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28.: Montesquieu 3 APRIL, 1829 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVI - Journals and Debating Speeches Part I 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXVI - Journals and Debating Speeches Part I, ed. John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988).
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MSS, Mill-Taylor Collection, II/1/10; and University of Toronto Library (fragment). Transcripts, Fabian Society (all but a fragment). Edited (in part) by Harold J. Laski as “Notes of My Speech Against Sterling, 1829” in his edition of Mill’s Autobiography, pp. 300-9. The manuscript in the Mill-Taylor Collection is inscribed in Mill’s hand: “Notes of my speech / against Sterling / 1829.” The subject of the debate at the London Debating Society, on 27 March, 1829, proposed and opened by Romilly, is given by Cole as “Montesquieu as a political and philosophic writer is not worthy of the character he usually bears”; it was adjourned to the next meeting, 3 April, at which Mill was the first speaker (see the opening sentences). The speech as printed by Laski omits the matter between 445.18 and 450.15; two passages (445.18-446.34 and 446.35-449.8) are found in Fabian Society transcripts, headed respectively: “[A fragment]”, and “[On corrupting influence of change]”; another (449.34-450.15) in the manuscript in the University of Toronto Library. It appears likely that the manuscript folios from f. 6 to f. 9, plus the Toronto fragment, were separated from the manuscript before the Sotheby sale or by Laski, and reunited (except for the Toronto fragment) when the manuscripts were returned to Laski by the Fabian Society. The variants record the readings in a rejected manuscript version of the passage beginning at 445.18. As not published in Mill’s lifetime, not listed in his bibliography.
before i commence, it is proper to explain to those who were not present at the last debate, the reasons which will induce me to occupy their attention with other topics and in another manner than what the terms of the question would suggest, or perhaps, in most cases, justify.
An honourable gentleman1 who spoke towards the conclusion of the previous debate, and whose speech, I imagine, most of those who heard it will not easily forget, has thought proper to ground his defence of the merits of Montesquieu chiefly upon the demerits of those who have adopted a method of philosophizing opposite to that of Montesquieu in politics and legislation. Whether this be the proper basis to rest the discussion upon, is a question which will probably be answered differently by different persons: at all events I do not mean to contend that it is not, as it is my intention to imitate the honourable gentleman in making this, whether it be a branch of the subject or a digression from it, the principal topic of my speech. I am impelled to this by what, indeed, forms my only motive for troubling the Society at all on this question, and especially for undertaking the task, for which I feel myself wholly unfit, of opening the debate: I mean the desire of taking with as little delay as possible what appears to me the proper notice of the fierce attack which the honourable gentleman was pleased to make upon the principles and practice of those who think as I do on this question. The honourable gentleman was not content with stigmatizing their opinions as false. He ascribed to those opinions, all manner of demoralizing effects—there was no end to the expressions which he heaped, indicative of the odious or disagreeable habits of mind, which were connected with those opinions, and of which, as he told us, the character and lives of the persons who held them were a practical illustration. The persons of whom these things were alleged were generally all those the current of whose speculations on government and laws, runs in a different channel from that in which he tells us, Montesquieu’s did; but more particularly those, who profess the principles of Mr. Bentham. Sir, I do not profess to be a follower of Mr. Bentham: partly because no person, who thinks for himself, will ever call himself the follower of any one, and partly because I altogether dissent from many of the opinions which those, who are ignorant enough to fancy that there is a Benthamite sect, are also ignorant enough to suppose to be the opinions of that sect. And I believe, that of the far too great number of speeches which the indulgence of this Society has permitted me to make during this and the last two years, a majority would be found to have been made in opposition to some one or other of what are vulgarly considered to be the Benthamite doctrines. In those opinions of Mr. Bentham, however, which have been the object of the honourable gentleman’s invective as in most of the opinions really professed by that great man, I have the misfortune to agree; and I consequently feel myself a party concerned in the honourable gentleman’s denunciations, and as such, I do not feel disposed to sit down quietly under them. I am far from denying that among the countless aberrations of the human understanding it is possible that a person might think all which the honourable gentleman has said, and might think that it was his duty to say it. I take it however for granted that in resorting to this mode of controversy, the honourable gentleman did not reckon upon having the use of it entirely to himself. I conclude, that in dealing with his opponents after this fashion, he was alive to the possibility that those whom he attacked might one day come to the conclusion that the employment of this description of weapons on his part, justified a recourse to it on theirs. They have indeed hitherto remained tolerably passive under the animadversions which the honourable gentleman is in the habit of pouring forth against them, for various reasons, and among others probably because they did not consider it very dignified to evince an overanxiety to stand forth in defence of themselves on slight occasions. But they have entered into no compact with the honourable gentleman that he shall fight with daggers and they with foils: and they will probably think that it is now time for the honourable gentleman to be reminded that the censorial authority which he has assumed over us is one to which he has no title but by his own election of himself to that office. On the contrary I believe that the sense of the Society will go along with me when I say, that while we do justice to the honourable gentleman’s talents, and are ready to submit to any moderate pretensions which he may set up to authority among us on that ground we yet do not recognize in him any such vast and immeasurable superiority to ourselves, as should entitle him to pronounce dictatorially upon the moral tendency of our principles and of our minds. Above all, we do not discern in him that calmness of temperament, that impartiality in collecting and care in weighing evidence, that power of representing to himself the feelings and the ideas of other men, or that accurate knowledge of the systems and opinions that he condemns which are necessary for executing so high a judicial office faithfully.
