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Typos — p. xii: chapers [= chapters]; p. xiii: sciology [= sociology]; p. xvi: Federly [= Federley]

A Defence of Aristocracy
A Text Book for Tories

Anthony M. Ludovici

Constable & Company Ltd.
2nd edition

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To the Loving Memory of my Mother
Who until her Death Remained My
Chief Inspirer and Friend

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"L'Aristocracie m'eût facilement adoré; aussi bien il m'en fallait une; c'est le vrai, le seul soutien d'une monarchie, son levier, son point résistant; l'État sans elle est un vaisseau sans gouvernail, un vrai ballon dans les airs. Or, le bon de l'Aristocracie, sa magie, est dans son ancienneté, dans le temps." — Napoleon

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Preface to first edition

In three books published during the last five years, the subject of Aristocracy has already formed a no insignificant part of my theme, and in my last book it occupied a position so prominent that most of the criticism directed against that work concerned itself with my treatment of the aristocratic standpoint in Art. Much of this criticism, however, seemed to be provoked by the fact that I had not gone to the pains of defining exhaustively precisely what I meant by the true aristocrat and by true aristocracy in their relation to a people, and in the present work it has been my object not only to do this, and thus to reply to my more hostile critics, but also to offer a practical solution of modern problems which is more fundamental and more feasible than the solution offered by either Democracy or Socialism.
        In view of the deep discontent prevailing in the modern world, and of the increasing unhappiness of all classes in Western Europe, it is no longer possible to turn a deaf ear even to the Socialist's plea for a hearing, and thousands of the possessing classes who, prompted by their self-preservative instinct alone, still retort that Socialism is an impossible and romantic Utopia, are beginning to wonder secretly in their innermost hearts whether, after all, this "vulgar" and "proletarian" remedy is not perhaps the only true and practical solution of modern difficulties. Having no other solution to offer, they are beginning to ask themselves, in private, whether this may not be the best way of extricating modern humanity from the tangle of exploitation and privilege, oppression and luxurious hedonism, in which they — the top-dogs — seem to be, but accidentally, the favoured few. In their

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conscience they find no deep reply to Socialism, although their natural longing to hold what they possess forces them to cast ridicule and odium upon it.
        Now, in the present work, I outline the terms of a reply to Socialism and Democracy which I venture to hope is deeper than that usually made by their opponents. I offer a solution which I believe to be more fundamental, more consonant with the passions and foibles of human nature, more practical, and above all more vital and full of promise for the future, than anything Socialism or Democracy does and can bring forward.
        I have entered exhaustively neither into the Democratic nor into the Socialistic solution of modern evils, but have confined myself closely to the statement of the true aristocrat's position, leaving the reader to see how fundamentally such a statement upsets the claims of both of the other parties.
        Thus the book is not merely an argument in defence of true aristocracy; for, to all thinking men, who know it needs no defence, such an argument alone would be simply platitudinous. It is, in addition, an attempt at showing wherein hitherto the principles of a true Aristocracy have been misunderstood by the very aristocrats themselves, and that more than half the criticism directed against the Aristocratic principle to-day no more applies to a true Aristocracy than it does to the man in the moon.
        I have called attention to a political and historical fact which too many writers appear to have overlooked: the fact that all political struggles, and all the fluctuations of fortune which have attended the history of aristocracies, have not consisted actually of a struggle between the principle of aristocracy and a better, nobler. and more desirable principle, which by its superior virtues has supplanted the former, but of a struggle between the principle of aristocracy and its representatives, or, in other words, of Aristocracy versus the Aristocrats.
        My conclusion that Aristocracy means Life and that

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Democracy means Death reveals at once the object with which I undertook to investigate this problem — that is to say with the object of raising the controversy it possible to a plane higher than mere "matters of opinion" and mere political party; and the impartiality with which I have pointed the finger at the errors and general incompetence of a particular aristocracy should be sufficient to prove the non-political and non-party spirit with which I entered upon the investigation.
        The two chapters devoted to Charles I and the Puritan Rebellion, respectively, may seem to some a little irrelevant in a book of this nature; but when it is remembered that I needed a convincing example of the divergence of bad taste from good taste, and that this particular divergence of bad taste from good represents the most imposing instance of the kind which the history of England records — so much so, indeed, that the act of murder committed in 1649 may be regarded as a decisive turning-point in the fortunes of the English people, and a choice of roads which has undoubtedly led to all the evils concerning the origin of which most of us are now consciously or unconsciously inquiring — this excursion into the records of the past, and particularly into the records of the seventeenth century, will perhaps appear more justified and indispensable.
        I do not claim to have adduced all the evidence possible for the support of my thesis — most of it, probably, I do not even know — but if I have succeeded in providing at least a stimulating introduction to the point of view taken in these pages, I shall feel that this is not altogether a superfluous book, or one that can be lightly set aside and ignored. For it is mot as if the subject of Aristocracy had been discussed ad nauseam by a large galaxy of able writers. A glance at the Subject Catalogue of the London Library alone shows how inadequately it has been treated compared with the long list of books which deal with the opposing principle of Democracy. There are in all only nine books mentioned under the heading Aristocracy in

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the 1909 Edition of the London Library's Catalogue, while the corresponding list under the heading Democracy numbers in all eighty-five volumes. When it is remembered that of the nine books above referred to four are purely partisan publications, no one will, I presume, venture to suggest that the author of a new book dealing with the Aristocrat and his life-principle need make half such a profound apologetic bow as he who would add one more volume to the eighty five dealing with the other subject.

Anthony M. Ludovici. 1

        1 The above, together with all the chapters that follow, was written at least a year before even the most prophetic amongst us could have had any premonition of the Great European War. Almost since the very beginning of the war I have been on active service, and not a line of the book has been altered. With regard to the relevancy of the work at the present juncture I feel that the message my book conveys has by no means been rendered superfluous by recent events. On the contrary, the fluid state that the beliefs, the hopes and the aspirations of the nation are likely to be in at the end of this long trial, allow me to hope that a work marking out so sharp and definite a point of view may not be altogether ineffectual in helping, however slightly, to mould and direct opinion, once we shall have begun to think of other things than submarines and Zeppelins.

A. M. L.
British Expeditionary Force,
France, April 1915.

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Preface to second edition

The seventeen eventful years that have elapsed since A DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY was first published, with all they have brought in the way of radical change, disaster and unpleasant surprises, have, strange as it may seem, introduced us to nothing that has invalidated the principles and conclusions composing the message of this book.
        On the contrary, hardly an event or a development has occurred, whether at home or abroad, which has not confirmed me in the position I adopted over twenty years ago, when I first sat down to write it.
        In regard to those principles of politics and sociology which I had from the very inception of this work considered as eternally true, this result of the intervening years has, of course, not surprised me. Although in 1912, 1913 and 1914, the air was full of ideas, beliefs and strivings which were incompatible with my main thesis, which even made it seem fantastic to my contemporaries, and which ultimately led to their regarding the Great War as a fight "to make the world safe for democracy," events have wholly borne out what I then claimed — that while from the standpoint of national affairs Aristocracy is the principle of life, Democracy is and cannot help being the principle of disintegration and decay.
        The weekly journal which in 1915 (in fact, throughout the War) went under the name of LAND AND WATER, had a large circulation in France and was eagerly read by the officers of our Army because of its excellent accounts of the state on all Fronts. Now a copy of this journal, containing a review of A DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY happened to come into the hands of my Colonel, and I

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shall not easily forget the indignant, not to say suspicious manner in which he examined me on the subject. In his thinly-veiled reprimand, there were all the idealism and romantic illusions of the first decade of the century, and yet he regarded himself as an out-and-out Conservative. What does he think now?
        As a contrast to this, I may mention that the same type of man has repeatedly asked me since the War how I could have written such a book as this before the War — before, that is to say, this Age, our present Age, with all the lessons it has taught us, could possibly have been known to us.
        But this confirmation of principles which, for over a quarter of a century, I have regarded as eternal, has not surprised me. Where, however, I do confess to feeling some unexpected satisfaction is in regard to those problems of genetics and anthropology which are involved in the hereditary principle arid in the practice of close in-breeding. When I planned Chapters VII and VIII, I drew regarding these problems certain extreme conclusions, which were far from being upheld by the science of the time, but which were pressed upon me by my invincible faith in those traditional beliefs and practices of past civilizations which have achieved greatness.
        It was only natural, therefore, that I should have written these chapers with some trepidation. Because although I felt safe regarding the source of my convictions, and felt that the mistake science too often makes is to promulgate its findings before it has made sure that they are on all fours with such traditional beliefs and practices, I was not unaware of the immense power and prestige that science now enjoys, or of the risk that is therefore incurred in opposing it.
        The first fourteen years of the twentieth century, the period in which the Liberals and Radicals scored their greatest triumphs and, by borrowing the feathers of Fabianism, secured themselves a long spell of power, was

