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are the senseless apologies of this writer for so odious a measure! "It is not, indeed, to be expected, that men should be suffered to meet together, tumultuously, in order to publish their mutual discontents and wrongs, and to inflame one another: but complaints uttered in their families, or dropped occasionally, or communicated to a friend, can never affect authority. The more men express of their hate and resentment, perhaps, the less they retain ; and sometimes they vent the whole that way: but these passions, where they are smothered, will be apt to fester, to grow venomous, and to discharge themselves by a more. dangerous organ than the mouth, even by' an armed and vindictive hand. Less dangerous is a railing mouth, than a heart filled and inflamed with bitterness and curses; and more terrible to a prince ought to be the secret execrations of his people, than their open revilings, or than even the assaults of his enemies. Of all the blood spilt under Tiberius, and the following tyrants, for words (and for no greater cause a deluge was spilt); how small a part conduced to their security ? none, that I remember ; but every drop was an indelible stain upon their persons, and upon their government: every drop derived hatred, and consequently weakness and danger upon it. Rigorous punishment for small faults, or for such as in the common opinion pass for none, is a mark of ill politics: it makes the spirit of the administration look hideous and dreadful; and it renders every man, who finds himself liable to the like faults, a capital enemy. Surely it pught to be a maxim in government, that errors which can have no consequences ought to have no punishment.--In truth, where no liberty is allowed to speak of governors, besides that of praising them, their praises will be little believed. Their tenderness and aversion to have their conduct examined, will be apt to prompt people to think their conduct guilty or weak, to suspect their management and designs to be worse than perhaps they are, and to become turbulent and seditious rather than be forced to be silent.If princes, whose memory is disliked, had allowed their subjects and co-temporaries to have spoken truth to them, or of them, probably, posterity would not have spoken so much ill, as it is probable they would not then have deserved it; and I am apt to believe, that it had been better for all of them, to have permitted all that could have been said, than to have missed hearing what it imported them to have heard: better to have heard the disgusts and railings of their people, than that their people were armed against them, or revolted from them; a fate which has befallen some of them, who, having had courtiers over-complaisant, or ears overtender, learnt that they were dethroned before they had learnt that they were not beloved; and found scarce ány interval between the acclamations of flatterers and the strokes of an executionera.”_" As to personal reflexions on men in power,” says the late lord Hervey (who had been himself a minister of state)-“ I hold such reflexions not only allowable and just, but always reasonable, and often necessary. I do not mean," continues his lordship, “ by this, to defend coarse language and scurrility; and do admit, that the most proper things may be done in an improper manner :-but as I look upon all ministers and magistrates to be the servants of the public; so the public, like every private man in his own family, has a right to examine, and, in common prudence, will examine into every part of the character of every man taken into their service :

Gordon's Discourses on Tacitus, vol. IV. p. 319. 12mo. Lond. 1753.

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the Exchequer, and forbid payment to be

and those who can give the public any information relating to their characters, not only do their duty to the public, but act likewise for their own interest as members of the public. If any one desires to be employed in the public revenue, do not those who employ him, or ought not those who employ him, to enquire into his character for substance, integrity, and ability? When a man is try'd by the laws of his country, and the facts, with regard to that public transgression of which he is suspected, are doubtful; are not people examined as to his private character, and sentence often pronounced upon him according to the analogy presumed to be between the one and the other? Ministers. stand in the same light: their characters ought as much to be canvassed, and their being proper or improper guardians of the people, good or bad stewards for the public, to be guessed at and concluded from the same rules, and the same manner of reasoning. We find in history, and other remnants of antiquity, that this was the custom and practice in the best-constituted governments and the most flourishing societies, and even amongst the men of the first rank and dignity, as well as of the greatest abilities in the most polished times of the most polished nations. Look into the works of Cicero, and you will find all the private vices, , as well as public faults, of Catiline, Clodius, Anthony, Piso, and Verres, set forth; and their adulteries, incest, avarice, drunkenness, gluttony, prostitution, and profligacy, as strongly inveighed against, as their faults to the commonwealth : and used as arguments to alarm the senate and the people, and cauțion both against delegating any power, or placing any confidence in such men, as often as any that are drawn from their oppres

made even of the most just demands 26

sions, cruelties, peculat, rapaciousness, and other injustices in the exercise of the power they were vested with in their magistracies. This custom likewise prevailed among the Greeks; and indeed, how is it possible for the public to form so true a judgment of the real merit and disposition of men, or to guess how far they are to be trusted, from observing only their actions in the masked conduct of their public life, as from a knowledge of their less-guarded behaviour in private transactions; and by concluding, however appearances may differ, that there always will be a similitude between the one and the other; and that a bad man can never be a good magistrate*."

26 The Exchequer was shut up, and payment forbid to be made to creditors.] The creditors of the king, here meant, were the bankers. “ They were a tribe," says Clarendon," that had risen and grown up in Cromwells time, and never were heard of before the late troubles; till when, the whole trade of money had passed through the hands of the scriveners. They were, for the most part, goldsmiths; men known to be so rich, and of so good reputation, that all the money of the kingdom would be trusted or deposited in their hands. From the time of the kings return, when though great and vast sums were granted, yet such vast debts were presently to be paid, the armies by land and sea to be presently discharged, that the money that was to be collected in six and six months would not provide for those present unavoidable issues; but there must be two or three hundred thousand pounds gotten together in few days, before they could begin to dis

* Lord Hervey's Miscellaneous Thoughts, &c. p. 16. 8vo. Lond. 174%

-These unjust and arbitrary proceed

band the armies or to pay the seamen off; the deferring whereof every month increased the charge to an incredible proportion: None could supply those occasions but the bankers, which brought the kings ministers first acquainted with them; and they were so well satisfied with their proceedings, that they did always declare, that they were so necessary to the kings affairs, that they knew not how to have conducted them without that assistance. The method of proceeding with them was thus: As soon as an act of parliament was passed, the king sent for those bankers (for there was never any contract made with them but in his majesty's presence), and he being attended by the ministers of the revenue, and commonly the chancellor and others of the council, the lord treasurer presented a particular information to the king of the most urgent occasions for present money, either for disbanding troops, or discharging ships, or setting out fleets (all which are to be done together, and not by parcels); so that it was easily foreseen what ready money must be provided. And this account being made, the bankers were called in, and told, the king had occasion to use such a sum of ready money within such a day. They understood the act of parliament; and so might determine what money they could lend the king, and what manner of security would best satisfy them. Whereupon one said, He would, within such a time, pay one hundred thousand pounds; another more, and another less, as they found themselves provided; for there was no joint stock amongst them, but every one supplied according to his ability. They were desirous to have eight in the hundred, which was not unreasonable to ask, and the king was willing to give: but upon

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