Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/545

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401
The Fœderalist.

more liable to be corrupted by an unfit one, than five or six hundred. Reason, on the contrary, assures us, that as in so great a number a fit Representative would be most likely to be found, so the choice would be less likely to be diverted from him, by the intrigues of the ambitious or the bribes of the rich.

Is the consequence from this doctrine admissible? If we say that five or six hundred citizens are as many as can jointly exercise their right of suffrage, must we not deprive the People of the immediate choice of their public servants, in every instance, where the administration of the Government does not require as many of them as will amount to one for that number of citizens?

Is the doctrine warranted by facts? It was shown in the last paper, that the real representation in the British House of Commons very little exceeds the proportion of one for every thirty thousand inhabitants. Besides a variety of powerful causes, not existing here, and which favor in that country the pretensions of rank and wealth, no person is eligible as a Representative of a county, unless he possess real estate of the clear value of six hundred pounds sterling per year; nor of a city or borough, unless he possess a like estate of half that annual value. To this qualification, on the part of the county Representatives, is added another on the part of the county electors, which restrains the right of suffrage to persons having a freehold estate of the annual value of more than twenty pounds sterling, according to the present rate of money. Notwithstanding these unfavorable circumstances, and notwithstanding some very unequal laws in the British code, it cannot be said, that the Representatives of the Nation have elevated the few on the ruins of the many.

But we need not resort to foreign experience on this subject. Our own is explicit and decisive. The districts in New Hampshire, in which the Senators are