Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

this country; and these offices shall furnilh, at a certain rate, pilots well versed in the route, and that know all the rocks, Thelves, quicksands, &c. that such pilgrims and travellers may be exposed to. Of these he knows a great number ready instructed in most countries : but the whole scheme of this matter he is to draw up at large, and communicate to his friend.

Here ends the Manuscript,

THE following discourse is a kind of remonftrance in behalf of king William and his friends, against the proceedings of the house of commons; and was published during the recess of parliament in the summer of 1701, with a view to engage them in milder measures, when they should meet again.

At this time Lewis XIV. was making large strides towards universal monarchy, plots were carrying on at St. Germains; the Dutch had acknowledged the Duke of Anjou as king of Spain; and king William was made extremely uneasy by the violence with which many of his ministers and chief favourites were pursued by the commons. The king, to appease their resentment, had made feveral changes in his ministry, and removed some of his most faithful servants from places of the highest trust and dignity: this expedient, however, had proved ineffectual, and the commons perfifted in their opposition. They began by impeaching William Bentinck, earl of Portland, groom of the stole ; and proceeded to the impeachment of John Somers, baron Somers of Evesham, first lord-keeper, afterwards lord chancellor ; Edward Ruffel, earl of Orford, lord treasurer of the navy, and one of the lords commissioners of the admiralty; and Charles Mountague, earl of Halifax, one of the commissioners of the treasury, and afterwards chancellor of the exchequer. Its general purport is to damp the warmth of the commons, by fhewing that the measures they pursued had a direct tendency to bring on the tyranny, which they profefled to oppose ; and the particular cases of the impeached lords are paralleled in Athenian characters,

[blocks in formation]

With the Consequences they had upon

both those States.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

I

CH A P. I.
T is agreed, that in all government there is an

absolute unlimited power, which naturally and originally seems to be placed in the whole body, wherever the executive part of it lies. This holds in the body natural; for wherever we place the beginning of motion, whether from the head, or the heart, or the animal spirits in general, the body moves and acts by a consent of all its parts. This unlimited power, placed fundamentally in the body of a people, is what the best legislators of all ages have endeavour

ed

ed, in their several schemes or institutions of government, to deposite in such hands as would preserve the people from rapine and oppression within, as well as violence from without. Most of them seem to agree in this, that it was a trust too great to be committed to any one man or assembly, and therefore they left the right still in the whole body; but the administration or executive part, in the hands of the one, the few, or the many; into which three powers all independent bodies of men seem naturally to divide : for, by all I have read of those innumerable and petty commonwealths in Italy, Greece, and Sicily, as well as the great one of Carthage and Rome, it seems to me, that a free people met together, whether by compact, or family-government, as soon as they fall into any acts of civil society, do of themselves divide into three powers. The first, is that of some one eminent spirit, who, having signalized his valour and fortune in defence of his country, or by the practice of popular arts at home, comes to have great

influence on the people, to grow their leader in warlike expeditions, and to preside, after a fort, in their civil alfemblies; and this is grounded upon. the principles of nature and common reason, which in all difficulties or dangers, where prudence or courage is required, rather incite us to fly for counsel or affistance to a single perfon, than a multitude. The second natural division of power is, of such men, who have acquired large possessions, and consequently dependancies, or descend from ancestors who have left them great inheritances, together with an hereditary

autho

« AnteriorContinuar »