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tors declare, “. The maintaining their opponents into Glence, and our natural, civil, and political compel them to adopt the saine rights" ;" for this last right (if they opinions. As to the will of a will use the term) has existence great nation, we need only refer only subsequent to, and in confe
to the arguments to often used by quence of, ihe formation of fociety. our oppofition, to prove the futility The natural rights of men, in which of addresses, as evincive of ibe geit is allowed all continue equal, are neral opinion. The same arguments not infringed, although the offices may be applied with equal force to of frate are reâri&ed to particular petitions or refolutions of any kind, classes. And their civil rights on any particular question, from may be equally respected or vio- corporate bodies or districts. It. lated in any form of government is more difficult indeed for a taction, whatever ; if the latter should hap- to establish a tyrannic sway over pen, no more is proved, than that, an extensive country, than over a the governors neglect or betray fingle city; but that sway, it once their duty.'
establithed, is, from the obliacles In chapter Ill, book I. Mr. M. which the discontented meet in examines another favourite poti- their endeavours to form a union, tion of the French revolutionists, far more lecure. The inferior but viz. “ the will of the majority is united force of Paris itself, awed binding on the whole;" and he into acquiescence by a facien, controverts it, if not with com-, has easily quelled the succeflive inplete success, at least with great furre&ions in La Vendee, Lyons, ingenuity. His first objection is Marseilles, Toulon, and various founded on the difficulty, if not other places and provinces of impossibility, of ascertaining what France; though there can be no is the unbiased will of the majority doubt but that the discontented of a nation as to any particular would, if united, as eally have question :
qverwhelmed the city of Paris.' • In cities, (says he,) a very Supposing this difficulty about small portion of the inhabitants ascertaining the will of the majomay, with the advantages of upion rity to be removed, there would and preconcerted operations, dic- remain a strong objection to the tate with uncontrollable authority principle itfelt He allows, for to the whole. The less sanguinary argumentation, the right of the Romans (among whom this prin- majority of a nation to change the ciple prevailed) were content to constitution from monarchy to a surround the forum, and pre- republic, or its religi n from chriftioccupy all the avenues to the hult. anity to paganism: but it does not ings with an armed mob, by means of follow that the majority has any which the most alert faction palled right to legitlate for the minoritywhat laws it pleased.f The tero- Such a change as is above, ftated, cious Parisians, by a liberal exer- be contends, would amount to a cise of the lanthorn and pike, awe dissolution of the compact on which
* New Constitution of France by Condorcet, &c
. (520 the society of such a nation was ori- blame. The fincerity of that man. ginally founded. His sentiments who, when advanced in years, on this head are thus expressed : changes his religion, has always
* Admitting that the majority been beld suspicious ; for fimilar have a right to legiflate for them- reasons, if a man Thould at once selves, they have no right to le- renounce the established constitu, gillate for others. An appeal to tion of his country, and adopt one of realon or equity is futile; for what an opposite nature, we may realonappears to one man
realon- ably fufpe&t him to be actuated by able, may to another seem perfect pallion, or selfish intereft. At nonsense, or pernicious fophiftry. leaitif, instead of appealing But in these cases, reason is always to the sword, such men choose to. neglected, and force or fraud must try their cause at the bar of rcafon, determine the dispute. The former the onus i robandi lies solely on them: society being diffolved, all rights their opponents have only to urge of pre-occupancy are superseded; that they still prefer the conftitufor one party has as good' a claim tion and religion in which they as the other; and they are virtually were bred. If such a cause were in the situation of two independent to be tried by ivinos himself, tribes or nations, landing at the surely the maiority must be insame moment on unsettled finirely great on the side of the incountry. If they carinot agree to novators, or he would decree, that divide it, one mult expel the other. it is for them to seek fome foreign It is a legitimate cause of war, settlement, and there iry what in which neither party can aflume success will attend their new a right to treat the other as rebels adopied situations. or traitors: If the victors in such In chapter IV. the writer ada contett deny the vanquished the verts to the abuses that have folliberty of withdrawing themielves, lowed clofely on the heels of the their families, and party, froni French principles, and which (he the disputed territory, and settling observes) fome politicians have themselves elsewhere, they violate endeavoured to excute, by alluding every principle of justice and hu- to the gross ignorance of the manity.
