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and suspect the words of such as are interested in deceiving, or persuading them not to see with their own eyes, that they may be more easily deceived. This rule obliges us so far to search into matters of state, as to examine the original principles of government in general, and of our own in particular. We cannot distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, or know what obedience we owe to the magistrate, or what we may justly expect from him; unless we know what he is, why he is, and by whom he is made to be what he is. These perhaps may be called "Mysteries of State," and some would per suade us they are to be esteemed "Arcana;" but whosoever confesses himself to be ignorant of them, must acknowledge that he is incapable of giving any judgment upon things relating to the superstructure; and in so doing evidently shews to others, that they ought not at all to hearken to what he says. 崇
As liberty solely consists in an independency upon the will of another, and by the name of slave, we understand a man who can neither dispose of his person nor goods, but enjoys all at the will of his master; there is no such thing in nature as a slave, if those men or nations are not slaves, who have no other title to what they enjoy, than the grace of the prince, which he may revoke whensoever he pleaseth, * * It has been hitherto believed in the world,
that the Assyrians, Medes, Arabs, Egyptians, Turks, and others like them, lived in slavery, because their princes were masters of their lives and goods : whereas the Grecians, Italians, Gauls, Germans, Spaniards, and Carthaginians, as long as they had any strength, virtue, or courage amongst them, were esteemed free nations, because they abhorred such a subjection. They were, and would be governed only by laws of their own making: Potentiora erant legum quam hominum imperia.
Such as enter into society must, in some degree, diminish their liberty. Reason leads them to this. No one man or family is able to provide that which is requisite for their convenience or security, whilst every one has an equal right to every thing, and none acknowledges a superior to determine the controversies that upon such occasions must continually arise, and will probably be so many and great, that mankind cannot bear them. Therefore, though I do not believe that Bellarmine said, a commonwealth could not exercise its power; for he could not be ignorant, that Rome and Athens did exercise theirs, and that all the regular kingdoms in the world are commonwealths; yet there is nothing of absurdity in saying, that man cannot continue in the perpetual and entire fruition of the liberty that God hath given him. The liberty of one is thwarted by that of another; and whilst they are all equal, none will yield
to any, otherwise than by a general consent. This is the ground of all just governments; for violence or fraud can create no right; and the same consent gives the form to them all, how much soever they differ from each other. Some small numbers of men, living within the precincts of one city, have, as it were, cast into a common stock the right which they had of governing themselves and children, and by common consent joining in one body, exercised such power over every single person as seemed beneficial to the whole; and this men call Perfect Democracy. Others chose rather to be governed by a select number of such as most excelled in wisdom and virtue; and this, according to the signification of the word, was called Aristocracy; or when one man excelled all others, the government was put into his hands, under the name of Monarchy. But the wisest, best, and far the greatest part of mankind, rejecting these simple species, did form governments mixed or composed of the three, as shall be proved hereafter, which commonly received their respective denomination from the part that prevailed, and did deserve praise or blame, as they were well or ill propor tioned.
It were a folly hereupon to say, that the liberty for which we contend, is of no use to us, since we cannot endure the solitude, barbarity, weakness, want, misery, and dangers, that accompany it whilst we
live alone, nor can enter into a society without resigning it; for the choice of that society, and the liberty of framing it according to our own wills, for our own good, is all we seek. This remains to us whilst we form governments, that we ourselves are judges how far it is good for us to recede from our natural liberty; which is of so great importance, that from thence only we can know whether we are freemen or slaves; and the difference between the best government and the worst, doth wholly depend on a right or wrong exercise of that power. If men are naturally free, such as have wisdom and understanding will always frame good governments: but if they are born under the necessity of a perpetual slavery, no wisdom can be of use to them; but all must for ever depend on the will of their lords, how cruel, mad, proud, or wicked soever they be.
The Grecians, amongst others who followed the light of reason, knew no other original title to the government of a nation, than that wisdom, valour, and justice, which was beneficial to the people. These qualities gave beginning to those governments which we call Heroum Regna; and the veneration paid to such as enjoyed them, proceeded from a grate ful sense of the good received from them: they were thought to be descended from the gods, who in vir tué and beneficence surpassed other men: the same attended their descendants, till they came to abuse
their power, and by their vices shewed themselves like to, or worse than others, who could best perform their duty. The Spartans knew that Hercules and Achilles were not their fathers; for they were a nation before either of them were born; but thinking their children might be like to them in valour, they brought them from Thebes and Epirus to be their kings. If our author is of another opinion, I desire to know, whether the Heraclidæ or the Æacidæ were, or ought to be, reputed fathers of the Lacedemonians; for if the one was, the other was
The same method was followed in Italy, and they who esteemed themselves Aborigines
Qui rupto robore nati,
Compositive luto, nullos habuere parentes.
JUVEN. Sat. vi. 1. 13.
could not set up one to govern them, under the title of parent. They could pay no veneration to any man, under the name of a common father, who thought they had none; and they who esteemed themselves equal, could have no reason to prefer any one, unless he were distinguished from others by the virtues that were beneficial to all.
Upon the same grounds we may conclude, that no privilege is peculiarly annexed to any form of go vernment; but that all magistrates are equally the