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"That all men obey willingly those who are worthy of governing:'(5)

* That every one would rather govern than be governed. (59)

* That the seat of power in any state is dependent on the preponderance of property.'(*)

“That money is the sinews of war.'(0)

· That no large state can long remain quiet, both at home and abroad.'(6)

"That it is easier to mount to high office, than to retain it.'

"That men fall from a high station, through the same qualities which enabled them to achieve it.'(63)

"That the institutions and manners of maritime and insular states are peculiarly liable to change and corruption. (4)

* That the plains are the seat of indolence and slavery; the mountains, of energy and liberty.'(6)




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(58) 'Omnes æquo animo parent, digni ubi imperant.'—Publ. Syr. 526.

(59) • Præterea certum est, unumquemque malle regere quam regi.'— Spinoza, Tract. Pol. c. 7, $ 5.

(60) · That'empire follows the balance of property, whether lodged in one, in a few, or in many hands, he was the first that ever made out; and is a noble discovery, whereof the honour solely belongs to him, as much as those of the circulation of the blood, of printing, of guns, of the compass, or of optic glasses, to the several authors.' Of Harrington, in reference to his Oceana–Toland's Life, p. xvii. prefixed to his works, vol. i. fol., ed. 1737.

(61) Nervi belli, pecunia infinita.'-Cicero, Philipp. v. 2. Compare Machiavel, Disc. ï. 10: 'I danari non sono il nervo della guerra, secondo che è la comune opinione.'

(62) ' Nulla magna civitas diu quiescere potest : si foris hostem non habet, domi invenit.'-Livy, xxx. 44.

(63) La Bruyère, Caractères, c. 8.

(64). Cic. de Rep. ii. 4. Speaking of the Greek islands, he says: 'Quid dicam insulas Græciæ, quæ fluctibus cinctæ natant pæne ipsæ simul cum civitatium institutis et moribus.'

The neighbourhood of the sea produces a mercantile life, and a mercantile life produces faithlessness and cunning.–Plato, Leg. iv. i. p. 704-5. Compare Aristot. Pol. vii. 6; with Grote, Éist. of Gr. vol. i. p. 296.

(65) Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, xviii. 1-3; Volney, Voyage en Egypte et en Syrie, tom. I. p. 163. The latter writer, however, perceives that this proposition requires limitation. A different remark with respect to a mountainous country occurs in the Baron de Tott's Mémoires sur les Turcs et les Tartares : ‘Les lieux les plus escarpés ont toujours été l'asyle de la liberté, ou le repaire de la tyrannie.' 'Les rochers sont en effet le site le plus capable de dissiper les craintes qui assiégent les oppresseurs et les opprimés.'-Tom. ii. p. 95.

* That inequality is always the cause of political revolution or conflict.'(66)

• That absolute princes love bad men and flatterers, and hate good men and honest counsellors.'(67)

"That courtiers are the flatterers of the prince; and that they are characterized by falsehood, treachery, perfidy, faithlessness to engagements, low ambition, pride to inferiors, servility to superiors, and a habit of turning virtue into ridicule.?(65)

* That demagogues are the flatterers of the people, and that they are characterized by venality and falsehood, by an unscrupulous desire of using the people for their own purposes, of inflaming their bad passions, of misleading their judgment, and of stimulating their antipathy against the better class of citizens.'(69)

“That clergymen understand the least, and take the worst measure of human affairs, of all mankind that can write and read.'

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(66) πανταχού διά το άνισον η στάσις.-Aristot. Ροί. ν. 1.

(67) trompópılov ń Tupavvis.-Aristot. Pol. v. 11. 'Regibus boni, quam mali

, suspectiores sunt, semperque his aliena virtus formidolosa est.'— Sallust. Catil. 7. On the meaning of rex in the Latin authors see above, vol. i. p. 89, n. 22.

• Souvent les princes, faute de savoir en quoi consiste la vraie vertu, ne savent point ce qu'ils doivent chercher dans les hommes. La vraie vertu a pour eux quelque chose d'âpre ; elle leur paraît trop austère et indépendante; elle les effraye et les aigrit: ils se tournent vers la flatterie. Dès lors ils ne peuvent plus trouver ni de sincerité ni de vertu ; dès lors ils courent après un vain fantôme de fausse gloire, qui les rend indignes de la véritable. Ils s'accoutument bientôt à croire qu'il n'y a point de vraie vertu sur la terre; car les bons connaissent bien les méchants, mais les méchants ne connaissent point les bons, et ne peuvent pas croire qu'il y en ait.'-- Télémaque, liv. xviii.

(68) · L'ambition dans l'oisiveté, la bassesse dans l'orgueil, le désir de s'enrichir sans travail, l'aversion pour la vérité, la flatterie, la trahison, la perfidie, l'abandon de tous ses engagemens, le mépris des devoirs du citoyen, la crainte de la vertu du prince, l'espérance de ses foiblesses, et, plus que tout cela, le ridicule perpétuel jeté sur la vertu, forment, je crois, le caractère du plus grand nombre des courtisans, marqué dans tous les lieux et dans tous les temps.'— Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, iii. 5. Compare La Bruyère, Caractères, c. 8, De la Cour. The description of Montesquieu, though couched in general terms, is in fact derived from the French court.

(69) See Hermann's Pol. Ant. of Greece, $ 69, and the writers quoted by him. Compare Grote, Hist. of Gr. vol. vii. p. 257.

