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CHAP. I.: Containing the Civil Part of the Model, propos’d practicably. - James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works 
The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington, with an Account of His Life by John Toland (London: Becket and Cadell, 1771).
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Containing the Civil Part of the Model, propos’d practicably.
SEEING it has bin sufficiently prov’d, that empire follows the nature of property; that the particular kind of empire or government depends upon the special distribution (except in small countrys) of land; and that where the balance in property has not bin fix’d, the nature of the government (be it what you will) has bin floting: it is very reasonable that, in the proposition of a commonwealth, we begin with a fixation of the balance in property; and this being not otherwise to be don than by som such laws as have bin commonly call’d agrarian, it is propos’d,
1. Agrarian laws.THAT every one holding above two thousand pounds a year in land, lying within the proper territory of the commonwealth, leave the said land equally divided among his sons; or else so near equally, that there remain to the eldest of them not above two thousand pounds a year in land so lying. That this proposition be so understood, as not to concern any parent having no more than one son, but the next heir only that shall have more sons; in such sort, as nothing be hereby taken from any man, or from his posterity, but that fatherly affection be at all points extended as formerly, except only that it be with more piety, and less partiality. And that the same proposition, in such familys where there are no sons, concern the daughter or daughters in the like manner.
THAT no daughter, being neither heir nor coheir, have above fifteen hundred pounds in portion, or for her preserment in marriage. That any daughter, being an orphan, and having seven hundred pounds or upwards in portion, may charge the state with it. That the state being so charg’d, be bound to manage the portion of such an orphan for the best, either by due payment of the interest of the same; or, if it be desir’d, by way of annuity for life, at the rate of one hundred pounds a year, for every seven hundred pounds so receiv’d. The manner wherof being elsewhere shewn, is not needful to be repeated.
That these propositions prevent the growing of a monarchical nobility, is their peculiar end: wherfore that this should hold the weight of an objection in a popular balance, already introduc’d thro the failure of a monarchical nobility, or thro a level made not by the people, but by the kings or themselves, were preposterous. Yet upon this score (for I see no other) is there such animosity against the like laws, that wise men have judg’d it an indiscretion, in such as are affected to popular government, not to temporize in this point; at least, till a commonwealth were first introduc’d. To which judgment I am by no means inclining: first, Because the whole stream of this kind of government is so clear and pellucid, as to abhor having any thing in the bottom which may not appear at the very top. Secondly, Because an agrarian, not brought in with the introduction of a commonwealth, was never yet known to be brought in after the introduction of a commonwealth. And thirdly, Because the change of balances in states, thro the want of fixation, has bin so sudden, that between the reign of Henry the Seventh, and that of Queen Elizabeth, being under fifty years, the English balance of monarchical became popular; and that of Rome, between the lives of Scipio and of Tiberius Gracchus, being also under fifty years, of popular became monarchical. Nevertheless, if there remains any cure of animosity that may be safe, it must be prudent:Chap. I. and such a cure (if we be not so abandon’d to mere fancy, as to sacrifice all prudence to it) there may be in the addition of this clause;
Additional clause to the agrarian.THAT no agrarian law hereby given to this commonwealth, or to be hereafter given to the same, or to any province of the same, be understood to be otherwise binding, than to the generation to com, or to the children to be born seven years after the enacting of the law.
Upon the addition of this clause, it may be safely said of these agrarian laws, that they concern not any man living: and for posterity, it is well known, that to enact a law, is no more in their regard, than to commend a thing to their choice; seeing they, if so pleas’d, can no more be devested of the power to repeal any law enacted by their ancestors, than we are of repealing such laws as have bin enacted by ours.
To this it may be objected, that agrarian laws, being once enacted, must have brought estates to the standard of the same, before posterity can com into a capacity to judg of them. But this is the only means wherby posterity can com to a true capacity to judg of them: first, because they will have had experience of the laws wherof they are to judg: and secondly, because they will be void of all such imaginary interests as might corrupt their judgment, and do now certainly corrupt ours.
The first parallel.The balance of the commonwealth of Israel, thro the distribution of lands at the introduction of the same, became popular; and becoming popular, was fix’d by the law for the jubile.Deut. 25. 28.That which was sold, shall remain in the hands of them that bought it till the year of jubile; and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return to his possession. The ways in Israel, and in the commonwealth propos’d, where the popular balance is not made but found, are divers; but the agrarian laws in each, as to the end, which is the preservation of the balance, are of a like effect.
To rise thus from true foundations to proper superstructures, the first step from the balance thus fix’d into the orders of a commonwealth, is not otherwise to be taken than by certain distributions or divisions of the people, wherof som are to be personal, and som local.
