peaceful and brilliant glory of leading the way to a
milder and more effective penal code.
Shunning speculative conjecture, he limited his reasonings to the facts in European
political life, and though he failed to discover, theoretically, the true foundation of government, he revived and quickened faith in the principles of political liberty, and showed to the people of France
how monarchy may be tempered by a division of its power, and how republics, more happy than those of Italy
, may save themselves from the passionate tyranny of a single senate.
That free commerce would benefit every nation, is a truth which Montesquieu1
is thought to have but imperfectly perceived.
The moment was come when the languishing agriculture of his country would invoke science to rescue it from oppression by entreating the liberty of industry and trade.
The great employment of France
was the tillage of land, than which no method of gain is more grateful in itself, or more worthy of freemen,2
or more happy in rendering service to the whole human race.3
No occupation is nearer heaven.
But authority had invaded this chosen domain of labor; as if protection of manufactures needed restrictions on the exchanges of the products of the earth, the withering prohibition of the export of grain had doomed large tracts of land4
to lie desolately fallow.
Indirect taxes, to the number of at least ten thousand,5
bringing with them custom-houses between provinces, and custom-houses on the frontier, and a hundred thousand