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THE

ORIGINAL.

BY THOMAS WALKER, M.A.,

TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,

BARRISTER AT LAW, AND ONE OF THE POLICE MAGISTRATES OF THE

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AT 12 O'CLOCK, BY H. RENSHAW,

356, STRAND, NEARLY OPPOSITE WELLINGTON STREET.

No. 1.-WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 1835.

PRELIMINARY ADDRESS.

DEAR READER, I ADDRESS you without ceremony, because I do not like ceremory, and because I hope we shall soon be on intimate terms. I have long meditated this mode of introducing myself to your acquaintance, from a belief that it might be for our mutual advantage; for mine, by furnishing a constant and interesting stimulus to my faculties of observation and reflection; for yours, by setting before you an alterative diet of sound and comfortable doctrines blended with innoxious amusement.

It is my purpose to treat, as forcibly, perspicuously, and concisely as each subject and my own ability will allow, of whatever is most interesting and important in Religion and Politics, in Morals and Manners, and in our Habits and Customs. Besides my graver discussions, I shall present you with original anecdotes, narratives, and miscellaneous matters, and with occasional extracts from other authors, just as I think I can most contribute to your instruction or amusement; and even my lightest articles I shall, as often as I am able, make subservient to the illustration of some sound principle, or the enforcement of some useful precept--at the same time rejecting nothing as too trifling, provided it can excite in you an antibilious sensation, however slight.

Aloof from sect and party, my chief and steady aim will be to satisfy the wants of those who thirst after the truth, and to excite a love of it, where a love of it does not now exist. Certain it is, the vast majority of human kind pass through life in ignorance of its inspirations. They flatter themselves indeed to the con

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trary, if they only do not wantonly quit its path, or if in their zig-zag course they sometimes cross or deviate into it, as party, sect, or narrow interest leads them; but alas ! by the pure love of truth their actions are never guided. As long as the truth suits their purpose—well; but the moment it does not, they shut their eyes, or turn away. Look wherever you please, in public or in private, and you will find that it is so. Yet our holy religion again and again commands, and our worldly welfare, properly understood, unceasingly requires, that we love and follow the truth.

In conclusion I must tell you, that with regard to pecuniary profit as an author, I estimate that, as I do popularity in my capacity of magistrate. A desire for popularity has no influence on my decisions; a desire for profit will have none on my writings. I hunt neither after one nor the other. If they follow as consequences of a patient and fearless perseverance in the establishment of right,—well and good ; I value them on no other terms. I aspire in my present undertaking to set an example towards raising the national tone in whatever concerns us socially or individually; and to this end I shall labour to develope the truth, and seasonably to present it in a form as intelligible and attractive to all ages and conditions as lies in my power.

I have given you my name and additions, that you may be the better able to judge what credit I am entitled to in respect to the different subjects of which I may treat, and as the best security against the licence which authors writing anonymously, even when known, are but too apt to allow themselves.

PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT. By the Democratic principle, I mean the principle of popular government fitly organized.

By the Ochlocratic principle, I mean the principle of mobgovernment, or government by too large masses.

By the Oligarchic principle, I mean the principle of exclusive government, or government by too few.

The Democratic principle is the fundamental principle of English government, and upon its effective operation depend the purity and vigour of the body politic. This principle has a tendency in two different directions, and constant watchfulness and skill are required to preserve it in its full force. Unless its application is varied as population increases, it becomes in practice either oligarchical or ochlocratical; oligarchical, for instance, in the ancient corporations of thriving towns, and ochlocratical in increasing parishes with open vestries.

The Oligarchic principle tends to make those who attain power, tenacious, arbitrary, and corrupt; those who wish for it, discontented and envious, and the rest fatally indifferent. Hence our long-standing and fierce party struggles on questions of reform-hence the ochlocratic principle so slowly called into action, and hence the headlong consequences; all of which evils would have been entirely prevented, had the democratic principle been duly kept, or put in operation.