Freemen and servants.The first personal division of a people, is into freemen and servants. Freemen are such as have wherwithal to live of themselves; and servants, such as have not. This division therfore is not constitutive, but naturally inherent in the balance; nor, seeing all government is in the direction of the balance, is it possible for the superstructures of any to make more freemen than are such by the nature of the balance, or by their being able to live of themselves.
The second parallel.All that could in this matter be don, even by Moses himself, is contain’d in this proviso: if thy brother that dwells by thee be grown poor, and be sold to thee, thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bond-servant:Levit. 25. 29. but as a hir’d servant, and a sojourner he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee to the year of jubile. And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers shall he return.
The nature of riches consider’d, this division into freemen and servants is not properly constitutive, but as it were natural. To com to such divisions as are both personal and constitutive, it is propos’d,
3. Horse and foot.THAT all citizens, that is, freemen, or such as are not servants, be distributed into horse and foot. That such of them as have one hundred pounds a year in lands, goods or mony, or above that proportion, be of the horse; and all such as have under that proportion, be of the foot.
4. Elders and youth.THAT all elders or freemen, being thirty years of age or upwards, be capable of civil administration: and that the youth, or such freemen, as are between eighteen years of age and thirty, be not capable of civil administration, but of military only; in such a manner as shall follow in the military part of this model.
Now, besides personal divisions, it is necessary in order to the framing of a commonwealth, that there be som such as are local. For these therfore it is propos’d,
5. Precinct of the parish.THAT the whole native, or proper territory of the commonwealth, be cast, with as must exactness as can be convenient, into known and fix’d precincts or parishes.
6. Parochial congregations and deputys.THAT the elders, resident in each parish, annually assemble in the same; as for example, upon Monday next insuing the last of December. That they then and there elect out of their own number every fifth man, or one man out of every five, to be for the term of the year insuing, a deputy of that parish; and that the first and second so elected be overseers, or presidents, for regulating of all parochial congregations, whether of the elders or of the youth, during the term for which they were elected.
7. Precinct of the hundred.THAT so many parishes lying nearest together, whose deputys shall amount to one hundred or thereabout, be cast into one precinct call’d the hundred. And that in each precinct call’d the hundred, there be a town, village, or place appointed to be the capital of the same.
8. Assembly or muster of the hundred.THAT the parochial deputys elected throout the hundred, assemble annually; for example, upon Monday next insuing the last of January, at the capital of their hundred. That they then and there elect out of the horse of their number one justice of the peace, one juryman, one captain, one insign: and out of the foot of their number, one other juryman, one high constable, &c.
Tho our justices of the peace have not bin annual, yet that they may so be is apparent, because the high sherifs, whose office is of greater difficulty, have always bin annual: seeing therfore they may be annual, that so they ought in this administration to be, will appear, where they com to be constitutive of such courts as, should they consist of a standing magistracy, would be against the nature of a commonwealth. But the precincts hitherto being thus stated, it is propos’d,
9. Precinct of the tribe.THAT every twenty hundreds, lying nearest and most conveniently together, be cast into one tribe. That the whole territory being after this manner cast into tribes, som town, village, or place be appointed to every tribe for the capital of the same. And that these three precincts, that is, the parish, the hundred, and the tribe (whether the deputys, thenceforth annually chosen in the parishes or hundreds, com to increase or diminish) remain firm and inalterable for ever, save only by act of parlament.
These divisions, or the like, both personal and local, are that in a well-order’d commonwealth, which stairs are in a good house; not that stairs in themselves are desirable, but that without them there is no getting into the chambers. The whole matter of cost and pains, necessary to the introduction of a like model, lys only in the first architecture, or building of these stairs; that is, in stating of these three precincts: which don, they lead you naturally and necessarily into all the rooms of this fabric. For the just number of tribes into which a territory thus cast may fall, it is not very easy to be guest: yet, because for the carrying on of discourse it is requisit to pitch upon som certainty, I shall presume that the number of the tribes, thus stated, amounts to fifty; and that the number of the parochial deputys annually elected in each tribe, amounts to two thousand. Be the deputys more or fewer by the alterations which may happen in progress of time, it disorders nothing. Now to ascend by these stairs into the upper rooms of this building, it is propos’d,
10. Assembly or muster of the tribe.THAT the deputys elected in the several parishes, together with their magistrats and other officers both civil and military, elected in their several hundreds, assemble or muster annually; for example, upon Monday next insuing the last of February at the capital of their tribe.
