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The Nature and Effects of Des
POTISM, compared with the Nature and Effects of a FREE GoVERNMENT.
ON THE HAPPINESS OF A DESPOTIC
n Fall the passions which possess the
human heart, none is more infatuating, none more despotic in its empire, than the lust of power ; and none has brought greater or more numerous evils on the human race. If a man be immoderate in his love of pleasure, he may lose his time, waste his substance, and destroy his health: if he be too eager in pursuit of wealth, he may use some dishonourable means of acquiring it; and if he be a mifer, he may be unwilling to enjoy it when acquired : if he be fond of the bubble honour, he may seek it even in the cannon's mouth. But what are all these evils, when compared with those which have been brought upon mankind by the restless ambition of unhappy mortals, hurried away by their inordinate love of power ? Blinded by this passion, they have grasped the pillars of the state, brought down destruction on themselves, and buried nations in the ruins. Such wretches, though admired by fools, must be held in execration by all good men ; while, on the other hand, they whose highest ainbition is to subdue their passions, to govern all their actions, words, and thoughts by the rules of reason and religion ; who wifh only for the power of doing good to ·all mankind; these are worthy of our highest reverence and esteem. These are the truly happy; in whatsoever stations of