O F L A W S. 69
are derived from people of fimple or fevere morals ; 3 K to recall men to the ancient maxims is generally re- QUO. -*. calling thorn to virtue.
Befides, if there happens to be any revolution, by which the flate has affumed a new form, this feldom can be effected without infinite pains and labour, and hardly ever with idlenefs and a deprava tion of manners. Even thofe who have been the inftruments of the revolution, are defirous it fhould be reliftied, which is difficult to compafs without good laws. Therefore ancient inftitutions are ge nerally reformations, and modern ones abufes. In the courfe of a long adminiftration the defcent to vice is infenfible ; but there is no re-afcending to virtue without making the mod generous efforts.
It has been queftioned whether the members of the fenate we are here fpeaking of, ought to be for life, or chofen only for a time. Doubtlefs they ought to be for life, as was the cuftom at Rome *, at Sparta -f-, and even at Athens. For we muft nor confound what was called the fenate at Athens, which was a body that changed every three months, with the Areopagus, whofe members, as perpetual models, were eftablifhed for life.
Let this be therefore a general maxim : that in a fena:e defigned to be a rule, and the depofitary, as it were, of manners, the members ought to be chofen for life : in a fenate defigned for the adminiftration of affairs, the members may be changed.
- The magiftrates there were annual, and the fenators for life.
f Lycurgus, fays Xenophon de Re pub. Lacederm. ordained, that the fenators fhould be chofen from amongft the old mer, to the end that they fhould not be negleded in the decline of life ; thus by making them judges of the courage of young people he ren dered the old age of the former more honourable than the ftrength and vigour of the latter.
F 3 The