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of the recent instance of his public integrity, each other's trust and honesty tend to the restothe foreign adversary was invited to be the ar-ration of peace and harmony! Even the wily biter of domestic disagreements; and they were Florentine allows, that it is advantageous to happily terminated by his decision. Let infi- have a high character for truth and uprightness. dels remark, to the disgrace of their scepticism, And how can this character be in any way so that the monarch who was, perhaps, one of the well obtained as by deserving it? It is the disgreatest instances of christian piety and devo- grace of nations, that in their diplomatic contion, furnished also an example of the most cerns, the maxims of solid wisdom have not striking moral rectitude! been always observed.
Henry the fourth, when only king of Navarre, discovered no less integrity after his glorious victory at Coutras. Being asked what terms he would require from the king of France, after gaining such a victory, 'just the same,' replied he, that I should ask after losing one.'
Without going the length of admitting the truth of Sir Henry Wotton's light definition of the duties of an ambassador, is it not too often assumed, that the laws which bind private men, and which would doubtless bind the individual minister himself, in his private concerns, may occasionally be dispensed with, in the adminis uni-tration of public affairs; and that strict truth, for instance, which in the ordinary transactions of life is allowed to be indispensable, is too frequently considered as impracticable in diplomatic negotiations?
Don Louis De Haro, the Spanish minister, at the treaty of the Pyrennees, seems to have entertained just views of the value of simple integrity in politicians, for speaking of cardinal Mazarin, with whom he was negotiating, he said, that man always pursued one great error in politics, he would always deceive.' Mazarin was a deep dissembler and a narrow genius;† so true it is that vanity and short-sightedness are commonly at the bottom of dissimulation, though it be practised from a totally opposite idea; worldly politicians frequently falling into the error of fancying, that craft and circumvention are indications of genius; while, in reality, suspicion is the wisdom of a little mind, and
It is, however, necessary to observe, that integrity, in order to be successful, must be form. Truth, for example, occasionally spoken, may not afford to the speaker any part of the profit which attends the regular observance of truth. The error of corrupt politicians consists much in treating each question, as if it were an insulated case, and then arguing, perhaps not unjustly, that the practice of virtue, in this or that particular instance, will not be productive of good; forgetting that if, in all instances, they would be virtuous, they would then most probably obtain the success and full reward of virtue. We know that even in that particular branch of political transactions, the diplomatic, wherein the strongest temptations to dissimulation, and chicanery are held forth to little minds, some of the most able and successful negotiators have generously disdained the use of any such mean expedients. The frankness and integrity of Temple and De Witt are not more esteemed by the moralist for their probity, than by the states-distrust the mean and inefficient substitute for man for their true wisdom. What can there be, indeed, so different between the situation of two public men, who on the part of their several countries respectively, are negotiating on questions of policy or commerce; and that of two private men who are treating on some business of ordinary life, which should render impolitic, in the public concern, that honesty which, in the private, is so universally acknowledged to be the best policy, as to have grown into an adage of universal and unqualified acceptance. Indeed, as the adage may refer to what is truly politic in the long run, and with a view to general consequences, we might rather expect, that fraud would be admissible into the transactions of private men, whose short span of life might not be likely to be more than counterbalanced by future loss rather than in the concerns of states, which, by containing a long continued existence, a political identity, under all the suc cessive generations of the members of which they are composed, may pay, and pay perhaps severely too, in later times, the price of former acts of fraud and treachery.—Again, in public, no less than in private business, will not any one find the benefit of employing an agent, who possesses a high character for probity and ho† Mazarin himself had spread his own maxims to such nour? Will not larger and more liberal concesgood purpose, that one of his creatures whom he intendsions be made to him who may be safely relieded to send to negotiate with the duke of Savoy, implored on for paying their equivalent? Once more, how often are public wars, as well as private differences, produced or fermented by mutual distrust and how surely would a confidence in
the penetration of a great one. Many, says lord Bacon, who know how to pack the cards, cannot play them well. Many who can manage canvasses and factions, are yet not wise men. Considering the credit which sincerity stamps on a political character, it is so far from being opposed to discretion, that it constitutes the best part of it. True rectitude neither implies nor requires imprudence; while it costs a politician as much trouble to maintain the reputation of a quality which he has not, as it would really cost him to acquire it. The mazes and windings, the doublings and intricacies of intriguing spirits, ultimately mislead them from the end they pursue. They excite jealousy, they rouse resentment, they confirm suspicion, they strengthen prejudices, they foment differences; and thus call into action a number of passions, which commonly oppose themselves to the accomplishment of their designs. Politicians therefore would do well to remember the remark of the learned Barrow, who was as great a proficient in mathematics, as in morality, that the straightest line is always the shortest line, in morals as well as in geometry.' When the cha
his eminence not to insist on his deceiving the duke just at that time, as the business was but a trifle; because he of his reputation for deceiving, till some more important object was at stake.
