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precedes the discussion ; in which one set of men deliberate, and another decide ; and where those who form the conclusion are perhaps three hundred miles distant from those who hear the arguments ?
To deliver an opinion, is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions ; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience; these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our constitution.
Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests ; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberatide assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament. If the local constituent should have an interest, or should form an hasty opinion, evidently opposite to the real good of the rest of the community, the member for that place ought to be as far, as any other, from any endeavour to give it effect.
INSTRUMENTS BECOME MASTERS.
It is a law of nature, that whoever is necessary to what we have made our object, is sure in some way, or in some time or other, to become our master.
INTERFERENCE IN FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS. DISTANCE of place does not extinguish the duties or the rights of men ; but it often renders their exercise impracticable. The same circumstance of distance renders the noxious effects of an evil system in any community less pernicious. But there are situations where this difficulty does not occur; and in which, therefore, these duties are obligatory, and these rights are to be asserted. It has ever been the method of public jurists to draw a great part of the analogies on which they form the law of nations, from the principles of law which prevail in civil community, Civil laws are not all of them merely positive. Those which are rather conclusions of legal reason, than matters of statutable provision, belong to universal equity, and are universally applicable. Almost the whole prætorian law is such. There is a Law of Neighbourhood which does not leave a man perfect master on his own ground. When a neighbour sees a new erection, in the nature of a nuisance, set up at his door, he has a right to represent it to the judge; who, on his part, has a right to order the work to be staid ; or if established, to be removed. On this head, the parent law is express and clear; and has made many wise provisions, which, without destroying, regulate and restrain the right of ownership, by the right of vicinage. No innovation is permitted that may redound, even secondarily, to the prejudice of a neighbour. The whole doctrine of that important head of prætorian law, " De novi operis nunciatione,” is founded on the principle, that no new use should be made of a man's private liberty of operating upon his private property, from whence a detriment may be justly apprehended by his neighbour. This law of denunciation is prospective. It is to anticipate what is called damnum
infectum, or damnum nondum factum, that is a damage justly apprehended but not actually done. Even before it is clearly known, whether the innovation be damageable or not, the judge is competent to issue a prohibition to innovate, until the point can be determined. This prompt interference is grounded on principles favourable to both parties. It is preventive of mischief difficult to be repaired, and of ill blood difficult to be softened. The rule of law, therefore, which comes before the evil, is amongst the very best parts of equity, and justifies the promptness of the remedy ; because as it is well observed, Res damni infecti celeritatem desiderat et periculosa est dilatio. This right of denunciation does not hold, when things continue, however inconveniently to the neighbourhood, according to the ancient mode. For there is a sort of presumption against novelty, drawn out of a deep consideration of human nature and human affairs; and the maxim of jurisprudence is well laid down, Vetustas pro lege semper habetur.
Such is the law of civil vicinity. Now where there is no constituted judge, as between independent states there is not, the vicinage itself is the natural judge. It is, preventively, the assertor of its own rights; or remedially, their avenger. Neighbours are presumed to take cognizance of each others acts. “Vicini, vicinorum facta presumuntur scire.” This principle, which, like the rest, is as true of nations, as of individual men, has bestowed on the grand vicinage of Europe, a duty to know, and a right to prevent, any capital innovation which may amount to the erection of a dangerous nuisance. Of the importance of that innovation, and the mischief of that nuisance, they are, to be sure, bound to judge not litigiously: but it is in their coinpetence to judge. They have uniformly acted on this right. What in civil society is a ground of action, in politic society is a ground of war. But the exercise of that competent jurisdiction is a matter of moral prudence. As suits in civil society, so war in the political must ever be a matter of great deliberation. It is not this or that particular proceeding, picked out here and there, as a subject of quarrel, that will do. There must be an aggregate of mischief. There must be marks of deliberation ; there must be traces of design ; there must be indications of malice; there must be tokens of ambition. There must be force in the body where they exist ; there must be energy in the mind. When all these circumstances combine, or the important parts of them, the duty of the vicinity calls for the exercise of its competence : and the rules of prudence do not restrain, but demand it.
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Our neighbours are men ; and who will attempt to dictate the laws, under which it is allowable or for. bidden to take a part in the concerns of men, whether they are considered individually or in a collective capacity, whenever charity to them, or a care of my own safety, calls forth my activity. Circumstances perpetually variable, directing a moral prudence and discretion, the general principles of which never vary, must alone prescribe a conduct fitting on such oce casions. The latest casuists of public law are rather of a republican cast, and in my mind, by no means 80 averse as they ought to be to a right in the people (a word which ill defined is of the most dangerous use) to make changes at their pleasure in the fundamental laws of their country. These writers, however, when a country is divided, leave abundant liberty for a neighbour to support any of the parties according to his choice*. This interference must
indeed always be a right, whilst the privilege of doing good to others, and of averting from them every sort of evil, is a right : circumstances may render that right a duty. It depends wholly on this, whether it be a bona fide charity to a party, and a prudent precaution with regard to yourself, or whether under the pretence of aiding one of the parties in a nation, you act in such a manner as to aggravate its calamities, and accomplish its final destruction. In truth it is not the interfering or keeping aloof, but iniquitous intermeddling, or treacherous inaction which is praised or blamed by the decision of an equitable judge.
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The affair of the establishment of a government is a very difficult undertaking for foreign powers to act in as principals ; though as auxiliaries and mediators, it has been not at all unusual, and may be a measure full of policy and humanity, and true dignity.
The first thing we ought to do, supposing us not giving the law as conquerors, but acting as friendly powers applied to for counsel and assistance in the settlement of a distracted country, is well to consider the composition, nature, and temper of its objects, and particularly of those who actually do, or who ought to exercise power in that state.
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It will be a just and irresistible presumption against the fairness of the interposing power, that he takes with him no party or description of men in the divided state. It is not probable, that these parties should all, and all alike, be more adverse to the true interests of their country, and less capable of forming a judgment upon them, than those who are absolute strangers to their affairs, and to the character of the