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THE HISTORY OF FREEDOM AND OTHER ESSAYS


MACMILLAN AND CO., Limited

LONDON ˇ BOMBAY ˇ CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK ˇ BOSTON ˇ CHICAGO
ATLANTA ˇ SAN FRANSISCO

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA LTD.

TORONTO


[Illustration: Acton]




THE

HISTORY OF FREEDOM

AND OTHER ESSAYS

BY

JOHN EMERICH EDWARD DALBERG-ACTON

FIRST BARON ACTON

D.C.L., L.L.D., ETC. ETC. REGIUS PROFESSOR OF MODERN HISTORY IN THE
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

EDITED WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY JOHN NEVILLE FIGGIS, Litt.D.

SOMETIME LECTURER IN ST. CATHARINE'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

AND

REGINALD VERE LAURENCE, M.A.

FELLOW AND LECTURER OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE


MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON

1909

_First Edition 1907_

_Reprinted 1909_




PREFATORY NOTE


The Editors desire to thank the members of the Acton family for their
help and advice during the preparation of this volume and of the volume
of _Historical Essays and Studies_. They have had the advantage of
access to many of Acton's letters, especially those to Döllinger and
Lady Blennerhasset. They have thus been provided with valuable material
for the Introduction. At the same time they wish to take the entire
responsibility for the opinions expressed therein. They are again
indebted to Professor Henry Jackson for valuable suggestions.

This volume consists of articles reprinted from the following journals:
_The Quarterly Review_, _The English Historical Review_, _The Nineteenth
Century_, _The Rambler_, _The Home and Foreign Review_, _The North
British Review_, _The Bridgnorth Journal_. The Editors have to thank Mr.
John Murray, Messrs. Longmans, Kegan Paul, Williams and Norgate, and the
proprietors of _The Bridgnorth Journal_ for their kind permission to
republish these articles, and also the Delegacy of the Clarendon Press
for allowing the reprint of the Introduction to Mr. Burd's edition of
_Il Principe_. They desire to point out that in _Lord Acton and his
Circle_ the article on "The Protestant Theory of Persecution" is
attributed to Simpson: this is an error.

J.N.F.
R.V.L.

