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When men of rank sacrifice all ideas of dignity to an ambition without a distinct objects and work with low instruments and for low ends, the whole composition becomes low and base. Does not something like this now appear in France? Does it not produce something ignoble and inglorious? a kind of meanness in all the prevalent policy? a tendency in all that is done to lower along with individuals all the dignity and importance of the state? Other revolutions have been conducted by persons, who whilst they attempted or effected changes in the commonwealth, sanctified their ambition by advancing the dignity of the people whose peace they troubled. They had long views. They aimed at the rule, not at the destruction of their country. They were men of great civil, and great military talents, and if the terror, the ornament of their age. They were not like Jew brokers contending with each other who could best remedy with fraudulent circulation and depreciated paper the wretchedness and ruin brought on their country by their degenerate councils. The compliment made to one of she great bad men of the old stamp (Cromwell) by his kinsman, a favourite poet of that time, shews what it was he proposed, and what indeed to a great degree he accomplished in the success of his ambition:

"Still as you rife, the state, exalted too,

"Finds no distemper whilst 'tis chang'd by you;

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Chang'd like the world's great scene, when without noise
The rising fun night's vulgar lights destroys."


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Thefe disturbers were not so much like men usurping power, as asserting their natural place) in society. Their rising was to illuminate and beautify the world. Their conquest over their competitors was by outshining them. The hand that, like a destroying angel, smote the country, communicated to it the force and energy under which it suffered. I do not say (God forbid) I do not say, that the virtues of such men were to be taken as a balance to their crimes; but they were some corrective to their effects. Such was, as I said, our Cromwell. Such were your whole race of Guises, Condés, and Colignis. Such the Richlieus, who in more quiet times acted in the spirit of a civil war. Such, as better men, and in a less dubious cause, were your Henry the 4th and your Sully, though nursed in civil confusions, and not wholly without some of their taint. is a thing to be wondered at, to see how very soon France, when she had a moment to respire, recovered and emerged from the longest and most dreadful civil war that ever was known in any nation. Why? Because, among all their massacres, they had not stain the mind in their country. A conscious dignity, a noble pride, a generous sense of glory and emulation, was not extinguished, On the contrary, it was kindled and inflamed. The organs also of the state, however shattered, existed. All the prizes of honour and virtue, all the rewards, all the distinctions, remained. But your present confusion, like a palsy, has attacked the fountain


of life itself. Every person in your country, in a situation to be actuated by a principle of honour, is disgraced and degraded, and can entertain no sensation of life, except in a mortified and humiliated indignation. But this generation will quickly pass away. The next generation of the nobility will resemble the artificers and clowns, and money - jobbers, usurers, and Jews, who will be always their fellows, sometimes their masters. Believe me, Sir, those who atempt to level, never equalize. In all societies, consisting of various descriptions of citizens, some description must be uppermost. The levellers therefore only change and pervert the natural order of things; they load the edifice of society, by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground. The associations of taylors and carpenters, of which the republic (of Paris, for instance) is composed, cannot be equal to the situation, into which, by the worst of usurpations, an usurpation on the prerogatives of nature, you attempt to force them.

The chancellor of France at the opening of the states, said, in a tone of oratorial flourish, that all occupations were honourable. If he meant only, that no honest employment was disgraceful, he would not have gone beyond the truth. But in asserting, that any thing is honourable, we imply some distinction in its favour. The occupation of an hair-dresser, or of a working tallowchandler, cannot be a matter of honour to any


person—to say nothing of a number of other more servile employments. Such descriptions of men ought not to suffer oppression from the state; but the state suffers oppression, if such as they, either individually or collectively, are permitted to rule. In this you think you are combating prejudice, but you are at war with nature✴.

I do not, my dear Sir, conceive you to be of that sophistical captious spirit, or of that uncandid dulness, as to require, for every general obfervation or sentiment, an explicit detail of all the correctives and exceptions, which reason will prefume to be included in all the general propositions which come from reasonable men. You do not imagine, that I wish to confine power, authority, and distinction to blood, and names, and titles. No, Sir. There is no qualification for govern

• Ecclefiafticus, chap. xxxviii. verfe 24, 25. The wifdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure : and he that hath little business shall become wife."—" How can he get wisdom that holdeth the plough, and that glorieth in the goad; that driveth oxen; and is occupied in "their labours; and whofe talk is of bullocks?"

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Ver. 27. 66 So every carpenter and work-master that labour"eth night and day." &c.

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.. Ver. 33. They fhall not be fought for in public counfel, nor fit high in the congregation: They fhall not fit on the judges feat, nor understand the fentence of judgment: "they cannot declare juftice and judgment, and they shall "not be found where parables are fpoken."

Ver. 34, "But they will maintain the state of the world." I do not determine whether this book be canonical, as the Gallican church (till lately) has confidered it, or apocryphal, as here it is taken. I am fure it contains a great deal of fenfe, and truth,


ment, but virtue and wisdom, actual or presumptive. Wherever they are actually sound, they have, in whatever state, condition, profession or trade, the passport of Heaven to human place and honour. Woe to the country which would madly and impiously reject the service of the talents and virtues, civil, military, or religious, that are given to grace and to serve it; and would condemn to obscurity every thing formed to diffuse lustre and glory around a state. Woe to that country too, that passing into the oppofite extreme, considers a low education, a mean, contracted view of things, a sordid mercenary occupation, as a preferable title to command, Every thing ought to be open; but not indif ferently to every man. No rotation; no appointment by lot; no mode of election operating in the spirit of sortition or rotation, can be generally good in a government conversant in extenfive objects. Because they have no tendency, direct or indirect, to fit the man to the duty. I do not hesitate to say, that the road to eminence and power, from obscure condition, ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. If rare merit be the rarest of all rare things, it ought to pass through some sort of probation. The temple of honour ought to be seated on an eminence. If it be open through virtue, let it be remembered too, that virtue is never tried but by some difficulty, and fome ftruggle.

Nothing is a due and adequate representation of a state, that does not represent its ability, as


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