How the troops and companys of the deputys, with their military officers or commanders thus assembl’d, may, without expence of time, be straight distributed into one uniform and orderly body, has bin elsewhere* shewn, and is not needful to be repeated. For their work, which at this meeting will require two days, it is propos’d,
11. Magistrats of the tribe.THAT the whole body thus assembl’d, upon the first day of the assembly, elect out of the horse of their number one high sherif, one lieutenant of the tribe, one custos rotulorum, one conductor, and two censors. That the high sherif be commander in chief, the lieutenant commander in the second place, and the conductor in the third, of this band or squadron. That the custos rotulorum be mustermaster, and keep the rolls. That the censors be governors of the ballot. And that the term of these magistracys be annual.
These being thus elected, it is propos’d,
12. The prerogative troop.THAT the magistrats of the tribe, that is to say, the high sherif, lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the censors, and the conductor, together with the magistrats and officers of the hundreds, that is to say, the twenty justices of the peace, the forty jurymen, the twenty high constables, be one troop, or one troop and one company apart, call’d the prerogative troop or company. That this troop bring in and assist the justices of assize, hold the quarter sessions in their several capacitys, and perform their other functions as formerly.
By this means the commonwealth at its introduction may imbrace the law as it stands, that is, unreform’d; which is the greatest advantage of such reformations: for to reform laws before the introduction of the government, which is to shew to what the laws in reformation are to be brought or fitted, is impossible. But these magistrats of the hundreds and tribes being such wherby the parlament is to govern the nation, this is a regard in which they ought to be further capable of such orders and instructions as shall therto be requisit: for which cause it is propos’d,
13. The phylarch.THAT the magistrats of the tribe, that is to say, the high sherif, lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the censors, and the conductor, together with the twenty justices elected at the hundreds, be a court for the government of the tribe call’d the phylarch; and that this court procede in all matters of government, as shall from time to time be directed by act of parlament.
By these courts the commonwealth will be furnish’d with true channels, wherby at leisure to turn the law into that which is sufficiently known to have bin its primitive course, and to a perfect reformation by degrees, without violence. For as the corruption of our law procedes from an art inabled to improve its privat interest; or from the law upon the bench, and the jury at the bar: so the reformation of our law must com from disabling it as an art to improve its privat interest; or to a jury upon the bench, and the law at the bar, as in Venice.
The third parallel.JUDGES and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates which the Lord thy God gives thee throout thy tribes, and they shall judg the people with just judgment.Deut. 16. 18. These courts, whose sessionhouse was in the gates of every city,Book 2. were shewn each of them to have consisted of twenty-three elders, which were as a jury upon the bench, giving sentence by plurality of votes, and under a kind of appeal to the seventy elders or senat of Israel, as was also shewn in the second book.
This, or the like, by all example, and beyond any controversy, has bin, and is the natural way of judicature in commonwealths. The phylarchs, with a court or two of appeals eligible out of the senat and the people, are at any time with ease and very small alteration to be cast upon a triennial rotation: which, in all things besides proceding after the manner of the Venetian quarrancys, will be in this case perfect orders.
To return: the first day’s election at the tribe being as has bin shewn, it is propos’d,
14. Knights and burgesses.THAT the squadron of the tribe, on the second day of their assembly, elect two knights and three burgesses out of the horse of their number, and four other burgesses out of the foot of their number. That each knight upon election forthwith make oath of allegiance to the commonwealth; or refusing this oath, that the next competitor in election to the same magistracy, making the said oath, be the magistrat; the like for the burgesses. That the knights, thus sworn, have session in the senat for the term of three years; and that the burgesses thus sworn be of the prerogative tribe, or representative of the people for the like term.
Now wheras this proposition is sufficient for the perpetuation of the senat and the assembly of the people, being once instituted, but not sufficient for the full and perfect institution of them, it necessitats the addition in this place, not of a permanent order, but of an expedient for the first year’s election only; which may be this:
Expedient for the first year’s election.“THAT for the full and perfect institution of the assemblys mention’d, the squadron of the tribe in the first year of the commonwealth elect two knights for the term of one year, two other knights for the term of two years, and lastly, two knights more for the term of three years: the like for the burgesses of the horse first, and then for those of the foot.”