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an age of extreme democratic thought in politics and also in science.
        Everybody was speaking with enthusiasm of the immense power of environment, and of the negligible importance of heredity. Everybody who was anybody in politics or sciology was more or less convinced that it was environment that created the chief differences between men, and that to make all men equal it was only necessary to introduce equal conditions for all from birth upwards.
        Politics, particularly the romantic tradition in politics, represented by Liberalism and Fabianism 1, eagerly took up the cry, and the rest of the world believed it and were prepared to pay for it. Everything was done, millions were spent, and are still being spent, in the attempt to realise precisely this end — the equalisation of living conditions so that everybody could be either a Goethe or a Darwin. And although the principle was a flat denial of all that the great civilizations of the past had practised, although it was a reversal of their traditional beliefs in blood, lineage, and family; because it was not condemned by an authoritative fiat from the science of the day, it was regarded as inviolable and, above all, self-evident. Charity, legislation, and all those who were grateful to hear that the undesirability of their own persons could be ascribed to environmental conditions and not to any congenital taint, began a regular orgy of environmental reform. A change of pots and a dressing of phosphates and lime were expected to make figs grow on thistles. One or two exceptionally benighted scientists, influenced by the feminist movement, even argued that the characteristic mental and emotional nature of women was due more to their environment as children than to their constitution.
        Heredity was proclaimed a superstition and inherited

        1 For an explanation of the romantic roots of Liberalism and Fabianism see my DEFENCE OF CONSERVATISM (Faber and Gwyer, 1927). Chapter II.

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qualities a myth. Now, however, that the worst has been done in regard to equalising environmental conditions, and countless millions have been squandered on this object while not a halfpenny has been spent on improving the hereditary conditions of the race, science, still speaking timidly, but very authoritatively this time, has at last declared the traditional beliefs and practices of mankind in this matter to be right after all, and established that in the creation of differences between men, heredity is very much more important than environment can ever be.
        This is not the conclusion of a few here and there, but the unanimous opinion of all responsible investigators.
        Much work has been done in biology in the seventeen years that have elapsed since this book was first published. Elaborate investigations and experiments have been carried out, particularly with "identical" and "fraternal" twins — a line of investigation originally suggested by Galton — with the result that the body of authoritative scientific opinion is entirely on the side of the old aristocratic belief in the paramount importance of good blood, good stock, good lineage, in the production of a desirable human being 1.
        "Nature withstands the impress of nurture to a remarkable degree," says Dr. F. A. E. Crew, the eminent biologist. "The same kind and degree of education, this word being used in its broadest sense, do not tend to produce equality among individuals exposed to them on the contrary, they emphasize the initial dissimilarity. Men are not born free and equal, but unequal and

        1 See for instance RACIAL HYGIENE by D. J. B. Rice (Macmillan and Co., New York, 1929), pp. 11 and 16. See also HUMAN HEREDITY (translated by Eden and Cedar Paul, from the German by Drs. Erwin Bauer, Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz. George Allen and Unwin, London, 1931), p. 41; and, above all, ORGANIC INHERITANCE IN MAN by the great biological authority Dr. F. A. E. Crew (Oliver and Boyd, 1927), pp. 3, 4, 111; and N. D. M. Hirsch's study on TWINS (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1930), pp. 49, 147.

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bound. The superior in inheritance, being superior, profit more through experience." 1
        Nobody who reads my DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY with care can possibly conclude that I have not done full justice to the importance of environment. In emphasizing, as I do, the much greater importance of heredity, I was, scientifically speaking, ahead of my time, and it is, therefore, all the more gratifying to find this recent authoritative confirmation, not only of the standpoint adopted in this work, but also of the traditional beliefs and practices of all past great civilizations, upon which I had chiefly relied for my authority.
        Turning now to the second very important contention in my book — that in regard to in-breeding — here again seventeen years of hard work in the biological field have certainly not led to results which have shaken my views; and, had I but possessed these results when I wrote Chapters VII and VIII, I should have been able to make out, if not a stronger, at least a more authoritative case from the standpoint of orthodox science.
        At the time when I wrote about in-breeding, the opinion of all ill-informed people, supported by theological prejudice and by the unconscious bias of scientists, was distinctly against the policy of close in-breeding, although professional breeders never ceased to practice it with our domesticated animals. Even the incompetence of our aristocracy, and of some of the Royal Houses of Europe of that day, was popularly supposed to be due to the alleged "evil" results of too close consanguinity.
        Now, however, we know that all that is claimed for in-breeding in Chapter VII of this book, was not only entirely justified, but was also stated much too moderately.
        It has now been clearly shown that Charles Darwin with his supposed indispensability of crossing, and such investigators as Crampe, Ritzema-Bos, Weismann

        1 Op. cit., p. 3.

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and his pupil von Guaita, Fabre, etc., who came to the conclusion that close in-breeding per se was injurious, must obviously have been labouring under some unconscious theological prejudice, while believing that they were scrupulously scientific; and although Federly and Crew, in examining their results, ascribe their mistakes to a faulty technique 1, Rice, definitely suspects these earlier investigators of having unconsciously selected the animals in such a way as to bring about the results they desired. 2 Is it not more charitable, however, merely to suppose, as I do, that they were unconsciously directed by the theological bias against in-breeding and incest which is now seen to have been based in error in so far as it regarded these practices per se as the cause of trouble 3?
        "Consanguinity itself," says Dr. Crew, "is no bar to mating. If in-breeding results in disappointment, all that has happened is that that which previously was hidden in a heterozygous stock has now been brought to the surface. In-breeding is only disastrous if the ingredients of disaster are already in the stock. In-breeding will purify a stock but the process may be most expensive." 4
        As these authoritative and recent conclusions of science abundantly confirm all the conclusions arrived at in the two most important chapters in this book, I saw no reason to make any alterations in them, and, in studying them, the reader may rest assured that, far from expressing extreme views on heredity and in-breeding, as they seemed to do in 1915, they now represent a moderate statement of.scientific fact.
        This is all the more gratifying seeing that when they were written, as I have already said, I had to rely chiefly

        1 See DAS INZUCHT PROBLEM (Berlin 1927), p. 9, and Crew, Op. cit., p. 94.
        2 Op. cit., p. 153.
        3 See Rice, Op. cit., pp. 154–156. See also Federley, Op. cit., p. 136.
        4 Op. cit., p. 97.

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upon my confidence in the traditional practices and beliefs of ancient great civilizations, and upon such lonely thinkers as Gobineau, Nietzsche, Delage, and Reibmayr.
        With regard to the rest of the book, I have not felt induced by any criticism I have received to make any substantial alterations of the original text. There seemed to be no need to bring the House of Lords statistics up to date, for instance; because, as I am obviously concerned with principles and not with history as such, and in the intervening years nothing has happened to modify the conclusions I originally drew, it did not matter whether the statistics covered the whole period to the present day, or only a part of it.
        This book, therefore, I venture to hope, remains essentially up to date, nor in view of the eternal nature of its principles could it well be otherwise. For those of us who have never swerved from our faith in blood and tradition, hardly required a man of science, even as eminent as Dr. J. B. Rice, to assure us that "an aristocracy of blood is eternally right because it is natural." 1

Anthony M. Ludovici.
London, Dec., 1932.

        1 Op. cit., p. 328.

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Chapter I

The Aristocrat as the Essential Ruler
An Introduction to some of the fundamental attributes of the Ruler-man.


