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FOR JANUARY, 1844.
1. Political Philosophy. By Henry Lord Brougham, F.R.S., Part II.
On Aristocracy and Aristocratic Governments. London: 1843. 2. The Influence of Aristocracies on the Revolutions of Nations, considered
in Relationship to the Present Circumstances of the British Empire.
By James J. Macintyre. London. Fisher and Co. 1843. THERE is a mighty difference in one respect, betwixt antiquity and modern times. Formerly, the few were observing the many; now, the many are observing the few. In past days, there was here and there an Aristotle, or a Machiavel, or a Lord Bacon, looking down from their social and intellectual elevation upon their fellow creatures, living in masses far below them, quite contented, whilst matters went on tolerably well; or at least satisfied, upon the whole, with leaving philosophy and politics to their governors or superiors. The professors of knowledge were generally limited to the possessors of leisure; upper classes ruled, and the lower ones obeyed. Those usually were the utterers of wisdom to whom circumstances gave a monopoly of it; and who mingled more or less with the great and wealthy of the earth. Now all is changed. The vast sections of society have become, like the mysterious polymorphies of Ezekiel and the Apocalypse, winged, powerful, terrible, and full of eyes! The sublunary world may still be a theatre; but most of the mortal spectators seem ready to become actors; and, in too many cases, with their mere passions for their leaders. That kind and degree of knowledge prevails, which agitates and irritates. So great is the positive experience that something must be wrong—so piercingly has the sting of misery entered into the very soul of society--that its