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when it means the best government on the lowest terms. In any other sense it is a delusion; for however small the direct expenses of inadequate government may be, the collateral ones will be much greater in proportion. For instance, the services of an incompetent judge might be purchased for a much less remuneration, than those of a competent one; but what would he the cost of his incompetency? I have known in a single assize town the expense of unnecessary delay cost individuals, besides other inconveniences, more than half the judge's salary. So in parishes, misgovernment and want of government are much more expensive to the community than good government would be, though apparently they cost less. Our ancestors understood principles something better, and were wont to pay for public services, as in the case of justices of the peace and members of parliament; and when the practice fell into disuse, justices and members took to paying themselves at a much more extravagant rate. That grievance has been on the decline, but it is now getting into fashion to do away with citizen government, and to substitute that of mere hirelings in its place. The true system is that of the best citizens governing the rest on the social and convivial plan. In every community the style of government ought to have relation to the style of the upper part of the community, otherwise it will inevitably fall into low hands. Those who serve the public must be treated in the style to which they are accustomed. It is perfectly useless to attempt permanently to command men's services for nothing, or even for less than they are worth. The aim should be to procure the best services on the cheapest terms, and in the most efficient way; and there is no system so cheap or so efficient as that of the table. The Athenians in their most glorious days rewarded those citizens who had deserved well of the state, by maintaining them at the public expense in the Prytaneum, or council-hall. The table also is a mode of payment for services to be performed, which goes further than any other, and will command greater punctuality, greater attention, and greater alacrity. When properly regulated, it is the bond of union and harmony, the school for improvement of manners and civilization, the place where information is elicited and corrected better than anywhere else, as I know from repeated experience; and by the mixture of men of different occupations, and, to some extent, of different classes, over the social board after the discharge of their public duties, the best results are produced both on the head and heart. It is by this process only that the higher classes can come at an accurate knowledge of what relates to those below them, or the lower classes form a proper estimate of their superiors. It is only in these moments of freedom and relaxation, when suspicion, and jealousy, and fear, are banished, that the truth comes out, or can come out. There is no intercourse, which is so interesting or profitable as that which arises from a mixture of business and pleasure. Pleasure alone is sauce without meat, and soon palls; business alone is meat without sauce, and is equally dry; but the two together have the true relish. For want of division into communities, from parish communities upwards, and for want of self-government, society is vague, heartless, and dull. People meet by classes, without an object, without interest, and without any distinct limit as to numbers; in consequence of which the chief feature of society in the present day is a mob-like sameness. By means of self-governed communities, the boundaries of society would be more defined and significant, the objects of intercourse more interesting and profitable, and the relations between man and man more various and sympathetic. A great part of the profitless, or even pernicious pursuits into which people plunge, are merely substitutes for the occupations of such a system as I advocate--a system which cannot exist except socially and convivially. Local government efficiently organized would soon produce such an improvement as comparatively to leave little to do except to keep the machinery in order ; and therefore unless inducements were held out to keep up a constant watchfulness and general superintendence, neglect first of all, and then abuse, would creep in. As I have above remarked, the style of government ought to have relation to the style of the upper part of the community, otherwise it will inevitably fall into inferior hands; and therefore such a parish as St. George's, Hanover Square, which contains 58,000 inhabitants, and is, doubtless, for its population, the richest community in the world, ought to have a rich government establishment, if the affairs of government are expected to be permanently attended to by the chief people.
It is far from desirable that the government of any commu. nity should be exclusively in the hands of the richest ; on the contrary, the greater mixture of classes there is, the better, provided the selection is made on account of talent and character: but, in order to hold sufficient inducement to the highest, and to raise the tone of those below to a height corresponding with their duties, it is necessary to adopt the standard of the chief men, or nearly so. St. George's, I should say, ought to have a splendid common hall and appendages, combining the plan of the city companies' halls, and the west-end clubs, for the purposes of business, entertainment, and daily resort; and such an establishment would offer the best encouragement to architecture, sculpture, and painting. It ought to be built and maintained out of the rates, and it would soon pay for itself by its effects. Here those placed in authority should be entertained at convenient periods and on set occasions at the public expense, not extravagantly and excessively, but in refined moderation, and with simple refreshments, whenever thought conducive to the dispatch of business, particularly with suppers, to induce occasional inspections of the parish at uncertain hours of the night-a regulation I know to be of the greatest efficacy. On this subject, I have observed in a little essay, republished in my third number, “ It would be very desirable, I think, that every parish, where the means would allow, should possess a place of meeting for the convenience of the governors, and under their control, and that the rest of the rate payers, or inhabitants, should be admitted by ballot, and on payment of a certain subscription to form a sort of club. A point of union amongst different classes, having a common interest, must be advantageous to all, especially in the communication of information and the promotion of mutual goodwill; and such institutions would be excellent objects for the munificence of public-spirited individuals, either by donation or legacy.” Establishments of this kind, I should hope, might also be made subservient to female interest, though where different classes are concerned, that is a matter of some difficulty, though, perhaps, not of an insuperable nature. Exclusiveness, so much talked against, and often so unreasonably, is really a necessary precaution in the present undefined boundaries of overgrown society; but in a better organized state, different and more sympathetic feelings might grow up. The first year the present magnificent building of the Athenæum Club was opened, when ladies were admitted every Wednesday night during the season, it was certainly a very convenient, cheap, and easy mode of assembling, and might, it appears to me, be permanently adopted and improved upon. under other circumstances.
With the political inducements I have mentioned, to the leading men of different communities to take upon themselves the charge of government, together with the attractions of such establishments as I propose, I should not apprehend any deficiency of public spirit ; whilst the popular and organized mode of election would effectually prevent abuse, as far as human means can prevent it. I will only add on this part of my subject, that the higher the tone and style of government the more unlikely improper persons would be to seek to intrude into it, because in any refined element such persons cannot exist. From St. George's, the richest, I will turn to the Hamlet of Mile End New Town in the parish of Stepney, I believe the poorest community in the Metropolis, and the same reasoning, I think, applies in both cases, reference being had to the respective degrees of wealth ; and so with respect to every parish in the land. The regulations in country parishes must often vary considerably from those in parishes in towns ; but division, the superintendence of the best men, and the bringing together the inhabitants, socially and convivially, is at least as necessary as in towns, if not more so. The advantages to the country, and to country gentlemen, if the latter could once be brought to turn their attention and their energies to local government instead of their present pursuits, would be incalculable. The improvement in property and in the morals and intelligence of all classes, would be general and rapid. I have at different periods of my life examined minutely into the practicability of such improvement, and I see few difficulties, if once set about. Rivalry and example in local government would cause a wide spread of knowledge of the art, at present lamentably neglected, or unknown, though the most interesting that can occupy a rational and benevolent being's thoughts. In order to give it the most interest, it is desirable to concentrate the power and expense of government as much as possible in each separate community, and to leave the citizens to manage their own concerns, uncontrolled except by laws enforced by the higher tribunals.
I do not know that I have any thing further to add on the subject of parochial government. What I have written is somewhat desultory and interspersed with repetitions; but my wish is to impress my doctrines upon the minds of my readers as familiarly as possible. My suggestions are much scattered, and, in order fully to comprehend my views, it will be necessary to read the article on the principles of government in my first number ; the life of Numa, with the prefixed remarks, and the article on government in my second ; on parochial government in my third; on the same subject, and on the observance