By this expedient the senat in fifty tribes is constituted of three hundred knights or senators, wherof one hundred, by the expiration of their terms, com annually to fall; and another hundred at the same time to enter. The like for the prerogative tribe or assembly of the people, which, consisting of the whole of one thousand and fifty, suffers the like alteration in one third part, or in the yearly exchange of one hundred and fifty burgesses: by which means the motion or rotation of these assemblys is annual, triennial, and perpetual. For the full dispatch of the foregoing elections there remains but one proposition more, which is this:
15. Proviso.THAT a magistrat or officer elected at the hundred be therby excluded from being elected a magistrat of the tribe, or of the first day’s election: that no former election whatsoever exclude a man from the second day’s election at the tribe, or to be chosen a knight or burgess. That a man being chosen a knight or burgess, who before was chosen a magistrat or officer of the hundred or tribe, delegat his former office, or magistracy in the hundred or the tribe, to any other deputy being no magistrat nor officer, and being of the same hundred and of the same order, that is, of the horse or foot respectively. That the whole and every part of the foregoing orders for election in the parishes, the hundreds, and the tribes, be holding and inviolable upon such penaltys in case of failure, as shall hereafter be provided by act of parlament against any parish, hundred, tribe, deputy or person so offending.
Without som such provision as is contain’d in the former part of this provision, men would be inconveniently excluded from preferment, or the tribe obliged to return to the ballot; and so to spend more time for trifles than is requir’d by their real business.
The fourth parallel.The representative of Israel collected monthly by the two thousand out of each tribe (if we consider what method must have bin us’d in such elections) intimats, first,2 Chron. 27. that there were subdivisions to that end in each tribe, perhaps of the nature of our hundreds and parishes: secondly, that there were qualifications in those elections as to the patriarchs or chief fathers, and as to the people with their captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds; which is enough thus far to approve and recommend the foregoing propositions.
The senat, and the congregation or representative of the people, are in every commonwealth the main orders. The stairs or degrees of ascent to these being now mounted, it remains that I lead you into the rooms of state, or the assemblys themselves: which shall be perform’d, first, by shewing their frame, and next by by shewing their uses or functions. To bring you first into the senat, it is propos’d,
16. Frame of the senat.THAT the knights of the annual election in the tribes take their places on Monday next insuing the last of March in the senat. That the like number of knights, whose session determins at the same time, recede. That every knight or senator be paid out of the public revenue quarterly, one hundred twenty-five pounds during his term of session, and be oblig’d to sit in purple robes.
17. Senatorian magistrats.THAT annually, upon the reception of the new knights, the senat procede to the election of new magistrats and counsillors. That for magistrats they elect one general, one speaker, and two censors, each for the term of one year; these promiscuously: and that they elect one commissioner of the great seal, and one commissioner of the treasury, each for the term of three years, and out of the new knights only.
This proposition supposes the commissioners of the seal and those of the treasury to consist each of three, wheel’d by the annual election of one into each order, upon a triennial rotation. For farther explanation of the senatorian magistracys, it is propos’d,
18. The general sitting, and the speaker.THAT the general and speaker, as CONSULS of the commonwealth, and presidents of the senat, be, during the term of their magistracy, paid quarterly five hundred pounds: that the insigns of these magistracys be a sword born before the general, and a mace before the speaker: that they be oblig’d to wear ducal robes; and that what is said of the general in this proposition, be understood only of the general sitting, and not of the general marching.
19. The general marching.THAT the general sitting, in case he be commanded to march, receive field pay; and that a new general be forthwith elected by the senat to succede him in the house, with all the rights, insigns, and emoluments of the general sitting: and this so often as one or more generals are marching.
20. Commissioners of the seal and of the treasury.THAT the three commissioners of the great seal, and the three commissioners of the treasury, using their insigns and habit, and performing their other functions as formerly, be paid quarterly to each of them three hundred seventy-five pounds.
21. The censorsTHAT the censors be each of them chancellor of one university by virtue of their election: that they govern the ballot; that they be presidents of the council for religion; that each have a silver wand for the insign of his magistracy; that each be paid quarterly three hundred seventy-five pounds, and be oblig’d to wear scarlet robes.
THAT the general sitting, the speaker, and the six commissioners abovesaid, be the signory of this commonwealth.
22. The signory.This for the senatorian magistrats. For senatorian councils it is propos’d,
23. Council of state.THAT there be a council of state consisting of fifteen knights, five out of each order or election; and that the same be perpetuated by the annual election of five out of the new knights, or last elected into the senat.
24. Councils of religion, of trade.THAT there be a council for religion consisting of twelve knights, four out of each order, and perpetuated by the annual election of four out of the knights, last elected into the senat. That there be a council for trade, consisting of a like number, elected and perpetuated in the same manner.
25. Council of war.THAT there be a council of war, not elected by the senat, but elected by the council of state out of themselves. That this council of war consist of nine knights, three out of each order, and be perpetuated by the annual election of three out of the last knights, elected into the council of state.
26. The dictator.THAT in case the senat adds nine knights more out of their own number to the council of war, the said council be understood by this addition to be DICTATOR of the commonwealth for the term of three months, and no longer, except by farther order of the senat the said dictatorian power be prolong’d for a like term.
