THE


PHILOSOPHICAL W O R K S

                          OF


         D A V I D HUME.


INCLUDING ALL   THE ESSAYS, AND E...
CONTENTS OF VOLUME THm@.



           ESSAYS, MORAL, POLITICAL AND LITERAXI?.

                               PART     L
...
vi               QONTENTO.


                             . . . . .
                             .~.. . a- ... .
         ...
ESSAYS

MORAL, POLITICAL, AND LITERARY.


               PART I
                    .
          F U B L I IN ~ ~c r x m .
...
ESSAY I.


         OP THB DELICACY OS TASTE AND PASSION.


i SOME are subject to certain Clelicaq ofpasion,
     people  ...
4                          ESSAY I.

    in the latter. Not to mention,. that men of such lively
     passions are apt to ...
DELICACY Oi TASTE.                            S

d e r means as by this. delicdcy of sentiment.
a man is possessed of that...
6                           ESSAY   r.
things which p l e s ~ e d i c t others, will r p p to us
                       or...
DELIChCY O f TASTE.                     7

is sqfftcient for their entertainment. They taIk to him
of their pIeasures and ...
8                            ESSAY 11.




                                          quot;$.



                          ...
LTBERTY OF THE PRESS.                 9

 whi& is neither wholly monarchical, nor wholly republi-
 can. It will be found, ...
10                       ESSAY 1 .
                                 1


andliberty render the yoke either more grievous; I...
LIBERTY OF T H E PRESS.                             11

 but from a legal proof before his judges even these
             ...
I2                               ESSAY 11.

   It must however be aIlowed, that the unbounded li-
 berty of the press, tho...
LIBERTY O F THE PRESS.                           13

    possiblk, to propose a suitable remedy for it, is one of
;   tile...
14




                         ESSAY 111.


     THAT POLITICS MAY BE REDUCED TO A SCIENCE,



   ITis a question with se...
WLITlCS A SCIENCE.                           15

-der Henry 111. and under Henry fV. Oppression, le-
vity, artifice on the...
16                                                                   r

 a from
  1      them,as   any which the mathemati...
POLITICS A SCIENCE.                    17

   means of his fiefs, has 'a distinct hereditary authority
   Over his vassals...
18                    ESSAY 1 1
                              1.

  ment, is a point of too great and too general interest...
POLITICS A SCIENCE.                   19

srrvation may, I believe, be fixed as a maxim of the kind
we are here speaking o...
20                           S S S A Y 111.

plunder no more than wouldsatisfy their own rapa-
ciousness; whereas, at pres...
POLITICS A SCIENCE.                   21

      high rent, they also loaded them with many other
     taxes. If we pass fr...
23                             ESSAY 111.

    valour, integrity, knowledge, orgreatand fortunate
    achievements. Jnthef...
POLITICS A SCIENCE.                                !
                                                                     ...
E4                             GSSAY    Err.

      ways correspond to causes ; and wise regulations, in                  ...
POLITICS A SCIENCE.              25

    order and -ration          inthegovernment,wherethe
    manners and custpms have ...
26                     ESSAY   rrr.
 dicstion of meanness of heartinany man thanto see              %
                    ...
POLITICS A SCIENCE.                  a?.
influenceeven to posterity, byunderminingthebest
constitutionin the world, anddis...
88                      ESSAY 111;

 never have suffered a wicked and weak minister t g*   o
 vern triumph'itntly for a co...
POLITICS d SCLENCE.                  as.
sion ofphilosophers. The virtue and good intention o      f
&to andBrutus        ...
..
    ao                             ESSAY 111.

   suchmightyopposition,make                  a large library of what ha...
PRINCIPLZEB OF GOVERNMGWT.                31




                      ESSAY IV.

     OF THEFIBSTPRINCIPLES         OF GO...
si                            ESSAY I?.

  easily be settled. When this opinion prevails among
  the generality of a state...
PRINCIPLES-OFGOVERKMENT.                    ’.   m
rying &e ;arsBter . , t m   k ; but still   i must
                    ...
34                     ESSAY IV.

 all the farther power he posse'sses must be founded ei-
 ther on our own opinion, or on...
_.
            PRINCIPLES OF GOaRNMS%Ta                   .85

tion, that House being chosen by them as .their repre.
sent...
7 I hall conciade this subject w t observing, thst the pr-t
                                         ih                   ...
OF THE ORIGIN OF GOVERNMENT.                       %I




                         ESSAY V. e


              O F THE ORIG...
88                       ESSAY ' V.

  viousnecessity, such is the frailty or perverseness of
  our nature ! it is impossi...
OP THE ORIGIN OF GOVERNMENT.                s9

  ference between the cases. Order in society, we find,
 is much better ma...
i
OF THE ORIGIY OF GOVERNMEPT.
                  .   .                                            41
                       ...
42                            ESSAY VI.




                             ESSAY Vl.

         O F THE INDEPENDENCY OF PARLI...
INDEPENDENCY OF PARLIAMENT.                                43

 it, make him, notwithstanding his insatiable avarice
     ...
44                               ESSAY VI,

 cept the good will of our rulers ; that is, we shall have
 po security at a l...
INDEPENDENCY O F PARLIAMENT.                  45
 concerned. Honour is a great check upon mankind            :
    But whe...
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Henry Humes Kames Lord

