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emanation of power from the national foun- functionary power, can be no larger than tain-head, descending thence upon those the power is. The people, in their capawho are to exercise it. To talk of a re- city of electors, may do all that is within served franchise, would be a positive sole- the proper scope of the franchise ; but it cism.
is usurpation to do more. Besides, if this electoral sovereignty had | And this enables us to condemn without, been a thing of original right in the peo- reserve an opinion strangely prevalent in ple, antecedent to the Constitution, it would some parts of the country, to the effect belong to every one-man, woman, child that when a man is chosen to an office, --so far at least as there is no want of and especially an office of legislation, it is discretion for the use of it; whereas we the right of his constituents to have pledges do not find it so vested, only a portion— from him as to the measures he will advonot a third part probably, nor a fourth- cate or oppose in public life ; and even to of the whole community being legal vo- come upon him afterwards, during his ters; women and minors having none of term, with dictatorial instructions on the it; many adult male citizens having none subject. Nor are the holders of this opinof it, for lack of the requisite qualifications ion so inconsiderable, either in standing or of residence, property, tax-paying, and ability, as to allow of its being passed over the like. How is this? Are these unvo- | in silence. ting citizens disfranchised by the Constitu- · Upon what, then, do they ground themtion ? Is it not more sensible to say, that selves? The notion seems to be, that an every franchise being a trust, or at least election is a delegation of power, and so, involving one, the electoral franchise has that a pledge exacted from the candidate been given to such only of the people as is but à condition annexed to a free gift; are deemed fit and competent trustees of in other words, that the electors being the so important a power, and qualified to use donors of the authority with which the it with advantage to the republic? Thus, man of their choice becomes thereupon instead of taking away anything from endowed, have a natural right to be served three-fourths of the community, the Con- with it in the way they think best. stitution simply imparts to the remaining | But here is certainly a misconception. fourth a right of its own creation, which | The electors confer no power, not a partiwas never theirs before.
cle. How can they? They have none to And let me add, it does this, not for confer. Had they the power themselves, their sakes in particular, but for the equal | they could exercise it. Otherwise it good of all without distinction. There is would not be power. As then they have no peculiar value in the privilege of de- it not, they cannot delegate or pass it over positing ballots in a box with a hole in it, to another. Suppose the elected officer the act alone considered ; nor have they should die suddenly, and a vacancy hapto whom the privilege is not conce- pen ; would his power fall back upon the ded any serious cause of present unhap- electors' hands ? No, for again, they could piness on that account. The only ques- make no use of it. Their right of suffrage tion of interest for them, as for others, is would indeed revive ; another congé d'élire upon the likelihood of results to the from the Constitution would put them country ; that is to say, whether the right into further action as its functionaries for of suffrage is distributed widely enough appointing a successor. This done, their among the people, on the one hand, to work is ended till new casualties make make the elections duly popular in the new room for it. But suppose, instead of spirit of them, and restrained, on the dying, the officer plays truant, and is guilty other, to a number sufficiently small and of malversation; can his constituents inselect to make it probable that they will trude upon him and amend his doings? be conducted with reasonable intelligence No; culprit though he be, the office, so and prudence, so that upon the whole, long as he continues in it, is his, not theirs. the true advantages designed by this part When his term is up, to be sure, he may of the constitutional arrangement may be be called by them to a species of account. fairly hoped for from its plan of operation. But even that will not be in the way of . Of course the liberty that waits upon a l jurisdictional review ;. for they can do
nothing, absolutely nothing, with the func- , is a very good reason for ordering matters tion he may have abused. They are elect- as they are, in this momentous branch of ors only. They can touch the man, should our concerns. The policy of the thing he ask a re-election; they can refuse to should be considered. Distributive electrust him again; but this is all the penalty tions must be resorted to in a wide counthey can inflict.
try like ours. We use them, not to alter If then the officer's power is not given the character of results, but for convehim by his constituents, whence, you will nience sake. It is because the people cansay, does it come? I answer, from the not well act in mass, and fill all the posts Constitution ; it is laid up there in waiting of government by a general ticket, so callfor him, against the day of his appointed, that the business has been economiment. The electors choose him, designate cally parcelled out among a multitude of him, give him their certificate of approval ; territorial districts, each voting for one or the Constitution does the rest.
