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look over the new penal code of France and perceive the great improvement made not only on French but British laws, they will strely discover so much sense of shame, as not in future to oppose any attempt to follow in this instance the laudable example of an enemy.-- Various Reports have been presented to the house from different committees, and from the committee of Finance in par: ticular, pointing out abuses, useless offices, sinecures, holding up public defaulters, &c. &c. But these Reports seem to produce little other effect than to display such abuses to public view, and to excite the indignation of those who have no power to rectify them. · Various petitions have likewise been presented from oppressed individuals, Mr. FINNERTY, Mr. DRAKARD, &c. These peti. tions have been ordered to lay on the table, but like all similar petitions, may lay there till doomsday, or as long as the table of the house of Commons, or the house itself shall remain. Not a notion has been made for inquiry into, or for the removal of tra. tional abuses, but it has been negatived, by larger majorities than usual. There Iras been scarcly a session for these twenty years past, in which the minority have been so neglectful of their duts, so miserable in point of numbers, or ministers have had majorities so large and triumplant,
The state of the press is such as must justly alarm every friend to that most valuable right to freemen-FREE DISCUSSION. Let any one read the opinions which have been lately promulgated, or revived, in the court of King's Bench, respecting the law of libels; the contradictory opinions issuing from the bigliest legal authorities; the conduct of one jury in condemning that freedom of disa cussion, which another jury had pronounced innocent, the useful tendency of which discussion had been virtually acknowledged even by thie legislature, in a clause adopted in the mutiny bill, which allows a court martial to commute the horrible and degrading punishinent of flogging with a cat of nine tails, for imprisonment. From the legal proceedings to which we have alluded; from the revival of the doctrine, that “ truth is a libel to be punished if it tends to hurt the feelings of men in office,” every independent writer on state abuses, must feel that his liberty, so much boasted by others, is connivance only; and that his property and his personal and social comforts lie entirely at the mercy of an Attorney General, who may half ruin him by iudictments which he may never prosecute, or complete bis ruin by prosecution; and that evidence adduced to substantiate the truth of a publication, will not be allowed in justis cation--10--nor, should a contemptible, servile jury pronounce the verdictTruth is a libel-even in mitigation of punishment !
• As long however, as pyr present most corrupt representation
shall continue, there is no hope that the various abuses, the na: tural consequence will be removed. Aş to PARLIAMENTARY REPORM, nothing has been heard on the subject during the past session, Mr. BRAND has, we ynderstand, been frightened out of bis promised motion, by the threatened defection of his party friends, who, judging by their rooduct, appear to sapport the measure oniy when they are sure it will not be carried into execution!
How long the present system may last it is impossible with pre. cision to determine. If the opinions as lately delivered in the speech in the name of the PRINCE Regent, ate really those of his Boyal Highness, heaven have mercy on the nation ;-and we may inniteed join in the exclamation ultered three thousand years since, and which the experience of every succeding age has proved to be perfectly just-Put not your trust in princes! It is impossible for the whole system of the war to be comtneuded in higher terms than in the speech alluded 10, which if it does not contain the opi. nions of ile Regent, it is difficult to conceive on what principle of justice or morality such language of deception could have been suf: fered 19 be palmed ou both houses of perliament, and on the people al large throughout the empire.
Let the people however recollect, that niach of the national guilt and the national calamities the sure consequence, are to be imiputed to themselves. In a recent instance, the petitions against Lord Sidmouth's bill for violating the Toleration act, they have had demonstrative evidence what firm, peaceable, and constitu. tional efforts may produce. An opportunity will it is probable þe shortly afforded to a considerable pari of the people of choosing new representatives; but if they can prostitute ibeir consciences by voting on any consideration, for those whose principles and conduct they do not approve, their ruin may justly be imputed to themselves.
We conclude our POLITICAL REVIEW, by repeating the asser. tions we have so frequently made, and which the experience of every year, confirms the truth of—THAT PEACE AND REFORM ARE EQUALLY AND INDISPENSIBLY NECESSARY TO THE SAL VATION OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE:-THAT EVERY ATTEMPT ON THE PART OF THIS COUNTRY, BY FORCE OF ARMS TO ABRIDGE THE POWER OF FRANCE, WILL MOST ASSUREDLY END IN ITS INCREASE; AND THAT WITHOUT A RADICAL REFORM OR PARLIAMENT, THE FOUNDATION OF RADICAL. RE. FORM IN THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS OF THE STATE, AND THE CHURGH, OUR SYSTEM OF WAR AND CORRUPTION MUST INEVITABLY TERMINATE IN A REVOLUTION ! Harlow, July 29, 1811.
