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of a better. · And in either case the Public may receive an injury from his concurrence, for which the most zealous exertion of his personal services may never be able to compensate.
He will remember, that no quality raises a perfon so high in the opinion of the country as disinterestedness. He will not ignominiously put himself up to sale, stickling for fordid and unwarrantable ftipulations; nor render his character despicable in the eyes
of honest men, by marking his entrance into office with the acquisition of some unmerited personal decoration or advancement in rank for himself, or of some lucrative and equally unmerited reversion for his son. The acceptance of an office under circumstances of ambiguity, or fufpicion, not only degrades the particular individual, and by tarnishing his credit permanently impairs his power of doing good; but tends to extinguish patriotism, by diffusing an universal distrust of ministerial integrity. He will therefore impartially consider, whether, by stepping into the post in the existing state of affairs, he may not lavish away to little purpose his stock of public estimation, for the 7
prudent prudent expenditure of which no less than of every other talent he is strictly responsible. He is to regard it as a raw material, too precious to be worked up in articles of a flight and' perishable nature. It is to form the basis of every texture with which he is hereafter to cherish and decorate his country. But if, on the other hand, the present emergence should be such as to require him to expend it liberally, he will not shrink from incurring the unpopularity of accepting an official station ; and will rejoice in offering up the facrifice of present reputation at the shrine of public happiness.
A good man, as he will abstain from practising undue arts towards the King, towards potent Individuals, and towards Parliament, and never will resort to humiliating solicitations for the purpose of paving his way to an official employment; so will he be extremely cautious, on accepting it, of entering into any engage nents either with respect to his general conduct, or to his permanent co-operation with particular persons. It is impossible for him to anticipate the circumstances in which he may Q3
afterwards find himself involved in consequence of his own ministerial station, or of the viciffitude of events at home and abroad. He cannot foresee the changes which may take place in his present views of measures and of men. He cannot sufficiently guard against the distressing dilemma of being obliged to abandon his post at a time perhaps when his country loudly calls for his services; or of sustaining the pointed reproaches and the undisguised contempt of his colleagues. There is not perhaps any circumstance which contributes more effectually to degrade a Statesman in the eyes of the community at large, and to disqualify him from obtaining the confidence essential to the success of all his subsequent exertions, than an opinion, though ill founded, of his insincerity. The tendency however of these remarks is merely to warn him against contracting precipitate engagements, not to discourage a manly avowal of his principles. It is on many ac
. counts of the highest moment that, previously to his undertaking the office proposed to him, the Nation which he is to serve, and the coadjutors with whom he is to act, should be apprised of his political tenets. It is altogether
necesary for his future peace, that he should be conscientiously explicit with the latter; and, while he shews himself not unwilling to bear a part in an Administration with some of the Members of which he differs in sentiment on political points of secondary importance, that he should not leave them directly or indirectly impressed with the idea, that his concurrence may be expected in measures which his deli. berate judgement shall condemn.
The money raised from the People for the public benefit is designed to be applied in the payment of actual services, not in gratuitous donations. It is true that there are certain posts, exclusive of those offices which the policy of the State deems expedient for supporting the dignity and splendour of the Crown, to which no public duties are attached. But these, as long as the number and the value of them are confined within due limits, have their proper use. They are destined to requite extraordinary merit; to secure a reasonable provifion to an individual, or to his immediate descendants, if his abilities are called from a situation of advantage to himself, to one less
lucrative and permanent, but more beneficial to his country ; to afford becoming retirements to those faithful servants of the community, whom on account of their declining years, health, or abilities, or of some peculiar occurrence in the political hemisphere, it is fit to remove with honour from the busy stage ; and occasionally, perhaps, by furnishing leisure and competence to a man of industry, science, or learning, to enable him to accomplish a work or perfect a plan of national utility. A good man therefore ought not to accept one of these sinecures (a), unless he believes himself honestly entitled, on one or other of the principles which have been stated, to public remu. neration or public maintenance. And if he accepts it as the means and the recompense of future exertions, he will punctually fulfil his engagement; and will at once relinquish the earnest which he has received, if he should find himself incapable of redeeming the pledge which he has given.
(a) The Tellerships of the Exchequer, and Chief Julticeships in Eyre, are instances, among others, of the fort of offices alluded to. There are likewise Military Govern. ments of a similar description,