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78 POLITICAL OPPOSITION.-JEALOUSY OF FREEDOM.
and his mother the noble and the the monarch and his subjects-all ages and all ranks convulsed with one common passion wrung with one common anguish, and, with loud sobs and cries, doing involuntary homage to the God that made their hearts! What wretched infatuation to interdict such amusements as these! What a blessing that mankind can be allured from sensual gratification, and find relaxation and pleasure in such pursuits! [E. R. 1809.]
Ir is the easiest of all things, too, in this country, to make Englishmen believe that those who oppose the Government wish to ruin the country. —[E. R. 1809.]
POLITICIANS JUDGED BY RESULTS.
THE visible and immediate stake for which English politicians play, is not large enough to attract the notice of the people, and to call them off from their daily occupations, to investigate thoroughly the characters and motives of men engaged in the business of legislation. The people can only understand, and attend to, the last results of a long series of measures. They are impatient of the details which lead to these results; and it is the easiest of all things to make them believe that those who insist upon such details are actuated only by factious motives.[E. R. 1809.]
JEALOUSY OF FREEDOM.
WHEN a nation has become free, it is extremely difficult to persuade them that their freedom is only to be preserved by perpetual and minute jealousy. [E. R.
POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE.-LITERARY PROLIXITY. 79
POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE IN THE CHURCH.
POLITICAL independence-discouraged enough in these times among all classes of men is sure, in the timid profession of the church, to doom a man to eternal poverty and obscurity.-[E. R. 1809.]
THERE is an event recorded in the Bible, which men who write books should keep constantly in their remembrance. It is there set forth, that many centuries ago the earth was covered with a great flood, by which the whole of the human race, with the exception of one family, were destroyed. It appears, also, that from thence, a great alteration was made in the longevity of mankind, who, from a range of seven or eight hundred years, which they enjoyed before the flood, were confined to their present period of seventy or eighty years. epoch in the history of man gave birth to the twofold division of the antediluvian and the postdiluvian style of writing, the latter of which naturally contracted itself into those inferior limits which were better accommodated to the abridged duration of human life and literary labour. Now, to forget this event,- to write without the fear of the deluge before his eyes, and to handle a subject as if mankind could lounge over a pamphlet for ten years, as before their submersion,-is to be guilty of the most grievous error into which a writer can possibly fall. The author of this book should call in the aid of some brilliant pencil, and cause the distressing scenes of the deluge to be portrayed in the most lively colours for his use. He should gaze at Noah, and be brief. The ark should constantly remind him of the little
SELF-APPLAUSE.- CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.
time there is left for reading; and he should learn, as they did in the ark, to crowd a great deal of matter into a very little compass.-[E. R. 1809.]
BREVITY OF CHARITY.
BREVITY is in writing what charity is to all other virtues. Righteousness is worth nothing without the one, nor authorship without the other.-[E. R. 1809.]
SOME persons can neither stir hand nor foot without making it clear they are thinking of themselves, and laying little traps for approbation.-[E. R. 1809.]
THE BROAD A.
WHO, oh gracious Heaven! who are a Burgess,a Tomlin,-a Bennet,- a Cyril Jackson,- a Martin Routh?-A Tom,- a Jack,-a Harry,-a Peter?All good men enough in their generation doubtless they are. But what have they done for the broad a?
Surely, scholars and gentlemen can drink tea with each other, and eat bread and butter, without all this laudatory cackling.— [E. R. 1809.]
WE are scarcely, however, converts to that system which would totally abolish the punishment of death. That it is much too frequently inflicted in this country, we readily admit; but we suspect it will be always ne
PROMULGATION OF LAWS.
cessary to reserve it for the most pernicious crimes. Death is the most terrible punishment to the common people, and therefore the most preventive. It does not perpetually outrage the feelings of those who are innocent, and likely to remain innocent, as would be the case from the spectacle of convicts working in the high roads and public places. Death is the most irrevocable punishment, which is in some sense a good; for, however necessary it might be to inflict labour and imprisonment for life, it would never be done. Kings and Legislatures would take pity after a great lapse of years; the punishment would be remitted, and its preventive efficacy, therefore, destroyed. [E. R. 1809.]
PROMULGATION OF LAWS.
PHILOPATRIS, and Mr. Jeremy Bentham before him, lay a vast stress upon the promulgation of laws, and treat the inattention of the English Government to this point as a serious evil. It may be so- but we do not happen to remember any man punished for an offence which he did not know to be an offence; though he might not know exactly the degree in which it was punishable. Who are to read the laws to the people? who would listen to them if they were read? who would comprehend them if they listened? In a science like. law there must be technical phrases, known only to professional men: business could not be carried on without them and of what avail would it be to repeat such phrases to the people? Again, what laws are to be repeated, and in what places? Is a law respecting the number of threads on the shuttle of a Spitalfields weaver to be read to the corn-growers of the Isle of Thanet ? If not, who is to make the selection? If the law cannot
1648 AND 1793.-CAREER OF MR. FOX.
be comprehended by listening to the viva voce repetition, is the reader to explain it, and are there to be law lectures all over the kingdom? The fact is that the evil does not exist.-[E. R. 1809.]
POPULAR KNOWLEDGE OF LAWS.
THE people, it is true, are ignorant of the laws; but they are ignorant only of the laws which do not concern them. A poacher knows nothing of the penalties to which he exposes himself by stealing ten thousand pounds from the public. Commissioners of public boards are unacquainted with all the decretals of our ancestors respecting the wiring of hares; but the one pockets his extra per-centage, and the other his leveret, with a perfect knowledge of the laws the particular laws which it is his business to elude.— [E. R. 1809.7
1648 AND 1793.
OUR regicides were serious and original at least, in the bold, bad deeds which they committed. The regicides of France were poor theatrical imitators,intoxicated with blood and with power, and incapable even of forming a sober estimate of the guilt or the consequences of their actions.-[E. R. 1809.]
CAREER OF MR. FOX.
THE whole of Mr. Fox's life was spent in opposing the profligacy and exposing the ignorance of his own court. In the first half of his political career, while Lord North was losing America, and in the latter half, while Mr. Pitt was ruining Europe, the creatures of the Government were eternally exposed to the attacks of this dis