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of levying contributions. The agent assesses for the general interest, by permission of the employer; the employer acquiesces, when he finds that general interest to be the object, and marks his judgment of the exercise of the delegated power by the continuance or discontinuance of the agent, when the specified term of the trust is expired. By the British constitution, consent of the taxee, immediate or mediate, is necessary to constitute a legitimate tax. Johnson considers Britain and America as sovereign and subject, not as different members of a free state, held together by and for mutual interest ; and as members of a free state, suffering partial restraint for general good, for their own good, and not the good of others exclusive of theirs. In order to ridicule the resistance of America, Johnson supposes Cornwall to resolve to separate itself from the rest of England, and to refuse to submit to an English Parliament; . holding a congress at Truro, and publishing resolutions similar to those of the Americans. "Would not such a declaration ap
pear to come from madmen?' The cases are not analogous : Cornwall is fully represented in Parliament, consequently could not have that reason for resisting our legislature. If we were to suppose Parliament absurd and wicked enough to make laws depriving Cornwall of the most valuable privileges of Britons, without any demerit, the Cornishmen would have a right to resist that act, because oppressive, unconstitutional, and unjust. As to the expedier.cy of exerting the right of resistance, the case would be very different between Cornwall and Ame- rica; Cornwall being both much weaker and much nearer than the colonies. It is impossible that the wisdom of Johnson could have meant this pretended analogy for reasoning men. It might pass with mere courtiers, but would not convince statesmen, even though prepossessed in favour of the cause. Its flimsiness a Dundas, a North, a Thurlow, a Wedderburne, and a Mansfield, would perceive as clearly as a Shelburne, a Camden, a Chatham, a Fox, or a Burke. Johnson considered the subjugation of Ame
rica, if it persevered in resistance, as certain ; not reflecting on the energetic spirit which inspires men fighting for what either is, or they thirk, liberty. His predictions respecting the Americans proved false.
In his political writings we find too much adherence to generalities, to be practically beneficial. With the most powerful mind; habituated to abstraction, he reasons on politics more as an able schoolman than as an able statesman. Burke, with an equally strong understanding, as much accustomed to generalization, in reasoning on conduct enters into a much more particular consideration of the actual cases, in all their circumstances.
In a conversation between Johnson and others, Burke delivered his opinion on the effects of parliamentary eloquence. Sir Joshua Reynolds said, “ Mr. Burke, I do not mean to flatter, but when posterity reads one of your speeches in Parliament, it will be difficult to believe that you took so.
, much pains, knowing with certainty that it
could produce no effect, that not one vote would be gained by it.' Waving,' replied Burke, your compliment to me, I shall say in general, that it is very well worth while for a man to speak well in Parliament. One who has vanity speaks to display his talents ; and if a man speaks well, he gradually establishes a certain reputation and consequence in the general opinion, which sooner or later will have its political reward. Beșides, though not one vote be gained, a good speech has its effect. Though an act which has been ably opposed passes into a law, yet, in its progress, it is modelled, it is softened in such a manner, that we plainly see the Minister has been told that the members attached to him are so sensible of its injustice or absurdity, from what they have heard, that its must be altered. The House of Commons is a mixed body, I except the minority, which I hold to be pure, (smiling) but I take the whole house: it is a mass by no means pure; but neither is it wholly corrupt, though there is in it a large proportion of corruption : there are many members, who generally go with the Minister, who will not go all lengths. There are many honest well-meaning country gentleinen, who are in Parliament only to keep up the consequence of their families. Upon most of these a good speech will have influence. The majority, indeed, will always follow where they are led.'
Quo clamor vocat et turba f.eventium. Some one speaking of place-hunters, Burke proceeded, · Taking your metaphor, you know that in hunting, few are so desperate as to follow without reserve ; some do not chuse to leap ditches and hedges, and risk their necks, gallop over steep precipices, or dirty themselves in bogs and mires.' Burke, on the same occasion, delivered his opinion concerning emigration. We hear prodigious complaints at present of emigration. I am convinced that emigration makes a country more populous. Exportation of men, as of any other commodities, makes more be produced. Leave breeders,