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tempted to solve,-and of which it is not so much as pretended that, since the beginning of History, more than one or two great states have approached the solution.

It will be univerally acknowledged, that this approximation has never been effected by any other means, than that of a Legislative Assembly, chosen by some considerable portion of the People. The direct object of a popular representation, is, that one, at least, of the bodies exercising the Legislative Power being dependent on the people by election, should have the strongest inducement to guard the interests, and to maintain the rights of the people.

For this purpose, it is not sufficient, that they should have the same general interests with the people; for every government has, in truth, the same interests with its subjects. It is necessary, that the more direct and palpable interest, arising from election, should be superadded. In every legislative senate, the modes of appointment ought to be such, as to secure the nomination of members the best qualified, and the most disposed, to make laws conducive to the wellbeing of the whole community. In a Representative assembly this condition, though absolutely necessary, is not of itself sufficient. To understand the principles of its composition thoroughly, we must divide the people into classes, and examine the variety of local and professional interests of which the general interest is composed. Each of these classes must be represented by persons who will guard its peculiar interest, whether that interest arises from inhabiting the same district, or pursuing the same occupation,such as traffic or husbandry, or the useful or ornamental arts. The fidelity and zeal of such representatives, are to be secured by every provision, which, to a sense of common interest, can superadd a fellow-feeling with their constituents. Nor is this all.-In a great State, even that part of the public interest which is common to all classes, is composed of a great variety of branches. A statesman should indeed have a comprehensive view of the whole: But no one man can be skilled in all their particulars. The same education, and the same pursuits, which qualify men to understand and regulate some branches, disqualify them for others. The Representative assembly must therefore contain,-some members peculiarly qualified for discussions of the Constitution and the Laws, others for those of Foreign Policy;—some for the respective interests of Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufactures;-some for Military affairs by sea and land, and some also who are conversant with the colonies and distant possessions of a great empire. It would be a mistake to suppose that the place of such representatives could

be supplied by witnesses examined on each particular subject. Both are not more than suflicient,-skilful witnesses occasionally, for the most minute information,-skilful representatives continually, to discover and conduct evidence, to enforce and illustrate the matters belonging to their department with the weight of those who speak on a footing of equality.

It is obvious, that as long as this composition is insured, it is for the present purpose a matter of secondary importance To be a whether it be effected by direct or indirect means. faithful representative, it is necessary that such an assembly should be numerous; that it should learn, from experience, the movements that agitate multitudes; and that it should be susceptible, in no small degree, of the action of those causes which sway the thoughts and feelings of assemblies of the people. For the same reason, among others, it is expedient that its proceedings should be public; and the reasonings on which they are founded, submitted to the judgment of mankind. These democratical elements are indeed to be tempered and restrained by such contrivances as may be necessary to maintain the order and independence of deliberation: But, without them, no assembly, however elected, can truly represent a people.

Among the objects of representation, two may, in an especial manner, deserve observation:-the qualifications for making good laws, and those for resisting oppression. Now, the capacity of an assembly to make good laws, evidently depends on the quantity of skill and information of every kind which it possesses. But it seems to be advantageous that it should contain a large proportion of one body of a more neutral and inactive character-not indeed to propose much, but to mediate or arbitrate in the dif ferences between the more busy classes, from whom important propositions are to be expected. The suggestions of every man relating to his province, have doubtless a peculiar value: But most men imbibe prejudices with their knowledge; and, in the struggle of various classes for their conflicting interests, the best chance for an approach to right decision, lies in an appeal to the largest body of well-educated men, of leisure, large property, temperate character, and who are impartial on more subjects other class of men. than An ascendancy, therefore, of landed proprieters must be considered, on the whole, as a beneficial circunstance in a representative body.

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For resistance to oppression, it is peculiarly necessary that the lower, and, in some places, the lowest classes, should possess the right of suffrage. Their rights would otherwise be less protected than those of any other class: For some individuals of every other class, would generally find admittance into the Le

gislature; or, at least, there is no other class which is not connected with some of its members. Some sameness of interest, and some fellow-feeling, would therefore protect every other class, even if not directly represented. But in the uneducated classes, none can either sit in a representative assembly, or be connected on an equal footing with its members. The right of suffrage, therefore, is the only means by which they can make their voice heard in its deliberations. They also often send to a representative assembly, members whose character is an important element in its composition. Men of popular talents, principles, and feelings; quick in suspecting oppression; bold in resisting it; not thinking favourably of the powerful; listening, almost with credulity, to the complaints of the humble and the feeble; and impelled by ambition, where they are not prompted by generosity, to be the champions of the defenceless. It is nothing to say, that such men require to be checked and restrained by others of a different character. This may be truly said of every other class. It is to no purpose to observe, that an assembly exclusively composed of them, would be ill fitted for the duties of legislation. For the same observation would be perfectly applicable to any other of those bodies which make useful parts of a mixed and various assembly.