For JULY, 1811.
SCARCE AND VALUABLE BOOKS.
THE IDEA OF A PATRIOT KING. practice, legislative and monarchical
By Lord BOLINGBROKE. power. There must be an absolute, [Concluded from page 288.] unlimited,and uncontroulable power
lodged somewhere in every governBut I think it proper to explain a ment; but to constitute monarchy, little more what I mean, when I say for the government of a single pera limited monarchy, that I may son, it is not necessary that this leave nothing untouched which power should he lodged in the moought to be taken into consideration narch alone. It is no more necessary by us, when we attempt to fix our that he should exclusively and indeideas of a Patriot King.
pendenily establish the rule of his Among many reasons which de government, thau it is, that he should termine me to prefer monarchy to govern without any rule at all: and every form of government, this is a this sur-ly will be thought reason, principal one. When morarchy is able by no man, the essential form, it may be more I would not say God governs by easily and more usefully tempered a rule that we know, or may know with aristocracy or democracy, or as well as he, and upon our knowbotn, than either of them, when ledge of which he appeals to men. they are the essential forms, can be for the justice of his proceedings totempered with monarchy. It seems wards them; which a famous divine to me, that the introduction of a has impiously advanced, in a prereal permanent monarchical power, tended demonstration of his being or any thing more than the pagean- and attributes. God forbid! But try of it, into either of these, must this I may say, that God does always destroy them and extinguish them, that which is fittest to be done, and as a great light extinguishes a less. that this fitness, whereof neither that Whereas it may easily be shewn, presumptuous dogiratist was, nor and the true form of our govenment any created being is, a competent will demonstrate, wiihout seeking judge, results from the various nas any other example, that very con- tures, and the more various relations siderable aristrocratical and demo- of things; so that, as creator of all cratical powers may be grafted on a systems by which these natures and monarchical stock, without diminish- relations are constituted, he preing the lustre, or restraining the scribed to himself the rule, which power and authority of the prince, he follows as governor of every sys. enough to alter in any degree the tem of being. In short, with revc. essential form,
rence be it spoken, God is a mo• A great difference is made in na- narch, yet not an arbitrary but a' ture, and therefore the distinction limited monarch, limited by the should be always preserved in our rule which infinite wisdom prescribes notions, between two things that we to infinite power. I know well enough are apt to confound in speculation, the impropriety of these expressions; as they have been confounded in but when our ideas are inadequate, VOL. IX.
our expressions must needs be im- liberty, as long as the spirit of it proper. Such conceptions however subsists, and longer than that, no as we are able to form of these attri- limitations of monarchy, nor any bures, and of the exercise of them other form of government, can prein the government of the universe, serve it, are compatible with momay serve to shew what I have narchy. fthink on these subjects, produced them to shew. If govern- neither as the Tories, nor as the ing without any rule, and by arbi- Whigs have thought: at least I en. trary will, be not essential to our deavour to avoid the excesses of jira of the movarchy of the Supreme both. I neither dress up kings like Being, it is plainly ridiculous to so many burlesque Jupiters, weighsuppose them necessarily included in ing the fortunes of mankind in the the idea of a human monarchy: and scales of fate, and darting thunder
bough God in bis eternal ideas, for bolts at the heads of rebellious giwe are able to conceive no other ants: nor do I strip them naked, as manner of knowing, has prescribed it were, and leave them at most & to himself that rule by which he few tattered rags to clothe their magoverns the universe he crealed; it jesty, but such as cán serve really will be just as ridiculous to affirm, as little for use as for ornament.that the idea of human monarchy My aim is to fix this principle, that cannot be preserved, if kings are limitations on the crown ought to be obliged to govern according to a carried as far as is necessary to see rule established by the wisdom of a cure the liberties of a people; and state, that was a state before they that all such limitations may subsist, were kings, and by the consent of without weakening or endangering a people that they did not most cer- monarchy. . tainly create; especially when the I shall be told perhaps, for I have · whole executive power is exclusively heard it said by many, that this
in their hands, and the legislative point is imaginary, and that limitapower cannot be exercised without tions sufficient to procure good gotheir concurrence.
