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dy of a People, is what the Legiflators of all Ages have endeavour'd, in their several Schemes or Institutions of Government, to deposit in such Hands as would preserve the People from Rapine and Oppression within, as well as Violence from without. Most of them seem to agree in this, that it was a Trust too great to be committed to any one Man or Affembly, and therefore they left the Right ftill in the whole Body, but the Administration or Executive part, in the hands of Ore, the Few, or the Many, into which Three Powers all independent Bodies of Men seem naturally to divide; for by all I have read of those innumerable and petty Common-wealths in Italy, Greece and Sicily, as well as the great ones of Cartbage and Rome, it seems to me, that a free People met together, whether by Compact or Family Government, as soon as they fall into any Acts of Civil Society, do of theinfelves divide into Three Powers. The first is that of some one eminent Spirit, who having, fignaliz’d his Valour and Fortune in Defence of his Country, or by the Practice of Popular Arts at home, becomes to have great Influence on the People, to grow their Leader in Warlike Expeditions, and to preside, after a sort, in their Civil Afsemblies : And this is grounded upon the Principles of Nature and common Reason, which in all Difficulties or Dangers, where Prudence or Courage are required, do rather incite us to fly for Counsel or Affistance to a single Person than a Multitude. The second natural Division of Power, is of such Men who have acquired large Poffefsions, and consequently Dependances, or descend from Ancestors, who have left them great Inheritances, together with an Hereditary
Authority: These eafily uniting in Thoughts and Opinions and acting in Concert, begin to enter upon Measures for securing their Properties, which are best upheld by preparing against Invasions from abroad, and maintaining Peace at home: This commences a great Council or Şenate of Nobles for the weighry Affairs of the Nation. The laft Division is of the Mafs or Body of the People, whose Part of Power is great and undisputable; when ever they can unite either collectively or by Deputation to exert it. Now the Three Forms of Government fo generally known in the Schools, differ only by the Civil Adminiftration being placed in the Hands of One, or sometimes Two®( as in Sparta ) who were call'd Kings, or in a Senate; who were call'd the Nebles, or in the People Collective or Representative, who may be call'd the Commons:
Each of these had frequently the Executive Power in Greece, and fometimes in Rome : But the Power in the last Refort was not always meant by Legislators to be held in Balance among all Three. And it will be an eternal Rule in Politicks among every Free People, That there is a Balance of Power to be carefully held by every State within it felf, as well as among several States with each other.
The trueMeaning of a Balance of Power, either without or within a State, is beft conceived by confidering what the nature of a Ballance is. It fupposes three Things. First, the Part which is hela, together with the Hand that holds it ; and then the two Scales, with whatever is weigh
ed therein. Now confider several States in a ? Neighbourhood : In order to preserve Peace be. tween thefe States, it is neceffary they fhould Ba
WHEN Atbens was subdued by Xenoph. de Re. Lyfander, he appointed thirty Men bus Græc. 1, 2. for the Administration of that Ci
ty, who immediately fell into the rankeft Tyranny; but this was not all: For con ceiving their Power not founded on a Basis large enough, they admitted three thousand into a share of the Government; and thus fortified, became the cruelest Tyranny upon Record. They murder'd, in cold Blood, great numbers of the best Men, without any Provocation, from the meer Luft of Cruelty, like Nero or Caligula. This was such a Number of Tyrants together, as amounted to near a third part of the whole
City. For Xenophon tells us, that the Memorab. City contain'd about ten thousand
Houses, and allowing one Man to e
very House, who could have any Share in the Government (the rest consisting of Women, Children, and Servants) and making other obvious Abatements, these Tyrants, if they had been careful to adhere together, might have been a Majority even of the People Collective.
In the time of the second Punick Polyb. Frag. War, the Balance of Power inCarthage lib. 6. was got on the side of the People,
and that to a Degree, that some Authors reckon the Government to have been then among them a Dominatio Plebis, or Tyranny af the Commons, which it seems they were at all times apt to fall into, and was at last among the
Causes that ruined their State: And lib. 20. the frequent Murders of their Generals,
which Diodorus tells us, was grown to an establish'd Custom among them, may be another
Instance that Tyranny is not confined to Numbers.
I shall mention but one Example more among a great Number that might be produc’d; It is related by the Author last cited, the Orators of the People at Argos ( whe- Lib. 15. ther you will stile them in modern Phrase, Great Speakers in the House, or only in general, Representatives of the People Collective) ftirred up the Commons against the NOBLES; of whom 1600 were Murdered at once, and at laft, the Orators themselves, because they left off their Accusations, or to speak Intelligibly, because they withdrew their Impeachments; haying, it seems, raised a Spirit they were not able to lay. And this laft Circumftance, as Cafes have lately stood, may perhaps be worth nothing.
From what hạth been already advanced, seyeral Conclusions may be drawn.
First, That a mixt Government partaking of the known Forms received in the schools, is by no means of Gothick Invention, but has place in Nature and Reason, seems very well to agree with the Sentiments of moft Legislators, and to have been follow'd in moft States, whether they have appear'd under the name of Monarchies, Aristocracies, or Democracies. For not to mention the several Republicks of this Compofition in Gaul and Germany, described by Cafar and Tacitus; Polybius tells us, the best Government is that which confifts of Three Forms, Regno, Optimati
Ege Papuli Imperie. Which may be fairly Translated, the Kings, Lords, and Commans.. Sucha was that of Sparta in its Primitive Institution by Lycurgus; who observing the Corruptions and Depravations to which every of these was sub
ject, compounded his Scheme out of all; fo that it was made up of Reges, Seniores, So Populus : Such also was the State of Rome, under its Confuls: And the Author tells us, that the Romans fell upon this Model purely by chance, (which I take to have been Nature and common Reason but the Spartans by Thought and Defign. And such at Carthage was the Summa Reipublica, or Power in the last Resort : For they had their
Kings callid Suffetes, and a Senate which Id. ibid. had the Power of Nobles, and the Peo
ple had a Share establish'd too. Secondly, It will follow, That those Reasoners, who employ so much of their Zeal, their Wit and their Leisure for upholding the Balance of Power in Christendom, at the same time that by their Practices they are endeavouring to destroy it at home, are not such mighty Patriots, or so much in the true Interest of their Country, as they would affect to be thought, but seem to be employed like a Man, who pulls down with his right Hand what he has been Building with his left
.. Thirdly, This makes appear the Error of those, who think it an uncontroulable Maxim, that Power is always safer lodged in many Hands than in one. For if thofe many Hands be made up only of one of the Three Divisions before mentioned, 'tis plain from those Examples already produc'd, and eafie to be paralleld in other Ages and Countries, that they are as capable of Ensaving the Nation, and of Acting all manner of Tyranny and Oppression, as it is possible for a fingle Person to be; though we should suppose their number to be not only of Four or Five Hundred, but above Three Thousand.