27. The proposers general.THAT the signory have session and suffrage, with right also jointly or severally to propose, both in the senat and in all senatorian councils.
28. Provosts, or particular proposers.THAT each of the three orders, or divisions of knights in each senatorian council, elect one provost for the term of one week; and that any two provosts of the same council so elected may propose to their respective council, and not otherwise.
29. Academy.THAT som fair room or rooms well furnish’d and attended, be allow’d at the states charge for a free and open academy to all comers at som convenient hour or hours towards the evening. That this academy be govern’d according to the rules of good breeding, or civil conversation, by som or all of the proposers; and that in the same it be lawful for any man by word of mouth or by writing, in jest or in earnest, to propose to the proposers.
From the frame or structure of these councils, I should pass to their functions; but that besides annual elections, there will be som biennial, and others emergent: in which regard it is propos’d, first, for biennial elections,
30. Embassadors in ordinary.THAT for embassadors in ordinary, there be four residences; as France, Spain, Venice, and Constantinople: that every resident, upon the election of a new embassador in ordinary, remove to the next residence in the order nominated, till having serv’d in them all, he returns home. That upon Monday next insuing the last of November, there be every second year elected by the senat som fit person, being under thirty-five years of age, and not of the senat or popular assembly: that the party so elected, repair upon Monday next insuing the last of March following, as embassador in ordinary to the court of France, and there reside for the term of two years, to be computed from the first of April next insuing his election. That every embassador in ordinary be allow’d three thousand pounds a year during the term of his residences; and that if a resident coms to dy, there be an extraordinary election into his residence for his term, and for the remainder of his removes and progress.
31. Emergent elections.THAT all emergent elections be made by scrutiny, that is, by a council, or by commissioners proposing, and by the senat resolving in the manner following: that all field-officers be propos’d by the council of war; that all embassadors extraordinary be propos’d by the council of state; that all judges and serjeants at law be propos’d by the commissioners of the great seal; that all barons and officers of trust in the exchequer, be propos’d by the commissioners of the treasury: and that such as are thus propos’d, and approv’d by the senat, be held lawfully elected.
These elections being thus dispatch’d, I com to the functions of the senat, and first, to those of the senatorian councils: for which it is propos’d,
32. Function of the senatorian councils.THAT the cognizance of all matters of state to be consider’d, or law to be enacted, whether it be provincial or national, domestic or foren, pertain to the council of state. That such affairs of either kind, as they shall judg to require more secrecy, be remitted by this council, and belong to the council of war, being for that end a select part of the same. That the cognizance and protection both of the national religion, and of the liberty of conscience equally establish’d in this nation, after the manner to be shewn in the religious part of this model, pertain to the council for religion. That all matters of traffic, and the regulation of the same, belong to the council of trade. That in the exercise of these feveral functions, which naturally are senatorian or authoritative only, no council assume any other power than such only as shall be settl’d upon the same by act of parlament.
33. Function of the senat.THAT what shall be propos’d to the senat by any one or more of the signory or proposers general; or whatever was propos’d by any two of the provosts or particular proposers to their respective council, and upon debate at that council shall com to be propos’d by the same to the senat, be necessarily debatable and debated by the senat. That in all cases wherin power is committed to the senat by a law made, or by act of parlament, the result of the senat be ultimat: that in all cases of law to be made, or not already provided for by an act of parlament, as war and peace, levy of men or mony, or the like, the result of the senat be not ultimat. That whatsoever is resolv’d by the senat, upon a case wherin their result is not ultimat, be propos’d by the senat to the prerogative tribe or representative of the people; except only in cases of such speed or secresy, wherin the senat shall judg the necessary slowness or openness in this way of proceding to be of detriment or danger to the commonwealth.
34. Function of the dictator.THAT if upon the motion or proposition of a council or proposer general, the senat adds nine knights promiscuously chosen out of their own number, to the council of war; the same council, as therby made dictator, have power of life and death, as also to enact laws in all such cases of speed or secresy, for and during the term of three months and no longer, except upon a new order from the senat. And that all laws enacted by the dictator be good and valid for the term of one year, and no longer; except the same be propos’d by the senat, and resolv’d by the people.
