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308                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
bility and the untitled commons has been made weaker by
the elevation of numbers from the commons to the peerage,
by the intermarriages between these orders (forbidden in
some countries in order to keep the blood pure), and by the
fact that the children of noblemen are commoners in the eye
of the law. That the house of lords is destined to be per-
petual, who would dare to prophesy ? With all the influence
which it has thrown, on the conservative side, obstructing
measures sometimes for years before it would yield, it has no
such self-subsistence as to be able long to resist the made-up
opinion of the country. Relatively, for a long time it has been
growing weaker, while the house of commons has been grow-
ing stronger.
The principle of the house of lords is one fitted only to a
somewhat aristocratic state of society. Would or could such
a house, if the democratic feeling which dislikes all hereditary
privilege were to gain an ascendancy in England, be able to
stand its ground? Would it nofbe pronounced an absurd
thing that a son should succeed to his father's profession when
he had no talent for it at all; and does not the constant in-
fusion of fresh blood into the house of lords show the fear
that this body would otherwise become too weak for its office
of legislation, and sink into contempt ? Probably, however,
if this house should fall under the blows of a growing democ-
racy, the good sense of Great Britain would try to find a sub-
The United States were supplied with a happy suggestion
how their second chamber should be constituted by the ele-
ment of equality among the states, which voted as equal
powers under the old confederation, and came into the con-
vention for framing the constitution as equals. The smaller
states, in fact, had such a fear of being oppressed by the
larger that they managed to have a provision inserted in the
new constitution, that, while all other articles might be altered
in the-legal way, the provision, which made the states equal
in the senate, should be unchangeable. This is the utmost
that could be done, Doubtless at times there have been