I believe the honourable gentleman does not seek to conceal, that he once held the opinions, which he now so strongly censures. Now I by no means wish to insinuate, that these opinions, as they existed in his mind, may not have been attended with every absurd and every immoral consequence which he deduces from them. From the apparent incapacity of the honourable gentleman to rest any where but in extremes, that was probably the case. But I would beg the honourable gentleman to remember that if in his mind, these opinions were really as absurd and as immoral as he represents them, the case is far otherwise in ours; and that we do not think it absolutely necessary that we should be bound by his inferences from our opinions: nay more: that we think ourselves fully as well qualified to judge what are the legitimate consequences deduceable from our principles as he is, having probably considered them much more; and that we do not precisely see why our morality should be made responsible for the errors of his logic. It has probably never aentered into the mind ofa the honourable gentleman to reflect what a blargeb assumption in favour of his own cdiscernment is involved in the assertion thatc any set of philosophical opinions d have a demoralizing tendency. For my part, e I do not profess to understand all the bearings of an opinion, better than those who hold the opinion, and who have therefore so much stronger an interest than I have in discovering to what conclusions it leads. I know that those immoral consequences which may appear to me to follow from an opinion, may not follow from it considered in itself, but only when combined with some other erroneous opinion of my own. I know that there is no principle whatever which being conjoined with a sufficient number of sufficiently important errors of fact will not lead to immoral consequences. I know, that no conclusion can ever follow from a single premise; that two at least are requisite, and that very probably those to whom I am opposed may not acknowledge that other premise which is necessary to make the immoral consequence follow; that very possibly it is one which no rational person would acknowledge; and so the whole scheme of imaginary immorality may be futile. But though there is so much assumption in pronouncing any opinions to be essentially attended with immoral consequences, there is no assumption at all in supposing that an individual may have afforded ample evidence, with what consequences they are attended in his mind. And I will tell the honourable gentleman that if we are to judge what his opinions lead to, or what would result from them in a mind of a more austere or supercillious disposition, by the effect they seem to have produced even on a mind so much the opposite of those bad qualities as his own, principles more calculated to make men bigots and fanatics, and amidst the greatest external contempt for sects, to foster a spirit of mere exclusive sectarianism, never were promulgated among men. The honourable gentleman may think this very extraordinary; but what is a bigot, or what is a sectarian, except a person who is incapable of being just to men or opinions out of a certain pale, and who is perpetually ascribing evil qualities to them without ground? I am well aware that we are not entitled to impute these consequences to the honourable gentleman’s opinions, which may be very true and very useful notwithstanding: and that all opinions have in themselves a certain tendency to sectarianism. But yet, it does appear to me that if there be any difference according to the nature of the opinion, that tendency must belong in rather a superior degree to those opinions, be they true or false, which elevate and swell men with the idea that they possess a superfine, a double-distilled virtue unknown to others, which teaches them, let us understand, not to detest the vices of other people but to despise their virtues as not being sufficiently lofty and refined. Enthusiasm we know is a powerful principle: And Vanity also is a powerful principle: but when Enthusiasm and Vanity are combined there is no limit to the lengths to which men are hurried, or to that injustice which they are capable of doing to other people.
