« ZurückWeiter »
his people was reduced, and had especially in a government constifrequently used this word, l'etat; tuted like ours, is monstrous. though the king approved the sub- I may also take notice of another stance of all he had said, yet he was cause of the mistakes of princes, I shocked at the frequent repetition of mean the general conduct of those this word, and complained of it as who are brought near to their per: of a kind of indecency to himself. sons. Such men, let me say, have This will not appear so strange to a particular duty arising from this our second, as it may very justly to. very situation; a duty common to our first reflections ; for what won. them all, because it arises not from der is it, that princes are easily be- their stations which are different, trayed into an error that takes its but from their situation, which is rise in the general imperfection of the same. To enumerate the various our nature, in our pride, our vanity, applications of this duty would be and our presumption ? the bastard too minute and tedious; but this children, but the children still, of 'may suffice, that all such men should self-love; a spurious brood, but of. bear constantly in mind, that the ten a favourite brood, that governs master they serve is to be the king the whole family. As men are apt of their countri; that their attachto make themselves the measure of ment to him, therefore, is not to be all being, so they make themselves like that of other servants to other the final cause of all creation. Thus masters, for his sake alone, or for the reputed orthodox philosophers in his sake and their own, but for the all ages have taught that the world sake of their country likewise. was made for man, the earth for him Craterus loves the King, but He. to inhabit, and all the luminous bo- phestion loves Alexander, was a sayo dies in the immense expanse around ing of the latter that has been often us, for him to' gaze at. Kings do quoted, but not censured as it ought no more, no not so much, when to be. Alexander gave the preferthey imagine themselves the final ence to the attachment of Hephescause for which societies were formed, tion; but this preference was due and governments instituted.
undoubtedly to that of Craterusi This capital error, in wbich al. Attachment to a private person must most every prince is confirmed by comprehend a great concern for bis his education, has so great extent character and his interests : but at. and so general influence, that a right tachment to one who is, or may be to do every iniquitous thing in go- a king, much more; because the vernment may be derived from it. But character of the latter is more im. as if this was not enough, the cha- portant to himself and others; and racters of princes are spoiled many because his interests are vastly more more ways by their education. I complicated with those of his counshall not descend into a detail of try, and in some sort with those of such particulars, nor presume so mankind. Alexander himself seemed, much as to hint what regulations upon one occasion, to make the dise might be made about the education tinction that should be always made of princes, nor what part our par- between our attachment to a prince, liaments might take occasionally in and to any private person. It was this momentous affair, lest I should' when Parnienio advised him to ac. appear too refining or too presump- cept the terms of peace which Das tuous in my speculations. But I rius offered: they were great, he may assert in general, that the in- thought them 80 ; but he thought, difference of mankind upon this head, no matter for my purpose whether
justly or not, that it would be un- them no hurt. Nay, it is more abbecoming him to accept them; there. surd; for the savages suppose, that fore he rejected them, but acknow- the devil has independently of them ledged, “ that he would have done the power to hurt them : whereas " as he was advised to do, if he had the others put more power into the “ been Parmenio."
bands of a prince, because he has As tu persons who are not about already some power to hurt them ; a prince in the situation here spoken and trust to the justice and gratiof, they can do little more than pro. tude of one who wants sense, virtue, portion their applause, and the de or both, rather than increase and monstrations of their confidence and fortify the barriers againsự his folly affection, to the benefits they ac- and his vices. tually receive from the prince on the But the truth is, that men who throne, or to the just expectations reason and act in this manner either that a successor gives them. It is mean, or else are led by such as of the latter I propose to speak bere mean, nothing more than to make particularly. If he gives them those a private court at the public erpence; of a good reign, we may assure our who chuse to be the instruments of selves that they will carry, and in a bad king rather than to be out of this case they ought to carry, that power; and who are often so wicked, applause, and those demonstrations that they would prefer such a seof their confidence and affection, as vice to that of the best of kings. In high as such a prince himself can fine, these reasons, and every other desire. Thus the prince and the reason for providing against a bad people take, in effect a sort of en: reign in prospect, acquire a new gagement with one another ; the force when one weak or wicked prince prince to govern well, and the peo. is, in the order of succession, to folple to honour and obey him. If he low another of the same character. gives them expectations of a bad Such provisions indeed are hardest reign, they have this obligation to to be obtained when they are the him at least, that he puts them most necessary; that is, when the early on their guard. And an obli- spirit of liberty begins to flag in á gation, and an advantage it will be, free people, and when they become if they prepare for his accession as disposed by habits that have grown for a great and inevitable evil; and insensibly upon them, to a base subif they guard on cvery occasion a- mission, But they are necessary