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and even, perhaps, licentiousness in BRITAIN, as there were formerly slavery and tyranny in Rome.

These principles account for the great liberty of the press in these kingdoms, beyond what is indulged in any other government.

It is apprehended, that arbitrary power would steal in upon us, were we not careful to prevent its progress, and were there not an easy method of conveying the alarm from one end of the kingdom to the other., The spirit of the people must frequently be rouzed, in order to curb the ambition of the court; and the dread of rouzing this spirit must be employed to prevent that ambition. Nothing fo effectual to this purpose as the liberty of the press, by which all the learning, wit and genius of the nation may be employed on the side of freedom, and every one be animated to its defence. As long, therefore, as the republican part of our government can maintain itself against the monarchical, it will naturally be careful to keep the press open, as of importance to its own preservation.

It must however be allowed, that the unbounded lia berty of the press, though it be difficult to propose a suitable remedy for it, is one of the evils, attending thofe mixt forms of government.

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ESSAY

III.

That Politics may be reduced to a Science.

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T is a question with several, whether there be any

essential difference between one form of government and another ? and, whether every form may not become good or bad, according as it is well or ill administered +? Were it once admitted, that all governments are alike, and that the only difference consists in the character and conduct of the governors, niost political disputes would be at an end, and all Zeal for one constitution above another, must be esteemed mere bigotry and folly. But, though a friend to moderation, I cannot forbear condemning this sentiment, and should be forry to think, that human affairs admit of no greater stability, than what they receive from the casual humours and characters of particular men.

It is true; those who maintain, that the goodness of all government consists in the goodness of the administration, may cite many particular instances in history, where the very fame government, in different hands, has varied suddenly into the two opposite extremes of good and bad. Compare the French government under Henry III. and under Henry IV. Oppreffion, levity, artifice on the part of the rulers ; faction, sedition, treachery, rebellion, disloyalty on the part of the subjects: These compose the character of the former miserable æra. But

+ For forms of government let fools contest
Wbate'er is best administer'd is beft.

Essay on Man, Book 3.

and even, perhaps, licentiousness in BRITAIN, as there were formerly slavery and tyranny in ROME.

These principles account for the great liberty of the press in these kingdoms, beyond what is indulged in any other government. It is apprehended," that arbitrary power would steal in upon us, were we not careful to prevent its progress, and were there not an easy method of conveying the alarm from one end of the kingdom to the other., The spirit of the people must frequently be rouzed, in order to curb the ambition of the court; and the dread of rouzing this spirit must be employed to prevent that ambition. Nothing so effectual to this purpose as the liberty of the press, by which all the learning, wit and genius of the nation may be employed on the side of freedom, and every one be animated to its defence. As long, therefore, as the republican part of our government can maintain itself against the monarchical, it will naturally be careful to keep the press open, as of importance to its own preservation.

It must however be allowed, that the unbounded lia berty of the press, though it be difficult to propose a suitable remedy for it, is one of the evils, attending thofe mixt forms of government.

E S S AY III.

That Politics may be reduced to a Science.

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T is a question with several, whether there be any

effential difference between one form of government and another? and, whether every form may not become good or bad, according as it is well or ill administered t? Were it once admitted, that all governments are alike, and that the only difference consists in the character and conduct of the governors, most political disputes would be at an end, and all Zeal for one constitution above another, must be esteemed mere bigotry and folly. But, though a friend to moderation, I cannot forbear condemning this sentiment, and should be sorry to think, that human affairs admit of no greater stability, than what they receive from the casual humours and characters of particular men.

It is true; those who maintain, that the goodness of all government consists in the goodness of the administration, may cite many particular instances in history, where the very fame government, in different hands, has varied suddenly into the two opposite extremes of good and bad. Compare the French government under Henry III. and under Henry IV. Oppression, levity, artifice on the part of the rulers ; faction, sedition, treachery, rebellion, disloyalty on the part of the subjects: These compose the character of the former miserable æra. But

For forms of government let fools contes
Wbate'er is best adminifter'd is beft.

Essay on Man, Book 3.

But a

when the patriot and heroic prince, who succeeded, was once firmly feated on the throne, the government, the people, every thing seemed to be totally changed; and all from the difference of the temper and sentiments of these two fovereigns. Instances of this kind may be multiplied, almost without number, from ancient as well as modern bistory, foreign as well as domestic.

But here it may be proper to make a distinction. . All abfolute governments must very much depend on the administration, and this is one of the great inconveniences attending that form of government. sepublican and free government would be an obvious absurdity, if the particular checks and controuls, provided by the constitution, had really no influence, and made it not the interest, even of bad men, to act for the public good. Such is the intention of these forms of government, and such is their real effect, where they are wisely constituted: As on the other hand, they are the source of all disorder, and of the blackest crimes, where either skill or honesty has been wanting in their original frame and institution.

So great is the force of laws, and of particular forms of government, and so little dependence have they on the humours and tempers of men, that consequences almost as general and certain may sometimes be deduced from them, as any which the mathematical sciences afford

US.

The constitution of the ROMAN republic gave the whole legislative power to the people, without allowing a negative voice either to the nobility or consuls. This unbounded power they possessed in a collective, not in a representative body. The consequences were: When the people, by success and conquest, had become very numerous, and had spread themselves to a great distance

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