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among the competitors for that station : but let us, above all, establish him single; lest, after successively raising himself on the ruins of his rivals, he should finally establish himself, whether we will or not, and through a train of the most disadvantageous events.
6. Let us even give him every thing we can possibly give without endangering our security. Let us call him our sovereign ; let us make bim consider the state as being his own patrimony; let us grant him, in short, such personal privileges as none of us can ever hope to rival him in, and we shall find that what we were at first inclined to consider as a great evil, will be in reality a source of advantages to the community-we shall be the better able to set bounds to that power which we shall have thus ascertained and fixed in one place: we shall have the more interested, the man, whom we shall have put in possession of so many advantages, in the faithful discharge of his duty; and we shall have thus procured for each of us, a powerful protector at home, and for the whole community a defender against foreign enemies, superior to all possible temptation of betraying his €ountry.
“ You may also have observed,” he would continue, “ that in all states there naturally arises around the person, or persons, who are invested with the public power, a class of men who, without having any actual share in that power, yet partake of its lastre; who, pretending to be distinguished from the rest of the community, do, from that very circumstance, become distinguished from them : and this distinction, though only matter of opinion,
and at first, thus surreptitiously obtained, yet be. comes at last the source of very grievous effects,
“Let us therefore regulate this evil, which we cannot entirely prevent. Let us establish the class of men who would otherwise grow up among us without our knowledge, and gradually acquire the most pernicious privileges: let us grant them distinctions that are visible and clearly ascertained; their nature will, by this means, be the better understood, and they will of course be much less likely to become dangerous. By this means also, weshall preclude all other persons from the hopes of usurp", ing them. As to pretend to distinctions can thence forward be no longer a title to obtain them, every one who shall not be expressly included in their number, must continue to confess himself one of the people; and, just as we said before let us choose ourselves one master that we may not have fifty, so, let us again say on this occasion, let us establish three hundred lords, that we may not have ten thousand nobles,
" Besides, our pride will better reconcile itself to a superiority which it will no longer think of disputing. Nay, as they will themselves see us to be beforehand in ackuowledging it, they will think themselves under no necessity of being insolent tofurnish us a proof of it. Secure as to their privileges, all violent measures on their part for maintaining, and at last perhaps extending, them will be prevented: they will never combine together with any degree of vehemence, but when they really hare cause to think themselves in danger: and by haring wade them indisputably great men, we shall
have a chance of often seeing them behave like modest and virtuous citizens.
66 In fine, by being united in a regular assembly, they will form an intermediate body in the state, that is to say, a very useful part of the government.
“ It is also necessary,” our lawgiver would farther add, " that we, the people, should have an influence upon the government: it is necessary for our own security ; it is no less necessary for the security of the government itself. But experience must have taught you, at the same time, that a great body of men cannot act, without being, though they are not aware of it, the instruments of the designs of a small number of persons ; and that the power of the people is never any thing but the power of a few leaders, who, though it may be impossible to tell when, or how, have found means to secure to themselves the direction of its exercise."
« Let us, therefore, be also beforehand with this other inconvenience. Let us effect openly what would, otherwise, take place in secret. Let us intrust our power, before it be taken from us by ado" dress. Those whom we shall have expressly made the depositaries of it, being freed from any
anxious care about supporting themselves, will have no object but to render it useful. They will stand in awe of us the more, because they will know that they have not imposed upon us; and instead of a small number of leaders who would imagine they derive their whole importance from their own dexterity, We shall have express and acknowledged représentatives, who will be accountable to us for the evils of the state.
“ But above all, by forming our government of a small number of persons, we shall prevent any disa order that may take place in it, from ever becoming dangerously extensive. Nay, more; we shall render it capable of inestimable combinations and resources, which would be utterly impossible in that government of all, which never can be any thing but uprear and confusion.
In short, by expressly divesting ourselves of a power of which we should, at best, have only an apparent enjoyment, we shall be entitled to make conditions for ourselves: we shall insist that our lis berty be augmented: we shall, above all, reserve to ourselves the right of watching and censuring that alministration which will have been established only by our own consent. We shall the better see its defects, because we shall be only spectators of it: we shall correct them the better, because we shall be independent of it."
CONSUL, in the Roman commonwealth, the title of the two chief magistrates, whose power was, in & certain degree, absolute, but who were chosen only for one year. The authority of the two consuls was equal : yet the Valerian law gave the right of priority to the elder, and the Julian law to him who had the greater number of children; and this was generally called consul major, or prior.
CONSUL, in commerce, an officer appointed to reside in foreign countries, to protect the interests of trade, He is to act as a common friend to such of his mercantile countrymen as visit his station. His house is distinguished by the arms of his govern ment placed over the door.
Consul, First, an high office, established some
years since as the head of the government of France. It was to be held for ten years, and confer the power of proposing laws, of directing foreign affairs, and of controuling, or managing, the wardepartment.
CONTEMPT, the act of despising others ; scorn; or the state of being despised ;. vileness. Contempt directs its chief attention to the character and disposition, which are capable of committing unworthy and disgraceful actions. Its objects are radical baseness, and radical imbecility where it should not exist.
CONVENTICLE, in the modern acceptation, a word of contempt, applied by ignorant bigots to a religious assembly of any persuasion differing from that of the church of England. Originally, conventicle was the diminutive of convent ; and signified a party or faction of monks, leaguing for the election of an abbot.
CONVEYANCE, a deed or instrument that passes land, &c. from one person to another.
CONVEYANCER, one who professes to draw deeds, mortgages, and conveyances of estates. This is one of the most profitable branches of the law, especially when the business of a money-scrivener is super-added ; in which latter case, a conveyancer is employed to find estates to purchase, to lay out, and borrow money, and in these occupations he is paid by both the contracting parties, and draws the securities. This profession requires great knowledge of the law, and a solid and clear understand, ing; for on conveyancing the security of property greatly depends... CONVOCATION, an assembly of the clergy of EngVOL. 11.