more candidates according to the measure A member of the lower House of Con- | of its population, and taking no concern in gress is chosen, we will suppose, by the the election of the rest; the same end bequalified voters of Ontario or Albany, in ing thus secured with ease through the the State of New York. He is called the separate action of several hundred comrepresentative of his district. A repre- munities, which it would be so difficult to sentative from it would be better language ; | reach intelligently and promptly by a comfor though he truly represent his own dis- / bined movement. What better expedient trict, that is but a fraction of his repre- could be hit upon ? Organization is the sentative character, since he stands in just point. The people must have government the same relation to every other part of officers. How best to choose them is the the country. Is this doubted ? How then question. Two modes offer :-a general does he get to be a national legislator ? | ticket for the whole land, or a host of tickCan a handful of local electors make him | ets in detail for all the parts of it. Were such—that is, give him a sovereign law- the general-ticket scheme adopted, and the making power over twenty millions of peo- entire body of the people put to vote for ple?
every officer in the list, one consequence The duties of the office are as far-reach must follow,—the successful candidates ing as its sway. However obscurely local would be admitted on all hands to be nahis appointment may have been, he be- tional agents, national representatives; and comes at once a servant of the common- the absurdity of their being any of them wealth ; voting as freely, and under the very servants of particular districts in special, same obligation to vote wisely and prop and liable to dictation from particular erly, for a custom-house at Portsmouth or groups of electors, would have no advoMobile ; for a breakwater in the Chesa-cates. I take this for granted. But it peake; for a railroad, it may be, to Ore-seems the other mode has been preferred, gon; as for a mole in Buffalo harbor in and so the public service is to be provided his own State. His trust, like his commis- for by the self-same people, acting not in sion, is that of a legislator at large for the mass, but in a vast number of subdivisUnion. Who imposes or reposes that trust ? | ions. No change of object. National ofCould the voice of Albany or Ontario do ficers are still the thing wanted. And they it, as the lawyers say, per se ?
are wanted for the identical places and Let not forms deceive us. Let not the functions as before. What difference then dioms of political declamation deceive us. in nationality of results ? The people act Representatives in Congress have indeed in separate companies, but they all act, their several constituencies, to which they and with a common purpose,-namely, to seem to be indebted for everything. The officer the government. In one respect suffrages they receive are all local. The they may be held, in fair construction, to gratitude inspired by these suffrages has be all active in every part of the work. of course, and very justly, a correspond- The arrangement is theirs by which the ing direction. Forms and feelings thus forms of the proceeding have been adjustcombine to shut the Constitution out of ed; being the arrangement of the Constiview, and to make men forgetful that there tution itself.
Will it be said that Senators, from the , for the office? And especially, in referpeculiarity of their being appointed by the ence to the jurisdiction, the authority, the States as such, and not by popular suffrage, power, which the incumbent is to be put are beyond the scope of this reasoning ? | in charge of, does it come by the office, or and that they must be regarded as repre by the man ? Is it appurtenant or in senting their respective States or State gross ?-a power, in other words, which governments, more strictly and closely the man finds in his station, when he gets than they do the country at large ? Let us there, or which he carries thither in his try this.
pocket with his credentials of election ? Have the State Legislators any original | Let the subject be honestly dealt with. authority for appointing national Senators ? An electoral appointment has no creative That will not be said. They get their pow-energy, save only as regards the connecer then from the Constitution. And who tion of the appointed individual with the made the Constitution? “We, the peo- | post to which it advances him. His serple,” is its own emphatic response. Touch- vices it undoubtedly destines to a new eming the matter in hand, therefore, the Con- ployment. And that is all it does. The stitution is a general letter of attorney, by line of employment, the office, is a thing which “we, the people,” give to each of of earlier date, and which cannot be the State Legislatures, in trust, an elective touched. Its settled pre-existence is infranchise for tilling two places in the Na- deed assumed by the very act of providing tional Senate. It is a franchise indeed, | an incumbent for it. and like every other frånchise, has a trust If, then, we can analyze this fixture of annexed to it. For whose benefit, do you the Constitution called office, and see what ask? That of the donors, the nation at its ingredients are, we may, to some exlarge. And thus the State Legislators are tent, determine what public men possess the fiduciary agents of the Union for ap- which their constituents have not given pointing Union Senators.
