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reading the relation given by Tacitus of Tiberius and the Roman senate.

The time, therefore, seemed to be arrived, at which England must submit, in its turn, to the fate of the other nations of Europe. All those barriers which it had raised for the defence of its liberty seemed to have only been able to postpone the inevitable effects of power.

But the remembrance of their ancient laws, of that great charter so often and so solemnly confirmed, was too deeply impressed on the minds of the English to be effaced by transitory evils. Like a deep and extensive ocean, which preserves an equability of temperature amidst all the vicissitudes of seasons, England still retained those principles of liberty which were so universally diffused through all orders of the people ; and they required only a proper opportunity to manifest themselves.

England, besides, still continued to possess the immense advantage of being one undivided state.

Had it been, like France, divided into several distinct dominions, it would also have had

Quanto quis illustrior, tanto magis falsi ac festinantes.

several national assemblies. These assemblies, being convened at different times and places, for this and other reasons, never could have acted in concert; and the power of withholding subsidies, a power so important when it is that of disabling the sovereign, and binding him down to inaction, would then have only been the destructive privilege of irritating a master who would have easily found means to obtain supplies from other quarters.

The different parliaments, or assemblies of these several states, having thenceforth no means of recommending themselves to their sovereign, but their forwardness in complying with his demands, would have vied with each other in granting what it would not only have been fruitless, but even highly dangerous, to refuse. The king would not have failed soon to demand, as a tribute, a gift he must have been confident to obtain ; and the outward forms of consent would have been left to the people only as additional means of oppressing them without danger.

But the king of England continued, even in the time of the Tudors, to have but one assembly before which he could lay his wants, and apply for relief. How great soever the increase of his power was, a single parliament

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reading the relation given by Tacitus of Tiberius and the Roman senate. *

The time, therefore, seemed to be arrived, at which England must submit, in its turn, to the fate of the other nations of Europe. All those barriers which it had raised for the defence of its liberty seemed to have only been able to postpone the inevitable effects of power.

But the remembrance of their ancient laws, of that great charter so often and so solemnly confirmed, was too deeply impressed on the minds of the English to be effaced by transitory evils. Like a deep and extensive ocean, which preserves an equability of temperature amidst all the vicissitudes of seasons, England still retained those principles of liberty which were so universally diffused through all orders of the people; and they required only a proper opportunity to manifest themselves.

England, besides, still continued to possess the immense advantage of being one undivided state.

Had it been, like France, divided into se veral distinct dominions, it would also have had

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alone could furnish him with the means of exercising it, and whether it was that the members of this parliament entertained a deep sense of their advantages, or whether private interest exerted itself in aid of patriotism, they at all times vindicated the right of granting, or rather refusing subsidies ; and amidst the general wreck of every thing they ought to have held dear, they at least clung obstinately to the plank which was destined to prove the instrument of their preservation.

Under Edward the Sixth, the absurd tyrannical laws against high-treason (instituted under Henry the Eighth) were abolished. But this young and virtuous prince having soon passed away, the blood-thirsty Mary astonished the world with cruelties, which nothing but the fanaticism of a part of her subjects could have enabled her to execute.

Under the long and brilliant reign of Elizabeth, England began to breathe a-new; and the protestant religion, being seated once more on the throne, brought with it some more freedom and toleration.

The Star-chamber, that effectual instrument of the tyranny of the two Henries, yet continued to subsist: the inquisitorial tribunal of the high commission was even instituted; and

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