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-Cannings and cultivators, Barings and Beggars | preserve to the bishops and clergy of this realm the making irrevocable laws for men who toss their re. rights and privileges which by law appertain to them, mains about with spades, and use the relics of these and to preserve inviolate the doctrine, discipline, legislators to give breadth to brocoli, and to aid the worship, and government of the church. It has been vernal eruption of asparagus?
suggested that by this oath the king stands preciuded If the law is good, it will support itself; if bad, it from granting those indulgences to the Irish Catholics, should not be supported by the irrevocable theory, which are included in the bill for their emancipation. which is never resorted to but as the veil of abuses. The true meaning of these provisions is of course to All living men must possess the supreme power over be decided, if doubtful, by the same legislative author. their own happiness at every particular period. To ity which enacted them. But a different notion it suppose that there is any thing which a whole nation seems is now afloat. The king for the time being cannot do, which they deem to be essential to their (we are putting an imaginary case) thinks as an indi. happiness, and that they cannot do it, because anoth-vidual, that he is not maintaining the doctrine, disci. er generation, long ago deal and gone, said it must pline, and rights of the Church of England, if he not be done, is mere nonsense. While you are captain grants any extension of civil rights to those who are of the vessel, do what you please; but the moment not members of that church, that he is violating his you quit the ship, I become as omnipotent as you. oath by so doing. This oath, then, according to this You may leave me as much advice as you please, but reasoning, is the great palladium of the church. As you cannot leave me commands ; though, in fact, this long as it remains in violate the church is safe. How, is the only meaning which can be applied to what are then, can any monarch who has taken it ever consent called irrevocable laws. It appeared to the legislature to repeal it? How can he, consistently with his oath for the time being to be of immense importance to for the preservation of the privileges of the church, make such and such a law. Great good was gained, contribute his part to throw down so strong a bulwark or great evil avoided by enacting it. Pause before as he deems his oath to be? The oath, then, cannot you alter an institution which has been deemed to be be altered. It must remain under all circumstances of of so much importance. This is prudence and com- society the same. The king, who has taken it, is mon sense; the rest is the exaggeration of fools, or bound to continue it, and to refuse his sanction to any the artifice of knaves, who eat up fools. What end will for its further alteration ; because it prevents less nonsense has been talked of our navigation laws! him, and he must needs think, will prevent others from What wealth has been sacrificed to either before they granting dangerous immunities to the enemies of the were repealed! How impossible it appeared to church. Noodledom to repeal them! They were considered of Here, then, is an irrevocable law-a piece of absurd the irrevocable class—a kind of law over which the tyranny exercised by the rulers of Queen Anne's time dead were only omnipotent, and the living had no upon tħe government of 1825—a certain art of potting power. Frost, it is true, cannot be put off by act of and preserving a kingilom, in one shape, attitude, and Parliament, nor can spring be accelerated by any favour-and in this way it is that an institution apmajority of both houses It is, however, quite a mis- pears like old Ladies' Sweetmeats and made Wines take to suppose that any alterations of any of the arti. Apricot Jam 1822–Currant Wine 1819–Court of Chao. cles of union is as much out of the jurisdiction of Parlia cery 1427—Penal Laws against Catholics 1676. The ment as these meteorological changes. In every year, ditlerence is, that the ancient woman is a better judge and cvery day of that year, living men have a right to of mouldy commodities than the illiberal part of his make their own laws, and manage their own affairs ; majesty's ministers. The potting lady goes sniffing to break through the tyranny of the ante-spirants-about and admitting light and air to prevent the prothe people who breathed before them, and to do what gress of decay; while to him of the woolsack, all they please tot themselves. Such supreme power seems doubly dear in proportion as it is antiquated, cannot, indeed, be well exercised by the people at worthless, and unusable. It ought not to be in the large; it must be exercised therefore by the delegates, power of ihe sovereign to tie up his own hands, much or Parliament whom the people choose; and such less the hands of his successors. If the sovereign is Parliament, disregarding the superstitious reverence to oppose his own opinion to that of the two other for irrevocable lau's, can have no other criterion of branches of the legislature, and himself to decide what wrong and right than that of public utility:
he considers to be for the benefit of the Protestant When a law is considered as immutable, and the church, and what not, a king who has spent his whole immutable law happens at the same time to be too life in the frivolous occupation of a court, may, by foolish and mischievous to be endured, instead of be. perversion of understanding, conceive measures most ing repealed, it is clandestinely evaded, or openly vi. salutary to the church to be most pernicious; and per. olated; and thus the authority of all law is weak- severing obstinately in his own error, may frustrate ened.