thought it would answer better to reserve the sacrifice
racter of integrity is once lost, falsehood itself, main intention afterwards.-Even the successful loses all its uses. The known dissembler is sus- usurper, Cromwell, lost the confidence of his pected of insincerity even when he does not army, when they found in the sequel, that he practise it, and is no longer trusted, though he meant to place himself on the very throne which may happen to deserve to be so. he had made them believe it was his great object to abolish. Nor was he ever able to adorn his own brows with that crown, for the hope of which he had waded through a sea of crimes. The very means employed by Alexander the sixth, and Cæsar Borgia, to destroy the cardinals, rebounded on themselves, and both were poisoned by the very wine which they had prepared for the destruction of their guests.
The character of lord Sunderland presents a striking instance of the political inefficacy of duplicity. His superior genius, so admirably qualified for business, availed him but little in securing the public esteem when it was observed, that of three successive princes, who severally set out with a view to establish dif. ferent interests, he gained the favour of all, by adopting the system of each, with the same accommodating veracity. His reputation for honesty sunk, and he ceased to be trusted in the degree in which he came to be known.
We sometimes hear the more decent politicians, who sanction the appearance, and commend the outward observances of religion lament that religion does not produce any great effects upon society. And they are right, if by religion they mean that shell and surface, which merely serve to save appearances. But, is it not to be feared, that these very politicians sometimes disbelieve the reality, and the power of that religion, the exterior of which they allow to be decorous? Yet, this reality and power, believed and acted upon, would certainly produce more substantial effects than can ever rationally be expected from mere forms and shadows. These sage persons frequently lament the deficiency of morals in society, but never the want of religion in the heart. Though, to expect that morality to be firm, which stands on no religious foundation, is to expect stability from an inverted pyramid. Besides, it is infinitely laborious to maintain an undeviating course of dissimulation, a moment's intermission of which may defeat the policy of years. Yet, this unremitting attention, this wearying watchfulness, is essential to that worldly policy, of which South says, that folly being the superstructure, it is but reasen, that the foundation should be falsity. The same acute judge of mankind observes, that the designing politicians of the party he was combating, seemed to act as if they thought that speech was given to ordinary men to communicate their mind, but to wise men for concealing it.'
The dissembler should also remember, that however deeply interest and industry enable him to lay his plans, the interest and industry of others will be equally at work to detect them. Besides, the deepest politician can carry on no great schemes alone, and as all association depends on opinion, few will lend their aid, or commit their safety to one whose general want of probity forbids the hope of perpetual confidence, or of permanent security.
