Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/488
The founders of our republics have so much merit for the wisdom which they have displayed, that no task can be less pleasing than that of pointing out the errors into which they have fallen. A respect for truth, however, obliges us to remark, that they seem never for a moment to have turned their eyes from the danger to liberty from the overgrown and all-grasping prerogative of an hereditary magistrate, supported and fortified by an hereditary branch of the Legislative authority. They seem never to have recollected the danger from Legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by Executive usurpations.
In a Government where numerous and extensive prerogatives are placed in the hands of an hereditary monarch, the Executive department is very justly regarded as the source of danger, and watched with all the jealousy which a zeal for liberty ought to inspire. In a democracy, where a multitude of people exercise in person the Legislative functions, and are continually exposed, by their incapacity for regular deliberation and concerted measures, to the ambitious intrigues of their Executive magistrates, tyranny may well be apprehended, on some favorable emergency, to start up in the same quarter. But in a representative republic, where the Executive magistracy is carefully limited, both in the extent and the duration of its power; and where the Legislative power is exercised by an assembly, which is inspired, by a supposed influence over the People, with an intrepid confidence in its own strength; which is sufficiently numerous to feel all the passions which actuate a multitude, yet not so numerous as to be incapable of pursuing the objects of its passions, by means which reason prescribes; it is against the enterprising ambition of this department, that the People ought to indulge all their jealousy, and exhaust all their precautions.