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before the second Punic war, Fabius Maximus only excepted, had perished in it, others arose in their places, who surpassed them in number and were equal to them in virtue. The city was a perpetual spring of such men, as long as liberty lasted: but that was no sooner overthrown, than virtue was torn up by the roots; the people became base and sordid; the small remains of the nobility slothful and effeminate; and their Italian associates becoming like to them, the empire, whilst it stood, was only sustained by the strength of foreigners.

«The. Grecian virtue had the same fate, and expired with liberty. Instead of such soldiers as in their time had no equals, and such generals of armies and fleets, legislators and governors, as all succeeding ages have justly admired, they sent out swarms of fiddlers, jesters, chariot-drivers, players, bawds, flatterers, ministers of the most impure lusts; or idle, babbling, hypocritical philosophers, not much better than they. The emperor's courts were always crowded with this vermin: and notwithstanding the necessity, our author imagines, that princes must needs understand matters of government better than magistrates annually chosen, they did for the most part prove so brutish, as to give themselves and the world to be governed by such as these ; and that without any great prejudice, since none could be found more ignorant, lewd, and base than themselves.

• It is absurd to impute this to the change of times : for time changes nothing; and nothing was changed in those times but the government, and that changed all things. This is not accidental, but according to the rules given to nature by God, imposing upon all things a necessity of perpetually following their causes. Fruits are always of the same nature with the seeds and roots, from which they come, and trees are known by the fruits they bear; as å man begets a man, and a beast a beast. That society of men, which constitutes a government upon the foundation of justice, virtue, and the common good, will always have men to promote those ends; and that, which intends the advancement : of one man's desires and vanity, will abound in those that will foment them. All men follow that, which seems advantageous to themselves.

to themselves. Such as are bred under a good discipline, and see that all benefits, procured to their country by virtuous actions, redound to the honour and advantage of themselves, their children, friends, and relations, contract from their infancy a love to the public, and look upon the common concernments as their own. When they have learnt to be virtuous, and see that virtue is in esteem, they seek no other preferments than such as may be obtained that way; and no country ever wanted great numbers of excellent men, where this method was established. On the other side, when it is evident that the best are despised, hated, or marked out for destruction; all things calculated to the honour or advantage of one man, who is often the worst, or governed by the worst ; honours, riches, commands, and dignities disposed by his will, and his favour gained only by a most obsequious respect or a pretended affection to his person, together with a servile obedience to his commands--all application to virtuous actions will cease; and no man caring to render himself or his children worthy of great employments, such as desire to have them will by little

intrigues, corruption, seurrility, and flattery endeavour to make way to them: by which means true merit in a short time comes to be abolished, as feli out in Rome as soon as the Cæsars began to reign.'

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Our author's (Filmer's) cavils concerning I know not what vulgar opinions, that democracies were introduced to curb tyranny,' deserve no answer: for our question is, whether one form of government be prescribed to us by God and nature, or we are left according to our own understanding to constitute such as seem best to ourselves. As for democracy, he may say what he pleases of it; and I believe it can suit only with the convenience of a small town, accompanied with such circumstances as are seldom found. But this no way obliges men to run into the other extreme, inasmuch as the variety of forms between mere democracy and absolute monarchy is almost infinite. And if I should undertake to say, there never was a good government in the world, that did not consist of the three simple species of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, I think I might make it good. This at the least is certain, that the government of the Hebrews, instituted by God, had a judge, the great sanhedrim, and general assemblies of the people. Sparta had two kings, a senate of twenty eight chosen men, and the like assemblies. All the Dorian cities had a chief magistrate, a senate, and occasional assemblies. The cities of Ionia, Athens, and others, had an archon, the Areopagitæ, &c., and all judgements concerning matters of the greatest importance, as well as the election of kings and judgements upon appeals, remained in the people: afterward consuls representing kings, and vested

with equal power, a more numerous senate, and more frequent meetings of the people. Venice has at this day a duke, the senate of the Pregadi, and the great assembly of the nobility, which is the whole city, the rest of the inhabitants being only' “ incolæ,” not cives;" and those of the other cities or countries are their subjects, and do not participate of the government. Genoa is governed in like manner; Lucca not unlike to them. Germany is at this day governed by an emperor, the princes or great lords in their several precincts; the cities by their own magistrates, and by general Diets in which the whole power of the nation resides, and where the emperor, princes, nobility, and cities have their places in person, or by their deputies. All the northern nations, which, upon the dissolution of the Roman empire possessed the best provinces that had composed it, were under that form which is usually called the Gothic polity.

They had king, lords, commons, diets, assemblies of states, cortes, and parliaments, in which the sovereign powers of those nations did reside, and by which they were exercised. The like was practised in Hungary, Bohemia, Sweden, Denmark, Poland. And if things are changed in some of those places within these few years, they must give better proofs of having gained by the change, than are yet seen in the world, before I think myself obliged to change my opinion.

Some nations, not liking the name of king, have given such a power as kings enjoyed in other places. to one or more magistrates, either limited to a certain time, or left to be perpetual, as best pleased themselves : others, approving the name, made the dignity purely elective. Some have in their elections principally regarded one family, as long as it lasted: others considered nothing but the fitness of the person, and reserved to themselves a liberty of taking where they pleased. Some have permitted the crown to be hereditary, as to it's ordinary course; but restrained the power, and instituted officers to inspect the proceedings of kings, and to take care that the laws were not violated. Of this sort were the Ephori of Sparta, the Maire du Palais and afterward the Constable of France, the Justiciar * in Arragon, the Reichs Hofmeister in Denmark, † the High Steward in England: and, in all places, such assemblies as are before mentioned under several names, who had the power of the whole nation. Some have continued long, and it may be always in the same form; others have changed it. Some being incensed against their kings, as the Romans exasperated by the villainies of Tarquin, and the Tuscans by the cruelties of Mezentius, abolished the name of king' Others, as Athens, Sicyon, Argos, Corinth, Thebes, and the Latins, did not stay for such extremities, but set up other governments when they thought it best for themselves; and by this conduct prevented the evils that usually fall upon nations, when their kings degenerate into tyrants, and a nation is brought to enter

* See Heyl. Cosm. p. 288.

+ Count Uhlefeld was Reichs Hofmeister, or Lord High Steward of the kingdom of Denmark, about the middle of last century. In the year 1651, he was displaced for treasonable practices, and Joachim Gerstorf, another nobleman and senator, appointed in his room. He continued in this important office till the memorable revolution, which happened in Denmark in the year 1660; when the kingdom was changed from an estate, little differing from aristocracy, to an absolute monarchy, and the office of Reichs Hofmeister ceased of course. VOL. IV.


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