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that great kingdom, than their due proportion, let them also wear that honourable name. But if the naked backs, and empty bellies, of their miserable subjects evince the contrary, it can by no means belong to them. If those great nations waste and languish; if nothing be so common in the best provinces belonging to them, as misery, famine, and all the effects of the most outrageous oppression, whilst their princes and favourites possess such treasures, as the most wanton prodigality cannot exhaust; if that which is gained by the sweat of so many millions of men, be torn out of the mouths of their starving wives and children, to foment the vices of those luxurious courts, or reward the ministers of their lusts, the nourishment is not distributed equally to all the parts of the body; the economy of the whole is overthrown; and they who do these things cannot be the heads, nor parts of the body, but something distinct from, and repugnant to it. It is not, therefore, he who is found in, or advanced to, the place of the head, who is truly the head; it is not he who ought, but he who does perform the office of the head, that deserve the name and privileges belonging to the head. If our author, therefore, will persuade us, that any king is head of his people, he must do it by arguments peculiarly relating to him, since those in general are found to be false. If he say, that the king, as king, may direct or correct the people, and that the power of determining all controversies must be referred to him, because they may be mistaken, he must shew that the king is infallible; for unless he do so, the wound is not cured. This

also must be by some other way, than by saying he is their head; for such powers belong not to the office of the head, and we see, that all kings do not deserve that name: many of them want both understanding and will to perform the functions of the head; and many act directly contrary, in the whole course of their government. If any, therefore, among them have merited the glorious name of heads of nations, it must have been by their personal virtues, by a vigilant care of the good of their people, by an inseparable conjunction of interests with them, by an ardent love to every member of the society, by a moderation of spirit, affecting no undue superiority, or assuming any singular advantage, which they are not willing to communicate to every part of the political body. He who finds this merit in himself, will scorn all the advantages that can be drawn from misapplied names: he that knows such honour to be peculiarly due to him for being the best of kings, will never glory in that which may be common to him with the worst. Nay, whoever pretends by such general discourses as these of our author, to advance the particular interests of any one king, does either know he is of no merit, and that nothing can be said for him, which will not as well agree with the worst of men; or cares not what he says, so he may do mischief; and is well enough contented, that he who is set up by such maxims as a public plague, may fall in the ruin he brings upon the pcople.



THOSE who desire to advance the power of the magistrate above the law, would persuade us, that the difficulties and dangers of inquiring into his actions, or opposing his will, when employed in violence and injustice, are so great, that the remedy is always worse than the disease; and that it is better to suffer all the evils that may proceed from his infirmities and vices, than to hazard the consequences of displeasing him. But, on the contrary, I think, and hope to prove,

1. That in well-constituted governments, the remedies against ill magistrates are easy and safe.

2. That it is good, as well for the magistrate as the people, so to constitute the government, that the remedies may be easy and safe.

3. That how dangerous and difficult soever, they may be, through the defects of the first constitution, they must be tried.

To the first: it is most evident, that in well regulated governments these remedies have been found to be easy and safe. The kings of Sparta were not suffered in the least to deviate from the rule of the law: and Theopompus, one of those kings in whose time the ephori were created, and the regal power much restrained, doubted not to affirm, that it was by that means become more lasting, and more secure. * Pausanias had not the name of king, but commanded in the war against Xerxes with more than regal power: nevertheless, being grown insolent, he was, without any trouble to that state, banished, and afterwards put to death. Leontidas, father of Cleomenes, was in the like manner banished. The second Agis was most unjustly put to death by the ephori; for he was a brave and a good prince; but their was neither danger nor difficulty in the action. Many of the Roman magistrates, after the expulsion of the kings, seem to have been desirous to extend their power beyond the bounds of the law; and perhaps some others, as well as the decemviri, may have designed an absolute tyranny; but the first were restrained, and the others without much difficulty suppressed. Nay, even the kings were so well kept in order, that no man ever pretended to the crown, unless he were chosen, nor made any other use of his power than the law permitted, except the last Tarquin, who by his insolence, avarice, and cruelty, brought ruin upon himself and his family. I have already mentioned one or two dukes of Ven

* Plutarch.

ice, who were not less ambitious: but their crimes returned upon their own heads, and they perished without any other danger to the state, than what had passed before their treasons were discovered. Infinite examples of the like nature may be alledged; and if matters have not at all times, and in all places, succeeded in the same manner, it has been because the same courses were not every where taken; for all things do so far follow their causes, that, being ordered in the same manner, they will always produce the same effects.

2. To the second: such a regulation of the magistratical power is not at all grievous to a good magistrate. He who never desires to do any thing but what he ought, cannot desire a power of doing what he ought not, nor be troubled to find he cannot do that which he would not do if he could. This inability is also advantageous to those who are evil or unwise; that since they cannot govern themselves, a law may be imposed upon them, lest by following their own irregular will, they bring destruction upon themselves, their families, and people, as many have done. If Apollo in the fable had not been too indulgent to Phæton, in granting his ill-conceived request, the furious youth had not brought a necessity upon Jupiter, either of destroying him, or suffering the world to be destroyed by him.


Besides, good and wise men know the weight of sovereign power, and misdoubt their own strength.


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