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destroy the charm, of the nation. The legis lator should follow the spirit of the people: we do nothing so well as that which we do hardily and freely. If you give an air of pedantry to a nation naturally gay, the state will gain nothing.* 'Ni pour le dedans, ni pour le dehors -Laissez lui faire les choses frivoles sérieusement, et gaîment les choses sérieuses!" The maxims of Montesquieu, almost imcompatible
* "S'il y avait dans le monde une nation qui eût une humeur sociale, une ouverture de cœur, une joie dans la vie, un goût, une facilité à communiquer ses pensées; qui fût vive, agréable, enjouée, quelque fois imprudente, souvent indiscrète, et qui eût avec cela du courage, de la générosité, de la franchise, un certain point d'honneur, il ne faudrait point chercher à gêner ses manières, pour ne point gêner ses vertus: si en général le caractère est bon, qu'importe de quelques défauts qui s'y trouvent? On y pourrait contenir les femmes, faire des lois pour corriger leurs mœurs et borner leur luxe; mais qui sait si on n'y perdrait pas un certain goût qui serait la source des richesses de la nation? C'est au législateur à suivre l'esprit de la nation lorsqu'il n'est pas contraire au principe du gouvernement; car nous ne fesons rien de mieux que ce que nous fesons librement, et en suivant notre génie naturel. Qu'on donne un esprit de pédanterie à une nation naturellement gaie, l'état n'y gagnera rien, ni pour le dedans ni pour le dehors."
with change, are erroneous in one extreme; the philosophy of Bentham, with set and universal forms for every change, is equally erroneous in the other.
Let us look for the character we have remarked in the pleasures of the French in their crimes-Write to advance no dogma-M. Guerry's work-Table of crimes in each of the five districts into which he - has divided France-The most singular calculation that ever yet appeared-What law, what chance, what instruction has to do with it- What influences are visible upon crime - The climate and the seasons Influence of age, of sexMotives for crime-Natural children-SuicidesWritings of persons having committed suicideWhat M. Guerry's tables teach, always taught— Return to investigation set out with-How far is the gallantry, the vanity, and frivolity of the French connected with their crimes?-Having spoken of the character, proceed to speak of the history of the French.
I AM arrived at a place where I would wish to cast my eye back over the chapters I have just concluded. The French, it appears, are gay, gallant, witty, vain. We have seen them in their amusements-we have followed them to the ball-room, and the guinguette, and the theatre;
the gloomy avenue now before us, leads tothe prison. We have discovered this people's character in their pleasures, let us look for it in their crimes!
Now, if there be any truth in what I have already said, it seems justifiable to believe, that there are certain qualities, propensities, and passions, which characterizing one people from another, will wind themselves into all our legislative enactments. Moreover, if the book I am writing has any merit, it is that of being written without the object of advancing any legislative dogma of my own. Every person living and reading at the present time, must remember an infinitude of forced systems in economy, politics, and morals, each in their turn giving place to some new system, which appearing last, has, like the rod of Moses, devoured the rods of the Egyptians.
I cannot think, with one of the most strange and positive of modern speculators,* that the sea is rapidly becoming lemonade, and that nature has in her wisdom reserved a tailed appendix to future generations: neither am I, for similar scruples, disposed to credit, that the
M. Fourrier de Dijon, the founder of the Phalansterian sect, of which I shall have occasion to speak, when I speak of the modern philosophy of France.
many tribes of the world are endowed with precisely the same dispositions, and to be fitted, as a matter of course, by precisely the same goveraments and institutions. The various nostrums which have in turn been promulgated as certain specifics for our various civil disorders, were about as likely to be uniformly efficacious as those balsams, cordials, and sudorifics, which medicine daily offers to our corporeal infirmities, as equally adapted to the stone, the gravel, and the gout. Looking rather at the effects which have been produced by your state-pharmacopolists, than at the pompous puffs with which they have usually announced themselves, I do confess, that I somewhat incline to the belief, that each race and each country has peculiarities almost impossible to eradicate-and which therefore it is wiser in the legislator, instead of fruitlessly attempting to destroy, sagaciously to endeavour to direct. But this theory requires a perpetual attention to what is passing around, and to what has passed before, us-a perpetual accumulation of knowledge, and perpetual variations in the application of knowledge, and I do not therefore marvel at finding it less popular than the doctrines of that easier school, which in twenty pages gives all that it is possible to know for the government and the happiness of all the nations of the earth.