Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 9 (Constitutional Code) [1843]

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The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 9.

About this title:

An 11 volume collection of the works of Jeremy Bentham edited by the philosophic radical and political reformer John Bowring. Vol. 9 contains Bentham’s Constitutional Code.


Of the various branches of law, the Constitutional, was the last upon which Mr Bentham brought his searching mind to bear.

In his work on Morals and Legislation, and in his celebrated Traités de Legislation edited by Dumont, the civil and penal branches of law only, are treated of. When the former work was published in 1789, (it having been first printed in 1780,) Mr Bentham added a long note, in which he mentions the constitutional as a third branch, necessary to form a complete body of law: giving at the same time, a general definition of it, together with a short account of its connexion with the other branches of law.

From various notes and memoranda, it would appear that his attention was first directed to the science of government about the year 1814, though then but casually. The progress he had made in this study became manifest, three years afterwards, by the publication of his eloquent Introduction to his Parliamentary Reform Catechism. At the close of 1819 he published his Radical Reform Bill, and about the same time, he wrote the little tract intituled Radicalism not Dangerous, now published for the first time in this Collection. All these will be found in vol. iii. towards the end.

Mr Bentham had now directed all the energies of his logical mind to the subject of Constitutional Law, and had become the declared advocate of a republican form of government.

On the 3d December 1821, the General and Extraordinary Cortes of Portugal, accepted Mr Bentham’s offer, to prepare an all-comprehensive Code of Laws for that nation; which induced him in the following year to print his Codification Proposal, addressed to all nations professing liberal opinions. Thus encouraged by the Portuguese Cortes, he pursued his task with renewed vigour, and in 1823 published the Leading Principles of a Constitutional Code, vol. ii. p. 267 et seq., in which he gave a succinct account of the principal arrangements contained in the Code upon which he was then engaged.

Mr Bentham’s original intention was to have published the Constitutional Code in two volumes, but he subsequently determined to divide it into three, according to the table of contents which is here prefixed to the work. The first volume was printed in 1827. Of the second volume, the first Chapter only (being Ch. x. of the whole work) was printed in 1830, and together with the first volume published during that year. This was all that Mr Bentham lived to see in print, a delay having occurred in the completion of Ch. xi. At the time of his decease, Chapters xi. and xii. were nearly ready for the press, but the latter part of the work, was in a very imperfect state, and several alterations and additions became necessary in the Table of Contents as penned by Mr Bentham. The work was written between the years 1820 and 1832.

In the preface to the first volume, mention is made of a quantity of unarranged matter as being in existence, relating to the various forms of government, and their respective degrees of eligibility. It was Mr Bentham’s wish to have formed this matter into an Introductory Dissertation, and prefixed it to the Code. Upon examination, however, it was found to comprise a much more extensive range than that above indicated, and I therefore determined to form it into a distinct Book, the three volumes of the Code itself, as arranged by Mr Bentham, forming a second Book.

The MSS. of this part of the work were very voluminous, having been written at various times between the years 1818 and 1830: the greater portion of them were in a very confused and unfinished condition, and none of them had ever been revised. The plan adopted in arranging and classifying them in their present order, was,—to incorporate into one chapter all that related to the same subject-matter; to place those chapters first, which were of most general application, and to make those follow, which discussed more particularly the leading provisions of the Code itself, and constituted as it were, a general Rationale to the whole work.

The introductory chapters on Law in general, and the various branches of law, were apparently designed by Mr Bentham to give to the reader of the Constitutional Code, a clear and comprehensive idea of a complete body of law, or as he called it, the Pannomion. With this view therefore they have been inserted, although, in his early works, some of the subjects to which they refer have been already discussed. I would refer in particular to the Principles of the Civil Code, edited by Dumont.

In several instances it will appear that the same ground has been travelled over more than once. This was, however, necessary, in order to render the argument in each instance complete: for it will be observed that many of the Chapters constitute in themselves distinct and independent Essays: such, for example, are the masterly analyses of Good and Bad Rule, Corruption, and Factitious Honour.

The Chapter on Defensive Force, previously to its being printed, was perused by three of Mr Bentham’s military friends of great experience, each of them holding the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the English army: and some valuable notes which were added by one of them, will be found at the end of the Chapter.

Under the head of Collectanea for the Constitutional Code, I found several private communications, and extracts from various publications: having arranged them under the different titles in the work, to which they seemed to refer, I have formed them into an Appendix.





To the whole contents of this proposed code, one all-comprehensive objection will not fail to be opposed. In whatever political community, by which it were adopted, it would, to a greater or less extent, probably to a very large extent, involve the abolition of the existing institutions.

But, by whomsoever this unquestionable truth is put forward in the character of an objection, let it be understood what the confession is which is involved in it. It is,—that among the institutions, to which the objector is thus giving his support, there exist in an indefinite number, those, of the mischievousness of which he is himself fully conscious,—that, in what he is thus endeavouring at, he therefore acts, to his own full knowledge, the part of an enemy to the community to which he belongs, and for whose welfare he pretends to be solicitous.

The more absurd, the more mischievous the more abundantly productive of human misery in every shape, an institution or set of institutions, is, in the defence of which he is thus acting, the more necessarily is he reduced to have recourse to this mode of defence, and cry out against the subversion of ancient institutions. Suppose an institution, like that, for example, of sacrificing men to idols, as in ancient Mexico; or tormenting and slaughtering them for sport, as in modern Ashantee,—the most shameless corruptionist would not dare to stand up in defence of it, taken by itself. But neither for the defence of this institution, nor of any other still more atrocious, if any such were conceivable, would a corruptionist or lawyer in this or any other country, be wanting, if in so doing, they beheld any prospect of success; and unhappily, such is the weakness of human nature, that there are many down to this time, upon whom such a defence would make a great impression.

Such as it is, the present legislative draught is the first in point of time, in which any such additament as a rationale was ever inserted. Now that it does exist, the utility of its existence will not be matter of dispute. Of its non-existence hitherto, two causes may be assigned. In every government, not having for its object the greatest happiness of the greatest number,—want of inclination and want of ability both together. In a government, having for its object the greatest happiness of the greatest number, on the part of the leading class, namely, the lawyer class, want of inclination as to all three branches of the Pannomion, except the constitutional branch; and in relation to all three branches, and even that branch in particular, want of ability; want of that anticipation of ability, which being necessary even to the bare endeavour, is still more plainly so, to correspondent success. Nor need the deficiency of ability be an object of surprise. Wherever adequate motives are wanting, actions will be wanting likewise; physical desires out of the question, where motives are wanting, desires are naturally wanting; and with desires, endeavours. The quantity of labour necessary has been such as to fill up the ordinary capacity of a whole life; and in return for this burthen, what was the benefit that could by any one be expected?

Thus much as to legislators and legislative draughts. In regard to expositors and commentators, the absence of everything in the shape of a Rationale has not been thus entire. Fragments of the sort of work have even been seen in abundance. Of a Rationale, yes; but of what sort? Of a sort which, perhaps, not altogether without truth, may be pronounced worse than useless. Instead of giving existence to the arrangements, the Rationale has derived its existence from them. In the breast of the ruler, self-interest has given existence to the arrangements; in the breast of the commentator, self-interest has again given birth to the Rationale. To the only right and proper problem which the case admits of, has been substituted an opposite one. Right and proper problem,—to ascertain in each case that arrangement, which is, in the highest degree, contributory to the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Sinister problem, which has almost uniformly been substituted,—to ascertain, in each case, that arrangement, which, under existing circumstances, has, in the highest degree, the approbation of those, in whose hands is, in the greatest quantity, the disposal of the matter of reward in all its branches.

The political states, for the use of which this code is principally designed, are those in whose instance the existing form of government is republican.

To no inconsiderable extent, and in no inconsiderable detail, the features of inaptitude, or in a word the abuses, of the English form of government are brought to view. Useful and highly instructive, however, with reference to the main purpose, will this exposition be, as well as to what may be considered as an additional, though collateral purpose. For a republic it may serve, the whole of it together, at any time. For England, (independent of any such sudden revolution as, under the provocations given, will be always upon the cards,) it may, in proportion as it is well adapted to its purpose, be of use in giving direction to the views of all such persons as may feel disposed to occupy themselves in the effecting of melioration by gradual changes, which, in so far as they are conducive to the professed end, will be so many approaches towards republicanism. To the establishment of a republican form of government, which is the term and ne plus ultra on the one hand, as a purely monarchical form of government is on the other, it will apply acceleration or retardation,—or the maximum of retardation, to wit, final prevention, according to circumstances; but in neither can the effect of it, in so far as it has any, fail of being productive of good. Prevention, is that the result? The good produced will, in that case, be pure from evil; but the arrival of the maximum of good, will either not take place at all, or not till at the end of a length of time more or less considerable. Retardation, is that the result? The number of persons excluded from a participation in the maximum of good will be the greater; but the good will be pure from admixture with evil in those shapes which are inseparable from all change, preceded by hostile contention, or sudden and uncompensated transfer of property or power.

In proportion as, of the arrangements here proposed, and the reasons on which they are grounded and by which they are explained and justified, or at least endeavoured to be justified, application is made to the corresponding arrangements, made by English law or English practice, the reader will observe, that from first to last, with few or no exceptions, nothing can be more opposite.

For expressing the cause of this contrariety, few, indeed, are the words that will be found sufficient. In each case the contrariety will be found to have one and the same cause, namely, the nature of the end in view; that end being, in each one of the two cases, the direct opposite of that which it is in the other. In the here proposed code, of every proposed arrangement, from first to last, without any one exception, the end in view is the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Of the several arrangements in the English system, in no one instance has the greatest happiness of the greatest number been the end in view. At all times,—on every occasion,—in every instance, the end actually pursued by the several sets of rulers, has been the promotion of the particular, and thence sinister, interest of these same rulers. Look the world all over, in no one place,—at no one time, has any arrangement of government had for its object, any other object than the interest of those by whom it has been made. In this case as in every other, in so far as the felicity of the greatest number has been the result, the cause of its being so, is, that in the particular case in question, whilst seeking the insurance of their own personal felicity, it was not in their power to avoid seeking the insurance of the felicity of the greatest number.

But under the English government, not to speak of others, those by whom the powers of government have been exercised, have at all times had an interest and a desire operating in direct opposition to those of their subjects; and having, by the supposition, the power in their hands, the corresponding power to give effect to that same interest and that same desire, such accordingly has been the consequence; the sacrifice of the interest and felicity of the greatest number to the particular and sinister interest of those same rulers.

In no instance has any benefit, the receipt of which, (if received by the governed,) would have been attended with any corresponding sacrifice in any shape on the part of the rulers, been conferred on the people but under a sense of necessity, and with reluctance: in no case, of design,—never but either of necessity or accident has any such benefit been the result.

Taking, therefore, the whole system of government, in all its parts, and more particularly the constitutional branch, never in the direct ratio, always in the inverse ratio of its strength, has been the felicity of the people.

At no time have the constituent members of the governing body, at no time has the monarch, at no time have the hereditary aristocracy, at no time have the proprietors of seats in the House of Commons, at no time have the clergy, at no time have the judges, had any better endeavour or desire than to swell each of them his own power to its utmost possible pitch. To the weakness of the law taken in its totality,—to its weakness, and not to its strength, are the people indebted for everything in their condition, by which they are distinguished from that country in Europe, whatever it be, in which the people are in the most miserable degree oppressed. And this weakness, from what source has it arisen?—from the sinister interest and particular situation of the lawyer tribe.

Now for the first time is the invitation given to examine and discuss the most interesting of all temporal subjects, on the ground of a set of determinate and throughout mutually connected, and, it is hoped, consistent principles. Now for the first time to the subject-matter of this proposed examination and discussion, is given the form and method of the matter of a distinctive branch of art and corresponding science.

In so far as what is said is right and true, will be afforded the utmost facility of conception; to whatever is erroneous and false will be afforded a correspondent facility of and for detection and exposure.

The constitutional code is the first in importance, as on it will depend the matter of all the other codes.

As in the physical, so in the moral branch of the field of thought and action, parts still remain which may be stated as being as yet unexplored. In the political branch, in that subbranch of the moral, one topic is that which regards the rights and the obligations of one-half of the species—the female sex: the rights which it is fit they should possess, the obligations to which it is fit they should be subjected. This inquiry stretches itself over all three parts of the Pannomion—the constitutional, the civil, or right-conferring, and the wrong-repressing—or say the penal. Others there are which belong exclusively to the penal; but of these, the mention may, with more advantage, be reserved for the code to which as above, they belong.

Should it ever happen to the present work to be taken for the basis of the constitutional code of any nation, that which presents itself as the proper way of putting it to use, is this. In the code to which authority is given, insert the enactive part, and the ratiocinative and the expositive; eliminate the instructional and the exemplificational.

Why eliminate the instructional and the exemplificational?—Because neither of them has any other object than the giving assistance to the legislator in the task of composing the authoritative code, in the composition of which he will have derived from them such information as appears to him useful; and the remainder not being designed to serve as a rule of action for the people, need not, and therefore should not, lie as a burthen upon their pockets and their time.

Why insert the expositive and the ratiocinative? The expositive, because regarded as necessary to right interpretation; the ratiocinative as being assistant to right interpretation, and as helping to create and preserve in the minds of the people, a persuasion of the aptitude of the enactive, and a disposition to lend their assistance, as occasion calls, to the giving execution and effect to it, and as serving to produce the like persuasion in the breasts of legislators, present and future, and thereby preserve the law itself against changes from the better to the worse. Also, to create and preserve in the breasts of judges the disposition to act their parts in giving execution and effect to it.

Not for amusement assuredly, were the lists and explanations of the various subject-matters and functions, inserted in this code, any more than the like might be in an index or a dictionary. No more need, therefore, has the reader of this proposed code to read them in the order in which they stand, unless for some special use, any more than to read the same quantity of matter in the one or the other of those useful fruits of hard labour in the field of literature. Not for amusement but for substantial use. Subject-matters for the purpose of making as sure as the faculties of the labourer will admit, that nothing which the purpose required to be noticed had been left unnoticed, and for that of making the reader satisfied that everything which the purpose required to be noticed has been noticed accordingly.

The term functions has been employed for the sake of conciseness, correctness, clearness, and symmetry. But for this comprehensive denomination, where arrangements were intended to be the same, assemblages of words, more or less different from one another, would have been apt to have been employed in giving expression to them; and from this diversity in expression, diversity of meaning might, on each occasion, have naturally been inferred. But by a single word, with a few others, necessary to complete it into a proposition, less space by an indefinite amount will be occupied than would be occupied by any equivalent phrase of which this same word formed no part,—hence, in a proportionate degree, conciseness.

If in any one of these same instances, the word function, with the attribute connected with it, is the proper one, so by the supposition is it in every other: so much for correctness.

If in any one of these same instances, the import meant to be conveyed is clear, so will it be in every other. For, there being no obscurity in it on the first that occurs of those occasions, so neither can there be on any other. As little can there be any ambiguity. So much for clearness.

Symmetry, or say uniformity. That which, in relation to the multitude of objects, symmetry requires is, that each of them be presented to view in forms mutually agreeing; but no two forms that are in any particular different, can agree so well as the same form does with itself. And as to the order in which they present themselves, it will, on each occasion, be that which on that same occasion, is best adapted to the writer’s purposes. Those objects which require to be put together will have presented themselves together in the compass of this single word, and in exactly the same form.

One error in practice there is, against which it seems necessary to give warning, it being at once so mischievous, so natural, and so common. This is, the depriving the people of the benefit of such parts of what is proposed as are not unsuitable to the existing form of government, on account of their contiguity to others which are unsuitable to it.


Section I.

First Principles described in General Terms.

To whatever portion of the field of thought and action the literary work in question belongs, it has been found convenient, and is accordingly usual, to place at the beginning of it some opinion or opinions, embracing in their extent the whole of the portion in question, or as large a portion of it as may be.

On this occasion a number of expressions mutually related, are found needful or convenient, and are accordingly usually employed.

Take, for example, first principles, leading principle, first lines, outlines, positions, axioms, aphorisms.

If, in the composition of the work, the design be to recommend a certain course of action as proper to be pursued for the attainment of a certain end, thereupon come certain other words and phrases of correspondently extensive import. Of this sort are ends, objects of pursuit, means, obstacles,—helps, counterforces, acting in opposition to the obstacles.

Where the object of the inquiry and discussion is, what is the course of action which, with relation to the field in question, is proper to be pursued? a necessarily concomitant object of regard throughout is,—the course actually pursued: pursued in the community which the writer has in view.

If the course actually pursued is in all points the same with the course proper to be pursued, it is well; and unless on the supposition that, in default of apposite warning and instruction, a departure to an extent more or less considerable may have place, any work on the subject in question would be useless, and by him in whose opinion such coincidence has place, cannot consistently be undertaken.

In regard to some expressions, viz. course proper to be pursued, course not proper to be pursued; one matter of fact there is, which, on every occasion, it may be of use to the reader to have in mind. This is, that everything, of which any such phrase can be, in an immediate way the expression, is a certain state of mind on the part of him by whom the expression is employed; the state of his mind with relation to the subject-matter of the discourse, whatsoever it happens to be.

The state of mind will be the state of one or more of his intellectual faculties, in one word, his understanding,—or the state of his sensitive faculties, in one word, his feelings, or the state of his volitional faculties, in one word, his will, his desires, his wishes.

Thus in the case here at present on the carpet. When I say the greatest happiness of the whole community, ought to be the end or object of pursuit, in every branch of the law—of the political rule of action, and of the constitutional branch in particular, what is it that I express?—this and no more, namely that it is my wish, my desire, to see it taken for such, by those who, in the community in question, are actually in possession of the powers of government; taken for such, on the occasion of every arrangement made by them in the exercise of such their powers, so that their endeavours shall be, to render such their cause of action contributory to the obtainment of that same end. Such then is the state of that faculty in me which is termed the will; such is the state of those particular acts or modifications of that faculty, which are termed wishes or desires, and which have their immediate efficient causes in corresponding feelings, in corresponding pleasures and pains, such as, on the occasion in question, the imagination brings to view.

In making this assertion, I make a statement relative to a matter of fact, namely that which, at the time in question, is passing in the interior of my own mind;—how far this statement is correct, is a matter on which it belongs to the reader, if it be worth his while, to form his judgment.

Such then being the desire, truly or falsely expressed by me, but at any rate expressed by me—in his breast has that same desire a place? If so, then may it be worth his while to apply his attention to the course herein marked out by me, under the notion of its being correspondent, and contributory, and conducive to the attainment of that same end. On the other hand, if so it be, that that same desire has no place in his breast, on that supposition, generally speaking, it will be a useless trouble to him to pay any further attention to anything contained in it.

To this observation one exception, it is true, there is, and it is this, namely, that if the end in view, which it is his wish to see pursued, is different from this, it may be of use to him to take note of the arrangements herein proposed, as conducive to the end pursued by me, for the purpose of taking or recommending, such different and opposite arrangements as may prevent the attainment of the end proposed by me, and procure or promote the attainment of that other end, be it what it may, which is more agreeable to his wishes,—say, for example, the greatest happiness of some one member of the community in question, or of some other number smaller than the majority of the whole number of the members.

So again, when I say,—In the breast of every ruler, on the occasion of the arrangements taken by him in the field of government, the actual end or object of pursuit, has, in the instance of every such arrangement, been his own greatest happiness, and that, in such sort as that wherever in his judgment there has been a competition between his happiness; and that of all the other members of the community in question taken together, he has, on each occasion, given the preference to his own happiness over theirs, and used his endeavours to giving increase to his own happiness, in whatsoever degree the aggregate of their happiness may, in his judgment, he lessened by it,—in saying this, I have been exhibiting the state of my own mind, viewed in another point of view, viewed as it were in another part of it—my judgment, the judicial faculty. I have given that, as my opinion, an opinion of which I am prepared to bring to view the efficient causes.

While I am so doing, I observe another writer who, on the score of my so doing, taxes me with egotism, or, to use another word, with dogmatism; meaning by dogmatism, the doing something which it is his wish, his desire, should not be done.

In answer to this charge what I say is, that either a man must do this, or he must forbear to write at all, for that it is not possible for a man to write without doing thus.

But this defence against the charge of dogmatism is not confined to self-defence against the charge of dogmatism: it has for its object the giving warning against that form of discourse to which the imputation expressed by the word dogmatism does really and properly attach.

In a work of self-biography, personality, called in English, when disapproved of, egotism, is at once unavoidable and agreeable. In a work on legislation, except in so far as it is unavoidable it is irrelevant, impertinent, and disagreeable. In a certain case, in the mouth of a public functionary, it is not only impertinent but insulting; and thereby, to every individual who is not by habit inured to insult, supremely disagreeable. This is where the rest of the community being brought upon the stage in the character of subjects of property, the speaker brings himself to view in the character of proprietor or owner of the property. Thus to speak is to spit in the face of every one who either hears or reads it.

The present is an occasion on which personality is unavoidable.

In saying, as above, the proper end of government is the greatest happiness of all, or, in case of competition, the greatest happiness of the greatest number, it seems to me that I have made a declaration of peace and good-will to all men.

On the other hand, were I to say, the proper end of government is the greatest happiness of some one, naming him, or of some few, naming them, it seems to me that I should be making a declaration of war against all men, with the exception of that one, or of those few.

Be the subject what it may, unless it be allowed to me to say, what, in relation to that subject, are my judgment, my feelings, or my desires, I cannot say anything in relation to it; and as to my judgment on each occasion, giving it, as I do, for no more than it is worth, it seems to me that it is on my part no unreasonable desire to be allowed—free from every imputation conveyed, or endeavoured to be conveyed, by the word dogmatism—to be allowed to give it.

This being the basis on which all legislation and all morality rests, these few words written in hopes of clearing away all obscurity and ambiguity, all doubts and difficulties, will not, I hope, be regarded as misapplied, or applied in waste.

Section II.

First Principles enumerated.

The right and proper end of government in every political community, is the greatest happiness of all the individuals of which it is composed, say, in other words, the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

In speaking of the correspondent first principle, call it the greatest-happiness principle.

In speaking of this end of government, call it the right and proper end of government.

The actual end of government is, in every political community, the greatest happiness of those, whether one or many, by whom the powers of government are exercised.

In general terms, the proof of this position may be referred to particular experience, as brought to view by the history of all nations.

This experience may be termed particular, inasmuch as the particular class of rulers is the only class concerned in it, to which it bears reference. This may be called the experimental or practical proof.

For further proof, reference may be made to the general, indeed the all-comprehensive, principle of human nature. The position which takes this fact for its subject, may be termed an axiom, and may be expressed in the words following.

In the general tenor of life, in every human breast, self-regarding interest is predominant over all other interests put together. More shortly thus,—Self-regard is predominant,—or thus,—Self-preference has place everywhere.

This position may, to some eyes, present itself in the character of an axiom: as such self-evident, and not standing in need of proof. To others, as a position or proposition which, how clearly soever true, still stands in need of proof.

To deliver a position in the character of an axiom, is to deliver it under the expectation that, either it will not be controverted at all, or that he by whom it is controverted, will not, in justification of the denial given by him to it, be able to advance anything by which the unreasonableness of his opinion or pretended opinion, will not be exposed. Of this stamp are the axioms laid down by Euclid. In the axioms so laid down by him, nothing of dogmatism will, it is believed, be found.

By the principle of self-preference, understand that propensity in human nature, by which, on the occasion of every act he exercises, every human being is led to pursue that line of conduct which, according to his view of the case, taken by him at the moment, will be in the highest degree contributory to his own greatest happiness, whatsoever be the effect of it, in relation to the happiness of other similar beings, any or all of them taken together. For the satisfaction of those who may doubt, reference may be made to the existence of the species as being of itself a proof, and that a conclusive one. For after exception made of the case of children not arrived at the age of which they are capable of going alone, or adults reduced by infirmity to a helpless state; take any two individuals, A and B, and suppose the whole care of the happiness of A confined to the breast of B, A himself not having any part in it; and the whole care of the happiness of B confined to the breast of A, B himself not having any part in it, and this to be the case throughout, it will soon appear that, in this state of things, the species could not continue in existence, and that a few months, not to say weeks or days, would suffice for the annihilation of it.

Of all modes in which, for the governance of one and the same individual, the two faculties could be conceived as placed in different seats,—sensation and consequent desire in one breast, judgment and consequent action in another, this is the most simple. If, as has with less truth been said of the blind leading the blind, both would, in such a state of things, be continually falling into the ditch; much more frequently, and more speedily fatal, would be the falls, supposing the separation to have place upon any more complex plan. Suppose the care of the happiness of A being taken altogether from A, were divided between B and C, the happiness of B and C being provided for in the same complex manner, and so on; the greater the complication, the more speedy would the destruction be, and the more flagrant the absurdity of a supposition, assuming the existence of such a state of things.

Note that, if in the situation of ruler, the truth of this position, held good in no more than a bare majority, of the whole number of instances, it would suffice for every practical purpose, in the character of a ground for all political arrangements; in the character of a consideration, by which the location of the several portions of the aggregate mass of political power should be determined; for, in the way of induction, it is only by the greater, and not the lesser number of instances, that the general conclusion can reasonably be determined; in a word, mathematically speaking, the probability of a future contingent event, is in the direct ratio of the number of instances in which an event of the same sort has happened, to the number of those in which it has not happened; it is in this direct ratio, and not in the inverse.

If such were the condition of human beings, that the happiness of no one being came in competition with that of any other,—that is to say, if the happiness of each, or of any one, could receive increase to an unlimited amount, without having the effect of producing decrease in the happiness of any other, then the above expression might serve without limitation or explanation. But on every occasion, the happiness of every individual is liable to come into competition with the happiness of every other. If, for example, in a house containing two individuals, for the space of a month, there be a supply of food barely sufficient to continue for that time; not merely the happiness of each, but the existence of each, stands in competition with, and is incompatible with the existence of the other.

Hence it is, that to serve for all occasions, instead of saying the greatest happiness of all, it becomes necessary to use the expression, the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

If, however, instead of the word happiness, the word interest is employed, the phrase universal interest may be employed as corresponding indifferently to the interest of the greatest number, or to the interest of all.

In the eyes of every impartial arbiter, writing in the character of legislator, and having exactly the same regard for the happiness of every member of the community in question, as for that of every other, the greatest happiness of the greatest number of the members of that same community, cannot but be recognised in the character of the right and proper and sole right and proper end of government, or say, object of pursuit.

For the designation of the opposite, or reverse of what is right and proper, the term sinister may, in consideration of the relation borne to each other by the two terms, taken in their original physical sense, be employed.

Accordingly, in so far as between the happiness of the greatest number, and the happiness of any lesser number, any incompatibility or successful competition is allowed to have place, it may be styled a sinister end of government, or say, object of pursuit.

If as above, so it be, that in the situation of a ruler, whatsoever that situation be, the conduct of no man can reasonably be expected to be governed by any interest that stands, at that same moment, in opposition to that which, in his conception, is his own individual interest, it follows, that for causing it to take that direction, in which it will be subservient to the universal interest, the nature of the case affords no other method, than that which consists in the bringing of the particular interest of rulers into accordance with the universal interest.

Here, then, we have a third principle of the first rank, in addition to the two former ones. Call it, the means-prescribing, or junction-of-interests-prescribing, principle.

The first declares, what ought to be, the next, what is, the last, the means of bringing what is into accordance with what ought to be.

Meantime, this junction of interests, how can it be effected? The nature of the case admits but of one method, which is, the destroying the influence and effect of whatever sinister interest the situation of the individual may expose him to the action of; this being accomplished, he will thereby be virtually divested of all such sinister interest; remains, as the only interest whereby his conduct can be determined, his right and proper interest, that interest which consists in the share he has in the universal interest, which is the same thing as to say, that interest, which is in accordance with the universal interest, taken in the aggregate.

Be the act what it may, there are two modes, in either of which a man may be divested of the interest requisite to his performance of it: one is, the overpowering the force of whatsoever body of interest may be acting on him, in a direction tending to engage him in the performance of it, by a stronger counter-interest; this is the direct mode. The other is, the divesting him of the power of performing that same act; for that which, in his own eyes, it is not in a man’s power to perform, it cannot, in his own eyes, be his interest to endeavour to perform; it can never be a man’s interest to expend time and labour without effect. Considered in its application to a man’s interest, this mode may be termed an indirect mode.

Thus it is, that by one and the same arrangement, application may be made to the power and the will at the same time, and in either mode the requisite junction of interests is capable of being effected or promoted.

A question that now immediately presents itself, is, whether to any individual, supposing him invested by the constitution in question with the supreme power, any inducement can be applied, by that same constitution, of sufficient force to overpower any sinister interest, to the operation of which, by his situation, he stands exposed? Inducements, operating on interest, are all of them reducible to two denominations,—punishment and reward. Punishment in every shape his situation suffices to prevent his standing exposed to; so likewise reward. Being by the supposition invested with supreme power, the matter of reward cannot be applied to him in any shape, in which he has not already at his command, whatever it would be in the power of the constitution, by any particular arrangement, to confer on him. To him who has the whole, it is useless to give this or that part.

To a question to this effect, the only answer that can be given is sufficiently manifest. By reward, an individual so situated cannot be acted upon; for there exists no other individual in the community at whose hands he can receive more than he has in his own. By punishment as little; for there exists no individual at whose hands he is obliged to receive, or will receive any such thing.

The result is, that in a monarchy no such junction of interests can be effected, and that, therefore, by no means can monarchy be rendered conducive to the production of the greatest happiness of the greatest number; nor, therefore, according to the greatest happiness-principle, be susceptible of the denomination of a good form of government.

What, then, is the best form of government? This question may itself be clothed in an indefinite number of forms. What is the most eligible? what is the most desirable? what is the most expedient? what is the most right and proper? and so on. In whatsoever form clothed, it is resolvable into these two:—What is the end to which it is your will to see the arrangements employed in the delineation of it directed? What are the several arrangements by which, in the character of means, it is your opinion that that same end, in so far as attainable, is most likely to be attained?

To write an answer to this question—to write on the subject which it holds up to view—is virtually, is in effect, from beginning to end, to write an answer to one or other, or both of these questions.

To the first, my answer is,—the greatest happiness of all the several members of the community in question, taken together, is the end to which it is my desire to see all the arrangements employed in the delineation of it directed. That being taken for the end, to which it is right and proper that all legislative arrangements be directed, my opinion is, that so far as they go, the proposed arrangements which here follow would be in a higher degree conducive to it than any other could be, that could be proposed in a work which was not particularly adapted to the situation of any one country, to the exclusion of all others.

Should it be asked, What is the community which, by the description of the community in question, you have in view? my answer is,—any community, which is as much as to say every community whatsoever.

Should it be asked, Why is it your desire that the greatest happiness of all the several members of the community in question should be the end to which all the several arrangements employed in the delineation of the form of government, by which that same community is governed, should be directed? my answer is,—because on the occasion in question, such is the form, the establishment of which would in the highest degree be contributory to my own greatest happiness.

Should it again be asked by any man, What proof can you give of this? what cause can any other person have for regarding as probable that what you are thus saying is conformable to truth? the only answer which would not be irrelevant, impertinent, egotistical, is this: Behold, for proof, the labour it cannot but have cost me to give expression to these several arrangements, and the so much greater labour which it cannot but have cost me to bring to view the reasons which stand annexed to them,—reasons which have for their object the causing them to be adopted and made law by the persons to whom, in the several communities, the power of determining on every occasion what shall be taken for law, and have the force of law, depends; viz. by showing that on each subject they are in a higher degree conducive to that end than any others that could be proposed.

In saying thus much, I have already laid down what, in my view of the matter, are the two positions, of which, in the character of first principles, the whole sequel of this work will be no more than the development and the application.

These principles are the greatest happiness-principle and the self-preference principle.



On viewing the aggregate of that which in any country has the force of law, it will be found divisible, in the first place, the whole of it, into two portions or branches, viz. in the first place, that in which the rule of action is laid down simply and absolutely, without reference to the functions of any such members of the community as those whose business it is, under some such name as that of judges, or ministers of justice, to secure the observance of it; in the next place, that in which a description is given of the course to be taken by those same official persons for securing the observance of, and giving execution and effect to, the several arrangements contained in that same main or substantive branch. This branch may be distinguished by the name of the adjective branch, or law of judiciary procedure.

The main or substantive portion, or branch of the law, may again be distinguished into two portions or branches. In the first place, that in which individuals are considered separately only, and in their private capacity. This may be distinguished by the name of private law. In the next place, that in which individuals are regarded collectively, and in some public capacity, with a view to the powers necessary to be exercised by some of them over others, for the good of the whole. This branch may be distinguished by the name of public or constitutional law.

The law cannot in any part of it operate without doing more or less towards the making distribution of benefits and burthens.

Burthens it may distribute or impose without distributing or conferring benefit, in any shape. Benefit in any shape it cannot confer, without, at the same time, imposing burthen in a correspondent shape, either on the individual benefited, or intended to be benefited, or on some other or others, most commonly even on all others, with little or no exception.

The whole body of the law may again, by another division, derived from the source just mentioned, be distinguished into two branches, viz. that which is occupied in the description of the distribution intended to be made of benefits and burthens respectively as above. This branch may be styled the distributive branch of law. It is that which is occupied in the description of the arrangements for giving effect to such distribution, by furnishing individuals with inducements adequate to the purpose of rendering their conduct conformable to the plan of distribution so marked out. Of the inducements thus employed, some will be of a disagreeable nature, and thus come under the notion of burthens; others of an agreeable nature, and thus come under the notion of benefits.

That branch of law, the arrangements of which are occupied in the application of burthens to the purpose of securing conformity to the arrangements made by the distributive branch of law, is distinguished by the name of penal law.

That branch of law, the arrangements of which are occupied in the application of benefits to the purpose of securing conformity to the arrangements made by the distributive branch of law, may be distinguished by the name of the remuneratory or remunerative branch of law.

Of the whole body of actual law one preeminently remarkable division, derived from a correspondently remarkable source, and pervading the whole mass, still remains. It is that by which it is distinguished into two branches—the arrangements of one of which are arrangements that have really been made—made by hands universally acknowledged as duly authorized, and competent to the making of such arrangements, viz. the hands of a legislator-general, or set of legislators-general, or their respective subordinates. This branch of law may stand distinguished from that which is correspondent and opposite to it, by the name of real law, really existing law, legislator-made law;—under the English Government it stands already distinguished by the name of statute law, as also by the uncharacteristic, undiscriminative, and, in so far improper appellation, of written law. The arrangements supposed to be made by the other branch, in so far as they are arrangements of a general nature, applying not only to individuals assignable, but to the community at large, or to individuals not individuals assignable, may stand distinguished by the appellations of unreal, not really existing, imaginary, fictitious, spurious, judge-made, law. Under the English Government the division actually distinguished by the unexpressive, uncharacteristic, and unappropriate names of common law and unwritten law.

Of the manner in which this wretched substitute to real and genuine law is formed, take this description. In the course of a suit in which application is made of the rule of action thus composed, the judge, on each occasion, pretends to find ready made, and by competent authority, endued with the force of law, (and at the same time, universally known to be so in existence, and so in force,) a proposition of a general aspect, adapted to the purpose of affording sufficient authority and warrant for the particular decision or order, which on that individual occasion he accordingly pronounces and delivers.

Partly from the consideration of the general propositions so framed, as above, by this or that judge, or set of judges; partly from the consideration of the individual instruments or documents expressive of such individual decision or order, as above; partly from the consideration of such discourses as have been, or are supposed to have been, uttered whether by the judges or by the advocates on one or both sides,—a class of lawyers have, under the names of general treatises, or reports of particular cases, concurred in the composition of an immense chaos, the whole of it written, and a vast portion of it printed and published, constituting an ever-increasing body of that which forms the matter, which passes under the denomination, of unwritten law.



In every community in which a constitutional code, generally acknowledged to be in force, is in existence, a really existing constitutional branch of law, and with it, as the offspring of it, a constitution, is so far in existence.

In no community in which no constitutional code thus generally acknowledged to be in force, is in existence, is any such branch of law as a constitutional branch, or any such thing as a constitution, really in existence.

In a community in which, as above, no such thing as a constitution is really to be found, things to each of which the name of a constitution is given, are to be found in endless multitudes. On each occasion, the thing designated by the phrase “the constitution,” is a substitute for a constitution,—a substitute framed by the imagination of the person by whom this phrase is uttered, framed by him, and, of course, adapted to that which, in his mind, is the purpose of the moment, whatsoever that purpose be; in so far as that purpose is the promoting the creation or preservation of an absolutely monarchical form of government, the constitution thus imagined and invented by him is of the absolutely monarchical cast; in so far as that purpose is the promoting the creation or preservation of a limitedly monarchical form of government, it is of the limitedly monarchical cast; in so far as the purpose is the creation or preservation of a democratical form of government, it is of the democratic cast.

The Anglo-American United States have a constitution. They have a constitutional code; the constitution is the system of arrangements delineated in that code.

It has for its object the greatest happiness of the greatest number, and in pursuit of that object, the powers of government are allotted by it to the greatest number.

The French and Spanish nations have constitutions. The English monarchy has no constitution, for it has no all-comprehensive constitutional code, nor in short, any constitutional code whatsoever generally acknowledged as such; nor by any one individual of the whole community acknowledged as such. Hence, so it is, that of the assertion contained in the phrases, “excellent constitution,”—“matchless constitution,” an assertion by which every endeavour to produce the effect of the worst constitution possible is so naturally accompanied, no disproof can be opposed otherwise than by the assertion of a plain and universally notorious matter of fact, viz.—that the English people have no constitution at all belonging to them. England, not having any constitution at all, has no excellent, no matchless constitution; for nothing has no properties. If ever it has a constitution, that constitution will most probably be a democratical one; for nothing less than an insurrection on the part of the greatest number, will suffice to surmount and subdue so vast a power as that which is composed of the conjunct action of force, intimidation, corruption, and delusion.

The constitutional branch of law, is that branch, by which designation is made of that person, or those persons, to whose power it is intended, that on each occasion, the conduct of all the other members of the community in question shall be subjected.

The power which is here conferred is the supreme power.

Of the supreme power thus designated, that is to say, of the aggregate of the operations by which the exercise of it is performed, there are, of necessity, two perfectly distinct branches, the operative and the constitutive: the operative, is exercised by the declaration made of the all-directing will above alluded to; the constitutive, is exercised by the determination made of the individual or individuals, by whom the operative power is exercised.

Constitutional law has for its object, security against misrule; security against those adversaries of the community, in whose instance, while their situation bestows on them the denomination of rulers, the use they make of it, adds the adjunct evil, and thus denominates them evil rulers.

In a code of constitutional law, as has been already observed, arrangements of two different complexions must have place; one set of the nature of those belonging to the distributive or civil branch of law, having for their occupation the distribution of the powers of government, with the opposite and correspondent burthens: the other set presenting a penal aspect, having, for their occupation, the giving a description of a particular class of crimes, and of the means employed against them, in the character of remedies. But that the thread may not be interrupted, convenience recommends the placing what belongs to these crimes, in company with what belongs to others, in the penal code. On the occasion of ordinary offences, the persons against whose mischievous enterprises, the security is to be afforded, are individuals at large. On the occasion of this particular class of crimes, to individuals considered in the character of subjects are added, or substituted, individuals considered in the character of rulers. This distinction, the draughtsman will, when occupied on the penal code, at all times keep in view.

In the situation of a ruler as such, in a monarchy, no act that he can commit, be it in ever so high a degree mischievous, wears the denomination of a crime: king, or by what other denomination designated, a ruler can do no wrong. For the same evil act which, if committed by a subject, would be wrong, becomes, by the mere circumstance of its being committed by a ruler, not wrong, but right.

So far as it wears the complexion of penal law, constitutional law has these two for its distinguishable and contrasted objects: first, the ordering matters so, that those who, to some purposes and on some occasions, occupy the situation of rulers, shall, in respect of their conduct in that and other situations, be liable to be dealt with, in the character of offenders, delinquents, criminals: could the ordering matters so, that to acts done in resistance to, or for prevention of, misrule, and thence productive of more good than evil,—to such acts, of whatever penal denomination they may appear susceptible, no such punishment, if any, shall be allotted, as might, with propriety, be allotted to them, if the application of them to the prevention of misrule had no place.

Under an absolute monarchy, the constitutional branch of the law has, for its sole actual end, the greatest happiness of the one individual, in whose hands without division, the whole of the supreme operative power is lodged.

For decency’s sake, the end thus actually and exclusively pursued, is not the end professed and declared to be pursued. For the designation of the end actually pursued, regard for decency and conciseness, substitutes, on each occasion, one or another of a small assortment of phrases: preservation of order, preservation of legitimacy, for example.

Under a limited monarchy, the constitutional branch of law has, for its actual object, a more complex object; viz. the greatest happiness of the monarch, coupled with, and limited by, the greatest happiness of the conjunctly or subordinately ruling few, by whose respective powers the limitations that are applied to the power of the monarch, are applied.

Under a representative democracy, the constitutional branch of law has, for its actual end, the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

Accordingly, so far as it exists in the utmost degree of perfection which the nature of the case admits of, the right of indicating, by the respective suffrages, among what individuals the supreme operative power shall be shared, is exercised by all. The concurrence of all in the effective designation of the individual, by whom the share in question in the operative power shall be possessed, not being possible, wherever the wishes of one part of those by whom the suffrages are given, point to one person, while the wishes of another part point to another, the next most desirable result, with reference to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, is, that instead of being exercised by the whole number, the power shall be exercised by the greater part of it; such being the most desirable result, such accordingly is the actual result.

In a representative democracy, the exercise of this designative power is performed by human judgment; under a monarchy, it is performed by fortune or providence;—the cause being the same, and that cause out of the reach of our knowledge, each man may, on each particular occasion, do as he is accustomed to do, employ that one of the two terms, which, on that occasion, is regarded by him as best suited to his purpose. Under the exercise made of this power by fortune, the supreme operative power finds itself, at the death of the last possessor, in the hands of the only child, or, in case of children more than one, living at that moment,—of the first born, of the children of a certain woman: the power of removal is, under the direction of fortune, providence, or (by accident,) human judgment, exercised by death.

In so far as the power of appointment is thus exercised by fortune or providence, no degree of relative inaptitude, short of universally manifest and complete insanity of mind, has the effect of preventing the operative power from finding itself lodged in the hands thus designated and appointed: no degree of inaptitude, short of that produced by insanity as above, takes the power of removal out of the hands of death.

The persons in whose hands is lodged the supreme operative power, as also those in whose hands the supreme designative power, (appointment and removal included,) is lodged, being determined, what remains for the matter of the constitutional code, is the declaring in what manner the power and functions of the persons, in whose hands the designative power is lodged, shall be exercised: as likewise the marking out into a number of distinct branches, the whole mass of subordinate power.

A constitutional code might, in a certain sense, be said to be complete, if neither any distribution of operative power among subordinate authorities, nor any mode of appointment or removal in relation to the possessors of any such subordinate power, were contained in it. For by the description given, as above, of the supreme power, and the provision made as above, for the exercise of the designative power, with relation to the possessors of that same supreme operative power, provision would be made for all such subordinate arrangements, as above, as it might be the pleasure of the possessors of those two branches of the supreme power, to concur in the making of.



Section I.

General Object.

Of law in general, and of this branch in particular, the principal object is to give security to rights; viz. to such as it finds in existence, and such others, as under and in virtue of such arrangements as it finds in existence, are, from time to time, successively brought into existence; to wit, either by such events as take place without the operation of human will, such as deaths and other casualties, and the produce of the elements of the three kingdoms of nature,—the mineral, the vegetable, and the animal; and such as are brought into existence by the operation of the human will, such as voluntary contracts, and ordinances of the administrative branch of government.

In comparison with the security thus afforded for rights in general, such benefits as belong to this or that one of the three remaining heads, under one or other of which, all the as-yet-unmentioned benefits, which it is in the nature of government to confirm or secure, may be classed, are but of secondary importance; to wit, subsistence, meaning incidental arrangements for securing national subsistence against incidental causes of failure; abundance, meaning continual increase to that which is a common matter of subsistence and abundance; and equality, meaning the giving to the several masses of the matter of wealth in the possession of different individuals, such approach and perpetual tendency to absolute equality, as shall not be inconsistent with the security which ought to be afforded to the rights relative to property, and the rights relative to condition in life.

Security, subsistence, abundance, and equality,—by these then will be presented to view the several subordinate or particular ends, most immediately in contact with, and branching out from, the only legitimate and universal end of government.

Neither in the import of the word subsistence, nor in the import of the word abundance, is any relation to futurity necessarily involved. In the import of the word security, that relation is constantly and necessarily involved: the present being at all times but a point, the word security can never present itself without presenting to view one point at least, which is neither the present nor the past.

Section II.


First on the list of benefits which the civil branch of the law is occupied in distributing, is security.

Security may be considered with reference to the objects which are secured, and with reference to the objects against which they are secured.

Taking human beings individually considered, these are the only real entities considered as being secured. But when a particular and practical application comes to be made of the word security, certain names of fictitious entities in common use must be employed to designate so many objects, to and for which the security is afforded. Person, reputation, property, condition in life,—by these four names of fictitious entities, all the objects to which, in the case of an individual, the security afforded by government can apply itself, may be designated.

Security has for its adversaries, against whose enterprises it is to be afforded, three classes of persons differently situated and denominated, viz. foreign adversaries considered as such, foreigners considered in so far as they are, or are liable to become, adversaries; rulers, viz. of the country in question considered in that same light; and fellow-citizens, or fellow-subjects, considered in that same light.

As to the acts against which security is to be afforded, and by which, in so far as they are performed, security is broken in upon and lessened, they are in themselves and their immediate effects, the same by which soever of the three species of adversaries they are exercised. Taken, however, in the aggregate, they are wont to be designated by a different denomination, according to the situation of the class to which the person or persons by whom they are exercised, is considered as belonging. If to that of foreign adversaries, they are denominated acts of hostility: if to that of domestic adversaries, considered in the character of rulers, acts of oppression—or, if the oppression be considered as to a certain degree flagrant, acts of tyranny; if to that of domestic adversaries, considered in the character of subjects, acts of delinquency.

The case of foreigners, and also the case of rulers, are treated of elsewhere. Remains the case in which the persons against whose enterprises security is to be afforded, are considered in the character of subjects.

In this instance, the principal and leading operation by which the security is afforded, consists in giving, to the several distinguishable acts by which the security, considered as applied to the several sorts of possessions, is considered as being broken in upon and lessened, the denomination and character of so many different offences, considered with reference to the persons engaged in the exercise of those acts.

But so nice and difficult of apprehension is, in many cases, the distinction—on the one hand, between one mode of delinquency and another—on the other hand, between the several modes of delinquency and innocence; and so inadequate to the purpose of conveying, in this case, a clear, correct, and complete conception of the object denominated, is any single word, of which a denomination can be composed,—that to each such denomination, it is altogether necessary that a definition be subjoined, or, to speak more extensively, an exposition; as also, on the occasion of each such exposition, a portion of explanatory matter applied to the several distinguishable terms of which it is composed.

Were nothing further necessary to the purpose, the list of these several definitions (considered as being so many instruments employed in the process of affording security against so many acts, by the exercise of which security is broken in upon and lessened) might, without any apparent impropriety, be allotted to the branch of law here in question. But such are the temptations by which, in the instance of each such offence, men are liable to be invited to the exercise of it, that unless, for the purpose of restraining them from the commission of those acts respectively, inducements of the nature of punishment were employed and announced, every such definition so sent abroad without support, would be a dead letter, and as such, be without effect. Penal law is, therefore, the branch of law which occupies itself in the distribution of burthens, to the intent of their having the effect of punishment.

With relation to the civil code,—taking the mass of its arrangements for an intermediate end, the matter of the penal code is but a means. By the arrangements contained in the civil code, so many directive rules are furnished; what the penal code does, is but to furnish sanctions, by which provision is made for the observance of those directive rules. In truth, it goes but part of the way towards furnishing that indispensable appendage; for, of sanctions, there are two sorts, viz. the punitive and the remunerative; and the punitive is the only one of the two, which is furnished by the penal code as such.

Hence it is that, in the field of law, command occupies a much greater extent than is occupied by invitation. Between the idea of command and the idea of eventual punishment, the connexion is inseparable. Thus it is, that the character and form of penality are given to the principal mass of those directive rules by which the distribution of benefits, as well as that of burthens, is effected. The matter of the civil code is in its form little else but a sort of exposition of the terms employed in the commands delivered by the penal code.

Thus to give effect to the distribution made of property, against the several acts by which it is invaded,—usurpation, for example, or theft, or endamagement,—the law must afford the means of knowing what is each man’s property, and, for this purpose, employ some such word as titles, to denote the several efficient causes of it. But so long everywhere is the list of the different sorts of titles, and so unavoidably complicated and voluminous the descriptions of the modes in which they may be acquired and lost, that to insert all this matter of detail in the body of the penal code would give an altogether disproportionate bulk to the matter of the different sections, which necessarily belong to it; and, in particular, the several sections in and by which the several acts, which have been distinguished and crected into offences, have been described. Hence, from the several passages in which, in a penal code, any such word as title occurs, reference will be made to the division headed with some such word as titles, in the civil code. So again, of the offences enumerated and defined in the penal code, non-performance of services due by contract, or, more shortly, non-performance of contract, must necessarily be one. But as of services the variety is infinite, so of services to the rendering of which a man may seek to oblige himself by contract the variety is great: correspondently great, on the other hand, is the variety of cases in which, notwithstanding the entrance made into this or that contract, it is not fit that the sanction of the law should be employed in enforcing the performance of it.

Of the matter of the penal code, the designation made is not complete until a designation has been made of all the sorts of acts which, by it, are dealt with in the character of offences. Of the matter of the civil code, the efficiency would be throughout as nothing, were not the several acts by which the distributions made by it are violated, dealt with on the footing of offences. Yet, there is no such correspondency between the one sort of matter and the other as to render it convenient that both together should be amalgamated into one and the same code. For, though there are some offences, for the full and adequate description of which abundance of the sort of expository matter above spoken of is necessary—as, for instance, the offences by the creation and punishment of which protection is afforded to property—yet property is but one out of several endowments to which protection is afforded; and some there are, to the protection of which by appropriate arrangements of penal law, no such voluminous masses of expository matter are requisite. Every man, for example, has, on certain conditions, and in certain modes, a right to protection at the hands of law against such acts as are injurious to his person. But, for the designation of his title to his person, or of his title to such protection for it, no such details are necessary as in the case of property.

And the like may be said with regard to reputation.

Section III.


Original and all-comprehensive, derivative and incidental, means of subsistence. By these words may be designated the two branches of a division which it is necessary in the first place to bring to view.

The original fund of each man’s subsistence is each man’s labour. The production of it is the work of nature without law, and antecedently to law. What it looks for at the hand of law is security: security against calamity, security against hostility from foreigners, from fellow-subjects, and from rulers.

Incidental and derivative means of subsistence. The need of these arises out of the deficiences that are liable to have place in the produce of each man’s labour, considered as a fund for each man’s subsistence.

Certain and casual. By the two distinctions thus designated may be comprehended, in the first place, all the varieties of which the cause of this deficiency are susceptible.

Certain is the nature of those produced by time of life: by the time antecedent to the capacity for labour, and by the time subsequent to it: by immaturity and by caducity.

The time of immaturity endures for years: the time of caducity may endure for years, or may terminate in the same moment in which it commenced.

Want of capacity for labour, want of employment for labour. Under one or other of these heads may be comprehended all the casual causes of deficiency in regard to subsistence.

Casual want of capacity for labour is indisposition—relative indisposition. Indisposition may be of body or of mind: the degree of indisposition in question is designated by the effect.

If against any of the causes of deficiency in regard to subsistence the government has failed to provide an efficient remedy, the consequence is death; security against calamity has so far failed to have been afforded.

But against deficiency in regard to subsistence, no remedy can ever be provided but at the expense of security for abundance. The fund of abundance is composed of the stock remaining of the produce of labour, deduction made of the several amounts, substracted by consumption, useful and useless, immediate and gradual, natural and human, in all their several shapes.

In his endeavour to provide a remedy against deficiency in regard to subsistence, the legislator finds himself all along under the pressure of this dilemma—forbear to provide supply, death ensues, and it has you for its author; provide supply, you establish a bounty upon idleness, and you thus give increase to the deficiency which it is your endeavour to exclude.

Under the pressure of this dilemma, how to act is a problem, the solution of which will, in a great degree, be dependent upon local circumstances: nor can anything like a complete solution be so much as attempted without continual reference to them. One leading observation applies to all places and all times. So long as any particle of the matter of abundance remains in any one hand, it will rest with those, to whom it appears that they are able to assign a sufficient reason, to show why the requisite supply to any deficiency in the means of subsistence should be refused.

Section IV.


Of the instruments of abundance, the fund is composed of the surplus of the means of subsistence, deduction made of the quantity destroyed by consumption in all its shapes.

Increase of production—decrease of consumption. Under one or other of these two heads may be comprehended all the possible causes of increase to the abundance fund.

Natural and factitious. Under one or other of these two heads may be comprehended all the possible modes of increase to production.

By natural, understand all those that have place without intervention on the part of the government in this particular view. Under this same head natural, is therefore comprehended whatsoever assistance is afforded to production, by the security afforded to produce.

By factitious modes of increase to production, understand all such as are employed by government in that special view.

Here comes in with propriety one general and all-comprehensive rule. In so far as the natural means of increase to the abundance fund suffice for the production of the effect, forbear to employ any factitious means for giving increase or acceleration to it.

Neither for this purpose nor for any other can the power of government be employed, but coercion must be applied immediately, in so far as the inducements employed are of the penal kind; unimmediately, in so far as the inducements employed are of the remunerative kind: but it is only by coercion that any means of remuneration can be collected.

In favour, and for the benefit of, A, you cannot seek to give increase to production in the hands of A, except in so far as coercion is applied either to A himself, or to B, C, and D, and so forth.

But why seek to benefit A by coercion applied to A? His regard for himself is greater than yours can be;—his knowledge of what is most beneficial to himself is greater than yours can be;—his experience of what has been most beneficial and most hurtful to himself is greater than yours can be.

Why seek to benefit A by coercion applied to B, C, and D, and so forth? Coercion is evil—positive evil—suffering: absence of increase is but negative evil. No suffering is the result of it. A is but one; B, C, D, and the rest of them are many: by the number of them all, after allowance made for the lessening of loss by the distribution of it, is the quantity of the suffering, produced by the coercion, multiplied.

Increase cannot thus be sought to be given to production otherwise than at the expense of equality; by violations made of the rules of equality, for the importance of which to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, see further on.

For security, yes, without decrease, and with increase to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, the rules of equality may be infringed: for increase to abundance, without decrease to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, they cannot be infringed.

The negative means of increase to the abundance fund is by decrease of consumption. In so far as it is by voluntary decrease of consumption that decrease is made in the amount of the abundance fund, by the respective proprietors, pleasure and security, in all their various shapes are the effects of it, and are in proportion to it. In the case of by far the greatest portion, in quantity and value, of the produce of labour, subsistence, pleasure, and security, in all their several shapes, have place only in so far as consumption has place. In each individual instance, from which of two causes, pleasure, or security, or both, are derived by him in greatest quantity, viz. from consumption or from avoidance of consumption—in a word, from preservation, is better known to the proprietor himself, than it can be to any body, and not at all known to you.

The great cause by which decrease is produced in the abundance fund, always without pleasure, and, in too great degree, without proportionable security to the possessors, is, that which consists of the draughts made upon it by government.

The abundance fund being composed of savings made out of the subsistence fund, includes in it the subsistence fund: the materials or instruments of abundance are the materials or matter of subsistence.

Diminution of consumption being one of the two means of increase to the abundance fund, hence, upon occasion, where, under the notion of providing security in all its branches for the several instruments of felicity, draughts are made by government upon the abundance fund by taxes, some indication may be afforded respecting the subjects on which, with least detriment, the taxes may be imposed.

With or without design, in so far as a tax is imposed upon any article, the consumption, the use, and thereby the production, of it, is discouraged. To that article discouragement is applied, and, at the same time, to all other articles, in so far as they are rivals to it, encouragement.

Hence, other effects laid out of the question, for increase of the abundance fund, with a view to subsistence, there is a use in imposing taxes rather on objects, to the use of which prompt consumption is necessary, than on objects, to the use of which slow and gradual consumption is sufficient: on objects applicable to the purpose of subsistence of themselves, and without exchange, rather than on objects not applicable to that purpose, otherwise than by exchange, especially if not otherwise than by exchange with foreign or distant countries.

Section V.


Fourth on the list of the benefits which the civil branch of the law is occupied in distributing, is equality.

By equality is here meant, not the utmost conceivable equality, but only practicable equality. The utmost conceivable equality has place only in the field of physics; it applies only to weight, measure, time, and thence to motion.

The utmost conceivable equality, say absolute equality, admits not of degrees,—practicable equality does admit of degrees.

Equality is not itself, as security, subsistence, and abundance are, an immediate instrument of felicity. It operates only through the medium of those three, especially through abundance and security. Of all three taken together, the use, fruit, and object is felicity—the maximum of felicity; of this maximum the magnitude depends upon the degree of equality that has place in the proportions in which those three are distributed.

Apply it first to subsistence,—means or instruments of subsistence,—subsistence taken in the strict sense. There is not in this case a place for degrees in the scale of equality; for, by the supposition, no inequality has place in this case. As contradistinguished from the instruments of abundance, by the means of subsistence, is meant that least quantity of those instruments, which is such, that with any lesser quantity existence could not have place: no subsistence, no existence.

It is when applied to abundance—to the elements or instruments of abundance, that the nature, and, with the nature, the importance, of political economy is most plainly discernible.

In the aggregate of the elements of abundance is included, as above, the aggregate of the means of subsistence. If the aggregate of felicity were as the aggregate of the elements of subsistence, no addition could be made, by any degree of equality, to the aggregate of felicity. But so far is this from being the case, that it is a question scarcely susceptible of solution, whether, where the aggregate of the elements of abundance is represented by the greatest number possible, the aggregate of felicity is so great as, or greater than, two. Take, on the one hand, the day-labourer, who throughout life has had complete means of subsistence, but at no time any portion of the elements of abundance: take, on the other part, the monarch, who throughout life has had the elements of abundance, together with all the other instruments of felicity, in the greatest quantity possible. Ages equal, scarcely can any one assure himself by full persuasion, that the quantity of felicity enjoyed by the monarch has been twice the amount of that enjoyed by the labourer; for the quantity of felicity is not as the quantity of the elements of felicity simply, but as the quantity of the elements of felicity, and the capacity of containing the felicity, taken together. In a basin of water, introduce anywhere a secret waste-pipe: inject through another pipe any quantity of water how great soever, the vessel, it shall happen, will be never the fuller; for as fast as it flows in at one part, it flows out at another. Just so it is with the elements or instruments of felicity, when a stream of them, of boundless magnitude, is injected into the human breast. Of pain, in all its shapes, a monarch is no less susceptible than the labourer: and in its most common shapes the quantity of pain may be, and frequently is, so great as to outweigh the greatest quantity of pleasure in all its shapes, of which human nature is susceptible. Even suppose pain, in all its severe shapes, absent during the whole time: the quantity experienced the whole time, suppose it a minimum: this being the case in both situations, still the question will remain insoluble as before. For in both cases the quantity of felicity actually enjoyed depends on the degree of sensibility to enjoyment, in each instance: and while in the labourer the sensibility is a maximum, the degree of sensibility in the monarch may be a minimum. Even supposing this sensibility to be at the same degree, in both instances at a given time of life, it is, in the case of the monarch, exposed to a cause of diminution, which has no place in the case of the labourer; for by high dozes of the exciting matter applied to the organ, its sensibility is in a manner worn out. And in fact, number for number, the certain probative symptoms or circumstantial evidences of infelicity, as exhibited on the countenance, are at least as frequent in the case of the monarch as in the case of the labourer.

Apply the investigation to any of the situations intermediate between that of the labourer and that of the monarch, the result will be the same.

The more closely the subject is looked into, the more complete will the persuasion be.

Of the enjoyments or instruments of positive felicity, the principal and most unquestionable will be found to be, as constantly and in as high a degree, attached to the situation of the labourer, as above delineated—the labourer, to whom none of the means of subsistence have been wanting, though none of the other elements of abundance have been present—as to that of the monarch.

The principal enjoyments of which human nature is susceptible, constancy of repetition being considered as well as magnitude, are—those produced by the operations by which the individual is preserved; those produced by the operations by which the species is preserved; that cessation from labour which is termed repose; and that pleasure of sympathy which is produced by the observation of others partaking in the same enjoyments. These four, with the exception of repose, are so many positive enjoyments upon the face of them.

Cessation from labour presents, it is true, upon the face of it no more than a negative idea; but when the condition of him by whom repose after corporeal labour is experienced, is considered, the enjoyment will be seen to be a positive quantity; for, in this case, not merely a cessation from discomfort, but a pleasurable feeling of a peculiar kind, is experienced, such as, without the antecedent labour, never can be experienced. In the case of the labourer, it may indeed be said, that before the time of repose, with its enjoyment, arrives, the labour is pushed to a degree of intensity of which pain (in those degrees, at least, in which it is denoted by the word discomfort) has been produced. But the greater the degree of the pain of suffrance, the greater the degree of the pleasure of expectation—the expectation of the pleasure of repose—with which it has been accompanied. And this pleasure of expectation has had for its accompaniment, the pleasures of expectation respectively appertaining to the other pleasures of enjoyment above-mentioned; sensibility with regard to each being increased by that very labour, to the intensity of which that of the pleasure of repose is proportioned.

Pursue the investigation throughout the several other enjoyments of which human nature is susceptible, the ultimate result will not be materially different.

Except in so far as security cannot be afforded to one man but by defalcation made from the security afforded to another, where is the man to whom appropriate security ought not to be afforded for his person, for his reputation, or for his condition in life? Where is the man to whom, for any one of those three possessions, greater or better security ought to be afforded than to any other?

Remains property, as the only one of the four possessions in relation to which the application of the benefit of equality requires any considerate discrimination or reserve.

When, and in proportion as, by any cause, defalcation to any amount is made from the mass of a man’s property, whether in possession or in contingency, a correspondent defalcation, there is always sufficient reason for believing, is thereby made from the sum of his happiness.

The defalcation thus made from happiness may have place without his being apprized of the defalcation made from his property.

Such is the case, for example, where a man having in his possession a mass of property, the exact amount of which is not known to him, a defalcation, not known or suspected by him, is made from it, whether by design or accident.

So again, in case of contingency, a gift or legacy being, without his knowledge, intended for him, a third person intervenes, and, without his knowledge or suspicion, prevents the intention from being executed.

In these cases, happiness is diminished, viz. by diminution of pleasure; but in these cases no positive pain is produced.

If with his knowledge, and without his free consent, a defalcation is made from the mass of his property, in this case, over and above the sort of negative defalcation made as above, defalcation of a positive aspect is made, viz. by means of, and in proportion to, a particular pain, which, in some quantity or other, he cannot fail to experience. A pain of privation, or a pain of loss, are the names by which this species of pain has been distinguished.

If from the operation of a cause, the same with, or similar to, that one from the operation of which a loss, as above, has been sustained by a man, he is made to entertain the apprehension of ulterior loss, produced by ulterior operations of the same cause, another pain of a different description takes place, in addition to the above. This pain has been denominated a pain of apprehension, grounded on loss.

If but for the loss thus incurred, the man would have continued or engaged in some profit-seeking and profitable course of labour; or if he is, by the apprehension of the like eventual loss, prevented from continuing or engaging in such course,—a loss to a further amount is thus produced, and by means of it, it will generally happen, an additional and correspondent pain. The loss has been denominated loss by depression of industry; the pain, pain from repression of industry.

Of these four modes of defalcation from happiness by defalcation from property, the two first-mentioned apply exclusively to the individual thus damnified, and the circle of his connexions in the way of interest and sympathy. From the two last, by the observation of his suffering, may be propagated, as it were, by contagion, a cluster of similar evils in the breasts of other persons, the number of whom will be determined by the number of those by whom intimation having been received of his loss, apprehension comes to be entertained of loss to themselves, or their connexions, from the operation of the same cause, or similar ones.

This pain, to the extent of which, that is to say to the number of persons participating in it, no exact limits can be assigned, has been denominated the pain of insecurity by contagion.

When a mass of property, not as yet in the man’s possession, having been an object of expectation to him, fails at the expected time to come into his possession, disappointment on his part takes place,—a correspondent pain is experienced by him, a pain of disappointment.

Correspondent to the pain of privation in case of defalcation, is the pain of disappointment in case of expectancy.

In the case of the first of these evils, if by the same cause by which it has been produced to one party, good to an amount not inferior, has been produced to another party, no sufficient reason will have place for abstaining from the production of it.

Where no expectation has had place, no disappointment can have place. In the exclusion of the above evils may be seen the only reasons why, for property in any shape, against the acts of persons of any description, security should, in any shape, in any place, at any time, be afforded; why, for theft in any case, for fraudulent attainment by any means, for robbery, for extortion, for peculation, in a word, for depredation in any shape, punishment should be appointed.

In the instance of each individual, a particular point of time there is at which, without defalcation made from security in his instance, or in the instance of any other individual, his property may be subjected to a distribution or other disposition, whereby, according to the amount of it, advance towards absolute equality may be made.

This time, is the time of a man’s death. In his instance no such evil is produced, for he is no more. In the instance of no other individual, if sufficient and effective care has been taken to exclude expectation, will evil be produced; for the only evil incident to the case is disappointment, and, by the exclusion of expectation, disappointment has been excluded.

Whatsoever be the amount of a man’s property, if, within a certain distance from him in the line of natural relationship, relations of his, knowing themselves to be such, and known by him to be such, are in existence, an expectation of possessing, at the time of his death, the whole, or a portion more or less considerable, of that property, (with the expectation of such part, if any, as it is known will terminate at his death,) will, in proportion to their several degrees of propinquity, and correspondent amity, be entertained,—that is, in the instance of such of them as, in respect of age and other circumstances, are capable of entertaining expectations of this nature.

In the instance of some of these persons, this habit of expectation has had, for its cause and support, a correspondent habit of co-enjoyment.

In this case are constantly a man’s wife and children; a woman’s husband and children; incidentally any other such near relations, especially blood-relations, whose circumstances, in conjunction with his own, have happened to produce, on their part, such habit of co-enjoyment.

On this occasion by the distribution which, according to the natural course of things takes place (abstraction made of arrangements established by positive law, for the express purpose of controlling it) equality, and that without defalcation from security, is promoted.

So various are the circumstances in which, on the occasion of any such decease, a family is capable of being left, that, in the way of detail, it is impossible to pronounce, by any general rule, what course or plan of distribution is most natural: what course or plan is, in the highest degree, conducive to the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

In general terms, thus much however may be said, that among those by which equal regard is paid to the habit of co-enjoyment, other grounds of expectation and demand, being on the same footing, that course will be most beneficial which, in its nature, and in the conception entertained of it, and the description given of it, is the most simple.

Say, for example, children or no children, on the death of the husband, the whole of his property to the widow: on the death of the wife, the whole of her property to the widower.

On the children, the state of dependence in which they are thus left, imposes no new hardship: this dependence is but a continuation of existing dependence.

As between child and child, on the decease of the widower or the widow, equality; this, for a general rule is the most obvious, and has the advantage of simplicity.

Abstraction made, of any difference of demand that may be regarded as produced by sex—in favour of an elder child, in support of a claim on his part to a more than equal share, may be adduced the longer continuance of his habit of co-enjoyment.

But, in favour of the younger, in support of a claim on his part to a more than equal share, may be adduced the more urgent need resulting from, and proportioned to, the deficiency in his capacity of providing the means of subsistence from his own labour, in comparison with a brother or sister of maturer age. Of this latter reason the force presents itself as being superior to that of the former.

For the solution of these, and a host of other difficulties, altogether incapable of being aptly provided for, by general rules, provision may be made, and very generally is made, by a power of disposition given to the parents or one of them: natural affection, guided by ordinary prudence, being in this case trusted to, for the accomplishment of the universal object—the greatest happiness of the greatest number interested.

But neither are natural affection nor prudence, in this case, in every instance, what it were to be wished they were. This considered, a course that may naturally enough present itself to the legislator is, to divide the thus vacated mass of property into two parts: one, the division of which shall be determined by the single consideration of equality; the other, in relation to which the case of providing for the differences liable to be made in the proper quantum of allowance, by the difference that may have place in respect of the quantity needed, and the correspondent urgency of the demand, is left to be provided for by natural affection, guided by ordinary prudence, as above.

In modern Europe, by the operation of causes produced by a state of society such as has no longer any place anywhere, an arrangement, altogether different from the above, and as adverse as possible to equality of distribution, and the beneficial effects depending on it, has, to a vast extent, for many ages had place, and continues to have place: to females nothing: to males, if but one, the whole: if more than one, to the eldest the whole: to the other or others, in whatever number, nothing. For this arrangement, in times of high antiquity, there existed a cause which was not wholly destitute of reason. From external adversaries, or from this or that portion of its own members, and in particular from the great majority of them, placed in relation to the ruling few, in the condition of slaves, the state of the whole community was a state of continual, all-pervading, and imminent danger. The mode of armament was at the same time, compared with the immature state of the arts on the operations of which it depended, a highly expensive one. For defence, in addition to the ordinary habiliments, were others composed of iron: for offence, lances, spears, or bows and arrows. Lances were in an eminent degree, exposed to fracture: by a spear no chance of producing effect could be afforded, but by its being parted with, and conveyed to the adversary: and so in the case of the arrow. To these, as well for offence as defence, was added a horse: nor for the defence of the horse, was a sort of appropriate armour always refused; bridles and saddles for him, were at any rate necessary: and, employed or not employed, food for him, with a certain degree of attendance, was at all times necessary. To destruction or cessation, the services of the animal were exposed at all times: a succession was therefore necessary to be kept up.

By the conjunct operation of all these causes taken together, to the maintenance of each individual, whose powers were thus applicable to the defence of the community, a mass of property, continually kept on foot, was indispensably necessary. In the possession of any such individual, suppose a mass of property sufficient, but not more than sufficient, for this purpose; if, upon his decease, this mass of property were to be subjected to division, the national force would thus be bereft of one of its constituent parts: and, in a state of society in which the cultivation of the means of subsistence had made so small a progress, so small was the number of the individuals thus equipped, that no individual could be subtracted from the number without sensible diminution of national security.

From all labour employed in the production of the means of subsistence, and the matter of abundance, all persons thus engaged in the defence of the community, stood exempted; partly by necessity, in respect of the need of the application of it to their military function, partly by the power they had of exacting from others, labour for those and other purposes, for their own use.

In regard to exposure to the necessity of labour, from this state of things has been produced, in the minds of a certain portion of the community, a division of the members of that same community into two classes: one composed of those in whose instance the need of employing labour in the acquisition of subsistence and abundance, is no hardship: another composed of those in whose instance the need is a hardship.

The exigencies and habits of acting, produced by this state of things, have long been at an end everywhere; but habits of thinking, produced by it, are scarcely at an end anywhere.

To descend from a higher to a lower place in the scale of opulence, is a change which can neither be endured nor apprehended without uneasiness. On the decease of any possessor of property living without labour, laying out of consideration the widow or the widower, no division can have place among the children, but that, at any rate, (if it be an equal one,) this inconvenience must be experienced—experienced by all of them, in a degree proportioned to their number,—if, by the late proprietor, a house of a certain extent and appearance, with servants in a certain number, and a table furnished at a certain expense, were kept up, in the comforts of all which, during the life of the father, the children had, all of them, in a greater or less degree, and naturally in an equal degree, participated,—after the decease of the parent, no such equal enjoyment (except on condition of a degree of harmony not to be expected from equals so situated, and not under the control of any superior, nor in that case without universal renunciation of the comforts of matrimony) could be maintained.

But, in a situation of this sort, such is the course taken by self-regard, looking forward to the time in which, in his own person, he will have ceased to exist, imagination presents to a man, as a sort of substitute to his own person, that of another, who, in nature, denomination, and in amount of property, shall come as near to himself as one person can come to another. A person whose body once formed a part of his own, and in the rendering of whose mind a continuation of his own, as much care and labour has been employed as it was agreeable to him to employ.

The usefulness of the benefit of equality stands, then, upon these positions:—

1. The quantity of happiness possessed by a man, is not as the quantity of property possessed by the same man.

2. The greater the quantity of the matter of property a man is already in possession of, the less is the quantity of happiness he receives by the addition of another quantity of the matter of property, to a given amount.

3. The addition made by property to happiness goes on increasing in such a ratio, that, in the case of two individuals—he who has least, having, at all times, a quantity of the matter of property sufficient for a subsistence, while he who has most, possesses it in a quantity as great as any individual ever had, or ever can have; it is a question scarce capable of solution, whether the one who has the greatest quantity of the matter of property, has twice the quantity of happiness which he has whose quantity of the means of happiness, in that shape, is the least.

If this ratio, of two to one, be regarded as too small a ratio, substitute to it the ratio of 3 to 1, the ratio of 4 to 1, and so on, till you are satisfied you have fixed upon the proper ratio: still, the truth of the practical conclusion will not be affected.

This conclusion is, that, so far as is consistent with security, the nearer to equality the distribution is, which the law makes of the matter of property among the members of the community, the greater is the happiness of the greatest number: and, accordingly, this is the proposition which, so far as can be done without preponderant prejudice to security, ought, at all times, and in all places, to be established and maintained.

As to absolute equality, in relation to property, such equality is neither possible nor desirable.

It is not possible, because, supposing it to have place at the commencement of any one day, the operations of that one day will have sufficed to have destroyed it before the commencement of the next.

It is not desirable, because never having had existence in any country, at any time, it could not have place in any country in future, without having been endeavoured to be established in that same country: in which case, not only the endeavour, but the very design alone, accompanied with any assurance of its being about to be followed by the correspondent endeavour, perseveringly exercised, would suffice to destroy the whole of the value, and the greatest part of the substance, of the matter thus undertaken to be divided.

Section VI.

Rights and Obligations.

Correspondent to rights, are obligations. Without the idea expressed by the word obligation, no clear or correct idea can be annexed to the word right.

Rights are either simple or complex: simple rights, are the elements out of which complex rights are composed. Those which first come to be considered, are simple rights.

An original or primary right, is that which is constituted by the absence of the correspondent obligation. This is the sort of right which has place antecedently to the formation of government. It belongs equally to every agent, and has place with relation to every subject. No man, as yet, being under any obligation to abstain from making any use of anything; every man has, as yet, a right to make every use of everything.

Next come those rights, the existence of which is constituted by the existence of correspondent obligations.

First comes that right which is constituted by an obligation imposed upon other men, inhibiting them from exercising, with relation to the subject in question, the sort of right above designated by the appellation of an original or primary right. Call this a right by obligation, to wit, restrictive obligation,—imposed by the addition of this secondary right, the primary right acquires the character and name of an exclusive right.

If the birth of the exclusive right awaits a manifestation of the will of the person in whose favour it is created, it receives the appellation of a right of excluding, or say of exclusion.

In this case, the word power, is in use to be employed: and we say, accordingly, right of exclusion, or power of exclusion.

In the case of the right by exclusion, or the right of excluding, the subject to which the right and the exclusion apply, may be an individual or a species: an individual, for instance, the paper, and the collection of marks called letters which have been superinduced upon it: a species, for instance, any paper of the texture or appearance of this individual paper, or any marks presenting to view in the same order the same words, i. e. words of the same import as those which upon this paper are superinduced.

Of this species of exclusive right, to wit, the exclusive right which applies to sorts of subjects, the origin is of a date long posterior to that of the right which applies to individuals. When, as in the case of copyright, the duration proper to be given to it came in question, its nature and the mode of its formation were so imperfectly understood,—so far from being clear and correct, were the ideas suggested by the words employed in giving expression to it, that the mass of argument produced by the contest, exhibits a web of confusion no where unravelled. Of the original sort of right, it was said that it presented something tangible: of the more recently created sort of right, it was said that it presented nothing tangible: and in this supposed absence of tangible matter was found a sufficient reason for disallowing the right. But it has just been seen, that whereas in the case of the original right, the quantity of tangible matter belonging to the case is but individual, and therefore, finite; in the case of the more recently created right, that quantity is a species and therefore infinite.

On the occasion of these rights, will come to be considered the subjects to which they are applicable, and also their efficient causes: to wit, the several states of things or occurrences by which they are wont to be respectively brought into existence.

Section VII.

Benefits and Burthens.

Of the distribution made of benefits, the proper object is, that the sum of them be as great as possible.

The distribution made of benefits, has two classes of effects: the first belong to the sensitive faculties only: the other, through the sensitive to the active.

Those which belong to the sensitive faculties only, are the effects universally produced throughout the whole of the field to which this branch of law applies itself: those which operate on the active faculties, are incidental only: they consist of those produced by the subject matter of the distribution, operating in the character of the matter of reward.

In the way of reward, a benefit thus distributed, is capable of being made productive of mischievous effects of two different descriptions, according to the two modes of existence, of which, in respect of duration, it is susceptible: viz. transitory and permanent: the degree of permanency being, in some cases in its nature, not incapable of extending to perpetuity.

In the case where the benefit thus made to operate, is of a transitory nature; in so far as application is made of it to the production of mischievous effects, it may be termed the matter of subornation.

Instances are, insurances against misfortune in every shape: against sufferance by fire, water, ordinary mortality.

The law of succession has this mischievous tendency: how effectually, soever, the tendency is, in general, counteracted and nullified, by natural sympathy, by the tutelary force of public opinion.

Wagering is capable of receiving a subornative tendency: when it does so, it operates in that way by a double force: by the force of punishment added to that of reward.

Where the shape in which the benefit exists, is the eventually perpetual shape, and the operation of it extends itself to the active faculty, the act by which it is established, is what is styled foundation: and in conformity to a grammatical ambiguity so extensively prevalent, the permanent result of that same transitory act is styled a foundation.

Out of this law, supported by no other than a remuneratory sanction thus limited, may be, and is made to grow in each instance, an indefinitely extensive mass of law, having, for its support, with or without remuneratory, a penal or punitory sanction.

An example is seen in all foundations having the advancement of art and science in adults or non-adults for their object or pretence. Take, for example, a college in an English university. Out of a mass of income produced by an estate in land, or an annuity payable by government, certain annuities for life or years are distributed among certain of the members, by the name of fellows and scholars: the greater masses of the annuity being styled fellowships, the lesser, scholarships. It is only on certain conditions that the possession of those several annuities can be made to commence or to continue. To give, to such or such an act or mode of conduct, the effect of terminating the continuance of the annuity, is to prohibit such act by a penal law, having, for its support, the punishment consisting in the forfeiture of the fellowship or scholarship, as the case may be. In the value of the benefit thus denominated, may be seen the limit on the side of increase of the mass of punishment which the laws of this foundation have for their support: and by the force of this punishment, punishment to any inferior amount may, in this case, be substituted.

According to certain opinions of the whole number of the individuals, past, present, and to come, belonging to the human species, a majority, or some other very large proportion, are, on the termination of the present life, consigned to a state of torment, exceeding in an infinite ratio, as well in intensity as in duration, the most afflictive that, in this life, has ever been experienced, or can be conceived. According to these same opinions, there exists a certain class of persons so gifted, that, by certain acts performable by any one of them, in favour of any individual chosen by him for that purpose, diminution may be effected either to the probability of his being subjected to such torment, or, at any rate, to the duration of it. Let an exemption to this effect be supposed obtainable, the greatest mass of the matter of wealth that ever was possessed, or ever could be possessed, by any man, would, in the character of a reward for the service by which this exemption, or rather, this chance of exemption, was afforded, be as far from being equal in value to the service thus obtained, as the value of the smallest denomination of coin would be, to the value of the richest treasure ever accumulated within the compass of one and the same receptacle.

Let these opinions, be the political community in question what it may—let a set of opinions of this nature be universally, nay, let them be but generally prevalent, it is evident that, sooner or later, human nature being constituted as it is, amongst the effects of them would be, the lodging in the hands of the persons thus gifted, as large a portion of the good things of this world—of those benefits which it is in the nature of distributive law, or of constitutional law to confer, as it is in the nature of things, that such hands should, in the whole assemblage of them, be capable of containing.

According to the nature of the event which is the subject of it, lay a wager, you may unite in that one arrangement the power of punishment and the power of reward.

Lay a wager of £1000, that a certain individual outlives a certain day, you offer to the person with whom you lay the wager, a reward of £1000 for putting him to death on or before that day: you subject him at the same time to a penalty of £1000, in case of his not putting the man to death on or before that day.

Thus it is, that as it were, in the three different languages—in the languages of these three different branches of law, one and the same arrangement may stand expressed: being expressed in the first instance, in any one of these three languages, it may be translated into one or both of the two others.

Of the effect of any arrangement, in the first instance, as belonging to this or that one of these three branches, would you have a clear, correct, and complete view? Grudge not the trouble of this legislator’s exercise.

Render the cessation of a permanent reward eventual, in the event of the performance of this or that act, by the individual rewarded, you graft on the reward a punishment. Render the cessation of a permanent punishment eventual, in the event of the performance of this or that act by the individual punished, you graft on the punishment a reward.

By donation or bequest, give a man a hundred pounds a-year for his life, remainder to his son for his life, you offer to the son a reward of a hundred a-year life rent, in the event of his putting to death his father.

To a certain extent, in the instance of the law of most countries, counter causes, natural or factitious, or both, have sufficed, for the most part, to divest these distributive arrangements of their deleterious quality: in the case of the wager, the penal law against murder: in the case of the donation or bequest, the same penal law preceded and strengthened by natural affection and the habits that ground it.

Thus, on taking, on the one hand, a view of the deleterious influence of the temptation presented by arrangements which, in the first instance, may have presented themselves in no other character than that of arrangements of civil or distributive law, operating on no other than the passive faculty, care should be taken, on the other hand, not to suffer to pass unheeded, the moral forces by which, in the character of tutelary sanctions, the force of the temptation may be, and, in the ordinary state of things, is, effectually resisted.

Unfortunately for mankind, those salutary restraints which, in ordinary cases, operate with sufficient effect on a small scale, operate with no effect at all, or at the best with comparatively very small effect, on a large scale: acting with effect in the prevention of suffering producible to a small amount, by men in the situation of individuals, they act with little or no effect in the prevention of suffering producible by men in the situation of rulers.

In the course of some reign, which it would not be material or perhaps altogether easy to particularize, the law servants of an English king fabricated an imaginary law, producing, by the help of their power, the effect of a real one, giving to their master—not forgetting themselves—the proceeds of all such vessels as should be, or rather, as had been captured, from the subjects of any foreign state antecedently to any declaration of war by him against such foreign state. Of this ex post facto law, what was the effect? Offering to him a reward, payable in the event of his giving in this way commencement to a war, necessary or unnecessary, justifiable or not justifiable: if not necessary not justifiable—and if not justifiable, giving commencement to a course of murder exceeding, in mischief and in guilt, any act punished by the hand of the ordinary judge in the instance of a private offender, under the name of murder, by the same amount by which the number of lives destroyed in the course, and by means, of the war, exceeds number one. Supposing the war so commenced, not until at the end of a competent time after such declaration of war, would the profits of these murders, in certain fixed proportions, have been divisible among such of the persons as were employed in the capture of the respective vessels. In this particular case, in which, at the time of the commencement of the plunderage, no declaration of war has been made, this part of the profits of it was, by the above-mentioned spurious substitute to an ex post facto law, given to the most gracious and religious king, whose instruments the fabricators of it were. Of a declaration of war, the purpose intended or professed is, by warning of sufficient length, to enable persons who, on the faith of a state of peace, have trusted themselves or their goods, within the reach of the state thus constituting itself in a state of war, to remove themselves in time for escape. By forbearing to issue this warning, all such persons as, if it had been given, would have escaped the calamity, are comprehended in it.

By subjects not commissioned for that purpose by their sovereign, capture thus made, would have given to the act by which it was made, the denomination of an act of piracy, and the agents, the name of pirates.

Of the distribution made of burthens, the proper object is that the sum of them be as small as possible.

Inseparable and separable.—On this occasion this is the first distinction that requires to be made with regard to burthens.

By inseparable, understand that class of burthens, the imposition of which, is in the instance of each individual benefit, inseparable from the creation and collation of that same benefit, with reference to the same individual possessor.

Thus, the exclusive possession of any subject-matter of property cannot be conferred on any one man, except in so far as all others are debarred from intermeddling with it: but, as in the case of any object of general desire, the being allowed to make use of it, is a benefit, so the being debarred from making use of it, is a burthen.

By separable burthens, understand those which, in their nature, are not incapable of being imposed respectively upon any individual, without the conferring of any correspondent and inseparably connected benefit on any determinate individual, or set of individuals, or the whole community taken in the aggregate.

In the case of this class of burthens comes, in the first place, the following rule:—no burthen without a correspondent and preponderating benefit.

In so far as this rule is observed, no burthen can, in any case, be imposed, but that there are at least two parties whose interests are affected by it: the party favoured and the party burthened. To the party favoured the first place is here given: for, by this arrangement, two mementos are given. One is, not to impose a burthen in any instance until some determinate party, on whom a correspondent favour will be conferred by the imposition of it, has been found.

The other memento is to consider and ascertain, who or what, is or are, the parties on each side: whether, for example, it is for the benefit of the many that the burthen is imposed upon the many, upon the few, or upon the one; or, for the benefit of the one, or of the few, that the burthen is imposed on the many.

But, on every occasion, without detriment to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, a burthen may, in any shape, be imposed upon any individual or individuals in any number, for the benefit of an individual or individuals in any number, so that this condition be fulfilled: viz. that the sum of the benefits conferred be greater in value than the sum of the burthens imposed. On this occasion, when, for the sake of a benefit intended to be conferred on one party, a burthen is imposed on another party, the burthen is apt to be either altogether overlooked or set down at a value less than its real one: for the benefit being, by the supposition, the object that first presented itself to the mind, and by its nature the more agreeable object, such is the natural consequence.

Thus much as to the party in favour of whom the burthen is in contemplation to be imposed.

Next comes the consideration of the serviceable object, by the creation and collation of which the benefit is conferred.

In so far as, for the purpose of conferring a benefit on one party, a burthen is imposed on another, an obligation and a right are, by the same operation, created, having for their common subject-matter a service: to the one party a right to receive the service—to the other the obligation of rendering it.

Services by which the possession of money is conferred, and services at large,—such is the division which, how disproportionate soever the terms of it may appear, requires to be made.

Instead of services by which the possession of money is conferred, money (precision being sacrificed to brevity) is a term which, on this occasion, must henceforward be employed.

To money, in preference to services at large, is the first place, on this occasion, assigned: of money, the equivalent of almost all those other services, the comparative importance being so great, and, at the same time, the conception at the utmost point of simplicity: while, of the objects thus contrasted with it, the diversity is without end.

Of the mass of burthens imposed by the exaction of money, the first in extent and importance, is that, the imposition of which has for its object the provision made for the exigencies of the whole community taken together as such, i. e. for the rendering of such services of which the whole community, taken together, stands in need. This branch will be subject to a division, which has its source in the nature of the different branches of the public service.

To the same head belongs the consideration of such monies as may be required for the service of the several portions of territory into which the whole of the territory belonging to the whole of the community stands divided: for example—for roads, rivers, and all other communications by land or water; provisions for security against calamity; provisions for security against hostility on the part of internal adversaries, by arrangements of a preventive nature; and also, such monies, the employment of which has for its object, the giving positive increase to the sum of felicity: for example, the establishment of public schools.

In regard to services, by the exaction of which burthens are imposed on individuals for the benefit of individuals, the first division that requires to be made is, that between such services as require to be exacted in virtue and in pursuance of contract, and such services as may require to be exacted without contract.

In the case of a contract, a burthen is imposed on each side: but, on each side, error and unforeseen evil consequences excepted, a benefit, more than equivalent to the burthen, is received.

To enter into the details necessary to the laying down of the rules, indicated by the regard due to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, on the subjects of contracts,—though the rules were no others than such as have application to all contracts without distinction,—would require more room than could be allotted to such a subject, consistently with the nature and limits of the present design. The like applies to the case of such services as require to be exacted of individuals for the benefit of individuals without contract.

Of these services, the most extensive and most important class is of a negative description. It is rendered by abstinence from all acts by which injury in any shape would be done to assignable individuals.

It is by the exaction of these services that security is afforded to individuals.