vernment, and to secure liberty uno There are limitations indeed that der a bad prince, cannot be made, would destroy the essential form of unless they are such as will deprive monarchy: or in other words, a the subjects of many benefits in the inonarchical constitution may be reign of a good prince, clog his ad. changed, under pretence of limi. ministration, maintain an unjust ting the monarch.-- This happen- jealousy between him and his peo ed among us in the last century, ple, and occasion a defect of power, when the vilest usurpation, and the necessary to preserve the public tran most infamous tyranny, were esta: . quillity, and to promote the na blished over our nation, by some of tional prosperity. If this was true, the worst and some of the meanest here would be a much more melar men in it. I will not say, that the choly instance of the imperfections essential form of monarchy should of our nature, and of the inefficacy be preserved, though the preserva- of our reason to supply this imper: tion of it were to cause the loss of fection, than the former. In the liberty. Sulus reip. suprema lex esto, former, reason prompted by expe is a fundamental law; and sure I rience avoids a certain evil effectuam, the safety of a commonwealth ally, and is able to provide, in some is ill provided for, if the liberty be measure, against the contingent evils given up. But this I presume to that may arise from the expedient say, and can demonstrate, that all itself. But in the latter, if what is the limitations nccessary to preserve there advanced was true, these
provisions against contingent evils itself in shew, like the qualities which would, in some cases, be the occa- acquire it. Patriotism must be founsion of much certain evil, and of ded in great principles, and supported positive good in none : under a good by great virtues. The chief of these prince they would render the admi. principles I have endeavoured to pistration defective; and under a trace; but I will not scruple to asbad one there would be no govern- sert, that a man can be a good king ment at all. But the truth is wide- upon no other. He may, without ly different from this representation. them and by complexion, be unThe limitations necessary to pre- ambitious, generous, good-natured; serve liberty under monarchy will but without them the exercise even restrain effectually a bad prince, of these virtues will be often ill diwithout being ever felt as shackles by rected: and with principles of anoa good one. Our constitution is ther sort, he will be drawn easily, brought, or almost brought, to such a notwithstanding these virtues, from point, a point of perfection I think it, all the purposes of his institution. that no king who is not, in the true I mention these opposite princimeaning of the word, a patriot, can ples the rather, because, instead of govern Britain with ease, security, wondering that so many kings, unfit honour, dignity, or indeed with suf- and unworthy to be trusted with the ficient power and strength. But yet government of mankind, appear in a king, who is a patriot, may go- the world, I have been tempted to vern with all the former; and be wonder that there are any tolerable sides them, with power as extended when I have considered the flattery as the most absolute monarch can that environs them most commonly boast, and a power too far more a- from the cradle, and the tendency greeable in the enjoyment, as well as of all those false notions that are inmore effectual in the operation. stilled into them by precept, and by
To attain these great and noble example, by the habits of courts, and ends, the patriotism must be real, by the interested selfish views of and not in shew alone. It is some- courtiers. They are bred to esteem thing to desire to appear a patrioti themselves of a distinct and superior and the desire of having fame is a species among men, as men are step towards deserving it, because it among animals. is a motive the more to deserve it. Lewis the fourteenib was a strong If it be true, as Tacitus says, Con- instance of the effect of this educatemptu famæ contemni vertutem, that tion, which trains up kings to be a contempt of a good name, or an tyrants, without knowing that they indifference about it, begets or ac- are so. That oppression under which companies always a contempt of vir- he kept his people, during the whole tue, che contrary will be true; and course of a long reign, might prothey are certainly both true. But ceed, in some degree, from the naThis motive alone is not sufficient. tural haughtiness of his temper; hut
To constitute a patriot, whether it proceeded in a greater degree, king or subject, there must be some- from the principles and habits of his thing more substantial than a desire education. By this he had been of fame, in the composiion: and if brought to look on his kingrom as a there be not, this desire of fame will patrimony that descended to bim never rise above that sentiment which from his ancestors, and that it was may be compared to the coquetry to be considered in no other light: of women ; a fondness of transient so that when a very considerable applause, which is courted by vao man had discoursed to him at large mily, given by flattery, and spends of the miserable condition to which