the wisdom of his Parliament, and perpetuate the most Where a nation has been ancestorially bound by inconceivable folly! If Henry VIII. had argued in foolish and improvident treaties, ample notice must be this manner, we should have had no reformation. If given of their termination. Where the state has made George III. had always argued in this manner, the ill-advised grants, or rash bargains with individuals, Catholic code would never have been relaxed. Add it is necessary to grant proper compensation. The thus, a king, however incapable of forming an opinion most difficult case, certainly, is that of the union of upon serious subjects, has nothing to do but to pronations, where a smaller number of the weaker nation nounce the word conscience, and the whole power of is admitted into the larger senate of the greater nation, the country is at his feet. and will be overpowered if the question comes to a Can there be greater absurdity than to say that a vote ; but the lesser nation must run this risk: it is man is acting contrary to his conscience who surrennot probable that any violation of articles will take ders his opinion upon any subject to those who must place, till they are absolutely called for by extreme understand the subject better than himself? I think necessity. But let the danger be what it may, no my ward has a claim to the estate ; but the best lae. danger is so great, no supposition so foolish, as to yers tell me he has none. I think my son capable of consider any human law as irrevocable. The shifting undergoing the fatigues of a military life ; but the attitude of human affairs would often render such a best physicians say he is much too weak. My Parlia condition an intolerable evil to all parties. The ab- ment say this measure will do no harın ; but I think surd jealousy of our countrymen at the union secured it very pernicious to the church. Am I acting contra. heritable jurisdiction to the owners ; nine and thirty ry to my conscience because I apply much higher inyears afterwards they were abolished, in the very tellectual powers than my own to the invesïigation ieeth of the act of union, and to the evident promo- and protection of these high interests? tion of the public good. Continuity of a Law by Oath.—The sovereign of
• According to the form in which it is conceived, any such England at his coronation takes an oath to maintain engagement is in effect either a check or a license :-: Lithe laws of God, the true profession of the gospel, and reason but the more efficiently operative.
cense under the appearance of a check, and for that very the Protestant religion as established by law, and to • Chainy to the man in power? Yes:--but only such as
he figures with on the stage : to the spectators as imposing, The effect of such an argument is, to give men of to himself as light as possible. Modelled by the wearer to good or reputed good character, the power of putting suit his own purposes, they serve to rattle, but not to re
a negative on any question--not agreeable to their in. strain.
inclinations. * Suppose a king of Great Britain and Ireland to have expressed his fixed determination, in the event of any proposed • In every public trust, the legislator should, for the purlaw being tendered to him for his assent, to refuse such as pose of prevention, suppose the tru-tee disposed to break sent, and this not on the persuasion that he law would not the trust in every imaginable way in which it would be be "for the utility of the subjects," but that by his corona- possible for him to reap, from the breach of it, any personal tion oath he stands precluded from so doing the course advantage. This is the principle on which public institupointed out by principle and precedent, would be, a vote of tions ought to be formed; and when it is applied to all men abdication :-a vole declaring the king to have abdicated his indiscriminately, it is injurious to none. The practical in royal authority, and that, as in case of death or incurable ference is, to opposeto such possible, (and what will always be mental derangement, now is the time for the person next in probable) breaches of trust, every bài that can be opposed, succession to take his place.
consistently with the power requisite for the efficient and • In the celebrated case in which a vote to this effect was due discharge of the trust. Indeed, these arguments, drawn actually passed, the declaration of abdication was in law. from the supposed virtues ot' men in power, are opposed to yers' language a fiction-in plain truth a falsehood--and the first principles on which all laws proceed. that falsehood a mockery ; not a particle of his power was • Such allegations of individual virtue are never supported it the wish of James to abdicate, to part with ; but to in- by specific proof, are scarce ever susceptible of specific discrease it to a maximum was the manifest object of all his proof; and specific disproof, if offered, could not be adefforts. But in the case here supposed, with respect to a initted in either house of Parliament, If attempted elsepart, and that a principal part of the royal anthority, the where, the punishment would fall, not on the unworthy will and purpose to abdicate are actually declared : and this, trustee, but on him by whom the unworthiness had been being such a part, without which the remainder cannot, "to proved.'-(pp. 126, 126.) the utility of the subjects," be exercised, the remainder must or necessity be, on their part and for their sake, ad Fallacies of pretended Danger.-Imputation of bad ded.'-(Pp. 110, 111.)