  1. 1. THE PHILOSOPHICAL W O R K S OF D A V I D HUME. INCLUDING ALL THE ESSAYS, AND EXHIBITING THE MORE IMPORTANT ALTERATIONS AND CORRECTIONS IN THE SUCCESSIVE EDITIONS PUBLISHED BY AUTHOR. THE IN FOUR VOLUMES. VOL. 111. EDINBURGH : PRINTED FOR ADAM B L A C K AND WILLIAM TAIT ; %e6 AND C H A R L ~ ST A I T ~ .I. LONDON' MDCCCXXVI. EET STREET,
  2. 2. CONTENTS OF VOLUME THm@. ESSAYS, MORAL, POLITICAL AND LITERAXI?. PART L ..- BSSAY 1. OFDelicacyof the . Taste Mxl P s i n aso . . ' .PAOX 3 . . . . .. rn 2. OfLiberty the of the Press . 8 3 That . Politics . m a y he reduced to a Science . 4 Of the First Principles of Government . . , . 14 31 5. Ofthe Origin of Government . . . 6. Ofthe Independence of Parliament. . , . . . 37 42 7. Whether the British Government inclines absolute M orRepublic to a . . . . . . . . . . . to . - , . . 50' ' . . . . 8 O Pris in general f ate 57 . , 9. O the Pris of Great Britain f ate 67 10. Of Superstition Enthusiasm and . . . . , 81 f Dignitg or Meanness of Human Nature 11. O the 12. Of Civil L b r y iet . . . . . , . . . 90 98 I Of Eloquence S . . . . . . Ih Of the Rise and P o r s of the Aits and Sciences rges * I . 108 . . . . . . . , 1% 15. The Epicurean . 158 16. T h e Stoic . . . . . . . . 165 17. The Paoit ltns 18. The Sceptic . . , . .. . . ... .. . .. . .. . , , .. 175 180 19. O P l g m and f o y a y Divorces 2 0 6 20. Of Simplicity and Refinement Writing in . , , 218 21. Of National Charactera . . . . . . 22s 2 . OfT@y 3 . . . . . . * 24.5 . I 23. O the Standard of Taste f , , 258 P A R T 11. 1. O Commerce f . . . . . ..285 2 Of Refinement in the Arts . . . m . . -:w, . . 3. Of Money , . . . . . 333 317 , a 4 Ofhtereot + % YDDt 1x1. b
  3. 3. vi QONTENTO. . . . . . .~.. . a- ... . . . . . . . ... ... ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . - 'h ..
  4. 4. ESSAYS MORAL, POLITICAL, AND LITERARY. PART I . F U B L I IN ~ ~c r x m . ~ m ' .
  5. 5. ESSAY I. OP THB DELICACY OS TASTE AND PASSION. i SOME are subject to certain Clelicaq ofpasion, people a ' i whichmskesthem extremely sensible to d the acci- l i dents of life, and gives them a lively joy upon every i- prosperous event, as well as a piercing grief when they i meet with misfortunes and adversity. Favours and p o d offices easily engage their friendship, while the small- : est injury provokes their resentment. Any honour or ' mark of distinction elevates them above measure, but : theyare as sensiblytouched with contempt.People ! of this character have, no doubt, more livelyenjoy- : ments, RS well as more pungent sorrows, than men' of i cool andsedatetempers. 3ut, 1 believe, whenevery thing is balanced, there is no one who would not rag ther be of the latter character, were he entirely master I of his own disposition. Good or ill fortune is very little a our disposal ; and when a person that has this t sensibility of temper meets with any misfortune, his' sorrow or resentment takes entire possession of him, and deprives him of d relish m the common occur- l rences o l f , the right enjoyment of which forms. the f ie chief part of our happiness. Great pleasures are much less frequent than great pains, so that a sensible tern- ~ e must meet with fewer trials i the former way thu r n YOL. III. A 2
  6. 6. 4 ESSAY I. in the latter. Not to mention,. that men of such lively passions are apt to be transported beyond all bounds of prudence end discrefion, and to take false steps in the conduct of life, which are often irretrievable. There is a delicacy of taste observable in some men, which very much resembles this delicacy ofpassion, and produces the same sensibility to beauty and deformity Q€ every kind, as that does to prosperity and adversity, obligations and injuries. When you present a poem or a picture to a man possessed of this talent, the delicacy of his feeling makes him be sensibly touched with every part of it ; nor are themasterly strokes perceived with more exquisite relish and satisfaction, than the rregli- gences or h n r d i t i e s with disgust and uneasiness. A polite and judicious conversation affords him the high- est entertainment ; rudeness or impertinence is as great punishment to him. In short, delicacy of taste has the same effect as delicacy of passion. I t enlarges the I sphere both of our happiness and misery, and makes us sensibb to pains as well as pleasures which escape t the rest o mankind. f I believe, however, every one will agree with me, that notwitbstaadkg this resemblance, delicacy of taste is as much to be desired and cultivated, as delicacy of passion is to be lamented, and to be remedied, if possible. The g o d or ill accidents of life are very little at our disposal ; but we are pretty much masters what books we shall read, what diversions we shall partake of, and what com- pany we shall keep. Philosophers have endeavoured to render happiness entirely independentof every thing external. The degree of perfection is impossible to be aitained; but every wise man will endeavour to place . his happiness on such objects chiefly as depend upon himself; and that is not to be attained so much by any
  7. 7. DELICACY Oi TASTE. S d e r means as by this. delicdcy of sentiment. a man is possessed of that talent, he is more happy by what pleases his & e by what gratifies his appe- $ than, tites, and receives more enjoyment fiom a poem, or piece of reasoning, than the most expensive l u m y can afford. 1 Whatever connexion there may be 0l.igidly be- tween these two species of delicacy, I am persuaded that nothing is SQ proper to cure us of this delicacy of passion, as the cultivating of that higher and more re- fined taste, which enables us to judge of the characters of men, of compositions of genius, and of the produc- tions of the nobler arts. A greater or less relish fm those obvious beauties which strike the senses, depends entirely upon the g r a t e r or less sensibility of the tem- per; but with regard to the sciences and liberal arts, a fine taste is, in some measure, the same with strong sense, or at least depends so much upon it that they are inseparable. In order to judge aright of a compo- sition of genius, there are so many views to be taken in, SO many circumstances to be compared, and such a knowledge of human nature requisite, that no man, who is not possessed of the soundest judgment, will evw make a tolerable critic in such performances. And this is a new reason €or cultivating a relish i the lib4 n r d arts. Our judgment will strengthen by this ever- cise. We shall form juster notions of life. Many 1 How far tbe.delicacy of taate, and that o passion, %re connected f together in the original frame of the mind, it is hard t determine. To o me there appears tg be a very C O I I ~ ~ I J A b e t w i x t t h u ~ ~ . connexion For we may obserpe that women, who have more delicate pagsions than men, have also a more delicate Lute of tbe ornaments of lie, of dresq quipage, andtheordinary decencies o bebviour. Any excellency in f these hits their taste much sooner than ours ; and When you pleasa t & h &k, YOU S p W OP e thek t @ ? . & ~ 3 . - E ~ 4 T ~ 3 A, C, P N ,,
  8. 8. 6 ESSAY r. things which p l e s ~ e d i c t others, will r p p to us or too frivolous to engage our attention J and we shall lose by degrees that sensibility aaBdeIicacy of passion, which is 60 incommodious. But perhaps I have gone too far, in saying that a cultivated taste for the pol& arts extinguishes the pas- sions, and renders us indifferent to those objects which are 80 fondIy pursued by therest of mankind. On farther reflection, I find, that it rather improves our sensibility for all the tender and agreeable passions ; et the same time that it renders the mind incapable of the rougher and more boisterous emotions. Ingenuas didioisse fideliter srtes, 1 Emdlit mores, nec sinit esse feros. 'f d For this, I think, there may be assigned two very 3 natural reasons. I n the$rst place, nothing is so im- $ proving to the temper as the study of the beauties, D either of poetry, eloquence, music, or painting. They & g+ give a certainelegance of sentiment to which therest .f of mankind are strangers. The emotions which they ?* excite are soft andtender. They draw off themind from the hurry of businessand interest; cherishre- 19 flection ;dispose to tranquillity ; and produce an agree-. 9 able melancholy, which, of all dispositionsof the mind, is the best suited to love and friendship. In the second place, adelicacy of taste is favourable j love and friendship, by confining our choice to few P people,and making us indifferent to the company and 8 conversation of the greater part of men. You will sel- 1 dom find that mere men of.the world, whatever strong 4, x sense they may be endowed with, are very nice in dk- i tinguishingcharacters, or in marking those knsensible ! differences andgradations, which make one man pre- i; ,. ferable to another, Any one that has competent s e w ', t 6
  9. 9. DELIChCY O f TASTE. 7 is sqfftcient for their entertainment. They taIk to him of their pIeasures and &airs, with the same frankness thatthey would %another;andfindingmany who are fit to supply his place, they never feel any vacancy or want in his absence. Bat to make use of the d - u sion of a celebrated French n author, the judgment may be compared to aclock or watch, where the most ordi- nary machine is sufficient to teIl the hours ; but the most elaborate alone can point out the minutesand se- conds, and distinguish the smallest differences o time. f Onethathas well digestedhisknowledgeboth of books and men, has Iittie enjoyment but in'the compa- ny of a few select companions. H e feels too sensibly, how much all the rest of mankind fdi short of the no- tions which he has entertained. And, his affections being thus confined within a narrow circle, no wonder he carries them further than if they were more general and undistinguished. The gaiety and frolic of a bottle companion improves with him into a solid friendship ; and the ardours O a youthful appetite become an el* f gant passion. 'Mpna FonkmeUe, F'luralitb des Blondes, roir 6.
  10. 10. 8 ESSAY 11. quot;$. ESSAY 11. OF T H E LIBERTY OE THE PRESS. NOTHING more is npt to surprise a foreigner, than the extreme liberty, which we enjoy in this country, of communicating whatever we please to the public, and of openly censuring every measure entered into by the king or his ministers. If the administration resolve upon war, it is affirmed, that, either wilfully or igno- rantly, they mistake the interests of the nation ; and that peace, in the present situation of affairs, is infi- nitely preferable. If the passion of the ministers lie towards peace, our political writers breathenothing but war and devastation, and represent the pacific con- duct of the government as mean and pusillanimous. As thisliberty is not indulged in any other govern- ment, either republican or monarchial; in Holland and Venice, more than in France or Spain ; it may very naturally give occasion to the question, How it hap- pens that Great Britain d o n e enjqs this pecdiar p i - vilege ? The reason why the laws indulge us in such a liberty, seems to be derived from our mixed form of government, And whether the unlimited exercise c4 this liberty be adventagwus o prejudicial to the publk-Enmoars A, C, D N r , .