people; to which, and not to the • That a part of a nation, whe- doctrines, they ascribe the excesses ther they form a majority or not, that have disgraced France. Mr. may be justitied in endeavouring M. Jays the blame on those who to obtain an alteration in the esta- promulgated doctrines which it blished constitution, , and even in was not poflible that the people committing, if necessary, the jur. fhould truly understand, becaufe tice of their caule to the decision they could not comprehend the of the God of battles, I do not niceties of metaphyhcai definitions. deny. But be it remembered, no He next examines the opinion Night motives can juftify them; for that the most unlimited freedom of they in fact dillalve the social bond, the press is eilential to the acquireand renounce the parent that gave ment and prelervation of freedom;' them birth. Whereas they who and he says that, it by this be support the established constitution, meant that freedom cannot it, can in hardly any cale deserve unleis all kinds of doctrines are
without restraint promulgated defire that the public may not be among all ranks of society, expe- alarmed at the want of restraint on rience - has proved the maxim to the press, for that truth and virtue be false. Calling history to his will always preponderate. The aid, he thus argues :
following observations on this head • The republics of ancient are just and forcible : Greece were undoubtedly free, Let parents and tutors answer many carried freedom to excels; for the youth under their care; yet the art of printing being then let us, if poslible, rise above our unknown, the communication of own vices, and answer for our. knowledge was neceffarily confined selves. Have we not experienced, to a few. Books were scarce and ex- that the exhortation of the divine, ceffively dear, therefore beyond the the lecture of the moralift, though reach of the multitude: and in mat- aided by the diaates of our own ters of religion, the most jealous and conscience, form but an insuffi. cruel inquisition was exerciled over cient barrier against the Tuggestions writers and teachers. The Swiss of paflion, and the corruption Cantons acquired their freedoin at which artful sophiftry, flattering a period, when probably not one inclinations which we are secretly in a thousand could read or write; athamed of, pours into the heart they have continued to preserve it in the declining age of Greece and for centuries, (many of the Cantons Rome, did the doctrines of Zeno in the form of a pure democracy,) or Epicurus make the greater numwithout the aid of newspapers and ber of proselytes ? In both nations political pamphlets, wbich their there was no want of men, who, poverty banishes much more ef- by their writings, even by the exfectually than any law could do. amples of their lives and actions, In our own country, almost in our endeavoured to uphold the cause own times, freedom triumphed of virtue ; yet they scarcely reover monarchical prerogative, both tarded, the did not prevent, the in the æra of Charles I. and James rapid progress of vice, which purJI. Yet from the former to the sued its triumphant course, until it latter period, the communication expired in the ruins of a corrupted of political knowledge was much people.' confined, by the disinclination or Having combated the opinions inability of the people to read. It of others respecting the licentious. is said, that now corruption and ness of the press, he thus delivers mismanagement are in the es- his own : treme, and we are directed to re- · The licentiousness of the press, flore the conftitution to its former such as is now permitted, is inpurity; a good one, therefore, compatible with national prospecould subsist without this general rity; it requires to be regulated; diffufion of political knowledge, but to ascertain the line which fewhich, if it has not produced, at parates excess of liberty from imleasi bas not prevented the progress proper restraint, and to determine of corruption.'
where the power of enforcin gihe Heiben goes on to animadvert law Thould be placed, is a talk on the advice given by those who
which requires, if it does not ex. tend, in his opinion, to support ceed, the greatest abilities. Thus that natural nobleffe, ' without much, however, may be establithed which all legal institutions would as certain ; it is better that many foon be abolithed or become nuo things should be concealed which gatory ; more members of opulent might be communicated, than that families would marry, and fewer even a few thould be communi families would become extin&.' cated which ought to be withheld. He then proceeds to thew that It is absolutely neceffary to take the accumulation of landed proevery precaution against this dan-perty might arrive at a molt pergerous class of men.
