Page:Essays on Political Economy (Bastiat).djvu/219

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turist who wishes to clear and improve his soil. If he only has the skill, the manure which he has at his disposal will suggest to him a plan of operation, which a professor can only vaguely trace, and in a way that would be subject to the uncertainty of all hypotheses, which vary and are complicated by an infinity of circumstances too difficult to foresee and to combine."

But, oh! sublime writers, deign to remember sometimes that this clay, this sand, this manure, of which you are disposing in so arbitrary a manner, are men, your equals, intelligent and free beings like yourselves, who have received from God, as you have, the faculty of seeing, of foreseeing, of thinking, and of judging for themselves!

Mably. (He is supposing the laws to be worn out by time and by the neglect of security, and continues thus):—

"Under these circumstances, we must be convinced that the springs of Government are relaxed. Give them a new tension (it is the reader who is addressed), and the evil will be remedied. … Think less of punishing the faults than of encouraging the virtues which you want. By this method you will bestow upon your republic the vigor of youth. Through ignorance of this, a free people has lost its liberty! But if the evil has made so much way that the ordinary magistrates are unable to remedy it effectually, have recourse to an extraordinary magistracy, whose time should be short, and its power considerable. The imagination of the citizens requires to be impressed."

In this style he goes on through twenty volumes.

There was a time when, under the influence of teaching like this, which is the root of classical education, every one was for placing himself beyond