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parchy, yet that there should be such a one as pure aristocracy, or pure democracy, is not in my understanding. But the magistracy, both in number and function, is different in different commonwealths. Nevertheless, there is one condition of it that must be the same in every one, or it dissolves the commonwealth where it is wanting. And this is no less than that as the hand of the magistrate is the executive power of the law, so the head of the magistrate is answerable to the people, that his execution be according to the law; by which Leviathan may see, that the hand or sword that executes the law is in it, and not above it,
Then after touching slightly on the several commonwealths of Israel, Athens, Lacedemon, Carthage, Rome, Venice, Switzerland, and Holland, our author proceeds;
But that we may observe a little farther how the heathen politicians have written, not only out of pature, but as it were put of Scripture; As in the commonwealth of Işrael, God is said to have been king; so the commonwealth where the law is king, is said by Aristotle to be the kingdom of God. And where by the lusts or passions of men a power is set above that of the law. deriving from reason, which is the dictate of God, God in that sense is rejected or deposed, that he should not reign over them, as he was in Israel. And yet Leviathan will have it, that “ by reading of these Greek and Latin (he might as well in this sense have said Hebrew) authors, young men, and all others that are unprovided of the antidote of solid reason, receiving a strong and delightful impression of the great exploits of war atchieved by the conductors of their armies, receive withal a pleasing idea of all they have done besides : and imagine iheir great prosperity not to have proceeded from the emulation of particular men, but from the vir. tue of their popular form of government; not considering the frequent seditions and civil wars produced by the imperfection of their polity." Where first, the blame he lays to the heathen authors is in his sense laid to the Scripture; and whereas he holds them to be young men, or men of no antidote, that are of like opinions, it should seem that Machiavel, the sole retriever of this ancient prudence, is to his solid reason a beardless boy that has newly read Livy. And how solid his reason is may appear, where he grants the great prosperity of ancient commonwealths, which is to give up the controversy. For such an effect must have some adequate cause ; which to evade, he insinuates that it was nothing else but the emulation of particular men: as if sa great an emulation could have been generated with out as great virtue ; so great virtue without the best education; the best education without the best laws; or the best laws any otherwise than by the excel, lency of their polity,
But if some of these commonwealths, as being less perfect in their polity than others, have been more seditious, it is not more an argument of the infirmity of this or that commonwealth in particular, than of the excellency of that kind of polity in general; which if they that have not altogether reached, pevertheless had greater prosperity, what would befal them that should reach?
In answer to which question let me invite Leviathan, who in all other governments gives the advantage to monarchy for perfection, to a better disquisie tion of it by these three assertions.
The first, that the perfection of government lies upon such a libration in the frame of it, that no man or men in or under it can have the interest; or having the interest, can have the power to disturb it with sedition.
The second, that monarchy, reaching the perfection of the kind, reaches not to the perfection of . government; but must have some dangerous flaw in it.
The third, that popular government, reaching the perfeetion of the kind, reaches the perfection of government, and has no flaw in it.
The first assertion requires no proof. For the proof of the second, monarchy, as has been shewn, is of two kinds, the one by arms, the other by a nobility; and there is no other kind in art or nature: for if there have been anciently some governments called kingdoms, as one of the Goths in Spain, and another of the Vandals in Africa, where the king ruled without a nobility, and by a council of the people only; it is expressly said by the authors that mention them, that the kings were but the captains, and that the people not only gave them laws, but deposed them as often as they pleased. Nor is it possible in reason that it should be otherwise in like cases ; wherefore these were either no monarchies, or had greater flaws in them than
other. But for a monarchy by arms, as that of the Turk, (which of all models that ever were, comes up to the perfection of the kind) it is not in the wit or power of man to cure it of that dangerous flaw, that the robility had frequent interest and perpetual power, by their retainers and tenants, to raise sedition; and (whereas the Janizaries occasion this kind of calamity uo sooner than they make an end of it) to levy a lasting war, to the vast effusion of blood, and that even upon occasions wherein the people, but for their dependence upon their lords, had no concernment, as in the feud of the red and white. The like has been frequent in Spain, France, Germany, and other
monarchies of this kind; wherefore monarchy by a nobility is no perfect government.
For the proof of the third assertion ; Leviathan yields it to me, that there is no cominonwealth but monarchical or popular: wherefore if no monarchy be a perfect government, then either there is no perfect government, or it must be popular: for which kind of constitution I have something more to say, than Leviathan has said, or ever will be able to say for monarchy. As,
First, that it is the government that was never conquered by any monarch, from the beginning of this world to this day: for if the commonwealths of Greece came under the yoke of the kings of Macedon, they were first broken by themselves.
Secondly, that it is the government that has free quently led mighty monarchs in triumph.
Thirdly, that it is the government, which, if it has been seditious, it has not been so from any imperfection in the kind, but in the particular constitution; which, wherever the like has happened, must have been inequal.
Fourthly, that it is the government, which, if it has been any thing near equal, was never seditious; or let him shew me what sedition has happened in Lacedeinon or Venice.
Fifthly, that it is the government, which, attaining to perfect equality, has such a libration in the