design--of bad character-of bad motives-of incon. Self-trumpeter's fallacy.-Mr. Bentham explains the sistency-of suspicious comections. self-trumpeter's fallacy as follows:
The object of this class of fallacies is to draw aside
attention from the measure to the man, and this in • There are certain men in office who, in discharge of their such a manner, that, for some real or supposed defect functions, arrogate to themselves a degree of probity, which in the author of the measure, a corresponding defect is to exclude all imputations and all inquiry: Their asser- shall be imputed to the measure itself. Thus the guarantees for the faithful discharge of their duties; and the author of the measure entertains a bad design ; there. most implicit confidence is to be reposed in them on all occa- fore the measure is bad. His character is bad, there. sions. If you expose any abuse, propose any reform, call fore the measure is bad; his motive is bad, I will vote for securities, inquiry, or measures to promote publicity, they against the measure. On former occasions, this same set up a cry of surprise, amounting almost to indignation, as person who proposed the measure was its enemy, if their integrity were questioned, or their honour wounded. iherefore the measure is bad. He is on a footing of With all this, they dexterously mix up intimations, that the intimacy with this or that dangerous man, or has been inost exalted patriotism, honour, and perhaps religion, are the only sources of all their actions.'--(p. 120.)
seen in his company, or is suspected of entertaining
some of his opinions, therefore the measure is bad. Of course every man will try what he can effect b; He bears a name that at a former period was bome by a these means ; but (as Mr. Bentham observes) if there set ot' men now no more, by whom bad principles were be any one maxim in politics more certain than an- entertained-therefore the measure is bad !' other, it is that no possible degree of virtue in the Now, if the measure be really inexpedient, why not governor can render it expedient for the governed to at once show it to be so? If the measure is good, is dispense with good laws and good institutions. Ma- it bad because a bad man is its author! If bad, is it dame de Stael (to her disgrace) said to the Emperor good because a good man has produced it? What are of Russia, - Sirè, your character is a constitution for these arguments, but to say to the assembly who are your country, and your conscience its guarantee.' His to be the judges of any measure, that their imbecility reply was, Quand cela serait, je ne serais jamais is too great to allow them to judge of the measure by qu'un accident heureux ;' and this we think one of the its own merits, and that they must have recourse to truest and most brilliant replies ever made by mo- distant and feebler probabilities for that purpose ? narch.
In proportion to the degree of efficiency with which a man Laudatory Personalities. The object of laudatory per- suffers these instruments of deception to operate upon his sonalities is to effect the rejection of a measure on account mind, he enables bad men to exercise over him a sort of power, of the alleged good character of those who oppose it ; and the thought of which ought to cover him with shame. Allow the argument advanced is, “ The measure is rendered un this argument the effect of a conclusive one, you put into the necessary by the virtue of those who are in power-their power of any man to draw you at pleasure from the support opposition is sufficient authority for the rejection of the of every measure, which in your own eyes is good, to force measure. The measure proposed implies a distrust of the you to give your support to any and every measure which in Inembers of his majesty's government; but so great is their your own eyes is bad. Is it good ?-the bad man einbraces it, iniezrity, so complete their di interestedness, so uniformly and, by the supposition, you reject it. Is it bad ?--he vitupedo they prefer the public advantage to their own, that such rates it, and that suffices for driving you into its embrace. & measure is altogether unnecessary. Their di-approval is You split upon the rocks, because he has avoided them; you sufficient to warrant an opposition; precautions can only be miss the harbour, because he has steered into it? Give requisite where danger is apprehended ; here, the high cha- yourself up to any such blind antipatry, you are no less in the Tacter of the individuals in question is a sufficient guarantee power of your adversaries, thau it, by a correspondently irraagainst any ground of alarin." -—-(Pp. 123, 124.)
tional sympathy and obsequiousness, you put yourself into the
power of your friends'-(pp. 132, 133.) The panegyric goes on increasing with the dignity
* Besides, nothing but laborious application, and a clear and of the lauded person. All are honourable and delighi. comprehensive intellect, cau enable a man, on any giver subfal men.
