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impression that belonged to some one of its forefathers mouldered into ashes many hundred years ago. 'Nae doubt, пае doubt, ye are the daughter и Walter Lyndsay and Alice Craig. Never w^re twa faces inair unlike than theirs, yet yours is like them baith. Margaret—that is your name—I give
Sou my blessing. Hae you walked far Í Mysie's • inn at the Rashy-riggs, wi' milk to the calf, but will be in belyve. Come, my bonny bairn, take a ïhake о' your uncle's hand.'
"Margaret told, in a few words, the principal events of the last three years, as far as she could; and the old man, to whom they had been almost all unknown, heard her story with attention, but Slid little or nothing. Meanwhile, Mysie came in -an elderly, hard-featured woman, but with an expression of homely kindness, that made her dark hce not unpleasant.
"Margaret felt herself an inmate of her uncle's house, and her heart began already to warm towards the old grey-headed solitary man. His manner exhibited, as she thought, a mixture of curiosity nnd kindness; but she did not disturb his taciturnity, and only returned immediate and satisfactory answers to his few short and abrupt questions. He evidently was thinking over the particulars which •he had given him pi her life at Braehead, and in the lane; and she did not allow herself to fear, but that, in a day or two, if he permitted her to stay, ehe would be able to awaken in his heart a natural interest in her behalf. Hope was a guest that never left her bosom—and she rejoiced when on the return of the old domestic from the bed-room, her uncle requested her to read aloud a chanter of the Bible. She did so,—and the old man took the book out of her hand with evident satisfaction, and, fastening the clasp, laid it by in the little cupboard in the wall near his chair, and wished her good night.
"Mysie conducted her into the bed-room, where every thing was neat, and superior, indeed, to the ordinary accommodation of a farm-house. 'Ye need na fear, for feather-bed and sheets are a' as dry as last year's hay in the stack. I keep a' things in the house weel aired, for damp's a great disaster. But, for a' that, sleepin' breath has na been drawn in that bed these saxleen years!' Margaret thanked her for the trouble she had taken, and soon laid down her limbs in grateful rest. A thin calico curtain was before the Tow window ; but the still serene radiance of a midsummer night glimmered on the floor. All was silent—and m a tew minutes Margaret Lyndsav was asleep.
"In the quiet of the succeeding evening, the old man took her with him along the burn-side, and into a green ewe-bught, where they sat down for a while m silence. At last he said, 'I have пае wife —пае children—пае friends, I may say, Margaret —папе that cares for me, but the servant in the house, an auld friendless body like mysel'; but if you choose to bide wi' us, you are mair than welcome; for I know not what is in that face o' thine; but this is the pleasantest day that has come to me these last thirty years.'
"Margaret was now requested to tell her uncle more about her parents and herself, and she complied with a full heart. She went back with all the power of nature's eloquence, to the history of her younjp years at Braehead—recounted all her father's miseries—her mother's sorrows—and her own trials. All the while she spoke, the tears were streaming from her eyes, and her sweet bosom heaved with a crowd of heavy sighs. The old man sat silent; but more than once he sobbed, and passed his withered toil-worn hands across his forehead.— They rose up together, as by mutual consent, and returned to the house. Before ihe light had too far died away, Daniel Craig asked Margaret to read a chapter in the Bible, as she had done the night before; and when she had concluded, he said, 'I never heard the Scriptures so well read in all my days — did you, Mysie?' The quiet creature looked on Margaret with a smile of kindness and admiration, and said, that 'she had never understood that chapter see weel before, although, aiblina, she had read it a hundred limes.'—' Ye can gang to your bed without Mysio to show you the way to-night, my good niece—ye are one of the family now—and Nether-Place will after this be as cheerfu' a house as in a' the parish.' "—Triait of Margaret Lyudsay, pp. 251, 252.
We should now finish our task by saying something of "Reginald Dalton ;"—but such of our readers as have accompanied us througn this long retrospect, will readily excuse ss, we presume, for postponing our notice of that work till another opportunity. There are two decisive reasons, indeed, against our proceeding with it at present,—one, that we really have not yet read it fairly through—the other, that we have no longer room to si > all oi it that we foresee it will require.