Chapter II

The English Aristocrat as a Failure in the Art of Protecting and Guiding the Ruled
An analysis of the part played by the English Aristocrat in the growth of the Industrial System and its evils.


Chapter III

The English Aristocrat as a Failure in the Tutorship of Ruling
An analysis of the part the English Aristocrat has played in caring, or rather not caring, for the "heart of the people" since the beginning of the Industrial movement.


Chapter IV

Puritanism, Trade and Vulgarity
The turning-point in English history. Charles I, the last to make a stand against the influences and tendencies which ushered in the present Age, our Age.


Chapter V

The Metamorphosis of the Englishman in the Seventeenth Century
The exposure of a pious fraud. The Puritan as a moulder of men. The Englishman of the seventeenth century transformed and prepared for the shop counter, the office-stool, the factory and the forge.


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Chapter VI

The Decline of Manners and Morals under the Modern Democracy of Uncontrolled Trade and Commerce
The thesis adumbrated in Chapter I is here restated in full, whereupon its relation to the subject of the chapter is discussed in detail.


Chapter VII

The Aristocrat as an Achievement
An investigation into the practice that makes for the rearing of exceptional families and men, and which renders higher man something in the nature of a carefully fashioned human product.


Chapter VIII

The Aristocrat in Practice
An examination of the problem of Heredity. The English House of Lords and its loss of prestige shown to be quite independent of the supposed evil results of in-breeding. Conclusion.


Chapter IX

What is Culture?
Harking back to the past and the key this provides for a more glorious future.




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Chapter I
The Aristocrat as the Essential Ruler

"Neither Montaigne in writing his essays, nor Des Cartes in building new worlds, nor Burnet in framing an antediluvian earth, no, nor Newton in discovering and establishing the true laws of nature on experiment and a sublime geometry, felt more intellectual joys than he feels who is a real patriot, who bends all the force of his understanding, and directs all his thoughts and actions to the good of his country." — Bolingbroke, On the Spirit of Patriotism, p. 23.

It is not my intention in this essay to support any particular aristocracy or aristocrat. I wish merely to throw what light I can upon the principle of aristocracy itself. Often I shall seem as hostile to aristocracies in particular as the most confirmed Radical; albeit, wherever I reveal any abhorrent vice in an individual aristocracy it will be with the object rather of demonstrating how unessential and unnecessary that vice is to the true principle of aristocracy than of stirring up ill-feeling to no purpose.
        When one contends that the hereditary principle, as one of the essential conditions of an aristocracy, is a good principle, it is a common thing to hear people reply by calling attention to the number of instances in which it has hopelessly failed. They say, "Look at the Bourbons, the Spanish Hapsburgs, the Braganzas, the House of Osman, the later Stuarts!" Perhaps the reader will follow me and attempt to bear with me for a while, if I preface all my remarks by saying that while I shall make no endeavour to vindicate either the Bourbons, the Spanish

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Hapsburgs, the Braganzas, the House of Osman or the later Stuarts, I shall, nevertheless, not consider a reference to them relevant as an argument against me, so long as he who mentions them for this purpose has not proved satisfactorily that they did not omit to observe one or other of the rules which are essential to the proper preservation or improvement of a character and type.
        I decline to abandon a principle simply because the attempts which have been made to realise it hitherto by most European nations have failed hopelessly. If a principle can be shown to be a good one, then, whatever stigma attaches to it, owing to European failures to approximate to all it can yield, surely reflects more discredit upon those who have shown themselves unequal to it than upon the principle itself.
        Moreover, in this question, as in all others, there is a wrong view and a right view. It is not merely a "matter of opinion." That which is merely a "matter of opinion" — as people are wont to say when they want to wash their hands of a thing, or to shirk the responsibility of solving a definite problem in a definite way — that, as I say, which is merely a "matter of opinion" does not matter at all. For those things which are merely a matter of opinion can be decided right away by every Tom, Dick and Harry over tea and scones at a cake-shop, and cannot, therefore, be of any consequence.
        In all things that really matter, however, there can be but two opinions — the right opinion and the wrong opinion. And on the question of aristocracy the individual point of view of the man in the street simply does not matter.
        There is a right way of looking at the question and a wrong way; and to those who look at it in the wrong way — that is to say, to those who are opposed to the principle of aristocracy, and who support the principle of democracy in its stead — all that we who support the principle of aristocracy can say is: that people and nations who believe in and act on our principles will have a longer

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lease of life, a fuller lease of life, a more flourishing lease of life, than they.
        Human life, like all other kinds of life, cannot be the sport of foolish ideals. However nice and pleasant it may sound to say that the brotherhood of mankind, in which every man has a voice in the direction of human affairs, is the state of bliss, we who support the aristocratic ideal know that that state is one of decay, of doubt, of muddle and of mistakes. Now man cannot doubt, cannot be muddled and cannot make mistakes with impunity. Sooner or later he has to pay for these luxurious fads, by losses in the physique and the term of life of his nation.
        Look about you now! Observe the myriads of ugly, plain and asymmetrical faces in our streets; observe the illness and the botchedness about you! Note, too, the innumerable societies founded in all the corners of the British Empire, with the object of "reforming" some erroneous policy, or of redressing some grievance. Is it not clear to you, when you see all these things, that something is wrong, and that that something which is wrong cannot be made right by the same class of mind which has given rise to all the muddle and confusion? Is it not clear to you that the men who know, the men of taste and sound instinct, no longer have any say in human affairs?
        The principle of aristocracy is, that seeing that human life, like any other kind of life, produces some flourishing and some less flourishing, some fortunate and some less fortunate specimens; in order that flourishing, full and fortunate life may be prolonged, multiplied and, if possible, enhanced on earth, the wants of flourishing life, its optimum of conditions, must be made known and authoritatively imposed upon men by its representatives. Who are its representatives? The fanatics and followers of Science are not its representatives, for their taste is too indefinite; it is often pronounced too late to be of any good and it is not reached by an instinctive bodily impulse, but by long empirical research which often comes

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to many wrong conclusions before attaining to the right one. It must be clear that the true representatives of flourishing and fortunate life are the artists, 1 the men of taste. The artist, the man of taste — the successful number, so to speak, in the many blanks that human life produces in every generation — is in himself a chip of flourishing life. His own body is a small synopsis, a diminutive digest of full, flourishing and fortunate life. What he wants,. therefore, life wants; what he knows is good, the best kind of life knows is good. His voice is the very voice of full, flourishing and fortunate life. No number of committees or deliberative assemblies, consisting of men less fortunately constituted than he, can possibly form an adequate substitute for him in this. For the voice one has, and the desires and wants it expresses, are not a question of chance or of upbringing, they are a question of the body with which one's ancestors have endowed one. All science, all the known laws of heredity, prove this conclusively.
        If one's choice of ways and means, if one's taste, if one's wants, therefore, are such that when they become general wants and general tastes they lead to an ascent in the line of human life, then unconsciously one's body, which is a specimen of flourishing and fortunate life, is uttering the credo of flourishing and fortunate life. If, on the other hand, one's choice of ways and means, if one's tastes and wants are such that when they become general tastes and general wants they lead to a descent in the line of human life, then unconsciously one's body, which is a specimen of mediocre or impoverished life, is pronouncing the doctrine of decline and of Nemesis.

        1 I do not use the word artist here to mean a painter or a musician or an actor. The word artist has been hopelessly vulgarised by the fact that a legion of inartistic painters, musicians and actors have used it as a designation of their ignoble class. By artist I mean a man of taste, a man who unhesitatingly knows what is right and what is wrong. Nowadays there are perhaps only two or three such men in every generation of painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, poets, legislators and actors.

