Imatges de pÓgina
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The mischiefs, or rather the dangers, of moNARCHY are, tyranny, expence, exaction, military domination ; unnecessary wars waged to gratify the passions of an individual ; risk of the character of the reigning prince; ignorance in the governors of the interests and accommodation of the people, and a consequent deficiency of falutary regulations, want of conftancy and uniformity in the rules of government, and, proceeding from thence, insecurity of person and property.

The separate advantage of an ARISTOCRACY consists in the wisdom which may be expected from experience and education--a permanent council naturally possesses experience; and the members, who succeed to their places in it by inheritance, will, probably, be trained and educated with a view to the stations which they are destined by their birth to occupy.

The mischiefs of an ARISTOCRACY are, diffensions in the ruling orders of the state, which, from the want of a common superior, are liable to proceed to the most desperate extremities; oppression of the lower orders by the privileges of the higher, and by laws partial to the separate interests of the law makers.

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The advantages of a REPUBLIC are, liberty. or exemption from needless restrictions ; equal laws; regulations adapted to the wants and circumstances of the people; public spirit, frugality, averseness to war; the opportunities which democratic affemblies afford to men of every de- . scription, of producing their abilities and coun. cils to public observation, and the exciting thereby, and calling forth to the service of the commonwealth, the faculties of its best citi

zens.

The evils of a REPUBLIC are, dissension, tumults, faction; the attempts of powerful citizens to possess themselves of the empire; the confufion, rage, and clamour which are the inevitable consequences of assembling multitudes, and of propounding questions of fate to the discussion of the people; the delay and disclosure of public councils and designs; and the imbecility of measures retarded by the necesity of obtaining the consert of numbers : latiy, the oppreilion of the provinces which are not admitted to a participation in the legisla'ire power.

A mixed governient is composed by the combination of two or more of the simple forms of government above described--and, in whatever proportion each form enters into the constitution

of

of a government, in the same proportion may both the advantages and evils, which we have attributed to that form, be expected ; that is, those are the uses to be maintained and cultivated in each part of the constitution, and these are the dangers to be provided againft in each. Thus, if secrécy and dispatch be truly enumès rated amongst the separate excellencies of regal government; then a mixed government, which retains monarchy in one part of its constitution, should be careful that the other eftates of the empire do not, by an officious and inquisitive interference with the executive functions, which are, or ought to be, reserved to the administration of the prince, interpose delays, or divulge what it is expedient to conceal. On the other hand, if profufion, exaction, military domination, and needless wars, be justly accounted natural properties of monarchy, in its simple unqualified form; then are these the objects to which, in a mixed government, the aristocratic and popular part of the constitution ought to direct their vigilance; the dangers against which they should raise and fortify their barriers : these are departments of sovereignty, over which a power of inspection and control ought to be deposited with the people. VOL, II,

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The fame observation may be repeated of all the other advantages and inconveniencies which have been ascribed to the feveral simple forms of government; and affords a rule whereby to direct the construction, improvements, and administration of mixed governments, subjected however to this remark, that a quality sometimes results from the conjunction of two simple forms of government, which belongs not to the fepa. rate existence of either : thus corruption, which has no place in an absolute monarchy, and little in a pure republic, is sure to gain admission into a conftitution, which divides the supreme power between an executive magistrate and a popular council,

An bereditary MONARCHY is universally to be preferred to an eleétive monarchy. The confeflion of every

writer

upon the subject of civil government, the experience of

ages,

the example of Poland, and of the papal dominions, seem to place this amongst the few indubitable maxims which the science of politics admits of. A crown is too splendid a prize to be conferred upon merit. The passions or interests of the electors exclude all conGderation of the qualities of the competitors. The fame observation holds concerning the appointments to any oflice which is

attended

attended with a great share of power or emolument. Nothing is gained by a popular choice worth the diffenfions, tumults, and interruption of regular industry, with which it is inseparably attended. Add to this, that a king, who owes his elevation to the event of a conteft, or to any other cause than a fixed rule of succession, will be apt to regard one part of his subjects as the associates of his fortune, and the other as conquered foes. Nor fhould it be forgotten, amongst the advantages of an hereditary monarchy, that as plans of national improvement and reform are seldom brought to maturity by the exertions of a single reign, a nation cannot attain to the degree of happiness and prosperity to which it is capable of being carried, unless an uniformity of councils, a consistency of public measures and designs be continued through a succession of ages. This benefit may be expected with grcater probability, where the supreme power descends in the same race, and where each prince succeeds, in some sort, to the aim, pursuits, and disposition of his ancestor, than if the crown, at every change, devolve upon a stranger, whose first care will commonly be to pull down what his predeceffor had built up; and to substitute systems of administration, which must, in their turn, give

way

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