A Great deal that should naturally come ander this title has been unavoidably 2ivej already, under that of History; and more, I fear, may be detected under still less appropriât« dénominations. If any unwary readers have been thus unwittingly decoyed into Ро1л;<л while intent on more innocent studies, I can only hope that they will now take comfort, from finding how little of this obnoxious commodity has been left to appear in its proper colour«: and also from seeing, from the decorous title now assumed, that all intention of engage them in Party discussions is disclaimed.
I do not think that I was ever a violent or (consciously) uncandid partisan; and at ad events, ten years of honest abstinence and entire segregation from party contentions (to «ay nothing of the sobering effects of threescore antecedent years!), should have pretty mud) effaced the vestiges of such predilections, and awakened the least considerate to a sense <••< the exaggerations, and occasional unfairness, which such influences must almost unavoidably impart to political disquisitions. In what I now reprint I hare naturally been anxious to select what seemed least liable to this objection: and though I cannot flatter myself that a ¡ic,; of absolute, Judicial impartiality is maintained in all these early productions, I trust uta! nothing will be found in them that can suggest the idea either of personal animosity, or 01 an ungenerous feeling towards a public opponent.
To the two first, and most considerable, of the following papers, indeed, I should w.¿ particularly to refer, as fair exponents both of the principles I think I have always maintain?: and of the temper in which I was generally disposed to maintain them. In some of :he others a more vehement and contentious tone may no doubt be detected. But as they to....a upon matters of permanent interest and importance, and advocate opinions which I still thi:.t substantially right, I have felt that it would be pusillanimous now to suppress them, írun. i poor fear of censure, which, if just, I cannot but know that I deserve—or a still poorer ¿¿i:--'. of those allowances which I have no reason to think will be withheld from me by the ben« part of my readers.
1': -,ni on the Praet:ce of the British Government, distinguished from the abstract Tkton :••• which it is supposed to be founded. By Gould Francis Leckie. 8vo. London: 181Z.*
The pamphlet which contains these ccr.solatory doctrines, has the further merit ol being, without any exception, the worst whiten, and the worst reasoned, that ha* i-v- • fallen into our hands; and there is nothing ;>.deed but the extreme importance of the «uiject, and of the singular complexion of the times in which it appears, that could iniiu-~ us to take any notice of it. The rubbish tkü is scattered in our common walks, we merely push aside and disregard; but. when it deri»' the approaches to the temple, or is heaped on the sanctuary itself, it must be cast out wi:h other rites of expiation, and visited with r*1verer penalties. When the season is hcalihy. we may walk securely among the elementó of corruption, and warrantably decline the ¡:.glorious labour of sweeping them away:— but, when the air is tainted and the blcui impure, we should look with jealousy upon every speck, and consider that the
This is the most direct attack which we have ever seen in English, upon the free constitution of England ;—or rather upon political liberty in general, and upon our government only in so far as it is free :—and it consists partly in an eager exposition of the inconveniences resulting from parliaments or representative legislatures, and partly in a warm defence and undisguised panegyric of Absolute, or, as the author more elegantly phrases it, of Simple monarchy.
* I used to think that this paper contained a very good defence of our free constitution ; and especially the most complete, temperate, and searching vindication of our Hereditary Monarchy that was any where to be met with: And, though it now appears lo me rather more elementary and elaborate than wan necessary, I am still of opinion that it may be of use to young politicians,—and suggest cautions and grounds of distrust, to rub discontent and thoughtless presumption.
remission of our police may spread a pestili-j.re through all the borders of the land.
