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ART thou a statesman,
And can'st not be a hypocrite? Impossible:
Don Sebastian, act. ii.
The workmanship of inconsiderate favour:
The creatures of rash love: one of those meteors Which monarchs raise from earth;
And people, wondering how they came so high, Fear from their influence plagues, wars, and famine.
Secret Love, act ii.
OH! what a mine of mischief is a statesman! Ye furies, whirlwinds, and ye treach'rous rocks, Ye ministers of death, devouring fire, Convulsive earthquake, and plague tainted air, All you are merciful and mild to him.
Cristiern (King) Your observation's just, I see it, Trollio:
Men are machines with all their boasted freedom; Their movements turn upon some favourite
Let art but find the latent foible out,
We touch the spring, and wind them at our
Trollio (his minister) Let heaven spy out for virtue, and then starve it:
But vice and frailty are the statesman's quarry, The objects of our search and of our science, Mark'd by our smiles and cherish'd by our bounty. 'Tis hence you lord it o'er your servile senates; How low the slaves will stoop to gorge their lusts When aptly baited.
Gustavus Vasa, act iv.
You have not, as good patriots should do, studied
The public good, but your particular ends :
THE great instrument of all these changes, and what infuses a peculiar venom into all of them, is party. It is of no consequence what the principles of any party, or what their pretensions are; the spirit which actuates all parties is the same; the spirit of ambition, of self-interest, of oppression, and treachery. This spirit entirely reverses all the principles which a benevolent nature has erected within us; all honesty, all equal justice, and even the ties of natural society, the natural affections. In a word, we have all seen, and if any outward considerations were worthy the lasting concern of a wise man, we have some of us felt, such oppressions from party government as no other tyranny can parallel. We behold daily the most important rights, rights upon which all the others depend, we behold all these rights determined in the last resort, without the least attention even to the appearance or colour of justice; we behold this without emotion, because we have grown up in the constant view of such practices; and we are not surprised to hear a man requested
to be a knave and a traitor, with as much indifference as if the most ordinary favour were asked; and we hear this request refused, not because it is a most unjust and unreasonable desire, but that this Worthy has already engaged his injustice to another. These and many more points I am far from spreading to their full extent. You are sensible that I do not put forth half my strength; and you cannot be at a loss for the reason. A man is allowed sufficient freedom of thought, provided he knows how to chuse his subject properly. You may criticise freely upon the Chinese constitution, and observe with as much severity as you please upon the absurd tricks, or destructive bigotry of the bonzees. But the scene is changed as you come homeward, and atheism or treason may be the names given in Britain, to what would be reason and truth if asserted of China. I submit to the condition, and though I have a notorious advantage before me I wave the pursuit. For else, it is very obvious what a picture might be drawn of the excesses of party even in our own nation. I could show, that the same faction has in one reign promoted popular seditions, and in the next been a patron of tyranny; I could show, that they have all of them betrayed the public safety at all times, and have very frequently with equal perfidy made a market of their own cause, and their own associates. I could show how vehemently they have contended for names, and how silently they have passed over things of the last importance.