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narchy in France is far from being fo dreadful as it was formerly: it is at prefent far from being violent or fanguinary; the manners of the people having the fame influence there that laws have in a free country. The King, delicate with refpect to his conduct, and dreading the censure of the world, is guilty of few exceffes; and the people, tame and submiffive, are easily kept in order. To be discharged the court for any misdemeanour, or to be relegated to his country-feat, is, to a gentleman of rank, more terrible than a capital punishment.
We finish this fhort effay with a comparifon of different governments as to the execution of laws. Laws relative to property and pecuniary intereft, are every where preserved in vigour, because the violation of them hurts many. Laws respecting the public are kept alive in a monarchical government; because the King, to whom execution of law is intrufted, feldom benefits by their tranfgreffion. For a fteady execution of fuch laws, a democracy has nothing to rely on but patriotism; and, when that fubfides, fuch
laws fall asleep. The reason is, that the powers, both of legislation and execution center in the people; and a multitude, frequently no better than a mob, will never, with conftancy, direct execution againft themselves.
Progress of States from fmall to great, and from great to fmall.
HEN tribes, originally fmall, fpread wider and wider, by population, till they become neighbours, the flightest differences inflame mutual averfion, and inftigate hoftilities that never end. Weak tribes unite for defence against the powerful, and become infenfibly one people: other tribes are fwallowed up by conquest. And thus ftates become more and more extenfive, till they be confined by natural boundaries of feas or mountains. Spain originally contained many fmall ftates, which were all brought under the Roman yoke. In later times, it was again poffeffed by many ftates, Chriftian and Mahometan, continually at war, till by conqueft they were united in one great kingdom. Portugal ill maintains its independency; a bleffing it owes to the weaknefs of Spain, not to advantage of fitua
tion. The small ftates of Italy were fubdued by the Romans; and those of Greece by Philip of Macedon, and his fon Alexander. Scotland escaped narrowly the fangs of Edward I. of England; and would at last have been conquered by its more potent neighbour, had not conqueft been prevented by a federal union.
But, at that rate, have we not reason to dread the union of all nations under one univerfal monarch? There are feveral caufes that for ever will prevent a calamity fo dreadful. The local fituation of fome countries, defended by ftrong natural barriers, is one of these. Britain is defended by the sea; and fo is Spain, except where divided from France by the Pyrenean mountains. Europe in general, by many barriers of feas, rivers, and mountains, is fitted for ftates of moderate extent not fo Afia, which being divided by nature into very large portions, is prepared for extenfive monarchies *. Ruffia is the only exception
* En Afie on a toujours vu de grands empires; en Europe ils n'ont jamais pu fubfifter. C'eft que l'Afie que nous connoiffons a de plus grandes plaines : elle eft coupée en plus grands morceaux par les montagnes
ception in Europe; a weak kingdom by fituation, though rendered formidable by the extraordinary talents of one man, and of more women than one.
A fecond caufe, is the weakness of a great ftate. The ftrength of a state doth not increase with its bulk, more than that of a man. An overgrown empire, far from being formidable to its neighbours, falls to pieces by its weight and unwieldiness. Its frontiers are not eafily guarded: witnefs France, which is much weakened by that circumftance, though its greater part is bounded by the fea. Patriotism vanishes in a great monarchy: the provinces have no mutual connection: and the diftant
et les mers; et comme elle eft plus au midi, les fources y font plus aisement taries, les montagnes y font moins couvertes des nieges, et les fleuyes, moins groffis, y forment des moindres barriers; L'Esprit des Loix, liv.
(In English thus: "In Afia there have always been great empires: fuch could never fubfist in Europe. "The reafon is, that, in Afia, there are larger plains, “ and it is cut by mountains and feas into more exten"five divifions: as it lies more to the fouth, its fprings "are more easily dried up, the mountains are less co"vered with fnow, and the rivers proportionally small"er, form lefs confiderable barriers.")