There are two periods, it appears to us, v. li.--ii tne promulgation of such doctrines as are maintained by this author may be considered as dangerous, or at least as of evil omen, in a country like this. The one, when the friends of arbitrary power are strong and 'Uring, and advantageously posted; and when, meditating some serious attack on the liberties of the people, they send out their emissaries and manifestoes, to feel and to prepare their way :—the other, when they are sub«'.antially weak, and unfit to maintain a conflict with th«ir opponents, but where the great body of the timid and the cautious are alarmed at the prospect of such a conflict, and half Disposed to avert the crisis by supporting whatever is in actual possession of power. Whether either of these descriptions may suit ttu> aspect of the present times, we willingly leave it to our readers to determine: But before going farther, we think it proper to say, that \ve impute no corrupt motives to the author before us; and that there is, on the contrary, every appearance of his being conscientiously persuaded of the advantages of arbitrary power, and sincerely eager to reconcile the minds of his countrymen to the introduction of so great a blessing. The truth indeed seems to be, that having lived so long abroad as evidently to have lost, in a great degree, the use of nis native language, it is not surprising that he should have lost along with it, a great number of those feelings, without which it really is not possible to reason, in this country, on the English constitution ; and has gradually come, not only to speak, but to feel, like a foreigner, as to many of those things which still constitute both the pride and the happiness of his countrymen. We have no doubt that he would be a very useful and enlightened patriot in Sicily; but we think it was rather harsh in him to venture Ы-fore the public with his speculations on the Kuclish government, with his present stock of information and habits of thinking. Though we do not, however, impute to him any thing worse than these disqualifications, there are persons enoueh in the country to whom it will be a sufficient recommendation of any work, that it inculcates principles of servility; and who will be abundantly ready to give it every chance of making an impression, which it may derive from their approbation; and indeed we have already heard such testimonies in favour of this slender performance, as seem to impose it upon us as a duty to give some little account of its contents, and some short opinion of its principles.
The first part of the task may be performed in a vury moderate compass; for though the learned author has not always the gift of writing intelligibly, it is impossible for a diligent reader not to see what he would be at; «ind his doctrine, when once fairly understood, may readily be reduced to a few very simple propositions. After preluding on a variety of minor topics, and suggesting some curious enough remedies for our present ил happy con
dition, he candidly admits that none of those would reach to me root of the evil; which consists entirely, it seems, in our "too great jealousy of the Crown :" and accordingly proceeds to draw a most seducing picture of his favourite Simple monarchy ; and indirectly indeed, but quite unequivocally, to intimate, that the only effectual cure for the evils under which we now suffer is to be found in the total abolition of Parliaments, and the conversion of our constitution into an absolute monarchy: or, shortly to "advert," as he expresses himself, "to the advantages which a Monarchy, such as has been described, has over our boasted British Constitution." These advantages, after a good deal of puzzling, he next settles to be—First, that the sovereign will be "more likely to feel a pride, as well as a zeal, to act a great and good part ;"—secondly, that the ministers will have more time to attend to their duties when they have no parliamentary contentions to manage ;—thirdly, that the public councils will be guided by fixed and steady principles; — fourthly, that if the Monarch should act in an oppressive manner, it will be easier for the people to get the better of him than of a whole Parliament, who might act in the same manner ;—fifthly, that the heir apparent might then be allowed to travel in foreign countries for the improvement of his manners and understanding ;—sixthly, and lastly, that there would be no longer any pretext for a cry against "what is styled backstair influence!"
Such is the sum of Mr. Leckie'H publication; of which, as a curious specimen of the infinite diversity of human opinions and endowments, and of the licenseof political speculation that is still occasionally indulged in in this country, we have thought it right that some memorial should be preserved—a little more durable than the pamphlet itself seemed likely to afford. But though what we have already said is probably more than enough to settle the opinion of all reasonable persons with regard to the merits of the work, we think we can trace, even in some of the most absurd and presumptuous of its positions, the operation of certain errors, which we have found clouding the views, and infecting the opinions of persons of far sounder understanding; and shall presume, therefore, to offer a few very plain and simple remarks upon some of the points which we think we have most frequently found either misrepresented or misunderstood.