  11. 11. LTBERTY OF THE PRESS. 9 whi& is neither wholly monarchical, nor wholly republi- can. It will be found, if I mistake not, atrue observation extremes in government, liberty approach nearest toeach other ; and that, as yo’u depart from the extremes, and mix a little of monarchy with liberty, the governmentbecomes always the more free; and, on the other h a d , when you mix a little of liberty with monarchy, the yoke be- comes always the more grievous and intolerable. I n a government, such as that of France, which is absolute, and where law, custom, and religion concur, all them, of t o make the people fully satisfied with their condition, the monarch cannot entertain anyjealousy against his subjects, and therefore is apt to indulge them in great libertiesboth of speech and action. In a government .altogether republican, such as that of Holland, where there is no magistrate so eminent as to givejealousy to the state, thereis no dangerin intrusting the magistrates with large discretionary powers ; and though many ad- vantages result from such powers, in preserving peace andorder,yettheylay a comiderablerestraint on men’s actions, andmake everyprivate citizen pay 8 great respectto the government. Thusit seems evi- dent, that t h i two extremes of absolute monarchy and of a republic, approach near to each other in some ma- terialcircumstances, Inthejrst,the magistratehas no jealousy of the people ; in the second, the people have none of the magistrate : Which want of jealousy begets a mutual confidence and trust in both cases, and produces a species of liberty in monarchies, and of m- bitrary power in republics. T o justify the other part of the foregoing observa- tion, that, in every governm’ent, the means are most wide of each other, and that the mixtures Ofmonarchy
  12. 12. 10 ESSAY 1 . 1 andliberty render the yoke either more grievous; I ', must take notice of a remark in Tacitus with regard to : the Romans under the Empero that they neither i couId total bear slavery nor tota liberty, Nec totam ? ? : srrvitutem, nec totam libertatem pati possznt. This re- mark a celebrated poet has translated and appIied to the English, in his lively description of Queen Eliza- , beth's policy and government. Et Pit aimer son joug B l'knglois indompt6, Qui ne peut ni servir, ni vivre en liberk HEXRSADE,i Kv. According to these remarks, we are to consider the Roman government under the Emperors as a mixture of despotism and liberty, where the despotism prevail- ed ; and the English government as a mixture :of the sa~ne kind, where the liberty predominates. The con- sequences are conformable to the foregoing observation, and such as may be expected from those mixed forms of government, which beget a mutual watchfulness and jealousy. The Roman emperors were,many of them, the most frightful tyrants that everdisgracedhuman nature ; and it is evident, that their cruelty was chiefly excited by their jeabtrsy, and by their observing that all the great men of Rome bore withimpatience the dominionof a family,which, but B little before, was nowise superior totheir own. On the other hand, 8s the republican part of the government prevails in Ehg- a d though with a great mixture of monarchy, it is ln, obliged, for its own preservation, to maintain a watch- ftdjealozlsy over the magistrates, to remove all discre- tionary powers, and to secure every one's life and for- tune by general and inflexible laws. No action must be deemed a crime but what the law has plainly determin- ed to be such : No crime must be imputed to a man
  13. 13. LIBERTY OF T H E PRESS. 11 but from a legal proof before his judges even these ; and judgesmustbe hisfellow-subjects,who are obliged, by their own interest, to have a watchful eye over the encroachments and violence of the ministers. From these causes it proceeds, that there is as much liberty, and even perhaps licentiousness,in Great Britain, as there were formerly slavery and tyranny in Rome. These principles account for the great liberty of the pressinthesekingdoms,beyondwhat is indulged in anyothergovernment. I t is apprehendedthatarbi- trary power would steal in upon us, were we not care- ful to prevent its progress, and were there not an easy method of conveying the alarm from one end of the kingdom to the other. The spirit of the people must frequently be roused, in order to curb the ambition of the court; and the dread of rousing this spirit must be employed to prevent that ambition. Nothing so effec- tual to this purpose as the liberty of the press ; by which all the learning, wit, and genius of the nation, mag beemployedon the side of freedom,andevery one be animated to its defence. As long, therefore, as the republican part of our government can maintain it- self against the monarchical, it will naturally be Care ful to keep the press open, as of importance to its own preservation. 3 3 Since, therefore, the liberty of the press is so essential to the s u p Port of our mixed government, this sufficiently decides the second ques- tion, Whether this liberty be advantageow or prejudicial, there being 110- thing of greater importance i n every state than the preservation of the ancientgovernment,especiallyif it be a free one. But I would fain go a step farther, and assert, that such a liberty is attended with 80 f q inconveniences, that it may be claimed as the common right of m m kind, and ought to be indulged them almost in every government e x : cept the ecclesiastical, to which,indeed, it wouldbe fatal>. W e need not dread from this liberty any such ill consequences as followed f r o p
  14. 14. I2 ESSAY 11. It must however be aIlowed, that the unbounded li- berty of the press, though it be difficult, perhaps im- the harangues of the popular demagogues of Athens and Tribunes of Rome. A man reads a book or pamphlet alone and cooly. There is none present from whom he can a t c h the passion by contagium He is not hurried away by the force and energy of action. And should he be virougl~tup to never so seditious a humour, there is no violent resolu- tion presented to himbywhichhecanimmediately vent hispassion. The liherty of the press, therefore, however abused, can scarce ever ex- citepopular tumults orrebellion. And as to those murmurs or secret discontents it may occasion, it is better they should get vent in words, that they may come to the knowledge of the magistrate before it be too late, in ordertohis providing a remedy against them.Mankind, it is true, havealways a greater propension to believewhat is said to the disadrantage of their governors than the contrary; but this inclination is inseparable from them whether they have liherty or not. A whisper may fly as quick, *and be as pernicious as a pamphlet Fay, it will be more pernicious, where men are not accustomed to think freely, or dis- tinguish betwixt truth and falsehood. It has also been found, as the experience of mankind increases, that the p q d e are no such dangerous monster as they have been represented, and that it is in every respect better to guide themlike rational creatures than to lead or drivethem like brute beasts.Before the United Pro- vincesset the example, toleration viasdeemed incompatible withgood government: and it was thought impossible that a number of religious sects could live together in harmony and peace, and have all of them an equal affection to their common country and to each other. England has set a like example of civil liberty ; and though this liberty seems to occasion some small ferment at present, it has not as yet produced any pernicious effects; and it is to be hoped that men, being every day more accustomed to the free discussion of public affairs, will improve in their judgment of them, and be with greater difficulty seduced by every idle rumour and popular clamour. I t is a very comfortable reflection to the lovers of liberty, that this pe- culiar privilege of Britain is of a kind that cmnot easilybewrested from US, and must last 89 long as OUT Government remains in any de- grec free and independent It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost at once.Slaveryhas so frightful an aspect to menaccustomed to freedom, that it must steal in upon them by degrees, and must disguise irrelf ~JI a thousandshape3 iu order tobe rrceivcd. But if &e lmerty
  15. 15. LIBERTY O F THE PRESS. 13 possiblk, to propose a suitable remedy for it, is one of ; tile evils attending those mixed forms of government. of the press everbe lost, it must be lost at once. The general laws against sedition and libelling are at present as'strong as they possibly can made. be Nothing can imposeafartherrestraint but eitherthe > clapping an imprimatur upon the press, or the giving very large discre- tionary powers to the court to punish whateverdispleasesthem. But theseconcessions would be such a haref&ed violation of liberty, that theywillprobably hethe last efforts of a despoticgovernment. We may conclude that the liberty of Britain is gone for ever when these at. tempts shall succeed-EDmroas A, C,.D, N.
  16. 16. 14 ESSAY 111. THAT POLITICS MAY BE REDUCED TO A SCIENCE, ITis a question with several, whether there be any essentialdifferencebetween one form of government and another ? and, whether every form may not be- come good or bad, according a it is well or ill admi- s nistered T ' Were it once admitted, that all govern- ments are alike, and that the only difference consists in the character and conduct of the governors, most poli- tical disputes would be at an end, and all &a,? for one constitution above another must be esteemed mere bi- gotry and folly. But, though a friend to moderation, I cannot forbear condemning this sentiment, and should be sorry to think, that human affairs admit of no great- er stability, than what they receive from the casual humours and characters of particular men. I t is true, those who maintain that the goodness of all government consists in the goodness of the admi- nistration, may cite many particular instances in histo- ry, where the very same government, in different hands, has varied suddenly into the two opposite extremes of p o d and bad. Compare &e French government un- * For forms of govemment let f d s contest, Wkate'er i be& adminiid i best s s ESEAY ox &N, Book 3.
