Miscellaneous Essays (Classic Reprint)
Excerpt from Miscellaneous Essays
France is, xar' 550705 the land of experiment, as England is the land of compromise. There is scarcely a religious, political, or social experiment she has not tried; scarcely a? Religious, political, ' or social phase which she has not passed through. The forni of R0 manism in its narrowest and harshest bigotry which she exhibited towards the close of the i'eign of Louis XIV was exchanged under his successors for a wild, angry, aggressive infidelity. This in its turn was suc ceeded by a cold and contemptuous indifference, which is now giving place to a somewhat more hopeful spirit in the poetical and mystical faith of Lamennais and Lamartine among the adherents of the old creed, and to the stiff and dogmatic opinions of Guizot, Coquerel, and Quinet among the votaries of the new. In polity France was at one time a military aristocracy, when the Guises and the Condés were almost the equals of the reigning prince. Richelieu, Mazarin, and Louis XIV. Curbed the power of these rival potentates, and established a central and relentless despotism, which.
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