The person who opens the door of the office ject, to employ successfully relevant arguments drawn from is a person of approved fidelity; the junior clerk is a the subject itself. To employ personalities, neithier labour model of assiduity; all the clerks are models-seven nor intellect is required. In this sort of contest, the most idle years' models, nine years' models and upwards. The und the most ignorant are quite on a par with, it not superior first clerk is a paragon--and ministers the very per. Nothing can be more convenient for those who would speak fection of probity and intelligence; and as for the without the trouble of thinking. The same ideas are brought highest magistrate of the state, no adulation is equal forward over and over again, and all that is required is to to describe the extent of his various merits! It is too vary the turn of expression. Close and relevant arguments condescending, perhaps, to refute such folly as this. have very little hold on the passions, and sirve rather to quell But we would just observe that if the propriety of the than to iuflame thirin; while in prr:onalities tiere is always measure in question be established by direct argu- him u bio blanues. Praise forms a kind of connection between ments, these must be at least as conclusive aga mst the the party praising and the party praisent
, and vituperation character of those who oppose it, as their character gives an air of courage and independence to the party who can be against the measure.
Ignorance and indolence, friendship and enmity, concurring | people, a wish of dissolving the government, is either and conflicting interest, servility ayd independence, all conspire artifice or error. The physician who intentionally to give persoualities the ascendency they so unhappily main- weakens the patient by bleeding him has no intention tain. The more we lie under the influence of our own passions, he should perish. the more we rely on others being affected in a similar degree. A man who can repel these injuries with diguity, may often con
The greater the quantity of respect a man receives, vert them into triumph : “Strike me, but hear," says he, and the independently of good conduct, the less good is his fury of his antagonisi redounds to his own discomfiture.'-- (pp, behaviour likely to be. It is the interest, therefore, 141, 142.)
of the public, in the case of each, to see that the reNo Innovation !—To say that all new things are spect paid to him should, as completely as possible, bad, is to say that all old things were bad in their depend upon the goodness of his behaviour in the commencernent : for of all the old things ever seen or execution of his trust. But it is, on the contrary, the heard of, there is not one that was not once new. interest of the trustee, that the respect, the money, or Whatever is now establishinent was once innovation. any other advantage he receives in virtue of his office, The first innovator of pews and parish clerks was no should be as great, as secure, and as independent of doubt considered as a Jacobin in his day. Judges, conduct as possible. Soldiers expect to be shot at; juries, criers of the court, are all the inventions of public men must expect to be attacked, and sometimes ardent spirits, who filled the world with alarm, and unjustly. It keeps up the habit of considering their were considered as the great precursors of ruin and conduct as exposed to scrutiny; on the part of the dissolution. No inoculation, no turnpikes, no reading, people at large, it keeps alive the expectation of witno writing, no popery! The fool sayeth in his heart, nessing such attacks, and the habit of looking out for and crieth with his mouth, I will have nothing new !' them. The friends and supporters of government
Fallacy of Distrust.– What's at the Bottom?'- have always greater facility in keeping and raising it This fallacy begins with a viriual admission of the up, than its adversaries have for lowering it. propriety of the measure considered in itself, and thus Accusation-scarer's Device. Infamy must attach demonstrates its own tutility, and cuts up from under someuhere. itself the ground which it endeavours to make. A
This fallacy consists in representing the character measure is to be rejected for something that, by bare of a calumniator as necessarily and justly attaching possibility, may be found amiss in some other mea. upon him who, having made a charge of misconduct sure! This is vicarious reprobation ; upon this prin. against any persons possessed of political power or ciple Herod instituted his massacre. It is the argu- influence, lails of producing evidence sufficient for ment of a driveller to other drivellers, who says, We their conviction. are not able to decide upon the evil when it arises If taken as a general proposition, applying to all public our only safe way is to act upon the general appre. accusations, nothing can be more mischievous as well as fallahension of evil.
cious. Supposing the charge unfounded, the delivery of it may Official Malefactor's Screen.— Attack us—you at have been accompanied with mala fides (consciousness of its tack Government.'
injustice), with temerity only, or it may have been perfectly If this notion is acceded to, every one who derives with propriety attach upon him who brings it forward. A
blameless. It is in the first case alone that any infamy can at present any advantage from misrule has it in fee charge really groundless may have been honestly believed to simple; and all abuses, present and future, are with be well founded, i. e., believed with a sort of provisional creout remedy. So long as there is any thing amiss in dence, sufficient for the purpose of engaging a man to do his conducting the business of government, so long as it part towards the bringing about an investigation, but without can be made better, there can be no other mode of
sufficient reasons. But a charge inay be perfectly groundless bringing it nearer to perfection, than the indication of brings it forward. Suppose him to have heard from one or
without attaching the smallest particle of blame upon him who such in perfections as at the time being exist.