This dictatorian council (as may already appear) consists fundamentally of the signory, with nine knights elected by the council of state, additionally of nine knights more emergently chosen by the senat, and of the four tribuns of course; as will appear when I com to speak of that magistracy. Now if dictatorian power be indeed formidable, yet this in the first place is remarkable, that the council here offer’d for a dictator is of a much safer constitution, than what among us hitherto has bin offer’d for a commonwealth; namely, a parlament and a council in the interim. For here is no interim, but all the councils of the commonwealth not only remaining, but remaining in the exercise of all their functions, without the abatement of any; speed and secrecy belonging not to any of them, but to that only of the dictator. And if this dictatorian council has more in it of a commonwealth than has hitherto among us bin either practis’d or offer’d, by what argument can it be pretended that a commonwealth is so imperfect thro the necessity of such an order, that it must needs borrow of monarchy; seeing every monarchy that has any senat, assembly, or council in it, therby most apparently borrows more of a commonwealth, than there is to be found of monarchy in this council?
The fifth parallel.To dismiss this whole senat with one parallel: The institution of the seventy elders in Israel (as was shewn in the second book) for their number related to an accident, and a custom therupon antiently introduc’d. The accident was, that the sons of Jacob who went into Egypt were so many; these, first governing their familys by natural right, came, as those familys increas’d, to be for their number retain’d and continu’d in the nature of a senatorian council, while the people were yet in Egyptian bondage. So we, having had no like custom, have as to the number no like inducement. Again, the territory of Canaan amounted not to a fourth of our country; and in government we are to fit our selves to our own proportions. Nor can a senat, consisting of few senators, be capable of so many distributions as a senat consisting of more.2 Chr. 19. 11. Yet we find in the restitution of the sanhedrim by Jehoshaphat, that there was Amariahchief in all matters of the Lord, that is, in judgment upon the laws, which, having bin propos’d by God, were more peculiarly his matters; and Zebadiahchief in all the king’s matters, that is, in political debates concerning government, or war and peace.Judg. 11. 5, 11. Lastly, When the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the people of Israel madeJephthanot only captain, but head over them. So the judg of Israel, being no standing magistrat, but elected upon emergencys, supplys the parallel as to dictatorian power in a commonwealth.
Debate is the natural parent of result; whence the senat throout the Latin authors is call’d fathers, and in Greec authors the compellation of a popular assembly is men; as men of Athens, men of Corinth, men of Lacedemon:Acts 7. 2. & 22. 1. nor is this custom heathen only, seeing these compellations are us’d to the senat and the people of the Jews, not only by Stephen,Luke throout is perfectly well skill’d in the customs of commonwealths. but also by Paul, where they begin their speeches in this manner: Men, brethren, and fathers. To com then from the fathers to the people, the popular assembly, or prerogative tribe; it is propos’d,
THAT the burgesses of the annual election return’d by the tribes, enter into the prerogative tribe upon Monday next insuing the last of March; and that the like number of burgesses, whose term is expir’d, recede at the same time.35. Fabric of the prerogative tribe. That the burgesses thus enter’d elect to themselves out of their own number, two of the horse; one to be captain, and the other to be cornet of the same: and two of the foot; one to be captain, the other to be insign of the same, each for the term of three years. That these officers being thus elected, the whole tribe or assembly procede to the election of four annual magistrats; two out of the foot, to be tribuns of the foot; and two out of the horse, to be tribuns of the horse. That the tribuns be commanders of this tribe in chief, so far as it is a military body; and presidents of the same, as it is a civil assembly. And lastly, that this whole tribe be paid weekly as follows. To each of the tribuns of horse, seven pounds. To each of the tribuns of foot, six pounds. To each of the captains of horse, five pounds. To each of the captains of foot, four pounds. To each of the cornets, three pounds. To each of the insigns, two pounds seven shillings. To every horseman two pounds, and to every one of the foot one pound ten shillings.
For the salarys of the senat and the people together; they amount not to three hundred thousand pounds a year; which is cheaper by near two parts in three, than the chief magistracy ever did or can otherwise cost: for if you give nothing (omnia dat qui justa negat) men will be their own carvers. But to procede, it is propos’d,
THAT inferior officers, as captains, cornets, insigns, be only for the military disciplin of the tribe. That the tribuns have session in the senat without suffrage; that they have session of course in the dictatorian council, so often as it is created by the senat, and with suffrage.36. Offices of the officers. That they be presidents of the court in all cases to be judg’d by the people.
37. Appeal to the people.THAT peculat or defraudation of the public, and all cases tending to the subversion of the government, be triable by this representative; and that there be an appeal to the same in all causes, and from all magistrats, courts and councils, whether national or provincial.
The sixth parallel.This judicatory may seem large: but thus the congregation of Israel, consisting of four hundred thousand, judg’d the tribe of Benjamin. Thus all the Roman tribes judg’d Coriolanus.Judg. 20. Halicar. Janotti. And thus duke Loredano was try’d by the great council of Venice, consisting yet of about two thousand.
