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Concern for their common Honour and Sasety, and could bear no Advice that tended to reform them. At this time Truth became offensive to thole Lords the People, and most highly dangerous to the Speaker. The Orators no longer, ascend ed the Rojlrum, but to corrupt them further with the most fulsome Adulation. These Orators were all bribed by foreign Princes-on, the one Side or the other. And beside* its own Parties, in this City there were Parties, and avowed ones too, for the Persians, Spartans, and Macedonians, supported each of them by one or more Demagogues pensioned and bribed to this iniquitous Service. The People, forgetful of all Virtue and publick Spirit, and intoxicated with the Flatteries of their Orators (these Courtiers of Republicks, and endowed with the distinguishing Characteristicks of afl other Countries) this People, I fay, at last arrived at that Pitch of Madness, that they coolly and deliberately, by an express Law, made it capital for any Man to propose an Application of the immense Sums squandered in publick Shows, even to the mosfcnecessary Purposes of the State. When you see the People of this Republic banishing or murdering their,best and ablest Citizens, dissipating the publick Treasure with the most senseless Extravagance, and spending their whole Time, as Spectators or Actors, in playing, sidling, dancing and singing, does it not, my Lord, strike your Imagination with theImage of a fort of a complex Nero? And does it. not strike you with the greater Horror, when you observe, not one Man only, but a whole City, grown drunk with Pride and Pewer^ running with a Rage
of of Folly into the fame mean and senseless Debauchery and Extravagance? But if this People resembledNero in their Extravagance, much more did they' resemble and even exceed him in Cruelty and Injustice. In the Time of Pericles, one of the most celebrated Times in the History of that Commonwealth, a King of Egypt sent them a Donation of Corn. This they were mean enough to accept. And had the Egyptian Prince intended the Ruin of this City of wicked Bedlamites, he could not have taken a more effectual Method to do it, than by such an ensnaring Largess. The Distribution of this Bounty caused a Quarrel; the Majority set on foot au Enquiry into the Title of the Citizens ;and, upon a vain Pretence of Illegitimacy, newly and occasionally set up, they deprived of their Share of the royal Donation no less than five thousand of their own Body. They went further; they disfranchised them; and, having once begun with an Act of Injustice, they could set no Bounds to it. Not content with cutting them off from the Rights of Citizens, they plundered these unfortunate Wretches of all their Substance; and to crown this Master-piece of Violence and Tyranny, they actually fold every'Man of the five thoufand as SI aves in the public Market.' Observe, my Lord, that the five thoufand we here speak of, Were cut off from a Body of "no more than nineteen thoufand ; for the entire Number of Citizens was no greater at that Time. Could the Tyrant who wished-the Roman People but one Neck, could the Tyrant Caligula himself, have done, nay, he could scarcely wish for , a greater Mischief, than to have cut off, at one Stroke, a fourth of his People; Or has the Cruelty of that Series of fanguine Tyrants, the Casars, ever presented such a Piece of flagrant and extensive Wickedness? The whole History of this celebrated Republic is but one Tissue of Rashness, Folly, Ingratitude, Injustice, Tumult, Violence, and Tyranny, and indeed of every Species of Wickedness that can well be imagined. This was a City of wise Men, in which a Minister could not exercise his Functions; a warlike People, amongst whom a General did not dare either to gain or lose a Battle; a learned Nation, in which a Philosopher could not venture on a free Enquiry. This was the City which banished 1hemiJiocles, starved Ar'ijlides, forced into Exile Mtltiades, droveOut rfnaxagoras, and poisoned Socrates. This was a City which changed the Form of its Government with the Moon; eternal Conspiracies, Revolutions daily, nothing fixed and established. A Republic, as an antient Philosopher has observed, is no one Species of Government, but a Magazine of every Species; here you find every Sort of it, and that in the worst Form. As there is a perpetual Change, one rising and the other falling, you have all the Violence and wicked Policy, by which a beginning Power must always acquire its strength, and all the Weakness by which falling States are brought to a complete Destruction.
Rome has a more venerable Aspect than Athens-,
and she conducted her Affairs, so far as related to
the Ruin and Oppression of the greatest Part of the
Vol. II. E" World, World, with greater Wisdom and more Uniformity.' But the domestic Œconomy of these two States was nearly or altogether the fame. An internal Distension constantly tore to Pieces the Rowels of the Roman Commonwealth. You find the fame Confusion, the fame Factions which subsisted at Athens, the fame Tumults, the fame Revolutions, and in fine, the fame Slavery: If, perhaps, their former Condition did not deserve that Name altogether as well. All other Republics were of the fame Character. Florence was a Transcript of Athens. And the modern Republics, as they approach more or less to the Democratic Form, partake more or less of the Nature of those which I have described.
We are now at the Close of our Review of the three simple Forms of artificial Society, and we have shewn them, however they may differ in Name, or in some flight Circumstances, to be all alike in Effect; in Effect, to be all Tyrannies. But suppose we were inclined to make the most ample Concessions; let us concede Athens, Rome, Carthage, and two or three more of the antiewt, and as many of the modern Commonwealths, to have been, or to be, free and happy, and to owe their Freedom and Happiness to their political Constitution : Yet allowing all this, what Desence does this make for artificial Society in general, that these inconsiderable Spots of the Globe have for some short Space of Time stood as Exceptions to a Charge so general? But when we call these Governments free, or concede that their Citizens were happier than those which lived under
different different Forms, it is merely ex abuxdanti. For we ihou'd be greatly mistaken, if we really thought thac the Majority of the People, which filled these Cities, enjoyed even tirat nominal political Freedom of which I have spoken so much already. In reality, they had no Part of it. In Athens there were usually from ten to thirty thoufand Freemen : This was the utmost. But the Slaves usually amounted to four hundred thoufand, and sometimes to a great many more. The Freemen of Sparta and Rome were not mere numerous in Proportion to those whom they held in a Slavery, even more terrible than the Athenian. Therefore state the matter fairly: The free States never formed, though they were taken all together, the thousandth Part os the habitable Globe; the Freemen in these States were never the twentieth Part of the People, and the Time they subsisted is scarce any thing in that immense Ocean of Duration in which Time and Slavery are so nearly commensurate. Therefore call these free States, or popular Governments, or what you please; when we consider the Majority of their Inhabitants, and regard the natural Rights of Mankind, they must appear, in Reality and Truth, no better than pitiful and oppressive Oligarchies.
After so fair an Examen, wherein nothing has been exaggerated; no Fact produced which cannot be proved, and none which has been produced in any wise forced or strained, while Thoufands have, for Brevity, been omitted ; after so candid a Discussion in all Respects; what Slave so passive, what E 2 Bigot