too gainst the ill use they foresee that even when they are easiest to be obhe will make of money and power. tained ; that is, when the spirit of Above all, they should not suffer liberty is in full strength, and a disthemselves to be caught in the com- position to oppose all instances of mon snare, which is laid under spe- mal-administration, and to resist all cious pretences of " gaining such a attempts on liberty, is universal. " prince, and of keeping him by pub- In both cases, the endeavours of “lic compliances out of bad hands." every man who loves his country will That argument has been pressed be employed with incessant care and more than once, has prevailed, and constancy to obtain them; that good has been fruitful of most pernicious government and liberty may be the consequences. None indeed can be hetter preserved and secured: but in more absurd : it is not unlike the the latter case, for this further reareasoning of those savages who wor. son also, that the preservation and ship the devil, not because they love security of these may be provided him or honour bim, or expect any for, not only better, but more congood from him, but that he may do sistently with public tranquilhoty, by constitutional methods, and a legal vage or stupid enough to submit to course of opposition to the excesses tyranny by original contract; nor of of regal or ministerial power. What thuse nations on whom tyranny has I touch upon here might be made stolen as it were imperceptibly, or extremely plain; and I think the heen imposed by violence, and setobservation would appear to be of tled by prescription. I shall exerpo small importance; but I should cise no political casuistry about the be carried too far from my subject, rights of such kings, and the obligaand my subject will afford me mat- tions of such people. Men are to ter of inore agreeable speculation. take their lots, perhaps, in govern
I think enough has been already ments as in climates, io fence against said, to establish the first and true the inconveniencies of both, and to principles of monarchical and indeed bear what they cannot alter. But of every nther kind of government : I speak of people who have been and I will say with confidence, that wise and happy enough to establish, no principles but these, and such as and to preserve free constitutions of these, can be advanced, which de government, as the people of this serve to be treated seriously, though island have done, To these there Mr. Locke condescended to examine fore I say, that their kings are unthose of Filmer, more out of regard der the most sacred obligatiops that to the prejudices of the time, than human law can create, and diving to the importance of the work. Up- law authorize, to defend and main. on such foundations we must con- tain, in the first place, and preferclude, that since men were directed able to every other consideration, by nature to form societies, because the freedom of such constitutions. they cannot by their nature subsist The good of the people is the ultiwithout them, nor in a state of indi. mate and true end of goverument, yaduality; and since they were di. Governors are therefore appointed rected in like manner to establish for this end, and the civil constitu. governments, because societies call- tion which appoints them, and innot be maintained without them, vests them with their power, is denor subsist in a state of anarchy; termined to do so by that law of na. ibe ultimale end of all governments ture and reason, which has deter: is the good of the people, for whose mined the end of government, and sake they were made, and without which admits this form of govern. whose consent they could not have ment as the proper mean of arriving been made. In forming societies, at it. Now the greatest good of a and submitting to government, men people is their liberty: and in the give up part of that liberty to which case bere refered to, the people bas they are all born, and all alike. judged it so, and provided for it acBut why? Is government incompa- cordingly, Liberty is to the collec. tible with a full enjoyment of liber- tive body, wbąt health is to every in. ty? By no means. But because dividual body. Without health no popular liberty without government pleasure can be tasted by man: will degenerate into licence, as go- without liberty no happiness can be vernment without sufficient liberty enjoyed by society. The obligation, will degenerate into tyranny, they therefore, to defend and maintain are mutually necessary to each o- the freedom of such constitutions, ther, good government to support will appear most sacred to a patriot legal liberty, and legal liberty to king. preserve good government.
Kings who have weak under I speak not here of people, if any standings, bad hearts, and strong such there are, who have been sa prejudices, and all these, as it often
happens, inflamed by their pas. in hereditary monarchies, where sions, and rendered incurable by men are not elected, famities are: their self-conceit and presumption; and therefore some authors would such kings are apt to imagine, and have it believed, that when a family they conduct themselves so as to has been once admitted, and 20 make many of their subjects ima hereditary right to the crown recog. gine, that the king and people in nized in it, that right cannot be free governments are rival powers, forfeited, nor that throne become who stand in competition with one vacaat, as long as any heir of the another, who have different interests, family remains. How much more and must of course have different agreeably to truth and to commoni views : that the rights and privileges sense would these authors have writof the people are so many spoils ta- ten, if they liad maintained, that ken from the right and prerogative every prince who comes to a crown of the crown'; and that the rules in the course of succession, were he and laws, made for the exercise and the last of five hundred, comes to it security of the former, are so many under thc , same conditions under diminutions of their dignity, and re- which the first took it, whether exstraints on their power.