I imagine that it will hardly be required of me by the Society that I should enter very particularly into the details of the honourable gentleman’s charges of immorality, but I shall advert to one of the most curious of them, not assuredly with any purpose of repelling it, but because it illustrates a little of the nature of the honourable gentleman’s own ideals of virtue, and renders it pretty easy to see what cause is likely hereafter to have the benefit of his support. He asserted with great emphasis that there is hardly any thing which has so corrupting an effect upon the mind as to be always looking with impatience and anxiety for some external change, and to be unquiet and uneasy because it does not happen. Now he cannot mean, that at no time, and in no place, and in no state of things is any external change necessary. I should suppose even the honourable gentleman’s ardent optimism, his fervent liberality, will not carry him thus far: and indeed it does appear to me that when people are without bread they are likely enough to imagine that they would be the better for some external change which should feed them, and that when men are in the dungeons of the Bastille or of the Inquisition it is not unreasonable to suppose that they would be benefitted by any external change which should have the effect of letting them out. We must therefore conclude that in the honourable gentleman’s opinion men may be suffering every extremity of misery for want of some external changes, but that nothing can be more degrading or more contrary to true virtue than to be rendered at all uneasy by the contemplation of this misery. It is not the man who causes the misery, upon whom the honourable gentleman’s wrath is poured forth: he is protected by the honourable gentleman’s reverence for whatever is hoary and venerable, and ancient of days, and there is nothing so ancient, nothing so hoary, and therefore I suppose nothing so venerable as sin: accordingly it is not the sin which calls forth the honourable gentleman’s indignation, but the avenger. If this is to be the upshot of the honourable gentleman’s supersublimated virtue, if it is to render men indifferent spectators of other men’s misfortunes—if by its influence they shall not suffer with those whom they see suffer, if the spectacle of men bowed down by tyranny or worn out by privation is to give them no uneasiness and to inspire them with no desire to behold the tyranny overthrown and the privations alleviated, then it is impossible to conceive any system of morals more admirably adapted to serve as a cover and an apology for the vilest of selfishness. This is at least a new view of the nature of virtue, which places those who have too much feeling for other people in the foremost rank of vice. It is most true that any more than ordinary sensibility to the evils of others, or any very impatient anxiety for the amendment of the world is sufficiently apt to sour the temper and embitter the existence of the disappointed philanthropist, and that those who have spent their lives in protecting the feeble and righting the wronged have commonly enough a thankless office: but it is something new to hear them openly stigmatized as immoral themselves and the causes of immorality in others. I shall not stop to enquire how far this is consistent with the doctrines of One whom the honourable gentleman professes to reverence, of Jesus Christ, nor whether it was under the influence of such opinions as these that Howard spent his life in effecting external changes in the prisons of Europe2 and Hampden and Sidney met their death by endeavouring to effect them in the government of England.3 I shall bring the honourable gentleman to a less high standard by comparing him with himself. The time certainly was, nor is that time long gone by, when the honourable gentleman thought that great external changes were necessary. Does the Society remember the debate on the disfranchisement of Penryn?4 Does it remember the honourable gentleman’s memorable peroration in which he described to us one after another in sounding sentences and with the most emphatic delivery, the great and crying evils of the external order of things in this country, and closed each successive article of the long catalogue by contemptuously declaring, that as a cure for these evils, the government would disfranchise Penryn? Nay, even the miserable contrivance of a ballot box did not in those days seem to the honourable gentleman a security absolutely to be despised. Let me ask, then, was it precisely from the honourable gentleman that those who held these same opinions were to expect a strain of intemperate abuse, on the same topics precisely which are employed against them by the most vulgar hirelings of the Tory faction? Those who think that the social arrangements of this country contain much requiring amendment are well aware that they have to reckon upon the bitter and unscrupulous hostility of all who make the vulgar objects of a low selfishness the end of their lives, from the prime minister5 down to him who furnishes penny a line slanders to the Age newspaper.6 But how happens it that for some time past the only persons towards whom the honourable gentleman has seemed to feel with any bitterness are those who pursue the same ends with himself for different reasons? What means this coalition in which he whose head rises so far above the clouds that whatever he may perceive that is to us invisible of the pure resplendent aether beyond, his vision as respects the affairs of this world seems to be sufficiently dim and misty, is side by side and arm in arm with the reptiles who grovel upon the earth? Is it the alliance—unnatural as some may esteem it, but as it appears