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that they themselves were buried, or their children educated at the public expence. The love of science; and the love of the public is at variance with attention to private emolument. Shall it then be disreputable in a republic to be poor? Shall it operate as a crime and disqualify from the noblest function in society, the enacting laws?
But it is not so much, in the extension of the right of suffrage, as in a delicate and just use of it, that the democratic character consists. Will you see an upright citizen practise unfairness in an election; go upon the ground to canvass for himself, unless in the case of a ministerial office? and even in this, with great caution and forbearance. Will you see him substitute or change a ticket? much less introduce and obtain a vote for an unqualified individual? no upright man was ever capable of this. It is with the aristocracy or ambitious men that these arts are practised. They count it robbery to be stinted at an equal vote; and think it no injustice to make themselves whole by taking a plurality by whatever means in their power. This is all a usurpation of the sovereign authority; and in some republics has been punished with death. In countries where the government is a fraud upon the people, and the right of suffrage where it even partially exists, is but a name; it may be thought innocent to deceive, and to slur our votes. For it is a buying and selling throughout. The candidate buys the vote, and has in the mean time sold himself. He is oftentimes purchased, and paid in advance, and bribes with a part of the money that he gets. Not so in this heaven of liberty, where other stars glitter, where other suns and moons arise; this beautiful world of liberty, in these states. Perdition on the man that saps its foundation with intention; forgiveness, but reformation of error, to him who destroys it by mistake. And yet these last are more to be dreaded than the former. At least as much; because the error of opinion is equally fatal, though originating from a different principle of the mind, and oftentimes founded in virtue.
Who ever saw a good citizen keep an open house at an
election for a place in the legislative body? He is too poor, says one. He is poor because he is honest. At least being poor, he is honest. I have seen open houses kept in a republic; and private friendship, or personal safety has sometimes stood in the way of my endeavours to bring the persons to account. But disapprobation, and a portion of contempt has invariably attached itself to the transaction. What man can set the world right? The greatest self-denial is obliged to yield sometimes to personal considerations. Hence it is, that I have often been silent when I saw fraud, and unfairness before my eyes. Fraud in elections is at the root of all wickedness in the government of a republic. A man of just pride would scorn the meanness of succeeding by a trick; a man of proper sense would know, that in the nature of things, no good can come of elevation obtained by such means. Success by fraud, will never prosper. All men despise cheating at cards, or other games. He is turned out of company that is found guilty of it. And shall we restrain our indignation; or can we withhold our contempt when an individual is found cheating, not at a game of chance or skill amongst idle men; but in the serious business of real life, and the disposition of our lives, characters and fortunes? I pledge myself no good man is guilty of it are not good men. real masons. They have been will not be acknowledged. Thus it must be seen, I found republicanism in virtue; that is in truth, honour, justice, integrity, reason, moderation; civility, but firmness and fortitude in the support of right: quarter to error of opinion; and the aberrations of the heart; but death to ambition, and the vain desire of honour, without just pretension; and death to all knavery, and meditated hostility to the rights of
guilty of this; at least those They are not true brothers; made at a false lodge; and
Digressing a little, or rather returning to what I have said on the first point, the right of naturalization, I admit that emigrants come when they will, are likely to be in opposition to the existing government, or rather, administration. This depends upon natural principles. The govern
ments of Europe are most of them oppressive, and it is oppression that drives, in most instances, the inhabitant from amongst them. The poor or the most enterprising are those that emigrate. They have been in the habit of thinking of a reform, in the state of things in that country, from which they come; it is natural for them to think that a little touch of their hand may be still necessary here. Did you ever know a new physician called in that would not be disposed to alter the prescription, or to add to it? What occasion for him, if there was not something to be added, or retrenchment made? Or how can he shew himself, but in changing the medicines or the regimen. Extremes beget extremes in opinions, as well as in conduct. The extreme of government, where he has been, leads to licentiousness in his ideas of liberty, now where he is.
