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Miniflers of State.
they completely effect with a weak and credulous master; nor can the most cautious and penetrating elude their machinations.
Minifters become a fort of miniature kings in their turn. The king has been used to hear those things only which were adapted to give him pleasure; and it is with a grating and uneafy fenfation that he liftens to communications of a different fort. He has been used to unhesitating compliance; and it is with difficulty he can digeft expoftulation and oppofition. The temporifing politician expects the fame pliability in others that he exhibits in himfelf; and the fault which he can least forgive, is an ill-timed and inaufpicious fcrupulofity.
Expecting this compliance from all the coadjutors and inftruments of his defigns, he foon comes to fet it up as a standard by which to judge of the merits of all other men. He is deaf to every recommendation but that of a fitness for the fecret fervice of government, or a tendency to promote his interest, and extend the sphere of his influence. The worst man with this argument in his favor will feem worthy of encouragement; the best man who has no advocate but virtue to plead for him will be treated with fupercilioufnefs and neglect.-To obtain honor, it will be neceffary to pay a fervile court to administration, to bear with unaltered patience their contumely and fcorn, to flatter their vices, and render ourselves useful to their private gratification. To obtain honors, it will be neceffary, by affiduity and intrigue, to make to ourselves a party, to procure the recommendation of lords, and the good word of women of pleasure and clerks in office. To obtain honor, it will be neceffary to merit difgrace. The whole fcene confifts in hollowness, duplicity, and falfehood. The minifter fpeaks fair to the man he defpifes; and the flave pretends a generous attachment, while he thinks of nothing but his perfonal intereft,
IF you ask me where to look for those beautiful fhining qualities of prime minifters and the great favorites of princes, that are fo finely painted in dedications. addreffes, epitaphs, funeral fermons, and infcriptions, I anfwer, there, and no where elfe. Where would you look for the excellency of a ftatue, but in that part which you fee of it? It is the polifhed ourfide only that has the fkill and labour of the fculptor to boaft of; what is out of fight is untouched. Would you break the head or cut open the breaft to look for the brains or the heart, you would only fhew your ignorance and destroy the workmanship. This has often made me compare the virtues
of great men to your large china jars; they make a fine show, and are ornamental to a chimney; one would, by the bulk they appear in, and the value that is fet upon them, think they might be very ufeful, but look into a thoufand of them, and you will find nothing but duft and cobwebs.-Mandeville.
I KNOW not how it happens, but there is hardly ever a prince fo bad but his minifter is worfe: If he commit any ill action, he is ftill prompted to it; accordingly, the ambition of a prince is never fo dangerous as bafenefs of foul in his counsellors-Montesquieu.
OH! what a mine of mifchief is fatefman !
WERE honor to be fcann'd by long defcent
Nor will I borrow merit from the dead,
VIRTUE alone is true nobility:
NOBILITY of blood,
Is but a glitt'ring and fallacious good:
Is fill'd with in-born worth, unborrow'd from his kind.
Your ancestors who puff your mind with pride,
NO man is nobler born than another, unless he is born with better abilities and a more amiable difpofition. They who make fuch a parade with their family pictures and pedigrees, are, properly speaking, rather to be called noted or notorious than noble perfons. I thought it right to fay this much, in order to repel the infolence of men who depend entirely upon chance and accidental circumftances for diftinction, and not at all on public fervices and perfonal merit.-Seneca.
VIRTUE is nobility. Perfonal merit, useful, generous, benevolent exertion, the only honorable diftinction. The trappings which every taylor can make to clothe a poor puny mortal, add no real dignity. In ages of ignorance, they might ftrike with awe. Those ages are no more. Nor will they ever return, notwithstanding the efforts of petty defpots, (fearing the lofs of thofe diftinctions which they know they never earned), to keep the people in the groffelt ignorance.
