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attention on the mere skilful delineation of character. They have all one object, or rather they all express an effort towards an object, and that no less a one than the revolution and regeneration of modern society. All that we are accustomed most to admire and desiderate, all that we are wont to rest upon as most stable amid the Auctuating fortunes of the world, the progress of civilisation, the development of human intelligence, the coordinate extension of power and responsibility among the masses of mankind, the advance of self-reliance and self-control-all, in truth, for which not we alone, but all other nations, have been yearning and fighting and praying for the last three centuries-all that has been done by the Reformation, by the English and French Revolutions, by American Independence—is here proclaimed an entire delusion and failure, and we are taught that we can now only hope to improve our future by utterly renouncing our past.
There is indeed nothing very rare or new in the doctrine, that civilisation is the great corrupter of human nature. This was the youthful crotchet of Rousseau's prize-essay, and it is the mature theory of Mr Sewell's Christian Politics. It is the common ground, indeed, of the high Tory and the Sans-culotte-of those who have no faith in the progressive development of man, and of those who aspire to no higher humanity. than that of the instincts, the passions, and the uncultivated'affections. Not, indeed, but that the imagination, both of many races and of wise and noble individual minds, has often formed, as it were, a reversed ideal of the future destiny of mankindpicturing what we may again become, as a Golden Age in which we have already been; and representing what we have yet to obtain as something which we have formerly lost-an error easily incident to that nature which stands
« On a point of time,
With an eternity on either band.' In Mr D’Israeli's application of this notion to our present social and political position, he has kept clear of the sophism of Rousseau, who insensibly transplanted himself and society into a state of nature with all that cultivation which they could only acquire by coming out of that state ; but he has only done so by extending and exaggerating the paradox ; and by desiring to transplant man back into an uncivilised state, not only with respect to independence of the desires of sense, but also with respect to moral effort and spiritual culture.
In the first book of this series, a band of youthful politicians are struck with sovereign contempt for the mediocrities' to whom the present English constitution has entrusted the government of the country; and are resolved not only to subvert
that inefficient system, but to substitute their own genius for its weak and conventional authority : Yet the novel closes just at the point when they start on their enterprise ; and the practicability of either portion of the arrangement remains as problematical as ever. In the second work, the peculiar evils incident to a crowded population are vividly depicted, and all are laid to the account of the development of industry; while the harsh lines of distinction between high and low in this country are powerfully reprobated and mainly attributed to the aggregation of capital. But the remedy which should equally apply to a busy manufacturing Manchester and an inactive agricultural Skibbereen, is not disclosed; and no better means of amalgamating the alienated classes are discovered, than the alliance of two persons —who turn out both to belong to the upper one.
The tale which immediately attracts our attention, presents us with a Coningsby of loftier aspirations and purer heart; a youth of the highest rank and station, (why will Mr D’Israeli be so fond of dukes?) who astounds and terrifies his most respectable parents on the very day after he comes of age, by announcing his desire to go to the Holy Land, half-pilgrim and half-prophet, in search of a new faith which shall supersede our exhausted forms of Christianity. After a volume full of contrasts between the boy's earnestness and the frivolity and decorum of the world around him,* he arrives at Jerusalem; and the two latter volumes, to which the first is but a long preface which injares the artistic effect of the whole, are occupied with his adventures in the East. Here he is taught to reverence the Hebrew race as that which gave the Saviour to the world; to look on Christendom as an intellectual colony of Arabia;' and in a divine revelation actually made to him on Mount Sinai, he is commanded to go forth to preach a purer theism and the doctrine of “theocratic equality' to mankind. Instead, however, of instantly devoting his energies to this solemn mission, the young apostle continues to travel about Syria, and ends by proposing marriage to the daughter of a great Hebrew banker.
It is superfluous to blame Mr D’Israeli for not working out into the practical reality of these days, a political philosophy which is in fact nothing less than an abandonment of all principles of individuality, responsibility, and self-government; and a return to the narrowest principles of loyal dependence, hero-worship,
There is a curious coincidence between the sentimental fine lady who
a faints over the loss of the profitable railway, and the Fedora of the • Peau de Chagrin,' whose passionate Mon Dieu ! turns out to be applied, not to the lover, who is listening in an agony of expectation for some token of reciprocal excitement, but to a sudden fall of the five per cents.
and local patriotism. It is also in vain to call on him to apply to the religious deficiencies and desires of the age a theosophy which neutralises the last eighteen hundred years of the world, under the colour of the rejection of all the increased developments that have grown up in the increased distance between God and man;' which would substitute a quietist adoption of absolute à
а priori impressions for the fruits of the laborious analysis of generations; and which enunciates the sublime doctrine of fraternity
under a common father,' in the same breath with the assertion of the indefeasible superiority of one race over all mankind, and with the complaint of the dissolution of modern society for want of some autocratic mind to guide it.
