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order to have its motions confined to that spot which express and previously declared provisions have chalked out. For by Magna Charta, the sovereign bound himself neither to go, nor send upon the subject, otherwise than by Trial of Peers, and the law of the land — Nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus nisi per legale judicium parium vel per legem terræ.” And this is the most characteristic circumstance in the British constitution. 18th, By the complete subjection of the military to the ordinary courts of law.

Montesquieu, speaking of the English constitution, says,—" Have not Rome, Lacedemon, and Carthage perished ? It will perish when the legislative power shall have become more corrupt than the executive." But it is different from all others, and cannot be judged by analogy. In the ancient governments, all liberty and power were accumulated as it were on one point, so as to leave, every where else, only slavery and misery, consequently only seeds of division and secret animosity. In England the political rights of the people are inseparably connected with the right of property, which, like the blood of the body, circulates to

VOL. III.

every part, and no one can enslave them without attacking every individual at once in his most permanent and best-understood interest. Hence the people have the power of granting to the crown its necessary supplies—and they are too keen-sighted now to allow the king to become independent, either by foreign possession or accumulated riches. All the political passions of mankind, it may be seen, are satisfied and provided for in the English Government; and whether we look at the monarchical, or the aristocratical, or the democratical part of it, we find every jarring interest settled. Total liberty or total equality is chimerical; but civil liberty is ensured to us, by appointing a chief with privileges raising him above envy, but binding him to grant all possible liberty : by appointing great men, and fixing the limits of their clearly ascertained course : by appointing representatives, who are, from their small number and ability, able to cope with those opposed, and forced to do so from self interest, having the people, like a threatening drawn weapon, , ready to destroy, in case of neglect, fraud, or deceit. Thus is a government formed capable of incalculable combinations and resources. Thus do the people become interested spectators of those playing for them the noble game of liberty. Thus have we avoided a Tarpeian Rock, and Council of Ten, state prisons, and secret informers. Can any true comparison be made between this Government and any other of which we know? Thus the temple of liberty is placed by De Lolme in Britain. That Goddess, whose shadow and likeness only were seen by Cicero and the ancients, and who, nearly to all the rest of the world, may still be called the unknown goddess, is sheltered within a citadel of ever-during British oak.

Madame De Stael, speaking of England, in the preface to her “ Allemagne,” says—“ On l'a vue, comme un chevalier armé

pour

la defense de l'ordre sociel, preserver l'Europe pendant dix années de l'anarchie, et pendant dix autres du despotism. Son heureuse constitution fut, au commencement de la Revolution, le but des ésperances et des efforts des Francais." And De Lolme thus again finely eulogizes the British constitution:

" When the world shall have been again laid waste by conquerors, England will still continue to show mankind not only the principle that ought to unite them, but, what is of no less importance, the form under which they ought to be united. And the Philosopher, when he considers the constant fate of civil societies amongst men, and observes the numerous and powerful causes which seem as it were unavoidably to conduct them all to a state of incurable political slavery, takes comfort in seeing that liberty has at length disclosed her secret to mankind, and secured an asylum to herself.”

293

No. XIV.

CONCLUSION.

* Know, all the good that individuals find,
Or God and Nature meant for mere mankind,
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence.
But health consists with temperance alone;
And peace, O Virtue ! peace is all thy own.

POPE.

You remember I marched off in double quick time from the news-room to the inn, ordered my horse, and posted home, to communicate to my wife the wonderful turn our affairs had taken, the liberal offer of my invaluable friend, and the unexpected munificence of the singular Peter LEsq. As I rode along, the virtues of my

inesti. mable Peter mounted higher and higher in the scale of my thoughts. Worthy creature! dear old soul ! super-excellent man!' were some of the terms I applied, in mental exclamations, to him, as I re

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