This is as much as I have to say severally of the senat and the people; but their main functions being joint, as they make one parlament, it is farther propos’d,
38. The main function of the senat.THAT the right of debate, as also of proposing to the people, be wholly and only in the senat; without any power at all of result, not deriv’d from the people.
39. The main function of the prerogative tribe.THAT the power of result be wholly and only in the people, without any right at all of debate.
THAT the senat having debated and agreed upon a law to be propos’d, cause promulgation of the same to be made for the space of six weeks before proposition; that is, cause the law to be printed and publish’d so long before it is to be propos’d.
40. Promulgation.THAT promulgation being made, the signory demand of the tribuns, being present in the senat, an assembly of the people.41. Manner of proposition. That the tribuns, upon such a demand of the signory or of the senat, be oblig’d to assemble the prerogative tribe in arms by sound of trumpet, with drums beating and colors flying, in any town, field, or market-place being not above six miles distant, upon the day and at the hour appointed; except the meeting, thro any inconvenience of the weather or the like, be prorogu’d by the joint consent of the signory and the tribuns. That the prerogative tribe being assembl’d accordingly, the senat propose to them by two or more of the senatorian magistrats, thereto appointed at the first promulgation of the law. That the proposers for the senat open to the people the occasion, motives, and reasons of the law to be propos’d; and the same being don, put it by distinct clauses to the ballot of the people. That if any material clause or clauses be rejected by the people, they be review’d by the senat, alter’d, and propos’d (if they think fit) to the third time, but no oftner.
42. Act of parlament.THAT what is thus propos’d by the senat, and resolv’d by the people, be the law of the land, and no other, except as in the case reserv’d to the dictatorian council.
The seventh parallel.The congregation of Israel being monthly, and the representative propos’d being annual and triennial, they are each upon courses or rotation: the congregation of Israel consisting of twenty four thousand, in which the whole number of the princes of the tribes and of the princes of the familys amounted not, I might say, to one hundred, but will say to one thousand; it follows, that the lower sort in the congregation of Israel held proportion to the better sort, above twenty to one. Wheras in the representative propos’d, the lower sort hold proportion to the better sort but six to four; and that popular congregation where the lower sort hold but six to four, is by far the most aristocratical that is or ever was in any well-order’d commonwealth, except Venice: but if you will have that gentry to be all of one sort, or if you allow them to be of a better and of a meaner sort, Venice is not excepted. The sanhedrim made no law without the people; nor may the senat in this model: but the sanhedrim with the congregation might make laws; so may the senat, in our model, with the representative of the people.Ezra 10. 8. Lastly, as the congregation in Israel was held either by the princes in person, with their staves and standards of the camp, or by the four and twenty thousand in military disciplin; so the representative propos’d is in the nature of a regiment.
ExceptingVenice, where there is a shadow, and but a shadow of law made by the senat (for the soverain power is undeniably in the great council) and Athens, where a law made by the senat was current as a probationer for one year before it was propos’d to the people; there neither is nor has bin any such thing in a commonwealth as a law made by the senat. That the senat should have power to make laws, reduces the government to a single council; and government by a single council, if the council be of the many, is anarchy, as in the assembly of the Roman people by tribes, which always shook, and at length ruin’d that commonwealth: or, if the council be of the few, it is oligarchy, as that of Athens consisting of the four hundred, who nevertheless pretended to propose to five thousand, tho they did not.Thucyd. lib. 8. Of which says Thucydides,This was indeed the form pretended in words by the four hundred; but the most of them, thro privat ambition, fell upon that by which an oligarchy made out of a democracy is chiefly overthrown: for at once they claim’d every one not to be equal, but to be far the chief. Anarchy, or a single council consisting of the many, is ever tumultuous, and dos ill even while it means well. But oligarchy, seldom meaning well, is a faction wherin every one striving to make himself, or som other from whom he hopes for advantages, spoils all. There is in a commonwealth no other cure of these, than that the anarchy may have a council of som few, well chosen, and elected by themselves, to advise them; which council so instituted, is the senat: or that the oligarchy have a popular representative to balance it; which both curing tumult in the rash and heady people, and all those corruptions which cause factiousness in the sly and subtil few, amount to the proper superstructures of a well-order’d commonwealth. As, to return to the example of the oligarchy in Athens, where the four hundred (whose reign, being very short, had bin as seditious) were depos’d; and the soverainty was decreed to a popular council of five thousand, with a senat of four hundred annually elective upon courses, or by rotation.Lib. 8. Of this says Thucydides,Now first (at least in my time) the Athenians seem to have order’d their state aright, it consisting of a moderat temper both of the few and the many. And this was the first thing that, after so many misfortunes, made the city again to raise her head. But we in England are not apt to believe, that to decree the soverainty to thousands, were the way to make a city or a nation recover of its wounds, or to raise its head. We have an aversion to such thoughts, and are sick of them. An assembly of the people soverain! Nay, and an assembly of the people consisting in the major vote of the lower sort! Why, sure it must be a dull and unskilful thing. But so is the touchstone in a goldsmith’s shop, a dull thing, and altogether unskill’d in the trade; yet without this, would even the master be deceiv’d. And certain it is, that a well-order’d assembly of the people is as true an index of what in government is good or great, as any touchstone is of gold.