  17. 17. WLITlCS A SCIENCE. 15 -der Henry 111. and under Henry fV. Oppression, le- vity, artifice on the part of the rulers ; faction, sedition, treachery, rebellion, disloyalty on the part of the sub- jects : These compose the character of the former mi- serableera. But when the patriot and heroic prince, who succeeded, was once firmly seated on the throne, the government, the people, every thing, seemed to be totally changed;andall from the differenceof the temperandconduct of thesetwo sovereigns. Instan- ces of this kind m y be multiplied, almost withoutnurn- ber, from ancient as well as modernhistory,foreign as well as domestic. But here it may be proper tomakeadistinction. All absolute governments must very much depend on the administration ; and this is one of the great incon- veniences attending that form of government. But a republican and free government -would be an obvious absurdity, if the particular checks andcontrols, provid- ed by the constitution, had really no influence, ma& and it not the interest, even of bad men, to act for the pub- lic good. Such is the intention of these forms of go- vernment, and such is their r e d effect, where they are wisely constituted : As, on the other hand, they are the source of all disorder, andof the blackest crimes, where either skill or honesty has been wanting in their ori- ginal frame and institution. So great is the force of laws, and of particular forms of government, and so little dependence have they on the humours and tempers of mea, that consequences almost as general and certain may sometimes be deduo- An equal di0'erenoe o a contrarg kind may be fouud in comparing f the reigns of EIieabe6h and James, at least with regard foreign af- ~.quot;XOHS A, C, D N, ,
  18. 18. 16 r a from 1 them,as any which the mathematical sciences 3 d afford us. 9 The constitution of the Roman republic gave the wholelegislativepower to the people, without d1OWhg i a negativevoice either to the nobility or consuls. This 3 ~ unboundedpower they possessedin a collective, not in i e a representative body. The consequences were : When I '3 the people, success by and conquest, had become,pery ,i numerous, and had spread themselves to a great dis- d tnncefrom the capital, the city tribes, thoughthemost f 5 contemptible, carried almost every vote : They were, 4 therefore, cajoled most byevery onethat affected PO- 3 pularity : They were supported in idleness by the 3 general distribution of corn, and by particular bribes, ' which received they from almost every candidate: By ,$ # !. this means, they became every day more licentious, and 5 the Campus Martius was a perpetual scene of tumult 5 and sedition : Armed were slaves introduced among $ : these rascally citizens, so that the whole government 3 fell into anarchy ; and the greatest happiness which the f Romanscouldlookfor, was the despotic power of the ; ,j Csesars. Such are the effects of democracy without a j representative. 3 $ A Nobility may possess the whole, or any pari of b the legislativepower of a state, in twodifferent ways. ' Either every noblenlan shares the power as a part of .the wholebody, or the wholebodyenjoys the power as composed of parts, which have each a distinct power and authority.. The Venetian aristocracy i an instance s 1 of the first kind of government;the Polish, of the second. In the Venetian government the whole body of nobility possesses the whole power, andno noble- ; man has any authority which he receives not from the d d c . In the PoIish government every nobleman, by 1 j. I
  19. 19. POLITICS A SCIENCE. 17 means of his fiefs, has 'a distinct hereditary authority Over his vassals, and the who€e body has no authority but what it receives from the concurrence of its parts. The different operations and tendencies of these two species of government might be made apparent even a pkri. A Venetiannobiiityispreferable to a Polish, let the humours and education of men be ever 50 much varied. A nobility,whopossesstheirpowerin com- mon, wiil preserve peace and order, both among them- selves, and their subjects ; and no member can have au- thority enough to control the laws for a moment. The nobles will preserve their authority over the people, but without any grievous tyranny, or any breach of private property ; because such a tyrannical government pro- motes not the interests of the whole body, however it may that of some individuals. There will be a distinc- tion of rank between the nobility and people, but this will be theonly distinctionin the state. The whole nobility will form one body, and the whole people an- other, without any of those private feuds and animosi- ties, which spread ruin and desolation every where. I t is easy to see the disadvantages of a Polish nobility in every one of these particulars. I t is possible so to constitute a free government, as that a single person, call him a doge, prince, or king, shall possess a large share of power, and shall form a Proper balance or counterpoise to the other parts of the legislature. quot;his chief magistrate may be either .eZec- t h e or hereditay ; and though the former institution may, to a superficial view, appear the most advantage- ous; yet a more accurate inspection will discover in it greater inconveniences than in the latter, and such as are founded on causes and principles eternal and im- mutable. The fiIhg of the throne, in such a govern- VOL. 111. B
  20. 20. 18 ESSAY 1 1 1. ment, is a point of too great and too general interest, not to divide the whole people into factions : Whence LI civil war, the greatest of ills, may be apprehended, almost with certainty, upon every vacancy. The prince elected must be either a Foreigner or a Native : The formerwill be ignorant of the peoplewhom he is to govern ; suspicious of his new subjects, and suspected bythem ; giving his confidence entirely to strangers, who will have noother care but of enriching themselves in the quickest manner, while their master's favour and authority are able to support them. A native will carry into the throne all his private animosities and friend- ships, and will never be viewed in his elevation without exciting the'sentiment of envy in those who formerly considered him as their equal. Not to mention that a crown is too high a reward ever to he given to merit alone, and will always induce the candidates to employ force, or money, or intrigue, to procure the votes of the electors: So that suchanelectionwillgive no better chance for superior merit in the prince, than if the state had trusted to birth alone for determining the sovereign. It may, therefore, be pronounced as an universal ax- iominpolitics, That an kereditay prime, a nobility without vassalst and a peaple voting by their representa- fives,f v m the best JIONARCHY, ARISTOGRACY DEMO- and CRACY. But i order to prove more fully, that politics n admit of general truths, which are invariableby the humour or education either of subject or sauereign, it may not be amiss to observe some other principles of this science, which may seen1to deserve that character. It mayeasily be observed, that though free govern- ; ments have been commonly the most happy for those who partake of their freedom ; yet are they the most j ruinous and oppressive to theirprovinces : And this.o b S
  21. 21. POLITICS A SCIENCE. 19 srrvation may, I believe, be fixed as a maxim of the kind we are here speaking of. When a monarch extends his dominions by conquest, he soon learns to consider his old and his new subjects as on the same footing; be- cause, in reality, all his subjects are to him the same, except the few friends and favourites with whom he is personally acquainted. H e does not, therefore,make any distinction between them in his general laws ; and, at the same time, is careful to prevent all particular acts of oppression on the one as well as the other. But a free state necessarily makes a great distinction, and must always do so, till men learn to love their neigh- bours as well as themselves. The conquerors, in such a government, are all legislators, and will be 'sure to contrive matters, by restrictions on trade, and by taxes, so as to draw some private, as well as public advantage from their conquests. Provincialgovernors have also abetter chance, in arepublic,to escape with their plunder, by means of bribery or intrigue; and their fellow-citizens, who find their own state to be enrich- edby the spoils of the subject provinces, will be the more inclined totolerate such abuses. Notto men- tion, that it is a necessary precaution in a free state to change the governors frequerltly ; which obliges these tenlporary tyrants to be more expeditious and rapa- cious, that they may accumulate sufficient wealth be- fore they give place to their successors. What cruel tyrants were the Romansover the world during the time of their commonwealth I I t is true, they had laws to prevent oppression in their provincial magis- trates; but Cicero informs us, that the Romans could not better consult the interests of the provinces than by repealing these very laws. For, in that case, says he, our magistrates, having entire impunity, would B 2
  22. 22. 20 S S S A Y 111. plunder no more than wouldsatisfy their own rapa- ciousness; whereas, at present, they must also satisfy that of their judges, and of all the great men in Rome, of whose protection they stand in need. WhoAcan read of the cruelties and oppressions of Verres without horror andastonishment?And who is nottouched with indignation to hear,that, after Cicero had ex- hausted on that abandoned criminal all the thunders of his eloquence, and had prevailed so far asto get him condemned to the utmost extent of the laws, yet that cruel tyrant lived peaceably to old age, in .opu- lence and ease, and, thirty years afterwards, was put into the proscription by Mark Antony, on account of his exorbitant wealth, where he fell with Cicero him- self, and all the most virtuous men of Rome? After the dissolution of the commonwealth, the Roman yoke became easier upon the provinces, as Tacitus informs us ;a and it may be observed, that many of the worst emperors, Domitian, for instance, were careful to pre- vent all oppression on the provinces. In Tiberius's e time, Gaul was esteemed richer than Italy itself: Nor do I find, during the whole t:we of the Roman monar- chy, that the empire became less rich or populous in any of its provinces ; though indeed its valour and mi- litary discipline were always upon the decline. The oppression and tyranny of the Carthaginians over their subject states in Africa went so far, as we learn from Polybius, that, not content with exacting the half of all the produce of the land, which of itself was a very ' AM. lib. i. cap. 2. b Suet. in vita Domit. Egregium resumendae liiertati tempus, si ipsi florentes, quam inops Italia, quam imbeUis urbana plebs, nihil validum i exercitibus, nisi n quod externum cogitarent-Tacit. Ann. lb i.iii d Lib, i cap. 72.
  23. 23. POLITICS A SCIENCE. 21 high rent, they also loaded them with many other taxes. If we pass from ancienttomodern times,we shall still find the observation to hold. The provinces of absolute monarchies are always better treated than those of free states. Compare the PaL conpis of France with Ireland, and you will be convinced of this truth; though thislatter kingdom, being in a good measure peopled fromEngland, possesses so many rights and privileges as should naturally make it chal- lenge better treatment than that of a conquered pro- vince. Corsica is also an obvious instance to the same purpose. There is an observation of Machiavel, with regard to the conquests of Alexander the Great, which, I ' think, may be regarded as one of thoseeternal politi- cal truths, which no time nor accidents can vary. I t may seem strange, says that politician, that such sudden conquests, as those of Alexander, should be possessed S O peaceably by his successors, and that the Persians, during all the confusions and civil wars among the Greeks, never made the smallest effort towards the re- Govery of their former independent government. . TO d s f y us concerning the cause of this remarkableevent, we may consider, that a monarch h a y govern his sub- jects intwo different ways. H e may either follow the maxims of the Eastern princes, and stretch his authori- ty SO far as to leave no distinction of rank among his subjects, but what proceeds immediately from himself; no advantages of birth ; no hereditary honours andpos- sessions ; and, in a word, no credit among the people, except from his commission alone. Or a monarch may exert his power after a milder manner, like other Eu- ropean princes; and leave other sources of honour, be- side his smile aqd favour:Birth, titles, possessions,,