them, and over which there can of course These Senators again are agents. But be no right of dictation left behind in the whose agents ? That is the point. Are legislature, or district, where elections have they the agents of the agency-legislatures been made. that appoint them, or of the real principals The task is easy. Office, wherever it in the whole business, the people of the exists, and whatever be the ends it is to Union? How can trustees of a franchise, | answer, is essentially a compound of duty more than of anything else, claim the fruit and power : the duly of fulfilling its funcof it to themselves ?
tionary intent, (for it is always functionary,) In one respect, a public officer may be and the power requisite for that purpose. looked upon as a result of the joint action This power and duty, therefore, have, in of his immediate constituents and the every possible case, their origin and meascountry at large; the office (without which ure from the constituents of the office, and the man were nothing) having its existence not of the officer who fills it for the by the Constitutional enactment of the time being; which is just equivalent to nation, while the man (without whom the saying (where the office is national) that office would exist in vain) is furnished by they are the property of the nation, and the local electors. But because the more not in any sense or degree the gift of local extensively popular part of the work is electors, or amenable to their control. The antecedent to the other in order of time, very nature of things teaches us this. being the effect of a transaction long since And well that it does. We want argupast, and seemingly forgotton by many ; , ments for minds of various mould, and there is danger lest the noisier and more which are under various influences. If bustling performance of the hour, however the too prevalent doctrine of the day were small the theatre it is done upon, however to prevail, we might live to see the Presifew the actors, may have an undue rela- dent and Senate overruling the freedom of tive magnitude ascribed to it. Men should the judges, as being their immediate conask themselves a question or two in the stituents. Why not? What better right matter. What is it to provide an office, in have the State Legislatures to put tramcomparison with providing an incumbent | mels upon Union Senators ? "Nay, we might live to see boards of Presidential | held their own liberty sufficiently dear, Electors assemble long after their true but they were true parents, and held the function has been exercised and spent, to liberty of their children in equal esteem. instruct the political Executive how to bear | What did they do? Alike careful of the himself in his high walk of State. If suf- | future and the present—of the remainder frage were essentially a delegation of pow. in fee, as of the life-estate—they made siger, these absurdities would be no longer nal provision for both the one and the such. If the authors of men's official other of their objects, by placing each in preferment were the makers of their offi- | charge of a distinct portion of the sovercers too, government would not be gov- | eign power; giving the law-making and ernment; the only sovereignty of the land | law-executing management of things to a would be in the local electorships, and the set of persons who were to be singled out affairs of the nation would be carried on for the purpose, with a scrupulous regard by and for them as such, and in the way to character and fitness—while the conserof mere diplomacy.
vative oversight of this agency-corps of Why will men lose sight as they do of government, with a view to saving the rethat great act of universal sovereignty, the public harmless in their hands at all events, Constitution ? And why will they shut was given to an immense mass of popular their eyes to the very genius and policy of electors; too many to be capable of beit on the precise topic in hand ?
traying their trust, and yet not numerous The best frame of government for any enough to include the dregs of society, given country, is that which provides best, who might be unworthy of it. Such is first, for the rights and interests of the our political division of labor. The dipeople, and secondly, for its own health- rectly governing sovereignty belongs to ful continuance. Both these objects are official rulers for the time being—an indevital.