more, presenting himself to him in the character of percipient But so far is it from being true, that a man's aversion or circumstances, though in circumstances of the most material
witnesses, a story which, either in toto, or perhaps only in contempt for the hands by which the powers of government, importance, should prove false and mendacious-how is the or even for the system under which they are exercised, is a proof of luis aversion or contempt towards the government person who hears this, and acts accordingly, to blame? What itself, that, even in proportion to the strength of that aversion who has no power that can enable him to insure correctness or
sagacity can enable a man previously to investigation, a man or contempt, it is a proof of the opposite affection. What, in consequence of that contempt or aversion, he wishes for, is not completeness on the part of this extrajudicial textimony, to that there be no hands at all to excercise these powers, but guard against deception in such a case ? :-(pp. 185, 186.) that the hands may be better regulated; not that those powers Fallacy of false Consolation - What is the matter should not be exercised at all, but that they should be better with you? - What would you have? Look at the people
ercised; not that in the exercise of them, no rules at all there, and there ; think how much better off you are than should be pursued, but that the rules by which they are exercised should be a better set of rules.
they are. Your prosperity and liberty are objects of All government is a trust : every branch of government is their envy; your institutions models of their imitaa trust; and immemorially acknowledged so to be; it is only tion.! by the magnitude of the scale that public differ from private It is not the desire to look to the bright side that is trusts
. I complain of the conduct of a person in the character blamed: but when a particular suffering, produced by of guardian, as domestic guardian, having the care of a minor an assigned cause, has been pointed out, the object of or insane person. In so doing, do I say that guardianship is a bad institution ? Does it enter into the head of any one to sus many apologists is to turn the eyes of inquirers and pect me of so doing? I complain of an individual in the cha- judges into any other quarter in preference. If a man's racter of a commercial agent, or assignee of the effects of an tenants were to come with a general encomium on the insolvent. In so doing, do I say that commercial agency is a prosperity of the country, instead of a specified sum, bad thing? that the practice of vesting in the hands of trustees would it be accepted? In a court of justice, in an acor assignees the effects of an insolvent, for the purpose of their tion for damages, did ever any such device occur as being divided among his creditors, is a bad practice?
Does that of pleading assets in the hands of a third person? any such conceit ever enter into the head of' man, as that of There is, in fact, no country so poor and so wretched suspecting me of so doing?'--(pp. 162, 163.)
in every element of prosperity, in which matter for There are no complaints against government in this argument might not be found. Were the prosperTurkey-no motions in Parliament, no Morning Chro-ity of the country tenfold as great as at present,—the nicles, and no Edinburgh Reviews: yet, of all coun. absurdity of the argument would not in the least de tries in the world, it is that in which revolts and revo- gree be lessened. Why should the smallest evil be lutions are the most frequent.
endured, which can be cured; because others suffer It is so far from true, that no good government can patiently under greater evils? Should the smallest exist consistently with such disclosure, that no good improvement attainable be neglected, because others government can exist without it. It is quite obvious, remain contented in a state of still greater inferiority ? to all who are capable of reflection, that by no other means than by lowering the governors in the estima measure of relief, no, nor to the most trivial improvement,
Seriously and pointedly in the character of a bar to any tion of the people, can there be hope or chance of can it ever be employed. Suppose a bill brought in for beneficial change. To iufer from this wise endeavour converting an impassable road any where into a passable to lessen the existing rulers in the estimaiion of the lone, would any man stand up to oppose it who could find
nothing better to urge against it than the multitude and | itself afford the slightest presumption that a writer is goodness of the roads we have already? No: when in the engaged in any thing blamable. If his attack is only character of a serious bar to the measure in hand, be that I direcied against that which is bad in each, his etforts measure what it may, an argument so palpably inapplicable is employed, it can only be for the purpose of creating a may be productive of good to any extent. This essendiversion ;-of turning aside the minds of men from the tial distinction, however, the defender of abuses unisubject really in hand, to a picture which, by its beauty, it formly takes care to keep out of sight; and boldly is hoped, may engross the attention of the assembly, and imputes to his antagonists an intention to subvert all make them forget for the moment for what purpose they government, lau, morals, and religion. Propose any came there.'-(PP. 196, 197.)