The art of government has therefore been the art of extracting from the persons over whom the powers of government are exercised, service in all shapes in which it is regarded as contributing to the happiness of those same rulers.

Services are extracted by fear, through the medium of penal laws: by hope, through the medium of patronage: by delusion, through the medium of factitious dignity. By penal laws, it is only in this or that particular shape, on this or that particular occasion, that service can be extracted: by patronage and factitious dignity, it is extracted in all imaginable shapes, and on all occasions.



The accession made to the stock of happiness by everything that is actually done by the power of the law, is extremely small, in comparison with that which is made by the expectation of what it eventually will do: what it does by affording compensation, in comparison with what it is expected eventually to do, in the way of punishment.

In the way of compensation, it makes not any positive addition to the stock of happiness: all it does is, to reduce a defalcation that has been made from the stock of happiness. It creates not any instrument of felicity—towards augmentation, or rather lessening the diminution in, the stock of felicity; all that it can do is, by transferring a portion of the stock of these instruments from hands in which it would have produced less, into hands in which it will produce more, felicity. This is the utmost which it does in the most favourable case. The most favourable case is where, at the charge of an indigent man, injury having been sustained at the hands of a rich man, it affords him compensation at the charge of the rich man. Suppose, that taking advantage of the injury, to promote equality without detriment to security, it renders the condition of the indigent man, at the expense of the rich man, better than it was before the injury, still, along with the good thus done, factitious evil created by the law is mixed.

On the other hand, whatsoever of good is produced by expectation of what the law will eventually do—all this good is pure.

The penal branch of law has for its object and occupation, the giving execution and effect to the civil or distributive branch; as also a portion of the constitutional branch: such is the benefit conferred, or sought to be conferred by it. But no benefit, as we have seen, can have existence, but with, and by means of, a correspondent burthen. No profit without loss: without expenditure and expense, which is voluntary loss. What remains is, that in quantity and value, the benefit—the profit—be as great, the burthen—the loss—as small as possible.

For rendering it such, keep in mind this radical allusion. The community is the body politic. Misdeeds are its disorders. Occupied on the penal branch of law, the legislator is its medical practitioner—its surgeon. In a surgical operation the cure is the benefit: the pain of the patient the burthen. The operations of the surgeon have for their object, the rendering the cure as prompt and as complete as possible, at the expense of as little pain as possible.

The surgeon, when he cuts into the bladder of the patient for the extraction of a stone—does he say, the patient deserves to be so cut? Not he indeed: by no surgeon was any such absurdity ever uttered.

The possessor of political power—the magistrate—the legislator—has, at all times, in all places, uttered it without a blush. Why? Because, at all times, in all places, till yesterday, and in the new world, the magistrate—the legislator—such is man’s nature—have been tyrants: tyrants having each of them, for the object of his acts as such—not the greatest happiness of the greatest number, but his own single greatest happiness.

In the origin from which he deduced the word, indicative of the demand for, or propriety of, the punishment, he was occupied in the application of,—he found a pretence for tyranny: for tyranny exercising itself in the taking of vengeance. The term desert, (which is not applicable without hazarding the production of useless punishment to an indefinite extent,) is, and ever was, in use to be employed (without hazard of any such evil,) where, on the occasion of a contract for service between individual and individual, good, in the shape of reward, was to be applied: on the one part, the work contracted for, has been done—the service has been performed: at the hands, and at the expense of, the other, title has been made, to the correspondent service: the pay—the reward—has been deserved.

Hence arise two radical positions:—

1. Objects which punishment ought never to propose to itself are, vengeance, establishment of imaginary congruity and equality between transgression and punishment.

2. Objects which punishment ought ever to propose to itself are, Compensation, in so far as the nature of the case admits of the application of it, for the evil produced by the misdeed: prevention of the commission of similar misdeeds in future, as well by the misdoer himself as by all other individuals taken at large.

Exacted at the expense of the evil doer, compensation necessitates suffering: exacted in consideration of, and in proportion to, the evil done by him, that suffering, by the whole amount of it, operates as punishment.

In the first place, compensation for the party injured: in the next place, over and above compensation, punishment for the benefit of the public, and punishment for appeasement of the wrath of the offended and wrathful monarch—such is the arithmetic of tyranny. Punishment, including to the profit of the monarch, the exaction of the whole of that matter by which compensation to the individual injured, might have been afforded; after that, compensation or no compensation to the individual injured—such is the order, the method of tyranny. Compensation by one course of procedure: punishment by another, and a different course of procedure; reformation, by health given to the soul, by a third and different course of procedure: such is the arithmetic of lawyer-craft—confederate partner and instrument of tyranny; of lawyer-craft in its most rapacious character, and elaborate garb—the character and garb of the English lawyer.

Compensation and satisfaction are synonymous. Of the word compensation, the psychological import has its root in the physical idea of weight: compensation is weight for weight: satisfaction is giving enough for what has been suffered, in such sort that the weight of the good in the scale of enjoyment, shall be equal to the weight of the evil in the scale of suffering.

Satisfaction has been distinguished into lucrative and vindictive. Lucrative is satisfaction in any shape, considered otherwise than with a view to vengeance. Vindictive satisfaction, is satisfaction in any shape, considered with a view to vengeance.

In no shape or quantity should suffering be created, for the single purpose of affording satisfaction of the vindictive kind.

Only when, for the sake of the community at large, punishment is inflicted, if there be any shape by which (without increase of suffering to the wrong-doer) satisfaction to the individual wronged, may be administered, that shape may be employed.

By that shape, the apprehension of the eventual punishment may, moreover, be rendered the more impressive upon the mind of him, on whom the temptation to do the wrong is operating.

To the word punishment, lawyercraft, in confederacy with religious fraud and hypocrisy—and in subserviency to monarchical tyranny, has, of late years, furnished a synonym—viz. visitation—penal visitation.

In the language of the English translation of the Bible, visitation is employed as synonymous to punishment, Synonymous? But in what case?—where the misdoer being a man, the ruler is the invisible Almighty. Considered in this point of view, sin is the name employed for the designation of the misdeed.

Of the Almighty invisible, whose throne is in heaven, the monarch is the visible representative here on earth: the representative, according to the certificate given to him by Blackstone: invested with no small part—with as large a part as is necessary for the accomplishment of the indisputable object of his government—the greatest happiness of him in comparison of whom all others are but as creatures to their Creator,—invested, in a word, with a completely sufficient part of his divine constituent attributes. By the alleged offender, a misdeed has been committed. By this misdeed, the monarch has been offended. The monarch, being god upon earth, the offence is a sin. Sins deserve to be visited. For this his sin, this sinner deserves to be visited. At the charge of him by whom sin has been committed, punishment is due. Proportioned to the dignity of the offended ruler, should be the magnitude of the punishment. Where the offended ruler is that God which is in heaven, dignity being infinite, that punishment ought to be, and is, in each instance, infinite. Where the offended ruler is that god which is on earth, the punishment ought not to be infinite, it ought only to be next to infinite. Were justice alone consulted, such, accordingly, would be the punishment of this sinner. But in the heart of that god which is upon earth, and with us, justice has, for her never-failing companion and appeaser, mercy. Mercy has for her function the rendering of no effect to an amount more or less considerable, the decrees of justice. In this, as in all other cases, mercy has interposed, and,—after deducting from what has been ordained by justice, what has been substracted from it by mercy,—the balance forms that punishment which the sentence is about to declare.

In relation to punishment, considered as so much evil, employed as a means for excluding,—as far as possible, without greater evil, evil considered as producible by misdeeds, thus converted into offences, three main questions on every occasion present themselves.

In what cases shall punishment be applied?

In what proportion?

In what shape?

In what cases shall it be applied? To a question of the opposite aspect,—the question, in what cases shall it not be applied?—a more commodious, howsoever indirect, answer, may be given.

Where it would be groundless.

Where it would be needless.

Where it would be inefficacious.

Where it would be unprofitable.

In each one of these cases, supposing them realized, punishment, it is evidently manifest, would be unapt: of all these cases, it may be said, they are unmeet for punishment.

Case the first.—Where punishment would be groundless: where the application of punishment would be unapt. Necessarily included in the notion of punishment is the notion of misdeed done, of offence given. Of the sort of operation by which, for the exclusion of greater evil, evil is purposely produced, the operation called punition, or more commonly punishment, is but one mode. For, taken by itself, government is in itself one vast evil: only except, in so far as evil, already produced by it, is done away or lessened, can any exercise of government be performed—can the power of government be in any way exercised, but evil is produced by it. But wherever, by evil thus produced, greater evil is excluded, the balance takes the nature, shape, and name of good; and government is justified in the production of it. In this case in the account of good and evil, the evil produced and applied in the shape of punishment would, unless it excluded some greater evil, or produced some preponderant good, be all loss.

Thus it is, that where evil applied as punishment would be groundless, what will often happen, is—that evil produced, though designedly, is not causeless—is not unjustifiable.

Where it would be needless. Here the circumstance from which the evil receives the denomination of punishment, viz. misdoing, offence has place: as such, evil is among the consequences of it. But, by the operation of some other cause, all the relative good that could be done by the evil of punishment, is done without it. In this case, therefore, whatsoever portion of punishment were applied, would be all loss.

Where it would be inefficacious. In this case, too, be the evil of the offence ever so great, the evil of punishment, though it could not be said to be needless, would, however, be all loss; to the undiminished evil of the offence, would be added the evil of the punishment.

Where the punishment would be unprofitable. Of the evil which, in its totality, would otherwise be produced by the offence, a portion, more or less considerable, would be excluded by the punishment; but the evil thus introduced is greater than the evil excluded by it.

In the three former cases, the evil of the punishment is all loss: in this last case, the evil produced is not all loss, but, after deducting, from the sum of what is produced by it the sum of what is excluded by it, there still remains on the balance a net remainder, or difference, which is so much loss.

Comprehensive, and on that account, theoretical as the description of these cases may appear, there is not one of them that has not, to a vast and deplorable extent, had its exemplification in practice. To afford an indication of every one of them, would be to give an all-comprehensive picture of whatever has been hitherto done on the field of penal law.

Rules tending to augmentation of punishment:—

In no case leave to the evil-doer any net profit from his evil-doing.

In adjusting the quantum, have regard to all the several articles in the list of aggravating circumstances: circumstances aggravating either the evil of the offence, or on any other score, the demand for punishment. See whether any have had place in the case in question.

In no case suffer anti-conscientious pursuit, or practice, to go unpunished: whether principal or incidental: whether at the commencement the party were in the wrong or in the right: for, by a man whose demand is just, anti-conscientiousness may have been manifested by the practice employed in the pursuit of it.

In particular, if the anti-conscientiousness be accompanied with mendacity.

Rules tending to diminution:—

To the account of punishment, place every pecuniary loss, or other hardship, produced on the part of the injurer, by compensation afforded at his expense, to the injuree.

So, every suffering produced on his part, by means of the pursuit, whether by pecuniary expense, by loss of time, or by vexation in any other determinate shape.



The penal branch of law, as already observed, has for its object and occupation the giving execution and effect to the civil or distributive branch, as also a portion of the constitutional branch. Both together, compose the substantive branch of law. The law of judicial procedure constitutes the adjective branch of law. This adjective branch has, for its object and occupation, the giving execution and effect to the aforesaid substantive branch.

For the production of this effect, the requisite means are right decision and conformable execution.

To the positive expression right decision, substitute an expression with a negative aspect, it will stand thus:—avoidance of misdecision.

In so far as the law is of a beneficial nature, giving execution and effect to it, will, bating accidental preponderant evil, be in a like manner a benefit. But as above, in the field of law no benefit can have place, without its attendant burthen.

The burthens inseparably attendant on judicial procedure stand comprised, the whole assemblage of them, within the import of three words—vexation, delay, and expense.

To give to the benefit, the utmost practicable extent, to confine the burthen within the narrowest practicable limits—to these two perfectly distinct, but intimately connected, modes of promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number, the one positive the other negative, it belongs to the legislator to direct his operations.

Here, then, we have two conjunct ends of judicial procedure: main or direct end; right decision, or say, avoidance of misdecision; collateral end, avoidance of vexation, expense and delay.

Decision is right, in so far as, by giving execution and effect to it, the will expressed by the law is conformed to—the eventual predictions delivered by the law, carried into effect. Here, then, on every occasion, is a standard composed of a certain portion of a certain text of the law, to which, to give warrant to his claim, by him by whom a call is made for execution and effect to be given to the law, reference, direct or implied, must be made.

But to constitute any such claim, the existence of some individual matter of fact or state of things, must be asserted: and in consideration of the existence of this matter of fact, a demand must be made that execution and effect may be given to that same corresponding portion of the body of the law.

Misdecision is liable to be produced—either by the non-existence of any portion of law applicable to the case, or by the misinterpretation of this or that portion of law, applicable to the case.

In the former of these cases, if any decision at all—if any decision to any other effect than that of the rejection of the claim be pronounced by the judge, misdecision is an appellation which, with unquestionable propriety, may be applied to it. For, in this case, by the supposition, there is no ground for it. In this case, are all decisions whatsoever, in so far as they have for their pretended ground, the sort of non-entity called common or unwritten law: a spurious ground which, by the supposition, is not the work of the legislator—is not the work of any person having authority to make law, or so much as claiming authority to make law.

In the supposition of misdecision from misinterpretation, the supposition of the existence of a portion of real law, applicable to the case, is involved: where there is nothing to interpret, no such thing as misinterpretation can have place.

In the first case, the evil has, for its manifest cause, negligence on the part of the legislator.

This negligence has not at present either justification, or any the least shadow of excuse.

In the early stages of society, the evil was not the result of negligence: the nature of things rendered it an unavoidable one: particular cases presenting a demand for legislation had not, as yet, presented themselves in any quantity or variety, capable of affording any adequate idea of any extensive, much less of any all-comprehensive, body of law.

All this time, as often as compensation or satisfaction for evil suffered at the hand of another was claimed, the judge, if he did any thing, did as he would have done, if a law had been already made, containing the description of a genus or species of case, in which the individual case before him was comprehended.

In the case of every decision thus pronounced, the very sort of evil had place which, in the present state of things, is produced by what is called an ex post facto law: on the part of the defendant, no expectation of finding any such burthen imposed upon him, previously entertained: no cause for abstaining from the act, on the ground of which the burthen was imposed, present to his mind: consequence on his part, sufferance from a burthen which, had a law to the effect in question been already in existence, and sufficiently known to him, might not have had place.

What in this case is neither impossible, nor out of the ordinary course of things, is—that, by some general conception of the several sorts of acts by which the greatest happiness of the greatest number is liable to be impaired, he may have been led to the conception that the act for which the burthen has been imposed upon him, is in its nature of that number, and on that score might come to be taken by a judge, as a sufficient cause for dealing with him, as in effect he has been dealt with. But in comparison with a state of society which furnishes a real law actually applying to the case, how wretched that state of society cannot but be, in which the rule of action is left in an ever floating state, must be sufficiently obvious.

On any part of the field of human action, a body of law, conceived in general terms, cannot have been framed on adequate grounds, except in so far as a certain stock of individual cases spread over that same ground, and constituting a demand for legislation,—have rendered themselves present to the mind of the legislator. The greater the length of time during which the government in question has continued in existence, the greater the extent of the country and of the population subject to it; the greater will have been the number of those individual cases, that will have presented themselves to the cognizance of the judge. But, let the stock of those cases thus presented have been ever so numerous, only in proportion as some unperishable memorial has been made of them, can they have had the effect of contributing to furnish the legislator with this necessary ground. Memorials affording indication, more or less particular, of individual cases of this sort, as having, on such or such grounds, called for decision at the hands of the judge, and on such and such grounds, received decision accordingly, are, in the language of English jurisprudence, called by the common appellation of Reports.

In no other country upon earth, have these indispensable grounds for apt legislation presented themselves, invested with permanence by the press, in any variety or extent, comparable to that which stands exemplified in English jurisprudence.

Thus it is, that, from a combination of causes for which no room can be found here, no country upon earth affords so rich and apposite a stock of materials and grounds for legislation; while, on the other hand, by an unhappy fatality, no civilized country on earth can be assigned which is so likely to be the last in which the appropriate use of those riches will have been made.

On the occasion of each individual course of judicial procedure, there are two necessarily distinguishable questions,—the question of law, and the question of fact: whether the state of the law is as alleged, and whether the state of facts is as alleged.

If so it be that the state of the law is really as alleged, the bringing to the view of the judge that part of the law on which the claimant grounds his claim cannot be attended with much difficulty.

Not so the bringing to view the state of facts.

The means or instruments by which a state of facts is thus brought to view, and the persuasion of its existence endeavoured to be established, in the minds of those to whom it appertains to form a decision in relation to it, are called the evidences, or, by one collective appellation, the evidence.

Under one or other of two denominations,—things and persons,—every imaginable source of evidence will be found comprisable.

It is not to any comparatively great extent that, for a purpose such as this, things themselves—material bodies—can, without the intervention of persons, be brought within the view of the judge. In the most common case, it is only by the account given of it—by the report made of it—by the discourse held, or the deportment exhibited, in relation to it, by some person or persons denominated on this occasion witnesses, that the state of things in question, real or alleged, is brought to the view of the judge.

So far as depends upon the single exertions of the claimant himself in the bringing to view, on each occasion, the mass of evidence thus described, there will not, in general, be much difficulty.

But, most commonly for the production of the necessary mass of evidence, in addition to, or instead of, all operations performable by the claimant himself, appropriate operations, performed by other persons, (neither to the number of whom, nor to the distance of whose residence from the seat of judicature, can any determinate limits be assigned,) may be necessary: and, in the instance of each such person, either willingness or reluctance may, to any degree, have place.

Here, then, for one main purpose, viz. the yielding evidence, there will, on each occasion, be a need, that either things, or persons, or both, should be forthcoming at the seat of judicature. Here, accordingly, one main problem presents itself for solution at the hands of the legislator—how to secure forthcomingness on the part of persons and things for the purpose of evidence.

Saving the accidental case of a mutually voluntary application of the possessors of two conflicting interests, for a decision at the hands of the judge,—a claim of this sort cannot be preferred without experiencing, at the hands of some other person or persons, more or less reluctance. If not in reality, at any rate in belief, the object of the claim will always be some benefit. But no benefit, as before mentioned, can exist without a correspondent burthen. The benefit required at the hands of the judge by the claimant, cannot be granted but in so far as, upon some other person or persons, a correspondent burthen is imposed.

For the attainment of this benefit, to cause this burthen to be imposed, will throughout be the object and continual endeavour of the one party: to avoid the imposition of it, that of the other party, who will act on the occasion the part of a defendant.

Where punishment is out of the question, at the commencement of any course of judicial procedure, the natural state of things is, in the first place, on the part of the claimant, voluntary appearance at the seat of judicature for the purpose of preferring his demand: thereupon, from the judge, if upon hearing the claim, a sufficient ground has been made for subjecting the other party to the vexation inseparable from defence, summons to that party either to do that which the claim requires him to do, or to appear at a certain day and hour at that same seat of judicature, to defend himself against it.

This is the most obvious, and, upon the face of it, the least vexatious mode of giving commencement to a suit. But there are various circumstances by which a departure from it, in some way or other, may be rendered matter of convenience, or even of necessity, as where, by a party on the defendant’s side, he knowing himself to be in the wrong, his person, or any property of his, would be to be disposed of in any manner burthensome to him by the decision of the judge, voluntary appearance on his part, cannot reasonably be to be depended upon. By bare notice to him of that which is in contemplation to be done, the possibility of its being done, may be done away.

When the suit has commenced, let evidence be received from any and every source—exclude none. For, if any evidence is excluded, there will be danger of misdecision.

As a security against improper conduct on the part of the judges and all other functionaries, the utmost publicity must be given to all judicial proceedings.



The financial department, is that by which is performed the extraction, custody, and expenditure of such money and money’s worth, as is employed, or professed to be employed, in the public service: viz. in this and the several other branches of the public service.

Whatsoever be the public function, by the exercise of which service is rendered, or pretended to be rendered to the public, or to any part of it; money, or money’s worth, or both, are, in a quantity more or less considerable, necessary to be employed and disbursed on the occasion of its being rendered: the financial branch is thus a branch which intertwines itself, and runs through the several other branches of the public service.

This branch of government has for its proper end, that branch of good economy which consists of appropriate frugality.

Of economy there are two branches: the one positive, or say, distributive; the other negative, or say, restrictive.

The distributive branch has for its object, the due appropriation of the aggregate of the sums levied, to the several services for which they are levied.

The restrictive branch has for its object, avoidance of all exaction, the burthensomeness of which is not outweighed by the usefulness of the application made of it.

For judging of the consistency of any mass of expenditure with the proper ends of economy, take for a test this directive rule: with the alleged benefit, alleged to be expected from the expenditure, compare the unquestionable burthen produced by a tax to the same amount: forego the benefit, the burthen is excluded.

Taken in its narrowest and most ordinary sense, economy in a state, has for its subject-matter money and money’s worth; taken in its most extensive sense, it comprehends the matter of reward, in those additional shapes in which it is to government that it is indebted for its existence,—viz. power and factitious honour.

In what way may the principle of minimization, and other safeguards, be applied with the greatest advantage to the case of money?

By observation of the following rules, viz.:—

Except as excepted, suffer no man to make for himself profit, in any shape, from public money deposited in his hands, or at his disposal.

In the instance of each functionary, having in charge any of the public money, minimize the quantity of it.

Not suffering to be lodged in the hands of any money-keeping functionary, money in any quantity, exceeding the sum in relation to which he has obtained fide-jussors, bound by agreement, on their part, to the eventual payment thereof into the hands of some government functionary, in the event of his failing to pay it when called upon in due course.

If there be, or can be brought into existence, any banking-company of sufficient pecuniary trustworthiness, who are willing to receive public money upon the ordinary terms,—keep as much as may be in their hands, ordering matters, at the same time, by law, in such sort, that in case of failure, the public shall have the preference as against all private creditors.

By this means, instead of paying functionaries of its own, for the keeping of the public money in their charge, the government may so order matters, as to receive a compensation for money so deposited by it.

The keeping of money by the government of a country, in treasuries of its own, is but a makeshift employed by necessity, where no sufficiently trustworthy banking-company for the keeping of it can be found.

By some governments, the concurrence of functionaries more than one has been rendered necessary to the issue of each sum from a public treasury; and to render this concurrence necessary, physical means have been employed: such as the rendering the opening of locks more than one, necessary to the extraction of it: locks, to the opening of which, so many keys of different forms are necessary, and allotting to that same number of persons the custody of the keys. In Russia, such has accordingly been the practice, as appears by an ordinance of the Empress Catherine, creative of an official establishment for the several provinces of the empire. The inconvenience here is, that there must be a number of functionaries unremittingly occupied, and, on account of the constancy of their attendance, and the magnitude of the trust, highly paid.

In every department of the public service, good managment has two perfectly distinguishable branches: the first peculiar to itself, being correspondent to the particular nature of the service: the other common to it, with all the others,—this universally applying branch of good management is frugality.

Considered in another point of view, the peculiar and characteristic branch here spoken of may be styled the positive branch: this, which is common to all, the negative branch. The dictates of frugality are conformed to in so far as, without preponderant prejudice to good management in other respects, money and money’s worth, is avoided to be disbursed or consumed.

In a representative democracy, all the several departments having for their actual end good management as applied to each, the financial department has for its actual end frugality, as above defined.

In a pure monarchy, when that expenditure which is employed in giving supply to that waste, by which gratification is afforded, or endeavoured to be afforded, to the appetites of the monarch, his favourites, and instruments,—of which the expense of the war department constitutes always the most expensive article, this branch has for its actual end the same as that which in a representative democracy it has: viz. frugality: the same, with whatsoever inferiority in respect of uniformity, steadiness, and success pursued. Even in the war department, frugality is, in all the details, an object actually pursued: of the dictates of frugality, the only one purposely violated is that, by the observance of which, by far the greatest part of the whole expense of this department would be struck off: viz. that part which has for its object, the carrying on a perpetual offensive war against the subject many, instead of keeping their physical force, without expense, in a state of constant preparation for defensive war against foreign nations.

In a limited monarchy, the financial department has for its actual end, the opposite of frugality, waste—the maximum of waste.

Under this form of government, this waste has three objects:—

Personal gratification to the several appetites of the ruling one, and the sub-ruling influential and opulent few. This object, in so far as regards the appetites of the ruling one, it has in common with absolute monarchy.

Corruption: exercise of corruptive influence for the purpose of securing corrupt obsequiousness, on the part of those, whose declared duty, and professed endeavour it is, to keep applied to the respective powers of the monarch, and the sub-ruling portion of the aristocracy, those limitations which they respectively acknowledge: corrupt obsequiousness, to the effect of causing them to forbear from keeping actually applied, those several limitations: thus rendering the government, in form and pretence, limited: in effect, to the benefit of the ruling one, and the sub-ruling influential and opulent few, to the sacrifice of the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

Delusion.—In so far as the waste applies itself, by means of corruptive influence, to the production of corrupt obsequiousness, on the part of those self-acknowledged and self-professed trustees for the whole community, it employs itself in rendering them, and, in so far as it produces its intended effect, it actually does render them, by so much inferior, in respect of public virtue and good behaviour—in respect of benevolence, and that beneficence which is the fruit of benevolence upon the largest scale;—inferior to the rest of the community taken at large, inferior to the subject many, inferior to the vast majority of the whole population of the country. In the same proportion as those, on whose part corrupt obsequiousness is produced, are rendered inferior in these respects, are those rendered, by whose corruptive influence this corrupt obsequiousness is produced, or at least, in an equal degree, inferior.

In so far as with reference to that better, and happily larger, portion of the whole community, they are regarded as being, in the scale of public virtue and good behaviour, superior or equal, delusion has place. Raising up to its maximum, the degree and effect of this delusion, is a third purpose in which, under this form of government, public waste employs itself.

In proportion to the quantity in which the waste employs itself in the affording of gratification to the appetites of the individuals in question, and by the whole of that quantity, the purpose of delusion is completely accomplished, and the purpose of corruption in a principal degree. To screw up the effect of corruptive influence to its maximum, may probably require endeavours, to an amount more or less considerable, specially directed to that purpose: such endeavours being accordingly nowhere, and never wanting,—means are wanting for pronouncing, by any sufficiently grounded judgment, whether, without such endeavours, the mere possession of that same or any other quantity of the subject matter of waste, operating of itself, in the character of matter of corruptive influence, would, in the hands in question, be adequate to the production of the actual effect. Be this as it may, it will be, if it is not already sufficiently manifest, that, by the same quantity of the matter of wealth thus expended in waste, by the hands in question, in addition to the gratification of the several appetites, those two other purposes, corruption and delusion—all three, (though so inseparably connected, so perfectly distinguishable from each other,) are produced.

Look, for example, to the situation of the monarch. In the procuring to him, for example, that sort of gratification which is afforded by quick motion, together with prompt conveyance at all times, to the several different places at which a promise is afforded of successive gratification to his several other appetites,—horses, in vast multitudes, each, in respect of its capacity of affording gratification to those by whom it is used and abused, brought, by a long and expensive course of training, to the most exquisite degree of perfection possible,—the labour of men, in correspondent multitudes, having been exclusively consecrated to this one purpose, a proportionable quantity of money has necessarily been employed. But, for an establishment of this kind, good management, so far as regards aptitude for the service, is really desired. In the hands of an individual, and not in those of a board, is this branch of the public service accordingly lodged. For were it in the hands of a board, each member in reality, as well as in name and pretence, bearing a part in the business, what is sufficiently understood is—that there never would be a horse fit for service: each member would appoint to the management of one of the sacred horses, some dependant of his, who had never had anything to do with horses. Constituting a necessary exception to the general rule, this branch of the public service will therefore, of necessity, have found itself in individual hands.

For performing, in the best possible manner, this important service, were this the whole of the service thought fit to be required at the hands of the individual, an extremely moderate annual salary, not more than ten or twenty times the expenditure of an individual whose severe and bodily labour is employed in the production of the money for the purchase and maintenance of these four-footed, and pre-eminently favoured subjects of a monarchy, would be sufficient. But, in this instance, good economy, in an additional shape, is found practicable and profitable. Instead of no more than ten or twenty times the salary necessary for the maintenance of an individual of the productively labouring class, let two hundred, or though it were but one hundred, times that amount, be allotted, individuals might in the very highest rank, next to that of the royal family, be found—individuals in multitudes, who, being in a state of constant appetency for such a place, and thence in a state of constant competition with each other, will thereby be placed in a state of equally constant and proportionably abject and corrupt obsequiousness. With relation to the corruptive influence, exercised with or without his caring or thinking anything about the matter, by the royal proprietor of these consecrated quadrupeds, so many as there are of these competitors, so many men are there whose votes, and in so far as they have the faculty of speech, their speeches, are in readiness to contribute to the fulfilment of the will, and the gratification of the correspondent appetite, of him, whom it is their ambition to be entitled to designate by the appellation of their royal master.

Thus much as to the effect in that house which is styled right honourable; but in some, if not all these instances, what will have place moreover is that, to these several superlatively, although it be but positively, noble persons, may appertain, through the medium of this or that borough, or of this or that county, a seat or seats, to the number of from two to ten, in that other House, so inferior in dignity, so superior in power, which in style and title, is no more than simply honourable. Of the appetites to which, in the case of the monarch, gratification is sought to be afforded, one, nor that the least voracious, is—that appetite or desire of esteem, respect, love, or at least the exterior evidences of them, true or false—that desire which, notwithstanding the complicatedness of its object, is in one word commonly designated by the appellation of pride. Proportioned to the depth to which the humiliation of the individual at whose expense this gratification is afforded descends, is the intensity of the gratification. But, proportioned to the antecedent elevation of this individual in the scale of dignity, natural or factitious, or both together, is the relative depth of the humiliation to which, on any given occasion, for any particular purpose, he is capable of lowering himself. By the holding of the bridle of a favourite horse, while the royal master is in the act of mounting—by this or any other act performed in the execution of his office, the utmost length of the descent, capable of being made by the man, the magnitude of whose salary was determined by no higher mark of value, than that which corresponded to the skill possessed and exercised by him, in the field of this particular office and profession, could not at the utmost, be any greater than that which corresponds to the difference between the pay of this official functionary, and the pay of an ordinary groom. But the amount of the pay which, in consideration of the exalted station occupied by the titled and most noble, though unskilled attendant upon horses, is ten times the amount of the pay which it would be convenient and advisable to give to the untitled but well-skilled functionary, and thereby a hundred times the amount of that which good economy would require to be given to the untitled and unskilled attendant.

The consequence is, that if as between the inward sensation and the external cause—between the quantity of actual gratification, and the quantity of the instrument of gratification—the proportion were correspondent, and kept pace,—the intensity of the gratification afforded to the royal rider, by the view of the humiliation submitted to by the most noble holder of the horse, would be ten times the amount of the gratification afforded to a most excellent king, by the view of the humiliation, if any, submitted to, by the untitled but well-skilled holder.

Thus it is that one and the same quantity of the matter of wealth, employed in waste—wasted in the vain endeavour to inject an additional quantity of happiness into a receptacle over and over again disabled from the capacity of receiving any more—this same quantity of wealth is employed to the three purposes at once, viz. gratification of the royal appetites, securing of corrupt obsequiousness, and the production of delusion.

In the case where production of corrupt obsequiousness was the object, the persons on whom the operation was performed were the subruling, influential, and opulent few, with no other addition than that of that comparatively small portion of the subject many, to whom the corruptive influence of these their superiors could be applied, for the purpose of producing correspondent corrupt obsequiousness. In the case of delusion, the persons on whom the effect is endeavoured to be produced, are, in addition to the subruling, the influential and the opulent few,—(for these are not less exposed to, nor less susceptible of, the delusion than the many)—the subject many, likewise,—in a word, the whole of the community without exception—the royal chief himself, by whom the benefit of the delusion was reaped in the greatest abundance, not excepted.

The opinion endeavoured to be inculcated in the case in question, is that the quantity of the matter of wealth so employed and produced, if not employed in the making a clear addition to the happiness of the greatest number, is employed at any rate to some other equally or superiorly proper purpose. Whatsoever be the quality or other thing designated by the word excellency, such is the excellence that belongs to them, (whether it be exaltation in the scale of virtue, public or private, or both; or exaltation in any other scale of still superior dignity—say, for example, piety,) that, whatsoever quantity of the matter of wealth, instead of being left in each instance at the disposal of those by whose labour and capital it has been produced,—is employed in the endeavour to afford additional gratification to the appetites of these same exalted persons, is employed in a manner more useful, more dignified, or on some other account, more laudable, than it would have been had it been left to pursue its original destination as above.

In regard to usefulness, (if so plain and vulgar an effect and quality were regarded as worth attending to,) it would lie on those by whom, on this ground, this diverting of the matter in question from its originally intended destination to this new one, were justified to prove it: but in regard to this quality, the existence of it, being altogether incapable of being proved, is of necessity and with the utmost composure assumed.

If ever the existence of it should be endeavoured to be proved, it would of necessity be in some such shape as this: the quantity of obsequiousness necessary to the production of good government, and thence, (if so pedantic, uncourtly, democratical, jacobinical, anarchical, and impious, a phrase be insisted upon,) the greatest happiness of the greatest number, is by means of the application thus made of the quantity in question of the matter of wealth, actually promoted: but as, if of that quantity of wealth no part at all were thus employed, civil society would not, to any effect, have existence, so by any and every defalcation made from the quantity of that precious matter thus applied, a proportionable defalcation from the quantity of happiness enjoyed by the greatest number, would be made.

To this latter assertion there are two answers.

One is—that it is a mere assertion altogether destitute of any ground, that ever has been attempted to be made, or, in the nature of the case is capable of being made good.

The other is—that such experience, as the nature of the case has been capable of furnishing, operates the whole of it, in contradiction to this same assertion. The political states by which this body of experience has been furnished, are the confederated body of the Anglo-American States: original number of them, at the time of their declaration of independence, thirteen: that number, by successive accessions, augmented to its present number, twenty-two or twenty-three. In no one of these has the matter of wealth, in any quantity whatsoever, been applied to the gratification of personal appetite in any shape; either to the person of the chief, or any other functionary; or to the purpose of producing by means of corruptive influence, corrupt obsequiousness; or to any purpose to which the appellation of delusion can with any propriety be applied. If in the situation of the chief functionary of the whole confederacy, the matter of wealth has in any quantity, been applied to any one of these purposes, so small is the utmost quantity that can be suspected of being so applied, that it can scarcely, with reference to any such subject as that in question, be spoken of, as worth notice.

The sources or modes, actual and customary, of wasteful expenditure, may be distinguished into two classes, having quantity for their mark of distinction,—viz. wholesale and retail. The wholesale may again be distinguished into those which are essential to the form of government and those which, howsoever congenial, are incidental to it.

The matter of wasteful expenditure, essential to the form of government is in the case of an absolute monarchy, the difference between the pay of the monarch and the least pay sufficient for the president of a representative democracy.

In the case of a limited monarchy, it is that same quantity with the addition of the quantity employed in the works of corruption and delusion, as already seen: corruption, applied more immediately to the representative of the people: delusion, applied more efficiently and needfully to the people themselves.

Pensions of retreat may be stated as being altogether needless: and to say that which is thus disposed of is given needlessly is to say that it is given in waste.

Allowances thus made may either be made with certainty, in virtue of general rules applied to all individual cases; or incidentally, for special cause assigned, in each individual case. To the first case, preferably at least, if not exclusively, apply the observations following.

Labour applied directly to a man’s own use, or indirectly in exchange for an equivalent given by an individual in return for it, is one source of subsistence: labour employed for an equivalent in the service of government, that is, of the public at large, is another source. In the first case, generally speaking, no such allowance of reward, after service has ceased, has place. In the case of him whose subsistence is derived from dealings with the public at large, as in the case of a wholesale or retail trader, a master-manufacturer, an artisan, or a manufacturer, it is impossible. In the case of habitual service, rendered by contract to an individual, there is no custom for it. The case of incapacity produced by age or disease, is a case equally open to expectancy in both instances. From the time of his embarking in his profit-seeking occupation, a man makes for all such contingencies such provision as his means enable him to make, and his prudence disposes him to make. For the securing to individuals any such extraordinary supply at the expense of the public, there is, if there be any difference, less demand in the case of an occupation pursued by the rendering of service to the public for hire, than in the case of him whose subsistence, as above, is derived from commercial dealings with individuals.

In the case of a public functionary, a man’s income is completely certain,—certain as to its existence, certain as to its quantity: in the other case, it is altogether uncertain in both respects.

Among profit-seeking occupations at large, there are those, to a great extent, in the whole, in which, by the nature of the occupation, men are exposed to the danger of ceasing to derive subsistence from that or any other source. With the single exception of military service by land or water, no such exposure has place in the case of public functionaries.

First among the useless places, in addition to that of the monarch himself, is the whole of the establishment kept up for the service of the person of the chief functionary in a monarchy: kept up, as the phrase is, for the support of his dignity, the maintenance of the lustre of his crown, and the splendour of his throne.

The proof of the uselessness of this office may be seen, as already observed, in the peaceful and flourishing condition of the Anglo-American United States, in which, in the federal state, the pay of the chief functionary is no more than £6000 a-year: and it is rather by imitation and prepossession, it should seem, than by any clear proof or view of a real and adequate demand to that amount, that, in that instance, the allowance of so large a sum was determined.

Secondly, in every country in which the great body of the people profess to believe in the religion of Jesus, in any shape, the whole of the pay allotted at the expense of the subject-many, under the notion of pay for teaching it, and performing the ceremonies that have been attached to it. And note, that pay, produced by the occupation or rent of property in an immoveable shape, is so much extracted at the expense of the subject-many: for by applying that same money to the provision made for real exigencies—money to that same amount, and the suffering produced by the exaction of it might be spared.

Proof of the needlessness of such forced exactions, is the non-existence of any such system for the support of the catholic members of the ecclesiastical establishment in Ireland.

Proof that no such exactions are ordained by, or conformable to, the religion of Jesus—is, that no text in the New Testament is there to be found, speaking of him, as ordaining any such exaction: while various texts ordaining perfect equality, among all the professors of his religion, are to be found.

Pay of useless offices, pay of needless, overpay of useful offices, pay of sinecures, i. e. of places to which no duty is attached—these are the shapes in which, at the expense of the greatest happiness of the greatest number, money in excess is extracted from the people, for the benefit of public functionaries.

Remains, that source or mode of wasteful expenditure in the wholesale way which, howsoever congenial, is not essential to the form of government. These are—unnecessary wars, and distant, and thence preponderately expensive, dependencies.

In a representative democracy, unnecessary wars against foreign adversaries can scarcely have existence. For the sake of profit to the supremely ruling body, the people,—in whom is the power of appointment and removal with relation to the operatively ruling body, their representatives,—it is not possible, but what none of them can avoid seeing, is, that, with reference to the utmost possible profit capable of being reaped at the expense of the people of any other state, the expenditure that must be made is not only immediate and certain, but antecedent: as well as, in the ultimate result, greater. Upon their representatives, it is indeed that, in an immediate way, the engaging or not engaging in any such war, would depend. But that which, as above, would be manifest to the least reflecting of the two portions of the community—viz. constituents—would be still more manifest to the most reflecting of those same two bodies, their representatives: in their eyes, accordingly, of the engaging in any such unnecessary war, non-re-election,—that is removal, and with disgrace, would be the certain consequence.

Another conceivable cause of unnecessary war against foreign adversaries, is irritation. But, if not for the commencement, for the continuance, of a war considered as being thus produced, what is necessary, is—that, in the breasts of the majority of the people, hatred of others should be more strong and efficient than love of self. For a small portion of time, and on the part of a small proportion of the people, such predominance is at any rate conceivable. But, for any considerable portion of time, on the part of the majority of such a people, the nature of man considered, it does not seem possible.

In an absolute monarchy, the exemplification of this mode of wasteful expenditure will, of course, be frequent: frequent in proportion to the power the monarch possesses, or regards himself as possessing, with relation to the inhabitants of such states as are within his reach.

In the case of a limited monarchy, the practice will be still more frequent, the propensity still more incessant, and much more intense. For, in this case, whatsoever addition is made to the waste, is so much made to the instrument, the existence and use of which is necessary to this species of monarchy, viz. the corruption fund.

As to distant dependencies, comes to be considered the whole expense of the official establishment, and the aggregate of the stock or materiel employed in the maintenance of the power exercised over the inhabitants of territories so circumstanced.

When the expense of the military force by land and sea together, kept up for the defence of the distant dependency in question, is taken into account, it may be questioned whether, in the instance of any nation sending out a colony, the money extracted from it, and employed in lieu of so much money that would otherwise have been extracted by taxes from the inhabitants of the ruling country, has, in any instance, been so great as the expense. In general, the loss on this account has been prodigious.

Suppose, for example, that hitherto, in this or that instance, a colony has been a source of net profit to the ruling country. Still, it is not in the nature of the case that it should long continue so to be. Over the inhabitants of the dependency in question, power cannot be exercised,—from them such profit cannot be extracted, without manifest injury done to them, without manifest oppression exercised upon them. No sooner do they view the case in its true light, than they will resist the injury, and form a determination, and use endeavours to disburthen themselves of it. If, after this, the maintenance of the power of the ruling people, or rather of the rulers of the ruling people, is persevered in, here then is war, civil war: a war, the expense of which, increases with the distance between the country subject to the dominion, and the country which is the seat of it,—to say nothing of the misery caused by such a war.

Loans to foreign powers are another source of wasteful expenditure.

To go no farther back than the revolutionary war, all money thus obtained and disposed of may, with the most perfect truth, though obtained by extortion, be stated as obtained on false pretences—on pretences known by the obtainers to be false.

In fact, of the money thus lent, not a particle has ever been received back. It was not in the nature of the case that, in the minds of those by whom it was obtained, and thus disposed of, any expectation should have been entertained of receiving back any part of it. At the time when, under the name of a loan obtained by the foreign government from this government, the very cause and reason of its being so obtained was,—that from no resources of its own, from no subjects of its own, was it in the power of that foreign government to obtain it. By no degree of success, of which there could have been any tolerably well-grounded prospect, could the power of the foreign government to repay that money, have been increased. On the contrary, after any ordinary degree of success, that power could not but for a long time, have been diminished.

As to security, under the name of security, nothing having the effect of security was given, or could, by the foreign power in question, have been given. Of no portion of territory to serve as a security, was possession given to this government. Of no such portion of territory could any possession have been taken, accompanied with any possibility of raising money out of it, either in the shape of principal, or in the shape of interest, by contributions levied upon the inhabitants. If any such additional contributions could have been levied upon the inhabitants, they would have been levied with abundantly more facility, and abundantly less expense, by their own government than by this government. No such possession could have been kept by this government without a proportionable military force, paid by itself. Instead of reimbursement, the cost of keeping such possession would have been so much addition to the loss.

If, instead of what it was not, or intended to be, a loan, it had been named according to what it was, a subsidy, it would have been productive of two unpleasant effects: of an effect unpleasant to each of the two high contracting parties. To the Emperor of Austria it would have been humiliation: placing him, with no other difference than that occasioned by the difference in the state of society at the two periods, in the situation in which his ancestor, Maximilian, placed himself with relation to our Henry the Eighth. To the subject many in England, it would have displayed the true nature of the transaction, the very object which, for fear of that discontent which would have been so just, was, by this deceit, but too effectually concealed.

That there had not, on either part, been any such intention as, on both parts, was professed, was afterwards more fully confirmed and manifested by an eventual state of things which could not originally have been, on any rational grounds, anticipated. Upon the destruction of all power of resistance on the part of France, she being treated on the footing of a conquered country, was laid under contribution for the joint benefit of all parties to the conquest: garrisons paid by her being kept for a number of years in the country to secure the levying of it. By contributions levied in the manner of taxes, neither the whole of the money, nor any considerable part of it, could even thus, and upon a conquered enemy’s country, be levied. At length, however, in the way of loan, capital being received by the conquered government from its own subjects, on government annuities, payable out of additional taxes to be imposed, a part of the money originally stipulated was provided and distributed among the conquering governments. Here, then, was an occasion on which, had there been any intention of repayment, that intention might, could, and would, have been fulfilled. Instead of being sent to Vienna, the whole of the Austrian’s share might have been sent to London, or otherwise disposed of to the account of England. Was the whole or any part of it thus disposed of? Not a sixpence.

Hand in hand with waste, is to be found taxation.

Considerable must have been the difference between the quantities of evil produced by the different sorts of taxes resorted to, and the different degrees of mischievousness of those several taxes, even in the best governed state: still more in every other state, in proportion as it is ill governed. Of this inferiority in the scale of aptitude as applied to a tax, the cause may be seen partly in a deficiency in the article of appropriate intellectual aptitude, partly in a deficiency in the article of appropriate moral aptitude, on the part of the authors of the tax: in other words, in a want of wisdom and in a want of feeling: in the one case, if he produces so much needless suffering it is for want of knowing how to find another sort of tax that shall not produce so much of that undesirable result: in the other case, it is because so as the money is but produced to the treasury, he cares not how much suffering is produced elsewhere by it.

The general and utter absence of all real sensibility ought to be considered as a state of mind inseparable from the situation in question. If the financier professes to be in any degree afflicted by the sufferings of the people, in the character of taxable subjects—the fee-fed judge, by their sufferings in the character of suitors—the fee-fed advocate, by their sufferings in the character of clients, or the great military commander, by their sufferings in the character of soldiers or inhabitants of the theatre of war—the truth of such a profession is possibly not altogether without example; but the examples, if any, are so rare and so inconsistent with the ordinary constitution of human nature, that on the occasion of any such professions, no man can produce any just claim to general credence.

That which, in the situation in question, any man may, with reason, be considered as more or less sensible to—is any inconvenience to himself that may happen to present itself to him, as likely to be among the effects of the tax: the inconvenience, for example, producible by any opposition that may seem likely to be made, by any persons who consider themselves as likely to be in any way sufferers by it: to which, of course, will be to be added, if it be not implied, the inconvenience liable to be produced without doors, as well as within doors, by all parties out of place.

This is the evil by which the impression, if any, made on the mind of the financier, will, in reality, be produced: the evil, to the contemplation of which that impression will, of course, be ascribed by him, is the evil seen, or apprehended to be produced in the breasts of the contributors and other sufferers.

Be this as it may, what in every state ought to be expected, is, in the first place, that among the existing sorts of taxes there should be different degrees of mischievousness: in the next place, that the degrees of mischievousness should not exactly follow the chronological order of the taxes. To the perfection of appropriate intellectual aptitude on the part of the financier, suppose the perfection of appropriate probity added,—the degree of mischievousness will, on this supposition be in the inverse ratio of the chronological order of the different sorts of taxes, as first in time, will come the least mischievous,—last in time, the most mischievous.

Compare now the mischief of the waste with the mischief of the tax.

To obtain an adequate conception of the quantity of evil produced by a quantity of waste to a given amount, find and compare with it, the quantity of evil produced by the levying of a correspondent and equal portion of the most mischievous of all the existing taxes. For, on condition of abstaining from the commission of the waste, you may relieve the people from the burthen of that portion of the produce of the tax—you may abolish so much of the tax.

Note that, to render this rule strictly conformable to the truth, the quantity of waste abstained from, must be equal to the whole amount of the tax; for, in the case of a tax, there will always be a portion of evil, the quantity of which, will be the same, be the produce ever so great or ever so small. For example, a certain portion of the expense attached to the official establishment employed in the collection of it.

By the above general observations, the reader will now have been in some sort prepared for the forming a just estimate of the evil produced in the shape of waste, by various branches of customary expenditure, hitherto very commonly regarded as justifiable, either on the ground of absolute necessity, or, at any rate, on the ground of utility. Take, for example, the splendour of the crown, the support of the dignity of the peerage,—jobs for the enrichment of the ruling or influential few, and jobs for the amusement of the ruling and influential few.



Section I.

Civil Law.

Not only the comfort of the individuals, but the security of the whole community requires that, as well against the calamity of famine as against external hostility, individuals should be protected; the treasure of the comparatively opulent, is an insurance office to the comparatively indigent.

But forasmuch as it is only in a minute ratio that increase of happiness is concomitant with the increase of the external means of happiness, the principle of equality requires that so far as may be, without taking away the inducement to productive industry and frugality, the opulent few should be prevented from doing injury to the indigent many, by means of the power necessarily and proportionably attached to opulence: and that so often as this can be done, without the production of the sensation of loss, opportunity should be taken of breaking down large masses into smaller ones.

Hence it is that, on the death of the proprieprietor, provision is made in the civil or distributive branch of the law, to prevent it from falling entire into the lap of any single individual, in a family of brothers and sisters, to the exclusion, total or partial, of the rest.

Another instance in which the matter of the Civil Code belongs in spirit to the Constitutional Code, is—that of the sort of institution already spoken of, called a Foundation. Foundation is another name for legislation. Under the name of a founder, a man (if permitted by the legislator) may exercise those same powers in a manner not less effectual, though neither declared nor open, nor by many an eye observed.

The legislator recognised as such, has equally at his command two instruments—punishment and reward,—each of which, or both, as in his eyes occasion requires, he employs in the performance of his work. Of these two instruments, openly and immediately the founder employs but one, viz. reward: but immediately, and to many an eye secretly, he employs the other likewise. For in truth, such is the connexion between those two instruments, that he who has either at his command, has at his command the other likewise: each of them is in effect contained within the other. Subtraction of reward is punishment; subtraction of punishment is reward.

Under a weak and purblind legislator, a foundation is an instrument with which the crafty individual may undermine the power of the legislator and set up his own in the room of it.

Under a crafty legislator, a founder with his foundation, may be an instrument with which, without being seen to be engaged in it, the legislator may give advancement to his own private, at the expense of the public, interest. He may thus at once demoralise and disintellectualize the great body of the people over whom he rules.

Take the following example: and in this one example behold how thin and indeterminate are the divisions by which the abuse and the use are separated.

First take a foundation having for its object the diffusion and advancement of this or that branch of art and science; or in a word, of all branches taken together. What can be more innoxious? What can be more manifestly useful and proportionably laudable?

All this while, whether it shall be useful or in the highest degree noxious, depends upon a difference, to many an eye so slight as to be imperceptible, in the mode of teaching to which the mass of reward, which the foundation has for its instrument, is annexed.

Leave the whole field open to inquiry, unreserved and unfettered inquiry,—useful or useless, everything that is done and said is at any rate innoxious: for if from one mouth noxious matter issues, from another comes medicinal matter, which neutralises it and destroys its effect.

But, be the portion of the field what it may—on that portion be the question what it may—let the supposed service be, giving support to one side of that question, to the exclusion of the other—now it is that the reward becomes poison. To gain it, he whose real opinion is on one side of the question pretends it to be on the other; and employs his endeavours in inculcating it as if it were his own. Here, then, if insincerity be immorality, already behold the moral poison. But to no man is the idea of his own immorality a pleasant one. Feeling it an unpleasant one, his endeavours will be naturally and constantly at work in ridding him of it. For this purpose, nature affords, and on every occasion presents, an appropriate process. It may be styled the self-deceptive process. The receipt is this. Be the subject what it may, be the question what it may, be the side of the question what it may, that you have pretended to espouse, direct your attention to the arguments in favour of that side, keeping it turned with inflexible perseverance against all arguments in favour of the opposite side.

If your understanding is not more or less above the level of that of the ordinary run of men—if at the same time the reward with the punishment included in it, is strong enough to give to your attention the requisite fixity, sooner or later, the opinion, howsoever at one time scorned by you, becomes yours.

Were the treasures of both the Indies exhausted for the purpose in the offer of a reward, support could not be purchased for an opinion more palpably and flagrantly absurd than those are, which minds in countless millions have actually been made to fold in their embrace.

Introduce religion, and with her, in addition to insincerity, comes cruelty, or in the words ascribed to her, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness. To cause men to teach some absurdity or other, treasures, up to the value of whole kingdoms, have been employed. To cause men to force themselves into the belief of it,—or rather, for that can scarcely be said to be possible, to keep out of their minds the disbelief of it,—eternal terments, i. e. the fear of them, has been, and continues to be employed. But, proportioned to the difficulty of keeping out this unbelief, and thereby of purchasing a supposed security against these torments, will be the uneasiness experienced by the miserable patient, as often as any consideration tending to produce such disbelief is presented to his view. Proportioned to this uneasiness, will of course, be the anger excited in his mind, the anger of which any man who has contributed to the production of this uneasiness, will be the object. This anger, there are two classes of persons by whom it will be shared: the hypocritical knave by whom, with the full consciousness of its absurdity, the dogma has been inculcated, and the miserable dupe by whom, for want of courage to open his eyes to the absurdity, it has been embraced.

Now then comes the cruelty. The more flagrant the absurdity, the greater the difficulty of causing men either to embrace the dogma or to pretend to embrace it. The greater the difficulty, the greater moreover the anxiety of the tyrant, by whom the command to profess the belief of it, has been issued, lest universal indignation, with its consequences, should take place of the universal prostration of understanding and will, the production of which he has thus hazarded himself to endeavour at. To quiet this anxiety, to satiate this anger, if moderate punishment is not sufficient, immoderate must be employed: and thus in Spain and Portugal, have come those temporal and visible burnings, forerunners and prototypes of the announced immediately future, though as yet invisible, ones. Such are the scenes which in Spain and Portugal, the hypocrites and their dupes have witnessed and enjoyed: such are the scenes which, in England hypocrites and their dupes (unless in England, man is an altogether different animal from what he is in Spain and Portugal) have never ceased, nor as long as man is man, can ever cease, to wish to witness and to enjoy;—to enjoy in that same land which, two centuries and a half ago, presented these same scenes to the wisdom and piety of their ancestors.

Section II.

Penal Law.

To the vocabulary of tyranny belongs the word mercy. The idea expressed by this word is a sort of appendage to, and antagonizes with, the idea designated by the word justice.

The word justice, as but too commonly employed, matches with the word deserved, as applied to punishment. In this sense, penal justice is exercised by the application of punishment on the occasion on which, and in the quantity in which, it is deserved. In this case, if mercy be exercised, it is in opposition to, and at the expense of, justice: in so far as mercy is exercised, justice is not done. What in this, as in every case, the greatest happiness of the greatest number requires, is—that if, on the occasion in question, the application of the punishment in question would be conducive to that happiness, the punishment should be applied; if not, not: if, in either case justice is administered, no such thing as mercy is exercised in either case. Under a government which has, for its actual end, the greatest happiness of the greatest number, thus it is that mercy is unknown. Mercy unknown—and why? Only because tyranny is unknown. Under a representative democracy—under the government of the Anglo-American United States, for instance—mercy is unknown, or at least might be so with great advantage, and therefore ought to be unknown. Under that government, for a functionary as such to stand up on any occasion, and say,—I will, on this occasion, show mercy, would be as much as to say—the power of a tyrant is in my hands, but on this occasion I will not exercise it. The surgeon, when it appears to him that it would be for the greatest happiness of the individual under his care that one of the patient’s legs should be cut off, does he say—I will do justice upon this leg. As little, if it appears to him that, without cutting off the leg, a cure may be effected, does he say—I will show mercy to this leg.

It is for the accommodation of tyrants, and that they may receive tribute of praise, which soever course they take, in whichsoever shape they do mischief to the public, or in which way soever they afford gratification to their own passions and sinister interest.

If for the advancement of personal interest or for the gratification of present passion at the expense of lasting personal interest, punishment is applied, justice is the word: if, for the advancement of personal interest in that same quarter, or for the gratification of this or that official servant, interfering gratuitously, or for a price, punishment is forborne to be applied, mercy is the word: in the one case, insult is offered to the public in one shape; in the other case, in the other. In the one case it is on the score of wisdom that the praise so sure to be bestowed is bestowed—in the other case, on the score of humanity, benevolence charity, clemency, what you please: clemency is a name given to supposed or alleged beneficence, when exercised by the exclusion of punishment, and seated on a throne.

The greater the aggregate quantity of punishment ordained by law, the greater is the quantity of mercy capable of being exercised by particular prerogative, in opposition to, and at the expense of, the general tenor of the law. Accordingly, where mercy is most heard of, be assured there is most tyranny. The making a ground for the exercising of tyranny under the mask of clemency, is one purpose for which punishment without limit or measure is anywhere by law established; the making a ground for the praise of benevolence, and thus providing malevolence and tyranny with a mask, is another purpose.

Under an absolute monarchy, malevolence, selfishness, tyranny, and thence punishment established by law, being unbounded, mercy is at times scattered with a proportionably lavish hand. When it has been the pleasure of the monarch to go through a matrimonial ceremony with a partner of the same class, punishments have been remitted by wholesale, gaols delivered at one stroke of the innocent and the guilty: criminality in all its shapes let loose, to recommence its ravages, and evil in all its shapes thus sown over the whole field of action.

When in the person of another alleged supporter to the throne, providence has been pleased to add another mouth to the mouths employed in devouring the produce toiled for, by labouring hands, here has been another occasion for the reproduction of evil in those same shapes.

Under a limited monarchy, the quantity of punishment capable of being applied, not being so completely unlimited, the quantity of mercy for which, with its due reproach and undue praise, there is room, is not quite so great. Room for it, however, always exists, and is always occupied in enormous superabundance. The unofficial intercessor is mostly kept out, by the official arbiter, who, with the language and deportment of obsequiousness, on pretence of responsibility, dictates on each occasion to the vice-god, which of two courses his next to divine pleasure shall take.

In England, while men are condemned to death by hundreds, death is inflicted on them by units: the difference between the unit and the hundred has for its cause the purposes above-mentioned.

In practice, the privilege of thus abandoning men to destruction, or saving them from it, at pleasure, is shared among functionaries in rank, office, number and proportion,—all indeterminate; or, at best, hidden from the eyes of all but the few who share among them a sinister interest, in the abuse of it: a judge or lawyer of one class or denomination on one occasion, of another on another. Along with, and above them all, stands the arch-functionary, who numbers among his titles that of keeper of the king’s conscience: a man out of whose mind, by the indiscriminate defence of right and wrong, (with no other difference than the predilection naturally conceived, for the best customer,) everything that, in any other mind, has ever been designated by the name of conscience, has long before his taking that exalted conscience into his keeping, been obliterated.

Remission of punishment, yes: for that, there may be good reason on various occasions; but they are all of them capable of being, and all of them ought to be, specified.

In one word, mercy and justice are incompatible. In a government where there is room for mercy, it is because justice is overruled by cruelty. As mercy is a subject of praise, the more cruel the tyranny, the greater is the room made for praise.

A few words as to Conspiracy, Treason, and Libel.

Under a representative democracy, no place can conspiracy ever find for itself: for needless, and to this prefix or subjoin impossible,—such are the properties which it would find belonging to itself.

Impossible: for there is nobody to conspire against. Under a monarchy—under an absolute monarchy at least, there is a person to conspire against: there is the monarch: for if you get possession of his person, you may get possession of his power. Under a representative democracy there is no such person. For, by getting possession of the chief magistrate, you cannot get possession of an atom of his power.

In the import of the word conspiracy, where the act is treated on the footing of a crime, the idea of secrecy is included: to conspire, is to make mutual communication of opinions, desires, and eventually-intended endeavours, in secret. These desires and endeavours, if they bear any relation to the government, have, for their object, the bringing about some change in the government: which change, howsoever desirable in the eyes of those who thus project it, would not (so they are assured) be so in the eyes of the existing rulers;—for, on the supposition of its being so, the secrecy has no use. In an absolute monarchy, no change presented by any pair of hands more than one, can be agreeable in the eyes of the monarch or of any under him. If in itself it be agreeable to them, and it had not of itself presented itself to any of them, they may vouchsafe acceptance to it, if presented to them by no more than a single pair of hands, and in a cringing attitude: yes, and even if presented by any such hands, after conference on the subject between two or more persons in an erect posture. But in this case, while they are availing themselves of the plan, they will punish the authors as being conspirators.

Under an absolute monarchy, any discourse of a nature otherwise than agreeable to the monarch, (or any of those by whom execution and effect is given to his will,) is, if uttered by word of mouth in the hearing of any other person, a seditious discourse; if committed to print or writing, a seditious libel; such of course is the character of every discourse by which intimation is given, that in this or that particular, still more if in general, the system pursued, or the conduct of those who act under it, might if different from what it is, be better than what it is,

Under a limited monarchy, the case is, in these respects, the same.

Under a representative democracy, suppose conspiracy not impossible—suppose it not groundless—still there could be no need of it. Under a representative democracy, individuals in any numbers, may, in any places, at any time, meet, and say, and hear, whatsoever (whether in relation to the system pursued, or in relation to the conduct of those who act under it) is agreeable to the respective speakers; to whatsoever degree it may be otherwise than agreeable to the hearers, or to their common rulers. Be the purport of what is thus said what it may, the speaking of it will not be seditious speaking: written or printed, unpublished or published, a paper in which it is contained will not be a seditious libel. Suppose a proposition made for killing, or beating a judge, a governor, a president: for pulling down or plundering his house, a proposition to any such effect, if followed by any correspondent endeavour, will be an offence against person or property, as the case may be, and punishable as such: for a judge, a governor, a president, is an individual. But in neither case would it be either treason, or say, lese majesty, divine or human, or so much as sedition: at any rate, if by the legislature of any such state, the judge was suffered to punish it as such, it would be in humble imitation of an original, by the imitation of which on any one occasion, they ought to be covered with shame.

Under the general government of the Anglo-American United States, there is no such thing as a seditious libel. Charge the president of congress, charge the vice-president, charge the chief justice with having taken a bribe—do this in print, circulate the print all over the United States, no one of them will cause you to be punished as for a seditious libel, no one of them will have it in his power so to do: for no such injury will any criminal prosecution lie: no information granted, ex-officio, without motion: no information granted on motion: no, nor so much as any indictment. Action civil, i. e. non-penal, yes, viz. as for defamation. Prove thereupon, the imputation to be well grounded, in a man on whom it has been cast, and he will be punished accordingly: though such is the effect of blind obsequiousness to a corrupt original, be the evidence ever so complete, it will have to be delivered over againin a needless and worse than useless prosecution, required by lawyer-craft for the purpose.

If you fail in the proof, you may be punished for the injury, by being obliged to pay money on that account to the individual injured: and it is right you should be so, if you had not before you a reasonable ground for believing the imputation: much more, if you are conscious of the falsity of it. In this there would be nothing but what is right: for though he is neither a vice-god, nor a magnate, the person in question is an individual, and an individual whom you have injured.

Under a representative democracy, though there can be no lese majesty, divine or human, nor anything of that stamp, there may be hostility: for there may be disagreement; disagreement by men in any numbers on two opposite sides: and how improbable soever, such disagreement may rise to hostility. Here then is war: and this war a civil war. It will be carried on as in the case of ordinary war, carried on between civilized nations: it will be carried on, by each in such a manner, as shall present to its view the fairest promise for the attainment of its end, with the least damage,—in the first place to itself, in the next place to the enemy. Some will accordingly, on the losing side at least, be killed, others wounded, others in the situation of prisoners, left at the disposal of the commander of the victorious army.

Having them at his disposal, how will he deal with them? Does he put them to death in cold blood, with a gang of lawyers to give form and colour to his cruelty? Will he, with any such gang for his prompters, tell them that their blood is corrupt, and that on that account it was just and necessary that their wives and children should be destitute of subsistence, and in that state kept by law, as far as practicable till they die? No: he will do nothing of all these things: the men he will keep to the best of his power; their arms he will as soon as possible take into his custody, lest they should turn them against him and his. But sooner or later hostility will give place to peace. On that joyful occasion these captives will, the whole remainder of them, be sent back to their homes and families, bodies fed, wounds healed, ignominy in no shape, either cast upon them, or endeavoured to be cast. Whence all these differences? Answer: On neither side has any vice-god been seen or fancied: and on neither side has any such word as legitimacy been pronounced.

In so far, then, as it matches with, and is determined by, the state of the constitutional branch of law, the state of the penal branch of law will, under the different forms of government, present the different aspects following:

Conscious, more or less, of the opposition that has place between their own particular interests and the greatest happiness of the greatest number: alive, at the same time, to a sense of the dangers that attach upon the situation, from which they derive that sinister interest;—haunted, not merely by a correct and adequate, but by an exaggerated image of those dangers,—under monarchy, whether absolute or limited, under aristocracy, under every form of government but representative democracy,—never, in the imagination of the ruling one, of the subruling or the influential few, can the mass of securities in which they intrench themselves be sufficient: in that part of the intrenchment which is the work of penal law, death, substituted to punishment in any less odious and more appropriate form; torture, antecedent and concomitant, added to simple destruction of life; punishment of the acknowledged innocent, added to that of the reputed guilty; confiscation; under pretence of corruption of blood, interception of inheritance; for that, and other purposes, pains of hell in prospect, under the sad necessity of not being able to apply them in present reality, and existence;—all these penal securities, put together, are insufficient to produce that inward tranquillity which conscience keeps for ever banished from those misery-bound, and misery-producing situations. Hence it is, that every act which, in those distempered imaginations, threatens to substitute to the superlatively mischievous form of government, in which they behold the source of their sinister benefits, a form in any degree less mischievous,—is, by that same distempered imagination, elevated to a rank towering above the most mischievous of those offences, by which real mischief is produced.

Treasons—political offences—state offences—offences against government, are the denominations by which acts bearing this character are, in these days, commonly designated; lese majesty divine and human, is of the number of the denominations by which, in former days, offences of this same description were, by the wisdom of the ancestors of those who number ancestry among their possessions, denominated and distinguished. Of lese majesty a division was made, but with little difference, between its parts, and between that which was human and that which was divine: lese majesty human, an offence against the power, crown, dignity, and majesty of that but too visible god, whose throne was upon earth: lese majesty divine, an offence against the power, crown, dignity and majesty of the invisible God, whose throne is in heaven.

The authors, printers, publishers, circulators, lenders, borrowers, hirers, readers, hearers—if not denunciators, of libellous discourses,—all discourses either actually displeasing to the monarch, or any of his chosen servants, have always been punished by halter, ball, bayonet, or imprisonment.

Under a representative democracy, scarcely, for offences of this class, it has been seen, can so much as a place be found. On the one hand, stand offences of individuals against individuals: on the other hand, acts of hostility by enemies against enemies. Rulers being individuals—rulers and subjects at the same time,—for person, reputation, property, and condition in life, rulers receive the same protection as subjects, and of no other protection have they, or can they conceive themselves to have, any need. Under a monarchy, by sudden death inflicted upon the chief of the government, changes, to the importance of which no limit can be assigned, may be produced. By an operation, to the same effect, upon the person of a chief magistrate, in a representative democracy, no such effect—scarce any such effect as would in any sinister estimate be worth producing, would ever be produced: another as good as he, and no better, (nor of any better would there be any need,) would, as soon as the election had run its course, step into his place.

In a monarchy, especially if absolute, take possession of the chief magistrate, you take possession of an immense part, if not the whole, of the power which is in his hands. He signs what laws and orders you give him to sign, he utters whatever speeches you give him to utter, he takes whatever oaths you give him to take: reserving to the first moment, after he is out of your hands, the signing of repealing-laws and counter-orders, the utterance of counter-speeches, the declaration that the former oaths were null and void, and the taking of as many counter-oaths, if any, as shall, in his eyes, afford a promise of being contributory to the purpose of the moment, whatsoever that purpose be.

Whatever course of conduct he has ever given a promise to pursue, with this ceremony, or sanction to the promise; if at any moment being called upon to pursue a different course, it be more agreeable to him to persevere in the original course, he will assure you that oaths, all oaths, are things sacred and inviolable. If, at the moment in question, it be more agreeable to him to violate the oath, than to keep it; he will take a distinction: all proper oaths, he will assure you, are sacred and inviolable, and, as such, ought to be fulfilled: all improper oaths are, in their own nature, null and void, and, as such, ought not to be fulfilled.

Make your way into the capital some dark night, steal into the president’s bed-chamber, through one of the windows, drag him out through it, and convey him into the hut, or boat, you have provided for the purpose, then see what you can make of him: what power you can get possession of by this exploit: what money, what arsenals, what fortresses you can get possession of: what change you can, by this means, make in the constitution. But no: whoever you are, you will do no such thing: if you are a thief, you will ransack his pockets—the man you will not meddle with, for no use whatever could you make of him.

Under a monarchy, accept the invitation of the wife of the chief magistrate, you beget a future possessor of the throne, taking your chance for keeping your head or losing it: in a representative democracy, accept the like invitation from the wife of a chief magistrate, you beget a future possessor of a farm or a counting-house: your head is not in danger; your purse is, or is not, according to circumstances.

The imputation of moral depravity does not necessarily attach, upon any endeavour, to subvert the constitution, or to oppose the power of any individual functionary or functionaries, although it be by force. No such endeavour can be used with any chance of success, unless in the opinion of a considerable portion of the members of the community, such success would be acceptable to the whole, as contributing to the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

The government of the state will, of course, defend itself against all such as in its eyes are domestic adversaries, as well as against those who, in its eyes, are foreign adversaries.

If, in the course of any such endeavour, injury be done to person, property, reputation, or condition in life, those who have been concerned in doing it, will in this, as in any other case, be exposed to the burthen of compensation, together with whatsoever further burthen has been provided, on the score of punishment: if no such injury has ensued, there can be no need of any specific infliction in the name of punishment: the notoriety of the endeavour, coupled with the notoriety of the ill-success, will itself have the effect of punishment.

For the endeavour to give aid to a foreign enemy, to the detriment of the state, the penal consequences say, shall or may be as follows, namely:—

Personal exposure, with appropriate inscription,—banishment or confiscation.

The mode of personal exposure may be as follows:—

The patient to be placed in an elevated situation, in the middle of some open space, sitting in a chair, and confined thereto, with his hands tied behind him, so as to prevent his employing them in concealing his face: the chair turning on a pivot in such sort, that by four periodical movements, his countenance may be presented to the view of all the spectators in the surrounding circle: a covering of iron, in the manner of a bird-cage, to protect him from corporeal injury by missiles from the crowd.

Banishment for any term, not exceeding a year, with imprisonment in such sort as shall be necessary for carrying the banishment into effect: the banishment, at any time before expiration, renewable for the same or any less time, by a fresh order, issued without fresh trial by the minister of justice, notified in the government newspaper: and so for any successive number of times.

Confiscation of property, total or partial: temporary, but renewable as above.

Such confiscation has not for its object anything more than the preventing the patient from employing his property to the detriment of the state. It is not, therefore, meant to be taken without reservation made for his use, of an income sufficient for the bare subsistence, at least of himself, and otherwise destitute wife and children.

Section III.

Procedure Law.

The expense, vexation, and delay incident to judicial procedure, fall most heavily on those by whom they can least be endured, viz. the greatest number: these burthens have hitherto, by official and professional lawyers, under the sanction of the legislative authority, been maximized.

Of those by whose labours the matter of abundance is furnished to the rest, by far the greater number are everywhere so circumstanced as to have no money at all to spare for any such afflictive casualties. In the case of an individual of this class, whether it be in the shape of money or of time, any the slightest addition to such expense of time and money as the nature of the case renders absolutely unavoidable, operates as a denial of justice. It exposes every individual by whom such expense cannot be sustained, to suffer oppression to an unlimited amount, at the hands of every individual by whom such expense can be sustained. It operates as a bounty upon oppression, and as an instrument in the hand of the oppressor in every case in which the power of the judicial authority is among the instruments by which the oppression is exercised.

On this account it is that the following arrangements are of such indispensable importance. Judicatories to be near each man’s house, and thence correspondently numerous. Judicatories to be paid by government, out of the common fund, and not by the individual suitors,—individuals by whom, so far from greater benefit, less benefit is reaped from the services of the judge, than is reaped by non-litigants; because that protection and that security which litigants do not obtain, non-litigants do obtain without expense to themselves.

Judicatories never to be in a state of inaction, so long as there is any business to be done.

The sort of causes which ought to have the precedence in the attention of the legislator, will be those in which the greatest number are in one way or other concerned; and among them, those which are of the most frequent occurrence. These, in the eye of the Legislator for mankind, will be the most important causes. In a code which has for its object the greatest happiness of the ruling few, in particular of the ruling one, this order will, of course, be reversed.

Section IV.

Financial Law.

Conformably to the principles of this code, no tax can be imposed for any of the purposes following:—

Augmentation of the collective splendour of the state, or of its functionaries collectively.

Augmentation of the splendour of any one functionary in particular.

Advancement of purely agreeable or curious branches of art and science.

Expenditure of money derived from any other source, is the same thing in effect, with a tax to that same amount.

Section V.

Military Law.

For obtaining equal security, it is requisite that the military means of self-defence, be spread all over the territory, and all over the population, with as much equality as possible.

That, accordingly, skill in the use of arms, and (as the means and instrument of it) the being instructed and exercised in that use, be with that same degree of equality, universally diffused.

For eventual defence against external enemies, it will or may be necessary, that at all times, a body of men, more or less considerable, be kept up, in whose instance military exercises will occupy the whole of their time. The effective force of this constantly trained and exercised class will, therefore, be of necessity, considerably greater (numbers being equal) than that of the less frequently exercised class. In the hands of a mischievously ambitious commander, this regular force might be dangerous to the independence of the rest of the community, if the inferiority which has place in the article of skill, were not decidedly more than countervailed by superiority in the article of number, on the part of that less perfectly exercised body, who compose so very large a portion of the whole population, and whose interest is nearly identified with that of the whole.

Moreover, as the members of the imperfectly-trained force, will maintain themselves, while those of the perfectly-trained force, must be maintained at the expense of the rest of the community; economy joins with political security, in prescribing the confining the perfectly-trained force within its narrowest limits.

Hence came two correspondent subordinate objects or ends in view, expressible in these words: militia force, maximized: regular force, minimized.



In the designation of this species of unofficial judicatory, the appellation Public-opinion Tribunal is here employed, in conformity to, and compliance with, universal usage. By the word opinion, however, an erroneous conception is liable and apt to be conveyed and produced, namely, that it is by mere opinion—by the mere exercise of the judicial faculty, that those effects, which, on the actions of other persons are so manifest, and so universally acknowledged, are produced. This conception is, however, an erroneous one; for it is only by a sense of interest, by the eventual expectation of pain or pleasure, that human conduct can, in any case, be influenced: if it is by any opinion, supposed to be formed by other men, that a man’s conduct is in any way, and in any degree, influenced, it can only be through the medium of expected action, and thence of correspondent will, on the part of the individuals in question, that the influence can be produced: the expectation that, by the opinion, favourable or unfavourable, correspondent will, will be produced, and by correspondent will, correspondent action, in the shape of good or evil offices; and by such good or evil offices on the one part, pleasure or pain on the other.

The members of the public-opinion tribunal in a community, are the members of that same community, the whole number of them, considered in respect of their capacity of taking cognizance of each other’s conduct, sitting in judgment on it, and causing their judgments in the several cases to be made known. In the English House of Commons, in the formation of a committee of the members for this or that particular purpose, an order that now and then is seen to have place is, that all who come to the committee, shall have voices. The members of the public-opinion tribunal, are to the members of the community at large, what the members of the House of Commons’ committee thus formed, are to the members of the house.

The public-opinion tribunal may be conceived as sitting and acting in full assembly, or through the medium of a committee, a specially and actually appointed committee.

In the character of a full assembly, whatsoever is said of it, may contain more or less of truth, but must unavoidably be mixed with more or less of fiction. The best course, therefore, will be to consider it as acting by a committee: in this case, all fiction may be excluded. That which is real, being thus explained, the explanation may afterwards be applied with advantage, to the mixture of the real and the fictitious.

As this tribunal, by the counterforce, which, by its punitive power, it applies to the power of government, contributes to keep it in check, and keep its course within the paths indicated by the greatest happiness principle, (thereby operating as a security for appropriate moral aptitude in the conduct of rulers as such,) so may it, in no inconsiderable degree, by its remunerating power.

There are two distinguishable forms in which influence, more or less effective, may be given to the will and understanding of the great body of the people: in one form, their opinion—that is, the opinion of such of those whose opinion can be brought to bear upon the subject in question—is accompanied with a will, clothed with power; in the other form, whatsoever effect is given to what passes in their minds, it is by the declaration of their opinion alone that the effect is produced. In the one case, of any declaration of their opinion, obligatory effects are made to follow it; in the other case, no such effects are made to follow it.

Of the case in which its opinion receives an obligatory effect, the function of a jury is an example. A jury, in so far as it is what it professes to be, is a sort of committee of the whole body of the people,—a section of that vast polypus. The decision or verdict of the jury is productive of an obligatory effect, i. e. it determines the fate of the cause. Say, public-opinion tribunal, adopted into, and constituting a constituent part of the legal tribunal.

The case in which the opinion has no obligatory effect would have place, on the supposition, that the verdict of the jury, though pronounced in the same manner as in the former case, would not be obligatory upon the judge, but would leave him at liberty either to give effect to it, or to give effect to a decision of his own framing, howsoever different from it, or even directly repugnant to it. Say, public-opinion tribunal, delivering verdicts, but those verdicts not obligatory.

A third mode would have place, if a certain number of men, in the character of a section of the public-opinion tribunal, stood engaged to be present during this or that part, or during the whole progression of a cause or suit; but without either obligation or power, or, at any rate, without obligation to deliver any conjunct portion of discourse in the character of a verdict. Say, a silent jury.

In the second mode, the effect produced on the mind of the judge, by the counterforce thus applied, would be produced by what they were known by him to think: in this third case, by what they were supposed by him to think.

These judges, by whom every person and everything are to be judged, who, it may be said, are they? Who but the members of that body, the vast majority of whom are, and always will be, in all places, and at all times, the comparatively ignorant and weak judgmented: and is it by these least informed, that all better qualified judgments are expected to be influenced and guided?

Answer: It is not from any particular judgment, ascertained to be on any occasion actually delivered by them, that the good here looked to, is expected. What is not proposed is, that the votes of any of them, shall on any particular question, be collected: on no other occasion than that of an election of deputies will that be done, in regular course. It is from the opinion expected to be on each occasion inwardly entertained by them, that the good is looked for. It is not from anything expected to be said, only from what it is expected will be thought, that the benefit is expected. Included in this aggregate judgment, are the judgments of the most unapt, as well as those of the most apt.

By a functionary, especially if acting singly, as often as any act of misconduct is committed, the consequence of it, sooner or later, or at any rate the tendency of it, will be to produce, in some shape or other, evil, that by individuals in a number more or less considerable, will be felt: in a word, suffering in some shape or other on the part of these same individuals. To all, by whom any such suffering is experienced, will at any rate be known, that they do experience it: and among those who experience, added to those who witness those same sufferings, there will always be some, who being qualified to trace them to that misconduct in which, as above, they have their source, will naturally be disposed to make communication of such their discoveries to the rest. As to the opinions by which, in each case, the cause of the suffering is undertaken to be assigned, they will commonly be, many of them wrong, but on each occasion, they may be, for aught that the rulers can know, in any number, right: and it is by the fear of the conduct that may be the result of these opinions, that the check which applies itself to the conduct of the ruling few, is applied, and the corresponding benefit produced.

In his quality of member of the public-opinion tribunal, every member of the constitutive body in giving expression to a sentiment of disapprobation so grounded, exercises a judicial function: any such expression, if made in the hearing of others, may be considered as a motion made for censure on the conduct of the functionary in question: if by any author of such virtual motion, in consideration of such supposed delinquency, a vote be given at any election, in disfavour of such functionary, the part acted by such vote may be considered as an act done for the purpose of giving execution and effect to the condemnatory judgment, so formed as above. On the occasion of an ordinary suit between individual and individual, or between government and individual, any such union of the functions of accuser, judge and executioner, would be incompatible with justice: but in the case here in question, all that it amounts to is this, namely, that for his guidance in the exercise of his share of constitutive power—the giving of his vote—the individual takes the only course which the nature of the case admits of.

The following may be employed amongst other means of bringing the force of the popular or moral sanction to bear with greatest advantage upon the conduct of public functionaries in the several departments:—

In every apartment in which a public functionary sits to do business, keep in view of the public, a table in placard form, containing admonitory rules, and notices, having for their object the prevention of the moral failings, to which by his situation, the functionary is most exposed. To these admonitory rules and notices, the distinction between universally-applying and particularly-applying, will be found applicable.

I. Notices.

1. Name of the edifice, over every door that opens into, or is visible from, the public highway.

2. In each edifice, over each door of each chamber, the name of the chamber.

3. In each chamber, over the seat occupied by each functionary, the name of the office, and the proper name of the functionary who sits in it.

4. In each chamber, over the door, designation of the hour at which the functionary ought to take his seat, and of the hour at which he is at liberty to desist from the exercise of his office.

5. So, an almanac, marking the months, weeks and days of the attendance in each year.

II. Admonitory rules.

1. Admonitory rules of general applicability, expressive of the duties of the functionary.

2. Admonitory rules of general applicability, expressive of the duties of persons attending at the office as having business therein.

3. Admonitory rules of general applicability, expressive of the powers given to the functionaries in question, for preventing interruption of the business of the office, and annoyance of them in the exercise of their functions.

Rule of general applicability, expressive of the duty of the functionary. Duty of urbanity: abstinence from the insolence of office.

(1.) In this office, let the functionary consider, that it becomes him not, in quality of his office, to assume any superiority over any person having business therein: that, in his quality of public functionary, his situation with reference to every such person, is rather that of a servant than that of a master, he being remunerated at the public expense for the rendering of such services as appertain to the nature of his office.

(2.) If in his dealings with any suitor to the office, any expression which by such suitor is regarded as an expression of contumely, ill-humour, or undue impatience or contempt, be uttered by the functionary, the suitor, may, if he pleases, upon the spot, commit the same to paper, and require of the functionary under his signature to avow or deny the having employed it. If the functionary refuse, a memorandum may be made of such refusal, in order to form the groundwork of an accusation before a judicatory.

Of the powers given to the public functionary, the sole object is, the enabling him to fulfil his duties: to render to the public, the services for the rendering of which the office has been instituted. The institution of it, has not among its objects, the affording gratification to the vanity, much less to the pride, of the functionary, at the expense of the feelings of those who have business to do at his office.

Of these admonitory rules, the use is, to apply the force of the moral sanction, in cases when, by reason of the overweening power of the functionary, or in case of transgression the impossibility or difficulty of obtaining adequate evidence, the force of the political sanction is not sufficiently applicable.

A solemn engagement, in which either the rules themselves or the substance of them is repeated, should be pronounced by the functionary in the face of the public, upon his entrance into office. It might, if worth while, be repeated periodically: for example, in case of a new constitution, on the anniversary of the celebration of the constitution.

For what purpose professedly employ and seek to increase the power of this unofficial judicatory?

Answer: To a representative democracy, this unofficial, unpaid, and incorruptible judicatory, is an instrument of support: and in regard to it, the object and endeavour will be, to maximize the rectitude of the decisions given by it, in the several instances; and in so far as that rectitude has place, the force with which it operates.

To every other form of government, it is by correspondent causes rendered an object of terror and anxiety: though the magnitude of its power is universally acknowledged among them. In proportion, however, to the magnitude of the force attributed to it, is the endeavour to oppose whatsoever is salutary in its influence: that is to say, either to give to it a sinister direction, by the united power of force, intimidation, corruption, and delusion; or, in so far as the giving to it any such sinister direction is regarded as impracticable, to exclude from its cognizance every topic that presents itself as bearing any relation to politics, morals, or religion.

The tribunal of public opinion may be considered as composed of two sections: the democratical and the aristocratical. On every occasion, the conduct of every human being will be determined by his own interest, taken in its most extensive sense: that is, his own interest, according to his own conception of it, correct or incorrect, in relation to it at the moment of action. On every occasion, the opinion acted upon by each individual, in his character of member of the public-opinion tribunal, will therefore be determined by his own interest: so therefore will that of the whole tribunal, considered as a whole, be determined by the interest of the majority of those who act as members.

The interest of the democratical section, is that of the majority of the members of the whole tribunal taken in the aggregate: it is consequently the interest of the subject many: the opinion on which it acts will be that which is in the highest degree contributory to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, in so far as the conception entertained by the several members in relation to their respective interests is correct.

The interest of the aristocratical section of the public-opinion tribunal, is that of the members, or the majority of the members, of that portion of the entire number of the members of the political community, which is composed of the ruling and otherwise influential few: of the highest rank of the functionaries of the state, with the addition of such other classes, whose particular interests are in league with theirs. The opinion on which, as in their several other characters, so in this, they will act, will therefore, in each instance, be determined by the interest common to the members of this section. But in a great, not to say the greatest, part of the field of morals, including that of legislation, the interest common to the members of this narrow section is in direct opposition to the interest of the other more comprehensive section.

The democratical section, or the section of the subject many, is composed chiefly of the productive classes, including under that denomination, those occupied in giving facility to the distribution of the good things produced: without which distribution, production would not be of any use. The section of the ruling and otherwise influential few, is composed principally of the non-productive classes.

Corresponding to the deviation in regard to interest, will be the several opinions pronounced and acted upon by these two sections. By the democratical section, disrepute, or say disapprobation, will be attached to all such actions, as, in the conception of its members, are detrimental to the universal interest: and that in a degree of force proportioned to the degree of the injuriousness: approbation to all such actions as, in the same conception, are in an eminent degree contributory to the universal interest.

The aristocratical section will be determined by the respective opposite interests, in the disposal of such expression of disapprobation and approbation as it is respectively in their power to make with regard to human conduct, in every part of the field of law and morals.

By approbation and disapprobation understand, in both cases, that which is expressed and otherwise acted upon: immaterial taken by itself, is any which is not expressed or acted upon.

Of this aristocratical section, there is commonly a sub-section, by whom, in appearance, opposition to the work of corruption will naturally be maintained. This sub-section is composed of such of those corruptionists, who, being such in desire and expectation only, without being in connexion with those in possession, will in this way, as in all others, be making war with them, which they can no otherwise do than by accusing them at the bar of the public-opinion tribunal, and using their endeavours to draw down upon them the discontent and resentment of the people. But in no such apparent endeavour have they ever, or can they ever, in the nature of the case, be sincere, as has been fully explained elsewhere.

Unhappily for the members of the democratical section, their conceptions, their judgments, their suffrages, their language, have till this time been placed almost completely under the guidance, and almost, as it were, at the disposal of, those of the aristocratical: and thus it is, that by the sinister interest of these their adversaries, not only have they been placed and kept under the yoke of misrule, but the only instrument in which they could seek relief from the disorder of misrule, has been employed, in a great degree, in the aggravation of it, and in keeping them, as far as may be, from all thoughts of applying a remedy.

Offences against the person, property, reputation, and condition in life, including power, of individuals,—under these denominations may be included all modifications of conduct detrimental to the happiness of individuals, individually considered, and this whether opposed or not by the power of the political, including the legal sanction. It is the interest of a member of the democratical section, as such, that no such misdeeds as come under any of these denominations should have place in any instance.

With respect to the aggregate mass of these same misdeeds, it is the interest of a member of the aristocratical section, as such, that no offence of any one of these descriptions should have place to the detriment of the happiness of that particular section to which he belongs. But, in so far as the effect of any such misdeed is to operate to his own benefit, though it be to the detriment of the more numerous class to which he does not belong, it is, in his view of the matter, generally speaking, his interest, that to the extent of that case, those misdeeds, in all their several shapes and denominations, should be as abundant as possible: that it should at all times be in his power to inflict on all the individuals belonging to the democratical section, evil in all those shapes, in so far as, by the infliction of it, gratification to himself, in some shape, shall thereby be produced.

It is his interest to have it in his power to beat, maim, or otherwise maltreat, for example, the person of every other man whose lot it has been to fall under his displeasure: to cover him with ignominy, on the supposition of his having committed misdeeds, which in truth he has not committed: to deprive him of any part, or of the whole, of his means of subsistence: to deprive him of the power of directing the conduct of his children during the time of their immaturity: by fraud or force to violate the person of his wife, his daughters, or sisters: all this without danger of suffering on, his own part, on the ground of any of those misdeeds, at the hands of law or otherwise; on the contrary, to possess the assurance of seeing the force of the law employed in securing him against suffering in any shape, on the account of his having committed them.

A right of this sort—this right of doing wrong is, in so far as it is enjoyed by the members of a small class, at the charge of the aggregate of the members of the community, termed in the laws of all nations a privilege; in so far as it is possessed by a single individual, it is, in the language of English law, termed a prerogative.