The elo- nicious excess, without the operaquence of a writer is as powerful as tion of the law of primogeniture. that of an orator, is more extensive “ To abolish this law (lays he,) in its effects, and full as likely to would not therefore ensure the be made an engine to introduce removal of the evil, while the most despotism into the bofom of liberty.' preponderating genius could not
The 5th chapter of this work pretend to foresee the probable treats of luxury; by which term confoquences of a sudden and the author means that exceslive violent abrogation of a cusiom that appetite for enjoyment of any kind, has grown with our growth, and mental or corporeal, active or paf- strengthened with our ftrength, five, which leads a man to neglect and actually pervades, like a vital bis duties, and to injure himself principle, the whole system of our or others, in order to obtain the jurisprudence, legislation, and object of his defire. Mr. M. une- manners' quivocally denies that luxury, which In chapter VII. Mr. M. enters is a vice in those who are addicted to at large into the discution of the it, is productive oi good to others; much agitated question, which and-hear it, ye financiers, who ought most to be encouraged, look to luxury for the chief source great or small farms ?" and on of revenue; hear it, ye manufac- this subject he displays much knowturers, who are engaged in those ledge and ability : but we cannot branches by which luxury is fed, pretend to give a summary of his and the kingdom, it is said, different arguments, the matter is enriched !-he maintains that branching out into a great variety
no national atvaniaye whatever of collateral confiderations, such as can justly be aforibed to luxury.' poor's rates, new inclosures, &c.
Chapter VI. contains a ditferta. in the agitation of this important tion on the law of Primogeniture; quellion, he has principally in bis which Mr. M. feems to consider as eye Mr. Arthur Young's Syltem of ujult, but which he would not Agriculture, which be in many venture to abolith, becaule he initances strongly condemns. thinks the abolition would be at- Chapter VIll. treats of the Game tended with some collateral in- laws. However they might have jurious circumstances, more than been originally introduced, Mr. counterbalancing the good that M. is of opinion that in some Inight be expected from it. An countries in Europe they are op. equal right of inheritance would pretlive, and perhaps abfurd in
England; England: but he does not allow, iofinitely greater distance than with with modern reformers, 'that every it, between the rich and the poor; one thould have a right to kill heinlists that populatiou is increased game wherever he can tind it' by an insitution which contributes
After all, Mr. M. recommends a to render marriages more frequent material alteration in the whole in the higber claires of society, befyftem of game laws, and thinks it cause, wherever birth, without would be better for the public that any other recommendation, is a game thould be made private pro• pallport into society, celibacy will perty.
be less frequent; that it checks the From game the author proceeds rage of appearance, the vanity of to the confideration of the tithe thew, and removes one great templaws. He pronounces the opinion tation to expence, the chief cause to be ill-founded, which states of venality; that it brings forwards tithes to be a heavy burthen to public life that description of on the farmer; whose fituation men by whom the nation has tbe would, according to him, be pre- best chance of being served ; that cisely the same, whether a tenth, it renders manners more amiable a fifih, or a twentieth of the pro- and sociable; and finally, that alduce of the land were levied for the most all the objedions, which are fupport of the clergy. He con- urged against the institution of notend that this tax falls solely on bility, may be equally if not more the landlord who is obliged to let juftly urged against wealth; the his land proportionably lower on abolition of wbich would convulle account of the tithes.-He how. and destroy society. ever, admits the tax to be impoli, The discusion of this fubje&t, tic, for this plain reason, that it is together with that of the form of a continually varying one, on the government, is carried on through produce of skill and labour, and the first five chapters of the fecond on the uncertain bounty of nature; book, and branches out into a very and consequently that it is always long, interesting, and ingenious galling and vexatious.
ditlertation respecting a lianding Chapter I. of Book II. opens army; for which Mr. M. is a tirewith the important questions, whe- nuous advocate. He does not ar. ther there ought to be allowed, in a gue for a ftanding army as a mere itate, a distinčtion of orders among machine of government, calculated its citizens; and which form of go- to enable the crown to enforce vernment is preferable, a mopar. measures dangerous to or incomchical or a republican. For his patible with a free constitution, arguments on these topics we must but, for a standing army modelled refer to the chapter itself, which on principles that would make it a contains much sound sense and guardian and firm support of the able reasoning. We shall content constitutional liberty of the subject; ourselves with stating that he is a body to organized and officered decidedly for the existence of a as that, though the crown might body of nobility; without which, at all times look for its co-operahe maintains, there would be an tion in all constitutional pursuits,