thing with a view to the improvement of the existing The Quietist, or no Complaint.-'A new law or measure being proposed in the character of a remedy for some in practice, in relation to law, government, and religion, contestable abuse or evil, an objection is frequently started he will treat you with an oration upon the necessity to the following effect :-" The measure is unnecessary. and utility of law, government, and religion. Among Nobody complains of disorder in that shape, in which it is the several cloudy appellatives which have been comthe aim of your measure to propose a remedy to it. But monly employed as cloaks for misgovernment, there even when no cause of complaint has been found to exist, is none more conspicuous in this atmosphere of illusion especially under governments which admit of complaints, than the word order. As often as any measure is men have in general not been slow to coinplain: much less brought forward which has for ils object to lessen the where any just cause of complaint has existed." argument amounts to this :-Nobody complains, therefore sacrifice made by the many to the few, social order is nobody suffers. It amounts to a velo on all measures of the phrase commonly opposed to its progress. precaution or prevention, and goes to establish a maxim in legislation directly opposed to the most ordinary prudence factitious delay, vexation, and expense, out of which, and
• By a defalcation made from any part of the mass of of common life;—it enjoins us to build no parapets to a in proportion to which, lawyers' profit is made to tlow-by bridge till the number of accidents has raised an universal any defalcation made from the mass of needless and worse clamour.'--pp. 190, 191.)
than useless emolument to office, with or without service or Procrastinator's Argument.—Wait a little, this is pretence of service--by any addition endeavoured to be not the time."
made to the quantity, or improvement in the quality of This is the common argument of men, who, being return for such emolument - by every endeavour that has
service rendered, or time bestowed in service rendered in in reality hostile to a measure, are ashamed or afraid for its object the persuading the people to place their fate of appearing to be so. To-day is the plea-eternal er at the disposal or any other agents ihan those in whose clusion commonly the object. It is ihe same sort of hands breach of trust is certain, due fulfilment of it morally quirk as a plea of abatement in law-which is never and physically impossible--social order is said to be enemployed but on the side of a dishonest defendant,- dangered, and threatened to be destroyed.,-(p. 234.) whose hope it is to obtain an ultimate triumph, by overwhelming his adversary with despair, impoverish.
In the same way establishment is a word in use to ment, and lassitude. Which is the properest day to protect the bad parts of establishments, by charging do good? which is the properest day to remove a nui- those who wish to remove or alter them, with a wish
to subvert all good establishments. we answer, the very first a man can be found to propose the removal of it ; and whoever op- vertible use of what Mr. B. is pleased to call dyslogis
Mischievous fallacies also circulate from the conposes the removal of it on that day will (if he dare) tic and eulogistic terms. Thus a vast concern is ex. many
teeble friends to virtue and improvement, an im. pressed for the liberty of the press, and the utmost abaginary period for the removal of evils, which it would horrence for its licentiousness : but then, by the licencertainly be worth while to wait for, if there was the which any abuse is brought to light and exposed to
tiousness of the press is meant every disclosure by smallest chance of its ever arriving—a period of unex shame—by the liberty of the press is meant only pubampled peace and prosperity; when a patriotic king lications from which no such inconvenience is to be and an enlightened mob united their ardent efforts for the amelioration of human affairs; when the oppressor the sham approbation of liberty as a mask for the real
apprehended ; and the fallacy consists in employing is as delighted to give up the oppression, as the op: opposition to all free discussion. To write a pamphpressed is to be liberated from it; when the difficully let so ill that nobody will read it ; to animadvert in and the unpopularity would be to continue the evil,not to abolish it! These are the periods when t'air terms so weak and insipid upon great evils, that no weather philosophers are willing to venture out, and disgust is excited at the vice, and no apprehension in hazard a little for the general good. But the history
the evildoer, is a fair use of the liberty of the press.-of human nature is so contrary to all this, that alınost and, is not only pardoned by the friends of govern. all improvements are made after the bitterest resist- ment, but draws from them the most fervent eulogium. ance, and in the midst of tumults and civil violence- The licentiousness of the press consists in doing the the worst period at which they can be made, compared thing boldly and well, in striking terror into the guilty, to which any period is eligible, and should be seized and in rousing the attention of the public to the de hold of by the friends of salutary reform.
fence of their highest interests. This is the licen.