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        Now, if all this is true — and to us who uphold the aristocratic principle it is the only Divine Truth on earth, and one which Science is bound ultimately to confirm and to prove — then it is obvious that only where the voice of flourishing life is raised to authority can there be any hope of an ascent in the line of life, or even of a level of health and beauty in the line of life.
        What do those maintain who stand for the aristocratic principle? They simply hold a finger of warning up to their opponents and say, "Your foolish ideals will have a term; their end will come! You cannot with impunity turn a deaf ear to the voice of flourishing life. You must follow the men who know, the men of taste. If you do not your days are numbered. And the men who know, the men of taste, are simply those examples of flourishing. life, those lucky strokes of nature's dice, who, when in authority, lead to the multiplication of flourishing life and .an ascent in the line of life. No number of the mediocre or of the botched can hope to fill the place of one or of a few men of taste. Disbelieve in this principle and die. Believe in this principle and live to triumph over all those who do not believe in it!" l
        This is not a "matter of opinion," it is not a matter concerning which every futile flâneur in Fleet Street can have his futile opinion. It is the Divine Truth of life. And the democrat who dares to deny it is not only a blind imbecile, he is not only a corrupt and sickly specimen of manhood, he is a rank blasphemer, whose hands are stained with the blood of his people's future.

        1 The Chinaman, Ku Hung-Ming, in his wonderful little book. The Story of a Chinese Oxford Movement (Shanghai, 1910), knew this to be so when, speaking of what the Englishman would discover if he studied the Chinese more carefully, he wrote (p. 60): "In the Chinaman, he (the Englishman) would find Confucianism with 'its way of the superior man' which, little as the Englishman suspects, will one day change the social order and break up the civilisation of Europe." Why? Because the civilisation of Europe is not based upon "the way of the superior man."

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        Like all particularly fortunate strokes of the dice, these artists, or men of taste and sound judgment, these "superior men," as the creed of Confucianism calls them, do not occur in legions. Their number in a nation is always small. They are the few, and, owing to their highly complex natures, they are often difficult to rear. "Pauci prudentia honesta ab deterioribus, utilia ab noxiis discernunt, plures aliorum eventis docentur" — says Tacitus. 1 But where they are elevated to power — that is to say, wherever they become rulers — the soundest instincts of sound life are made to lead.
        For it is not only in the matter of establishing order that good government excels. This might be called the simple "craft" of governing. But it is also in that quality of directing choice, in directing the likes and dislikes of a people, in fact in that great virtue of setting a "good tone" in a nation, that good government distinguishes itself. For to the mediocre, to the less gifted among men, a thousand paths lie open, a thousand goals all beckoning and signing to man to go their way. Many of these paths lead to destruction, a goodly number of these goals mark out the horizon of decadence. Unless, therefore, the taste and judgment of flourishing life intervene, by means of the voice of the superior man, these roads acquire their travellers and these goals obtain their aspirants. It is there, then, that the virtue of that second quality of good rulership can operate — that virtue which sets the tone of a people, gives it a criterion of choice, and guides its passions. And this second virtue of good rulership might be called the "tutorship" of governing, as opposed to the "craft" above mentioned.
        It must be obvious that when no check, coming from "superior man," Intervenes between ordinary men and the false roads and false goals that lure them continually;

        1 Annals of Tacitus, Book IV, cap. 33. Translation by Church and Brodribb (p. 128). "For it is but the few who have the foresight to distinguish right from wrong, or what is sound from what is hurtful, while most men learn wisdom from the fortunes of others."

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when, that is to say, "every private man is judge of good and evil actions" — a condition which Hobbes rightly characterised as the "disease of the commonwealth" 1 — not only is the life of a people or of a nation endangered, but human life itself is actually under the threat of destruction. For the voice of mediocre and impoverished life cannot be followed very long without humanity having to pay heavily for its guidance.
        I have said that these men of taste and sound judgment are few; hence the high esteem in which an intelligent and life-loving mediocrity will hold them. Hence, too, the honours with which such a mediocrity usually lures them to rulership. For though they, the superior men, may instinctively incline to government, they must find a willing medium for their art, i. e. a people able to recognise superiority when it appears, or a people whose moral values actually hold rulership up as the only duty of superiority.
        "It is certain," says Bolingbroke, "that the obligations under which we lie to serve our country Increase in proportion to the ranks we hold, and the other circumstances of birth, fortune and situation that call us to this service; and above all, to the talents which God has given us to perform it." 2
        In a sound organisation of society, then, superiority implies, as it always should, the power of undertaking responsibilities. "Superior talents, and superior rank amongst our fellow-creatures," says Bolingbroke, "whether acquired by birth or by the course of accidents, and the success of our own industry, are noble prerogatives. Shall he who possesses them repine at the obligation they lay him under, of passing his whole life in the noblest occupation of which human nature is capable? To what higher station, to what greater glory can a mortal aspire than to be, during the whole course

        1 Leviathan, Chapter XXIX.
        2 On the Study of History (Davies, 1779), pp. 156–157.

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of his life, the support of good, the controul of bad government, and the guardian of public liberty?" 1
        Thus superiority is inseparable from our idea of the ruler; because the ruler is essentially a protector, and only where men see or experience superiority do they always see and experience protection. Superior power is and always has been the shelter of the weak. Superior strength is and always has been something to cling to; while superior knowledge is and always has been something awakening trust and confidence. It is the marked superiority of the adult in strength, knowledge and power that first captivates and makes a voluntary slave of the child. It is the marked, though momentary, superiority of the Alpine guide which makes the tourists in his charge like unto menials doing his bidding.
        Without superiority protection is impossible; it is a pretence, a farce. But to benefit from superiority presupposes an attitude of obedience. Not only does one honour superiority by obeying it, but obedience is actually the only way of using superiority, or of profiting by it.
        The obedience which is of value, which is fruitful and which is lasting, is of that kind which redounds in some way to the advantage of those who obey. Where it is simply the outcome of coercing without benefiting the subject, it not only tends to become sterile, but also stands always on the brink of revolt. Great ruling castes have never failed to understand this. No ruling caste, perhaps, ever made a greater number of bloodless and victorious invasions than the Incas of ancient Peru. Again and again the tribes whose territories they overran laid down their arms and submitted to their rule, overcome by the persuasion of their superiority alone. But in support of the contention that the Incas understood, as all great

        1 On the Spirit of Patriotism (Davies, 1775), pp. 20–21. Let me also recall Charles I's comment on the Petition of Right, just after he had granted it: "It is my maxim that the people's liberties strengthen the King's prerogative, and the King's prerogative is to defend the people's libertie."

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rulers have understood, what the obedience of these subject tribes implied, and what duties they (the Incas) had to perform in return, the anthropologist Letourneau gives us an interesting anecdote.
        The Inca, Huay na-Capac, having invaded the territory of a very savage and bestial people, discovered that they had neither covering for their bodies nor homes to live in; that they were addicted to homo-sexual practices, and that they were horribly disfigured by labial ornaments such as the Botocudos of Brazil were wont to wear. He concluded from their habits and their general aspect that they were quite incapable of improvement, far less, therefore, of civilisation; and, turning away from them in disgust, he observed, "Here are a people who do not deserve to obey us!" 1
        I need not labour this point. No ruler who did not earnestly believe that obedience to his rule must be an advantage, and must remain an advantage, to those who obeyed him could have used such language. These words were perhaps the finest ever pronounced by a powerful, conquering people, in turning away from an inferior race which it lay in their power to oppress or to exterminate, if not to improve. That one sentence involves a whole cosmogony, very strange to our modern notions; but it also implies an understanding of the relationship of the obedient to the obeyed, which is no less strange to us of the twentieth century than it is likewise unquestionably profound and correct.
        As Thomas Hobbes wisely said, "The end of obedience is protection, wheresoever a man seeth it, either in his own or in another's sword, nature applieth his obedience to it, and his endeavour to maintain it." 2
        Thus to disobey is not only to dishonour, but to deny superiority. 3

        1 L'évolution de l'éducation, by Ch. Letourneau, p. 209. The italics are mine. — A. M. L.
        2 Leviathan, Chapter XXI.
        3 Ibid., Chapter X, "To obey is to honour, because no man obeys