to me the most natural and legitimate alliance that ever existed, between the extreme of spirituality and the extreme of worldlinesss, a virtue of pure speculation being the only one which is compatible with the very furthest extremity of practical vice? Or is it because one whose forte7 lies in invective and declamation is in the long run almost always found on the side of vulgar antipathy, because it is on that side chiefly and almost entirely that invective or declamation tells? Or is it, as I fear it is, because the pure light of transcendentalism, which had only dawned upon him when he made his peroration on Penryn, having since illuminated his mind with its meridian splendour, he has now become convinced that those external changes which he formerly wished for are not necessary? If so, keenly as we must regret the loss of the honourable gentleman’s support to our cause, we perhaps ought to congratulate him in a worldly point of view, that he no longer holds any opinions which need at all stand in the way of his temporal advancement: that while his premises have been constantly receding farther and farther from vulgar apprehension, his conclusions, like the other pole of the needle, have all the time been veering round in the opposite direction, and that he now sees all practical questions with the same eyes as the persons who have nothing but the light of their own self-interest to guide them. It is true, that of the many points on which the honourable gentleman once differed from that description of persons, he still differs from them on one. He still thinks that Manchester and Leeds ought to be represented, that is to say the property and intelligence of those places, words which he habitually joins together, as if there were any connexion between the two; as if intelligence, and what he calls property, that is to say large property, were not much oftener found apart, than in combination. Now as I am sincerely desirous of the honourable gentleman’s worldly welfare, which even this solitary relic of his former radical opinions may materially impede, perhaps he will permit me to suggest to him that having proceeded thus far, he may just as well go one step farther. It has been again and again unanswerably urged by Mr. Canning that the property of Manchester and Leeds does not need representation;8 it is already virtually represented, a phrase which here at least involves no imposture. The men of property in Leeds are represented by the representatives of the men of property elsewhere between whose interest and theirs there is the most perfect identity. Have we not the men of greatest wealth in Leeds and Manchester already in Parliament for other places? Who ever heard that the interests of Manchester had been sacrificed to those of Liverpool, or that Manchester, meaning thereby the men of property in Manchester, had ever suffered in the most minute particular for want of a representative? All descriptions of property are abundantly, and more than abundantly represented in the legislature, they have not only full protection for themselves but a great deal of undue power over other people. It is the men of no property as they are called who are not represented: it is the body of the people who are the owners of the small masses of property which being nothing to their9 superiors, and supposed to be nothing to them and who are not represented either actually or virtually in the House of Commons, while all the interests most decidedly opposed to them are. But it is not this portion of the inhabitants of Manchester and Leeds, that the honourable gentleman would admit to the benefits of a representation. I trust therefore that on further reflexion he will see, that he and his Tory allies are now quarrelling about a trifle, and that it is a pity such good friends should be divided by a hair’s breadth and that he will be induced by what I have now said to review and alter this only survivor of his old opinions. He will then be fully qualified as a candidate for that bad eminence which Burke attained towards the end of his career when after having talked sense and virtue all his life to the powerful classes with as little effect as sense and virtue usually have upon the possessors of power, he all at once became their idol by furnishing them with a theory to their practice, with a philosophy to the measure of their inclinations by urging them for the love of virtue to do all manner of injury to those whom they hated for the sake of vice, by giving them fine new reasons why they ought to do those things to which they were already urged by every selfish and every malignant passion in their nature. Such is likely to be the fate of the honourable gentleman. He will never carry any person with him, but when he is attacking those whom his audience have far more substantial reasons than any he gives them, to dislike.10
With respect to the merits of Montesquieu, the honourable gentleman has told us very little about them. But it appeared that the historical school of jurists, of which he told us that Montesquieu was the founder,11 stood very high in his estimation; not so much however for any thing which they did, but for something which they have not done: they did not fall into the error, which he says has been committed by Mr. Bentham, of imagining that there is a universal science of politics, applicable with certain modifications to all countries. They think on the contrary that every country ought to have its separate science of politics, founded on an attentive consideration of its history, and in which the conservation of all the principal institutions of that country and of all the habits and feelings of its people should be received as a fundamental axiom.