The most important and radical of those, is that which relates to the nature and uses of Monarchy, and the rights and powers of a sovereign; upon which, therefore, we beg leave to begin with a few observations. And here we shall take leave to consider Boyalty as being, on the whole, but a Human Institution,—originating in a view to the general good, and not to the gratification of the individual upon whom the office is conferred; or at least only capable of being justified, or deserving to Ъе retained, where it is found, or believed, to be actually beneficial to the whole society. Now we think that, generally speaking, it is a highly beneficial institution: and that the benefits which it is calculated to confer are great and obvious. From the first moment that men began to associate together, and to act in concert for their general good and protection, it would be found that all of them could not take a share in consulting and regulating their operations, and that the greater part must submit to the direction of certain managers and leaders. Among these, again, some one would naturally assume a pre-eminence; and in time of war especially, would be allowed to exercise a great authority. Struggles would as necessarily ensue for retaining this post of distinction, and for supplanting its actual possessor; and whether there was a general acquiescence in the principle of having one acknowledged chief, or a desire to be guided and advised by a plurality of those who seemed best qualified for the task, there would be equal hazard, or rather certainty, of perpetual strife, tumult, and dissension, from the attempts of ambitious individuals, either to usurp an ascendanc over all their competitors, or to dispute wit him who had already obtained it, his right to continue its possession. Every one possessed of any considerable means of influence would thus be tempted to aspire to a precarious Sovereignty; and while the inferior persons of the community would be opposed to each otheras adherents of the respective pretenders, not only would all care of the general good be omitted, but the society would become a prey to perpetual feuds, cabals, and hostilities, subversive of the first principles of its institution. Among the remedies which would naturally present themselves for this great evil, the most efficacious, though not perhaps at first sight the most obvious, would be to provide some regular and authentic form for the election of One acknowledged chief, by a fair but pacific o ;—the term of whose authority would be gradually prolonged to that of his natural life, and afterwards extended to the lives of his remotest descendants. The advantages which seem to us to be peculiar to this arrangement are, first, to disarm the ambition of dangerous and turbulent individuals, by removing the great prize of Su#. authority, at all times, and entirely, rom competition; and, secondly, to render this authority itself, more manageable, and less hazardous, by delivering it over peaceably, and upon expressed or understood conditions, to an hereditary prince; instead of letting it be seized upon by a fortunate conqueror, who would think himself entitled to use it—as conquerors commonly use their booty—for his own exclusive gratification. The steps, then, by which we are conducted to the justification of Hereditary Monarchy, are shortly as follows. Admitting all men to be equal in rights, they can never be equal in naturalendowments—nor longequalin wealth and other acquisitions:–Absolute liberty, therefore, or equal participation of power, is altogether out of the question; and a kind of Aristocracy or disorderly and fluctuating su
premacy of the richestand most accomplished, may be considered as the primeval state of society. Now this, even if it could be sup: posed to be peaceable and permanent, is by no means a desirable state for the persons subjected to this multifarious and irregular authority. But it is plain that it could not be peaceable, that even among the rich, and the accomplished, and the daring, some would be more rich, more daring, and more accomplished than the rest; and that those in the foremost ranks who were most nearly on an equality, would be armed against each other by mutual jealousy and ambition; while those who were a little lower, would combine, out of envy and resentment, to defeat or resist, by their junction, the pretensions of the few who had thus outstripped their original associates. Thus there would not only be no liberty of security for the body of the people, but the whole would be exposed to the horror and distraction of perpetual intestine contentions. The creation of one Sovereign, therefore, whom the whole society would acknowledge as supreme, was a great point gained for tranquillity as well as individual independence; and in order to avoid the certain evils of perpetual struggles for dominion, and the immiment hazard of falling at last under the absolute will of an exasperated conqueror, nothing could be so wisely devised as to agree upon the nomination of a King; and thus to get rid of a multitude of petty tyrants, and the risk of military despotism, by the establishment of a legitimate monarchy. The first king would probably be the most popular and powerful individual in the community; and the first idea would in all likelihood be to appoint his successor on account of the same qualifications: But it would speedily be discovered, that this would give rise at the death of every sovereign—and indeed, prospectively, long be: fore it—to the same fatal competitions and dissensions, which had formerly been perpetual; and not only hazard a civil war on every accession, but bring the successful com; to the throne, with feelings of extreme ostility towards one half of his subjects, and of extreme partiality to the other. The chances of not finding eminent talents for command in the person of the sovereign. therefore, would soon be seen to be a far less evil than the sanguinary competitions that would ensue, if merit were made the sole ground of preferment; and a very little reflection, or experience, would also serve to show, that the sort of merit which was most likely to succeed in such a competition, did not promise a more desirable sovereign, than might be probably reckoned on, in the common course of hereditary succession. The only safe course, therefore, was, to take this Great Prize altogether out of the Lottery of human life—to make the supreme dignity in the state professedly and altogether independent," merit or popularity; and to fix if immutably in a place quite out of the career of ambition. This great point then was gained by the mere institution of Monarchy, and by render; ing it hereditary: The chief cause of internal