It is the interest of every member of the aristocratical section, as such, that there should exist a class of citizens, provided he be one of them, in whose power it should be to enjoy benefits in all imaginable shapes, at the expense of the greater number.

If by any efficient cause, the members of the aristocratical section receive the power of producing, on the part of the members of the democratical section, suffering in all manner of shapes, for the gratification of their own appetites, while the members of the democratical section, as such, stand debarred from doing the like, to the injury of the members of the aristocratical, a natural consequence is, that the judgment entertained, as well as declared, on this subject, should, on the part of the members of the democratical section, be unfavourable and condemnatory with relation to this state of things, and so far to a government in which any such state of things is kept in existence.

But for the correspondent and opposite reason, a consequence equally natural is, that of the members of the aristocratical section, as such, the judgment pronounced on this same state of things should be favourable and commendatory.

What is the conclusion of all this? That in so far as it differs from the judgment pronounced by the democratical section, every judgment pronounced by the aristocratical section will be erroneous—erroneous, and to the prejudice of the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

From this it follows, again, that in every factitious assemblage of functionaries, instituted for the purpose of serving as a representation of the public-opinion tribunal, all individuals of whom it appears that they appertain to the aristocratical section, ought to be either excluded altogether, or if admitted, not admitted but in a number extremely small: admitted, not in the quality of voters, where votes would have an obligative effect, but only in the quality of advisers and instructors.

A jury may be considered as a section of the public-opinion tribunal, called in, on a certain occasion of judicature, to serve as a counterforce to the operation of particular and sinister interest in the situation of permanent judge.

In the practice of English law, there are two sorts of juries—the petty or common, and the special. The common jury is a committee of the democratical section; a special jury, of the aristocratical. The common jury is a safeguard against oppression: the special jury an instrument of oppression and injustice, fabricated by the corruptive system.

The judgment of the democratical section has many errors in it: it has some that are common to it and the aristocratical section: it has some which are peculiar to itself. But in proportion as it becomes more and more mature, it becomes more and more favourable to the universal interest; whereas the judgment of the aristocratical section becomes more and more adverse to the universal interest.

The members of the aristocratical section being as much members of the community as those of the democratical section, they have every one of them a vote in this tribunal. And this vote not only has a force and effect not less than that of a member of the democratical section, but a force and effect much greater, rising above it in a scale composed of numerous degrees of magnitude. Still, however, in proportion as the number of the members of the community at large, in the habit of acting in this character, increased, the ratio of the numbers in this more extended section, to the numbers in the more contracted section, would increase: and thus the members of the aristocratical section being constantly in a minority, the whole section would be without much or any influence. To preserve their influence, they, therefore, make common cause, secede from the democratical members, and sit in a section apart, forming as it were a house of lords—having an interest of its own, distinct from and opposite to, the interest of the remainder, and acting in pursuance of that particular and sinister interest.

If, in a committee of the public, the presence of a member of the aristocratical section of it can, with reference to the interest of the public taken in the aggregate, be of use, it can only be with a view to appropriate intellectual aptitude, knowledge and judgment taken together. In respect of moral aptitude, it can scarcely happen but that in comparison with an average number of the democratical section, he will be inferior: his situation exposing him to those temptations from particular and sinister interest to which the member of the democratical, as such, is not exposed. But whatever knowledge and judgment is possessed by a man, communication may as easily be given without a vote, as with a vote, possessed by that same individual. If, then, there be any preponderant demand for the assistance of a person of that class, with a view to accession of appropriate knowledge and judgment, a single individual of that class may be regarded as sufficient, whatsoever be the number of the remainder: in which case, his having or not having a vote in common with them will hardly be worth contending for.

As practice and experience under the constitution in question increases, any deficiency which at the outset may have place in regard to these requisites, in the instance of the democratical members, will be receiving continual supplies: the demand, therefore, for any such aristocratical assistance will, in the same proportion decrease.

In comparison with the aggregate number of the members of the democratical section of the public-opinion tribunal, that of those of the aristocratical will be small. Here, then, is another reason why the number of the aristocratical members in each such committee should be small: for the larger it were, the greater would be the number of those on whom the burthen of such attendance (in proportion as the attendance were felt as burthensome) would be pressing.

From interests, real or supposed, come desires: from desires come expressions of will and expressions of opinion, for the purpose of drawing through the medium of opinion other wills into a coincidence and conformity with a man’s own. From the united force of an adequate number of wills, in appropriate and adequate situations, come legislative arrangements.

But, in the drawing together of opinions, great is the advantage which the aristocratical section has over the democratical. In the aristocratical section is the acknowledged standard of taste; and the taste of the aristocrat is always conformable to, and to a great extent determined by, interest—by their separate and sinister interest. To increase their own importance, the ambitious youth of the democratical section, and those who float between the two sections, make a point of adopting declaredly the tastes and opinions of the aristocratical, that they may be regarded as belonging to it, and be accordingly respected and courted.

By substituting the principle of taste to the greatest happiness principle, taste is made the arbiter of excellence and depravity; and thus the great mass of the community is in the very sink of depravity. Witness the use that is made of the words bad taste and disgusting. Bad taste pours down contempt: disgusting is a superlative above flagitious,—it is a quasi conjugate of taste and bad taste. Those of the democratical section, in so far as they adopt such expressions, act in support of the hostile section against themselves. For the rich and powerful will always be the arbiters of taste: what is an object of disgust to them will, to those who follow this principle, be an object of disgust likewise. But that the poor, labouring and non-labouring,—all those who cannot afford a clean shirt every day, and a suit of clothes every two or three months,—are, to the men of the first circle, objects of disgust, is altogether beyond dispute.

As to distinction between these two sections,—to draw any determinate boundary line,—a line, on the one side of which shall be the situation of the several individuals belonging to the one section; on the other side, all the several individuals belonging to the other, is plainly precluded by the nature of the case.

If, of the superiority in question, there were but one element, say factitious dignity, yes: to the aristocratical belong all who possess any particle, however small, of this creature of the imagination; to the democratical all who have not any particle of it. So, perhaps, if instead of factitious dignity it were power: understand political power, to the exclusion of domestic. So far, then, as depends upon two of the species of matter of which aristocratical superiority is composed, yes. But what remains is the third, composed of the matter of wealth. To this species attach two causes of impossibility: one constituted by the article of quantity, the other by that of time.

First, with reference to quantity. As where physical light is concerned, it is impossible to say where dullness ends and gives place to brightness; so is it to say where poverty or indigence ends and gives place to affluence. So as to time. Suppose the quantity determined, and thereby the section to which each man appertains. For to-day, good: but to-morrow, some men, in any number, by increase given to this quantity, have, from the indigent class, been lifted up into the opulent: others from the affluent been sent down into the indigent class.

Nor yet, with a view to action, to influence on the conduct of the individuals in question, are the above, any of them, the immediately operating efficient causes. Of action the sole efficient cause is interest, if interest be taken in its most enlarged sense: i. e. according to each man’s perception of what, at the moment in question, is his most forcibly influencing interest: the interest determined by social sympathy and antipathy, as well as that which is of a purely self-regarding complexion, included.

Thus to the purpose of action, to the aristocratical section belong all such individuals who, by hope of factitious honour, power, or wealth, are dependent on the members of the aristocratical section: so to the democratical belong all those who, their self-regarding interest in any of these shapes notwithstanding, are listed on the democratical side by sympathy with the sufferings of those belonging to that section, or by antipathy towards this or that portion of the aristocratical section: belonging in reality to a side to which they are opposed in appearance.



Of bad rule, or say misrule, the sensible evil effects in all shapes, are reducible to one or other of two denominations—oppression and depredation.

They may even be comprehended under the single name of oppression: the exercise of depredation in so far as committed by the hands of rulers, being but a particular modification of oppression: oppression exercised for this particular purpose: applied to the purpose of obtaining benefit in some shape, at the expense of the persons on whom the oppression is exercised.

But oppression may be exercised in cases where no immediate benefit in any shape, is the object, the attainment of which is the final cause of the oppression exercised: no benefit in any shape, unless the pleasure resulting from the contemplation of the suffering produced by the oppression in the breast of the oppressed person, be regarded as coming under the denomination of benefit.

Though in this way the cause of the evil may, in all its shapes, be comprisable under the one denomination of oppression, there will be a convenience in the employing of the other denomination, namely depredation likewise, and thus considering it as something distinct from oppression at large. For as in the two cases, the evil effects on the part of the sufferers are different, so are the modes of operation on the part of the agents different.

The giving support and strength to the power of depredation is the chief purpose to which the exercise of a power which, in its immediate effect, is purely oppressive, is principally directed.

When, for example, individuals who are suffering under the privations produced by the depredation exercised at their expense, make communication of their sufferings, or of the cause to which they ascribe those sufferings, or of the displeasure with which the authors of those sufferings are regarded by them; and for the making of such communication to this effect, pain, under the name of punishment, or any other, is inflicted on them, without anything in the shape of money, or anything else, from the use of which the rulers would derive pleasure in any shape, being taken from them; here, indeed, oppression is exercised on them, but it cannot be said that in this particular instance depredation is exercised upon them: at the same time, but for the depredation the oppression would not have been exercised.

In every government, which has for its object and effect the pursuit of the happiness of the governors at the expense and by the correspondent sacrifice of the happiness of the governed, oppression at large will be the habitual and unintermitted practice of the government in all its ranks.

The only species of government which has or can have for its object and effect the greatest happiness of the greatest number, is, as has been seen, a democracy: and the only species of democracy which can have place in a community numerous enough to defend itself against aggression at the hands of external adversaries, is a representative democracy.

A democracy, then, has for its characteristic object and effect, the securing its members against oppression and depredation at the hands of those functionaries which it employs for its defence, against oppression and depredation at the hands of foreign adversaries, and against such internal adversaries as are not functionaries.

Every other species of government has necessarily, for its characteristic and primary object and effect, the keeping the people or non-functionaries in a perfectly defenceless state, against the functionaries their rulers; who being, in respect of their power and the use they are disposed and enabled to make of it, the natural adversaries of the people, have for their object the giving facility, certainty, unbounded extent and impunity, to the depredation and oppression exercised on the governed by the governors.

The argumentation, creation, or preservation of felicity, being the all-comprehensive object of desire and end in view, as to human action in every situation, so, necessarily in that of all those by whom rule is exercised, felicity, together with its opposite, infelicity, in their several modifications, are as necessarily the subject matters of its operations. But in their several modifications, these same elements are also, by an equal necessity, rendered the equally necessary and indispensable instruments for the attainment of that end. In no case without the elements of infelicity and felicity, only by pain and pleasure applied to them in a certain manner, can sensitive beings be rendered instrumental in the exclusion of evil, or in the production of good: in the exclusion of pain, or in the production of pleasure.

When, however, they are spoken of, as being employed in the character of instruments, they are spoken of by appellatives, different from those by which they are designated, when spoken of in the character of ends.

Force, intimidation, and remuneration: by one or other of these three denominations may be characterized all those incorporeal instruments of rule, which being indisputable instruments of all rule, cannot therefore but be such with relation even to the best rule.

By force, understand here physical force—that of which the body as contradistinguished from the mind, is the seat. Only by means and through the intervention of this instrument, can those others be brought into action. Only by physical force, (by whatsoever agent applied to them,) can any operation be performed upon objects not endowed with sensation, in a word, upon inanimate things: and in this respect many are the occasions on which this only mode of operating upon things, is not less necessary to the purpose of operating with efficiency upon persons. Only by force, by physical force, can a person who, against the will of the occupant, continues in a house, be removed out of it, if neither intimidation nor remuneration are capable of being applied with effect to the purpose of affording him an inducement, adequate to the purpose of causing him to remove himself.

Force, in so far as considered as being applied to the mind, and applied not without effect, is termed intimidation.

Intimidation is the eventually efficient cause of the matter of evil, considered as applied to the purpose in question. The most prominent and extensive instance, is that in which the matter of evil is applied to this same purpose in the character of matter of punishment: punishment in the event of a man’s failing to contribute to the felicity of the person in question, in the manner pointed out to him by the directive rule of law, which the arrangements of government furnish.

Remuneration, is the efficient cause of the matter of good, considered as applied to the purpose in question: good applied in consideration of a man’s having contributed, or being engaged, or expected to contribute to the felicity of the person in question, in some manner pointed out, as above, by directive rules, laid down with more or less precision by those arrangements, in the furnishing of which the government is occupied.

Among the imperfections of language, may be reckoned the not furnishing a denomination which shall designate in relation to good, that which is designated by intimidation in relation to evil. Intimidation, is fear exciting: what is wanting is a single word by which hope-exciting may be expressed.

The more particularly the analogy between punishment and reward is brought to view, the more ample is the practically useful instruction that is conveyed. The more clearly it is seen that to reward is to punish, when the dispensing hand in question is the hand of government, and that as to whatsoever is above the least quantity sufficient, remuneration is depredation,—with the less difficulty will men be brought to extend to the matter of reward, whatsoever frugality they are not averse to apply in the case of punishment.

Towards the holding up to view this instructive analogy, something, it is hoped, has been done in the Théorie des Peines et des Récompenses: but, on going back to it, I should not expect to find that as much was done there as might at present be done.

Intimidation and remuneration are employed, both of them by good rule and by misrule. But, though in this they agree, there is one point in which they not only are different, but opposite: this is the quantity of the matter which they respectively employ. By good rule, it is, as in the one case, so in the other, minimized; it is the least possible: by misrule, it is maximized.

By good rule, intimidation is minimized. Why? Even because threatening to produce evil would be in vain, if with more or less frequency the threat were not executed—the evil were not produced: and even because the fear of evil is itself evil: from the fear of sufferance, actual sufferance is inseparable.

By good rule, allurement, or prospect of remuneration, is also minimized. Why? Because, in government, good is not procured but by means of evil: the matter of good by means of the matter of evil. Indeed, to no small extent the matter of good and the matter of evil are one and the same thing. Witness wealth: witness power. By the receipt of wealth, pleasure—enjoyment is produced: by the loss of it, pain; and so likewise in regard to power.

Between wealth and power, the connexion is most close and intimate; so intimate, indeed, that the disentanglement of them, even in the imagination, is matter of no small difficulty. They are each of them respectively an instrument of production with relation to the other. By wealth, with or even without parting with it, power may be obtained: even in the import of the word power, that of wealth is included: since power, employing for its instrument the matter of remuneration, includes in it, the power of making application of the matter of wealth, and thereby the possession of it. Occasions, however, are not wanting in which, while on the one hand, wealth is conferred, no power over any particular person, or any particular thing, is conferred. Occasions on the other hand are not wanting, in which, while power is conferred, the matter of wealth is not at the same time in any determinate shape conferred. Anything else that comes under the denomination of remuneration, follows or does not follow, according to the use that happens to be made of the power.

Under misrule, waste of the matter of good and evil, in both its forms, takes place of course: the quantity wasted affords a measure, the most exact that can be found of the degree or quantity of the misrule—of the badness of the rule: receivers of the bitter fruits, the adversaries of the misrule; of the sweets, its chief operators and their accomplices.

As to adversaries, misrule has as many as among the individuals subject to it, there are those who, to sensation, add the faculty of thought: proportioned to the degree of sufferance, is the degree of resentment naturally produced. Thus it is, that misrule has for its inseparable concomitant, the thirst of vengeance: and this thirst is essentially insatiable.

As to the sweet fruits, it is under pretence of the demand for them, in the character of instruments of government, that they are collected. That to this destination they are in part applied, is what cannot be avoided on the one part, nor denied on the other; for otherwise, the government, whatever it be, could not be in existence. But to this indispensable portion is added, of course, as large a portion as possible, of which there is neither need nor use: and this needless and superfluous portion, is what in addition to whatsoever is needful, is made the subject of division among the rulers, their instruments, dependents and favourites.

In addition to force, intimidation, and remuneration, which are necessary to all rule, misrule adds corruption and delusion.

The matter or efficient cause, of corruption, is the matter of good, considered as employed in giving effect to sinister interest, and thereby to evil.

By delusion, understand the production of erroneous conceptions, the effect of which is to engage men to concur in the sacrifice of the universal to the sinister interest.

In regard to these instruments of misgovernment, the need there is of them differs more or less according to the form of the government.

Considered in regard to its form—a government is in the hands either of a ruler, or of rulers. If in the hands of a single ruler, it is a pure monarchy.

If in the hands of rulers more than one, it is either an unmixed or a mixed government.

If an unmixed government, it is either an aristocracy or a democracy.

If a mixed government, the mixture may be composed of monarchy and aristocracy alone, of monarchy and democracy alone, of aristocracy and democracy alone, or of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy—all three.

Of these seven cases, the exemplifications of pure monarchy are most numerous.

The case of pure aristocracy is not exemplified to any considerable extent.

Of the case of pure democracy, the longest established, and as yet the only completely established, exemplification, is that afforded by the cluster of incorporated republics, constituting the Anglo-American United States.

Of the mixture composed of monarchy and aristocracy, an exemplification is now scarcely to be seen anywhere.

Of the mixture composed of monarchy and democracy, an exemplification may be seen in the case of Spain, as also in that of Portugal.

Of the mixture composed of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, in howsoever different proportions, exemplifications may be seen in England and in France.

In regard to the use made of the two above-mentioned instruments of misrule, the case of the bipartite mixture composed of monarchy and democracy, and that of the tripartite mixture composed of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, are so nearly the same, that what is said of either one, may with very little variation be found applicable to the other.

As, in so far as with monarchy, a portion of either of the two other simple forms of government has place, the power of the monarch finds a limit in the power or powers thus conjoined with it: the will of the monarch has a source of resistance and obstruction in those other wills. The sensation thus produced in his breast, being of an unpleasant nature, an object of his constant endeavour will of course be, the removal of it, by the lessening of the obstructing power—by lessening the resistance opposed to his will by the obstructing wills.

Wherever such a monarchy has place, the disposal of official situations, is to an extent more or less considerable, in the hands of the monarch: and to these same situations (all or most of them, objects of general desire, above-mentioned) is attached, money and power, with or without factitious honour and dignity. This power is called the power of patronage. It is the interest and desire of the monarch to increase the number of these situations as much as possible. It is the duty of that body to which belongs the portion of power co-ordinate with that of the monarch, with reference to the interests of the community at large, to diminish the number of those situations.

In so far as between the monarch on the one hand, and the majority of representatives as they are called, on the other, an agreement can be come to, and is accordingly come to, respecting the proportions in which the patronage shall be shared between the parties, the sacrifice of the universal interest, takes place of course.

The arrangements which afford a promise of operating as securities to the fabric of government, against corruption, and corruptive influence,—against that dry rot, to which all government stands exposed, by the nature of the materials of which it must everywhere be composed, may, it is believed, be comprehended all of them, under one or other of the heads following, viz.:—

1. Minimizing the quantity of power in the hands of the functionaries.

2. Minimizing the quantity of the matter of wealth at the disposal of functionaries.

3. Minimizing the quantity of the matter of wealth, employed as pay of functionaries.

4. Applying legal counterforces to the power of functionaries.

5. Applying moral counterforces to the power of functionaries.

6. Exclusion of factitious honour, or say factitious dignity.

7. Exclusion of all other factitious instruments of delusive influence.

As in the case of every other act, so in the case of every act of government: add the power to the will, the act takes place: take away either, the act does not take place.

The problem is,—throughout the whole field of legislation, how to prevent the sinister sacrifice: leaving at the same time unimpaired, both the will and the power to perform whatsoever acts may be in the highest degree conducive to the only right and proper end of government,

In the case of a public functionary, the will is on each occasion under the pressure of two opposite and conflicting interests: his fractional share in the universal interest, and his own particular and personal interest. The former is a fraction, and everywhere a small one,—a partnership interest in a firm in which the partners are counted by millions: the latter, is an integer: and the forces with which they act, are proportional. Still, be the fraction ever so small, action will be determined by it, if the integer be either taken out of the scales, or overbalanced.

Whatsoever arrangement has for its object the prevention of the sinister sacrifice, must apply itself either to the will or the power: but the same arrangement may apply itself to both.

Of the two necessarily conjunct faculties, take in hand first the power: leaving the power to do good, take away, or if that cannot be done minimize, the power to do evil.

Into the composition of all power, enter three elements: intensity, extent, duration. Its intensity has for its measure the magnitude of the effect produced by the exercise of it, within the extent assumed by it: the extent, has for its measure, in so far as it has persons for its subjects, the number of those same persons; in so far as it has things, their number and respective values: as to duration, it has in this case, the same measure as in all other cases.

In the highest rank, to the intensity of power, it will be seen, no limits can easily, if at all, be assigned, without taking away along with the power to do evil, the power to do good, and thus leaving evil unopposed: to the extent still less: to the duration, with the utmost ease, as well as perfect safety: witness in a word the United States.

In any rank, but the highest, limits may be set to it, in any of its elements or dimensions, without any the slightest difficulty.

Power, considered in respect of the instruments by which it operates on the human mind, and exercises it, is either power operating by punishment, whence fear of evil, or power operating by reward, whence hope of good. Of reward or say remuneration, the main shape is the matter of wealth: or for shortness, (putting, as is not unusual, the part for the whole,) in one word, money: by which must in this case be understood not only money, but money’s worth,—everything that is to be had for money. In so far as punishment is the instrument employed and trusted to, the word power is retained and employed; in so far as reward is the instrument employed and trusted to, the word money or some equivalent of it, is most commonly employed. And note, that by being taken away, the matter of punishment, may be made matter of reward, witness pardons: as likewise, by being taken away, the matter of reward may be made matter of punishment: witness fines.

When public money is placed at the disposal of a public functionary, the purpose for which it is so placed may be that of its passing out of his hands in exchange for something designed to be employed in the public service; or that of its being applied to his own use, in retribution for the services, whatsoever they may be, which he is regarded as rendering, or about to render, to the public.

So much for power taken by itself: for power, and the minimization of it, considered as a means of prevention applicable to the abuse of it. Now as to the other faculty, the will. By the force of that particular interest to the action of which every human breast stands exposed, every functionary is, at every moment prompted as above, to make by himself, or to concur in making, the sinister sacrifice. If this sinister force can by any means be prevented from becoming in that way effective, it must be by the operation of some counterforce, in addition to that opposed by his share in the universal interest: self-preference or sinister force the temptation, counterforce the sanction, antagonizing with one another. As to sanctions, three of them, there has been frequent occasion to hold up to view elsewhere: the political, including the legal, the popular or say the moral, and the superhuman, or say the religious.

For a counterforce to the native indigenous sinister interest, first as to the political sanction, including the legal. The force of this sanction is, the whole of it, at the disposal of the rulers: therefore in the very nature of the case, it is incapable it may be said of being opposed to them: if for a moment it were so, the next moment they would rid themselves of it. True. But though two rulers taken singly cannot be made punishable,—legally punishable at the same time and for the same cause, each of them by the will of the other—yet arrangements in considerable variety, are by no means wanting, by which opposition may, even under an absolute monarchy, be made for a time at least, to the will of the rulers, even of the supreme ruler or rulers. For example, in a monarchy, were it only to satisfy those whom it may concern that such as is expressed in a certain document, is the will of the monarch, the countersign, the name for example of some official servant of his is regarded as necessary,—this servant so long as he continues in such his office, has a negative upon that branch of his master’s power, and possesses in conjunction with him, a share in it.

So again in an absolute monarchy, suppose two official servants in the service of the same monarch, in the same office, or in different offices, and one of them having committed a misdeed, the other takes measures for punishing him: the misdoer being at the same time a favourite with the monarch. To the monarch were he so disposed, and determined to exercise it, the power of saving the misdoer from all punishment, and from all prosecution, cannot be wanting. But this power, for some reason or other, it may happen to him, not to be disposed to exercise: here, then, may be seen another instance of a counterforce even in an absolute monarchy, opposing itself to the will of the sovereign: a counterforce which though by adequate exertion it might always be in his power, yet for this or that cause, on this or that occasion, it is not his will to overpower, and reduce to inefficiency.

Thus have two instances of such counterforces been brought to view: both of them capable of having place even under the strongest of all governments—an absolute monarchy. But in like manner as these two may have existence, and actually have existence, so in any number may other such cases have existence. In the political machine, obstacles of this sort, have the effect that friction has in a corporeal machine.

Thus much may suffice for such counterforces belonging to the political sanction, as are capable of having existence, and not altogether without efficiency, even under and against the supreme power in a monarchy the most absolute.

Now as to the force of the popular or say the moral sanction, considered in respect of its capacity of operating in relation to the will of the possessor or possessors of the supreme power in the character of a counterforce. What for the present may suffice for bringing this moral force, to view, is the phrase public opinion: an object, the conceptions commonly suggested by which, though not as clear as could be wished, cannot be to any eye an altogether new one. In the opinion thus denominated stand included all those by whose obedience, the power of the monarch be he who he may, or of the rulers, be they who they may, is constituted. Let this opinion take a certain turn, the habit of obedience ceases on the one part, and with it, all power on the other. Accordingly in every government but a representative democracy, the idea of this sanction (and of the counterforce which it opposes) is, of all ideas that are capable of presenting themselves to a ruling mind, the most disagreeable, the most hateful and afflictive. Between these two sanctions, in every such government a war has place, a war which, until either the form of the government be made to give way to the democratical, or the people reduced to the condition of beasts, and the force of this sanction thus reduced to nothing, can never cease.

As in a constitution which has for its object the greatest happiness of the one, or the few, the main object will necessarily be to minimize this counterforce, or even to annihilate it, so in a constitution which has for its object the greatest happiness of all, the great object will be to maximize it. The cause that presents itself as being in the highest degree conducive and contributory to this purpose will here come to be delineated in its place: and in the reception given to whatsoever shall promise to be in the highest degree contributory to this effect, may be seen, the most instructive test that imagination can frame of appropriate moral aptitude, on the part of rulers.

Lastly comes the superhuman or say religious sanction. But of this it will be seen, that to any such purpose as that of being employed in the character of a counterforce to the power of those, in whose hands is the force of the political including the legal sanction, it is essentially inapplicable. To the possessors of the supreme power, be they who they may, instead of being a counterforce, it will be an instrument in their hands: giving facility instead of applying restriction to misrule.

Is not the force of the religious sanction capable of being employed with useful effect, in the character of a counterforce to the possessors of the supreme operative power?

Assuredly not. The question here is—what shall be, what can be, reasonably expected to be done, by the possessors of the supreme operative power, in the way of applying a bridle to their own power? Only under the fear of what may otherwise happen to them, from the displeasure of the people, can they be reasonably expected to do anything to the intent of its contributing to this end. Under that apprehension it is not impossible, for it is not unexampled, that institutions may be established, operating with considerable force towards the production of this effect. But as to the force of the religious sanction, in no political state has the supreme operative power, ever made this application of it: in no political state is it at all probable, that by the supreme operative, any application should ever be made of it, to any other or better purpose, than that of an augmentation of its own force, instead of a diminution of it: in a word, the converting it, into an instrument of support to misrule, instead of an instrument of restraint upon misrule. A part of the people are separated from the rest: a pretence is set up of their holding with the Almighty Power, a sort of intercourse, which no other part of the people hold with it. Of this pretended intercourse, no proof has ever been given: the assertion is therefore plainly groundless. Yet upon no better ground than this unsupported assertion, do they take upon them to predict misery beyond conception, and without end, to whosoever shall presume to deviate in his conduct from the path whch they chalk out. This path, is the path of unreserved obedience to the rulers with whom they enter into a confederacy. This confederacy, for the purpose of enabling the contracting parties the more effectually to make the more extensive sacrifice of the greatest happiness of the greatest number, to their own particular and sinister interest, is called the alliance between state and church, or, in the order in which they are preferably mentioned, between church and state. Thus delusion lends its aid to oppression, and oppression extorts money to pay for the assistance of imposture.

As to moral and legal responsibility, the counterforces thus distinguished, require, in the first place, a joint consideration.

By moral responsibility, understand here the result of subjection, effective subjection—to the power of the moral sanction, as applied by the public-opinion tribunal.

By legal responsibility, understand effective subjection to the power of the political, including the legal sanction, as applied by the several legal judicatories that have place under the government in question.

To the word responsibility, the import thus attached, is common to all languages which have sprung out of, or derived supplies from, a Latin stock. In English, however, attached to this same word, is another import which requires to be distinguished from it. A person is said to be a responsible person, not in virtue of his actual and effectual subjection to either tribunal, (and in particular, the legal,) but in virtue of his being in such a situation, principally in respect of his pecuniary circumstances, that if it were the desire of government, that by means of coercion he should be made to do, or suffer so and so, he would accordingly be made to do so and so: namely by reason of his being in possession of benefits, either in money or power, or both, on which it would be in the power of government at large, and the judicial branch of it, in particular, to take hold, supposing it disposed to do so.

The distinction is a real and an important one. In England, the situation of king, by the avowed state of the law, is placed above the field of legal responsibility, to the purpose of exposure to punishment. He cannot be made to suffer, nor, consequently, to do anything that it does not please him to do, or suffer.

In the other sense, however, he is in an abundant degree responsible: he has money enough for example, by which, could it be got at without his name, he could be brought to do anything which, by any one, it was desired he should be seen doing. It is by the plenitude of his responsibility in this particular sense, that he is eased of all responsibility in the general sense: so material it is that the two senses should be mutually distinguished.

In general, from the top of the scale to the bottom, the more abundantly responsible a man is, in respect of sufficiency, the less responsible is he in respect of effectual exposure to punishment.

Under an absolute monarch, no responsibility can, in the instance of any functionary under him, have place, unless such should be the master’s pleasure: and it will not be the master’s pleasure, unless he be an object of his personal displeasure, whatsoever misdeeds he may have committed, to the detriment of the universal interest.

So far as this effective responsibility has place, so far, it is evident, the power of the legal sanction cannot be presented in the character of a counterforce to the power of government, in the hands of a supreme ruler, or set of supreme rulers.

But a case not altogether incapable of having place is,—at the charge of one set of functionaries, his subordinates and instruments, say in the department of finance, he suffers punishment to be administered by another set, say those belonging to the judicial department: here, then, the force of one of those sets acts as a counterforce to another set, his equally obsequious instruments.

Thus much as to an absolute monarchy. In the case of a limited monarchy, the result is not, in this respect, materially different. In this case likewise, the power of giving impunity to any one, and every one, is commonly given by law: such is the general rule: and if in words and show there be any exceptions, the extent given to them is extremely narrow, and, even to that extent, they are without substance and effect. As to this point, between an absolute and a limited monarchy, the mean difference consists in this: the impunity which, in a direct and open way, might by law be alike conferred in both monarchies, is, in an absolute monarchy, accordingly conferred in a direct and open way; in a limited monarchy in some indirect and concealed way, in preference. In a limited monarchy, the acts of the monarch and his instruments are necessarily, in one way or other, more exposed to observation than in an absolute monarchy. Suppose then a case in which the grant of impunity would, in the eyes of the public, be in a flagrant degree repugnant to the received notions of justice, there may be a convenience in employing some indirect and covert method, rather than a direct and open one, for the production of the effect. A party of soldiers, for example, are they set on to slaughter a company of malcontents, whose abstinence from all violation of the law, has rendered it impracticable to apply punishment by the hand of a judge? The monarch, if he pleased, might first give the order to the slaughterers, and then pardon them. Under the English constitution, such is its excellence, the king might thus kill his subjects, and has done so, and yet no law be violated.

So much as to the case of a monarchy.

In the case of a representative democracy, at the charge of the members of the supreme operative power without exception, legal responsibility may have place without difficulty: legal responsibility, not in name only, but in effect, namely to the purpose of exposure to punishment. Even during their continuance in office, the minority remain, in the very nature of the case, in a state of legal responsibility, as towards and under the majority: and from and after the expiration of their authority, being on a footing no other than that of the other members of the community, they remain, each and every of them, responsible in the legal sense for whatsoever they may have done—whether in that situation or any other.

Look now to moral responsibility: responsibility to the purpose of eventual exposure to the punitive power of the public-opinion tribunal: and in particular, the power of the democratical section of that same invisible, yet not the less effectively operative, tribunal.

To not altogether ineffective responsibility in this shape, not only in a representative democracy, but even in an absolute monarchy, the possessors of the supreme operative power are capable of standing exposed. In fact in this shape, in some, even the most completely absolute monarchies, the monarch is always to a certain degree responsible, and feels himself so to be: though in some monarchies, at some times, such has been the feebleness of this responsibility, in the character of a counterforce to the powers of government in the highest grade, that the effect of it in respect of a cause of mitigation to the evils of misrule, namely of depredation and oppression, has hardly been perceptible.

The less the quantity of counterforce a public functionary feels opposed to his particular interest in other shapes, the greater the need there is of his finding it opposed to him in this shape. An absolute monarchy is therefore the sort of government in which the need of it is most pressing, and in which accordingly, if the end of the government was the greatest happiness of the greatest number, it would be established with the greatest promptitude, and maintained with the most anxious care. But as in all monarchies the end in view is the happiness of the one with or without a small number of sharers in the operative power, the repression of this same prime instrument of security to good government and good morals, has been the object of the most anxious and uninterrupted care.

For bringing into action the force of the public-opinion tribunal—for bringing it to bear upon any pernicious act, by whomsoever performed, whether by a public functionary, or by a non-functionary, two distinguishable sorts of matter are contributory: namely evidentiary matter, and commentative matter or matter of comment. By evidentiary matter, understand matter, the effect or tendency of which is, to bring or hold up to view the individual act in question, in conjunction with all the several circumstances, on which the nature of its operation on the happiness of the community depends. By matter of comment, understand all such discourse the effect or tendency of which is, to afford indication true or false, correct or erroneous, concerning the operation of such act on the happiness of the community, in such sort as to be in this or that way contributory or detrimental to it.

All such salutary matter in both these forms, every functionary, in proportion to the power which, from the nature of his situation, he has of pursuing his own particular interest, at the expense of the universal interest, has an interest in the suppression of: an interest, the strength of which is in proportion to the profit capable of being derived by him, from such sinister acts. Every functionary in proportion to his power: and accordingly in a monarchy, whether absolute or limited, the monarch: in a monarchy, limited by an aristocracy, the aristocracy.

By every act a functionary exercises for the purpose of destroying or weakening the power of this counterforce, in order to prevent or restrain the publication of such tutelary discourse, he manifests himself an enemy thus engaged in a course of actual hostility against the happiness of the community.

In the sinister interest by which they are engaged in the endeavour to effect such suppression, functionaries engaged in giving execution and effect to the acts of a bad government, and functionaries engaged in misdeeds for their own benefit, in disobedience to the good acts of a good government, are naturally joined by individuals concerned, or meaning to be concerned in such pernicious acts, to the repression of which, the power of the legal sanction is not applicable.

Of every such indication, and of every such comment, the tendency is defamation: defamation with reference to the party to whom the alleged pernicious act, whatsoever it be, is thereby imputed. To oppose defamation as such, to oppose without exception or discrimination every act to which the term defamation may with propriety be applied, is to act as an accomplice to all crimes—as an instrument of all mischief as above. Every such act is therefore a virtual confession of such complicity: of such hostility to the happiness of the greatest number.

To profess to be a supporter, either of good government or of good morals, and at the same time to profess to be desirous of seeing defamation suppressed or even restricted, in a case in which the imputation conveyed by it, is true, is little less than a contradiction in terms: it is to desire that the same thing shall, and shall not have place, at the same time.

One case there is and but one, in which the effect of defamation, supposing the misdeed charged by it, really committed, is not to increase, but to reduce the quantity of happiness in the community. This is, where the mischief produced, is produced—not by the act itself, but by the disclosure of it. In this case are comprehended all those, in which for want of sufficient maturity in the public judgment, the popular antipathy has been drawn upon this or that act, the nature of which is not, upon the balance, of a pernicious nature.

Examples of this case are:—

1. In a community in which the public mind is infected with the disease of intolerance in matters of religion, indication of an act evidencing the entertaining an opinion contrary to that which is established or predominant.

2. So, in the field of taste. Eccentricity of any venereal appetite, the sexual for example, by which no pain in any assignable shape, is produced anywhere. Here by the supposition, by the act itself, no pain, no sensible evil is produced: but by the disclosure of it, evil to a most deplorable amount may be produced: by the antipathy, though by the supposition groundless,—by the antipathy called forth by it, a whole life may be filled with misery. The real enemy to the happiness of the community, is not he by whom this obnoxious act has been exercised, but he by whom the indication of it has been afforded. The suffering being greater, the mischief is greater, in the case where the act has been, than in the case where the act has not been really exercised. For he in whose instance, the imputation has been groundless, has for his consolation, that which is wanting to the other.

3. Indication of a breach of a marriage contract, on either side, more particularly the female. Suppose the commission of it unknown, no pain is produced by it anywhere. What then, when committed, ought it to remain exempt from punishment? Oh, no! Why not? Even for this cause: namely that without the commission, the divulgation could not have place: and that by commission, divulgation is always rendered but too probable.

Those who cry out against what they call the licentiousness of the press, as if it were so much uncompensated evil, for which complete suppression would be an appropriate and innoxious cure, might with much more reason cry out against all punishment without distinction, and in particular against all punishment at the hands of the legal sanction, and the tribunals by which the force of that sanction is applied: for, in no other form, at once so gentle and so efficient, and in particular, in no form of legal punishment, could punishment be employed in the repression of anything, that has ever been characterized by the names of crime or vice.

Punishment, as applied by the legal tribunals, attaches to such evil acts alone, the mischief of which has place, as well in a shape sufficiently determinate, as in a quantity sufficiently great, to warrant the application of evil, in the shape and in the quantity to which the denomination of punishment is in common use. Punishment as applied by the public-opinion tribunal, applied as it is in effect, without the name, attaches itself to mischief in all shapes, in which the hand of man can without special and sufficient justification, be instrumental in the production of it.

Applied by the legal tribunal, punishment is not only thus narrow, in its applicability, and thence in its use; but continually exposed to the danger of running into excess: evils from which, the punishment which the public-opinion tribunal makes application of, is altogether exempt and free.

The efficiency of the popular or moral sanction, with its public-opinion tribunal, cannot be strengthened, but the efficiency of the law, in so far as its force is employed in augmentation of the happiness of the people, is also strengthened. In so far as a misdeed, which by reason of its detrimental effect on happiness, is vicious, and thereby exposes the agent to punishment, at the hands of the public-opinion tribunal, is moreover criminal,—an act of delinquency against the law, exposing the agent to punishment, at the hands of the law,—every channel through which defamation as above, may be divulgated, is a channel through which, in so far as the defamation takes this turn, strength and efficiency are given to the law.

Through these channels, men who would otherwise remain helpless, receive help, and abatement of their sufferings: injuries and sufferings which, would otherwise swell to a boundless magnitude, and be rendered altogether remediless, are met by complaint, and kept within bounds: through these channels men who, by their own indigence and the rapacity of lawyers, are deprived of all help at the hands of the legal sanction, with its judicatories, find a limit and a mitigation to their sufferings.

For, suppose the act in question, to be of the number of those, to which punishment stands attached, as well at the hands of the legal sanction, as at the hands of the popular or moral sanction: this being the case, to give intimation of it, to the members of the community at large in their capacity of members of the public-opinion tribunal, is to give indication, by the light of which, not only witnesses, but prosecutors at the bar of the competent legal tribunal, may be brought into action, and the further investigation of whatever relevant facts would otherwise remain in darkness, produced: that which to the public-opinion tribunal is evidence to the purpose of conviction in an immediate way, being to the legal tribunal, evidence to the purpose of investigation for the obtainment of ulterior evidence, such as suffices in the first place, for a ground to accusation; and in the next place, for the obtainment of such evidence as shall suffice for conviction and punishment.

Against all such misdeeds as are produced or protected by supreme rulers, the legal sanction, with the corresponding judicatories refuse of course all redress: against all such misdeeds, whatever redress, if any, is afforded, it is by the popular or moral sanction, with its public-opinion tribunal, that it must be afforded.

Of the channels through which, information in both its shapes, as above, must find its way to the public eye, and the public ear, beyond all comparison, the most ample and efficient are those, in the designation of which, the collective term, the press, is commonly employed: and of those again, the most ample and efficient are those, for the designation of which the collective term, the periodical press, is employed. Every act by which the net mass of benefit, derivable through these channels, is lessened or endeavoured to be lessened, is of the number of those by which the actor is rendered as above, an enemy to all mankind.

For lessening the net amount of this benefit, the nature of the case affords two expedients or courses of policy. The one consists in the blocking up of the channels, and thereby stopping, in the whole or in part, the current of information that would otherwise make its way through them to the eyes and ears of the public—of the members of the community taken in the aggregate. The other consists in rendering, in a greater or less degree corrupt and delusive, the stock of information, which is so received: the one system may be styled the blockading or obstructive system, the other the corruptive. The obstructive operates by the simple subtraction of such information as being correct, is at the same time usefully instructive. The corruptive operates by the addition of a mass of information in itself false, and designed to be deceptious. By subtraction, deception may also be produced as well as by corruption. To this purpose, what may happen to be sufficient is, to render partial the stock which is suffered to pass on: partial, that is to say, in the bad sense of the word, being the same in which it is used, when subservient to injustice; that which is regarded as operating against the side meant to be favoured by the deceit being stopped; while that which is regarded as operating in favour of it, is suffered to pass on.

For operating on the obstructive plan, the nature of the case affords two modes of restriction,—the licensing system, and the prosecuting system.

Licensing is an operation, of which prohibition, and that a universally extensive one, forms the principal ingredient. In the first place, comes prohibition which applies to everything: in the next place, comes permission, given to any such persons, or any such things, as it is intended to exempt from the prohibition.

In comparison with the licensing system, the prosecuting system is in an eminent degree inefficient. It cannot be employed, except in so far as the very sort of thing, which it is the endeavour of it, to cause not to be done, has been actually done. Where it does operate, its mode of operation is comparatively weak, and its effect uncertain. In the licensing system is included the employing, for the stoppage of the obnoxious matter, physical force: seizing, for example, the whole impression of a work, and either keeping or destroying it. It operates not only thus upon the body, but also upon the mind; viz. in the way of intimidation, by fear of loss, if similar works are prepared for publication in future. While it keeps from observation, the mischief which it produces, prosecution proclaims that same mischief. The punishment which, in the shape of loss, as above, is one of its means of action, is much more effective, than any which, being applied under the name of punishment, cannot be applied without prosecution, for a preliminary to it: not to speak of the expense, the uncertainty which, in the case of prosecution, always hangs upon the result, together with the delay and vexation, which even on the prosecutor’s side, stand inseparably attached to prosecution, is saved. Not only too, is the punishment so much more efficacious; but it is, moreover, kept concealed from observation; and thus is not only more efficacious than punishment under the name of punishment, but at the same time less odious. Though it affords just ground for greater odium, yet it attracts less.

By the prosecuting system, punishment is applied as above, under the name of punishment, having, or seeking to have, the effect of prohibition. If, in England, it be in the way of common law that the punishment is applied, the prohibition is fictitious: as to the act for which the punishment is sought to be inflicted, there has been none. As to future contingent similar ones, each man is left to imagine for himself a prohibition, from the case in which he sees the punishment applied.

If it be in the way of real or statute law that the punishment is applied, the eventual denunciation made of it, comes before it—the subject of the prohibition has been described.

Prohibition is either complete, as, under the name of prohibition, it is of course; or incomplete, as it is, where in so far as, to the form of prohibition, that of taxation is substituted. Under every application of the taxing system, in so far as applied to articles for consumption or use, an application of the licensing system is contained. Pay the tax, you have a license to use the article; omit paying the tax, the license is refused to you. But under the licensing system, is in this case concealed the corruptive system. By the effect of the tax, such information as a man is able and willing to purchase, and obtain by paying the tax, is suffered to pass on, and reach him: such as he is either not able, or not adequately willing thus to purchase, is stopped and prevented from reaching him. Note the consequence, where there is a desire to serve the comparatively rich at the expense of the comparatively poor. That which the poor man has need of, to enable him to form a right judgment and pursue a line of conduct beneficial to his interest, is stopped from reaching him: while his comparatively rich antagonist receives the matter on both sides. In the contest between rich and poor, the means of attack are thus suffered to find their way to the rich: while from the poor, the means of defence are kept back, and rendered inaccessible.

The indirect mode of corruption, by garbling, is not altogether so mischievous as either of the two others. Of the matters thus kept from publication, no such individual selection can be made, as in the other case. Still, however, separation in no small degree mischievous can be made, and is made.

As it is only by the power of government, that this corruption and this obstruction can be carried into effect, it is manifestly for the purpose of misrule, for the purpose of giving extension and perpetuity to misrule, and thereby to human misery in all its shapes, that war upon the happiness of mankind, in both these shapes is carried on.

But information to any one nation, is information to every other: thus to add to misrule and misery, in one nation, by obstructing the press, is to endeavour to add to misrule and misery in all. It is still more extensively and effectively an act of hostility against all nations than piracy is. For the mischief and terror produced by a pirate is confined to the seas in which his acts of piracy are exercised: it is confined also within the space of time, never a very long one, during which those acts continue to be exercised. But the mischief produced by the suppression of information on the side of the victims of misrule, while false and delusive information in support of misrule is let through, may spread itself over all nations, and continue in all times.

Among the consequences of restrictions imposed in the ordinary form on the press, one is the efficiency thus given to false reports in their most mischievous shapes: false and mischievous reports as such, whosoever may be the parties on whom the evil produced by them falls.

Take, in the first place, the situation of the ruling functionaries, and in particular those of the highest rank, in the scale of subordination. Defamation in the written shape, it is possible to keep suppressed. Defamation to the same effect, in an oral shape, it is not possible to keep suppressed. You may keep a watch upon all presses: you cannot keep a watch upon all tongues. When it is in a printed shape, it is in a determinate shape: and being in a determinate, and that an enduring shape, any one who feels disposed to make answer to it, knows what it is he answers, and where to find it. In whatever state it first makes its appearance, in that state it remains: it cannot by the author, or by the adopter, be altered from shape to shape, in a manner contrary to truth and justice, just as occasion calls. It may be met and opposed in whatsoever manner is best adapted to the nature of it. Is it in any way false, it may be opposed by simple denial, or by the statement of the opposite truth: is it not only false but improbable, the arguments demonstrative of the improbability may be opposed to it: is it mischievous, the mischievousness of it may be laid open to view, and shame proportioned to the evil, be poured down upon the head of the author and his accomplices in proportion as they are discovered.

Such are the facilities which present themselves for the encountering of it, when the shape in which it presents itself is thus determinate.

Now, suppose it merely in the oral shape. Being refutation proof, being proof against exposure, the probability is, that even in its first shape it is false. It is either a complete fabrication, in the whole texture of it, or if there be a groundwork of truth belonging to it, an embroidery of falsehood is interwoven in it, such as suits the particular purpose, whatever it be. But this first, howsoever mischievous and injurious, is naturally its least mischievous and least injurious shape: and even in this shape, it is not capable of being encountered. From the first mouth it passes on to another, and in the second mouth further mischievousness, further injuriousness, with or even without consciousness and intentionality, are naturally added. Thus it travels on, from mouth to mouth, and as it rolls on, it adds to its mischievousness and injuriousness at every stage: to the number of these stages, there is no limit: and at no one of them, can it ever be encountered.

A circumstance which has a natural tendency to provoke falsehood, and through falsehood, injury to the prejudice of the government by which the restriction is imposed, is the resentment which the restriction itself calls forth: a resentment, than which nothing can in any case be better grounded or more just. Where oppression is exercised, and there is no other remedy,—no other defence against it is afforded by the nature of the case, falsehood if not justifiable, is at any rate comparatively excusable. Of every such restriction, the effect and object is to secure efficiency and impunity to oppression and depredation in every shape, the worst imaginable not excepted. From no course that can be taken by the endeavour to put an end to such an instrument of oppression, can any evil be produced equal to the evil produced by the application of the instrument itself, if the application be effective.

To the encountering of such endeavours by appropriate falsehoods, in the way of retaliation, the grand objection is, that in general it will be needless: for, seldom are they employed but for the purpose of concealing enormities, the correct statement of which would suffice for the imfamizing of the oppressive rulers, without the addition of anything that is not true: and besides, in proportion as falsehood comes to be discovered, the discovery casts reproach upon the heads of those concerned in the propagation of it, and discredit upon such reproachful imputations as are true.

Be this as it may, thus much is clear, that where any such restriction is employed, whether all the injurious allegations made against the rulers are true or not, no suspicions that can be entertained of them can be ill-grounded: for, supposing the intentions of a ruler the worst imaginable, such is the course which he would not fail to take for the carrying of them into effect: while on the other hand, suppose his conduct free from all just imputation of misrule, no need would he have of any such screen: the just odium which the employing of it could not fail to draw upon him, would be so much net evil drawn down upon him by himself.

By no number of determinate acts of tyranny, could a more proper and reasonable cause for resistance and insurrection be afforded, (supposing success in a sufficient degree probable,) than by the establishment of this restriction: for in the use of this instrument, the intention of exercising tyranny in its worst shape is included: the intention, coupled with a probability always but too great, of its being carried into effect.

In proportion to the amount of the burthen of the restriction, does it exclude from the exercise of the functions of the public-opinion tribunal, a number more or less considerable of its members: it excludes from the benefit of appropriate information, those in whose instance such information is most needed.

There are two correspondent and apposite modes of laying claim to the exercise of the blockading power, on the ground of alleged or assumed superiority in intellectual aptitude: the one consists in magnifying the alleged aptitude of the governors; the other in parvifying the aptitude of the governed. Each of them is employed as occasion serves. The parvifying mode may be used in all situations, as it may happen: it gives no offence to the reader or hearer, if he be of the ruling, or otherwise, influential class: in a word, unless, in his own conception, he belongs to that inferior class at the expense of which the pretension is set up. The magnifying mode, being in fact, the self-magnifying mode, cannot, without giving offence, be employed in any other situation, than those in which custom has thrown its veil over arrogance, impudence, and insolence: namely, the situation of those, by whom the power of surmounting contradiction by punishment is possessed and exercised.

It is curious to see with what complacency, in certain authoritative discourses, the possession of the maximum of official aptitude in all its branches, and in particular, intellectual aptitude, in the degree indicated by the romantic appellation, wisdom, is predicated of themselves, by the very scum of the population: for be it pot or be it kingdom, that which occupies the top of it, is it not the scum? by a set of men, in comparison of whom, the most vicious of those whom they consign to death, or punishment which ends not but with life, are virtuous: by a body, composed of the principals and instruments of misrule, depredation, and oppression, all upon the largest scale: of corruptors and corrupted: of selfish and empty-headed lawyers:—led by a few venal utterers of vague generalities and common-place fallacies: men, whose minds being debilitated by that worse than useless education, which under a system of corrupt and corruptive establishments, overgrown opulence bestows, know not an unapt argument from an apt one, a relevant argument from an irrelevant one, possessing neither the inclination nor the ability to discern the difference.

Whichsoever of the two courses be taken, they lead to the same result: absolute power on the part of those on whose behalf they are taken: absolute subjection, with no option, other than that between silence and obsequiousness, on the part of those at whose expense they are taken. “What by depravity, what by folly, you are incapacitated not only from giving direction to your own conduct, but from having any part in the choosing of those, by whom direction to it shall be given. Such being your deplorable state, it belongs to us, and to us alone, to give direction to your conduct in this line, as in every other; to determine what you may say, and what you shall not say: for, so sure as you are suffered to say anything to our prejudice, to start so much as a doubt on our probity or our wisdom, so sure will you do injury, irremediable injury to yourselves, and to one another. The points by which your happiness now and for ever, is most deeply affected, are those which belong to religion and politics: on these, it is therefore, in a more particular manner, our duty to prevent your looking in any other point of view, than such as we prescribe. It is your first of duties to hold yourselves deprived of all liberty on these points: it is our first of duties, so to hold you deprived of it.”

Thus it is, that with benevolence in their mouths, all by whom any such language is employed, declare themselves in effect, enemies of mankind. If the benevolence be but in their mouths, it is bad: if it be in their hearts, it is worse, still worse. If so it be, that it is only by some temporal and temporary interest of his own, that a man is induced thus to persecute and torment others, no sooner is that interest overcome by an opposite interest, than the persecution ceases: by force, by intimidation, by superior benefit from a contrary course, he may be led to give it up at any time. But if it really be, either by fear of infinitely intense and lasting torment, or hope of infinitely intense and lasting happiness, that a man stands engaged thus to do his utmost for the tormenting of others, in the only state of things which falls under our experience or observation, his mischievousness in the first-mentioned character is small in comparison with his mischievousness in this. If in all other points, his conduct be even a pattern, not only of beneficence, but of benevolence, he is rendered by it but the more mischievous: the more so, the more extensive his beneficence; for the utmost good a man can do by beneficence in other shapes, can never approach to the evil it may happen to him to do by maleficence in this. If, therefore, there be a sort of man whom interest and moral duty, should lead all others to shun contact with, as they would shun contact with a man infected with the plague, it should be the man, who, under a sincere persuasion of religious duty on his part, seeks to prevent others from the defence or utterance of opinions, be they what they may, on any subject belonging to the field of religion, or the field of government.

In the case of private defamation, the mischief stares every one in the face. But along with it is mixed much good, and of this good, men do not in general seem sensible.

To take the strongest case,—the case in which if in any, the evil would appear pure,—the case where the misconduct imputed is, by the imputer, known not to have had place: the imputation, in a word, known to have been knowingly and wilfully false. Here the effects of the first order, the uneasiness experienced by the individual to whom the misconduct is imputed, are evil: though less evil, than where the imputation is true, because a man suffers less from the imputation when groundless, than when true. The effects of the second order, the apprehension excited in other persons at large,—the apprehension of being made sufferers by similar attacks from the same or other sources, are also evil. But by the contemplation of the evil suffered in these two ways by groundless imputations, the attention of men is directed to, and the more firmly fixed upon, the like suffering as being more or less likely to be produced by true imputations: and in this way, accordingly, addition is made to the fear of punishment at the hands of the public-opinion tribunal. What is too obvious and too certain, to pass unnoticed is, that, the inducement being equal in both cases, a defamer, if he knew of an article of misconduct of which his intended victim had been really guilty, proofs of his guilt more or less satisfactory, being in existence, would never think of preferring an ungrounded accusation in any shape to that same well grounded one.

Not that currency knowingly allowed to false and unjust imputation, is in any degree, as such, conducive and necessary to the repression of the misconduct that would have had place, had the imputation been well grounded.

Not that the antipathy against the inventors and common circulators of such false imputations, is not well founded: not that they ought not to be subjected to legal punishment, in so far as sufficient proof can be obtained.

All that is meant is, that all imputations grounded and ungrounded together, ought not to be suppressed without distinction, for the more effectual suppression of ungrounded ones. The public-opinion tribunal with its numerous useful effects, ought not to be suppressed, for the single benefit of more effectually preventing the pernicious ones.

That which a man suffers, in whose instance the imputation is false, is little in comparison with what the man suffers, in whose instance the same imputation is true.

Accordingly the marks of vexation exhibited will naturally be in the same proportion: the intensity of the desire manifested for suppression and vengeance.

Factitious honour is a sort of counterfeit substitute for money, invented and fabricated by governments. Money procures services: factitious honour procures services, and among them even such as it is not in the power of money to reach.

Power and money, though, in both instances, the less the quantity that can be made to serve the better, are, to the purpose of doing good, indispensable instruments in the hands of rulers: they are both of them, according to the direction in which they are made to operate, instruments of preponderant good, or instruments of preponderant evil. Factitious honour, it will be seen, is purely an instrument of evil. In the hands of rulers, power and money require to be minimized; out of the hands of rulers, factitious honour requires to be altogether kept.

One advantage, in beginning with power, on the occasion of the minimization process,—one reason for proceeding in this order may now be visible: the less the power you have to contend with, the greater the facility in such application as you have to make to the will. Thus, as above: if the possessor of the power is, at all events, to keep his hold of it so long as he lives, or even so long as he remains legally unconvicted of a specific misdeed, the difficulty of dealing with him may be insurmountable: and by a mass of power, small in extent, as well as intensity, evil to an almost indefinite amount may be produced, were it only that by means of one lot of power thus intrenched as in a stronghold, others indefinite in number and value may be added by him. On the other hand, when it is to the dimension of its duration that the defalcating-knife is applied, no power so ample in its other two dimensions but may be conferred with comparative safety. Witness, in the Roman commonwealth, the dictatorship,—a power which, with the exception of what was thus defalcated from it, was absolute monarchy.

All this while, one thing is undeniable, namely, that for the purpose of establishing, and in the endeavour to establish, security, those who establish government must begin with establishing insecurity: insecurity, viz. as against those in whose hands the means of security against others are reposed. On the other hand, another thing is no less undeniable: namely, that without this risk, the other, a still greater evil, cannot by any possibility be avoided, and that is, want of security against foreign enemies or unempowered malefactors.

Another thing equally true is, that by the badness of other governments, whoever you are, you are prevented from making your own, whatever it is, so good as otherwise it might be.

In this case are the civilized nations of Europe at present with their standing armies. In every foreign nation, each nation beholds a population which may every moment become a hostile one,—a population of foreign adversaries: each nation is thus laid under the unhappy necessity of providing itself with a correspondent instrument of defence: to preserve itself from a distant yoke, it submits itself to present servitude.

Hence it is, that to the other articles in the list of counterforces must be added the institution of a national militia.

The more extensive this counterforce is, the greater the security of the nation, not only against foreign, but against domestic adversaries: not only against the rulers and subjects of every foreign nation, but against its own rulers, whoever they are.

Against these, where the quantity of armed force in this shape is at its maximum, so is this security—the security thus established: in a word, it is entire: for in this case, the degree of efficiency with which, in case of depredation or oppression on the part of rulers, the people are capable of acting in concert, for the purpose of redress, is at its maximum: an entire people, with arms in their hands, cannot be employed as instruments of oppression: why? for this plain reason, that they have no victims to act against—to operate upon.

The elementary units of this force—the individuals of which it is composed, are no other than the members of the public-opinion tribunal. They are judges with arms in their hands, prepared, in case of necessity, to give execution to their own judgments.

A force thus circumstanced may be so organized, as that while it is incapacitated from being made to act as an instrument of offence, it may be rendered completely adequate for every purpose of defence: and to this purpose one simple arrangement is sufficient: a declaration, that without an express law for the purpose, no part of the population thus fortified shall be obliged or permitted to move out of the territory of the state.

For providing the community with the very maximum of force in this shape, small, in comparison is the utmost expense that can be necessary.

Of the incorporeal instruments of misrule, shall fiction be added to the list? With respect to the others, it is altogether disparate: for it is not produced by the same efficient causes,—by money, power, and factitious honour.

Though not the sister of delusion, it is, however, in a certain sense, the offspring of that evil genius. Fiction, men have actually been made to regard as an instrument apt and necessary to good government in general, and to good judicature in particular.

So mischievous an error, where shall the efficient cause of the prevalence of it be found? In delusion,—in delusive influence. By the same causes that delusion has been produced, has this pre-eminently mischievous error been produced. By the several efficient causes of delusive influence, men have been led to regard as their natural and best friends—their protectors and guardians, their most implacable and irresistible enemies; namely, kings, and judges and advocates, placed over them by kings.

For giving effect to the system of depredation and oppression, concerted between the arch-depredator and these his instruments, they have woven a tissue of falsehood—they have concocted a mass of poison in the shape of falsehood, and with the name of fiction,—which, by the stupid ignorant patience of the people, they have been suffered to inject into every vein of the body-politic, and have thus added this source of corruption to the others.

Corruption and delusion are necessary concomitants to each other: the same causes that produce the one, produce the other likewise: the corruption cannot exist, but the delusion must exist likewise: the delusion cannot exist, but the corruption must exist likewise: for it is out of the same matter that both evils are engendered.

Not so fiction. Without fiction, corruption and delusion might have done their worst.

Fiction is a production of peculiarly English growth. In the Roman law, the word may here and there be seen.

Fiction debases the moral part of the mental frame of all those by whom application is made of it.

Fiction debases the intellectual part of the mental frame of all those upon whom the imposition passes, and by whom the lie uttered in place of a reason is accepted as constituting a reason, and that a sufficient one: and when employed by a judicial functionary, the evil is greatly aggravated.

In general, fiction may be stated to be an instrument of arbitrary power, invented by functionaries invested with limited power, for the purpose of breaking through the limits by which their power was intended to be circumscribed.

Reference had to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, appropriate aptitude, on the part of public functionaries, depends upon the efficiency and the use made of the several securities above-mentioned.

Reference had to the greatest happiness of the ruling one and few, appropriate aptitude, on the part of those same functionaries, depends in great measure on the non-application of those same securities.

Taking them one by one, the state of the matter in this respect will be as follows:—

Good Government.


Moral Aptitude.

  • 1. Identification of rulers’ interest with people’s interest.
  • 2. Minimization of rulers’ power.
  • 3. Minimization of money at rulers’ disposal.
  • 4. Minimization of rulers’ pay.
  • 5. Maximization of legal responsibility.
  • 6. Maximization of moral responsibility.


Intellectual Aptitude.

  • 7. or 1. Application and maximization of the precedential test of appropriate aptitude, viz. appropriate examination.
  • 8. or 2. Minimization of factitious remuneration.


Active Aptitude.

  • 9. or 1. Maximization of official attendance.


All Branches taken together.

  • 10. or 1. Maximization of the collation and publication of appropriate facts and judgments, indicative of official aptitude or inaptitude.
  • 11. or 2. Maximization of publicity of official obligations.

English Government.


Moral Aptitude.

  • 1. Sacrifice of people’s interest to rulers’ interest.
  • 2. Maximization of rulers’ power.
  • 3. Maximization of money at rulers’ disposal.
  • 4. Maximization of rulers’ pay.
  • 5. Minimization of legal responsibility.
  • 6. Minimization of moral responsibility.


Intellectual Aptitude.

  • 7. or 1. Non-application of the precedential test of appropriate aptitude, viz. appropriate examination.
  • 8. or 2. Maximization of factitious remuneration.


Active Aptitude.

  • 9. or 1. Minimization of official attendance.


All Branches taken together.

  • 10. or 1. Minimization of the collation and publication of appropriate facts and judgments, indicative of official aptitude or inaptitude.
  • 11. or 2. Minimization of publicity of official obligations.

In defence of the system of misrule as at present carried on in England, a plea in bar against reform, and a plea that seems to be most generally employed and relied on, is—that the system that has place now, is the same as that by which all the good effects that have ever been experienced have been produced: the same on which all the praises that have ever been bestowed upon it by foreign nations as well as its own, have been bestowed.

If things themselves are to be considered, and not mere words—the things themselves and not merely the words employed in speaking of them, nothing can be further from the truth. The assertion, if it be anything to the purpose, amounts to this: viz. that, to the power exercised by the ruling one, in conjunction with the sub-ruling few, once the subject many, there exists at present checks and securities against abuse, either the same as, or not less effectual than, any which ever had place at any former point of time.

This will be found completely false and groundless, whether the power of aggression on the part of the one and the few be considered, or the power of self-defence on the part of the many.

On the part of the rulers the power of aggression may be distinguished into the power of violence and the power of corruption: on the part of the subject many the power of self-defence may be distinguished into that which they exercise by their representatives, meaning always their actual deputies and delegates freely chosen by them, and that which they exercise by themselves.

First, as to the power of aggression by violence. It consists in, and in its amount is proportioned to, the standing force of a military nature under the absolute command of the ruling one. Of this force there are two branches: the land force and the sea force. For the period of comparison take, in the first place, the year 1753, being the fifth year after the war that terminated in the peace of 1748.

Army in 1753, 20,000. Army in 1821, 100,000.

Navy in 1753, 15,000. Navy in 1821, 60,000.

So far as aggressive power is concerned, to say that it is no greater now than it was in 1753, is to say that one hundred thousand is no more than twenty thousand: or that sixty thousand is no more than fifteen thousand.

The more assured the influence and efficiency of those causes, by the force of which, in every government, the ruling functionaries are, on each occasion, prompted and urged to concur in the making of the sinister sacrifice, the more strenuous and universal will of course be the endeavours to conceal from the eyes of all who do not participate in the benefit of it, the existence of the sacrifice itself, and thence the existence and the efficiency of the motives which on each occasion give birth to it. By action (if sufficiently observed) the demonstration afforded by it is on every occasion complete: for producing disbelief of the existence of it—for preventing men from descrying motives through the medium of actions, remain as the only resource which the nature of the case furnishes or admits of—professions. In this case the actions constitute the circumstantial evidence, and professions—mere words, the direct evidence. The circumstantial evidence by which the existence of the sacrifice, and the part borne by each man in the making of it, is demonstrated, being conclusive, nothing is left but to abuse the ears, and if possible, blind the eyes and confound the understanding, the conception, and the judgment, by an all-embracing, and indefatigably, and vehemently urged body of this same direct evidence: evidence which in every instance is mendacious. But the mendacity of it not being in its nature capable of being rendered perceptible to sense—perceptible to the bodily organs of those addressed in the character of judges; hence it is that it ever has been in the most unblushing manner obtruded, and will so continue to be to the very last.

For this purpose, not inconsiderable is the variety of phrases; as common as any is purity of motives. By this phrase what is meant to be insinuated is, either that in the part the man takes he has no regard whatsoever for his own personal interest, or any other narrow interest, or that if he has any, it gives way at all times to his regard for the national or some other more extensive interest. But preferably the meaning is, such being the more direct and obvious import of the words, the utter absence of every particle of self-regard. Of this immaculate purity, each man in the most peremptory manner asserts the existence in his own instance: deny it, or hesitate to admit it, you offer him an affront—an affront, the stain of which he perhaps not unfrequently invites you to permit him to wash away with your blood. Of this same purity he calls upon you, though perhaps in a tone not quite so loud, to admit, on the part of his colleagues and supporters. Nor yet, unless under the smart of some particular provocation, or in the ardour of some particularly advantageous thrust, is he backward in the acknowledgment of the same purity in the breasts of honourable gentlemen on the other side of the house. By this means while the praise of good temper and candour is obtained, the price for the purchase of the corresponding acknowledgment on the other side, is thus paid in advance.

No government so corrupt but that it is in the habit of receiving acknowledgments of this sort from its opponents. Nor are these acknowledgments inconsistent with the rules of policy. For if the position were—all is impurity on that side, all is purity on our side,—people might be found to doubt of it, especially in those instances in which the very same men have been seen sometimes on the one side sometimes on the other: and in that case the result might be, in some eyes, a rational supposition of its non-existence on either side.

At the expense of truth (need it be said?) is all this laudation and self-worship, every atom of it. But the more irrefragably true is the contrary position, the more strenuous is the urgency of the demand for it. Thus it is, that urged by the necessity which on all sides they are under of making men in general continue in the belief of the non-existence of that which they are seeing and feeling the effects of at every moment, public men join in the inculcating of the errors correspondent and opposite to the most important truths: in causing men to believe that, under a form of government so thoroughly corrupt, that all who belong to it are in a state of corruption—none are: to believe in that fabled purity which is not ever true even where temptation is at its minimum, much less in a situation in which it is at its maximum.

This being the language of ruler-craft, what is the language of simple truth? That in spite of everything which is said, the general predominance of self-regard over every other sort of regard, is demonstrated by everything that is done: that in the ordinary tenor of life, in the breasts of human beings of ordinary mould, self is everything, to which all other persons, added to all other things put together, are as nothing: that this general habit of self preference is so far from being a just subject of denial, or even a reasonable cause of regret, that the existence of it is an indispensable condition not only to the wellbeing but to the very being of the human species, and should therefore be a cause of satisfaction: that admitting, as perhaps it may be admitted, that in a highly matured state of society, in here and there a highly cultivated and expanded mind, under the stimulus of some extraordinary excitement, a sacrifice of self-regarding interest to social interest, upon a national scale, has not been without example—public virtue in this shape cannot reasonably be regarded as being so frequently exemplified as insanity: and that as in the case of insanity so in this,—it is in what has place in the conduct on the part of the thousands, and not in what has place in the conduct of one in every thousand, that all rational and useful political arrangements will be grounded.

Of a state of things thus incontrovertible, no sooner is the existence to a certain degree extensively acknowledged, than all pretence to this species of purity will be regarded as would an assertion of chastity in the mouth of a prostitute at the very moment of solicitation: regarded as an insult to the understandings of all those to whom it is addressed,—and will as such be resented.

Partly through artifice, partly through blind imitation, almost every sort of document, by which right instruction ought to be administered, is regularly and constantly employed in the drawing of those flattering pictures of human nature: flattering in so far as that disposition is ascribed, by which if really possessed in the degree in which it is represented as possessed, the destruction of the whole species would be the consequence. These pictures of human nature are drawn without any determinate and declared line of distinction, yet so ordered, that the favourites of fortune are the only individuals that have the benefit of it.

In all histories, in all biographies, in all funeral sermons, in all obituaries, is praise poured out with the most boundless, and indiscriminating profusion, upon those who howsoever spoken of while living, are thus richly compensated when dead. That for fortune’s favourites alone is the praise destined—that by them alone it is, or can be invoked, is not expressly said: yet so it is, that to none other, can any part of it ever have application.

Thus it is that in all these documents, honour and praise bestowed, operates as a bounty upon oppression and depredation, as an encouragement to persevere in all those courses by which human misery on the largest scale is produced.

It is from the same pernicious artifice that the adage—“of the dead say nothing but what is good,” has its source: i. e. give on every occasion false and delusive instruction, in the most important of all branches of art and science: instruction by which the few may be engaged to commit oppression and depredation in every shape, and the many engaged to submit to it.

Tender in their sympathy for those who have no feeling: callous to the sufferings of all those who are exposed to suffer from the crimes of their confederates.

This doctrine is inculcated in all seats of instruction, in every monarchy. To his disadvantage, nothing: to his advantage, anything. Thus, bating a few exceptions, the portrait presented by the aggregate of these documents, is that of universal excellence. Not that by the word excellence, anything approaching to the character of a distinct idea, can be ever presented: all that is presented, is a something by which the individual is constituted a fit subject of admiration and consequently of imitation. But these so fit subjects of admiration and imitation, to which class do they belong? Uniformly to that class, by which all the mischief done in the world has been done: while those who never come in for any share of this admiration and this praise, are with a few exceptions as before, of the class of those, by whom at the same time, whatever good has been done, has been done.

In the labouring—the productive class, life in its general tenor, is a life of beneficence: whatever maleficence has place forms the exception, and in comparison with the beneficence, those exceptions are extremely rare. By the produce of his labour, he procures his own subsistence, and contributes to that of the family to which he belongs: in so doing, he contributes at the same time to his own gratification: for by the constitution of human nature, gratification is inseparably attached to those operations by which the individual—and hence by which the species—is preserved. At the same time to an indefinite amount, according to the nature of his employment, he contributes to the gratification of others in abundance: others by whom no such contributions are made to the general stock of felicity. By him, no mischief is done: no depredation committed—no oppression in any other shape, committed.

Not the smallest particle of that praise and admiration ever falls to the share of this uniformly beneficent class. So far from being objects of respect or sympathy, they are objects of contempt and antipathy: they serve but as foils, to the receptacles of all excellence.

Here, then, are two distinct and opposite classes: the one composed of those by whom the disagreeable sensation, called disgust, is constantly experienced: the other composed of those who are the objects of it—those from whom it is experienced. But those from whom it is experienced, are undoubtedly, in a physical sense, comparatively impure: the quality, on account of which they are the objects of disgust, is impurity: while the opposite agreeable quality is among the incontestable attributes of those by whom they are contemplated in this point of view. But by those by whom everything is produced, small indeed in comparison is either the time or the money that can be afforded by them in freeing themselves from impurities:—never sufficient for the satisfaction of those, their superiors in the scale of fortune.

Unfortunately of the appellation impure, in the case in which it is with propriety applied to the productive classes, the propriety is much more obvious and incontestable, than in the case in which, it is with so much less propriety applicable to those same classes, namely, in the moral sense,—while it is with so much more propriety applicable to the unproductive classes. If a man be covered with dirt, you see it in a moment by a glance at his face. But if he be a man, who, after sacrificing to his own gratification the subsistence of 100,000 human beings of the productive class, is still running in debt, disdaining to apply a bridle to that rapacity by which he is urged to go on, in the same sinister sacrifice, so long as an obtainable particle of it remains unsacrificed—nothing of this do you see in his face, or in anything about him; on the contrary, you see him encompassed with trappings, the object of which, (and in but too great a degree the effect,) is to cause you to regard him, not as being distinguished by any of those mischievous qualities, by which he is so pre-eminently distinguished,—but as one who is pure of all those qualities, from the effects of which, suffering, in various shapes, to other individuals, is derived.

To the devising of any well-grounded and rational course, for the surmounting of the obstacles opposed to good government, by the universal self-preference in the breasts of the functionaries of government—of the constituted guardians of the universal interest—the first step was the taking a true observation of the existence and shape of that same universally prevalent, particular, and sinister interest. This theory being accomplished, correspondent and accordant practice becomes a matter of course. Hence, into the compass of these two words, may be condensed the all-directing and leading rule—minimize confidence. Such, then, is the advice which the framer of this constitution has not been backward in giving to all who are disposed to accept it. Confine within the strictest limits of necessity, whatsoever confidence you may be tempted to repose either in them or their successors.

At the same time, here as in a watch, does this main-spring require another to antagonize with it. Of all constituents be it, at the same time the care, from no delegate to withhold any of that power, which may eventually be necessary to the due performance of the service looked for, at his hands. While confidence is minimized, let not power be withheld. For security against breach of trust, the sole apt remedy is,—on the part of trustees, not impotence, but constant responsibility, and as towards their creators—the authors of their political being—on every occasion, and at all times, the strictest and most absolute dependence. In the first place with powers no otherwise limited, on the part of the Supreme Legislative, the most absolute dependence on the Supreme Constitutive, and thus in a chain reaching down to the lowest functionary: each link, through the medium of the several increasing links, in a state of equally perfect dependence on the Supreme Legislative, and by this means on the Supreme Constitutive. If the Supreme Constitutive were in a single hand—in the hand of a monarch, no objection would there be, on his part, to this chain of dependence: nor on the part of any of those who, that the many may be dependent on them, are so well content to be dependent on that one. Can it be said there is less reason for content when the few are thus dependent on the many?

With the maximization of beneficial power, to reconcile and embrace the minimization of maleficent power, lies the great, not to say, the only difficulty. For surmounting it, the course here taken is—the keeping throughout the whole field of action, in the hands of the many, the faculty of dislocating the possessors of operative power—in the hands of those by whom, and in so far as, maleficently exercised, the suffering thus produced will be felt.

In vain would the efficiency of the course, here recommended, be questioned, or its alleged dangerousness asserted and magnified. For a complete demonstration of its efficiency, as well as its undangerousness, one and the same example has already sufficed. This is that of the Anglo-American United States. In essentials, the principals by which the arrangements in the constitution of that confederacy have been determined, are the same, it may be seen, as those here laid down and applied. Of that constitution, the fundamental principle is the omnipotence of the many: the omnipotence in so far as established by the constitutive power, though not a particle of the operative power can be seen lodged in those same hands.

By the adoption and application made of this principle, while an unexampled quantity of good has been produced, and evil, in the shape of evil, from misrule excluded,—not a particle of the alleged mischiefs or dangers has ever been seen to result: while the evils, which, for want of this safeguard, have, at the same time, as well as in all former times, been produced in all other governments, are and have been, multitudinous, intense, and incontrovertible; and are destined to go on increasing, till the governments themselves are dissolved.

Not that even in this hitherto matchlessly felicitous system, imperfections of detail are wanting: witness the still unabrogated sanction given to domestic slavery on account of difference of colour, and the misrule submitted to at the hands of the lawyer tribe, for want of an all-embracing and determinate rule of action: not to speak of a quantity of useless and thence mischievous complication, by which the transparency of the system still continues to be disturbed. But in these imperfections there is nothing that flows from the above-mentioned fundamental principle: nor yet any evil that may not be seen in still greater abundance in those other states, in the constitutions of which this principle has no place. Neither is there any evil, which, without any change in the constitution, might not receive, and beyond doubt is destined sooner or later to receive, an easy cure; while to the evils resulting from the constitutions of all other states, no cure can by possibility be effected by any other means, than the abrogation of those constitutions, and substituting the sort of constitution, of which it is the characteristic to have for its fundamental principle, the omnipotence of the many, as above.

At the same time, men being the same everywhere, not less universally exemplified is the principle of self-preference in that, than in every other form of government. But where the government is in the hands of all, or what comes to the same thing, of those whose collective interests are the same with the interests of all, the natural effect of the principle of self-preference is—not as in the case where it is in the hands of one, or of a few, the sacrifice of the interest of all, to the interest of that one or those few; but the sacrifice of all interests that are opposed to the happiness of all. In so far as his aim is, to sacrifice all interests to his own,—the interests of others, to that which is peculiar to himself, no man finds any effective number of hands disposed to join with his: in so far as his aim is, to serve such of his interests alone, as are theirs as well as his, he finds all hands disposed to join with his: and these common interests correspond to the immediately subordinate right and proper ends of government, maximization of subsistence, abundance, security, and equality. In so far as by the principle of self-preference, he is led to promote his own happiness, by augmenting theirs at the same time, or even without diminishing it, so far he finds himself capable of acting without obstruction: but no sooner does he attempt to promote his own happiness, by means by which theirs is diminished, than he finds obstruction thrown in his way, by all whose happiness is, by this his enterprise already more or less diminished, and by all who, in case of his success, are apprehensive of suffering the like diminution. Thus, then, the principle of self-preference, has for its regulator in the breast of each, the consciousness of the existence and power of the same principle in the breasts of all the rest: and thus it is that the whole mechanism is at all times kept in a state of perfect order, and at all times performs to admiration everything that is desired of it, everything it was made for.

As to professions, and boasts of purity of motives; in the debates and discussions that have place in those United States, little or nothing of this sort of talk is heard. Why? Because, in the first place, there is no such demand for it: in the next place, there would be no use for it, for there would be no prospect of its gaining credence.

No such demand: for by no functionary, or set of functionaries, is any such power there possessed as that of exercising depredation or oppression in any shape—that of making of the interests of others, any such enormous sacrifices, to his own particular interest, as are made under all other governments,—any such power, nor consequently, any such habit. The sinister interest not being proved by his actions, there is no such circumstantial evidence, calling for direct evidence to furnish a disproof of it.

No credence would any such profession obtain if uttered. In a monarchy, while producing its effects in the way of corruption on the self-styled agents of the people, the matter of good above-mentioned, in their hands, and thrown round their persons, is producing its effects in the way of delusion upon the people themselves. Full, they are seen to be of money, power, and factitious dignity: proportionably full, under favour of the delusion, they are believed to be, of excellence. As of excellence in general, so of excellence in the shape of sincerity in particular: so that, when they say their motives are so pure, their regard for the interests of the people so intense, their disregard for their own interests so entire, the assertion of all these impossibilities, impossibilities as they are, is not the less followed by belief.

But in those United States, no such source of delusion has place: no man, whose impudence has soared to any such pitch, as to make pretension to any such excellence. By inward consciousness, each man stands assured of the dominion of the principle of self-preference in himself: by analogy, receiving continual support from experience, each man stands equally assured of its existence in the breast of every other man. No man, therefore, sees any advantage in coming forward with pretensions, which, if made, would be productive of no other fruit than scorn and ridicule.

By nothing which is to be found in that example, is any contradiction or exception applied to the rule, by which the greatest happiness of the rulers themselves is asserted to be the end in view of all rule: why? for this simple reason,—the supreme rulers themselves, are those, whose interests are not decidedly distinguishable from those interests of which the universal interest is composed.

Whatsoever moral considerations,—notions of moral obligation,—should induce a man to abstain from acts injurious to individuals, or to the community in the aggregate, and to oppose himself to acts of the like tendency on the part of the other individuals, or of foreigners, considered in the character of enemies, should urge him to the like conduct as against the correspondent acts of misrule, on the part of the government, and as against the form and system of government which gives birth to them. So much with regard to direction: then as to force and energy. In the case of the public wrong, the resistance ought to be to what it is in the case of the private wrong, as are the number of the sufferers in the two cases; in other words, as the mischief done by the public wrong, is to the mischief done by the private wrong.



Taken in its largest sense, the word corruption is employed to denote the deterioration of the subject to which it is applied,—the rendering it worse than it was before, or would have been otherwise. Corruptio is in Latin, breaking up: the breaking up of the texture of the subject in question: it being understood that, by such breaking up, it is rendered worse. In the first instance, the word was used in a physical sense: the breaking up the texture of a mass of animal or vegetable matter; from thence, it comes to be used in a moral sense,—the breaking up for the worse, the texture of the mental frame.

When the sense in which the word is used is the physical sense, no more than one object is necessarily considered as having place in the operation: namely, the corruptible mass in which the change has place: by another object, operating in the character of a ferment, the change may be promoted: but no such exterior object is necessary to it.

Where the sense in which the word is used is the moral sense, the idea of two objects at once is commonly presented by it: the part in which the one appears, an active part; the part in which the other appears, a passive part. The objects thus presented to view are commonly persons. In this case what is presented to view, is an operation in which two persons are concerned: one the agent in the operation, corrupting the other, and thereby rendering himself a corruptor: the other, the patient in the operation, being corrupted by the former, and by the having been so corrupted becoming and continuing corrupt.

Thus it is, that an operation called corruption has been performed: and by the same word corruption, the result of the operation—the state of things brought about by it—is designated.

In the operation thus described, by the party corrupting corruptive influence has been exercised: by the party corrupted, say in one word, (on the plan mentioned and recommended by Blackstone,) the corruptee—corrupt obsequiousness has been practised.

In the idea thus brought to view, is also commonly comprised that of an auxiliary agent, considered as being employed as an instrument by the principal one. This instrument is a quantity of what may be termed the matter of corruption, employed in that same character of an instrument. Applied in the physical sense, and to a physical subject, this instrument is what is called a jerment. This matter, employed as an instrument to act upon the mind, if it operates, it is in the character of an inducement that it operates.

An inducement is constituted either of the matter of evil or of the matter of good, operating on the mind in those their respective characters.

An inducement, to which the name of corruptive might without impropriety be attached, is an inducement of the intimidative kind. Say, for example, the fear of death: intimation being given, that if the party meant to be corrupted will not do the sinister service desired at his hands, he shall be put to death,—in the opposite case, not.

An instrument of this sort is not, however, the sort of instrument, the idea of which will, by the words, matter of corruption, instrument of corruption,—be in general most apt to be excited. Not a portion of the matter of evil, but a portion of the matter of good, is the sort of instrument, the idea of which will, by any such appellations, in general be apt to be excited.

This matter of good will be some portion of the matter of which the external instruments of felicity are composed, namely, power and wealth, with or without the addition of factitious honour or dignity.

In regard to corruption, the first grand distinction is, the distinction between that which is designed, and that which is undesigned. By undesigned, understand that which is capable of having place without design, not that which is not ever, in any instance, the result of design: for of that which is capable of having place without design, there is not any portion but what is not altogether capable of having place with and by design, and is abundantly in the habit of being so produced.

Suppose the creation of it the work of chance: nothing is more natural than that the preservation of it shall be the work of design.

The corruptive influence by which, in the case of bribery, an elector of a representative of the people in a mixed monarchy is engaged to give his vote in favour of a candidate by whom, or by whose agent, money is given for it, is the work of design. On the other part, the corrupt obsequiousness is accompanied with a consciousness of the nature of the corrupting inducement to which it is indebted for its existence. The corruption, in consequence of which the representative perseveres in giving support to the measures of the monarch, in that same monarchy, for a course of years, notwithstanding any depredation and oppression of which those same measures are all the while productive, may by possibility, be produced on the one part without any such design, and on the other part without any such self-criminating consciousness. The monarch, in his quality of chief executive functionary, must have subordinates, in the several situations, with large masses of emolument attached to them. The representative, seeing that these situations must have place, and thinking that the masses of emolument attached to them must have place, thinks that of these good things the possession and enjoyment may as well be in his hands as in any other’s. The monarch is kind and bountiful: in return for kindness and bounty, the moral and the religious sanction join in commanding gratitude: and thus it is, that without design of evil on the one part, or consciousness of it on the other, corruption may do its work, and evil, to any intensity, extent, and duration, be produced.

Corruption may also be distinguished into personal, or say personally seated, and systematic, or say systematically seated.

By the case in which it is personally seated, understand the case in which a determinate individual is assignable, by whom a portion of the matter of good, constituting the temptation, has been presented to the view of the individual at whose hands the sinister service was desired, and the bait accordingly swallowed, and the sinister service rendered. In this case stands the transaction between the candidate and the elector, as above. By the case in which the corruption is not personally but systematically seated, understand the case in which no such individual is assignable, but the cause of the corrupt transaction—the source of all transactions of the same nature pervading the whole official establishment, is in the system or frame of government.

A system of government in which an irremoveable functionary possesses an indispensable share in the supreme legislative power, and at the same time the whole or the greatest part of that branch of the supreme executive power, by which the subordinate functionaries are placed, and, in a proportion more or less considerable, displaceable, is a system in which corruption is systematically seated. On the one part, the corruptive influence of the chief functionary, on the other part, the corrupt obsequiousness on the part of the people’s representatives, has its source, not in the mental texture of this or that individual, but in the political texture of the system or frame of government itself. It will therefore, of necessity, go on in the production of the fruits of corruption, namely, depredation and oppression, in a quantity continually increasing, unless, and until the form of government receive an apt and adequate change.

Obsequious dependence is produced by fear or hope: fear of eventual evil, or hope of eventual good.

Dependence by the tie of fear is generally most effective: the greatest evil which a dependent is capable of receiving at the hands of a superior being more than equal to the greatest good. Suppose the degree of probability of the result to be the same, the same sum produces more effective dependence by the fear of losing it, than by the hope of gaining it: punishment, by the fear of losing it produces a dependence more effective, than reward, by the hope of gaining it.

Under the English form of government, all desirable offices, without any exception worth taking into account, being in the gift of the monarch, and to the greater part of the extent, the power of dislocation being, in relation to those same offices, also in his hands,—hence, on the part of all other members of the community, dependence, more or less effective, has place universally. The interest of this one member being opposite to that of all the rest, it is his constant desire, and correspondent endeavour, to cause them to support his interest at the expense of theirs. Thus, under that form of government, corruption is all prevalent on the part of those who possess, and those who look to possess, a share in it. And whatever may be the variation in degree, as in that, so is it, in this respect, in every other limited monarchy.

One great misfortune attendant on the use made of corruption and delusion is, the extreme facility with which the fabrication of these instruments of misrule is attended. Force and intimidation are not applied without special and strenuous exertions on the part of possessors of power, specially directed to the production of obsequiousness—the desired effect. Corruption and delusion are produced by them not only without any strenuous exertions, but without so much as any expense in the article of thought: are produced by them just as well when asleep as when awake.

To exercise corruptive influence to any amount—to produce corrupt obsequiousness to any amount, it is not necessary that either endeavour, or so much as desire so to do, should have place in the mind of the ruler. All that is necessary, is, the desire and the endeavour, which in his situation is of course followed by accomplishment,—the endeavour to produce, and of course the production of, waste. In a word, all that is necessary to him is, on every occasion that presents itself, to yield to the appetite for money in his own breast, or in the breasts of any individual or individuals connected with him, in the way of interest or sympathy: for the purpose of their individual gratification the money is put into their pockets: thereupon, by the eventual expectation of the like benefit from the like source, corruptive obsequiousness is produced in the breast and conduct of ten, twenty, or perhaps fifty times, as many breasts as those in which the gratification attached to the receipt and expenditure of the money, was produced.

In itself corruption is no evil, for neither is the receipt, nor the conferring of a benefit, in any shape an evil; in so far as it is an evil, corruption is so, only in respect of the evil effects produced by it: abstraction made of these effects, it is even a good.

To prevent here and there an insulated breach of trust, effected by means of remuneration, is impossible; but to prevent the evil effects of corruption from having place to any such amount as to be perceptible on a national scale, is possible.

In a limited monarchy, corruption by intimidation at large, cannot have place to any considerable extent: the intimidation and the consequent suffering would extend to those by whose power the limitation to that of the monarch is applied. They would call in the power of the people to their aid, and make a change either in the form of government, or in the person of the chief governor and his family, or both.

The case in which corruption by intimidation is capable of having place, is therefore reduced to that in which corruption by intimidation is connected with corruption by remuneration: the state of intimidation in question having for its efficient cause, the fear of losing a benefit, which has proceeded from the intimidating hand.