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        When all the claims of both the "craft" and the "tutorship" of governing are conscientiously met by rulers, then only can it be truly said that they rule by divine right; and nothing but a vis major, such as an earthquake, a devastating flood, a destructive comet or a superior Force, can shake them from their position of power.
        Admitting, therefore, that the ability to appreciate superiority is to hand, all insurrections and rebellions, when they are internal troubles and do not arise from sedition introduced from outside by a rival power, are always questions of the heart. They are but rarely even economical in their nature. They are always a sign that rulers have lost their essential quality — superiority — that the "craft" and "tutorship" of governing are inadequately exercised, and that the ruled no longer admit the divine right of those above them. 1 For as Bolingbroke justly observes, "A divine right to govern ill is an absurdity: to assert it is blasphemy. A people may raise a bad prince to the throne; but a good king alone can derive his right to govern from God." 2

them whom they think have no power to help or hurt them. And consequently to disobey is to dishonour."
        1 See Disraeli's Coningsby (Langdon Davies Edition), p. 290. "I think," said Sidonia, "that there is no error so vulgar as to believe that revolutions are occasioned by economical causes. They come in, doubtless, very often to precipitate a catastrophe, but rarely do they occasion one. I know no period, for example, when physical comfort was more diffused in England than in 1640. England had a moderate population, a very improved agriculture, a rich commerce; yet she was on the eve of the greatest and most violent changes that she has as yet experienced. . . . Admit it, the cause was not physical. The imagination of England rose against the Government. It proves that when that faculty is astir in a nation it will sacrifice even physical comfort to follow its impulses."
        2 The Idea of a Patriot King (Davies, 1775), pp. 78–79. See also Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, Chapter XXI. "The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he is able to protect them." Here Hobbes does not even consider good or bad government, but simply "the power to protect," which, if failing, relieves the inferior of his attitude of subjection.

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        I have already described the qualities which constitute the chief superiority of the true ruler. I said they were taste and good judgment, arising directly from the promptings of fortunate and flourishing life in the superior man.
        Are such men born to a nation? Do men who know what flourishing life wants, and who thus stand higher than their fellows — men who are wise enough, strong enough and conscientious enough to undertake the appalling responsibility that ruling implies — come into existence among ordinary mortals?
        Most certainly they do. Every nation gets them. Not every nation, however, is wise enough to use them. It is true that they appear more frequently in ages of order and of long tradition than in ages of anarchy and constant change; because their very rule, which is a reflection of themselves, must, in order to be good, be the emanation of something square, symmetrical and harmonious. They themselves, therefore, must be something square, symmetrical and harmonious in body and spirit. But how is squareness in body and spirit, symmetry and harmony attained in one man? Only by long tradition, only by the long cultivation, through generations, of the same virtues, the same tastes and the same aversions; only by the steady and unremitting storing and garnering of strength, conscientiousness and honesty. It is only thus that a man can be produced who never hesitates between two alternatives, and whose "conscience" is the definite voice of his ancestors saying "yes" or "no," "we did like this," or "we did not do like this," every time he braces himself for action.
        And that is why the true ruler, the true superior man, is always a beautiful man, according to the standard of beauty of his people. 1 Because regular features, strong

        1 According to an early Peruvian legend, the first Incas who acquired a hold upon the uncivilised population of ancient Peru impressed and awed their subject people by their beauty. See Ch. Letourneau, L'évolution de l'éducation, p. 196.

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features, harmonious features and grace of body are bred only by a regular life lasting over generations, strength of character exercised for generations, harmonious action enduring for generations, and that mastery in action which is the result of long practice for generations, and which leads to ease in action and therefore to grace.
        He who doubts that this long tradition produces that beauty of body and grace of countenance and build which, when it expresses itself in the art of ruling or any other kind of art, must produce beauty, harmony and grace, contradicts not only one of the most fundamental beliefs of mankind, but also one of the most fundamental facts of science.
        As early as the time of Mencius, one of the most noted of the followers of Confucius, this belief was already pronounced quite categorically, though unscientifically, as follows —
        "What belongs by his nature to the superior man are benevolence, righteousness, propriety and knowledge. These are rooted in his heart; their growth and manifestation are a mild harmony appearing in the countenance, a rich fulness in the back, and the character imparted by the four limbs. Those limbs understand to arrange themselves without being told." 1
        And men like Dr. Reibmayr have since shown conclusively with what care and what scrupulous observance of traditional customs and rites the characteristic type of beauty of a race or a tribe, and therefore the superlative beauty of the superior individual in that race or tribe, are attained. 2

        1 Chinese Classics, Vol. II, The Works of Mencius, Book VII, Chap. 21. The Jews also recognised this fact very early in their history. See the laws concerning the beauty of the body, or rather the faults of the body in regard to the ruling priesthood (Leviticus xxi. 16–25), whilst there is an ancient Arab proverb which proves conclusively that the Arabs laid and still lay great store by the message that a face and body reveal. The proverb is: "When you do not know a man's parents look at his appearance."
        2 See his Inzucht und Vermischung (Leipzig, 1897).

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        We know that beauty of design or construction always involves a certain observance of order and balance. Why, then, should the production of beauty in the human race be an exception to this rule? And if bodily beauty is the creation of order lasting over generations, then, since the spirit is but the emanation of the body, a beautiful spirit must likewise depend upon the same laws that govern the production of a beautiful body, and the two are inseparable. None but shallow people deny this. None but those who are hopelessly corrupted by the dangerous errors of democratic disorder and Puritanism ever doubt that beauty of body and spirit must be related. Herbert Spencer is among the philosophers who insisted upon this relationship, and his essay on the subject is, in my opinion, the most valuable treatise he ever wrote. 1
        An ugly or repulsive aristocrat is, therefore, a contradiction in terms? Certainly!
        What is the only creed that can be offended at such a doctrine? A creed that maintains not only that body and spirit are distinct, but also that the body is in any case ignoble, and that only a beautiful spirit can sanctify and justify a body, whether it be beautiful or botched.
        But the definition of the true superior man or aristocrat which I gave at the beginning of the discussion — that he was a fortunate stroke of nature's dice, a synopsis and digest of flourishing and full life — precludes the very possibility of his being an ill-shaped or ugly man. It was, however, necessary to give a more detailed demonstration of the quality "beauty," as nowadays, strange as it may seem, the attitude I assume in this respect is not exactly taken for granted.
        Now, in advancing the proposition that a community of men, whether numbering tens, or hundreds of thousands,

        1 See Vol. II, Collected Essays, p. 387, "Personal Beauty." Schopenhauer, in his essay "Zur Physiognomlk" (Chapter XXIX of the second volume of the Parerga and Paralipomena), also upholds the doctrine of the fundamental agreement of body and spirit. See also p. 317 of this book (Chapter VII).

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should be governed only by the few, I am not guilty of very great heterodoxy, even from the purely Liberal standpoint; for even so thorough a Liberal as John Stuart Mill accepted this as a principle, and argued that the most a Popular Parliament could do was to play the part of a supreme Watch Committee. 1 But this amounts to no more than to say that government must always be with the consent of the people — a principle which the Chinese have observed for centuries, although the Chinese people are not actually represented by delegates.
        Nobody, however, would cavil at the idea of all government being carried on with the consent of the people. Of course, the people must watch that they are well governed. The very condition of rule by Divine Right, as I have stated above, involves this proviso. And aristocracies who imagine that they can rule hedonistically and egotistically without the consent of the people are bound to fail and to be swept away.
        In regard to this matter, it is surely a significant fact that such very profound, though vastly different, thinkers as the Chinaman Mencius and the Italian St. Thomas Aquinas 2 — thinkers separated from each other not only by centuries of time, but also by thousands of leagues of territory — should both have conceded the right of revolution to a badly ruled people. Mencius, that wise follower of Confucius, in addition to justifying regicide in the case of an unjust sovereign, 3 stated as a principle that "if the

        1 Representative Government, Chapter V. "Instead of the function of governing, for which it is so radically unfit, the proper office of a representative assembly is to watch and control the government; to throw the light of publicity on its acts; to compel a full exposition and justification of all of them which any one considers questionable, to censure them if found condemnable, and, if men who compose the government abuse their trust, or fulfil it in a manner which conflicts with the deliberate sense of the nation, to expel them from office, and either expressly or virtually appoint their successors."
        2 See Burckhardt, Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (10th Ed.), Vol. I, p. 6.
        3 See The Chinese Classics (translated by James Legge, D.D.), Vol. II, Book I, Part II, Chap. 8.

