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OF SYSTEMS SUBJECT, POLITICAL, AND PRIVATE. PART 11. Having spoken of the generation, form, and power
of a commonwealth, I am in order to speak next The divers sorts of sys
of the parts thereof. And first of systems, which tems of people. resemble the similar parts, or muscles of a body
natural. By SYSTEMS, I understand any numbers of men joined in one interest, or one business. Of which, some are regular, and some irregular. Regular are those, where one man, or assembly of men, is constituted representative of the whole number. All other are irregular.
Of regular, some are absolute, and independent, subject to none but their own representative : such are only commonwealths; of which I have spoken already in the five last precedent chapters. Others are dependent; that is to say, subordinate to some sovereign power, to which every one, as also their representative is subject.
Of systems subordinate, some are political, and some private. Political, otherwise called bodies politic, and persons in law, are those, which are made by authority from the sovereign power of the commonwealth. Private, are those, which are constituted by subjects amongst themselves, or by authority from a stranger. For no authority derived from foreign power, within the dominion of another, is public there, but private.
And of private systems, some are lawful ; some unlawful. Lawful, are those which are allowed by
the commonwealth: all other are unlawful. Irregu- Part 11. lar systems, are those which having no representative, consist only in concourse of people; which if not forbidden by the commonwealth, nor made on evil design, such as are conflux of people to markets, or shows, or any other harmless end, are lawful. But when the intention is evil, or (if the number be considerable), unknown, they are unlawful.
In bodies politic, the power of the representative In a!! bodies is always limited: and that which prescribeth the power of the limits thereof, is the power sovereign. For power un- is limited.
representative limited, is absolute sovereignty. And the sovereign in every commonwealth, is the absolute representative of all the subjects; and therefore no other can be representative of any part of them, but so far forth, as he shall give leave. And to give leave to a body politic of subjects, to have an absolute representative to all intents and purposes, were to abandon the government of so much of the commonwealth, and to divide the dominion, contrary to their peace and defence; which the sovereign cannot be understood to do, by any grant, that does not plainly, and directly discharge them of their subjection. For consequences of words, are not the signs of his will, when other consequences are signs of the contrary; but rather signs of error, and misreckoning ; to which all mankind is too prone.
The bounds of that power, which is given to the representative of a body politic, are to be taken notice of, from two things. One is their writ, or letters from the sovereign : the other is the law of the commonwealth.
For though in the institution or acquisition of a By letters commonwealth, which is independent, there needs patent :
And the laws.
no writing, because the power of the representative has there no other bounds, but such as are set out by the unwritten law of nature; yet in subordinate bodies, there are such diversities of limitation necessary, concerning their businesses, times, and places, as can neither be remembered without letters, nor taken notice of, unless such letters be patent, that they may be read to them, and withal sealed, or testified, with the seals, or other permanent signs of the authority sovereign.
And because such limitation is not always easy, or perhaps possible to be described in writing ; the ordinary laws, common to all subjects, must determine what the representative may lawfully do, in all cases, where the letters themselves are silent. And therefore,
In a body politic, if the representative be one
man, whatsoever he does in the person of the body, ed acts are his which is not warranted in his letters, nor by the own only. laws, is his own act, and not the act of the body,
nor of any other member thereof besides himself: because further than his letters, or the laws limit, he representeth no man's person, but his own. But what he does according to these, is the act of every one: for of the act of the sovereign every one is author, because he is their representative unlimited; and the act of him that recedes not from the letters of the sovereign, is the act of the sovereign, and
therefore every member of the body is author of it. When it is an But if the representative be an assembly; whatassembly, it is the act of them soever that assembly shall decree, not warranted by that assented their letters, or the laws, is the act of the assembly, only.
or body politic, and the act of every one by whose vote the decree was made ; but not the act of any
When the representative is one man, bis unwarrant
man that being present voted to the contrary; nor of any man absent, unless he voted it by procuration. It is the act of the assembly, because voted by the major part; and if it be a crime, the assembly may be punished, as far forth as it is capable, as by dissolution, or forfeiture of their letters (which is to such artificial, and fictitious bodies, capital) or, if the assembly haye a common stock, wherein none of the innocent members have propriety, by pecuniary mulct. For from corporal penalties nature hath exempted all bodies politic. But they that gave not their vote, are therefore innocent, because the assembly cannot represent any man in things unwarranted by their letters, and consequently are not involved in their votes.
If the person of the body politic being in one When the reman, borrow money of a stranger, that is, of one is one man, that is not of the same body, (for no letters need limit borrowing, seeing it is left to men's own in- it, by contract, clinations to limit lending), the debt is the represen-only, the memtative's. For if he should have authority from his letters, to make the members pay what he borroweth, he should have by consequence the sovereignty of them; and therefore the grant were either void, as proceeding from error, commonly incident to human nature, and an insufficient sign of the will of the granter; or if it be avowed by him, then is the representer sovereign, and falleth not under the present question, which is only of bodies subordinate. No member therefore is obliged to pay the debt so borrowed, but the representative himself: because he that lendeth it, being a stranger to the letters, and to the qualification of the body, understandeth those only for his debtors, that are
if he borrow money, or owe
When it is an
that have assented.
If the debt be to one of the
PART 11., engaged : and seeing the representer can engage
himself, and none else, has him only for debtor; who must therefore pay him, out of the common stock, if there be any, or, if there be none, out of his own estate.
If he come into debt by contract, or mulct, the case is the same.
But when the representative is an assembly, and assembly, they only are liable the debt to a stranger; all they, and only they are
responsible for the debt, that gave their votes to the borrowing of it, or to the contract that made it due, or to the fact for which the mulct was imposed ; because every one of those in voting did engage himself for the payment : for he that is author of the borrowing, is obliged to the payment,
, even of the whole debt; though when paid by any one, he be discharged.
But if the debt be to one of the assembly, the assembly, the assembly only is obliged to the payment, out of body only is obliged. their common stock, if they have any: for having
liberty of vote, if he vote the money shall be borrowed, he votes it shall be paid ; if he vote it shall not be borrowed, or be absent, yet because in lending, he voteth the borrowing, he contradicteth his former vote, and is obliged by the latter, and becomes both borrower and lender, and consequently cannot demand payment from any particular man, but from the common treasure only; which failing he hath no remedy, nor complaint, but against himself, that being privy to the acts of the assembly, and to their means to pay, and not being enforced, did nevertheless through his own folly lend his money.
It is manifest by this, that in bodies politic sub