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THE BALANCE OF POWER. the time when he would have gone on with “ nine corns more," till the clock had struck two. But past are those happy days.
I would have the Chancellor of the Exchequer look at this matter; let him consider what the revenue will fuffer, if butts remain entire; and tobacco is no longer called for a second time. Let us know what we are about, who are in, and who are likely to be in, and we will call for the bottle, or mix the punch accordingly: at present the law of bumpers is suspended, and every man fills what he pleases, and will continue to do so, until he knows what is the toast. I have taken the liberty, therefore, to suggest these matters to your readers, Mr. Editor, and I hope they will attend to them. Already have some landlords given hints that the club may as well fit in the tap-rooni, and fome have gone fo far as to illuminate our discusions with tens inñead of long-foxes. I am, Sir, your humble servant,
THE BALANCE OF POWER, OR THE NEW
[From the Morning Poft.] THE HE balance of power has never been understood
and maintained, except by three descriptions of people; the ancient itates of Greece, the favage tribes of America, and the modern nations of Europe. The lavage tribes of America may be claffed in this refpect with the ancient ftates of Greece; they are both broken to pieces. The nations of Europe either have undergone, or are now suffering, such changes as give to France a decided preponderance, The balance of power, therefore, no longer exifts in any part of the world. How much England has expended in blocd and treasure to preserve it, is written
in every page of her history. This would be sufficient to prove its immense value, even though we were not afsüred, from the highest authority, that our fafety, nay, our very existence, depends upon its prefervation. Ministers must, therefore, be very anxious to repair this loss, and will not surely refuse their approbation to an essay, the sole object of which is to provide a substitute, and so save the country from the peril awaiting the present state of affairs. It is the duty of every government deliberately to weigh each measure of internal and external policy, to ascertain to a scruple the true weight of every thing, to see that the good preponderates in all their plans, and, where there is only a choice of evils, to select the lightest.-Let us try the conduct of Ministers by this test. Upon the annexation of Belgium to France, they faid, that measure would give the republic the preponderance in Europe. When we got possession of St. Domingo, they declared that an equivalent for all the expenses of the war. When Paul wanted Malta, we were assured, that that island, thrown into the scale of Rullia, would destroy the balance. When the evils of war were complained of, we were told they were light, when weighed against the miferies which a peace would produce.--All this Ministers have repeated a thousand times since the commencement of the war. What do they tell us now? They affure us, through their journals, that St. Domingo, Malta, the Cape, &c. are all of no weight; that they are all there feathers in the scale,' compared with the bleilings of peace. As to Belgium, we do not find that it is now considered even worth notice. The inference that necessárily follows from these premises is, that the balance of power, the only one used by Ministers on these occasions, must have been a very false balance; or that Ministers must have set down our colonies and conquests at such a weight as fancy or common report chose to state then. € 5
THE BALANCE OF POWER. To prevent, then, the recurrence of fo fatal an error, and provide a substitute for the loft balance of power, it is proposed, that Ministers should immediately provide themselves with a plain London-made pair of scales-yes, a pair of plain London scales ; ' for it would not be difficult to prove, that, had they weighed the war and all its consequences in the worst pair of steelyards that were ever broken by a market jury, they could not have erred half so much as they have done. The recommendation of the scales necessarily brings with it some directions as to the weights. Had Ministers only to weigh a dead vote, or a rotten borough, a few half hundreds might fuffice; but as they will have occasion sometimes to weigh the national debt, and sometimes a little cheese-parings or candle-ends, they will themselves fee a necessity for a very great variety. This constitutes the whole plan; in support of which, that it may not be censured as novel, rash, or visionary, the following precedents are appealed to.
In the twenty-Tecond book of the Iliad we find this description :
“ Jove lifts the golden balances, that shew
Virgil contains a fimilar allufion.-It was also a cufton in the Mogul empire to weigh his Imperial Majesty annually on his birthday, and if he was found to have increased in weight, to celebrate this increase by public rejoicings; a ceremony purely allegorical, and emblematic of his political increase of weight, power,
and dominion ; for it is impossible that an increase of fat, which, in its literal sense, is synonymous with an increase of itupidity, could be a just caufc for the congratulations of a loyal people.
Should it be objected that these are obsolete cafes, a variety of modern precedents will readily suggest themselves.--Ministers fent Sir James Pulteney on the Ferrol expedition, and what was the result? “ When I came before the place,” says Sir James, “ I weighed the advantages against the disadvantages, and finding the latter to preponderate, I declined attack.”—Thus was preferved, by a good pair of fcales, the very army to which we are now indebted for the conquest of Egypt, and which would have been probably loft before Ferrol, if the Commander had relied upon the estimate of Ministers. Mr. Windham disapproves of the present peace, becaufe its evils more than counterbalance the evils of war. Now it is clear, that no ftatesman would attempt to decide such an important question by guess. It follows, therefore, that the Exfecretary does his business by a very nice pair of scales. Not to detain the reader unnecessarily; what is the constitution itself, but such an equipoise of its three parts, the King, the Lords, and Commons, that not any one thall outweigh the rest ? a cafe which can never happen, except when the scales hang even in equilibrium.
It therefore appears from the Conftitution, and from precedent, as well ancient as modern, that without a good pair of scales all the enterprises and measures of Ministers are mere chancé-medley, and that no nice statelman should neglect to provide himself with a pair, particularly now, that he has lost the balance of power with which our statesmen have to long ftriven to get through their work. The national advantages resulting from such an improvement are fo ftriking, that anò enumeration of them might be felt as an infult. to the discernment of the public: we shall merely observe, that in such case we should not be eight years fighting for islands, under the false idea that they were of any folid weight or importance. We should not quarrel with c6
THE BALANCE, OF POWER France for Belgium, nor with Paul for Malta, any more than we would seek a cause of quarrel in a straw; for of no greater weight are they now found in the scale against the millions of pounds which they were said to counterbalance. Would Lord Hawkesbury take an article from his grocer without weighing ? Certainly not. Is then a loaf of sugar a subject of more care and folicitude than a whole plantation? This is to be penny wise and pound foolish with a vengeance. Not only in all the superior courts of justice, but in every little pied poudre court, we find a pair of scales. Of consequence, justice is there weighed out fairly to the suitors. A pair of scales would be found equally useful in the cabinet. Nor would their benefit stop here. They might be used for weighing men as well as things. To the authorities already advanced, we may add that of Juvenal, in fupport of this application,
“ Expende Hannibalem." Weigh Hannibal.” Such is the mode recommended by that eminent moralift, to ascertain the real value of a great man. What an immense prospect of national advantage does this hir't open to the view! Suppose, for example, a new Parliament. Let the pockets of each member be fearched on his first entrance into the House, and then let him be fairly weighed in the new national scales. After some important debate, let the individuals composing the majority be weighed again. If they thall answer the original weights, of which a regifter should be kept, then it is a fair majority; but if one shall be found with his pocket full of candleends, another stuffed with a flice of the loan, another with a contract, another with a penfion, and so on through them all; who will affert, that there has not been some fout play? If such a parliamentary mode of weighing the members on all important questions should be objected to as inconvenient, we might appeal to our