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Emperor be not benevolent, he cannot preserve the Empire from passing from him. If the sovereign of a state be not benevolent, he cannot preserve his Kingdom." 1
        I wish to lay no stress, therefore, upon the contention that government should be carried on by the few — that seems to be generally accepted by the consensus of intelligent thinkers on this matter. I only wish to emphasise the point that the few who do govern should be of the stamp that I have described above.
        Only on that condition can government be successful; for, as I have said, there is not only a "craft," but also a "tutorship," of governing.
        I am, therefore, concerned to show that whoever these few may be to whom the government of a nation is entrusted, they should be able not only to manage the practical business of public affairs, but also to direct, inspire and animate the hearts and imagination of the people. The very fact that here in England we already hear some people ignorant and materialistic enough to clamour for a government of merely business men, and that no very great alarm or panic has been caused by the suggestion, shows how very far we have departed from the wise economy that never forgets that there is a "tutorship" as well as a "craft" of governing.
        Since men are born unequal, and natural distinctions between them as regards nobility, strength, beauty, size, intelligence and elevation of spirit are undeniable, the wisest régime is the one in which these distinctions are not ignored or overlooked, but exploited, placed, used and turned to the best advantage. Admitting that some must and can rule, there will be others who will have to supply the community with the material needs of life, others who will be the servants of these, and so on, until that labourer is reached whose capacities fit him only for the plough or the spade. If, however, the society is to benefit from the rule of the superior man with taste and judgment, a certain spiritual tendency will have to be

        1 Chinese Classics, Book IV, Chap. 3.
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made to prevail by him, which will direct the manner in which these material supplies must be used, the method and moderation with which the people's passions and desires may be indulged, so that nothing may be misused or abused, and so that no gift of the earth or of the body may turn to a curse and a poison. A certain art of life must, therefore, enter into the community — a certain good taste on which its power and permanence depend. l There must be not only producers and consumers; even the lowest in the community must develop a heart, and that heart must be furnished.
        "With fear and trembling," said Confucius, "take care of the heart of the people: that is the root of the matter in education — that is the highest education."
        And who can supply this furniture of the heart — who can direct and guide mere industry, if not the man of higher judgment, i. e. of good taste, who sets, as it were, "the tone" of his people?
        In his Story of a Chinese Oxford Movement the Chinaman Ku Hung-Ming 2 says: "In a healthy and normal state of society in China, the nation has to depend first upon the power of industry of the people or working class to produce food and other necessary commodities for the national well-being. The nation has next to depend upon the power of intelligence of the Chinese literati to train, educate and regulate the power of industry of the people, and properly to distribute the product of that industry. Lastly, and most important of all, the nation has to depend upon the nobility of character of the Manchu Aristocracy

        1 See Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan (Chapter XXIX). "Though nothing can be immortal which mortals make, yet, if men had the use of reason they pretend to, their commonwealth might be secured at least from perishing from internal disease. For by the nature of their institutions they are designed to live as long as mankind or as the laws of nature, or as justice itself which gives them life. Therefore, when they come to be dissolved, not by external violence but by intestine disorder, the fault is not in men, as they are the 'matter,' but as they are the 'makers' and orderers of men."
         2 p. 4.

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to direct — to see that the power of industry of the people is nobly directed, directed to noble purpose, and also that the product of that industry is justly and humanely distributed. In short, the power of industry of the people in China has to produce; the power of intelligence of the Chinese literati has to educate; and the nobility of the Manchu Aristocracy has to direct the power of industry of the people to a noble national life — to a noble civilisation. Foreigners who have travelled in the interior of China and seen the remains of bridges and canals in the country will understand what I mean by noble direction of national life — the direction of the power of industry of the people as regards things material to noble purposes. As for things of the mind, works such as the great K'ang-hsi dictionary will attest sufficiently to the nobility of character of the early Manchu Emperors, and their ability to direct the power of industry of the mind of the nation to noble purposes."
        Hence it seems to be an essential part of the highest utility in a nation that there should be some members of it who stand much higher than the rest, and who can give a meaning and a direction to their inferiors' manual or mental labour. Thus, even admitting that the essential and most difficult task of general legislation has been already satisfactorily accomplished by an artist legislator, I maintain that those who continue the work must be cultured, tasteful and artistic men; otherwise that very humanity which insists upon the man bearing the hardest material burden of the community, being materially content and spiritually well-nourished, will be violated and spurned, to the glory of the Devil and of the Dragon of Anarchy.
        But that flourishing life in body and spirit which is the sine qua non of the superior man, of the artist ruler, is not bred by struggle, manual labour, strenuous bodily exertions and the neglect of spiritual pursuits. The man who possesses this endowment of superlative vitality in body and spirit will be very largely dependent, as his

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father, grandfather and great-grandfather were before him, upon the industry of the people. He will, therefore, have to pay for the glory of his exalted calling, not only by being exploited as a responsible ruler by the mass beneath him, but by being dependent upon it for his sustenance and security. That is why it is so preposterous and unintelligent for a ruler-aristocrat to regard himself as a mere man of wealth or property, whose means can be consumed in a round of pleasure or in a life of ease without any concern about the duties that all golden and well-fed leisure tacitly implies. It amounts to a misconception and a debasing of his dignity for him to rank himself with the ordinary plutocrat, who simply has no duties because he has no gifts. If, he, the ruler-aristocrat, understands the price of aristocratic leisure, he must know that it is meditation — meditation upon the profound problems of the "craft" and "tutorship" of his exalted calling. He should remember that the mere "business" or "craft" of his duties will probably be taken for granted by those he governs. They will not even reckon his exertions in this respect; for when all goes smoothly, who suspects that there are pains behind the process?
        What they will not take for granted, however, will be his pains about their heart, if he really does take pains in this matter. This presupposes a divine element in him that all men do not possess — it is the element which distinguishes the true ruler from that other kind of governor who is efficient only in the business or "craft" of ruling.
        It would seem a perfectly natural thing that the ruler who was very much in earnest about the craft and the tutorship of his calling could not possibly be a very happy man, as people understand such a creature nowadays. The ordinary pleasures of common human life would, by virtue of his very office and of his vast knowledge, fall rather short of his concept of what constituted happiness. He would have to be content with the secret toys that attend the artist at his work — that is the utmost

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that his life could bring him in the matter of happiness. But as to the rest, as to those joys which constitute the staple diet of the present plutocratic hedonist, he, the ruler, would be a very sad man indeed. For apart from his higher taste in happiness, his very respect for those depending upon him for their security and their guidance would drive his sense of responsibility so high as to keep him ever vigilant, ever thoughtful, and perhaps ever melancholy too. 1 Those who are experienced even in so humble an art as that of keeping children happy will understand what I mean when I say that the hand which dispenses happiness does not necessarily quiver with joy itself.
        The fact that this concern about the contentedness and comfort of the man who does the rough work of the State constitutes an important part of that sense of responsibility which all true rulers must feel, finds an excellent formula in one of my favourite anecdotes about Napoleon.
        It is given by Emerson in his essay Napoleon, or the Man of the World, and is as follows: "When walking with Mrs. Balcombe, some servants carrying heavy boxes passed on the road, and Mrs. Balcombe desired them, in rather an angry tone, to keep back. Napoleon interfered, saying, 'Respect the burden, madam!'"
        "Respect the burden!" This is what all noble and successful rulers have done. A less noble nature, a nature unfitted for the task of ruling, such, for instance, as the

        1 See Madame de Rémusat's Mémoires, Vol. I, p. 101. Speaking of Napoleon she says: "La gravité était le fond de son caractère; non celle qui vient de la noblesse et de la dignité des habitudes, mais celle que donne la profondeur des méditations. Dans sa jeunesse it était viveur; plus tard il devint triste . . ." See also Bolingbroke, On the Spirit of Patriotism (Davies, 1775), pp. 5–6. Speaking of the two kinds of men, the Vulgar and the Few, Bolingbroke says: "The latter come into the world, or at least continue in it after the effects of surprise and inexperience are over, like men who are sent on more important errands. They observe with distinction, they admire with knowledge. They may indulge themselves in pleasure; but as their industry is not employed about trifles, so their amusements are not made the business of their lives."