It is, therefore, the only safety, and the only wisdom, and the only sure, unfading prudence, instead of pursuing our own devious paths, to commit our concerns to God; to walk in his straight ways, and obey his plain commands. For, after all, the widest sphere of a mere worldly politician is but narrow. The wisdom of this world is bounded by this world, the dimensions of which are so contracted, and its duration so short, in the eye of true philosophy, as to strip it of all real grandeur. All the enjoyments of this world, says the eloquent South, are much too short for an immortal soul to stretch itself upon a soul which shall persist in being, not only when honour and fame, but when time itself shall cease to be. The deepest worldly projector, with the widest views, and the strongest energies, even when flushed with success, must, if his mind has never learned to shoot forward into the boundless eternity of an unseen world, feel his genius cramped, his wing flag, and his spirit at a stand. There seems to have been a spark of the immortal fire even in the regrets of Alexander. It is probable he would not have wept, because he had no more worlds to conquer, had he not deeply felt the sting of disappointment at finding no joy in having conquered this, and thence inferred a kind of vague and shapeless idea of another. There will be always too vast a disproportion between the appetites and enjoyments of the ambitious to admit of their being happy. Nothing can fill the desires of a great soul, but what he is persuaded will last as long as he himself shall last.
To worldly minds it would sound paradoxical to assert that ambition is a little passion. To affirm that if really great views, and truly enlarged notions were impressed upon the soul, they would be so far from promoting that they would cure this passion. The excellent bishop Berkeley, beholding the ravages which ambition had made in his time in France, could not help wishing that its encroaching monarch had been bred to the study of astronomy, that he might learn from thence how mean and little that ambition is which terminates in a small part of what is of itself but a point, compared with that part of the universe which lies within our view.
But, if astronomy shows the diminutiveness of that globe, for a very small portion of which kings contend, in comparison with the universe, how much nobler a cure does Christianity provide for ambition, by showing that not this globe only, but the whole universe also,
Why do many politicians fail finally of the full accomplishment of their object? Not for want of genius to lay a plausible plan; not for want of judgment to seize the most favourable occasions; not for want of due contempt of conscientious scruples in pushing those occasions; not for want of fearless impiety in giving full scope to their designs; but from that ever wakeful Providence, which if he does not dash their projects before they are acted, defeats the by reminding the ambitious of the utter in
Yea, all that it inherits shall dissolve;
sufficiency to true glory or real happiness of all | deed be successful in every negotiation, he may that has been created, of all that shall have an not be victorious in every battle; yet in his end; by carrying on their views to that invisi-leading purpose he will never be disappointed. ble, eternal world, which to us shall then emphatically begin to be, when all which we behold shall be no more.
He, therefore, is the only true politician who uniformly makes the eternal laws of truth and rectitude, as revealed from heaven the standard of his actions, and the measure of his ambition. To do justly,' is peculiarly the high and holy vocation of a prince. And both princes and politicians would do well to inquire, not only whether their scheme was planned with sagacity, and executed with spirit, but whether they have so conducted it, as to leave proper room, if we may so speak, for the favourable interference of God; whether they have supplicated his blessing; and given to him the glory of its happy issue? Perhaps more well-meant endeavours fail through neglect in these respects, particularly of fervent prayer for success, than through any deficiency in the wisdom of the plan itself. But because under a fanatic usurpation, in the seventeenth century, hypocrites abused this duty, and degraded its sanctity, by what they profanely called seeking the Lord; the friends of the restored constitution too generally took up the notion, that irreligion was a proof of sin. cerity, and that the surest way to avoid the hypocrisy, was to omit the duty.
We cannot too strongly censure that most mistaken practice, which, at the period before mentioned, reduced the language of Scripture to that of common conversation; nor too warmly condemn that false taste, which, by quaint allusions, forced conceits, and strained allegories, wrested the Bible to every ordinary purpose, and debased its dignity, by this colloquial familiarity. But is there no danger of falling into the opposite error? If some have unseasonably forced it into the service, on occasions to which it could never apply; may not others acquire the habit of thinking it seasonable on no occasion at all?
