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self, he will decline marrying; or if he marry, he will be afraid of having too great a number of children, who may utterly undo him, and be in a worse condition themselves than their fathers" were at first.

Men are like plants, that never flourish if they are not well cultivated. Among a miserable" people the species not only decreases, but sometimes degenerates also.


Persian Letters. Let.cxxii.

COUNTRIES are generally peopled in proportion as they are free, and are certainly happy in that proportion; and upon the same tract of land that would maintain a hundred thousand freemen in plenty, five thousand slaves would starve. Liberty naturally draws new people to it, as well as increases the old stock; and men as naturally run, when they dare, from slavery and wretchedness. Hence great cities, losing their liberties, become desarts, and little towns by liberty grow great



Cato's Letters, vol. ii. No. 62.

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Ir is impossible for the arts and sciences to arise at first among any people, unless that people enjoy the blessing of a free government. — To expect that the arts and sciences should take their first rise in a monarchy is to expect a contradiction. Before these refinements have taken place, the monarch is ignorant and uninstructed, and not having knowledge sufficient to make him



sensible of the necessity of balancing his government upon general laws, he delegates his full power to all inferior magistrates. This barbarous policy debases the people, and for ever prevents all improvements: a people governed after such a manner are slaves in the full and proper sense of the word; and it is impossible they can ever aspire to any refinements of taste or reason.

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Eloquence certainly springs up more naturally in

popular governments. Emulation too, in every

accomplishment, must there be more animated and enlivened; and genius and capacity have a fuller scope and career.


Essays, vol. i. p. 105-6-8;

REPUBLICS furnish the world with a greater number of brave and excellent characters than kingdoms the reason is, that in republics virtue is honoured and promoted, in monarchies and kingdoms it incurs suspicion.

If a comparison be made between a mixed government, circumscribed and bounded by laws, and a popular government under the same ties, the people will be found more virtuous than the princes; if between loose and dissolute governments of each kind, the errors on the side of the people will be less important, less numerous, and more capable of redress. In popular tumults, a sober man may interpose, and by fair remonstrance recal the people to reason, but with an enraged prince who shall interfere? or what remedy is there but violence and the sword?



Among commonwealths there are greater constancy and firmer friendship, than among princes. When leagues and confederacies are to be broken upon the mere prospect of self-interest, commonwealths are religious and severe, and examples may readily be brought where a small gain has tempted a prince, when a great one could not move a republic. In a speech to the Athenians, Themistocles informed them, that he had something to advise which would be infinitely to their advantage, but which he could not communicate in public, because to publish would be to defeat its execution. The people deputed Aristides to receive and act in it as he should think proper. Themistocles informed him, that the whole Grecian flcet (but under the Athenian passport and parole) were in a place where they might easily. be taken or destroyed, which would render the Athenians masters of the sea. Aristides reported to the people that the counsel of Themistocles was advantageous, but would be a dishonour to the state; whereupon it was unanimously rejected. Had the same occasion been offered to Philip of Macedon, or other princes, they would have been less scrupulous; for princes are habituated to get more by breach of faith than by all their other projects.

In wisdom, steadiness, and judgment, the people have greatly the advantage of princes. By some occult and singular quality they frequently foresee the most astonishing events. For this reason the voice of the people is compared to the voice of God.

God. And in judging respecting matters that are doubtful you shall seldom find them mistaken. Let two orators, equally eloquent, discuss a sub. ject before them, pro and con, they will be sure to take the most rational side: a proof that they are no less capable of truth than other orders of




In the election of magistrates they are equally infallible; nor can they ever be prevailed upon to advance a corrupt and infamous character, than which nothing is more common with princes.


Discourses, b. i. cb. 58 and 59.

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Ir is certain that the people, if left to themselves, do generally, if not always judge well.→ They have their five senses in as great perfection, as have those who would treat them as if they had none. And there is oftener found a great genius carrying a pitch-fork than carrying a white staff.

Cato's Letters, vol. i. No. 22 and 24.

A MAN that would be chosen by the people, will certainly be disappointed, if he bear the reputation of being a man of no honour: whereas at court he may easily insinuate himself into a post, agreeably to the maxim of a great prince, that a courtier, to make his fortune, should be without honour or pride.

VOLTAIRE. Philosoph. Dict. Art. Government.


IN a republic the voice of the people hardly ever raises unworthy persons to high posts in the


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administration, making choice only of men of knowledge and abilities, who discharge their respective functions with honour: whereas those who generally make their way to such posts under a monarchical government are men of little minds and mean talents, who owe their preferment to the meritricious arts of flattery and intrigue. The public are less apt to be deceived in their choice than a prince, and a man of real merit is as rarely to be found in the ministry of a king, as a blockhead at the head of a republic.

Du Contrat Social, liv. iii. cb. vi.

THE popular election of magistrates, and popular disposition of rewards and honours, is one of the first advantages of a free state. Without it, or something equivalent to it, perhaps the people cannot long enjoy the substance of freedom; certainly none of the vivifying energy of good govern


BURKE. Thoughts on the Discontents, p. 44.

I NEVER could be persuaded but it was more. happy for a people to be disposed of by a number of persons, jointly interested and concerned with them, than to be numbered as the herd and inheritance of one, to whose lust and madness they were absolutely subject; and that any man of the weakest reason and generosity would not rather chuse for his habitation that spot of earth, where there was access to honour by virtue, and no worth could be excluded, than that where all advancement

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