« ÎnapoiContinuați »
Bring whom they please to infamy and sorrow; Drive us, like wrecks, down the rough tide of
Whilst no hold is to save us from destruction.
Venice Preserved. Act. i.
REMEMBER, O my friends, the laws, the rights, The generous plan of power deliver'd down, From age to age, by your renown'd fore-fathers, (So dearly bought, the price of so much blood.) O let it never perish in your hands! But piously transmit it to your children. Do thou, great Liberty, inspire our souls, And make our lives in thy possession happy, Or our deaths glorious in thy just defence.
O MY poor country!-weak and overpower'd By thine own sons-eat to the bone-devour'd By vipers, which, in thine own entrails bred, Prey on thy life, and with thy blood are fed, With unavailing griefs thy wrongs I see, And, for myself not feeling, feel for thee. I grieve, but can't despair-for, lo, at hand, Freedom presents, a choice, but faithful band, Of loyal PATRIOTS, men who greatly dare In such a noble cause, men fit to bear
The weight of empires
ye brave few, in whom we still may find A love of virtue, freedom, and mankind, Go forth-in majesty of woe array'd, See, at your feet your country kneels for aid, And, (many of her children traitors grown,) Kneels to those sons she still can call her own, Seeming to breathe her last in ev'ry breath, She kneels for freedom, or she begs for deathFly then, each duteous son, each English chief, And to your drooping parent bring relief. Go forth-nor let the siren voice of ease Tempt ye to sleep, whilst tempests swell the seas; Go forth-nor let hypocrisy, whose tongue With many a fair, false, fatal art is hang, Like Bethel's fawning prophet, cross your way, When your great errand brooks not of delay; Nor let vain fear, who cries to all she meets, Trembling and pale-" A Lion in the streets"— Damp your free spirits; let not threats affright, Nor bribes corrupt, nor flatteries delight. Be as one man-concord success ensuresThere's not an English heart but what is yours. CHURCHIL.
Independence, vol. ii. p. 318.
RIGHTS OF KINGS.
Let me, impartial, with unwearied thought,
CHURCHIL: Gotham, vol. ii. p. 181.
ACCORDING to Grotius, it is doubtful, whether the whole race of mankind, except about an hundred individuals, belong to those individuals, or whether those individuals belong to the whole race of mankind; and he appears to lean to the former opinion. This is also the opinion of Hobbes. Thus they divide the human species into herds of cattle, each of which has its keeper, who protects it from others, only that he may make a property of it himself. As the shepherd is of a superior nature to his flock, so the herdkeepers of men, or their chiefs, are of a superior nature to the herds over which they preside.Whence can this arise? And are there any means by which it may be rendered lawful?
The most ancient of all societies, and the only natural one, is that of a family. And even in this children are no longer connected with their father, than while they stand in need of his assistance. When this becomes needless the natural tie is dissolved; the children are exempted from the obedience they owe their father, and the father is equally so from the solicitude due from him to his children: both assume a state of independence respecting each other. They may continue indeed to live together afterwards, but their connection in such case is no longer natural but voluntary.
I shall say nothing of King Adam, or the Emperor Noah, father of three monarchs, who, like the children of Saturn, as some have imagined them to be, divided the world among them. I hope my moderation in this respect will be esteemed some merit, for as I am descended in a right line from one of these princes, and probably from the eldest branch, how do I know that by a regular deduction of my descent, I might not find myself the legitimate heir to universal monarchy ?
Let us suppose for a moment the pretended right of the strongest established, we shall see it attended with inexplicable absurdities; for if it be admitted that power constitutes right, the effect changes with the cause, and every succeeding power, if greater than the former, succeeds also to the right; so that men may lawfully disobey as soon as they can do it with impunity; and as right is always on the strongest side, they have nothing
more to do than to acquire superior force. Now what kind of right can that be, which vanishes with the power of enforcing it?
If an individual, says Grotius, can alienate his liberty, and become the slave of a master, why may not a whole people collectively alienate theirs, and become subject to a king? This proposition contains some equivocal terms which require explanation; I shall confine myself to that of alienate. Whatever is alienated must be disposed of either by gift or sale. Now a man who becomes the slave of another doth not give himself away, but sells himself, at least for his subsistence: but why should a whole people sell themselves? So far is a king from furnishing his subjects with subsistence, that they maintain him; and, as our friend Rabelais says, a king doth not live on a little. Can subjects be supposed to give away their liberty on condition that the receiver shall take their property along with it? After this I really cannot see what they have left. It may be said, a monarch maintains among his subjects the public tranquility. Be it so: I would gladly know of what they are gainers, if the wars in which his ambition engages them, if his insatiable avarice, or the oppressions of his ministers, are more destructive than civil dissentions? Of what are they gainers, if even this tranquility be one cause of their misery? A prisoner may live tranquil enough in his dungeon; but will this be sufficient to make him contented there? When the Greeks were shut up in the cave of the Cyclops, they lived there unmolested,