A council (especially if of a loose election) having not only the debate, but the result also, is capable of being influenc’d from without, and of being sway’d by interest within. There may be a form’d, a prejudic’d party, that will hasten or outbaul you from the debate to the question, and then precipitat you upon the result: wheras if it had no power of result, there could remain to the same no more than debate only, without any biass, or cause of diverting such debate from maturity; in which maturity of unbiass’d debate lys the final cause of the senat, and the whole light that can be given to a people. But when this is don, if your resolving assembly be not such as can imbibe or contract no other interest than that only of the whole people, all again is lost: for the result of all assemblys gos principally upon that which they conceive to be their own interest. But how an assembly upon rotation, consisting of one thousand, where the vote is six to four in the lower sort, should be capable of any other interest than that only of the whole people by which they are orderly elected, has never yet bin, nor, I believe, ever will be shewn. In a like distribution therfore of debate and result, consists the highest mystery of popular government; and indeed the supreme law, wherin is contain’d not only the liberty, but the safety of the people.
For the remainder of the civil part of this model, which is now but small, it is farther propos’d,
43. Rule for vacations.THAT every magistracy, office, or election throout this whole commonwealth, whether annual or triennial, be understood of consequence to injoin an interval or vacation equal to the term of the same. That the magistracy of a knight and of a burgess, be, in this relation, understood as one and the same; and that this order regard only such elections as are national or domestic, and not such as are provincial or foren.
44. Exception from the rule.THAT, for an exception from this rule, where there is but one elder of the horse in one and the same parish, that elder be eligible in the same without interval; and where there be above four elders of the horse in one and the same parish, there be not above half, nor under two of them eligible at the same election.
Otherwise the people, beyond all manner of doubt, would elect so many of the better sort at the very first, that there would not be of the foot or of the meaner sort enough to supply the due number of the popular assembly or prerogative tribe: and the better sort being excluded subsequent elections by their intervals, there would not be wherwithal to furnish the senat, the horse of the prerogative tribe, and the rest of the magistracys; each of which obstructions is prevented by this exception. Where, by the way, if in all experience such has bin the constant temper of the people, and can indeed be reasonably no other, it is apparent what cause there can be of doubt who in a commonwealth of this nature must have the leading. Yet is no man excluded from any preferment; only industry, which ought naturally to be the first step, is first injoin’d by this policy, but rewarded amply: seeing he who has made himself worth one hundred pounds a year, has made himself capable of all preferments and honors in this government. Where a man from the lowest state may not rise to the due pitch of his unquestionable merit, the commonwealth is not equal; yet neither can the people, under the limitations propos’d, make choice (as som object) of any other than the better sort; nor have they at any time bin so inclining to do, where they have not bin under such limitations. Be it spoken, not to the disparagement of any man, but on the contrary to their praise whose merit has made them great, the people of England have not gon so low in the election of a house of commons, as som prince has don in the election of a house of lords. To weigh election by a prince with election by a people, set the nobility of Athens and Rome by the nobility of the old monarchy, and a house of commons freely chosen by the nobility of the new. There remains but the quorum, for which it is propos’d,
45. The quorum.THAT, throout all the assemblys and councils of this commonwealth, the quorum consist of one half in the time of health, and of one third part in a time of sickness, being so declar’d by the senat.
How the city government, without any diminution of their privileges, and with an improvement of their policy, may be made to fall in with these orders, has* elswhere bin shewn in part, and may be consider’d farther at leisure. Otherwise the whole commonwealth, so far as it is merely civil, is in this part accomplish’d. Now as of necessity there must be a natural man, or a man indu’d with a natural body, before there can be a spiritual man, or a man capable of divine contemplation; so a government must have a civil, before it can have a religious part: and if a man furnisht only with natural parts can never be so stupid as not to make som reflections upon religion, much less a commonwealth; which necessitats the religious part of this model.
[* ]In Oceana.
[* ]In Oceana.