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parliamentary discussion, and probed in its most minute and tender parts. This rigorous inquisition will be dreaded, even in those cases in which the House of Commons has not the right of following it by the infli&tion of punishment.

To these benefits may be added other analogous advantages. The Members who are not invested with official employments are stimulated to exert to the utmost their several talents, and to contend in acts of disinterestedness and patriotism, not only by being witnesses of the conduct of each other, but by the recollection that they are performing their part on a public stage, as it were before the eyes and within the hearing of the whole Nation. Latent powers are called forth; scope is afforded for the exercise of abilities of every kind ; the way to the highest political eminence is open to all who are worthy of attaining to it, though undistinguished by perfonal wealth or rank, though originally unfupported by powerful connections. The House of Commons too, by receiving into its bosom persons of every profession, confers honour on N 4

all

all liberal occupations; and destroys that odious and degrading barrier which in despotic countries keeps asunder the different classes of society. By admitting the Merchant, it ennobles trade; by giving access to the Soldier, it fixes and retains him a Citizen.

5. Among the most important services of the House of Commons may be reckoned the influence which it has in forming the national character. By the active discharge of the functions entrusted to it by the Constitution, and by the publicity of its debates, it diffuses a spirit of political enquiry ; turns the general attention from frivolous employments to rational and manly pursuits; and teaches the people of Great Britain to inspect, and to judge of, public measures, to know, to value, and to defend their rights,

The conciliating intercourse which periodically takes place at elections between the cana didates and their constituents, together with the connection which continues to subfist between the Members of Parliament and those whom they represent, and between affluent

men

men not in Parliament, and the electors with whom they wish to have weight, corrects the prejudices, and alleviates the incidental vexations and evils, which will unavoidably result from the distinction of ranks in the community. The poor indulge the elating idea of

political importance; and the rich feel themselves obliged to solicit and to receive the possession of their darling object at the hand of their dependents. It is to the want of an intimate and necessarily recurring communication between the higher and lower orders of society, and of a reciprocal sense of obligations conferred and received, that we are to ascribe the overweening pride of the Nobles in many of the kingdoms on the Continent, and the abject humiliation of their vassals. None perhaps but they who have been eye-witnesses can duly estimate the effect wrought on the human mind by an uninterrupted consciousness of dignity, power, and wealth ; or by an unvaried sense of poverty, weakness, and depression.

Such are the honourable and useful offices in which every

Member of the House of Com. mons bears a part. We are now to examine

how he may most faithfully and effectually discharge the duties which they impose on him.

The subjects which come before the House of Commons have so close a resemblance to thofe which are debated in the House of Peers (the bills and motions submitted in their turn to the confideration of both Houses being in most instances nearly or identically the same), that the previous attainments and the general line of conduct which ought to be pursued by the Peer are almost without exception essential to the popular Representative. An accurate knowledge of the natural rights of men and the just foundations of civil government; of the British Constitution; of the principles of finance and of commerce; of foreign politics and connections; and of internal police; parient industry, inflexible integrity, abhorrence of party spirit, watchfulness against the allurements likely to produce it ; care to guard against prejudices; together with an earnest zeal to promote the good of this country and of mankind by public exertions and private example; these are qualifications which ought

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to characterise the Legislator, whether placed in the Upper or in the Lower House. It must however be admitted, that a more profound knowledge of several of the subjects mentioned above may in general be expected with reason from individual Peers, than from individual Members of the House of Commons. The Peer will usually have been educated with a view to his station; the Member of the Lower House may not.

The former enjoys a permanent and certaic, the latter a temporary and precarious, seat in the Legislature. The former is seldom engaged in any profession: the latter frequently. The former is not called upon, as the latter is, to devote his time and attention to the particular interests of Constituents ; nor to involve himself in the protracted enquiries and patient discussions which necessarily take place upon their private Bills even before they are brought into Parliament. On the othet hand, as the popular Representative is introduced by his habits of life to an acquaintance with trade, manufactures, and various objects of local and municipal concern, which are by no means fo familiar to the Peer ; a more aceurate insight into these topics may fitly be re

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