pendent, ultimate, administrative power in But each of them, it is plain, has exi their hands. But because such power is gencies of its own, to be specially looked corrupting and dangerous, these rulers, after by the founders of States. To com- sovereign though they be, in their place, are bine the two successfully, is perhaps the held in check by regulations making it nenoblest, because the most extensively ben- cessary for them to apply from time to eficial achievement, that human wisdom time for new commissions at the bar of pubcan aim at. In most governments no ef- lic opinion, or to descened into private life. fort has been made in that direction. I So that the electoral sovereignty, to which know of none but ours in which the thing the enormous power of public opinion aphas been seriously attempted.
pertains, is influentially paramount, as in Mark then the most interesting peculiar- truth it should be ; though for any purity of our system, and, God be praised, the pose of direct action, it is co-ordinate with most hopeful.
that of governing agents ; a power in the Our Constitutional fathers were not government as well as theirs, and no more more considerate for themselves than for free to trespass upon them, than they are those who should come after them. They to invade its own domain.
RECENT ENGLISH HISTORIANS OF ANCIENT GREECE.*
(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 190.)
AFTER the return of the Heraclidæ- esting of the two, as he has the greater which Thirlwall Euemerizes into a Doric dexterity in rendering a dry subject atinvasion and conquest, requiring “many tractive, and illustrates his details by noting years, probably many generations,” for the differences as well as the resemblances its consummation, and Grote disposes of of climate, natural productions, cultivation. among the mythes of the legendary age- &c., in Ancient and Modern Greece. we pass at once to the definite region of | And now before treating of the PeloponHistorical Greece. Not that even here | nesian Dorians, we have one more troublewe are entirely freed from uncertainty, but some subject to adjust or get over in some the races and institutions at which we ar- | way. Every student of Greek and Rorive are real and tangible, though in some man history has been more than once cases—that of Lycurgus is a well-known brought to a stand by the Pelasgi, an exinstance—a cloud may still hang about tinct people who seem to have been used their founders. We can always be pretty | as a convenient solution for all the problems sure what laws, customs, and form of gov- in the archæology of the nations around ernment existed in each place at a particular the Mediterranean, much as electricity was time, though something fabulous may still once employed in physical philosophy to cling to the individual personages of the account for all unknown phenomena. The period. It is here, accordingly, that Mr. anxious inquirer, after saboring to shape Grote takes occasion to bring in his sketch some definite and consistent conclusion of Grecian geography. Something of the out of the various conflicting statements kind is generally considered a necessary of ancient writers, and the still more conintroduction to a history : we confess to Alicting inferences drawn from every one of having some doubts of its indispensability. | these statements by modern scholars, genArnold's most valuable and interesting erally has to end by confessing himself work on Rome contains no geographical | hopelessly puzzled. Whoever has worked account of Italy; and yet, singularly 1 through Niebuhr, and Thirlwall, and Malenough, Arnold himself has elsewhere in- den, and Michelet—whoever has tried to sisted on the importance and necessity of form a coherent opinion of his own on the the ordinary course ;+ nay, more, he illus- principal questions in dispute: whether trates its value by immediate reference to the Pelasgians spoke Greek, or something Italy, the natural features of which he very different from Greek; whether He. proceeds to describe in his most felicitous , rodotus ought to have written Croton where manner. A good map is certainly always he wrote Creston, or Dionysius ought to a requisite, and with this probably most have quoted Creston where he quoted Croreaders would be satisfied. We half suspect ton; whether the Tyrsenian Pelasgians that few persons, except conscientious re- came from Greece to Italy or vice versa, or viewers like ourselves, peruse these geo whether they ever were in Italy at all; graphical introductions. Both our authors whether the real name of the people whom are full and accurate in this part of their we know through the Romans as Etruswork; Grote, the more spirited and inter- | cans was Rasena, or whether these Rasena
* A History of Greece, by the Right Rev. Connop ThirlwALL. London: Longman & Co. 1835, 1844. A History of Greece, by Geo. GROTE, Esq. London: John Murray. 1846-7. + Lectures on Modern History, pp. 123, 124, 125, 128, 129.
Prof. Malden, of the London University, who began a History of Rome for the “ Library of Useful knowledge” in 1830. The early numbers were remarkably promising, but under the fatality which seems to attend histories of Rome, it stopped short after the fifth.