14, 1835. 

We addressed a few words to the authorities to this 
effect : — Interfere as little as possible in religious ques- 
tions. Allow them to develop freely in the field of 
ideas; do not be frightened by a few impotent, 
secret agitators, who have no definite purpose, and 

The Patriots and the Clergy 207 

are condemned to fidl of themselves into oblivion. 
Do not be irritated by the vagaries of the factious 
Catholic press, because the oniversal contempt will 
set them at their value. The future unity of the 
human iamilj — social unity — is beyond your compre- 
hension, belonging as you all do, body and soul, to 
the old school and the old age. Your sole principle 
is liberty^ nothing more. At least be consistent, and 
desire liberty in all things, liberty for all, for religious 
society as for political society. Watch over and punish 
acts diat directly touch public order, the liberty and 
safety of the citizens. Punish them from whatever 
quarter they proceed, but do not claim attributes 
outside your frmctions, or make yourselves dictators 
in matters that do not concern you. Be not over- 
zealous to prevent^ since that is not your proy» 
The public law is sufficient to repress. 

And we said to the factious priests, to the priests 
who sell Christ a second time to the aristocracy and 
the Princes of the earth: — Beware! You are few in 
number, and fdXLtn from your high estate; £allei 
because of the countless faults of your leaders ; becaus 
they have deserted the People's cause for that of their 
masters, the cause of the poor for that of the idle 
rich. You are fallen, because you have wedded religion 
to material things, because you have made of public 
worship an empty ceremony, and divided the sons of 
God, cursing some and blessing others, while Christ 
came to preach and pray and die for all. What is your 
object? The world moves; progress is its law; the 
patriots are the faithful, the apostles of that law. Would 
you try to stop the world, or infringe the law that God 
has given i^ or strive against his apostles? That is 
not in your power. Your opposition may indeed awaken 
tremendous reactions, increase the germs of discord 
which already exist, foment irreligion and scepticism, 
discredit Christianity as you have discredited Catho- 
licism. Is this your will? So be it: but think upon 
it, and remember that the flames of the Spanish con- 
vents are but a reflection from the fires on which the 

2o8 The Patriots and the Clergy 

Spanish monks a century ago burned the victims d 
their intolerance and greed. 

To-day we are forced to speak to you — ^priests, 
patriots, men in authority, protestants and catholics. 
The few words we are about to say are directed to 
you alL 

The reaction is fatal to us ; each of us in this wretched 
age absorbs some of its venom. There is a spirit of 
hatred abroad that corrupts our best thoughts with 
mutual hostility and mistrust. We talk of peace and 
have curses on our lips ; we speak of liberty and father- 
land in a tyrant's accents. We struggle without purpose 
for the mere love of strife. This is the source of that 
opposition of detail, which exhausts its strength on 
minute points when it does not descend to personalities, 
makes a great ado about petty applications of principles, 
and then neglects the most important aspects of the 
principles themselves. This is the origin of that cantonal, 
parochial, sectarian spirit that predominates in all great 
national and humanitarian conceptions, in all the ques- 
tions on which depends in the last resort the peaceful 
and orderly adjustment of our destinies. 

And if we turn our attention . to religion, we find yet 

We are forced to steer between Scylla and Charybdis : 
le intolerance of the priests, and the intolerance of the 

Ltriots. On either side we find a spirit of pure reaction 

id destruction. The former, out of hatred to Voltaire 
and Rousseau — who nevertheless were as great believers 
as any of them — would wish to abolish the printing- 
press, destroy books, close schools, enthrone ignorance, 
do violence to conscience. To listen to their pious 
^eloquence you would imagine them inquisitors in full 
function. The latter, because they happened to en- 
counter bigots and fanatics, because they saw despotism 
lisguising itself under the cloak of religion, and the 
tjpaching of Christ corrupted in the hands of Popes, 
leny religion, faith, and even religious philosophy, 
ihey become materialists, sceptics, or, what is worse, 
indifferent. They ignore the great services that strong 

The Patriots and the Clergy 209 

beliefs have rendered to the cause of Humanity. They 
ignore how much there is that is noble and sublime and 
potent in faith in a great religious principle. They forget t 
that religion is immortal, that it is bom with the world, 
and " will endure as long as the world shall endure/'^ — 
and that materialistic theories lead directly to the 
principle of individual interest, and hence to egotism 
and aU its attendant evils. 

Yet, above all these petty contests of diocesan elec- 
tions, of examinations, of jurisdiction, there exists some- 
thing immeasurably greater, holier, more vital for thei 
Church, and conscience, and faith. Above all th^^ 1 
ecclesiastical diatribes, the futile demands of the par- t 
ticular absurdities of which the so-called religious / 
question is composed, there is something whose essence / 
is independent from, and alien to, all these squabbles ; ^ 
something immeasurably more important for our future, 
for our social condition, for the growth of our Country. ^^ 

We mean the religious sentiment. \ CJ^ 

The religious sentiment is the divine fount of aM 
religions, of all beliefs that have God for their beginning 
and Humanity for their end, and which are animated I^f-^ 
the spirit, without which every belief is passive and 
barren, every religion no more than a sect, every £eiitk 
but a tradition, a habit, and outward profession. 

It is the religious sentiment which hallows the thoughto 
and actions of Man, that ennobles the human creature 
in his own eyes, and gives him the consciousness of a^ 
mission to fulfil. It gives him the sense that God has 
not cast him at a venture upon this earth of trial, but 
that his existence is a function of universal life and 
harmony, a link in the great chain of beings, a necessary 
point in the line that connects Man with God and our 
earth with His universe : it is that which makes all his 
life a scene of self-sacrifice and charity. 

The religious sentiment is brotherhood, and associa^ 
tion, and love. From it flow strength and consta^ 
in the struggle for these great principles, indifference to 
danger, noble resignation in persecution and misfortune. 

' *' Dnrerii qtuato U mondo lontana.**— Dante, Inf, II. 60. 


2IO The Patriots and the Clergy 

Such is the religious sentiment by means of which 
alone you can advance along the path of progress ; for 
materialism — be assured — however you may desire to 
consider it, will verily give nothing but the consciousness 
of your own individuality, the certainty oi a few Rights, 
/ the power to use them or not at will, or the habit of 
seeking your own material success even at the cost of 
your brother's weal, wherever society does not rebel and 
allow it with impunity. But you will never draw from 
materialism, either capacity for progress, or the virtue of 
self-sacrifice and martjrrdom. 
P Now, this religious sentiment is t he fo undation and 
^ bond of all social fellowship, the onl/pl3ge^>f_security 
for the continuous and pacific progress of every people 
that desires to be a nation, since it unites the souls of 
men in one purpose, and refers to a superior law what 
rival theories make the result of chance and the moment's 
Qbb and flow, thus placing under God's own tutelage the. 
Rights, and happiness, and independence, and improve- 
ment of the Peoples. How is it, then, we ask, that this 
religious sentiment is wrecked, and whither will it 

Where sink all good and great sentiments of the 
human soul, when it has no guide save a narrow, con- 
tentious, ambitious conception ; where all religions sink 
when they forget the principle of love and brotherhood 
that launched them on their way; where all societies 
sink when they substitute mere opposition for zeal in 
good works, mistrust for unity, interests for duty. The 
religious sentiment is declining day by day, is perishing 
amid petty contests, amid the irritation bom of barren 
party strife, under the evil influence of an odious and 
r^tionary policy. Wherefore some among you — ^who 
arie prone to confound ideas with those who bring them 
into disrepute, and institutions with those who profess 
\ to represent them — speak evil of religion because it is 
administered by false priests, of sacred things because 
they are profaned by men, of beliefs because the blind 
and ambitious have falsely interpreted them. Others, 
conversely, deny progress because it was in some d^ree 

The Patriots and the Cler^ 211 

misunderstood, and condemn the patriots because they A 
sometimes met in their ranks rogues and h]rpocrites. / 
They deny holy Liberty, Equality, the People, Associa- 
tion, Humanity, because the long series of sacred and 
high-principled struggles was interrupted by the sad days 
of '93) when the People of France, goaded to excess, 
attacked by all monarchical Europe on one side, and 
domestic conspiracy on the other, swept along in a 
terrible and unprecedented flood of reaction and 
vengeance, that will never be repeated, because the 
circumstances that produced it can never be repeated 

This is our position to-day ; and when perchance from 
one or the other of the two parties, some one comes forth 
to join us, seeking to free Truth from the bands of dis- 
cord that swaddle it, we distrust him as a hypocrite with 
some secret, ulterior purpose, and we brand his quiet, 
honest conduct as mere strategy. 

This is the attitude of the clergy towards the patriots, 
and this, too often, is the attitude of the patriots 
towards a part of the clergy, who perhaps need only 
to understand and believe in us in order to join our 

Now, if the clergy were to rally to us, or rather to 
the holy belief that we preach concerning the words of 
Christ, would the scepticism they deplore be so general 
and hostile ? If they ceased to struggle against the light 
of intelligence, and the movement that springs from it, 
would they be defeated and routed by it, and should 
we be divided from them ? We fight against scepticisriT^ 
equally with them, and if we are not allowed a speedy / 
conquest, the fault is theirs, who make Christ's law and 
God's progress the monopoly of a caste, who rob the 
masses of their heritage of common rights, and their fair 
share of the blessings that God has given to His creatures. 
The deigy have the destinies of the Church in their 
own hands : they will wreck it where they persist in the 
narrow and reactionary path that they have followed so 

And if the patriots, the men of progress, would not, 

212 The Patriots and the Clergy 

from excess of irritation, confound faith with its ministers^ 
religion with the priest ; if they were not too disposed 
to exceed the bounds of moderation in the great move- 
ment that urges us on ; if they did not believe it their 
duty, through some feeling of mistaken dignity, to free 
themselves at the same time from the religious principles 
which alone can prepare the future ; if they did not for- 
get so often how our fathers, when preparing themselves 
for the battles of liberty, knelt before God, how they rose 
up stronger after prayer, and conquered in the fight, 
while we, though so proud and presumptuous before 
God, drag the national flag in the mud and let our 
country cringe to an ambassador; if the patriots acted 
otherwise, think you that all the clergy would oppose us ? 
Think you not that honest and devoted men, who have 
erred in good faith, would part themselves from the 
majority, often greedy and radically immoral, and join 
«s ? And would you fear the predominance of what is 
called the clerical party anywhere, where the people 
found in you religion, the true religion, that shows itself 
in good works, that loves and consoles, and consecrates 
itself to the brethren ? 


October I7» 1835. 

Rise to principles — to universals. Do not scorn tnith^ 
because men have obscured it. Strive rather to free it 
from the errors which envelop it, and the prejudices'^ 
which corrupt it. Do not dash to pieces what has always 
been the instrument of great deeds because some fanatic 
has misconceived its omnipotent action. We are on the 
threshold of a great Age, the Age of the Peoples. Learn 
to understand the vast, sublime, religious meaning of 
these words. Rise to the height of your mission as men 
and citizens. The co-operation of all can alone achieve 
the wot'k of all Seek such co-operation in all possible 
ways with that sincerity of soul that wills the good. 
There must be no revenge, nd^premeditated hostilidr^ no 
Uind invectives against a whok order of persons:*' All 

The Patriots and the Clergy 213 

general invectives aie unjust. Grieve for those who stray 
from the right path, but do not persecute them. Dp not 
embitter your resentment with useless recrimination. 
The past is nothing. Open your minds to our words : 
we begin a new work. Let the angel of peace and 
concord spread his wings over your young flag, and let 
the spirit of love proceed, not only from your lips, but 
from your hearts. Trust in God, in the goodness of 
your cause, and in the power of Truth. Be faithful, and 
you will conquer. 

To the priests we say : Do not forget that all great 
revolutions are fulfilled by virtue of a law ordain^ of 
God to guide the motion of human affairs, and recognise 
that what is seething around you to-day is a great revolu-/ "^^ 
tion, not a mere revolt Its development is at work in^-^ 
the hearts of every People. In spite of every obstacle, 
it has been gaining ground for the last fifty years, and 
everything militates in its favour — its persistent and 
cosmopolitan character, its audacity, its eloquence, its 
self-sacrifice, its martyr's crown. To stand apart and 
fight against it is to fight against God's will, and to. part 
oneself from Humanity, the interpreter and executor of 
His commands; it is to stand aside from God and the 
movement of Humanity ; it is self-destruction. Re- 
member that every social revolution must be either with r 
you or against you, and that if you ally religion to resist- 
ance you wreck religion without profiting your cause, 
ifemember that the Church — ^the congregation of, 
THE FAITHFUL — ^whcn it is uot an instrument of progress 
becomes a corpse; that it was instituted to hallow, to 
harmonise, to unite, not to impede and divide the ele- 
ments of life given by God to man ; that your mission is 
to bless and not to curse. Remember that Christ Him- 
self announced the New Age, in which the spirit would 
come and reveal to us in pure truth what He could only 
signify to us in Parables^; and that, according to St. 
Paul, we are destined here below, not to organise a 

' ^^The Spirit of Truth . . . the Comforter ... no more in prdverbe 
but plaiUy . . . will teach you nil the Trnth.*— John xiT. i6, 17, •6, 30 ; 
XT. a6 ; zn. 7, X3, as. • ' 

214 The Patriots and the Clergy 

stationary City^ but to seek and to attain to the holy City 
of progress and of the futurey 
And to the patriots we say : Remember that o^r 

% docUine is the doctrine of liberty and association ; thjit 
we fight for all ; that our office is to unite and not 
divide ; that it is our duty to attack intolerance in wh 
ever place and form it shows itself, and not to substit 
a new intolerance for the old one. Remember tha 
is not given to you to found your authority, save upo 
general, immutable, eternal principle ; that this princit)le 
is the Law of Progress ; that every law has its legislator ; 
and that if you forget this you wander in the void, you 
lose your rallying point, and leave your doctrines and 
their triumph to chance. Remember that religion is a 

/ ^ant, a necessity of the People ; that all changes of form 

^ that have been in the world have never succeeded in 
extinguishing the religious sentiment; and that if you 
"^ neglect this element of human nature, you condemn 
yourself to a task that cannot be completed because it 
has no organic vitality, you divide man and the world 
into two parts, you rob your labour of a fruitful source 
of activity, you deny that moral unity which is the end 
and aim of every great revolution, and the necessary 
\condition of its permanency. And remember that every 

^ J social revolution is essentially religious \ifci2X every Age 
has its beliefs that without unity of faidi Association is 
impossible; that to preach Humanity, Fatherland, the 
People — those great formulas of Association which 
dominate our Age from on high — while you deny or 
neglect the religious sentiment^ is to j:)isconceive the 
significance of those words, to will the end without the 
means, the work without the necessary instruments. 

These are our beliefs, and they give our rule of action. 
We ask those who have been educated i0 the habit of 
mistrust, which is only too certainly the fiiiit of party 
passion, and who might doubt a single instant our fuU 
and entire good faith, to watch carefully our ac|| and 
words ; and where they find us in one single instance in 


' ** For here we have no abiding cit v, but we seek after the city which is 
to comm:''— EpitUe to the Hebrews ziii. 14. 

The Patriots and the Clergy 215 

contradiction with ourselves, let them point it out : from 
that day forth we will be silent 

We patriots, we men of a new Age, whose souls look 
for a religious future for all Humanity, we are bound to 
lift its bsmner boldly on high. We cherish in our hearts 
the vision of a faith — not of a school-— oi progress and 
successive improvement for the Peoples, and in particular 
for our Country, which the Peoples will ssdute and 
acknowledge as the land which has kept in trust for 
them the germ of republicanism ; we cherish the vision 
of a thorough and sincere agreement among all wha 
believe in Country and Humanity ; the vision of a union) 
of all societies in one great association, strong by itsi 
activity, by its devotion, by its conscious rectitude and 
one sacred belief for all — societies that to-day have no 
flag, no principles, and therefore die of stagnation almost 
before they are born, and never fulfil their national 
mission ; the vision of a periodical Press animated by 
brotherly sympathies, pressing to the same battles under 
the same flag, intent to achieve its task without bitter- 
fiess, and spite, and jealousy, intent to gather to itself 
tfie great Voice of the Nation, intent to fulfil one and « 
the same mission, because it is convinced that national 
progress advances more rapidly when a People realises 
and incarnates. .^^^ single principle^ than when it wages a 
losing fight fora thousand petty details that even in the 
mass would give no result, precisely because they do not 
centre round one great constructive principle, set as the 
keystone of the nation's structurel[ We cherish the hope 
that patriots will arise, with deep convictions and vast 
ideas, spurred onwards, not by threats of aristocratic 
restorations, nor rumours of foreign wars, but because it 
is a duty to advance along the road which our country's 
welfare marks, out; because it is the office of a virtuous 
man to contribute to the happiness of his fellows and 
the perfecting of the nation's institutions, and because 
the x^iXi who has a faith is bound to witness to it every 
hour of the day. We look forward to a generation of 
Swiss who will feel that they are firee by their fathers' 
heritage and by their own right, who will hold their 

2i6 The Patriots and the Clergy 

heads high alike before enemies and friends, who with a 
free and fearless soul will do what their own well-being 
demands and conscience bids, who will not bow their 
national pride before any man, who will put their trust 
only in God, and in their own powers, and in the might 
oi the fraternity of nations — a true fraternity, not of vain 
words, — an unresting activity, — ^a republican morality, — 
a sincere faith, free from hypocrisy, and intolerance, and 

And why should we exclude Christ's priests from this 
movement of general consecration that we have foreseen, 
in which, by virtue of its own intrinsic nature and its goal, 
all classes, all orders, all sections of religious belief^ all 
men of good faith, will be gathered together ? Or rather, 
why should not the priest of Christ take his place there 
of right because of his faith ? And why should not his 
blessing descend on the banner of the new crusade, on 
the ardent souls of the young, in whom lies the future of 
our Country ? 

We know that many will remain cold and impassible 
to these words, these hopes, the enthusiasm that dictates 
this language. The reactionary patriots will smile with 
an air of scorn \ men whose hearts are perverted or 
sealed by materialistic philosophy, will shrug their 
shoulders. Let them go their ways. But we know, too, 
that among those priests of Christ who stand aloof 
because of false opinions concerning us, among men 
whose hearts are sound, but who are mere tools and 
counters in the hands of an immoral Power for ever 
incapable of inspiring a faith that it has lost, there will 
perchance be found some few who, when they hear 
liiese words that come from our conscience and our 
heart, will be moved to reflect upon the part they are 
made to play, and the true import of the Jesuitical 
schemes in which they have tried to entangle them ; to 
feel that faith, true faith, is elsewhere; that where the 
spirit of God is^ there is liberty ^ ; and that we, the friends 
of liberty, are men who are true to God. 

And we are comforted by the thought» that among 

' St.PaiiL 

The Patriots and the Clei^ 217 

our readers, in some comer of our Switzerland, in the 
recesses of our mountains, or maybe on some shore of 
our blue and tranquil lakes, will be found peichance the 
white and virgin soil of some virtuous youth that will 
draw its inspiration from our faith, some mother who 
loves in all holiness, and who will receive our words, and 
gently whisper them in her children's ears. 
And this is enough to recompense our labours. 



Tke Programme of the ^' Roma del Popolo"*^ (1^7 

The first number of our publication appears on the 
ninth of February. It besurs in front the title, La 
Roma del Popolo; at foot, the names of men who^ 
whatever may be their intellectual worth, have never, 
despite delusions and baits of worldly success, despite 
suffering, exile, imprisonment, denied the ideal of their 
hearts. It should not, therefore, be necessary to lay a 
programme before our readers. Everybody knows who 
we are. Our programme, the Republican Unity of Italy, 
dates back more than a third of a century. We have 
been silent concerning it at times when the people had 
strayed in opposite directions, and it needed experience 
aod disillusion to confirm its truth; we have never 
abdicated it And to-day, more than ever convinced by 
die experience of the last ten years, we raise again in 
Rome the flag we planted there forty years ago. Our 
publication is the cry of the Italian conscience, to up- 
hold that formula of the national life which historical 
tradition and the instincts of our people have pointed 
out, to condemn all that spirit of conventionality or 
falsehood that betrays it with a kiss, or deliberately 
denies it 

The ninth of February recalls a period, short but 
splendid in glory and promise, when, in the face of a 
policy of egotism and fear that obtained through Europe, 
and while the monarchy was betraying the honour and 
future of Italy on the fields of Lombardy, at Milan and 
Nqivara, Rome lifted her head in solemn i^rotest from the 

* Rome of the People. 

222 To the Italians 

grave, and sealed her protest with the blood of her 
noblest sons ; when she showed by the concord of her 
citizens of every order, what time she drove the papacy 
to dishonoured flight, and met four hostile nations in 
manly fight, how much virtue of love and endurance the 
ancient republican faith could one day rouse in Italian 
hearts. A long probation in the school of political 
Jesuitism, and servile patience, has worked since then to 
extinguish the memory of those days in shameful oblivion. 
But in Rome great memories have ever been the germs 
of new life ; and if Romans have not changed their nature, 
the memories of 1849 ^^^ flower again more quickly and 
more effectively than some imagine. Do you not see 
how the monarchy, that was impelled to Rome by our 
agitation, by talk of the Republic at Paris, how it shrank 
timidly in apprehension from the need of planting itself 
there permanently, how it strove for a delay of months, as 
if it trembled at these memories, and the shades of the 
generous souls that left them to your city as a sacred 
legacy to be fulfilled ? 

The title that we have chosen betokens the mission of 
Rome in the world, and the historical evolution that calls 
upon her to spread for the third time among the nations 
a gospel of civilisation, a gospel of that moral unity which 
has vanished for the present in the slow death-agony of 
the ancient faith. " This Unity all pray for ** — I wrote as 
long ago as 1844 — "can come, Italians, whatever men may 
do, from your country alone, and you can only write 
it on the flag, which is destined to shine on high above 
those two milliary columns, that mark the course of thirty 
centuries and more in the world's life — the Capitol and 
the Vatican. Rome of the Casars gave the Unity of 
civilisation that force imposed on Europe. Rome of 
THE Popes gave a Unity of civilisation that Authority 
imposed on a great part of the human race. Rome op 
the People will give, when you Italians are nobler than 
you are now, a Unity of civilisation accepted by the free 
consent of the nations for Humanity." And this faith, 
that sustained our life through bitterest trials, is still ours. 
The materialists who misgovern us see in Rome no 

To the Italians 223 

more than a fraction of Italian earth, peopled by a certain 
number of inhabitants capable of pa3dng taxes and 
furnishing armed levies : we look on Rome as the 
sanctuary of the Nation, the Sacred City of Italy, the 
Historic Centre, whence by providential mission came 
Italy's message to Men, the message that makes for 
unity, and our initiative in the world. A few months ago 
they doubted the necessity of having Rome as a metro- 
polis, and published in their newspapers the foolish and 
wicked phrase, that Rome belonged to the Romans. To 
us, Rome did, and does belong, to Italy, as Italy to 
Rome. Country and metropolis form, like human 
organism and brain, a whole, an indivisible unity. From 
Rome must come, must permeate Humanity, that 
message that the common thought of all Italv has shaped, 
the message that two earlier worlds have baptized and 
consecrated. Without a common faith, without concep- 
tion of an ideal that shall bind the nations together, and 
show to each its special function for the common good, 
without unity of standard for its whole moral, political, 
economic life, the world to-day is at the mercy of caprice, 
of dynastic and popular ambition and egotism.\ The ( ) 
initiative^ which France has lost since 1815 lives no 
longer, visible and accepted, in any people. England 
deliberately abdicated it when she introduced, under 
the name of non-intervention^ a policy of local interests. 
Germany threatens to sterilise all her vast power of 
thought^ by surrendering the action that should be 
collective, and the formation of her unity, to a military 
monarchy hostile to liberty. The Slav populations, 
who have so great a part in the future reserved for 
them, dismembered and without centre of national life, 
still hesitate between the rule of a Czar fotal to them all, 
and the old difficulty of local antagonisms. And, faced 
by such a void, we — who are ready to hail and applaud 
the initiative wherever it may arise — we cherish as the 
ideal of our heart the sacred hope that it may arise on 
the ruins of the Papacy and of every similar lie, from 
the third Rome, from the Rome of the People. Re- 
born at the cradle of an Age, Italy and Rome are called 


224 ^^ ^he Italians 

to inaugarale it, if only they know their destinies, and 
the moral force they have behind them. ^-^ 

Unity at home, and a new development of dvilisaticm 
abroad— these two terms include the whole programme 
of our publication. 

