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the matter in dispute he and Mr. Cartwright are both of the same opinion. He then proceeds to the difcuffion of another point; namely, the nature of allegiance; on the due solution of which, as his Lordfhip obferves, the moft. important constitutional doctrine hangs. On this subject his Lordship reasons with singular acuteness and ingenuicy. In the course of his argument he examines the maxim that the King can do no tureng ; in illustration of which doctrine Sir William Blackstone lays it down, that the King is not only incapable of doing wrong, but even of thinking wrong: he can never mean to do an improper thing: in him is no folly or weakness.
• But let us see, says this spirited writer, how this Westminsterhall inference for it is called a legal maxim) and its comment agree with the Conttitation, with nature, with reason, with common sense, with experience, with fact, with precedent, and with Sir William Blackstone himself; and whether, by the application of these rules of evidence thereto, it will not be found, that (from the want of attention, as I have taken notice of before, to that important line of distinction which the Conititution has drawn between the King of England, and the Crown of England) what was attributed to the monarchy has not been given to the monarch, what meant for the king. Ship conveyed to the King, what designed for the tbing transferred to che person, what intended for theory applied to practice; and fo, in consequence that whilit the premises (of the perfection of the monarchy) be true, the conclusion (that the King can do no wrong) be not false ..
• And first in reference to the Constitution : to which if this matter be applied (meaning what it expresses, and if it do not it is unworthy of notice) it is labver five of a principle in the Constitution, upon which the preservation of the Constitution depends; I mean the principle of repance : a principle which, whild no man will now venture to gainsay, Sir William Blackstone himself admits,' is juffie fiable to the person of the Prince when the being of the State is endangered, and the public voice proclaims fuch resistance necessary ;” and chus, by such admission, both disproves the maxim, and oversets his own comment thereupon: for to say that “the King can do no wrong," and that " he is incapable even of thinking wrong," and then to admit that " resistance to his person is justifiable," are such jarring contradictions in themselves, that unsil reconciled, the neceffity of argument is fufpended t.
With respect then, in the next place, to the agreement of this maxim and its comment with nature, with reason, and with common fense, I should have thought myself fufficiently justified in appealing 10 every man's own reflection for decision, if I had not been made to underftand that nature, reason, and common sense had had nothing to do with either. 'Sir William Blackstone says, " That though a philosophical mind will consider the royal perfon merely as one man
• How easily does the worship of the divinity degenerate into a worship of the idol?' Vid, Hume's Eflays, p. 46. + Vid. Blackstone's Comm. v. 1. p. 254.
appointed by mutual consent to preside over others, and will pay him that reverence and dury which the principles of society demand, yee the mass of mankind will be apt to grow infolent and refractory if caught to consider their Prince as a man of no greater perfection than themselves; and therefore the law ascribes to the King, in his high political character, cerrain attrịbutes of a great and transcendent nature, by which the people are led to consider him in the light of a Superior being, and to pay him that awful respect which may enable him with greater ease to carry on the business of Government.” So that, in order to govern with greater ease, (which by the bye is mere affertion without any proof) it is necessary to deceive the mass of mankind, by making them believe, not only what a philosophical mind cannot believe, but whar it is impossible for any mind to believe ; and therefore in the investigation of this subject, according to Sir William, neither nature, reason, nor common sense can have any concern.
• It remains to examine in how much this maxim and its comment agree with experience, with fact, with precedent, and with Sir William Blacktione himself. And here it is matter of most curious speculation, to observe a maxim laid down, and which is intended for a rule of government, not only without a single case in support of it, but with a string of cases that may be carried back to Egbert the firft monarch of England, in direct opposition to the doärine. Who is the man, that reading the past hiftory of this country, will Mew us any King that has done no wrong? Who is the Reader that will not find, that all the wrongs and injuries which the free Confti. tucion of this country has hicherto suffered, have been solely derived from the arbitrary measures of our Kings? And yet the mass of mankind are to look upon the King, as a superior being; and the maxim that " the King can do so wrong," is to remain as an article of belief. But without pulling this inquiry any further, let us see what encouragement Sir William Blacktione himself has given us for our credulity. After ftating the maxim, and presenting us with a moft lively picture, " of our
sovereign Lord thus all perfed and immortal," what does he make this all perfection and immortality in the end to come to *? His words are there : “ For when King Charles's de luded brother atrempred to enslave the nation,” (no wrong ihis, to be Jure) “ he found it was beyond his power : the people beth COULD, and did rehit him : and in consequence of such reliance obliged him to quit his enterprize and his throne together +.”
The sum of all is this: that the Crown of England and the King of England are distinguishable, and not synonimous terms: that allegiance is due to the Crown, and through the Crown to the King : that the attributes of the Crown are sovereignty, perfe&ion, and perpetuity ; but that it does not therefore follow, is that the King can do.no wrong.'' It is indeed to be admiited, that in high respect for the Crown, high refpe&t is also due to the wearer of thai Crown ; that is, to the King : but the Crown is to be preferred to the King,
Vide Blacktone's Comm, v. 1. p. 250. + Id. v. 4. p. 4jj.
for the first veneration is due to the Constitution. It is likewise to be suppofid, that the King will do no wrong; and as to prevent this, a Privy Council is appointed by the Constitution to aslift the King in the execution of the government, so if any wrong be done, “ these men,” as Montesquieu expresses it, " may be examined and punilhed "
. But if any future King shall think to screen these evil counsellors, from the jutt vengeance of the people, by becoming his own Minifter; and, in so doing, mall take for his sanction, “ che attribute of perfection," hall truit io ibe deception of his being “ a superior being," and cloak himself under the maxim, that " the King can do no wrong ;" I say, in such a case, let the appeal already made to the Constitution, to nature, to reason, to common sense, to experience, to faci, to precedent, and to Sir William Blackstone himself suffice; and preclude the decellity of any further Remarks from me 1.'