Now, Sir, these may be the honourable gentleman’s opinions but it is altogether a mistake to suppose that they were Montesquieu’s. Montesquieu did not undertake to treat of the science of politics or of legislation. It is only incidentally that we learn from his book any of his opinions on these subjects. Montesquieu’s book is essentially a treatise on a branch of the philosophy of history: he treated of l’esprit des lois;12 i.e. the pervading principle of the laws of any country: his object was to enquire what are the circumstances which give to the whole body of the institutions of any country that peculiar character, which distinguishes them from the institutions of other countries. In doing this he of course had frequent occasion to shew not only why an institution had been established, but why it should be by adducing the reasons of expediency which had led to its establishment in different states: but what I wish to point out is that by the very nature of his design he was confined to the circumstances of difference in the situation of different nations, from which it by no means follows that he was insensible to the more numerous and far more important circumstances of agreement. Although his notions unquestionably were very often obscure and confused on various topics of what may be termed the metaphysics of law, I believe him to have been altogether guiltless of the absurdities to which the honourable gentleman, his defender, lays claim on his behalf. Doctrines which when we come to analyse them, amount to this, that there are no tendencies which are common to all mankind. For if there are any tendencies, common to all mankind and in particular if all the stronger tendencies of human nature are such, both those which require to be regulated and those whose agency you must employ to regulate them, it surely is not an irrational subject of enquiry, what are the laws and other social arrangements which would be desirable, if no other tendencies than these universal tendencies of human nature existed. And this, when ascertained, merely constitutes pro tanto a universal science of politics, although before we apply it to any particular nation we must also ascertain what are the tendencies peculiar to that nation, and correct the abstract principles of the science by the modifications which those tendencies introduce.
I was surprised at first to find that the honourable gentleman, professing to discuss the merits of two opposite schools of law, one of which was that of Mr. Bentham, should have adverted only to Mr. Bentham’s opinions on constitutional legislation, omitting his much more original and valuable labours in other branches of the field of law: but the fact is that if the honourable gentleman had not acted in that manner, he would not have found any thing to differ from Mr. Bentham upon. Nobody ever supposed that the detailed provisions of the civil and penal code were to be the same for any two countries, or for the same country at different periods of its history. What is universal in this branch of the science consists chiefly in what I have already termed the metaphysics of law, which belongs equally to all nations because it is in truth nothing more than the explication of the fundamental ideas which are involved in the very conception of a law, or a body of laws of whatever description. And this of which Montesquieu was absolutely ignorant, to which the Roman jurists made but a very distant approximation, and which by the way it would do the honourable gentleman no harm to study, is a branch of science which we owe entirely to Mr. Bentham and to those who have followed in his footsteps.
The honourable gentleman, however, confined his animadversions to Mr. Bentham’s opinions on constitutional law: of which he seems to have formed rather a curious idea. He says that a tribe of North American Indians is the exact type and representation of Mr. Bentham’s republic—for there we may see universal suffrage, daily parliaments, and the total absence of all such pernicious institutions as a church or an aristocracy, to which Mr. Bentham ascribes all the evils which exist. Now I really do not know, that the honourable gentleman in the days of his radicalism may not have had the egregious folly to think, that a good government might be constructed out of negatives: but of this he may perfectly assure himself that Mr. Bentham does not: that in Mr. Bentham’s estimation, there go some positive conditions to the making up of a good state of society as well as some negative ones, and that the negative conditions are only required in order to give to the positive conditions full effect. In order that the honourable gentleman may be enabled better to comprehend the nature of the blunder which he has been committing, I will beg him to suppose that he were a writer on medicine, of which I dare say that he knows a great deal more than he does of Mr. Bentham’s philosophy; and that in this character he had composed and given to the world a treatise on poisons: and suppose that having read this book, I were to walk up to the honourable gentleman, present him with a bag of sawdust and to say, “Look here. Behold the type, the beau idéal of your system of diet. Observe this sawdust: there is no arsenic in it, no verdigris, not one particle of corrosive sublimate is here, you are bound to give this to all your patients and make it their daily food.” Let the honourable gentleman consider what answer he would give to a person who should thus address him, and suppose himself answered in the same way.