But all great questions resolve themselves into a 
question of method; the question, how can they pass 
from the sphere of ideas into the sphere of /acts? Csm 
we hope to conquer, and translate into action, the two-l 
fold end I have spoken of, with the institutions by whichi 
we are governed? Is the instrument that we can use 
to-day equal to our purpose ? / 

Deliberately, but ^ol utely, and with firm convicticM, 
we answer : JVb / 

We will not spin again the long and^ painful story 
whose pages are marked with the names of Villafrancay 
Nice, Venice begged as an alms from the foreigner. 
Aspromonte, Mentona, Custoza, Lissa. Fatal anoN 
pregnant with inevitable consequences as these pages 
are, Prussia teaches us how even a monarchy might, if 
it so willed, escape them and fight alone, and, trusting 
to the national energy, win it^ py/^ Kaf^jpg^ We will not 
mention, in condemnation of the monarchy, the financial) 
ruin passed on from ministry to ministry, aggravated by 
an economy of petty expedients, met ineffectively by 
immoral taxes that are a source of inequality and misery 
to the present generation, or by onerous loans that 
alienate and dry up future sources of wealth. Sully, 
Colbert, Turgot, and others honest and capable as they, 
were the ministers of monarchies; and, though men 
like them were few and far between, and they were 
nearly all made powerless for good by a crowd of 
courtiers that always dog the throne, they nevertheless 
afford us glimpses of a possible selection of men better 
than the feeble blunderers of to<lay. We will not found 
a theoretical attack on the habits of corruption now 
prevalent in high places, on the subjection of the law 
to the perennial caprice of individual administrators, on 
the continual violation of the liberty of the Press and 
the right of Association, on the absolute contempt for 

To the Italians 225 

public opinion, on the hundred infringements of its dufy 
by every Department, which are brought to light month 
by month and reported by every organ of the indepen- 
dent daily press. Some might point to us, as a distant 
hope, the example of the English monarchy, tolerant of 
every liberty, abhorrent of absolute rule, and following, 
though at a distance and imperfectly, the movement of 
public opinion. And though the conditions of life in 
Sngland are, as we shall point out in this and subsequent 
numbers, radically different from our own, though it may 
seem strange and indecorous, that a people who have a 
better path before them, should be content with the vain 
hope that its rulers may, some day, choose this one 
example out of all others to follow, still, we will respect 
even that one example, and be silent concerning crimes 
and vices that others might think are confined to a single 
period. Our attack on the ruling form of government 
has a higher source. 

When a people has in the course of centuries defined 
its own mission, and revealed, conquered, incarnated in 
itself the principle that forms the essence of its life ; if 
it is ruled by the form of government that has presided 
over the long historical development of this principle \ 
then that people has a vista of reforms before it, which 
multiply the practical applications of this vital principle, 
or slowly eliminate the defects inseparable from every 
system of social polity. Such form of government can, 
on condition that it preserve intact liberty of thought and 
of the individual, continue to direct, if only in appear- 
ance, that slow movement of secondary manifestations. 
But when the necessity of things, and of the times, 
demands the manifestation of a new principle ; when it 
is a question of defining a new mission, which, with its 
new or regenerated people devotes itself to the European 
task ; when everything points to the revelation of a new 
conception of national or international life ; then there 
inevitably begins a period of revolution* Reforms in- 
spired by theories of the past become dangerous. The 
form of government that ruled and represented, well or 
ill, the old form of life and the formulas of the old 


226 To the Italians 

doomed system, is incapable to direct the sudden, 
spontaneous movement, and becomes an obstacle to 
the attainment of the ideaL No form of government has 
represented, or can represent in the world, two different 
principles. New things; new forms of Government: 
new forms of government ; new men. 

The Europe of to-day is, on the whole, we believe, 
in this second stage, seeking, like the Israelites in the 
pdesert, a promised land still unknown, — ^seeking a new 
^principUy a new order of things, since the old one is 
exhausted. He who watches Europe under the light 
of the great historical tradition, at once recurs to the 
memory of those times that eighteen centuries ago 
announced the slow breaking-up of Paganism, and the 
r -inevitable rise of Christianity. The absence of an 
^^initiative of any general and harmonious civilisation in 
the world, the moral anarchy that is its consequence — 
the wars promoted by the interests of dynasties or some 
few individuals— the neutrality founded on the indiffer- 
ence of egotism — the treaties of peace based on foolish 
theories of an equilibrium which is impossible so long as 
it takes into count material facts only — the question of 
nationality, which to-day is dominant over all others, and, 
as eighteen centuries ago, points to a new European 
birth — the emancipation of the working classes which 
has become, as in those times was the emancipation 
of the slave^ the universal subject of a powerful agita- 
tion — the awakening of the Slav races, as in those days 
of the Teutonic races, to a life that now is assured them 
— the materialism — the exaggerated rejection of old 
beliefs — the aspirations after new beliefs dawning 
everywhere — the insensate attempts at an impossible 
reconciliation between the old and the new — every- 
thing points to the near advent of an order of things, 
founded on principles radically different from those 
that preceded the development of the present Age 
that now is visibly exhausted. A new conception 
of Life, and of the divine Law that governs it, 
throbs in every manifestation of the two faculties of 
thought and action^ that make up the unity of human 

To the Italians 227 

nature. Monarchy can neither strangle it nor make it 
its handmaid. 

Monarchy had its day and mission. It came to fighr^ 
and destroy /euda/ism^ which was a system of territorial^ 
dismemberment, that hindered all possibility of unity in 
countries destined to form nations. Fronted by ^principle 
of privilege based on mere force and conquest, the king^ 
himself head of the feudal aristocracy, came to wear out 
and suppress its power, in the name of another /r/;i^^/($ 
of privilege, analogous to the first, but founded on 
divine authority, and consecrated by the then recognised 
interpreter of a living faith. This mission is the justi- 
fication of Monarchy in history. 

To-day, iht feudal organisation has disappeared for 
ever, and with it the function that gave life to the 
monarchical idea. A new conception, based on the 
Divine Law of Progress, takes the place of the con- 
ception that was based on the doctrines of the Fall 
and the Atonement^ and nence perishes the Papacy, 
the authority that ordained the monarch for his 
function. ^ 

Vrhe world is seeking, not the ma/ma/ solidarity which 
is n^w assured, and which is only the outward form of 
the nations, but the vivifying spirit that shall guide their 
life towards its end ; the moral unity that can only be I 
based on the association of men and nations equal andf 
free. Monarchy, based upon the doctrine of inequality, " 
on the privileg/roi an individual or of a family, can 
never give that unity. The flag that leads towards that J 
destined future means Progress, and dynastic interests! 
means stagnation. Now that its end is reached and its 
doctrine rejected, the monarchy, like the Papacy, lacks 
some foundation and potency of life. -Throughout 
Europe monarchy either fo/iows or resists the impulse 
that comes from elsewhere : nowhere it initiates or leads. 
Constitutional compromise, concessions that contain 
within themselves their own condemnation, attempt an 
impossible equilibrium between two powers defacto^ that 
lean on the past, and a third power de jure^ that moves 
with irresistible and swifter step towards its future. This 

228 To the Italians 

can only end in the rejection ofprogress^ and the necessity 
of violent and periodical revolutions. 

We shall often have to speak of this condition of 
things in Europe. But if we look at Italy, our position 
becomes clearer, and is much strengthened by the 
history of the past and present. 

Monarchy has no traditions in Italy. It has never 
been a source of national life. The captains who, 
strong by means of corruption and mercenary pretorian 
troops, degraded ancient Roman Italy from the glories 
and titanic energy of the Republic to the Empire, only 
hastened the work of dissolution that had already set 
in, extinguished all power of conception and will, and 
opened the way to the invaders of the North. In the 
second life of Italy and Rome, Monarchy had no 
mission, not even that which we mentioned as fulfilled 
by it in every other country. Feudalism was destroyed 
by our republican Communes. When, after a long period 
that gave the world a new civilisation, our slow death- 
agony began, under the solvent agency of the Papacy, 
amidst the materialism that swept over us, the civil wars, 
and the abuse of riches and power, then ^principalities 
arose under the auspices of successful condottieri^ men 
whom the factious imprudently took as their leaders, or 
the nephews or bastards of ambitious Popes ; all of them 
supported by the foreigner, who wished to divide us that 
he might tyrannise over us; all vassals of France, or 
Austria, or Spain, sometimes servants of all three in 
turn. The sad pages of the history of our princes have 
no virtue or greatness to recall. 

They naturally sought aggrandisement at the expense 
of their neighbouring rivals, more by intrigue or matri- 
monial and mercenary alliances than by open war. Not 
one was thrilled by a great Italian ideal, a vast ambition 
of a Nation founded by its own strength. Monarchy 
neither did, nor attempted, an3rthing for the Unity or 
Liberty of the Country. It lived inglorious, satisfied to 
exist even at the cost of dishonour, a persecutor of 
thought in the domain of religious and political belief, 
a corrupting influence in the field of Letters. When 

To the Italians 229 

France arose to epitomise an age, to solemnly pro- 
claim the Rights of the individual^ our princes at first, 
threatened, without prowess to perform, then fled. When A 
they returned, not by their own efforts, but through the ] 
arms of others, they punished the peoples for having / 
witnessed their flight In Turin, Modena, Naples, / 
Rome, every aspiration after a free Country and nationaj/ 
unity, even when offered as a new jewel for their crown, 
was inexorably proscribed, stifled in blood by the bullet 
and the gallows. Journalists may be bought, records 
suppressed or kept closed to investigation, men may 
b^ cowards and forget their mission and their power, 

^but that page of history can never be blotted out. 

I Italy \p^ no debt of gratitude, or aught else, to 


e day, three-and-twenty years ago, the idea; 

mphant as ever over every persecution, rose, with 

tency of life and holy daring, from the grave where 

he princes thought to have buried it for ever. The 

people of Italy, in their own name, and without the 

intervention of regular troops, won battles of giants. 

They might, they should have gathered for themselves 

the fruits of their own victories ; but, intoxicated by 

their independence of the foreigner, and only half-awake 

to the consciousness of liberty, they brought them to 

the feet of the Monarchy. Then was the time, had 

the Monarchy possessed a single spark of Genius or 

Love, to transform itself, receive the nation's baptism, 

and initiate itself to destinies till then ignored or 

etrayed. The Monarchy did not rise to the occa- 

on. It entered the lists, late, hesitating, reluctant 

l\was, by its own confession, decided solely by the 

of republican movements. It could not fight, i 

woi!dd not conquer ; it feared the deluded and applau 

ing ^ople more than the enemy, and embraced t^e 

oppon^nity of the first reverse to descend to dishonoiir- 

able treaties and withdraw from the war. Then Venice 

and Rome alone, unable to do more, saved, unde^ the 

republican&g^ the honour of the nation and it^hopes 

for the future. 


To the Italia] 

en years later, when passiomr again were hot, and 

inies w&:e ripe, the onlvj^uitesman of the Italian 

archy,/a man without pr^tive genijus, but endowed 

wip the a9ility to use 
necessary to advance or 

ng paths it loved n 
em. And, neverth 

me the fatal des 



ers' talentsJ saw that it was 
rish. He drove the monarch 
lest others should seize upon 
, even he was unable to over- 
of the monarchical idea he 
lerved. Unwilling t6 avail himself of the popular forces 
f Italy, andan^p<ms tojecure an ally against them in 
e future,'Keainged, aiid bought with shameful com- 
pacts an alliance with the despot who had slaughtered 
Rome at the feet of the Pope. He condemned the 
national flag to be subject to the beck and call, the 
errors, the crooked schemings of Imperial France. 
Though Garibaldi proved soon afterwards that he could 
win unaided what our ally had so suddenly abandoned, 
the Monarchy accepted as the ally's gracious gift, those 
fields of Lombardy that our people and our army had 
dyed with their own blood, and then stopped halfway to 
move no farther unless constrained. Men, who to serve 
the royalist party look at the consequences, not the 
causes of facts, may say to-day what they please; but 
History and tiie Italian conscience will one day say 
that the popular element desired unity when the 
Monarchy was dreaming of royalist alliances with 
Bourbon, Pope, and Austria, — ^that the scheme, which 
the royalist intriguers favoured, of a Buonapartist kingdom 
in the centre of Italy was defeated by the efforts of us 
all, by the popular plebiscites,— \^t the emancipation 
of the South \of Italy was won by volunteers and the 
populace, — that the invasion of ^e provinces subject 
to the Pope ^as an inevitable necessity created by the 
preparations for our powerful expeditions from Tuscany 
and Genoa, and by the clear intentions of Garibaldi, — 
that Venetia was another gift, — that, but for the terror 
excited by the bands of Calabria and of the Centre, by 
the risings at Piacenza and Pavia, by the movements 
which were feared at other places, and by the sudden 
inauguration of the Republic at Paris, the Monarchy 



To the Italians 231 

would not be in Rome to-day. No, we repeat, Italy has 
no debt of gratitude, or aught else, to princes. 

A Government — and it is singular that we who are 
christened Utopians must remind the " practical " men 
of this — is not an organisation that is invented or 
established a priori^ copied from England or some other 
country, and arbitrarily thrust upon a nation without 
relation to its traditions, its inherent tendencies, its 
common beliefs — in a word, its collective conscience. A 
Government, to be legitimate and Effective, must grow 
out of the whole of these conditions, as a branch, or 
rather as the fruit, grows from a tree. 

The form of government must, if it is not Co^be 
injurious or useless, represent the sum-total of the 
integral elements of the country, must represent the 
thought that is its soul, the consciousness of the ideal to 
which the millions of men who are grouped within its 
natural boundari^>6Mve. instinctively. ( The function of A 
government^js^tt^ljurii^xhat thought from every foreign I 
elementi^-t^BTshow the method best calculated to reach the I 
ideals and Initiate the progressive stages that lead to it. 
On these conditions — but on these conditions only — we 
are the friends of government, and part from the theories 
of reaction and systematic mistrust^ that, at the present 
day, dominate a great part of our camp. Those theories 
are the natural fruit of the wretched Governments that 
nearly everywhere rest on caste, or family interests in 
opposition to the interests of the people; they are 
legitimate arms of defence against recurring dangers. 
But, if they became a doctrine applicable to every set of 
circumstances in the future, they would falsify every 
conception of government, and the antagonbm they 
would create between government and governed would 
be a source of never-ending war, destructive of all 
progress. ^^^^ 

In the ideal that Europe is seeking, and will realise)^ 
the Government will be the mind of a Nation, the people I 
its arm^ and the educated and free individual its prophet i 
of future progress. The first will point out the path I 
that leads to the ideal which at present is the only \ 


232 To the Italians 

thing that makes a Nation. The second will direct 
'the forces of the country towards it The third will 
protest in the name of a new and further ideal, against 
intolerance, and every tendency to deny the possibility 
of unlimited progress. ^ 

Meanwhile the Monarchy, a stranger to the National 
tdea^ without historical antecedents, without roots con- 
nected with the tree of Italian life, necessarily miscon- 
ceives the meaning of events and the needs of the time. 
In a new event of European importance that is destined 
to initiate an Age, it saw nothing more than a question of 
dynasty, the sequel of a small continuous movement of 
aggregation to the territory of a royal house. It annexed, 
like new links to an old chain, the peoples who rose and 
embraced in the prophetic heart-beats of a third life, and 
repeated, '' the moment has arrived to become a Nation." 
This Nation, which brings to Humanity a potential force 
of incalculable strength, whose every fraction has written 
a luminous page in the history of the world, this Uving 
Beings the product of thirty centuries of labour, it would 
not even allow to question its own mind concerning the 
law of its own life. It was imprisoned, so to speak, in 
the royal interpretation of a form of government which 
represented the bygone life of a small population, ' Italian 
true, and dear to us, but parted from us while it had that 
form. And we are now the only people who have risen 
to a unity of collective existence without a National 
Contract, which the best of the nation have deliberated 
on, and the consent of the majority has made authori- 

In an event which shows that the political doctrine of 
Nationality, and a new European birth are the meaning 
of the universal agitation, it merely sees the addition of a 
new member to old Europe, to the old Diplomacy, to the 
doctrines of ancient treaties. It allied Italy with despotic 
Governments, with all the compromises that try to main- 

* Almost every line of this essay would require an expansion that 
cannot be given here ; Inxt the reader will understand that this is a 

erogramme on which the successive numbers of the publication will 
e a commentary. 

* Piedmont. 

To the Italians 233 

tain the impossible status quo. In the dualism between 
us and the Papacy, from which, with the tatter's fall, our 
religious mission in the world was to be initiated, it onlj r 
saw the means of acquiring a patch of territory, and 
narrowed the solution of an immense and fateful problem, 
to a bastard compromise between soul and body, between 
the moral and material, between Truth and Falsehood. 
To develop and direct the Italian conception of Unity, ^^ 
it chose, and chooses, men who never believed in it, the 
advocates of federalism, the men who at one time perse^ 
cuted its apostles. 

The sense that they have no bond of intelligence and 
love with the Nation, forces the Government to dread 
popular progress, and adopt a policy of resistance. Its 
ruk is, never to give way to public opinion, except when 
it threatens to break out irresistibly in open conflict. t 

This is the fundamental basis of our attack. The rest, J 
the perversion of the army from its primitive and only/ 
mission, the safeguarding of the national soil and honourX 
to become an instrument of repression within the country, 
the creation of an army of useless officials, to acquire an 
undue influence in the provinces, the repudiation of local 
liberties, the absence of an intemationid policy, the ruin 
of the finances, a system of unjust and excessive taxation, 
are only a series of consequences which logically derive 
from that first irrevocable set of circumstances. 

Those who deny this in the face of History and the 
most recent events, delude themselves. Those who, in 
the Chamber or outside, attempt to guide Italy to its ideal 
without first removing this source of all our difficulties, 
deceive themselves and the country. They are laying 
up for themselves — and we deplore it — discredit and 
isolation. They are laying up for the country yet more 
prdonged and violent crises, the more violent the more 
Italy stands in an exceptional position, — the position of 
a Nation in process o. formation, for which, like a child, 
any deviation from the standard that educates to high 
and noble things may have a peculiarly and terribly fatal 

To us the question is wholly a moral one. A form of 




234 ky To the Italians 

has r 

government either leads to good or corrupts. \^A form 
of government that is based on lies, or that has no life, 
and therefore cannot infuse it, condemns the country — 
.whether consciously or Unconsciously is immaterial — ^to 
a career of errors and crimes, or else by breaking up the 
moral unity of the Nation, and condemning it to a war 
of its own members that fetters its movements, ends by 
making it sceptical and egotistic, and drugging it to 
sleep. ^And sleep for a people of ancient growth, strong in 
the education of the centuries, and recognised by the oSier 
peoples as having largely fulfilled its mission, for such a 
people sleep is more or less dishonourable, but not 
deadly. But sleep, or long delay, is at once dishonour- 
able and deadly to a people like ours, that is rising to 
become a Nation, and must therefore of necessity grow, 
and yet ainnot without a power to direct its forces to one 
end, a people that is pondering the road it has to follow, 
the road which will determine the acceptance or refusal 
of brotherhood with other Nations. 

To one who sees in a Nation something more than an 
aggregation of individuals born to produce and consume 
corn, the foundations of its life are, fraternity of faith, 
consciousness of a common ideals and the association of 
all faculties to work in harmony and with success towards 
that ideal. You cannot make it believe that life and 
growth are possible in a never-ending dualism between 
its government and itself; that the temple of its worship 
can have prwilege written on its summit and equality on 
its base ; or that it can live, a useless member of the 
European family, abdicating every duty, every office, 
every mission for the good of others, concentrating all its 
activity on the petty interests of the individuals that 
compose it, without debasing its moral sense, its intelli- 
gence, the exercise of its faculties, or compassing its own 
destruction in loss of confidence, and apathy, and doubt. 
And we see the symptoms of this growing only too fast. 
The Italy of to-day is no longer the Italy of i860. The 
masses, cheated of the vast hopes they entertained at one 
time of the benefits of Unity, are fast losing the national 
political sense^ and lending an eager ear to the fotal 

To the Italians 235 

whisperings of a federalist school that was dumb ten years 
ago. The middle class is becoming — ^as its abstention 
from the elections proves — more and more indifferent to 
the exercise of its political rights. The Chamber, part 
of it blindly subservient to government influence, part of 
it tied by the narrow formula which the Deputies swear, 
though they know it to be false and hurtful, has parted 
with its initiative, and is every day losing the importance 
that should belong to it A feeling of torpor, the feeling 
of a man who sees no remedy for recurring dangers, 
infects men's minds with scepticism, and entices them 
from the public arena to the exclusive care of their own 
private concerns. What between the examples given in 
high places, and the logical consequences of the spread 
of materialism, which is partly the result of the Govern- 
ment's false tactics towards a dying religion, morality is ' ^ 
losing its hold on the public mind. This is how Nations v 
die, not how they are bom. 

It is high time to leave a policy of expedients, of 
opportunism, of entanglements and crooked ways, of 
parliamentary hypocrisy, concealment, and compromise, 
that characterises the languid life of worn-out nations, 
and return to the virgin, loyal, simple, logical policy that 
derives directly from a moral standard, that is the con- 
sequence of a ruling jfirindple that has always inaugurated 
the young life of peoples that are called to high 

The first condition of this life is the solemn declara- 
tion, made with the unanimous and free consent of our 
greatest in wisdom and virtue, that Italy, feeling the 
times to be ripe, rises with one spontaneous impulse, in 
the name of the Duty and Right inherent in a people, to 
constitute itself a Nation of free and equal brothers, and 
demand that rank which by right belongs to it among 
the Nations that are already formed. The next condition 
is the declaration of the body of religious, moral, and 
political principles in which the Italian people believes at 
the present day, of the common ideal to which it is -^ 
striving, of the special mission that distinguishes it from^' \ 
other peoples and to which it intends to consecrate itself ' 


To the Italians 

for its own benefit and for the benefit of Humanity. And 
the final condition is to determine the methodis to be 
employed, and the men to whom the country should 

1 delegate the function of developing the national con- 
ception of life, and the application of its practical con- 
sequences to the manifold branches of social activity. 
Without this, a country may exist, stumbhng along from 
insurrection to insurrection, from revolution to revolution; 
but there cannot exist a Nation. 
\ / And these three conditions can only be fulfilled by a 
\ /National Contract, dictated in Rome by a constituent 
y assembly elected by direct or indirect ^ suffrage, and by 
A all the citizens that Italy contains. 
' The National Contract is the inauguration, the baptism 
of the nation. It is the initiatwe that determines the 
normal life, the successive and peaceful development of 
the forces and fiiculties of the country. Without that 
initiative, which gives life to the exercise of the vote, 
and directs it to the common ideal under the guidance 
oi 2l principle and a moral doctrine, even popular suffrage 
is at the mercy of arbitrary influence, or the passions of 
the day, or the false suggestions of ambitious agitators. 
Plebiscites taken under circumstances like these, the 
perverted and unenlightened expression of mere brute 
numbers, have, within the space of a few years, led, and 
will lead again, to a republic, a limited monarchy, and 
the despotism of a Bonaparte. Until a people is educated 
to uniformity and brotherhood, the initiative determines 
in every place and time the character of the solemn acts 
to which the masses are called. 

Every one knows what is the form of government that 
we believe to be the logical deduction fi:om the principles 

^in which we believe, and from the national Italian 
tradition : we define it as the development and application 
of a Natiot^s ideal^ duly entrusted by the chosen of the 
Country to men of recognised capcuity and proven virtue. 
We hope to show in our publication how it is only by 
adopting this formula of government that Italy can 

' The writer preters tn indirect sufirage in two removes ; but this is a 
question to be discussed in one of the ensninii: numbers. 

To the Italians 237 

escape an indefinite series of more or less fatal crises, 
and fulfil her destinies, great, prosperous, educated to 
virtue. Quite recendy it was said to us by partisans of 
the government : ** Write and discuss with us. Every 
way of public propaganda is open to you. Why is that 
not enough? We have a right to combat conspiracies 
and attempts at insurrection ; but we will all respect the 
peaceful and philosophical expression of ideas.** We 
reply once again to the invitation, and write. We have 
often attempted it, but the Government did not keep 
faith with its interpreters, and answered our statements, 
even when they only repeated the pages of History, by 
sequestrating our property, and prosecuting us, without 
any one protesting against its action. 

Nevertheless, we make another attempt^ if only to see 
whether the Government can ever learn wisdom, or if 
the men who gave this invitation will join us to protect 
liberty of thought. Our publication is frankly Republican, 
but it will not call to arms, or teach the people to rise, 
or provoke rebellions. 