Ochlocracy (which is derived from two Greek words signifying mob-governinent) is the most inquisitorial, dictatorial, and disgusting of all governments, and its tendency is to despotism as a more tolerable form of tyranny. It is an unwieldy monster, more potent in the tail than in the head, and is hardly stimulated to action but by the garbage or trash thrown to it by the base or the weak for their own base or weak purposes.

Notwithstanding almost all our institutions have from time to time been neglected, or unskilfully reformed, yet the original democratic principle has still been there, and it is that principle, however weakened or obscured, which has preserved our constitution as a blessing to ourselves and an example to others, through barbarous ages, through the most violent political and religious storms, amidst the desolation of civil wars, and under the weakest and most arbitrary of our monarchs. This consideration should excite in us the most jealous care of a principle to which we owe so much, and through which alone we and posterity can derive all the benefits of increasing civilization. Such care is the more necessary, as a foreign principle, called the principle of centralization, is creeping in amongst us; a principle chiefly cried up by men who are totally ignorant of the efficacy of the democratic principle-men who, with strange inconsistency, are perpetually calling out for popular enlightenment, whilst they are striving with all their might to take away popular power, except, indeed, so far as it may be made available for party purposes-men who contemptuously turn from the practical wisdom of their own free and noble institutions to the theories and devices of novices in liberty, or proficients in despotism; as if France and Prussia were fit examples for the imitation of Britain.

There are two vices inherent in the centralization principle, which are quite sufficient to render it odious to all true Englishmen. In the first place, it must necessarily create a tribe of subordinate traders in government, who, with whatever English feelings they might set out, must, from the nature of things, they or their successors, become arbitrary, vexatious, and selfish. In the second place, as it would deprive the citizens of the invigo

rating moral exercise of managing their common affairs, it would soon justly expose them to the reproach of that Roman emperor, who to certain Grecian deputies, claiming for their country a restoration of political privileges, made this bitter answer, " The Greeks have forgotten how to be free.” Freedom, like health, can only be preserved by exercise, and that exercise becomes more necessary as a nation becomes more rich. The inevitable tendency of ihe centralization principle, like the ochlocratic, though more insidiously, is to despotism. The first is the favourite of those who call themselves Liberals, and the last of the Radicals.

The democratic principle has the most stability, and is the only one under which perfect freedom can exist. The oligarchic, which is the Tory principle, is more stable than the ochlocratic, and is less unfavourable to liberty. The democratic is the real conservative principle, and the ochlocratic the real destructive. The democratic principle works the best men to the top—the oligarchic the most selfish—the ochlocratic the most profligate and pretending, whilst it throws into utter obscurity the honest and the wise. The democratic principle tends to make manners frank, noble, and disciplined ; the oligarchic makes them artificial and insipid, and the ochlocratic brutal. The three principles exhibit all their characteristics in a greater or less degree wherever they operate, from a parish vestry to the House of Commons, and in every class of society.

The aristocratic principle having no real existence in this country, except in the hereditary branch of the legislature, and having nothing to do with executive and subordinate government, it does not come within my purpose to notice it.

I shall hereafter take occasion to enter into a full exposition of the details of democratic government as applicable to parishes, towns, and counties; thence endeavouring to arrive at the true principles of representation, which are certainly not discoverable in our present semi-ochlocratic state, or state of transition only, let us hope, from oligarchical predominance. I have said that the oligarchic is the 'Tory principle; and, I may add, the Whig also, except when it is made to give way to the ochlocratic for the sake of getting or retaining power. Would that we might but see some statesmen shake off the shackles of party “like dewdrops from the lion's mane,” and, despising the craft of government, patriotically stand forth the champions of democracy in its proper sense of popular or self-government fitly organized! Then should we see faction wither and die, and in its place, public spirit and public purity raise England to the highest pitch of national greatness.

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