Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/90

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yet, I think, suspect they meant to cashier their whole House.

B. It is a strange thing the whole House of Lords should not perceive that the ruin of the King’s power, and the weakening of it, was the ruin or weakening of themselves. For they could not think it likely that the people ever meant to take the sovereignty from the King to give it to them, who were few in number, and less in power than so many Commoners, because less beloved by the people.

A. But it seems not so strange to me. For the Lords, for their personal abilities, as they were no less, so also they were no more skilful in the public affairs, than the knights and burgesses. For there is no reason to think, that if one that is to-day a knight of the shire in the lower House, be to-morrow made a Lord and a member of the higher House, he is therefore wiser than he was before. They are all, of both Houses, prudent and able men as any in the land, in the business of their private estates, which require nothing but diligence and natural wit to govern them. But for the government of a commonwealth, neither wit, nor prudence, nor diligence, is enough, without infallible rules and the true science of equity and justice.

B. If this be true, it is impossible that any commonwealth in the world, whether monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy, should continue long without change, or sedition tending to change, either of the government or of the governors.

A. It is true; nor have any the greatest commonwealths in the world been long free from sedition. The Greeks had for awhile their petty kings, and then by sedition came to be petty commonwealths; and then growing to be greater commonwealths, by sedition again became monarchies; and all for want of rules of justice for the common people to take notice of; which if the people had known in the beginning of every of these seditions, the ambitious persons could never have had the hope to disturb their government after it had been once settled. For ambition can do little without hands, and few hands it would have, if the common people