With respect to universal suffrage and short parliaments which the honourable gentleman has most unaccountably found among a people who have no parliaments and no representative system at all, I will tell the honourable gentleman that he has himself done precisely what when it is done by any other person makes him so excessively indignant. He has taken the mere accidents of Mr. Bentham’s system, those very parts of it which Mr. Bentham himself would allow ought to vary with difference of circumstances, and has insisted upon judging of the whole system by those accidents, keeping its great and leading principle wholly out of view. Universal suffrage and annual parliaments, let me tell the honourable gentleman, are in Mr. Bentham’s apprehension nothing more than a particular set of means for giving effect to his system. The one great principle of Mr. Bentham’s system is, that that body which like the House of Commons in this country, holds substantially in its own hands the governing power, should be chosen by, and accountable to, some portion or other of the people whose interest is not materially different from that of the whole.13 Now this, I am ready to maintain in the face of the honourable gentleman, is a universal principle in politics, a principle which he may add if he pleases to the two other principles respecting slavery and Christianity, which he says are not inconsistent with any form of government which ought to exist. And Mr. Bentham, of whose pretended universal science of politics the honourable gentleman has such a horror, gives so moderate an extent to that science, that he does not require the honourable gentleman to do more than add a third universal proposition to the two which he has already conceded; for wherever this one principle is in operation, there is Mr. Bentham’s system: and in all the other parts of the social system the honourable gentleman is perfectly at liberty as far as Mr. Bentham is concerned, to determine himself by circumstances. Whether this principle is or is not in operation among the North American Indians I am not sufficiently conversant with that people to know. The honourable gentleman however might have found another people in North America, on the banks of the Ohio, and likewise a people on the other side of the British channel, in both of which, by various means, and among others by the miserable contrivance of a ballot box, this sole principle of Mr. Bentham’s system has been brought happily into operation; and either of which, I can assure the honourable gentleman is a much nearer approximation to the beau idéal of Mr. Bentham’s republic, than the example which he suggested to us. And I am perfectly willing that the merits of Mr. Bentham’s system should be tried by the effects with which it is attended in either of these cases, being persuaded, that these two nations considered as entire nations, are by many degrees the happiest and the most virtuous nations on the face of the earth: and that although the form of their government would not of itself have sufficed to make them so, yet if it had not been for the form of their government those other circumstances which have cooperated in producing the effect would many of them never have had existence, and such as did exist being entirely controlled and stripped of their beneficial effect might as well, for the happiness and virtue of the people, have likewise been nonexistent.
[1 ]John Sterling.
[a-a]RV occurred to
[c-c]RV understanding he makes when he pronounces
[e]RV I have reflected on it so much, that I never but with the greatest hesitation presume to pass such a judgment upon any set of philosophical opinions; for in the first place, I am very far from being fully convinced that any set whatever of opinions deserves it; on the contrary it appears to me that reflection of whatever sort on the foundations of morals, cannot fail in most cases to withdraw the mind at least in some slight degree from the vulgar objects of selfishness, and by associating the feeling of selfrespect with the practice of some description of moral duties, which in all systems of morals yet propounded embrace the main essentials of human life, to elevate the being at least a little above what he would have been, if he had never meditated on any theory of morals at all. Accordingly, there have been many systems, which professed in different ways to explain and analyse virtue some of which, no doubt, have been better and others worse, but in one point, I believe, they have all agreed: and this is that the lives of those who professed them, and who devoted any considerable portion of their lives to the study of them, have in the great majority of instances been pure, and their minds, in the scale of moral excellence, very considerably above the average of ordinary men. This is true alike of Stoics and of Epicureans, of the followers of Kant and of those of Locke.
[2 ]John Howard (ca. 1726-90), the founder of prison reform.
[3 ]John Hampden (1594-1643), the famed opponent of Charles I’s demand for ship money, died in the battle of Chalgrove in 1643. Algernon Sidney (1622-83), another opponent of royal tyranny, was arrested for suspected involvement in the Rye House plot to assassinate Charles II and his brother James in 1683. Sidney was condemned on the basis of hearsay evidence and executed.
[4 ]Presumably the London Debating Society, in the spring of 1828, devoted a session, during which Sterling spoke, to this subject, consequent upon the introduction in parliament of “A Bill to Exclude the Borough of Penryn, in the County of Cornwall, from Sending Members to Serve in Parliament,” 9 George IV (20 Feb., 1828), PP, 1828, II, 87-106. The Bill, which was not enacted, provided that Manchester would get the two seats Penryn lost.
[5 ]Currently Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, but the reference is probably not intended to be specific.
[6 ]Founded in 1825 as a popular scandal sheet. (The typescript leaves a blank for the name of the newspaper, presumably judged illegible.)
[7 ]This word is left blank in the typescript, presumably judged illegible.
[8 ]See, e.g, Canning, Speech on Sir Francis Burdett’s Motion for a Reform of Parliament (2 June, 1818), PD, 1st ser., Vol. 38, cols. 1170-3, where he uses the words “virtually represented” (col. 1170).
[9 ]The manuscript in the Mill-Taylor Collection breaks off here; the manuscript fragment in the University of Toronto Library begins.
[10 ]The manuscript fragment in the University of Toronto Library ends here; the manuscript in the Mill-Taylor Collection resumes.
[11 ]Through his influential De l’esprit des loix, 2 vols. (Geneva: Barillot, ).
[12 ]Laski read “l’esprit des lois” (which is ill-written) as “assigned duties”.
[13 ]See especially Bentham, Plan of Parliamentary Reform, passim.