Again-how strangely do we overlook the consummate wisdom, as well as goodness of God, in having made that practice of prayer the instrument of obtaining his blessing, which is so powerfully operative in purifying and elevatour own hearts. Politicians, with all their sagacity, would do well to learn, that it is likewise one of the many beneficial effects of prayer, that it not only reasonably increases our hopes of success, but teaches us to acquiesce in disappointment. They should learn also, not to wonder, if God refuses to answer those prayers, which are occasionally put up on great public emergencies, when those who offer them do not live in the exercise of habitual devotion. They should take it as an axiom of good experience from the incomparable Hooke, that All things religiously begun are prosperously ended; because whether men, in the end, have that which religion allowed them to desire, or that which it teacheth them contentedly to suffer, they are, in neither event, unfortunate.'
Nor will a truly pious prince ever be eventually defeated in his designs; he may not in
For his ultimate end was to act conscientiously, to procure the favour of God, to advance the best interests of his people, and to secure his own eternal happiness.-Whatever the event may be to others, to himself it must be finally good. The effect of righteousness is peace. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace. And, to conclude in the words of the able and profound Barrow-If God shall not cease to be; if he will not let go the reins; if his word cannot deceive; if the wisest men are not infatuated; if the common sense of mankind is not extravagant; if the main props of life, if the great pillars of society do not fail;-he that walketh uprightly doth proceed on sure grounds.'
On the true arts of Popularity.
CICERO says, that it is the property of justice not to injure men, and of politeness not to offend them.' True Christianity not only unites, but perfects both these qualities; and renders them, thus associated and exalted, powerful instruments, especially in princes, for the acquisition of popularity.
The desire of praise and reputation is commonly the first motive of action in second rate, and a secondary motive in first rate characters. That, in the former case, men who are not governed by a higher principle, are often so keenly alive to human opinion, as to be restrained by it from such vices as would disturb the peace of society, is an instance of the useful provision made by the great Governor of all things for the good order of the world.
But in princes, none of whose actions are indifferent, who are the observed of all observers,' reputation cannot be too highly prized. A negligence respecting public opinion, or a contempt for the judgment of posterity, would be inexcusable in those, whose conduct must, in no inconsiderable degree, give, in their own time, the law to manners, and whose example will hereafter be adduced, by future historians, either to illustrate virtue, or to exemplify vice, and to stimulate the good or evil, monarchs yet unborn.
A prince,' however, as a late eloquent statesman* observed in his own case, 'should love that fame which follows, not that which is pursued.' He should bear in mind, that shadows owe their being to substances; that true fame derives its existence from something more solid than itself; that reputation is not the precursor, nor the cause, but the fruit and effect of merit.
But though, in superficial characters, the hunger of popularity is the mainspring of action: and though the vain-glorious too often obtain, what they so sedulously seek, the acclama
The first earl of Mansfield.
tions of the vulgar; yet a temperate desire to the people is sought, by plausible means, for perbe loved and esteemed is so far from being a nicious purposes. On the part of the people atproof of vanity, that it even indicates the con-tachment is a natural feeling, which nothing trary propensity for reasonably to wish for the but persevering misconduct in their rulers can good opinion of others, evinces that a man does ever wear out. A prince should learn not to not overvalue and sit down contented with his listen to those flatterers who would keep him igown. It is an over estimation of himself, an norant of the public opinion. The discontents undue complacency in his own merit, which is of the people should not be stifled before they one of the causes of his disdain of public opin- reach the royal ear; nor should their affection ion. In profligate characters, another cause is, be represented as a fund which can never be that, anticipating the contempt which they must drained. It is a rich and precious stock, which be aware, they have deserved, they are willing should not be too often drawn upon. Impruto be beforehand with the world in proclaiming dence will diminish, oppression will exhaust it. their disdain of that reputation which they know A prince should never measure his rights over that their course of life has made unattainable. a people by the greatness of their attachment; Pagan philosophy, indeed, overrated the ho- the warmth of their zeal being a call for his nour which cometh from man. But even the sa-kindness, not a signal for his exactions. Imcred scripture, which, as it is the only true foun- provident rigour would wear out that affection, tain, is also the only just standard of all excel- which justice would increase, and consideration lence, does not teach us to despise, but only not confirm. to set an undue value upon it. It teaches us to estimate this honour in its due order and just measure; and above all, it exhorts us to see that it be sought on right grounds; to take care that it tempt not to vanity, by exciting to trifling pursuits; nor to vice, by stimulating to such as are base; nor to false honour, by seeking it in the paths of ambition. A prince must not be inordinate in the desire, nor irregular in the pursuit, nor immoderate in the enjoyment, nor criminally solicitous for the preservation of fame; but he must win it fairly, and wear it temperately. He should pursue it not as the ul. timate end of life, but as an object, which, by making the life honourable makes it useful. It must not, however, be omitted that the scriptures exhort, that when reputation can only be attained or preserved by the sacrifice of duty, it must then be renounced; that we must submit to the loss even of this precious jewel, rather than by retaining it, wound the conscience, or offend God. Happily, however, in a country in which religion and laws are established on so firm a basis, a prince is little likely to be called to such an absolute renunciation, though he may be called to many trials.
