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instruments of making his orders respected, and of ensuring the obedience of the magistrates to his legal dictates. In this mixed government, however, the only magistrate charged with the execution of the laws, is the individual who has in his own hands the whole force of the nation. The sovereignty, or in other words, the assembly which represents the sovereignty, may enact whatever laws it pleases, but the person entrusted with their execution is both inde. pendent of it, and even more powerful than the sovereignty from which they spring. How alarming would be his negligence ! how terrible his excesses !
• In a democracy the people, in an aristocracy the body of the nobles, and in monarchies the monarch, may disiniss the magistrate who abuses his power, despises the laws, and arbitrarily disposes of the lives and fortunes of the people. In this mixed government, where the magistrate is the king, and the sovereign is the assembly in which the king forms one of the three component bodies, who ought in conjunction to exercise the sovereignty, where does the right op power of removing him, or punishing him, reside ?'
The same question may be asked with respect to a pure monarchy or aristocracy ; in the latter, if the assembly miscone ducts itself, who shall visit it with' punishment?
The only constitutions, which ever provided for such extreme cases, have been that of Minos in antiquity, and that of Robespierre in our own days.
Signior Filangieri quarrels with the maxim of our law, that “the king can do no wrong." We had thought that, wherever this was promulgated, the concomitant position was also under, stood that, for every measure emanating from the prince, his ministers are responsible. Of this fact surely the writer could not have been ignorant, though he treats the present topic as if it were unknown to him. The influence of the king in the Houses of Parliament is next objected to our constitution. In the present circumstances of the British State, this influence iş truly vast; and perhaps it never was more strongly exemplified than at the moment in which we write: bat it admits of checks and correctives, which continue to be supplied from time to time,- if not so as to obtain for the people all the weight in the legislature that is desirable, at least sufficiently to secure to us a degree of political liberty which has scarcely ever been equalled under any form of government, It is farther observed by the author ;
• In every other government, fear is the inseparable companion of oppression. In an absolute monarchy, when the prince is desirous of adding a fresh link to the chains of the people ; breaks the compact by which he mounted the throne ; and wishes to load his subjects with the burthen of intolerable taxes, he has the resentment of his people perpetually before his cyes, feels in imagination his throng shake under him, and sees the danger to which his very existence is
exposed. But in a mixed government, the prince, free from any apprehepsion, may avail himself of the arm of the assembly, and vio. late, with impunity, the rights of the people. He knows the assem, bly will always be responsible to the nation, and that the popular indignation will not be directed against his own person. He seems then to have an instrument for his purpose, fewer obstacles ia his road, and he may frequently succeed if, with the inclination, he has the necessary talents for the enterprize. It will be sufficient if he destrays not with his own hand the outward form of the con. stitutions if he respect the sights of the assembly, and if he be sațisfied with making use of its influence, he may often carry his wishes into execution without any danger to himself.'
Under a free government, it is clear that the resources of a state can be drawn forth much more than under a pure monarchy: but is this to be considered as an evil, and as an objection to a system of liberty? Is it fair to presume that these resources are always to be misapplied ? --It is here supposed that the king makes the assembly the instrument of establishing his power : but it is not stated by what means he is to induce this body to dishonour itself, to surrender its own power, and politically to become felo de se. We have had great differences in our parliament, on questions of colonial and foreiga interest; when in these it has been wrong, it has for the most part adopted the mistakes of the nation; and when the public has become undeceived, parliament rarely holds out long against its decisive and unequivocal wish. It has been warmly disputed whether America was to be taxed by our legislature, and whether the relations of peace were to be continued with France; and different parties have espoused different sides : but has it ever been proposed to repeal our Great Charter the Bill of Rights, or the Habeas Corpus act, or to set the King above the law? The author's apprehension is unsupported by any ground or colour of reasoning, What the lapse of ages will effect is known only to Omniscience; but at present we see no well-founded reasons for the fears of the Neapolitan philosopher. The quarter whence more immediate danger is to be apprehended is that of our finances; and it may reasonably be dreaded that the pressure of the public burthens, by weakening the attachment of the people to the admirable fabric of their government, may render them less unanimous and less resolute than heretofore, in defending it from foreign and internal attacks. We would fain persuade ourselves that this danger, also, is at a great distance: but we most devoutly wish that statesmen and public spirited individuals may be duly alive to it, and may employ their best powers and utmost exertions in varding it off for eyer.
Chevalier Filangieri seems to think that, if James II. had been an able prince, and bad acted with the crafty policy of Henry VIII. he might have succeeded in his nefarious projects. This supposition may be pardoned in a foreigner : but the different state of the British parliament and people, at the one and the other period, affords abundant matter for its complete refutation. In the age of Henry, the rights of parliament had not been defined and securely recognized. Henry also owed bis atchicvements to the nearly equal balance between the two great religious parties during his reign. These are differences of incalculable moment.
The last defect charged on our constitution is the conti. nued fluctuation of power in the bodies that divide it.'-It is true that our history, since the Norman conquest, exhibits at one time the monarch as the absolute master of faithful vassals, and at another the great barons holding their prince in tutelage; next we contemplate the king, aided by the commonally and the cities and burgesses, keeping the lords in check; then we see the commonalty of the realm annihilate for a time the two other orders of the state ; but the Restoration again placed things in a tolerably fair equilibrium, while the Revolution adjusted these matters as nicely perhaps as human affairs will admit. Since that period, nothing of the fluctuation here mentioned has been witnessed: but each state of the realm has performed its appropriate and exclusive function's with an cxactness and uniformity which, from the wise and dispassionate, will rather demand admiration than invite criticism.
