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But to return to the observations of Mr Fox in this passage, which I hope you
will all carry home with you:– he proceeds –

"What a field for meditation does this short observation, from
such a man, furnish! What reflections does it not suggest to a
thinking mind upon the inefficacy of human laws, and the
imperfection of human constitutions! We are called from the
contemplation of the progress of our Constitution, and our attention
fixed with the most minute accuracy to a particular point,
when it is said to have risen to its utmost perfection. –
Here we are then at the best moment of the best Constitution
that ever human wisdom framed. What follows? A time of oppression
and misery, not arising from external or accidental causes, such as
war, pestilence, or famine, nor even from any such alteration of the
laws as might be supposed to impair this boasted perfection, but from a
corrupt and wicket administration, which all the so much admired
checks of the Constitution were not able to prevent. How vain
then, how idle, how presumptuous, is the opinion, that laws can
do every thing! and how weak and pernicious the maxim
founded upon it, that measures, not men, are to be attended to!

"This is a display of that wisdom which always distinguished
Mr. Fox. And if in the exercise of that Constitution under
which we have so many privileges; if under the same system
of representation that existed at that time of the Revolution
in 1688 and after its abuses have been suffered to grow up
amongst us, may we not suppose them as much to have risen
from the remissness and negligence of the People as in the Defects of the Constitution (great applause)? There is even a more
dreadful instance than this to be found in the history of a country
whose popular Constitution must furnish matter of a most
interesting observation to every lover of freedom. The Constitution
of America is free and popular in the largest sense; The right
of voting is upon so extensive a plan principle as to exclude no
citizen from a vote who is not actually a pauper.

Identifier: | JB/109/082/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 109.


Marginal Summary Numbering




Main Headings

Parliamentary Reform

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[[watermarks::I&M [Prince of Wales feathers] 1818]]


Paper Producer

Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington


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Notes public

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Box Contents

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