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I0g                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
and righteousness * to have its course was overawed and de-
The forms ia the way of altering1 a constitution are the best
sedative for an over-excited state of the popular mind. It
may be said, indeed, that two-thirds, or any other number
which admits the possibility of change, is unjust, as blocking
the action of a people by a small minority. It is remarkable,
however, how small a weight this complaint has in our coun-
try, where the rights of the majority, and the rights of all to
suffrage, are generally admitted. No one among us, unless
a fanatic, believes in any right to alter the constitution of a
state or the country whenever a majority demand it. On the
other hand, the reasons which recommend a constitution
make it necessary that a certain permanence should be given
to this instrument beyond that which ordinary laws or acts
need, because all calculations for the future depend on such
stability. It is, therefore, an act of self-preservation for a so-
ciety to make a constitution somewhat difficult to alter. The
city-states felt this, yet had no effectual provision against
change within their reach.
"2. The representative system. In addition to the remarks
made in another place, we say here that the ob-
Representa toons.      .                                           A                                '
ject of a deliberative law-making assembling is
to find out first of all what is the highest good, within the
reach of political measures, for a whole community, and not
what will suit the greatest number of constituents. The dele-
gates are sent to advise with one another, and are not, in the
proper sense, delegates of parts or of parties, but belong all
to the whole country ; so that, if they were chosen by a small
aristocracy, It would be a crime to consult the interests of
that aristocracy rather than the wants of the whole commu-
nity. It is the whole, the organized community, the political
body, which appears in the halls of legislatures. But as the
political body consists of parts, each of them having interests
* I write this, aware what an eminent historian has said to the con-