Britons, in general, possess that obsequium erga reges, which Tacitus ascribes to the Swedes. While they passionately love liberty, they also patiently bear those reasonable burdens which are necessary in order to preserve it. But this character of our countrymen seems not to have been so well understood, at least not so fairly represented, by one of their own sovereigns, as by a foreigner and an enemy. The unfortunate James calls them 'a fickle, giddy, and rebellious people.' If the charge were true, he and his family rather made, than found them such. Agricola had pronounced them to be a people, who cheerfully complied with the levies of men, and the imposition of taxes, and with all the duties enjoined by government, provided they met with just and lawful treatment from their governors.'-'Nor have the Romans,' continues he, any farther conquered them, than only to form them to obedience. They never will submit to be slaves.'* It is pleasant to behold the freest of nations, even now, acting up the character given them by the first of historians, on such unquestionable authority as that of their illustrious invader, near two thousand years ago.
Even the fatal catastrophe of Charles I. was But all these dangers being provided for, and not a national act, but the act of a fanatical parall abuses guarded against, the word of God does ty. The kingdom at large beheld the deed with not scruple to pronounce reputation to be a va- deep abhorrence, and deplored it with unfeigned luable possession. In a competition with riches, sorrow. The fascinating manners of his son the pre-eminence is assigned to a good name; and successor so won the hearts of every one and wisdom, that is, Religion in the bold lan- who approached him, that it required all his guage of eastern imagery, is described as bear-vices to alienate them. If that gracious outward ing honour in her left hand. Nor has the sacred volume been altogether silent, respecting even that posthumous renown which good princes may expect in history. That the memory of the just shall be blessed, was the promise of one who was himself both an author and a monarch. And that the righteous shall be had in everlast ing remembrance, was the declaration of another royal author.*
A desire of popularity is still more honest in princes than in other men. And when the end for which it is sought, and the means by which it is pursued are strictly just, the desire is not only blameless, but highly laudable. Nor is it ever censurable, except where the affection of * See an admirable sermon of Dr. Barrow, on the reward of honouring God.
deportment was of so much use to him, in veil-
Charles, the abject tool of France,
The charming frankness and noble simplicity
nise the goodness of the Almighty, which, notwithstanding the temptations and impediments that, in this probationary state, obstruct the progress and render difficult the practice of virtue endowed with kingly power, a strong induce. ment to use it for the promotion of their people's happiness, by rendering such designs as tend to the gratification of many vicious appetites which they are most tempted to indulge, far more difficult of execution, than such as are prompted by benevolent emotions, and have in view the advancement of civil and social happiness.
of manners which distinguished Henry IV. of France, gained the affections of his subjects more than all the refinements of artifice could have done. He had established such a reputation for sincerity, that when, on a certain occa-in private life, has yet held out to those, who are sion, he offered hostages to his mortal enemies the Spartans, they refused to accept them, and would only take his word. He frequently declared, that he would lose his crown rather than give, even to his worst foe, the least suspicion of his fidelity to his engagements. So happily infectious is this principle in a king, that not only Sully, but his other minister, Jeannin, was distinguished by the same strict regard to truth; and the popularity both of the king and his mi. nisters was proportionably great.
