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his principal with zeal, he must probably incur some resentment from the opposite party. His object is to obtain the good will of the person with whom he contends, that when an agreement is made, he may join in rewarding him. I would not take one of these as my arbitrator in a dispute for so inuch as a fish-pond for if he reserved the mud to me, he would be sure to give the water that fed the pool, to my adversary. In a great cause I should certainly wish, that my agent should possess conciliating qualities; that he should be of a frank, open, and candid disposition, soft in his nature, and of a temper to soften animosities and to win confidence. He ought not to be a man odious to the person he treats with, by personal injury, hy violence, or by deceit, or, above all, by the dereliction of his cause in any former transactions. But I would be sure that my negotiator should be min that he should be as earnest in the cause as myself, and known to be so; that he should not be looked upon as a stipendiary advocate, but as a principled partizan. In all treaty it is a great point that all idea of gaining your agent is hopeless. I would not trust the cause of royalty with a man, who professing neutrality is half a republican. The enemy has already a great part of his suit without a struggle and he contends with advantage for all the rest. mon principle allowed between your adversary and your agent, gives your adversary the advantage in every discussion.
NEWSPAPER circulations are infinitely more efficacious and extensive than ever they were. And they are a more important instrument than generally is imagined. They are a part of the reading of all, they ar the whole of the reading of the far greater number. There are thirty of them in Paris alone. The language diffuses them more widely than the English, though the English too are much read. The writers of these papers indeed, for the greater part, are either unknown or in contempt, but they are like a battery in which the stroke of any one ball produces no great effect, but the amount of continual repetition is decisive. Let us only suffer any person to tell us his story, morning and evening, but for one twelve month, and he will become our master.
All this violent cry against the nobility I take to be
which have been adopted for giving a body toopinion, and permanence to fugitive esteem. It is a sour, malignant, envious disposition, without taste for the reality, or for any image or representation of virtue, that sees with joy the unmerited fall of what had long flourished in splendour and in honour. I do not like to see any thing destroyed; any void produced in society; any ruin on the face of the land.
Though hereditary wealth, and the rank which goes with it, are too much idolized by creeping sycophants, and the blind abject admirers of power, they are too rashly slighted in shallow speculations of the petulant, assuming, short-sighted coxcombs of philosophy. Some decent regulated pre-eminence, some preference (not exclusive appropriation) given to birth, is neither unnatural, nor unjust, nor impolitic.
TURBULENT, discontented men of quality, in proportion as they are puffed up with personal pride and arrogance, generally despise their own order. One of the first symptoms they discover of a selfish and mischievous ambition, is a profligate disregard of a dignity which they partake with others. To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country and to mankind. The interest of that portion of social arrangement is a trust in the hands of those who compose it, and as none but bad men would
justify it in abuse, none but traitors would barter it away for their own personal advantage.
* * * * There were, in the time of our civil troubles in England (I do not know whether you have any such in your assembly in France) several persons, like the then earl of Holland, who by themselves or their families had brought an odium on the throne, by the prodigal dispensation of its bounties towards them, who afterwards joined in the rebellions arising from the discontents of which they were themselves the cause; men who helped to subvert that throne to which they owed, some of them, their existence, others all that power which they employed to ruin their benefactor. If any bounds are set to the rapacious demands of that sort of people, or that others are permitted to partake in the objects they would engross, revenge and envy soon fill up the craving void that is left in their avarice. Confounded by the complication of distempered passions, their reason is disturbed; their views become vast and perplexed ; to others inexplicable; to themselves uncertain. They find, on all sides, bounds to their unprincipled ambition in any fixed order of things. But in the fog and haze of confusion all is enlarged, and appears without any limit.
When men of rank sacrifice all ideas of dignity to an ambition without a distinct object, and work with low instruments and for low ends, the whole composition becomes low and base.
NOBILITY OF FRANCE. I do not pretend to know France as correctly as some others, but I have endeavoured through my
whole life to make myself acquainted with human nature: otherwise I should be unfit to take even my humble part in the service of mankind. In that study I could not pass by a vast portion of our nature, as it appeared modified in a country but twenty-four miles from the shore of this island. On my best observation, compared with my best enquiries, I found your nobility for the greater part composed of men of a high spirit, and of a delicate sense of honour, both with regard to themselves individually, and with regard to their whole corps, over whom they kept, beyond what is common in other countries, a censorial eye. They were tolerably well-bred ; very officious, humane, and hospitable; in their conversation frank and open; with a good military tone; and reasonably tinctured with literature, particularly of the authors in their own language. Many had pretensions far above this description. I speak of those who were generally met with.
As to their behaviour to the inferior classes, they appeared to me to comport themselves towards them with good nature, and with something more nearly approaching to familiarity, than is generally practised with us in the intercourse between the higher and lower ranks of life. To strike any person, even in the most abject condition, was a thing in a manner unknown, and would be highly disgraceful. Instances of other ill-treatment of the humble part of the community were rare : and as to attacks made upon the property or the personal liberty of the commons, I never heard of any whatsoever from them ; nor, whilst the laws were in vigour under the antient government, would such tyranny in subjects have been permitted. As men of landed estates, I had no fault to find with their conduct, though much to reprehend,