When Italians are once convinced they will act for 
themselves. We, who are ever ready to follow them by 
any means, or any paths that may lead, without crime, 
to the idea/, will use the present to meet the errors 
and prejudices which are constantly turning many 
minds from the idea that is the basis of our mission. 
When we undertake to discuss in theory the present 
and future condition of Italy, Italians will be able 
to gauge from the attitude of the Government towards 
us the measure of its conscientiousness and moral 

And we will, above all, meet the errors that proceed 
from our own camp, and degrade, and warp, or lessen 
the purity of our Ideal. Many of the accusations that 
come from the opposite camp do not merit any lengthy 
refutation. Those who even now speak of anarchy and 
feebleness as inseparable from republican institutions, 
we can meet with the miracles of progress and power 
recently performed by the United States, and the steady 
peace which reigns by the side of liber^ in the valleys 


To the Italians 

of Switzerland. Those who are not ashamed to cast 
in our teeth their childish suspicions of popular tyranny, 
or terrorism, or spoliation, we can answer with the 
names of Venice and Rome, and all that we have done 
or written during the last forty years. But the material- 
ism that shatters the unity of human nature, and while 
it supplies us with an object, suppresses all the noble 
impulses, all the sacred beliefs that stimulate us to fulfil 
it, — the false philosophies that lead, consciously or un- 
consciously, to the worship of accomplished factSy and 
success, and Force, — the schools of politics and of 
economics that select a single instance from among the 
manifold integral terms of the social problem, and deduce 
from it the solution of all secondary problems, — the 
blind, servile copying of the old French Revolution, 
still rooted only too deeply in most of our hearts, that 
fetters us with theoretical formulas of individual rights 
which are but the summary expression of a dead age 
which we have abandoned for the initiative of the future 
age, — the excessive tendency to mete out the same blame, 
the same suspicion, so often unjust, to many who, like 
us, love the Fatherland, but are intellectually at fault 
as to method, that we mete to the few selfish schemers 
who, through thirst of lucre and power, consciously 
defile and betray the National Italian Revolution, — the 
narrow-mindedness that anathematises a grand and fruit- 
ful past out of hatred to a poor and feeble present^ that 
falsifies History, that tries to deprive us of our glories, 
and denies the tradition which is the very life of Human- 
ity, — all these deserve, and we will give them, an 
attentive and thorough examination. It is these and 
other errors brought to our Democracy from foreign 
schools of thought that have made the Italian intellect 
stray from the right path. 

It is time to call it back from barren criticism to the 
National School, with its constructive methods, its ten- 
dencies to correlate and harmonise ; from a materialism 
that presumes to understand, explain, determine motion 
while it destroys the motive power, to the old ever- 
present doctrine of the Spirit that harmonises motion 

To the Italians 239 

and motor. As far as our powers permit we will try to 
accomplish this. 

Only on this condition can our National Revolution 
be achieved. Blind revolts lead only to victories of a 
day. Simple negations can overthrow an old worn-out 
edifice; they never lay the foundations of a new one; 
they never win a people to organised and effective action, 
or build the Temple of the Nation. 

Our party is faithful to the ideal of our countr/s 
Traditions, but ready to harmonise them with the 
Traditions of Humanity and the inspirations of con- 
science ; it is tolerant and moral, and it must therefore 
now confute, without attacking or misconstruing motives. 
We need not fear that we are forging weapons for the 
enemy, if we declare the religions of the world to be 
successive expressions of a series of ages that have 
educated the human race ; if we recognise the religious 
faculty as eternal in the human soul, eternal, too, the 
bond between heaven and earth. We can admire in 
Gregory VII. the gigantic energy of will, the sublime 
moial effort that could not be realised with the instru- 
ment that Christianity could lend, and, at the same 
time, in the name of the progress we have made, declare 
the Papacy to be for ever dead. tWe can recognise the 
Mission which Aristocracy and Mo^rchy had for other 
peoples in the past, and yet proclaim, for all of us, the 
duty and the right to outstrip those worn-out forms. I We 
may, without denying the reverence due to Authority — 
for that is the real object of all our efforts--claim the 
task of attacking every Authority that is not based on 
two conditions — the free and enlightened consent of 
the governed, and the power of directing the national 
life and making it fruitful. 

We believe in God. 

In a providential Law given by Him to life. 

In a Law, not of the Atonement^ not of the Fall^ 
and Redemption by the grace of past or present 
mediators between God and man^ but of Progress, 
unlimited Progress, founded on, and measured by,^ 
our works. 

240 To the Italians 

In the Unity of Life, misunderstood, as we believe, 
by the Philosophy of the last two centuries. 

In the Unity of the Law through both the manifesta- 
tions of Life, collective and individual. 

In the immortality of the Ego^ which is nothing but 

n the application of ^e Law of Progress, revealed be- 

^^ yond doubt now and for ever by Historical Tradition, 

by Science, by the aspirations of the soul, to the Life 

that is manifested in the individual. 

In Liberty, by which alone exists responsibility, the 
consciousness and price oi progress, 
' In the successive and increasing association of all 
human faculties and powers, as the sole normal means - 
oi progress^ at once collective and individual. 
\ In the Unity oi the human race, and in the moi^ 
equality of all the children of God, without distinctim 
of sex, colour, or condition, to be forfeited by crifnk 
alone. \ 

N And hence we believe in the holy, inexorable, domin-]^ 
ating idea of Duty, the sole standard of Life. Duty 
that embraces in each one, according to the sphere in 
which he moves and the means that he possesses. 
Family, Fatherland, Humanity. Family the altar of the 
Fatherland; Fatherland the sanctuary of Humanity; 
Humanity a part of the Universe^ and a temple built to 
God, who created the Universe, that it might draw near 
to Him. Duty^ that bids us promote the progress of 
others that our own may be effected, and of ourselves 
that it may profit that of others. Duty^ without which 
no right exists, that creates the virtue of self-sacrifice, 
in truth the only pure virtue, holy and mighty in 
power, the noblest jewel that crowns and hallows the 
human soul. 

And finally, we believe, not in the doctrines of the 
present day, but in a great religious manifestation 
founded upon these principles, that sooner or later will 
arise from the initiative of a people of freemen and be- 
lievers — perhaps from Rome if Rome knows her mission 
— ^and which, while it includes that chapter of Truth 
that former religions won, will reveal yet another chapter. 

To the Italians 241 

and will open the road to future progress, destroying 
in their germ all privilege and intolerance of caste. 

We have wished to express our principles briefly, that 
all who wish to help us may know what are the condi- 
tions of fellowship on which we will gratefully accept 
their help and counsel. From these derive all the rules 
that we prefix to questions of the intellect, and politics, 
and economics. We beUeve that to make politics an art^ 
and sever them from morality, as the royal statesmen and 
diplomatists desire, is a sin before God and destruc^ 
to the peoples. The end of politics is the application of] 
the moral Law to the civil constitution of a Nation ii 
its double activity, domestic and foreign. The end oj 
economics is the application of the same Law to th< 
organisation of Labour in its double aspect, productioi 
and distribution. All that makes for that end is G004 
and must be promoted ; all that contradicts it or giv( 
it no help must be opposed till it succumb. Pe 
and Government must proceed united, like thought and 
action in individuals, towards the accomplishment of that 
mission. And what is true for one Nation is true as be-\ ^ 
tween Nations. /MaHnf^ij aro th^ in dividuals of Huma nity. | 
The internal nan^aToi^anisation is the instrument withy 
which the Nation accomplishes its mission in the world/ 
Nationalities are sacred, and providentially constituted to 
represent, within Humanity, the division or distribution of 
labour for the advantage of the peoples, as the division 
and distribution of labour within the limits of the state 
should be organised for the greatest benefit of all the 
citizens. If they do not look to that end they are useless 
and &1L If they persist in evil, which is egotism, they 
perish : nor do they rise again unless they make Atone- 
ment and return to Good. 

But to staunch the two sources of our worst wounds, 
— ^the dissension between the Government and the 
governed, and the selfishness that dominates indi- 
viduals, — ^we must constitute a Government that repre- 
sents the mind, the tendencies, the duties of the Nation, 
and we must determine the National ideal, the origin 
and standard of our duties. The former is a problem 



242 To the Italians 

of form to be solved, in any practical way, by the 
initiative of the whole country ; the latter must be solved 
by the delegates of the nation, who shall make a 
National Contract, and found a system of national 
and compulsory Public Education, which the Contract 
shall determine. 

For both, the preliminary and essential question is to 
recognise and proclaim where the Sovereignty resides. 

Two Schools, both foreign, both founded on that dis- 
memberment of the unity of human nature to which we 
have drawn attention, now hold the field, and solve in 
their several ways the philosophico-religious, political, 
and economic questions that are exciting interest in 

The first places sovereignty in the individualy in the 
Ego, With no conception of Law, and hence none of 
collective duty, it finds, wherever it turns, a partial, 
temporary expression of life, the doctrine of Rights 
supreme, inviolable; it bases all organisation on this 
latter doctrine. The spontaneous action of the indi- 
vidual, whether it leads to a power that is only de 
facto, or whether it instinctively reaches a standard ai 
justice and truth, always bears, in its eyes, the mark of a 
Sovereignty. According to the disciples of this school, 
self-interest, or if that be insufficient, the action of the 
preponderant force, is sufficient to prevent the inevit- 
able confficts among all these petty local sovereignties 
from degenerating into civil war. This School leads, in 
'Religion, to protestantism with the more timid, who stop 
halfway ; to materialism with those whose logic is more 
thorough. In politics it leads to federalism, to the 
almost absolute independence of local interests, to 
absolute liberty of education, to systematic distrust of all 
governmental control, and in international life tp non- 
intervention. In economics it leads to unlimited com- 
petition, to the recognition of every acquired right with- 
out considering whether it is fatal to the progress of the 
majority, to the unrestricted doctrine of laisser /aire. It 
accepts liberty alone among human faculties as the basis 
of civil society. The State is regarded as merely an 

To the Italians 243 

aggregation of individuals^ without any common ideal 
except the satisfaction of personal interests \ the Nation 
as an aggregation of Commimes, all sovereign and arbiters 
of their own development ; and Government as a neces- 
sary evil, to be limited as much as possible, and confined 
to the exercise of a coercive force in cases of mutual 
robbery or slaughter. 

The other School is opposed to the first on every 
point. It places sovereignty exclusively in the collective 
will, in the " We^^ and inevitably concentrates it slowly 
in the hands of a few, if not of a single man. The State 
is everything: the individual practically nothing. The 
social ideal is absolutely binding, and must be accepted 
by him. The Nation absorbs all independent local life 
in a strong centralised government. The ideal that 
directs the Nation is supposed, theoretically, to be 
founded on the good ; practically it is neither confirmed, 
nor elaborated, nor modified by the intervention of the 
free examination or consent of the citizens. According 
to their system, the best are, and ought to be, called to 
apply it, but not by the people ; they, the majority at 
least, have no part in the choice of the few who are 
already declared to be the most capable of the nation. 
Association is predetermined and ordained; but by 
authority and on a uniform and fixed plan. The in- 
struments of Labour and of Production are one by one 
handed over to the State. The conditions of distribu- 
tion are decided by authority. This school leads, in 
religion, to Catholicism with the timid; to Pantheism 
with the strong-minded. In politics it leads to despotism, 
whether of one, or a few, or many, is immaterial. In 
economics it leads to the search — the probably fruitless 
search — for a limited degree of material prosperity, at 
the cost of all possibility of progress or of increased 
production, at the cost of every stimulus to the growth, 
of activity, the inventiveness, the initiative of the indi- 
viduals. Just as Liberty is everything to the formei^ 
School, so is Authority to this. 

We reject those two Schools, which, under whatever 
name they appear, only continue the dualism of the 

244 To the Italians 

doctrine which we declare dead. The republican form 
of government, as we understand it, places the centre of 
movement in a higher sphere, in which the two much- 
^' abused terms, Liberty and Authority, shall not conflict, 
but harmonise with one another. 

The problem that is agitating the world is not the rejec- 
tion of authority ; for without authority, moral anarchy, and 
/therefore sooner or later mgt^al anarchy, are inevitable. 
I It is the rejection of all li/elesy authority which is founded 
Von the mere fact of its exigence in t hg past or on 
privileges of birth, riches, or aught else, and mamtained 
without the free discussion and assent of the citizens, and 
closed to all progress in the future. It is not the rejec- 
tion of liberty, whose absence makes tyranny inevitable. 
It is the restoration of the idea contained in that word 
to its true meaning — fhe power to choose^ according to our 
tendencies^ capacity^ and circumstances^ the means to be 
employed to reach the end. It is the rejection of that 
liberty which is an end to itself, and which abandons 
society and the mission of humanity to the caprice of 
the impulses and passions of individualsX Authority and 
Liberty^ conceived as we state them, are^qually sacred to 
us, and should be reconciled in every question awaiting 
settlement. All things in Liberty and for Association; 
this is the republican formula. Liberty and Association, 
Conscience and Tradition, Individual and Nation, the 
" /" and the ** We " are inseparable elements of human 
nature, all of them essential to its orderly development. 
Only in order to co-ordinate them and direct them 
to a purpose, some point of union is required which 
is superior to all. Hence practical necessity leads us 
inevitably back to the high principles that we enun- 
ciated in theory in an earlier part of our work. 

Sovereignty exists neither in the "/" nor tjie " Jf^ " ; 
it exists in God, the source of Life; in the Progress 
that defines life ; in the Moral Law that defines Duty. 

In other terms. Sovereignty is in the Ideal. 

We are all called to do its work. 

The knowledge of the ideal is given to us — so iax as 
it is understood by the age in which we live — by 

To the Italians 245 

our intelligence when it is inspired by the love of 
Good, and proceeds from the Tradition of Humanity 
to question its own conscience^ and reconciles these two 
sole criteria of Truth. 

But the knowledge of the ideal needs an interpreter 
who may forthwith indicate the means that may best 
attain to it, and direct its application to the various 
branches of activity. And as this interpreter must 
embrace within itself the " /" and the " Wf," Authority 
and Liberty, State and Individual; and as, moreover, 
it must be progressive^ it cannot be a man or any order 
of men selected by chance, or by the prerogative of a 
privilege unprogressive by its very nature, or birth, or 
riches, or aught else. Given the principles contained 
in the contract of £uth and brotherhood, this inter- 
preter can only be the People, the Nation. 

God and the People: these are the only two terms 
that survive the analysis of the elements which the 
Schools have given as the foundation of the social 
communion. Rome knows by what paths of self- 
sacrifice, civil virtue, and glory, the banner that bore 
these two solemn words inscribed upon it, awakened 

in 1849 ^^® ^o^c ^^ ^^y ^Of ^ci"* 

And here for the present we may stop. The Italian 
Mission is therefore : — 

The Unity of the Nation, in its material aspect, by 
the reconquest of the Trentino, of Istria and of Nice ; 
in its moral aspect, by National Education, accompanied 
by the free and protected Instruction of every heterodox 

Unity of defence, or the Nation artned. 

Unity of the Contract and every Institution that 
represents the civil, political, and economic progress 
of all Italians. 

Steady activity of the legislative power ; and the ad- 
ministration of the institutions that concern the national 
Erogress, to be entrusted, not to the executive power, 
ut to Commissions by delegation from the legislative. 

Communal liberty to be decreed so £u: as r^ards 
the special progress of the various localities. 


To the Italians 

Suppression of all offices intended at the present day 
to represent an undue influence of the Government over 
the different local districts. 

Division of powers to be a consequence} not of an 
illogical distribution of sovereignty^ but of the different 
functions of government. 

A smaller number of State employees and a more 
equal payment for their services. %^ 

Abolition of political oaths. \ 

Universal Suffrage as the beginning of political 
education. ^ 

Legislation tending to advance the intellectual 
and economical progress of those classes that need 
it most; and the nation to encourage industri 
agricultural, and labour associations, founded on 
certain general conditions, and of proven morality 
and capacity. 

Special attention to be given to the uncultivated 
lands of Italy, to the vast unhealthy zones, to neglected 
communal property, and to the creation on them of a 
new class of small proprietors. 

A general system of taxation so as to free life — that 
is, the necessaries of life — from all burdens, and so 
as to fall proportionately on superfluities, and avoid 
excessive expenses of collection. 

Abolition of all impediments to the free circulation of 
produce within and without the country. 

An economic system based on the saving of all useless 
expenditure and on the progressive increase of production. 

Recognition of every debt contracted by the Nation 
in the past. 

Simplification of the transfer of land. 

Abolition of monopolies. 

Responsibility of every public servant 

International policy to be governed by the moral 
principle that rules the Nation. 

Alliances to be based on uniformity of tendencies 
and objects. 

Especial favour to be shown to every movement 
that may fraternise Italy with the elements of future 

To the Italians 247 

or growing Nationalities, with the Greek, Roumanian, 
or Slav populations, who are destined to solve the 
problem of Eastern Europe. 

These, with many others, are but the consequences 
of the great principles we have enunciated, and will be 
developed in our Publication ; and, if the Italians will 
help us with their effective assistance, a more popular 
explanation will be given in a paper which we will add, 
dedicated specially to the Working Classes. 





No. XL of the " Roma del Popolo " 

In 1835, w^en the French republican party was 
singularly powerful in its secret and public organisation, 
in men of strong intelligence, of generous daring and 
a civic courage till then too little known among us; 
when an insurrection seemed imminent and success 
seemed probable, and the eyes of all Europe were turned 
with anxiety and confidence to France, I wrote in a 
French Review h — 

" The initiative is lost in Europe, and while each of us 
ought to be working to recover it, we persist in trying to 
persuade the peoples that it still lives, active and potent. 

" Since 18 14 there has been a void in Europe, and, 
instead of labouring to fill it up, we deny the fact. 

" From 1814 onwards, there has been no people to 
take the initiative, and yet we persist in saying the 
French people has the power. 

• •••*• 

" The French Revolution must be considered^ not as a 
programme^ but as a summary : not as the initiative of a 
new age, but as the last formula of an expiring age, 

"The progress of the peoples depends to-day upon 
their capacity to emancipate themselves from France. 

" The progress of France depends upon its power to 
emancipate itself from the eighteenth century and the 
old Revolution." 

> «« On the Revolutionary Initiativoi" in the R§mu JUpubUcamr, 

252 Thoughts on the 

The present article is a commentary on those words. 
I write it because I see even to this day, more vivid 
and potent than I had believed, the inordinate prestige 
possessed by France and the memories of its great 
Revolution over the minds of our young men ; a prestige 
that delayed our reawakening for long years, and still 
delays its completion or threatens to pervert its direction. 
The events of the past thirty-six years have confirmed 
^in unmistakable language the truth of that statement. 
I France still, as always, is self-deluded, believes herself to 
^be the leader of European progress, and has from that 
time forth, almost of necessity, been moving in a circle, 
from monarchy to republicanism, from republicanism to 
despotism, and now she seems to be beginning the same 
revolution once again. Equally incapable of repose or 
normal motion; never able, whether under monarchy 
or republic, at home or abroad, to take one of those 
upward steps that open out a new horizon to Nations 
already organised, or point an easier way for peoples 
wandering in search of a life as yet denied them. 
Nevertheless, the idea of France, mistress of the destinies 
of Europe and hastening to unfold them for the good 
of all, ploughs to-day like lightning through the soul of 
the young Italian generation, even as, when I faced the 
first battles and sorrows of life, it dominated the soul of 
the generation that is now dead or in lethargic old age. 
In each convulsive movement of France's great fall our 
people dream that the initiative is reborn. Any thought 
that takes shape for few days in Paris, even when it 
proves the dissolution of the old power which was based 
upon unity and the prevailing anarchy, finds among 
us thoughtless and indiscriminating applause. And at 
every firesh disillusioning, Italian ups utter, or Italian 
faces show, the cowardly thought : how should we attempt 
what France attempted and failed to dof What ! are we 
condemned to crawl for ever behind man-hing or people- 
hing} Is Italy doomed to be the satellite of a greater 
planet ? Cannot its population of twenty-five millions 
do for the new Age what twenty-five millions of French 
did for the Age that is passing away ? 

French Revolution of 1789 253 

lltaly does ^^^^l^^jf f/^rr><>^ {^"«- fh** ^f^t^cr'^f^^^i,*^^tt q{ 

forcB"-diatTlrcTSswithin herself she lacks colUcHve 
virtue ; the trust of each city in its neighbour city, of each 
individual in his brother ; the trust of all in the latent 
life that throbs in the tradition of a people that once 
was great and is feted to be great again, the life that 
makes a nation. And among the many causes of t 
mistrust — Catholicism, materialism, our long servitude, 
the contradiction between the end of our movement 
and the means adopted to reach it — not the least 
is the false conception universally prevalent of the 
characteristics and historic value of the Revolution in 
France. \ Just as a new faith is only revealed when the 
majority Vgree in boldly declaring the exhaustion and 
extinction of the old one,l just as a people surrounded | 
by enemies only finds salvadon in its own strength when 
it despairs of others' help, 9p a Nation can only move 
resolutely onward along the r&ad that leads to prosperity 
and greatness when it is conjirinced that others will not 
advance for it The initiative force which it fancies is. 
elsewhere, and which perhaps is hidden in its own breast, 
cannot reveal itself, for no one thinks of evoking it. 

And another evil consequence results from the belief / 
that the French Revolution has ushered in a new age, \ 
— the blind tendency to imitate its actions, copy its 
formulas, expend all our active strength in following 
out the consequences or its ruling ideas, without ad- 
vancing to the discovery or the confirmation of new 
ones. The three terms liberty, equality, fraternity, mark 
out the circle within which all our social philosophy 
revolves; it forgets that association is the mother-idea 
of our Age, an idea unknowti to the official inspirations 
of the Revolution. A bad and immoral definition of 
life, the search after happiness, filched firom the catechism 
of Volney and the French republican constitutions, 
rules with slight disguise the whole of our moral 
philosophy, and cannot help instilling the poison of 
Egotism into the veins of a society that nevertheless 
is said to believe in the Law of Common Progress. A 
baseless speculation, without possible sanction, except 

254 Thoughts on the 

in the brute force of individual rights^ which was 
the one formula of every Assembly that controlled the 
Revolution, summarises the whole of our political 
science. We mutter the sacred words, Duty and Self- 
sacrifice, but leave their interpretation to the caprice 
of good instincts, and thus inadvertently admit all the 
aristocracies of rights^ won just for themselves by one 
or another class. The theory that popular sovereignty 
should be exercised, not as the interpretation of a 
supreme moral Law which has been indicated by a 
declaration of principles^ and diffused by a uniform 
National Education, but as the brutal despotism of 
^ figures, which one day leads to republican liberty, and 
on the morrow to the unlimited power of a usurper 
and tyrant, — the doctrine of the impossible divorce of 
Church and State, both, to-day, phantasms and lies, 
but which nevertheless are destined sooner or later to 
represent the harmony between principle and their 
application^ — the debased conceptions of authority^ with 
which Democracy wages war solely because the authority 
of to-day is a lifeless corpse, though in the ultimate 
^nalysis authority is the end and aim of all our efforts, — 
/the insane admiration for a period of terrorism which 
*^Snie have taken for energy, but which was only fear 
and which prepared France for the Empire, and even 
now makes a number of unthinking enemies of Re- 
publican Institutions, — these and other fatal errors all 
Xrpm that init ial e rroii|hat makes us forget our 
own tradition and its message, ^nd fetters us to the 
tradition that the French Revolution was the beginning of 
the present age, whilst we are all, consciously or uncon- 
sciously, apostles and heralds of an Age that is about 
to dawn. In the meantime, the few bad men who are 
opposed to us, and the many credulous men who accept 
their charges without examination, take advantage of 
that error to prophesy from the Republic, as we under- 
stand it, the same consequences as the deeds that stain, 
only too deeply, the glories of the French Revolution. 

The statement that I shall attempt to prove in my 
article would, if true, ultimately change in part the 

French Revolution of 1789 255 

direction of the most important science called the 
philosophy of History, which we define as the per-i^ 
cepHon of the great Tradition of Humanity. To-day, 
thanks to the avowed materialists who do not under- 
stand it, and the materialists disguised as Hegelians 

rho misunderstand it, that perception risks being lost, 
id National tradition, which is so large a part of 

lat of Humanity, is forgotten. The writers and 
listers of the monarchical party have converted it 
|nto a miserable machiavelism that dates precisely from 
;he time when the princely vassals of Charles V. and 
Clement VII. interrupted that tradition. Perhaps, im- 
perfect and weak as my work must inevitably be, it 
may arouse some few to revive it among the young 
who have warm hearts and austere genius. In any 
case it will not be out of place if, in the absolute 
lack of historical works on the French Revolution 
among us, at least one Italian should recall us to the 
need of considering that great event without either 
blind servility or culpable antagonism, and starting from 
a standpoint different from that taken by the French and 
other earlier writers. 

