CONSTITUTION OF FLORKNCK. 101 country or named by some nominating power, or in part, at least, open to certain men who have filled high stations, is dis- cussed in another place. (^ 223,) This, however, seems certain, that no laws which keep landed property in a family, or restrict marriage between the orders of society can lony accomplish the end for which they are enacted—that is, the end of keeping their blood pure and preventing such property from passing out of their hands, When a country feels that such institutions are intended to prevent the natural influences of wealth acquired by industry and of superior unfitted intelligence ; when they are regarded as a support of undeserved hereditary rights, which in them- selves imply merit and intelligence, the fall of a peerage with legislative rights is not far off. Whether the nobility fall or not, its control in politics must cease. Whether a municipal town under the supremacy of national law, yet having some self-government, may not have an upper class with somewhat more of privilege than the body of the inhabitants, without falling into the evils to which small states, like many Greek states, Milan, Florence, and other city-states have been subject, is a question of some interest Certain it is that those towns of Europe, in the middle ages, which con- tained such a class and yet were subject to a national or other considerable feudal power, were not in a condition to fall into such evils. And yet, in their origin and through their early growth, they had the same general development with Milan, Florence, and many Italian cities. It is easy to see from the sketch of the Florentine constitution how the larger part of the miseries and faults of the republic grew out of its practi- cal independence. But we cannot take up the consideration of such towns and their civil order until we come to treat of i municipal government together with centralization and dis- tribution of power by themselves.