In all political institutions, it is a fortunate circumstance, when legal power is bestowed on those who already possess a natural influence and ascendant over their fellow-citizens.Wherever, indeed, the circumstances of society, and the appointments of law, are in this respect completely at variance, submission can hardly be maintained without the odious and precarious means of force and fear. Where law and nature coincide, government is most secure; and the people may be most free. But in a representative assembly, which exercises directly no power, and of which the members are too numerous to derive much individual consequence from their stations, the security and importance of the body, more than in any other case, depend on the natural influence of those who compose it. In this respect, talent and skill, besides their direct utility, have a secondary value of no small importance. Together with the other circumstances which command respect or attachment among men-with popularity, with fame, with property, with liberal education and condition-they form a body of strength, which no law could give or take away. As far as an assembly is deprived of any of these natural principles of authority, so far it is weakened, both for the purpose of resisting the usurpa tions of government, and of maintaining the order of society.

VOL. XXXI. NO. 61.

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be supplied by witnesses examined on each particular subject. Both are not more than sufficient,-skilful witnesses occasionally, for the most minute information,-skilful representatives continually, to discover and conduct evidence, to enforce and illus trate the matters belonging to their department with the weight of those who speak on a footing of equality.

It is obvious, that as long as this composition is insured, it is for the present purpose a matter of secondary importance whether it be effected by direct or indirect means. To be a faithful representative, it is necessary that such an assembly should be numerous; that it should learn, from experience, the movements that agitate multitudes; and that it should be susceptible, in no small degree, of the action of those causes which sway the thoughts and feelings of assemblies of the people. For the same reason, among others, it is expedient that its proceedings should be public; and the reasonings on which they are founded, submitted to the judgment of mankind. These democratical elements are indeed to be tempered and restrained by such contrivances as may be necessary to maintain the order and independence of deliberation: But, without them, no assembly, however elected, can truly represent a people.

Among the objects of representation, two may, in an especial manner, deserve observation:-the qualifications for making good laws, and those for resisting oppression. Now, the capacity of an assembly to make good laws, evidently depends on the quantity of skill and information of every kind which it possesses. But it seems to be advantageous that it should contain a large proportion of one body of a more neutral and inactive character-not indeed to propose much, but to mediate or arbitrate in the differences between the more busy classes, from whom important propositions are to be expected. The suggestions of every man relating to his province, have doubtless a peculiar value: But most men imbibe prejudices with their knowledge; and, in the struggle of various classes for their conflicting interests, the best chance for an approach to right decision, lies in an appeal to the largest body of well-educated men, of leisure, large property, temperate character, and who are impartial on more subjects than any other class of men. An ascendancy, therefore, of landed proprieters must be considered, on the whole, as a beneficial circunstance in a representative body.

For resistance to oppression, it is peculiarly necessary that the lower, and, in some places, the lowest classes, should possess the right of suffrage. Their rights would otherwise be less protected than those of any other class: For some individuals of every other class, would generally find admittance into the Le

ed classes of their countrymen? Surely only one solution can be given of these phenomena, peculiar to our own country." Where all the ordinary incentives to action are withdrawn, a free constitution excites it, by presenting Political Power as a new object of pursuit. By rendering that power in a great degree dependent on popular favour, it compels the highest to treat their fellow-creatures with decency and courtesy; and disposes the best of them to feel, that inferiors in station may be superiors in worth, as they are equals in right. Hence chiefly arises that useful preference for country life, which distinguishes the English gentry from that of other nations. In despotic countries they flock to the Court, where all their hopes are fixed. But here, as they have much to hope from the people, they must cultivate the esteem, and even court the favour of their own natural dependants. They are quickened in the pursuit of ambition, by the rivalship of that enterprising talent, which is stimulated by more urgent motives. These dispositions and manners have become, in some measure, independent of the causes which originally produced them; and extend to many on whom these causes could have little operation. In a great body, we must allow for every variety of form and degree. It is sufficient that a system of extensive popular representation has, in a course of time, produced this general character, and that the English Democracy is the true preservative of the talents and virtues of the Aristocracy.

The effects of the Elective franchise upon the humbler classes, are, if possible, still more obvious and important. By it the peasant is taught to venerate himself as man;' to employ his thoughts, at least occasionally, upon high matters; to meditate on the same subjects with the wise and the great; to enlarge his feelings beyond the circle of his narrow concerns; to sympathize, however irregularly, with great bodies of his fellow-creatures; and sometimes to do acts which he may regard as contributing directly to the welfare of his country. Much of this good tendency is doubtless counteracted by other circumstances. The outward form is often ridiculous or odious.

*To be quite correct, we must remind the reader, that we speak of the character of the whole body, composed, as it is, of a small number. In a body like the French noblesse, amounting perhaps to a hundred thousand, many of whom were acted upon by the strongest stimulants of necessity; and, in a country of such diffused intelligence as France, it would have been a miracle if many had not risen to eminence in the state, and in letters, as well as in their natural profession of arms.

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