Thus, projects of conquest and ambition are circumscribed and obstructed by a thousand inherent and unavoidable difficulties. They are often dependent for their success on the life of a single man, whose death perhaps when least expected, at once disconcerts them. Often they depend on what is still more uncertain,-the ca
The only way then for a prince to secure the affection of the people, is to deserve it; by letting them see that he is steadily consulting their interests, and invariably maintaining them. What but this so long preserved to Elizabeth, that root-price or humour of an individual. When all is ed regard in the hearts of her subjects? Certainly no pliancy of manners, no gracious complaisance. She treated even her parliaments in so peremptory a manner, that they sometimes only bore with it from a thorough conviction that the interests of the country were secure in her hands, and its happiness as dear to her as her own. These are the true foundations of popularity. He, who most consults the good of his people, will, in general, be most trusted by them; he who best merits their affection, will be most sure to obtain it, in spite of the arts of a cabal, or the turbulence of a faction.
Pagan fable relates, that when the inferior gods had once formed a conspiracy to bind Jupi ter, Minerva advised him to send for Briareus, the monster with the hundred hands, to come to his assistance; the poets, doubtless, intimating by this fiction, that wisdom will always suggest to a prince, that his best security will ever be found in the ready attachment and assistance of the people. And it was a good practice which the famous Florentine secretaryt records of the then king of France, that he would never allow any person to say, that he was of the king's party, which would always imply that there was another party against him; whereas the king prudently desired not to have it thought that there were any parties at all. And, indeed, wise sovereigns will study carefully to repress all narrowing terms, and dividing ideas. Of such sovereigns the people are the party.
conceived to be flourishing and successful, when the prosperous enterpriser fancies that he is on the very point of gaining the proud summit to which he has so long aspired; or at the very moment when it is attained, and he is exulting in the hope of immediate enjoyment, at once he is dashed to the ground, his triumphs are defeated, his laurels are blasted, and he himself only remains,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale,
a lasting monument of the folly of ambition, and of the uncertainty of all projects of worldly grandeur.
But the monarch, on the contrary, whose nobler and more virtuous ambition prompts him to employ his superior power of promoting the internal prosperity and comforts of his subjects, is not liable to such defeats. His path is plain; his duty is clear. By a vigilant, prompt, and impartial administration of justice, his object is to secure to the industrious the enjoyment of their honest gains; by a judicious use of his supreme power, to remove difficulties and obstructions, out of the way of commercial enterprise, and to facilitate its progress; to reward and foster ingenuity; and to encourage and promote the various arts by which civilized societies are distinguished and embellished; above all, to countenance and favour religion, morality, good order, and all the social and domestic virtues. A monarch, who makes these benevolent ends the Princes will have read history with little at- objects of his pursuit, will not so easily be distention if they do not learn from it, that their appointed. The reason is obvious; nothing deown true greatness is so closely connected with pends on a single individual. His plans are the happiness of their subjects, as to be insepa-carrying on through ten thousand channels, and rable from it. There they will see that while great schemes of conquest have always been productive of extreme suffering to the human race, in their execution, they have often led to ultimate dishonour and ruin to the monarchs themselves. Herein a pious mind will recog
by ten thousand agents, who, while they are all labouring for the promotion of their own peculiar object, are, at the same time, unconsciously performing their function in the great machine of civil society. It is not, if we may change the metaphor, a single plant, perhaps an exotic, in a churlish climate, and an unwilling soil, which raised with anxious care, a sudden frost may nip, or a sudden blight may wither; but it is the wide-spread vegetation of the meadow, which abundantly springs up in one unvaried face of verdure, beauty and utility. While the happy monarch, whose large and liberal mind has pro