Besides it is in this revolution of administration, if he is an ambitious man, that he finds his best chance of ascending. He is therefore a demagogue before be becomes a patriot. I acquiesce, therefore, in the policy of our constitution, and our laws, which prescribe a kind of mental quarantine to the foreigner; though I incline to the generosity of those who think it unnecessary, and that such a great body of people have nothing to fear from the annual influx of a few characters, that may for some time, carry with them more sail than ballast. We had half Europe with us, in our revolution. We had all Ireland, the officers of government excepted, and even some of these. I therefore, do not like to see an Irishman obliged to perform a quarantine of the intellect. I think it contributes to sour his temper, and to fix a prejudice against the administration, under which the limitation has been introduced. However, this may be more splendid in theory than safe in experience, and I submit to the policy that has been adopted until the constituted authorities, shall think proper to regulate it otherwise. In the mean time, if this book should be read by any foreigner of high parts, and spirit, I would recommend it to him to suspend his judgment upon men and things, until he has examined well, the ground upon which he stands to repress am
bition and the desire of office, until unsought, it comes to him, during which time he may have become qualified to discharge it; and will have had an opportunity of finding out what he will finally discover, that the best men are the most moderate.
Intemperance of mind, or manner in a foreigner, gives colour to the imputation, that all are incendiaries. It be comes therefore, a matter of discretion, and just prudence, on his part, to be cautious in coming forward to take a lead in politics, until he has well examined the field of controversy. But because foreigners may abuse the privilege, I would not exclude them by a law, did the matter rest on first principles. I should think myself justifiable in excluding from my society, and the government I had formed, the inhabitants of another planet, could they come from thence; because I do not know the kind of nature they are of; but men of this earth, of similar forms, and of like passions with ourselves, what have I to fear from them? What right have we to exclude them? We are not born for ourselves; nor did we achieve the revolution for ourselves only. We fought the cause of all mankind; and the good and great of all mankind wished well to us in the contest. anxiety did we look to Europe, for assistance. assistance even from the good will of nations. vantage to have a popular cause in a war. to shut ourselves up in our shell, and call the society we have formed, our own exclusively? Suppose we had a right to the goverment exclusively, have we a right to the soil? That is ours, subject to the right of all mankind. Pre-occupancy can give a right, but to a small portion of the soil to any individual. To as much only as is reasonably necessary for his subsistence. All the remainder is a surplus, and liable to be claimed by the emigrant. If he cannot get his right under the great charter of nature, without coming within the sphere of our government, and we hinder him to establish a society for himself within ours, why abridge him even for a moment; of the rights, immunities, and privileges of that which we have instituted?
With what We derived
It is an adHave we a right
"Of the King's Prerogative." 1 Bl. Com. 246.
Is there any thing in the nature of a prerogative under our commonwealth? Unquestionably there is; and,
1st. In contemplation of law the people cannot be consisidered as having done wrong. Id quod sibi populus constituit, jus est. It is lawful and right whatever the people ordain. But occasional representatives may do wrong. For they may transgress the constitution. But the only remedy is the not delegating them again; and sending others who will repeal the act by which they had so transgressed; but,
2d. It is provided by the constitution, Art. 9., 10. that no man's property shall be taken, or applied to public use without the consent of his representative, and without just compensation being made." And this implies that the property of an individual may be taken away by law for a public purpose, the commonwealth making just compensation. This comes under the head of prerogative; for no individual can do this. The property cannot be taken away directly; so neither, I apprehend, can it be taken away indirectly; and the claim of a priority in a payment of debts, cannot exist under our constitution. For it is in fact taking away a man's property who has a right to be paid first; and to give this right of taking to the commonwealth where nothing will be left to discharge the debt due to the individual. In England a priority of payment, in the case of the king had some reason to support it, under feudal policy, according to the artificial structure of the system; but none under our commonwealth, where the people in whom the government is, may tax themselves ad libitum for its support. There is no necessity; and, there can be no right to alleviate the public burthens at the expence of a citizen, confiscating his debt, by giving a priority to the commonweath. There can be no necessity; for taxes can be laid and raised commensurate with the public exigencies; and bonds with sufficient security taken from official functionaries to secure duties to be performed or dues to be collected. There cannot be in the na