God Almighty, who gives his fun to fhine with as much warmth and radiance on the cottage as on the palace, has difpenfed the glorious privilege of genius and virtue to the poor and middle claffes, with a bounty perhaps feldom experienced in any of the proud pretenders to hereditary or official grandeur. Let us call to mind a few among the worthies who have adorned the ages that have elapfed: Socrates; was he noble in the fenfe of a king at arms? Would he have condefcended to be bedizened with ribands, and stars, and garters? Cicero; was he not a novus homo? a man unconnected with patricians, and deriving his glory from the pureft fountain of honor, his own genius and virtue? Demofthenes would have fcorned to owe his eflimation to a pedigree.-Spirit of Defpotifm.
THE greatest scholars, poets, orators, philofophers, warriors, statesmen, inventors and improvers of the arts, arose from the lowest of the people. If we had waited till courtiers had invented the art of printing, clock-making, navigation, and a thousand others, we should probably have continued in darknefs to this hour. They had fomething elfe to do, than to add to the comforts and conveniencies of ordinary life. They had to worship an idol, with the incenfe of flattery, who was often much more ftupid than themselves, and who fometimes had no more care or knowledge of the people under him, or their wants, than he had of arts or literature.
The education of the middle claffes is infinitely better that the education of thofe who are called great people. Their time is lefs confumed by that vanity and dillipation which enfeebles the mind, while it precludes opportunity for reading and reflection. They ufually have a regard to character, which contributes much to the prefervation of virtue. Their honor' and integrity are valued by them, as pearls of great price. These are their ftars, and thefe their coronets. They are for the most part attached to their religion. They are temperate, frugal and indu.trious. In one particular, and that one adds a value above all that courts can give, they greatly excel the great, and that particular is fincerity. They are in earnest in their words and deeds. They have little occafion for fimulation and diffimulation. Courtiers are too often varnished, fictitious perfons, whom God and nature never made; while the people preferve the image unaffected, which the Supreme Being impreffed when he created man.- -Idem.
NATURE and ART.
UNERRING nature, ftill divinely bright,
NO man can fafely do that by others, which might be done by himself. He that indulges negligence, will quickly become ignorant of his own affairs; and he that trufls without referve, will at last be deceived.-Rambler.
THAT the best and ablest men should govern the wort and weakest, is reasonable: and this is the ariflocracy appointed by God and nature. But what do we mean, when we fay the belt and ableft men? Do we mean, men of the best families; that is, men in whofe families riches and titles have long been Qafpicuous? By the ablet men, do we mean men who poffefs
the greatest power, by undue influence, in borough and county elections, though the exertion of that power be ftrictly forbidden by the law and conftitution? Or do we mean men of honeft, upright, and benevolent hearts; of vigorous, well informed, well-exercifed understandings? Certainly the latter fort, which forms the arifocracy eftablished by God and nature. This is gold; the king's head, ftamped upon it, may make it a guinea. The other is only copper; and though the fame impreffion may be made upon it at the mint, it is ftill intrinfically worth no more than a halfpenny.- Spirit of Defpotifm.
GOVERNMENT being inftituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of non-refiftance againit arbitrary power and oppref fion is abfurd, flavifh, and deftructive to the good and happiness of mankind.-Conflitution of Tennefee.
NATURE does nothing in vain; the creator of the universe has appointed every thing to a certain ufe and purpose, and determined it to a fettled courfe and sphere of action, from which if it in the leaft deviates, it becomes unfit to anfwer thofe ends for which it was defigned. In like manner it is in the difpofitions of fociety; the civil economy is formed in a chain as well as the natural; and in either cafe the breach but of one link puts the whole in fome disorder. It is, I think, pretty plain, that most of the abfurdity and ridicule that we meet with in the world, is generally owing to the impertinent affectation, of excelling in characters men are not fit for, and for which nature never defigned them.
Every man has one or more qualities which may make him ufeful both to himself and others; nature never fails of pointing them out; and while the infant continues under the guardiarfhip, the brings him on in his way, and then offers herself for a guide in what remains of the journey; if he proceeds in that courfe, he can hardly mifcarry : nature makes good her engagements; for as he never promifes what fhe is not able to perform, fo fhe never fails of performing what fhe promises. But the misfortune is, men defpife what they may be mafters of, and affect what they are not fit for; they reckon themfelves already poffeffed of what their genius inclines them to, and fo bend all their ambition to excel in what is out of their reach. Thus they deftroy the use of their natural talents, in the fame manner