(70) The words of Lord Clarendon, Life, vol. i. p. 66 ; ed. 8vo.

The following general character of seamen occurs in Lord Clarendon's History of the Rebellion.

• The seamen are a nation by themselves, a humorous and fantastic people ; fierce and rude in whatsoever they resolve or are inclined to, unsteady and inconstant in pursuing it, and jealous of those to-morrow by whom they are governed today'()

Tacitus says that astrologers are a race of men faithless to the powerful, and deceitful to the sanguine, who will always be prohibited at Rome, yet always retained there.(7)

Sir Henry Wotton's jocular definition of an ambassador is well-known : 'Legatus est vir bonus peregre missus ad mentiendum reipublicæ causâ.'()

Propositions such as those just mentioned, like the other more general principles of human nature cited before, have no other claim to universality than that they are, or may be, general presumptions, which represent the majority of cases, and may be accepted as true until, in any given instance, they are discovered to be false.

The most common form of the universal proposition respecting the practical operation of government, is an attempt to lay down the effects of certain political forms, laws, and institutions. This is the region in which the political theorist expatiates : he takes a certain form of government, a law of a certain sort, or a certain mode of administration or judicature, and he lays down universal propositions respecting the effects which it produces, without reference to time, place, or nation. Thus, it may be said that the fear of punishment deters men, the hope of reward stimulates them : that insecurity of property represses industry and frugality, and prevents the accumulation of wealth : that high rates of taxation diminish consumption. These are propositions of causation applicable to all forms of government,

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(71) B. xi. vol. vi. p. 23; ed. Oxford, 1839. (72) Hist. i. 22.

(73) Izaak Walton's Lives, p. 87; ed. Oxford. character of diplomatic agents in La Bruyère, c. 10.

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but we may likewise take certain political forms, and inquire what effects they produce, and what are their essential characteristics. For example, assuming that the precise nature of the three forms of government, and the demarcation between them, have been ascertained by positive politics, we may proceed to ask what are the practical effects and operation of monarchy, of aristocracy, and of democracy.

This is a question to which numerous answers have been given by nearly all the speculative writers on politics. From Plato downwards, there is scarcely one who has not attempted to characterize the several forms of government, under the names of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, or under some kindred appellations. Of all these writers, however, there is none who has traced the several forms of government to such remote consequences, or has connected them with such heterogeneous facts, as Montesquieu ; and for that reason, a series of extracts from the Esprit des Lois, in which his views on this subject are contained, will serve to exemplify the method adopted by eminent writers for describing the characteristics of political forms.

According to Montesquieu, each of the two main divisions of forms of government-viz. the government of one, and the government of several,() is subdivided into two classes. The government of one has no generic name; its two species are called monarchy and despotism : monarchy is where a single person governs, but by fixed and established laws—despotism is where a single person, without laws and rules, determines everything by his will and caprice. The government of several bears the generic name of republic. Republics are of two sorts. When the people in a body possess the sovereign power, the government is a democracy. When the sovereign power is in the hands of a part of the people, the government is called an aristocracy.(5) Such is Montesquieu's division of the forms of

(74) 'La force générale peut être placée entre les mains d'un seul, ou entre les mains de plusieurs,'--1-3.

(75) ii. 1 and 2. With respect to the definition of despotism, compare vi. 3.

government, a division which it is necessary to bear in mind, in order to understand the respective characteristics which he assigns to them.' Its chief peculiarity consists in the use of monarchy, as a specific term, distinguished from despotism. In general, when the three forms of government are spoken of, monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, are meant. When Montesquieu speaks of the three forms of government, monarchy, despotism, and republic are signified. This classification, however, is so far defective, that it co-ordinates the generic name republic (which is itself subdivided into species) with the two specific names, monarchy and despotism. He ought properly to speak of the four forms of government-monarchy, despotism, aristocracy, and democracy. (6) His distinction between monarchies and despotisms rests on an intelligible difference-inasmuch as a government of one may be conceived as administered either according to law, or arbitrarily. The same distinction, however, is equally applicable to aristocracies and to democracies, as Aristotle has long ago remarked in his Politics,(") and is not peculiar to any one form of government.

(70) The ordinary triple division is partly open to the same criticism ; but it may be defended on the ground that, though monarchy is a generic, and aristocracy and democracy are specific terms, yet monarchy is not subdivided. The two divisions stand thus :

1. Government of one- 2. Government of several


1. Aristocracy. 2. Democracy.

MONTESQUIEU'S DIVISION. 1. Government of one

2. Government of several(anonymous.)

Republic. 1. Monarchy. 2. Despotism. 1. Aristocracy.

2. Democracy (77) iv. 4, 5, 10. According to Aristotle, an oligarchy not administered according to law is called aduvaoreia ; while a monarchy not administered according to law is called a rupavvis. In this respect, the ruparis of Aristotle corresponds to the despotism of Montesquieu." The nature of the distinction between acts of a government in accordance with law and acts of a government not in accordance with law, or arbitrary, is fully illustrated in the introduction to the author's Essay on the Government of Dependencies, p. 15-46. Mr. Hallam remarks, that " every English reader of the Esprit des Lois has been struck by the want of a precise distinction between despotism and monarchy.'— Lit. of Europe, vol. i.

p. 212.

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