discord was removed, and the most dangerous incentive to ambition placed in a great measure beyond the sphere of its operation ;—and this we have always considered to be the peculiar and characteristic advantage of that form of government. A pretty important chapter, however, remains, as to the extent of the Powers that ought to be vested in the Monarch, and the nature of the Checks by which tho limitation of those powers should be rendered effectual. And here it will be readily understood, that considering, as we do? the chief advantage of monarchy to consist in its taking away the occasions of contention for the First Place in the state, and in a manner neutralizing that place by separating it entirely from any notion of merit or popularity in the possessor—we cannot consistently be for allotting a greater measure of actual power to it than is absolutely necessary for answering this purpose. Our notions of this measure, however, are by no means of a jealous or penurious description. We must give enough of real power, and distinction and prerogative, to make it truly and substantially" the first place in the State, and also to make it impossible for the occupiers of inferior places to endanger the general peace by their contentions ;— for. otherwise, the whole evils which its institution was meant to obviate would recur with accumulated force, and the same fatal competitions be renewed among persons of disorderly ambition, for those other situations, by whatever name they might be called, in which, though nominally subordinate to the throne, the actual powers of sovereignty were embodied. But, on the other hand, we would give no powers to the Sovereign, or to any other officer in the community, beyond what were evidently required for the public good; —and no powers at all, on the exercise of which there was not an efficient control, and for the vise of which there was not a substantial responsibility. It is in the reconciling of these two conditions that the whole difficulty of the theory of a perfect monarchy consists. If you do not control your sovereign, he will be in danger of becoming a despot; and if you do control him, there is danger, unless you choose the depository of this control with singular caution, that you create anotheiyiower. that is uncontrolled and uncontrollable— to be the prey of audacious leaders and outrageous factions, in spite of the hereditary settlement of the nominal sovereignty. Though there is some difficulty, however, in this problem, and though we learn from history, that various errors have been committed in an attempt at its practical solution, yet we do not conceive it as by any means insoluble; and think indeed that, with the lights which we may derive from the experience of our own constitution, its demonstration may be effected by a very moderate exertion of sagacity. It will be best understood, however, by a short view of the nature of the powers to be controlled, and of the system of checks which have, at different times, been actually resorted to.
In the first place, then, we must beg leave !з remind our readers, however superfluous it
may appear, that as kings are now generally allowed to be mere mortal?, they cannot oif themselves have any greater powers, either of body or mind, than other individuals, and must in fact be inferior in both respects to very many of their subjects. Whatever powers they have, therefore, must be powers conferred upon them by the consent of the stronger part of their subjects, and are in fact really and truly the powers of those persons. The most absolute despot accordingly, of whom history furnishes any record, must have governed merely by the free will of those who chose to obey him, in compelling the rest of his subjects to obedience. The Sultan, as Mr. Hume remarks, may indeed drive the bulk of his unarmed subjects, like brutes, by mere force; but he must lead his armed Janissaries like men, by their reason and free will. And so it is in all other governments: The power of the sovereign is nothing else than the power—the actual force of muscle or of mind—which a certain part of his subjects choose to lend for carrying his orders into effect; and the check or limit to this power is, in all cases, ultimately and in effect, nothing else than their refusal to act any longer as the instruments of his pleasure. The check, therefore, is substantially the same in kind, in all cases whatever; and must necessarily exist in full vigour in every country in the world; though the likelihood of its beneficial application depends greatly on the structure of society in each particular nation; and the possibility of applying it with ease and safely must result wholly from the contrivances that have been adopted to make it bear, at once gradually and steadily, on the power it is destined to regulate. It is here accordingly, and here only, that there is any material difference between a good and a bad constitution of Monarchical government.
The ultimate and only real limit to what is called the power of the sovereign, is the refusal or thi' roncent or co-operation of those who possess the substantial power of the community, and who, during their voluntary concert with the sovereign, allow this power of theirs to pass under his name. In considering whether this refusal is likely to be wisely and beneficially interposed, it is material therefore to inquire in whom, in any particular case, the power of interposing it is vested: or, in other words, in what individuals the actual power of coercing and compelling the submission of the bulk of the community is intrinsically vested. If every individual were equally gifted, and equally situated, the answer would be, In the numerical majority: But as this never can be the case, this power will frequently be found to reside in a very small proportion of the whole society.
In rude times, when there is little intelligence or means of concert and communication, a very moderate number of armed and disciplined forces will be able, so long as they keep together, to overawe, and actually overpower the whole unarmed inhabitants, even of an extensive region; and accordingly, in such times, the necessity of procuring tho good will and consent of the Soldiery, is the