Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 424, New Series, February 14, 1852 by Various


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 424, New
Series, February 14, 1852, by Various

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 424, New Series, February 14, 1852

Author: Various

Editor: Robert Chambers and William Chambers

Release Date: April 5, 2005 [EBook #15549]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EDINBURGH JOURNAL ***




Produced by Malcolm Farmer, Richard J. Shiffer and the PG
Online Distributed Proofreading Team.








CHAMBERS' EDINBURGH JOURNAL


CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF 'CHAMBERS'S
INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.


No. 424. NEW SERIES. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1852. PRICE 1-1/2 _d_.




THE PATTERN NATION.


It seems to be the destiny of France to work out all sorts of problems
in state and social policy. It may be said to volunteer experiments in
government for the benefit of mankind. All kinds of forms it tries,
one after the other: each, in turn, is supposed to be the right thing;
and when found to be wrong, an effort, fair or unfair, is made to try
something else. It would surely be the height of ingratitude not to
thank our versatile neighbour for this apparently endless series of
experiments.

Unfortunately, the novel projects extemporised by the French are not
on all occasions easily laid aside. What they have laid hold on, they
cannot get rid of. We have a striking instance of this in the practice
of subdividing lands. Forms of state administration may be altered,
and after all not much harm done; it is only changing one variety of
power at the Tuileries for another. A very different thing is a
revolution in the method of holding landed property. Few things are
more dangerous than to meddle with laws of inheritance: if care be not
taken, the whole fabric of society may be overthrown. The unpleasant
predicament which the French have got into on this account is most
alarming--far more terrible than the wildest of their revolutions. How
they are to get out of it, no man can tell.

Latterly, the world has heard much of Socialism. This is the term
applied to certain new and untried schemes of social organisation, by
which, among other things, it is proposed to supersede the ordinary
rights of property and laws of inheritance--the latter, as is
observed, having, after due experience, failed to realise that
happiness of condition which was anticipated sixty years ago at their
institution. As it is always instructive to look back on the first
departure from rectitude, let us say a few words as to how the French
fell into their present unhappy position.

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