Such then will be the effect of the universally applying dislocative power here proposed to be vested in the people, in their quality of members of the constitutive authority: it will be an effectual preventive of depredation, and oppression in every other shape, at the hands of rulers. It will not indeed operate as a completely effectual preventive of corruption in the shape of corrupt remuneration in particular instances as above; but, so few will be these instances, and the evil effects, if any, so inconsiderable, that in a national point of view, they may be regarded without much regret by the most anxious lover of mankind.

Suppose that in the instance of this or that office, the choice made of the functionary by the patron, as between C, a corruptor, (in whose favour the matter of corruption has been employed,) and N, a non-corruptor, (in whose favour no matter of corruption has been employed,) has been determined by the giving of a daughter of C’s, in marriage to a son of the patron’s, with a fortune greater than would have been given otherwise: C and N, being exactly upon a par, in respect of appropriate aptitude. In this case the corruption has place, but by the supposition no ill effects whatever are among the results of it.

Suppose now, that though neither of the candidates be to any such degree absolutely unapt, as that any determinate ill effects should be seen to result from their want of aptitude, in such sort as to be neither of them perceptibly below par in the scale of aptitude,—yet one of them there is, to whom, though above par in the scale of aptitude, the one who is not above par, has been preferred. This is the sort and degree of corruption, against which neither the universally applying dislocation in the hands of the constitutive, nor this, in addition to all remedies whatsoever, which the nature of the case admits the application of, can ever operate as a completely adequate preventive. But so long as the effects of corruption rise not above this height, neither the framer of the constitutional code, nor any spectator of it, need feel much dissatisfaction at the contemplation of the work.

Corruption may be understood in a more extensive sense, namely, by being considered as designating the matter of good or evil, operating on the mind of an individual in such sort, as to cause him in contemplation of a less good to forego a greater, or by the contemplation of a less evil to subject himself to a greater, or by the contemplation of a less evil to forego a greater good.

Thus when Esau, as in the history, sold his birth-right for a mess of pottage, thus sacrificing to a lesser present, a greater future interest, his will may on this occasion be considered as having been governed by corruptive influence: and the portion of the matter of corruption by which the effect was produced, was, in this case, the mess of pottage.

In a word, whosoever the party is, to whose happiness reference is made by the word good, every case in which the lesser good is embraced in preference to the greater, or even the greater evil in preference to the less, may be considered as a case in which corruption, or say corruptive influence, has had place, and has in such sort operated, as to have given birth to the sinister effect.

An elector, who by his vote should contribute to the establishment of a constitution having for its effect, instead of the greatest happiness of the greatest number, the greatest or supposed greatest happiness of the ruling few at the expense of the happiness of the many, would, supposing himself to become in consequence of the misrule, a sufferer to a greater amount than that of the benefit received by his vote, be an Esau selling his birth-right for a mess of pottage.

Look to a man whose situation places him under the temptation above described,—see him putting into his pocket the reward thus proffered by it,—conceive him standing up and saying—never from either the prospect or the receipt of this reward, has my conduct ever experienced any the slightest influence,—a declaration to any such effect can it, in the instance of any man which ever breathed, have presented any so much as the slightest claim to credence? Yes: if,—when for the obtainment of legal evidence of a capital crime, pardon, together with a thousand pounds reward, has been offered to any partaker in the crime who, with the effect of producing the conviction of a fellow criminal, will repair to the judicatory and give his narrative of the case, if, in the course of his narrative he should take upon him to say—neither by the assurance of receiving the thousand pounds, nor by the assurance of saving my forfeited life, am I influenced by the statement I am now giving,—if, with a protestation to this effect in his mouth, the malefactor could present any claim to credence.

If, to assurances to this effect, protestations were added,—if, to protestations, eyes lifted up to heaven,—if, to eyes lifted up to heaven, summonses to God to come down and bear witness,—if, to summonses to God to bear witness, tears,—if, to tears, faintings were added; to the claim made by the simple declarations, would any additional claim either in the case of the chancellor in office or out of office, or in the case of the minor malefactor, be made to credence? Yes; if by his display in the character of Iago, Mr Kean calls him from the grave, calls the dead to life, and transforms himself into that personage.

By the common name of corruptionists, corruptors and corruptees may both of them be designated. By the use of this common appellative, the difficulty and obscurity attached to the operation of ascertaining, which of the two parts was, on this or that occasion, acted by the individual or individuals in question, may be avoided.

Everywhere, the whole official establishment, is a corruptive establishment: to possess the sinister benefits of corruption, is the universal wish.

But, without their own pale, the members of the official establishment have, in their quality of corruptors, or would-be corruptors, their accomplices, and in the natural course of things, their confederates. These are the several classes of which the aristocracy of the country is composed.

They have, all of them, that which is sufficient to make them so: the particular and sinister interest, and the situation in life, which gives them (such of them as are not rulers) the faculty of serving by confederacy with such as are rulers, that same sinister interest.

Of the expense of government, every part which has for its effect or its object, the affording to the few gratification in which the many cannot participate, is so much of the corruptive fund employed in gaining over the aristocratical classes, and obtaining their support and assistance in the depredation and oppression exercised on the many.

To the other ingredients of the corruption-fund may be added, everything that goes by the name of grace and favour: admission to places to which others would not be admitted: admission to more convenient or more honourable situations in places in which persons in general are admitted: opportunities of purchasing this or that object of desire with more certainty, or upon terms more advantageous, than those on which persons at large can obtain them.

Corruption has place where, by means of some benefit to himself, a functionary is made to violate his trust.

On this occasion, the following points must be considered, namely:—

1. The sinister effect produced, viz. mischief in some shape or other to the public service.

2. The nature of the benefit, or say, the sinister benefit, received.

3. The person corrupted,—say the corruptee.

4. The hand by which the sinister benefit is received, namely, the corruptee’s own or some other.

5. The person benefited by the sinister effect—say the corruptor.

6. The immediately corrupting hand by which the sinister benefit is applied.

7. The relative time at which the sinister benefit is received: relation had to the time at which the sinister effect is produced: namely, consequent or antecedent.

8. The motive by the operation of which, on the mind of the individual corrupted, the corruption, and thence the sinister effect, is produced.

1. As to the sinister effect of the corruption: This considered in its general complexion, is violation of the trust in question: of the trust, correspondent to the power, with which in virtue of his office, the functionary on whom the corruption operates, is invested; or if the functions be no other than such by the exercise of which no power is exercised,—the duties attached to the situation of the corruptee. The object here proposed, being the keeping as far as possible excluded, corruption wherever it is liable to have entrance, or at any rate the keeping excluded as far as possible whatever evil effects it is pregnant with, the effect must to this purpose be presumed to be in every case, evil: in what particular shape, will depend upon the particular nature of the function attached to the office whatsoever it be, and the correspondent trusts or duties of which the violation is produced.

2. As to the nature of the benefit. This may be good in any of its shapes. The matter of corruption is accordingly the matter of good in any of its shapes, considered as employed to this sinister purpose. For examples of the shapes in which the matter of good is at the disposition of governments or individuals, take the several external instruments of felicity in all their shapes: including money, power, factitious dignity, ease at the expense of official duty, vengeance at the expense of justice.

In the idea of good in all its shapes, is included the idea of evil in all its shapes. How so? Because whatever be the shape in which it is possible for evil to show itself, the exclusion or removal of it, is a correspondent good: and in the same way, under the idea of evil in all its shapes, is included the idea of good in all its shapes.

Good may accordingly be divided and distinguished into positive and negative. Positive good, is good not consisting in the absence or removal of evil: negative good is good consisting in the exclusion or removal of evil.

Punishment may therefore in this way be made and accordingly is made an instrument of corruption. Give a man to understand that if he will not render the sinister service he will be punished; but that if he does render it, he shall remain unpunished: the non-application of the punishment has the effect of reward. Where the instrument is in both cases the same, as in the case of money, and the magnitude of it equal, the actuating force of punishment is much greater than that of reward. Aggregate value of a man’s property say £100. Give him £50, you do not produce near so much enjoyment, as you do suffering by taking from him that same sum: the ratio of £100 to £50 is twice as great as the ratio of £150 to £100. Give him £100, still further are you from producing on his part as much enjoyment as you would suffering, by taking from him that same sum: you in this case take from him his all: scarcely by giving him £1000, would you produce so much enjoyment, as you would suffering by so stripping him. Man is susceptible of pain in greater quantities than pleasure.

Considered as forming part and parcel of the matter of corruption, a benefit requires to be distinguished into that which is irrevocable and that which is revocable. In the case where it is irrevocable, the effective, or say corruptive, force with which it operates, is that only which belongs to it in the quality of matter of reward. In the case in which it is revocable, the corruptive force with which it operates is that which belongs to it in the character of matter of punishment. By giving to a man an eventually permanent benefit, of which you reserve to yourself the power of depriving him at pleasure, you invest yourself with a power of inflicting punishment—you place him in a state of dependence and subjection to that same power. As to the creation of such a power, it is an evil altogether inevitable: for without power of dislocation on the one part, and dislocability on the other, no tolerably efficient security for appropriate aptitude on the part of subordinates, can be established. But for excluding the abuse of it no securities which the nature of the case admits of can be superfluous.

To this head belongs the case of pardons, and the exercise of mercy, which has been considered elsewhere.

3. The corruptee: namely a public functionary of any grade in any department, at whose hands the sinister service is thus obtained: whether his function has power in any shape attached to it or not.

4. The immediately receiving hand—the hand by which, without the intervention of any other, the sinister and corruptive benefit is received. This may be that of the corruptee or any other: of any other person whatsoever, if connected with the corruptee by any tie of self-regarding interest, or though it be but sympathetic interest. For example, a son of the corruptee, or any other person who is in such sort in the dependence of the corruptee, that but for the sinister benefit thus received, the corruptee would, at his own expense, have had to make provision to the same or any part of the amount. Or even an ever so-perfectly-independent friend; for so long as sympathy has place between man and man, the sinister effect of corruption may be produced as fully by a benefit conferred on a person other than the corruptee, as by a benefit conferred on the corruptee himself.

This or that man who would not be won by a benefit offered to him for himself, might be won by a benefit, especially if conferred in a manner called handsome, on a friend.

5. Corruptor or corruptors: parties by whom the benefit from the sinister effect is reaped.

On each occasion these may be distinguished into special corruptor or corruptors, and corruptor or corruptors-general. Special corruptors are those by whom the benefit on the occasion of this or that individual transaction is reaped. Corruptors-general are those by whom the benefit from the whole system of corruption taken in the aggregate is reaped.

In every political state the whole body of public functionaries constituting the supreme operative, require to be considered in the character of corruptors and corruptees: at the best, they are at all times exposed to the temptation of being so, and in a greater or less degree are sure to be made to yield to that temptation. In a republic the sinister effect of that temptation is capable of being confined within bounds—within such bounds as will exclude all practical evil. Under that form of government the constitutive authority is placed over the supreme operative, with dislocative power with relation to it, as well as locative.

Between the corruptors and the corruptees, the distinction is not very easy to trace out and delineate. In an absolute monarchy, the corruptor and corruptee may be said to be one. For the monarch or corruptor-general has in one hand the whole mass of the instruments of felicity; and in the other, he lodges them all for his own use: sacrificing to his own expectation of happiness, the happiness of the people at large. But, as by his own hand alone no such sinister sacrifice could be made, hence the necessity he is under of applying more or less of the matter of good in his hands to the making of corruptees.

In the case of a mixed monarchy, the distinction shows itself most clearly.

6. The immediately corrupting hand:—the hand by which, without the intervention of any other, the sinister benefit is applied to the receiving hand. This may be the hand of him, by whom, on the particular occasion in question, the sinister benefit is received, or any other. With relation to the sinister effect, whether it be the one or the other, will of course make no difference.

7. The relative time at which the sinister benefit is received: namely, before or after the production of the sinister effect,—the rendering of the sinister service on the part of the corruptee.

Relation had to this point, the receipt of the matter of corruption may be said to be antecedential or consequential.

According as it belongs to the one or to the other of these two descriptions, the inducement, or say, the motive by which, on the part of the corruptee, the sinister service, the sinister effect is produced, is, it will be seen, of a very different description.

8. The inducement, or say, the motive or motives by which, on the mind of the corruptee, the sinister service and with it the sinister effect, is produced.

This will be altogether different, according as the receipt of the sinister benefit, in respect of relative time, is antecedential or consequential as above.

Of the two cases, the simplest is that where the receipt is consequential: in this case, the determining motive is expectation, or hope of the benefit in question. Where the receipt is precedential, the determining motive will generally be gratitude, and sometimes the fear of the reproach of ingratitude, or of perfidy.

If the views of the legislator do not comprehend corruption in all its possible shapes, as well or better might he leave it untouched altogether: for, whatsoever be the shapes to which the arrangements made by him do so extend, to those will it betake itself and operate with effect.

The two shapes or forms—the consequential and the antecedential, are apt to have place and operate together in the same case: indeed it is not often that they are found separate. In so far as they are separate, of that in which the remuneration is regarded as consequent to the corrupt service rendered, the efficiency is obviously much more assured and discernible. In this surest case, it is altogether by expectation that it is produced. From this one circumstance flow several important results.

To produce every bad effect of corruption, there needs not any special act of corruption. There sits a person who has good things in abundance at his disposal, and who has an interest in disposing of them in a certain way, namely, in favour of such persons as, by their agency, contribute to the accomplishment of a certain end. An individual observes what passes and acts accordingly. By his agency he contributes to that end: why? because in consequence and consideration of the doing so, he expects to receive some good thing or other, in the character of a reward. Whether at the hands of the person in question, he actually receives any such good thing, makes not to this purpose any difference.

In a certain state of things, to produce the effect of corruption, no corruptor, other than the corrupted person himself, is necessary. In virtue of a pre-established state or order of things, a sinister effect to the community at large, and a beneficial one to himself, follows from an act, the performance of which lies within his own competence. Thus in the case of the war, commenced by the monarch without any previous declaration, he, by a pre-established arrangement, and by means of his legal instruments, received the net amount of the depredation.

This is the simplest case, where the expectation or hope of the benefit in question is the determining motive, or say, inducement. The moving pleasure, is the pleasure produced by the contemplation of the pleasures which the possession will, it is expected, afford: accompanied as the contemplation is, with the belief more or less intense, of their future existence.

Suppose a functionary who has an office at his disposal. He locates in it an indisputably unapt individual, from whom, however, a bribe is expected: and afterwards in consideration of, and recompense for, the benefit thus conferred, the functionary receives a sum of money, which is, in this case, called a bribe; or suppose a legislator, meaning a person having a share in the legislative power, in the expectation of receiving for himself or friend a lucrative office at the hands of a minister, who (for the purpose of adding to the number of good things at his disposal) is bringing about an unjust war, gives his vote in favour of the war, and receives the office accordingly; or suppose an elector in the expectation of receiving a certain sum of money at the hands of a candidate for a seat in the legislature, delivers his vote for that same candidate, and thereupon afterwards receives the money.

In all these cases, the cause by which the sinister effect is produced, is the pleasure of expectation, by the contemplation of the good eventually expected,—the desire of that same good—the good itself not being yet in possession—in a word, by hope.

In the case where the receipt is precedential, the motive or inducement must be of quite a different stamp. With relation to the individual benefit in question, hope it cannot be: for, by possession, expectation has been crowned and terminated.

Suppose the sinister service rendered: the act must have had for its cause one of the following, namely:—

1. Gratitude, meaning the sentiment of gratude: sympathy for the corruptor,—the benefactor,—sympathy produced by the contemplation of the enjoyment received from his benevolent, effective, and beneficent hands.

2. Fear of the reproach of ingratitude, namely, in the event of the non-rendering the sinister service, for the obtainment of which, the sinister benefit has been conferred on the one part, received on the other. If, in so far as in a case of this sort, that which is called ingratitude is the subject of reproach, it is because this is one of the points on which the force of the public-opinion tribunal has been made to operate in a direction unfavourable to the greatest happiness of the greatest number: namely, by a judgment, which has for its cause sinister interest on the part of the aristocratical section of that tribunal, and relative ignorance on the part of the more numerous or democratical section. Gratitude at large, is a sentiment which, in every other breast, (not to speak of his own,) every individual, in proportion as he understands his interest, sees it to be his interest to cherish: in gratitude for past kindnesses, he will see the source of future ones. But for a misdeed, to the prejudice of the whole community, service rendered to an individual is no justification.

3. Fear of the reproach of perfidy. In so far as the acting in the way in question, towards the production of the sinister effect, is regarded as matter of moral obligation, in requital for the sinister benefit, the whole transaction on both sides being considered as forming the subject-matter of a contract, superadded to the reproach of ingratitude, will on this same occasion, be the reproach of perfidy. Men ought to requite services, is a general rule. Men ought still more punctually to requite services, when engaged for by contract, is another general rule. Unbounded in its extent is the benefit derived from the observance of both these general rules. Either of them would suffice for the destruction of society, were it not narrowed by certain exceptions. But the good from the observance of the general rule, meets the eye much oftener than does the evil from the non-observance of the exceptions. In whatsoever shape or degree an act is mischievous, an engagement to bear a part in the commission of it, does not do away the mischievousness of it.

Great and nearly irresistible has been, and is but just ceasing to be, the influence of the members of the aristrocatical section of the public-opinion tribunal, over the minds of the members of the democratical section: not only the influence derived from power—the influence of will on will; but the influence derived from knowledge, the influence of understanding on understanding. On every part of the field of action, have the subject many found themselves under the necessity of deriving their conceptions and their judgments, from the reports made to them, by the ruling and influential few: and with no exception, capable as yet of operating with any considerable influence, have these reports contained anything but what was false, and in effect, if not in intention, delusive, causing the people to regard as conducive to their interests, those practices which were most adverse to those same interests: practices having for their effect the establishment of misrule, and of corruption as an efficient cause of it.

As in the case of mutually beneficial and innoxious engagements, mischief and vice consists in the breach of them, so in the case of those so extensively noxious engagements, does mischief and vice consist in their observance. Of the non-observance of a class of engagements, the ultimate effect is—that the practice of entering into such engagements is at an end. This is exactly the result conducive to human happiness—the result desirable in the case of all preponderantly noxious engagements. If, for example, notwithstanding all engagements, no favours were by any possessor of patronage ever obtained at the hands of any member of the legislative body, nor therefore at the hands of a majority of that body, no part of his patronage would ever be made to take that direction: it would be applied, the whole of it, to his own particular purposes, good or bad, whichever they happened to be: but, at any rate, it would not be applied to that worst of bad purposes, causing the legislative to add depredation to depredation, and oppression to oppression, by giving constantly increasing patronage, and undisturbed impunity, to the executive.

Of all the members of the community, taken in the aggregate, it is therefore no less decidedly their interest, that in regard to all such noxious engagements, unfaithfulness should be entire, than it is, that in regard to all preponderantly beneficial ones, observance and faithfulness should be entire.

From sense of interest come all notions of honour. There are, says a common observation, notions of honour among thieves. How should it be otherwise? Gangs of robbers could not have existence unless engagements between member and member, for the purpose of the common pursuit, had existence.

But if by fidelity to honest engagements between man and man, entered into for an innoxious purpose, the happiness of mankind is promoted,—so by fidelity to engagements between thief and thief, entered into for the purpose of thieving, the happiness of mankind is diminished.

Of the matter of corruption, the elements may be distinguished into the immediately applying and the unimmediately applying. By those which are immediately applying, understand those which are themselves among the objects of general desire, or to which some of those same objects are attached: those the application of which is unimmediate, are those in which the immediate objects have their source.

Of those which are unimmediate, the most fruitful by far are, wars and distant dependencies. Wars and distant dependencies beget offices: offices, corrupt obsequiousness: corrupt obsequiousness on the part of all who seek them, as towards all who give them.

Wars are alike employable in all monarchies. Distant dependencies are peculiar to those which are in possession of a quantity more or less considerable of naval force.

Where, as in the latter case, situation is favourable, these sources of corruptive influence are necessarily productive of each other. Never can war take place, but the quantity of the matter of corruption must increase: successful or unsuccessful, this is among the number of the effects of it. Be it ever so unsuccessful, it makes addition to the number of offices: of military offices, obviously: and in the train of military offices, come civil ones. In so far as credit has place, it adds to the quantity of public debt, and of the taxes imposed for the payment of the interest of it. Public debt requires offices for the payment of it: taxes require offices for the extraction of them. In a monarchy possessing distant dependencies, if a war in which it is engaged, proves successful, an addition to the extent or number of those dependencies, is a natural and frequent consequence of the success. To every other such government, each such dependency is an object of envy, and among all together a bone of contention: hence it is, that as war begets distant dependencies, so do distant dependencies beget wars.

In both these instances, diametrically opposite to the universal interest, is that particular interest by which in every monarchy the rulers are so uniformly governed. No war has there ever been by which the citizen subjects have not been losers: no war has there ever been by which their rulers have not been gainers. No distant dependency, by the possession of which the people at whose expense it has been acquired, are not losers: no such possession by which the rulers, by whom whether acquired or no it is retained, are not gainers.

In the literature of most states may be seen a sort of periodical work, in which is represented the state of the official establishment: the offices that have place in the state, being designated by their respective titles, with or without a designation, complete or incomplete, of the masses of emolument and other objects of desire respectively attached to them, and the individuals by whom, at the time of the publication in question, these offices are respectively possessed. In these books may be seen the matter, the maximization of which has in every government but one, been hitherto the primary, not to say the sole end of government, in the breasts of the respective rulers.

For bringing to view the influence of the matter of corruption upon public functionaries, the shortest course that can be pursued is to commence with that mass which, in a mixed and limited monarchy, is in the hands of the monarch: from thence a conception of the extent and operation of it, in inferior hands, may be formed without difficulty.

In its composition it includes all those external instruments of felicity which constitute the necessary instruments of government, together with those which not being needed nor capable of having place but under a bad government, are exclusively the produce of a bad government. In addition to power and money, it accordingly includes factitious honour and dignity, vengeance and official ease.

These objects, not only does the monarch possess and employ for his own gratification, but he possesses the faculty of making communication of them to all those who occupy in relation to him, the situation either of instruments or favourites.

Prodigious is the quantity of public money a man may receive—receive and, in a certain sense, convert to his own use, if he can but content himself with receiving it by any hand other than his own: prodigious in proportion, the power he may thus exercise: prodigious the degree of servility and baseness he may thus surround himself with: prodigious the contribution he may be able to make to the treasury of public mischief and misrule. No part of the money thus received being seen to go, nor perhaps actually going, into his own purse, the consequence is—that to any amount the praise of disinterestedness may be attached to the career of rapacity thus run, the praise of independence to a course the most abject and dependent.

The influence exercised over those who are actually partakers in the good things conferred by it, is inconsiderable, in comparison with that exercised over those who never receive any share in it. In the train of one single possessor there is no saying how many expectants are attached.

Numerous, in many cases, are the links, one beneath another, in what may be termed the chain of patronage or dependence. By the monarch an office is conferred, to which is attached the power of placing, with reference to, suppose twenty offices: to each of which such offices, is attached the power of placing, with relation to twenty more offices, and so on: and to the possessor of every office in each such rank, is attached a swarm of expectants, as above.

Of these good things, so great is the variety, that there is something capable of suiting every taste, and among them are those with which a man may suit himself, and at the same time be receiving the praise of disinterestedness. Those whom no lucrative places may gain over, a ribbon may subdue.

If with relation to the individuals, on whom it operates, the power in question were confined to the placing of them in the several desirable situations, vast would be the influence exercised by it. But in relation to no small portion of the aggregate (probably the largest proportion) is annexed the power of displacing. But in comparison with the power of displacing, the power of placing is comparatively trifling. In the mere power of placing, no power of punishment is included. In the power of displacing, with reference to a situation of the kind in question, is included a power of punishment far superior in its effect, to any power commonly exercised under that name. Excessive would be deemed (and on that account interdicted by the bill of rights) a pecuniary punishment, by which a man in England should be deprived of a situation equal in value to the least valuable situation in any of the government boards.

Not till after trial, nor without conviction, can any punishment which is called punishment be inflicted. No conviction, no trial is requisite in the other case: without opportunity of defence, without exposure to the eye of the public-opinion tribunal, without a moment’s warning, it may be inflicted at any time.

It enjoys to a prodigious degree an exemption from the controlling power of the public-opinion tribunal: that power to the operation of which, the exercise of coercive power is in a much greater degree subjected.

For the production of any corruption aimed at, no act on the part of the corrupter-general is necessary, Therefore no act is there, to which disapprobation can attach itself.

This unofficial judicatory is scarcely less subject to his corruptive influence than are the official judicatories. Nothing can he ever do, or abstain from doing,—no course, on any occasion, can his actions take, but laudation and admiration follow it, and attach upon it. Laud is bestowed upon him, for everything he parts with, and for everything he keeps in his own hands, especially if and in so far as, others are let in to a participation of the benefit of it. Not an article can he consume or use for his own personal gratification, but from various quarters, praise follows him for what is done. In the first place come all those who derive a profit from the supplying him with it, or hope to do so with similar articles. To act thus, is called conferring a benefit on trade, and in the pleasure of conferring this public benefit, he is said to find his only motive. By every such act, he moreover adds to the splendour and lustre of the crown and the throne: and by all to whom the constitution is an object of attachment, the necessity of this splendour and this lustre is a fundamental and unquestionable article.

If, and as often as, money or money’s worth to any amount is parted with by him, without any immediate receipt or expectation of an equivalent in any determinate shape, or at any determinate time, the field of praise receives another great enlargement. Then in full chorus may be heard joining, all those to whom munificence generosity and liberality, are objects of sympathy and admiration. Not a particle of money can he thus give, which has not been extorted from unwilling contributors, not a particle can he give, which will not be reimbursed to him in the same manner. In his situation, not a particle can he ever give, which is not given at the expense of others. But his case is confounded with that of those benefactors, who have no means of giving but at their own expense. Of a half-starved beggar, who should share a penny just received from the hand of casual charity, with another in the same condition, the so dearly exercised beneficence would remain unknown and unapplauded: and even though it were universally known, faint is the applause that would be vouchsafed to self-denying liberality when exercised on so minute a scale. To help to gain a million sterling for paying debts already contracted, and make way for contracting more, suppose a monarch promising to the public a collection of books, purchased at the public expense, of no use to the purchaser, and of no determinate and assignable use to anybody else—the praises of royal munificence will be sounded in the assembly of the legislature, and echoed wherever the fame of the virtue reaches.

As to the prevention or even diminution of corruption, nothing in a government so constituted can be more plainly or everlastingly impossible. Of all arrangements employed for the professed purpose of excluding it, or diminishing it, by means of punishment, the effect, if any, is to give increase to it, or to increase the mischievousness of it.

The only case to which punishment can attach to it, is that where a direct bargain is made. But in the case of any such bargain, the quantity of mischief will have its express limits: put out of the case the bargain, the quantity will be unlimited. The greater the service I render to the giver of good gifts, the greater is the value of the good gifts which I may reasonably expect to receive. Such is the reasoning which, in a breast so situated, can never fail to be made.

At the same time by the profession and apparent endeavours thus made to put an end to a practice, to the increase of which, or at least the maintenance, all real endeavours are directed, the effect if any, is to give strength to the delusion employed, to secure submission to the misrule. By no man can support have been given to any such pretended or supposed remedy, without proof made of inaptitude opposite to one or other branch of appropriate aptitude: in case of insincerity, of the branch opposite to moral aptitude: in case of sincerity, of the branch opposite to intellectual aptitude.

In a pure monarchy, (it has been already stated,) the operation of corruption has little place, in comparison with what it has in a mixed and limited monarchy.

There is no subject-matter for it to work upon. In a mixed and limited monarchy, this subject-matter is essentially present. This subject-matter is the body which represents, or is dealt with as if it represented, the people, and which as such is let in for a share in the exercise of the sovereign power of legislation. Without the concurrence of this body, the sinister desires of the monarch cannot receive their gratification: with that concurrence they may do so to an unlimited extent. But in an unmixed and unlimited monarchy, they may and do receive their gratification to an unlimited extent, without the concurrence of any such body: for no such body has place in it.

Not that even in the most unlimited monarchy, corruption is without its influence, nor therefore altogether without its use. It contributes to the mass of that sinister influence, but for which many, whom it has the effect of preventing, might otherwise embrace the cause of the universal interest.

In England, in virtue of the pre-established harmony, so long as the Constitution stands, corruption with its etceteras is predestinated to go on in a state of perpetual advance: never to be stationary, much less retrograde.

In this or that department an enormous abuse is brought to light. A member in opposition moves for papers to serve as documents with a view to the moving for a committee to inquire and report. On this occasion, till of late years, the practice was to resist the inquiry in limine—to refuse the papers. This practice continues at present; but upon the whole, such a facility in the granting them has place as forms a striking contrast with the ultimate result.

The case is, and so it has been found, that on this ground, in relation to their own sinister interest, the government cannot do wrong. If the papers are refused all subsequent trouble is saved: though they gain nothing, yet nothing do they lose: for as to reputation of probity for this long time none have they had to lose. If the papers are granted, then instead of loss comes positive gain of abuse. Of the mass of abuse a portion more or less considerable is brought to light: placed in so strong a glare as to be wholly uncontrovertible. Now comes the season of candour. The seat of the abuse being in the misconduct of the subordinates of government, it belongs to government to rectify what is amiss in the conduct of those its subordinates. A commission is now wanted: a commission, i.e. a set of commissioners, all of them of course named in one or other of two ways, by government. But this being a public service—a service of considerable labour—a labour too, the quantity of which will naturally be apt to increase with the quantity of abuse, remuneration becomes necessary: it being without example that, in some shape or other, it should not be given, it is given as of course, no argument being regarded as necessary to be produced in support of it: the only argument, if any, regards the quantum and the shape.

As to the modes of nominating these commissioners, there are two; by the Crown, or by Parliament: by the Crown, is by the Ministry in their closet; by the Parliament, is by the Ministry in the House of Commons; the result being equally at command in both instances, a question that naturally occurs is, wherein can consist the difference? what is it that should render it an object to either party, that either course should be chosen in preference to the other?

To give the answer, another distinction must be brought to view. In the number of these commissioners it is thought or not thought advisable by government to place a member of Parliament: a member of Parliament, i. e. one who is already of the number of their own adherents, or one who by this means is to be made so. If there be no member of Parliament, all they get by the business is the confirmation of the abuse, the impunity of those concerned in it, and the increase given to the quantity of the matter of corruption employed as such: if a member of Parliament, who was not before of the number of their adherents, is put into the commission; in that case, they get the additional advantage of this addition to their list.

In every political state, in which there exists a legislative body with an executive authority in other hands, there are two parties in the representative body: one composed of persons by whom the sweets of office are either possessed or expected to be received: call these the Ins. Another composed of those, by whom no expectation of favour in that shape is entertained, and whose whole course is accordingly directed, in the endeavour to gain possession of the aggregate mass of those sweets of office, and to that end, to the putting out of possession, the actual possessors: these are the Outs.

The Outs are not less in an unquestionable state of dependence than the Ins: nor in their case is the dependence less corruptive than in the other. In the state of the dependence, there is indeed some difference in the two cases. In the case of the Ins, the individuals on whom the dependence is, are more determinate: in the case of the Outs, less determinate. Still, however, neither in the nature of the dependence, nor (except in regard to the degree of corruptive efficiency) in its effects, is there in the two cases any difference.

In both situations, the temptation to yield to, and be determined by, the sinister influence, applies to every individual member: nor in the instance of any one such individual, on any occasion, can the probability of his resisting it, and not being determined by it, be asserted.

At the same time, it is on both sides, on all public occasions a universal practice of every individual, not only to deny the actual prevalence of the corruptive influence in question on each particular occasion, but the possibility of its prevalence on any occasion in his instance.

In denying the existence of this prevalence, the sort of phrase commonly employed is that by which purity of motives is professed.

True it is, that on this or that occasion, thus much it may be competent to a man (always on the supposition, that by the nature of the motives by which his conduct is determined, the merits of the question are in some determinate way affected,) to make known and thence to assert, namely,—that on the occasion in question, he does not stand exposed to sinister interest in any shape; or if there be any shape, in which he is exposed to sinister interest, that sinister interest has for its counterpoise, a right and proper interest, by which it is overpowered.

When the phrase corruptive influence is employed, it is by the laws and institutions themselves that the corruptive influence must be said to have been applied: applied to the individual in such manner as to have given birth to the sinister effect.

Dear in this case, it may be imagined how dear, both to corrupters and corrupted, are these same laws and institutions.

In this case it is not common for complaints of corruption to have place to any considerable extent: in general scarcely is it seen, or so much as suspected, that in consequence of this state of things, any considerable mischief has place: every man, as early as he has been taught anything, having been taught to regard as objects of the most prostrate veneration and the most boundless confidence, those same sources and receptacles of corruption—those same instruments of depredation and oppression.

At the same time this is the case in which mischief has place in a quantity, greater by far than in the opposite case. It has place to a greater extent, and throughout the whole of its extent it is effectually out of the reach of all cure, or even of restraint; for no one individual is perceptible on whom it is possible, without the appearance of injustice, to fix in any shape the imputation of blame.

But if neither open accusation, nor so much as secret imputation, can have place, still less can remedy in any shape have place. So far, therefore, as the corruption has place in this shape, the system of misrule by means of corruption may be said to have been raised to the very pinnacle of perfection.

The greater the extent to which corruption in this shape has place, the more conclusively probative is the circumstantial evidence by which it is proved, that on the part of the persons exercising in chief the powers of government, (and by whom, in the whole or in part, the profit from the mass of corruption thus constituted has been reaped,) the corruption that has place, is the fruit of design: that they know what they are about, and are fully conscious of the evil that has place, and that they, by being supporters, are, for the time being, authors of it.

In this case the corruption may be said to be single-seated: or, borrowing an expression from botany, monœcious. The persons thus corrupted, namely the persons reaping the sinister and dishonest profit, may be said to be self-corruptors, self-corrupted: and a species of misdeed styled self-corruption may be said to have place and to be habitually committed.

Where the corruption is double-seated, or say diœcious, the nature of it is more easily conceived. In this case the corruption is reciprocal: by the corruptor and the corruptee a sinister benefit is either reaped or expected to be reaped.

Self-corruption always has place, in the case where the two powers, legislative in chief, and executive in chief, have place in one and the same hand.

This is as truly a case of corruption as that where it is double-seated: by the hand of power a benefit is reaped, and it is at the expense and by the sacrifice of the universal interest that it is reaped. With how much more facility the sinister private benefit, is in this case reaped, than in the other case, and the sinister public effect produced, is sufficiently manifest.

In the present case, there is no room for self-corruption in the highest grades: by the supposition, the legislative power is in one set of hands, the power of patronage in another.

In any one of these two departments, self-corruption may have place. In the executive, a superordinate, to save himself from providing at his own expense for a son of his, places him, though unapt, in a situation under him. This is as truly an instance of corruption, as if to a stranger he had sold the place for what it would bring, and put the money into his own pocket: the prime minister, for example, appoints a coward or drunken son to the command of an army.

Being engaged in the carrying on a manufacture, or having a son or other near relative of his who is so engaged, an influential member induces the Legislature to pass a probative or restrictive law, having for its object, the preventing the rest of the community from being supplied, with the sort of article in question, in better quality, or on cheaper terms. Behold here, an instance of self-corruption in the Legislature.

In the Judiciary department, the whole mass of that spurious sort of law which goes by the name of unwritten or common law, is the product of self-corruption. The judicial power entrusted to the Judges, is employed in lodging legislative power in their own hands. To the field of this power, scarce are there any assignable limits: scarcely is it distinguishable from that of the legislative. By means of it the Parliament of Paris, in the middle of the seventeenth century, contended with the Regent for the Sovereignty.

If power were all, and power had no tendency to beget money, here would be matter of corruption abundantly sufficient to produce the sinister effect. But wherever there is power, money cannot fail to follow it. Under the name of fees, Judges impose taxes on the suitors, denying protection and security against injury to all those who are not able to pay those taxes—that is to say, the vast majority of the inhabitants of the state. Formerly, the head judicatory in France, the Parliament of Paris, set such a price upon their definitive judgments that, for want of customers, they found themselves under the necessity of giving it up in particular instances, by selling a something at much less than an equivalent, as they could make it on cheaper terms. In Scotland, the Court of Session, taking French judicature for their example, have followed in this particular the same course.

By this in England have been produced the enormous emoluments of the higher judges: and thence the denial of what is called justice both in England and Ireland.

By the supreme and acknowledged Legislature, acting and acknowledged in that character, this usurpation is connived at.

Thus much as to the incurable nature of corruption: now as to the extent given to its influence. Observe the several classes which, by the nature of their situations, are subjected to the operation of it:

1. The several members of the legislature: and in the instance of every one of them, every individual who has, or supposes himself to have, any connexion with him, by any adequate tie of self-regarding, or though it be but sympathetic interest.

2. The several connexions, in like manner, of the administrative chief himself.

3. The several ministers, heads of the several departments of the administration, with their several clusters of connexions, as above.

4. All individuals who look either to the prime minister, or to any of the sub-ministers, or to any of their subordinates having locative power, with reference to official situations under them—these and their several connexions.

Let it not be said—this, then, is an objection against a representative democracy. For, suppose any other form of government, the case is beyond comparison worse.

Although the complete exclusion of corruption is too much to hope for, what is not too much to hope for is, the bringing it about to a degree less than it exists at present even in the United States: and though it were never to be reduced to an inferior degree, if it could but be brought down to that degree in every political state, a reduction to that extent might be contemplated with exultation by a lover of mankind.

For reducing its evil effects to a minimum, several arrangements present themselves: one consists in reducing to its minimum the quantity of the matter of good capable of operating in the character of matter of corruption: another, in providing a terminative remedy, by giving, as above, to the constitutive, the power of removing from the establishment unapt members, in any number, as soon as may be after their inaptitude has become, in the judgment of that authority, sufficiently manifest. A third expedient consists in the bringing to bear, in undiminished force, the power of the public-opinion tribunal upon the conduct of the individual by whom, in each instance, the location is performed: vesting the power of location in the hands of a single functionary, and no more than one, much less in any such large number as shall constitute what in England is called a Board.

This last arrangement, if adopted, would put an exclusion upon the administrative, that is to say, upon the locative branch of he power of the senate in the constitution of the United States.

Thus in act, every form of government, except where the only possible antiseptic system is applied, and in tendency, even where it is applied, the whole official establishment is a corruptive establishment. To establish the constitution, is to establish a system of corruption by law. Well, and with strict truth, may it be said to be by law: for by constitutional law it is planted, and by penal law it is supported and maintained; and by law in neither ever has been, nor is, nor ever can be, excluded.



The process of delusion may be considered either with reference to the class of persons operated on by it, or with reference to the instruments by which, or by means of which, the operation is performed, and the effect produced.

The class of persons on whom the most important corruptive influence operates, are the representatives of the people: the class of persons on whom the most important effects of delusive influence are performed, are the people themselves. Not that in the case of corruptive influence the effects do not spread far and wide among the people: not that in the case of delusive influence its effects are not, to an extent more or less considerable, produced on the representatives themselves. Essentially and mutually concomitant, during the whole of that progress, these two supporters of misrule go hand in hand, and increase the force and efficiency of each other. But of corruption, the principal and direct use is, to engage the representatives of the people to betray their trust, and sell themselves and the people to the universal corrupter—the monarch, in his capacity of corrupter-general: of delusion, the principal and direct use is, to engage the people to acquiesce in the breach of trust, and submit to be sold, oppressed, and plundered.

The instruments by which delusion may be produced, in company with corruption, are principally of that sort which operate by some special association which they have with the condition of the great pampered ruler: of this sort are the trappings of monarchy: fruits or indications of the matchless opulence so constantly attached to supreme power when placed in a single hand: the gorgeous palaces, the glittering throne, and still more glittering crown. Only as examples can these elements serve; for the multitude and variety of them is inexhaustible.

The objects of delusion are, to cause men to take an improper end for the proper end of government: and to entertain erroneous conceptions respecting the dispositions of the persons exercising the powers of government.

For this purpose, discourse is employed, of the laudatory kind, applied indiscriminately to all persons participating in the exercise of the powers of government: the praise rising according as the place assigned to the person in question rises in the scale of excellence; that is, according to the money, power, and factitious honour attached to it. Thus the character always attributed to the monarch of England is—most excellent, most gracious, most religious, and most sacred.

To this head belong those discourses by which credence is endeavoured to be gained for those false conceptions which have been brought to view, namely, that by which the happiness of this almost superhuman person is stated as an apt object of regard and solicitude, to the exclusion or preference of the happiness of all besides: that by which the happiness of all besides is represented as being, to the exclusion of his own, or in preference to his own, the object of his regard.

Amongst the instruments of delusion employed for reconciling the people to the dominion of the one and the few, is the device of employing for the designation of persons, and classes of persons, instead of the ordinary and appropriate denominations, the names of so many abstract fictitious entities, contrived for the purpose. Take the following examples:

Instead of Kings, or the King,—the Crown and the Throne.

Instead of Churchman,—the Church, and sometimes the Altar.

Instead of Lawyers,—the Law.

Instead of Judges, or a Judge,—the Court.

Instead of Rich men, or the Rich,—Property.

Of this device, the object and effect is, that any unpleasant idea that in the mind of the hearer or reader might happen to stand associated with the idea of the person or the class, is disengaged from it: and in the stead of the more or less obnoxious individual or individuals, the object presented is a creature of the fancy, by the idea of which, as in poetry, the imagination is tickled—a phantom which, by means of the power with which the individual or class is clothed, is constituted an object of respect and veneration.

In the first four cases just mentioned, the nature of the device is comparatively obvious.

In the last case, it seems scarcely to have been observed. But perceived, or not perceived, such, by the speakers in question, has been the motive and efficient cause of the prodigious importance attached by so many to the term property: as if the value of it were intrinsic, and nothing else had any value: as if man were made for property, not property for man. Many, indeed, have gravely asserted, that the maintenance of property was the only end of government.

One of the causes of the delusion which attributes to the higher orders pre-eminence in relative moral aptitude, i. e. in effective benevolence, is the association by which men are led to regard a man’s benevolence as being in proportion to his beneficence.

Were this, or any thing like it, the true ratio, or in any degree approaching to the truth, the richest would have, against the poorest, a complete monopoly: in the merit constituted by the possession of this quality, the poorest would be altogether without a share.

England contains several individuals, whose incomes respectively have been between £50,000 a-year, and £200,000. Suppose any such opulentist disposed to employ his money in the purchase of praise, and to employ 10,000 a-year in the purchase of it, what bounds could be set to the quantity he could command of it?

A man who has but twenty pounds a-year to live on, suppose him disposed to expend a tenth part of his income in the purchase of this brilliant commodity, how much would he be able to get for it?

Would you see effective benevolence in perfection,—look to the shillings, sixpences, and pence, given to the men who have been persecuted for the cause of the people. In the hearts of the givers, if anywhere, would you find effective benevolence.

Compare with their offerings the offerings made by men who, while overflowing in wealth and luxury, yet pretend affection for the same cause.

Other causes of delusion are—arrogance in official language: display of irresistible power: pretence to superior appropriate aptitude in any of its branches. In particular, pretence to matchless wisdom: of matchless carefulness for the morality and felicity of subjects. Add to these, peculiarity with or without expensiveness in official habiliments.



By fiction, in the sense in which it is used by lawyers, understand a false assertion of the privileged kind, and which, though acknowledged to be false, is at the same time argued from, and acted upon, as if true.

Belonging to it are various characteristic features.

It has never been employed but to a bad purpose. It has never been employed to any purpose but the affording a justification for something which otherwise would be unjustifiable. No man ever thought of employing false assertions where the purpose might equally have been fulfilled by true ones. By false assertions, a risk at least of disrepute is incurred: by true ones, no such risk.

It is capable of being employed to every bad purpose whatsoever.

It has never been employed but with a bad effect.

It affords presumptive and conclusive evidence of the mischievousness of the act of power in support of which it is employed.

It affords presumptive and conclusive evidence of the inaptitude of the form of government in support of which it is employed, or under which it is suffered to be employed.

It affords presumptive and conclusive evidence of moral turpitude in those by whom it was invented and first employed.

It affords presumptive and conclusive evidence of moral turpitude on the part of all those functionaries, and their supporters, by whom it continues to be employed.

It affords presumptive and conclusive evidence of intellectual weakness, stupidity, and servility, in every nation by which the use of it is quietly endured.

In regard to fiction, two sources of service require to be noted: One is the extent of the sinister service rendered; the other is the extent of the class of persons to whom the service is rendered.

In respect of the extent of the service rendered, the use of fiction may be distinguished into general and particular.

By particular use, understand the particular benefit which, on the occasion of such fiction, results to the class or classes of persons served by it: by the general use, the benefit which accrues to all of them in the aggregate, from the general principle of demoralisation which it contributes to establish: viz. that in regard to human actions in general, right and wrong, proper ground for approbation and disapprobation depends, not on the influence of the action on the greatest happiness of the greatest number, but on the practice, consequently on the will, and thence on the interest, real or supposed, of the aggregate of those same particular classes. Of the establishment of this principle of demoralisation, the object and the effect is—the causing men to behold, not merely with indifference, but even with approbation, in the first place, the perpetration of injustice, and in a word, of political evil in all its shapes; and in the next place, the employing as an instrument in the commission of such mischief, wilful, deliberate, and self-conscious falsehood; in a word, mendacity: the practising on this occasion and for this purpose, that vice which, when, by individuals not armed with power, it is employed to purposes much less extensively mischievous, is by these same men habitually and to a vast extent visited with the severest punishment.

Now as to the extent of the class of persons to whom the sinister service is rendered. In this respect, likewise, the service will require to be distinguished into particular and general. Of the wilful and mischievous falsehoods in question, some will be found in a more particular manner serviceable to the functionaries having the direction of that particular department of government, in the business of which they are employed to the giving augmentation to the arbitrary power of those same rulers: thus enabling them, with the greater efficiency, and to the greater extent, to make sacrifice of the universal interest to their several particular and sinister interests.

In every case, and throughout the whole field of government, these instruments of misrule have had, as they could not but have had, for their fabricators, the fraternity of lawyers: more particularly and obviously such of them as have been invested with official power, principally in the situation and under the name of judges: though, in the unofficial and less formidable characters of writers, authors of reports and treatises, men of the same class have not been wanting in contributing their share.

The situations on which, by means of this instrument of misrule, arbitrary power is to be heaped by those same indefatigable hands, are that of the monarch and that of the judge. On that of the monarch, the chief portion; his being the only permanent one of the two situations, and that to which the subject many were at all times engaged by habit to manifest that obsequiousness on the one part, of which power on the other part is composed.



By the appellation factitious honour, a general conception of what is meant by it will, without difficulty, be brought to view.

By factitious honour understand, honour procured, or endeavoured to be procured, at the hands of the public at large, in favour of some particular individual, by means of some token or tokens, giving an intimation to them to that effect, by the functionary by whom the honour is said to be conferred. On this occasion, a word for the most part interconvertible with honour is dignity. The idea conveyed by the word honour is, however, that of a fictitious entity, extraneous to the individual in question: the idea conveyed by the word dignity, a fictitious entity, a quality, the seat of which is within him.

Dignity is the name given to a quality in the human character. The idea annexed to it seems not to be altogether a very determinate one,—it is that quality which is such, that, by the opinion of its existence, respect is produced on the part of others, as towards him in whom it is regarded as existing. Say, for shortness, dignity is the efficient cause of respect.

The dignity may be styled natural, in so far as the respect, of the tokens of which the possessor is the object, has for its efficient cause the opinion entertained by him who pays it, in relation to the conduct, and thence the frame of mind, of him who is the object of it.

The dignity is factitious in so far as it has for its efficient cause the act of another person: a person other than he in whom the quality is considered as having its existence.

Of this factitious sort the distinctive character is this: namely, that by it respect may be caused to be shown to men in unlimited numbers, to no one of whom, in so far as depends upon his conduct and frame of mind, respect would be paid: to whom, but for the operation by which this dignity is conferred, no respect at all would ever be paid by any one.

For giving of the desired intimation to the public at large signs of various sorts are in use. One sort of sign is of the purely visible sort: of this sort are ensigns of honour; another as being verbal, are at once audible as well as visible: of this sort are the signs called titles of honour.

Titles may be and are unaccompanied with ensigns: ensigns can scarcely exist without corresponding titles. In both forms they may be either purely personal or successional. Of the successional class, the most obvious subclass is the hereditary. Ensigns are not so apt to be successional as titles are.

Howsoever designated, they may be seen standing in some cases singly, in others in a climax of various length: or occupying any number of degrees rising one above another in a scale.

A factitious honour is seen sometimes in conjunction with a lot of power received at the same time with it, as in the case of a member of the English House of Lords: sometimes without power as in the case of a Spanish grandee: sometimes without power but with privilege, as in the case of the titled noblesse of France: sometimes without power or privilege, as in most Christian flations, in the case of the orders of knighthood, which are designated by ensigns that are worn about the person; and in the simple knighthood of England, distinguished by an appellative, but without any ensign worn about the person. When combined with power, in some cases elevation in the climax of honour, carries with it elevation in the climax of power, as in the case of bishoprics and archbishoprics in the English House of Lords. In some cases the honours rise in a climax, the power remaining unvaried, as in the case of the lay lords of the English House of Lords, the power being annexed to the lowest degree in the climax of of honour, termed a barony; while above that rise other degrees in a climax, namely, a viscounty, an earldom, a marquisate, and a dukedom.

In some cases it is or has been seen conjoined with property in land, as in the case of some of the Spanish orders, and also in the case of some English baronies. In others with landed property in the dominions of different states, and a share in the supreme operative power in one state, as in the case of the knights of Malta before the cession of the power to Great Britain, in consequence of the conquest made of the island.

In some cases it is seen conjoined with pensions, as in the case of the French Legion of Honour instituted by Napoleon.

Infinite in number and variety are the compounds of power, privilege, landed property and pecuniary property, in which it is an ingredient. The cases above given, are given as examples only, and to aid conception: in those examples incorrectnesses might probably be found in abundance. With the facts belonging to the subject, folios upon folios have been filled. An analytical view of it, that should be at once clear, correct, and all-comprehensive, would be matter for a work of months; and the whole together, so much paper and time employed in waste. The task would bear a resemblance to that of a set of industrious labourers, who may be seen in London occupied in watching the rubbish and refuse of all sorts, as it is conveyed from the various dwelling-houses, to a spot allotted for the purpose, in carts called dust-carts. The compound is analyzed, and the individuals belonging to the several species of matter collected in heaps. Between the one task and the other, there would be this difference. When rightly assorted, the contents of the dust-cart have all of them their modes and degrees of usefulness: those of the budget of honour, their modes and degrees (as will be seen) of mischievousness.

As to the compounds in which this article is an ingredient, the consideration of them need not add to the trouble; though, in fact, conjoined with the several other articles, in idea there will be no difficulty in keeping it separate.

Primarily-seated, and in an extravasated state,—say in one word, extravasated,—by these two words, the distinction of greatest importance in respect of usefulness or mischievousness, will be brought to view. Primarily-seated, the honour may be said to be, in the instance of the individual on whom, by an appropriate act of power, it has been first conferred: extravasated in the instance of the individual, who, without any additional act of power, has received the honour in virtue of a relation borne by him, in some mode or other, to him on whom it was conferred: genealogical relationship is one of those modes; official is another.

The origin of extravasated reward may be traced to three sources: viz. favouritism, rapacity, and sinister policy: in what proportion they have contributed to the effect cannot in every instance be determined.

In England, seats in the oligarchical body, which, after having been called the council, settled at last under the name of parliament, (a speaking place,) became appendages to the vast portions of territory, which the rapacity of the monarch was, from time to time, obliged to give up to the rapacity of the lesser tyrants, his subordinates.

A time at length arrived, when the prodigality of the monarch having left him no territory with which to satisfy this or that favourite, instead of the title and the seat, with the land, the favourite received the one and the other without land.

As prodigality and rapacity went on their course, all such portions of land, valuable enough to support the expense attendant on a seat, being all gone, and the demand for money being pressing, title and seat were not merely conferred without land, but money was taken for them: they were in a word sold.

When baronies, together with the higher titles in which they are included, first came to be sold, the money, with or without privity and connivance on the part of the monarch, went wholly or principally into the pockets of the brokers in the transaction—the favourites.

The occasion on which, for the first time, the money went avowedly into the pocket of the monarch, was that of the creation of the order of baronets by James I. An appellation, by which these men and their first-born for ever, were confounded with the order of knights—this appellation, with or without title to precedence above knights, was all that the purchasers of the article got for their money, some thousands a-piece: to such a pitch had the fascinating power of this instrument of delusion arrived already in that age.

In a monarchy, so long as there has been either a lawyer or a priest in office under it, (and no monarchy has there ever been without both,) the policy, which consists in the endeavour to cause established vice to be venerated under the name of virtue, has never been neglected.

Man’s elevation in the scale of virtue—real and useful virtue—is, as it has been shown, as his altitude in the conjunct scales of power, opulence, and factitious honour or dignity, not directly, but inversely. But if this which is so incontrovertibly true, were universally or very generally perceived, monarchy, though it would still have for its supports force, intimidation, and corruptive influence, would be limited to those supports: it would be left destitute of the support afforded to it by delusive influence.

It was not without great exertion, that men’s eyes could be kept shut from the truth of a position which was demonstrated by experience no less universal and constant than the opposite falsehood.

What could not but add, in no small degree to the difficulty of the process was, that in the writings universally recognised as dictated by the Almighty himself, so far as opulence was in question, its incompatibility with what they saw represented not merely as meritorious service, but as almost the only meritorious service, namely piety, stands asserted: asserted in terms, if any such there are in the language, by much too clear to admit of the possibility of mistake. But of these writings the priests were the interpreters; authoritative and sole authoritative interpreters: and as in other instances, so in this, for the guide to their interpretation, they found neither conscience nor anything else to restrain them from employing the rule of contraries. Into the kingdom of God no man who trusts in rulers can ever enter. But the place that a Church of England priest wants to enter into, is a seat in the House of Lords, with the title of bishop or archbishop, and £20,000 a-year tacked to it. Accordingly, no sooner does it please the Almighty, than he sits himself down in this same seat: and as to the entrance into the kingdom of God, he leaves it to all those, who by the track which he has chalked out to them, can find their way to it.

The circumstance to which they have been indebted for their success was this: to their class belonged, either as principals or as dependents, all men from whom, either by the ear or by the eye, men of other classes were capable of receiving instruction.

The case where the distinction in question has been received in the way of succession, after the manner of property in a pecuniary shape, is an altogether curious one.

Wastefulness and absurdity vie with each other in the composition of this arrangement. It is among the fruits of monarchy. As, on the one hand, mis-seated punishment abounds in a monarchy, so on the other hand does mis-seated reward: in both instances, the contempt with which the people and their happiness are regarded, alike manifests itself.

Aptly-seated punishment, is aptly or say rightly-seated, in so far as the individual on whom it falls has been a partaker in the misdeed. Punishment is unaptly-seated, or say mis-seated, in so far as it falls on any individual, who has not been a partaker in the offence.

Of mis-seated punishment, the absurdity as well as the atrocity is to such a degree flagrant, as not to be capable of remaining unrecognised by any mind not blinded by terror or terror-begotten prejudice. With as much justice as any one non-misdoing individual is punished, so may every other.

Mis-seated punishment has been termed vicarious: it has place where an individual who has been a partaker in the misdeed, not being subjected to punishment in consideration of it; one who has not been a partaker, is subjected to punishment in his stead.

Mis-seated punishment may be termed extravasated, where an individual or individuals who were not partakers in the misdeed, are subjected to punishment in conjunction with those who were.

Punishment in a vicarious shape is no less opposed to nature, than it is repugnant to reason and general utility.

In consequence of the various connexions of interest and sympathy, (more especially domestic ones,) by which men are linked together, punishment in an extravasated state is, to an indefinite extent, unhappily unavoidable. By evil to this amount, a moderate appetite for the spectacle of human suffering would have been satisfied. Not so in the eyes of English lawyers. To reconcile men to the view of the boundless quantity produced by them under the orders of the monarch for the gratification of the kindred appetites of rapacity and vengeance, they have pointed to that unhappy abundance of mis-seated punishment which no human ingenuity, under the orders of human benevolence, is able altogether to exclude.

Tax not with irrelevancy what is here said of mis-seated punishment. Partly in the way of suggestion, partly in the way of supposed or pretended justification, injustice in the application of the matter of evil, leads to injustice in the application of the matter of good. To be lavish of punishment, and lavish of reward, belongs to the same mind, and to the same form of government. Prodigality, whatsoever be the subject-matter of it, prodigality by which others suffer, is the offspring of contempt—of the contempt, with which they are regarded, who suffer by it.

Vicarious reward is an absurdity that, even in the most barbarous state of society, appears not to have been exemplified.

The deficiency has however been amply compensated for, by the amplitude of the field in which extravasated reward, with its waste and absurdity, have been and continue to be exhibited.

Where for the waste made of reward, in the shape of factitious honour, anything in the shape of a justification is adduced, it is the remuneration, and by means of the remuneration, the production of extra meritorious public service that is stated as the good produced by it. But where the individual to whom the reward is given is a person other than him by whom the supposed service is supposed to have been performed, the plea such as it is, is manifestly without application, and such is the case, in so far as the reward is in a state of extravasation.

In the case of punishment, at the time when the extravasated mass was added, the addition had, if not a sufficient justification, at any rate a partial one, and at the worst a pretence: in the case of reward, reward in the shape here in question, there is not so much as that pretence. For in the case of punishment, forfeiture being the mode, there was in the first place, in the case of offences against government, need of self-preservation, on the one part; need of disablement on the other part: disablement for the commission of the like offences at the same hands: there was also need of intimidation, as a further means of prevention, should the other fail.

Thereupon what may here be said is this: whatsoever fear, has for its object evil in the case of its being borne immediately by a man himself, a source from which it cannot fail to receive an addition, is evil about to be eventually suffered by a party dear to him—a party who is the object of his sympathetic affection.

Extravasated factitious honour, aggravates the evil of inequality; and does so, without necessity and without use. All inequality is a source of evil: for by the inferior more is lost in the account of happiness, than is gained by the superior.

Inequality in the scale of power is a source of evil: but inequality in this scale is necessary to the existence of society: still the less there is of it, consistently with the wellbeing of society in other respects, the better.

Inequality in the scale of opulence is necessary to a certain degree to the very being of society, for any continuance: for habitual superabundance is necessary as a security against such casual deficiency, of which famine and mortality would be the results: and unless men in general were permitted to give increase to their respective portions of superabundance, no aggregate of superabundance could have place.

Inequality in the scale of moral virtue, of moral accomplishments of a nature useful to society, may even be a source of evil. But inequality is the inseparable result of competition: and competition is the parent of increase: and only in proportion to increase in such accomplishments, can general felicity increase.

Inequality in the scale of intellectual and active accomplishments is a source of evil, for the reason above given. But here too, inequality is the inseparable result of competition: competition is the parent of increase: and in intellectual accomplishments, in so far as they are kept in subservience to, and under, the control of moral accomplishments, general felicity finds an increase.

To the inequality produced by extravasated factitious honour, no such necessity attaches: no such use. To the evils of which it is the source, no compensation attaches itself in any shape.

Extravasated factitious honour, has place most commonly in the instance of the same individual, with superiority in power, or opulence, or both. It produces none of the benefits of either: but it adds to the evils produced by both.

As to power: To the account of the benefits conferred by power, are to be placed over and above those which may be termed direct, those which may be termed indirect. The direct are those which are derived from the exercise of it, and from the idea of being able to give exercise to it; the indirect, consist in the respect entertained for it: the respect, the parent of good offices, that is, of beneficial service in all its various shapes.

As it is with power, so it is with opulence. In the case of power, indirect benefits follow in the train of the direct: so is it, in the case of opulence. The direct consist in the possession and use of the instruments of enjoyment and security, purchased by it; the indirect, consist in the services, which other individuals are disposed voluntarily and spontaneously to render to the possessor, for the hope of being let into a participation of the use made of those instruments,—the house, the table, the library, the garden, the instruments of locomotion and conveyance.

Suppose not only no extravasated factitious honour, but no superiority by power, no superiority by opulence to have place—sympathy, and esteem, and thence free and spontaneous service in all its shapes, would attach itself to superiority in the scale of genuine moral virtue: of effective benevolence, in harmony and alliance with self-regarding prudence. This order is disturbed by power: it is disturbed by opulence: it experiences further disturbance from extravasated factitious honour: and in so far as that order is disturbed by them, those instruments of felicity, are every one of them, instruments of moral corruption.

Of all modifications of factitious honour, the most curious is that which has place in the way of what in the physical world—in the world of realities—used to be called equivocal generation,—made without a maker. So many hundred years ago, a man’s supposed ancestor, was, it is supposed, numbered among those, whose whole life, was a life of oppression and depredation, embellished with incidental acts of murder, upon a scale more or less extensive: for this cause it is, that by himself and others, respect is required to be paid, to this descendant of that same malefactor. In this case the honour cannot be said to be extravasated: for, were the receptacle in which it was primarily seated looked for, by the supposition, no such receptacle would be to be found.

The more respect a man receives on account of factitious honour and dignity, or on account of ancestry, the less the inducement he has to practise those self-denials, those labours, and those abstinences, which are more or less necessary to a man’s rendering himself serviceable to mankind: the less therefore is likely to be his aggregate appropriate aptitude, with relation to the habit of such serviceableness, or, in a word, in relation to virtue, public and private.

Oh, no! cries the man of ancestry. I possess a title to your esteem and confidence,—a title such as no man who is not equally gifted in this respect, can pretend to. For good conduct in all its modifications, I have an inducement in which no other man, whose ancestry is not so illustrious as mine, can pretend to have an equal share. Nothing dishonourable could I ever do, without tarnishing the lustre of my family—the lustre shed on it by my ancestors.

How supremely silly is all such language: supposing it sincere, how perfect the blindness it betrays of the ruling principle of human conduct. What he has in common with all others is, the being dependent for no small part of his comforts upon the good opinion, the good-will, and the good offices, positive and negative, of men in general, and particularly of those individuals, with whom it happens to him to have most intercourse. By anything otherwise than honourable, by any act of his, that has anything dishonourable in it, whatsoever kindness may be in their sentiments and affections, in relation to him, will be lessened. Suppose this inducement to have lost all force, what force in that same tutelary direction can be exerted by those empty sounds? If his care for himself be so little, on what ground can it be regarded as any greater, for a set of men whom he never saw, of whom he knows comparatively nothing, from whom he never could have received any token of kindness, and to whom his qualities and his very existence were alike perfectly unknown?

In relation to this artificial product of the power of government in the field of society, the general conclusions are as follows:—They constitute so many reasons why the here proposed exclusion should have place.

Every institution of this sort is needless: needless with reference to all purposes contributory to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, and in particular to the production of extraordinarily meritorious public service.

For all such purposes, as far as dignity suffices, natural dignity, if aptly made known, suffices.

All factitious honour is mischievous everywhere.

Factitious honour in a monarch is, in a political point of view, mischievous, by making addition to a power otherwise excessive.

In a political point of view, factitious honour conferred by a monarch, is mischievous, as being an instrument of corruptive influence.

In a political point of view, factitious honour conferred by a monarch is mischievous, as being an instrument of delusive influence.

In a moral point of view, factitious honour is mischievous by counteracting the influence of the public-opinion tribunal, and thereby by lessening moral worth in the dignified and the undignified.

In its character of a certificate, a document of this sort does not so extensively or so immediately operate on men’s minds, as in the character of an order for respect. Its character of a certificate is rather a character ascribed to it, to reconcile men to it in the character of an order for respect, than a character which belongs to it of course.

The reader will presently be in a condition to judge whether, with exceptions in a very minute proportion, in so far as it is a certificate of meritorious service, the certificate is not false: as also, whether in so far as it is true, any effect which it has in the way of affording payment as a reward for such service already rendered, and thereby giving increased probability to the rendering of the like service to an indefinite extent in future, is not capable of being produced in a much greater degree, and to much greater certainty, by other means, as also what those other means are.

Also, whether this alleged mode of procuring beneficial service be not pregnant with evil in a variety of distinguishable shapes: and whether that evil be not so much net evil, without any good attached to it; or, if there be any good in any shape attached to it, whether by the evil, such good is not greatly outweighed, in such sort as to leave a net quantity of evil on the evil side of the account.

The benefits produced to the possessor by factitious honour, whether primarily seated or extravasated, are considerable and unquestionable: individually and separately taken, they may seem trifling: not so the aggregate which is composed of them.

They either consist in, or are produced and conferred by, free and spontaneous service, in so many various shapes: as for example:—

On every occasion the most commodious seat or standing-room.

The faculty of being heard in preference.

The faculty of being addressed in preference.

The faculty of taking the lead in conversation: and thus choosing and determining the subject matters of it: the subjects from the discussion of which he expects most benefit to himself, whether in the way of amusement at the present, or with reference to the future.

The satisfaction of observing in men’s words, countenance, and deportment, those tokens of respect which, with more or less reason, express a general promise of free and spontaneous service in all shapes.

Power is purely mischievous, whatsoever of it is not needful; but factitious honour is in the whole of it, purely mischievous. As at the expense of the whole of the community is all power created and conferred, so at the expense of the whole is all factitious honour created and conferred. Of operative power, the immediate effect is not only obsequiousness, but obedience on the part of him on whom it is exercised. Of factitious honour, an effect is, not obedience indeed, but obsequiousness on the part of those at whose expense it is created and conferred. In so far as it is productive of this effect, it is by producing in the minds of those at whose expense it is created, the opinion of the existence of superiority in respect of moral and intellectual endowments, of power and opulence, separately or collectively, on the part of him on whom it is conferred.

In so far as it is productive of obsequiousness, though without actual obedience, it does not indeed confer power on the individual on whom it is conferred, but in his favour, it produces the effect of power—viz. conformity as towards his will. At the same time it creates and confers power, and in much greater quantity in favour of him by whom it is itself created and conferred, say, in favour of the patron of the dignity. For the patron of the dignity is himself the most dignified of all the dignitaries.

The respect of which factitious honour is productive, has, for its more remote cause, a confused and undeterminate mass of opinions or conceptions, of which the following seem to be the ingredients:—

Opinion of the existence of pre-eminent power on the part of the dignitary.

Opinion of the existence of pre-eminent opulence on the part of the dignitary.

Opinion of the dignitary’s being in the habits of personal converse with other persons possessed of equal and even superior dignities, and thence of equal and even superior masses of power and opulence.

Opinion of the dignitary’s having a place in the esteem or affection, or both, of the patron of the dignity: thence of his having a chance, more or less considerable, of obtaining for other persons such benefits as it is in the power of such patron to bestow.

Opinion of his being in a pre-eminent degree in possession of qualities extensively useful, such as, while they afford him the power or means, confer on him the disposition to render his faculties conducive to the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

All but the last of these opinions are, in a degree more or less considerable, sure to be well-founded. Only in the instance of the last, is it ill-founded, the opposite being the opinion that, as above, has truth on its side.

The cause of this last opinion is altogether curious—deplorable, considering how mischievous it is. The dignity has in every instance for its immediate efficient cause, or rather instrument, some symbol perceptible to sense—to the sense of hearing at the least; an appellation,—most commonly in addition to it some symbol perceptible to the sense of sight, an embroidered imitation of a star, a ribbon of a particular shape and colour, a medal. Of this power of symbols or signs over opinions the cause lies in the association of ideas—in the principle of association between idea and idea.

The curious circumstance is, the irresistible force with which, in this instance, the cause operates in the production of the effect. Here are a set of men whom, taken in the aggregate, I cannot, upon reflection, look upon as fit objects of a greater portion of esteem and respect, nor even of so great a portion as an equal number of men taken at random. At the same time, spite of myself, by the idea of any one possessed of any one of these symbols, a greater degree of those social affections is excited than is excited by the idea of any one not possessed of any one of those symbols. Whence this inconsistency? By a continually renewed train of association, commencing at the earliest dawn of reason, this opinion of the constant connexion between the possession of the external symbol in question and the mental quality in question, has been created and confirmed: for the revival of the erroneous opinion, a single instant suffices at all times: for the expulsion of it, nothing less than a train of reflection can suffice.

To this case I feel a very conformable parallel may be seen in the case of ghosts and other fabulous maleficent beings, which the absence of light presents to my mind’s eye. In no man’s judgment can a stronger persuasion of the non-existence of these sources of terror have place than in mine; yet no sooner do I lay myself down to sleep in a dark room than, if no other person is in the room, and my eyes keep open, these instruments of terror obtrude themselves; and, to free myself from the annoyance, I feel myself under the necessity of substituting to those more or less pleasing ideas with which my mind would otherwise have been occupied, those reflections which are necessary to keep in my view the judgment by which the non-existence of these creatures of the imagination has so often been pronounced. The cause of these illusions were the stories told by servants in my childhood.

The tale of the apparition of ghosts and vampires is not more fabulous than is in general the tale of worth, moral or intellectual, as applied to these creatures of a monarch who form the class of state dignitaries.

In what circumstance did this erroneous opinion find its cause? The answer has in it neither doubt nor difficulty. One word, adulation, suffices for the expression of it. At first by the pen, it is now by the press, that opinions are chiefly disseminated. In proportion to the quantity possessed by them of the objects of desire and sources of power, have writers beheld in the hands of their readers those instruments by which the happiness of the writers has been dependent on their will. In some readers do all writers behold those on whose will, in some way or other, their happiness depends. In some readers do writers, accordingly, behold those in whose favour it is their interest, and consequently their endeavour, to ingratiate themselves, and obtain a place—the higher the better. In one word, they behold their patrons. Thus the opinions to which a writer so circumstanced gives utterance will be determined, not by the opinions really entertained by him, but by the degree of kindness or unkindness, of which he regards it as likely to be productive in the breast of those on whose kindness and unkindness his happiness is thus dependent.

If even in the early stages of society the fascinations produced by factitious honour were ever conducive to the creation and preservation of government, no argument can thence be deduced for the preservation of this delusion with its instruments in the present stage of society. That they are in various respects mischievous, has been proved above: that they are altogether needless, has been proved by an experiment on a large scale, and continued during so long a period,—viz. by the experiment made in the Anglo-American United States. From the several other elements of effective power in the hands of the ruling few this element has been detached and excluded, and the result is the aptitude of the system of government not impaired but improved.

In the character of a testimonial or certificate, what are the matters of fact which, with relation to the individual so honoured, it renders more or less probable? They are:

That either immediately or unimmediately, namely, through the intervention of some other or others, to the individual by whom the honour has been conferred, he was at the time of its being conferred an object of sympathy, that is to say, in a monarchy, to the monarch. This, however, it is evident, cannot be a matter of complete certainty.

That, if not an object of sympathy, at any rate not an object of antipathy: for if yes, the functionary would not have subjected himself to the pain necessarily attendant on the conferring it.

That, partly by gratitude for this past favour, partly by hope of further favours, he is attached to the person of the functionary by whom the benefit was conferred on him: disposed to contribute according to the measure of his faculties, to the advancement of the particular interest of this same patron: disposed to be obsequious to his will: disposed to concur in the advancement of that particular interest at the expense and by the sacrifice of all conflicting interests in general.

That whatsoever in this respect may have antecedently been the case, the individual thus honoured has the faculty of mixing in society with other individuals possessing factitious honour of the same species and the same rank, still more assuredly with all those below him in the same line: and, in all probability, with others, if any such there are, who, in relation to him, are superior in rank. To speak in general terms, he is known to have access to persons occupying an elevated situation in the community.

That, as his interests are in alliance with, so his affections sympathize with, the interests and affections of that portion of the community whose station is thus elevated: and that in so far as between the higher and the lower orders, (in consequence of such difference of interests and affections,) a difference of judgment naturally has place—his judgment will, on each occasion, side with theirs; his judgment, and, in consequence, his conduct. In a word, that, in his character of member of the public-opinion tribunal, it is to the aristocratical section of that judicatory that he belongs.

But the interest, consequently the affection and judgment, of the monarch, as such, are adverse to the general interest of the community: so are those of the aristocracy in all its modifications: not contributory, but detrimental to the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

In relation to these several matters, the evidence thus afforded is not conclusive evidence; it is capable of being rebutted and outweighed by other evidence: but in so far as it has any operation, such is the tendency of it: whatsoever be the degree of probability in relation to each part, such is the side on which it is situated.

Why, as a testimony of meritorious service, is it essentially unapt and fallacious?

It is given without any published proof of the particular nature of the meritorious service, if any, that is supposed to have been rendered: without any published proof of the fact of the man’s having rendered any such meritorious service.

It is given for aught that appears, without any proof received by him by whom the honour is conferred, of service in any shape as having been rendered to any one, by him on whom it is conferred. In a word, the act by which it is conferred is essentially an arbitrary act.

It is with relation to reward, that is to say, to the good that is done,—that which, in relation to evil, punishment is, in so far as inflicted without trial, without judicial inquiry as to the ground of it, without reference to the conduct of him to whom it is applied.

The consequence is, that by every such honour so conferred, injustice is done: not, indeed, to the individual to whom the reward is applied, as in the case of punishment to the individual to whom the punishment is applied—not to him, indeed, but to others, namely to those at whose expense it is applied.

One case alone can be mentioned in which it affords any just ground for supposing that, in its character of a certificate of meritorious service, it may perhaps not be false: and that is the case where it is conferred as a reward for military service. But even in this case, it cannot but be frequently false:—false perhaps in more instances than those in which it is true: and if so, absolutely unapt: at any rate, comparatively unapt—comparison had with a method in which the most efficient means are employed for preventing it from being given where it would be false; while, where given, as it has everywhere as yet been actually given, no such means are employed.

When arbitrarily conferred, it is conferred either without so much as an indication of service in any specific shape, rendered to the public, or if with any such indication, without proof made and published of the reality of the facts, on the supposed reality of which it is grounded.

If conferred without indication of service to the public, that which is indicated by it is—that the individual on whom it is conferred, is an object of favour to the person or persons by whom it has been conferred. In this case it is mischievous on the following accounts:

There are two sets of persons, at whose expense is conferred every honour that is conferred: all the members of the community at large,—the whole number of them; and those particular ones, if any, among whom benefits in this shape have been shared.

By the members at large, of any donation of this sort, taken singly, the expense is in but a small degree, if in any degree, felt. But when viewed in the aggregate, the expense to which communities have been subjected in this shape, will, by every man, be more or less clearly perceived, and acutely felt in proportion as he thinks of it.

Evil 1. Burthen to the unhonoured at large.

By those who, at the time, when in the individual instance in question, the honour was conferred, were already in possession of it, the expense is felt in a much more intense degree. Witness the Duchess of Northumberland, who, in the days of George the Second, durst not spit out of her coach as she passed along the streets, for fear of spitting upon a lord.

Evil 2. Burthen to the co-honoured.

Every honour that has been conferred on any man, in whose instance it is not clear that extraordinary service to the public has in any shape been done, is conferred in a more particular manner, at the expense of all those by whom extraordinary service to the public has really been rendered: it is felt by them as an injury. It has always for its tendency, and to an unmeasurable extent for its effect, the preventing men in general from taking on themselves any extraordinary burthen, for the purpose of rendering to the public, in any shape, extraordinary service. Publication of service secures to every extraordinarily meritorious individual, for services past, and thence for services to come, the exact portion of honour, which, in a comparative as well as absolute point of view, is most apt with relation to the service. No injury does it to any man: to men in any number it may produce uneasiness: but in no instance can the uneasiness be productive of, or accompanied by, any such sensation as the conception of injustice—of injustice done to any one, by him, to whom the honour has been adjudged.

Evil 3. Burthen to the meritorious unhonoured.

When monarchy was specially on the carpet, in the account given of the several external instruments of felicity, in their eventual character of instruments of corruptive influence, this one had its place.

Considered in comparison with the other articles, it will be found to stand upon a very different footing from both of them. Power is necessary to the very existence of government: it is the very matter of which the means of government are made. Excluded it cannot be: the utmost that can be done, is to limit it.

So again, money—money at the disposal of government. Without it, government in a political community of any considerable extent, could not be carried on. To exclude it, is altogether impossible. To exclude the difference between what is necessary, and what is not necessary,—and to take care that that which is necessary should, according to its destination, be applied to the service of government, and to no other purpose—this is the utmost of what can be done.

Evil 4. Evil by contribution to the corruptive fund.

On the same occasion it has been seen, how, by the possession and eventual expectation of them, the external instruments of felicity contribute as such to the general debasement of the moral part of man’s frame, in private life as well as in public. Of those same objects of general desire, this is not less true of this one than of either of the other two above-mentioned.

Evil 5. Evil by demoralising influence: or say, evil of demoralisation by sinister independence.

When factitious honour has been raised to a certain level, thereupon has come the observation, that money is needed for the support of it. On this occasion, dignity is the term that seems most commonly employed. But it is out of the pockets of the people that, as for all other purposes so for this, the money has come. If, in conjunction with this factitious dignity, the man has opulence of his own, in a certain degree of plentitude,—in a degree sufficient for the support of the imaginary burthen,—it is sometimes held sufficient, sometimes not, as it may happen: but if he has not,—if this be an agreed matter, money in such quantity as shall be sufficient, must, at all events, and at any rate, be found for him. Thus it is, that when obtained by swindling, honour carries depredation along with it.

For this application of public money, there are sundry reasons, more really operative than readily avowed.

When, from this factitious title to respect, the support given to it by money is taken away, contempt will be apt to substitute itself to the respect. By the decomposition thus made, the false colour will vanish. Men will be led to say to themselves—a man may bear this mark upon him, and yet be a poor creature, what then is it good for? and thus its worthlessness being seen in the case of this poor man, may, by degrees, come to be recognised in the case of the rich ones.

In place of the respect they have been accustomed to receive, these, his fellow dignitaries, will be apprehensive of sharing in the contempt under which they see him suffering.

The more generous of them will feel a pain of sympathy from the observation of what they see him suffering.

Evil 6. Evil by pretence for depredation.

As a certificate of merit on the part of the wearer, we have seen that it is false; combined with this false certificate, is a draught drawn upon the members of the community for value received: a draught payable, in tokens of respect; value received in the shape of meritorious service.

The functionaries by whom this deceptious instrument is uttered, are, by the practice of uttering it, and the habit of seeing it accepted, encouraged to act in the character of impostors. It operates in this way on their moral faculties, as an instrument of demoralisation.

Evil 7. Evil by sanction given to imposture.

Delusion is the counterpart of the last preceding evil. In so far as the fraud passes upon them undetected,—in so far as they are imposed upon by it, and bestow respect where respect is undue, and the payment of it mischievous, mischievous to themselves and to everybody,—it operates upon their intellectual faculties: it operates as an instrument of intellectual depravation.

Evil 8. Evil by propagation of delusion.

Whether it be in the scale of power, or in the scale of opulence, it has been seen elsewhere that by every degree of distance from the point of equality, the loss to the inferior in the account of happiness, is greater than the profit to the superior. In the scale of power, inequality to a certain degree is, as has been observed above, matter of indispensable necessity: so likewise in the scale of opulence: in both those instances the evil is therefore compensated, and over-compensated by the good. In this case it stands altogether uncompensated.

Evil 9. Evil by aggravation of inequality.

In the chapter relating to the public-opinion tribunal, will be seen, how much the interest and influence of the aristocratical section of that tribunal is at variance with that of the democratical: the small minority with that of the vast majority.

Evil 10. Evil by addition to the anti-social force of the aristocratical section of the public-opinion tribunal.

Specific reasons for extra respect not having place, the greatest happiness of the greatest number requires, that in the scale of respect (in pursuance of the principle of practicable equality) the superiority should be attached to age. For, on this plan, all will, in their turn, enjoy the benefit of it: all suspicion of injustice is excluded by it: all envy and jealousy are excluded by it: time and labour of contestation are saved by it: a compensation is afforded, as far as it goes, for the diminution produced in the account of felicity by the age of caducity, and thence by every ulterior approach that is made to it.

Evil 11. Evil by usurpation of respect due to age.

It has been seen in how many ways the disposition thus made of the matter of good in this shape presents to view the picture of injustice. There is a burthen without compensation imposed on the members of the community at large. Burthen imposed in a more particular manner on those who have rendered meritorious service, to whom benefit, in this same shape, is justly due. Burthen by injustice to age. Burthen by useless and avoidable addition to unavoidable inequality. The example of injustice produced by the joint influence of all these causes, is itself a thing distinct from all of them. Bad is that government where, injustice having place, discontent has place in consequence: still worse that, where injustice having place, no discontent is excited by it.

By the spectacle of established injustice in any one shape, injustice in every other shape is promoted. By habit, those at whose expense it is committed, are lulled into acquiescence under it, and by the spectacle of this acquiescence, the authors of the baleful habit are encouraged to persevere in it.

Evil 12. Evil by the spectacle of injustice.

As in the case of injustice, so in the case of waste. By the same disposition by which waste, in any one shape, is produced, waste in every other shape is produced: and by the example of waste in any one shape, waste in every other is promoted. By habit, those at whose expense it is committed, are lulled into acquiescence under it; and by the spectacle of this acquiescence, the authors of the waste are encouraged to persevere in it.

The wasting hand is like the blasting pestilence. Under a monarchy, neither good nor evil in any shape escape it: money, power, punishment, pardon, respect of the people. The security of the people is wasted by blind pardons: their respect by factitious honour.

Evil 13. Evil by the spectacle of waste.

In any one nation, let evil in this shape be produced, it spreads itself, as it were by contagion, over all other nations. Among all nations in whose instance any habit of intercourse has place—in a word, among all civilized nations, the draught drawn in any one by its ruler upon his own subjects for the appropriate quantity of mechanically-paid respect, is, to a greater or less degree, honoured in every other.

True it is—not inconsiderable are the diversities of which the quantity of respect paid in other countries to the possessor of an article of this kind, belonging to the country in question, is susceptible. To this variation, two circumstances are contributory: 1, the different degrees of honour designated, and thence the different quantities of respect drawn for, by the same denomination or mark, in different countries: 2, the different degrees of appropriate information possessed in each such foreign country, by different individuals, in relation to the true import of the article, and the proportion borne by the value of it, to the several other articles belonging to the aggregate list. But, at any rate, if so it be, that his appellation presents to view a title of honour, or his person a mark of honour, he is recognised as belonging to the caste of the privileged orders: to that caste in which, no individual, who not belonging to it, has any tolerably correct conception of the nature and effects of it, can fail to behold a species of men by whom, a comparatively small mass of felicity is possessed at the expense of a more than equiponderant mass of infelicity to others,—whose existence is an injury to all others, and, in one word, a universal nuisance.

In England, the title of prince has never been borne by any individual who has not been a member of the Royal Family: when under this title, the member of another nation is presented to notice, this idea of blood relation to royalty, the highest order in the state, naturally presents itself: it is only by particular information that he learns by how great and various distances the rank of the bearer of this title is separated from that of royalty and sovereignty in other states: how in France, for example, the throng of princes are confounded with those of counts, viscounts, and barons: how abundant they are in various parts of Italy: how in Russia, while the title is borne by some of the most opulent, as well as ancient families, it is borne by others whose place is in almost the lowest rank in the scale of opulence.

The advantage of being thus confounded in men’s conceptions with the members of sovereign families, seems of late to have recommended it, in Germany as well as in France. Hence it is, that in the course of the Revolution undergone by France, Buonaparte’s generals received some of them indeed the title of dukes, but others the title of princes; and Talleyrand, though a member of one of the oldest, and as such, most honoured families of the noblesse of France, saw an advantage in accepting, in form, the title of prince.

In Germany, this title has been borne by several of the little sovereigns, future feudatory monarchs, with which the constitution of that confederacy still continues, even in its present altered state.

In the Prussian monarchy, made up of shreds and patches, torn at different times from their various possessors—in the Prussian monarchy, till the other day, there was nothing above a count. Of late, the monarchy being enlarged and consolidated, the treasury of honour has been enriched there with an order of prince.

In Poland, before its partition, a few of the most opulent families, that is to say the greatest landholders, though it is believed without any formal creation, used to bear in other languages, the title of princes, and continue to do so since.

In Russia, there are barons, and above them counts, but nothing higher: the princes having been such, not by creation, but some how or other, it is not generally known how. It remains for the genius of the present or some future autocrat, to import from England, the titles of duke and marquis, to sit above those of count and baron.

Evil 14. Evil by international contagion.

A few points relative to this product of government, call for explanation.

It operates, as already stated, as an order for respect: for respect to be afforded, and as it were, paid by persons in general, to him on whom the honour is said to be conferred. It operates, therefore, as a title to respect. In this particular it is in regard to respect that which an order for the payment of money—a draught, for example, on a banker—is in regard to money: but with this difference, that it is at the hands of one individual only, that the order for money calls for money: whereas, it is at the hands of all persons in general, that the title of honour—the order for respect—calls for respect.

On the occasion of each such act, it is an exercise of dominion over the many for the benefit of one: over the many,—indeed with little exception over all. The means not being coercive, it produces not that sense of oppression, which dominion in general, employing as it must do, coercion for its instrument, cannot, when directed towards so unjustifiable an end, fail to produce. It is by delusion that the effect is produced; not by force or intimidation. But the effect of it being, as will be seen, purely mischievous, the circumstance of there being one evil not produced by it, will not suffice to turn the whole mass of evil into good.

It operates as an article of documentary evidence, as a certificate of good desert or merit. Of such certificate, the effect is to cause respect in degree and quantity more or less considerable, to be entertained by the members of the community in question, towards and in relation to him who bears it: respect, or at any rate, the outward signs and tokens of that inward sentiment. This effect is produced, by ascribing dignity to him, or worthiness: by causing it to be believed that in the opinion of him, by whom the honour is conferred, he on whom it is conferred, is worthy of receiving at the hands of the members of the community in general, those same outward tokens.

It gives intimation that, in the opinion of that same functionary, the person in whose favour it is his desire that those same tokens of respect should be manifested and paid, has been and is deserving of such respect. To deserve anything good,—any instrument of felicity,—is to have a claim to it, in the character of a reward, on the score of service, in some shape or other, rendered by the individual in question to some other individual or individuals: which service, if it be real, must have been the contributing in fact or in probability, to cause him to experience pleasure in some shape, which he would not have experienced otherwise: or to be exempt from experiencing pain, which he would have experienced otherwise,

With the word merit, if any clear idea is attached to it, stands associated the idea of service: for by him to whom merit is ascribed, suppose no service rendered, or endeavoured to be rendered to anybody,—the idea of merit evaporates, and leaves the word in a state of non-significance.

If then in virtue of the dignity conferred on him, and the alleged claim to respect given to him—he has rendered service to anybody, it must have been service of the meritorious kind: service, by the rendering of which, the existence of merit, has been displayed.

Moreover this service must have had something extraordinary in it; in its nature, something whereby it stands distinguished from ordinary service,—from service in those shapes in which it is continually rendered by everybody to everybody; by every dealer, for example, to his customer, by every customer to his dealer; by every purchaser to his seller, by every seller to his purchaser.

As in the case of service, so in the case of respect, the worth of it, if it has any, must consist either of a certainty (as where the event is past) or of a probability of pleasure in some shape or other, experienced; or pain in some shape or other avoided, and not experienced.

Laying all together—the intimation conveyed by an act by which a title of honour is conferred is—that the individual on whom it is conferred, has in some determinate shape or other, rendered to some individual or individuals, or to the whole community together, service of a meritorious, and in some way or other, of an extraordinary kind, and has thereby proved himself to be possessed of dignity: i. e. by such service to have given himself a title to receive at the hands of the community in general, a token of the existence of the sentiment of respect, in relation to him, in their minds, as if in payment or part payment of such service.

In reality this question about rank is by no means so frivolous as it may appear to be: for by all its varieties it will be seen how the people are tormented and depressed.

In the several countries in which a title originally conferred by the monarch, has been assumed by men, on whom it has not, either in their own persons, or in the persons of their ancestors, been conferred, an instance may be seen of a sort of superfœtation of depravity—a fraud made to grow out of a fraud: the monarch, by the conspiracy, by which this false certificate of meritorious service has been produced, the monarch, and the individuals thus honoured by him, have swindled the public at large out of a certain quantity of respect not really due, imposing thus upon the public at large: and the usurpers of it, have on their parts imposed upon the public at large, and the monarch both, by pretending to have received from him, what in truth he never gave.