  24. 24. 23 ESSAY 111. valour, integrity, knowledge, orgreatand fortunate achievements. Jntheformer species of government, after a conquest, it is impossible ever to shake off the yoke ; since no one possesses,among the people, so much personal credit and authority as to begin such an enterprise : Whereas, in the latter, the least misfor- tune, or discord among the victors, will encourage the vanquished to take arms, who have lenders ready to prompt and conduct them in every undertaking. a I have taken it for granted, according to the supposition of Machia- vel, that the ancient Persians had no nobility ; though there is reason to suspect, that the Flo~entinesecretary,who seem to have been better acquaintedwith the Roman than the Greek authors, wasmistaken in this palticular. The more ancient Persians, whose manners are describ- ed by Xenophon, were a free people, and had nobility. Their ~ f i ~ ~ r p a r were preserved even after the extending of their conquests and the con- sequent change of their government. Arrian mentions them in Darius’s time, De eqted. Akr. lib.ii. Historians alsospeak often of the per- sons in command as men of family, Tygrane, who was general of the Vcdes under Xerxes,wasof the race of Achmenes, Heriod lib, vii. cap. 62. Artacheus, who directed the cutting of the canal about Mount Athos, was of the same family. Id. cap. 117. Megabyzus was one of the seven eminent Persians who conspired against the Magi. His son, Zopyrus, was in the highest command under Darius, and delivered Ba- bylon to him. His grandson, Megabyzus, commanded the army de- feated at Marathon. His great-grandson, Zopyrus,was also eminent, and was baniahed Persia H e r 4 lib. iii. Thuc. lib. i, Rosaces, who commanded an army in Egypt under Artaxerres, wasaIsodescended from one of thesevenconspirators, D i d Sic. Iib. xvi. Agesilaus, in Xenophon.Hist. Grec. lib. iv. beingdesirous of making a marriage ’ betwixt king Cotyshisally, and the daughter of Spithridates, a Persian of rank, whohaddeserted to h m first a s k s CotyswhatfamilySpi- i, thridates is of: One of the most considerable in Perdq says Cotys. Arireus, when offered the sovereignty by Qemhus and the ten thousand Greeks, refused it as of too low a rank, aad said, Qat so many e m i nent Persians would never endure his rule. Id. de eqted, lib.ii.Some of Ihe famiIies decended from the seven Persians above mentioned re- mained during Alexander’s successon; and Mithridates, in Antiochus’s @e, i s said by Polybius t~ be descended fram one of them, lib. 7. tsp
  25. 25. POLITICS A SCIENCE. ! a , such isthe reasoning of M.2chiave1, which seems solid and conclusive ; though I wish he had not mixed f&ehood with truth, in asserting that monarchies, go- verned sccordin,o to Eastern policy, though mope easily kept when once subdued, yet are the most difficult to subdue ; since they cannot contain any powerful s u b ject, whose discontent and faction may facilitate the en- terprises of an enemy. For, besides, that such a ty- rannical government enervates the courage men, and of renders them indifferent towards the fortunes of theic sovereign ; besides this, I say, we find by experience, that even the temporary and delegated authority of the generals and magistrates, being always, in such govern- ments, as absolute within its sphere as thatof the prince himself, is able, with barbarians accustomed to a blind submission, to produce the most dangerous and fatal revolutions. So that in every respect, B gentle govern. menl is preferable, and gives the greatest security t o the sovereign as well as to the subject. Legislators, therefore, ought not to trust the future government of a state entirely to chance, but ought to provide a system of laws to regulate the administration of public affairs to the latest posterity. Effects will ah 43. Artabazus was esteemed as Aman says, S Y + O I C xpwrotr l T r p m r , lib.iii. And when Alexander married in one day 80 of his captains to Persian women, his intention plainly was to ally the Macedonians with the mwt eminentPersianfamilies. Id lib. vii. DiodorusSiculus says, they were of'the most noble birth in Persia, lib. xvii. The government of Persia WLW dqpotic, and conducted in many respects after the Eaa,trm manner, but was not e a r r i d so far as to extirpate all nobility, and con: hund all ranks and orders. It left men who were still great, by themd Selves and their M l y , independent of their office and commission. And the reason why the Macedonians kept so easily dominion over them, w a a d n g to other canses easy to be found in the historians ; though it must be awned that Machhvel's reasoningis, in itself, just, however doubtful it4 application to the present cs. ae 3
  26. 26. E4 GSSAY Err. ways correspond to causes ; and wise regulations, in 3 . my commonwealth, are the most valuable legaey that -4 can left be to future ages. Inthe smallest court or $ o f c , the stated forms a d methods by fie which busi- ,! ness mustbe Conducted, are found to be a &&der- f able check on the natural depravityof mankind, W h y should not the case be the same in public affairs ? 1 Can we ascribe the stability and wisdomof the Vene- j tian government, through so many ages, toanything -: but the form of government? And is it not easy to j point cut those defects in the original constitution, 4 which produced the tumultuous governments of Athens j and Rome, andended at last in the ruin of these twofamous republics? And so little dependencehas $ this affair on thehumours and education of particular 8 men, that one part of the same?republic may be wisely conducted, and another weakly, by the very same men, merely 011 account of the differences of the forms and institutions bywhich theseparts are regulated. His- torinns inform us that this was actually the case with Genoa. For while the state was always full of sedition, and tumult, and disorder, the bank of St George, which had become a considerable part of the people, was conducted, for several ages, with the utmost in- tegrity and wisdom. ’ The ages of greatest public spirit’ are not always most eminent for private virtue. Good laws may beget t 2 Esempio veramente ram, et dd fihofi in tante lor0 immaginate e 3 vedute Repubbliche mai non trovato,vedere dentro ad un medesimo cer- i chto, fra medesimi cittadini, 19 liberti e Is tirannide, la vita civile e. 1 . k. corrotta, la giustizia e la licenza ; percbe quell0 ordine solo mantiene { - quella citti piena di costumi antichi e venerabili. E s’egli aweni’sse, $ che ool tempo in ogni modo a v v e d , che San Giorgio tutta que& 1 sarebbe quella una Repubblica pis cbe In Veneaiana citti occupasse, a i rnorabile.”Delle Istorie Fiorentine, lib. viii. 437.”Florent. 17862.
  27. 27. POLITICS A SCIENCE. 25 order and -ration inthegovernment,wherethe manners and custpms have instilled little humanity or 1 justice into the tempers of men. The most illustrious period of the Roman history, considered in a political yiew, is that between the begin+ng of the first and end of the last Punic war; the due balance between the nobility and people being then fixed by the con- tests of the tribunes, and not being yet lost by the extent of conquests. Yet a t this very time, the horrid practice ofpoisoning was so common,that, during part of theseason, a Prretw punished capitally for this erime above three thousand a persons in a part:of Italy ; and found informa&ions this nature still mul- of tiplyingupon him.There is a similar, orrather a worse instance,in themoreearlytimes of the com- monwealth ; so depraved private were in life that people, whom in their histories we so much admire. I . . doubt not but they were really more virtuous during thetime of thetwo Trizlmvira.ates, when theywere - tearing their common country to pieces, and spreading slaughteranddesolationoyerthe face of theearth, merely for the choice of tyrants. Here, then, is a sufficient inducement to maintain, with the uhmst z a in every free state, those forms e, l and institutions by which liberty is secured, the public good consulted, and the avarice or ambition of parti- cular men restrained and punished. Nothing does more honpur to hunaan nature, than to see it susceptible of SO noble a passion ; as nothing can be a greater in- ~ a cp a. T. L i s , lib. SI. 4. 3 T. Livii, lib. viii. cap. I . S L’Aigle contre l’Aigle, Romains contre Fbmains, F a t a n s seulement pour le choir de tyrans. ,
  28. 28. 26 ESSAY rrr. dicstion of meanness of heartinany man thanto see % $ him destitute of it. A man who loves only himself, $ without regard to friendship and desert,merits the se- 2 yerest blame ; and a man, who is only susceptible of friendship, without public spirit, or a regardtothe community, is deficient in the most material part of 2 & virtue. a But this is a subject which needs not belonger in- Y 1 sisted on at present. There are enow of zealots on - t both sides, who kindle up the passions of their parti- sans, and, under pretence of public good, pursue the 3 interests and ends of their particular faction. For my < 7 part, I shall always be more fond of promoting moder- stionthan zeal; though perhapsthe surest way of pro- ducing moderation in every party is to increase our zeal 'i 2 for the public. Let us therefore try, if it be possible, from the foregoing doctrine, to draw a lesson of moder- ation with regardto the parties into which our country 1 i is at presentdivided; atthe same time, that we allow I not this moderation to abatethe industry and passion, $ with which every individual is bound to pursue the .g $ good of his country. J Those who either attack or defend a minister in < such a government as ours, where the utmost liberty is allowed, always carry matters to an extreme, and ex- <.$ t sggerate hismerit or demerit with regard to thepub- 3 lic. His enemies are to sure charge him with the 8 greatest enormities, both in domestic and foreign ma-. [ nagement; and there is no meanness or crime, of 3 which,in their account, he is not capable. U :1 nneces- sy wars, scandalous treaties, profusion of public tree- a 6 sure, oppressive taxes, every kind of md-administra- .f tion is ascribed to him. To aggravate the charge, his ; pernicious conduct, it i s said, will extend its baneful ;
