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gratified with the thought that so much eloquence should be uttered for his special instruction and delight. These two illustrations will serve to give some idea of the operation and effect of the power of government on the mind and conduct of the governed. But on the other hand, the steady eye of a people fixed upon the holders of the power of the state, has a wonderful effect. A people have only to agree among themselves what will be for their advantage, and be united in their demands, and the very expression of their looks is quite sufficient There was no mistaking the meaning expressed in the eye of the British people, in the year 1832. It made the hand of power tremble, and the consequence was the concession to the national demand of a more direct control over the measures of government
As it is maintained, that the control of subsistence constitutes political power, it follows that the glare of a famished people must be terrible to the possessors of that power. This being admitted, it will be for the interest of governments, and all bodies possessed of power, to shape their measures, so that the great mass of the community shall not feel in their personal circumstances, the immediate pressure of the power that rules them. There is a short-sightedness in a too selfish principle of government, which defeats its own object. There is an inquietude in the perseverance in acts of injustice, which has always been distressing and dangerous to government Governments are composed of men, and must be appealed to through the feelings of men, and state maxims and courtly influence must in the longrun give way to humanity. With governments as with individuals, justice, as well as honesty, ought to be the best policy.
In the observations which follow, deduced from various historical instances, an attempt is made to support the
position, th.it political power, whether exercised by a monarch or an oligarchy, and sacerdotal influence, are founded on a control of the subsistence of the vassals, and votaries.
When the Israelites first demanded to have a king to rule over them, the consequences were plainly told,—"And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your sheep; and ye shall be his servants." It would appear that bread, as a symbol of regal power, was put into the hand of Saul, the first king of the Jewish nation—for after Samuel had anointed him king, under the direction of God, he instructed him to proceed to his government, and on the way he would meet three men, who, said the prophet, "will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread, which thou shalt receive of their hands."*
About this time, however, they did require a king, "to go before them, and fight their battles." Never were a people so sunk in slavery, as the Jews were at this period of their history: their very existence was at the mercy of their enemies the Philistines. "Now, there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears; but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his spear, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock." "So it came to pass, in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan; but with Saul, and with Jonathan his son, was there found." It would appear from this account, that the despotism under which they groaned was of the severest nature, for they were not only deprived of arms, but every mouthful of their food was under the control of their tyrants, who would allow only on sufferance their agricultural instruments to be sharpened or repaired. In the Roman history, shortly after the expulsion of Tarquin, there occurs a parallel remarkably similar to this state of the Jews,— " The treaty with Porsenna prohibited the Romans from all use whatever of iron except in agriculture."*
* ] Samuel.
The Jews were indeed in a miserable plight: they were first exposed to priestly extortions—they were ground down by their enemies the Philistines—and in order to get out of their embarrassments, they submitted to a king, who took "their daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers." The following is a graphic account of sacerdotal proceedings some years previous to the election of Saul to the throne of Israel:—" And the priest's custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up, the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh, unto all the Israelites that came thither. Also, before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now;—and if not, I will take it by force."f Three thousand years have elapsed, since the case of rapacity described above, and during that long period, the weakness and credulity of mankind have been but too frequently imposed upon by the demand—"but thou shalt give it me now, and if not I will take it by force." At times, * Niebuhr's Rome. f 1 Samuel.
the people have been so abased, and priestly dominion in union with secular power has been so great, that multitudes "have come and crouched to it for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and have said—Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread."*
The history of every ancient people will furnish examples of conquest over the means of subsistence, and of the establishment of despotic power.
After a war of twenty years between Sparta and Messene, in Greece, the latter was brought under complete subjection. No direct tribute was imposed by Sparta, on the conquered people, but the terms demanded of them were, that one-half of the corn raised by the Messenians should be carried to the Spartan market; and, by way of homage, the Messenian men and women were bound to attend in mourning the funerals of Spartan kings, and chief citizens. At first, the Spartans treated the conquered people with lenity, but, as soon as they got their necks completely under the yoke by having secured their food, they began to insult them, and became insolent and overbearing, imposed heavy taxes on them, and gave over the unhappy Messenians to the avarice of the collectors, who committed the greatest outrages. Unmitigated tyranny was exercised; but at length, in this state of misery, a deliverer appeared. Aristomenes whispered to his degraded countrymen, and roused them to vengeance, and, after the first successes over the Spartans, was saluted king by his excited and grateful compatriots.
After a series of successes and defeats, Aristomenes was shut up with the remains of his army in fort Ira, where he was besieged for eleven years. He sallied out, was routed, and after many extraordinary escapes from destruction, he again appeared in arms against his enemies, who, in superior force, overpowered him and the remnant of his gallant band. The leader, and the last of his followers, were thrown into a deep and dark cavern, there to perish miserably of broken bones and hunger.—AIL except Aristomenes, died.
* 1 Samuel.
A fox entered the den, to feed on the dead bodies lying partly on and around the courageous chief, who seized the hind leg of the animal as it was moving off, and by keeping hold of it, as it tried to escape, he discovered the hole by which ithad entered the cavern, and again found himself freed from darkness and death. He repaired to where the last of his countrymen and countrywomen held out, besieged by the Spartans, and at length had the glory to deliver them, and lead them safely out of reach of the enemy. This finished the second Messenian war.
There are two states of society of a very opposite nature, which have always been favourable to personal and political liberty: the first is the pure pastoral state—and the second, the artificial and refined condition of a commercial people. Each preserves its freedom and independence by the command which it retains over its means of subsistence. It has always been found impossible by any foreign power to control the food of a pastoral race of people: the sheep, the cattle, the goats, and camels, which afford the means of living, are moveable, and can be led into the glens of the mountains, or the recesses of the desert, on the first approach of an enemy. The owners, with their swords and spears, hover around and bid defiance to the best appointed armies, led on by the most celebrated warriors. The answer made by the Scythian to Darius, on his invasion of Scythia, explains the tactics of pastoral tribes. "It is not my disposition, O Persian! to fly from