_August 24, 1907._




CONTENTS


PAGE
PORTRAIT OF LORD ACTON _Frontispiece_

CHRONICLE viii

INTRODUCTION ix

I. THE HISTORY OF FREEDOM IN ANTIQUITY 1

II. THE HISTORY OF FREEDOM IN CHRISTIANITY 30

III. SIR ERSKINE MAY'S DEMOCRACY IN EUROPE 61

IV. THE MASSACRE OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW 101

V. THE PROTESTANT THEORY OF PERSECUTION 150

VI. POLITICAL THOUGHTS ON THE CHURCH 188

VII. INTRODUCTION TO L.A. BURD'S EDITION OF
IL PRINCIPE BY MACHIAVELLI 212

VIII. MR. GOLDWIN SMITH'S IRISH HISTORY 232

IX. NATIONALITY 270

X. DÖLLINGER ON THE TEMPORAL POWER 301

XI. DÖLLINGER'S HISTORICAL WORK 375

XII. CARDINAL WISEMAN AND THE HOME AND
FOREIGN REVIEW 436

XIII. CONFLICTS WITH ROME 461

XIV. THE VATICAN COUNCIL 492

XV. A HISTORY OF THE INQUISITION OF THE MIDDLE
AGES. BY HENRY CHARLES LEA 551

XVI. THE AMERICAN COMMONWEALTH. BY JAMES
BRYCE 575

XVII. HISTORICAL PHILOSOPHY IN FRANCE AND FRENCH
BELGIUM AND SWITZERLAND. BY ROBERT FLINT 588

APPENDIX 597

INDEX 599




CHRONICLE


JOHN EMERICH EDWARD DALBERG-ACTON, born at Naples,
10th January 1834, son of Sir Ferdinand Richard Edward
Dalberg-Acton and Marie de Dalberg, afterwards Countess
Granville.
French school near Paris.
1843-1848. Student at Oscott
" " Edinburgh.
1848-1854. " " Munich University, living with Döllinger.
1855. Visits America in company with Lord Ellesmere.
1858-1862. Becomes editor of _The Rambler_.
1859-1865. M.P. for Carlow.
1862-1864. Founds, edits, and concludes _The Home and Foreign
Review_.
1864. Pius IX. issued _Quanta Cura_, with appended _Syllabus
Errorum_.
1865-1866. M.P. for Bridgnorth
1865. Marries Countess Marie Arco-Valley.
1867-1868. Writes for _The Chronicle_.
1869. Created Baron Acton.
1869-1871. Writes for _North British Review_.
1869-1870. Vatican Council. Acton at Rome. Writes "Letters
of Quirinus" in _alleging Zeitung_.
1872. Honorary degree at Munich.
1874. Letters to _The Times_ on "The Vatican Decrees."
1888. Honorary degree at Cambridge.
1889. " " Oxford.
1890. Honorary Fellow of All Souls'.
1892-1895. Lord-in-Waiting.
1895-1902. Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge
Honorary Fellow of Trinity College.
19th June 1902. Died at Tegernsee.




INTRODUCTION


The two volumes here published contain but a small selection from the
numerous writings of Acton on a variety of topics, which are to be found
scattered through many periodicals of the last half-century. The result
here displayed is therefore not complete. A further selection of nearly
equal quantity might be made, and still much that is valuable in Acton's
work would remain buried. Here, for instance, we have extracted nothing
from the _Chronicle_; and Acton's gifts as a leader-writer remain
without illustration. Yet they were remarkable. Rarely did he show to
better advantage than in the articles and reviews he wrote in that
short-lived rival of the _Saturday Review_. From the two bound volumes
of that single weekly, there might be made a selection which would be of
high interest to all who cared to learn what was passing in the minds of
the most acute and enlightened members of the Roman Communion at one of
the most critical epochs in the history of the papacy. But what could
never be reproduced is the general impression of Acton's many
contributions to the _Rambler_, the _Home and Foreign_, and the _North
British Review_. Perhaps none of his longer and more ceremonious
writings can give to the reader so vivid a sense at once of the range of
Acton's erudition and the strength of his critical faculty as does the
perusal of these short notices. Any one who wished to understand the
personality of Acton could not do better than take the published
Bibliography and read a few of the articles on "contemporary literature"
furnished by him to the three Reviews. In no other way could the reader
so clearly realise the complexity of his mind or the vast number of
subjects which he could touch with the hand of a master. In a single
number there are twenty-eight such notices. His writing before he was
thirty years of age shows an intimate and detailed knowledge of
documents and authorities which with most students is the "hard won and
hardly won" achievement of a lifetime of labour. He always writes as the
student, never as the _littérateur_. Even the memorable phrases which
give point to his briefest articles are judicial, not journalistic. Yet
he treats of matters which range from the dawn of history through the
ancient empires down to subjects so essentially modern as the vast
literature of revolutionary France or the leaders of the romantic
movement which replaced it. In all these writings of Acton those
qualities manifest themselves, which only grew stronger with time, and
gave him a distinct and unique place among his contemporaries. Here is
the same austere love of truth, the same resolve to dig to the bed-rock
of fact, and to exhaust all sources of possible illumination, the same
breadth of view and intensity of inquiring ardour, which stimulated his
studies and limited his productive power. Above all, there is the same
unwavering faith in principles, as affording the only criterion of
judgment amid the ever-fluctuating welter of human passions, political
manoeuvring, and ecclesiastical intrigue. But this is not all. We note
the same value for great books as the source of wisdom, combined with
the same enthusiasm for immediate justice which made Acton the despair
of the mere academic student, an enigma among men of the world, and a
stumbling-block to the politician of the clubs. Beyond this, we find
that certainty and decision of judgment, that crisp concentration of
phrase, that grave and deliberate irony and that mastery of subtlety,
allusion, and wit, which make his interpretation an adventure and his
judgment a sword.

A few instances may be given. In criticising a professor of history
famous in every way rather than as a student, Acton says, "his Lectures
are indeed not entirely unhistorical, for he has borrowed quite
discriminatingly from Tocqueville." Of another writer he says that
"ideas, if they occur to him, he rejects like temptations to sin." Of
Ranke, thinking perhaps also of himself, he declares that "his intimate
knowledge of all the contemporary history of Europe is a merit not
suited to his insular readers." Of a partisan French writer under Louis
Napoleon he says that "he will have a fair grievance if he fails to
obtain from a discriminating government some acknowledgment of the
services which mere historical science will find it hard to appreciate."
Of Laurent he says, that "sometimes it even happens that his information
is not second-hand, and there are some original authorities with which
he is evidently familiar.



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