  29. 29. POLITICS A SCIENCE. a?. influenceeven to posterity, byunderminingthebest constitutionin the world, anddisorderingthat wise system of laws, institutions and customs, by which our ancestors, during so many centuries, have been so hap- pily governed. H e is notonly a wicked minister in himself, but hasremovedeverysecurityprovided a- gainst wicked ministers for the future. Ontheotherhand,thepartisans of the minister make his panegyric run as high as the accusation a- gainst him, and celebrate his wise, steady, and mode- rate conduct in every part of his administration. The honour and interest of the nationsupportedabroad, public credit maintained at home, persecution restrain- ed, faction subdued ; the merit of all these blessings is ascribed solely to the minister. At the same time, he crowns all his other merits by a religious care of the best constitution in the world, which he has preserved in allitsparts, and has transmitted entire, to be the happiness and security of the latest posterity. When this accusation and panegyric are received by the partisans of each party, no wonder they beget an extraordinary ferment on both sides, and fill the nation with violent animosities. But I would fain persuade these party zealots, that there is a flatcontradiction both in the accusation and panegyric, and that it were impossible for either of them to run so high, were it not for this contradiction. If our constitution be real- ly that noblefabric, the pride o Britain, them y g u f ar neighbours, raised by the labmr o so many centuries, re- f paired at the expense o so many millions, and cemented f 4y such a profusion ofblood; I say, X our constitution does inanydegreedeservethese eulogies, it would ' I Diyertation on Parties, Letter X
  30. 30. 88 ESSAY 111; never have suffered a wicked and weak minister t g* o vern triumph'itntly for a course of twenty years, when opposed by the greatestgeniuses in the nation, who ex- ercised the utmost liberty of tongue and pen, in parIia- ment, and in their frequentappeals tothe people. But, if the minister be wicked and weak, to the degree so strenuously insisted on, the constitution must be faulty in its original principles, and he cannot consist- ently be charged with undermining the best form of government in the world. A constitution is only SO far good, as it provides a remedy against mal-admini- stration ; and if the British, when i its greatest vigour, n and repaired by two such remarkable events fts the Re- volutim and Accession, by which our ancient royal fa- milywas sacrificed to it; if our constitution, I say, with so great advantages, d w not, in fact, provide any such remedy, we are rather beholden to any minister who undermines it, and affords us an opportunity of erecting a better in its place, 1 would employ the same topics to maderate the zeal of those who defend the minister. I OUT constitution s so excellent? Then a change of ministry can be no such dreadful event; since it is essential to such a con- stitution, in every ministry, both t o preserve itself from violation, and to prevent alI enormities in the adminis- tration. I GUT constitution very had ? Then SO ex- s traordinary ajealousy m d apprehension, on account of changes, is ill placed ; and it man should no more be anxious in this case, than a husband, who had married a woman from the stews, shouldbe watchful to prevent her infidelity. Public affairs, in such a government, must necessarily go to confusion, by whatever hands they are conducted ; and the zeal of patriots is in that case much less requisite than the patience and submis-
  31. 31. POLITICS d SCLENCE. as. sion ofphilosophers. The virtue and good intention o f &to andBrutus are highlylaudable; but to what purpose did their zeal serve? Only to hasten the fatal period o the Roman goverarnedt, and render its a f quot; vulsions and dying agonies more violent and pain€& I would not be understood to mean, that public af- f&rs deserve no w e and Mention crt all. Would men be de and clstrsistent, their claims might be ad- etr e mitted ; at least might be examined. T h e CoUazy p r t y might still assert, that our constitution, though excel- lent, will admit of mal-administration to a certain de- gree; and therefore, if the minister be bad, it is pro- per to oppose him with a suitable degree of zeal. And, on the other hand, the court party may be allowed, up- on the supposition that the minister were good, to de- fend, and with some zeal too, hisadministration. I would only persuade men not to contend, as if they were fighting ppo aris et focis, and change agood con- stitution into a bad one, by the violence of their fac- tions. I have not here considered any thing that is person- al in thepresentcontroversy. In the best civil con- stitution, where every man is restrained by & most rigid laws, it is easy to discover either the good 01 bad intentions of a minister, and to judge whether his per. sonal character deserve Iweor hatred. But such questions are of little importance' to the public, and lay those, who employ their pens upon them, under a just, suspicion either of malevolence or of flattey.5
  32. 32. .. ao ESSAY 111. suchmightyopposition,make a large library of what has heen wrote for and against him, and is the subject of above half t e paper h that has been blotted in the nation within these twenty years. I for the honour,of, our coantry, that any o a character ef him had been a with such judgment and impartiality as to have some credit with w n posterity,'and to'show that our liberty hqs once at least, been employed to good purpose. I am only afraid of failing in the former quality of judgment : But if it should be 80, it is but one page more thrown away, after an hundred thousand upon the samesubject, that haveperished and become useless.' In h e mean time, I shall h t t e r myself'with the' Rleasing imagination, that the following character will be adopted by fu- ture historians. Sir Robert Walpole, Prime Minister of Great Britain, is a man of, ability,not a genius; good natured, not virtuous; constant, not &- nanimous ; moderate, not equitable. * His virtues, in some instances, are freefromtheallay of thoseviceswhichusuallyaccompany such virtues : H e isa generousfriend,withoutbeing abitter enemy. His vices, in other instances, are not compensated by those virtues which are nearly allied to them : His want of enterprise is not attended with fru- gality. The private character of the man is better than the public : Hi3 virtues more than hisvices : His fortune greater than his fame. With many good qualities, he has incurred the public hatred : With good ca- pacity, he has not escaped ridicule. H e would have been esteemed more worthy of his high station, had he never possessed it ; and is better qua- lified for the second than for the first place in any government : His mi- pistry has been more advantageous to his family than to the public, bet- ter for this age than for posterity ; and more pernicious by bad prece- dents than by real grievances. During his time trade hw flourished, li- berty declined, and learning gone to ruin. As I am a man, I love him ; as I am a scholar, I hate him ; as I am a Briton, I calmy wish his fall. And were I a member af either House, I would give my vote for re- rpovinghimfromSt James's; hut should he glad to seehim retire to Hquot;ughton-HoU, to pass the remainaer of his d y s in ease and pleasure. . The author bpleased to find, that after animosilies nre laid, and cn- lumng has csared, the whole nntion almost have returned to the same mo- derate sentiments with regard to this great man ; ifthey are not rother become more jhourable to him, by a vely naturaltransition, from ex- treme to anotlter. The author would n o t oppore these humane sentimnts towards the dead ; though he cannot forbear observing, that Lhe not paying more O ~ O U 1rublic debts w a s , as hinted in this characler, a great, and Lhe T otrly great, error in that 2Oflgwlrministrntion.-Nore IN EDITIONS D and N, and published as a separate Essay in Edition B. * Moderate in the exercise of power, not equitable in engrossing it.
  33. 33. PRINCIPLZEB OF GOVERNMGWT. 31 ESSAY IV. OF THEFIBSTPRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT+ N O Q H I N G appears moresurprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men re- sign their own sentiments andpassions to thoseof their rulers. When we inquire by what means this wonder is effected, we shall find, that, as Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them opinion. but It is, therefore, .on opiniononly thatgovernment is founded;andthis maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as t the mostfree and most o popular. The soldan of Egypt, or the emperor a f Rome, mightdrivehisharmlesssubjects,like-brute beasts, againsttheirsentimentsandinclination. But he must, at least, have led his mamahkes or pmtorian hands, like men, by their opinion. Opinion is of two kinds, to wit, opinion of INTEREST, and opinion of RIGHT. By opinion of interest, I chieE ly understand thesense of the general advantage which is reaped from government; together with the persua- sion, that the particular government which is establish- ed is e q d l y advantageous with any other that codd
  34. 34. si ESSAY I?. easily be settled. When this opinion prevails among the generality of a state, or among those who have the force in their hands, it gives great security to any go- : 6 vernment. Right is of two kinds ; right to Power, andrightto Property. What prevalence opinion of the first kind j has over mankind, mayeasilybe understood, by ob- serving the attachment which all nations have to their k ancient government, and even to those names which 8 have had the sanction of antiquity. Antiquity always begets the opinion of right ; and whatever disadvanta- 2 geous sentiments we may entertain of mankind, they 4 are always found to be prodigal both of b h d and !2 treasure in the maintenance of public justice. 0 There is, indeed, no particular inwhich, at first sigh4 there 5 r$- may appear a greater contradiction in the frame of the human mind than the present. When men act in a faction, they are apt, without, shame or remarse, to neglect all the ties of honour and morality, in order t o $ serve their party ; and yet, when a faction is formed upon a point of right or principle, there is no occasion B where men discover a greater obstinacy, md a more ,$ x( determined sense of justice and equity. The m e so- x cia1 disposition of mankina is the muse of these oom $ tradictory appearances. % It is sufficientlyunderstood, that the opinion of right f to property is of moment in matters of government. -d 9 2 A noted author has made property the foundation of I' all government ; and most of our political writers seem 1 inclined to follow him in that particular. This is car- x 6 passion we map ctenominate e t p i a , or we may &re it n s m h s ; What appellation we please ; but a politician who should overlook its i n. flueme on human affairs, would prove'himself to have but a very limit : ed Understanding-EDITIoNs, A, C, D, N. t