The most disastrous case is that which has place, where the title is made a pretence for depredation: for example where the monarch of a country receives the title of king. To a king, not to speak of a sceptre and a palace, belong a throne and a crown. To this pair of implements a quality called splendour is necessary: the throne must have gold about it; the crown besides gold, pieces of natural glass, called diamonds: by these ingredients or appendages with the help of a little manual labour, splendour in the physical sense is constituted. But to splendour in the physical sense, must be added splendour in a superior sense, the metaphorical or hyperphysical sense. Appetite in all snapes is stimulated by the title: the quantity of his superfluities must receive increase: the quantity of the superfluities enjoyed by his courtiers and his living instruments of government, must be increased: the number of these instruments themselves must receive increase. Being admitted into the circle and fraternity of kings, his appearance must in everything be if possible upon a par with theirs. The story of the frog and the ox is exemplified, but with a disastrous variation. It is not by themselves, but by the overgrown frog at the head of them, by the great frog with a crown on his head, that the little frogs are burst.

The language employed in reference to these kingly implements, demonstrates in how deplorable a degree the power of the intellect may be debilitated by the force of custom and prejudice. Always in the character of an object of prime necessity, is this furniture of the great baby-house,—the mass of the instruments of corruptive and delusive influence spoken of. This, which is so much worse than useless, is spoken of as of more importance than the whole aggregate of those benefits, the securing of which constitutes the only compensation for the evils necessarily produced by government. Not any the faintest colour of reason being capable of being given for it, it is on every occasion taken for granted in the character of an incontestible truth. Ask in what way it contributes, in the character of a mean, to the pretended end, no answer will you receive. Ask in what particular the governments in which there is no such splendour, lustre, or support of dignity,—ask in what particular they are the worse for the absence of it,—no answer will you receive.

As in the situation of king, honour and dignity require for their support splendour and lustre—that is to say, money taken for the purpose out of the pockets of the people—so in every situation within the reach of the royal eyes. Hence it is, that if a man in a certain rank be in want of money, whether it has been by misfortune or by prodigality that the want has been produced, the deficiency is to be supplied at the expense of the laborious part of the people,—money must be squeezed out of the productive classes. Incessant are the complaints of the expense of affording to the helpless among the productive classes those supplies, without which, starvation and death must of necessity be their fate: profound is the silence as to the expense of supplying to the extravagant in the higher orders the means of further extravagance. Grievous the complaints of the overgrowth of that part of the population, for the maintenance of which £10 a-year, all ages included, will suffice: no complaint of the overgrowth of that part, for the maintenance of which £100 a-year will not suffice.

On this occasion, the brood of kings hatched by Buonaparte, and reared by the Holy Alliance, cannot fail to present themselves. The rationale of the operation is sufficiently manifest. By the old brood, nothing has been lost on the account of honour and dignity: profit to an unlimited amount has been made in the account of money. In dignity, no loss: for the great old monarchs are not confounded with the little new ones: the distance is sufficiently wide to preserve them from misfortune in this shape: on the contrary, a contrast is visible, and by this contrast they are raised.

By the power, and for the support of the dignity, a tax, and that a perpetual one, has been imposed on Bavaria, Wirtemberg, Belgium, Saxony, and Hanover,—a tax which, though of the indirect kind, is not the less burthensome.

Such is the immediate effect. But, on the other hand, in the train of it, will come another. All these are added to the number of the nations to whom the appellation, King, will be an object of abhorrence.

The Emperors of Germany and Russia are now Emperors because they were so before; for the name of the empire Austria is substituted to Germany, because in Austria the Emperor was, as he is a despotic sovereign; whereas in Germany, taken collectively, he was but a titular one.

The King of England would not be Emperor, because the form of a concurrence by Parliament would have been necessary, and the delusion by which he is kept in his place of King might have been shaken by the discussion produced by the word Emperor. They would not make the King of France, nor did he wish to be made, Emperor; because that would have been copying the example of the usurper, whose Emperorship was the result not wholly of force and intimidation, but, in some measure, of corruption and delusion, and had the consent of no inconsiderable portion of the people for the cause of it.

Conferred, that is to say, known or supposed, or considered as being conferred, by the public-opinion tribunal,—adjudicating to the party in question the benefit designated by the words, affection, esteem, and respect, of the community at large,—of the greatest number of those under whose cognizance the meritorious services have been rendered by him,—the reward conferred is characterized and distinguished from the mass of benefit conferred by means of factitious honour, by these peculiar properties:—

The application thus made is determined by the interest common to the greatest number of the members of the community in question; at any rate, by that which is in their eyes their common interest.

In the case where the honour is primarily seated, the application made of the mass of benefit in question, in the case of factitious honour, is determined by the interest, real or supposed, of the individual by whom it is conferred.

In the case where it is seated by extravasation, on the ground of consanguinity, it is determined, as to the individual, by blind chance.

By the natural character of the class to which the possessor of it, in this its extravasated state, appertains, it is in his instance indicative of an interest, and a state of the affections and the opinions, adverse to the interest of the greatest number. It marks him out as a man who was by birth an enemy to the interest and happiness of the greatest number: a member of the privileged class; namely, of a class composed of those whose common interest is a particular and sinister interest, opposite to the universal interest.

He who is at one time an enemy, may at another time be a friend; but he who is by birth an enemy, cannot, on any sufficient grounds, be regarded as a friend, unless and until, and in so far as by such means as the nature of the case affords, he has made known the change. Of this change, one sufficient and conclusive proof the nature of the case affords: and that is, a surrender of the privilege.

In this way, and no other, can he render it manifest, that by him his interest is identified with the universal interest, his affections with the affections of the greatest number of the members of the community in question: that in his eyes the affection, esteem, and respect, which is the result of judgment unperverted by any delusion from any source, is preferred to that respect which is the joint offspring of sinister interest, caprice, imposture, and chance.

The effect, with a view to its supposed usefulness, upon which the greatest reliance seems likely to be placed, is that supposed to be produced in the character of an inducement for the production of extraordinary meritorious public service: service rendered to the community at large, whether by being rendered to government or otherwise. Employed to this end, that which will be expected of it, is—the making known to the community at large the quality and quantity of the service rendered, to the end that, by the several members of it, as occasion offers, retribution may be made to their benefactor by suitable manifestations of affection and respect, and in particular by good offices—by useful services.

Employed in this character, it is employed in the character of obtaining by purchase at the hands of such individuals in whom the power of rendering it may have place, the greatest quantity of the service in the shape in question, namely, of extraordinary meritorious service, upon the most advantageous terms: that is to say, of the greatest value possible, quality and quantity considered, and at the lowest price. Here then come two different ends, the accomplishment of both which, in so far as practicable, requires to be aimed at: 1. Of the aggregate mass of service thus obtained, to maximize the value. 2. To minimize the expense.

In the instance of every such service, the mass of reward in all its parts taken together, must afford such a mass of benefit to the individual in question, as shall be sufficient to outweigh in his mind, the burthen sustained by the rendering of it. In so far as public affection and respect enter into the composition of the means of purchase, this relation between quantity of service and quantity of reward, will require to be considered. Benefit of reward must outweigh burthen of service.

The greater the value of the service, that is to say of the benefit, the greater is the burthen, which he on whom it depends in the instance in question, will be disposed to take upon himself, for the purpose of his rendering it. The greater a service, the greater the reward worth giving for it.

If on any occasion there be two services so circumstanced, that by the individual or individuals in question, either can be performed, but not both, any two masses of reward that shall appear capable of being earned by the performance of the two services respectively, should be so apportioned, that the receipt of the more valuable reward shall be attached to the rendering the more valuable service. Of two rival services, offer greater reward for the more valuable.

Not that the only shape in which remuneration belongs to the present subject, is the honorary shape.

That it is not for service in every shape that reward in this shape will be sufficient, or even so much as apposite, is sufficiently manifest. Where, in the course of action, whereby meritorious service has been rendered, loss has been suffered by money expended, profit does not commence, reward does not commence, till compensation has been made for the full amount of the loss: and in the account of money must be comprehended that which, in the time in question, would have been received by the individual in question, in return for labour expended. Moreover, if by the reward conferred, it be intended to purchase at the hands of other individuals future contingent service, not only actual loss, but probable risk must be taken into the account.

By apt and adequate notification of past service rendered, that is, by honour thus conferred, the maximum of future service may be obtained at the minimum of expense; for the value of the reward thus rises with the value of the past service rewarded by it.

Of this plan, the principal feature consists in giving publicity to as great an extent as possible, (due regard being had to expense,) and with the utmost degree of clearness, correctness, and completeness possible, to the nature of the service rendered, the name of the individual by whom the service has been rendered, and the circumstances by which the degree of meritoriousness possessed by it have been constituted.

The effect of it will be a sort of judgment pronounced, opposite in its effects, but not the less analogous to, a judgment by which on the ground of delinqency, an individual is subjected to punishment.

The judgment thus pronounced ought to have evidence for its ground. For public affection and respect ought not any more than public money to be bestowed without evidence of the sufficiency of the title on which it is claimed. Upon this plan, the terms of the judgment, with the evidence on which it has been grounded, will form the matter or subject of a report. To this document, as to any other, such a degree of publicity may in each individual case be given as the nature of the case is to warrant and to call for.

As time runs on, of the several judgments here indicated, an aggregate and continually increasing body will be formed. To this aggregate, some denomination will of course be given. Let it, for example, be The Book of Good Desert, or say, The Register of Meritorious Service.

In it the several individual services will of course be ranked under general and specific heads, as likewise the names, and other circumstances appertaining to the individuals thus distinguished.

The expense attendant on the process of conferring dignity in this its natural shape, is it liable to the imputation of being excessive?

If, at the expense of but a single individual, reward in money, to the amount of any the smallest denomination of coin, were claimed, the services of the judicial establishment, for the purpose of giving effect to it, or rejecting it, are not grudged.

But in the shape in question, reward cannot, it will be seen, be given, but at the expense of all the members of the community, how impalpable soever may in each instance be the amount of the expense.

Where the value of the service shall appear not to be such as to warrant this expense, no such expense will be incurred. The individual by whom it is conceived that a service of this description has been rendered, will take his own course for the giving publicity to it.

At the expense of the public at large, and by a public functionary, without sufficient and judicial evidence of extra good desert, reward in the shape of honour ought not to be conferred.

Honour conferred as above will be natural honour, judicially conferred: conferred, as the French phrase is, en connoissance de cause.

The effects of factitious honour, in whatsoever shape it has, or can have, place, have been shown to be all-comprehensively and preponderantly pernicious. To give support to this sinister instrument of felicity itself, and increase to the utmost to its sinister effects, has at the same time been shown to be the common interest of all who share in it. But in a still greater proportion than that in which it is beneficial to those privileged few, it is burthensome to the unprivileged many. Every man, therefore, in whose instance the greatest happiness principle is at once an object of attachment and a guide to conduct, will, in proportion to his sympathy for that part of his species whose interest is deteriorated, and happiness diminished, by this irremediably sinister instrument, employ his faculties in the endeavour to suppress it.

That its unchangeable nature is that of an instrument of corruptive as well as delusive influence, in the hands of misrule, has been shown above: so likewise, that it is an instrument of corruptive influence as applied to morals and the private intercourse of society.

Moreover what on this occasion has been shown, is—that in the nature of the case, every token, emblem, evidence, visible or otherwise perceptible instrument or cause of this factitious and mischievous product of bad government, is a false certificate employed for the purpose of obtaining for the possessor a portion of respect, which is not only not due, but which, if paid, cannot but be in a preponderant degree mischievous. To issue any such instrument, is in effect to issue a general order to the several members of the community, to be accomplices with the members of the bad government in all the several acts of depredation and oppression which by this and the other incorporeal instruments of misrule they are in the habit of committing in virtue of their respective offices: acts whereby to pamper men by units, they starve men and consign them to lingering deaths by thousands. To make one in the payment of the tribute so demanded, is to aid and abet those enemies of the community in the war they never cease to be carrying on against it.

If this be so, on each occasion, the fraud which by the voluntary bearing of any one of these titles the possessor is a principal in, finds in every one who voluntarily pays the tribute thus called for in the shape of respect, either an accomplice or a dupe: if he refuses payment, an opponent; if he pays it, being at the same time conscious of the deceptiousness and mischievousness of the demand, an accomplice: if he pays it, for want of being really apprized of this, its true nature, a dupe.

In a word, the case of him who concurs in the paying of undue tribute in this shape, bears a close analogy to the case of him, who receives and puts off base and counterfeit money.

As to the ways and means of counteracting this instrument of corruption, they may be distinguished, and the aggregate mass of them divided, into such as are of a negative and quiescent nature, and such as are of a positive and active nature. Negative, the purposed omission, or say forbearance, to pay in any form, the tribute of respect endeavoured to be exacted by the possessor of the symbol or evidence of pretended title: positive, by substituting to the tribute thus endeavoured to be exacted—the tribute that would be paid by the manifestation of the outward tokens of respect, tokens of the opposite sentiment, tokens, in a word, of disrespect.

As to these same tokens, the present is not a place for the enumeration or exemplification of them in any detail.

Of one single one, it may here be not amiss to give an intimation. Among the most impressive, and, at the same time, perfectly unexceptionable ways and means, one is to present to the eyes and ears of every man by whom this unwarranted order for respect is presented, the demonstration of the invalidity of his pretensions: and this may be, by words or other signs, in the grave style, or in the gay style, in prose or verse, accompanied or not accompanied with music.

How annoying soever these demonstrations may be to the delinquent, so long as corporeal annoyance is not added to them, they will, even if they be all of them added together, be nothing more than means of self-defence against systematic and studiously elaborated injury.

Into the treasury of the means of self-defence, no individual so poor but that he may be able to cast his mite. It was by the voluntary contribution of passengers, a stone from each, that those ancient monuments, in which social sympathy found its expression in times long since past, and which are still visible to the eyes of travellers, were raised.

Already the weakening of the force of these instruments of mischief, in a perceptible degree, is by no means without example. It may be seen in France. Names are not necessary to indicate to the friends of mankind, either there or elsewhere, those who have given proof of their being so, by the manifested aversion with which any salutation expressive of these instruments of deception has been habitually received.

Everywhere the people have been in the habit of suffering to be filched from them tokens of respect in various degrees, upon false pretences. The remedy is in their own hands. It depends upon them to cease the manifestation of these tokens of respect, and if necessary, to substitute to them tokens of disrespect.

It is by so many adjudications of the aristocratical section of the public-opinion tribunal, that the several portions of respect are conferred. Above the aristocratical, in the scale of power, whensoever it thinks fit to exercise its power, stands the democratical section of that same tribunal. Let the judgments of the subordinate section be quashed and over-ruled by the democratical or superordinate: in both tribunals every member is an executive functionary as well as a judge.



No power of government ought to be employed in the endeavour to establish any system or article of belief on the subject of religion.

If any such power be thus employed, it will be, in respect of the immediate application made of it, to the purpose of producing or confirming belief to the effect in question, by furnishing appropriate inducement of the nature of remunerative power, or of the nature of punitive power, or a conjunction of both. In a word, power thus employed will be either remunerative or punitive, or both.

The belief thus endeavoured to be inculcated will be either true or false. The observation applies to the whole system, taken in the aggregate, and to each distinguishable article.

Consider, in the first place, every application that can be made of remunerative power, to this purpose.

Let the system be supposed true. On this supposition, the application of remunerative power is needless. Say, establishment needless.

But it is only by coercion, applied in the way of taxation, that the matter of reward, whatever it be, that is applied to this purpose, can be collected. Such application is therefore burthensome, and as such, pernicious. Say, establishment pernicious: viz. by needless and useless burthen imposed in a pecuniary shape.

Let the supposition of the truth be still continued. The system say, is true, as before. But, by a number more or less considerable, it will not be believed to be true: and by another number more or less considerable, it will be believed to be false. For if this were not the case, the application made of the matter of reward, to this purpose, would be needless, and thence, as above, pernicious. An effect, of the production of which, by means of the matter of reward, no assurance can by any possibility be obtained, is the existence of the act of judgment, termed belief, to any subject whatsoever. But an effect, of the production of which the fullest assurance may be obtained is, in relation to such belief, an allegation of the party affirming the existence of it in his own mind. This allegation may, with equal ease and safety, be made whether it be true or false. So far as such allegation, if made, would be true, so far the application thus made of the matter of reward is to the effect in question, needless and useless: so far as the allegation would, if made, be false, so far the application thus made, is an act of subornation, applied to the procurement of false and mendacious assertions: in a word, subornation of falsehood, wanting nothing but the ceremony called an oath to be subornation of perjury. Say, establishment pernicious, by corruption of morals, viz. by production of insincerity and mendacity.

The manner in which belief is thus endeavoured, or pretended to be endeavoured, to be produced, is exactly that in which, for the purpose of procuring a judicial decision, false witnesses are hired. Declare what you saw and whatever it be, you will be paid so much: this is the way in which witnesses are hired to give true testimony. Declare that you saw so and so, and you shall be paid so much: this is the language by which witnesses are hired to give false testimony. The language by which the matter of reward is applied to the purpose of producing allegation of belief, in the case here in question, is exactly the language by which, in a judicial case as above, false witnesses are hired.

The matter of reward is capable of being applied to this purpose in either or both of two modes. Mode the first: To each individual, in relation to whom it is your desire that the belief in question should be professed, offer and give so much money—say one shilling—immediately upon and after his pronouncing or signing a declaration to the effect required: call this the direct mode, or mode by hiring believers. Mode the second: To certain individuals, to the purpose of causing that same belief to be entertained or professed, pay at stated periods so much money, on their entering into an engagement to use endeavours, at times stated or not stated, to cause, by means of argument, others to entertain or profess a belief to the effect required: call this the indirect mode, or mode by hiring teachers. This, too, is subornation of insincerity and mendacity.

If the direct mode of procuring profession of belief is bad, the indirect mode is much worse. In the direct mode, the only part of the mental frame vitiated and corrupted, is the moral part: in this indirect mode, the moral part is much more thoroughly vitiated and corrupted, and the intellectual part is vitiated likewise. In the direct mode, the formulary is pronounced or signed, and the next moment it has fled out of the mind. In the indirect mode, the individual hired to teach must, if he earns his hire, be continually brooding over the falsehood he has committed: perpetually engaged in the endeavour to cause others to believe to be true that which he himself does not believe to be true, but believes to be false: continually occupied in the endeavour to deceive. To the character of liar for hire, he adds the character of deceiver for hire—or, at least, would—be deceiver for hire.

In this case, in so far as his consciousness of the falsehood of the belief he advocates, extends, his case is the same with that of the professional lawyer, in the situation of advocate. But the advocate is sure, for a great part of his professional life, to be on the right side: on the average, about half. Not so the priest: to him it may happen not to have been for any one moment of his professional life, on any other than the wrong side. This is what, by each of two sets of priests, priests of the Christian religion, and priests of the Mahometan religion, for example, is universally and constantly said of the other.

Now, as to the intellectual corruption: and first, as to the teacher of that which, in his eyes, is falsehood. So long as he believes to be false that which he asserts to be true, the poison remains in his moral frame, and goes no further. But what may happen, and to a certain extent probably does happen, is—that finding this state of mind more or less irksome, he uses his endeavours to get out of it. That which he believes to be false, he endeavours to believe to be true. For this purpose there is one, and but one course. This is on every occasion to call off his attention from all considerations tending to cause the belief in question to be regarded as false, and at the same time to apply his attention to all considerations tending to cause it to be believed to be true: not omitting to set and keep his invention at work in the search after new ones: call this the self-deceptive process. In the here supposed case, the system is supposed to be true; therefore, no vitiation of the intellectual frame is among the consequences of this process. But in the meantime, in this endeavour to believe to be true that which is believed to be false, a habit has been acquired by him, by which the intellectual frame is vitiated in its application to all subjects: the habit of partiality: the habit of wilful blindness: the habit from which a man derives a propensity to embrace falsehood and error in preference to truth, whatsoever be the subject.

Look again to the Westminster Hall witness, with the straw in his shoe. The side on which he has been engaged has happened to be the right side: in this there is nothing extraordinary: for a fact which in itself is true, is not rendered false by the death of a witness, who, if alive, would have proved it. The side in favour of which he has given his testimony is the right side; but the act by which his moral character has been stained is not the less gross. So in the case of the true system in regard to religion, is it with the priest, who when hired believed it to be false.

Meantime by those, by whose power the religion has been thus established, or continues to be thus supported, a virtual certificate has been given, and continues to be given, that in their eyes the system thus supported is false. The side on which the witness with the straw in his shoe has been hired, is the right side; but subornation of perjury is not less the act by which the hiring has been performed: nor are the actors the less suborners of perjury. Moreover of such subornation, the natural tendency and natural effect, is to cause the side, though by the supposition, the right one, to be looked upon in the eyes of those to whom the fact of the hiring is known as the wrong one. In vain would the hirers exclaim,—our side is the right one—we know it to be so. The answer in every mouth would be,—were this allowed, the wrong side, if it had money enough on its side, would, in every case, be the gainer.

Of no direct assurance, given by the hiring individual, would the probative force given of his belief be rendered so great, as the disprobative force of the circumstantial evidence of unbelief, afforded by this hiring: by no protestations, oral or written, public or private.

In no case in which it is a man’s interest that the truth, on whatever side it be, should be embraced, does he take this method for the discovery of it: for causing discovery to be made of it, and the belief of it, when discovered, entertained. In no case, if it really be a man’s desire that a true and correct map of a country should be made and purchased, does he, without having ever seen the country, draw a map of his own, and say,—copy and publish this map, you will have so much money: make and publish a map of the country from an actual survey of it made by yourself, you shall have nothing.

In vain would any one say,—of such importance is the subject in our eyes, and such the sad probability, that notwithstanding its importance, it will, unless the course in question be taken, be unattended to, or unbelief, or false belief in relation to it be inculcated and embraced,—that to avoid so great an evil, it is in our eyes necessary to take this course.

Happiness, you yourselves insist upon, is at stake: happiness not in this life only, but in another,—the difference between the extreme of felicity, and the extreme of misery: not of this or that individual only, but of all without exception. What!—and are we then to believe one and all, that there are so many individuals, to no one of whom is his own happiness so dear to himself as it is to you?—his own happiness in this life and in another?

Oh! but he will be deceived if the matter be not laid before him in the manner we prescribe: no notion on the subject will he entertain, or if he does, his notions will be erroneous, and in such sort erroneous as to be noxious: noxious to himself, and in an indefinite number to others.

No notions!—what, on a subject on which, in your own eyes, or at least according to your own lips, the difference between the extreme of happiness and the extreme of misery in every man’s case depends—not only will he himself be indifferent, but so will every one else? Is it then to be supposed that in this case, no one will rise up to state to him the peril he is in, and with or without pay, offer to show him how he may deliver himself from it?

All this notwithstanding,—notwithstanding the proof thus afforded of your own disbelief of that which you inculcate, you pay to a set of men under the notion of their inculcating it, money in so immense a mass, imposing on the whole community, poor as well as rich, the correspondent burthen. Of all this vast mass of the matter of wealth, you yourselves have the patronage, they the immediate use. The hope of deriving benefit from such patronage is, in vain would you deny it, an inducement, and that a most powerful one, on their part, to do your will in all things, and give their support to your power. Under these circumstances, can any reasonable man look for the cause of the hire you pay, in any other circumstance than the profit, which, in the shape of power and money, you and yours derive from it: and not in any belief on your part that that which you so cause to be inculcated, is true or useful?

Another proof given to the world that you yourselves believe that it has no truth or usefulness is, that it is no object of your care or your endeavour that the benefit of it should be reaped. What is the course you take? The alleged service, of which you would have it thought the benefit is so great, is anything effectual done by you to cause it to be performed? The connexion between the alleged service and the reward, is any care taken to keep it up?—the obvious course, no service, no pay, is it in any way applied by you to practice? When it is really among your wishes that the alleged service should be performed, effectual care on your part is not wanting, witness the arrangement in regard to soldiers.

But in truth, in no instance has a system in regard to religion been ever established, but for the purpose, as well as with the effect of its being made an instrument of intimidation, corruption, and delusion, for the support of depredation and oppression in the hands of governments.

If it be so clearly contrary to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, even in the present life, that a system of opinions on the subject of religion, admitting it to be true, be thus established, as clearly is it true in regard to the religion of Jesus in particular, that the affording such establishment to the religion of Jesus is inconsistent with his will, as evidenced by his own declarations as well as by his own practice. Nowhere is he stated to have directed that to the religion delivered by himself, any such establishment should be given. Nowhere, either in terms or in substance, has he said—give money to those who say they believe in what I have said, or give money to those who teach others to believe what I have said. Nowhere has he said—apply punishment to those who will not say they believe what I have said, or to those who say they believe that what I have said is false.

And yet, repugnant to the known will of the then constituted authorities, was everything done and said that was done and said by him. By argument so irresistible as to carry with it the effect of ridicule, he opposed the sanctity of the Sabbath as taught by those same constituted authorities.

By the Sidmouths and the Castlereaghs of the time were set on him the Olivers and Castles, by whom he was at length entrapped.

The corruptive effect of opulence, as herein above displayed, was neither unperceived by him nor unproclaimed. No denunciations more severe than those made by him against those who put their trust in riches. Wallowers in wealth and luxury, greater than any to which he could ever have been witness, are now to be seen,—men who, pretending to be preachers of his doctrine, and enjoying their wealth and luxury on that false pretence, never cease to say—take from our order any of the wealth it enjoys or may enjoy—set limits to our riches, and the religion of Jesus is at an end.

If such be the mischief where the religion is true, what must it be where it is false? Happily, the supposition is not necessary.



Section I.

Means of Government.

The powers, by the exercise of which government is carried on, cannot be exercised by all in the same manner at the same time. Any such proposition as this, that the best government is that in which the powers of government are all of them exercised by all the members of the community at the same time, would be a self-contradictory proposition: by it would be asserted the existence of a government, and at the same time, in the same community, the non-existence of any government.

The exercise of the powers of government consists in the giving of directions or commands, positive and prohibitive; and incidentally in securing compliance through the application of rewards and punishments.

In and by every such exercise is implied a separation of the whole members of the community into two classes, namely the governors and the governed—the rulers and those over whom rule is exercised.

But though consistently with the continued existence of government, it is impossible that the separation should, as to the two classes themselves, be otherwise than perpetual; not so is the existence of the same individual in both those classes, so it be at different points of time. Of each class, the whole population might migrate into the other: those who are governors at one moment may be all of them governed, and not governors, during the second moment; while those who are governed during the first moment may be governors during the second moment.

In comparison with the governed, the governors must, in every community, be a small number; for those by whom the operations of government are carried on, cannot during that time be carrying on operations of any other sort. The greatest portion of the labouring time of the greatest number must at all times be employed in the securing of the means of subsistence to the whole.

By whom, then, and how, shall this distinction be made? By what cause or causes shall it be determined who, at each moment, shall be the governor, and who the governed?

The greatest-happiness principle requires that, be the governors who they may,—be the powers of government exercised by them what they may,—it is of the will of the governed, that during each moment their existence in that situation should be the result: that is to say, that after having been placed, they should at certain intervals of no great length, be displaceable by the governed.

The governed cannot all of them be exercising the immediate powers of government, but at stated times they may all of them exercise the function of declaring who the individuals shall be by whom those same immediate powers shall be exercised.

The happiness of the governed will at all times, it is manifest, be in a great degree dependent on the conduct maintained by the governors in the exercise of those powers of government. As on every occasion his own greatest happiness is the object or end towards which the exercise of the active faculties of every individual will be directed, so will they be on this occasion: he will, therefore, cause those individuals to be in the situation of the governors or ruling few, by whose conduct in such their situation, his own happiness will, according to his judgment, be most effectually promoted.

If there were any other individual or set of individuals, by whose conduct the only right and proper end of government were likely to be in a greater degree promoted, than by the greatest number, as above,—such other individual or individuals would be those in whose hands the greatest-happiness principle would require that the exercise of those same powers should be lodged.

But there are not, nor in the nature of man can be, any such other individual or set of individuals. The powers of government in the hands of any such individuals would be necessarily directed to the giving every possible increase to their own happiness, whatever became of the happiness of others. And in proportion as their happiness received increase would the aggregate happiness of all the governed be diminished.

True it is, that, as in the case of the supposed individuals not chosen by the governed, nor by any portion of them, so by every individual chosen by them would his own happiness in the same way be endeavoured to be increased, whatsoever became of their happiness. But as each such member of the ruling few not only was placed, but at a short interval is displaceable by the subject many, what he sees from first to last is, that any considerable and lasting sacrifice of their happiness to his own is impracticable: and that for every attempt to effect it he would be liable to be punished. He will not, therefore, encounter any such risk.

Section II.

Authorities in a State.

For embracing at the same time the case in which the supreme power in the state is in the hands of some single person, and that in which it is according to any scheme of division, divided among persons more than one, a collective term is necessary: for this purpose the word authority is here employed. Accordant with this locution is the French phrase, les autorités constituées; whence in English, the constituted authorities.

The supreme authority in a state is that on the will of which the exercise of all other authorities depends: insomuch that, if, and in so far as, by any other authority the will of the supreme authority is contravened, the constitution by which the several powers are allotted to the several authorities is violated, and what is done is contrary to law.

Between authority and authority dependence is effectual in proportion to the exactness and constancy with which the act of the inferior corresponds with the last expressed will of the superior: in the same manner as the action of any individual corresponds with the last formed will of that same individual.

In this as well as other senses, as a synonym to the word authority, the word power is commonly employed. But transparency is more or less disturbed as often as, for designating objects so distinct and different as the person possessing and the thing possessed, the same denomination is employed.

The mode of locating an authority is either simple or composite: simple, when it is the result of the will of an individual, or of the wills of a set of individuals, all operating at the same time, and with equal effect: composite, when, expression having been given to the will of an individual, or set of individuals, as above,—thereafter for the completion of it, expression given to the will of a different individual, or set of individuals, is necessary.

Thus in regard to certain offices in the official establishment of the United States. By the Federal Constitution, “the President . . . . shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint . . . . all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for.” Here the mode of location is composite. “The President” (says the next paragraph) “shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the senate.” Here the mode of location is simple.

The constitutive is supreme, or say, superordinate, with reference to every other authority: it resides in the whole body of active citizens throughout the state.

The legislative is superordinate with reference to every authority other than the constitutive.

Subordinate to the legislative, in the exercise of the legislative function, are the several sub-legislatures, by which that function is exercised in each of the districts.

In the administrative department, the direction of all other functionaries belonging to the same department, is in a single hand. Subordinate are all of them, with reference to the supreme constitutive and the supreme legislative. In each of them, the chief is with reference to all the other functionaries in his own department, superordinate and supreme.

So in the judiciary.

The supreme executive or operative authority, though in all its branches subordinate to the supreme legislative, is not subordinate to any of the sub-legislatures.

At the head of the executive is a single functionary, the executive chief. In his hands is the direction in chief of the whole of the business of the administrative department: and with relation to all the several functionaries employed in it, he is superordinate.

At the head of the judiciary is a single functionary—the justice minister. With relation to him, the executive chief is superordinate: but the direction of the business of the justice minister’s department, is not in the executive chief’s hands.

Section III.

Sovereignty in whom.

By the sovereignty is meant the supreme constitutive authority: in virtue of which, immediately or unimmediately, the people exercise, as will be seen, the locative, and eventually the dislocative function, in relation to the possessors of all the several other authorities in the state.

This function, the people not only are in the nature of the case capable of exercising, but in divers states are in use to exercise. As to any other functions, legislative, administrative, or judicial,—a state of things in which the people should endeavour to exercise them, would, if government in name, be anarchy in fact.

All those several functions, however, they are capable of exercising, and with unquestionable advantage do exercise, by proxy: namely, by their agents, and sub-agents, in the several departments just mentioned.

In those states alone, in which the sovereignty, or a share in it, is in the hands of the people, or a portion more or less considerable of the people, can any such authority as the supreme constitutive, in a distinct set of hands, have place. In an hereditary monarchy, by no choice made by any human being, is any succeeding monarch placed in the situation left vacant by a preceding one. So neither in any aristocracy: unless it is by the surviving members that the vacancies having place in that body, are filled up. In this case there is indeed a constitutive; but not in hands distinct from those in which the other functions of the highest grade are lodged.

By the term the people, is meant the whole number of persons, existing in any part of the territory of the state,—such as are, at the moment of the time in question, admitted to act in the capacity of electors. The term people, though so far from being in its import determinate, is, on account of its familiarity, deemed for the present preferable: for prevention of uncertainty, reference must be made to the election code, where the requisite determinateness is given to it.

In the year 1798, for toasting the sovereignty of the people, at a public dinner, the Duke of Norfolk and the Hon. Charles Fox, were, by George the Third, struck out of the list of privy councillors. If, by this toast, what was meant to be declared was, a matter of fact actually in existence, the fact thus declared was enormously wide of the truth: if, what was meant by the toast was, a declaration that, in the opinion of those who joined in it, that form of government in which the sovereignty is in the people, is the most desirable, the meaning of it is—that a form purely democratical is the most desirable one.

Why give the sovereign power to the largest possible portion of those, whose greatest happiness is the proper and chosen object? Because in all points or elements of appropriate aptitude taken together, be the political community in question what it may, this proportion is more apt than any other that can be proposed, in competition with it: in particular than any single one of that same number, or than any number smaller than that same number. Thus, absolutely speaking: and as to proportions, the greater the difference between this largest number and any smaller, the greater is the comparative inaptitude of such smaller number in all points taken together as above.

Considered by itself and without reference to any other, this greatest number, say, for shortness, the people, cannot on any just grounds be considered as deficient, in respect of aggregate appropriate aptitude.

Comparatively deficient, will be seen to be any one individual, taken from that same number, or from among the members of any other political community: that is to say, any person placed in the situation, and invested with the power of a monarch.

So any comparatively small number of individuals placed in the situation, and invested with the power of a sovereign aristocracy.

So any aggregate of partners in the sovereignty, composed of the people as above, (or their chosen agents,) a monarch, an aristocracy, or any two of these authorities, in whatsoever proportions the powers were shared, between the two or among the three.

As in the case of any other task, so in the case of this, the aggregate of relative or say appropriate aptitude will on examination, be seen to be composed of four elementary portions and no more: to wit, moral aptitude, cognoscitive aptitude, judicative aptitude, and active aptitude: understand in regard to each of them, appropriate relation had to the task or work in hand. By cognoscitive aptitude, understand that which consists in the possession of appropriate knowledge: by judicative aptitude, that which consists in the possession of the faculty of judgment in a sufficient degree of perfection. Cognoscitive and judicative aptitude taken together, constitute intellectual aptitude: and in so far as they are united in the same person, the appellative intellectual aptitude, may for shortness be employed, instead of employing those same two appellatives.

Add all these elements, each in adequate degrees together, and the aggregate of appropriate aptitude will be obtained. Let any one of them be wanting, it will not be obtained: and appropriate moral aptitude, it will be seen is that element, by the absence of which, the greatest gap in the adequate complement of appropriate aptitude will be constituted.

With relation to this task, or say—function, by appropriate moral aptitude, understand the being in an adequate degree actuated and guided by the desire of securing to the greatest number in question, at all times, the greatest quantity, or say the maximum, of happiness.

Where there is adequate power, as there is here by the supposition, correspondent to desires, will be endeavours: desiring their own greatest happiness, the persons in question will, in the exercise of the power thus possessed by them, endeavour in so far as they know how, i. e. are possessed of appropriate intellectual aptitude,—at the securing to themselves and those who are dear to them, the maximum of happiness.

By sovereign power, understand the power of locating those functionaries by whom the functions belonging to the legislative authority shall be exercised; coupled with the power of dislocation, exercisible—not only in relation to the persons so located, but also in relation to all those, by them located: to wit, whether immediately, or through a chain of any length, composed of intermediate locators.

As to the power of location, why, notwithstanding in this case, desires and endeavours will of course be exactly the same—why, with a few exceptions that will be mentioned, it cannot with advantage go lower in the official scale, will be shown in the proper place.

In the exercise of political power, whatsoever is done by the possessors of the supreme power must be done through agents: for as to actual governing, for this, it is admitted, the people are essentially unapt: and on this inaptitude proceeds the proposition, that for the exercise of the operative functions of government, in the highest degree, they should choose agents, who will naturally be some among themselves. On the part of these possessors of the supreme power, moral aptitude can of itself avail little, except in so far as it contributes to the choice of morally apt agents.

Here the aptitude of the people will be seen to be at a maximum. Not only does the moral aptitude of the people dispose them to look out for, and choose morally apt agents; but it disposes all men who are, or who wish to be such agents, to become morally apt. The only interest of his, which an elector can expect to serve by the choice of an agent for this purpose, is that which he has in common with all the rest. The only way in which, in quality of agent for this purpose, a man can expect to recommend himself to the good opinion and choice of the people in their quality of electors, is by appearing disposed to serve to his utmost this practically universal interest: and the only sure way of appearing disposed to serve it, is to be actually conspicuous in his endeavours to serve it.

Some among them, there cannot but be, whose aptitude in this shape is in comparison with that of the rest, at the highest point of the scale. By these men, such their aptitude (if it has not already been displayed) will of course on this occasion be endeavoured to be displayed. Of their pretensions, he who in his own eyes, is a competent judge, will form his judgment and vote accordingly. He who in his own eyes is not a competent judge, will ask for information and advice of some one or more, who in his eyes are competent judges, and so on. In such their choice of advisers some will be more fortunate, others less fortunate. But if in respect of the majority of agents so elected, they are not fortunate, the cause of the failure, lies in the nature of the case: by no other course, could a better chance for being fortunate have been obtained.

The same inquiry which leads them to the obtainment of appropriate moral, leads them to the obtainment of appropriate intellectual and active aptitude in their agents: they find men qualified at the same time with inclination and accordant intellectual power, suited to the purpose of obtaining for them, in the aggregate, the maximum of happiness.

In favour of this theory all experience testifies. The evidence is of so bulky a nature, that room cannot in such a work as this be found. Negative proof, will be found to concur with positive. In the case of no people by whom agents for this purpose have been freely chosen, will any reason be found for the belief that agents in any considerable degree more apt, in this particular, than those actually chosen, could have been had. Meantime the uninterrupted and most notorious experience of the United States may be appealed to, as rendering superfluous all other proofs.

Section IV.

Constitutive,—why in the people?

By instituting the power of locating and eventually dislocating, and applying it to all official situations, and placing the whole of it in the hands of the people, a pure representative democracy is instituted: and this form of government, and this alone, as has been already shown, can have the greatest happiness of the greatest number for its effect.

For the exercise of those two connected functions, namely the locative and the dislocative, in relation to all the several other functions by the exercise of which government is carried on, the people are naturally endowed with the requisite degree of appropriate aptitude, absolute and comparative: absolute, with reference to the end in view simply, namely the production of the greatest happiness of the greatest number; comparative, with reference to every imaginable authority, that is to say, person, or set of persons, in whose hands it is possible to lodge, those several functions.

By what considerations can it be made to appear that the people, as above absolutely considered, possess the requisite degree of appropriate aptitude for the exercise of those same functions?

By general reason, and by particular experience.

What, in this case, is to be understood by general reason? Considerations deduced from the nature of man, as exemplified in the feelings, interests, affections, passions, motives, inducements, propensities, and actions, common to all individuals in all situations.

By particular experience, understand, in private situations, in the case of persons taken separately, and in political situations, in the case of persons collectively taken.

With respect to particular experience in private situations, look to the situation of a person having need of an agent for the management of certain of his affairs: namely, any affairs, be they what they may, which his time, or his faculties of all kinds, natural and acquired, do not in his judgment, admit of his managing in his own person in a manner equally beneficial to himself.

Certain classes excepted, a position which every person will be ready to accede to, upon the very first mention of it, is—that every person possesses appropriate aptitude with reference to the choice of his own agent or agents, or say his own trustee or trustees, for the management of all such affairs as it suits him to consign over to the management of any other person or persons. It being, therefore, undenied and undeniable, that for the management of affairs peculiar to himself, every man is thus apt to choose his agent; it will, therefore, rest with gainsayers to show what, if any, the circumstances are, by which it is that a person stands precluded, from taking his part in the choice of persons to be employed in the management of those affairs which are his, as well as those of all the other members of the community in question, whatever it be.

In this case, be it as it may in regard to absolute aptitude, there will be among all men but one voice in regard to comparative aptitude: and it is comparative aptitude that is here in question. To positions such as the following, no man is there who will show any disposition to embrace: “Every man’s affairs will be better managed by agents, not chosen or removeable by himself, than by agents chosen and removeable by himself: or, generally speaking, a man’s affairs will not be so well managed by agents, chosen and removeable by himself, as by agents chosen by other persons who are strangers to him, and those agents not removeable by himself.”

A slave is one, for the conduct of whose affairs an agent, in the choice of whom he has no part, is employed. And what is the consequence? Let the annals of slavery,—let the state of the slaves in those governments in which it is established,—declare.

That which a slave-holding proprietor is, with relation to those whom he calls his slaves, an absolute monarch is, in relation to those whom he calls his subjects. In the one case, as in the other, in the exercise given to their power, more or less of harshness, or of mildness may be manifested, habitually or casually, by different masters in different countries, or in the same country. But, in the two cases, the power claimed is the same. If there be a difference, it is in the disfavour of the slaves of the monarch. For in the case of the slaves who are styled slaves, there is almost universally something or other in the state of the laws by which a restraint is imposed upon the faculty of putting the slaves to death; whereas, in the case of the master whose slaves are styled subjects, there is no such restraint: putting them to death in case of displeasure, is not only practised but avowed.

As to political experience, look at the situation occupied by the people in states, in which the form of government is a pure representative democracy: for example, the American United States united together in respect of certain functions and arrangements of government.

If it be denied that the people possess appropriate moral aptitude in a comparative sense, it must be assumed that, with reference to the end in view, there exist some person or persons by whom it is possessed in a degree superior to that in which it is possessed by the people. Such other person or persons, will either be persons belonging to some foreign state, or persons belonging to the state here in question. Suppose it a single person, and he belonging not to the state in question, but to a foreign state. Thence if so it be, that in comparison with him, the people do not possess the branch of appropriate aptitude, the case will be, that in the breast of this foreigner—say of this foreign monarch—the desire of seeing produced the greatest happiness of the greatest number of the people in the state in question, is greater than in the breasts of those same people themselves. And so in the case of the one or the few, belonging in both cases to the state in question. Hence we have three positions differing little from one another in absurdity:

1. A foreign monarch will, as such, have a stronger desire to see the greatest number of the people of this state possessed of the maximum of happiness than they themselves will have.

2. A native monarch will, as such, have a stronger desire to see the greatest number of the people possessed of the maximum of happiness than they themselves will have.

3. A set of men, more or less numerous, constituting an aristocratic body, (small at any rate, in comparison with the greatest number of the people,) will have a stronger desire to see the people possessed of the maximum of happiness than they themselves will have.

As to intellectual aptitude, if it be admitted on the part of the people individually and separately taken, in the case where an agent is to be chosen for the management of this or that portion of the affairs of each, that there will be no deficiency, absolute or comparative, of appropriate aptitude in this shape, in so much as that the aptitude of the choice made would not be likely to be increased by lodging the power of making it in any other hands,—it will appear that in the case of a choice to be made by each, for the affairs common to all, the deficiency, so far from being greater, is not likely to be so great. Whatever deficiency would have had place on the part of the people themselves for the affairs of government, will thus be supplied by their elected agents in the legislature.

In respect of the aggregate of appropriate aptitude on the part of the people and their agents: it will, by the effect of, and in proportion to, time and experience, be continually on the increase: for in them moral aptitude is always at a maximum; and by time and experience, intellectual and active aptitude will (except so far as repressed by misrule) be in all men in a state of increase. For the same reasons, aggregate aptitude will, in the monarch and his agents, in proportion to time and experience, be either at a stand, or on the decrease: for in him the inaptitude opposite to appropriate moral aptitude being always consummate, any increase that takes place in intellectual aptitude will be employed in the endeavour to give increase to his own happiness, to the diminution of that of the people.

So in the case of an aristocracy.

In a monarchy, the desire of making the sinister sacrifice is accompanied by adequate power in the hands of the monarch. But in the instance of each individual in any community, though the same sinister desire has place, the power has no place: to this purpose the incorporeal instruments requisite are wanting: and these being wanting, the corporeal instruments are so too. In his endeavours to secure himself against depredation and oppression, each man finds all others in general disposed to become co-operators and supporters: for against depredation and oppression to his own prejudice, no man can find any means of security but such as cannot but afford the like security to other individuals in general. Accordingly, in this case, the power being added to the desire, the corresponding good effect has place. But in any endeavours he might use to exercise depredation and oppression at the expense of others in large multitudes, no man who, not having the incorporeal instruments, has not at his command the corporeal ones, will find co-operators and supporters in number and form adequate to the purpose: accordingly in this case, the power not being added to the desire, the corresponding evil effect does not take place.

Though in all men these same propensities must be acknowledged to have place, and in all men the correspondent desires have place accordingly—and upon occasion, to a greater or less extent, they become productive of correspondent acts—yet the difference between the strength of the desire in the one situation, and the strength of the desire in the other situation, is prodigious. In the case of those desires which have for their object corporeal gratification, or exemption from corporeal suffering, the force of the desire is not taken away by the absence of hope, or say, by the absence of the expectation of the power of gratifying them: witness the desires of hunger and thirst. But in the case of those desires which have for their object any such complex good as is denoted by the appellations power or money, in the quantities attached to political situations, the absence of the corresponding expectation is capable of keeping the desire in a state in which it is altogether void of efficiency, and even to the individual himself, for want of attention to what passes in his own mind imperceptible.

Thus it is that the existence, not only of gratification, but even of desire itself, may depend upon a union with power. In the Anglo-American United States, Buonaparte might have been a Washington: in France, Washington might have been no more than a Buonaparte. In the breast of Washington,—he being a man,—it cannot have been but that the desire of depredation or oppression, or both, to be exercised on the large scale, must at times have had place, and been more or less troublesome. Why? Because the power of affording gratification to a greater or less extent to such desire could not have been wholly unaccompanied by hope. But, of by far the greater number of those by whose suffrages Washington was located in the situation which give him the power of being what he became, take any one at random, no probability of his having ever been actuated, or even troubled, by any such desire, will be found in his instance. Why? Because in his breast there cannot have been any hope of gratifying it.

In a representative democracy, take any one member of the community acting in the exercise of the supreme constitutive power. His desire is to afford to himself security against depredation and oppression: such being his ultimate desire, his intermediate desire is—to see located in the situation of his representative, a man who, desire and power in all shapes included, appears to him likely to contribute, in a degree more than any other man would, to his possession of that same security: such is his desire, and such accordingly is his act,—the act by which he gives his vote. For the gratification of any sinister desire at the expense of the universal interest, he cannot hope to find co-operation and support from any considerable number of his follow-citizens.

By Colonel Burr, who had been Vice-President, and, if he was to be believed, had the option of being President, the representative democracy of the United States was to have been improved into an absolute monarchy: absolute monarch, Colonel Burr. Improved, yes; but how? by free votes, by the free votes of those by whom he had been freely made Vice-President? Oh, no: in how great a degree soever conducive to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, by any such means the change was hopeless, even in that breast in which the desire was strongest, and as the subsequent endeavour proved, not altogether without hope. Oh, no: to the throne of the Anglo-American, United States, the road he had pitched upon, passed through the throne of Mexico. In his view, Mexicans were sheep, his own countrymen lions. First, he was to have been Emperor of Mexico. On the back of these sheep he was to have been brought home to subdue and tame the lions.

Section V.

Constitutire,—why not in One?

Next, as to the hands in which, by the institution of a supreme constitutive authority in the hands of the many, the power in question is saved from being placed.

These are, those of a monarch, seated otherwise than by location, by other hands: and those of an aristocracy, seated otherwise than by location, by other hands.

These two authorities agree in this:—That not being located by other hands, neither are they dislocable by other hands: and being actuated in common with all mankind by the principle of self-preference, they pursue their own particular and sinister interest at the expense, and by the sacrifice, of the interest of the subject many, without any restraint.

In the condition of a subject, in the breast of every individual, the self-preferring principle feels restraint imposed upon it in its endeavours to effect the sinister sacrifice, not only by legal, but by moral obligation, not only by the power of the law, but by the power of the public-opinion tribunal.

But in the situation of monarch, the single ruling functionary feels himself exempt from the tutelary control, not only of the political sanction, but from the control of the popular or moral sanction, having for its judicial executive the public-opinion tribunal. From that of the political sanction altogether, in virtue of the irresponsible situation in which he is placed by law: from the public-opinion tribunal in great measure, by means of the influence which his situation gives him on the judgments pronounced by that unofficial judicatory.

At first blush, unwise would the proposition be apt to appear which should propose that the successor of the monarch, for the time being, should be determined by pure chance: by chance without any determinate political situation by which the range of its dominion would be limited. Take for example the mode of election that, in this case, would be prescribed by the principle of equality: a lottery in which the crown shall be the prize, and in which every member of the community shall have a ticket.

But in comparison with chance and education, which has everywhere determined the order of succession in a monarchy, absolute chance acting through the medium of a lottery, so far from a comparatively inefficient course, would be an eminently and incontestably beneficial and wise one. Understand by education, those qualities, which are the result of those circumstances in which, in respect to power, money, factitious dignity, habitual desires, habitual means employed in gratifying them, and associates of all classes, a man’s political situation has placed him. In all this what belongs to nature is the result of chance.

In the case of the lottery, the majority of the tickets being in the hands of the majority of the inhabitants, and all sinister influence being excluded by the supposition, the odds would be in favour of an individual belonging to the lower, that is to say, the more numerous order: an individual whose interest, down to the moment of the drawing, had always been (and thence his affections) in alliance with, and in favour of, that of the greatest number.

By his elevation, his mind would, there can be no doubt, he in a greater or less degree deteriorated, in the moral branch, on which the other branches depend for their usefulness: but at the worst, it would not be to any such degree deteriorated, as to reduce him in the scale of appropriate aptitude to a level with the man, by whom, in the other case, the situation is occupied. Sympathy of affection,—that sympathy which corresponds with moral aptitude, would, in a greater or less degree, be extinguished: but that branch of aptitude, which could not be extinguished, is the sympathy of conception: if, to whatsoever degree, the feelings of those, whose condition is similar to what his own had been, come to be the objects of his neglect, no part of the neglect could in this case, as in that, have been produced from the want of knowing what, on each occasion, those feelings are.

If there be any person by whom it can be seriously contended that for the locating—the choice, of agents, by whom the business of government shall be conducted, the hand of the monarch is fitter than that of the people, it must be, on one or other of these grounds:

1. That the happiness or unhappiness of the people has, on this occasion, no title to regard: for that the question receives an unanswerable decision, by the observation that the title of the monarch to make such choice, is the only legitimate one, provided that the race to which he belongs has, for a certain length of time, been in possession of the throne.

2. That the happiness and unhappiness of the people has indeed a title to regard—a title perhaps to as great regard, as the happiness and unhappiness of the monarch himself. But that, on their part, so consummate is the want of appropriate intellectual aptitude, on his part, so consummate the abundance of it,—and at the same time so intimate is the connexion between their happiness and his, that by leaving the choice exclusively to him, more effectual provision will be made for their happiness than if the choice of the agents, for this part of their business, were altogether in themselves.

The first of these is so flagrantly and palpably absurd, that it baffles all the power of intellect to make answer to it. In fact, it has nothing to do with intellect. All that it denotes is a mere expression of will, and nothing else: and for giving expression to it, as well might any other word, as the word legitimacy, be employed.

With respect to the second, altogether groundless and untenable is the notion of any such unity of interests. Between individual and individual in a democracy, everywhere, yes: between monarch and subjects, in a monarchy, nowhere: instead of unity, repugnancy.

Between every animal of prey on the one part, and the animals preyed upon on the other, a certain community of interests has place. It is the interest of the wolf that the sheep should be fat and abundant, and that pasture, to render them so, should abound at all times. It is the interest of the commander of an invading army, that not only subsistence, but abundance should have place in the greatest possible quantity wherever he makes his inroads. It is the interest of all pirates, that wealth should be abundant in all seas and on all coasts to which their piracies are to be directed. It is the interest of all highwaymen, not only that travellers should be numerous, but that their purses should be well-lined. Exactly of the same sort is the interest which the monarch has in common with his subjects.

Take for example the case of Ireland: Of every, the most indigent day-labourer, it is the wish, that of the matter of subsistence and abundance, the aggregate of the quantity in the whole country may be at its maximum: and to this wish there is no conditional or restrictive clause. For that by any addition to the aggregate, any diminution should be effected in his share, is a result which, true or false, is not of a nature to find its way into his conception.

This same wish has place in the breasts of the body composed of the ruling one and influential few. But here comes in a sort of proviso or restrictive clause: provided my share of the produce of the taxes be not diminished by it, says the tax-fed placeman: provided my tithes be not diminished by it, says, in like manner, the tithe-fed priest: provided our fees be not diminished by it, say the fee-fed judge and advocate.

But abundance cannot be increased unless the taxes be diminished, the tithes, for which no service is rendered, abolished, and the services of the judge and those of the advocate placed within the reach of all who need them. But to the doing of this, what would be necessary is, that after the extinction of the existing set of extortioners in all these several shapes, extortion in these shapes should cease. This, however, is what the extortioners (even though the benefit of their own extortions were preserved to them) would not endure to think of: for, of whatsoever sympathy they have, every particle is engrossed by the comparatively few persons in the same condition in life as themselves: antipathy, not sympathy, is the sentiment with which the whole class of those by whose labours they are pampered is regarded.

Thus it is, that in support of depredation, oppression in all its shapes will, in that country, keep on its course, until that suffering, or the fear of it, which when inflicted on those who suffer by irremediable injury would be called justice, overtakes the authors: and those who in that country now tyrannise in the name of Christ, share the fate now experiencing by some of those who tyrannise in the name of Mahomet.

Whatsoever be the difficulties which stand in the way of a good choice, in the situation of elector in a democracy, inconsiderable will they thus be in comparison with those that stand in the way of a good choice in the case of a monarch. For pre-estimating the qualities, absolute and comparative, of each candidate, the monarch will have no other guide than the whispers of a number of dependants, all of them interested in deceiving him: all of them constantly occupied in the endeavour so to do: all of them, in intention, deceivers,—all of them, even in profession, flatterers.

For the exercise of this same function, how much more advantageous is the situation of an elector in a democracy. Into no company can he enter without seeing those who, in relation to this subject, are ready to communicate to him whatever they know, have seen, or heard, or think. The annals of the year, the diaries of the day, the pictures of all public functionaries, and of all those who aspire to be so, find a place on his table, in company with his daily bread.

For nothing of all this has the monarch any time. His time is engrossed by the gratification of sensual appetites, and by the receipt of homage and flattery, in all its forms.

Objection. In many countries, for want of a public-opinion tribunal, the people would not be ripe for receiving a representative democratical constitution: they would be incapable of playing their part in it. In such a state of things, a mixed monarchy, with or without two chambers, is the only resource for training them. Of every dissension, an appeal, more or less explicit, to the people, would be among the results.

Answer. How small soever were the chance of success in the case of a democracy, in such a state of things as the above, it would be much less so under any mixed monarchy. Howsoever might the monarch and his coadjutors disagree one with another, much sooner would they come to an agreement for a division of the power, i. e. for the carrying on the business in a close partnership, as in England,—than consent to part with, or suffer the least particle of power to be any longer than they could not help it, in the hands of the people. Every body of men is governed altogether by its conception of what is its interest, in the narrowest and most selfish sense of the word interest: never by any regard for the interest of the people. In that position, none of those inducements, any one of which may suffice to cause a single man to make sacrifice of his private interest to the universal interest, can have place: viz. desire of reputation, pleasure of sympathy for the people, pleasure of power in respect of the secret consciousness of having had so large a share in contributing to the happiness of the people. Yes, perhaps for a moment, under an excitation produced by a fine speech: but for anything of a continuance, never is any body of men determined by any other consideration than its conception of what is in the highest degree beneficial to its purely self-regarding interests.

In a monarchy, be the conduct of the ruler ever so mischievous, the difficulty of dislocating him is prodigious, and scarcely ever can any change be effected without either a homicide, or a war—which is an aggregate of homicides by hundreds and thousands; whereas, in a representative democracy, the rulers may be, and continually are, all of them together, though it be merely in the way of precaution, and without evil actually experienced at their hands, dislocated with as much facility as a servant is by his master, in domestic life.

Section VI.

Dislocative Function,—why Universal?

Why give to the dislocative power an extent thus all-comprehensive?

Because no extent, less than this, would suffice to prevent the constitution from being gradually changed into one of that sort, which has for its object the promotion of the sinister interest of the ruling few, and thence into one of that sort which has for its object the promotion of the sinister interest of the ruling one.

Unless this power be instituted, a transformation of this sort, sooner or later, is matter of certainty: and even supposing it instituted, the efficiency of it is not so complete as to exclude the need of adding to this security, whatsoever others the nature of the case affords.

The sinister force, against the effect of which this power is a necessary preservative, is that of corruption, or say, anti-constitutional corruption.

Anti-constitutional corruption is that which has place, in so far as, by the operation of a benefit to himself, received or expected, a functionary who, as such, is an agent and trustee for the people at large, is made to violate such his trust.

Unless this power be instituted, the deputies of the people, invested as such with the supreme legislative or operative power, will, sooner or later, in a number sufficient for producing the sinister effect, be sure to violate their trust; and that in such sort and degree as to give commencement and continuance to an all-comprehensive system of extortion, dissipation, and oppression, until, by the continually augmenting sacrifice of the universal interest to that of the ruling few, in respect of money and power, the constitution is made to undergo one or other of the above two changes.

As to the dissipation, so far as it has place, not being attended with profit to the author, it will be the work of negligence or incapacity rather than design; of negative rather than positive agency. Not being attended with profit to the author, the amount of it is not likely to approach in magnitude that which is the work of design. On the present occasion it may, therefore, be dismissed without further consideration.

As to the extortion, the mode in which it is made to increase is this:

The legislative power is in one set of hands; the administrative in another. To the legislative it belongs to distribute the aggregate business of the rest of government into a certain number of departments: to determine the offices, or say the official situations, belonging to the several departments, and the functions to be performed for the commonwealth in virtue of those same offices. To exact the performance of these services at the hands of persons unwilling, would in general, neither be consistent with equality in respect of burthens, as between individual and individual, nor with policy in respect of appropriate aptitude on the part of the individuals in question, with reference to the performance of the service in question, in each case. To procure acceptance of the office in question at the hands of apt individuals, it will therefore be necessary to attach, in addition to the power attached to it, emolument of the pecuniary kind to an amount more or less considerable.

The fictitious entity termed an office is also styled a place. The person on whom the obligation of performing the functions allotted to it is imposed, is said to be in the office or the place. The business performed by the exercise of these several functions being, when taken in the aggregate, a course of action directed to one common end, namely the giving execution and effect to the will of the supreme legislative,—it is material that, unless for special cause of exception, the determining by what persons respectively they should al be filled, be lodged in the same hand. Here, then, lodged in this one hand, and at the disposal of this one hand, is this vast mass or stock of the instruments of felicity composed of money in various shapes, and power in various shapes,—with or without factitious dignity in various shapes: for although that offspring of the fancy is neither necessary nor conducive to good government, it has almost everywhere, by the concurrent influence of various causes, been added to the stock of the instruments of government. Patronage is the name given to the power of disposing of the several elementary masses of which this aggregate mass is composed.

To create the power attached to the several offices, and by its ordinances to provide the money employed in engaging men’s acceptance of them, belongs then to the supreme legislative.

The individual to whom the patronage of the various offices belongs, has an interest in seeing the number of places at his disposal, as well as the emolument attached to them, increased as much as possible. On the other hand, to make any increase is not in his own power: it is in the legislative authority, and in that alone, that the power of giving any such increase is reposed.

Thus in relation to this same universally coveted matter are two authorities: one of them having what there is of it at its disposal, but not of itself able to make addition to it: the other able to give increase to it, and that to an unlimited amount, but at the same time, of itself not able to get for its own use so much as a single particle of it. Here, then, is a pair of mutually relative situations: a certain profit which, by the assistance of the other, each can make: without the assistance of the other, neither. Between those in the one situation and those in the other the intercourse is continual: to put them on both sides in possession of what cannot fail to be a constant object of their desire, nothing more is necessary than a mutual understanding: an agreement which, to effect its every purpose, need not so much as be expressed. To the imagination of men on both sides, an obvious contract, pregnant with mutual advantage, presents itself: a tacit contract, which, if expressed in words, would stand as follows:—You, says the head of the administration, with his colleagues, if he has any, and if not, with his most confidential subordinates,—you give increase, as far as you see convenient, to the aggregate value of the good things we have at present, and at any rate, preserve it from decrease. We, on our part will, from time to time, and at all times, let you into a share of them.

To the reader, for conveying to his mind the idea of a contract to this effect, some determinate set of words were necessary. But to the production of a correspondent course of conduct on both sides, no words at all would be necessary.

Take, for example, the state of things under any Constitutional Code. On the one part, stands a supreme legislature, composed of deputies located by the people: on the other part, a supreme administrative authority, in the hands of a single functionary. The course of government under the constitution commences. By the majority of the legislature an administrative chief is elected: his first business is to fill the several situations under him,—all of them to a degree more or less considerable beneficial to the possessors, or they would not give their acceptance. Whether it be without or notwithstanding opposition, that he has been elected to be administrative chief, it can be no secret who those individuals are who have been of the number of his benefactors. As little is it likely to be a secret to him what are the connexions nearest and dearest to each. Thus, at the very commencement of his administration, the most obvious policy would join with gratitude in pointing out for the objects of his choice (unless in case of some very decided and peremptory objection) such persons as he sees reason to think it would be agreeable to his and their respective patrons to see thus provided for—the deputies themselves, if the law admitted of it: but the law not being stupid or corrupt enough to affect to expect that the same man will be at two different places, occupied with two different businesses, at the same time, no such abomination does the law admit of.

Given to a connexion of his, money or money’s worth, may be of the same value to a man as if given to himself: and therefore have effect to the same amount, in respect to the creation of corruptive dependence.

The effect will be exactly the same, if by a benefit thus received by his connexion at the public expense, he is relieved from the burthen of conferring a benefit to that same amount at his own expense.

Pecuniary amount being the same in both cases, a more effectually corruptive dependence may be created by the fear of losing a beneficial situation already in possession, than by the hope of gaining one.

By the hope of receiving benefits in the shape of official situations through the medium of his connexions, corruptive dependence may be made any number of times stronger, than by the hope of benefit in the shape of office receivable by himself. For to the number of offices possessible at the same time by himself, there are limits: whereas to the number of offices possessible at the same time by a man’s connexions, there are no limits.

By a benefit already received, and without hope of any other, obsequiousness as effectually corrupt may be created as by corruptive hope. The sinistrously directed force of the public-opinion tribunal, is, in this case, the power by which the corruptive obsequiousness is produced. Ingratitude and perfidy are, in that case, the words of condemnation, by which the punitive power of that tribunal is applied to the thus created offence: ingratitude, in not making a correspondent return for the benefit received: perfidy, in the violation of a contract which, though not expressed in words, was not less clearly expressed by other signs.

In this case as in some others, the direction given to the force of the public-opinion tribunal, is exposed to two opposite impulses: a right and proper impulse, and a sinister impulse. Of the two, the number of individuals whose judgment is determined by the sinister impulse, is, in the present state of society, incomparably greater, than the number of those, whose judgment is determined by the right and proper impulse. For the occasions on which the exercise of the virtues of gratitude, and fidelity to engagements, and abstinence from the opposite vices of ingratitude and perfidy, are called for,—are happening to every individual every moment of his life; whereas, on the other hand, of the occasions on which any man is called upon to exercise the virtue of incorruptibility, as against the corruptive influence of the possessors of the supreme power in the state, the number is limited, and in comparison, extremely small. And, moreover, the number of persons to whom these occasions happen, is also small in comparison with that of all the members of the political community, whatever it be.

Thus is corruption planted in the very vitals of the constitution, and by the hand which is striving with its utmost force, to preserve the constitution from the baleful effects of that disease.

As to prohibition and punishment, by no such instruments can any remedy, in any the smallest degree efficient, be applied. To the representatives themselves, you may indeed prevent the good things in question from being given: but in the instance of any one of them, can you prevent these good things, in any number from being given to persons connected with him, in any number? Unless from himself, how is it possible for you to know who are, and who are not dear to him. The law, with the help of his pedigree, if he has one, will show who in the several degrees of consanguinity and affinity, are near to him: but neither of them will show you, who in any degree are dear to him. Consanguinity, though so obviously fallacious, suppose it for argument sake, unfallacious, and sufficiently conclusive evidence; on this account, shall it be placed in the power of a set of electors, by electing a man to a seat, and the individual elected, by accepting it, to strike the whole of his kindred, with the political incapacity in question?

You cannot punish a man for entertaining expectations: you cannot punish another man for gratifying, or for raising, expectations. You cannot punish a man for doing kind offices—for conferring benefits: you cannot punish one man, because benefits in any shape have been conferred on another: you cannot by any punishment inflicted or threatened to be inflicted, on one man, prevent or undertake to prevent another man from receiving benefit in any shape. Contract, having for its object the rendering of sinister service, you may prohibit in all cases, and in here and there an instance, by means of accident, or by means of treachery, you may actually inflict punishment for it. But though you were to inflict the punishment in every case in which the prohibition is infringed, and the offence committed, you would be no nearer the mark,—if prevention of corruption was your mark—than if no such prohibition had been issued. Why? Because without any such contract, corruption as effectual and as great in extent, as by means of contract, may have, and will be sure to have, place.

If this be so, and if, to every eye that will turn to it, this be visible, everybody will know what to think of laws enacted, or proposed, for the prevention of contract in such cases, or for the exclusion of the practice of holding offices by men having seats in the legislative body—if such laws are said to be designed as a means of preventing corruption.

The proposers and eulogists of such laws have for their real object, the producing on the part of the people, both or either of two persuasions: one is, that the public men in question have sincerely at heart the diminution, and if it were possible the extinction, of the evil: the other is, that the applying to its evil effects, such limitation as shall prevent the fruits of it, viz. depredation, oppression, and dissipation, from coming to maturity, is not by any means possible. In both or either of these persuasions is seen a source of satisfaction and acquiescence on the part of the people: the impossibility of putting exclusion on the evil, they will refer to the will of the Almighty: the exertions, fruitless as they are, of the public men in question, they will ascribe to the excellence of the individuals, and the excellence of the constitution.

Of the people’s thus looking for a remedy to the authors (sure supporters of, because constant profiters by, the disease) what is the consequence? That, so long as they do so, so long do they forbear to lend an ear to the surely efficacious, and only possible efficacious remedy—the changing the government from a form in which such corruption is certain, constant, and universal, to the one only form in which the exclusion of corruption is certain, the existence of it, in a practical sense impossible.

Not that, even without this remedy, distributed as hereby are the powers of government, and effective as is the power given to the people at large under the name of the supreme constitutive, could any considerable evil be produced, otherwise than as above by sinister confederacy between the leaders of the legislature and the executive chief.

By this means, conjoined with the like power given to the legislature, all dangerous tendency is taken away from the power given to the executive chief, to dislocate all functionaries whatsoever, belonging to the administrative. Without this power, exerciseable with relation to such his subordinates, the executive chief could not possess sufficiently assured means of giving execution and effect to the will of the constitutive, as indicated by the ordinances of the legislative; without this power exerciseable with relation to, and over, the executive chief, the supreme legislative, could not stand assured of giving execution and effect to its own ordinances and arrangements, made in pursuance of its endeavours to give execution and effect to the will of the supreme constitutive, and thence increase to the greatest felicity of the greatest number.

By keeping out of the hands of the constitutive, all locative power, with relation to any office that of member of the legislature excepted, all danger of abuse, from the all-comprehensiveness of the dislocation is obviated. Unless accompanied and followed by the exercise of the power of location, with relation to the office, no question, no sinister interest could any party-leader have, in bringing about an exercise of the dislocative power with relation to that same office. For by dislocating an individual, where could be his profit, not having the power of putting either himself or any confederate or dependant of his in his place?

The power thus given to the supreme constitutive, the power of thus dislocating all its agents without exception, is nothing more than what in private life, in relation to the private affairs of each particular individual, is given to that same individual: and in this latter case, so far from all objection is this power, that not to give it, would be regarded as one of the grossest of all absurdities.

Should it be said that in the case of this vast aggregate, the exercise of the power is liable to have caprice, or passion, or thoughtlessness for its cause, better reason on all these several grounds might be given for the refusing it to each individual with relation to his own particular affairs. For in the case of the vast body, how great would be the public discussion, consequently what an intensity and continuity of attention, that would be necessary to the production of the effect in question; while in the case of the individual, it may be the work of a single thoughtless moment.

In vain would it be to say, in this state of things, the wisest and most virtuous of men might be turned out by a mob: violence and disorder being their means of operating. Signing a petition is not the work of a mob: is not the work of violence: as little is the silent and secret delivery of a vote. Where the exercise of locative power in the same hands follows not upon that of the dislocative, no adequate inducement has place, except the persuasion of the existence of the functionary’s inaptitude.

Suppose the functionary, on whom the power is exercised, be a member of the legislature, the exercise of it, on a particular occasion, would be nothing more than an accelerated anticipation of that exercise which at the end of the year would take place of course.

If the functionary or functionaries, were any other than the members of the legislature, the exercise could not take place, but on the supposition of a neglect or connivance on the part of the legislature: it would betoken a want of confidence in the legislature as a body, and the members would naturally be on the watch, and take measures for saving themselves from the expression of such want of confidence.

In regard to the exercise of the power of the supreme constitutive, either in the dislocation or the punition of its supposed offending agents, what is desirable is, that the actual application of it, be as rare as possible, and at the same time in the breasts of those same agents, the expectation of its eventual application, as strong as possible. The first thing to be desired is, that on the part of those same agents, no such act of transgression be ever committed. To this end, what is desirable is, that in the event of any such transgression, the probability of such dislocation and punition should, in the eyes of the several members of the legislature, at all times be as great as possible. To the accomplishment of all these several desirable purposes, are the several subsidiary arrangements here provided, directed, namely, the legislator’s inaugural declaration, and those by which the quantity of appropriate information, with which the members of the public-opinion tribunal are supplied, and the frequency and intensity of the attention respectively bestowed upon that same information, are all endeavoured to be maximized.

Thus then in regard to the power here reserved to the people, exerciseable over all their servants, and at all times, these things may be noted:

1. The exercise of it, if ever, is very rarely likely to take place.

2. The possession of it is not the less likely to be effectual.

3. In no shape is evil likely to result from the exercise of it.

4. By no other means could the effects aimed at, be so surely, if at all, produced.

Section VII.

Means of Execution.

In the case of a representative democracy, the means, and the only means, by which this form of government may be rendered conducive, in the highest degree, to the only legitimate end of government, are no less obvious and natural, than they are simple: order matters so, that the persons by whom the immediately acting powers of government are exercised, shall at stated times, and at short intervals, be removeable, all of them without exception, by the persons possessed of the original and originative powers of government: trustees, by principals; ruling few, by subject many. I say subject many; for, by the exercise of the right or power of election, with reference to those by whom the powers of government are exercised, subjection is not excluded;—no, nor under this form of government, even by the exercise or possession of those powers themselves.

Misrule is the thing to be, as far as may be, excluded. By the very nature of man, misrule, as far as any balance on the side of advantage to the ruler, is expected by him, is necessitated: by the assurance of eventual removal—by this, and not without this, that expectation of advantage may be excluded.

In election at stated times, the effect of the power of appointment, and that of the power of removal, is included. If having at the time immediately preceding the day of election, occupied the situation in question, a man is re-elected, the power of appointment is exercised in his favour, the power of removal with relation to him is forborne to be exercised: if he be not re-elected, the power of removal with reference to him is exercised, the power of appointment with relation to him is forborne to be exercised.

This indirect, and, as it were, covert mode of removal, is much more efficient and salutary than that direct mode which would be the most apt to be presented by this appellation. To the person over whom the power is exercised, it is much less harsh and galling: on the part of the person by whom it is exercised, the exercise of it will therefore naturally experience much less reluctance. In the case of the direct mode, if there be any other candidate, the inaptitude (the opinion of which is expressed by the forbearance to elect the person in question) is not positive and absolute; it is only comparative: the opinion that it declares is,—not that the person thus set aside is less apt than an average man—not that he is positively unapt, only that he is less apt than the person for whom the vote is given.

Now as regards the mode of election of the agents of the people.

Universality, secrecy, equality and annuality of suffrage—is an expression preferable to that of universal suffrage, annual elections, and vote by ballot. Why?

By the advocates for radical reform, the phrase as yet most commonly employed for characterizing the system which they advocate is—universal suffrage, annual parliaments, and vote by ballot.

Compared with universality, secrecy, equality, and annuality of suffrage, the following are the imperfections under which that hitherto most commonly used expression seems to labour.

In the first place, of a very material feature of the system, no mention is thus made: a feature of the importance of which no person by whom the three others are advocated, fails, it is believed, of being fully sensible. To regard it as being immaterial, would be to regard the arrangement by which, in the case of Old Sarum, the appointment to a seat in the House of Commons was given to a single individual in the character of an elector; and the arrangement by which the appointment to no more than two seats were given, as in the case of Yorkshire, to a population of probably not less than a million of individuals,—as being both of them unexceptionable.

In the next place, to the expression, the import of which is understood by every individual without exception, viz. the word secrecy, is substituted the words—by ballot, an expression to which no very determinate idea is attached in the mind of any man; nor, except by means of the word secrecy any idea whatsoever.

In the third place, of the four features that are indispensably necessary, the three which, without the fourth are thus presented, are presented without any common bond of connexion: they are presented by three separate forms of expression, between which no intimation of any connexion is conveyed: whereas, by the phrase universality, secrecy, equality and annuality of suffrage, the connexion which has place between the things themselves, is at once concisely and significantly expressed.

I. Universality. If a man who calls for the right of suffrage to be given to any one human being, calls for its being refused to any other human being, it lies upon him to give a particular reason for such refusal.

For the refusal of it to persons of both sexes under age, two plain reasons can be given: first, that a person who is not yet competent to the management of his own affairs, cannot have much reason to complain of being debarred from interfering in the management of the affairs of others: and second, that the exclusion thus put on the ground of age, is not like the exclusion put upon the ground of sex, perpetual, but temporary only; and upon the arrival of the person at the age at which he is generally regarded as competent to the management of his own affairs, this exclusion is sure to cease.

Various classes of persons might be mentioned, who, if the result of the election could depend upon the direction given to their votes, might, on the ground of this or that disqualifying circumstance, with reason be excluded. But for justification of such exclusion, sufficient proof of the existence of such disqualifying circumstances, would require to be given. Hence to an indefinite amount litis-contestation, expense, vexation, and delay, must have place: evils which ought not to be admitted, unless their admission be made up for, by some assignable preponderant good.

On this occasion, look to the several cases of persons insane, convicted delinquents of various descriptions, and persons by whom, but for the protection afforded by secrecy of suffrage, coercive influence might, to an indefinite extent, be exercised on the votes of others.

The happiness of the most helpless pauper constitutes as large a portion of the universal happiness, as does that of the most powerful, the most opulent member of the community. Therefore the happiness of the most helpless and indigent has as much title to regard at the hands of the legislator, as that of the most powerful and opulent.

If the possession of a share in the supreme constitutive power is a means of, or security for, happiness, there is as much reason why a share in that means of security should be in the hands of the most helpless and the most indigent, as why it should be in the hands of the most powerful and the most opulent.

Why exclude the whole female sex from all participation in the constitutive power?

Because the prepossession against their admission is at present too general, and too intense, to afford any chance in favour of a proposal for their admission.

On the ground of the greatest happiness principle, the claim of this sex is, if not still better, at least, altogether as good as that of the other.

The happiness and interest of a person of the female sex, constitutes as large a portion of the universal happiness and interest, as does that of a person of the male sex.

No reason can be assigned, why a person of the one sex, should as such, have less happiness than a person of the other sex.

Nor, therefore, whatsoever be the external means of happiness, why a female should have a less portion of those same means.

If, in this respect, there were a difference, the principle of equality would require, that it should be rather in favour of the female than of the male sex: inasmuch as there are so many causes of suffering which do not attach upon the male, and do attach upon the female sex: such as pains of gestation, of parturition, labour of nurturition, periodical and casual weaknesses, inferiority in all physical contests with the male sex, and loss of reputation in cases where no such loss attaches upon the male.

If the possession of a share in the constitutive power, be a means of securing such equal share of the external means of happiness, the reason in favour of it, is therefore at least as strong in the case of the female sex, as in the case of the male: it always being understood that the voting is in the secret mode.

The reciprocal seduction that would ensue in the case of a mixture of sexes in the composition of a legislative or executive body, seems a conclusive reason against admitting the weaker sex into a share in those branches of power: it would lead to nothing but confusion and ridicule. But if this infringement on equality be considered as necessary, regard for the principle of equality affords another reason, not merely for admitting the female sex to an equal share in the constitutive, but even to a greater share than in the case of the male.

Again, in domestic concerns, males derive greater power from physical force: here, then, is a means of injury: for security against it, if in respect of political power, there be a difference, it should rather be in their favour than in the favour of males.

Admitting the comparative inaptitude of the female sex, with reference to the legislative and executive functions, no cause of inaptitude on their part applies to the exercise of a share in the constitutive function. In this case no demand for any appropriate active aptitude has place. As easily can a female give a piece of card to be put into a box as a male: as easily can she receive advice as to the disposal of it as a male—as her father, husband, brother, or son.

The custom by which the prepossession has been produced, is a custom that had its rise in a state of society altogether opposite in this respect to the present. The military power being necessarily in the hands of the male sex, the political power followed it. Males were free to go everywhere. Females found full occupation at home, and could seldom, consistently with safety, pass to any considerable distance from it, except with males to protect them.

No reason has ever been assigned why, in respect of intellectual aptitude, this half of the species ought to be deemed inferior to the other. As to intellectual aptitude, considered as applied to the field of thought and action at large, two points require to be considered; in the first place, in how small a degree the superiority is on the side of the male sex: in the next place, how small the number of the female sex, whom laws and institutions have left unexcluded from the competition, in comparison with those whom they have excluded.

This custom of exclusion has been departed from in the case where the power is of the highest grade. In countries in which the sex is not admitted to the smallest share in the constitutive power, it is admitted to the whole of the executive, coupled with the largest share of the legislative, and that without any constitutive power above it. And of experience, in England, as far as it goes, in this the highest rank of operative power, the decision is more in favour of the female sex than of the male. In intellectual aptitude, Elizabeth of England showed herself in an incontestable degree superior to her immediate successor, and even to the nearest of her male and adult predecessors. If Anne was weak, she was not more so than her two immediate successors, both males. If Mary put men to death for what was called religion, so did her father, and so did her next male successor: if Queen Mary put people to death for what was called religion, so did Lord Chief-Justice Hale, the hero of English lawyers, for what was called witchcraft.

In no two male reigns was England as prosperous as in the two female reigns of Elizabeth and Anne. As to Anne, whatever was the cause, it was more prosperous than that of her immediate male predecessor,—a man as unamiable as she was amiable.

Thus has England been governed by female monarchs, three: Russia, four: Austria, one: Sweden, one: Portugal, one: France, though not once by a female monarch whose reign continued during life, has been governed by several female monarchs whose reigns, under the name of regencies, have lasted for a long course of years.

England, also, gives the example of a case, in which in the choice of a sub-legislature of twenty-four members, governing with absolute sway, in subordination to the supreme legislature, sixty millions of subjects in British India, females have an equal share with males. Thus, while gnats are strained at, camels are swallowed.

Can practical good in any form be mentioned as likely to be produced from the admitting the female sex into a participation of the supreme constitutive power?

Yes. The affording increased probability of the adoption of legislative arrangements, placing sexual intercourse upon a footing less disadvantageous than the present to the weaker sex.

At the same time, there is no political state that I know of in which, on the occasion of any new constitution being framed, I should think it at present expedient to propose a set of legislative arrangements directed to this end. Before the state of the legal system had been made, on almost all other points contributory in the highest degree to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, scarcely could any prospect be afforded of its being rendered so as to this. The contest and confusion produced by the proposal of this improvement would entirely engross the public mind, and throw improvement, in all other shapes, to a distance.

II. Secrecy. When suffrage is secret, no man who wishes to give a vote, and is not, by want of time or length of distance, debarred from giving it, is debarred from giving it in favour of the person whom he prefers, by fear of loss of money or friends.

No man is made to suffer, or is exposed to suffer, loss of money or friends, on account of the vote he has given, or any vote he has forborne to give.

In so far as the course taken by men’s suffrages is known, some men are, by fear of loss of money or friends, debarred from giving any votes at all: some men who would otherwise have given their votes in favour of a certain person, are, by fear of loss of money or friends, debarred from giving their votes in favour of that same person: some men who otherwise would have given their votes in favour of a certain person, and thereby against another person, his rival, are, by fear of loss of money or friends, not only debarred from giving their votes in favour of the person they approve, but compelled to give their votes in favour of a rival of his, whom they disapprove.

A man who being a candidate for a situation, for the filling of which suffrages are given, declines using his endeavours to cause them to be delivered in the secret mode, proves thereby that the following wishes, one or more of them, have place in his breast:—1. To see men who have each of them a right to vote, debarred, in indefinite numbers, from the exercise of that right. 2. To see men who, if free, would have voted for a rival of his, debarred from doing so. 3. To see men who, if free, would have voted for a rival of his whom they approve, not only debarred from doing so, but by fear, as above, compelled to vote in favour of himself, in whatsoever degree he may have been the object of their disapprobation.

III. Equality. By equality of suffrage is meant equality of effect, as between a suffrage given in this or that one election-district, and a suffrage given in this or that other election-district.

Understand here by equality nothing more than the absence of such degrees of inequality, as would be productive of some one or more evils of the following description to a sensible amount:—

1. In this or that election-district, the number of electors so small that by intimidation or corruption freedom of suffrage might be destroyed. By secrecy of suffrage, intimidation might be excluded. But unless by the multitude of the electors, as compared with the value of the situation filled, and the quantity of the means of corruption in the hands of candidates, to exclude corruption is impossible.

2. In this or that election-district the number of the electors so great, that in comparison with a vote in this or that other election-district, a vote is in a sensible degree inferior in value. This being the case, all voters in such over-peopled district, feel a sensation of injury from the comparison of their situation with that of the electors in an under-peopled, or even in an adequately peopled district.

3. Proportioned to the smallness thus produced in the effect and value of a vote will be the probability of its being outweighed by the loss of time necessary to the delivering of it. Upon all in whose instance the advantage of voting is thus outweighed by the inconvenience, a virtual exclusion is thus put.

4. The greater the distance between the place at which the votes are delivered and the place of an elector’s abode, the greater is the inconvenience in respect of time lost, with or without concomitant expense. Evil 3, is common to town and country districts: this evil is peculiar to country districts.

IV. Annuality. By annuality of suffrage, understand adequate frequency of recurrence on the part of the election process; and thereby of the conjunct exercise of the right of removal, and the function of appointment with relation to the situation in question: but, instead of adequate frequency of recurrence, say annuality of recurrence: instead of an indefinite expression, a definite expression, employed for the sake of clearness of conception, accuracy of expression to a certain degree sacrificed.

No one will undertake to say, at any rate no one will be able to prove, that, by the addition of this or that short term, say a day, to the term of a year, any sensible evil in this or that determinate shape, could be produced: and so in the case of this or that other small number of days to an indefinite amount.

No one will undertake to say, or at least, no one will be able to prove, that, by the subtraction of this or that short term, say a day, from the term of a year, sensible evil in this or that determinate shape would be produced: and so in regard to this or that other small number of days to an indefinite amount.

No one will undertake to say, or at least no one will be able to prove, that there cannot be any state of things in which it would not be for the advantage of the whole body of constituents, that, at the end of some shorter length of time than a year, reckoning from the day of election, the conjunct powers of removal and appointment should not, by the act of some person or persons chosen for the purpose, be called forth into exercise.

Section VIII.

Moral Aptitude is inversely as Altitude in the Scale of Political Influence.

Education being supposed not deficient nor subsistence wanting, aptitude, with relation to the exercise of political power, is inversely as the altitude of a man’s place in the composite scale of political influence. This composite scale is composed of three elementary scales—the scale of opulence, the scale of power, and the scale of factitious dignity.

In the scale of opulence, language has not yet afforded, as in the scale of temperature, denominations designative here and there of the different degrees. No precise station, therefore, can here be designated by the terms opulent and unopulent. All that can be expressed is their relative stations: viz. that in the station marked by the term opulent, the quantity of the matter of opulence is greater than in the station marked unopulent.

With relation to useful qualities in general, and in particular with relation to those of which appropriate aptitude with relation to political functions in general, is composed, the following are the considerations by which, on the part of the opulent, inferiority in appropriate aptitude, considered in all its branches, stands indicated:

The greater the quantity in value of the services which, at the hands of those on whom his comforts depend, a man has at command, without rendering any correspondent services in return, services positive and negative together—positive, consisting in the exercise of positive beneficence,—negative, consisting in the exercise of negative beneficence, that is to say, forbearance from injury and annoyance in all their shapes,—the less the need he feels for the exercise of such beneficence on his part.

So much for moral aptitude: now as to intellectual aptitude and active talent.

The greater the quantity in value a man has of those good things which are the fruits of the labour of others, the less the need he has of labour on his own part; the less therefore will his frame, whichever part of it, bodily or mental, be in question, be inured to labour. But other circumstances equal, intellectual aptitude will be in proportion to labour.

Accordingly, in every department in which the waste and corruption of government has furnished pay enough for both, you will see two sorts of men in pairs: viz. the opulent man, who bears the title and cuts the figure, doing nothing of the business: the unopulent man, who bears no title, cuts no figure, and does all the business.

And so likewise in regard to active aptitude.

The greater the exercise given to the will, the less the exercise given to the understanding.

The monarch is all will: understanding is wanting to him. Will occupies itself about the end, understanding about the means. All the monarch has to do is to look out for ends: for objects suited to his fancy and his taste. To find out means for the obtainment of those objects belongs to others: to the two-legged and featherless instruments of his pleasure.

In England, of the Right Honourable House—of the Honourable House, the members are, each of them, a fraction of a monarch, a monarch in miniature. Accordingly, in neither situation has reason, fruit of the labour of the understanding, any effective place. By collision of wills it is, not by collision of understandings that every result is produced. When argument, or anything which has the semblance of it, is exhibited, it is only for appearance sake: for any such delusion, as it is thought there may be a convenience in propagating without doors.

The higher the degree of opulence, the less the degree of sympathy in the breast of the opulent for the unopulent: for that portion of mankind, in behalf of whom the demand for such beneficence as it may be in his way to exercise, is greatest.

Correspondent to, and intimately connected with, sympathy of affection is sympathy of conception.

By, and in proportion to, sympathy of affection, a man is disposed to add to the enjoyments, and subtract from the sufferings, of the objects of his sympathy.

Proportioned to the correctness, clearness, and completeness of the conception a man has of those enjoyments and those sufferings, (his degree of sensibility being given,) is the strength of the sympathy of affection with relation to those same objects of his sympathy.

Relative sensibility being wanting, sympathy of affection may be equally wanting, although sympathy of conception be entire: but in so far as sympathy of conception is wanting, sympathy of affection has no place.

For all bodily pains, sympathy of conception must, on the part of the experienced surgeon, be greater than on the part of an average man. But if his sensibility, and consequently if his sympathy of affection were so likewise, he would not be fit for the exercise of his art.

Want of sympathy of conception concurs with the feeling relative to independence, in destroying in the breast of the opulent man sensibility, and with it beneficence, positive and negative, with relation to the unopulent: he has no need of their services—their free and gratuitous services: he has no conception of their wants: he has no feeling for their wants.

