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legal modes of defending the laws, or unconstitutional measures to preserve the constitution; knowing this, that the moment any government usurps a power superior to the laws, it then usurps a power, which, like the convulsive strength of the madman, springs from disease, and will infallibly terminate in weakness.
THE science of legislation, is like that of medicine; in one respect, that it is far more easy to point out what will do harm, than what will do good. "Ne quid nimis," therefore, is perhaps quite as safe a maxim for a Solon, as for an Hippocrates, because it unfortunately happens that a good law cannot operate so strongly for the amendment, as a bad law for the depravation of the people; for it is necessary, from the very nature of things, that laws should be prohibitory, rather than remunerative, and act upon our fears, rather than upon our hopes. Pains and penalties are far more cheap and feasible modes of influencing the community, than rewards and encouragements; therefore, if a law should strongly recommend habits of justice, industry, and sobriety, such a law would be feebly obeyed, because it has little to offer, but very much to oppose; it has to oppose all the vicious propensities of our nature; but, if through oversight or indiscretion, a law should happen to connive at, or to tempt the subject to habits of fraud, idleness, or inebriety, such a law, in as much as it falls in with all the vicious propensities of our nature, would meet with a practical attention, even beyond its own enactments, and produce works of supererrogation, on the side of delinquency; for the road to virtue is a rugged ascent, to vice a smooth declivity, "facilis descensus averni." To strengthen the above positions, all the bearings of the Poor Laws upon society might be fairly adduced; most of their enactments operate as a bounty upon idleness, and as a draw-back upon exertion; they take from independence its proper pride, from mendicity, its salutary
shame; they deprive foresight of its fair reward, and improvidence of its just responsibility. They act as a constant and indiscriminating invitation to the marriage feast, crowding it with guests, without putting a single dish upon the table; we might even affirm that these laws now indicate a quite contrary tendency, and are beginning to remove the dishes, although they still continue to invite the guests; for there are numerous instances where the paralyzing pressure of the poor rates has already begun to produce its own necessary and final consummation-the non-cultivation of the soil *!
Before a committee of the house of commons, some fearful evidence was lately adduced, which went to prove the alarming fact that, in some cases, particularly in the neighbourhood of large manufacturing towns, estates had not been cultivated, as being utterly unequal to meet the double demand of rates, and of rent. Our late political Hercules, Mr. Pitt, felt the necessity, but shrunk from the difficulty of cleansing the Augaan stable of the poor laws. The most effectual mode of assisting the poor, must be the devising of some source of employment, that shall enable them to assist themselves. But, it unfortunately happens that unless this employment be profitable to those who find the capital, it will not long be serviceable to those who find the industry; and how to devise adequate employment for the labourer, that shall at the same time repay the capitalist, is the grand arcanum we want to get hold of, "hic labor, hoc opus est." Our inexhaustible treasures of coal, and of iron, have made the steam power so available, and so accessible, that there seems to be no assignable limit to the improvement of our machinery. But, to permit our own machinery to be exported, is about as wise as to hammer swords upon our own anvils, to be employed against ourselves; in nostros fabricata est machina muros." It is impossible to deprive Englishmen of their spirit of enterprize, and of invention, nor of the power of their ingenuity, and their habits of industry; but our machinery is the embodied result of all these things put together, and, in this point, the exportation of our machinery, is to deprive us of much of the benefit of those high qualifications stated above; thus it is that the powers of our own heads, may ultimately paralyze the labours of our own hands. The gigantic and formidable dilemma of the present day is this: three orders of men are vitally necessary to the existence of the state, for our national independence is triune, resting upon the welfare of the agriculturist, the manufacturer, and the merchant. But the misfortune is, that the agriculturist wants one state of things opposite to, and destructive of the interests of the other two, for the agriculturist must have high prices, or he can no longer meet the heavy demands
The code of the poor laws, has at length grown up into a tree, which, like the fabulous Upas, overshadows and poisons the land; unwholesome expedients were the bud, dilemmas and depravities have been the blossom, and danger and despair are the bitter fruit; "radice ad tartara et tendit."