No. XIL of the " Roma del Popolo'' 

In a book nobly conceived and boldly written, my 
friend Edgar Quinet asks himself in tones of grief ^ why 
the political results secured by the Revolution are so 
much inferior to the force, the gigantic energy, expended 
in its course. How is it that even now we are obliged to 
fight for the rights that it proclaimed more than eighty 
years ago ; obliged to fight for that Liberty for whose 
sake nearly two millions of men sacrificed their lives ? 
And he answers that it is because, instead of looking the 
religious problem in the face, which is the basis of every 
Society in process of formation, instead of resolutely 
parting from Catholicism and attacking it as Christianity 

1' iM Ri9oluii9n, Vol. II. Book V c t- 1865. 


256 Thoughts on the 

attacked Paganism, the Revolution hesitated, uncertain, 
vacillating, before the problem, and timidly, hypocritic- 
ally, condescended to a compromise with CaUiolicism. 
All the other causes to whidi he refers in the course 
of his work are, in his view, secondary and inferior. 

But why did that cause exist? Why, in a generation 
who were very giants in strength of will, did their daring 
fail them here ? A Revolution is never complete, says 
the vrriter, except on condition of embracing and following 
a new belief, or the rejection and open severance fix)man 
old one.^ Why did the Revolution effect neither the one 
nor the other ? 

Quinet does not try to solve this question so indis- 
pensable to the right understanding of the mission, the 
value, the historical significance of the Revolution. He 
too, like all French writers, was tempted away by the 
idea that the initiatwe belongs to France. He, in the 
sphere of thought, succumbed to the timidity and 
uncertainty for which he reproved the Revolutionists in 
the sphere of action. He wanders in the dim domain of 
an irrational, illogical despair. He sets to the fault of 
individuals what belongs to the necessity of things, to 
the laws that govern events ; at times he misunderstands 
the rdle of the revolutionary leaders, at times he con- 
tradicts himself'; he leaves the reader at the end of 
a long, and in many aspects, splendid work, in the same 
darkness that he undertook to dispel, still doubtful of the 
road to be followed in the future. 

The answer to that last question is this : — 

The Revolution was unable, in spite of all its daring, 
to accomplish the impossible. The Revolution was 
directly descended from Christianity. The inspiration 
that ruled its actions never passed beyond the limits of 
Christian principles. Its work was to apply to mundane 


* "The idea that predominates to-day, and ii ts iht trut om#— the separa- 
tion of Church and State— was very iar from the minds of men in 1789'* 
(Book V. c. i.) ; and further on : '* It was reserved for our times to fancy 
that the human soul has nothing to do with i»olitical action, that the same 
man might be f<M«ed in one direction in religion, in another in politics, and 
that so radical a destmction of the human conscience might be effected 
without injury" (Book V. c. rii.). 

French Revolution of 1789 257 

affairs, to political life, the fundamental ideas that 
Christianity had pointed to the world as belonging to the 
spiritual order of things, to be only verified by man in 

Christianity is the Religion of the individual. The 
collective and progressive life of Humanity, and of its 
component nations, is unknown to its dogmas or its 
moral doctrines. Christianity consecrated the two 
aspects, internal and external, of individuality, it knew 
nothing of association^ which we know now to be the only 
method of Progress. It regarded men as brothers, because 
they were the sons of one God ; but the ideal was a 
personal, and not a collective one ; and each individual 
had indicated to him the way to attain the ideal, without I 
learning that it was needful for this very end to unite I 
the capabilities and powers of all. To save oneself, / 
not through the world, or by working with the world, but / 
in spite of the world — that was the supreme formula of / 
Christianity. / 

The Revolution, being a result of the Christian teaching, 
could neither rebel against it nor free itself from it. The 
Revolution tried to introduce into political matters the 
liberty, equality, fraternity of men. Its theory of rights 
gave the political formula of the individuals it did not 
go beyond that. It did not found a new Society; it 
prepared the old one for liberty and equality. Liberty — \ 
even when it is given to all, and called Equality — cannot 
found a new Society; Association alone can do that. 
Liberty is no more than an element of social life. It 
provides the materials : it does not breathe into them the 
breath of life. 

The Revolution, being the daughter of Christianity, 
did not cross its boundary, did not pass beyond its 
primitive inspiration. It might, if the Latin nations 
had not ingrained opposite tendencies, have adopted 
the protestant doctrine, and freed itself from Catholicism; 
but it could never escape from Christian forms.^ 

* Id Quinet's book the question never ^oes beyond the terms of the 
acceptation or rejection of Catholicism, which is only one of the forms of 
Qiristianity ; and it might be said that for the new age he only sees the 
necessity of a Christian transformation. Book XIII. c. vi. 

258 Thoughts on the 

The Revolution, therefore — save for those presentiments 
of the future that permeate every great Revolution — was 
not the beginning but the compendium, the conclusion of 
an age — a practical summary of the conquests of the past, 
not a programme of future conquests. 

All the actions, the vacillation, the apparent contradic- 
tions, the conquests, the vagaries of the Revolution, and 

its descent to the Empire, find an easy explanation from 

this point of view. And if I am, as I believe, right, th^"^ 7 
Christian Age is concluded ', France's mission to iniHate I 
is completed. We have another conception of Life, and / 
travel in search of a new earth and a new heaven. And / 
the first People who shall arise in the name of that/ 
conception, with the faith that says, / can^ and the 
energy that says, 1 will^ and cry to the other peoples, " I 
am fighting for you all, follow me," this People will give 
its name to an Age 


Among the French historians of the Revolution, — 
putting aside the first simple narrators who were more or 
less judicious in the choice of facts, more or less able 
to recall them, and at whose head are Thiers and 
Mignet, — ^putting aside among the more recent, Louis 
Blanc, who excds in many merits of clear and elegant 
style, in his thorough study of documents, and intel- 
lectual grip of several social questions, but who is warped 
by his blind partisanship for the men of the mountain, 
and destitute of the philosophico-religious sense,^ — 

* Louis Blanc in his work starts from a distinction between thrtt gfwai 
prmei'ples, that, separately, he says, dominate the world and history — 
namely, authority, individualism, und. fraternity % and this is one of those 
arrogant, rash formulas that get repeated without examination, fascinate 
our voung men, and falsify the sober, stem character of the Italian genius. 
In the meantime, to prove how much he misconceives the philosophic 
value of those three words, he be^ns by defining authorify as the 
principle that entrusts the life of nations to blindly (wcepted belief Sf to a 
superstitious respect for trafiition, to inequality, and that employs force as 
a means of Government, Such authority is, I will not call it Christian, but 
Catholic. Authority is a general and ruling principle, freelj accepted as 
the basis of a society. Sacred as Liberty is sacred, it represents 
Tradition— that is to say, the sum-total of acquired truths— just as 
Liberty is the security for further progress along the paths of other 
truths, truths that shall constitute a basis for s new Authority. The fiu:t 

French Revolution of 1789 259 


. Juchez stood alone in seeing in the French Revolution 
[a product of Christian ity. He was the founder of a (7 
Tkiiuul lH^ baa glimpses of many great truths, but lost 
their fruits by mixing them with serious errors, fele 
understood that the essence of the Revolution was 
Christian; but believing as he did in the eternity of 
Christianity, and not divining its slow death-agony, 
believing too that the initiative had been given to France 
for all time, he saw in the Revolution the beginning of a 
new Era, in which a transformed Christianity would be 
converted into a social religion, and would make a 
reality of the Kingdom of God on earth. But this is to ^ 
will the impossible. A religion is never transformed ; it 
exhausts the possibilities of life contained in the principle 
that created it, and then it dies, leaving that principle 
among the number of acquired truths. A given end is 
never reached by an instrument designed for another 
purpose. A faith that has for its end the salvation of 
the individual', for its means, the belief in a mediator 
between God and the individual; for its condition, 
Grace \ for dogma, the fall and redemption through 
another's works — such a faith can never found a Society 
which, though it works for the same end, has for means 
the belief in the collective life of Humanity, the sole 
mediator between God and the individual ; for its condi- 
tion, the works thai we have done on the earth ; for its 
doctrine, Progress. \ An attempt like that of the French 
Revolution, and guided by a gigantic energy of purpose, 
was made six centuries before. What Gregory VII. 
attempted, however superficially others may judge him, 
was to destroy the dualism between two powers, and the 
organisation of a world living a collective life, with the 
instrument supplied by Christianity; not finding in 
Christianity sufficient virtue to reach his end, he was led 

is. the world is always moving in search of Authority^ and has neither 
lire nor progress save in and by it. Only, all Auihoriiy, representing, 
as it does, a definite and limited sum of Truth, is exhausted and perishes 
when it has fulfilled its mission ; and to him who persists in upholding 
it in its decay, Revolutions reply that they intend to bury it and win a 
new one. 

Louis Blanc may say— I cannot— on what foundation the Fraternity which 
he desiderates can rest, when all auihoriiy is destroyed and MManaiism 

26o Thoughts on the 

to try, like the Revolution, and with similar futility, a policy 
of violence and terrorism, imposing celibacy by decree, 
and inflicting death upon souls by excommunication. 

Other writers — the latest and most important being 
Michelet, the author, I will not say of the best book on 
the Revolution in its historical aspect, but the book most 
imbued with a moral standard of judgment that I know 
of — struck by certain incidents of rebellion common to 
all Revolutions, and neglecting for excrescences and 
foreshadowings inseparable from all great national move- 
ments that which constitutes their essence and defini- 
tion, saw in the French Revolution a great rejection of 
Christianity, and hence the beginning of a new Era. 
Christianity, in the opinion of those writers, is the reign 
of grace ; the Revolution the reign of justice and the 
abolition of privilege. And they appeal, moreover, to 
Voltaire and Rousseau, to the inspirers of the Revolution, 
who were all, as they say, anti-Christian. 

I will touch presently on the course of ideas and 
tendencies followed by Voltaire and Rousseau ; and how 
far the Revolution waged war without truce against 
privilege, and inaugurated the reign of justice, will, I 
hope, appear from the whole of this work. But I think 
I must here make two observations to facilitate the 
development of the question. 

The first is, that to estimate clearly the historical value 
of a Revolution, we must distinguish between the 
opinions of individuals and the facts of the Revolution 
itself. Men, during Revolutions, almost always surrender 
themselves to the impulses that dominate the multitudes, 
and compromise with their own. It matters little that 
Mirabeau, and perhaps many others in the Assembly, 
took their inspiration from the irreligious scepticism of 
Voltaire; for when, with the view of overcoming the 
opposition of the clergy to the confiscation of ecclesiastical 
property, and proving that the existing religion ran no 
risk, the Carthusian Gerle proposed in April 1790 that 
the Assembly should declare the Catholic, Apostolic, 
Roman religion the religion of the State, and its worship 
alone authorised, and when the whole of the Right of 

French Revolution of 1789 261 

the Assembly applauded his motion, Mirabeau, pretend* 
ing to be astonished by the doubt which it implied, 
asked, " whether it were necessary to decree that the sun 
shone," and another deputy, with equally sceptical 
opinions, quoted "the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against " Catholicism, wondering that those words should 
be confirmed by a poor human decree. It matters little 
that Robespierre derived all his views from Rousseau's 
writings; for when, in November 1792, Cambon pro- 
posed that the State should cease paying the salaries of 
the clergy, Robespierre declared that every attack upon the 
Catholic religion was a menace to popular morality, and 
contested the right of the Revolution to take an initiative 
by stating that " it mattered little whether the religious 
opinions followed by the people were prejudices or not, 
it was necessary, in any case, to base their reasonings 
upon them." The character of the Revolution must, in 
the series of the stages of Progress, be measured by wlu^ 
it didy not by what the revolutionists thought. 

The second point, which is almost always overlooked, 
is, that human effort along any stage of Progress is 
achieved first in the intellectual, afterwards in the 
practical sphere. 

A religion begins to die in the mental sphere — that 
is, in its dogma and ritual — when the practical applica- 
tion of its informing principle is in the first stage of 
its development in the field of civil and political facts. 
Like all great ideas, each religious synthesis begins by 
being elaborated in the intelligence, in the sphere of 
spiritual activity. The consequences are not realised 
in the sphere of material activity until the intelligence 
has completely assimilated that principle and is master 
of it. But the continuity of Progress requires, that 
even before the work that centres round the vital idea 
of the religious system of the Age is fully completed, 
the mind should see yet another religion dawning on 
the far horizon, and begin a new task of development, 
either around or parallel to it. In the meantime, as 
I said, the logical deductions of the old system are 
translated into facts in actual civil life. 


262 Thoughts on the 

If this were not so, Progress could only move by fits 
and starts. The human intellect would remain stationary 
during the whole time that the idea is being practically 
applied ; and practical genius, if the work of application 
is exhausted, would necessarily be stationary in its turn, 
until the new idea is fully evolved in the intellect The 
periods of human progress, interrupted by these station- 
ary periods, would, to re-connect themselves, need an 
impulse, some initiative, from a higher source. This is 
the theory of direct immediate revelations, which we 
reject as false, and contrary to all we can divine of the 
nature of God. 

The anti-Christian tendencies of some of the precursors 
of the Revolution do not therefore contradict my asser- 
tion. These thinkers, placed on the confines of two 
worlds, already had glimpses, not of the future religion 
itself, but of its necessity and the insufficiency of the 
old one; while, on the field of civil and politic 
facts, the Revolution summarised and concluded the 
Christian Age. 


Christianity, setting aside its conception of heave 
and its slow ingrafting of dogma, and considering it in 
its historical relation with other religions, is, as I have 
said, the religion of the individual; and this constitutes 
its vital essence, its mission. 

In the slow and progressive development of the great 
formula of the Universe, the supreme word of which is 
Unity, and which assigns to all of us for a final end the 
conquest of the moral Unity of Humanity, so Ithat each 
one of us may one day reflect the conception of the Law 
given us, — in this development. Historical Tradition 
(when we regard it, not with the presumptuous ignorance 
of modern materialists, but with the reverent attention 
due to the representation of our collective life, the sole 
standard from which we can deduce and verify the con- 
ception of the Law that governs it) shows us a series 
of great ages, all hall-marked and defined by a religion, 
all intended to concentrate human activity on the evolu- 


French Revolution of 1789 263 

lion of one of the essential elements of the world's 
problem, God, Nature, the Individual, Humanity. Every 
age reveals, in part at least, a new term of the formula, 
and points to a new goal for the forces of the intellect 
Every religion pours a fresh drop of the universal life 
into the human souL 

Of the ancient religions of the East, some had con- 
ceived of God as solitary, supreme, beyond the reach 
of human intellect, menacing as Fate ; others, as some- 
times blessing, sometimes cursing Nature. All of them 
neglected man; none suspected the ray of the divine 
id^ that is in him, the bond that joins him to the 
Infinite. On one side was an immense, inscrutable force, 
on the other, an immense, unconscious, passive weak- 
ness ; and, between the two. Love had not yet traced 
with its wings a bridge for possible union. The East 
had expressed God done; man lay crushed, a slave, 
the sport of an inexorable Fate, or of the caprices of 
the deified forces of Nature. 

The polytheistic religions expressed man, and his 
spontaneous nature. They rescued him from a pantheism 
that oppressed him ; they had glimpses of the fact that in 
the scheme of the universe man had a part ; but they did 
not succeed in defining this part. Ignorant of the unify of 
Life, and its double manifestation in man, individual and 
€0llectrDe\ conscious only of the former, they focussed the 
work of the intellect on the individual, and saw in him 
only the subjective existence of the ego — that is, liberty. 
But without conception of the mission of humanity, un- 
certain as to the end, and therefore as to the means to be 
pursued, the work was arrested, powerless to attain its 
purpose, in the face of a universal fact, — inequality ; and 
they accepted this fact, decreeing by an infallible dogma 
the two natures in men. Greece and Rome nobly 
developed the idea of liberty, but for one class of men 
only. Slaves existed, by the doom of birth or conquest, 
side by side with the citizens. 

The Christian Age came to complete the work begun 
by Polytheism, and to contemplate the individual in hu 
other aspect, in his external, objective, relative existence. 

264 Thoughts on the 

Its principal work was, therefore, to develop the idea of 
quality. The Mosaic religion had already established 
the vital dogma of the divine unity, Christianity appro- 
priated this dogma, and, advancing a step further, withdrew 
it from the privilege of the chosen people in order to 
diffuse it among all peoples. The God of Moses was the 
God of Israel, of the Nation : the God of Christianity was 
the God of men, who were necessarily brothers in Him. 
The slow abolition of slavery was a consequence of the 
triumph of Christianity, of the evangelisation of the slave 
by the priests. The immediate completion of emancipa- 
tion being impossible, except at the risk of grave dangers, 
so barbarised and so brutalised were the slaves, there arose 
under the feudal system an intermediate stage of serfdom \ 
but the Church itself represented in this respect the ideal. 
As the guardian of that portion of the Moral Law which 
the times permitted, she abolished in her own ranks the 
Vitality of birth and the hereditary principle, and made 
merit alone the basis of every ecclesiastical. 

Beyond this Christianity neither did, nor could, 
proceed. The prevalent conception of Life knew no- 
ting of collective Humanity, of the Law of Progress 
diat governs us, of the Historical Tradition that reveals 
it and explains its method^ of the solidarity that exists 
between past, present, and future generations, of the 
unity that binds together earth and heaven, the ideal 
and the real, the infinite and the finite. With aspirations 
towards the future more potent than some think, with a 
worship of the ideal visible in Art, as in all the other 
Christian manifestations of the first thirteen or fourteen 
centuries, Christianity, placed between an end so tre- 
mendous and remote as salvation, or in other words, /^r- 
fection^ and on the other hand the feeble, unequal, isolated, 
finitless powers of the ego, active only for a brief period 
of time, Christianity was driven to two conclusions : 
irst, the impossibility of solving the problem with the 
conditions of this life as they were then known ; and next, 
the necessity for the intervention of a superior power 
independent of all law, in order to overcome the 
immense disparity between the end and the means. 


French Revolution of 1789 265 

Hence the divinity given to Jesus ; grace ; the contempt 
of earthly things ; the insufficiency of works ; the ardent 
longing for heaven, which is the source of prayer, of 
isolation, of renunciation of the visible world, not of 
association, or the progressive transformation of the 
elements in which we live, or self-sacrifice to incarnate 
so much of the ideal as is possible here below ; hence the 
divorce between the visible and the invisible world, 
between the life on earth and a kingdom of Justice and 
Love to be realised only in Heaven. Christianity re- 
ceived the idea of liberty that Paganism had worked out, 
added the idea of equality, and preached charity to the 
brethren ; but it was a liberty purely spiritual ; an equality 
of souls before God ; a charity to be exercised between 
individual and individual only, and a part of the / 
renunciation of earthly goods rather than an attempt to 
suppress the causes of pain and evil. Religion was not 
life, but a reward promised for a life to be accepted on 
the earth such as it was. 

I am speaking of Christianity, not of Catholicism, which 
was at first a form of Christianity, then a deviation from 
it Even Protestantism, which was generally supposed 
to be a Revolution, and which many believed a pro- 
gressive movement in Christianity, was practically nothing 
more than a protest in favour of intellectual liberty, that 
had been systematically violated by the Papacy ; and, in 
a higher sense, an evidence, little understood by the Re- 
formers themselves, of the slow extinction of the Christian 
age. Sixteen centuries had exhausted the vigour of the 
Christian philosophy. The human spirit was bound to 
move again towards another and vaster philosophy; 
hence the necessity for a strong assertion of the in- 
dividual, and for that right of private judgment without 
which every attempt to pass the limits of the old belief 
would have failed. Protestantism unconsciously asserted 
it. And that was its sole mission in the world ; it did 
not pass beyond the boundary of the age. The 
sovereignty of the individual — arbitrarily confined within 
the limits of the Bible — ^was its last word, re-echoed itl 
the Arts the Economics, the Politics that it inaugurated. 


266 Thoughts on the 

Fiance took on herself the task to conclude the Age 
of the individual^ which was sterilised and moribund, by 
two more centuries of dissolution. She summarised its 
conquests, its principles, its characteristics, and trans- 
lated them practically into the sphere of civil life. 

Did she cross the boundary ? 

Did she initiate the new Age ? 

IV ^ 

leas rule the world and its events. A Revolution is 
le passage of an idea from theory io practice. Whatei 
men have said, material interests never have ca,used, 
and never will cause, a Revolution. Extreme po^ 
financial ruin, oppressive or imequal taxation, may 
provoke risings that are more or less threatening or 
violent, but nothing more. Revolutions have Sieir 
origin in the mind, in the very root of life ; not in the 
body, in the material organism. A Religion or a 
philosophy lies at the base of every Revolution. This 
is a truth that can be proved from the whole historic 
tradition of Humanity. 

Now, what were Uie ruling ideas in the period im- 
mediately preceding the Revolution? What were the 
doctrines that hovered over its cradle? What was it 
that inspired and baptized its development and the 
various parties that promoted it ? Did they go beyond 
the confines of the Age of the individual and his rightsl^ 
Did they initiate the Age of Duty ; and of Association^ 
the only means of fulfilling Duty ? 

Three men, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, com- 
prehended the whole intellectual movement of the 
eighteenth century, and exercised a visible and predomi- 
nant influence on the development of the Revolution : 
Montesquieu, on the ideas of the Constituent Assembly ; 
Rousseau, on the men of the Convention; Voltaire, 
on the beginnings of the movement and certain general 
tendencies that reappear intermittently to recall his name, 
and the indefatigable war he waged for fifty years against 
the traditions of the Church and the caprice of despotism. 

French Revolution of 1789 267 

Voltaire's genius was quick, subtle, acute, analytic, 
encyclopaedic, but not profound; he was moved by 
good and philanthropic instincts rather than by strong 
and reasoned moral beliefs; a warrior rather than an 
apostle; a hater of evil rather than a worshipper of 
goody too much extolled by some, too much depreciated 
by others, Voltaire founded no doctrine, but, as I 
have said, popularised tendencies, — tendencies that 
existed already, and were almost innate in the French 
genius, but to which he gave new force and clothed 
in noble language, — ^tendencies which leak out in a 
number of the events of the Revolution, and, excepting 
the more rigid puritans of the Mountain, from Camille 
Desmoulins to Barres, influence, one might say, every 
actor of the period. They were philanthropic tendencies, 
inspired by momentary impulses of kindness rather than 
by a conception of life, and of its law, — ^tendencies of a 
vague, sterile, superficial deism, which relegated God to 
heaven and sundered His undying connection with the 
world, and which was merely a compromise between 
the tradition still extant in the popuUu: mind, and the 
scepticism that, however covertly, dominated Voltaire 
and his followers, — tendencies of antagonism to every 
imposed authority, to every form of superstition and 
fanaticism, but bom rather of a sense of rebellion natural 
to one who thinks^ than of faith in the destinies of those 
who have yet to Uam to think, — tendencies that wor- 
shipped the rights of reason, but only for those indi- 
viduals who by good fortune and education can share 
in them, and which were mingled with some spirit of 
contempt for the masses, a spirit which afterwards 
founded the fatal distinction between the popular 
and the bourgeois classes, — ^tendencies of equality, 
but confined, as in the philosophy of the ancients, to 
one order of men, regardless of the rest. I have 
mentioned the bourgeois class, and Voltaire was, in 
fact, consciously or unconsciously, the teacher and 
master of the bourgeoisie^ and his influence was al!^ 
powerful in the acts that, in the period just before 
the Revolution traced the first lines of a division 

268 Thoughts on the 

that has been more recently organised into a system, 
by Guizot and the French eclectic school: the 
bourgeoisie of the two Bourbon Revolutions idolised 
him. A man of impulses, of intuitions, rapid but 
short-lived, of enthusiasm, intellectual rather than moral, 
Voltaire, who displayed rare humanity in his efforts to 
clear the memory of Galas and the Sirven family, 
was flatterer at once of the Empress Catherine and 
ELing Frederic of Prussia. He sanctified their crimes ; 
he burlesqued, in low comic verse, the heroic resistance 
of the Poles to the dismemberment of their Fatherland. 
An apostle of toleration in religious matters, he was 
the type of intolerance towards all his enemies, and 
capable of using any weapon, even calumny, to their 
prejudice. He waged a relentless, rabid war against 
Catholicism, and when threatened with death wrote a 
declaration of catholic faith and repentance. I >write 
this as a debt to my own conscience, and because^ I see 
arising among our young men, who have neither studied 
all his works nor his life, an intemperate and dai^ierous 
admiration for him; but it is more important to my 
present purpose to note how Voltaire destroyed pre- 
judices and errors, but neither built nor cared for the 
future. iHe had no perception (his historical works 
and his ftheory that great events depend upon little 
causes prove this) of a Law dominating the life of 
Humanity, no perception of Progress, of a human 
mission, of Duty, of Association, or of anything that 
constitutes tpe end and the method of the new Era that 
we invoke. iHe recognised no standard of good except 
in the right} of the tndividua/. And like all who start 
from the idea of rigat alone, he could not help being 
forced to give the preference to rights already existing 
and recognised. He declared that '*a State being a 
collection of lands and houses, those who possessed 
neither land nor house ought not to have any delibera- 
tive voice in the management of public affairs." In 
one of the most beautiful moments of his long life, 
he gave full expression to the idea that guided him, 
when he uttered, under guise of a blessing on Franklin's 

French Revolution of 1789 269 

young son, the sacred but insufficient words — God and 
Libefty\ a formula that opens the way to a possible 
initiative^ but does not itself initiate. Liberty is a 
mere instrument of gi>od or evil according to the path 
it chooses. 