tiousness of the press held in the greatest horror by Snail's Pace argument.--. One thing at a time! Not too timid and corrupt men, and punished by semianimous fast! Slow and sure!--Importance of the business--ex- semicadaverous judges, with a captivity of many treme difficulty of the business-danger of innovation- years. In the same manner the dyslogistic and eulo. need of caution and circunspection Impossibility of fore- ģistic fallacies are used in the case of reform. seeing all consequences--danger of precipitation-every thing should be gradual-one thing at a time this is not the
• Between all abuses whatsoever, there cxists that connectime-great occupation at present-wait for more leisure tion;-between all persons who see each of them, any one people well satisfied-no petitions presented-no complaints abuse in which an advantage results to himself, there exists, heard -no such mischief das yet taken place-stay till it has in point of interest, that close and sufficiently understood taken place !--uch is the prattle which the magpie in office, connection, of which intimation has been given already: who, understanding nothing, yet understands that he must To no one abuse can correction be admini-tered without have something to say on every subject, shouts out among endangering the existence of every other. his auditors as a succedaneum to thought.'-(pp. 203, 204.)
• If, then, with this inward determination not to suffer, Vague Generalities.—Vague generalities comprehend so far as depends upon himself, the adoption of any reform a numerous class of fallacies resorted to by those who, which he is able to prevent, it should seem to him necessary in preference to the determinate expressions which or advisable to put on for a cover, the profession or appear?
ance of a desire to contribute to such reform---in pursuance they might use, adopt others more vague and indeter- of the device or fallacy here in question, he will represent minate.
that which goes by the name of reform as distinguishable Take, for instance, the terms, government, laws,- into two species; one of them a fit subject for approbation, morals, religion. Every body will admit that there the other for disapprobation. That which he thus professes are in the world bad governments, bad laws, bad mo.
to have marked for approbation, he will accordingly, for rals, and bad religions. The bare, circumstance, adjunct of the eulogistte cast, such as moderate, for example,
the expression of such approbation, characterize by some therefore, of being engaged in exposing the defects of
or temperate, or practical, or practicable. govemment, law, morals, and religion, does not of
• To the other of these nominally distinct species he will,
at the same time, attach some adjunct of the dyslogistic cast,
Noodle's 'Oration. such as violent, intemperate, extravagant, outra cous,
• What would our ancesters say to this, sir? How retical, speculative, and so torth.
* Thus, then, in professiou and to appearance, there are in does this measure tally with their institutions? How his conception of the matter two distinct and opposite species does it agree with iheir experience! Are we to put of reform, to ouc of which his approbation, to the other his dis- the wisdom of yesterday in competition with the wisapprobation is attached. But the species to which his appro- dom of centuries? (Hear, hear!) Is beardless youth bation is attached is an empty species-a species in which no to show no respect for the decisions of mature age?individual is, or is intended to be, contained.
(Loud cries of hear! hear!). If this ineasure is right, * The species to which his disapprobation is attached is, on would it have escaped the wisdom of those Saxon prothe contrary, a crowded species, a receptacle in which the whole contents of the genus of the genus Reform are intended genitors to whom we are indebted for so many of our to included.-(pp. 277, 278.)
best political institutions? Would the Danes have
passed it over? Would the Norman have rejected it? Anti-rational Fallacies-When reason is in opposi. Would such a notable discovery have been reserved tion to a man's interests, his study will naturally be for these modern and degenerate times? Besides, to render the faculty itself, and whatever issues from sir, if the measure itself is good, I ask the honourable it, an object of haired and contempt. The sarcasm gentlemen if this is the time for carrying it into exe. and other figures of speech employed on the occasion cution-whether, in fact, a more uniortunate period are directed not merely agaiust reason but against could have been selected than that which le has chothought, as if there were something in the faculty of
If this were an ordinary measure, I should not thought that rendered the exercise of it incompatible oppose it with so much veheinence; but, sir, it calls in with useful and successful practice. Sometimes a question the wisdom of an irrevocable law—a law plan, which would not suit the official person's inter: passed at the memorable period of the Revolution.est, is without more ado pronounced a speculative one; What right have we, sir, to break down this firm coland, by this observation, all need of rational and de- umn, on which the great men of that day stampt a liberate discussion is considered to be superseded. character of eternity? Are not all authorities against The first effort of the corruptionist is to fix the epithet this measure, Pitt, Fox, Cicero, and the Attorney and speculative upon any scheme which he thinks may Solicitor General? The proposition is new, sir; it is cherish the spirit of reform. The expression is hailed the first time it was ever heard in this house. I am with the greatest delight by bad and teeble men, and not prepared, sir-this house is not prepared, to rerepeated with the most unwearied energy; and, to the ceive it! The measure implies a distrust of his maj. word speculative, by way of reinforcement, are added, esty's government; their disapproval is sufficient to theoretical, visionary, chimerical, romantic, Utopian.
