Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/539

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395
The Fœderalist.

lions in the House of Commons, amount to five hundred and fifty-eight. Of this number, one ninth are elected by three hundred and sixty-four persons, and one half, by five thousand seven hundred and twenty-three persons.[1] It cannot be supposed that the half thus elected, and who do not even reside among the People at large, can add anything either to the security of the People against the Government, or to the knowledge of their circumstances and interests in the Legislative councils. On the contrary, it is notorious, that they are more frequently the representatives and instruments of the Executive magistrate, than the guardians and advocates of the popular rights. They might therefore, with great propriety, be considered as something more than a mere deduction from the real Representatives of the Nation. We will, however, consider them in this light alone, and will not extend the deduction to a considerable number of others, who do not reside among their constituents, are very faintly connected with them, and have very little particular knowledge of their affairs. With all these concessions, two hundred and seventy-nine persons only, will be the depository of the safety, interest, and happiness of eight millions; that is to say, there will be one Representative only, to maintain the rights, and explain the situation of twenty-eight thousand six hundred and seventy constituents, in an Assembly exposed to the whole force of Executive influence, and extending its authority to every object of Legislation within a Nation whose affairs are in the highest degree diversified and complicated. Yet it is very certain, not only that a valuable portion of freedom has been preserved under all these circumstances, but that the defects in the British code are chargeable, in a very small proportion, on the ignorance of the Legislature concerning the circumstances of the People. Allowing to this case

  1. Burgh's Political Disquisitions. — Publius