Where, at the first commencement of the habit of witnessing, (with or without the habit of producing,) sufferance, sympathetic suffering has been produced by the sight of it,—the continuance of the habit will sooner or later extinguish the sympathy. It is thus extinguished, for example, as above-mentioned, in the surgeon, or he would not be fit for the exercise of his beneficent art. It is thus nearly, if not altogether, extinguished, supposing it originally to have had place, in the breast of the military conqueror, or he would not be fit for the exercise of his maleficent art. The mother who has lately lost a son in battle, has some conception of what the miseries of war are, and feels and grieves accordingly for those who are partakers of them. Under a monarchy, absolute or limited, among the functionaries in the higher ranks, commencing with the monarch, so confirmed is the habit of hearing of men, by thousands and tens of thousands, slaughtered, or reduced from happiness to misery by the operations, by the orders given by these their rulers, (for the purpose of giving further and further extension to their own power, factitious dignity, and opulence,) that no greater portion of sympathetic suffering is produced in such breasts by the tidings of any such catastrophe, than has place in the breast of a gardener while he is setting his foot on a swarm of caterpillars. The same monarch in whose breast the sight of a favourite suffering from a hurt experienced in the course of a frolic, had in early youth produced an almost equal pain of sympathy, will, as ambition increases, and sympathetic sensibility decreases, receive with indifference the news of a limb lost by that same favourite, in company with thousands of limbs, and as many lives, lost by others in the course of a battle, from which the power of the wholesale manufacturer of human misery is regarded as receiving increase.

As it is with the universal superior, so it is with the subordinates: quantities and degrees being proportional to the place occupied by them respectively in the gorgeous scale.

Remains to be shown how it is, and whence it is, that the state of moral appropriate aptitude with relation to the function in question, being in the exalted situations in question, such as has been described, the conception commonly entertained in relation to it has been so opposite to the state of things as thus described, and thereby so incorrect and opposite to truth. The cause of this delusion may be seen in the influence exercised by the high alliance, by the confederacy of power, factitious dignity, and excessive opulence; partly through the medium of corruption, partly through the medium of force and intimidation; partly through those discourses, written as well as oral, particularly those presenting themselves constantly to view in the written form, by which information is conveyed respecting this part of the field of thought and action, in which instruction is sought, and by which opinion and affections are moulded.

Take, in the first place, opulence, even in that minor degree of force, with which it operates when the field of its operations is confined to private life. Proportioned to the quantity of the matter of opulence which a man has at his command, will be the quantity in which those who are in habits with him, or entertain a prospect of being in habits with him, may expect to share. Proportioned to the intensity of their respective appetites for such share, will naturally be their endeavours to procure for those appetites their appropriate gratification according to all such means as are safe, and not disreputable, as they see within their reach. Proportioned to the success of such their endeavours, will be their own self-satisfaction, and their gratitude as towards the author of it, can scarcely fail, in some way or other to be the accompaniment of it. In action, as well as discourse, more particularly in discourse (as being the cheaper article) will this gratitude, real and feigned together, find expression and give itself vent.

But as, with the power of granting, the power of refusing receive correspondent increase; so with that love which produces gratitude, will increase that fear which produces respect. Moreover in the hands of the opulent, with the negative power of refusing favour to those who have not been and those who have ceased to be the objects of their regard, is conjoined, in no inconsiderable degree, the power of doing positive evil to those who are the objects of their positive aversion. By the operation of all these causes taken together, thus intimate is the connexion between the idea presented by the word rich, and the idea presented by the word respectable. Of the effect produced by this association on conduct, discourse, and, to no inconsiderable degree, on opinion, and affection, an exemplification may be seen in the picture of the parasite, as drawn by the earliest of the dramatists whose works have reached us.

If such and so great be the ordinary influence and effect of the matter of wealth, in the hands of individuals, distributed in parcels of an ordinary bulk, what must it be when accumulated in an immense mass, in company with supreme power, and the highest lot of factitious honour, together with the manufactory, in which all inferior lots of these instruments of influence are fabricated—all placed in the same hand? If such be the influence of wealth when reckoned by thousands, what must it not be, when reckoned by millions?

As long as wealth and government have had existence, the powers of poetry and oratory have been employed in singing the praises of the powerful, the dignified, and the wealthy. While the effusions of praise have thus had free scope, with reward in every shape to pay for them, those of censure have all along and everywhere, been suppressed by every restraint which it was in the power of punishment to apply.

While the eulogies of Virgil and Horace were rewarded with lavish hand, Ovid for this or that little bed-chamber anecdote, was sent to pine in exile. If the quantity of virtue practised, were to be measured by the quantity of virtue attributed, the most selfish and hard-hearted tyrants would be the most virtuous of philanthropists. Where profusion alone, and without cruelty, marks the character of the despot, gratitude and hope are the only brokers the exertions of which will be occupied in the filling the cornucopia of praise: where to the influence of those agents that of fear is added, praise extorted from enemies will add itself to the praise poured in by friends.

In the eyes of the undiscerning and unscrutinizing multitude, it may now be seen how impossible it is, that receipt of praise should fail of being considered as conclusive evidence of merit, virtue, excellence. Whatsoever be the name of the fictitious entity, created by praise, to represent the subject, which it undertakes to magnify,—whether it be merit for example, or virtue, or excellence,—thus it is, that in proportion to the quantity possessed by any man of this efficient cause, and title to praise, namely wealth, will be the quantity of the fictitious entity in question, supposed on that account to be in his possession. On the part of those by whom any of those tokens of wealth, by the appearance of which, the existence and possession of it, are generally regarded as being proved, thus it is, that an opinion will really be entertained that, in the composition of his mind, a proportionally preeminent quantity of this admirable and admired quality, by whatsoever name it may be styled, will be found.

It has now, it is hoped, been put sufficiently out of doubt, how far any such opinion considered in the character of a general one, is, from being in any agreement with the truth: and that the truth of the case, lies not in this opinion, but in the reverse of it: that in so far as any such opinion is entertained, delusion has place in the breast of him by whom it is entertained: and in so far as for the propagating of this opinion, endeavours are employed, endeavours for the propagating of delusion, are employed.

What is now moreover, it is hoped, sufficiently put out of doubt, is that, by every additional particle,—not only of actual wealth, of actual power, and of actually existing factitious dignity,—but of everything which, in the character of a token, can contribute to their increase in the hands of an individual, possessing any considerable share of political power,—the force and efficiency of all this stock of the instruments of delusion, will be increased.

What at the same time is sufficiently out of dispute is,—that in every such instrument of delusion, may be seen, and truly seen, an instrument of misrule: a means of exercising it: and thereby an encouragement and incitement to exercise it.

To support the dignity of the crown, to add splendour to the crown, to add lustre to the crown,—so many phrases upon the strength of which money wrung from a starving people, by scarcely supportable taxation, is, day by day, by the creatures and dependants of the monarch, called for, without measure and without shame: called for, and granted accordingly, with what effect? With the effect of labouring in vain to fill the ever-leaky cup of his personal gratification, of giving perpetual increase to the delusion, by which the seat of necessary depravity is converted into the seat of imaginary and fabled excellence, and in making every day fresh and fresh advances towards the accomplishment of the constant object of all endeavours—the conversion of a scarce disguised, into the more simple and convenient form of an undisguised and openly avowed despotism.

It has been seen, to what inevitable necessity, by the original and unchangeable nature of man, an irremoveable chief magistrate, call him duke, call him consul, call him king, call him emperor, call him what you will, is an enemy to all that are subject to his rule, with the exception of those who are sharers with him in the sinister profit.

What at the same time is no less manifest is, that by every step by which any advance can be made towards dissolving the disastrous association, by which the instruments of vice and misery are palmed upon mankind as the necessary instruments of security and universal happiness, a real service, and that a most important one, will be rendered.

The notion, therefore, that in those who are possessed of the powers of government, there is more virtue than in those who have no share at all in the government, is an erroneous one: so far is the position from being true, that the very reverse is true. In this statement there is nothing of exaggeration: on the contrary, it is matter of the strictest demonstration. The mischievousness of an act, whereby human suffering is produced is, as the magnitude of the suffering, multiplied by the extent of it—by the number of the individuals to whom it extends. In the case of a man who witnesses it, and who is conscious of the part he has in the production of it, the depravity, the moral turpitude, that has place in his mind, increase in the same ratio as does the mischievousness of it, as above. Of virtue, of depravity, of moral turpitude, there exists not any other intelligible test or measure: unless it be, in the case of this mischievous act, the degree of deliberation attendant on the commission of it.

Compared with each other, by this test and this measure, in a country governed by corruption and delusion,—the resistible and punishable malefactors who are styled criminals, and treated as such, with the irresistible and unpunishable malefactors, styled rulers, by whom they are treated as such, the worst of criminals will, in every intelligible sense of the word worst, be found to be men of transcendant virtue in comparison with those on whom the praise of virtue is so unsparingly and indefatigably lavished.

Another notion is, that opulence is an antiseptic: that, in proportion to a man’s opulence, will be the improbability of his wishing to add to it by depredation.

To him who has lived all his life upon £100 a-year and no more, £150 a-year is opulence: reduction to £50 a-year is ruin.

To him who has £10,000 a-year, it requires an addition of £5000 a-year to produce a sensation equal in intensity to that produced in the case of him who has but £100 a-year, by an accession of £50 a-year.

Thus it is, that instead of operating as a security against the propensity to depredation, opulence, accompanied with the habit of large expenditure, operates as an incentive. The greater the quantity of money which a man has been in use to expend, the greater the quantity, meaning always the absolute quantity, of that which he craves: cupidity does not sink, but rise with opulence.

Yet the common opinion—the vulgar error it may well be called, in so far as the profession of it is sincere—is the reverse. The notion is, that the man whose habitual expenditure has been large, is, on that account, so long as the means of it continue undiminished, not so likely to seek to increase it by depredation to so large an amount as the man whose habitual expenditure has been small. This notion, whence comes it? From this,—from the natural tendency which, in every situation, man has to measure other men by his own measure: to assume that in a different situation, be it higher or be it lower, a given quantity of money, either in possession or in expectancy, will produce in the breasts of men sensations the same in intensity as in that situation he himself occupies.

From this assumption, one consequence deduced by the man of £10,000 a-year is—that because reduction to a £100 a-year would to him be utter ruin, and reduce his mind to a state of wretchedness; restriction to £100 a-year would, in the instance of a man whose expenditure had not been used to exceed that sum, be productive of a sensation of distress as intense, or not much less so.

Another is—that because the rich man would not forfeit or risk his reputation for probity for the sake of £50 a-year, being half of the amount of the other’s income, therefore neither would he for £5000 a-year, being half the amount of his own income.

In conclusion,—the plain truth of the matter is, that in respect of the strength of propensity, desire, and endeavour, there is not much difference between the man on the highest and the man on the lowest level in the scale of opulence. But that in so far as any cause of difference can be found, it is on the part of the most opulent, that,—in so far as the strength of it is measured by the absolute quantity of the money which, at the expense of others, a man will endeavour to acquire,—the propensity, desire, and endeavour, is likely to be most strenuous—to be less effectually repressed by any arrangements that can be devised. That, therefore, in office, so far as concerns abstinence from undue profit, the chance of good behaviour on the part of the office-bearer is the greater, the less the quantity of emolument which he is content to accept in retribution for the burthen submitted to in respect of the obligation of discharging the functions of it.

If this reasoning be correct, the rule, in point of practice, should accordingly be—if any man is found who is content to pay money for the privilege of performing the functions of it, so much the better: and unless for special reason to the contrary, let him who will pay highest for it have it.

If no competent person can be found who will pay anything for it, or who will serve in it gratis, let him have it who requires the smallest quantity of emolument for performing the functions of it.

Another reason for reducing all official emolument to a minimum is this, that with the quantity of the emolument attached to the office, the quantity of influence applicable to sinister purposes in general, and in particular, to the purpose of obtaining support in case of malversation, increases.

Of this bad effect from excessive emolument the mischief is exemplified in the most manifest and striking manner in the case of the monarch in a monarchy.

As in that highest stage, so in each inferior stage in the scale of power and opulence.

Thus it is that, under the British government for example, in all the superior offices, responsibility in the penal sense is a perfect mockery, a mere empty name.



Section I.

Legislature—single or divided.

The hands in which the supreme legislative power is lodged ought to be located and dislocated by the great body of the people.

The hands in which this power is lodged ought to be, not those of a single individual but those of a numerous body.

Of this body the members ought to be located and dislocated by the electors of so many territorial districts, into which, for this purpose, the whole territory of the state ought to be divided.

This position being considered as established, comes now the question—whether the institution of one such numerous body being determined upon, one other, or any more than one other, ought to be added?

The answer is—not so much as one other: in which answer is included a negative upon every greater number.

If, in addition to this first body there be a second, this second will either be a body having an interest not in any way opposite to the interest of the great body of the people, or a body having an interest opposite in this or that way to the interest of the people. Under the greatest-happiness principle to say, that among the functionaries sharing in the supreme legislative power, a body having an interest opposite to that of the people, ought not to have place, is as much as to say, that it is against the interest of the people to be under the government of men having an interest opposed to theirs, and in a condition to give effect to that particular interest at the expense and by the sacrifice of that universal interest.

Why not give to a permanent aristocratical body, kept up by hereditary succession, and increasable by the monarch, a negative on all laws, with or without an initiative? Why not, as in English practice and language, two houses? Because the evil effects are many—the good effects none! Because in every member of such a body, the elements of relative inaptitude are the same in kind as in the situation of the monarch, and howsoever in comparison of that situation inferior in degree, yet at all times sufficient to secure for the joint benefit of king, lords, and commons, at the expense of the people, the consummation of the sinister sacrifice. Whatsoever tends to give increase to the amount of that sacrifice will be sure of their assent: whatsoever tends to apply restriction to it will be sure of their dissent.

Against the just resentment of the people, this body will serve as a screen to the monarch.

To the splendour played off by the monarch upon the imagination of the people, the members of this aristocratical body will add whatsoever factitious splendour their persons are encompassed with.

No advantage bearing reference to the greatest happiness of the greatest number—no such advantage did man ever attempt to bring to view, in the character of a reason for a House of Lords: for an assembly composed of members of the privileged order sitting by hereditary succession or for life.

Benefit to the monarch, yes: benefit to the aristocracy, yes: to the monarchy it gives stability: to the aristocracy, in all its parts, profit by increase of power; profit by a share more or less considerable in legalized depredation: the house will not let the king come in for a share, unless the king will let the house come in for a share.

As to the greatest number—as to the great body of the people: greater would be the advantage to them if wolves in equal number, or in a number by ever so much greater, were imported from a wolf country, and turned out loose. The wolves would in process of time be killed, and for every wolf killed there would be a wolf skin, which would be good for something. The Lords, though each of them would do more mischief than many wolves, would not be killed: and if they were killed, their skins could not be put to any use.

There remains therefore, as the sole subject of the question, a second body, having an interest the same as that of the people—the identity or coincidence between the two interests being provided for, in the case of this second body, upon the same principles as in the case of the first.

First comes loss of time: the delay between the passing of a project by one house, and the definitive passing of it by both. In a constitution which has two houses, evil in this shape is susceptible of actual measurement: the journals of the two houses will show it.

Waste of the official time of various functionaries engaged in the debate.

Expense, to wit, of remuneration, for the members of the second house. This, in so far as it has place, belongs to the list of sensible evils, more plainly sensible than the above. This, however, is no place to enlarge upon it; for it is not essential to the two-house system: if attached to it, it is attached only by accident. Suppose the second house to wave acceptance of all remuneration in a direct shape, and not to seek any in an indirect shape, this evil is extinguished.

Prevalence given to the will of the minority, over that of the majority, to wit, in both houses taken together. In this case, the particular evil effects are not matter of certainty: they are but presumable, however well grounded the presumption.

Unless some special probable cause of error be assigned, applying to the majority, and not applying at all, or not in equal force, to the minority,—the probability of right judgment will in every instance be in the exact ratio of the number of the majority to that of the minority. On this supposition it is that in every instance in which the act of the whole is made to consist of the act of the majority, the act of the majority is acted upon as if it were the act of the whole.

Say, for example, number of members in the one house 300; in the other 40: 21 in the smaller house suffice to overrule the will of 19 in that same house, added to the 300 in the other house.

In every case, if there be any reason for giving the preference to the judgment and will of the few to that of the many, it lies upon those who are for thus departing from the general rule to assign special and preponderant reason for such departure. Against it, the strength of presumption is considerable. Of the members of the first house, the choice will of course be made upon such principles as are regarded as calculated to send in the aptest members: aptest in the aggregate of all the parts of appropriate aptitude: they are regarded as those in whom, in consideration of that plan of location, more confidence may with propriety be placed, than upon members located upon any other plan. Add now a second house: either the location is performed upon the same plan, or upon a different one. If upon the same plan, then comes the incongruity of giving to the minority the prevalence over the majority, and without any reason to show for it. If upon a different plan, then by the supposition it is either worse, or at best no more than equal: but if no more than equal, the whole trouble attendant upon it is thrown away.

Another evil is the prevalence of a particular and sinister interest on the part of the second house, whatever it be. Here, too, the sensible evils are but matter of presumption, as in the former case. But whether the presumption be not here also a strong one will be seen.

Be the two houses what they may, in the course of practice, one or other of them will acquire and preserve the lead. To that leading house will application in general be made: to that house will every person who has a project to bring forward look in preference: comparatively speaking, the other house will remain in a state of nullity: to the house of greater activity will the merit of all measures looked upon as beneficial be ascribed. In proportion as the scheme of election is favourable to the universal interest, the measures proposed and approved by the larger efficient house will be beneficial. If there are any that are otherwise, on this supposition the smaller house (the scheme of election being the same) is altogether useless. But be the acts of the larger house ever so beneficial to the community, the majority of the smaller house will not naturally be content to remain in a state of disregard. To acquire and maintain a certain degree of respect, they will take the only course which, according to the supposition, is within their reach: they will set themselves to oppose, and clog, and delay on every occasion those good measures, in the glory of which they cannot share. Reasonable arguments not being furnished by the nature of the case, they would betake themselves to unreasonable ones: against each measure, as it came into the house, they would play off the whole artillery of fallacies. Hence arise the evils following: In the case of every good law thus opposed, delay, vexation, and on the part of individuals interested, more or less expense substituted for that time to the expected benefit: in proportion to the number of instances in which the bad arguments thus prevail, the good that would have been produced by the good law thus rejected, excluded altogether.

The next evil is the complication: Of the art and science of legislation, the matter, even supposing the simplicity of it is maximized, would still be more complicated than could be wished—complicated enough to be productive of evil in no inconsiderable abundance.

Even supposing sinister interest out of the question, the more complicated the matter, the greater the number of those who are unable to see clearly into it; and even to those who do see into it with the utmost possible degree of clearness, the greater the mass of time and labour expended on it.

But the more complicated it is, the more easy will it be for those who apply themselves to seek a sinister profit to themselves at the expense of the rest of the community, to succeed in such their endeavour, to wit, by reason of the inability of those whose interests are thus sacrificed—the inability of seeing into and opposing those same mischievous designs.

There will also be an increased facility afforded to corruption.

The susceptibility as to corruption has been already stated as inherent in the constitution of a representative democracy, as well as in that of every other form of government. In every state there must be an administrative authority; and in every state, the members of the legislative authority will be able and inclined to exchange favours with those of the administrative, and to join with them in a system of depredation and oppression at the expense of the people. True, the aggregate value of these favours is here minimized; but minimization is not extinction. The aggregate value of these favours being given, and also the condition in life of the persons to be operated upon by them, their corruptive power will be inversely as the number of those persons: and in the ratio of the population of the two houses, in the smaller house, the number will be less than in the larger.

Of itself, the second house cannot establish anything; but there is not anything which it cannot keep excluded. The efficient causes of corruption being continually in action, and the effect of them continually on the increase,—sooner or later, unless obviated, they cannot fail to destroy the constitution, and substitute to it a corrupt despotism. But whatsoever be the remedies by which the evil is capable of being averted, that which the second house cannot but have in its power, is to prevent the application of them.

If it be established that there are to be two chambers, out of this single circumstance spring a swarm of questions, pregnant, all of them, with doubts and difficulties. With respect to the whole field of legislation taken together, shall each have the initiative, or shall one of them alone, and which, have the initiative, and the other have the negative?

Or, with relation to certain parts of that field, shall the initiative be possessed exclusively by one, and which of them? Here, then, comes the necessity of lines of demarcation, and thence, not only certain complication, but probably continual contest and dissension.

In the French constitution of 1815, the sole initiative is in the monarch. Of course he will never originate any measure the effect or tendency of which will be to diminish his power, however detrimental it may be to the happiness of the nation: on the contrary, his constant endeavour will be to give increase to his share in the various instruments of felicity.

Lest the additional chamber should be regarded as useless, some special reason must be found for the institution of it. Accordingly, for this purpose, a division of the branches of appropriate aptitude is brought to view, and assumed to be applicable. Both chambers being assumed to be provided in sufficient amount with appropriate moral aptitude, the advantage in respect of active aptitude, is the supposed attribute of the one; in respect of intellectual aptitude, of the other: in which latter case, to render it the more imposing, the varnish of antiquity will be spread over it, and it will be called wisdom. Meantime, for rendering wisdom, whatever is meant by it, more abundant in one chamber than in another, the contrivance is to require that, in that which is to be the wisest, the members shall not, any of them, be of less than a certain age:

Only in so far as moral aptitude has place, is intellectual contributory, or otherwise than detrimental to the aggregate of appropriate aptitude: in so far as his object is particular and sinister interest, at the expense of universal interest, the more knowledge and judgment a man has, the more mischievous will he be. But, in so far as there is any difference, youth has much better pretensions to the being regarded as the seat of appropriate moral aptitude—of virtue, to speak in rhetorical language—than a more advanced age has. In a ratio which is the inverse of the degree of altitude in the scale of age, the mind is susceptible of that degree of excitation, (in French, exaltation,) of which self-sacrifice, sacrifice of immediate self-regarding to social interest, is the result.

In so far as regards intellectual aptitude, needless, with reference to this its professed purpose, is, in the present case, this supposed security. Take any age, for the age short of which, deficiency in the article of wisdom is to be regarded as preponderantly probable: say, for example, twenty-one years of age. By no such deficiency can any sensible evil be produced, otherwise than in the case in which the individuals labouring under it compose a majority. But that in any number approaching to a majority, these supposed unripe minds should have place in any body, constituted as that in question is here proposed to be, is altogether improbable. Were it even life at large that were in question, the longer a man’s life has been, the more numerous will have been the opportunities which his appropriate aptitude, whatever it be, has had of making itself generally manifest. But if this is true, as applied to life in general, more particularly true will it be, as applied to political life.

In the United States of America, the legislature is divided into two houses, viz. the house of representatives and the senate. To this clog upon the proceedings of the representatives of the people, another objection may be seen in the mode of election, or, in other words, in the source of location. Had this second house been elected by the same electors as the first, the delay and expense would have constituted the most material, if not the only material, evils. But the electors or locators are not the members of the constitutive body, but a comparatively very small body—not more than one thirty-five-thousandth part of the members. The senators are located by the members of the local legislatures: so that instead of location by one stage of suffrages, here is location by two stages of suffrages. The members of the senate are, moreover, fixed in their situations for no less than six years: and in all that time, neither by the locators of the first stage, nor by the locators of the second stage, nor, in a word, by any authority whatsoever can they be dislocated. Thus, in no hands is there any efficient control over their conduct. In addition to all this, to make the complication more complete, the senate has a share in the supreme executive authority.

Here, then, is a sort of aristocracy organized: and in virtue of the double-stage principle, an aristocracy over which the members of the constitutive have no direct influence: it may, indeed, be said scarcely any influence at all.

The good effects ascribed or ascribable to the two-house system, may be resolved into this, namely, its acting as a remedy against precipitation.

In this case, as in the case of the articles on the evil side, the alleged good is mere matter of presumption; of actually existing good, not a particle does the observation adduce.

But the ground of this persuasion, what is it—where is it to be found? In the principal house the members are by the former supposition so apt, that none more apt are to be found anywhere: along with this aptitude is the precipitation in question, whatsoever it be. In a state of dependence on the good opinion of their constituents, they are all of them: on every occasion they stand exposed to the censure of the public-opinion tribunal. The electors would on every occasion, in numbers as great as they themselves chose to make them, apply their veto or their drag in a direction conformable to the universal interest; the members of the other, the smaller house, would be on every occasion acting under the temptation to apply it, in furtherance of their particular interest. For avoidance of evil in this and all other shapes, to afford facility and thereby encouragement to the interference of the people at large, would have been the direct and most promising course: the other, of a veto and a drag in the hands of a smaller assembly, has no presumption to recommend it.

Under this code, therefore, the supreme legislative authority is undivided. It is lodged, the whole of it, in one body, composed of representatives located by the supreme constitutive.

Section II.

Legislative Authority—why not in the Supreme Constitutive?

Why place the supreme legislative authority, not in the hands in which the supreme constitutive is placed, but in those of agents chosen by the supreme constitutive?

The reasons for this arrangement are such as must present themselves to every eye: they are not less obvious than conclusive—only for the sake of symmetry, if at all, can they be worth mentioning.

For themselves, the members of the constitutive authority, the great majority, cannot, in point of physical possibility, find time for the performance of this part of their business. They are those on whose labours, on whose disposal of their time in other ways, the national stock of the matter of subsistence and abundance depends: this necessary matter on which the members of the community depend for their existence.

By agents, therefore, must they perform this part of their respective businesses, or leave it unperformed: which is as much as to say, leave political society unformed.

To bestow, according to each one’s leisure, an occasional glance on the conduct of such their agents, in the execution of their trust; this is what they can do, and this, as experience shows, is sufficient.

If to the performance of business for which by the nature of their situation the greater portion of the members of the community were excluded, the whole were in form, and by the terms of the law to be invited, the system would by this circumstance be rendered deceptious: power in profession to the greatest number, it would be given in effect to the thus surreptitiously favoured few.

Section III.

Election—why immediate?

Why render the mode of location immediate, not unimmediate?

Because from unimmediateness no benefits can be shown to result, while the evils increase with the number of the stages or degrees of election, interposed between the members of the supreme constitutive and the functionaries here in question, in this composite mode of location. These evils are:

1. Want of responsibility as towards their constituents: of responsibility by punibility, and of responsibility by dislocability. These functionaries once located, no control over them do their constituents preserve; no means of preventing them from becoming corrupt and occupied upon the sinister sacrifice—in the commission of depredation and oppression.

2. The intermediate locators (the immediate locators of the functionaries in question) being of course less numerous than the members of the correspondent electoral body, stand proportionally exposed to the influence of the mass of corruptive matter in the hands of the executive: as likewise to the influence of corruptive matter in whatsoever other hands lodged.

The smaller the number of persons exposed to corruption, (the quality of the persons being set aside,) the greater the corruptive force with which they are acted upon by a given quantity of the matter of corruptive influence.

The greater the number of intermediate ranks of electors, the smaller the number of electors in each rank, and thence the greater the corruptive force with which they are acted upon by the matter of corruptive influence.

Under the Spanish constitution the number of stages of election is three or four: the number of ranks of electors interposed between the immediate members of the constitutive body, and the members of the legislative, in the location of whom they bear a part, is one or two. A consideration of a local and temporary nature was the cause of the complication resorted to and produced in this case. To such a degree were the most numerous orders under the sinister influence of the clergy, that had they been the immediate locators of the members of the legislature, these members would in large proportion have been persons recommended by the clergy, and thence, of course, implacable enemies to reform in every shape: reform in the particular shape contemplated, whatever it was, included.

Section IV.

Duties, peculiar and not peculiar.

Of cases, in which for want of due discrimination between the duties peculiar to itself, and those not peculiar to itself, the supreme legislature stands exposed to the danger of wasteful application of its time, examples are the following:—

Inquiry and decision as to a case in which property belonging to an individual is required to be transferred to government, for some supposed preponderantly beneficial national purpose: and thence as to the quality and quantity of the compensation due. In this case the appropriate authority would be, not the supreme legislative, but the judicial.

Taxation, for the expense of works, the benefit of which is confined within the limits of particular portions of territory: say of peculiar districts. In this case a more apt authority would be, that of the sub-legislature of the district.

So, if for any local purpose, common to some district.

So, a transfer for a merely private purpose: the arrangement being clearly conducive to the mutual benefit of all parties; and the transfer capable of being made without detriment to the general sense of security in respect of property. Here the appropriate authority would be the judicial authority of the district.

Of waste committed in the above shapes, exemplification, to a vast extent, may, at all times, be seen in English practice: and by the magnitude and uncertainty of the number of members present, added to the irresponsibility of their situation, (this judicatory being, as to all points of appropriate aptitude, rendered notoriously in the highest degree unapt, and in particular in respect of moral aptitude—in one word, by corruption,) a constant waste of legislative time is frequently accompanied by the evil of misjudication.

English practice affords another example, which is somewhat remarkable, namely, the grant or refusal by parliament, of the dissolution of the contract as between husband and wife. Here the waste of legislative strength, if not perhaps so extensive, is much more palpable. The principal efficient cause, is the conjunction of the particular interest of the lawyer tribe with that of the aristocratical tribe: the lawyer tribe, in respect of the enormous professional profit, of which a suit in this pre-eminently ill-constituted judicatory, has been made the source; the aristocratical tribe, in respect of the distinction it confers upon them—the capacity of defraying the inordinate expense, being of the number of the exclusive privileges, confined to the hands of pre-eminent opulence: and the superior importance thus ascribed to their family connexions. While a single tribunal suffices for seduction, the time of the legislature at the heels of two judicial tribunals, is occupied by a divorce. Thus in England and Ireland. In Scotland, an ordinary judicatory suffices.

But in England, the government having for one of the maxims of its policy, the minimization of the time, employed by this compound body, in the performance of its appropriate duties, and accordingly to maximize the waste of it, waste upon this small scale, passes unobserved.

Section V.

Dislocability and Punibility.

The legislature being the seat of supreme operative power, for stemming the torrent of corruption, the first quarter to which the remedial arrangement should be applied, must obviously be the legislature: and with or without the additional expedient of preventing the re-election of members, the assigning to their power, no more than a short duration, may be apt to appear, at first sight at least, sufficient. This however, it will not be: for short as in that department, the term of service may be, such it cannot conveniently be in the executive department. Even if the objection on that account were got over, and the length of the service in that department as in the other minimized, still at the head of that department some person or persons there must be: and on both sides, the parties having the same interests, and the same means of pursuing them, and pursuing them with effect, the same results would follow. In their individual capacity the members of the legislature would have the same desire of providing for their families and friends: they would have the same means of gratifying that desire. The chief or chiefs of the executive being necessarily subject to the power of the legislative, exposed not only to the having the duration of their power, how short soever, made still shorter, but to be punished, and in the meantime vexed, in an infinite variety of ways, without the form of punishment, would never cease to feel themselves under the obligation of keeping on fair terms with the members of the legislative: in other words, of admitting them to a share in the sweets of corruption by locating them or their friends in lucrative and other desirable offices.

Unless by a revolution and consequent change in the constitution, this state of things could never be made to cease. In their corporate capacity the members of the legislature would administer the wages of corruption in the gross, to the executive chief or chiefs, in the shape of desirable offices and other shapes, and the executive chief or chiefs would administer them in detail to the members of the legislature, in their several individual capacities: in their corporate capacity they would give,—in their individual capacity, they would receive.

The members of the supreme legislative, must therefore be rendered punishable,—as, for the production of the effect intended, namely subordination, dislocability alone, will not be sufficient.

It fails in two cases:—1. If in consequence of the taste and situation in other respects of the individual in question, it is a matter of indifference to him whether he continues in such his office, or passes out of it. 2. If, in consequence of possessing what to him appears an adequate assurance of obtaining, by some breach of his official duty, a benefit, the value of which is, in his eyes, preponderant over the value of the office, taste and situation considered as above, such is his relative moral inaptitude, and such the strength of the temptation to which his probity stands exposed, that he determines to break the duty accordingly, and possess himself of the benefit.

Notwithstanding the height of the situation in the scale of power, neither does difficulty in any shape, nor danger in any shape, attach upon the application of either of the two bridles in question: namely dislocation and punishment. Divested of his brief authority,—divested by that means, and at the same time, of all sinister influence,—a member of the supreme legislative body, that is to say, he who had once been a member—would be just as easily tried, convicted, and punished as any the meanest citizen.

Yes, if by the constitutive, the functionary were undislocable and unpunishable: in either case the difficulty of the operation would be extreme, and the danger of the attempt, proportionable. This is as much as to say, in a monarchy, in every sort of monarchy.

A conception not less erroneous, than at first sight it is natural, would be, the supposing, that because by the care of the law, punishment is provided to be, in case of necessity, applied to functionaries of the class in question,—either the actual application of it, or the endeavour to make application of it, would be in any degree probable. By the very provision by which the eventual possibility of it is established, the probability of it is dispelled.

By the Anglo-American constitution, all functionaries—the highest and most powerful not excepted—are made punishable. For these forty years, during which these states have been in a state of independence, where has been the high legislative or executive functionary punished?—where has been the high functionary whom any man wished to see punished? Why has there never been that high functionary, whom any man wished to see punished? Because there has never been one who has offended. And no high functionary has offended, because there has never been one, who ever saw either any profit to be made by offending, or prospect of escaping punishment if he were to offend. In that country delinquency and punishment are twin sisters: for there, not only is infamy the punishment, but efficient and abundantly sufficient punishment.

Section VI.


Why render the legislature omnicompetent?

Because it will the better enable it to give effect to the will of the supreme constitutive, and advancement to the interest and security of the members of the state.

Because the practice upon which it puts an exclusion is, in a constitution such as the present, pregnant with evil in all imaginable shapes.—Any limitation is in contradiction to the greatest happiness principle. An arrangement suppose, is proposed, which, in the unanimous opinion of the whole legislative, with the addition of the unanimous opinion of the whole constitutive, would be immediately contributory to the greatest happiness of the greatest number. For a certain length of time it cannot be carried into effect. Why? because it is repugnant to that which was the will of the constitutive at the moment at which this restrictive arrangement was established.

On one supposition alone can it be supported, namely, that on the part of the constitutive and legislative, at the time at which it received its establishment, appropriate aptitude had place in a greater degree than it can have place at any succeeding point of time: in particular, than at any point of time at which a proposition would be brought forward for some change of the number of those on which the restrictive arrangement in question would put a negative. The untenableness of this supposition has been already exposed.

To be employed in giving support and stability to evil in every shape is the characteristic property of an arrangement of this sort: to put an exclusion upon a good law—upon a law by which, if established, evil in some shape or other would be excluded: upon a law so plainly good, that this same restrictive arrangement is the only bar that, with any colour of reason, can be opposed to the enactment of it;—for, suppose the proposed law a bad one, the worse it is, the stronger will be the objection opposed by its badness, and for this objection there cannot be any need.

In the institution of this veto upon remedy and improvement, moral inaptitude—the fruit of sinister interest, and intellectual inaptitude, in the shape of self-sufficiency, wilful blindness, and obstinacy, act with conjunct influence.

Had their predecessors acted with like endeavour, and with correspondent effect,—these would-be tyrants over futurity, whoever they are—what place would have been left for the power, of which they are making such exercise?

Power thus unlimited, is it not too dangerous to be trusted to any body of men in the state?

No: it would be, if, of the power thus confided, the existence were not, in the instance of every individual, made dependent on the will of the greater number, and, in case of an abuse in the exercise of it, the functionaries in question rendered eventually punishable, as above.

With power thus unlimited, might not the legislative body exercise their power upon the members of the constitutive body, individually taken, in such sort as to prevent the exercise of the dislocative power in question over the members of the legislative body?

No: for in the case here supposed, the members of the constitutive body, on whose co-operation the giving execution and effect to the supposed ordinances of the legislative body depend, would forbear to give it: if some used their endeavours on that side, a greater number would use theirs on the opposite side. Upon their compliance or non-compliance, all power, as has been seen, necessarily depends. On any occasion towards producing, on their part, non-compliance, all that can be done by a constitutional code, is to give them the invitation. If by such invitation, power is not limited, by nothing else can it be limited.

In every case of every such restriction, the tendency is to produce evil to an unlimited amount.

In every case of every such restriction, the tendency is to produce more evil than good.

In no case is it in the nature of it to produce any positive good: in relation to the subject-matter in question, what it does is, under the notion of excluding evil, to exclude evil and good at the same time.

In no case is it likely to exclude any evil, that would not have been excluded without it.

Against all evil effects from want of appropriate aptitude on the part of the legislature of the future time in question, (which is the only reason that can be adduced in favour of the restriction,) the community is secured by the power herein given to the constitutive body, as above.

So obvious and incontestable are the absurdity and mischievousness of such a restriction, that a palliative has been employed for lessening the mischievous effects of it. This consists in setting limits to the time during which no change shall be attempted. In this case, the absurdity is not quite so flagrant, but it is not the less unquestionable: by being varied in shape, neither is the absurdity removed, nor the mischief materially lessened.

The case in which this dilatory system has been employed, is that in which a new constitution has been instituted. In this case, an acknowledgment has been made, that the makers of the constitution are not infallible: and thus the system has been in a considerable degree cleared of its absurdity, or at any rate, its absurdity of its flagrance. But as to mischievousness, whatsoever may have been the object, the tendency is still the same. A door is left for the admission of the remedy. But at what time? at a time at which it is either needless or hopeless.

The time at which application is made of the remedy, is the very time at which the constitution, of which it makes a part, receives its commencement: a time at which experience is not yet born. If there be a time at which the probable need of alteration is at its highest pitch, this is that time. If, notwithstanding whatsoever imperfection may have place in it, the constitution is at that time capable of maintaining its ground, and answering, not to say fulfilling, the purposes of its institution, much more assuredly will it at any succeeding point of time: and as to remedies, howsoever the direct and most essential ones are thus inhibited from being applied, yet to all such as are not included in the inhibition, the door, by the supposition, remains open. Not that it follows, that even any such palliative will be applied: for the case may be, that there are not any such as will in any degree apply to the purpose.

Be this as it may, if no subversive effect takes place at this earliest period, no reason is there for supposing that any such mischief will take place at any posterior period: insomuch, that if, with this limitation to it, the restriction is justifiable, equally justifiable would it be were the limitation omitted.

So much as to the needlessness of the restriction: restriction in respect of extent of competence, and limitation in point of time applied to that restriction,—the two arrangements taken together.

Now, as to the article of hopelessness. Whatsoever, under the newly instituted constitution, may be the influence and effective power of the newly constituted rulers, the more effectually it is regarded as answering its purposes,—or, to come more to the point, the better the people are satisfied with it,—the firmer and firmer will be their hold on the affections, fear and love taken together, of that same people. Suppose, now, that in company with the arrangements which have really had for their object the felicity of all, others have place, which have for their object, not the felicity of all, but the particular felicity of those same rulers, pursued at the expense of that of the people: what is the consequence? The longer the time is during which they have been in possession of the sinister advantage, the more and more confirmed the habit of enjoyment is; the stronger the hold, as it were, they have taken of it, the more strenuously opposed will they be to part with it: and by means of the circumstances just mentioned, during all this time, and in correspondent proportion, their assurance of being suffered to keep possession of it has been receiving increase.

By this unincompetence, by this negation of all limits, this also is to be understood, namely, that let the legislature do what it will, nothing that it does is to be regarded as null and void: in other words, it belongs not to any judge so to pronounce concerning it: for, to give such powers to any judge would be to give to the judge—to the locatee of the minister of justice, who himself is but a locatee of this same legislature—a power superior to that of the legislature itself.

But the case of an abuse of power on the part of the legislature is not, therefore, as has been seen, left without remedy. One remedy is—the shortness of the duration allowed to the power of its several members in the aggregate; a year, or two years at the utmost.

Another remedy is afforded by the speedier dislocation of any or all of those who have been seen concurring in the obnoxious measure: dislocation, namely by those by whom he or they had been located. Operose is this remedy, it is true; but were it ever so inadequate it should not be rejected; for it is the only one the nature of the case admits of: and if the facility of it were to a certain degree great, the remedy might even be worse than the disease. Little does it seem in danger of being inoperative: for, of the very first commencement of its preparation, a natural result would be—no inconsiderable uneasiness on the part of the members who were the object of it. Supposing no instance of its being applied ever to have place, no proof of its inutility would be the result.

If, to the authority of the legislature, limits are regarded as being applied, it will be in one or other of the following ways:—

1. By the authority of the supreme constitutive. If, on any occasion, in the opinion of the supreme constitutive, the legislative has by any ordinance trenched upon the authority given by this same constitution, to the supreme constitutive,—a natural consequence will be, that on the part of the members of the supreme constitutive in their separate capacity no regard will be paid to it: in which case, as power on the one part is constituted by, and is in exact proportion to, obedience on the other part, thus it is that the supposed anti-constitutional ordinance of the legislature will remain without effect. On the disposition on the part of the members of the supreme constitutive to pay obedience to the ordinances of the supreme legislative is the legislature dependent at all times for the power which it exercises: by the supposition on the individual occasion in question, this same disposition is diminished or altogether vanishes; and this being supposed, so on that same occasion will the power of the legislature.

By the judiciary, that is to say by any judge in whose judicatory a member of the supreme constitutive is prosecuted for the alleged offence committed by the supposed act of disobedience—by the judiciary it may be said the punishment thus called for may be inflicted. True, so it may be; but that it should be, is not likely, were it only for this—namely, that the judge is dislocable by a majority of the electors of the district.

True it is, that on this occasion, as on any other, it may happen, and is likely to happen, to the suffrages of the supreme constitutive authority, to be divided. But this is an inconvenience the existence of which is in the very nature of the case.

To produce the effect here endeavoured to be produced by the promptly applied dislocative power given to the supreme constitutive over the members of the legislature, it is not necessary that any application should in fact be made of it. In any case in which it appears likely that, by the proposed ordinance in question, the members of the supreme constitutive will, in any considerable number, be likely to regard it as a violation of their rights—rights naturally so valuable in their eyes, the great probability seems to be that a majority of the legislature will not hazard the enterprise: that they will not, even though no considerable apprehension of any such strong measure as that of dislocating them were entertained by them; for from a degree of unpopularity much less than would suffice for their dislocation, no inconsiderable personal inconvenience would naturally be produced.

2. By the authority of the supreme legislative itself, composed of the same members. This case is brought to view for no other reason than because, not only the possibility but the actuality of a limitation, produced by such a law, seems commonly to be assumed. But by a little reflection the impossibility of it will be made apparent. In the case of this body, as in that of every other body, and every individual, its will is as much its will at one time as at another. To suppose that its will, on the first of two days, can render of no effect its will on the second of those same two days, is a self-contradictory supposition: it supposes that on such second day its will will be, and at the same time will not be, to the effect in question.

3. By the authority of the supreme legislature itself, at a time when the members of it are in a greater or less proportion, or are all of them altogether different. For simplicity of conception, suppose them in their whole number without exception different. By the supposition, it is their desire to render of no effect the will declared by their predecessors: by what consideration should they be prevented from carrying such their desire into effect? At the anterior time in question, of the will of the then existing members, was the authority in question composed: at the posterior time in question, of the will of the then existing members it is that that same authority is composed.

Altogether the work of imagination, must be any bar by which, in preference to the will of the anterior set of functionaries, the will of the posterior set of functionaries is regarded as prevented from taking effect. Not by any well-considered regard for the greatest happiness of the greatest number can any such scruple have been produced: nor by any well grounded supposition of superior intellectual aptitude on the part of the earlier set of functionaries. Appropriate intellectual aptitude is either appropriate knowledge or appropriate judgment. To the knowledge possessed by the anterior set, the posterior adds the whole stock of knowledge which the interval of time has brought to view: and all appropriate judgment being the fruit of appropriate knowledge, proportioned to the addition to knowledge, will of course be the addition to judgment, unless some reason can be shown why it should be otherwise. Thus then, with reference to the time of action in both cases, will the posterior set, as compared with the anterior, possess an unquestionable advantage: each of them possessing a knowledge of, and in relation to, the facts of its own time. But the time here in question is the time of the posterior set of functionaries: the time when, in pursuance of the knowledge and judgment possessed by them, an ordinance to a certain effect, in relation to a certain subject, is proposed to be framed and issued. But of none of the intervening facts—in a word, of none of the facts immediately belonging to the case, could the functionaries of the anterior time have had any knowledge, nor, therefore, be capable of forming any appropriately grounded judgment whatsoever. Can anything, therefore, be more absurd than the supposition which, with reference to the proposed ordinance in question, attributes to those same anterior functionaries, in comparison with these their successors, any superiority in the shape of appropriate intellectual aptitude?

In so far as the proposition has knowledge and judgment for its subjects, in the instance of any other branch of art and science, it is too palpably absurd to find a defender anywhere; if in the instance of the branch of art and science here in question there is a just cause of exception, it lies on him by whom the existence of such exception is asserted to prove it.

4. By the authority of the functionaries belonging to the several other departments, namely, the executive, or say the administrative, and the judiciary. Manifestly self-contradictory and absurd would be the supposition, that by either of those authorities, limits ought to be, or could be set, to the power of this. Of their institution, the declared and sole declared end and purpose is the giving execution and effect to the will formed and declared by the members of the legislative. But is it possible that by them or either of them it should be better known what is the will of the legislative than by the legislative itself?

These things considered, all endeavour to restrain the power of the supreme legislative by words of inhibition or restriction in a constitutional code, will be seen to be incongruous, and tending to lessen instead of increasing the regard paid to it by the authorities and people of succeeding times.

That the restrictive system is capable of being of use is undeniable, for that it has been of use is equally so.

Under a form of government bad in principle, it is capable of being of use: and under every such government, in so far as it has been applied, it has probably been more or less of use. If in any government it has been of use, a more conclusive proof of the badness of the government cannot be given than that such a system has been of use under it.

To this head belong the sorts of instruments called in English and thence in French, Charters: and also in English, Bills of Rights.

This sort of restrictive arrangement is of use, because the government is in principle a despotism: the end in view is not the only true end, but a false one: not the greatest happiness of the greatest number, but the greatest happiness of the ruling one, with or without that of a comparatively few, in the character either of his instruments or his partners.

On an occasion of this sort selection is made of some of the grossest and most palpable of the forms in which depredation and oppression are wont to show themselves; and by one mean or other, the depredator and oppressor-general has been engaged to promise, that from depredation and oppression in these particular forms, he will be graciously pleased to abstain in future. Not that to him any right to the exercise of depredation and oppression in these, any more than any other forms, is wanting; but that in these particular instances, such is his mercy and condescension, he will, in so far as he is pleased to continue in the same mood, be pleased to abstain from the exercise of them.

In every instance the probability seems to be, that the engagement, such as it is, has not been altogether without its use. Is it then, that in any instance, even in those forms in particular, the career of despotism has ever altogether ceased? No: but in every instance the probability is, that the exercise has not been either so frequent or so flagrant as, but for this engagement, it would have been.

At any rate, an intimately-connected yet distinguishable use has been the drawing the attention of the public-opinion tribunal to the several points in question; and by means of the exercise thus given to it, thus giving strength to it.

In proportion as it gives strength to the public-opinion tribunal—that is to the members of it, the great body of the people—it gives weakness to the government: and where such is the principle and character of the government, everything that adds to its weakness is of use, and the price given for any such addition cannot easily be too great. For in exact proportion as the rulers have grown weaker and weaker, the people have been growing stronger and stronger, insomuch that, where the ruler has been carrying on the business of government for his own benefit, the people are ready to step into it, and carry it on for their own benefit.

Objection: If as towards the executive and the judicial, omnicompetence on the part of the legislative has place, all these authorities will be united in the hands of the legislative, and in that case, according to Montesquieu’s definition, the government will be a despotism. The division of power, meaning between these three several authorities, is generally acknowledged as the best security, and as an indispensable security, against despotism.

Answer: This definition being destitute of all reference to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, the authority of Montesquieu has no title to regard. He threw into the field of legislation a few unconnected lights, but he had no clear conception of any one spot in it. His fundamental division of the principle of a government,—fear, honour, and virtue, has been for these sixty years shown to be mere nonsense. But for the reference made to this aphorism of his, in the debates relative to the United States Constitution, and incidentally in discussions relative to the English government, his book would not on this occasion, any more than on any other, at this time of day, have any claim to notice. Vain would be the pursuit to keep hunting for a distinct meaning in a work in which no such thing is to be found. Of happiness, he says nothing: instead of security for the people against their rulers, he talks of liberty: and assumes without directly saying so, that to establish the most perfect liberty is the proper object of all government: whereas government cannot operate but at the expense of liberty, and then and there only is liberty perfect, where no government has place.

The work which contains by far the greatest quantity of sound reasoning and useful instruction on the subject of government, is an American work called The Federalist. But even there, the passages in which there is a want of clearness in the ideas attached to the words and phrases employed, are but too frequent, and the work being in the form of letters, the reasoning is desultory and unmethodical.

At the end of fifty pages and not before, comes a phrase, the business of which is to lay down a definition of the end of government. “Justice is the end of government.” Then immediately after. “It is the end of civil society.” But justice, what is it that we are to understand by justice: and why not happiness but justice? What happiness is, every man knows, because, what pleasure is, every man knows, and what pain is, every man knows. But what justice is,—this is what on every occasion is the subject-matter of dispute. Be the meaning of the word justice what it will, what regard is it entitled to otherwise than as a means of happiness. By justice, did the writer mean equality? Instead of justice, he should then have said equality. But of the four subordinate ends of government, equality is but one, and of that, the importance is neither so great nor so clearly visible as the three others, or, at any rate, as two of the three, namely, subsistence and security.

For the happiness of the people, every security that can be given is reducible to this one—the supremacy, or say the sovereignty, of the people: the sovereignty of the people, not nominal merely, but effective, and brought into action, or rather capable of being brought into action, as frequently as the exigency of the case requires, and the nature of the case renders possible.

Altogether inadequate,—and, with reference to the only justifiable and proper end of government, unconducive,—is the sort of arrangement expressed by the phrases division of power and balance of power.

The phrase—balance of power, supposes division of power, and expresses a modification of it: it means that the shares which are the result of the division should be equal, or as near to equality as possible. To say of the power in question, that there should be a division of it, is simply to say of it, that it should be divided into shares. To speak of the balance of power, as a thing that ought to be maintained in a state, is to say that these shares should be all of them equal to one another: for in a pair of scales, with equal arms, either the weights in the two scales are equal, or, what is called a balance between them has no place: one of them falls, the other rises.

By those by whom the phrase—division of power, is employed, of the subject-matter of the proposed division, no precise determination is given. Is it the aggregate mass of power exercised by all the functionaries of the state, of all grades put together? or is it no more than the whole mass of the power exercised by those who occupy the highest grade in the several departments?

But in no sense, unless and in so far as depredation and oppression in other shapes are excluded by it, can division of power be of any use. Because, into whatsoever portions, separation of the power, and corresponding interest, may have been made, corruption may unite them, and cause them to co-operate in the work of depredation and oppression: and not only may unite them, but to a certainty will, unless for the prevention of these evils, arrangements of a very different nature be made.

Thus it is in England: thus it is and ever will be in all mixed governments, into the mixture of which an alleged representation of the people is admitted. In fact, no such separation of power, as is pretended to have place, has place: nor if it had place, would it be of any use. By keeping the three powers separate and independent,—namely, the legislative, the executive and the judicial, the use of the executive and of the judicial would be taken away, namely, the giving execution and effect to the ordinances issued by the legislative. To government, anarchy would be substituted, if in case of disobedience on the part of those subordinate functionaries, the legislature had it not in its power to dislocate them, and substitute to them others, by whom the services they were designed and expected to render, would be performed.

But although the subordinates ought not in any case to take upon themselves the functions of the legislative, there are cases in which the legislative may and should take upon itself the functions as well of the executive as of the judicial: for there are cases in which, were it not to do so, its own authority would be without execution and effect—it would itself be without efficiency or use.

Of these cases there are two: 1. Where the will of the functionaries in the subordinate department opposes itself to the will of the functionaries in the superordinate department: 2. Where the exigency of the case, in respect of time or appositeness of appropriate information, will not admit of its operating by the intervention of the agency of these same subordinates.

To the executive it belongs, suppose, as by the here proposed constitution it does, to command in chief the military force of the state; and where he does not command it in person, he locates him who shall command it. To the executive chief, and not to the legislature: good in all ordinary cases. But suppose the executive chief, or such his deputy, possessed as he thinks of the affections of the military, and setting up for the sovereignty. The legislature must dislocate him, or either civil war, or, instead of representative democracy, despotic monarchy ensues.

So in the case of the judiciary. If in any district the judge wilfully forbears to give execution and effect to the declared will of the legislature, and to such wilful forbearance a certain degree of continuance is given, the power of the legislature in that same district is at an end: and thus, by the waywardness of a single functionary, the will of the whole people, as signified by their agents chosen by them for that purpose, may in so far be frustrated. To remedy this, what is there that will suffice? This, and nothing less—decree of the legislature dislocating the insubordinate judge; and in the event of his continuing in the exercise of his functions, notwithstanding, arrestation and confinement of his person.

That except in the two cases above pointed out, this sort of arrangement ought not to be employed, may without difficulty be admitted: and except in these cases, the employment of it is here accordingly disrecommended.

Without any such limitation it has by every government been, without any scruple, employed.

For the forming a sufficiently instructive ground for its proceedings, the legislature, be the subject-matter what it may, calls for information at the hands of every person whom it regards as competent to the furnishing it: and if the individual be refractory, declining to present himself, or declining to answer questions, it consigns him to confinement till his wayward pertinacity gives way to the sense of political duty, and due obedience takes its place. Here is one of those functions exercised, in the exercise of which the judicial authority is continually employing itself, and of which, for giving execution and effect to the law, it has such perfect need.

It is done, moreover, not only by the whole legislature, by a bill of attainder, but with much less of formality and discussion. It is done by every branch, how small soever, which, under the name of a committee, is detached from itself for this purpose.

Section VII.

Inaugural Declaration—why?

For what reasons employ this declaration?

The reasons will appear in the following uses:

Use 1. To appropriate moral aptitude, it contributes in the several ways following:

As a security for aptitude in that shape, it brings to bear upon the conduct of the functionary, throughout the field of his authority, the force of the popular or moral sanction, as applied by the public-opinion tribunal: it being among the characteristics of this unofficial judicatory, to act—and without injustice or mischief in any shape, upon evidence, of a sort upon which no proceeding could, without palpable injustice, be grounded in any official judicatory.

Many are the cases in which, but for the sort of check thus applied, misdeeds of the most mischievous nature would be practised in full security. Among them is corruption on the part of a public functionary, in those cases in which it would not be exposed to punishment—punishment such as that denounced by penal law. For instance, where by the corruptor, or some connexion of his, the service is rendered—not to the functionary himself, but to some connexion of his, in whose prosperity he has an interest more or less considerable.

Of a tie of this sort, the efficiency will be in proportion to the degree of particularity which can be given to the wording of it. If the wording of it be to a certain degree general and loose, so far from being conducive, it is in a high degree adverse to the end which it professes to have in view. The effect of it is to cause the unthinking multitude to regard as if bound by a most efficient tie, a functionary on whom neither the tie in question, nor any other tie of the sort, ever exercises any the smallest restraining influence. It has the effect of a certificate of public probity, where the quality itself is ever so completely wanting.

England may on this head afford a useful example to all other nations. What may be called the system of oaths, is one of the most extensively employed, and most efficient instruments, in which a government depending as that does, upon corruption and delusion for its existence, finds its support. Scarce an office of any importance, on his entrance into which, the functionary does not pronounce the words of an engagement, to which, in order that the influence of religion may be enlisted in the service of corruption, the term oath is employed. Of the use thus made of this instrument, delusion and corruption are the continually associated effects.

2. A use of secondary importance, is the security it affords the functionary against the uneasiness producible by solicitation, on the part of this or that person, with whom it happens to him to stand connected, whether by the ties of self-regarding interest, or by the ties of sympathy. In this way, but for a safeguard of this kind, he may be annoyed by tormentors in any number, and even on two opposite sides at once. On the other hand, let the law give him this safeguard, under the semblance of coercion, it gives him real liberty: and thus it is, that in the breast of a public man, shelter may be afforded to probity, against the tyranny of private sinister influence.

This use of the declaration, or engagement, is of no light importance. Self is but one: connexions are infinite. The danger which the probity of a public man is exposed to, from the suggestions of his own immediate interest, is trifling in comparison with the attacks it has to sustain from the interest of all sorts which surround him. Amongst these, local and professional interests are particularly dangerous. Individual ones venture not beyond a whisper: the others, by their clamour counterfeit the public voice, and clothe themselves impudently in the garb of virtue. Strengthened by secret inclination, and entrenched behind the rampart of a solemn engagement, probity may bid defiance to all its adversaries.

3. While thus subservient to the main point, namely, appropriate moral aptitude, the instrument may be found not altogether useless, with reference to appropriate intellectual aptitude. It will serve in some sort as a guide over the field of government. In this character, that part of the code, in which an indication is given of the subjects which respectively belong to the field of duty, of the several ministers belonging to the administrative branch of the executive department, together with the engagements of the various functionaries, to perform their duty,—may serve as a supplement.

Of all the several offices which belong to the official establishment, the two in regard to which, it affords the most considerable promise of being of use, are the legislative and the judicial.

In the case of the people at large, in their quality of members of the supreme constitutive authority, no engagement of this sort seems to afford much promise of being of use. In the character of a curb, it would be altogether useless: having no sinister interest,—the universal interest being but the aggregate of their several particular interests, it would in their instance be needless: acting as they are supposed to do on a system of perfect liberty, with perfect secrecy for its security it would in their case, needless or needful, be inapplicable.

In the character of instruments of appropriate intellectual aptitude—instruments for the conveyance of appropriate knowledge, and for the guidance of appropriate judgment, the two declarations, allotted to the situation of legislator, and that of judge, will serve at the same time, for their constitutional supervisors and masters,—the members of the supreme constitutive.

Section VIII.

Sittings unintermitted.

Why at the hands of these public functionaries, exact an attendance thus unintermitted?

Because to the amount of irremediable mischief, which may at any time be the result of non-attendance, there are no assignable limits. Of the evil which actually has place in the several governments, there is no saying how large a proportion may have been produced by the want of it. In the situation in question, to an excess of business, or in short to any cause but the true one, may in the instance of each such functionary, have been at all times attributed, that which in truth had for its sole cause, his indolence or negligence.

The more completely the time of a man, thus placed in the very thickest of moral contagion, is occupied in the discharge of his duty, the less is the time during which he stands exposed to the solicitations of corruptive influence: to visits from persons of all classes, whose interest and consequently whose endeavour, will be to ply him with temptation, in all its shapes, for the purpose of engaging him to concur with them in the sacrifice of the public to their own particular interest.

Whatever be the occupation, good or evil, among its purposes is, the putting an exclusion upon all incompatible ones.

“John,” said a careful housewife to her servant, when she sent him into the cellar, “keep whistling all the while you are drawing the ale.” Drinking and whistling cannot go on at the same time.

Objection 1. No man of worth will submit to restrictions so irksome and so degrading.

Answer. To render the objection relevant, put aside all such vague phrases as men of worth, and employ instead the only relevant phrase—no man endowed with adequate appropriate aptitude, in all its several branches.

This done, the true answer is—no man endowed with adequate appropriate aptitude will decline submitting to these same restrictions, or regard them as being in any degree degrading, or, in comparison with other occupations, so much as irksome. A man’s doing so, would be conclusive proof of want of aptitude.

The occupation of the medical practitioner consists in the removing, or endeavouring to remove or exclude, evil,—in thus doing good upon an individual scale. The occupation of the legislative functionary consists in the excluding, or endeavouring to exclude, evil,—and thus, in doing good upon a national scale. The legislative functionary shall, it is proposed, have one day of repose and relaxation out of every seven. On no one day of the three hundred and sixty-five can the medical practitioner be assured of so much as a single hour of repose and relaxation. To the occupation of the medical practitioner, no power, in any shape, is attached. To the occupation of the legislative functionary, power, the highest in the scale of operative power, is attached.

For the occupation of the medical practitioner, never is there any want of candidates: still less for the occupation of the legislative functionary, would there be any want of candidates.

In the offices belonging to the various departments of the executive, in the case of no individual in the order of clerks would this same degree of assiduity in attendance be regarded as excessive. For no one of these situations is there ever any want of candidates. That which a man would not decline doing for a less sum without power, he would not decline doing for a larger sum, and with the highest power.

Objection 2. Any such degree of strictness is, in any such high situations, altogether without a precedent.

Answer. Nothing can be more natural than that it should be. Its being so may, at any rate, for the purpose of the argument, be admitted without difficulty.

In the case of the medical practitioner, the degree of closeness of attendance is determined on the part of the functionary, partly by the nature of the case, partly by the patient: in the case of the legislative functionary, it is determined by himself, in conjunction with others, in the instance of every one of whom the same sinister interest has place, with the same power of fulfilling its dictates. It is determined by a set of men who feel themselves completely at liberty to sacrifice the aggregate interest of all their fellow countrymen to any the smallest portion of personal and self-regarding interest, and who are in the constant habit of making this sacrifice.

In the case of the medical practitioner, if any evil results from the want of adequate promptitude, in such sort that the patient suffers, the functionary by whose fault it is produced, suffers along with him; for he cannot avoid doing so. In the case of the legislative functionary, whatsoever evil befalls the patient—perhaps the whole population of the country, the patient suffers alone: the person in whose misconduct the evil has its cause does not suffer along with him, for it has been in his power to exempt himself from all suffering, and so accordingly he has done.

What is the situation in which the efficiency of this bar to a seat in the legislature would be felt in its highest force? It is that situation which is composed of power, without obligation. It is that, for example, of a member of the English parliament. Take either house: of the majority, all ill-disposed; of the minority, some well-disposed. On the part of the well-disposed, in the scale of duties, first comes amusement in all its shapes, then serving the particular interests of self and connexions, lastly, ministering to the public interest. On many occasions, there have not been a sufficient number of members present in the House of Commons, namely, forty, when the fate of a proposed law was to be decided, which had for its object to provide a remedy to an immense mass of misery, under which the people were suffering.

If, when a man says, “no man of worth would accept of the situation on such terms,” what he means is,—“neither I myself, nor any who have a place in my esteem, would,” and this man belongs to either of those bodies, he delivers an aphorism which assuredly has more or less truth in it. From the society in which he has been bred, all sense of positive obligation has stood excluded. Negative obligation, yes: of that, he has all along had the sense: by the fear of being annoyed in return, he has felt himself bound not to annoy others. But as to the doing anything he does not like, for individuals, or even for himself, it is a thing unusual to him, and, for the public at large, unprecedented.

But from an exclusion put upon such men of worth, would the public interest, in any shape, be a sufferer? No: in every shape it would be a gainer. By habitual opulence, men with scarcely one exception out of a thousand, are rendered irremediably unapt for legislative business: unapt in respect of every element of appropriate aptitude.

This objection, supposing it regarded as peremptory and conclusive in this instance, would be so in the instance of every measure, almost without exception, that had for its object the augmentation of the happiness of the greatest number.

Perfect is the accordance between this arrangement for constancy of attendance, and the anterior one for the shortness of continuance in office, so far as regards the members of the supreme legislative. The shorter the time of a man’s confinement, the less irksome to him will it be.



Section I.

Appointment in the People.

In a political state, all power is either operative or constitutive: operative is that, by the immediate exercise of which, obsequiousness and obedience are called for at the hands of individuals: constitutive, as we have seen, is that by the exercise of which, operative power is created and conferred.

In every form of government in which the possessors of the supreme operative power have not the great body of the people for their constituents, the situation of every possessor of a share in the supreme operative power is that of an enemy of the people.

In an absolute monarchy, the situation of the monarch is at all times that of an enemy to the people.

In a limited monarchy, limited by representatives of the people, spurious or genuine, the situation of the monarch is at all times that of an enemy to the people.

In a limited monarchy, limited by a representation of the people, spurious or genuine, the tituation of a representative of the people is that of an enemy to the people.

In a limited monarchy, limited by two bodies, one composed of the representatives of the people, spurious or genuine, the other of a set of men succeeding to one another upon the principle of genealogical succession, (rendered thereby a perpetually existing aristocratical body,) the situation of every member of that body is at all times that of an enemy to the people.

A people governed in any one of all these ways, is a people governed by its enemies.

In comparison with that of a people governed by its own delegates, the condition of a people governed in any of those ways, will of necessity be at all times an infelicitous one.

Willingly to contribute to the support of, or even to submit to, a government constituted in any of these ways, so long as any better is in prospect, in conjunction with a probability of its accomplishment,—is willingly to act in the character of an enemy to the people.

In no instance, at no time, has any attempt been made to show that by the substitution, or by the addition made of the office of monarch, to the office of member of a body of delegates chosen by the great body of the people, any addition has been made, or can be made, to the greatest happiness of the greatest number. In no instance can any such attempt have ever been taken into consideration, but the impossibility of success must have manifested itself.

Be the community what it may, to every member of it belongs two opposite and continually conflicting interests: 1. His share in the universal interest—that interest which is common to himself and every other member of the community: 2. That interest which is particular and peculiar to himself, with or without some comparatively small number of associates.

In the ordinary state of things, of a man’s particular interest, the value will generally, in his eyes at least, be greater than the value of his share in the universal interest: only in times of extraordinary public danger will the value of his social interest have the ascendant in his breast: hence, in so far as between the two interests a competition has place, the social will yield, and be made a sacrifice to the self-regarding interest.

Proportioned to the magnitude of his power will be the facility with which a ruler will be enabled to make sacrifice of the less influential, the social, to the more influential and predominant interest.

The universal interest requires, that in regard to subsistence, abundance, security, and equality, the aggregate mass in the community in question, be maximized: and that in particular the shares, which are the result of the three first, be as near to equality as consistently with security in all other shapes they can be: and that against rulers in particular, in quality of persons exposed to the temptation of acting as internal enemies to all the rest, the security against such their enterprises should at all times be at a maximum. On the other hand, that which their particular interest as above requires is—that of the aggregate of abundance, their own particular share be at all times a maximum. Of the fulfilment of this end and object of pursuit, an example may be seen in the case of the quantity of the matter of subsistence and abundance sufficient for the subsistence of from 10,000 to 100,000 productive hands, extorted from the community and placed in the hands of a single individual in the situation of monarch, and the utter inability of those whose security is thus destroyed, ever to obtain redress.

To the objects of general desire and pursuit, rulers in virtue of their situation are enabled to add three others; namely, under the names of honours and dignities, a sort of factitious reputation of their own creation, and altogether independent of good desert: dignity and honours at the expense of the unhonoured; vengeance, at the expense of those at whose hands their will experiences resistance, or their conduct disapprobation; and in so far as compatible with the pursuit of those other objects, and of pleasure in all other shapes, ease at the expense of official duty.

Of official aptitude, the several branches have been brought to view. Of the sinister interest just mentioned, one effect is the diminution, if not the destruction, of the appropriate aptitude in all those several branches. The universal interest requires that it be a maximum: this sinister interest, that it be a minimum.

As to appropriate moral aptitude. In regard to this branch, the universal tendency, and almost everywhere the universal effect, of the sinister interest in question, is to prove the utter destruction. By appropriate moral aptitude is meant the disposition to contribute to the utmost to the universal interest, in spite and to the sacrifice of all particular and opposing interests: but in the situation in question, to the desire is added the power, of sacrificing to the particular interest, on every occasion on which a competition has place, the universal interest.

In regard to money and money’s worth, matter of subsistence and abundance, minimize says universal interest, the quantity lying at each functionary’s disposal: and proportioned to the degree of power attached to his situation, is the degree in which, in the instance of each functionary, the production of this effect should be aimed at.

So as to reward. Extra reward, give none, says universal interest, without proof of correspondent extra service: proof no less strict than that which is, or ought to be given, of delinquency, with a view to punishment. Give it, says ruler’s interest, without pinch and without need of proof of extra service: still better, if without need of so much as an allegation, even in the most general terms, of extra service in any shape ever rendered.

As to appropriate intellectual and active aptitude, establish throughout the whole field of office the most instructive preliminary and publicly-applied tests and securities, says universal interest. Establish no such tests, says sinister interest. The effect of any such tests would be to exclude a large proportion of rulers from office, and to impose on the rest obligations, by the burthen of which the value of the situation would be diminished.

Maximize the efficiency and extent of the application given to each such test, says universal interest. If tests there must be, or where they exist already, minimize their efficiency, says sinister interest.

Minimize the sum of the pecuniary inducements for acceptance of the several offices, says universal interest. For the aptitude on the part of the individual being established as above, the less the sum of those extraneous inducements, the greater the degree of relish for the situation, as proved by the acceptance. Maximize the pecuniary inducements, says sinister interest.

In a word, of every ruling functionary, the natural and self-regarding particular interest is adverse to the national or universal interest. Of this sinister interest, the constant tendency is to diminish, not to say to minimize, his appropriate moral aptitude. By it he is continually urged to give the reins to anti-social and anti-national appetite, in all its shapes. By it he is urged to maximize, at the expense of the universal interest, the quantity, at his disposal, of the several external instruments of felicity, objects of general desire, sweets of rule, incentives to misrule: of public money for his own use, of power for the purchase of obsequiousness to his own will, and of service in all its shapes for his own benefit: of factitious honour and dignity for the purchase of respect to himself from all men, and obsequiousness, from all who look to receive it, at his hands: of vengeance at the expense of all who resist his will: of ease at the expense of his official duty.

Such are the national evils, to the maximization of which every functionary is constantly urged by the pressure of his own self-regarding particular and sinister interest: while the interest of the greatest number at all times requires that in every instance these same evils be minimized.

Section II.


Why not give to the state chief, possessor of the supreme executive power under the supreme legislative, the supreme legislative power, thus placing the whole operative power of the country in that one hand? Because in that case the inaptitude opposite to appropriate aptitude in all its several branches is at its maximum.

The inaptitude opposite to appropriate moral aptitude is in this state of things at its maximum. In pursuance of the self-preference inherent in human nature, the end of his government will be the greatest possible happiness of his individual self. This object, according to whatever happens to be his notion of it, he will pursue without regard to the happiness of the greatest number, at the expense of that happiness, and to the sacrifice of that happiness. His sinister interest having no right and proper interest to serve as a check to it, the force of his power having no counterforce to keep the action of it in a state of uniformity to the public interest, his desire to make on all occasions the sinister sacrifice, finding no power in a condition to oppose it, will on every occasion find ample means for the gratification of it, and the sacrifice will at all times under his government be consummated.

He will accumulate under his own grasp all the external instruments of felicity, all the objects of general desire, in the greatest quantity possible: all at the expense of, and by the sacrifice of, the felicity of the other members of the community.

All around him being below him, dependent all of them on his pleasure for whatsoever portion of felicity they are suffered to enjoy, he finds in none of them any desire to oppose his will in any of the above particulars: in all of them the disposition and the endeavour to give accomplishment to it. He finds them joining one and all in the assurance that his greatest happiness is the only right and proper end of government: that if the happiness of any other individual is a fit object of regard to him or any one else, it is only in so far as the happiness of the individual servant may chance to be an object of regard and sympathy to the universal master.

In the eyes of this one member of the community all the others will be objects of regard on the same footing as working cattle are in the eyes of the proprietor. On the part of an ill-tempered monarch, the treatment experienced by them will be that sort of treatment which is experienced by cattle at the hands of an ill-tempered master. The best that can happen to them at the hands of the best tempered monarch, is to be treated upon as good a footing as cattle are treated upon by a good-tempered master.

But at the hands of the best tempered monarch they never will in any instance be treated upon as good a footing as, in the hands of a good-tempered master, it is common for his cattle (say, for example, his horses) to be treated. His horses will be continually in his presence: in the event of their being ill-treated by the negligence or malice of a servant, the ill-treatment they have suffered will generally manifest itself by visible signs, and by the appearance of their suffering, the sympathy of the master will be called into action. Knowing that the quantity of service he can obtain from them, without prejudice to their appearance, is limited, and that so sure as he endeavours to obtain any more, their appearance and their value will, in his eyes, be deteriorated, he will not work them to excess. No determined and permanent resistance to his will being ever opposed by them, and the inferiority of their minds to his being manifest, they will on no occasion be the objects of his ill-will or of his anger: among trained horses there is no such thing as a determinately and constantly rebellious horse.

On not near so good a footing are subjects in the eyes and hands of the best tempered monarch. Of the whole number of them, no more than a very small part at the utmost are ever under his eye: those who are worst treated, those whose sufferings are greatest, from the treatment they receive under his government, are never, especially while enduring that treatment under his eye. Among them there will always be a large portion by which his ill-will and anger will continually be called forth. By every obstruction afforded by any one of them to the fulfilment of his will, his anger will be called forth: and such obstructions howsoever kept under by fear and hope, must notwithstanding be universal and continual.

Whatsoever quantity of the external instruments of felicity he happens at any time to have in his hands, or at his immediate command, he is never satisfied with it. He never can be satisfied with it so long as he sees around him any other of those instruments that are not equally at his command. In his desires are included those of all the persons attached to his immediate service, and of those desires there are not any that are or ever can be completely satisfied.

Seeing that his gain in happiness never can have place but by means of loss to them, and that of every such gain loss to them to a prodigiously greater amount is a never-failing accompaniment, what he cannot entirely avoid the perception of is—that of the suffering thus produced by him, ill-will to an amount more or less considerable in the instance of every such sufferer, is liable to be the consequence. Among them in a large, though not exactly determinate, proportion, he beholds so many enemies: by the contemplation of enmity on their part, enmity on his part is produced. For the gratification of this enmity, as well as for keeping down resistance, and securing against non-payment the continually increasing quantity of the instruments of felicity exacted by him at their expense, the afflictiveness of the penal law is continually screwed up to the highest amount that is thought to be consistent with their efficiency. Thus it is that in the very best tempered monarch, by far the greatest number of the rest of the community have an enemy, and that enemy an essentially implacable one. If, under such a monarch, such is there condition, what must it be under an ordinary one?

As in their own monarch all subjects have an enemy, so have they in every other.

Monarchs, it may be said, are apt to go to war with each other: and when with any two monarchs this happens to be the case, the subjects of each should in that monarch who is the enemy of their monarch, (that is, of their natural enemy,) have a friend. But in practice this is not the case. The war which one monarch carries on with another monarch is a war of rivalry, but it is not a war of enmity: every monarch is to every other monarch an object of respect: and where there is respect on both sides, no rooted, no decided enmity can be said to have place on either side. Between monarch and monarch, war is, upon the largest scale, that which between professed pugilist and professed pugilist, is upon the smallest scale. By one another monarchs are styled brothers, and on that one occasion they are sincere; for they have a common interest, and that interest is paramount to every other interest. Many a monarch has given up to a brother monarch, and freely too, dominions which he might have kept if he had pleased. No monarch ever gave up freely to his own subjects an atom of power which in his eyes could be retained with safety. War is a game—a game of backgammon. Between two players at the game of war, there is no more enmity than between two players at backgammon. In the breasts of the players at war there is no more feeling for the men of flesh and bone, than during the game at backgammon there is on the part of the men of wood for one another or themselves. While to one another all monarchs are objects of sympathy, to all monarchs all subjects are objects of antipathy; of a sort of compound sentiment, made up of fear, hatred, and contempt; something like that which women and children are apt to feel for a toad. In the breasts of all monarchs there accordingly exists at all times a natural alliance, defensive and offensive, against all subjects.

As between injurer and injured, the man on whose part antipathy towards the other is most apt to arise, is he by whom the injury has been sustained: the one on whose part it arises with greatest difficulty, if ever it arises at all, is he by whom the injury has been inflicted.

Betwixt every monarch and every other there exists a powerful cause of sympathy. In the instance of all of them, on the same set of principles, is grounded that obedience by which their power is constituted, and in proportion to which it has place: disposition the effect of habit: habit the effect of force, fear, corruption, delusion, sinister interest, interest-begotten and authority-begotten prejudice. By every other throne he sees shaking, if the shock be from without, he feels the shock communicated to his own.

Not merely in the exercise of his political power—not merely in the public part of his life, but in the private part of his life, the natural tendency, not to say the constant effect, of the monarch’s situation is to place him, not at the top, but at the bottom of the scale of moral worth, and this whether the influence of the self-regarding principle, or that of the social principle, namely sympathy, be considered. By the self-regarding principle, the more urgent the need a man feels himself to have of the kindness and good will of others, the more strenuous and steady will be his exertion for the obtaining it: the less the need, the less strenuous. The kindness and good will, and thence on occasion the good offices, the services of others, are, (where and in so far as power of remuneration is wanting,) no otherwise to be obtained than by demonstration of the like kindness, in effect and in endeavour, on the man’s own part towards them. The stronger a man’s need of the effective benevolence of others, the stronger the inducement he has for the manifesting effective benevolence as towards them—an inducement which, in this way, self-regarding prudence suffices to afford; the less the need, the less strong the inducement. But the monarch is of all men the man who, by a vast amount, has least need of kindness and free good will, and good offices, and services at the hands of others—of the fruits of effective benevolence unmixed with those of self-regarding prudence: for whatsoever good things in other situations men are indebted for to effective benevolence, it is in his power to command partly by punitive power, partly by remuneration.

So, the more extensively a man feels himself exposed to ill-treatment at the hands of others, the stronger is the inducement he has to bestow upon them good treatment, for the purpose of averting from him the effects of such their ill-will: the less extensive the exposure, the less the inducement. But the monarch is of all men the one who stands the least extensively exposed to ill-treatment at the hands of others: he is in a more especial degree guarded against it by the punitive branch of his power, and again by the remunerative, by which he can obtain the good offices and support of others, and without need of kindness on their parts.

Of these circumstances belonging to his condition the result has been already stated. To place, not according to the vulgar mode of designation, at the top, but at the lowest point in the scale of moral worth, him, whose place in the scale of power is at the summit.

If the current mode of estimation is in so strange a degree erroneous, where shall the cause of the error be looked for? The reason may be given in two words—corruption and delusion.

Thus it is that to every practical purpose, in the situation of monarch, inaptitude in that branch which stands opposed to appropriate moral aptitude should in all places and all times be regarded as consummate. Be the man who he may, that thing whatever it be, by the contemplation of which no uneasiness is produced in his mind, that thing it is not possible he should have any desire to remove. Be the sufferers among his subjects ever so numerous—be their sufferings ever so intense, ever so long protracted, seen or unseen—no uneasiness capable of procuring a relaxation of those same sufferings can ever find entrance into a breast so situated. Why? Because experience being altogether wanting, no conception of those same sufferings can ever have had place in any such high-seated breast. In a word, to sympathy of affection, correspondent sympathy of conception, is indispensable.

Next as to intellectual aptitude: The inaptitude opposed to appropriate intellectual aptitude, is also in this case at the maximum. In respect of moral aptitude, the condition of the monarch, as such, being that which has been described, the consequence is, that towards the greatest happiness of the greatest number, all that in the situation in question could be done by intellectual aptitude, if raised to its maximum, would be the preserving that same greatest number from such unhappiness as should, in the eyes of the monarch, not be contributory to his own felicity. But by the care taken of his own felicity, at the expense of theirs, their infelicity, on his part, may be raised to a height to which no limit can be assignable.

But in comparison with other men, who have had the advantages of what is called a liberal education, intellectual aptitude is in the situation of monarch, by unchangeable causes placed at the lowest pitch.

Of the two branches of intellectual aptitude, appropriate knowledge is that in respect of which the deficiency is less considerable, and less uniformly exemplified. In the situation of monarch, as in every other situation, man is necessarily for a length of time, more or less considerable, placed, by the infirmity attached to immaturity of age, in a state of subjection. During his continuance in that state, not only knowledge at large, but knowledge in some sort and degree appropriate, is injected into the infirm and unresisting mind. Knowledge—but of what sort? The answer is,—no matter of what sort. In respect of moral aptitude, the condition and situation of the royal pupil being what it is, any infirmity in his mind, even supposing it ever so perfect, can scarcely be matter of regret: the knowledge, supposing him to have any, or the judgment, could not in that situation be applied to any other purpose than the giving extent and promptitude to the sinister sacrifice.

It being thus certain, that with a receptacle so situated, no sort of matter contributory to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, could keep its place, even if injected, (which is what it never would be,) it may therefore accordingly be stated as a matter not worth thinking about, with what rubbish the receptacle may happen to be filled. As no considerable good could be produced by any such injection, so neither could evil. Take, for example, information concerning the most apt means for promoting the only interest which can be the object of regard—means for giving the maximum of extent and promptitude to the sinister sacrifice. A scheme of instruction by which all such pernicious knowledge would be excluded, would it not be preferable, it may be asked, to a scheme in which it were comprised? The answer is,—No. For in this way, the supply afforded by others, the supply afforded by the minister, whoever he happens to be, who holds the seals of office while the royal pupil holds the sceptre—this supply will at all times be perfect.

To the situation of monarch it belongs to find will: to the situation of minister it belongs to find knowledge, to find judgment, and, if need be, to find invention, such as on each occasion shall be necessary and sufficient to give effect to that will. But to do so requires a degree of exertion of mental labour much beyond the greatest quantity which, in the situation of monarch, it is consistent with human nature to bestow: this being admitted, it follows, that from no stock of appropriate knowledge which, in the situation of monarch, the mind of man is capable of finding room for, can the mass which will be applied to the business of government receive increase.

One thing, of which the non-injection is matter of certainty, is soon stated: this is the axiom by which the greatest happiness of the greatest number is stated as the only justifiable end of government. That no such position could by any preceptor be placed before the royal pupil in the character of a true one, is sufficiently evident; for in this position is included, among others, this, namely, that no such office as that which he is destined to fill, ought to have place in any community, and that the only good act which is capable of being done by any one who is invested with it, is to suppress it, to abolish the system of government of which it forms a part, and substitute a representative democracy. Various are the inducements, it need scarce be observed, any one of which would abundantly suffice to produce this negative effect: to the community the advice would be unavailing, for in no case would the pupil follow it; to the pupil it would be unpleasant; to the prospects of the preceptor ruinous.

The only right and proper end of your government is your own greatest happiness. Suppose this commodious axiom substituted for the other incommodious one, the two latter inconveniences are avoided, while to the interest of the community at large no damage is done, since by any advice to the opposite effect, the minutes employed in giving expression to it would be so much time thrown away.

So necessarily and so intensely afflictive is the treatment which, through system and cool reflection, the results of sound judgment, subjects are almost sure to receive at the hands of the most intelligent monarch, that any ulterior suffering they may stand exposed to, from mental derangement in the same quarter, it may be thought scarce worth adding to the account. But by the extraordinary proportion of the individuals known to have laboured under malady in this shape, some clue may be afforded towards a right conception of the character of the class, and the effect produced on the mind by power in excess.

In this extraordinary case, if the mischief to which the community is exposed is not so great as in the ordinary one, the absurdity of submitting to it is more flagrant, and the depravity, moral and intellectual taken together, manifested on the part of a nation which submits to it, at the same time but too incontestably demonstrated. In every monarchical state, the great probability always is, that, in the proportion of several to one, at any given period the fate of all its members will be in the hands of a madman.

Look, now, to the electors of a President of the Anglo-American United States. Of their placing a madman in the situation of chief functionary, from this moment to the end of time, by what numbers shall the degree of probability be represented?

The curious circumstance is, that down to the moment when the condition of the sufferer is too manifest to be any longer concealed from the public eye, the features of superhuman excellence, in all its shapes in general, and that of consummate wisdom in particular, will still be his, by the unanimous testimony of all who hope for any good thing, or fear for any evil thing at his hands: by the unanimous voice of all corruptionists and hypocrites, echoed by the unanimous chorus of their dupes. In him the priests will continue to behold the most religious, the lawyers the most just, the diplomatists the wisest, the courtiers the most gracious,—all these in chorus, together with the hireling writers, will proclaim him in one word the best of monarchs, present, past, or future.

Every monarch is a slave-holder upon the largest scale, and in that relation, each correlative is corrupted by the relation he bears to the other. Under a monarchy the population is composed of the insulters and the insulted; of the corrupters and the corrupted; of the deluders and the deluded; of bullies and cowards; of hypocrites and dupes.

When once the human race is rid of the two congenial plagues, monarchy and slave-holding, with how contemptuous a sympathy will not the present generation be regarded by all succeeding ones?

If where the monarch is a madman, the people are not worse afflicted than they are seen to be, it is because the operations of government, are directed, not by the determinations of the madman himself, but by those of a knot of courtiers in his name, whom accident has thrown in his way, in such sort as to have become chosen by him to be made the instruments of his will in the several departments: or rather, and what is more simple, some one of them who has had the good fortune to persuade him that by the choice of that one instrument his desires are likely to receive a more extensive gratification, than by the choice of any other individual: which individual is then prime minister, exercising the powers of the monarch and easing him of the whole detail of the cares of government. Certain subject-matters there are, about which the nominal monarch and the operative sub-monarch are, at all times and in all places, agreed: the accumulating in the hands of the monarch, of the external instruments of felicity in as large a mass as possible, in particular,—power, money, and means of vengeance: at whatever expense, on each occasion, the sacrifice is to be made: whether at the expense of his own subjects, or the members of a foreign state, or of both together, as in so far as war is the occasion, cannot but be the case. In this, master and servant behold the common end: and to the servant it belongs to provide the means in the shape and in the quantity necessary and sufficient for its purposes.

Thus far they are sure to agree. Meantime, the occasions for disagreement can never altogether be wanting. With the monarch, the first object is of course to provide for his personal gratifications. But for this, no funds which it is in the power of the minister to provide can ever be sufficient. Buildings suffice of themselves to create an appetite, the satiation of which is impossible. To decorate one single spot during a course of years, cost France, under Louis the Fourteenth, a sum—recollection is not able to state in what degree above or below the whole expense of government during that time.

The allotment of all the situations attached to the official establishment, is regarded by the minister as being at his disposal. But the monarch has, in both sexes, his associates, his instruments of pleasure in all its forms—in a word his favourites. These favourites are not themselves men of business or women of business. But each such favourite is himself or herself, as the case may be, connected with a number of dependents, among whom men of business, and men desiring to be men of business are abundant. A vacancy takes place, and now comes the contest: the contest between the monarch’s dependent and the minister’s dependent.

Meantime the process of depredation and oppression goes on its course: the torment of the people goes on increasing: increasing and in such sort that it finds its way even to the royal or imperial breast. How so? Is it that in that breast there ever did exist or ever can exist any real sympathy for the misery of the people? Not until it has first existed in his bronze similitude. But be the palace where it may, the discontented are to be found in it. Next to none can have all they wish for: and every one who cannot have all he wishes for, is more or less discontented. So many discontented persons, so many eventual talebearers and accusers of the minister, watching every occasion that affords a promise of being a favourable one. A class of misdeeds, the idea of which is in every state of things of a nature to create in the royal breast a sentiment of displeasure, is every considerable depredation, in the benefit of which he has not, either in his own person or in that of a favourite, any share. A misdeed, which in ordinary times, in the ordinary state of things, is not of a nature to produce any such displeasure, is the production of human suffering, from which whatsoever be the amount, no disturbance to his own ease is apprehended,—and which threatens not to be productive of anything worse than suffering on the part of the people. But by those by whom injury in all its forms is done day by day to millions, (and to many of them in its worst forms,) no certain assurance can ever be obtained but that among the millions whom oppression has wounded, there may not be some one, into whose hands despair may have put the dagger of an assassin: but that of so many thousands who are throwing away their lives in the endeavour to destroy by thousands strangers, none of whom have done them any injury, some one may stand up and turn the instrument of death against an individual (against whom there is no other mode of defence) whose whole life from beginning to end is one continued act of injury, to the millions whose lot has cast them under his feet. Fear of personal safety is therefore of necessity one among the attendants round every throne. When therefore by the lips of an aspiring talebearer hints are given of the misery endured by the oppressed people, fear of course presents itself to the imagination.

Meantime, whether sanity or insanity be the state of the monarch—whether in the acts to which the name of the monarch is affixed, the judgment and the individually directed will have any or no part—be the whole tenor of the government more or less predatory, more or less oppressive—the suffering of the people more or less intense—the conduct and frame of mind of the monarch is depicted in all statements which have any pretensions to the character of authenticity, under the same aspect of unrivalled and unwearied excellence. For the bodies of two monarchs, two portraits, both indeed beautiful, but beautiful in two different forms, are found necessary; but for the minds of the two, one and the same portrait is always found sufficient.

In England, of the hundreds of laws passed every year, not one is passed, in and by which the king does not join with the sham representatives of the people, and the but too real representatives of the lords, in declaring himself to be the most excellent. By the declaration of all who join in the devotion in a Church of England church, every English king is most gracious and most religious. Most gracious alike he who never smiles and he who sometimes does smile: religious alike the bigot and the unbeliever, the infidel with a mask and the infidel without a mask. Sunday after Sunday, Charles the Second, while making his jokes, of which religion was the standing object,—Charles the Second, who was really the most gracious of English kings, heard himself proclaimed in the same breath, by consecrated lips, the most religious.

