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- The Duel Between France and Germany - 13/13 -


become all-powerful, exalting the Republic to its just place as the natural expression of citizenship. Napoleon has been credited with the utterance at St. Helena of the prophecy, that "in fifty years Europe would be Republican or Cossack." [Footnote: See the _New York Times_ of August 11, 1870, where the reputed prophecy is cited in these terms, in a letter of the 27th July from the London correspondent of that journal, with remarks indicating an expectation of its fulfilment in the results of the present war.] This famous saying has been variously represented; but the following are its original terms, as recorded at the time by Las Cases, to whom it was addressed in conversation, and as authenticated by the Commission appointed by Louis Napoleon for the collection and publication of the matters now composing the magnificent work entitled "Correspondance de Napoleon Ier":---

_"Dans Petat actuel des choses, avant dix ans_, toute l'Europe peut etre cosaque, ou toute en republique."--LAS CASES, _Memorial de Sainte-Hellene_, (Reimpression de 1823 et 1824,) Tom. III. p. 111,--Journal, 18 Avril 1816. _Correspondence de Napoleon I_, (Paris, 1858-69,) Tom. XXXIL p. 326.] Evidently Europe will not be Cossack, unless the Cossack is already changed to Republican,--as well may be, when it is known, that, since the great act of Enfranchisement, in February, 1861, by which twenty- three millions of serfs were raised to citizenship, with the right to vote, fifteen thousand three hundred and fifty public schools have been opened in Russia. A better than Napoleon, who saw mankind with truer insight, Lafayette, has recorded a clearer prophecy. At the foundation of the monument on Bunker Hill, on the semi-centennial anniversary of the battle, 17th June, 1825, our much-honored national guest gave this toast: "Bunker Hill, and the holy resistance to oppression, which has already enfranchised the American hemisphere. The next half-century Jubilee's toast shall be,--To _Enfranchised Europe_."[Footnote: Columbian Centinel, June 18, 1825.] The close of that half-century, already so prolific, is at hand. Shall it behold the great Jubilee with all its vastness of promise accomplished? Enfranchised Europe, foretold by Lafayette, means not only the Republic for all, but Peace for all; it means the United States of Europe, with the War System abolished. Against that little faith through which so much fails in life, I declare my unalterable conviction, that "government of the people, by the people, and for the people"-- thus simply described by Abraham Lincoln [Footnote: Address at the Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, November 19, 1863: McPherson's Political History of the United States during the Great Rebellion, p. 606.]--is a necessity of civilization, not only because of that republican equality without distinction of birth which it establishes, but for its assurance of permanent peace. All privilege is usurpation, and, like Slavery, a state of war, relieved only by truce, to be broken by the people in their might. To the people alone can mankind look for the repose of nations; but the Republic is the embodied people. All hail to the Republic, equal guardian of all, and angel of peace!

Our own part is simple. It is, first, to keep out of war,--and, next, to stand firm in those ideas which are the life of the Republic. Peace is our supreme vocation. To this we are called. By this we succeed. Our example is more than an army. But not on this account can we be indifferent, when Human Rights are assailed or republican institutions are in question. Garibaldi asks for a "word," [Footnote: "The cause of Liberty in Italy needs the word of the United States Government, which would be more powerful in its behalf than that of any other."--Message to Mr. Sumner from Caprera, May 24,1869.] that easiest expression of power. Strange will it be, when that is not given. To the Republic, and to all struggling for Human Rights, I give word, with heart on the lips. Word and heart I give. Nor would I have my country forget at any time, in the discharge of its transcendent duties, that, since the rule of conduct and of honor is the same for nations as for individuals, the greatest nation is that which does most for Humanity.


The Duel Between France and Germany - 13/13

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