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CHAPTER II.

The Subject concluded.--The Executive Power is

more easily confined when it is one. ANOTHER great advantage, and which one would not at first expect, in this unity of the

senate of Carthage: Cæsar had done the same in Gaul : and when at last he was expressly required to deliver up his commission, he marched his army to Rome, and established a military despotism. But the duke, though surrounded, as well as the above-named generals, by a victorious army, and by allies, in conjunction with whom he had carried on such a successful war, did not even hesitate to surrender his commission. He knew that all his soldiers were inflexibly prepossessed in favour of that power against which he must have revolted : he knew that the same prepossessions were deeply rooted in the minds of the whole nation, and that every thing among them concurred to support the same power: he knew that the very nature of the claims he must have set up would instantly have made all his officers and captains turn themselves against him, and, in short, that, in an enterprize of this nature, the arm of the sea he had to repass was the smallest of the obstacles he would have to encounter.

The other event I shall mention here, is that of the revolution of 1689. If the long-established power of the crown had not beforehand prevented the people from ac

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public power in England,-in this union, and, if I may so express myself, in this coacervation, of all the branches of the executive authority, -is the greater facility it affords of restraining it.

In those states where the execution of the laws is intrusted to several hands, and to each with different titles and prerogatives, such division, and the changeableness of measures which must be the consequence of it, constantly hide the true cause of the evils of the state; in the endless fluctuation of things, no political principles have time to fix among the people ; and public misfortunes happen without ever leaving behind them any useful lesson.

At some times military tribunes, and at others consuls, bear an absolute sway : sometimes patricians usurp everything, and at other times those who are called nobles :* at

customing themselves to fix their eyes on some particular citizens, and in general had not prevented all men in the state from attaining too considerable a degree of power and greatness, the expulsion of James II. might have been followed by events similar to those which took place at Rome after the death of Cæsar.

• The capacity of being admitted to all places of public trust (at length gained by the plebeians) having rendered useless the old distinction between them and the patricians,

one time the people are oppressed by decemvirs, and at another by dictators.

Tyranny, in such states, does not always beat down the fences that are set around it ; but it leaps over them. When men think it confined to one place, it starts up again in another ;- it mocks the efforts of the people, not because it is invincible, but because it is unknown ;--seized by the arm of a Hercules, it escapes with the changes of a Proteus

But the indivisibility of the public power in England has constantly kept the views and efforts of the people directed to one and the same object; and the permanence of that power has also given a permanence and a regularity to the precautions they have taken to restrain it.

Constantly turned towards that ancient fortress, the royal power, they have made it for seven centuries the object of their fear; with a watchful jealousy they have considered all its parts; they have observed all its outa coalition was then effected, between the great plebeians, or commoners, who got into these places, and the ancient patricians. Hence a new class of men arose,

who were called nobiles and nobilitas. These are the words by which Livy, after that period, constantly distinguishes those men and families who were at the head of the

state.

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lets; they have even pierced the earth to explore its secret avenues and subterraneous works.

United in their views by the greatness of the danger, they regularly formed their attacks. They established their works, first at a distance; then brought them successively nearer; and, in short, raised none but what served afterwards as a foundation or defence to others,

After the Great Charter was established, forty successive confirmations strengthened it. The act called the Petition of Right, and that passed, in the sixteenth year of Charles the First, then followed: some years after, the Habeas Corpus act was established ; and the Bill of Rights at length made its appearance. In fine, whatever the circumstances may have been, the people always had, in their efforts, that inestimable advantage of knowing with certainty the general seat of the evils they had to defend themselves against ; and each calamity, each particular eruption, by pointing out some weak place, served to procure a new bulwark for public liberty.

To conclude in a few words ;-the executive power in England is formidable, but then it is for ever the same : its resources are vast, but their nature is at length known ; it has

been made the indivisible and inalienable at: tribute of one person alone, but then all other persons, of whatever rank or degree, become really interested to restrain it within its proper bounds. *

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A second Peculiarity.--The Division of the Legisla

tive Power. The second peculiarity which England, as an individual state and a free state, exhibits in its constitution, is the division of its legislature. That the reader may be more sensible of the advantages of this division, he is desired to attend to the following considerations.

It is, without doubt absolutely necessary, for securing the constitution of a state, to restrain the executive power; but it is still more necessary to restrain the legislative.

* This last advantage of the greatness and indivisibility of the executive power, viz. the obligation it lays upon the greatest men in the state, sincerely to unite in 'ą, common cause with the people, will be more amply discussed hereafter, when a more particular comparison between the English government and the republican form shall be offered to the reader.

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