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This great man fought against tyranny; he established the liberty of his country. His memory will always be dear to the French people, as it will be to all freemen of the two worlds. NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, Feb. 9th, 1800.
THE END OF GOVERNMENT.
The aggregate happiness of society, which is best promoted by the practice of a virtuous policy, is, or ought to be, the end of all Government.
Influence is not Government.
Let us have a Government, by which our lives, liberties, and properties will be secured.
If any power on earth could, or the Great Power above would, erect a standard of Infallibility, in political opinions, there is no being that inhabits the terrestrial globe, that would resort to it with more eagerness than myself, so long as I remain a servant of the public. But as I have found no better guide hitherto, than upright intentions and close investigation, I shall adhere to those maxims, while I keep the watch; leaving it to those who will come after me, to explore new ways, if they like or think them better.
THE RIGHT OF A NATION TO ESTABLISH ITS OWN
My politics are plain and simple. I think every nation has a right to establish that Form of Government under which it conceives it may live most happy; provided it infracts no right, or is not dangerous to others; and that no governments ought to interfere with the internal concerns of another, except for the security of what is due to themselves.
The rapidity of national revolutions appears no less astonishing than their magnitude. In what they
will terminate, is known only to the Great Ruler of events; and, confiding in His wisdom and goodness, we may safely trust the issue to Him, without perplexing ourselves to seek for that which is beyond our ken; only taking care to perform the parts assigned to us, in a way that reason and our own consciences approve.
POLITICAL IMPROVEMENTS IN EUROPE.
A spirit for political improvement, seems to be rapidly and extensively spreading through the European countries. I shall rejoice in seeing the condition. of the human race happier than ever it has hitherto been. But I shall be sorry to see, that those who are for prematurely accelerating those improvements, were making more haste than good speed, in their innovations.
Born in a land of liberty; having early learned its value; having engaged in the perilous conflict to defend it; having, in a word, devoted the best years of my life to secure its permanent establishment in my own country; my anxious recollections, my sympathetic feelings, and my best wishes are irresistibly attracted, whensoever in any country I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom.
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
My greatest fear has been, that the nation would not be sufficiently cool and moderate, in making arrangements for the security of that liberty of which it seems to be possessed.
ANARCHY AND TYRANNY.
There is a natural and necessary progression, from the extreme of anarchy to the extreme of tyranny; and arbitrary power is most easily established, on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
Republicanism is not the phantom of a deluded imagination. On the contrary, laws, under no form of government, are better supported, liberty and property better secured, or happiness more effectually dispensed to mankind.
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
That the Government, though not actually perfect, is one of the best in the world, I have little doubt.
It is among the evils, and perhaps not the smallest, of Democratical Governments, that the people must feel, before they will see. When this happens, they are roused to action. Hence it is, that those kinds
of government are so slow.
EVILS OF DEMOCRACY.
It is one of the evils of Democratical Governments, that the people, not always seeing, and frequently misled, must often feel before they can act right; but then evils of this nature seldem fail to work their own cure.
I am fully of opinion, that those who lean to a Monarchial Government have either not consulted the public mind, or that they live in a region, which, (the levelling principles in which they were bred being entirely eradicated,) is much more productive of monarchial ideas, than is the case in the Southern States, where, from the habitual distinctions which have always existed among the people, one would have expected the first generation, and the most rapid growth, of them.