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wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Coine thou and reign over us.

And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow, and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

And Jotham ran away and fied for fear of Abi. inelech his brother.

When Abimelech reigned three years over Is


Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech.

Ib. Judges, cb. it.


Vile weed, irascible! whene'er I view

Thy horrent leaves in circling points arise,

And know, that underneath each fibre lies
The keen receptacle of venom’d dew;
And when I know, that if, with cautious fear,

I touch thy power it punishes my dread:
But if, with dauntless hand approaching near
I grasp

thee full and firm—that power is dead. Thus as, with 'sdainful thought, I view thy stings

Terrific to the coward wretch alone,

Much do I meditate on grandeur's throneThe awe of subjects, and the might of kings,


Like thee, they punish those whom they appal; Like thee, when firmly grasp'd, to native nothing fall.


Morning Chronicle -Lord supreme o'er all this formal race, The cedar claims pre-eminence of place; Like some great eastern king, it stands alone, Nor lets th' ignoble crowd approach its throne, Spreads out its haughty boughs that scorn to bend, And bids its shade o'er spacious fields extend; While in the compass of its wide domain, Heaven sheds its soft prolific show’rs in vain : Secure and shelter'd every subject lies; But robb'd of moisture, sickens, droops, and dies.

O image apt of man's despotic power, Which guards and shelters only to devour, Lifts high in air the splendours of its head, And bids its radiance o'er the nations spread; While round its feet in silent anguish lie Hunger, despair, and meagre misery.

R.P. KNIGHT. Landscape: a Didactic Poem, b. ii. (1794.)


By a tyrant is meant a sovereign who makes his humour the law, who seizes on the property of his subjects, and afterwards inlists them to go and give his neighbours the like treatment. These tyrants are not known in Europe.

Tyranny is distinguished into that of one person and of many. A body invading the rights of other bodies, and corrupting the laws, that it may exercise a despotism apparently legal, is the latter tyranny. But Europe likewise has none of these tyrants.

Under which tyranny would you chuse to live? Under none; but had I the option, the tyranny of one person appears to me less odious and dreadful than that of many. A despot has always some intervals of good humour, which is never known in an assembly of despots. If a tyrant has done me an injury, there is his mistress, his confessor, or his page, by means of whom I may appease him. and obtain redress; but a set of supercilious tyrants is inaccessible to all applications.

Under one despot, I need only stand up against a wall when I see him coming by, or prostrate myself, or knock



forehead against the ground, according to the custom of the country; but under a body perhaps of a hundred despots, I may be obliged to repeat this ceremony a hundred times a day. Another disagreeable circumstance is, if my farm happens to be in the neighbourhood of one of our great lords, it is unknown what damages I am obliged to put up with ; and if I have a law-suit with a relation of one of their high mightinesses, it will infallibly go against me. I am very much afraid that in this world things will come to such a pass, as to have no other option than being either hammer or anvil. Happy he who gets clear of this alternative!

VOLTAIRE. Pbilosopb. Dict, art. Tyranny.

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THE highest earthly felicity that a people can ask, or God can give, is an equal and well ordered commonwealth.


Political Aphorisms. That commonwealth is best ordered where the citizens are neither too rich nor too poor,

THALES. Stanley's Hist. of Philosophy, part. 1. p. 26. That form of government appears to me the most reasonable which is most conformable to the equality we find in human nature, provided it be consistent with public peace and tranquility. This is what may properly be called liberty, which exempts one man from subjection to another as far the order and economy of government will permit.


No. 287.

BEFORE the increase of the Roman power, or rather till its full establishment, almost all the nations which are the scene of ancient history, were divided into petty commonwealths, where


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