Common Sense, British Edition

Of Monarchy and Hereditary Secession

Page 6

6                              COMMON SENSE.                     
whole consequence merely from being the giver of places and
pensions, is self-evident, wherefore, though we have been
wise enough to shut and lock a door against absolute monarchy,
we at the same time have been foolish enough to put the
crown in possession of the key.

The prejudice of Englishmen in favour of their own go-
vernment by kings, lords, and commons, arises as much or
more from national pride than reason. Individuals are un-
doubtedly safer in England than in some other countries, but
the will of the king is as much the law of the land in Britain
as in France, with this difference, that instead of proceeding
directly from his mouth, it is handed to the people under the
more formidable shape of an act of parliament. For the fate
of Charles the First
hath only made kings more subtle—not
more just.

Wherefore, laying aside all national pride and prejudice in
favour of modes and forms, the plain truth is, that it is wholly
owing to the constitution of the people, and not to the constitution of
the government
, that the crown is not as oppressive in England
as in Turky.

An inquiry into the constitutional errors in the English form
of government is at this time highly necessary; for as
we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others,
while we continue under the influence of some leading par-
tiality, so neither are we capable of doing to ourselves
while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice. And
as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose
or judge a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten
constitution of government will disable us from discerning a
good one.

Of monarchy and hereditary succession.

MANKIND being originally equals in the order of crea-
tion, the equality could only be destroyed by fome sub-
sequent circumstances; the distictions of rich, and poor,
may in a great measure be accounted for, and that without
having recourse to the harsh, ill-sounding names of op-
pression and avarice. Oppression is often the consequence, but
seldom or never the means of riches ; and though avarice will



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