Such principles, or something like them, have been the basis of all the fanaticism and charlatanism that in their manifold expressions have arrested the advance of the human mind; and it would be indeed difficult to reconcile an honest adherence to them with the clear intelligence and fine sense of humour that Mr D'Israeli elsewhere exhibits, but for the one idea which has passed from "Coningsby' to‘Tancred,'—namely, the essential and unalienable prerogative of the Jewish race, to be at once the moral ruler and the political master of humanity. Mr D’Israeli is himself of Jewish origin; and he has identified his own natural powers and his own ambition with the history and destinies of that people. He has done more; he has sacrificed to his national feelings his own good sense and his appreciation of the circumstances of his own age and time. It is indisputably to his honour, that while so many persons of that blood have condescended to the smallest devices, such as the elision of vowels, or the transposition of consonants, to veil the characteristic names of their families, or have dropped them altogether, out of a false shame, he should, without even the obligation of the religious duty, have frankly avowed the fact, and repudiated the notion of disgrace in this alien origin. This is not only honourable, but, like most other bold avowals of the truth, it is wise: for whatever distinction Mr D’Israeli may hereafter achieve, this circumstance can never be thrown in his teeth, and he has taken at least one weapon of prejudice out of the hands of his opponents. But when, not contented with this, he turns round on the country of his birth and political adoption, and can see nothing in its people but a mass of jaded slaves, nothing in its intellectual progress but a feverish delirium, nothing in its representative system but a'drollery,' nothing in its deep religious earnestness but a decorous infidelity, we lament the enthusiasm we were inclined to admire; and distrust the fitness of such a man to take a prominent part in the direction of the affairs of a nation which he so little steems and understands. Nor can we give Mr D'Israeli the bene
fit of the doubt - whether or not he is acting on the O'Connell principle of making immoderate demands to secure some lesser concession; for, if his principles are carried to their legitimate results, the full political emancipation of the Jews, and their incorporation in the societies in which they happen to dwell, becomes not difficult, but impossible. Baron Rothschild may become member for the City ; but Sidonia, the ideal Jew, must remain an alien till he returns to Jerusalem. In the last volume of “Tancred'thereis a sketch of a young Syrian Hebrew,who, without being ashamed of his race or his religion, listens with a smile to the exalted language, in which the heroine asserts the splendour and the superiority of their race, and sighs for the restoration of their national glory. This we conceive to be very much the spirit in which Tancred' will be received by the foremost Hebrews of Europe. They will be much interested in the views and reasonings, and perhaps in secret not a little proud, of their advocate ; but they will avow that neither his feelings nor his hopes are theirs—that though they do believe that, in the course of events, God will work out for them a destiny worthy of their original, and give a palpable form to that nationality which has endured so much, and which still remains firmly persistent under so many temptations; yet only desire, in the mean time, to discharge the duties of citizens in a free state, and take their fair chance with other men.
The German Radical, Bruno Bauer, in his “Judenfrage,' adopts indeed without reservation all that Mr D’Israeli asserts respecting the segregation both in past and present times of the Jewish people ; and he deduces from it the conclusion, that such a social principle necessarily excludes them from all political privilege, because it implies an absence of all political sympathy. He expounds how irreconcilable must be this exclusive nation. ality, this
Pride of autocthonic culture,
Of the Grecian nor the Roman,'with all the advancing doctrines of freedom and equality, the free-trade of commerce and the free-trade of thought, which compose the future of the civilised world ; and he urges that it is a false and spurious liberality which would admit a Jew within the pale of a constitution which not only his religion, but his national prejudices, must teach him to abhor. He treats this disqualification as something which it is bardly possible for the individual to get over, even by the open profession of Christianity; and it is curious to see how the very characteristics which Mr D' Israeli holds out as deserving the reverential admiration
and envy of the rest of mankind, are fixed upon by the radical philosopher as constituting the evidence of incurable degradation. The absolute submission to a fixed unplastic law appears to Bruno Bauer in itself to except the Jewish people from that historical development which is the life of humanity; and to render them incapable of adapting themselves to the impulses and interests of common European life. He regards every Jew as utpote cadaver,' bound to a dead form, and thus even less adapted to the purposes of daily life than the Jesuit, who is at least obedient to a living authority.
And yet this is what Mr D'Israeli represents as the ineffable superiority of the East, whose slumber is more vital
tlan the waking life of the rest of the globe,' while Europe is described as that quarter of the globe to which God has never spoken;' and he praises the sublime inexorability of the law, which, though the vineyards of Israel have ceased to exist, still enjoins the children of Israel to celebrate the vintage. Again, the Jewish polity is the closest that has ever risen among nations; in its permanent legislation, the stranger within your gates' was always the stranger;' the line between Jew and Gentile was one that no baptism could pass; circumcision, called by Spencer signum politicum, did not make, it merely authenticated, the Jew. This, says Bauer, is equally true in Egypt of old, and in the Europe of our own time; conqueror or conquered, the Jew is ever apart, and all your emancipation can never make him otherwise. And thus also Sidonia preaches, .The decay of a race is an inevitable necessity,
unless it lives in deserts, and never mixes its blood. In the same spirit it is laid down that the long and wide dispersion of the Jewish race has had little effect in domesticating their thoughts in the different lands they inhabit : they are always and every where exiles - their Passover prayer is not to remain and prosper where they are, but to return to Palestine, and from Jerusalem to rule over the world. This local feeling also pervades the whole of Mr D’Israeli's theory.- I know well,' says Tancred, though born in a northern and distant isle, that the Creator
of the world speaks with man only in this land; and that is 'why I am here.'— Let men doubt of axioms,' cries the Sheik, . but of one thing there can be no doubt, that God never spoke
except to an Arab;' and the angel of the Vision exclaims, • The thoughts of all lands come from a higher source than men, • but the intellect of Arabia comes from the Most High.'— Is it
to be believed,' writes Mr D'Israeli himself, that there are no * peculiar and eternal qualities in a land thus visited which disVOL. LXXXVI. NO. CLXXIII.,