In compensation for all this evil, it rests upon the advocates of monarchy to show, if they are able, in which way it is, that by an individual with the title and power of king or emperor, is produced a mass of good outweighing that evil; being at the same time greater than that which would be produced by that same individual in the situation of chief of a republic: that a greater addition is made to the stock of happiness, in their respective communities, by Emperor Alexander or King George, than was by President Maddison, or is by President Monroe, in the Anglo-American United States.

With respect to a pure monarchy, though it may in any particular instance by accident be less bad: yet an aristocracy-ridden monarchy, of which corruption is the characteristic instrument and distinguishing feature, may by accident, and that an accident of no unfrequent occurrence, be still worse. Folly next to idiotcy, or tyranny next to raving madness, may at any time be the condition of the one upon whom the condition of every other member of the community depends: and so long as this is the case, either by the monarch himself or upon some one located by such a monarch, are all official situations filled: and in that case, upon what footing the probability of official aptitude and official frugality stands, may be left to be imagined. But in a pure monarchy not only fear, but a more generous sentiment might of itself suffice at any time to produce a felicitous change. In an aristocracy-ridden monarchy, fear is the only source of hope.

Effective benevolence on this extensive scale, why should it not take the place of playing at soldiers, or field sports, or games of skill or chance?

Catherine the Second and George the Third differed about the dominion of the seas, but agreed in turning buttons. George kept to the buttons; Catherine quitted them for codification: and though her patterns, out of which she made her patchwork, were inadequate, they were the best that were to be had.

Amongst other reasons in favour of a democracy, is the absence of the great prize by the appetite for which private assassination and civil war are so apt to be produced in monarchies.

Established by Nicholas, a free representative assembly would be a life insurance office: the only one in which an autocrat can insure his own life.

Pure monarchy is the rock which, having been placed and poised by accident, the push of a finger has sufficed to move: broad at bottom, pointed at top, a representative democracy is a pyramid.

What the aristocrats aim at is, security for themselves as against the monarch, with the largest possible share in his power, and without any security for the millions against that depredation, in the profit of which they are sharers. Sharers in his power, together with the money and the exaltation attached to both (and for the exaltation at the expense of the millions, there is no humiliation they will not submit to as towards the monarch, for they receive in return the humiliation of the millions) therefore the greater his exaltation the greater is theirs. They are thus gainers by the humiliation they submit to. As to security, what they would wish is, that for the people against themselves in union with the monarch, there should be none: while against the people for themselves and the monarch, it should be entire.

In the view taken of the field of legislation, by the scribe of the absolute monarch, it swarms in every part with rebels. To afford security to him against the enterprises of adversaries in this shape is the most anxious of his cares. He is encompassed with enemies on all sides and at all times: the very form of his government, the objects and designs so undisguisedly evidenced by it, suffices to convert into adversaries to him, all men who are not so to their fellow-countrymen and themselves. Of their hatred, he assures himself: of the justness of it, as well as of the impossibility of keeping it from coming into existence, he is fully conscious. The utmost he can hope for is to guard himself against that part of its effects which is most formidable to him. In this view, he scruples not to appoint punishment for the manifestation of it: punishment for all those who, seeing what he is, make known to others what they see: punishing all who, on any occasion on which their sentiments are other than favourable to him, make known those sentiments. If there be any sure methods of creating hatred, this is one of them: but seeing love hopeless, seeing every affection better than hatred, inconsistent with every rational view of the case, he is content thus to draw upon himself hatred, for the additional chance which he thus thinks to give himself of escaping from the effects of it.

Thus in the case of the absolute monarch: and in this respect, the case of the limited monarch is not materially different.

Turn now to the case of representative democracy. In the representative democracy there are no rebels. In the penal code of the representative democracy there is no such crime as rebellion. In the representative democracy there is government; there may, therefore, be resistance to government. In the representative democracy there are rulers: there may, therefore, be resistance to rulers. Under one government, as well as under another, resistance to rule, must be punished or there is no rule. But it is punished as such, and only as such, and not as rebellion. Suppose even a conspiracy to overturn the government, and substitute to it an absolute monarchy: for under every such democracy the supposition may be made, though under the only established democracy as yet exemplified, the fact is morally impossible.

Suppose, then, a conspiracy thus to destroy the government. The conspirators are enemies, but they are not rebels. The state they have placed themselves in, with relation to the rulers and the rest of the community, is a state of war. Being enemies, the case of self-defence renders it necessary they should be treated as such. They must be opposed, and, by any means, disabled from giving effect to their mischievous endeavours. But, as in the case of external enemies, so in the case of these internal ones, such means of self-defence as are least mischievous to both parties taken together, are the only means suitable or justifiable.

As to hatred—hatred fixed on one fixed object, here there is no such thing.

Pure monarchy was the original, because the simplest form of government. It had its origin in the necessity men were under of putting themselves under the command of a single chief, in the wars between one savage or barbarous tribe and another. Thus came on the one part, the habit of obedience, on the other part, the habit of command, and by the frequency of actual war, and the constancy of preparation for a state of war, the habit of obedience and command was preserved from interruption.

The children and next relations of the monarch being naturally most frequently in his company, and in the largest proportion, sharers in his confidence, hence it was that the elective monarchy naturally passed into an hereditary one.

But though this was the natural, and in early times, the inevitable state of things, it follows not that it was the state of things in the highest degree contributory to the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

Monarchy comes to have place now, by its being established: almost all men are born under it, all men are used to it, few men are used to anything else: till of late years, nobody ever dispraised it; every body praised it: nobody saw anything better, nobody knew of anything better, few had heard of anything better: men were reconciled to mixed monarchy in England, by the same causes by which they were reconciled to pure monarchy in Morocco, Turkey, and Hindostan. No state of things so bad, but that acquiescence under it, may be produced by ignorance of better: in a word, by habit, by authority, and by the instruments of corruption and delusion by which it became surrounded.

It was not by any experience or supposition of its advantages, that it became established, or has been continued: meaning its advantages to the many, by whose obedience and acquiescence, the power belonging to it is constituted.

Section III.

Monarchy,—its Instruments—Corporeal and Incorporeal.

The frame of mind given to man by this situation has been seen above. Behold him now in action. In the field of political life, action cannot be without instruments.

His instruments, real and corporeal, are three: the soldier, the lawyer, and the priest: his fictitious and incorporeal are four: force, fear, corruption, and delusion: with these incorporeal instruments he by the hands of his corporeal instruments works.

For the sake of an always questionable (and at the utmost comparatively inconsiderable) addition to his own felicity, to give unquestionable existence to human suffering in all its shapes, and infinite in quantity—this is the course of action which at every moment of his life the sinister interest inseparably attached to his situation urges him to: and power being in adequate quantity always in his hands, the result, as has been mentioned, is correspondent.

Vain would it be to say, evil in all these shapes is the effect of man in general, of government in general; not of monarchy in the persons of the monarch and his instruments.

No, they are not the effects of government, they are only the effects of misgovernment. They are not the effects of government; for a representative democracy is a government: the Anglo-American United States are a representative democracy, and in the United States no such evil effects have place.

Arch-forciant, arch-terrorist, arch-corruptor, arch-deluder—this a monarch is, by the mere virtue of his situation, without need of action on his part, without need of so much as volition, without any such interruption to his ease: his instruments, in their several situations, are sub-forciant, sub-terrorist, sub-corruptor, and sub-deluder.

As to the corporeal instruments: each of them contributes in his own particular way to the common end, the fulfilment of the constantly sinister will of the public enemy. In one way or other, on one occasion or other, all the several incorporeal instruments of misrule operate in their hands: by this or that corporeal, this or that incorporeal instrument is made most use of; by this or that other corporeal, this or that other incorporeal.

As to the soldier: force and intimidation are the incorporeal instruments which, in the more direct and intentional way, under a monarchy, he is occupied in applying to the all-embracing and constantly pursued purpose. But by his pay and privileges he is made to belong to the monarch’s stock of the instruments of corruption; while, by the place he occupies in the vast machine, of which he is one of the puppets, and the glitter with which he is environed, he contributes at the same time to the amusement of his owner, and to the delusion of the subject many—setting to work their imagination, perverting their judgment, and from the power and splendour which they see, causing them to infer the existence of the excellence, moral and intellectual, which they imagine.

Next as to the lawyer: external are the enemies against whom the force and intimidation, by which the soldier operates, are principally and most avowedly prepared: but incidentally as often as occasion calls, the force has for its destination the being employed against the subject-citizens, in their character of most natural, most constant, and nearest enemies. The force which it is his destination to apply is in each instance applied upon the largest scale. The enemies to which that force is applied, which is at the command of the lawyer, are no other than those same internal enemies, and in its application to them, it operates upon the smallest scale.

Force and intimidation are the only instruments to the use of which the operations of the soldier are properly directed. Of corruptive influence, he sees no need: of delusive influence, as little.

Delusion is the instrument for the application of which the faculties of the lawyer are principally applied with most constancy and most energy.

By the force of his imagination he creates a sort of god or goddess upon earth, a sort of divinity, which he calls common law. Of this goddess the principal occupation is the finding pretences for giving fulfilment to the monarch’s sinister will, as evidenced by his sinister interest: to lodge in the hands of the monarch the external instruments of felicity, in the largest quantity, and to exercise for that purpose the arts of depredation and oppression, all for the benefit of the monarch: his subordinate occupation (subordinate in profession, principal of course in fact) is to exercise the same arts for his own benefit.

The common law not having any existence, cannot serve as a justification for any thing. In the face of the whole community, who, in so far as they have courage and energy to open their eyes, see that it has no existence—in the face of the whole community the existence of this goddess is on every occasion asserted, and to this goddess are ascribed the two wills, to which execution and effect are to be given, the will of the monarch, and the will of the judge. What, for the benefit of the monarch the judge has been inflicting on the people, to a certain superior degree, the monarch connives at his inflicting for his own benefit in a certain inferior degree.

Now as to the priest: In him may be seen another of the monarch’s corporeal instruments of whom delusion is the principally employed incorporeal instrument. Physical force belongs not to his province: intimidation, yes. But it is by delusion that the intimidation is produced. The business of the lawyer is, to do, in the first place, the will of the monarch; in the next place, his own. In this the business of the lawyer and that of the priest agree. What difference has place between them lies in the means: in the different forms and degrees of the intimidation they employ.

In respect of moral frame of mind, widely different are the effects which under a monarchy are produced in the three professions. The soldier stands by himself. Force and intimidation, the instruments he applies, are no other than those without the eventual application of which, the best government could no more have existence than the worst. Neither corruption nor delusion does it belong to his province to apply: neither of the one nor the other instrument is the application expected at his hands: neither the one nor the other is it natural for him to seek to apply: delusion, in particular, is much more likely to find in him a contemner than an approver.

Between the lawyer and the priest, the similarity of situation, and thence of frame of mind, is close and intimate. In governments in a state reputed semi-barbarous, they have been united in the same person. In England, priests were for a long time the only lawyers. The coif over the covering of the priestly tonsure is still an ingredient in the composition of the masquerade dress with which the lawyer bears evidence of the association to this day.

In the Mahomedan religion, the priest is the only judge. In England the instances are at the present day abundant in which the subordinate judicial situation of the local judge, called justice of the peace, is added to the functions, performed or not performed, of the priest.

In so far as for relief from their sufferings, the mind of the people can find a place for hope, the situation and natural character of the soldier is the chief, if not the only source that can be found for it. The great instrument of democratical government, the great support of the universal interest of the people against all particular and sinister interests—the force of the popular or moral sanction, brought into action by the public-opinion tribunal—has everywhere and at all times found far more sensibility to it in the breast of the soldier than in the breasts of either of those functionaries who work with delusion for their instrument. Accordingly, on those great occasions in which, against oppression by monarchs, the interest of subjects has found effectual supporters, soldiers have been so by thousands, lawyers and priests only by units.

In an army, a standing army, the monarch beholds the support to his power at home and abroad: an instrument for the extension of it, at the expense of the other members of his own community—his subjects, as the phrase is: a toy to play with, a doll to dress up, an instrument of delusion for producing, to his own advantage, erroneous conception on the part of the people; and an instrument for the gratification of vanity, on the occasion of his intercourse with the other members of the confraternity of monarchs.

Of his personal gratification in all other shapes, the more immediate instruments are his courtiers. Between his courtiers and his generals, the benefit of whatsoever real sympathy the individual nature of the monarch is susceptible of, is shared.

With the contempt of which all who are beneath him are essentially objects, a mixture of sympathy and affection for those who are about him is not impossible. In the case of no others does the contempt admit of any other admixture than that of antipathy and hatred.

In the lawyer he is not likely to find a favourite. Neither in the idea of an intellect replete with absurdity, of morals distinguished by harshness, exercised in the production of suffering, and by an intensity of reflection that seems to put an exclusion upon gaiety, as well as sincerity, is there much to attract sympathy or promise amusement.

In the priest he is not likely to find a favourite. Neither in the repulsive aspect of melancholy, nor in that of imposture, assumed for its own benefit, is there anything to attract sympathy or promise amusement.

Regarded in the character of necessary instruments, men in their situations will naturally be treated with more or less of condescension, and marks of kindness and esteem, by a man in his. But unless they are, and in so far as they are, willing and able to divest themselves of their distinctive professional characters, their company will not naturally be very acceptable.

Section IV.

Monarch’s Interest,—how far opposite to, how far co-incident with, the Universal Interest.

A community of interest (it may be said) has place between a monarch and his subjects: and this community of interest will suffice for securing them against ill treatment at his hands: for securing to them the best treatment in his power. True. There is a community of interest between a postmaster and his post-horses: but this community of interest suffices not for saving them from an untimely death, at the end of a life of torment. The interest which a monarch has in common with his subjects, is not sufficient to render him in general so well disposed towards his subjects as a postmaster is to his post-horses.

Spite of whatsoever there is in common between the two interests, in the breast of every monarch, the tendency of his disposition is at all times and in all places to produce the greatest infelicity of the greatest number. Such is everywhere the tendency necessarily produced by his situation, and such everywhere (except in so far as accidental circumstances have risen up in opposition to such tendency) has been, and so long as a monarchy exists upon the face of the earth will be, the effect.

The more particularly the several shapes in which interest has place in the two situations are examined into,—the more particularly the several departments in the field of legislation to which it applies are examined into, the less numerous the points of coincidence, the more numerous the points of opposition, as between the two interests, will be seen to be.

Take, in the first place, the two immediately subordinate ends of the constitutional code,—maximization of appropriate aptitude on the part of functionaries, and minimization of the expense attached to the employment of them.

As to expense: with relation to the interest of the monarch, the aggregate of the expense may be distinguished into two portions: that in respect to which his profit is equal to the expense,—the whole being to him so much profit; and that in respect of which, his profit, though not equal to the expense, is in proportion to it, increasing as it increases.

Next as to appropriate aptitude: In a republic, appropriate aptitude, means aptitude with reference to the greatest happiness of the greatest number. In a monarchy, appropriate aptitude, means aptitude with reference to the supposed greatest happiness of number one. But on the imagination and judgment of this same number one, the greatest happiness of this same number one, will consist in the subserviency of all other wills, and of the conduct of all other persons, on each occasion to the will of this same number one. But what may happen, and has continually been happening, is, that while in the breasts of the greatest number of his subjects, infelicity has been continually on the increase, the will of number one has been continually obeyed by all.

Take, in the next place, the four immediately subordinate ends of the non-penal or distributive branch of law: subsistence, abundance, security, and equality, maximized in so far as the less important are compatible with the more important.

1. Subsistence. This, it is true, it is his interest they should have: that is to say such of them as are in a condition to work, and can be made to work. But it is the interest of the greatest number that, whether able or not able to work, they should live, which is as much as to say, that they should have subsistence.

2. Abundance. This also it is his interest they should have, and the greater the quantity they produce, and thence have, the greater the quantity which it will be in his power (as it cannot fail to be in his inclination) to get out of them for himself. But, so long as by any act of his, any addition, how small soever, which would otherwise be made to the stock of the matter of abundance, passes into and through his hands,—how great soever may be the quantity which, by the same act, is taken out of their hands, or prevented from finding its way into them, will, with reference to his interest, be matter of indifference.

3. Security. Security is for body, mind, reputation, pecuniary property, power, condition in life: it is against injury at the hands of external evil-doers, internal evil-doers not being functionaries, and internal evil-doers being functionaries. Security against external evil-doers, i. e. against foreign enemies, his personal interest prompts him to maximize, so long as no expectation of profit presents itself, from the diminution or destruction of it. But that which he is continually upon the watch to get, is an augmentation of the mass of the external instruments of felicity in his hands, at the expense of other communities; and by means of war,—that is, murder upon the largest scale,—he never can get it, but by the diminution of the security of his subjects.

As to security against misdeeds on the part of functionaries, security against the abuse of their own power,—the very idea of it is intolerable: as if in their hands power were capable of being abused!—as if wrong could be done by him, by whom no wrong can be done!—by him, for whose benefit that which if done by another would be wrong, is by the mere circumstance of its being by him that it is done, converted into right.

4. Equality. In a republic, the instrument of felicity thus denominated is watched and guarded with peculiarly anxious care. It is prized, not only as being in its own character an instrument of felicity, but an instrument of security, for security itself: in particular, for securing all the several instruments of felicity to all the members of the community, against invasion on the part of such of them as are in the situation of public functionaries.

But to the monarch, the very word is an object of abhorrence. To give admission to it in the list of fit ends of the distributive branch of law, is at once to put an exclusion upon his office: to shut the door of the official establishment against him. Of all the imaginable instruments of felicity that can be named, not one is there in which he can endure the idea of seeing any other member of the community possessing an equal share.

In particular, not so much as an equal share in the protection of the laws: in the benefit derived from the services of the officers belonging to the judicial department, directed as they are or ought to be, to the securing to every member of the community his proper share in the aggregate stock of the external instruments of felicity: against evil in the several shapes in which it is endeavoured to be excluded, by prohibition and punishment attached to the several misdeeds by which it is liable to be produced.

In the next place, take the penal branch of law. Immediately subordinate ends—beneficial effect of the distributive branch of law maximized; punishment minimized.

With regard to the distributive branch of law taken in its several sub-branches, it has been seen how far in the situation of monarch his particular interest is accordant and coincident with the universal interest; how far opposite to it.

First, then, as to the maximization of the beneficial effect in question. So far as the above-mentioned coincidence has place, it is his interest that the universally beneficial effect may, by all imaginable means, and by this principal means in particular, be maximized. But so far as, instead of coincidence, opposition has place, this same particular interest of his requires that the amount of these same beneficial effects be minimized; or in other words, that none such should exist, but that the opposite evils should have place.

Next as to the minimization of punishment: So far as by the infliction of punishment, misdeeds on the part of any individual, in or not in the situation of functionary, tending to promote his particular interest—vengeance and ease included—would be repressed, his interest requires that no punishment at all be inflicted: or if any, none beyond the least possible.

So far as by the infliction of punishment, acts tending to the security of individuals against misdeeds, the commission of which, as above, is required by his particular interest, would be prevented, (and thence his power of evil-doing restricted, or any gratification afforded to his appetite for vengeance, or any security afforded him against disturbance to his ease,) his particular interest requires that punishment be minimized.

So much as to the several external instruments of felicity and proper subordinate ends of government.

As to moral virtue; or, speaking with relation to felicity, moral aptitude, this, his interest prompts him to maximize on the part of his subjects: viz. so far, and so far only, as by the possession of it they are disposed to do his will and contribute to the advancement of his particular interest.

But at the same time, his interest renders him desirous to minimize it in so far as, by the possession of it, men are disposed to thwart his personal interest in all its several branches, preferring their own interests respectively to his.

As to intellectual virtue, or say, intellectual aptitude:

In proportion as useful knowledge and sound judgment, as applied to the field of legislation, increase, the opposition of the interest of the monarch to the rest of the community will become more manifest; and with it the want of virtue, moral as well as intellectual, betrayed by the nation, by which any such office in the official establishment is suffered to have existence: an office which may be styled that of malefactor-general.

Section V.

Cause of Monarchical Misrule—Sinister Interest, not Upright Prejudice.

The amount of misrule and its effects being given, a standing question, a question that, on each occasion, presents itself is—as to how much of it is owing to moral inaptitude, how much to intellectual: how much to sinister interest, how much to prejudice, whether interest-begotten or derived from other causes. The question, however, is a matter rather of curiosity than of use: of use to the purpose of affording guidance to practice. Take this or that anti-popular arrangement at pleasure: if not its creation, its preservation is, at any rate, the work of the sinister interest. Independently of the sinister interest, be the institution, be the arrangement, be the phantasm of the imagination ever so absurd, go back far enough, you may always find honest absurdity, honest intellectual weakness sufficient for the creation of it. How can it be otherwise?—since, among the people at large, notions fraught with absurdity are not without example, notions which, being adverse to the interest of those by whom they are entertained, cannot have had for their cause sinister interest; at any rate, cannot have had correct perception of particular interest.

But so long as it is by the sinister interest that the causes of evil are supported and maintained, whether it was in the moral part or in the intellectual part of the mental frame that the evil had originally its rise, makes nothing to any practical purpose.

Many are the instances in which that which at first sight will present itself as the result of intellectual weakness, will, on scrutiny, be seen to have been the genuine fruit of sinister interest: and the more closely the mechanism of misrule is scrutinized into, the more extensively will this genealogy be seen to have had place.

One universally applying maxim, the genuine fruit of the sinister interest, serves as a means of preservation to absurdity in every imaginable shape. Though the absurd institution or arrangement is not productive of any immediate advantage to yourself, says the modern Machiavel to his patron, preserve it notwithstanding: for though the existence of it does not serve, the abolition of it would dis-serve, your own particular interest. To justify the abolition, it would be necessary to bring into action some position conformable to reason, and bearing a reference, more or less obvious, to the all-comprehensive and universally-applying principle—the greatest-happiness principle. But by homage paid to that principle, you put arms into the hands of the adversary: when the absurd arrangement, from which you derive no advantage, is disposed of, presently after comes the adversary and proposes the abolition of an absurd institution and arrangement, from which you do derive advantage: and, as a ground for the proposition, out comes this position which you yourself having made use of, and paid homage to, you cannot oppose or elude the force of, without rendering your insincerity and the corruptness of your disposition manifest.

Let this, then, be the general rule, acted upon in all cases.—Whatsoever institution or arrangement is adverse to the universal interest, is the result of the particular, and thence sinister interest of the ruling class. In few instances, indeed, if in any, will the position be wrong in theory: where it is wrong, the error will not be productive of any evil consequence in practice. Not so, if the cause being sinister interest, the effect is ascribed to a mere error of the understanding. In this case, it is to the curing men of their error, that all your exertions will be directed—to the changing into converts the opponents you have to deal with. Full of this conception, you will keep labouring and labouring on till you are tired: while you are labouring, the adversary is laughing in his sleeve.

Another bad consequence: So much for your adversaries the corruptionists. Now for the bystanders, in the character of members of the public-opinion tribunal. Seeing that, even in your opinion, all its hostility notwithstanding, the fault, if any, is in the understanding of your adversary, not in his will—in the intellectual part of his frame, not in the moral—they, in their impartial situation, cannot think less favourably of him than you do, in your hostilely partial situation: along with you, they will keep looking for the time when, in consequence of the rectification of his judgment, his conduct will be rectified, which time, the cause of the wrong not being in that place, will never come. All this while, had the real seat of the wrong been known to them, they might have acted accordingly. Seeing the adversary in his true colours, they might have joined with you in acting upon him in the only quarter in which, from this time to the end of time, he can be acted upon with effect,—they might have acted upon his fears.

Whatsoever talent and whatsoever industry there is being employed in keeping the sinister interest covered by a veil as impenetrable as possible, no wonder if it should escape from the observation of most eyes.

Behold an example of the mischief to the people from the imputing to error the result of sinister interest. True cause of the excess in military establishments, kings’ sinister interest, erroneously ascribed as being necessary to defence against foreign aggression.

When in this way rulers have, at such vast expense, done each of them his utmost, then will they be all of them, with their respective masses of force, bearing one to another a certain proportion: keeping thus the same proportion, they might divide each of them his force by the same divisor,—say two, say ten, say a hundred, and the quotient being in the same proportion, the security would, on the part of each of them, be the same. Some number of years ago did the idea occur to me—I know not how many, except that it must have been before my eyes had applied themselves with any closeness to the constitutional part of the field of law: my good fortune—I know not exactly in what way—saved me from the disappointment and loss of time which a proposition of so Utopian a cast would have had for its fruit. Yes: were it merely as instruments for the defence of the community and the territory against foreign aggression, that an army is kept up. But besides that, it is kept up for the defence of the country against its inhabitants,—for the defence of the monarch, his instruments, his favourites, and his dependents, against resistance to legalized depredation, oppression, and vengeance: it is kept up as a toy for the great baby to play with, and as an instrument for the gratification of his vanity: and how ill any of these purposes would be served by retrenchment, is sufficiently obvious.

While the sinister interest continues on its present footing, to propose anything that would be beneficial to the community, upon a sufficiently extensive scale to be worth thinking of, is not simply useless,—it is positively pernicious. It operates as a certificate, that, on the part of those on whom acceptance depends, a disposition to act in conformity to the universal interest has place,—a certificate which neither is, nor by possibility can be, true. The persons to whom it is addressed, are those on whose exertion depends the only state of things in which anything good that depends on government can ever be brought into effect. In this same certificate, therefore, is contained the implied assurance, that such exertions are not needed. Of the existence of this persuasion, on the part of the projector, a proof is thus given, much more conclusive and impressive than could be given by any positive and direct assurance given in words: in this case, the existence of the persuasion is indubitable, for it is upon the ground of it that the man himself has acted.

In England, this hopelessness of everything good has never been a secret to the Whigs. Accordingly, show them anything good, their answer is, of course,—Under the present administration your plan is hopeless: it is a good one, and by them no good proposal will ever be adopted: by us, all good proposals will be adopted: if you wish anything good to be done, look to us. What is true, is—that there is not any ground for hope from their antagonists: what is not true, is—that there is ground of hope from themselves. In them, there would no more be either power or will to do good than in their more fortunate and prosperous adversaries.

Section VI.

Inaptitude attached to the situation of Monarch in a mixed or say limited Monarchy—his power having for its instrument of limitation thepower of a body acting as a representation of the People.

Inaptitude opposite to moral aptitude. In this situation the causes of enmity are more active: of resistance, the symptoms are continually obtruding themselves on observation. Though on every occasion the issue is out of hazard, on every occasion a contest with circumstances of irritation has place.

To moral inaptitude in the shape of cruelty, is in this situation necessarily added, immorality in the shape of insincerity and deception. The representation of the people is in a state of corruption: the people themselves are in a state of delusion. If the representation were not in this state of corruption, no such office as the kingly office would continue. If the people in a vast proportion were not in a state of delusion, no such office as the kingly office would continue.

Of that portion of the external instruments of felicity, which otherwise might be, and in the situation of absolute monarch, would be, employed by him in the endeavour, how vain soever, to make an addition to his own personal felicity,—a portion more or less considerable, must be employed in the keeping in a state of perpetual corruption, and perpetual subserviency to his sinister interest, the delegates, real or pretended, of the people: in securing on their part a constant breach of such their trust. In the majority of these men, the people in as far as they see clearly, behold their determined and implacable enemies, subordinate depredators, who, under the orders of the supreme depredator, concur with him in the work of depredation, at their charge. In the eyes of a monarch they are at the same time his enemies: partly because the quantity of the matter of depredation seized by them is not adequate to his desires; and partly on account of the vast share which he finds himself under the necessity of abandoning to them, in consideration of the work which in fulfilment of the sinister contract, it it is necessary should be performed on their part.

At all times, until the old man of the sea has been shaken off from the shoulders of Sinbad—in every monarchy, one and the same option, and that in both parts, a disastrous one, will be presenting itself to the monarch’s choice: the option between magnitude and stability. In some eyes increase of stability may be seen provided for, in the expedient of imparting a share of power, either to a representation of the people alone, or to a self-representing aristocratical body, or to both together.

Under a limited monarchy, while the subject many have everything to fear, from that immorality which, in company with a convenient mixture of religious hypocrisy and religious bigotry, has its seat in the bosom of the ruling one, with the sub-ruling and influential few, life, property and liberty have everything to fear; from the subject many, such are they as to morality—such are they as to religion—the ruling one, with the sub-ruling few, (and such of the opulent and influential few as make common cause with him,) have nothing to fear. Witness, on the one part, the Manchester massacre: men, women, and children, killed by units, wounded by hundreds, for coming together unarmed to make communication of their sufferings, and hold converse on the hope and means of relief: a priest ordering the slaughter, and receiving at the hands of a servant of the monarch (by an act, followed by words of general approbation, pronounced in the most solemn ceremony by the monarch) a benefice of £2500 a-year value, for having ordered it. Witness, on the one part, this Manchester massacre: witness, on the other part, the patience of the subject many under it. On the one part, slaughtered by wholesale, with an avowed readiness, on any similar occasion, to repeat it,—the slaughter upon a general view of it, thus avowed: while, for any such purpose as that of regular and impartial judicature, no particular view of it suffered to be taken. On the one part, slaughter by wholesale thus committed, rewarded, avowed: on the other part, no such slaughter by wholesale, or so much as by retail, executed, attempted, or so much as recommended. On the one part, all injury: on the other part all patience. But, when injury has spread to a certain extent, and reigned for a certain length of time, patience may, in the event of its continuing longer, on the same spot with injury, begin to regard itself as an accomplice: and, taking counsel of desperation, rather than act in that character, yield its place to retaliation, coming forth under the name of justice.

Section VII.

In a limited, or say rather a mixed Monarchy, the Aristocracy are not in practice co-equal with, but dependent on, and Instruments of, the Monarchy.

It is by force and intimidation that the conduct of the people at large is determined. In England it is by corruptive influence that the conduct of the majority in each of the two houses of parliament is determined: in the House of Commons in the first instance, and then in the House of Lords. The matter of corruption, so far as the monarch is concerned, on whose will does the application of it depend? On that of the minister. And the minister, on whose will does his existence in that situation depend? On the king.

Let the king give to what man he will the disposal of the matter of corruptive influence, the will of that individual is sure to be done by the majority in both houses.

Events may happen, events which for a time may make the king see a convenience in substituting to a minister more agreeable to him, a minister less agreeable to him. But in this temporary exception there is nothing that detracts from the truth to all practical purposes of the general rule. In this there is nothing more than what is every now and then happening in the most absolute governments, that of Turkey not excepted.

But the fact is, that whatsoever is done, it is with the king’s will that it is done: in each instance it may or may not have originated in the king’s will: but in whose will soever, what is proposed is originated, if it be against the king’s will, it is not done.

Of the absoluteness of the king’s power, a conclusive proof is that which was brought to view in a House of Commons’ debate, in the session of 1822. Motion by Mr Brougham: object of it, holding up to view what is called the influence of the crown: that is to say, the absoluteness of the king’s power, in respect of giving determination to the proceedings of the two sets of functionaries who are sharers with him in the supreme operative. Proof this,—when a man has been appointed to the situation of prime minister, a majority of the Commons’ House will vote according to his will, after having but a few days before, namely when he was not minister, but in opposition, voted against it.

Instances have happened in which the king has discarded a minister whom he had rather have kept, and appointed a minister whom he had rather not have appointed. True: but the minister who was not agreeable to him, never for any considerable length of time has been kept in office.

In the year 1806, Lord Grenville, Mr Fox, and Mr Addington, were in office together. Lord Grenville and Mr Fox were men disagreeable to the then king: Lord Grenville on one account, Mr Fox on another: Lord Grenville from his personal demeanour, Mr Fox from the too great popularity of the principles professed by him. It was the desire of Lord Grenville that the oppression under which the Catholics had so long been suffering, should be removed: this was also the desire of Mr Fox. But the will of the king was opposite and inflexible. He refused to adopt the measure; found a favourable opportunity for getting rid of them, and dismissed them. Mr Addington was a man found to be agreeable to a king, whoever the king were, so Mr Addington was retained.

Section VIII.

Monarch—folly of regarding the personal deportment of, as a pattern for subjects, Geo. III.

If as above, in every intelligible and useful sense of the words, bad and good, so far from being the best, the monarch is naturally the very worst—the most maleficent member of the whole community—judge from him of the consequence of taking him and his conduct as a pattern for others—his conduct for their conduct.

By beneficence, positive or even negative on a small scale, he obtains a reputation by which he is enabled to practise, without reproach, maleficence on the largest scale. “Curse on his virtues! they have destroyed his country!” George the Third, because he behaved well to his wife, was proclaimed the best of kings.

Hereupon, whatever good conduct has place in domestic life, on the part of the other members of the community, this one has the credit of it.

Now mind the evil consequence. Of what is good and bad in private, and in particular in domestic life, men in all situations are competent judges, and in the habit of regarding themselves as being so, and taking cognizance of the conduct of others in consequence. On the other hand, of what is good and bad in public life, the greatest number are not as yet competent judges.

Yet in some monarchies—England for example—scarce an individual to whom it is not matter of habit to speak occasionally of the monarch and hear him spoken of, and with some adjunct of general approbation or disapprobation, such as good and bad, attached to his official or personal name.

But for a comparatively rare occurrence, this epithet will be of the approbative kind: the reason has been already mentioned. Note then the consequence. So it be, but through the ordinary causes, namely, war and selfish indulgence in the shape of what is called magnificence, there is no quantity of mischief so great, in shape of waste and depredation and murder, so it be upon a national scale, that a man in that situation may not be the author of, still remaining the object of general love and admiration.

Meantime, what shall we say of those who, seeing before them and set over them a man whose conduct is stained with these atrocities, gives to them the sunshine of his approbation by thus adding the word good (or its equivalent) to the name, official or personal, of the author of evil on this largest scale? Whatever he may be in intention, in fact and in effect, he is an accessory to all the atrocities by which the object of his ill-placed eulogy has been making an incontrovertible title to universal abhorrence. If in the course of a war, for the gratification of the monarch’s rapacity or antipathy—a war, in a word, without necessity—a million of human beings have been consigned to untimely death, here are a million of murders committed; and he who thus pours forth benedictions on the head of the author, is accessory, before or after the fact, to all these murders.

Nine times in the course of his sixty years’ reign did George the Third, with his everready accomplices, force the people to pay his debts. The trader who, by inevitable misfortune—mere misfortune without the smallest cause of reproach, even on the score of imprudence, is rendered insolvent,—is thereby rendered in a greater or less degree an object of disrespect: still more, and in an increasing ratio, if the like misfortune comes upon him a second time. The insolvencies of George the Third were in every instance the result of his own profusion, without the smallest admixture of misfortune. No money could be issued without his signature: and he was notoriously attentive as well as punctual in the giving of it. He made immense profit by his wars,—profit to himself and family: witness the Droits of Admiralty; and he took care to exempt himself from loss: witness the exemption from the income-tax given to his private property in government annuities—or the funds, as the phrase is.

In Spain, about the year 1776, the avowed expenditure upon the persons of the king and his family, amounted to one-fourth of the whole expenditure of government: and to this avowed, unavowed expenditure was known to be added, to a vast though necessarily unascertainable, amount.

Of this expenditure, be it what it may, not a particle is of any real use to the people in any shape: not a particle, that besides the suffering produced by the loss, by the forced contribution, is not productive of evil to an immense amount: for of the matter of wealth thus extorted and wasted, every particle operates as matter of corruption.

It would be a calculation no less curious than instructive, how many of the people, by the support thus given to the lustre of the crown, are every year, consigned to lingering death for want of sufficient food, how many prevented from coming into existence.

The result is—that in all branches, the inaptitude is on all occasions, not in the individual, but in the situation: not in the particular nature of the individual in question, but in the general nature of the situation: that, the situation being what it is, the inaptitude is absolutely irremediable: and that, therefore, whatsoever be the political state, the existence of any such situation in the official establishment, is utterly incompatible with the greatest happiness of the greatest number—utterly incompatible with everything to which the appellation of good government, can, with any propriety, be applied.

That if, by a good king, is meant a king, by whose existence more happiness would have place in the community, than would have place, if neither he nor any other individual having the same powers, were in existence—there never has been, nor ever can be, any such person as a good king: and that every man who is a king, is, by the mere circumstance of his being a king, rendered of necessity a bad one. To talk of a good king, is to talk of white ink, or black snow.

In conjunction with external circumstances, idiosyncrasy may have rendered, and in fact to a certain degree, always does render, this or that king less bad, than this or that other. But to the practical purpose of the question, every such inquiry into the character of this or that individual, in that same situation, is needless and useless: indeed worse than useless, the tendency of it being to lead men to suppose, that from a substitution of one individual to another, in that situation, the evil may be capable of receiving a remedy: which, as already shown, is not true.

What in this case is the measure of the quality of bandess, or say, depravity in the human mind? Is it the quantity of human misery produced? Is it the degree of steadiness with which the probability of its being produced is contemplated, and the fixedness of the determination to persevere in the endeavour to give existence to it? Is it the absence of that distress, which in some cases is, by general acknowledgment, sufficient to render depredation, and even intentional homicide, justifiable? With these considerations in mind, compare the best of monarchs with the worst of private and punishable malefactors,—see whether as in the scale of political, so in the scale of moral depravity, the place of the unpunishable malefactor is not above that of the punishable malefactor.

As it is, in the case of that situation, by which the largest mass of political power is conferred, so is it in every inferior one. The probable quantity of virtue in a man, is not in the direct, but as will be seen, in the inverse ratio of his altitude in the composite scale composed of power, opulence, and factitious dignity.

Section IX.

Influence of Monarchy on the state of Judicature.

In a monarchy, on the part of the judges, corruption has place universally: on the part of almost all judges, at all places, at all times: corruption, practised upon the largest scale, and with impunity and assurance of impunity: impunity, perfect as against punishment at the hands of the legal sanction, and to a vast extent, as against punishment at the hands even of the social sanction.

At the hands of the monarch, and those who are in favour with him, every man for himself, and all those with whom he is connected in the way of interest or sympathy,—every man, and the judge, whoever he is, as much as any man,—has everything to gain, and so has he to no inconsiderable amount to lose, or otherwise suffer.

In the track of partiality and injustice thus produced by corruptive influence, there are certain lengths which, under the fear of the public-opinion tribunal, this or that judge will restrict himself from going: but in that same track, there are certain lengths which no judge will ever restrict himself from going. What should make him? From yielding, he has everything to gain; from not yielding, he has more or less to fear.

On the alleged incorruption of English judicature, eulogy is indefatigable: and of this, as of every other alleged efficient cause of felicity, matchless constitution gets, of course, the credit.

This alleged incorruption what does it amount to, in fact?—incorruption on the part of a certain class of judges, as against the matter of corruption in a certain form: incorruption for small profit, and upon a small scale, coupled as above with corruption for unlimited profit, upon a national scale.

In this country, perhaps for two centuries, no example has ever been known or commonly believed, of one of the twelve judges taking a bribe on behalf of a suitor: not improbably none such has had place. By this circumstance is any proof afforded of incorruptibility—of any aversion to the being corrupted, on the part of any judge? By no means.

In no instance could a judge receive, in the shape of money, or other article of marketable value, a bribe, without putting his reputation completely in the power of at least one individual—namely, the one by whom, or on whose account, the bribe was afforded: seldom without putting himself in the power of individuals more than one. What should be a man’s inducement thus to expose himself to infamy, not altogether without danger of legal punishment, for profit on a retail scale, while, on a wholesale scale, it is to be had to an amount altogether unlimited, and without any the smallest risk?

You who give them the praise of incorruption as thus proved, add to it, the praise of abstaining from picking the pockets of passengers of their handkerchiefs, in the streets.

Section X.

The Few,—Enemies of the Many,—the Many not of the Few.

Everywhere it has been seen, with the single exception of an aptly organized representative democracy, the ruling and influential few are enemies of the subject many: enemies in mind as well as in act,—and by the very nature of man, until the government, whatever it be, has given way to a representative democracy, perpetual and unchangeable enemies.

Not so the subject many, to the ruling and influential few: the enmity is not reciprocal: it is all of it on one side,—on that one side only.

The subject many, have neither expectation nor desire of oppressing or plundering the wealthy. Oppress them, they could not, without plundering them of all they have: for without any factitious power, their wealth cannot but protect them, and protect them most effectually against oppression in every shape.

Plunder the wealthy few, the subject many could not, by any general resumption and new division of property: for by any such attempt, everything valuable, and all property in it, would be destroyed: that of the poorest as well as that of the most wealthy.

As little could they in the way of taxation: taking this or that part instead of the whole. For between wealthy and not wealthy, there being no line of separation actual or practicable, the more rich could not be taxed without taxing the less rich likewise.

In the Anglo-American United States, the class who, with relation to the purpose in question, are without property—that is to say, without property sufficient for their maintenance—have, for upwards of fifty years, by means of the right of electing the possessors of the supreme operative power, had the property of the wealthy within the compass of their legal power: in what instance has any infringement of property ever been made?

The worst that could happen to the ruling and influential few from power, if vested in the hands of the many, or say rather, of all, themselves, the ruling few, included,—is to see themselves brought down to an equality with the many in all things, wealth excepted: in respect of power, to the having no more than an equal chance for power: in respect of factitious honour, to be divested of it, the many being at the same time unpossessed of it.

While the triumvirate of the wealthy, the powerful, and the factitiously dignified, reigns—injustice, to the prejudice of the greatest number, reigns in every part of the field of government: injustice for the benefit of those few, at the expense and to the burthening of the many. Suppose that portion of the aggregate mass of power which they are capable of holding—suppose the constitutive power—in the hands of the greatest number, what in respect of justice and injustice would be the consequence? Not the reverse of the present state of things: not injustice to the benefit of the many at the expense of the few, but justice to all alike.

Take England for example. By the factitious expenses imposed on judicial proceedings, nine-tenths of the population, to say the least, are excluded from the benefit of justice, as well in the situation of defendants as in that of plaintiffs: a line is thus drawn between the wealthy and the non-wealthy: the wealthy, all those who are capable of demanding the assistance of the judicial office, or resisting the demand when made by others; the non-wealthy those who are incapable: all those whose situation is below the line of separation, are at the mercy of all those whose situation is above it. Now, suppose this factitious burthen completely removed, what would be the consequence? That the wealthy would be at the mercy of the non-wealthy? No; only that they would cease to see the many lying absolutely at their mercy: insomuch that the two parties would have to contend upon terms less unequal than at present. I say less unequal: for, as to absolute equality, this is what the very nature of the case completely forbids. For it is upon evidence that the fate of every cause depends, and evidence is not in any case to be had altogether without expense: and to the necessary amount of the expense, even when all factitious expense is struck off, no determinate limits can be assigned.

Section XI.

English Parliamentary Reform—its inadequacy.

In the opinion of a considerable and gradually increasing number of the people, the system of government as carried on in England, is so bad—so adverse to the greatest happiness of the greatest number, that a man desirous of contributing his endeavours to that same greatest happiness, cannot, without inconsistency, fail of being desirous of seeing brought about a change: a change of a nature to add to that greatest happiness, by substituting good to what is evil in the form of government, as it exists at present.

For this purpose two changes are continually brought to view: one under the name of Parliamentary Reform, the other under the name of Revolution. By Parliamentary Reform is meant a change in the mode in which the people are said to be represented: by causing the men who, under the name of representatives of the people, exercise a principal share of the powers of government, to be located and dislocable by the great body whom they are said to represent, instead of a comparatively minute portion of it. By Revolution is meant locating, in the situation of monarch, an individual different from him by whom it is at present filled.

Parliamentary Reform has been proposed in two modes:—one styled radical, the other styling itself, sometimes moderate—sometimes temperate.

By Radical Reform is meant the substituting to the House of Commons, as at present organized, a House of Commons organized upon the principle of a representative democracy, but leaving in full possession of their power the Monarch and the House of Lords.

By moderate reform is meant the taking the power of the House of Commons out of the hands of the present oligarchy, and placing it in a regular and equal sort of aristocracy, leaving monarch and lords in possession of their power, as in the former case.

If no good worth contending for—no permanent and adequate remedy to the existing evils could be brought about by radical reform, still less could it by moderate reform.

Note now the change that would be brought about by radical reform: supposing no other change effected than that which is expressed.

The king would remain. Therefore, so long as he retained his power no change would be effected that were adverse to his interests. But every change that would be beneficial to the interest of the people—contributing to the greatest happiness of the greatest number of them, would, it has been seen, be adverse to his interest. Therefore the king alone would suffice to prevent any considerable good from being done, any effectual remedy from being applied. Take in hand the whole catalogue of abuses. Look over it from beginning to end: not one is there in the continuance of which he has not an interest: not one of them is there which it would not be against his interest to part with: not one of them is there which, on any reasonable ground, he could be expected to part with, if he could help it.

The House of Lords would remain. But of all the members of that house there is not one who, so long as he is one, will not be a sharer in that sinister interest which, as has been seen, stands irremoveably attached to the situation of monarch. The House of Lords alone would, therefore, suffice to shut an everlasting door against all remedy.

But if for this purpose the king alone, by his single force, and also the House of Lords alone, by its single force, would either of them suffice, much less can they fail to suffice by their conjunct force.

Yes, it may be said, reform, if radical, will suffice: it will suffice without further change. Not in any shape, and in particular, not in this shape, can parliamentary reform have been brought about, unless and until both lords and king have been brought into acquiescence. But the use and only use of this reform, is to remove the existing abuses: in this one point is concentrated all that is looked to from it: the power sufficient to produce the cause will be sufficient to produce the effect.

No: it will not suffice. By the supposition, the office of king will remain: the power of the king will remain untouched; the power of the lords with their veto will remain untouched. But from the office of king, a quantity of the matter of wealth, all of it operating upon the representatives of the people in the character of matter of corruptive influence is inseparable: in a large proportion it will suffice to prevent the abolition of the mass of depredation and oppression at present established: and whatsoever it is not able to prevent the amendment or abolition of, it will suffice to bring back in a longer or shorter course of time. To produce this effect not so much as a single act, that can with propriety be called an act of corruption (it has been shown) is necessary: not so much as a single act, on either part.

To confirm the existence of the kingly office would be to sanction a principle opposite to the only justifiable end of government. It would be to continue in the hands of a functionary, the hostility of whose interest to the universal interest has been shown to be necessary and unchangeable, the power of giving effect to that same sinister interest.

You who propose the continuance of the state of things, by which the mischief has been done, by what means is it your expectation, that the good you propose should be effected? You who propose the accomplishment of an end, how is it that you can avoid the adoption of the means, the only means by which it can be effected? Parliamentary reform, or any reform you can make or think of, will it change man’s nature? Finding in every official an appetite for power—as in dogs an appetite for bones, will the word reform extirpate it?

No such reform can be carried into effect, but by a power sufficient to go further, and abolish the office of him, with whose means of happiness, the greatest happiness of the greatest number is incompatible, and the power of that unelected assembly whose interest is not less at variance with the universal interest, than the particular and sinister interest of the monarch.

Leave the two offices untouched—you leave an injured king and an injured house of lords. You leave where you find him, a man enraged with the sense of that which in his view, is injury, and you leave him with the means of self-reinstatement and vengeance in his hands. Easier, much easier, is the whole of the work, than this same half. The whole is eminently simple: the half is eminently complicated.

Leave the half in existence, you leave unremoved all the moral pollution and all the intellectual absurdity which defiles it. The same system of shameless and indefatigable lying, and the same practical inferences which have been at all times deduced from them, will continue to be deduced. You cannot have a king, but you have in office a functionary who cannot do wrong; that is to say, who has, by the universal declaration of all who have at any time thus spoken of him, possessed and exercised the power of converting into right whatsoever wrong his sinister interest and vices ever prompt him to commit. You cannot continue the office in existence, without endeavouring to give perpetuity to, by far the foulest system of immorality, as well as the grossest system of absurdity that the wit of man ever engendered.

When on the part of kings and lords, acquiesence has in any way been produced, to leave them in possession of their power, would be to leave them with arms in their hands, in a condition to fight the matter over again. Very generous this indeed, but to whom? To the one and his few hundreds: to these hundreds, generous; but to the many millions, still more ungenerous.

The sources of waste and corruption have all been indicated and enumerated. Dry them up all, dry them up without exception: to all this vast mass of evil you may substitute the opposite and correspondent good, with a sacrifice comparatively inconsiderable of existing interests and expectations. Keep any one of these sources untouched, to produce the same retrenchment, you must make a sacrifice to the same amount elsewhere, at the expense of existing possessions and expectations.

On revolution, considered as a remedy against misrule, a syllable is almost too much. Suppose it effected, what good would be effected by it or with it? Suppose the present king removed, where should we find a better?

Revolution proposed in the character of a remedy, supposes the cause of the evil is in the individual. But it does not lie in the individual: it lies in the species: it lies in the nature of all man, not in the one man who is king.

As well might you think of doing away the mischief of the inquisition system, by removing one grand inquisitor and substituting another in his place.

Think not that, because the bringing the present system of corruption to the present degree of perfection has taken up 134 years, reckoning from the revolution, it would take up the same time to reproduce the quantity of evil, removed by a second revolution now. Small and inadequate would be the amount of saving or defalcation from the mass of abuse that could be effected by parliamentary reform alone during any such continuance. At the revolution, taking the requisite time for it, there existed the possibility of screwing up the amount of the depredation to eight hundred millions. But in addition to these eight hundred millions, could another eight hundred millions be added, in the same time, or in any time? Oh, no: all that stock has been expended.




Of the three volumes of which the proposed constitutional code will consist, the first makes thus its appearance by itself, without waiting for the two others. To their completion, however, very little is now wanting; they are, both of them, in such a state of forwardness, that, were the author to drop into his last sleep while occupied in the tracing of these lines, able hands are not wanting, from which the task of laying the work before the public would receive its completion.

Of the various concurrent causes of the retardation,—one has been—the desire of the author to attach to this first volume an introductory dissertation, having for its subject-matter the various forms of which the supreme authority in a state is susceptible; and for its object, by bringing to view the advantages and disadvantages of each, to exhibit their respective degrees of elgiibility; meaning always by eligibility, conduciveness to the maximum of the aggregate of happiness. Taking, for the source of distinction and partition, the relative numbers of the ruling and influential one or few, on the one part, and the subject-many on the other,—are therein brought to view—in the first place, the three simple forms of government—monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy; in the next place, the several compounds, actual and possible, capable of being formed by their admixture.

For this discussion, matter—in quantity adequate, or little short of it—has, this long time, been in existence: but, as to form, that which presented itself as the best adapted, has not yet been given to it.

Under these circumstances, it seems to me, that for the chance of giving to the work, at a point of time not likely ever to arrive, the degree of supposed perfection, the phantasmagoric image of which has, like a New Jerusalem, been always in view,—good economy could not now advise the foregoing the advantage of making application of this same matter, to such measures as are already on the carpet, placed thereon by the authority of government itself. On this consideration it is, that this first volume makes its appearance, without waiting for either of the two next.

The political communities, whose benefit this foremost part of my all-comprehensive Code (or say, in one word, of my Pannomion) has had principally in view—these communities have been for the time present, those, more particularly, which have grown out of the wreck of the Spanish monarchy (not to speak as yet of the Portuguese) in the American hemisphere. To time future—whether before the present generation has passed away, or not till a length of time after, and what length, I cannot take upon me to pronounce—was all along referred the applicability of the work to the use of the British empire.

In saying the work, I meant the whole of it, considered as a whole: for, as to parts of it, in no small quantity, if applicable to any one form of government, so are they to every other; and this, without any diminution of the proportions of power at present possessed by the several constituted authorities.

As to this part, and some others, of the fruits of my unremitted labours,—the cause of their thus meeting the public eye in an unmatured state, is this:—what occurs to me at this moment is—that, if so it be, that they afford any promise of being in any way or degree beneficial to mankind,—it behoves me to make the most of the short remainder of my life, for the purpose of causing them to be brought into the world under my own eye. On this consideration accordingly it is, that I have added to this volume a sort of skeleton of the contents of the two others, in the form of a table of the titles, of the chapters and their several sections.

Continuing the preference thus given to real usefulness over appearances, to this volume or a subsequent one, I have or shall have added similar skeletons, of such of the parts of my proposed Pannomion as regard what, in contradistinction to international, may be designated by the appellation of internal law. These are:—1. The Right-conferring, commonly called the Civil, code:—2. The Wrong-repressing, commonly called the Penal, Code: both belonging to what I call the substantive branch of law:—3. The Procedure Code, constituting what I call the adjective branch: growing—the whole of it together,—and in my view of the matter, without need of distinction,—out of those two sub-branches of the substantive branch.

To a student in the art of legislation, it might be a sort of pastime—taking in hand any one of these same skeletons, to guess all along what may be the composition of the flesh and blood—the muscular and vascular system, destined to be attached to it: as, from the protuberances in the cranium, phrenologists undertake to determine the moral and intellectual contents of the cerebrum and cerebellum:—a sort of puzzle, not calling for more labour than does a game of chess, and assuredly standing somewhat above it in the scale of usefulness.

STATE OF [[         ]].





Article 1. [NA] is the denomination of this state. Its constitution is that which stands expressed in this present Code.


Art. 2. The territory appertaining to it is as follows. [NA] ☞ Here insert its situation on the globe, in latitude and longitude, with a designation of its boundaries, natural and conventional.


Art. 3. The whole territory is divided into Districts. Each District is an Election District (as to which see Ch. vi. Legislature) sending one Deputy to serve as a member of the Legislature. Subject to alteration by the Legislature, by union or division of entire Districts, each District is moreover the territory of a Sub-legislature, as per Ch. xxix. Sub-legislatures. Also, subject, in like manner, to alteration, it is the territory of an Appellate Judicatory, as per Ch. xii. Judiciary, and Ch. xxii. Appellate Judicatories. Of these Districts the denominations are as follows. ☞ Here insert the list.


Art. 4. Each District is divided into Subdistricts. Each Subdistrict is, as per Election Code, (see Ch. vi. Legislature section 4,) a Vote receiving, or say, Voting District. Each Voting District sends one Deputy to the Sub-legislature of the District. Subject to union and division, as above, each Subdistrict is the territory of an Immediate Judicatory, as per Ch. xii. Judiciary, and Ch. xiii. Judges Immediate. Of these Sub-districts, the denominations are as follows. ☞ Here insert the list.


Art. 5. Each Subdistrict is divided into Bis-subdistricts. Each Bis-subdistrict is the territory of a Local Headman, as to whom see Ch. xxv. In case of need,—for example, by change in populousness or condition in other respects,—Bis-subdistricts may come to be united or divided, as above. Of a Bis-subdistrict, if divided, the Sections will be Tris-subdistricts, and so on.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 6. In this scheme of territorial division, the Legislature will, at all times, make any such alteration as in its judgment the exigencies or convenience of the time shall have required. Of the Districts originally marked out, it will make any two or more into one: it will divide any one or more, each of them into two or more, reserving to each the name and attributes of a District. So likewise as to Subdistricts and Bis-subdistricts. But, seeing the complication and confusion that might ensue,—it will not, but in a case of urgency, at any of these three stages in the course of division, proceed upon any plan, which shall not be, as above, commensurable with the one originally employed.


The several portions of territory, for the denomination of which the above-mentioned appellations are respectively employed, are the supposed results of so many supposed sectional operations, having for their subject-matter the entire or aggregate of the dominions of the state in question, whatever it be,—distant dependencies not being taken into account: so many of these denominations, so many grades or stages in the process of division:—a process, the effect of which is to multiply the subject-matter of the division, by a number equal to that of the divisor employed. Thus, for simplicity of conception, suppose the same divisor 20 employed at each operation: divide the whole territory of the state by 20, you have 20 of the portions above denominated Districts: divide the districts each by 20, you have in each District 20 Subdistricts; in the whole territory, 400 Subdistricts: divide the Subdistricts each by 20, you have in each Subdistrict 20 Bis-subdistricts, in each District, 400 Bis-subdistricts; in the whole state, 8000 Bis-subdistricts: divide the Bis-subdistricts each by 20, you have in each Bis-subdistrict 20 Tris-subdistricts; in each Subdistrict 400 Tris-subdistricts; in each District 8000 Tris-subdistricts: in the whole state, 160,000 Tris-subdistricts.

For any such divisional operation, it appears not that any practical use can be assigned, other than that of its being employed in furnishing stations for functionaries; for functionaries of some sort or other, one or more, in the several sections of territory which, taken together, exhibit the result of it.

If, in any state, application be made of the principles of the present proposed Code, the number of the sectional operations performed, and thence of the stages, or say grades, of division produced and employed, as above, will naturally be influenced by the magnitude of the aggregate territory of such state, combined with that of the population. It will not, however, increase in any regular proportion: for, after a certain number of these grades or stages, every good effect contemplated by addition to the aggregate number, may be produced by augmenting the divisor, and thence the number of the sections of territory at one or more stages; thus avoiding the production of the bad effect, to wit, the complication, which would be the necessary result of every addition made to the number of these same stages.

On the above grounds, and others, which will appear presently, the number of stages represented by the denomination Tris-subdistricts, is the number here regarded as the greatest number, for which, in the most extensive state, there can be any use: while, on the other hand, as, for example, in a Swiss Canton, the smallness of the aggregate territory may have the effect of reducing the number of these stages or grades to one, or even rendering any such divisional operation, with its results, altogether needless.

In Ch. xxv. of this proposed Code, the existence is assumed of a demand for a public functionary in every portion of territory, which, according to the above explanation, comes under the denomination of a Bis-subdistrict—a portion of territory resulting from the division of the above-explained portion called Subdistrict, as that does from the division of the portion styled a District, as above explained: both of them susceptible of different denominations, according to the different purposes to which they are respectively made applicable. This same least portion of territory is the portion employed as the seat or station of a sort of functionary, who, in Ch. xxv., will be found designated by the appellation of a Local Headman: a functionary, of whose situation and proposed functions some conception, though very rough, and subject to great amendment, particularly in the way of addition, may be conveyed by the word Maire, in the sense in which it is universally employed in France; the word Mayor, in the sense in which it is in some instances employed in England; and the word Alcalde, in the sense in which it is employed in Spain, and the dominions still or of late belonging to Spain, in America, and elsewhere.

A further, though tacitly made assumption, is—that in each territory belonging to an Immediate Judicatory, (so called in contradistinction to an Appellate Judicatory,) there will be a demand for Local Headmen, (number indetermined, because on the present occasion impossible to be determined,) each with his appropriate territory—constituting his local field of service.

A state of things, which might perhaps come to be found exemplified, is—that, in which, in the instance of this or that territory of an Immediate Judicatory, territory and population considered together, the extent might be so small, that a single Local Headman’s station, having for its limits the same as those of the territory of the judicatory, would be found sufficient. But, by this circumstance, no demand would be produced for any change, in the arrangement, here grounded on the supposition of an indefinite number of Local Headmen’s territories, included in every Immediate Judge’s territory.

Of a demand for a sort of territory of a still inferior grade—of a sort of territory which would come under the denomination of a Tris-subdistrict, the notion may naturally enough be presented in English by the word parish; in the several other European languages, by the several words derived in those languages respectively from the same root: that is to say, the Greek word, which signifies a cluster of neighbouring habitations, and which, in Latin characters is expressed by the word paroecia, or in Greek παϱοιϰὶα. But, supposing the existence of a peremptory demand for a class of territories, of a grade so low as the one expressed by this same word Tris-subdistrict,—no sufficient reason will, it is believed, be found for the allotment of anything more than an extremely limited logical field of action to the corresponding functionary: no reason for any such field of action, comparable in extent to that which will here be seen allotted to the Local Headman in his territory.

Only, as above observed, for simplicity of conception,—has the same division, to wit, twenty, been assumed, on the instance of every stage or grade brought to view. In practice, the diversities incident to magnitude of territory and population considered, together with the ever-variable magnitude of population in each territory,—whatsoever be the state in question, divisions of very different magnitudes, in the several grades or stages compared with one another, will be found requisite; and, by means of all these diversities taken together, the same number of stages or grades will be found applicable to different states, the aggregate portions of which are of the most widely differing magnitudes.

What is plain is—that to no state whatsoever can application be made of this Code, without its finding such state already subjected to some all-comprehensive scheme or other of territorial division, as above explained. But, by no such existing scheme will any naturally insuperable impediment be opposed to the scheme here proposed, in so far as, by the adoption of it, a promise may be thought to be afforded, of any specific and assignable advantageous effects. By separation or aggregation, or both together, the existing portions of territorial divisions, whatsoever they may be, and howsoever denominated, may be made applicable to all the several purposes which will here be seen proposed: and thus may they be made the seats of functionaries, invested with the functions herein respectively defined.

As to the names herein given to the results of the several successive divisional operations, some conception of the peculiar use of them can scarcely fail to have presented itself to view. For, thus it is that the order, of which the numeration-table gives the expression, may be given to any scheme of division established or proposed, which otherwise, by the total want of all indication of the relation between one elementary part and another—in a word, by the perfect arbitrariness of the import of every denomination employed, must impose so heavy and needless a task on the conception and memory of every person, to whose cognizance it comes to be presented.

To the forming of an adequate idea of the disadvantages attendant on the existing system of denomination for this class of objects, and thence of the advantage producible by the adoption of the here proposed one,—it would be necessary to look over the list of them, as they stand exemplified in some one or more political state: and that of the British dominions, compared and contrasted with those of France, will perhaps be deemed sufficient. In the case of France, as regenerated by the Revolution, simplicity and uniformity will be found observable; natural expressiveness, not: in the case of England, Scotland, and Ireland, natural expressiveness equally wanting; and, instead of simplicity and uniformity, a chaos.

In France, the whole kingdom, distant dependencies out of the question, is divided into departments; each department, into arrondissements; each arrondissement, into Cantons each Canton, into communes. Of paroisses, (in English, parishes,) no mention is made.

In the here proposed plan of nomenclature, they would be thus denominated:

1. Departments—districts.

2. Arrondissements—subdistricts.

3. Cantons—bis-subdistricts.

4. Communes—tris-subdistricts.

From the example of England, no instruction,—equivalent to the time, space, and labour requisite for the extraction and communication of it,—could be obtained: so great the diversification, so thick the complication and confusion, in which it is involved. If a county be taken as corresponding to district, the number of grades of division is, in some counties, different from what it is in others: and, in two counties in which the number of these stages is the same, the denominations given to the results, are different. See Mr Rickman’s highly instructive preface, prefixed to the Population Returns made to the English House of Commons, and printed.

For different purposes, two schemes of division have place:—the one, called civil or temporal, instituted for the purpose of security against adversaries, internal and external; the other, called ecclesiastical or spiritual, instituted in a dark age by a foreign potentate—foreign with reference to the British Isles—for the purpose of extracting money, on pretence of saving souls.

On the temporal plan, the result of the division, made in the ultimate grade, is called a township, village, or hamlet: in the spiritual, a parish; in some instances, the two results are coincident; in others, not. For a multitude of important purposes, in particular for taxation and registration, the spiritual plan has, in the case of this ultimate result, been adopted into the temporal; and by this adoption, vast and various is the confusion and mischief that has been produced. See Ch. xxvi. Local Registrars.

In a political state, the territory of which, (distant dependencies out of the question,) were not much different from that of France, England, Scotland, or even Ireland,—the result of the ultimate sectional operation might, perhaps, be of a magnitude between that of the French arrondissement, and that of the French commune. With a view to the present purpose, all these integers of territory are put upon a level: for, great as is the difference between the largest of them and the smallest—between France and Scotland—still, it is not (it is believed) so great, as not to be capable of being made up for, by a difference in number; that is to say, by giving, to a country resembling France in magnitude, a greater number—to a country resembling Scotland, a lesser number, of these same atoms of territory, if such they may be called: for atom is from the correspondent Greek word, which means that which is not susceptible of ulterior division, or at least has not been subjected to it.

Note here as to economy, and the effect produced in relation to it, by the number of grades of territorial divisions. On one account, the greater this number, the greater the aggregate mass of expense: on another account, the greater this same number, the less the mass of expense. The circumstance by which the increase is effected in the expense is this—that, by each grade of divisional operation, are produced a set of sub-territories, each of them with a set of officers and official residences to be provided for. The circumstance by which diminution is effected in the expense is—that in proportion to the increase in the number of those same sets of officers, and official residences, is the diminution in the magnitude of each such sub-territory: and thence, (supposing them rendered as equal as may be in magnitude,) the less is their magnitude, and the less the journeys which those inhabitants whose habitations are at the greatest distance from the seat of business—the official residence—will have to make in passing to and from it, with the intervening demurrage. Too apt to be overlooked, but not the less real and important, is this latter item of expense. In the case of the vast majority, expense in time is expense in money. The expense in officers’ pay and official residences is borne proportionably by the opulent few and the unopulent many: the expense in time employed, as above, in journeys, is borne almost exclusively by the unopulent many: by those to whom their time affords no profit, no loss is sustained from the unprofitable expenditure of it.



Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 1. Of this constitution, the all-comprehensive object, or end in view, is, from first to last, the greatest happiness of the greatest number; namely, of the individuals, of whom, the political community, or state, of which it is the constitution, is composed; strict regard being all along had to what is due to every other—as to which, see Ch. vii. Legislator’s Inaugural Declaration.

Correspondent fundamental principle: the greatest happiness principle.

Correspondent all-comprehensive and all-directing rule—Maximize happiness.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 2. Means employed, two—aptitude maximized: expense minimized.

Correspondent principles—1. The official-aptitude-maximization principle. 2. The expense-minimization principle.

Correspondent rules. Rule 1. Maximize appropriate official aptitude.

Rule 2. Minimize official expense.

For the manner in which these rules second one another, see Ch. ix. Ministers collectively. Section 15, Remuneration. Section 16, Locable who. Section 17, Located how.


Art. 3. Included in the matter of expenditure is the matter of punishment, as well as the matter of reward.


Art. 4. The matter of punishment is evil applied to a particular purpose.


Art. 5. The matter of evil is composed of pain and loss of pleasure.


Art. 6. The matter of reward is the matter of good applied to a particular purpose.


Art. 7. The matter of good is composed of pleasure and exemption from pain.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 8. Consistently with the greatest happiness principle, evil cannot be employed otherwise than as a means: as a means of producing, in the character of punishment, or otherwise, more than equivalent pleasure, or excluding more than equivalent pain, or producing the one, as well as excluding the other.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 9. Employed in the character of punishment, it cannot, according to the greatest happiness principle, be employed otherwise than as an instrument of coercion: coercion, by fear of future punishment in case of future delinquency: coercion, for the production, as above, of more than equivalent good.


Art. 10. According to this same principle, pleasure is at once an end and a means: as an end, aimed at on every occasion: as a means, employed on particular occasions, to wit, when the matter of it is employed as a matter of reward.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 11. Employed as the matter of reward, the matter of good cannot, according to the greatest happiness principle, be employed otherwise than as an instrument of inducement.


Art. 12. Of the matter of reward necessary to be employed as an instrument, or say a means, of government, it is but in small proportion that it can be obtained, otherwise than by the help of evil employed in the way of punishment, and otherways as a means: witness, taxation: hence, under the greatest happiness principle, the necessity of minimizing expenditure, in the case of reward, as well as in the case of punishment.


Art. 13. To render the conduct of rulers conducive to the maximization of happiness, it is not less necessary to employ, in their case, the instrument of coercion, than in the case of rulees. But, the instrument of coercion being composed of the matter of evil, and the instrument of inducement of the matter of good—rulers are by the unalterable constitution of human nature, disposed to maximize the application of the matter of good to themselves, of the matter of evil to rulees.


Art. 14. Appropriate aptitude may be considered as having place in the case of rulees, as well as in the case of rulers: in both cases, according to the greatest happiness principle, it is aptitude for the maximization of happiness. But, in the case of rulers, it has a more particular signification: it is aptitude for the maximization of happiness in a particular way; namely, by a system of operations performed on rulees.


Art. 15. Of appropriate official aptitude, elements, or say, branches, three—moral intellectual, and active; of intellectual, again, two—cognitional and judicial: knowledge and judgment.

Ratiocinative. Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 16. Rules for maximization of appropriate moral aptitude.

Rule I. The sovereign power give to those, whose interest it is that happiness be maximized.

Rule II. Of the possessors of subordinate power, maximize the responsibility—namely, as towards the aforesaid possessors of the sovereign power.

Note that, only by expectation of eventual evil (punishment included) can responsibility be established: neither by expectation of eventual good, nor by the possession of good (reward included) can it be established.

Ratiocinative. Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 17. For official aptitude, cognitional, judicial, and active, joined to minimization of expense, principles employed are three.

Principle I. Probation, or say public-examination principle.

Principle II. Pecuniary-competition principle.

Principle III. Responsible-location principle—location of subordinate by effectually responsible superordinate.

Inseparable is the connexion between all three principles. See Ch. ix. Ministers collectively. Section 15, Remuneration. Section 16, Locable who. Section 17, Located how. Ch. xii. Judiciary. Section 28, Locable who.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 18. For the functions exercised by the several functionaries, in the exercise of their several powers, and the fulfilment of their respective trusts, see the indication given in the chapters headed by the denomination of the several classes of functionaries: as per table of chapters and sections hereunto annexed.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 19. In relation to every official situation, a recapitulatory indication will be found given, of the securities herein provided for the maximization of appropriate aptitude, in all its above-mentioned branches, on the part of the functionary, by whom it is filled. See, in the several chapters, the several sections entituled Securities for appropriate aptitude.


Art. 20. Considered in respect of its immediate effects, responsibility is distinguishable into punitional, satisfactional, and dislocational; in respect of its source, into legal and moral,—legal, produced by the legal sanction; moral, by the moral sanction, as applied by the public-opinion tribunal, as per Ch. v. Constitutive. Section 4, Public-Opinion Tribunal—its Composition. Of the satisfactional mode, the only generally applicable submode is the pecuniarily-compensational—say, for shortness, the compensational.


Art. 21. Compensational responsibility has the effect of punitional, in the ratio of the sum parted with, to the remainder left. By it, wounds inflicted by the wrong are curable: it is on this account, preferable, as far as it goes, to simply punitional, by which, though employed for the hope of preventing greater future evil, pain is the only effect produced with certainty.

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 22. Legal responsibility is distinguishable into judicial and administrational: judicial, where, in the shape of punishment, the effect is produced by the judicial authority, on the ground of moral inaptitude; administrational, where, by superordinate authority, dislocation is applied on the ground of inaptitude, intellectual or active, pure of moral. By dislocational, evil from the like inaptitude on the part of the dislocatee is prevented with certainty; of punishment, except in the singular case of physically disabilitative punishment in the instance of the individual offender, the preventive effect is clouded in uncertainty.


Art. 23. To pecuniary compensation, pecuniary responsibility to a corresponding extent is necessary. But, beyond that extent, in proportion to its extent, obstruction is afforded by it to its own efficiency, as well as to that of punitional and dislocational. In other words, up to the amount of his debts, a man’s responsibility to the purpose of his being made to afford compensation in a pecuniary shape is, indeed, in the direct ratio of his opulence; but, when a man’s opulence exceeds the amount of his debts, this effective responsibility is rather in the inverse than in the direct ratio of it: this, even under a system, legislative and judicial, which has for its end the maximization of the happiness of the maximum number; much more, under a system by which, to the happiness of the ruling one, in conjunction with that of the ruling and otherwise influential few, that of the subject-many, is, in intention and effect, constantly sacrificed. In the monarch, in whose situation opulential responsibility is maximized, effective responsibility, punitional, satisfactional, and dislocational, is nihilized.


Art. 24. As to moral responsibility, imperfect as it is, this species of security against misconduct is the more necessary to be brought to view, inasmuch as, in monarchies in general, were it not for this, there would be no responsibility at all: and, in other words, the monarch would be altogether without motives for compliance with the laws, even with those of his own making, which are, at all times, all such as, and no other than such as it is agreeable to him to make. It is by this source of restraint alone that the English form of government—a mixture, composed of monarchico-aristocratical despotism, with a spice of anarchy—has been preserved from passing through the condition of France, Russia, and Austria, into that of Spain and Portugal. Even without the assistance of a posse of his own creatures, acting under the name of a parliament, he may kill any person he pleases, violate any woman he pleases; take to himself or destroy anything he pleases. Every person who resists him, while in any such way occupied, is, by law, killable, and every person who so much as tells of it, is punishable. Yet, without the form of an act of parliament, he does nothing of all this. Why? Because, by the power of the Public-Opinion Tribunal, though he could not be either punished or effectually resisted, he might be and would be, more or less annoyed.




Art. 1. The sovereignty is in the people. It is reserved by and to them. It is exercised by the exercise of the Constitutive authority, as per Ch. iv.




Art. 1. The Authorities which have place in this State are these:—

  • 1. The Constitutive.
  • 2. The Legislative.
  • 3. The Administrative.
  • 4. The Judiciary.

Their relations to one another are as follows:—


Art. 2. To the Constitutive Authority, it belongs, amongst other things, to depute and locate, as per Ch. vi. Legislature, the members composing the Legislative; and eventually, as per Ch. v. Constitutive, Section 2, 3, to dislocate them: but not to give direction, either individual or specific, to their measures, nor therefore to reward or punish them, except in so far as relocation may operate as reward, and dislocation as punishment; or, in so far as, at the instance of the Constitutive, punishment may come to be eventually applied to them by the hands of succeeding Legislatures, as per Ch. v. Constitutive. Section 2, 3, Ch. vi. Legislature. Section 28, Legislation penal judicatory.


Art. 3. To the Legislative it belongs, amongst other things, to locate the Chiefs of the two other departments; and eventually to dislocate them: to give—not general only, but upon occasion, individual direction to their conduct, as well as to that of all the several functionaries respectively subordinate to them: eventually also to punish them, in case of non-compliance with its directions.


Art. 4. To the Administrative it belongs, amongst other things, to give execution and effect to the ordinances of the Legislative in so far as regards the persons and things placed under its special direction, by the Legislative: to wit, in so far as litis-contestation has not place.


Art. 5. To the Judiciary it belongs, amongst other things, to give execution and effect to the ordinances of the Legislative, in so far as litis-contestation has place: to wit, either as to the question of law, or as to the question of fact.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 6. Taken together, the Legislative and the Administrative compose the Government; the Administrative and the Judiciary, the Executive; the Legislative and the Executive, what may be termed the Operative, as contradistinguished from the Constitutive.


Art. 7. Note, as to the word supreme. If attached anywhere to the name of any authority,—to no other authority than those in the same department, can it be understood to bear reference. Thus may be spoken of a Supreme Administrative, and a Supreme Judiciary; although, with reference to Supreme Legislature, they are both of them subordinate, as is the Legislative itself to the Constitutive.


Art. 8. So many of these supreme authorities, the Constitutive included, which is supreme over all the others, so many Departments: to each authority, a department.


Art. 9. The Legislature has under it as many Sub-legislatures, as in the territory of the state here are Districts: to each District a Sub-legislature.


Art. 10. Within the Administrative Department are Sub-departments, thirteen in number. For their appellations see Ch. ix. Section 2.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 11. In the case of the Legislative Department, the source of distinction and division is, as will be seen, furnished partly by the local, partly by the logical, field of service: in the case of the Supreme Legislature, both fields being without limit; in the case of the Sub-legislatures, both of them limited, as per Ch. xxix. Sub-legislatures: in the case of the Administrative Department, this same source is furnished by the logical field alone: as for instance, Election, Legislation, Army, &c., as per Ch. xi. Ministers severally: in each of the Sub-departments, so denominated, the authority of the head functionary extends over the whole territory of the state.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 12. In the Legislative Department and Sub-departments, the official situation is necessarily many-seated: the power, accordingly, fractionized: in the Legislature, seats as many as in the territory there are districts: in each Sub-legislature, seats as many as in the District there are Sub-districts.


Art. 13. In both the other Departments, the official situation is in every instance single-seated. Prime Minister, one; for each Administrative Sub-department, or union of Sub-departments, Minister, one. In each Immediate and each Appellate Judicatory, Judge, but one. Over all these Judicatories, Justice Minister, one. In each District, immediately under its Sub-legislature, Sub-prime Minister, one. In each Sub-department of the District, under the Sub-legislature and the Sub-prime Minister, Minister, one. In each ultimate section of the territory of the state, Headman, one.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 14. In each of these situations,—with and under each principal functionary, serve as many auxiliaries as he finds it necessary to depute: as to which, in the several chapters headed by the names of the several functionaries, see the section intituled Self-suppletive function. Thus, at all times, whatsoever be the quantity of business to be done, there are hands for it in sufficient number without need of retardation; and thus is promptitude maximized. Nor yet is any door thus opened to abuse. For, for no such effect are adequate causes—adequate motives—to be found. For the conduct of these his instruments, the principal is effectually responsible: and thus, in their instance, (remuneration having place in no other shape than that of power in possession,—with the power, dignity, and pay, of their respective principals, in expectancy only,) frugality is not, by the establishment of those suppletive situations, or any of them, diminished.



Section I.

Constitutive what—in whom.


Art. 1. The constitutive authority is that, by which at all times the holders of the several other authorities in this state, are what they are: by it, immediately or interventionally, they have been in such their situations located, and therefrom are eventually dislocable.


Art. 2. The Constitutive authority is in the whole body of Electors belonging to this state: that is to say, in the whole body of the inhabitants, who, on the several days respectively appointed for the several Elections, and the operations thereunto preparatory, are resident on the territory of the state, deduction made of certain classes. Mode of exercise, as per Election Code: as to which, see Ch. vi. Legislature. Section 4 to 13.


Art. 3. Classes thus deducted, are—1. Females; 2. Males, non-adult: that is to say, who have not attained the age of [21] years. 3. Non-readers: that is to say, those who have not, as per Ch. vi. Legislature, section 5, Electors who, by reading, given proof of appropriate aptitude. 4. Passengers.

Section II.



Art. 1. Subordinate to the Constitutive authority, as per section 1, are all other authorities, and thereby all other public functionaries belonging to the state.

Those whom it cannot dislocate in an immediate, it can in an unimmediate or say interventional way; to wit, by dislocating those who, having the power, have failed to dislocate them, in conformity to its sufficiently understood desire.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 2. Exercisible by the Constitutive, in relation to them respectively, are the several functions following, with the power therein essentially included. These are—

I. Locative function: exercised by locating, in the official situation in question, the individual in question.

II. Dislocative function: exercised by dislocating, out of the situation in question, the functionary therein located.

III. Punifactive function: exercised by putting, at the time of dislocation, in a way to be punished, but by a different authority, the functionary so dislocated.


Art. 3. I. Locative function. Functionaries, in relation to whom this function is exercised by the members of the Constitutive authority, are as follows—

I. Their Deputies, deputed by them to the legislature, to act as Members of the Supreme Legislature, styled collectively the Legislature. In relation to all these, this power is exercised by the members of the whole Constitutive body, as divided into the bodies belonging to the several Election Districts; in each District, the Members of the Constitutive electing for that District a member of the Legislature.


Art. 4. II. The members of the several Sub-Legislatures. In relation to each sub-legislative body, this power is exercised by the members of the Constitutive body, belonging to its District, as divided into the bodies belonging to the several Subdistricts therein contained; the body belonging to each such Subdistrict electing a member of the Sub-legislature.


Art. 5. II. Dislocative function. Functionaries, in relation to whom this function may upon occasion be exercised, are the following:

1. The several Members of the Legislature.

2. The Prime Minister.

3. The several Ministers belonging to the Administrative Department: as per Ch. ix. Section 2.

4. The Justice Minister.

5. In each Judicatory, Appellate as well as Immediate, the Judge and the several other Magisterial functionaries, as per Ch. xii. Judiciary collectively. Section 3, Judiciary functionaries.

6. In every such situation, as above, every Depute.

7. The several Local Headmen and Local Registrars.

8. The several Members of the several Sub-legislative bodies.


Art. 6. Exercisible, upon occasion, in like manner, by the Constitutive authority belonging to each District, is the dislocative function, in relation to the several functionaries following—

1. The several Members of the Legislative body belonging to that same District.

2. The several District Prime Ministers, or say Premiers, serving under the several Sub-legislatures.

3. The several District Ministers, serving under the several Sub-legislatures and their several District Prime Ministers.

Section III.

Powers exercised, how.


Art. 1. I. Locative function. Exercised, in relation to the several members of the Legislative body, is the locative function of the Constitutive, in the several Election Districts and Subdistricts, in the Election Code, as per Ch. vi. Legislature, Section 4 to 13.


Art. 2. Exercised is this same function, in relation to the several members of the several Sub-legislative bodies,—in the same manner as there delineated, with reference to the several members of the Legislature.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 3. In each Subdistrict, immediately after he has voted for a Deputy to act as a member of the Legislature for the District, each member of the Constitutive body will, at the same place, and in the same manner, vote for another Deputy to act as a member of the Sub-legislature of that same District. The arrangements of detail,—necessary to adapt, upon the same principles, the mode of ascertaining the election of a member of the Legislature, to the case of a member of a Sub-legislature,—are, upon the face of the Election Code, obvious: they will be settled in terminis by the Legislature.


Art. 4. II. Dislocative function, 1.—How exercised by the entire Constitutive.

On the receipt of a requisition, signed by (one fourth?) of the whole number of the Electors of any Election District, requiring the dislocation of any functionary in section 2, Powers, Art. 5, the hereinafter-mentioned Election Minister will appoint a day or days, as near as may be,—on which, in the several Districts, the Electors shall meet at the several Voting Offices of the several Subdistricts therein respectively contained, in the same manner as on the occasion of an Election. The Voting Cards of those who are for the proposed dislocation, will, on the concealed surface, as per Ch. vi. Legislature, Section 8, Election apparatus, Art. 4, bear the words “Dislocate him:” of those who are against the proposed dislocation, the words “Retain him.” In each District, the votation finished, the Voting-box will, by the Vote Clerk, be forthwith transmitted to the Election Minister’s Office. By the Election Minister, as soon as all are received, or the time for receiving them is elapsed, they will, in concert with the Legislation Minister, be opened in the Legislation Chamber, at the next sitting of the Legislature. The numbers will thereupon be immediately cast up, and the result declared. In case of dislocation, the vacancy produced on this extraordinary occasion will thereupon be forthwith filled up, in the same manner as on any ordinary one.


Art. 5. 2.—How by the Constitutive of a District.

Proportion, of the requisitionists, the same in this case as in that of the entire Constitutive, as above. Voting Boxes transmitted to the Election Clerk of the District. As soon as all have been received, or the time for receiving them has elapsed, he, at the next sitting of the Sub-legislature, opens them, in concert with the Legislation Minister of the District, in the Sub-legislation Chamber; casts them up, and declares the result, as above. The vacancy, if any, is thereupon filled up, as above.


Art. 6. By such requisitionists, as per Art. 4, 5, will be seen the propriety of making the ground of the requisition as particular and determinate, as well as concise, as the nature of the case will admit: that is to say, the description of the alleged misconduct, with the intimation of the manner in which it has diminished, or tended to diminish, the aggregate happiness of the greatest number; referring to written evidence, if any such there be, but not repeating it or commenting on it, much less employing appellatives dyslogistic or eulogistic, or addresses to the passions in any other shape, or fallacies in any shape. As to which, see The Book of Fallacies. The less their regard for these cautions, the less (they will understand) will be the probability, that their requisition will be productive of the effect desired by it.


Art. 7. III. Punifactive function—how exercised. If, in addition to dislocation, in the case mentioned in Art. 4, punification be required,—in this case, together with the pair of Voting Cards, bearing respectively the words Dislocate him and Retain him, will be delivered by the Vote Clerk, another pair, bearing in like manner the words Accuse him, and Absolve him. Thereupon, in regard to accusation and absolution, the result will be ascertained and declared, in the same manner, as in regard to dislocation and retention, as above.


Art. 8. If the majority be, as above, in favour of accusation, the Election Minister will, as per Art. 4., make declaration to that effect: in which case, by that same declaration, the function and duty of conducting legal pursuit to that effect, devolves at the instant upon the hereinafter-mentioned Government Advocate-General, as to whom, see Ch. xix. Government Advocate-General.


Art. 9. The judicatory, in which such pursuit will be carried on, will be the Legislation Penal Judicatory, as per Ch. vi. Legislature, Section 28, Legislation Penal Judicatory.


Art. 10. But should it ever happen that the functionary in whose instance, in addition to dislocation, punishment is required, is at that same time a member of the Legislature,—in such case, for avoidance of partiality, and the imputation of partiality, on the part of the Legislature, the requisitioners may take their choice as between that year and the [three] several years next ensuing.

Section IV.

Public-Opinion Tribunal:Composition.

Enactive. Expositive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 1. This constitution recognises the Public-Opinion Tribunal as an authority essentially belonging to it. Its power is judicial. A functionary belonging to the Judiciary, exercises his functions by express location—by commission. A member of the Public-Opinion Tribunal exercises his functions without commission; he needs none. Dislocability and puniability of members excepted, the Public-Opinion Tribunal is to the Supreme Constitutive what the Judiciary is to the Supreme Legislative.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 2. Of the following members may this Judicatory be considered as being composed.

1. All individuals of whom the Constitutive body of this state is composed.

2. All those classes which, under Section 1. Art. 3., stand excluded from all participation in such supreme power.

3. Of all other political communities, all such members, to whom it happens to take cognizance of the question, whatever it may be.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 3. Of this Judicatory, different classes or assemblages of persons may be considered as constituting so many Committees or Subcommittees. Examples are as follows—

1. The auditory, at the several sittings of the Supreme Legislature.

2. The auditory, at the several sittings of the several Sub-legislatures.

3. The auditory, at the several sittings of the several Judicatories. See Ch. xii. Judiciary Collectively, Section 2, Actors in the judicial theatre.

4. Persons having business with the several functionaries belonging to the Administrative department; such business excepted as, for special reasons, shall by law have been consigned to temporary secrecy.

5. At meetings, publicly held for the consideration of any political question, the several individuals present.

6. The auditory, at any dramatic entertainment, at which objects of a political or moral nature are brought upon the stage.

7. All persons taking for the subject of their speeches, writings, or reflections, any act or discourse of any public functionary, or body of public functionaries, belonging to this state.


Art. 4. Public Opinion may be considered as a system of law, emanating from the body of the people. If there be no individually assignable form of words in and by which it stands expressed, it is but upon a par in this particular with that rule of action which, emanating as it does from lawyers, official and professional, and not sanctioned by the Legislative authority, otherwise than by tacit sufferance, is in England designated by the appellation of Common Law. To the pernicious exercise of the power of government, it is the only check; to the beneficial, an indispensable supplement. Able rulers lead it; prudent rulers lead or follow it; foolish rulers disregard it. Even at the present stage in the career of civilisation, its dictates coincide, on most points, with those of the greatest-happiness principle; on some, however, it still deviates from them: but, as its deviations have all along been less and less numerous, and less wide, sooner or later they will cease to be discernible; aberration will vanish, coincidence will be complete.

Section V.

Public-Opinion Tribunal.


Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 1. To the several members of the Public-Opinion Tribunal, as such, belong the distinguishable functions following; namely—

1. Statistic, or say Evidence-furnishing function. Exercise is given to it, in so far as indication is afforded of facts, of a nature to operate as grounds for judgment, of approbation or disapprobation, in relation to any public institution, ordinance, arrangement, proceeding, or measure, past, present, or supposed future contingent, or to any mode of conduct on the part of any person, functionary or non-functionary, by which the interests of the public at large may be affected.


Art. 2. Censorial function.—Exercise is given to it in so far as expression is given to any judgment of approbation or disapprobation, in relation to any such object as above.


Art. 3. Executive function.—Exercise is given to it in so far as, by the performing or withholding of good offices, such as a man is by law warranted in withholding, or by the performing of evil offices, such as a man is by law allowed to perform, addition—whether in consequence of such indication, as above, or otherwise—is made to, or defalcation made from, the happiness of the person in question, as above; and as by the thus withholding of good offices the effect of punishment, so by the rendering of them may the effect of reward, be produced.


Art. 4. Melioration-suggestive function.—Exercise is given to it in so far as, from the observation of what is amiss or wanting, a conception of something better having been formed, has, as such, been held up to the view of those whom it may concern, to the end, that if approved, it may be brought into practice.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 5. On functionaries, the exercise of the statistic function is not only morally but legally obligatory: for the rendering of this service, the mass of benefit which, in whatever shape, pay included, stands attached to their respective offices, is their reward. On non-functionaries, morally only: factitious reward, none is provided for them, none is needed for them; natural, appropriate, and exactly proportionate reward, in proportion as his service is known, and the nature of it understood, each man will receive, in and by means of the esteem, produced by the contemplation of it.