warrant opposition. Precaution only is requsite where Sometimes a distinction is taken, and thereupon a conces.
danger is apprehended. Here the high character of the sion made. The plan is good in theory, but it would be bad in individual in question is a sufficient guarantee against practice j. c., its being good in theory does not hinder its being any ground of alarm. Give not, then, your sanction bad in practice.
to this measure ; for, whatever be its character, if you Sometimes, as if in consequence of a farther progress made do give your sanction to it, the same man by whom in the art of irrationality, the plan is pronounced to be too this is proposed, will propose to you others to which it good to be practicable; and its being so good as it is, is thus will be impossible to give your consent. I care very
* In short, such is the perfection at which this art is at length little, sir, for the ostensible measure ; but what is arrived, that the very circumstance of a plan's being suscepti- there behind? What are the honourable gentleman's ble of the appellation of a plan, has been gravely stated as a future schemes? If we pass this bill, what fresh con. circumstance sufficient to warrant its being rejected, it uot cessions may he not require? What farther degrada. with hatred, at any rate with a sort of accompaniment, which tion is he planning for his country? Talk of evil and to the million is commonly felt still more galling-with con- inconvenience, sir! look to other countries-study tempt.'-(p.296.)
other aggregations and societies of men, and then see There is a propensity to push theory too far; but whether the laws of this country demand a remedy, what is the just inference ? not that theoretical pro- or deserve a panegyric. Was the houourable gentlepositions (i.e., all propositions of any considerable man (let me ask him) always of this way of thinkcomprehension or extent) should, from such their ex. ing? Do I not remember when he was the advocate tent, be considered to be false in loto, but only that, in this house of very opposite opinions? I not only in the particular case, inquiry should be made whe. quarrel with his present sentiments, sir, but I declare ther, supposing the proposition to be in the character very frankly I do not like the party with which he of a rule generally true, an exception ought to be acts. If his own motives were as pure as possible, taken out of it. It might almost be imagined that they cannot but sutier contamination from those with there was something wicked or unwise in the exercise whom he is politically associated. This ineasure may of thought ; for every body feels a necessity for dis- be a boon to the constitution, but I will accept no ta. claiming it. I am not given to speculation; I am vour to the constitution from such hands. (Loud cries po friend to theories, Can a man disclaim theory, of hear! hear!) I profess myself, sir, an honest and can he disclaim speculation, without disclaiming upright member of ihe British Parliament, and I am thought?
not airaid to profess myself an enemy to all change, The description of persons by whom this fallacy is and all innovation. I am satisfied with things as they chiefly employed are those who, regard ng a plan as are ; and it will be my pride and pleasure to hand down adverse to their interests, and not finding it on the this country to my children as I received it from those ground of general utility exposed to any predominant who preceded me. The honourable gentleinan preobjection, have recourse to this objection in the char- tends to justify the severity with which he has at. acier of an instrument of contempı, in the view of pre- tacked the noble lord who presides in the Court of venting those froin looking into it who might have Chancery. But I say such attacks are pregnant with been otherwise disposed. It is by the tear of seeing mischiet to government itself. Oppose ministers, you it practised that they are drawn to speak of it as im- oppose government : disgrace ministers, you disgrace practicable. Upon the face of it (exclaims some feer government : bring ministers into contempt, you bring ble or pensioned gentleman), it carries that air of government into contempt: and anarchy and civil war plausibílity, that if you were not upon your guard, are the consequences. Besides, sir, the measure is might engage you to bestow more or less of attention unnecessary. Nobody complains of disorder in that upon it; but were you to take the trouble, you would shape in which it is the aim of your measure to profind that (as it is with all these plans which promise pose a remedy to it. The business is one of the great. so much), practicability would at last be wanting to est importance ; there is need of the greatest caution it. To save yourself from this trouble, the wisest and circumspection. Do not let us be precipitate, sir ; course you can take is to put the plan aside, and to it is impossible to foresee all consequences. Every think no more about the matter.' This is always ac. thinshould be gradual; the example of a neighbour. companied with a peculiar grin of triumph.
ing nation should till us with alarm! The honourable The whole of these fallacies may be gathered toge- gentleman has taxed me with illiberality, sir. I deny ther in a little oration, which we will denominate the the charge. I hate innovation, but I love improve