  35. 35. PRINCIPLES-OFGOVERKMENT. ’. m rying &e ;arsBter . , t m k ; but still i must t + .miid, Elpa ttreserhree qinions, .tbtm&orq . O F pd&c in- s . f o u d 4 a d d &rity d the fbw mer the .many. There me .imbed other painciples which add force to these-and h n i lidt, n e M alter n, b i r :operation ; swch a sel$tm% few, a d azec- s t i m But st23 ‘~e.may assert, that these other princi- @-.can have no i d n e n m alone, but suppose the an- tecedent i d u e n c a o f those opinions above rnentkqed. T h y are, k f m e . t o be esteemed the secondary, not the origiial, prin- of government. For, RS .to se&7nterart, by which I mean the expectatbn . o f .partiaular rewards, distinctfrom the generai protectim d i e h we receiqe.fbm government, it is evident that the magistrate’s authoritymust be an- tecedently-established,atleast he haped for, in order to produce this.expectation. The prospect ofreward may a g e t his authority with regard t m e parti- umn o cular p a w n s , but can never give birth to it, with re- gard to .theptzblic. Men naturally look fix the great- est kvours &om their f r i e d and acquaintance ; and therefore, the hopes of any considerable number of the state would never centre in any particular set of men, if these men had no other title to magistracy, and had no separate a m - over the opinions o m a w f The swe observation may be exteaded t the o & g , two phcipks of f e a r and aflection. No man P O . *.v -I have any reason to f a r the fury of a tyrant, if l@ + no authority over m y but from fear ; since, as a single W, his bodily fmce &an reach-but a small way, and VOL. 11 1. C
  36. 36. 34 ESSAY IV. all the farther power he posse'sses must be founded ei- ther on our own opinion, or on the presumed,opinion of others. And though afection to wisdom and-virtue i a sovereign extends very far, and has great influ- n ' ence, yet he must antecedently be supposed invested with apubliccharacter, otherwise the public esteem will serve him in no stead, nor wil his virtue have any i influence beyond a narrow sphere. A government may endure for several ages, though the balance of power and the balance of property do not coincide. This chiefly happens where any rank or order of the statehasacquired a large share in the property; but, from the original constitution of the go- vernment, has no share in the power. Under what pretence would any individual of thatorder assume authority in public aflhirs ? As men are comm& much attached to their ancient government, it isnot to be expected, that the public would ever favour such usurpations. But where the original constitution al- lows any share of power, though small, to an order'of men who possess a large share of property, it is-easy for them gradually to stretch their authority, and bring the balance of power to coincide with that of property. This has been the case with the House of Commons in England. Most writers that have treated of the British govern- ment, have supposed, that, as the Lower House repre- sents all the Commons of Great Britain, its weight i n the scale is proportioned to the property and power of whom it represents. But thisprinciplemust not be received as absolutely true. For though the people areaptto attach themselves moretotheHouse of commons than to any other member- of the constitu-
  37. 37. _. PRINCIPLES OF GOaRNMS%Ta .85 tion, that House being chosen by them as .their repre. sentatives, and as the public guardians of their liberty-: yet are there instances where the House, even when in opposition to the crown, has not been followed by the people, as we mayparticularly observe ofthe TG-@ House of Commons in thereign of King William. Were the members obliged to receive instructions from their constituents, like the Dutch deputies, this would entirely alter the case ; and if such immense power and riches, as those of all the Commons of Great Britain, were brought into the scale, it is not easy to conceive, that the crown could either influence that multitude of people, or withstand that balance of property. I t ie true, the crown has great influence over the collective body in the elections of members ; but were this influ- ence, which at present is only exerted once in seven years, to be employed in bringin-g over the people to every vote, it would soon be wasted, and no skill, po- pdarity or revenue, could support it. I must, there- fore, be of opinion, that an alteration in this particular would introduce a total alteration in our government, and would soon reduce it tb a pure republic ; and, per- haps, to a republic of no inconvenient form. For though the people, collected in. a body like the Roman tribes, be quite unfit for government, yet, when disa persed in small bodies, they are more susceptible both of reason and order ; the force of popular currents and tides is in a great measure broken ; and the public in- terest may be pursued with some method and constan- cy. But it is needless to reason any farther concern- ing a form of government which is never likely to have place in Great Britain, and which seems not to be the aim of any party amongst us. Let us cherish and im- prove our ancient government as much as possible, c2
  38. 38. 7 I hall conciade this subject w t observing, thst the pr-t ih poli- tical controversy wTth regard to instructions, is a very frivolous one, and can never be broug!:t to any decision, LIS it is managed by both parties %e country party do not pretend that a member is absolutely bound tb fbllow instrnctiods as a ambassador o general i s c o n h e d by hia orders, n r ’F and that l i s vote is not to be received in the House but 80 far as it t conformable to them, The ceurt party, again, do pretend not sentiments of the people ought to have no weight with every member; that the s 1 2 h u c h lessthat he ought te despise thesentiments of those whom he re- 3 peeswts and with whom he is more particularly connected.And if , $ their sentiments be of weight, why ought they not to expressthese sen- 2 timents? The questionthen iJ only concerning degrees the of weight 3 which ought to be placed on instruetione. But such is thenature of language, that it is impossible for it to express distinctly these different degrees ; and if men will carry on a controversy on this head, it may well Imppen that they differ in the language, and yet agree in their senti- .j 3 ments; or differ in their sentiments, and yet agree in their language. Besides, how is it possible to fix these degrees, considering variety the f 6 ’of affdn that come before the House, and the variety m m es r e p s e n t ? O a g h t e br the of places which instructions of Totness to have the h s a m e weight as those of London? or instructions with regard to the Conoentbn which respected fereign politics, to have the weight same BS 8 those with regard to the &&e, which respected only domestic our af- i airs?-Emmows A, C, D. f f i
  39. 39. OF THE ORIGIN OF GOVERNMENT. %I ESSAY V. e O F THE ORIGIN OF GOVERNHENT. MAN,born in a family, is compeUed to maintain SO- ciety from necessity, from natural inclination, and from habit. T h e samecreature,inhisfartherprogress, is engaged to establish political society, in order to admi- nister justice, without which there can be no peace a- mong them,nor safety, normutualintercourse. We are, therefore, to look upon all the vast apparatus of our government, as having ultimately no other object or purpose but the distribution of justice, or, in other words, thesupport of thetwelvejudges. Kings and parliaments, fleets and armies, officers of the court and revenue, ambssadors, ministers and privy-counsellors, are all subordinate, in their end to this part of admini- stration. Even the clergy, as their duty leads them to inculcate morality, may justly be thought, so i r w re- gards this wolld, to have no other usem ohject of their institution. All men are sensibleof the necessity of justice to maintain peace a d order ; and all men are sensible a f the necessity of peace and order for the maintenance of society:Yet, notwithstandingthisstrongand ob- TI+ +y is not p u b l i w i any of the Editions prior to Edi- n $,on Q.
  40. 40. 88 ESSAY ' V. viousnecessity, such is the frailty or perverseness of our nature ! it is impossible to keep men faithfully and unerringlyin the paths of justice. Some extraordi- nary circumstances may happen, in which a man finds his interests to be more promoted by fraud or rapine, than hurt by the breach which his injustice makes in the social union. But much more frequently he is se- duced from his great and important, but distant inte- rests, by the allurement of present, though often very frivolous temptations. Thisgreat weakness is incur- able in human nature, Men must, therefore, endeavour to palliate what they cannot cure. They must institute some persons under the appellation of magistrates, whose peculiar office it is to point out the decrees of equity, to punish trans- gressors, to correct fraud and violence, and to oblige men, however reluctant, to consult their own real and permanent interests. In a word, obedience is a new duty which must be invented to support that of justice, and the ties of equity must be corroborated by those of allegiance, But still, viewing matters in an abstract light, it may be thought that nothing is gained by this alliance, and that the factitious duty of obedience, from its very na- ture, lays as feeble a hold of the human mind, as the primitive andnatural duty of justice. Peculiar inte- rests and present temptations may overcome the one as well as the other. They are equally exposed to the same inconvenience ; and theman who is inclined to be a bad neiglbour, must be led by the same motives, wdl or ill understopd, to be a bad citizen or subject, Not to mention, that the magistrate himselfmay often be negligent, or partial, or unjust in his a&ninistration. Experience, however, proves &~t. there is a great dif-
  41. 41. OP THE ORIGIN OF GOVERNMENT. s9 ference between the cases. Order in society, we find, is much better mainiained by means of government; and-ow'dutyto the magistrateis more strictly gua+d by the pririciples of human nature, than our duty to our fellow-citizens. The love of dominion is so strong in the breast of man, that many not only submit to, but court all the dangers, and fatigues, and cares of govern- ment; and men, once raised to that station, though oft- en led astrayby private passions, find, in ordinary cases, a visible interest in the impartial administration of jus- tice. The persons who first attain this distinction, by the consent, tacit or express, of the people, must be endowed with superior personal qualities of valour, force, integrity, or prudence, which command respect and confidence ; and, after government is established, a regard to birth, rank, and station, has a mighty in- fluence over 'men, and enforces the decrees of the ma- gistrate. The prince or leader' exclaims against every disorder which disturbshis society. He summons all his partisans and a l men of probity to aid him in cor- l recting and redressing it; and he is readily followed by all indifferent persons in the execution of his office. He soon' acquires the power of rewarding these ser- vices ; and in the progress of society, he establishes subordinate ministers, and often a military force, who find an immediate and a visible interest in supporting his authority. Habit soon consolidates what other prin- ciples of human nature had imperfectly founded; and men, once accustomed to obedience, never think of de- parting from that path, in which they and their ances- tors have constantly trod, and to which they are con- fined ,by so many urgent and visible motives. .But though this progress of human affairs may ap- pear certain and inevitable, and thou& thesupport