Montesquieu, a more profound thinker than Voltaire, 
though less profound than some say, was the chief 
of a political school that had for its disciples, in the 
first period of the Revolution, Monnier, Malouet, and 
many others in the Assembly; Rivarol,^ Bergasse, 
Mallet Dupan,* and others in the periodical press. 
The influence of the ideas he expounded in the Esprit 
des Lois is visible in the acts of the Constituent 

His influence lay in his historical studies of antiquity, 
that would be thought superficial at the present day, 
but then appeared vast and almost unique. His in- 
tellect was acute, and swift in seizing the salient points 
of things ; his aspirations were advanced ; the expression 
of his thoughts vigorous. Montesquieu was at times 
unconsciously impelled, by his native logic, near to the 
unknown confines of the new Age ; but he was hindered 
by his lack of any religious conception of the life of 
Humanity, by the prevailing theory T^f the ebb and flow 
of Nations, perhaps, too, by the inevitable influences of 
a semi-patrician birth and the conditions of office ; and 
so he retreated ever more and more towards the old 
Age, and never, even in his most daring flights, crossed 
the limits of a period that began the transition. For an 
instant he caught a glimpse of the t|Fue definition of 
liberty^ when he said that it consisted "in being able 
to do what one ought to will, and in not being con- 
strained to do what one ought fiot to will " (Book iQ. 
c. iii). But this was a momentary flash, an isolate)' 
saying, whose consequences he was unable to deduce.^ 
He suspected the existence of a general end^ common to 
humanity, and a special end, belonging to each nation ; 
but he was incapable of rising from that glimpse of an 
idea to the conception of a providential mission. He^ 

• AnM'difApotns, * Mtreun Poiiiiqus, 

270 Thoughts on the 

notes "that the object of Rome wzs aggrandisement; 
of Lacedemonia, war ; of the Judaic laws, religion ; of 
Marseilles, commerce; of the barbarians, natural liberty "; 
but he never saw that those /acts were only means to 
reach the end, and that the appointed end is general 
progressive civilisation, the slow formation of a collective 
human unify. It is clear from twenty passages that 
he feels in his soul the superiority of the republican 
form of government to all others ; and yet, finding no 
body of principles that convert the intuition of the 
moment into a demonstrated truth, he concludes by 
labouring to teach how a monarchy may be durably 
established. He too, in all his researches, starts only 
from the individual, and so, like all who have no other 
criterion of Truth, he can only grasp the notion of right. 
For him, as for the other philosophic thinkers of the 
time, there are rights consecrated by the fact of their 
existence, by prolonged possession ; and the political pro- 
gramme is reduced to efforts to find a place for them in 
the social organism, and to seek an impossible equili- 
brium that shall preserve the peace among them, and 
prevent one right from doing violence to another. Placed 
between a monarchy that said "France is mine," an 
aristocracy powerful by past domination and an exclusive 
influence over the monarchy, and the first threatening 
murmurings of the Tiers Mtat^ Montesquieu did not 
pretend to pass judgment on those three forces, or 
ascertain the sum of vitality that existed in each, and 
which was doomed to early death, which destined to 
long life in the future. They existed^ and he accepted 
them, consecrating the labour of his intellect to co- 
ordinate their existence and functions in the organisation 
of the State. His ideal was the English system, the 
result, not of any conception of political philosophy, 
but of a unique historical development of causes and 
effects which existed nowhere else. His theory is that 
which we have seen in practice for more than half a 
century under the name of constitutional monarchy, 
where the search for an equilibrium between the three 
elements of Crown, and Nobility, and Commons, has 

French Revolution of 1789 271 

everywhere condemned the peoples to alternate between 
stagnation, reaction, and periodic revolution. 

The problem, therefore, in the Esprit des Lois is 
vitiated by a fundamental error. Montesquieu labours 
heavily about the distinction between the three Powers, 
legislative, executive, and judiciary, and makes this the 
cardinal point of the whole question ; he thus, by ex- 
aggerating this distinction, destroys the conception of 
National Unity. The real, the sole, the vital question 
should be, for him as for us all, the question of 
Sovereignty ; what is its origin, and where its interpreta- 
tion is to be sought with the least uncertainty and the 
greatest probability. 

There does not, and ought not to exist more than 
one Law ; it is its application to the diverse branches 
of social life that implies a distinction in the higher 
branches of the administration between the different 
functions delegated to provide for its execution. Just 
as the exaggeration of the triple aspect of life in God 
changed little by little the three different aspects of divine 
action into Tliee Persons, and founded a Tri-theism 
in religion opposed to the conception of Unity, so the 
theory of rights, and hence of acquired rights, impellej 
Montesquieu to discover powers where they did not 
exist, and found a political Tri-theism which has sur- (^ 
vived even to this day, and impairs every conception 
of national organisation. Having raised these social 
elements to Powers, he confers on them attributes which 
suffice to break up the harmony of the State. He was 
confronted by the danger, either of antagonism between 
the three powers, or compulsory stagnation; but he 
replied with superficial carelessness, " that, as they were 
urged forward by the necessary movement of things, they 
would be constrained to move in unison." 

Montesquieu abounds in false ideas respecting the 
hereditary nature of the aristocracy, the function of 
the monarchy, the rights conceded to the executive over 
the legislative, and many other questions. But it is not 
my task to notice them. It is sufficient for my purpose to 
have reminded my readers of the thought that dominates 

272 Thoughts on the 

bis conceptions. He has no criterion outside that 
of the individual. He reaches no formula of political 
organisation beyond that of rights* He has no scope, 
no mission to suggest for the State, except liberty^ and 
by liberty he understands, in the general course of his 
work, nothing more than " the citizen's consciousness of 
his own safety, and of having nothing to fear from any 
other citizen." Political science is therefore narrowed 
to a science of limits^ of mutual defence. And the 
government, deprived of any other mission, is to use 
the force of society to watch that those limits are 
overstepped by violence. A Religious conception, the 
Law of Progress, Duty, Association, the end assigned to 
Humanity and to each People, collective Education, 
and the office of the Press to gradually promote the 
unity of the human family, everything, in short, that is 
characteristic of the Age we call for, is unknown to the) 
man who inspired the Constituent Assembly. 

Montesquieu was neither inspirer nor prophet of 

He summarised, with singular acumen, the conditions 
and consequences of political laws as he found them, 
incomplete or in partial activity, in the period in which 
he lived. He sketched in outline, not always, but 
frequently exact, the existing tradition, but nothing 
more. When we point to him, at the present time, as 
the master of future legislation, we commit the same 
error as when we make poor Machiavelli the guardian of 
the cradle of reborn Italy — Machiavelli, who anatomised 
the dead body of old Italy and showed the wounds that 
caused her death; when we take Adam Smith — who 
was but the wise exponent of the .laws that governed the 
economic phenomena of his time — ^and make him the 
founder of an immutable science, the teacher of an Age 
in which the economic relations between class and class 
are hastening to an inevitable change. 

Rousseau, the inspirer of the Convention, followed 
another road, but without passing the confines of the 
Age that France was preparing to summarise. A poor 
plebeian, without deep study of the past, abhorring the 

French Revolution of 1789 273 

times in the consciousness of his own superiorityi and 
for the exaggerated demands of Society as he found it, 
he, on ihe great political questions of the day, questioned 
only his own intelligence and the intuitions of the 
heart His intelligence was more powerful than that of 
Montesquieu ; his heart was led astray by a leaven of 
egotism that too often soured his natural inclination to 
good ; and both together drove him to the principle that 
takes its birth, if not its consecration, from hun — ^the 
principle of popular sovereignty. A true principl< 
considered as the best method of interpreting a supretne 
Moral Law which a nation has accepted as its guide, 
which is solemnly declared in its Contract and transmitted 
by National Education ; but a false and anarchical principle 
if proclaimed in the name of force, or in the name of a 
Convention, and abandoned to the caprice of majoriti< 
uneducated and corrupted by a false conception of life. 

For Rousseau, the popular sovereignty remained 
these last terms, uncertain, ineffective, shifting. He, too, 
had no conception of the collective life of Humanity, of 
its tradition, of the Law of Progress appointed for the 
generations, of a common end towards wluch we ought to 
strive, of Association that can alone attain it step by step. 
Starting from the philosophy of the ego and of individual 
liberty, he robbed that principle of fruit by basing it, 
not on a Duty common to ally not on a definition of man 
as an essentially social creature, not on the conception 
of a divine Authority and a providential design, not on 
the bond that unites the individual to Humanity of 
which he is a factor, but on a simple conoention^ avowed 
or understood. All Rousseau's teaching proceeds from 
the assertion "that social right is not derived from 
nature, but is based upon conventions." ^ He drives this 
doctrine so far as to comprehend the family itself within 
it ''Sons," he says, "do not remain united to their 
fathers except so long as they have need of them for 
their preservation. . . . From that time forth the £unily 
is only maintained in virtue of a convention." 

From the doctrine that recognises the rights of the 

' Cmirmi Sociml, in the first chapter!. 

274 Thoughts on the 

contracting individuals as the only source of social life, 
nothing could result but a political system capable of 
protecting, within the limits of a narrow possibility, the 
liberty and equality of each citizen ; and Rousseau has 
no other programme. "The aim of every system of 
legislation " — these are his very words — " reduces itself 
to two principal objects, liberty and equality " (Book II. 
c. xi.) ; and earlier, in c. iv. of Book I., " to find a form 
of society that shall defend znd protect with all the collec- 
tive forces the person and the property of each associate, 
and in which each one, uniting himself to all, shall obey 
only himself and remain as free as he was before : this is 
the fundamental problem." Stated in these terms, the 
problem contains neither the elements of normal pro- 
gress nor the possibility of solving the social economic 
question that is so prominently agitating men's minds 
in our time. An isolated sentence in the book seems to 
lay down the principle that " no citizen ought to be rich 
enough to be in a position to buy another ; none poor 
enough to be constrained to sell himself"; this is just, 
but it does not connect itself with the general bearing 
of the principles he expounds, nor is there any indication 
how it may be reduced to fact. It is of little importance 
that in many particulars he is superior to every othar I 
thinker of that period. The Society of Rousseau, like / 
^, that of Montesquieu, is a mutual insurance society, and / 

-y nothing more. / 

That first statement, the key of the whole S3rstem, vf- 
by now proven to be false ; and, because false, fatal to 
the development of the principle of popular Sovereignty. 

/ It is not by the force of conventions or of aught else, but 
by a necessity of our nature that Societies are founded 
and grow. Each of us is a part of Humanity, each of us 
lives its life, each is called upon to live for it, to aid the 
attainment of the end assigned to it, to realise, as far as 
possible in each one of us, the ideal type, the divine 
thought that guides it. Law is one and the same for 
kidividual and collective life, both of which are the ex- 
pression of a single universal phenomenon, differently 
modified by space and time. And life, we know now. 

French Revolution of 1789 275 

18 Progress. If you throw over Moral Authority, our 
natural tendencies, our mission, and substitute the merely 
human authority of conventions as the source of soci^ 
development, you risk arresting that development, or 
subjecting it to arbitrary caprice. And since you need 
the consent of all tlie contracting parties to dissolve these 
conventions and make a change for the better, you are 
threatened, on the one hand by the power of every 
minority, logically indeed of every individual, to stop 
you; on the other hand, inasmuch as the prolonged 
existence of a /act pre-supposes, at all events, a tacit 
convention, you are threatened by the necessity of per- 
petuating rights and powers that are not founded on 
justice, or conducive to the common good. No " man " 
has, you say, " natural authority over his fellows : Might 
cannot create right ; therefore conventions are left as the 
only basis of legitimate authority." But is there not an 
authority higher than any man, in the True, the Just, 
the end which we have set before us and which we are 
bound above all things to discover ? Is not some of that 
authority passed on to the people or to that fraction of 
the people which is its best interpreter? And, to dis- 
cover that endy do we not possess the double criterion 
supplied when the Tradition of Humanity and the 
conscience of our times both harmonise? And for a 
method of practical verification, can we not examine 
whether this item of discovered truth profits or not the 
common progress ? Rousseau believed in God, but in 
his study of human phenomena he continually forgot 

Rousseau believed in God. He believed — and it is 
well to remind of this those republican materialists who 
venerate the Contrat Social — that a State could not be 
established without having religion for its foundation. 
And he pushed this belief to the fanaticism of intolerance, 
declaring (Book IV. c viii.) that the Sovereign power 
could exile from the state all who disbelieved in God and 
Immortality, and condemn any citizen to death who, 
after publicly confessing his belief in those dogmas, by 
his subsequent conduct convicted himself of deliberate 

276 Thoughts on the 

fiUsehood. But he confined himself within a narrow 
deism that placed God far oflf in heaven, and never under- 
\stood his universal, never-dying life manifested in Crea- 
\ ' tion ; he was ignorant of the Law of Progress — the sole 
but potent and living mediator between God and 
Humanity; he was fettered by the individualist philo- 
sophy; he had no glimpse of any religion besides 
Christianity; and so he was incapable of deducing and 
applying the logical consequences of his faith to Society. 
Like Voltaire and Montesquieu, Rousseau was not the 
intellectual herald of an Age. His conception, thoug] 
more daring, more explicit, more advanced than theirs, 
never passes the limits of the individualist world, 
\ J elaborated by the Pagan-Christian Age. The influence of 
the three schools with which these names are associated 
could not push the Revolution beyond those limits, to 
the World of Progress and Association for which we arej 
now fighting. 


Did France collectively effect what these three great 
and influential thinkers failed to eflect? Did she, by 
virtue of enthusiasm, cross the boundaries of that world 
within which their doctrines were confined ? Often, like 
intuition in the individual. Insurrection (which is the 
intuition of a people, the concentration of all the faculties 
harmoniously directed to a given point), advances further 
than the slow, peaceful, solitary labour of the intellect 
The electric spark, set fi:ee when the masses are kindled 
by a common aspiration and suddenly rise to self-sacrifice 
and victory, flashes more strongly through the darkness, 
and Illumines a horizon more distant than what the pale, 
steady light of the sage's lamp reveals. Let us see if this 
was so. ^^^^ 

The best method of gauging the value of a Revolution'*''^ 
is to thoroughly scrutinise the series of solemn declara- 
tions made in its name by the collective authorities, 
freely chosen by the people to represent the movement, 
or by the extra-legal movements of the people itself, when 
they announce a determined end, and leave a mark that 

French Revolution of 1789 277 

points in the direction of the future. Every revolution 
has, by the very nature of things, isolated geniuses out- 
side its own orbit. They are the aerolites of the moral 
world, and give indications of important eccentric 
phenomena, but teach us nothing as to the path of the 
planet To select, as some do, from a speech of Claude 
Fauchet or St. Just, a chance unconscious phrase, in 
contradiction with the whole, and argue from it the spirit 
of the Revolution, is to falsify the historic significance 
of great events ; it is to mistake the aerolite for the 

The first solemn declaration of the spirit of the Revolu- 
tion is seen in the Instructions given by the electoral 
colleges to the deputies that represented the three orders, 
Clergy, Nobles, and Third Estate, in the States-General 
The members elected numbered 1200; 600 for the 
Third Estate, 300 for each of the privileged orders. The 
electors, who voted indirectly, in two removes, for the 
Third Estate and the lower Clergy, and directly for 
the remaining members, reached the total of six 

Since the time of Louis XIV. France had been suffer- 
ing a material and^oral decadence. Morally, the 
insolent, brazen corruption of the Court under the 
R^ency of Philip of Orleans and Louis XV. had in- 
fected the nobility and the higher bourgeoisie. The 
luxury, the decay in morals, the arbitrary rule of the 
Government and men of position was unbounded ; one 
would be tempted to say that the details given us were 
lies invented by historians, were they not confirmed by 
contemporary documents. It is not my purpose to re- 
peat them here; but the squandering of money, which, 
from the time of Louis XIV. to the Regency, had run 
up the debt of France to three milliards, explains how 
a hundred servants were often collected in a single 
palace, how 150,000 firancs were spent annually in dinners 
alone by a financier, Samuel Bernard, just as the seraglio 

* France— I could with that the Italians, to-day bowed down before her 
becauae she was able to fieht and vanqaisn Europe, should remember this 
— nnmbered then twenty-nTC millions of inhabitants. 

278 Thoughts on the 

of young girls, bought or kidnapped for the king,^ since 
the days of Pompadour, explains the private life of the 
aobles, of whom fifteen out of twenty did not live with 
their wives; and as the fifty State prisons, nearly all 
governed by Jesuits, into which the inmates entered 
for an indefinite time, without trial, and in virtue of 
a royal or ministerial order that the minister often gave 
away in blank or sold, explains the custom of fathers to 
imprison at times sons to be rid of the annoyance of 
a projected marriage, or of wives who thus escaped the 
•ver-watchful eyes of unloved husbands. Just as a lesion 
of the brain afflicts the whole organism with disease, 
so a corrupt monarchy, slowly but inevitably, corrupts 
the whole country. In the meantime, in contrast with 
this life in high places, poverty and misery had increased 
among the people, and most markedly among the culti- 
vators of the soil, to a degree that would appear in- 
credible, if we had not at hand the testimonies of men 
of all classes, men who were more than moderate in 
their views, from Bossuet to F^ndon, from Vauban to 
Bois-Guillebert, from the reports of the Intendants of the 
Provinces to those of the Minister Argenson. Specu- 
lators, seconded by the Government and the more 
covetious courtiers, traded on this misery, and had 
organised what was termed by contemporaries the Pact 
§f Hunger. By a series of market operations the whole 
com of the country was exported, and when the 
premium paid on exportations had been received, the 
whole stock was accumulated in Jersey or Guernsey 
and other depots, and sold again, when the needs of 
the people had reached their greatest extremity, at very 
high prices, as though it had arrived from America. 

From such conditions, with these causes for indigna- 
tion long repressed, there arose unexpectedly, suddenly, 
by the convocation of the States-General, which the 
urgent need of money had wrested from the king, a 
people of six millions, that gave voice to its wants in 
the Instructions. The frenzied, tortured soul of France 
and the character of the movement then beginning, 

* Pate aux Csrf; 

French Revolution of 1789 279 

were bound to be plainly revealed in them. And the 
Instructions — ^the Cahiers as they were termed in France 
— did reveal them. The Revolution, irritated by the 
many-sided opposition, developed a prodigious energy 
in the means it adopted to obtain satisfaction for the 
popular demands, but in substance, hardly, if at all, 
advanced beyond them. 

The Instructions express an immense aspiration for 
liberty and civil equality. The individual, violated, 
repressed, downtrodden for centuries, panted for life, and 
asserted itself i n the popular Propframme g ivftn to th^ 
Revolution. But mat rrogramme does not contradlcf 
the fundamental proposition of my article. It is not the 
programme of the new Age, that we who love, fight, and 
hope foresee to-day. It is not based on a new definitioA 
of Life. It does not initiate \ it reasons out, and 
summarises previous acquisitions of the intellect, which 
had been left sterile and inoperative in the sphere of 
facts. It does not escape from the circle of Christian 
inspirations ; it only demands, like the Hussites, the cup 
for all that the rewards promised in heaven shall be / 

realised upon the earth, that the dogma of the salvation j 

of the individual by means of individual Yfoxks shall have 
an application in this world. 

The Instructions of the Nobility are naturally inferior 
to the others. A breath of equality is, however, felt at 
times in their pages. They demand an equal distribution 
of taxes, the abolition of exceptional tribunals, uniformity 
of penalties for all, the abolition of ferocious punish- 
ments, the publicity of criminal trials. Some few among 
the localities suggest that all men of worth should be 
admitted to public offices. Three, Peronne, Montdidier 
and Roye, suggest that judges should be nominated by 
the king from lists drawn up by the people. But the 
old spirit shortly afterwards turns up, dominant, in the 
demand for the maintenance of seigneurial justice, of the 
exclusive right of hunting in feudal lands, of the exclusion 
of the non-noble from the higher military ranks, etc., and 
by these exceptions cancels their scanty instincts for good. 

The Instructions of the Clergy, of the lower Clergy 

28o Thoughts on the 

especially, are better; more frequently, so powerful is 
^e influence even of worn-out and corrupt religion, 
inspired by a love of the people and a sense of more 
advanced equality. In many localities they demand a 
system of National Education, not to be left to local 
caprice, but based on uniform principles approved by 
the States-General, and also free schools for both sexes 
in every commune. In some they demand the erection 
of hospitals in the richer communes, and, what is of more 
importance, the exemption from taxation of men who 
live by their daily toil; in others, measures in favour 
of public morality, a most righteous suppression of pub- 
lications tending to corrupt it, and the repression of 
prostitution ; in others again, the emancipation of the 
negroes. Politically they demand the permanency of 
the States-General, or their convocation at least every 
five years, ministerial responsibility, the abolition of all 
exceptional tribunals, the foimdation of Boards of 
Arbitration, the inviolability of the secrecy of the Post, 
municipal freedom, and the election of communal magis- 
trates by the people, the codification of the law, pubhcity 
of justice, the mitigation and equalisation of punishments, 
the abolition of judicial torture, of confiscation and 
banishment ; next — ^from a spirit of antagonism to the 
nobility, which the latter reciprocated — ^the abolition of 
feudal rights, of caste privileges, and every monopoly of 
public offices. In religious matters the cleigy confessed 
the decay of discipline and the need of reform ; and 
some of them indicate as a remedy the convocation 
of a National Council and Provincial Synods; others, 
that plurality of benefices should be abolished, that the 
clergy should be compelled to reside in their cures, that 
all titles to office should be derived from merit and virtue ; 
some few recall the old popular elections and prefer the 
restriction of episcopal authority. None the less, the 
exclusive Catholic conception betrays itself and entirely 
dominates the Instructions, destroying at once the good 
results of the measures they ask for. The clergy demand 
that education shall be entrusted solely to the religious 
orders, that the University shall not receive professors 

French Revolution of 1789 281 

unless proved to be adherents of the Catholic faith, that 
the censorship shall be maintained for all publications, 
that an ecclesiastical committee shall have the power 
to condemn any books opposed to the teaching of the 
Church, and that the Government shall then proceed to 
suppress them, that Catholicism shall be recognised 
as the sole and dominant religion, that certain provisions 
be made to the prejudice of non-Catholics, that the con- 
cessions of civil rights and marriage given to the 
Protestants by the edict of 1787 be revoked. 

But the two privileged oiders could not express the 
feeling of tiie Nation : the Third Estate alone could 
do that. And, taken generally, the Instructions of the 
Third Estate affirm the sovereignty of the Nation, the 
necessity of a Declaration of Rights, of the convocation 
of the States-General independently of the will of any 
individual, the inviolability of the Deputies, and the 
responsibility of Ministers ; next, freedom of conscience, 
freedom of the Press, freedom of internal trade, indi- 
vidual liberty, suppression of State prisons and of 
exceptional jurisdictions. Jurors are to be the judges 
of fact^ indemnity is to be made to any prisoner 
declared to be innocent, the law is to be codified, 
property is to be equally divided among children, 
entail to be abolished. Such are the demands of the 
several localities. Others claim an equal distribution of 
taxation, assessment by the provincial Estates, journey- 
men being exempt; others, the uniformity of weights 
and measures, the establishment of discount banks 
wherever the commercial conditions are favourable 
boards of arbitration, free justice, a commercial code \ 
others, the organisation of a public health department, 
hospitals, foundling asylums, the direction of education 
to the double purpose of developing in the pupils 
a strong physical constitution and a knowledge of the 
principles necessary to man and the French citizen; 
some few demand that ecclesiastical offices be filled 
by popular election, that the religious orders shall be 
totally or partially suppressed, that tithes shall be re- 
duced, lotteries and gaming establishments abolished 

282 Thoughts on the 

they ask for the erection of country hospitals, oflSces 
for charitable relief, work for the able-bodied, aid to the 
sick, loans on easy terms to workmen and to cultivators 
of the soil. 