We find it also remarked by Signior Filangieri, that
• The history of this nation is the history of the revolutions in its constitution, to which the temper and character of the reigning monarch have almost always given a temporary tone. Under a weak prince, from the poverty of his abilities, or the concurrence of em. barrassing circumstances, the two houses have frequently usurped a portion of the royal prerogative. To a high-spirited prince they have as often surrendered a part of their own privileges. From hence it may be collected, that the vigour of parliament has, in many instances, originated rather from some transient and accidental cirs cumstances, than a solid and permanent cause. Were, unfortunately, any future descendant of the house of Hanover to possess great ialents, without its hereditary virtues, without the benevolence and mo. deration which so eminently distinguish both the present monarch and every part of his family ; were a tempestuous reign, exposed to a foreign war and internal commotions at the same time, to be followed by a reign of peace; and there should be no longer any obligation on the reigning monarch to trcat his subjects with mildness, for the purpose of making them contribute more cheerfully to the vast burthens of their taxes; the bands of regal dignity might probably become more flexible, the parliament lose its vigour, and the throne become again omnipotent."
Here again the ingenious writer betrays his ignorance of our history. The fact has been the very reverse of that which is here stated. The weakest of our princes have been those who have offered violence to our rights and liberties, as Edward, Richard II., James, Charles I., and James II. ; while our ablest princes have manifested a deference to their parliaments.
The great security for our liberties is disclosed in the succeeding passage:
• These data being subscribed to, there will not be any incon. sistency in the king having fixed and permanent tribunals, which without any separate personal powers may exercise the judicial power as an emanation of the royal authority. As the existence of these tribunals is not destructive of the nature of this government, there could be no impropriety in the prince being obliged to make use of them in his judicial capacity. He would not, though obliged to make use of them, lose any part of his prerogative, for in the exercise of that power, they would be always considered as the organs of his will. When the judicial power is separated in this manner from the executive, which is a separation in reality, though not in right, the king, notwithstanding the inviolabiliry and the independence secured to him by the constitution, will neither be able to elude the laws, nor injure by any arbitrary means, the lives, the fortunes, of the honour of his subjects. Inviolable, independent, and out of the reach of any jurisdiction, as he is himself, the persons who represent him in these tribunals do not stand on the same ground. The decisious of one court may be examined and repealed in a superior court, and when an individual has been oppressed by a magistrate, he may accuse him before a competent jurisdiction, and procure his punishment. There is not any of these measu:'es adverse to the constitution of the government, aud the independence of the king will not be destroyed by them, but modified in favour of the public Becurity.'
In what follows, the author touches a sore place in the British body-politic; and his statement calls for many reflec. tions, which our limits will not permit us here to indulge :
When the infamous traffic in the sale of the votes of the lower classes of the people shall be effectually suppressed ; when abilities and integrity regularly influence their choice ; and the laws exclude indigence, which is always suspected of venality, from the right of electing ; virtue, supported in the public assemblies by hope, fear, and morality, will rally the majority on the side of the public inte. test. The nation will be truly free, and the possibility of an united assembly of spirited and independent patriots will be demon. strated.
If we are obliged to this very intelligent and virtuous fo. reigner for his critical observations on our polity, we are not less gratified by the lattering terms in which he concludes this
part of his labours; and we fully credit his declaration that in probing our wounds, his sole intention is their cure.'
We must not omit to observe tbat one of the improvements here proposed is to take from the crown the creation of peerages, and to invest the House of Lords with that prerogative: but the objections to this material and fundamental innovation sre too obvious to require us even to 'hint at them in this place.
The author criticises the hypothesis of Montesquieu in regard to the active principle in different governments, and prefers to it she opinion of Helvetius. This, like many other centroversies which have divisted mankind, will be found to have arisen very much from misunderstanding, and to be little else than a logomachy. If we admit with the philosopher that the public ects of citizens proceed from a love of power, we think that it cannot be denied that the frame of the government matesiaily determines the course and channel which this desire shati take; and that it is controuled in its operations by the puncipls laid down by the sagacious President.
Some acute and original observations are made in this work, on the defects in the prevailing habits and manners of nations, and on the best methods of removing them. The political efiects of climates are also ably considered, and call forth very ingenious reflections from the author : the legislation of Peter the Great is treated with much severity and the adyantage which modern governments derive from their alliance with a divine religion are eloquently maintained,
On the subject of population, the Chevalier speaks in the same strain with all those who had preceded bim : but our seaders are already apprized what an able opponent' their doctrines and notions have lately found in Mr. Malthus.
With regard to matters of political economy, it will be perceived that the author cannot very materially err, when we state that he recommends it as a leading principle to governments to let every thing take its own course, and interfere as st ldom as it is possible. When the principal Lyonnese were asked by Colbert what he could do to serve their manufactures, their wise answer, since become a maxim in the science, was, “ laisser nous faire."- The subject of free trade is examined by the author very much at length, and the objections to it are luminously and satisfactorily refuted.
Signior Filangieri wrote before the new doctrine with respect to England, proclaimed in the recent state papers of France, and re-echoed by its publicists, had been broached; and he seems to have been an entire stranger to the discoveries atchieved by the new light in that quarter. He is decidedly