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[From Harrington's System of Politics.]

WHERE a people cannot live upon their own, the government is either monarchy, or aristocracy; where a people can live upon their own, the government may be democracy.

A man that could live upon his own, may, yet, to spare his own, and live upon another, be a servant: but a people that can live upon their own, cannot spare their own, and live upon another; but (except they be no servants, that is, except they come to a democracy) they must waste their own by maintaining their masters, or by having others to live upon them.

Where a people that can live upon their own, imagine that they can be governed by others, and not lived upon by such governors, it is not the genius of the people, it is the mistake of the people.

Where a people that can live upon their own, will not be governed by others, lest they be lived upon by others, it is not the mistake of the people, it is the genius of the people.

If a man has some estate, he may have some servants or a family, and consequently some government, or something to govern; if he has no estate, he can have no government.

Where the eldest of many brothers has all, or so much that the rest of their livelihood stand in need of him, that brother is as it were prince in that family.

Where of many brothers, the eldest has but an equal share, or not so inequal as to make the rest to stand in need of him for their livelihood, that family is as it were a commonwealth.

The parts of form in government are as the offices in a house; and the orders of a form of government are as the orders of a house or family.

Good orders make evil men good, and bad orders make good men evil.

The interest of arbitrary monarchy is the absoluteness of the monarch; the interest of regulated monarchy is the greatness of the nobility; the interest of democracy is the felicity of the people; for in democracy the government is for the use of the people, and in monarchy, the people are for the use of the government, that is, of one lord or more.

A sole legislator, proceeding according to art or knowledge, produces government in the whole piece at once and in perfection. But a council (proceeding not according to art, or what in a new case is necessary or fit for them, but according to that which they call the genius of the people still hankering after the things they have been used to, or their old customs, how plain soever it may be made in reason that they can no longer fit them) make patching work, and are ages about that which is very seldom or never brought by them to any perfection; but commonly comes by the way to ruin, leaving the noblest attempt under reproach, and the authors of them exposed to the greatest miseries while they live, if not their memories when they are dead and gone to the greatest infamy.

A parliament of physicians would never have found out the circulation of the blood, nor could a parliament of poets have written VIRGIL's Aeneas; of this kind therefore in the formation of government is the proceeding of a sole legislator. But if the people without a legislator set upon such a work by a certain instinct that is in them, they never go further than to chuse a council; not considering that the formation of government is as well a work of invention as of judgment; and that a council, though in matters laid before them they may excel in judgment, yet invention is as contrary to the nature of a council, as it is to musicians in consort, who can play and judge of any air that is laid before them, though to invent a part of music they can never well agree.