On this magnificent programme, of which I only 
give a rapid sketch, was superimposed, in the Instruc- 
tions of iht three orders, the twofold dogma of the 
Christian world — Catholicism and Monarchy. The 
former was declared the religion of the State, — the 
latter asserted to be inseparable from the life of the 
Nation, hereditary and inviolable. 

But not one of the reforms they indicated advances 
beyond what I call the doctrine of the individual and 
of the Age from which we are trying to escape to-day. 
The conception of Life from which all those Instruc- 
tions emanated was identical with that which I have 
already shown as inspiring the Encyclopaedists, and 
Montesquieu, and Rousseau. The end of human exist- 
ence is for all of them material well-beings the means 
to reach it, liberty. They desire the inviolability of 
conscience, of the expression of thought, of action, of 
private correspondence, because "the natural liberty 
of each man, his personal security, his absolute inde- 
pendence from all authority except that of the written 
law, require it." Liberty in the Instructions given by 
Nemours and other localities is stated to be " the right 
of each man to do without hindrance whatever does 
not injure his fellow-men." "Men," say the Instruc- 
tions of Nivemais and Rennes, "have only renounced 
the use of private force that they may be more effec- 
tively protected by public force, and this is the only 
source of the reciprocal obligations of citizens ; of citizens 
towards Society, of Society towards them." From Paris, 
Marseilles, Nemours, M^rindol, Aurons, St. Vaast, Rosny, 
St Sulpice, Villers-Cotterfits, from twenty other places 
there appears with one voice the ruling principle of 
the Instructions, that " natural rights " shall constitute the 
" basis of the Government of France," that the " preserv- 
ation of rights " is the " sole object " of political societies. 

This idea is so universal that it induces them to reject 

French Revolution of 1789 28' 

conscription in the organisation of the army, and to 
substitute voluntary enlistment, thus destroying, from 
reverence for the rights of the individual, one of the 
most sacred duties of a citizen, the duty of defending 
the Fatherland by arms ; and it impels theid to propose 
the abolition of the oath to defendants, to speak the 
Truth, from respect for the right of defence ii 
individual, forgetting that it is the duty of every man, 
whether accused or not, to speak the Truth. 

The acts of the Revolution will, I hope, demonstrate 
how this conception condemned it, in its first long 
stage, to waste its forces in the search for an impossible 
harmony between two opposing principles, and in a 
system oi guarantees^ ineffectual in practical organisation, 
instead of the positive and educational function of the 
Government. Now, this is the only vital point to be 
noted* The Instructions, important as they are, and 
based in great part on truth, show a consciousness, 
neither of the mission of life, nor of a collective end, 
nor of the law of Progress as a method^ nor of association 
as a means, nor of aught else that passes beyond the 
horizon dimly viewed from the Christian heaven, or tlie 
science of the individual. 

: / 


This essay was translated by Miss L. Martinean, and published in the 
Forinigkily JRevinv, lune, 1870. ** After Mentana he (Mazzini) left Londcni 
ag^in lor Lug'ano to be nearer his work, and was constantly passing badk- 
wards and forwards between there and Genoa, finding time among: it al 
tt> write his great relieious apoloey. the sum of all bis teaching, * From iIm 
OMDCil to God."*— IfassiMt, by Bolton King, page sij. 


A Letter to the Members of the (Ecumenical Council 

One thousand five hundred and forty-four years ago, 
the first (Ecumenical Council of believers in the religion 
of Jesus met together at Nice. You are now met 
together in a new Council — your last — in Rome. The 
first Council was the solemn and venerable consecration 
of the triumph and organised unity of the religion 
needed by the age. The present Council — whatever ^ 
you intend by it — will proclaim the great fact of the V^ 
death of a religion, and, therefore, of the inevitable and A 
not distant advent of another. I 

Thirty-seven years ago I wrote certain pages entitled, I 
From the Pope to the Council. In those pages — ^mis- / 
understood, as usual, by superficial readers — I declared / 
the Papacy to be morally extinct, and invoked the / 
meeting of a Religious Council to declare that fitct to / 
the peoples. But the Council I desired was not yours. / 
It was a Council convoked by a free people, united in / 
worship of duty and of the ideal ; to be composed of / 
the worthiest in intellect and virtue among the believers / 
in things eternal, in the mission of God's creature upon ( 
this earth, and in the worship of progressive truth; ! 
who should meet together for the purpose of religiously 
interrogating the pulsations of the heart of Collective 
Humanity, and to demand of that prophetic but un- 
certain instinct of the future which exists in the peoples : 


288 From the Council to God 

What portions of the old faith art dead within you t 
What portions rf the new faith are wakening into life 
within you t 

At a later period (in 1847), when the same Pope who 
now bids you declare him Infallible was hesitating 
between the suggestions of vanity flattered by popular 
applause and the inherent tendencies of despotic power ; 
when all the Italians, both learned and unlearned, 
frantically endeavoured to make of him their leader in 
their struggle for nationality and liberty ; I alone — ^in a 
letter also misunderstood — ^frankly declared to him the 
truth : that a new faith was destined to take the place of 
the old: that the new faith would not accept any privileged 
yinterpreter between the people and God: and that, if he 
desired to avail himself of the enthusiasm by which he 
was surrounded, and become himself the initiator of the 
new epoch and the new faith, he must descend from 
the Papal throne, and go forth among the people an 
apostle of truth, like Peter the Hermit preaching the 
Crusades. I quote myself, reluctantly, that you may 
know that, in thus addressing you, I am neither moved 
by the hasty impulse of a rebellious soul, nor by foolish 
anger at the Pope's withholding Rome from my country. 
We shall have Rome — even before your fate is sealed — 
so soon as the republican banner is again raised in 
Italy. It is from a profound conviction, matured by 
long and earnest meditation, and confirmed by the 
study and experience of more than a third of a century, 
that, in the face of a Pope who, by his syllabus, has 
thrown his gauntlet of defiance to the idea of the 
progressive mission of humanity in the face of a 
Council composed of the members of one Church only, 
without the intervention of any possible representa- 
tives of the dawning Church of the future, I declare 
to you: 

That your £uth is irrevocably doomed to perish : that, 
whether as promoters of a new schism, if you separate 
on the question of the Pope's pretensions, or as suicidal 
destroyers of the primitive conception of your Church, 
if you submerge it in the arbitrary will of an individual, 

From the Council to God 289 

you are and will be inevitably cut off from, and excom- 
municated by, humanity ; and that we, who are believers 
more than you, and more than you solicitous of a 
religious future of the world, reject beforehand your 
decrees, and appeal from your Council to God ; to God 
the Father and Educator of man ; to the God of life, 
not of things dead ; to the God of all men, not of a 


The three hundred and twenty bishops who met 
together at Nice did lawfully represent the multitude 
of believers : they were the issue of a democratic 
inspiration, which is the soul of every rising faith : they 
were the elect of the clergy and the people. 

You are but a pitiful aristocracy, created and con- 
secrated by power ; and, like the elements of all falling 
institutions, without root in the heart of the Church, 
the people of believers. You represent nothing but 
a hierarchy, the reflex of the thought of others, in 
which every spontaneous thought is regarded as re- 

The majority of the first Council bore upon their 
brows the signs of sacred sorrow felt for the numberless 
races of slaves disinherited of every human right, and 
the traces of persecutions undergone for the sake of the 
faith that promised them emancipation; the greater 
number of them were poor. 

You make display of luxury and wealth — there is no 
sign upon your brows of the sorrows that purify and 
refine ; nor pallor, save that of constant inertia and idle 
ease of indifference to the miseries of millions of 
brothers given to you by God, and to the vital questions 
by which our hearts are tormented. 

In the face of the brute force of the corrupt and 
tottering empire, whose frontiers echoed to the 
threatening footsteps of the barbarians, those bishops 
raised the banner of a moral idea, of a spiritual power. 



290 From the Council to God 

destined to save civilisation, and win over the barbarians 
to its rule. 
* You worship Force; force which, from Prometheus 
to Galileo, has ever sought to enchain the revealers 
and precursors of the future to the motionless rock of 
present fact. Before this force do you bow down 
and preach to the peoples blind submission, even when 
it violates the moral law ; as you invoke its aid, whether 
proffered by infidels to your faith or not, when- 
soever you are threatened in your usurped temporal 

The believers of Nice initiated an era, and blessed 
the peoples congregated at its threshold. You are 
struggling to recommence a worn-out and exhausted 
past, and you curse the generation which will not, 
cannot, follow you in your labour of Sisyphus. 

I am no materialist. Young men of narrow intellect 
and superficial education, but warm-hearted and irri- 
tated to excess against a dead past which still would 
dominate the present; whose vanity is flattered by an 
idea of intellectual daring; who lack capacity to 
discover in that which has been, the law of that which 
shall be, are led to confound the negation of a worn-out 
form of religion, with denial of that eternal religion 
which is innate in the human soul; and in them 
materialism assumes the aspect of a generous rebellion, 
and is often accompanied by power of sacrifice and 
sincere reverence for liberty. But when diffused among 
the peoples, materialism slowly but infallibly extinguishes 
the fire of high and noble thought, as well as every 
spark of fi*ee life, through the exclusive worship of 
material well-being, and finally prostrates them before/^^ 
successful violence, before the despotism of tfcre 
fait accompli. Materialism extinguished every spark^of 
Italian life amongst us three centuries ago ; as, eighteen 
centuries earlier, it had extinguished all republican 
virtue in Rome ; as it would — should it again be infused 
among our multitudes — extinguish every germ of 
future greatness in our newborn Italy. 

Morally, materialism is disinherited of all criterion of 

From the Council to God 291 

right, or principle of collective education. Between the 
idea of an intelligent, preordained law, which assigns 
to human life an aim^ and the idea of a blind, unreason- 
ing, fatal force of facts^ or transitory phenomena, there 
is no middle path ; and materialists, by ignoring the first, 
are necessarily driven to the worship of the second, and 
prostrate themselves, sooner or later, before the des- 
potism (whether its method be Bonapartist bayonets or 
republican guillotines is of little matter) of force. Ad- 
mitting neither a providential conception regulating the 
existence of collective humanity, nor the immortality of 
the individual Ego^ they may, illogically, utter the holy 
words progress and duty; but they have deprived the 
first of its basis, and the second of its source. The 
senseless, brutal doctrine cancels from men's minds the 
only real virtue, sacrifice; for, although individual 
followers of that doctrine may be urged by a religious 
instinct within them to fulfil it, they cannot teach it. 
What avails martyrdom for a holy idea, when all pledge 
of future benefit to the race, or even to the individual 
himself, is destroyed ? Amid the darkness of a world 
deprived of all ideal; in a brief, tormented existence, 
ungovemed by any law save sensation and the appetites 
to which it gives rise, the answer of mankind to every 
moral lesson will be. Egotism. Such has, in fact, been 
their answer in all those periods when a common faith 
has passed away, and given place to the anarchy of cold 
and sterile negations : pattern et circenses : eeuh for himself, '^ 
Interest^ lord of all. 

Scientifically, interest is based upon a periodical 
confusion in meil^s UltTids of the instruments of life 
with life itself; of the manifestations of the Ego^ with 
the Ego itself ; of the consequences and applications of 
thought, with the thinking being itself; of the secondary 
forces revealed in the operation of the organism, with 
the initial force which excites, moderates, examines, 
and compares those operations ; of the limited, transitory, 
relative, and contingent phenomena which alone are 
accessible to the organism, with the life which links 
them all to that absolute and eternal truth which alone 

292 From the Council to God 

gives value and significance to those phenomena; of 
the application of the human faculties to the eternal 
world, with the faculties themselves; of effects, with 
causes ; of the real, with the ideal ; of facts, with the 
law by which they are governed. 

That Ego which reflects upon the phenomena of the 
organism, is not that organism ; that life which forms 
the harmony and unity of the whole, which consciously 
and mindfully directs the special functions towards a 
given aim, is not those functions themselves ; the being 
which ponders of the future, of providence, of God, of 
immortality, of the infinite, of choice between good and 
evil ; which resists the impulse of the senses and denies 
their sway — now in Athens and now on Golgotha ; now 
in the prison of Petroni^ and now on the national 
battle-field, in sacrifice of self — is not those senses 

The experimentalism of those children lisping science 
who call themselves materialists, is but one fragment of 
science ; it simply verifies, through as many facts as it 
can muster, the discoveries of intuition ; those sudden, 
spontaneous discoveries made by the rapid, intense 
concentration of all the faculties upon a given point 
And the facts themselves which, being embraced and 
explained by hypothesis and discovery, demonstrate 
truth, require, in order to be usefully observed, in- 
terpreted and classified, the guidance of a principle^ a 
pre-accepted conception of law. Synthesis, the innate 
supreme faculty of the human soul, illumines the path 
of analysis from on high ; without its aid analysis could 
but stumble uncertainly and impotently along a laby- 
rinth of facts, of aspect and bearing constantly differing 
according to their relation to other facts. 

There is a harmony between the order of things 
and the human mind, pre-existent to all experiment, 
which does but ascertain and define that harmony. 
Equally inaccessible to experiment are man's con- 

* Petroni, a distinRuished lawyer of Bologna, had languished in the 
Papal dungeons since 1853. He was offered a means of escape, but as 
his fellow-prisoners were not included, he decided to remain with them. 

From the Council to God 293 

sciousness of himself, the mode of transmission between 
the inert, inorganic matter and the living and thinking 
matter; the universal, perennial, and dominating in- 
tuition which exists in a limited and imperfect world, 
ruled (according to the materialist theory) by chance, or 
the blind unconscious sequence of &cts, of an ideaJ, a 
conception of indefinite perfectibility ; the power of free 
activity which exists in man ; the undeniable existence 
within us of a something which is not enchained in any 
special organ, but passes from one to another, ex- 
amining, deciding upon, and connecting their operations ; 
and the hourly visible influence of moral force, of will 
upon the material world. 

Experiment may give us the accidents, not the 
essence of things ; to reach that essence, science must 
maintain its connecting link with religion. Without a 
theory or method^ all real, true, and fruitful science is 
impossible. The method is furnished by our conception 
of the aim of life ; the aim, once ascertained, affirms the 
relation between man and humanity, between humanity 
and the universe, the universe and God — law and life. 
Now the iwVw, which is the discovery and progressive 
realisation of the design according to which the universe 
is evidently organised, and of which material laws are 
the means, can only be found through a philosophical 
religious conception. 

Science reveals and masters the material and intellec- 
tual forces given to man wherewith to realise the aim ; 
but the aim itself is determined by the religious synthesis 
of the period ; and the religious synthesis is the sanction 
of the duty of each man to avail himself of those forces 
in furtherance of the aim, according to his faculties. To 
break this union is to render science sterile. Humanity 
pursues a different course, and when the history of 
science shall be rightly written, it will demonstrate that 
to every great religion is attached a corresponding epoch 
of fruitful scientific progress ; and that, although during 
the periods of transition between the fall of one religion 
and the rise of another, Science may discover phe- 
nomena and collect facts which offer materials for the 

294 From the Council to God 

new synthesis, she will misconceive alike their value 
Aand their law, as is the case at the present day. 
/ I Historically, materialism is inexorably) invariably 
' Irepresentative and characteristic of a period of transition 
/between one religious faith and another, when all unity 
/ of conception and of aim being lost, and lost every sense 
/ of a common doctrine and true philosophic method, 
/ human intellect invariably falls back upon the mere 
/ anatomy of facts, refuses the guidance of synthesis, and 
/ is left with one criterion of truth only — the £go disjoined 
/ from Collective Humanity and God — negation and 
/ anarchy. It is but a funeral lamp that dimly illumines 
f a bier, and is only extinguished when, inspired by the 
f breath of the future, the bier is transformed into the 
cradle of the new faith, not ascertained, but invoked by 
the majority, and forefelt to be inevitable and near. 
This moment is approaching more rapidly than is gener- 
ally believed, in spite of all that you men of the past, 
and true prolongers of the disastrous period of tran- 
sition, can do to prevent it. 

Meanwhile materialism denies humanity, in which the 
religious sense, like the artistic and philosophical, is an 
alienable element of life : it denies tradition — the 
harmony of which with the voice of individual inspira- 
tion and conscience is the sole criterion of truth we 
possess on earth: it denies history, which teaches us 
that religions are transitory, but Religion is eternal : it 
denies the solemn witness borne in adoration of God 
and the Ideal, by the long series of our greatest minds, 
from Socrates to Humboldt, from Phidias to Michel- 
Angelo, from iEschylus to Byron : it denies the power 
of revelation innate in man, in order to date the dis- 
covery of truth from the meagre labours upon a fragment 
of creation studied by one single faculty of the mind of 
a Moleshott, Buchner, or other. 
\ Not for you do I write this — ^you are nearly all of you 
practical materialists — but for my yoimg fellow-country- 
men, good, but misled; and, because I hold that no 
man who assumes to speak of the future of our rising 
Italy has henceforth a right to keep silence as to his own 

From the Council to God 295 

religious belief, or to abstain from uttering his protest 
against the irruptions of the Barbarians of thought who 
rave amid the ruins of an epoch. 

I am not ungrateful to that epoch* nor irreverent to 
those grand ruins. I am not forgetful of the gigantic 
step taken by humanity towards its destined aim, through 
the religious faith in the name of which you are met 
together. Neither have I forgotten that we owe to it, 
not only the idea of the unity of the human family, and 
of the equality and emancipation of souls, but also the 
salvation of the relics of our anterior Liatin civilisation, 
and the recall of my fast-expiring country to the life half- 
extinguished by her barbarian invaders, by awakening 
her to the consciousness of her second mission in the 

The salvation of Christianity, and through it of Euro- 
pean civilisation, through the unity of your hierarchy 
during a period of darkness and anarchy — the spirit of 
love towards the poor and afflicted outcasts of society, 
which inspired your early bishops and popes — the 
severe struggle sustained by them in the name of the 
Moral law against the arbitrary power and ferocity of 
feudal lords and conquering kings — the great mission 
(misunderstood in our day by those who know nothing 
or comprehend nothing of history) fulfilled by that giant 
of intellect and will, Gregory VII., and the fruitful 
victory won by him in aid of the rule of mind over royal 
arms, of the Italian over the German element — ^the 
mission of civilising conquest you fulfilled among semi- 
barbarous peoples, the impulse given to agriculture by 
your monks during the first three centuries, the preserva- 
tion of the language of our fathers, the splendid epoch 
of art inspired by faith in your dogma, the learned works 
of your Benedictines, the commencement of gratuitous- 
education, the foundation of institutions of benevolence, 
your sisters of mercy, — I remember all these things, and 
bow down in reverence before the image of your past. 

But wherefore do you, in a world wherein all things, 
by God's decree, die and are transformed, seek to live 
for ever? Why pretend that a past, which has been 

296 From the Council to God 

extinguished for ever beneath five hundred years of 
inertia and impotence, should live again in the future ? 
How is it that, in the face of three centuries of dis- 
memberment into an infinitude of Protestant sects, and 
of a century of philosophical incredulity; amid the 
reappearance of all those signs and warnings which 
characterised the intermediate period between the fell 
of Paganism and the rise of the Christian era, you see 
not that your mission is concluded; that the world is 
urged onward in search of a new heaven and a new 
earth? Wherefore, in the face of the grand tradition 
of humanity, throughout the course of which God reveals 
to us the Law of life he gave to all ; which teaches you 
through its succession of religions the gradual continuous 
revelation of a Truth of which each historic epoch 
acquires a fragment, and none the whole, do you persist 
in believing, or asserting — you, whose religion had its 
beginning, and who represent but one epoch among 
many — that you hold that entire truth within your 
grasp? How dare you strive to violate alike the Pro- 
vidential design and the free conscience of mankind, 
by restricting within a given narrow, the limitless ascend- 
ing spiral traced by the finger of God between the 
universe and the Ideal it is destined slowly to attain ? 


I do not accuse you, as do our copyists of other 
(French or German) copyists of the eighteenth century, 
of having — impostors from the earliest times — ^built uj 
a religion in order to attain to power. Humanity d< 
not tolerate a lying Fable for eighteen hundred years. 
If the majority amongst ourselves were believers as 
fervent and sincere as were the men of your faith during 
the first thirteen hundred years, God's new truth— ^ol 
which at present we have but faintest glimpses — would] 
already unite the multitudes in harmony of belief. 

I do not accuse you of having disseminated errors, 
which for long years past have impeded or misled^ 
mankind upon questions which have become of vital 

A ■ 
From the Council to God 297 

moment at the present day. Every religion is the issue 
of the times, and the expression of an essentially im- 
perfect stage in the education of the human race ; but 
each contains a truth destined to live for ever, although 
overshadowed by passing error; and that amount of 
truth which it was possible for the age to accept and 
to incarnate in action, was widely and beneficially (Uffused 
by you. 

I do not accuse you — though I might with better 
foundation — of having been the inexorable persecutors 
of all who differed from you. I remember how terror 
was erected into a system, only sixty years back, by the 
advocates of liberty ; and I know, moreover, that every 
religion founded upon the belief in an immediate, 
direct, and superhuman revelation, cannot fail to be 

I do not accuse you of persisting in the attempt to 
nail us down to a conception of God and of the relation 
between God and man belied by science, and against 
which every faculty of heart and mind granted to man 
for the discovery of truth, and matured by eighteen 
hundred years of aspiration, study, suffering, and victory, 
protest at the present day. 

I do accuse you of maintaining a divorce between [ 
feith and science — the two wings given to the creature . 
wherewith to elevate himself towards the divine Ideal — / 
which must inevitably result in mental slavery or 

I do accuse you of insanely pretending that a beacon 
kindled eighteen hundred years ago to illumine our 
journey across a single epoch, is destined to be our sole 
luminary across the path of the infinite. 

I do accuse you of destroying the unity of Collective 
Humanity, by dividing mankind into two arbitrary \^ 
sections; one devoted to error, and the other sacred 
to truth ; and of blaspheming against the eternally 
creative and revealing power of God, by imprisoning 
the Word within an insignificant fraction of time and 

I accuse you of having utterly misunderstood the | 

298 From the Council to God 

holy soul ot Jesus — superior to every other in aspiration 
and fraternal love — by transforming Him, in despite of 
His sublimest presentiments, into an eternal and vulgar 
tyrant of souls. 

I accuse you of having closed your eyes in vanity 
and lust of power, and refused to perceive that, even as 
one existence succeeds another, so does one mission 
succeed another, and each and all are governed and 
sanctified by a religious synthesis. 

And, above and before all, I accuse you of living no 
real life ; of having no other existence than that of the 
phantoms seen wandering among tombs to delude 
mortals into superstition, or degrade them by terror; 
but doomed to vanish at the first blush of dawn. 

Life is love. You know no longer how to love. The 
voice of your chief is only heard in groans of dis- 
couragement j the formula of your declarations is an 

Life is movement, as^Hration, progress. You deny 
progress; shrink in terror from all aspiration; crucify 
humanity upon Calvary ; reject every attempt to detach 
the idea from the symbol, and strive to petrify the living 
Word of God. You reduce all history (which is the 
successive manifestation of that Word) to a single 
moment; you extinguish free will (without which no 
consciousness of progress can exist) beneath the £atalism 
of hereditary responsibility, and cancel all merit in 
works or sacrifice by the omnipotence of grace. 