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nature of most of our English and European aristocrats, past and present, does not understand or pay heed to such a principle. As an example of a vulgar person's behaviour in circumstances almost similar to those described in Emerson's anecdote, hear the following —
        "More than forty years ago, a party of six young Englishmen went out for an excursion in the country in the neighbourhood of one of the Treaty Ports [of China]. They were entirely ignorant of Chinese etiquette and custom, and while walking along one of the narrow paths at the side of a paddy field they met an old man carrying a load, whom they thought very rudely insisted on the path being given up to him and his burden, until he had passed with it. They. pushed him .out of the way, and struck him with their sticks for his rudeness, entirely unaware that they were the offenders, and gross offenders too. The path being narrow and there being no room for the encumbered and unencumbered to pass at the same time, the Chinese, with commendable common sense, allow the burden-bearer in such cases the right of way, while the unencumbered, who can easily step off the way, do so. . . . The villagers, indignant at the insult, rose, took the young Englishmen into custody, and avenged their wrongs by putting them to death, after some days of imprisonment." 1
        In my opinion, of course, the execution of these six Englishmen was entirely justified. Why? Because they had sinned against a divine precept. Those representatives of flourishing life, Confucius and Napoleon, had taught independently that the burden must be respected. 2 This, then, was a law of flourishing life itself. To flout the

        1 Things Chinese, by J. Dyer Ball, pp. 253–254.
        2 Petrarch is another good instance of a profound thinker who was no less exacting in the demands he made upon the wise ruler. Addressing his patron, the Lord of Padua, he said: "Thou must not be the master but the father of thy subjects, and must love them as thy children; yea, as members of thy body." See Burckhardt, op. cit., p. 9.

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bidding of flourishing life is, as I have said in the early part of this discussion, rank blasphemy. And blasphemy of that sort deserves death even more than murder does, because it jeopardises not only the life of one man, but the life of a whole nation. You may argue that the six young Englishmen were ignorant of Chinese customs and manners, and had different manners and customs in their own home. But this only makes the matter worse; for it means that instead of being only half-a-dozen isolated dangerous and blaspheming barbarians, they must hail from a land teeming with such blaspheming barbarians, otherwise they would have learnt that fundamental principle of flourishing life at home. The sooner six such dangerous creatures were killed, therefore, the better.
        The Chinese burden-bearer was accustomed to live in a country where some true ruler spirit was rife; he, therefore, felt justified in enforcing that principle of flourishing life which reads "Respect the burden." The Englishmen, on the other hand, came from a country where puling sentimental charity towards the burden-bearer went hand in hand with brutal exploitation of him. They were, therefore, dangerous; the blood of millions of burden-bearers was already on their hands before they touched that Chinese workman, and it was right that they should be slaughtered like blasphemers.
        The light that the moral of these two anecdotes throws upon the downfall of the aristocracies in Europe is very interesting indeed. The omission to "respect the burden" is a violation not only of the "craft," but also of the "tutorship," of governing.
        And what is there that is not included under the head of "respect the burden"? 1 How many problems, socio-

        1 Many instances could be given of Napoleon's unswerving adherence to this principle, and, in his Memoirs to serve for the History of Napoleon I the Baron de Ménéval (English translation) gives two interesting anecdotes, which, though not important in themselves, reveal the consistency of Napoleon's ruler instincts. The first, on p. 126, is as follows: "M. Amédee Jaubert, who had been General Bonaparte's interpreter

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logical, physiological, artistic and political, on whose proper solution the contentedness and comfort of the burden-bearer depend, have not to be faced and mastered before the "respect of the burden" has exacted its last office from the ruler-aristocrat and his peers? No wonder Bolingbroke, when speaking of rulers, was able to say, "They may indulge in pleasure; but as their industry is not employed upon trifles, so their amusements are not made the business of their lives." 1
        Indeed, if rulers take their task to heart, the mere "craft" of governing, apart from the "tutorship" of governing, is enough to tax the energies of the greatest, and to make them pay very, very dearly for the privilege of being at the head of the social pyramid.
        There seems to be very convincing evidence to show that the commercial aristocracy of Venice approximated very nearly to the ideal rule of the best. 2 It consisted of men of great taste, courage, honour and intelligence, of men who could be, and were, both rigorous and kind. "Care of the people, in peace as well as in war," says Burckhardt, "was characteristic of this government, and

[in the Egyptian campaign], said that one day seeing the General returning from the trenches, harassed with fatigue and dying with thirst, he had told him that a Christian had just brought a skin of wine as a present, and that Bonaparte ordered it to be immediately carried to the ambulance." The second (pp. 127–128) tells how Napoleon, during his sojourn in Cairo, arranged for a military band to play various national airs "every day at noon, on the squares opposite the hospitals," to "inspire the sick with gaiety, and recall to their memory the most beautiful moments of their past campaigns." And here is Meneval's comment on the anecdote: "This mark of interest given to poor sick men, to unhappy wounded soldiers, sad and discouraged at the thought of their distant homes, reveals a delicate attention, a maternal solicitude, as Comte d'Orsay expressed it, and that provident goodness which was the basis of Napoleon's character" See also the Duke of Rovigo's Memoirs, which is full of instances of Napoleon's generous good-nature where his inferiors or dependants were concerned.
        1 See note on p. 19.
        2 Interesting confirmation of this view is given by E. A. Freeman in his Comparative Politics, p. 266.

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its attention to the wounded, even to those of the enemy, excited the admiration of other states. Public institutions of every kind found in Venice their pattern; the pensioning of retired servants was carried out systematically, and included a provision for widows and orphans." 1 And if it had not been for the peculiar instability which constitutes one of the worst evils of a State depending for its existence on trading alone, this remarkable little band of rulers might have given Europe a happy and rare example of permanence and equilibrium.
        If a race, or a nation, or a people be blessed with a few such rulers, then its security, comfort and heart will be in safe keeping. And not only will the industry of the people reward the ruler and make him great and powerful, but their character, which is the most important of all, by becoming an approximation to the type dictated by the voice of flourishing life, will constitute a sound and stable basis upon which an almost permanent creation may be built by the aristocrat if he chooses.
        And the converse of this condition gives the exact formula of decadence and degeneration. For what are decadence and degeneration? Decadence and degeneration are states in a nation's career in which it has forgotten the precepts and values of flourishing life, and in which the voice of flourishing life can no longer make itself heard in its midst. Why, then, are England, France, Germany and almost the whole of Europe decadent to-day? Because for many hundreds of years now the precepts and principles of flourishing life have been neglected, forgotten and even scorned in the Western world. Decadence means practically that the voice of flourishing life has been silenced, that the true aristocrat is dethroned or no longer bred.
        You must not, however, suppose that in a decadent or degenerate State the people, the masses, are guided by no taste, by no values. Because nothing could be more plain to-day than the fact that they are so guided or prompted.

        1 Op. cit., p. 67.

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But the taste which guides them is Confused, uncertain, independent of any higher or wise authority; it is self-made, reared on insufficient knowledge, culture and health. And, therefore, the promptings of their heart, instead of leading them to an ascent in life, lead them to further degeneration. It is bad taste which reigns to-day All taste which is not the precept of flourishing life must be bad or dangerous taste.
        With Guicciardini, Disraeli also realised the importance of this matter of the heart and character of a nation, and in Coningsby we read: "A political institution is a machine; the motive power is in the national character — with that it rests whether the machine will benefit society, or destroy it." 1
        Thus all attempts at ruling a people on purely materialistic lines all attempts at exploiting their industry without tending their heart, their imagination and their character must and do invariably fail. A people that is going to flourish must be taught a certain fastidiousness in the manner in which it works and spends the fruit of its labour; 2 it must be given a sound taste for discerning good from bad, that which is beneficial from that which is harmful, and healthy, vital conduct from sick, degenerate conduct. I do not mean that they must have that spontaneous and unerring taste which is the possession of nature's "lucky strokes" — the incarnations of full and flourishing life — who are the true aristocrats; but I mean that they should have a taste founded on likes and dislikes, points of view and opinions, acquired from a higher,

        1 Langdon Davies Edition, p. 290.
        2 See Ku Hung-Ming, The Story of a Chinese Oxford Moment, pp. 13 and 14: "When the power of industry of a people in a community or nation is nobly directed and not wasted, then the community or nation is truly rich, not in money or possession of big ugly houses, but rich in the health of the body and beauty of the soul of the people. . . . For without these things which Goethe calls the beautiful, there is no nobility of character, and without nobility of character, as we have seen, the power of industry of the people in a nation will be wasted in ignoble and wasteful consumption."