  42. 42. i
  43. 43. OF THE ORIGIY OF GOVERNMEPT. . . 41 1 in the contest. A great sacrifice of liberty must neces- sarily be made in every government ; yet even the au- thority, which confines liberty, can never, and perhaps ought never, in any constitution,to become quite entire and uncontrollable. The sultan is master a€the life and fortune of any individvd; but will not be permitted to impose new taxes on his subjects : a French monarch . can impose taxes at pleasure ; but would finditdan- gerous to &tempt the l i ~ i v e sand fortunes of individuals. Religion also, in most countries, is commonly found to be a very intractable principle ; and other principles gr p u i + dw Eteqwatly m i s t d &e authority of the l c i d amgistrate; whose power, King founded on opi- qkms CBB never subvert d e r opinicw equally rooted, with h t d & title. to darninion. The gowmwnt, I .nvbrioda, in c ~ w p ~ 1 3 2 oappellation, receives the appellabien a af free, is. t b t d % o admits of a p & n power r i af o M 2 3 w sm e , wke4e l &ed Cbttthity is no z w4g s d le bm & less, OF is- o e m m l y . grekr, than &a of m y monarch; but whQ, tn the usual course of administration, must act by gewgal w e q d . law% t h 3 axe previously d Enown to sdl the a d to all their su&cts. In this sease, 2t must be owned, that liberty is the per- fectim of cjvil society . but .still authority must be ac- ; Lnawledged essiseatial t~i~q y eyistewe :and i those v n ~witalohmoofberakkephebetaneentheoned tke other, the latter may, on that account, challenge thepreference. w e s s perhaps one wax say (and it m y he, said with &?mG mas&& &@& c i r c u m s ~ w w3kiich L asmu ta &0&eBee of dvit society, muat dwap.support ItSelP, and needs be guarded with lesa lea lo us^, $has ~ 0 . e w~$ributes,d y $Q its perf* that a tion, which &hei d d s c e ef is 60 apt .to neglect, ?f their ignorance to overlook. .- . . .
  44. 44. 42 ESSAY VI. ESSAY Vl. O F THE INDEPENDENCY OF PARLIAMENT. * POLITICAL have established it asa maxim, writers that, in contriving any system of government, and fix- ing the several checks and controls of the constitution, every man ought to be supposed a knave, and to have no other end, in all his actions, than private interest. By this interest we must govern him, and, by means of ~ s In the EditionsA, C and D,this Essay is introduced by the fallowing examination of the spirit O parties.-I have frequently observed, in com- f paring the conduct of t e court and country party, that the former are h commonly I ~ S S assuming and dogmatical in conversation, more apt to make concessions, andthough n t perhaps, moresusceptible of con- o, viction, yetmoreable t bear contdiction than thelatter, who are o apt to A out upon any opposition, and (0 regard one as a mercenary, y designing fellow, if he argueswithany coolness andimpartiality, or makesany concessions totheir adversaries. T h i s is a fact, which, I believe, every one may have observed who has been much in companies where political questions have been discussed ; though, were one to ask the reason of this difference, every party would be apt to assign a dif- ferent reason. Gentlemen in the opposilwn will ascribe it to thevery nature of their party, which, being founded on public spirit, and a zeal easily endure such doctrines zm are of per- for the constitution, c a n n ~ t nid0~8 consequence to liberty. The courtiers, on the other hand, will be apt to put us in mind of the clown mentioned by Lord Shaftabury, 6 A clown, ' says thatexcellent author, once took afancy (0 h m * fleflectipns, page 107, Miiscf~anwus
  45. 45. INDEPENDENCY OF PARLIAMENT. 43 it, make him, notwithstanding his insatiable avarice and ambition,cooporate to public good. Without this, say they,. we shall in vain boast of the advantages of any constitution, and shall find, in theend,that we have no security for our liberties or possessions, ex- the Latin disputes of doctors at an university. H e was &ked what plea- sure he could take in viewing such combatants, when he could never know so much as which of the parties had the better. 6 - ’ FOT tha6 mat- ter, ’ replied the clown, $ I a’n’t such a fool neither, but I can see who’s thefirst 6hQtpUluts t’other into a passion. ’ Nature herselfdictated this lesson to the clown, that he who had the better of the argument would be easy and well humoured: But he who wasunabletosupporthis cause by reason would naturally lose his temper, and grow violent ’ To which of thesereasonswillwe adhere? To neither of them, in my opinion ; unless we have a mind to inlist ourselves and become zea- lots in either party. I believe I can assign the reason of this different conduct of the two parties, without offending either. The country party are plainly most popular at present, and perhaps have been so in most administrations: So that, being accustomed to prevail in company, they cannot endure to bear their opinions controverted, but are as confident on the public favour, as if they were supported in all their sentiments by themostinfallibledemonstration. The courtiers, on theother hand, are commonly run down by your popular talkers, that if you speak to them with any moderation, or make them the smallest concessions, they think themselves extremely obliged to you, and are apt to return the fa- vourby alikemoderation and facility on their part. To be furious and passionate, they know, would onlygain them the character of d a m e - less mercenaries, not that of sealous patriots, which is the character that such a warm behaviour is apt to acquire to the other party. I n all controversies, we find, without regarding the truth or falsehood on either side, that those who defend the established and popular opi- nions are always most dogmatical and imperious in their style: while their adversaries affect almost extraordinary gentleness and moderation, in order to soften, as much as possible, any prejudices that may be 8- gainst them. Consider the behaviour of our Free-thinkers of all den+ rninations, whether they be such as decry all revelation, a? only oppose theexorbitantpowerof the clergy; Collins, Tin& Foster, Hosdley. Compare their moderation and good manners with the furious seal and Kurrility of their adversaries, and you w convinced of the.truth l i
  46. 46. 44 ESSAY VI, cept the good will of our rulers ; that is, we shall have po security at a l l. It is, therefore, a just political maxim, that euery man mast be supposed a knave; though, at the Same time, it appears somewhat strange, that a maxim should be true in politics which is false infuct. But to satisfy us on this head, we may consider, that men are gene- ~erally z hoaest in their private than in their pub- me lic capacity, and will go greaterlengths to serve a party,than when their own privateinterest is alone of my observation. A like differen? may be observed in the conduct of those French Titers, whomaintained the controversy with regard to ancient and modern learning. Boieau, Monsieur and Madame W i r , 1'Abbe de Bos, who defended the party of the ancients, misedtheir reasonings with satire and invective; while Fontenelle, la Motte, Char- pentier, and even Perrault, never trawgessed the bounds of modem '@on and good breeding, thpllgh provoked by the most injuripus tre.a+ ment of their adversaries. I must however observe, that this remark with regard to the seeming d e r a t i o n of the court party, is ent&rely confined to conversation, and $o gentlemen who have been engaged by interest or inclination in that party. For IS to thecourt writers, being commonly hired scribblers, they w altogether as a r x d o u s w the mercenaries of the other party : e Norhas h Guzemer any advantpge, in this respect, above cornme senser A ropn of education wl, in any party, discover himself to be such by hi? il good breeding and decency, as a scoundrel will always betray the oppo- & qu&ies, The fdse acmers accwed, &c. is very scumlous, though that side of the question, being least popular, should be defended with tpatmoder&on. WhenL-d B-e, L - d M - t , MrL-n, tsJrethe pen in hand, though they wri& w t warmth, they presume not ie lbpoa thair & p f r as bo transgress the bounds of decency. y p t J 1 into this t a o of reflectiorr bs eonsidering some papers wrote 4 ri tept grand topic of inauense and 1mrlinrnentgy dependence? rrhere,iumy humble opinion, the country party show too rigid an inflesi- w t y , and too great a j&usy of making.conpssions to their adwrsaries. Ti& 19psOping6 lose W r force py being @ d too far; and the p pf p~krity && apinionshaa seduced them to neglect in some memure (heirjus$nwand s l i . The following rBQ6oning will, I hope, =?e iit ody , i justify me in this opinion.
  47. 47. INDEPENDENCY O F PARLIAMENT. 45 concerned. Honour is a great check upon mankind : But where a considerable body of men act together, - this check is in a great measure removed, since a man is sure to be approved of by his own party, for what promotes the common interest; and he soon learns to despise theckmours of adversaries. To which we may add, that every court or senate is determined by the greater number of voices; so that, if self-interest: influences only the majority (as it will always do), the whole senate follows the allurements of this separate interest, and acts as if it containednotonemember who had any regard to public interest and liberty. When there offers, therefore, to our censure and ex- amination, any plan of government, real or imaginary, where the power is distribnted among several courts, and several orders of men, we should always consider theseparateinterest of each court, andeach order; and if we find that, by the skilful division of power, this interest must necessarily, in its operation, concur with the public, we may pronounce that government to bewise and happy.If,on thecontrary,separate interestbe not checked,andbenotdirected tothe public, we ought to look for nothing but fiction, disor- der,andtyrannyfromsucha,government. I n this opinion I rtm justified by experience, as well as by the authority of all .philosophers a d politicians, both an- cient and modern. How much, therefore, would it have surprised suck a genius as Cicero or Tacitus, to have been told, that in a fitture age there shoald arise 8 very regular sys- t m of mi& government, where the authority wtw sa e distributed, that one rank, whenever it @eased, might swallow up all the rest, and engross the whole power of the constitution !-Such a gopernment, they would

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