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 6. Of the heads, to which imperfections, ascribed to the law, by amendments, may be referrible, examples are as follows:—

I. As to matter. Want of conduciveness to the general end. The arrangement, as supposed, not so conformable to the greatest happiness principle as it might be.

II. For examples of want of completeness as to matter, see any of the lists of exceptions in this Code, and suppose any one of those same exceptions omitted.

III. For examples of want of completeness as to form, in any one of the lists of examples, suppose this or that example not inserted.

IV. As to form. Want of clearness: to wit, in such or such a clause or assemblage of clauses; as to the effect, obscurity or ambiguity: as to the cause, that is to say the words,—redundancy, deficiency, inappositeness, or miscollocation.

V. As to matter or form, want of completeness: this or that case, as supposed, not being provided for: because, as supposed, not contemplated.

VI. In the Adjective Code in particular,—or say the Procedure Code; on the part of this or that arrangement, want of conduciveness to the general end: to wit, by reason of want of conduciveness to this or that one of the ends of justice, direct and collateral: the direct end, being the giving execution and effect to the correspondent portion of the Substantive Code; the collateral end, the keeping the practice clear of needless delay, vexation and expense—evils correspondent and opposite to so many specific collateral ends of justice.

Note, that in speaking of ends, instead of one, the number of direct ends may be stated as being two: in which case the opposite evils will be misdecision and non-decision: for by non-decision may be produced the effect of misdecision: to wit, in disfavour of the pursuer’s side.


Art. 7. When a supposed amendment, as above, is suggested, the two forms, in either of which, for the preservation of symmetry, it may be expressed, may be seen in Ch. vi. Legislature, Section 29, Members’ Motions: Of the non-preservation of symmetry, the consequences may be seen in Ch. xi. Section 2, Legislation Minister.


Art. 8. In support of his amendment, the proposer will do well to subjoin, under the following heads, concise indications of the reasons, by the consideration of which, he was induced to propose it. These will be—

I. Evil effects, regarded as flowing from the law as it stands: or,

II. Good effects expected to result from the proposed amendment, if adopted.

The more condensed and compact his reasons, the greater will be their chance of being attended to: by every attempt to move the passions it will be lessened.


Art. 9. On the tutelary influence of the Public-Opinion Tribunal, this Constitution relies, in a more especial manner, for the efficiency of the securities which it provides, for good conduct, on the part of the several functionaries, belonging to the Judiciary Department. See in the several Chapters the several Sections headed by the words Securities for apropriate aptitude.

Section VI.

Securities against Legislative, and Judiciary.


Art. 1. To every person, elector, inhabitant, or foreigner,—to every individual of the human species, belongs the right of exercising, in relation to the condition of every department of this government, and the conduct of every functionary thereto belonging, the statistic, executive, and melioration-suggestive functions above-mentioned.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 2. So likewise the Censorial: how strong soever the terms, in which the approbation or disapprobation stands expressed. Vituperation, if indecorous, will receive its proportionate punishment at the hands of the Public-Opinion Tribunal: defamation, if mendacious or temeracious, at the hands of the Penal Code. Defamation there is none, without intimation given of some illegal or immoral act;—intimation individually, or at least specifically, determinate. If, being false, the intimation is temeracious only, and not mendacious, the official situation, of the party defamed, is a ground—not of aggravation, but of extenuation. The military functionary is paid for being shot at. The civil functionary is paid for being spoken and written at. The soldier, who will not face musquetry, is one sort of coward. The civilian, who will not endure obloquy, is another. Better he be defamed, though it be ever so unjustly, than that, by a breach of official duty, any sinister profit sought should be reaped. To him who has power, opulence, or reputation, self-defence is, in proportion to his power, opulence, or reputation, more easy than if he had none: defenders cannot be wanting to him, so long as he has patrons, colleagues, or dependents.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 3. By prohibition, restriction or taxation, to throw obstruction in the way of production or diffusion of political tracts, especially newspapers and other periodical ones, would, on the part of the Legislature, be a breach of trust, a violation of its duty to the Constitutive; an act of insubordination, obstructing their constitutional superordinates in the exercise of their authority, by depriving them of the means of forming correct judgments: an act of partiality and oppression, withholding from one class of men, documents not withholden from another: withholding, from the many, benefits, not withholden from the more wealthy few: withholding instruction from those, by whom it is most needed. It would be an anti-constitutional act: as such, it would call for marks of disapprobation, at the hands of the members of the Supreme Constitutive; namely, as well in their character of Electors, as in their character of Members of the Public-Opinion Tribunal.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 4. No such act of insubordination is committed, by punishment judicially inflicted, or demanded, for defamation, when effected or endeavoured at by falsehood, accompanied by criminal evil-consciousness, or culpable temerity of assertion, as to which see the Penal Code.


Art. 5. Every act, whereby, in the above or any other way, a man seeks to weaken the effective power of the Public-Opinion Tribunal, or by falsehood, or (what comes to the same thing) by suppression of truth, to misdirect it, is evidence, of hostility on his part to the greatest happiness of the greatest number: evidence of the worst intentions, generated by the worst motives: evidence which, though but tacit and circumstantial, and though it be ever so unwilling, is not the less conclusive. Every act, whereby a man seeks to diminish the circulation of opinions opposite to those which he professes, is evidence of his consciousness of the rectitude of those which he is combating, and thereby of the insincerity, hypocrisy, tyrannicalness, and selfishness which have taken possession of his mind. Sincere or insincere, he may, without fear of injustice, be numbered among the enemies of the human species.



Section I.

Powers:—and Duties.


Art. I. The Supreme Legislature is omnicompetent. Coextensive with the territory of the state is its local field of service; coextensive with the field of human action is its logical field of service.—To its power, there are no limits. In place of limits, it has checks. These checks are applied, by the securities, provided for good conduct on the part of the several members, individually operated upon; as per section 31, Securities for appropriate aptitude.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 2. The power thus unlimited is that of the Legislature for the time being. To no anterior Legislature belongs any power, otherwise than by confirmation given to it by the Legislature for the time being. Dead men can neither fine, nor imprison, nor banish living ones.


Art. 3. But, in so far as nothing appears to the contrary, confirmation of the acts, of all anterior Legislatures, and of all authorities subordinate to them, takes place of course.


Art. 4. For the means employed for preserving Government engagements against violation. See Section 2, Responsibility.


Art. 5. The Supreme Legislative Authority has, for its immediate instrument, the Supreme Executive, composed of the administrative and the judiciary, acting within their respective spheres. On the will of the Supreme Constitutive the Supreme Legislative is dependent, as per Ch. v. Section 2, Powers. Absolute and all-comprehensive is this dependence. So also, on the will of the Legislature the will of the Executive, and the wills of the Sub-legislatures.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 6. Only by unalterable physical impotence, is the Supreme Legislature prevented from being its own executive, or from being the sole Legislature. The Supreme Legislature will not, to the neglect of its own duties, take upon itself any of those functions, for the apt exercise of which, when taken in the aggregate, those subordinate authorities alone, can, in respect of disposable time, appropriate knowledge, judgment, and active aptitude, have been provided with sufficient means. But, in case of non-performance, or unapt performance, or well-grounded apprehension of either,—to the exercise of no function of the Executive or the Sub-legislative authority can the Supreme Legislature be incompetent.—Unfaithfulness, yes: but to the Supreme Legislature, neither can usurpation nor encroachment be imputed.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 7. To those functions which belong exclusively to itself, the Legislature accordingly adds, in case of necessity, those which belong respectively to all those its several subordinates, as per the several ensuing Chapters.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 8. In those same Chapters may moreover be seen, so many exemplifications of the subjects, to which the attention and proceedings of the Legislature will, constantly or occasionally, be directed.


Art. 9. Separately or collectively, the Constituents of a Member of the Legislature will, at all times, as such, make to such their deputy what communication they think fit: to his cognitive faculty, to his judicative faculty, or even to his will, it may be addressed. But, in so far as the good of the community taken in the aggregate is the paramount object of his care, no obedience will he pay to any such particular will, to the detriment of what appears to him the universal interest. Paramount to his duty to a part is, on every occasion, his duty to the whole. An engagement, exacted of him by a part, would be an act of insubordination as towards the whole. It belongs not to him to judge until he has seen or heard. His will is commanded by his judgment, not his judgment by his will. Such contrariety may have place, without detriment to moral aptitude on either side. They may have good reason for dislocating him; he for exposing himself to be so dislocated.

Instructional. Ratiocinative.

Art. 10. If, on this or that particular occasion, in the opinion of Constituents, or in the opinion of their Deputy, a conflict should have place between their particular aggregate interest and the national interest, he will not be considered as violating his duty to the public, by giving his vote in favour of that same particular interest. For, the national interest being nothing more than an aggregate of the several particular interests, if against that which has been regarded as being the national interest, there be a majority, this result will prove, that in the so declared opinion of that same majority, that, which had been spoken of as if it were the national interest, was not so. If, in support of that which, by a majority of his Constituents, is regarded as being their interest, there be not a majority in the Legislature, his vote will be of no effect; and, to the national interest, no evil will have been done by it. On the other hand, a practice, which in every case is evil, is insincerity: and in this case, by the supposition no good at all, therefore no preponderant good would be produced by it.

Instructional. Ratiocinative.

Art. 11. Accordingly, if so it should happen, that, after speaking in support of an arrangement, which, in the opinion of his Constituents, is contrary to their particular interest, he gives his vote against that same arrangement,—in such conduct there is not any real inconsistency. By his speech, his duty to the public is fulfilled; by his vote, his duty to his Constituents.

Instructional. Ratiocinative.

Art. 12. Moreover, what, on an occasion of this sort, may very well happen, is—that an arrangement which, in the eyes of Constituents, is detrimental to their interest, is not so: and vice versâ: and, in this case, his speech in support of the opposite arrangement may have the effect of working a change in their opinion; and on a succeeding occasion, causing them to concur with the arrangement supported by him, instead of opposing it.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 13. Variable at all times,—variable at the pleasure of the Legislature for the time being,—is every article in this and every other Code. For every moment of its duration, on its reasonableness, first in the eyes of the Legislative, then in the eyes of the Constitutive, is its sole dependence. Not to speak of years, if, for any one day, error could prudently be exempted from correction, so might it for every other. If the wisdom of to-day is superior to that of to-morrow, so may it be to that of every day, to the end of time. Blinded by prejudice must that man be who, assured that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday, holds himself not equally assured that to-morrow he may be wiser than to-day. Blinded by vanity or selfishness must that man be who, assured that in knowledge and judgment he is beyond those who are gone before him, holds not himself equally assured that, in those same endowments, those who come after him may be beyond him. By individual responsibility, as per section 2, Responsibility, sufficient is the security afforded against inconsiderate and groundless changes: a degree of security far superior to any which can be afforded by any Constitution by which correction of error is inhibited to or by the Legislature.

Section II.


Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 1. Of the Constitutive Authority, the constant will, (for such it cannot but be presumed to be,) is, that the national felicity—the happiness of the greatest number—be maximized: to this will, on each occasion, it is the duty of the Supreme Legislature, according to the measure of its ability, to give execution and effect.


Art. 2. If, on any occasion, any ordinance, which to some shall appear repugnant to the principles of this Constitution, shall come to have been enacted by the Legislature, such ordinance is not on that account to be, by any judge, treated or spoken of as being null and void: not even although its tendency, intended as well as actual, were to appear to him to be to diminish the mass of power hereby reserved to the Constitutive Authority. But if, of any such act, the tendency be anti-constitutional, as above, it may form an apt ground for an exercise to be given by the Electors, to their incidental dislocative, and punifactive functions, applying them respectively to such members of the Legislature, by whom motion, speech, or vote shall have been given in favour of the supposed anti-constitutional arrangement: and in any Judicatory, such, by the Judge principal, may any such act, on its coming regularly before him, be in his opinion declared to be.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 3. To the Constitutive Authority and, that alone, it belongs to enforce the observance of contracts entered into by the Legislature; and in one word to afford such redress as can be afforded to misdeeds, in whatever shape, perseveringly committed by the Legislature. A law, ordaining that, in no case, a contract entered into by the Legislature, shall remain in any part unperformed by it, would be alike inefficient to good purposes,—efficient to bad ones.


Art. 4. A contract, if fit to be performed, was made for increase of felicity, not for lessening it. Be the contract what it may, prove that by non-observance of it, more felicity, all items taken into account, would be produced, than by observance, you prove that it ought not to be observed. If all contracts were to be observed, all misdeeds would be to be committed: for there is no misdeed, the committal of which may not be made the subject of a contract; and to establish in favour of themselves, or of any other person or persons, an absolute despotism, a set of Legislators would have no more to do than to enter into an engagement—say with a foreign despot, say with a member of their own community—for that purpose. A Monarch, that he may persevere in a course of depredation and oppression with the less disturbance, binds himself (suppose) to perpetuate it. An instrument has been contrived for this purpose. It is called an oath—a coronation oath. Propose to him to assuage the misrule, “Alas! my oath!” (he cries) “my oath!” and all who share or look to share in the profit of the misrule, join with him in chorus.


Art 5. In the case of a contract entered into by the Government with any person or persons belonging to this state, it will rest with the judiciary to take cognizance of it, as in a case between individual and individual. Yet, to a decision pronounced thereupon by the competent judicial authority, should the Legislature, by any ordinance, act in declared repugnance, such ordinance is not, on that account, to be regarded as null and void.


Art. 6. So, in the case of a contract with the government of any foreign state.


Art. 7. So, in the case of a contract with a subject of any foreign state.


Art. 8. But, in all three cases, apt grounds may have place for the exercise of the incidental dislocative function, on the part of the Constitutive Authority, as per Ch. v. Constitutive, section 2, Powers, at the charge of the Members, who have concurred in the breach of public faith: the dislocative function, with or without the punifactive.


Art. 9. For wrong, in any shape, alleged to have been done to any foreign government, whether by breach of contract or otherwise, such Government may have judicial remedy, by suit in the immediate judicatory of the Metropolis of the state; Defendant, the Government Advocate-General of this state.


Art. 10. Yet, on any such occasion, should any ordinance have been issued by the Legislature, in relation to the matter of such suit after the commencement thereof, it belongs not to any judge to omit giving execution and effect to that same ordinance.


Art. 11. But here, likewise, apt grounds may have place for the exercise of the remedial functions of the Constitutive Authority, as above.

Section III.

Powers as to Sub-legislatures.


Art. 1. In relation to the hereinafter-mentioned Sub-legislatures, the Supreme Legislature exercises the several functions, directive, corrective, arbitrative.


Art. 2. I. Directive function. In the exercise of this function, it gives, as often as it sees convenient, antecedent and preparatory direction to their several proceedings.


Art. 3. II. Corrective function. In the exercise of this function, it in like manner abolishes, reverses, amends, or causes to be amended, any of their ordinances, or other proceedings.


Art. 4. III. Arbitrative function. In the exercise of this function, as often as, between one Sub-legislature and another, contestation has place, it gives termination thereto by an appropriate arrangement.


Art. 5. In the case of a federal Government, here may be the place for appropriate alteration. The Sub-legislatures would be the Legislatures of the several states.

Section IV. Seats and Districts. See Election Code, section 1.

Section V. Electors who. See Election Code, section 2.

Section VI. Eligible who. See Election Code, section 3, and below, section 25, Relocable who.

Section VII. Election Offices. See Election Code, section 4.

Section VIII. Election Apparatus. See Election Code, section 5.

Section IX. Recommendation of proposed Members—how promulgated. See Election Code, section 6.

Section X. Voters’ Titles, how pre-established. See Election Code, section 7.

Section XI. Election, how. See Election Code, section 8.

Section XII. Election Districts and Voting Districts, how marked out. See Election Code, section 9.

Section XIII. Vote-making Habitations, how defined. See Election Code, section 10.

Section XIV. Term of Service. See Election Code, section 11, Members’ Continuance; and in this Ch. section 22, Term of Service—Continuation.

Section XV. Vacancies, how supplied. See Election Code, section 12.

Section XVI. Security of the Assembly against Disturbance by Members. See Election Code, section 13.

Section XVII. Indisposition of Presidents, how obviated. See Election Code, section 14.

Section XVIII.



Art. 1. Exceptions excepted, the Legislature sits every day in the year. Exceptions are Vacation days. Vacation days are every seventh day; that is to say, every day of general rest. But urgency declared, sittings have place in Vacation days.


Art. 2. A domestic servant is a servant of one: a Legislator is a servant of all. No domestic servant absents himself at pleasure, and without leave. The masters of the Legislator give no such leave. From non-attendance of a domestic servant, the evil is upon a domestic scale: of a Legislator, on a national scale. A Legislator is a physician of the body politic. No physician receives pay but in proportion to attendance. The physician has no vacation days.

Section XIX.



Art. 1. Of a Member of the Legislature the pecuniary remuneration is [NA] per day. Added to this are the power and dignity inseparable from the office. Of ulterior emolument, receipt, if from unwilling hands, is extortion; if from willing ones, corruption: as to which, see Penal Code. For principles as to Official Remuneration, see Ch. ix. Ministers collectively. Section 15, Remuneration.

Section XX.

Attendance and Remuneration—how connected.


Art. 1. Into the Assembly Chamber there is but one entrance. The retiring rooms are behind and above. Committee rooms have other entrances.


Art. 2. Each day, on entrance into the Assembly Chamber, each member receives that day’s pay at the hands of the Door-keeper. In his view, and in that of the company in the Assembly Chamber, is a clock. On delivery of the pay, the Door-keeper stamps, in the Entrance and Departure Book, on the page of that day, the member’s name, adding the hour and minute.


Art. 3. No member departs without leave of the President, who, on a sign made by the departer, rings, by a string within his reach, a bell hanging near the Door-keeper, who, after stamping in the Entrance and Departure Book, on the page of that day, the member’s name, with the hour and minute, lets him out. (A retiring place, opening only into the Chamber, is of course supposed.)


Art. 4. Sick or well, for no day, on which he does not attend, vacation days excepted, does any Legislator receive his pay.


Art. 5. Under the direction of the hereinafter-mentioned Legislation Minister, is kept the Non-Attendance, or say Absentation Book. In it, from the Entrance and Departure Book, entry is made of the days on which the several absenting members have respectively absented themselves: and for the information of their respective constituents, he causes the result to be published in the Government newspaper on the next day, as also at the beginning of each month; and at the time when the Election Minister issues his mandates for the General Election, a summary of all the absentations of the last preceding Session under the names of the several absentees.


Art. 6. If, by sickness, a member has been prevented from attending, he, on the first day of his re-attendance, presents to the Door-keeper a sickness ticket, on which are marked the day or days of non-attendance, with an intimation of the nature of the sickness, authenticated by his name in his own hand-writing, and the attestation of a physician.


Art. 7. To clear a member from the suspicion of employing sickness as a pretence for avoiding to give his vote or speech, questions may be put to him and others, in the face of the Assembly, and observations made. For ulterior securities against non-attendance, see section 23, Self-suppletive function.


Art. 8. A soldier, if he fails in his attendance, is punished as a deserter: punished with corporeal punishment: in England, with flogging or perhaps with death. Under this code, or any that is in consonance with it, in the case of no man, military or non-military, will punishment in either of those shapes be employed: for in neither is it needed. But, in this case, as in every other, whatever is needed, why should it not be applied?—and what can be milder than the simple withholding of reward in proportion as the service remains unperformed?


Art. 9. If, how severe soever, such means, as are regarded as efficacious and necessary, are employed for securing the service, exacted, whether with or without his previous consent to the engagement, from a common soldier, in what higher situation, were they ever so severe, should measures equally efficacious, supposing them necessary, be grudged? And should not they be the less grudged, the higher the duties of the situation in the scale of importance?


Art. 10. As between individual and individual, where it is by the quantity of time employed in service that the quantum of remuneration is measured—payment being made by the day, as in the case of a common labourer or artisan, or by the hour, as in the case of a professional instructor—in what case, unless on the score of pure charity, does any person think of paying or asking payment for any quantity of time, during which no service has been performed? Why then as between an individual and the public?

Ratiocinative. Instructional.

Art. 11. By usage, intermission of Legislative business has hitherto been everywhere established. But, by such usage, were it ever so many times as extensive as it is, the need of uninterrupted attendance would not be disproved. Whatsoever is, anywhere, the proportion of attendance actually given, the presumption indeed is, of course, that it is sufficient—sufficient for all purposes. But for this presumption there exists not, anywhere, any the smallest ground. From the bare consideration of the nature of the case, the assurance may be entire, that, in the state in question, whatsoever it be, evil effects of the most serious kind have been continually taking place: and, in almost any proportion, such effect may have had place without its being possible to trace them, or, at any rate, without their having in general been traced to their cause.


Art. 12. In political states other than the Anglo-American states—that is to say, in all mixed monarchies, non-attendance has had, for its obvious cause, the sinister interest of rulers.


Art. 13. These rulers are—1. The Monarch, with his more especial dependants; 2. His junior partners in the concern—the members of the aristocracy, and, in particular, those who have seats in any Legislative Chamber.


Art. 14. By the Monarch and his dependants more especially it is, that those vast gaps have been made which have had place between session and session, and which have for their efficient cause the operations called prorogation and adjournment: prorogation, avowedly the act of the Monarch himself; adjournment that of the Monarch, by the hands of those his agents.


Art. 15. In England, for example, by the act of the Monarch alone, about the half of the year is habitually taken from the public service: in this case, the act is called a prorogation, and to this defalcation is added that of a month, or more, taken at various times by the House of Commons: not to speak of the House of Lords: in this case, the act is called an adjournment.


Art. 16. The original object was, of course, as history shows, to extinguish the existence of these troublesome concurrents and sharers in the sweets of Government: that being found impracticable, the next object of wish and endeavour was, is, and will be, to minimize their action. Of the whole quantity of the time employed by them, a certain portion must of necessity, for the purpose, and under the direction of, the Monarch, be employed in going through the forms necessary to the extraction of money, and in such other business as the conjunct interest of the Monarch and the Aristocracy requires to be performed. For this purpose, whatsoever quantity of time is necessary, is by law always at his command. Upon all measures whatsoever, coming from any other quarter, and, in particular, all measures tending to the melioration of the constitution, an exclusion is put, of course, in whatever way may be most commodious; and the most commodious, because the least exposed to observation, is the making such disposal of the time as shall either prevent anything troublesome from being brought on the carpet, or, when on, from being finished. As to this, see Parliamentary Reform Catechism, vol. iii. p. 435.—Introduction.


Art. 17. In addition to power, which, together with ease, is thus obtained in the wholesale way, comes the ease, which is obtained in the retail way by non-attendance, at business-times, on the part of particular individuals. Hence comes the curious phenomenon. In the principal House for business, seats 658: number necessary to be filled to give validity to the proceedings, 40: every session, several times does it happen, that, for want of this necessary number, the day is lost to the public service. The President excepted, by whom (under the name of speaker) the business must be directed,—on no session, by any one member, has attendance on every day perhaps been ever paid: out of the 658, not one by whom, under this head, that has been done, which ought to have been done by every one. In addition to those who are paid by the over-paid offices, by which they are kept in a state of corruption,—chance having of late produced an individual by whom the public service, for which he was engaged, has for years been made his principal and gratuitous occupation; at the observation of such a phenomenon, every body continues lost in amazement. But power without obligation is the very definition of despotism: slavery the condition of those who are subject to it. Here, then, is a form of government, under which, by those who should be servants, those who should be masters are kept in a state which is by law a state of slavery: howsoever, by the healing hand of Public Opinion, the rigour of the despotism may be softened.


Art. 18. In the Anglo-American United States, although power is not eased of obligation, still, in this same form, is breach of constitutional duty suffered to have place. Of each year, on an average, not so much as two-fifths are occupied in fulfilment. Of this neglect, what can be the cause? Answer—unreflecting imitation: imitation, too, of an original, the general inaptitude of which affords, to those who have rid themselves of it, matter of such just and unceasing self-congratulation. True it is, that, in the copy, the individual and retail idleness is not, because for various reasons it cannot be, anything near so flagrant as in the original: but the aggregate and wholesale idleness is little less enormous.

Ratiocinative. Instructional.

Art. 19. When, in all situations in which the business is of subordinate importance, the attendance is so unintermitted,—why should it be less so in those in which the business is all-comprehensive, and the importance of it supreme?


Art. 20. Every year, in a tone of exultation, assuredly by no means ungrounded, the President, in his Message to Congress, reminds the people of the good done in the course of the last. One day may perhaps produce the opposite account: the account of the good, which, by blindness and idleness, has thus been left undone. But, by the phrase good left undone, much too favourable is the representation given of the effect. Of the good left undone, one portion—and that by far the most important—is composed of the exclusion that should have been put upon the evil—the extensive and positive afflictions which have thus been suffered to take place.


Art. 21. Amongst the accounts, thus given by authority, let there be one, for example, of the misery produced by tardiness, on the occasion of the adjustment of the state of the Insolvency laws, as between the central government and the several states: a matter which, to this day, 24th Jan. 1826, remains, after all, unadjusted.


Art. 22. For the inefficiency here mentioned, two more causes are visible: one is, that which belongs to the present head—the suffering so much to be unemployed: the other is, the suffering so much to be wasted in the commencement of businesses, the time employed in which is by the conclusion of the session turned to waste, for want of their being handed over by the outgoing to the incoming Legislature. As to this, see section 24, Continuation Committee.


Art. 23. As to the subsidiary obligations above provided, the more efficient, the less favourably, of course, will these chains be thought of and spoken of, by those for whose wear they are designed. But, at no less price can the effect be accomplished.


Art. 24. On architecture good Government has more dependence than men have hitherto seemed to be aware of. Those who wish not for absentation or untimely departure, from any seat of business, must not admit of multiplied or unobserved entrances and exits. Those who wish to exclude abuse from prisons, must not have a space in which either the behaviour of any prisoner, or the treatment he experiences, is not continually exposed to every desiring eye. Those Judges, whose wish it is to exclude inspectors from the seat of judicature, (and such of course have ever been all English Judges,) know well how powerless every other veto is, in comparison with that which the Architect alone can issue, and secure completely against non-observance.


Art. 25. Non-attendance is not the only cause of frustration and retardation in the provision for public exigencies. Another is the want of a supply for the involuntary deficiency created by death or sickness. For remedy, see section 23, Self-suppletive function. A third may be seen in the improvidence, or sinister providence, by which each successive Legislature is deprived of the benefit of all former work, commenced and left unfinished by its predecessor. For remedy, see section 24, Continuation Committee.

Section. XXI.

Sittings public and secret.


Art. 1. Special cause to the contrary excepted, the sittings of this Assembly are, at all times, public. The auditory is a committee of the Public-Opinion Tribunal, hearing and reporting for the information of the Constitutive.


Art. 2. So far as is consistent with convenience in respect of health, sight, hearing, minutation, and necessary intercommunication between actor and actor on the Legislation theatre, together with lodgment for requisite and appropriate furniture, this Constitution requires that the number of the members of the Public-Opinion Tribunal, to whom access and appropriate accommodation is given, be maximized.


Art. 3. To the hereinafter-mentioned Legislation Minister it belongs to keep a secret sitting-book. In it, in the case of a secret sitting, are entries made as follows:—

1. Year, month, and day of the motion for secrecy.

2. Names of movers, voters, and speakers for and against the secrecy.

3. Names, or initials, in their own handwritings respectively.

4. Alleged cause of the demand for secrecy.


Art. 4. If divulgation has not already had place, cognizance is taken, of course, by the next succeeding Legislature, of the truth and sufficiency of the allegations: if either be wanting, censure is passed on the members, by whom the secrecy was voted.


Art. 5. Then is the regular time for divulgation. But if the cause for secrecy subsists, divulgation may be referred to the same Legislature on some succeeding day of that year, or to the next succeeding Legislature: and so on from Legislature to Legislature.


Art. 6. For other cases for secrecy, as to the operation of public functionaries, see Ch. viii. Prime Minister. Section 11, Publication system.

Section XXII.

Term of Service—Continuation.

Ratiocinative. Instructional.

Art. 1. Exceptions excepted, the shorter the term of service in the Legislative Assembly can be rendered, consistently with the avoidance of precipitation and performance of duty, the better. For reasons, see section 23, Self-suppletive function, section 24, Continuation Committee, and section 25, Relocable who.


Art. 2. Exception may be, if in any part of the territory of the State there be Districts, one or more, so situated in respect of remoteness from the seat of legislation, and difficulty of travelling taken together, that, by the time consumed in the journey, too great a difference would be made between those Districts and the others, in respect of means of giving information to, and support to their interests in, the Legislative Assembly.


Art. 3. Note that, on this occasion, the time necessarily expended in the giving and receiving information, as between the Legislature and the constituted Authorities and individuals residing in the remote Districts, in relation to exigencies peculiar to these districts, is the only time which, in the nature of the case, needs, to this purpose, to be taken into account. For, as to the regular time of election, if as per section 25, Relocable who, the Members who have sitten on any year are excluded from relocability in the next, the day of universal vacancy being always foreseen and predetermined, the first of the days occupied in the election process may, without difficulty, be appointed to be as many days anterior to that same day,—as including the time occupied in the journey from the District to the seat of Legislature, shall be sufficient to secure the timely arrival of the elected Deputy at the seat of Legislature. Thus much as to the regularly recurring vacancies: as to the accidental vacancies, caused by death, resignation, or dislocation, replenishment will be seen effectually secured by section 23, Self-suppletive function.


Art. 4. Supposing these arrangements thus settled,—Elections may just as well take place, in virtue of a pre-established and continued general regulation, as in virtue of a special mandate offered by an individual functionary, such as the Election Minister, as per Election Code, and Ch. xi. Ministers severally. Section 1, Election Minister. Indeed much better: for when the performance of a process or operation is made, or left, dependent upon the act of a public functionary, or, in a word, on the act of any person whatever, it is left liable to be prevented by any one of a variety of accidents as also by sinister design on the part of that same functionary, with or without concert with others.


Art. 5. In Monarchies it was that the Representative, or say, the Deputation system, originated. Of course, under such a form of government, no such process as that of deputation to a common assembly could be commenced, otherwise than in consequence of, and in conformity to, the will of the Monarch, as promulgated on some particular day, by a known servant of his, appointed for this purpose. Hence the need of Election authorizing-and-commencing mandates.


Art. 6. In no one of the several Anglo-American United States is the term of service in the Legislative Assembly more than one year. In one of them, Connecticut, it is, or was, no more than half a year. In the General Congress it is two years. The difference has for its obvious cause the consideration of distance. Had the considerations mentioned, and expedients referred to, in Art. 3, occurred, would or would not the length of the term of service have in that case been thus doubled?

Section XXIII.

Self-suppletive function.

Enactive. Expositive.

Art. 1. Self-suppletive function. To every Deputy is communicated, by the act of Election, the power of locating and keeping located, upon and for every occasion, some person of his own choice, to act in all things in his stead, at what time soever he is incapable of acting for himself, or does not act. To every Deputy accordingly belongs this power, together with the obligation of keeping it in exercise.


Art. 2. Compensationally, punitionally, and dislocationally responsible, is the Deputy for the acts of this his substitute.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 3. Exceptions excepted, locable as a Deputy’s Substitute is every person who is locable as deputy.

Exception 1. Another member of the same Legislature. For, to a person so situated, though the power of giving a vote over and above his own might be communicated,—the power of making a speech over and above his own, or a motion over and above his own, could not.


Art. 4. By the Legislation Minister will be kept a set of blank Substitution Instruments. On each occasion, one of these instruments, filled up and signed by the Deputy, and signed by the Substitute, is, on his entrance into the Assembly Chamber, delivered by him to the Door-keeper: as to whom, see section 20, Attendance and Remuneration, &c.


Art. 5. To provide against casual inability on the part of the Deputy, as to the locating a Substitute in time for the occasion,—every Deputy, previously to his taking his seat in the Assembly Chamber, lodges, in the office of the Legislation Minister, a Substitution instrument, in favour of some person appointed to act as his permanent Substitute; the instrument being filled up and signed by himself, and signed by the substitute, who thereby engages to keep himself within reach, in readiness to attend on requisition. But, to such permanent Substitute may, on each occasion, as above, be substituted an occasional Substitute.


Art. 6. On timely information received, that on the then next, or any succeeding sitting day, the Deputy in question will certainly or probably not be able to pay attendance,—the Legislation Minister will cause to be summoned the above-mentioned Substitute: or the information may be given to the Substitute immediately, with or without its being given to the Legislation Minister: if dated and signed by the person giving it, it may be given either by the Deputy himself or by any other member of the Legislature, or by any other person sufficiently known to the Deputy.


Art. 7. Question 1. Why thus make provision of a substitute to each deputy?

Answer. Reasons. I. Whatsoever need or use there is for a Deputy to act as member of the body in question, on any one day of the session,—the same there will be, for anything that can be known to the contrary, on every other.


Art. 8. II. Whatsoever arrangements can, as above, be taken, as per section 20, Attendance, &c., for securing plenitude of attendance on the part of the Deputy,—to render them completely effectual, without provision made of an eventual substitute, is not possible. Witness definitive vacancy by death, incurable infirmity, resignation, or dislocation: witness occasional vacancy, or say non-attendance, involuntary through sickness, voluntary through any one of an inscrutable multitude of causes. By the arrangements proposed in this section, this plenitude would be rendered complete and never-failing: every seat having daily a member duly authorized to fill it.

Ratiocinative. Expositive.

Art. 9. III. For want of this desirable plenitude, a mode of corruption has at all times been carried on to an indefinite extent: corruption, effectually safe, not only as against punishment at the hands of legal tribunals, but against scrutiny and censure at the hands of the Public-Opinion Tribunal. A man whom, had he been in attendance, the apprehension of that censure would have engaged to vote on the right side,—absents himself, and thereby, though he does not give to the wrong side the whole benefit of his vote, deprives the right side of it, and this, without any check to hinder him,—gives thus, on every occasion, to the wrong side half the benefit of a vote given in favour of that same wrong side. Corruption, where the purpose of it is thus executed, may be distinguished by the name of semi-corruption or say absentation corruption. Happily, though in this form it cannot with certainty be punished,—yet what is much better, it may, in the way that will be seen, be, with adequate certainty, prevented.


Art. 10. IV. Prevention of fluctuation. In Legislative and other bodies, instances are not uncommon where the same measure has, by one and the same body, without any change in the number or sentiments of the Members, been alternately adopted and rejected: those who are in a majority one day finding themselves in a minority another day: hence confusion and uncertainty in the minds and actions of all persons whose interests are thus disposed of. Where attendance is optional, there are no assignable limits to the magnitude of the evil thus produced, nor to the frequency of its recurrence. By the plenitude here secured, evil in this shape would altogether be excluded.


Art. 11. V. Saving of solicitations of attendance:—solicitations, with the accompanying vexation, consumption of individual’s time, and sometimes even delay to public measures.


Art. 12. VI. Thus, and for the first time, will the aggregate will actually expressed, be rendered constantly identical with the aggregate will which, on the occasion of all Elections of Deputies, to a Legislative or other representative assembly, is not only intended to be expressed, and almost as generally, howsoever erroneously, regarded as being actually expressed. Thus will an undesirable and reproachful distinction be obliterated: an imperfection, hitherto submitted to as if it were inherent in the constitution of a body of the sort in question, cleared away.


Art. 13. VII. For want of this remedy,—questions, to the number and importance of which no limit can be assigned, must for their decision, have been dependent on accident: on accident in an unlimited variety of shapes, of which sickness, though a principal one, is but one. Apply this security, the power of accident, over this case is at an end.


Art. 14. Question 2. Why give the suppletive power to the Deputy, instead of reserving it to his Constituents?

Answer. Reasons. I. If the Constituents are the only persons to whom the power of providing the supply is given, the supply cannot ever be adequate; and the mode of making it cannot but be productive of divers evil effects; whereas, if the power be given to the Deputy, the supply may be rendered surely adequate, no such evil effects will be produced, and divers positive good effects will be produced.


Art. 15. II. In this way, the adequacy of the supply may be, and by the here proposed arrangements, naturally will be, made perfectly sure. The Deputy, in case of his non-attendance, is made responsible for the attendance of a Substitute. This he may be without difficulty. The seat of the Legislature being naturally the metropolis of the State,—its sittings, as per section 18, Attendance, unintermitted, and the metropolis the principle seat of business in the State,—the influx into it, on one account or other, from all the districts, naturally abundant and constant,—and in particular the influx of men who, in respect of condition in life, will be among the most apt for the situation in question—and these very arrangements furnishing an additional inducement for such influx,—all these things considered, any want of apt persons, ready, for the sake of the benefit, to take upon themselves the burthen, seems not in any degree to be apprehended.


Art. 16. III. On the part of the eventual Substitute, if located by the Deputy, the attendance, in case of temporary non-attendance on the part of the Deputy, is more effectually secure, than if he were located by the Constituents in an immediate way, as above, it could be. The Substitute, being resident on the spot, will on every occasion be within call of the Deputy; and, the Deputy being bound for attendance on that same occasion,—thus, between the one and the other, adequate motives are accompanied by adequate means.


Art. 17. IV. Suppose the Substitute located by the Constituents,—no such assurance of constancy in the supply can be obtained. By whatsoever causes, as above, non-attendance on the part of the Deputy is producible, by these same so is it on the part of the Substitute. Substitutes, more than one, could not be proposed to be sent along with the Deputy: and whatsoever greater number could be proposed to be so sent, still the assurance could not be entire. True it is, that the above-mentioned course—of taking for the Substitute a person resident at the seat of service, would be open to their choice. But it would not be likely to be uniformly adopted: for, if permanently resident at that same seat of service, he would not be known to them: and if, in the case of this or that District, there were any such known person,—in the case of this or that other there would not be. At the best, the number that could be thus located—located to serve throughout the session—would be thus limited: whereas, to the number that could be located, one after another, as occasion called, by the Deputy, there are no limits.


Art. 18. V. Suppose, however, an eventual Substitute located by the constituents. In the case of a vacancy, on the part of either Deputy or Substitute, here would be a demand for a fresh election. But, while the process of election was going on,—here would be but one of the two on the spot, and during that time there would be the same danger of want of attendance, as if no such provision of an eventual Substitute had been made.


Art. 19. VI. On this supposition, too, comes the vexation and expense of the Election: loss of time on the part of all who attend: expense of journey to and fro and demurrage, on the part of many: and, from all this loss, no assignable advantage in any shape obtained.


Art. 20. VII. Antecedent to the close of the Session, which, under the here proposed annuality of Election, is the same thing with the death of the Legislature,—there would be a certain number of days occupied by the Election process: during this time, the vacancy would of necessity remain unsupplied.


Art. 21. VIII. So likewise, a greater number of days, during which a still longer vacancy would be produced by another cause. The utmost service that could be looked for at the hands of a new Member or Substitute, in the course of so short a time, would be regarded as not capable of compensating for the vexation and expense of the Election process, as above.


Art. 22. IX. If the provision of a Substitute be made by the Electors, it must be at an expense charged upon the public: if by the Deputy himself, it may be made without expense: in the metropolis, for as many days in the year as can present the demand, sufficiently apt men in sufficient number, able and willing to serve, for so many different portions of so short a length of time, in so high a situation, without pecuniary retribution,—and taken together for the whole of it, one after another,—never can be wanting. Then, as to pay,—suppose the Substitute paid, and paid by the public, his pay will require to be at least equal to that of his Principal. It will, in truth, require to be greater; for, to that same Principal belongs the whole of the power; to the Substitute no part at all, except such, if any, as the Principal feels the desire, or lies under the necessity, of imparting to him: which is what can no otherwise be done, than by forbearing himself to exercise it. This being the case, if a Substitute, engaging for constancy of attendance, can be had gratis, much more can the Principal—the Deputy; and whatsoever pay, if any be necessary, suffices for the Substitute, still less will suffice for that same Principal.


Art. 23. X. Positive good effects that afford a promise of being produced by this arrangement are as follows:—

1. Increase given to appropriate aptitude in all its branches, by admission given to persons who otherwise would have stood excluded. A person who, though in respect of such his aptitude, is the object of universal confidence, would, through old age or infirmity, have been incapacitated from, or disinclined to, the subjecting himself to any such constancy of attendance as is as above required under the notion of its being indispensable,—may, by the here proposed relief, be disposed to take upon himself the trust.


Art. 24. XI. So, in like manner, a person who, though recommended to the notice and favour of the Electors by pre-eminent pecuniary responsibility, would otherwise, by the indolence naturally attendant on opulence, be deterred. In this case, as in the former, the natural subject of the proposed Deputy’s choice would be some person, by whose appropriate aptitude, in the situation of Substitute, honour would, in the opinion of the Depute, be done to that same choice.


Art. 25. XII. In both these cases, an opening is made for new men, in whose instance a special promise of appropriate aptitude is afforded; afforded, and, by means and motives, beyond such as are likely to have place on the part of a majority of the Electors.


Art. 26. XIII. Attached to the situation of Deputy, here, in both these cases, would be patronage: and from this patronage, the value of the situation would, in the eyes of candidates and competitors, receive increase. True it is, that, in other cases, patronage is a source and instrument of corruption: not so in this case. In no shape is any advantage given, which is not altogether dependent upon the free will of the people in the quality of Electors. In the case of the approved and respected patron, may be seen a promise of moral, in that of the opulent patron, of pecuniary responsibility; in that of the subject of their choice, a promise of appropriate intellectual and active aptitude.

Instructional. Ratiocinative.

Art. 27. What is above, considered,—it may be worth further consideration, whether it might not, with advantage and safety, be left at the option of every Deputy, whether to attend in his own person or by such his Substitute: attendance, on the part either of the one or the other, being unremittingly enforced. As to the public, it has been seen that it would be likely to be a gainer by this indulgence: and, it does not appear, whence suffering or danger in any shape can come: as to the individuals in question, the advantage, in various shapes, to them is obvious and out of dispute.

Instructional. Ratiocinative.

Art. 28. For distinction’s sake, that is to say, for pointing, in a more particular manner, the eyes of the people upon the conduct of the Substitutes, and in this point of view upon that of their respective locators,—might it not be of use that they should wear some conspicuous habiliment? for example, across the shoulders a broad ribbon, on which are marked, in universally conspicuous letters, their official denominations?


Art. 29. So also, in the case of the Members of the proposed Continuation Committee; as to whom, see section 24, Continuation Committee.


Art. 30. On every day, on which the seat of any Member in the Assembly shall have remained vacant, neither the Deputy, nor any Substitute of his being on service,—notice of such absentation will, by the Registrar, be entered in the register of the assembly; and placards in sufficient number forthwith transmitted to the Election Clerk of the District, by whom they will be posted up on the outside of his official edifice, in conspicuous situations appropriated to the purpose.


Art. 31. If, within [7] days after such day of default, no Excuse paper, stating the inevitable cause of such vacancy, shall have been delivered in to the Registrar,—information of such further default will be transmitted by him to the Election Clerk in his District; and, at the same time, to the Election Minister, at the seat of the Assembly. On the receipt thereof, the Minister will forthwith transmit to the Election Clerk his mandate, ordering for the district in question, a fresh election. For the excuses, allowable on different occasions, for failure of attendance and other compliances where and when due, see the Procedure Code.


Art. 32. If an Excuse paper, as above, be delivered in,—the Assembly will, in the first place, pronounce as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the excuse. In case of its insufficiency, the Legislature will give orders for a fresh election, as above; and as to the Substitute, who likewise will, in this case, have made default, it will either content itself with rendering the default universally known by appropriate publication, or in case of need proceed to punishment, as per section 28, Legislation Penal Judicatory.

Section XXIV.

Continuation Committee.

Enactive. Ratiocinative. Instructional.

Art. 1. Lest, by the exit of Members, by whom introduction or support has been given to useful arrangements, any such arrangement should, after proposal and acceptance, be lost or deteriorated,—as also lest the appropriate intellectual and active aptitude produced by experience should, by such secession, be rendered less than, without prejudice to appropriate moral aptitude,—to wit, to length of exposure to corruption from the Executive,—it may thus be made to be,—each Legislature, antecedently to its outgoing, will elect a Committee, the Members of which,—to the number of from [seven] to [twenty-one,] or more,—will, under the name of the Continuation Committee, under the direction of the Legislature, apply their endeavours, collectively or individually, in the next succeeding legislature, to the carrying on of the designs and proceedings of the then next preceding Legislature, in an unbroken thread.


Art. 2. Locable in the Continuation Committee is, in each year, not only every Member of the outgoing Legislature, but every Member of the Continuation Committee, serving in that same Legislature. Thus may any person serve as a Continuation Committee-man for any number of successive years.

Enactive. Ratiocinative.

Art. 3. A Continuation Committee-man has, for the above purpose, on every occasion, right of argumentation and initiation, or say of speech and motion: but, not having been elected by the people, he has not a vote.


Art. 4. Subject to any such alteration as the Legislature may at any time think fit to make, the pay of a Continuation Committee-man is the same as that of a Deputy.


Art. 5. Question 1. Why make provision for the continuation of proceedings, which, having been commenced under one Legislature, would otherwise have been dropped, for want of being continued under the next?

Answer. Reasons. I. If for this purpose, no provision were made, useful arrangements, to the importance, extent, or number of which no limits can be assigned, may experience a delay, to which also no limits can be assigned. Say Time lost.


Art. 6. II. Others, of which at the time the need may in any degree have been, or even may continue urgent, may, by some temporary accident, be prevented from even being so much as proposed. Say Good measures lost.


Art. 7. III. In whatever instance, in the hope of consummation, proceedings, having been instituted, have by the extinction of the Legislature been left unfinished,—here is so much of the time employed in them consumed in waste. Say Functionaries’ time wasted.


Art. 8. IV. True it is—that, in this case, though the legislative arrangements, with a view to which the proceedings were commenced, have not taken place,—yet, in the course of these same proceedings, information more or less valuable will commonly have been obtained. But, on the other hand, in so far as information, elicited on behalf of a proposed arrangement, has not been accompanied with such information as, in case of completion would have been elicited in opposition to it—here comes a proportionable danger, that the information thus obtained will be more or less delusive. Say Delusive information probabilized.


Art. 9. V. Arrangements, to the extent, number, and importance of which no limit can be assigned may,—in consideration of the length of time that would be necessary to the bringing to maturity the body of information necessary to constitute an adequate ground,—be precluded from being ever initiated, proposed, or so much as mentioned. The more extensive and important the arrangements, the more protracted the preparation will naturally be conceived to be: and the more protracted it is conceived to be, the more perfectly will all prospect of consummation be excluded. Say Improvement prevented from being so much as conceived.


Art. 10. VI. The shorter the life of the legislative body, the greater the evil in its above several shapes. Under the present proposed Code, this life is limited to a single year; or, in case of necessity, produced by distance of some parts of the territory from the seat of legislation, to, at the utmost, two years; and, the greater this distance, the greater will naturally be the length of time necessary to give completeness to the information.


Art. 11. VII. As the same Continuation Committee-man may be relocated by successive Legislatures in any number, there will be no limit but that of his life to the quantity of experience thus placed at their command.


Art. 12. VIII. True it is—that, in the practice of nations, no instance of any such provision is adducible. But, the absence of it may, without difficulty, be accounted for by other suppositions than that of its needlessness: to wit, by the vis inertiæ of government, by the natural blind continuance in the course continued in by predecessors, and by sinister interest, and interest-begotten prejudice, on the part of rulers.


Art. 13. IX. In the earliest ages, printing being unknown, writing—a jewel in the hands of the extremely few, travelling moreover unsafe and tedious, means of eliciting any such extensive body of information in a permanent shape were unattainable: in succeeding ages, when bodies having a sort of momentary and precarious share in legislation, were brought together, it was under the spur of temporary necessity for some one or two limited purposes:—commonly for no other but the obtaining a pecuniary supply: their convener, a Monarch, who, when once the purpose was accomplished, felt no motives for continuing, but the most irresistible ones for dismissing, as quickly as possible, such troublesome associates.


Art. 14. Question 2. Why not give to the Members of these Committees the right of voting?

Answer. Reasons. I. To the purpose for which the institution is proposed, that right is neither necessary nor subservient: Servants, not fellow Masters, these functionaries stand in this respect on the same footing with Ministers, to whom speech and motion without vote is given, as per Ch. ix. Ministers collectively. Section 24, Legislation—regarding functions.


Art. 15. II. Though, for the year during which they serve as Deputies with votes, they will have been chosen by their proper Constituents,—they will not have been chosen, by those same or any other Electors, for any one of the succeeding years, during which the need of their services, in the character of Continuation Committee-men, may come to have place.


Art. 16. III. For as much as, to the purpose in question, it may be necessary that the number of them should not be fixed,—the consequence is—that if they had votes, the power of keeping the number of the Members of the Legislature in continued fluctuation would be, in case of such non-fixation, possessed by whatsoever authority they were located by.


Art. 17. IV. Supposing, as above, the right of voting not imparted to them,—they may, without difficulty or ground of objection, be located by their own colleagues, who, on this supposition, are, as will be seen, their only apt locators.


Art. 18. Question 3. Why thus give to their colleagues the location of these functionaries?

Answer. Reasons. I. In the possession of these their colleagues will be the best evidence, whereon to pass judgment on their appropriate aptitude in all its branches: and in particular in the intellectual and the active, being those which, in their instance, are principally in demand: while, by their non-possession of the right of voting, will be obviated all danger and objection, on the score of any such deficiencies of appropriate moral aptitude, as might otherwise be the result of their length of continuance in office: a length which, after this precaution, may without danger be maximized. Influence of will on will, none: influence of understanding on understanding will be their sole influence.


Art. 19. II. In the possession of these their colleagues alone, will moreover be the evidence, whereon to judge of the nature and probable quantity, of the business for which their assistance will be needed, and thence of the number of them which that business may require.


Art. 20. III. The choice of Committee-men out of their own associates has, by universal need, been rendered the universal practice, on the part of the legislative and other numerous bodies.


Art. 21. IV. Take here for emblem Sisyphus and his stone. Sinister policy joins with ignorance and heedlessness in perpetuating the useless torment. The Continuation Committee system applies to the stone a board, which detains it at its maximum of elevation, and the next impulse given to it lodges it on the desired eminence.

Section XXV.

Relocable who.


Art. 1. No person who, for any District, has sitten as a Member of the Legislature, can, for that or any other District, be in that situation, relocated, unless, and thence until, of the persons who have served as Members, there exists at the time, a number thrice [or twice?] as great as that of the whole number of the Members, of whom the Legislative Body is composed.


Art. 2. For the ascertaining, on each occasion, the existence of this necessary number, it will be among the functions of the Legislation Minister, having before him the list of the Members of the Legislature, to keep account, and for the several years to mark off, as the occurrences take place, the several quondam Members, who, by death or otherwise, have become definitively unrelocable.


Art. 3. For reasons for Art. 2, and for the locability of a Member in the Continuation Committee of the next year, see section 24, Continuation Committee.

Ratiocinative. Instructional.

Art. 4. A position, upon which the here-proposed arrangement is grounded, is—that, without non-relocability—and that for a term sufficient to present to the Electors two sets at least of competitors, the number of whom, when added together, shall be little or nothing less than the double of that of the situations to be filled,—any supposed opening, for improvement or correction of abuse, will be but illusory: for that, unless it be in a number insufficient to produce any effect, the set of men located at the first Election will, to every practical purpose, continue in place, on all subsequent Elections; just as they would have done had there never been any Elections by which they could be dislocated.

Ratiocinative. Instructional.

Art. 5. If the number of persons capable of being competitors be short of this,—all the effect, produced by the elimination and election process, will be,—the adding to the original number of the acting managers, a certain number of dormant ones, who will be all along sharers in the latent profits of the power, without being sharers in the responsibility attached to the open exercise of it.

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 6. Joint proprietors of a fund, for whatever purpose established, suppose an indefinite and ever-changing number, having for its limits the original number of the transferable shares. Number of original managers during the first year of the institution, say, for example, twenty-four: of these, eighteen stay in, without re-election; six only go out, and that of course, the first year, giving place, consequently, to six new ones, and so in every succeeding year. Of this arrangement, what is the result? Answer: Every year after the first,—total number, instead of twenty-four, thirty: whereof, twenty-four in possession: six others in expectancy only, but that expectancy sure. Thus is the election no more than an empty show: no proprietor, besides the six managers in expectancy, seeing any the least chance of his being elected, should he offer himself: accordingly, no such offer is ever made: whole number—thirty—revolve in a cycle, consisting of a short arithmetical repetend in the form of a circulate.

Exemplificational. Instructional.

Art. 7. In every instance in which the sort of arrangement in question has place, the truth of this theory stands demonstrated by experience. Witness the case of the East India Company: witness that of the Bank of England Company: witness that of the several minor companies, too numerous for enumeration, which have been organized upon the model of those two gigantic ones.

Exemplificational. Instructional.

Art. 8. In the case of the City of London, and its governing body, the Common Council, it stands exemplified, and receives a still stronger confirmation: in that case, the seats—not merely in a small proportion, as above, but the whole number—are at all Election times open, and the Elections have place in every year: yet, in the whole number, rarely indeed, except by death or resignation, does any change take place. Of this stagnation, what is the consequence? Answer:—What it cannot fail to be anywhere: imbecility, corruption—inaptitude in a word in every shape, comparison laid with the aptitude which might securely be substituted to it, by the here-proposed all-comprehensive temporary non-relocability system: and assuredly not at any less price.


Art. 9. For proof or disproof of this same position, the case of the Anglo-American United Congress, with its House of Representatives and Senate, presents another obvious and proper object of reference. But, in that case, circumstances occur which would render the examination tedious, and the result undecisive. The case is there a complicated one, complicated with that of the general system of government and state of society in other particulars: and where simple cases are sufficiently decisive, it would be lost labour to dwell on complicated ones: it would not have been mentioned but to show that it has not been overlooked.


Art. 10. For the same reason, nothing more is here said of the French Chamber of Deputies, under the Charter, with its provision for the annual elimination of one-fifth.


Art. 11. The same reason will serve for similar silence, on the present occasion, as to the case of the English House of Commons.


Art. 12. In conclusion, where for each situation, there are not at least two candidates, standing upon tolerably equal ground, all appearance of choice is, in a greater or less degree, illusory.


Art. 13. The contrivance has for its model that of the Juggler. Holding up a pack of cards, with the faces to the company,—“Young gentleman,” (says he to one of them) “fix upon which you please;” care being all the while taken that one and one alone shall be in such sort visible, as to give determination to choice.


Art. 14. Question 1. Why, during the time proposed, or for so much as any one session, exclude all persons who have served as Deputies, from serving again?

Answer. Reasons. I. Because from undiscontinued relocability, evil effects naturally flow, as will be seen, in all shapes.


Art. 15. II. To the public, whatever good could be expected from undiscontinued relocability, and undiscontinued relocatedness in consequence, is ensured, with addition, and without any evil, by the Continuation Committee institution, as above.


Art. 16. III. As to individual Deputies, no evil in any shape would be produced—no pain of privation—no disappointment: since no sooner did any one of them look to the situation, than the limits to his continuance in it would meet his eyes. True it is, that, in the case of a person whom the commencement of the authority of this Code might find in the possession of the situation in question, the exemption from uneasiness would not have place: and from this circumstance a proportionable obstruction to such commencement could not but reasonably be expected.


Art. 17. IV. As to the evil effects from undiscontinued relocability, they have for their immediate cause the probabilization of relative inaptitude in all shapes, on the part of the relocated functionary.


Art. 18. V. First, as to the inaptitude correspondent and opposite to appropriate aptitude in all shapes taken together. Under the circumstances in question, the undiscontinued relocability wants very little, scarce anything at all in effect and practice, of being tantamount to location for life: in the eyes of Electors in general, as well as their Deputies, non-re-election will have the effect of dislocation. The Deputy who has served his one year has, at the Election of the second year, possession to plead, and his services that have been performed in the course of that same first year. Be those services ever so slender, no equal plea can be put in by a competitor, who not having served at all, has not had the possibility of rendering any such services.


Art. 19. VI. Next, as to moral inaptitude in particular. In the natural course of things, this disqualification, so far as it is constituted by corruptedness, will be universal. Corruptees, these same relocated Members: corruptors, with or without design, in the superior regions, the two great givers of good gifts—the Prime Minister, and the Justice Minister: in the inferior regions, the leading men among each deputy’s electors.


Art. 20. VII. Matter of corruption, the aggregate of these same good gifts, attached to the several official situations, as to which they are locators: elements of this aggregate—Contents of this cornucopia, money, money’s worth, power, (power of patronage included,) and reputation, comprising whatsoever dignity, or say distinction, stands inseparably attached to these same situations: the two other ingredients in the official cornucopia of a Monarchy—to wit, ease at the expense of duty, and vengeance at the expense of justice being, it is hoped, excluded pretty effectually from that of the present proposed Constitution, by various appropriate arrangements, pervading the whole texture of it.


Art. 21. VIII. Efficient cause of corruption in this case, expectation of the eventual receipt of some portion or portions of that same matter, in case of compliance with the several wills, declared or presumed, of the corruptors.

Here, as elsewhere, let it never be out of mind—it is not so much by the actual receipt of these objects of desire that the corruptedness is produced, as by the eventual expectation of them: for by the receipt in one instance, it is not produced any otherwise than in so far as receipt is necessary to engender and keep alive expectation in other instances.


Art. 22. IX. Corruptees, per contrà, those same corruptors above-mentioned. Elements of the matter of corruption in their situations—1. Increase of power; 2. Diminution of responsibility—restrictive, or say refrenative, responsibility.


Art. 23. X. Thus in the superior regions: in the inferior regions, Corruptors the leading men among the Electors: matter of corruption, the benefit of their influence with those their colleagues. Corruptees per contrà, those same leading men. Elements of the matter of corruption in their situation: 1. Such portions of the matter of corruption as are of too little value to be objects of concupiscence to the Deputies for themselves or their connexions: 2. Gratification, from courtesy and flattery received and expected from their Deputies, in consideration of the support received or expected: 3. Benefit to the particular local interest, or supposed interest, of the District they belong to, at the expense of the general interest of the State.


Art. 24. XI. Correspondent per contrà corruptees in this case, these same corruptors. Matter of corruption in this case, 1. at the hands of the eventually re-elected Deputy, expectation of good things of minor value, not good enough to be worth the acceptance of Deputies or their connexions, and thus obtainable from the favour of the above-mentioned Arch-corruptors: 2. Expectation of courtesy and flattery at the hands of these same Deputies, in return for the favours looked for by them, as above. As to the good things just mentioned, the original source from which they will in great part, perhaps in most part, be looked for, is the favour of the Arch-corruptor above-mentioned: the channel through which they will be regarded as flowing, being the favour of the several also above-mentioned Sub-corruptors.


Art. 25. XII. Under the influence of this corruption, the greater number of the members will naturally be found belonging to one or other of two classes: those who have nothing but votes to sell, and those who, besides votes, have talents to sell. As to comparative prices; of the vote-seller, the price will not deviate much from uniformity: of the talent-seller, the price will not only rise above that of the vote-seller, but swell to an amount to which no determinate limit can be assigned: no limit other than that which bounds the aggregate value of all that the above-mentioned arch-givers of good gifts have to bestow, and that which, for himself and his connexions of all sorts, the Deputy in question is capable of receiving. As to the talents, they may be distinguished into talents for speaking and talents for management. As between these, the highest price will, in general, be obtained by the talents for speaking, these being at once the more rare, and by much the more conspicuous.

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 26. Thus, on this part of the moral world, is the attraction of corruption not less universal than the attraction of gravity in the physical world: and, in the present case, every year, the cohesion of which the matter of corruption is the cement, will be closer than in all former years.

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 27. As is the blood of man to the tiger who has once tasted of it, so are the sweets of office to the functionary who has once tasted of them. Seldom by anything but hopelessness of re-enjoyment will the appetite be extinguished.


Art. 28. But, though the power of the matter of corruption is naturally thus efficient, some length of time, different according to idiosyncrasy and other circumstances, will be necessary to the production of the effect: for, though, for the formation of the virtual contract, converse and particular explanations between the parties may be unnecessary,—not so such means of acquaintance with one another’s dispositions as are requisite to form a ground for practice; and, for the obtainment of this information, a certain length of time is generally necessary. Hence, in the antisceptic regimen, one general rule. In the case of every two functionaries whose situations operate upon each other with a corruptive influence, minimize the time of contact. But for this resource, all endeavours to obviate the contagion might be hopeless: but, this resource being at command, the case is by no means desperate.

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 29. Emblem, the red hot roller, under which, for smoothing, a stuff is passed without injury. Allow to the time of contact a certain increase, the stuff is in a flame.


Art. 30. Of the principle here in question, ulterior application will be seen made, in so far as the nature of the case admits; and in particular in the Judiciary department. See Ch. xii. Judiciary collectively, section 17, Migration.


Art. 31. Though, to the extent to which it is applicable with advantage, the principle has not perhaps been applied in any country,—there is not perhaps any in which, more or less application has not been made of it.

Instructional. Ratiocinative.

Art. 32. Of the sole reason for the undiscontinued relocability system, on the ground of utility, the essence is contained in the word experience. But, on the occasion here in question, the idea commonly attached to this word wants much of being clear or sufficiently comprehensive.—Experience is applicable to two different situations—1. To that of the Deputies; 2. To that of the Electors. On this occasion, that of the Deputies seems to have been the only one commonly thought of. Moreover, on the occasion of the application thus made of it, the idea attached to it seems to have been vague and indeterminate. To fix it, the expression must be changed, and to the indeterminate expression experience, the so thoroughly determined expression, appropriate aptitude, substituted. Now, to the most important branch of appropriate aptitude, namely, the moral, the system in question has just been shown to be not only not favourable, but positively and highly adverse. Remain the two other branches of the aptitude, namely, the intellectual and the active. True it is, then, that, considered apart from the moral, to these it cannot but be acknowledged to be, generally speaking, favourable: but, in the moral branch suppose a deficiency, any increase in these two branches, so far from raising the degree of aptitude, taken in the aggregate, may, as has been seen, lower it.


Art. 33. Here, then, comes in one great use of the Continuation Committee: to the Members, as such, the right of speech and that of motion being alone given, and that of voting being discarded. Thus it is—that, by means of this engine, a supply of intellectual and active aptitude may be kept up, without any the least diminution of moral aptitude; a supply, and that susceptible of increase, as long continued as any which, by undiscontinued relocability and relocation, could have been provided at the expense of moral aptitude.


Art. 34. After all, where, on this occasion, experience is ascribed to the situation of the functionary in question, of what qualification, on his part, under that name, can there be any reasonable assurance? From his merely filling the situation, if that be all, nothing can be inferred; and, unless this or that individual be in view, this is all that can, on any sufficient grounds, be affirmed. Upon the attention bestowed upon the business to which his situation puts it in his power to apply his mind, will depend whatever aptitude he may possess in either of the two branches; take away the attention, the experience amounts to very little: that is to say, to the present purpose: for another there is, as will be seen, with reference to which this little will be considerably better than nothing.

Exemplificational. Instructional.

Art. 35. For an example, look to the English Legislative Assemblies, and in particular to the House of Lords. Here you may see beyond all doubt possession of the situation, possession on the part of hundreds, and on the part of each unit, whatsoever experience the possession cannot fail to give. Look at this experience, and then see what, in the case of the vast majority, is the produce, in the shape of any one of the branches of appropriate aptitude.


Art. 36. Remains now the experience considered as desirable in the situation of the Electors: experience as to comparative aptitude, as between Candidate and Candidate. As to this, see the next Article.


Art. 37. Question 3. Why not render the non-relocability perpetual?

Answer. Reason. That, for the choice of the Electors of each District, there may be, in a state capable of being, and not unlikely to be, competitors with each other, two persons at least,—of whose comparative appropriate aptitude in future, as to the situation in question, the Electors have had the means of judging, from observations made of their respective degrees of appropriate aptitude, in and for that same situation, as therein already manifested; which men may accordingly, relation had to that same situation, be termed tried men: and, in respect of the interest which the observers have had in the accuracy of the observation, the conduct of their Deputies being thus the concern of the Electors,—the Electors may thus, in the words of the common phrase, be said to have had experience of it. Suppose the relocability to have place from the first,—they would, as above, (vacancies by death, resignation, or the extremely rare case of dislocation excepted,) seldom have any to choose out of but the original stock; in which case, the Election process would be of little or no use: suppose no relocability to have place at any time, they would have no tried men—in the above sense of the word tried—to choose out of.


Art. 38. In the instance of each Deputy, after one year of service in that situation, for how many years shall his non-relocability therein continue? The choice seems to be between two years and three years. The country not being a given quantity, materials constituting a sufficient ground for a decisive answer, are not, it should seem, to be found. The following considerations will present to view the difficulty, and at the same time a circumstance which lessens it.


Art. 39. Make the interval of non-relocability too long, the danger is—1. That the chance or even the assurance, of repossessing the situation, will not be sufficiently attractive: the minds of those who would otherwise have been competitors, will have been turned off to other pursuits; 2. Moreover, the State will for so long have remained debarred from the benefit looked for, from the giving to the electors the choice as between men called tried men, as above. Note, however, that, supposing no failure in the number of these peculiarly apt competitors,—this effect extends not beyond the preparation period:—the first year, reckoning from the day of the adoption of the Constitution here proposed.


Art. 40. As to the circumstances, by which the difficulty is lessened, it consists in the multitude of situations which, in the instance of each such temporarily dislocated Deputy, will, under this Constitution, be open to his desires.


Art. 41. 1. In this one supreme legislature, there will be seen, as per Ch. v. Constitutive, section 2, Powers, a multitude of Sub-legislatures, exercising, each of them, though to less local extent, most of the functions of that one. In the Supreme Legislature suppose, by the Deputy in question, no more than a moderate share of appropriate aptitude manifested, and that for no more than one year—such manifestation made in such a place, cannot but be expected by him, and with reason, to operate as a powerful recommendation: particularly, that body of appropriate information considered, which, even though no outward manifestation of his having received it shall have happened to be given, cannot fail to have presented itself to his notice.

2. Ministerial situations, immediately under the Supreme Legislature, and thence under the Prime Minister. True it is—that, in these, the openings will be so few,—and the qualifications which will be found necessary, so rare,—that the number, by whom, for the present purpose, their situations can be looked to as a resource, will be proportionably small. Though the number of those same situations is thirteen,—whether for the filling them so large a number of persons will be necessary, will depend on local circumstances: and, in these same situations, instead of temporary non-relocability, the nature of the case will be seen to require perpetual continuance, saving special causes of dislocation. As to these Ministers, see Ch. xi. Ministers severally.

3. Under each Sub-legislature, a set of Sub-ministerial situations, wanting little of being equal in number to the above-mentioned Ministerial ones.

4. Situations in the Judiciary. In each Immediate Judicatory, four situations,—no one of them, with reference to the ex-functionaries in question, beneath acceptance. So likewise the same number in each Appellate Judicatory. True it is—that it will not be till a considerable time after the commencement of the constitution, that this resource will be open to them: nor then, except on the supposition of their having passed through the appropriate probationary period, and thereupon migrated for the time from the Judiciary into this transitory situation. As to this, see Ch. xii. Judiciary collectively. Section 28. Locable who.


Art. 42. On the first establishment of a Constitution, which is as much as to say on the first formation of a new State,—the people find themselves under a dilemma. Experience of the character of public men, with a view to their location in the several efficient situations, is at the same time pre-eminently desirable, and necessarily deficient; accordingly, that is the state of things, wherein arrangements, for stocking the establishment with such appropriate experience, are most needful. But, at that same period, men, in any tolerable degree possessed of appropriate aptitude will be most rare: and, at the same time, the need of appropriate aptitude for these same situations the most pressing. In this state of things, if on the part of the set of men first located, a degree of appropriate aptitude should chance to be possessed, sufficient for carrying on in any way the business of government,—the higher the degree of that aptitude, the greater may be the risk incurred, by the substituting, to the men by whom such appropriate experience has been had, other men by whom, and of whom, no appropriate experience at all has been had.


Art. 43. Exception made of the case of the new Republican States, sprung peaceably, as if in the way of child-birth, out of already established parent states, under the Anglo-American Confederacy,—new Republics will not have been seen formed, otherwise than by the complete subversion or dismemberment of Monarchical, Aristocratical, or Monarchico-Aristocratical Governments. But, it is only in consequence of an excessive degree of palpable misgovernment, (the case of England and its emancipated Colonies excepted,) that any such revolution has ever yet taken place: and, of such bad government, one never-failing effect has been—the rendering the people, in a degree proportioned to the badness of it, unapt for the business of government. When the power has come into their hands, appropriate aptitude, intellectual and active, sufficient for the throwing off the yoke of the old bad government, and for the formation of a new government, has indeed had place among them, by the supposition. But, in conjunction with this necessary existing minimum of intellectual and active aptitude, slight indeed is the degree of appropriate moral aptitude which, as above, can have had existence. As to that which consists in the being desirous of giving to the people at large the benefit of such degree of appropriate intellectual and active aptitude as the individual in question possesses, instead of giving that benefit exclusively to himself and his own particular connexions,—the total absence of it may not be inconsistent with a degree of intellectual and active aptitude, sufficient for the institution, and even for the continuance, of a government in the hands of the set of functionaries first located.


Art. 44. Of this state of things, exemplifications are but too abundant; and too notorious to need specifying.


Art. 45. Of this same state of things, one consequence is, that, in regard to the points here in question, scarcely can any arrangement be proposed, which does not lie open to objections,—and such objections as,—if considered by themselves, and without regard to the objections to which every arrangement differing from it stands exposed,—might not unreasonably be regarded as decisive.

Instructional. Ratiocinative.

Art. 46. Under these circumstances, of the two opposite risks, one or other of which cannot but be incurred, that incurred by undiscontinued relocability presents itself as the greatest; that by temporarily discontinued locability, as the least. Under undiscontinued locability, relocation of by far the greater number has been seen to be highly probable. Thus would it be, at the very next Election after that by which they were seated for the first time: and, whatsoever were the degree of their firmness in their several seats on the first re-election, at the time of every fresh election it will have received increase. But, in every situation, with length of possession, the appetite for power, far from experiencing diminution, experiences increase; and, in the situation here in question, while the appetite is thus receiving increase, so is the facility of gratifying it: to wit, from the strength, so necessarily given by habitual intercourse, to the connexion of those Members of the Supreme Legislative Assembly, with the unavoidably so constituted arch corruptors—the givers of good gifts—the respective heads of the Administrative and the Judiciary Departments, more especially of the Administrative. The consequence, if not absolutely certain, at any rate but too highly probable, is—a gradual but regular progression from a Representative Democracy to a Monarchicho-Aristocratical form of Government, working by fear and corruption, and thence to a Despotic Monarchy, with its standing army, working by fear alone, without need of corruption: everything going on from comparatively good to bad, and from bad to worse, till the maximum of what is bad is reached, and, bating the chance of a violent revolution, perpetuated.


Art. 47. Such, for example, was the course in which, at the time of the English Civil Wars, the Parliament, in conclusion called the Rump Parliament, had, at the time of its forced dissolution, been running, in consequence of the perpetual non-dislocability, which,—with intentions probably at the outset as patriotic at least as any which in any such situation were ever entertained,—the original members had succeeded in obtaining for themselves.


Art. 48. On the other hand, under the temporarily discontinued relocability system, if with a legislature composed, each year, of an entire new set of Members for three or even two years, the Government can but maintain itself in existence,—appropriate experience, on the part of Deputies and Electors, will go on increasing: corruption, to an extent capable of producing evil in a tangible shape, will, by means of the securities here provided against it, be excluded; and what change there is will be from good to better and better. For, by this change in the composition of the Supreme Legislature, no change as to the individual at the head of the Executive will be necessitated or so much as probabilized; and in him will be the powers of location and dislocation, as to all the other official situations, in which the business of Government is carried on.


Art. 49. As to the just mentioned securities—those which apply to the situation of the head of the Administrative Department—the Prime Minister,—in this way will be seen to operate—not only those which are placed in the Chapter denominated from that high functionary, but those also which are placed in the Chapter headed Ministers collectively, (Ch. ix.); namely, in section 15, Remuneration, section 16, Locable who, section 17, Located how, section 25, Securities, &c. For although, in a more direct and manifest way, they will be seen bearing upon the situations of those his several locatees, immediate subordinates, and dislocables,—yet, by the limits they apply to his choice when filling those several situations, and the checks they apply to the powers exercised by these his instruments, those securities, the application of which may, to a first glance, appear confined to those situations, may be seen moreover to apply, all of them, in effect, to his. But, neither do these, nor any others which could be added, bear upon the situation of Deputy, commissioned by the Electors to act in their behalf in that Supreme Legislative situation, which, as per Ch. iv. Authorities, is the Supreme Operative. All locators subordinate to the Members of the Legislature,—and at the head of them the head of the Administrative Department,—are responsible, legally as well as morally, as for all other exercises of their authority, so for every choice it falls in their way to make. Upon the situation of the Deputies of the people, no legal responsibility can attach, other than that which is constituted by the extraordinary and difficultly applicable, though indispensable, remedy, applied, should it ever be applied, by dislocation exercised at their charge by their respective Electors: upon the situation of the Electors themselves, neither can any legal, nor so much as any moral responsibility attach, consistently with the altogether indispensable freedom of their choice.


Art. 50. Meantime, in every situation, moral aptitude will depend upon the influence exercised by the Public-Opinion Tribunal, as will the efficiency of that influence upon the degree of liberty possessed by the press; and, under the best possible form of government, the sufficiency of that liberty will be in a lamentable degree dependent upon the particular structure of the minds of those in whose hands the reins of Government happen, at the outset, to be placed. The Anglo-American States, now so happily confirmed in the possession of a form of Government, the only as yet fully settled one, which, in an enlightened age, deserves the name of a Government—were for years within an ace of losing it. From 1798 to 1802, a law was in force, having for its object the saving the rulers, wherever they were, from the mortification of seeing any disapprobation of their conduct, expressed in terms, other than such as they themselves would approve of; and, by those who afterwards had the magnanimity to expose themselves to it, a trial, the severest, perhaps, that a man in power is capable of undergoing, was submitted to.


Art. 51. In England, by a mixture of magnanimity and weakness—in what proportion cannot as yet be known—the example, to a degree not less astonishing than laudable, has been for some time copied. In this, as in all cases in which tyranny has been relaxed, the danger is—lest, by gratitude, the people should be betrayed into a greater degree of confidence, than, even under the best possible form of Government, can find a sufficient warrant.


Art. 52. Objections to the temporary non-relocability system, with answers.



1. By the non-relocability system, temporary as it is, freedom of choice is, for the time taken away.

2. To every irreproachable Member, dislocation from his situation—dislocation, and for so long a term, and without so much as any imputation of misbehaviour, will be productive of suffering, and that unmerited.

3. Power, so small in respect of its duration, no person, endowed with adequate appropriate aptitude in all its several branches, would vouchsafe to accept.



1. Of no use is freedom of choice, otherwise than as a security for appropriate aptitude on the part of the object of the choice. But, until the proposed term of non-relocability is expired, freedom of choice is not, (it has been shown,) conducive in any degree to the location of appropriate aptitude: it is, on the contrary, in a high degree conducive to the location of inaptitude; of inaptitude, as to every branch of appropriate aptitude. When the non-re-locability ceases to operate as a bar to aptitude, it is here removed.

2. Productive of suffering? Yes, if unexpected, and thence he unprepared for it: to wit, pain of disappointment. But, every one being completely prepared for it, no such suffering can have place. As his location cannot be effected without his own consent,—if upon the whole the enjoyment were not expected by him to be preponderant over all suffering, he could not be in the situation in which, by the supposition, he is.

3. Yes: persons in abundance. Even supposing the situation of Member of the Legislature led to nothing else, instances of situations which, though much less desirable, are objects of extensive competition, may be seen in every state. But, over and above the facility for obtaining, at the hands of Ministers, desirable situations for his friends, an advantage, the complete prevention of which, how desirable soever, is impossible, is—that the seat in the Legislature is a stepping-stone into divers other seats: to wit, 1. In the Continuation-Committee; 2. In the next Sub-legislature; 3. At the expiration of the non-relocability term, a seat in the Legislature, and thence again into a Continuation-committee.

Instructional. Ratiocinative.

Art. 53. Comparative view of the undiscontinued locability and the temporary non-relocability system. Upon the whole, as between the temporary non-relocability system, coupled with the Continuation-Committee Institution on the one part, and the undiscontinued relocability system on the other, the points of comparison may be summed up as follows:—


Temporary non-relocability and Continuation-Committee System.

1. By the prospect of a situation in the Committee,—it secures, on the part of all apt Members, together with the desire of that situation, prospect of competition; thence exertion, and by exertion, maximization of appropriate aptitude in all its branches.

2. The term of non-relocability expired, it secures, in a number proportioned to the length of the term, tried men, out of whom, on the election of Members of the Legislature, the Electors will have their choice: and at the same time opens the door to men as yet untried, who, under the other system, would have regarded it as shut.

3. It keeps on foot a select body of appropriate political watchmen without doors, engaged by interest in their quality of leading Members of the Public-Opinion Tribunal, to keep watch on the conduct of their rivals and future competitors—the Members of the Legislature in the several years.

4. It secures for the Sub-legislatures a supply of appropriate aptitude, such as they could not, by any other means, be provided with.

5. It thereby affords to the Legislature a probable supply, more or less extensive, of functionaries, who, to the stock of national knowledge and judgment, acquired in the Legislature, have added a stock of local knowledge and judgment, acquired in Sublegislatures.


Undiscontinued re-locability System.

1. No such prospect, no such motive for exertion: for the being re-elected, the negative merit of not having given offence to individuals will, on the part of a great majority, suffice.

2. On no occasion, unless by accident, and that not likely to be frequent, does it admit of the non-relocation of the person once elected, howsoever unapt: nor accordingly does it lay open the choice.

3. It provides no such security for appropriate aptitude, in any shape, on the part of the Members of the Legislature.

4. It affords no such supply.

5. No such supply.


Art. 54. Question 1. Why, to the security provided in section 20, Attendance and Remuneration, for each day’s attendance, by forfeiture of that day’s pay, add the further securities in this present section provided?

Answer. Reasons. Against non-attendance on particular days, not only the mere loss of those days’ pay, but even the utmost penal security applicable in a pecuniary shape, would necessarily be insufficient: inadequate would be not only the mere withdrawal of remuneration, but any positive fixed mulct that could be applied. To men of a certain elevation in the scale of opulence, a pecuniary punishment that might generally even appear excessive, would even operate as a licence: to some even as an object of mockery. In this case, therefore, as in every other for securing compliance, no instrument other than punishment, in such amount as to be sure of operating in that character, and in such sort as to outweigh the utmost profit by the offence, could have been sufficient. Applied to the Principal alone, or the Substitute alone, even this sort of security could not be sufficient: by allegations, the falsity of which could not be sufficiently made manifest, either would be able to shift off the blame from himself, and fasten it either upon the other, or upon accident.


Art. 55. Question 2. Intending to provide additional securities so much more efficient, and of themselves so sufficient, why commence with a security, the effect of which is thus precarious?

Answer. Reasons. I. As far as it goes, pecuniary punishment, in this mildest of all forms, is the most secure of execution that the nature of the case admits of; and, to a considerable extent, efficiency would not be wanting to it.

II. In the case of the several subordinate situations, it appeared indispensable: and to have withholden the application of it to this, would have been contributing to the propagation of mischievous delusion, by attributing to all men, to whom it shall have happened to be located in this situation, a needless and delusive character of peculiar dignity, independent of good desert.

Section XXVI.

Wrongful exclusion obviated.


Art. 1. The case of partial exclusion by force or fraud, or extraordinary accident excepted,—against deficiency in respect of plenitude of attendance, and thence risk of fluctuation, in legislative arrangements, provision, such as appeared sufficient, has been made, in and by former sections: viz. section 18, Attendance—section 19, Remuneration—section 20, Attendance and Remuneration—section 23, Self-suppletive function—section 24, Continuation Committee—section 25, Relocable who—remains, as a case calling for provision, that of a temporary deficiency, produced by one or other of the three just mentioned causes.


Art. 2. On each occasion, the authority belongs to the majority, of the Members then present, at the appropriate place of meeting.


Art. 3. If, by force, artifice or accident, any Member or Members, who would otherwise have been present, have been prevented from being so, the proceeding is not, by any such impediment, rendered null and void. But, supposing the fact of such impediment established, and the case such, that the number so excluded would, had it been present, have composed, with the addition of that of the others, a majority on the other side,—a declaration to that effect will naturally be passed; and things will be placed, as near as may be, on the same footing, as if the Members, so excluded, had been present.


Art. 4. If the exclusion has had force or artifice for its cause, all persons, Members and others, intentionally concerned in the production of it, will, at the discretion of the majority, be compensationally, as well as punitionally and dislocationally responsible. As to this, see section 28, Legislation Penal Judicatory.


Art. 5. If, in the bringing about any such fraudulent exclusion, any Member, or other functionary, dislocable by the Constitutive Authority, has been purposely concerned, here will be another occasion for the exercise of its incidental dislocative, as per Ch. v. Constitutive, section 2.

Section XXVII.

Legislation Inquiry Judicatory.


Art. 1. By a Legislation Inquiry Judicatory, understand a Judicatory, by which, on any particular occasion, by the hands or the authority of the Legislature, for the purpose of constituting a ground for its ulterior proceedings, and in particular for the enactment of a new law, evidence is elicited. To no other purpose does this Judicatory act. By this circumstance it stands distinguished from a Judicatory ordinarily so called: and by this circumstance alone are the powers and mode of proceeding distinguished from those, by which, in an ordinary Judicatory, a ground is made for definitive judication: as to these, see Arts. 16, 18, 19, 29, 30.

Enactive. Instructional.

Art. 2. By its own, or by other hands, the Supreme Legislature will give exercise to this branch of its power, according to the nature of each individual case.


Art. 3. By whichsoever hands exercised, the sort of function, exercised by exercise given to these powers, is termed the evidence-elicitative function; or, for shortness, the elicitative function.


Art. 4. Principal, or say effective, call the purpose, to which the imperative, (including the enactive,) function of the Legislature is exercised; preparatory or preparative, that to which the elicitative is exercised.


Art. 5. Correspondent to the imperative function in the exercise of Legislative, is that same function when performed in the exercise of judicial authority. In the one situation as in the other, on every occasion, it were (as will be seen in Art. 17) desirable, were it practicable, that of both functions—the principal and the preparatory—the exercise were the work of the same hands. But, of this desirable purpose, the accomplishment will, in the one situation as in the other, to a more or less considerable extent, be found impracticable. What remains is—to maximize the accomplishment of it, in so far as may be, without the introduction of preponderant evil from other sources.


Art. 6. Whether, without preponderant evil in other shapes, this preparatory function can be exercised by the hands of the Legislature itself, will depend—partly upon the quantity of its applicable time, partly upon the importance of the occasion and the purpose. On the occasion of each individual inquiry, it will depend—partly upon the presumable importance of the result, partly upon the quantity of time requisite for an adequate exercise of the elicitative function, partly upon the quantity of applicable time, which, at the moment, the Legislature has at its disposal, and not called for by other purposes of superior importance. But rare in the extreme are, as may have been seen, the cases, in which, for this subordinate purpose, any of the Legislature’s applicable time can be spared. See section 1, Powers and Duties.

Instructional. Expositive.

Art. 7. Evidence ready elicited, evidence requiring to be elicited, or in one word say elicitable. Under one or other of these denominations will come whatsoever evidence can, on any occasion, need to be under the eye of the Legislature. Under the appellation of evidence ready elicited, comes the whole stock of that which, for all occasions together, for judicial and legislational purposes together, has been elicited and preserved. In consideration of this distinction, it has been characterized by the denomination of preappointed evidence.

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 8. Of preappointed evidence, examples are as follow—1, The aggregate mass of scriptitiously expressed evidence, (as to which, see Art. 11,) composed of exemplars, of the several documents emanating from, or recorded in, the Register Books, belonging to the several offices contained in the official establishment of the State. These documents constitute the subject-matter of the Universal Registration System, as to which see Ch. viii. Prime Minister. Section 10, Registration System.

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 9. 2.—In particular, the statements made and recorded under the care of Local Registrars, as per Ch. xxvi. Local Registrars. Section 5, Death-recording. Section 6, Marriage-recording. Section 7, Birth-recording. Section 8, Maturity-recording. Section 10, Post-obit-administration-granting. Section 11, Property-transfer-recording. Section 12, Contract-recording. Section 13, Extrajudicial-evidence-recording. Section 14, Subjudiciary topographical function.


Art. 10. Oral or epistolary—in one or other of these two modes or forms, will be elicited, whatsoever evidence, on the occasion and for the sort of purpose in question, requires to be elicited in the form of discourse:—oral the mode, where the signs employed are of the evanescent, and unless in the extraordinary case of muteness or deafness, of the audible kind: opistolary, where expressed by signs of the permanent kind made by the operation called writing, or the operations substituted to it—say, in one word, by scriptitious signs.


Art. 11. Note, that as to elicitation, it may, on the part of the elicitor, or say elicitator, be either passive or active: passive, in so far as the discourse brought into existence is delivered spontaneously, by him whose discourse it is: the elicitee being occupied with it in no other way than by receiving it: active, in so far as extracted from him by the elicitor, by means of questions, or say interrogatories, actual or virtual: in which last case the elicitor is interrogator, or say examiner; the person, to whom a question is addressed, interrogatee, or say examinee.

For the elementary functions comprised in the Evidence-elicitative function, see title Evidence in the Procedure Code, (vol. ii. p. 57.)

Expositive. Instructional.

Art. 12. Considered in respect of its source, the evidence to be elicited may be distinguished into personal and real: personal, in so far as it consists of a portion of discourse, uttered, as above, by some person: real, in so far as it is afforded by the condition or appearance of some thing or assemblage of things, or by a person otherwise than by means of human action or discourse, as in the case of a wound or bruise sustained. Evidence, in the scriptitious form, is, in respect of the things signified, personal; in respect of the signs, real. So far as the evidence is, as above, personal,—he, whose discourse it is, may be termed a testifier, or say testificant: so far as it is real, the thing or things which are the sources of it, whether they belong to the class of moveable or to that of immoveable objects, will commonly be in the custody of some person. Spoken of with reference to the source of evidence so possessed by him, this person will be an Evidence-holder. To a person in either of those characters, or in both, may an authoritative mandate, issued for the obtainment of evidence—say an evidence-requiring mandate—be to be addressed.

Instructional. Expositive.

Art. 13. In so far as it is by hands other than those of the whole Legislature, that the evidence sought by it is elicited, or endeavoured to be elicited,—the hands by which it is thus elicited or endeavoured to be elicited, may be said to be those of a Committee, say an Evidence-elicitation Committee: as to which, see Art. 23 to 26.


Art. 14. 1. With what powers;—2, of what person or persons consisting;—3, at what time or times;—4, in what place or places; and under what checks, may the operations of this same Legislation Inquiry Judicatory be most aptly carried on?

Correspondent to the unlimitedness of the demand, must be the extent and variety of the provision, made under these several heads, for the satisfaction of it.

Enactive. Instructional. Expositive.

Art. 15. Powers. For procuring and securing attendance, whether at the seat of Legislation or elsewhere, for the purpose of oral examination,—the Legislature will, of course, possess, and upon occasion exercise, all those which, by this Code and the Procedure Code connected with it, are given to ordinary Judges: and to these it will add all such, if any, as, being necessary to no other purpose than that of Legislation, will not have been instituted for the purpose of Judicature: as, for instance, the giving, on this occasion and to this purpose, unlimited exercise, to the function of eliciting information through the hands of Government Envoys to foreign Governments, or Government. Agents of all classes, resident in the dominions of foreign Governments: so, of functionaries belonging to the Army and Navy Sub-departments, and serving at the time in distant local fields of service.


Art. 16. In relation to power considered as applied, for the purpose of Legislation, to the extraction of evidence, or say appropriate information,—note here a disadvantage, under which Legislation lies, as compared with Judicature. The sort of negative information which is capable of being afforded by silence, in return for interrogation actual or virtual, being, to a comparatively inconsiderable, if any, extent, capable of being made subservient to the pur