IT is best, if possible, to deceive no one; for he that, like Mahomet or Cromwell, begins by deceiving others, will end, like these, by deceiving himself; but should it be absolutely necessary to deceive our enemies, there may be times when this cannot be effectually accomplished without deceiving, at the same time, our friends; for that which is known to our friends, will not be long concealed from our enemies. Lord Peterborough persuaded Sir Robert Walpole that Swift had seen the folly of his old political principles, and had come over to those of the administration; that he found himself buried alive in Ireland, and wished to pass the remainder of his days with English preferment, and on English ground. After frequent importunities from his Lordship, Sir Robert consented to see Swift; he came over
upon the land; but the merchant and the manufacturer are equally anxious for low prices at home, to enable them to compete with the foreigner abroad. Now, inasmuch as it is chiefly from our superiority in machinery, that we are still able to command a preference of our articles in foreign markets, notwithstanding the state of high prices at home, it follows, that the means by which that superiority is preserved, should be most jealously guarded, and, like a productive patent, kept as far as possible, exclusively to ourselves. So unbounded is the power of machinery, that I have been informed that raw cotton is brought by a long and expensive voyage to England, wrought into yarn, and carried out to India, to supply the poor Hindoo with the staple commodity for his muslins of the finest fabric; and this yarn, after having performed two voyages, we can supply him with at a cheaper rate than the Hindoo himself can spin it, although he is contented with a diet of rice and water, and a remuneration of about one penny per day. And I have heard a lace manufacturer in the west of England affirm, that one pound of raw cotton has been spun by machinery into yarn so fine, that it would reach from London to Edinburgh.
from Ireland, and was brought by Lord Peterborough to dine with Sir Robert at Chelsea. His manner was very captivating, full of respect to Sir Robert, and completely imposing on Lord Peterborough; but we shall see, in the sequel, that Swift had ruined himself, by not attending to the maxim that it is necessary, at times, to deceive our friends, as well as our enemies. Some time after dinner, Sir Robert retired to his closet, and sent for Lord Peterborough, who entered full of joy at Swift's demeanour; but all this was soon done away; "You see, my, Lord," said Sir Robert, " how highly I stand in Swift's favour;" "Yes," replied Lord Peterborough, “and I am confident he means all that he says;" Sir Robert proceeded, "In my situation, assailed as I am by false friends, and real enemies, I hold it my duty, and for the king's benefit, to watch correspondence; this letter I caused to be stopped at the post office-read it." It was a letter from Swift to Doctor Arbuthnot, saying, that Sir Robert had consented to see him at last; that he knew no flattery was too gross for Sir Robert, and that he should receive plenty, and added, that he hoped very soon to have the old fox in his clutches. Lord Peterborough was in astonishment; Sir Robert never saw Swift again. He speedily returned to Ireland, became a complete misanthrope *, and died without a friend
IN the superstitious ritual of the church of Rome, the pope has not the poor merit of inventing that mummery
He did not open his lips, except on one occasion, for seven years. It would seem, that he had a melancholy foreboding of his fate, for on seeing an old oak, the head of which was withered, he feelingly exclaimed," I shall be like that tree, I shall die at top." The following lines in Hypocrisy allude to this circumstance:
"Then ask not length of days, that giftless gift,
He, with prophetic plaint, his doom divin'd;
The body made the living tomb of mind,
Rudder and compass gone, of thought and speech,
by which he reigns. The Roman church professes to have a Christian object of adoration, but she worships him with Pagan forms*. She retains the ancient custom of building temples, with a position to the east. And what are her statues, her incense, her pictures, her image worship, her holy water, her processions, her prodigies, and her legerdemain, but religious customs which have survived the policy of imperial Rome, but which caused that metropolis, when she became pontifical, to receive Popery as an ally, not to submit to it as a sovereign.
MATRIMONY is an engagement which must last the life of one of the partics, and there is no retracting, "vestigia nulla retrorsum ;" therefore, to avoid all the horror of a repentance that comes too late, men should thoroughly know the real causes that induce them to take so important a step, before they venture upon it; do they stand in need of a wife, an heiress, or a nurse; is it their passions, their wants, or their infirmities, that solicit them to wed? Are they candidates for that happy state, "propter opus, opes, or opem ?" according to the epigram. These are questions much more proper to be proposed before men go to the altar, than after it; they are points which, well ascer
I shall quote the following remarks from the learned author of the Dissertation on the Olympic Games: "Thus were the two most powerful and martial states of Greece subjected in their turn, to the authority of a petty and unwarlike people; this possibly we should have some difficulty to believe, were there not many modern examples of mightier, if not wiser nations, than either of the two above mentioned, having been awed into a submission to a power still more significant than that of Alis, by the same edgeless arms, the same brutum fulmen. Whether the thunders of the Vatican were forged, in imitation of those of the Olympian Jupiter, I will not determine, though I must take notice that many of the customs and ordinances of the Roman church allude most evidently to many practised in the Olympic stadium, as extreme unction, the palm, the crown of martyrs, and others, as may be seen at large in Faber's Agonisticon."