After enumerating the various disorders under which the Constitution is supposed to labour, this ftate physician, whose abilities, independent of other considerations, sufficiently save him from the imputation of being a quack, recommends as a restorative that an Act should be immediately passed declaratory of the constitution, for fettling the conftitution, and for obtaining uniformity in the State. Those who wish to know what is advanced on this subject must be referred to the book itself, in which its noble Author has displayed great extent of political knowledge. His Lordship, though not an elegant, is a
• Except the parliament, which is the great council of the nation, she judges, and the peers, who, being the hereditary counsellors of the crown, have not only a right, but are bound in Foro Confcientia to advise the King for the public good ; the Constitucion knows of no other council than the Privy Council, Any other council, like Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Alhley, Lauderdale, and as the initial letters of these names express, is a CABAL, and as such should be suppressed. Nat. Bacon, fpeaking of the loss of power in the grand council of Lords, fays, • The sense of Stare once contraded into a Privy Council, is soon recontracted into a Cabinet Council, and laft of all into a favourite or two; which many times brings damage to the Public, and both themselves and Kings into extreme precipices; partly for want of maturity, but principally through the Providence of God over-suling irregular couries to the hurt of such as walk in them.' Pol. Disc. parc 2. pag. 201.
| For experience, fa&t, and precedent, see the reigns of King John, Henry III. Edward II. Richard II. Charles I. and James 11. See allo Mirror of Juftices, wbere it is said, that this grand aflembly (meaning the now Parliament or then Wittena.gemotte) is to confer the government of God's people, how they may be kept from fin, live in quiet, and have right done them, according to the eur. toms and laws; and more especially of wrong done by the King, Queen, or their children :" to which Nat. Bacon adds this note, Ar this sime the King might do wrong, &c, and so fay Bracton and Fleta of Kings in their time.' Disc. part s. pag. 37. Lond. 1739.
nervous and manly writer ; one who seems more defirous of exploring truth, than ambitious of embellishing it with unnecessary ornament. Of the facts on which his arguments are founded he appears to be fully informed, and his mode of arguing is close and convincing.
We have only to regret that Lord A. in treating a subject in which every Englishman is so deeply interefted, has fallen into the error of those politicians who have imagined that property (not the people) is the object of parliamentary representation ; a doctrine so absurd, that we want words to express our astonishment at its existence in a country where the invaluable rights of the lowest citizen, whose only property is his FREEDOM, CIVIL and RELIGIOUS, are surely as much the objects of constitutional protection, which implies representation, as the dirty acres and money-bags of the opulent, but less numerous and less useful, part of the community!
C..t..t. Art. XIV. A Poetical Epißle so his Excellency George WASHING
Ton, Esq; Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America, from an Inhabitant of the State of Maryland. To which is added, a Sketch of the Life and Character of General Walhington. 4to. 2 s. 6 d. Annapolis printed, 1779; London reprinted for Dilly, &c. 1780.
or countries, in a general ftate of improvement, yet poetry, in particular, does not yet seem to have been highly cultivated in that soil. But great events will produce great poets. Homer, perhaps, had never immortalized himself in song, had the fiege of Troy never taken place. The specimens of American poetry which' we have hitherto met with, are, probably, the dawnings of that brighter day which may, ere long, thine forth in full splendor.
The little poem here republished, from the original American edition, is chiefly intended by its Author (a native of America *) as a compliment to his celebrated countryman, the Commander in chief of the Congress' troops.
Having paid due respect to the merits of the hero to whom this Epiitle is immediately addressed, and reprobated the hostile
• say, where along yon venerable wood,
My native Aream (wells thy Potomack's flood,
Fann'd by fair Liberty's inspiring gale ?" By his native stream, the Author means the river Wiccamico, which "empties itself into the great river Pocomack, с Сс
conduct of Great Britain towards his native country, with a warmth of resentment which was to be expected in a poem of this kind, the Western Muse thus contrafts the bloody picture with a prophetic delineation of the state of America, happily settled in the enjoyment of that freedom for which the is now Itruggling :
Great without pomp, without ambition brave,
Such be my country; what her fons should be,
And learn to shudder at oppreffion's name! It is the custom of some painters to draw fattering resemblances; and we fear that this arust is of their number. We apprehend that the world never yet faw, and never will see, human society in the high'ftate of perfection which he has so fondly imagined.
The memoirs of the life, and the sketch of the character of Mr. WASHINGTON, seem to contain the moft authentic, as well as most circumftantial, account of this modern FABIUS, that hath yet appeared. The half-length portrait, given by way of frontispiece, is engraved from an original painting; and it is said to bear a just resemblance of the General's person.
* This pamphler is published for the benefit of the American prisoners in England. It is true, as the benevolent Editor obfcrves, in his pretatory advertisement, the pains of captivity cannot be much lightened by this small mite of an obscure individual ;' but, as he justly adds, such munificent donations as have been made by Englishmen toward the relief of the Ame