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Familiarity, Apathy, Danger

Familiarity, Apathy, Danger image
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Lord Boliugbroke, in ono of his political essays, says : "Every íorm of government hath advantages aud disudvanlages peculiar to tí. Thus, absolute monarohies sccmed most formod for sudden and vigorous efforts of power, either in attacking or defonditig, wbile, in free constitutious, the forins oí govornment must be neeesearily tiipre eoniplieated aud slow ; so that in theee the same secresy cannot always be kept, nor the same dispatch always made, nor the saine steadiness of measures always pursuud Must al! these forme, instituted to preserve the checks and controla of the several parts of the Constitutiou on one another, and necessary, by consequonce, to preserve the liberty of the whole, be abandoced, therefor, and a free conststution be destroyed, for the eako of soino little conveniency or expedieney the more in the administratie!) of public aftairs ? No, certainly. We must keep our free constilutious witli tbo small defects belonging to it, or we must chnnge it for an arbitrary governmeut, free, perhaps, from these defeets, but liable to more and worse. In short we must makt; our option - and surely this option is not hard to be made - belween the rea! and permanent blessings oí liberty, diftused throiigh a whole nation, and the fantastic and accidental advantages uhich tbey who govern, not the bodv of the people, ODJoy under absoute monarchies. I will not multiply insta neep, though they crowd in upon me. Two Consuls were chosen annually at Home, antf the pro-cnosular power in the goYernment of provinces waslirnited to a year. Several inconveniences aróse, no doubt, from the strict observation of this insütution. Someappear very plata in history, and we may assure ourselvfis that many arguments of conveniency, or expedieney, of preserving the tranquility of the city, and of giving strength and weight to the arrns and comísela of the commonwealth, were urged to prevail upon the people to dispense wïtk those institutions in favor cf Pompey and Caesar. What waa the consequence ? The pirates wofo extir patee!, tlie price of corn was reduced, Spaiu was held in subjeetion, Qaul was conquered, the Gei'inans were repulsed, Rome triiimpbed, her government flourisbed ; but her Constitution was deatroyed, her liberty was lost. The law nihabeas corpus, that noble badge of liberty, which every subject of Britain wears, and by which be is distinguished so eminently, not Irom the slaves alone, but even irom the freeinen of other countnes - the law t f habéis corpus, I say, may be attended. perhnps, with sorue little Dconveniences in times of sedition aud i ebellion. The slow methods of giving money, and the strict appropiiation of it when given, may be attended with some inoonveniency. likewise, in times of danger and in great exigencies of the State. But who will plead for the repeal of the haheas corpus act ? or who would not press for the revival of it, if it stood suspended for an indefinile, or even for a long term ? Who will say that this prac tice of giving inoney without account, or passing votes of credit by whioh the purse of the people is taken out oi the hands of those vvhom the people truated, and put in the hands of those whom they neither did nor would have trusted ; wbo will say that sueb a deviation from those rules of Parliament, which ought to be deemed saered and preserved Dviolate may be esta'jlifihed, or should not be opposed in all possible meanfi, if it was established The sight of the mind differs very much Irom the sight of the body, and its operations are Irequently the reverse of the other. - Objects'at a distanco appear to the former in their true magnitude and dimiu ih as they ure brought nearer. The event that created much astonisbment, indignation or terror in prospect, creates Ie88 aud loss as it approaches, and by the time it happens, men have familiarized themselves wnh it. If the Romans had been told in the days oí Augustus, that an Emperor would suoceed in whose reign a horse should be made consul, they would have been estremely surprised. I believe they were not so much surprised when the thing happened, when the horse was Consuiand Oaligula Ernpcror." Punch has the following ruotto for Semines' presentation sword : A fitting gift to one whose morit lay In being always prompt to Out Avvay. - a4-4 - 4-4-fc I i A lady who was a strict observer of etiquette, being unable to go to church one Sunday, sent her card. The mueic of a good many performers should be like the famous rnusic of the f-pheres - never heard.


Old News
Michigan Argus