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guiding and discriminating authority. "For," as Hobbes says, "the actions of men proceed from their opinions, and in the well-governing of opinions consisteth the well-governing of men's actions." 1
        It is for this reason that I believe that the factor which has largely contributed to the downfall of the European aristocracies has been the relegation of the care of the people's character to a body distinct from and often hostile to the actual governors. 2 For apart from the fact that the credo of this independent body, the Church, happens to be hostile to sharp distinctions between man and man, and irrespective of the undoubted truth that to it all men, whether aristocrats or plebeians, have always appeared more or less as equals, or at least as subordinates who, when the interests of the Church were at stake, might, if necessary, be treated as a mass without distinctions of rank, there is this feature in the influence of the Church which should not be forgotten: it robbed the rulers of that active exercise of the "tutorship" of governing by which the people, as we have seen, lay such great store, and which is the most potent medium for binding a people and their rulers together. Because, as Hobbes says, "Benefits oblige, and obligation is thraldom, and unrequitable obligation perpetual thraldom." 3 And no benefit is more unrequitable than that gift to the heart which makes a man conscious of a higher purpose and aim in life than the mere material round of everyday existence. The idea of an ecclesiastical body ministering to the spiritual wants of the people is not, however, necessarily anti aristocratic in itself, for the Church might have been conducted and controlled absolutely by the aristocracy, as it was in Venice in the hey-day of her power. It is the fact that it was not so controlled by the majority of aristocracies that proved harmful to them, and Machiavelli

        1 Leviathan, Chapter XVIII.
        2 See Palgrave's History of the Anglo-Saxons, where the Church is shown to have been "the corner-stone of English liberty."
        3 Leviathan, Chapter XI.

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is among the most distinguished politicians who understood this. 1
        But the relation of the ecclesiastical body to the people in Europe had another and perhaps still more deleterious influence, though, maybe, it was more indirect than the first. For by undertaking independently to minister to the hearts of the people, not for a national or racial purpose, but for a purpose that lay beyond races and nations, it not only undermined the jealous love of race and nationality which we find so constructive a force in the Greeks of the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., but also gradually divorced the very idea of aristocracy from that noble duty of caring for the hearts of the masses, which was the very task that gave all the gravity and higher responsibility to the calling of the ruler aristocrat. By doing this, it destroyed in part his conscientiousness and his earnestness, and left him only the "craft" or business of governing, which, as I have pointed out, is much more often taken for granted by a people, even when it is done with the most consummate skill, than that more delicate and artistic duty of firing their imaginations and filling their hearts, which constitutes the divine element of rulership.

        "I say it seems to me," says Bolingbroke, 2 "that the Author of nature has thought fit to mingle from time to time, among the societies of men, a few, and but a few of those, on whom He is graciously pleased to bestow a larger proportion of the ethereal spirit than is given in the ordinary course of His providence to the sons of men. These are they who engross almost the whole reason of the species, who are born to instruct, to guide and to preserve; who are designed to be the tutors and the guardians of human kind. When they prove such, they exhibit to us example of the highest virtue and the truest piety; and they deserve to have their festivals kept,

        1 See his reply to Cardinal Rouen in Chapter III of The Prince.
        2 On the Spirit of Patriotism (Davies, 1775), p. 2.

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instead of the pack of Anachorites and Enthusiasts with whose names the calendar is crowded and disgraced. When these men apply their talents to other purposes, when they strive to be great and despise being good, they commit a most sacrilegious breach of trust; they pervert the means, they defeat as far as in them lies the designs of Providence, and disturb in some sort the system of Infinite Wisdom. To misapply these talents is the most diffused, and therefore the greatest, of crimes in its nature and consequences, but to keep them unexerted and unemployed is a crime too."
        And now, apart from the broad and general advantages to which I have already referred, what other real and lasting benefits does human society derive from these divine missionaries sent direct from flourishing life who occasionally descend among us, as Bolingbroke says, and who are much more deserving of a place in the Calendar than all the neurotic, exasperated and bitter saints who now figure there?
        By the order and stability they establish, by their instinctive avoidance of those by-paths which lead to degeneration, and their deliberate choice of those highways leading to the ascent of their fellows, they give rise to everything which is of value on earth and which makes life a boon instead of a bane.
        Beauty, Art, Will, Conscience and Spiritual Strength to face and to endure even the inevitable pangs and pains of a full life — nay, the very willingness to embrace them, because they are known to have a vital purpose — these are some of the things that can be reared by long tradition and careful discipline alone, and these are some of the things that depend for their existence on the aristocratic rule. For real Beauty is impossible without regular and stable living, lasting over generations; real Art is impossible without surplus health and energy, the outcome of generations of careful storing and garnering of vital forces, and without that direction and purpose which the supreme artist — the tasteful legislator — alone can give to the minor

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artists, be they painters, architects or musicians, within his realm. Will is impossible without sound instincts getting the mastery of a family or a tribe through generations spent in the rearing of those instincts, and causing that family or tribe passionately to desire one thing more than another; while Conscience and Spiritual Strength depend for their degree of development simply upon the length of the line of ancestors who have systematically built them up for an individual. For what I call conscience is nothing more than the voice of a man's ancestors speaking in him, saying this is right and that is wrong, and uttering this accompanying comment to his deeds, either feebly or powerfully in proportion to the length of the time during which unbroken traditions have lasted in his family. And Spiritual Strength in facing or assailing difficulties or pain is the outcome of the consciousness of being right, which arises from the fact that the comment of one's ancestors in one's breast is heard to be on one's side and with one's cause.
        For all these things to be reared, even for the unbroken tradition, on which these things depend, to be established, there must, however, be great stability and permanence in the institutions of a race or a people, and it is the direction of flourishing life, alone, speaking through her representatives, that can reveal the good taste and the good judgment necessary for the preservation of such stability and permanence. For stability and permanence are desired only when beauty is present. When, therefore, we see things constantly changing, as they are to-day, when every day brings a new custom and a new curse, we may feel sure not only that the voice of the real ruler is silent in our midst, but that life is growing conscious of her ugliness. For, like a beautiful woman looking into a mirror, a people who have once achieved beauty, real beauty, and caught a glimpse of this beauty in all the departments of their social life, must cry for permanence rather than change, stability rather than flux. It is only then that change is the most dreaded catastrophe of all;

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for change threatens to rob the beauty from the face, the limbs and trunk of their civilisation, and their pride and love of its beauty is outraged by the very thought of such vandalism. The permanence and stability of a people's institutions are called by the ugly name of "stagnation" only when these institutions have little or no beauty.
        But there is one more problem, and a very important one, which finds its best solution in the rule, not of all men by their equals, but of the mass of men by the aristocrat as I have attempted to sketch him in the preceding pages.
        In all civilised human communities there have been and always will be a certain number of menial offices that some have to perform for others — offices which do not necessarily debase, but which may on occasion humiliate. It is, therefore, clear that in order that even the menial office may seem to have a sheen of gold upon it, the personality for whom it is performed must be such as to glorify it and transfigure it in the eyes of the servant. It is not only foolish, it is actually brutal to lose sight of this fact. Look into yourselves and inquire when it is that you feel humiliated by the performance of menial offices. You know perfectly well that for some people you perform them quite cheerfully, willingly; for others you resolutely decline to do so. What makes the difference in your attitude? It is useless to point to the menial office itself, for we can imagine that as remaining the same for all cases. What is it, then, that effects the change in your attitude? Obviously it is the quality of the person for whom the menial office is performed.
        When men exist, therefore, whose characters and achievements shed a glamour upon everything that surrounds them, no duty they can impose upon their immediate entourage, no effort they can demand of it, whether it be the bearing of children or the building of a pyramid, can be felt as a humiliation or as an act of oppression. And it is only in such conditions that menial offices are

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performed daily, year in, year out, century after century without a suggestion of that rankling spirit of detestation and loathing which, when it ultimately finds a vent rises up in the form of the black cloud of revolution and revolt and thunders out the cry of Liberty and Emancipation!



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