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you must make use of alteratives too: there must be a change of measures as well as a discharge of men; and the method, which I humbly offer, is this; first, to make the interest of Freeland your chief aim, and since you are the Freeland lord, to become entirely a Freelander."
“ In the next place, sir, let me desire you to avoid concerning yourself in elections of delegates to the Common Hall, or influencing them when chosen. Representation is a sacred part of the Freeland constitution, and, like the Israelites' ark of old,' not to be touched profanely: therefore, sir, it will be your true interest to leave the people free to their choice, and their representatives free to their opinion when chosen. It still is fresh in our memories how much the practices of our late lords, in corrupting elecom tions, and closeting delegates, enraged the tenantry, and they had reason to repent it. All these things, therefore, are to be most carefully avoided by your lordship. You must by no means, sir, give this occasion of clamour, and recrimination to your enemies; but be pleased to follow this general rule-always to beware of the household, and avoid the schemes and counsels of those corrupting and closeting lords, and then you can scarce err; for, whatever is opposite to their principles and practices, is the direct road to your security and success.”
Yet-notwithstanding the examples which this ancient author holds out, of the attachment of the tenants to their genuine constitution, and, particularly, to the rights of free election, and of the successful resistance which they had made to any encroachments on them, the same system of corruption continued to the time of which we are now writing the history, and seemed to have increased !-If any partial infringement was made on the liberty of the Freelanders, their mouths were instantly closed by some placeman's telling them that it was for the preservation of the whole from the levelling system of the Gulls; if any of them cried-- Shame on such infringements ! they were stigmatized as levellers and persons disaffected to their glorious constitution, which, like a military standard after a desperate action, was all in tatters. Unthinking inen were urged on to brand them as ;inworthy to tread their own native land, by somewhat
like the following expressions :-We have seen the fatal effects of levelling characters, distinctions, and ranks, in another country: we have seen that the very levellers themselves had but their day, and that their turns regularly came to ascend the scaffold, and pay the price of their crimes one after another: we have seen commotions and troubles begun in neighbouring manors, which have pervaded all the country round: we have seen crimes, bloodshed, murder, rapine, and every kind of robbery, legalized by almost every one of the different forms of governo ment established in the unhappy country of which we would warn our happy countrymen to beware of following the example: we have seen at last a tyrant and usurper, by his abilities and his crimes, lording it over almost the whole country. Let us then take warning, by these fatal effects not to follow the same wicked causes, lest we come to the same miserable end: let us mark with be coming indignation, the man, or set of men, who, for interest, malice, or any other base passion, would deceive us by his sophistry, into permitting or acting the same unfortunate scenes
over again that we have seen, and now, I trust, know how to appreciate, in another country.”
Now, who that has seen all these things, stands in need of all this declamation to warn him from falling into such a miserable abyss, and coming to the same miserable end? It happened however, that the corruption of the government, and not of the people, brought about this miserable end, and many honest men, who openly supported the government of Freeland, secretly petitioned heaven, that a similar corruption might not bring on a similar miserable end. With submission to sense and reason, all the above sophistry could never prove that, because the Gulls had overthrown their constitution and murdered their Lord, the tenants of any other manor ought to resign all their own rights into their Lord's hands and become his abject vassals or villeins, to convince him that they had no such designs.
For what end were written charters and laws designed, but that every man concerned, may read - reason upon-and act according to them? If he broaches treasonable opinions, there is law to punish him; if not, it is ridiculous, too ridiculous to stigmatize, as one disaffected to the constitution, a man whose sole aim is to assert, and to urge others to assert, the rights of the community—to display the dignity of man, and not to be led by the nose as tenderly as asses are. The vulgar adage says, “ That which is every body's business, is nobody's.” The sycophants of power know this to be a fact, and the most sure method of subjugating a community, is by decrying those individuals who would wish them to look a little into their own affairs, and to see that they have their due. If the ministers of corruption, and advisers of tame submission, are to be the only expounders of the constitution, there is an end of it at once; there is no longer any constitution to maintain, and when that is gone, there is nothing worth the tenants troubling their heads about. They have no security for either person or property : and a wise government will consider whether it be worth while to reign over the slaves, who may as well be slaves to one person as to another, at the risk, perhaps, of not reigning at all; for where there is nothing to defend, there will be nobody to de