pressed, or implied; as well as und A patriot king will see all this in der those, if any such there be, a far different and much trder light. which have been since made by le The constitution will be considered gal authority: and that royal blood by him as one law, consisting of two can give no right, nor length of suctables, containing the rule of his cession any prescription, against the government, and the measure of his constitution of a government? The subjects obedience; or as one sys- first and the last hold by the same tem, composed of different parts and tenure. powers, but all duly proportioned I mention this the rather, because to one another, and conspiring by I have an imperfect remembrance, their harmony to the perfection of that some scribbler was employed, or the whole. He will make one, and employed himself, to assert the herebut one distinction between his ditary right of the present royal farights, and those of his people: he mily. A task so unnecessary to any will look on his to be a trust, and good purpose, that I believe a sústheirs a property. He will discern, picion arose of its having been dethat he can have a right to no more signed for a bad one. A patriot king than is trusted to him by the consti- will never countenance such impertution, and that his people, who tinent fallacies, nor deign to lean on had an original right to the whole by broken reeds. He knows that his the law of nature, can have the sole right is founded on the laws of God indefeasable right to any part; and and man, that none can shake it but really have such a right to that part himself, and that his own virtue is which they have reserved to them. sufficient to maintain it against all selves. In fine, the constitution will opposition.' be reverenced by him as the law of I have dwelt the longer on the God and of man; the force of which first and general principles of monar. binds the king as much as the mean- chical government, and have recurred est subject, and the reason of which the oftener to thein; because it seems binds him much more.
to me that they are the seeds of pas Thus he will think, and on these triotism, which must be so'wed as principles he will act, whether he soon as possible in the mind of a come to the throne by immediate or prince, lest their growth should be remote election. I say remote ; for checked by rank luxuriant wceds,
which are apt to be 'found in such king must be a patriot from the first. soils, and under which no crop of He must be such in resolution, before kingly virtues can ever flourish. A he grows such in practice. He must prince,' who does not know the true fix at once the general principles and principles, cannot propose to him. ends of all his actions, and determine self the true ends of government: and that his whole conduct shall be rehe, who does not propose them, will gulated by them, and directed to never direct his conduct steadily to them. When he has done this, he them. There is not a deeper, nor a will have turned, by one great ef finer observation in all my Lord fort, the bent of his mind so strong, Bacon's works, than one which I ly, towards the perfection of a kingshall apply and paraphrase on this ly character, that he will exercise occasion. The most compendious, with ease, and as it were by a na. the most noble, and the most effectural determination, all the virtues tual remedy that can be opposed to of it; which will be suggested to the uncertain and irregular motions him on every occasion by the princie of the human mind, agitated by va- ples wherewith his mind is imbued, rious passions, allured by various and by those ends that are the contemptations, inclining sometimes to- stant objects of his attention. wards a state of moral perfection, Let us then see in what mander, and oftener even in the best towards and with what effect he will do this, å state of moral depravation, is this. upon the greatest occasion he can We must chuse betimes such virtu- have of exercising these virtues, the ous objects as are proportioned to the maintenance of liberty, and the reineans we have of pursuing them, establishment of a free constitution. and as belong particularly 10 the The freedom of a constitution stutions we are in, and to the duties rests on two points. The orders of of those stations. We must deter- it are one: so Machiavel calls them, mine and for our minds in such man- and I know not how to call them ner upon them, that the pursuit of more significantly. He means not them may become the business, and only the forms and customs, but the attainment of them the end of the different classes and assemblies our whole lives. Thus we shall imi- of men, with different powers and tate the great operations of nature, privileges attributed to them, which and not the feeble, slow, and imper- are established in the state. The fect operations of art. We must not spirit and character of the people are proceed, in forming the moral cha- the other. On the mutual conformiracter, as a statuary proceeds in ty and harmony of these the preserforming a statue, who works some- vation of liberty depends. To take times on the face, sometimes on one away, or essentially to alter the forpart, and sometimes on another : but mer, cannot be brought to pass, we must proceed, and it is in our whilst the latter remains in original power to proceed, as nature does in purity and vigour: nor can liberty forining a flower, an animal, or any be destroyed by this method, unless other of her productions; rudimenta the attempt be made with a military partium omninm simul parit and pro- force sufficient to conquer the ducit. “ She throws out altogether, nation, which would not submit in “ and at once, the whole system of this case till it was conquered, nor “ every being, and the rudiments of with much security to the conquerer “ all the parts.” The vegetable or even then. But these orders of the the animal grows in bulk, and in- state may be essentially altered, and creases in strength; but is the same serve more effectually to the destrucfroin the first. Just so our patriot tion of liberty than the taking of