Life is communion : communion with nature and 
with man, wheresoever he loves, struggles, or hopes, 
and with God. You have attempted, by denying the 
continuity of creation, and the universal diffusion of 
the creative spirit, to imprison the Deity in one sole 
comer of the universe, and one brief period of the 
immensity of time. You seek even now, by the immoral 
antagonistic dualism you establish between earth and 
heaven, to banish from men's minds all reverence for 
nature (which is a form of the divine thought) ; and 
you refuse, in the name of an individual salvation to be 
achieved through faith and prayer, all communion with 

From the Council to God 299 

the great collective sorrows, the holy battles, and the 
emancipatory hopes of mankind. Kepler, when he 
taught mankind how the universe opened upon the 
field of the infinite on every side, felt God more than 
you; and Byron — whom you condemn as a sceptic — 
worshipped Him more truly than you, when he sacrificed 
wealth, genius, and life for the cause of liberty in 

Life is production : increase of that already gained ; 
and you have for upwards of five centuries been 
struggling, with ever lessening power, merely to con- 

When a religion no longer either creates, determines 
or directs action ; when it rouses no power of sacrifice ; 
when it no longer harmonises and unites the different 
branches of human activity; when its vital conception 
ceases to inform new symbols, or new manifestations in 
art, science, or civil life — that religion is expiring. You 
may still, by help of the deceptions of your ministers 
and the pomp of your rites, gather a numerous con- 
course of apparently devoted followers around you, and 
you will continue to do so, so long as their sole choice 
lies between the records of a faith once grand and 
fruitful of good, and the arid negations of a brutalising 
materialism; but demand of these followers that they 
should die for you and for the faith you represent, and 
you will not find a martyr among them. You did not 
find one when we confronted your banner with our own 
in Rome, upon which was inscribed the Word of the 
future, God and the People^ and proclaimed — through 
the unanimous vote of the very men who, the day 
belore, declared themselves believers in you — the 
abolition of your temporal power and the Republic. 

Your Pope fled in disguise, and all of you vanished 
utterly; the constant intrigues with which you en- 
. deavoured, when at Gaeta, to raise up internal enemies 
amongst us, were fruitless. You were reduced to beg 
the aid of bayonets, the instruments of the tortuous 
policy and ambition of a vulgar pretender, whom you 
well knew to be as infamous as he was imbelieving in 

300 From the Council to God 

your doctrines. Our men died — they still die for the 
sake of the glimpse vouchsafed them of that new fsdth 
which, ere it has enlightened their intellects, has fired 
and warmed their hearts — in dungeons, or upon the 
scaffold or the battle-field, with a smile of defiance upon 
their lips ; but around you I see none but mercenaries 
greedy of rank or gold. 

Be not deceived : faith is perishing around you. Even 
as lingering sparks still issue from a dying fire, the 
expiring £%ith of the day finds its expression in the 
prayers muttered before your altars through the force of 
habit at stated brief moments; it evaporates at the 
church door, and no longer rules or guides men's daily 
life : they give one hour to heaven and the day to earth 
— to its material interests and calculations, or to studies 
and ideas foreign to every religious conception. 

Science proceeds onward ; regardless of your doctrine, 
heedless of your anathema and of your councils, destroy- 
ing at every step another line of the Book you declare 
infallible. Art wanders in the void ; now retracing its 
steps towards the pagan ideal, now doubtfully pursuing 
religious aspirations other than yours ; and now, as if 
in despair of finding any other God, reduced to worship- 
ping itself; but always apart from the Christian synthesis, 
always irresponsive to the conception which inspired 
your architects and painters in ages past. 

The iniquitous Governments of the day, to whom it 
is a necessity to maintain your authority in order to prop 
the tottering foundations of their own, deny it, none the 
less, in the practical exercise of their power : " the law " 
for them "is atheist," — the separation of the temporal 
from the spiritual power is their supreme rule of guidance; 
and the very king who implores your benediction in secret 
affects before his subjects to despise it the day after. 

The men of highest power, whether of intellect or 
eloquence, belonging to your creed, from Lamennais 
down to Pire Hyacinthe, detach themselves from you 
one by one. Not a single one of the vast strides made 
upon the path of progress in our age was either suggested 
or consecrated by your faith. 

From the Council to God 301 

Two nations, once sisters — the Greek and Italian — 
liave burst asunder the walls of the tomb wherein they 
liad lain buried for ages, and they have neither asked 
nor could obtain one holy word of baptism from 

Four millions of black slaves have been emancipated 
— ^in pledge of other emancipations — ^across the Atlantic, 
in the name of the immortal human soul within them, 
and they owe it to no crusade of yours, but to a war 
of an exclusively political character, fought by men whose 
sole idea was one of national unity. 

Like the great German family at the downfall of 
paganism, and as if as a warning of the approach of a 
similar epoch, the Slavonian family is in movement 
upon a zone extending from the North Sea to the 
Adriatic, and eager to proffer its word at the fraternal 
Kuropean banquet ; while you — the sometime distributors 
of distant lands among the monarchs — appear scarcely 
conscious of the fact They ask for aid in their work, 
not from you, but from us. 

Mute, and disinherited alike of inspiration and affec- 
tion, having abdicated all power of intervention in the 
events that transform and improve God's earth, you, 
who were once the world's centre, are gradually being 
driven back to its extremest orbit, and are destined to find 
yourselves at last alone in the void beyond. Motionless 
sphinxes in the vast desert, you inertly contemplate the 
shadow of the centuries as they pass. Humanity, whom 
you should have guided, has gone otherwhere. Faith 
is perishing among the peoples, because the dogma that 
inspired it no longer corresponds to the stage of education 
which they, in fulfilment of the providential plan, have 


The Christian dogma is perishing. The arch of the 
Christian heaven is too narrow to embrace the earth. 
Beyond that heaven, across the fields of the infinite, we 
discern a vaster sky, illumined by the dawn of a new 


302 From the Council to God 

dogma ; ^ and on the rising of its sun your own heaven 
will disappear. We are but the precursors of that 
dogma : few as yet, but earnestly believing ; fortified by 
the collective instincts of the peoples, and sufficiently 
numerous to convince you — had you sense to compre- 
hend it — that when the tide of materialism shall recede, 
you will find yourselves confironted by a far other foe. 

We worship not anarchy : we worship Authority ; but 
not the dead corpse of an authority, the mission of which 
was concluded in a now distant past, and which can 
therefore only perpetuate its power through tyranny and 

The authority we revere is founded upon the free and 
deliberate acceptance and popular worship of the truth 
conquered by our epoch ; upon that conception of life 
which God reveals to mankind in time and measure 
through souls devoted to Him and to His Law. 

Your dogma may be summed up in the two terms, 
Fall and Redemption; our own in the terms God 
and Progress. The intermediate term between the 
Fall and Redemption is, for you, the Incarnation, at a 
given moment, of the Son of God. 

The intermediate term for us, between God and His 
Law, is, the continuous and progressive incarnation of 
that law in Humanity, destined slowly and gradually 
to discover and to fulfil it throughout the immeasurable, 
indefinite future. 

The word Progress, therefore, represents to us, not 
a mere scientific or historic fact, limited, it may be, to 
one epoch, one fraction, or one serie^ of the acts of 
humanity, having neither root in the past, nor pledge 
of duration in the future. It represents a religious 
conception of life radically different from yours ; a divine 
Law, a supreme formula of the eternal, omnipotent, 
creative force, universal as itself. 

* By Uiis word dog[ina— now generally mitunderttoody because usurped 
and acceoted exclusively in the Christian sense— I mean a truth of the 
moral order, which, usually perceived in the first instance by philosophy, 
or prepared by the progress of science, and still more by the civil 
condition of one or more peoples, becomes incarnate in the life of one or 
more individuals privileged in love and virtue, and wins over the mind 
of the multitude and gradually transforms itself into a religious axiom. 

From the Council to God 303 

The root of every religion is a definition of life and 
its mission. For you that definition of life is the doctrine 
of Original Sin, and of resurrection to God through 
faith in a Divine Being, who descended upon earth to^ 
sacrifice Himself in expiation of that sin. 

Our definition of life asserts the imperfection of the 
finite creature, and its gradual self-correction by virtue 
of a capacity of progression, given to all men, through 
tvarks] through the sacrifice of the egotistic instincts 
for the sake of the common improvement, and through 
faith in a divine Ideal, which each is bound to incarnate 
in himself. 

God, the Father and Educator ; the law prefixed bv 
Him to life, the capacity, inborn in all men, to fuJfli 
it ; free will, the condition of merit ; Progress upon the 
ascent leading to God, the result of right choice — ^these 
are the cardinal points of our faith. 

In the dogma of Original Sin, which is the keystone 
of your edifice (except the presentiment it contains of 
that human solidarity which you do not comprehend), 
we see nought but Evil profanely made the baptism of 
life : the absolute impossibility of accounting for the 
inequality of evil tendency manifested among men, and 
an hereditary doom which denies alike human free will 
and responsibility. 

In the Redemption through the incarnation of the Son 
of God (except the symbol it contains, by you neglected, 
of that aspiration which impels the finite towards union 
with the infinite) we only see subtraction made of the 
divinely educating force ; the substitution of an arbitrary 
fact for the majesty of a divine law ; a solution of the 
continuity of the collective life of humanity, and the 
sanction of an unjust dualism between the generations 
anterior and posterior to the Cross. 

From this diversity in the foundations of faith, follows 
a series of consequences which affect both heaven and 
earth — ^the Dogma and the Moral Code. 

You believe in the divinity of Jesus. I can well 
understand the origin of this belief in times when it 
alone was able to secure the doubtful victory of Chris- 

304 From the Council to God 

tianity; when the idea of Progress was unknown, and 
consequently unknown the conception of the gradual 
manifestation of God through His Law. You could not 
avoid attributing to the Announcer of truth a character 
which would compel mankind to obey His precepts. 

We, who at the present day believe in the continuous 
revelation of God throughout the collective life of 
humanity, have no need of a sole immediate Revealer 
to teach us either to adore His power, or to feel His love. 

The divine incarnation of both these attributes is 
perennial in the great facts which bear witness to the 
collectivity of life ; in the great intellects, sanctified by 
virtue, who prophesy or interpret that universal life ; and 
in the grand aspirations of individual conscience, which 
foretell or accept truth. 

We venerate in Jesus the Founder of the epoch that 
emancipated individual man ; the Apostle of the unity 
of the divine law, more largely understood than in times 
anterior to His own; the Prophet of the equality of 
souls : we reverence in Him the Man who loved more 
than any other ; whose life — an unexampled instance of 
harmony between thought and action — ^promulgated as 
the eternal basis of every future religion, the sacred 
dogma of Sacrifice ; but we do not cancel the Woman- 
born in the God ; we do not elevate Him to a height 
whereunto we may not hope to follow Him : we love Him 
as the best of our human brothers; we do not worship 
and fear Him as the inexorable Judge, or intolerant 
Ruler of the future. 

You believe — thus depriving yourselves of every basis 
of intellectual certainty and criterion of truth — in 
miracles ; in the supernatural ; in the possible violation 
of the laws regulating the universe. 

We believe in the Unknown ; in the Mysterious-^to 
be one day solved — which now encompasses us on every 
side; in the secrets of an intuition inaccessible to 
analysis ; in the truth of our strange presentiment of an 
Ided, which is the primitive fatherland of the soul; 
in an unforeseen power of action granted to man in certain 
rare moments of faith, love, and supreme concentration 

From the Council to God 305 

of all the faculties towards a determinate and virtuous 
aim — deserved therefore — and analogous to the power 
of revelation which the increased concentration of rays 
in the telescope communicates to the human eye : but 
wetbelieve all these things, the pre-ordained consequence 
of laws hitherto withheld from our knowledge. 

We do not believe in the miraculous, as you under- 
stand it ; in the infringement of laws already known and 
accepted by arbitrary will; in facts in contradiction to 
the general design of the creation, which would, we con- 
sider, simply testify to a want of wisdom or of justice in 

You appeal in support of your theory to an idea of 
divine Free Will. We deny it We are free, because 
imperfect : called to ascend, to deserve, and, therefore, to 
choose between good and evil; between sacrifice and 
egotism. Such free will as ours is unknown to God, the 
perfect Being, whose every act is necessarily identical 
with the True and Just ; who cannot, without violation 
of our every conception of His nature, be supposed to 
break His own law. 

You believe in a God who has created and reposes. 
We believe in continuity of creation ; in a God tlxe in- 
exhaustible source of the life diffused perennially 
throughout the infinite ; of thought, which in Him is 
inevitably identical with action ; of conceptions, realised 
in worlds. 

You believe in a heaven extrinsic to the universe : in 
a determinate portion of creation, on ascending to which 
we shall forget the past, forget the ideas and affections 
which caused our hearts to beat on earth. We believe 
in One Heaven, in which we live, and move, and love ; 
which embraces — as an ocean embraces the islands that 
stud its surface — the whole indefinite series of existences 
through which we pass. We believe in the continuity 
of life; in a connecting link uniting all the various 
periods through which it is transformed and developed ; 
in the eternity of all noble affections, maintained in con- 
stancy until the last day of our existence ; in the influence 
of each of these life-periods upon the others ; in the pro- 


3o6 From the Council to God 

gressive sanctification of every germ of good gathered by 
^e pilgrim soul in its journey upon earth and other- 

You believe in a divine hierarchy of natures essentially 
distinct from our own and immutable. From the solemn 
presentiment enfolded in the symbol of the angel you 
have deduced no better conception than that of a 
celestial aristocracy — the basis of the conception of aris- 
tocracy on earth — ^and inaccessible to man. We recognise 
in the angel the soul of the just man who has lived in 
£aith and died in hope ; and in the inspiring, or guardian 
angel, the soul of the creature most sacredly and con- 
stantly loving and beloved by us on earth, having earned 
the recompense of watching over and aiding us on earth. 
The ladder 'twixt earth and heaven of Jacob's dream 
symbolises, for us, the ascending and . descending series 
of man^s transformations on the path of initiation in the 
divine Ideal, and the beneficent influence exercised 
over us by die beloved beings who have preceded us 
upon that path. 

You believe in an Eden surrounding the cradle of 
mankind, and lost through the fault of our first parents ; 
we believe in an Eden towards which God wills that 
humanity — traversing the path of error and sacrifice — 
shall constantly advance. You believe that the soul can 
pass at one bound from its human existence to the 
highest beatitude, or to absolute, irrevocable perdition. 
We believe the human period of our existence too distant 
from the highest ideal ; too full of imperfections to allow 
that the virtue of which we are capable here below can 
suddenly deserve to reach the summit of the ascent 
leading to God. We believe in an indefinite series of re- 
incarnations of the soul, from life to life, from world to 
world ; each of which represents an advance from the 
anterior ; and we reject the possibility of irrevocable per- 
dition as a blasphemy against God, who cannot commit 
self-destruction in the person of the creature issued from 
himself; as a negation of the law prefixed to life, and as 
a violation of the idea of love which is identical with 
God. It may be that we shall retraverse the stage over 

From the Council to God 307 

which we have already passed, if we have not deserved 
to ascend beyond it, but we cannot, spiritually, either 
retrogress or perish. 

You believe in the resurrection of the body, such as 
it was at the termination of our earthly existence ; we 
believe in the transformation of the body (which is 
naught other than an instrument adapted to the work 
to be achieved) in conformity with the progress of the 
Ego^ and with the mission destined to succeed the 

All things are, in your creed, definite, limited, im- 
mediate, bearing the stamp of a certain immobility, 
which recalls the characteristics of the materialist con- 
ception of life. In our creed all is life, movement, 
succession, and continuity. 

Our world opens upon the infinite on every side. 
Your dogma humanises God: our dogma teaches the 
slow, progressive divinisation of man. 

You believe in grace; we believe in justice. You, 
by believing in grace, believe — more or less explicitly, 
but inevitably — in predestination, which is but a trans- 
formation of the pagan and aristocratic dogma of the 
two natures of man. Grace, according to you, is neither 
granted to all, nor to be achieved through works ; it is 
arbitrarily bestowed by the Divine Will, and the elect 
are few. We believe that God called us, by creating 
us ; and the call of God can neither be impotent nor 
false. GracCy as we understand it, is the tendency and 
faculty given to us all gradually to incarnate the Ideal ; 
it is the law of progress which is His ineffaceable baptism 
upon our souls. 

That law must be fulfilled. Time and space are 
granted to us wherein to exercise our free will. We 
can — through our action and endeavour — hasten or 
delay the fulfilment of the law in time and space; 
multiply or diminish the trials, struggles, and sufferings 
of the individual ; but not, as the dualism taught by 
your dogma would do, eternise evil, and render it 
victorious. Good only is eternal: God only is vic- 

3o8 From the Council to God 

Meanwhile, that dualism which dominates yova 
doctrine of grace, of predestination^ of hell, of redemption 
half-way upon the historic development of humanity, 
and every portion of your Dogma inspires and limits 
your Moral Code, and renders it irremediably imperfect 
and inefficacious to guide and direct human life at the 
present day. 

Your dogma is expiring. Your moral code is there- 
fore rendered sterile and expires with it. It is deprived 
of its origin and its sanction ; of that faith in the duty 
and necessity of regulating human life by its precepts, 
whence it derived its power to govern men's individual 
instincts, passions, and free will. You have but to look 
around you in order to perceive this. 

The moral code is eternal you say, and you point 
to the precepts of love towards God and man, of sacri- 
fice, of duty, of preference given to the salvation of 
the soul over the desires and interests of a day. 

Yes ; those precepts spoken by the lips of Jesus do 
live, and will live ; they are as undying as our gratitude 
towards Him. His cross, as symbol of the sole en- 
during virtue — ^sacrifice of self for others — may still 
be planted, without any contradiction, upon the tomb 
of the believer in the new religion ; but a moral code 
which is to have a fruitful, active influence upon man- 
kind requires far more than this. 

The precept of love, which is inborn within the 
human soul, is the basis, more or less apparent, of all 
religions ; but each religion gives a different value and 
larger interpretation to that general formula of Duty. 
The moral problem, the solution of which progresses 
with the epoch, is the problem how we are to worship 
God, how we are to love man, how we are to work out 
the soul's salvation ; and it is the mission of the religion 
of each epoch to give the force of a law, supreme over 
all and equally binding upon all, to the definition of 
the How, and to compel the fulfilment of the duty thus 

From the Council to God 309 

defined by linking it with heaven, tracing it back to 
the Divine conception of the creation. Even if your 
moral code were sufficient for the intelligence and 
aspirations of the epoch it would still remain sterile; 
a mere ifeit, inefficacious dead letter, because this link 
is lost (Tour heaven exists no longer, your conception 

is proved false. The telescope has destroyed / 
it for ever in the fields of the infinite; geology has 
destroyed it on earth ; the recently recovered tradition 
of the past of humanity has destroyed it in the kingdom 
of intelligence, and the presentiment within us of a new 
law of life has destroyed it in our hearts. But your 
moral code, holy as it was before it had become adul- 
terated by your corruption, intolerance, and cowardly 
compromise with the atheistic powers of the world, is 
unequal to the obligations imposed upon us by God ^ 

The dualism of your dogma, transferred into your ^ 
moral code, generated that antagonism between earth I 
and heaven, matter and spirit, body and soul, which, no / 
matter to what grade of the doctrine you belong, I 
essentially narrowed your conception of the unity of f 
life, and of its mission here and elsewhere, rendering it I 
impossible that the great social questions of the day. J 
should be solved through help of your religion. ^ 

In the face of an empire believed to be omnipotent, 
and founded upon the prestige of material force placed 
between a religion which sanctioned the dogma of the 
two human natures (freeman and slave) and a philosophy 
which consigned mankind to the dominion of fatality, 
in a world of which there existed no conception of the 
collective life of humanity, or of an innate faculty of 
progress in individual man — having to address himself 
to men either intoxicated with tyranny and lust, or 
crushed by poverty and the abject servility induced by 
despair of a better future — it was impossible for Jesus 
to conceive any other mission for the benefit of the 
brother-men He loved so well, than that of effecting 
their moral regeneration, or any other consolation for 
their wretchedness on earth than that of creating for 
them a country of fret men and equals in heaven. It 

3IO From the Council to God 

was His purpose to teach men how to savei to redeem 
themselves, in spite of, and against, the earth. 

From the legend of the temptation, in which the 
earth is evidently the heritage of the evil spirit, down 
to the " render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's '' 
of the three first Gospels ; from the opposition between 
the law of God and the flesh, of Paul (Rom. vii.), down 
to the "love not the world,** of John (2 Ep. ii. 15), 
the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles constantly 
insist upon our divorce from all terrestrial things, as a 
condition of moral improvement, of salvation. In their 
eyes our earthly abode is overshadowed by the curse 
of sin and temptation ; and our sole hope of salvation 
from this curse lies in our suicide of the man within us. 
As Tell, even in the midst of the tempest, spurned from 
him the bark that bore the oppressor, each of us is 
held bound to spurn from him the earth, to cast loose 
every tie that binds him to it, in order to raise himself 
on the wings of faith to heaven. 

The result of these teachings is a moral code which 
may be thus summed up : — Adoration of God, and faith 
in Christ, as the necessary intermediate to our salvation ; 
renunciation of every natiural desire ; abdication of every 
aim of social transformation; indifference to every 
earthly good ; resigned acceptance of every existing evil, 
either as a means of expiation, or of imitation of the 
sufferings of Jesus ; war to the body and to the senses ; 
submission to the powers that be ; exclusive importance 
given to the work of internal purification, especially to 
the realisation within ourselves of faith in heavenly 

The holy nature of Jesus's own mind diflused a 
breath of love over the whole of his teachings, and 
generated a spirit of charity and disposition to good 
works in his hearers ; but it was the love of men who, 
despairing of vanquishing the evil existing in the world, 
sought only to alleviate the more immediate sufferings 
of individuals. Christian charity was rather a means of 
purifying one's own soul, than the sense of a common 
aim which it was God*s will that man should realise 

From the Council to God 311 

here below. It did not overpass the limits of benevo- 
lence, and led the believers in the new religion to feed 
the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick with 
whom they came in contact; but to no attempt to 
destroy the causes of human hunger and misery. Even 
as the earth itself was despised, so were all the good 
things of the earth to be despised as a perennial source 
of temptation, and the gifts to the poor and to the 
Church testified to this belief. Poverty itself was 
preached by the majority of«Jesus*s followers as a 
blessed mortification of the fiesh, and regarded by all 
as an incontestable necessity. /^Love of country, and 
^at love which embraces the ^nerations of the fiiture, 
and is devoted even unto sacrifice for their sake ; that 
love which will not tolerate the brand of inequality or 
slavery on the brow of a brother-man, was unknown to 
Christian morality. The true country, the real home of 
Christian free men and equals, was heaven ; every man 
was bound to direct his course thither\ and the greater 
his sufferings on earth, the stronger tne hope he might 
entertain of his soul's future, and of celestial joy. The 
world was abandoned to Satan. Religion taught man to 
renounce it; religion, which was alike his isolation 
and his refuge ; it imposed no mission of earnest and 
resolute struggle, and of slowly progressive but certain 

Such was, such is, your Moral Code. Solitary con- 
templation and monastic life were its first logical 
consequences. At a later period, when you were 
triumphant, when the necessity, which all religions 
undergo, of transforming society in their own image, 
compelled you to mingle in social and political life, you 
frequently (with immense advantage to civilisation) 
obeyed that uncertain and instinctive sense of right and 
equaUty which lies at the root of your religion ; but it 
was simply as a fact, not as a doctrine, and did not in 
any way alter the educational principle of your Moral 
Code ; which was incarnated historically in the dualism 
of the temporal and the spiritual powers — the Papacy 
and the empire. The greatest of your Popes, Gregory VII. , 

312 From the Council to God 

attempted to crush this dualism beneath the omni- 
potence of moral force ; but he failed, and died in exile. 
The greatest of your philosophers, Thomas Aquinas, 
attempted to destroy the antagonism between the soul 
and the body, through a definition of man borrowed 
from Aristotle ; but it was too late ; not even the decrees 
of your Council of Vienna, in support of his attempt, 
could transform a moral code which had been identified 
jwith the Christian Conception of Life for thirteen 


fCj Your religion was the religion of individual man. It 

I did not — it could not, at its origin, contemplate collective 
humanity. It aspired towards the ideal, the divine, and 
would, had it been possible, have sought to realise its 
ideal on earth. But the instrument failed it. The 
short, imperfect life of the individual (beyond which 
this conception did not extend) is incapable of its 
realisation. Your religion, as if to avenge its own 
impotence, cried anathema upon the terrestrial world, 
and referred the solution of the problem to the world 
of grace — to heaven. 

Herein lies the secret of all you have achieved, and 
of all you have failed to achieve. 

