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* or emolument. Nothing is gained by a popular
choice worth the diffenfions, tumults, and interrup: tion of regular industry, with which it is inseparably : attended. Add to this, that a king, who owes bis
elevation to the event of a contest, or to any other cause than a fixed rule of succession, will be apt to regard one part of his subjects as the associates of his fortune, and the other as conquered foes. Nor Should it be forgotten, amongst the advantages of an hereditary monarchy, that as plans of national improvement and reforin are seldom brought to maturity by the exertions of a single reign, a nation cannot attain to the degree of happiness and prof. perity to which it is capable of being carried, unless an uniformity of councils, a consistency of public measures and designs be continued through a fuccession of ages. This benefit may be expected with greater probability, where the supreme power dela cends in the same race, and where each prince suc. ceeds, in some fort, to the aim, pursuits, and dif- position of his ancestor, than if the crown, at every change, devolve upon a stranger, whose first care will commonly be to pull down what his predeces. sor had built up; and to substitute systems of ad. ministration, which must, in their turn, give way to the more favourite novelties of the next fuc. ceffor.
ARISTOCR ACIES are of two kinds, first, where the power of the nobility belongs to them in their collective capacity alone ; that is, where although the government reside in an assembly of the order, yet the members of that assembly separately and in. dividually possess no authority or privilege beyond the rest of the community :-this describes the con. ftitution of Venice. Secondly, where the nobles are severally invested with great personal power and immunities, and where the power of the senate is little more than the aggregated power of the in
dividuals who compose it :-this is the constitution of Poland. Of these two forms of government, the first is more tolerable than the last ; for although the members of a senate should many, or even all of them, be profligate enough to abuse the authority of their stations in the prosecution of private defigns, yet, not being all under a temptation to the same injustice, not having all the same end to gain, it would still be difficult to obtain the consent of a majority, to any specific act of oppreflion, which the iniquity of an individual might prompt him to propose : or if the will were the faine, the power is more confined; one tyrant, whether the tyranny refide in a single person, or a senare, cannot exercic oppreslion at so many places at the same time, as it may be carried on by the dominion of a numerous nobility over their respective vassals and dependents, Of all species of domination this is the most odious: the freedom and satistaction of private life are more constrained and harasled by it, than by the moft vexatious laws, or even by the lawless will of an arbitrary monarch ; from whose knowledge, and from whose injustice, the greatest part of his subjeals are removed by their distance, or concealed by their obscurity.
Europe exhibits more than one modern example, where the people, aggrieved by the exactions, or provoked by the enormies, of their immediate su. periors, have joined with the reigning prince in the overthrow of the aristocracy, deliberately exchang. ing their condizion for the miseries of delpotilm. About the middle of the last century, the commons of Denmark, weary of the oppretlions u bich they had long luttered from the nobles, and exasperated by some recent insults, presented themselves at the toot of the throne, with a formal offer of their confone lo establih unlimited dominion in the king. The sevolution in Sweden, fill more lately brought
about about with the acquiescence, not to say the ashift. ance of the people, owed its success to the same cause, namely, to the profpe&t of deliverance, that it afforded, from the tyranny which their nobles exercised under the old conftitution. In England the people beheld the depression of the Barons, under the house of Tudor, with satisfaction, although they saw the crown acquiring thereby a power, which no limitations, that the confticution had then provided, were likely to confine. The letion to be drawn from such events is this, that a mix. ed government, which admits a parrician order into its constitution, ought to circunscribe the per. sonal privileges of the nobility, especially claims of hereditary jurisdiction and local authority, with a jealousy equal to the solicitude with which it provides for its own preservation. For norbing so alienates the minds of the people from the government under which they live, by a perpetual sense of annoyance and inconveniency; or so pre. pares them for the practices of an enterprising prince, or a factious demagogue, as the abuse wbich almost always accompanies the existence of separate immunities.
Amongst the inferior, but by no means incon. siderable advantages of a DEMOCRATIC conftitu. tion, or of a constitution in which the people par. take of the power of legislation, the following should not be neglected.
1. The direction which it gives to the education, studies, and pursuits of the fuperior orders of the community. The share which this has in forming the public manners and national character is very important. In countries, in which the gentry are excluded from all concern in the government, scarce any thing is left which leads to advance. ment, but the profession of arms. They who do not addict themselves to this profeflion (and mi.
serable must that country be, which constantly en. ploys the military service of a great proportion of any order of its subjects) are commonly lost by the mere want of object and destination, that is, they either fall without reserve, into the mo. sortish habits of animal gratification, or entire. y devote themselves to the altainment of those funde arts and decorations, which compose the butine: and recommendation of a court: on the other hand, where the whole, or any effective portia of civil power is possessed by a popular aliem.bi, more serious pursuits will be encouraged, purer morals and a more intellectual character will cogage the public esteem ; those faculries, which qualify men for deliberation and debate, and which are the fruit of rober habits, of carly and long con. tinued application, will be roused and animated by the reward, which, of all others, most readily awakens the ambition of the human mind, polirical dignity and importance.
Jl. Popular elections procure to the common people courtesy from their superiors. That con. remptuous and overbearing intolence, with which the lower orders of the community are wont to be created by the higher, is greatly mitigated where the people have something to give. The ailduiv, with which their favour is lought upon theie oc.a. fions, ferves to generate fetuled habits of condes. cension and respect; and as human life is more embittered by aftionis ihan injuries, whatever contribuies to procure mildnels and civility of man. pers towards those who are more liable to fuficr tro'n a contrary behaviour, corrects, with the pride, in a great meallire the evil of inequality, and de. ferves to be accounted amorgit the moit geocrous institutions of social life.
III. The satisfaction which the people in free governments derive from the knowledge and agita. tion of political subjects ; such as the proceedings and debates of the senate ; the conduct and character of ministers; the revolutions, intrigues, and contentions of parties; and, in general, from the discussion of public measures, questions, and occurrences. Subjects of this sort excite just enough of interest and emotion, to afford a moderate en. gagement to the thoughts, without rising to any painful degree of anxiety, or ever leaving a fixed oppression upon the fpirits—and what is this, but the end and aim of all those amusements, which compose so much of the business of life and of the value of riches ? For my part, and I believe it to be the case with most men, who are arrived at the middle age, and occupy the middle classes of life; had I all the money, which I pay in taxes to government, ac liberty to lay out upon amusement and diversion, I know not whether I could make choice of any, in which I should find greater pleasure, than what I receive from expecting, hearing, and relating public news; reading parliamentary debates, and proceedings ; canvassing the political arguments, projects, predictions, and inrelligence, which are conveyed, by various channels, to every corner of the kingdom. These 10pics, exciting universal curiosity, and being such as almost every man is ready to forni, and pre. pared to deliver their opinion about, greatly pro. more, and, I think, improve conversation. They render it more rational and more innocent. They supply a substitute for drinking, gaming, scandal, and obscenity. Now the secrecy, the jealousy, the solitude and precipitation of despotic governments exclude all this. But the loss, you say, is trifling. I know that it is possible to render even the