« ZurückWeiter »
honourable motives? Were men, before they courted seats in Parliament, to place themselves in a clear and independent situation, and be enabled to enter that respectable assembly with erect countenances, and say, " We claim our seats here as chosen representatives of the people, to defend their rights, and maintain our own; here are our titles to that property, which constitutes our legal qualifications-assail them who may, we stand at all times on our defence, perfectly conscious that our failure involves the forfeiture of that situation, which we have been most ambitious of obtaining."- How truly respectable would an assembly of such representatives render themselves, not merely in the eyes of their constituents, but of the world at large; and, what is more than all the rest, in their own? Instead of being pointed at, as is now too frequently the case, with the finger of scorn, as substantially aliens from that community whose rights they are bound to protect; as fugitives from law and justice, under the shadow of privilege, and sheltering themselves under the meanest evasions, for the basest and most criminal of purposes, they would then become the true and fair representatives of the people who elected them, with no other bias to betray their trust, than what might be referred to the failings of our common nature, to the total eradication of which no human institutions can apply. Thus by a simple adherence to the spirit of the existing laws, which had their origin both in reason and expediency, and were never yet evaded even in letter, without the virtual breach of a solemn oath, would the supposed defects in the representative body be at once remedied, so far as the constitution permits, without a dereliction of rights, or principles, on the one hand; or a forcible invasion of them, on the other. The representative
would thus be rendered respectable; and the constituent content, at least to all reasonable purposes, and to the full satisfaction of every reasonable mind: for he who expects that any plan could be formed, or hint suggested, that should equally meet the objects and wishes of all parties, would be just as weak as the countryman of Æsop, who attempted to adjust the management of his beast, conformably to the advice of every passenger; and with as rational a hope, as to the ultimate result, as the other of Horace, who
"Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis, at ille
Plans for its Extinction
BY WILLIAM FREND, ESQ. M. A.
ACTUARY TO THE ROCK LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY, AND AUTHOR OF EVENING AMUSEMENTS, &c.
THE term National Debt is much used and much abused. By those, who wish to aggravate the difficulties of the country, it means the amount of the sums in the public funds, whether in the names of the commissioners for redeeming annuities, or of other individuals. This makes a very great figure on paper; and when the term pounds is annexed to it, many are led to believe, that the nation owes as many pounds sterling as are expressed by this figure. The exaggerators however are obliged to reduce this sum, from the evident absurdity of confounding together the different stocks, under the denomination of three, four and five per cents. Too many of them still confound the quantity redeemed with what is not redeemed; and they affect to say, that the redemption of the annuities is of no consequence to the public.
Government itself has in some measure assisted the delusion, which prevails on this subject; for even the term Commissioners for the Redemption of the National Debt, implies, that the nation is in debt to the amount of the nominał sum, which goes under that name. They are in fact commissioners for the purchase of annuities granted by the nation to certain individuals or their