.-- Christianity is the religion of individual man. The 
vast religious synthesis through which we are gradually 
advancing towards the realisation of the ideal, is resolved 
like an equation containing an indefinite number of 
unknown quantities. Every religious epoch disengages 
one such unknown quantity, and classes one more term 
of the problem among the known quantities, never more 
to be disputed. Two grand primary epochs — the 
gigantic Aryan religions of the East — concentrated their 
intelligence, inspiration, and labour upon the two terms 
— God and Nature. But in both these epochs, the ideal 
man (crushed by spiritualist or materialist pantheism) 
was absent. While Mosaism elaborated the idea of the 
divine unity, and preserved the sacred deposit for 
futurity by incarnating it in a people, a third great epoch 
assumed (in Europe) the office of disengaging the human 
unknown — beginning with the individual — ^and adding 

From the Council to God 313 

it to the number of known quantities. As the human 
individual manifests life under two aspects, personal and 
relative — ^represented by the two terms, liberty and 
equality — so that epoch was divided into two long 

In the first period, polytheism affirmed the individual, 
and elaborated his emancipation within certain narrow 
limits, evolving — in the Greco-Roman world — the idea of 
liberty. During the first labour of elaboration, however, 
and in the intoxication of rebellion against Oriental 
pantheism, the conception of the Divine unity was 
broken up into fragments, and all basis of durability 
was thus destroyed. 

In the second period, your religion, having inherited 
from Moses its belief in the Divine unity, replaced the 
Deity at the apex of the pyramid, and fulfilled its mission 
with regard to the problem of the individual, by defining 
his relative life, proclaiming the equality of souls, and 
declaring all men the children of one Father. 

Such was the historic mission of Christianity; nor 
was it possible that the epoch, when — as it invariably 
happens — it deduced its political and economic con- 
stitution from its religion, should advance beyond the 
limits of the doctrine of the individual, and the two 
terms (liberty and equality) by which that doctrine is 
represented. When the Protestant sects — moved by the 
corruption of Catholicism — sought to recall the multi- 
tudes to initial Christianity, they were unable to discover 
any other criterion of truth than individual conscience. 
The great political and social revolutions which, towards 
the close of the last century, attempted (knowingly 
or unknowingly) to realise the Christian principles in 
practical life, summed up their whole labour and 
endeavour in a declaration of the rights common to 
every individual, and prefixed as sole governing law of 
the development of the double life — moral and material 
— of mankind, the insufficient rule of liberty. 

God ; God and Nature ; God, Nature, and Man — 
three cantos of the gigantic religious Epopea which has 
the ideal for its subject and the generations for its poet. 

314 From the Council to God 

Wherefore do you pretend that God and the generations 
shall now be dumb? Wherefore should we bury in 
your sepulchre an inspiration inseparable from life itself, 
and silence the new canto rising to the lips of creation, 
which has for its theme — God, Nature, Man, and 
Humanity? Wherefore should not the new heaven, 
of which we already have dim prevision, be represented 
by a new earth ? the new dogma, by a new Moral Code ? 


The earth is of God ; it cannot be accursed. Life, 
like the God from whom it springs, is One and ever- 
lasting; it cannot be broken up into fragments, or 
divided into periods of a character radically opposed. 
There is no antagonism between matter and spirit 
Matter gives forms to thought ; symbols to the idea ; 
means of communication between being and being. 
The body, given by God as the earthly tenement of the 
individual, and the means of communication between 
His life and that of the external world, is not the seat 
of evil or temptation. Evil and temptation, wherever 
they do exist, exist in the Ego : the body is the instr^ 
ment which translates either good or evil into actionX 
according to our free choice. The dualism between \ 
the temporal and spiritual power is an immoral con- ' 
ception, without any basis in the nature of things. The 
moral law — once recognised and accepted — ought to be 
supreme ; and the mission of the temporal power is its 
application to the civil and economic realities of life. | 
Wherever such is not the case, either the moral law is — / 
as yours is at the present day — the corpse or l)dng/ 
phantom of law, or he whose duty it is to translate it into 
action is false to it and is immoral. 

The earth is of God. It is a step upon the infinite 
ascent that leads us to heaven : our sojourn during one 
of our existences, wherein we are bound to prepare 
ourselves for the next. It is neither^ dwelling of 
expiation nor an arena of temptationV \rhe necessity 
of purification from sins committed, and\he temptations 

From the Council to God 315 

to evil which are conditions of our free will, exist in 
ourselves; and will accompany us in every ulterior 
evolution of the life of the Ego. The earth is the 
sphere wherein we have an appointed mission to perform, 
with instruments of labour furnished by it ; and we are 
bound to regard it with love and reverence, as the seat 
of our possible sanctification. In the ascending series 
of worlds, separate stages of the long pilgrimage of the 
Ego, the earth also has its appointed place ; it also is — 
within prescribed limits — the cradle of the ideal; an 
incarnation — ^in time and space — of the eternal world ; 
a note in the immense concord which harmonises and 
embraces creation ; an essential link of the chain which 
unites the universe with the throne of God. 

Life is a mission : human existence that portion of it 
which we have to accomplish here on earth. To 
discover, comprehend, and intellectually to master that 
fragment of the divine law which is accessible to human 
faculties, to translate it in action (as far as human 
powers allow), here, where God has placed us, is our 
aim, our du^. We are each and all of us bound to 
strive to incarnate in humanity that portion of eternal 
truth which it is granted to us to perceive ; to convert 
into an earthly reality so much of the ''kingdom of 
heaven" — ^the divine conception permeating life — as it 
is given to us to comprehend. Thus doing, we are 
slowly elaborating in man the angel ; failing to do this 
we shall have to retrace our path. 

The moral code deduced from our dogma preaches 
therefore to man : 

''Seek not to isolate yourselves: imprison not your 
soul in sterile contemplation, in solitary prayer, in pride 
of individual purification, in pretending to a grace which 
no faith not realised in works can enable you to deserve 
Be not deceived by the doctrine that salvation may 
achieved in spite of, and in opposition to, the eartl 
You can only achieve it through the earth. You 
only save yourselves by saving others. God asks not 
What have you done for your soul ? but. What have yoi 
done for the brother souls I gave you? Think of 

3t6 From the Council to God 

these: leave your own to God and His law. Labour 
unweariedly for others' good : such action is the holiest 
prayer. In God, thought and action are one. Seek to 
imitate Him from afar. Aim not at contemplating God 
in Himself: you cannot do it. Contemplate Him in 
His works. Say not in dismay, the works of God are 
great, and I am nothing. God, by breathing into you a 
breath of His life, has decreed that you also are of 
worth. His works are your teachers ; were it not so, 
would He have spread them around you? Seek in 
them His design, a syllable of the conception which is 
the soul of creation. Study that conception without 
foolish pride or hypocritical modesty, in the history of 
collective humanity, throughout which He gradually 
reveals to us the law of progress prefixed by Him to 
life. Study Him — ^purifying your heart as a sanctuary 
from every base passion, guilty desire, or idolatrous 
superstition — in the secret aspirations of your own soul ; 
in those instincts of truth which spring up within you 
in supreme moments of devotion or affection ; then 
when you have mastered that syllable of the law, caught 
that ray of the divine conception, rise, calm in con- 
viction, and strong in mil, priests and apostles of that 
which you know to be the aim of life. Let every word 
3peak faith in it, every act represent it All that is in 
harmony with it is good ; all that tends to divert from it, 
evil. Help the first earnestly, combat the last openly. 

" Avoid alike the vanity which makes display of duty, 
and the resignation that shrinks from its fulfilment and 
submits to evil. Evil is here to be fought against; 
that we, who have free choice, may deserve. When 
victory is impossible, count martyrdom a benediction of 
God. The angels of martyrdom and of victory are 
brothers ; both extend their protecting wings over the 
cradle of your future life. 

' Hold in honour your body, your faculties, and the 
material forces that surround you in nature. Instru- 
ments given to you by God for the discovery and 
fulfilment of your appointed aim, they are good or evil 
accordins^ as they are used for others' benefit, or for 

From the Council to God 317 

your own ; for egotism is the root of all evil, as sacrifice 
is the root of all virtue, and he who cries anathema on 
them, cries anathema on God. 

"Say not that wealth and material power are of 
Satan. Wealth is blessed when employed to relieve 
sorrow and suJBfering; accursed, when employed to 
minister to selfish passion, pleasure, or pride : blessed," 
when it emancipates a people ; accursed, when it builds 
up the dominion of a single man, and denies God's 
law of progress. All that exists is given for use and 
aid, and you sin equally by neglect or misuse. 

"You are bound to endeavour to transform the 
earthly dwelling assigned to you for a time into a visible 
temple of the law : a gem of the crown the worlds are 
fashioning for the Eternal ; and each of you may do 
this according to his sphere, if he look beyond the 
limited horizon of self. Look from the family to the 
commune ; from the commune to the nation ; from the 
nation to humanity j from humanity to the universe ; 
from the universe to God. Let every act be such as, 
if accepted as the rule by the whole generation, would 
increase the actual sum of good, or decrease the actual 
sum of evil; and be you an unlettered peasant or a 
ruler of men, your merit will be equal, and your tomb 
the cradle of a new life, higher upon the scale of progress 
than your own. 

" Love God in your fellow-men : men in the progress 
to be achieved for them and with them. Hold as 
offensive to God all that offends the dignity of the 
human being bound to worship Him; all that hinders 
the intellectual development of the being bound to 
comprehend Him gradually through his design; all 
that violates the liberty of the being bound to attune 
his life to that design; all that contaminates by cor- 
ruption, materialism, superstition, or falsehood the being 
destined progressively to incarnate the ideal in itself. 
Combat such evils by example, word, and deed, and 
call upon your brother men to combat with you. Evil 
is not eternal ; but the battle against it must be a 
crusade, for the conquest of the ideal demands the 

3i8 From the Council to God 

efifort of entire humanity, the sum of all the faculties 
vouchsafed to it by God. Develop these faculties by 
association as intimately and widely as possible. Asso- 
ciation, the sole method of progress, is — substituted for 
charity — the religious word of the epoch. Let help, 
given to individual sufifering and consolation to him 
that weeps, constitute for you the joys of life. Let 
the sorrows of those who suffer afiu: off be equally 
sacred ; be your life's duty a watch in the night. Your 
battle is not with the effects, but with the causes of 
evil: wheresoever those causes are sustained by law 
or opinion, wheresoever you behold upon God's creature 
the stamp of inequality or slavery, there is the sign of 
Satan; and be that sign on the brow of the negro, 
the working man, or the woman, you are bound to 
raise, with deeper meaning than of yore, the old Hussite 
cry, * The Cup for all ! ' and either conquer or die, that 
others may. 

"The earth's hymn to God can only be worthily 
sounded by the lips of freemen united in a common 
aim. Wrest from Satan the kingdoms of the earth with 
which he tempted Jesus; then may you stand erect 
in conscious duty done and raise that hymn. Let the 
banner of the new faith, God, Progress, Humanity, 
head the crusade. God, the origin and end of all; 
progress, the law He gave to life ; humanity, the inter- 
preter, in God*s own time and throughout all time, 
of that law. Deduce your rule of action from that 
faith, combat for the earth on the earth, but with eyes 
raised to heaven. Be your love the love that gives 
and receives support upon the ascending path of life. 
Hate the sin, but never the sinner: he bears within 
him (though stifled now by egotism) germs of the same 
virtues that are in yourselves, and destined yet to be 
-jdeyeloped. Love in him your brother of the future. 
IPunish not : protect the society in which you live, and 
leducate the erring members of it Preach not, labour 
mot, in the name of rights which do but represent the 
Individual ; but in the name of duty, which represents 
Lhe aim of all. You have no rights, save as the con- 

From the Council to God 319 

sequence of duties fulfilled ; they may all be summed 
up in the one right, that others should fulfil towards 
you the duty you fulfil towards them. Say not the 
sovereignty is in us. The sovereignty is in God. The 
will of the people is sacred only when it interprets and 
applies the moral law. It is impotent or null when 
it departs from it, and represents naught other than 

"Transform not yourselves from believers into 
idolaters by accepting any privileged interpreters be- 
tween yourselves and God. The sun of God shines 
on all, the Word of God must illumine all. Earth's 
mists arise between you and the sun, and clouds of 
error, superstition, and ^otism intervene between the 
human soul and God ; but you can chase those clouds 
from the soul by educating it to religion, sacrifice, and 
love, and between you and God extend the links of 
the long and sacred chain of martyrs of thought and 
love, who still remember and love the earth whereon 
they accomplished a mission. 

" Be your priests and counsellors in all the doubts 
and agitations of conscience those whom long years of 
tried virtue, and study of things eternal, have proved 
worthy to be such. Prophets and guides upon the 
weary pilgrimage of humanity are the men upon whose 
brow God has set the seal of genius sanctified by virtue ; 
but forget not that the Divine element exists also in 
yourselves ; never yield up the liberty of your immortal 
souls into the hands of your brother-man. Love, honour, 
and follow, but serve not. Respect in yourselves 
that human unity which is a refiex of the unity Divine. 
The false philosophy of the day has, in the absence of 
a religious faith, broken up that unity, by parcelling it 
out into faculties of reason, sentiment, and sensation, 
and some have worshipped one and some another of 
these faculties; but remember that neither thought, 
aspiration, nor economic fact constitutes life: they are 
but the instruments of life, equally necessary and equally 
sacred when united in action towards the realisation of 
its aim, the progressive incarnation o( the ideal; and 

320 From the Council to Gk)d 

respect alike the inviolability of thought, the sanctity of 
aspiration, and the organised development of the material 
faculties, without which the development of the rest is 

'* Let labour be the basis of civil society, and let the 
distribution of its fruits be according to works. Let 
him who will not labour possess naught. 

" Hold sacred the religious faith which unites the 
millions in a common part of love and action, but hold 
sacred also the heresy wherein, it may be, lies the germ 
of the faith of the future. Represent the first in your 
rites and fraternal associations, but fail not to protect 
the second from all intolerance. 

" You owe to all men education founded upon your 
religious synthesis, but forget not that the supreme 
conception of that religion is progress, and let the last 
words of that education be these : we have made known 
to you the moral law, in the name of which the brothers 
amongst whom you are called to live and labour are 
associated; but remember that life is given to you in 
order that you may endeavour to improve the society 
in which you live, to purify and enlarge its faith, and 
to urge forward on the path of eternal truth the men 
who surround you, and who will bless your work." 

You may cast your dying anathema on this moral 
code, but, humble individual as I am, I declare to you 
that the time is not far off} when it will take the place 
of that which you, while daily violating it in yoiu: actions, 
proclaim eternal. 


No ; the Book of God is not closed. And you who 
blaspheme against the Omnipotent by declaring yourselves 
the depositaries of its last page, give the lie to the 
sublimest previsions of Jesus, to the prophetic words 
recorded in the divinest of your four Gospels, words 
which alone would suffice to constitute the superiority 
of Christianity over all anterior religions. 

''God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must 
worship Him in spirit and in truth." — ^John iv. 24. 

From the Council to God 321 

*• And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you 
another Comforter, that He may abide with you for 
ever." — ^John xiv. i6. 

"Even the Spirit of truth; ... for He dwelleth 
with you, and shall be in you." — Ibid, xiv. 17. 

** I am the true vine and My Father is the husband- 
man." — Ibid, XV. I. 

** Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh 
away : and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth 
it, that it may bring forth more fruit." — Ibid. xv. 2. 

" It is expedient for you that I go away : for if I go 
not away, the Comforter will not come unto you" — 
Ibid, xvi. 7. 

*• I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye 
cannot bear them now." 

" Howbeit when He the spirit of truth is come, He 
will guide you unto all truth : for He shall not speak of 
Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He 
speak: and He will show you the things to come." — 
Ibid. xvi. 12, 13. 

All the greatest thinkers, from Prometheus to Socrates 
and Plato, and from them down to our own time, have 
prophesied the fall of one belief and the rising of another. 
None had prevision, like Jesus, of the characteristics of 
the future faith. One of those rare intuitions, which 
make of Him a type hitherto unique amongst men, 
inspired the words above quoted, linking His own faith 
to the faith to come. It seems as if the symbolic forms 
of religion, the transformatory work of time upon them, 
the sanctity of universal tradition, and the continuous 
revelation of the Spirit of God through humanity, were 
all foreseen by Him, on the eve of the sacrifice He had 
accepted ; when the darkness of the future was illumined 
by the immense love He bore to His fellow-men. You 
are no longer capable of love or sacrifice, and, therefore, 
those words have no meaning for you ; unintelligible as 
the warning at the banquet of Belshazzar. 

You will die, then — fate so wills it — ^but instead of 
dying in love, like Jesus, and invoking the coming of the 
Con:ibrter to mankind^ you are doomed — ^as I formerly 


322 From the Council to Qo4 

declared to you — to die the oddest of all (ifatU3, with 
curses on your lips. 

The Book of God is not closed. The coming genera- 
tions are not disinherited; they who preceded Jesus 
were not accursed. Children of God all of them, 
identical in faculties and tendencies, they transmit from 
each to each, in brightness growing with the growth of 
time and their own endeavour, the lamp of life kindled 
by Him, and fed and nourished by His Spirit. Revela- 
tion, which is, as Lessing say 3, the education of the 
human race, descends continuously from God to man ; 
prophesied by genius, evoked by virtue and sacrifice, 
and accepted and proclaimed from epoch to epoch, by 
the great religious evolutions of collective humanity. 

From epoch to epoch the pages of that eternal gospel 
{which Italians^ neglected by us and persecuted by you, 
were the first to foretell) are turned; each fresh page, 
disclosed by the ever-renovating Spirit of God, indicates 
a period of the progress marked out for us by the 
providential plan, and corresponds, historically, to a 
religion. Each religion sets before mankind a new 
educational idea as its aim; each i3 a fragment, en- 
veloped in symbols, of eternal truth. So soon as that 
idea, comprehended by the intelligence, and incarnated 
in the hearts of mankind, has become an inalienable 
part of universal tradition, even as the ipountain traveller 
on reaching one summit beholds another rising above 
him, so is a new idea or aim presented to the human 
mind, and a new conception of life, a faith, arises to 
consecrate that idea, and unite the powers and activity 
of mankind in the fulfilment of that aim. Having 
accomplished its mission, that religion disappears ; leaving 
behind the portion of truth it contained, the unknown 
quantity disengaged by it from its symbol, a new 
immortal star in humanity's heaven. As the discoveries 
of science have revealed, and will reveal, star upon star, 
until our knowledge of the celestial system, of which the 
milky way is zone, and the earth a part, be complete, so 
the religious faculties of humanity have added, and will 
add, faith to faith, until the entire truth we are capable 

From the Council to God 323 

of comprehending be complete. Columns of the temple 
which the generations are building to God, our religions 
succeed and are linked with one another, sacred and 
niecessary each and all, but having each and all their 
determinate place and value, according to the portion 
of the temple they sustain. You who seek to support 
God's temple on a single column seek the impossible. 
Could mankind follow you in the insane attempt, column^ 
and temple would fall together. 

The world is athirst of God, of progress, and of unity. 
You substitute for God an idol, an infallible Pope. You 
dppose to progress the impotent, barren negations of 
your canons. You impede unity by accepting — on 
condition that a fraction of the State be preserved ta 
you by force — the dualism between the temporal and 
spiritual power, represented by the Papacy and monarchy. 
The hideous idolatry will be answered by God, the 
destroyer of all idols, past, present, and to come. Your 
wretched negations will be answered by humanity, which 
will look upon you, smile, and pass on. The dualism 
you perpetuate will be answered by the people — the sole 
power destined to increase — ^who are hourly acquiring 
that consciousness of their own strength which alone is 
needful for their victory. 

The epoch of individuality is exhausted. The epoch 
of associsltion has begun, and is destined — perhaps 
through the very Rome you desecrate and profane — to 
sweep away monarchy and the Papacy together. 

I remember vaguely, while I write, a short poem of 
Byron's called " Darkness." Amid the ruins of a 
world expiring in icy cold, two beings alone are left. 
They also are doomed to perish, but they persist in 
struggling against the approaching dissolution. Groping 
amid the darkness, they reach the ashes of an expiring 
fire, and strive, with all the anguish of one who seeks 
to prolong existence, if only for a day, to revive it with 
their breath. When at last they succeed in raising a 
feeble flame they turn to gaze upon each other, ta 
discover, with rage and terror, that they are enemies ! 

I know not what idea inspired these lines to Byron 'y 

324 From the Council to Gk)d 

but my thoughts, as I recall them, turn involuntarily to 
you. The last, doomed representatives of a world, 
from which all life is withdrawn, you. Papacy, and 
Monarchy, have sought to dominate humanity more 
surely by dividing it in twain. Conscious of your 
incapacity of re-uniting it, and yet jealous in your 
impotent ambition of each other, you have striven to 
found an impossible alliance between the powers you 
have disjoined, and from time to time have embraced 
each other upon the tomb of some once free and 
dreaded nation ; but hating and despising each other in 
your hearts, and seeking to injure each other so soon 
as freed from any imminent danger. Now groping 
onwards, solitary and suspicious, amid the darkness, and 
vainly seeking to rekindle the fire irrevocably consumed, 
you bend your dying gaze upon each other in rage and 

Descend into the tomb you have dug for yourselves. 
Had you loved, forefelt the future, and adored in time 
the Spirit of truth announced by Jesus in dying, you 
might have made of that tomb an altar. It is now too 
late. The Angel of Death will inscribe upon that tomb 
the condemnation you have forgotten : 

'' And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of 

Man, it shall be forgiven him : but whosoever speaketh 

against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, 

neither in this world, neither in the world to come.'* 

— Matt. xii. 32. 



The Revolution of Central Italy in 1831 was a sequel of the 
July Revolution in France. The Parisian Carbonari had 
been industriously connecting the threads of revolution in 
North and Central Italy. Early in February it broke out 
in Modena and Bologna, and within a fortnight all but a 
fraction of the Papal States and the Duchies of Modena and 
Parma, the mass in fact of Central Italy, with the exception 
of Tuscany, were in full revolt The temporal power was 
abolished ; a National Assembly was decreed ; the Pope 
was on the point of flight. The Bolognese Government 
had relied on French promises to protect them against 
Austrian aggression. One of the formulas of the July 
Revolution had been, that no nation should be allowed to 
interfere in the domestic concerns of another. The French 
ministers had protested that France would never allow 
the principle of non-intervention to be violated, and had 
promised to fight if Austria sent troops into the revolted 
provinces. At the same time they were sending Mettemich 
private assurances to the contrary, and soon afterwards, 
throwing off the mask, they declared that ** the blood of 
Frenchmen belongs to France alone." Free from French 
opposition, the Austrians easily overran Parma and Modena. 
When the Modenese forces retired into Romagna, the 

326 Appendix 

Provisional Government at Bologna, in pedantic observ- 
ance of the non-intervention formula, still hoping against 
light that France would insist on its observance by Austria, 
regarded them as belligerents entering a neutral territory, 
and disarmed them. ''None of our people," they said, 
'' shall take part in our neighbours' quarrels." Their fears 
gave the lie to their high-sounding phrases of Italian unity 
and nationality, and took the life out of the struggle. A 
feeble retreat to Ancona, varied by some spirited fighting 
on the part of the volunteers at Rimini, was followed by 
complete surrender, and, though the Revolution broke out 
again at the end of the year, it was easily suppressed by the 
Papal troops. 

The revolution has been, perhaps, over-hardl^ criticised 
by Mazzini and others. The irresolution and inc6n^etency 
of its leaders, their pedantic belief in phrases, their in- 
capacity to guide, admit of no defence. The lawyers and 
professors who directed it had small experience of public 
life. They thought they could sway men by maxims, and 
despised the spiritual forces that are the life-blood of a 
revolution. And so the people welcomed the revolution, 
but after the first few days had no enthusiasm for it. They 
chose their deputies for the Assembly, but were never made 
to feel their own responsibility, and place in the new order. 
Men who under good leadership would have fought and per- 
haps conquered found themselves isolated and paralysed, 
and resigned with hardly a struggle to the old hated rule. 
And yet it ^as in advance of the revolutions of Naples and 
Piedmont ten years before. In some respects it went 
ahead of popular feeling, and the abolition of the temporal 
power scandalised the masses outside the great cities. It 
accentuated, though with a somewhat uncertain voice, the 
nationalist bearings of the democratic movement. Italian 
liberalism too had broadened since 182 1. It had spread 
from the army to the lawyers and tradesmen and artisans. 
Democracy no longer paraded in military full-dress : it had 
become bourgeois and unostentatious, and if it lacked 

Appendix 327 

capacity and enthusiasm, it had gained in a certain plain 
solidity. There was a disinterestedness and probity about 
it that testified to the new spirit Social reform had been 
absent from the progranunes of the earlier revolutionists ; 
it had now, pace Mazzini, come to the front, and the first 
days of freedom had been signalised by a long list of 
practical improvements in law and taxation and social 

'Te«w P««J;^^<='gJS5iD 


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