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3569. GOVERNMENT, Suitability of.—[further continued].

The forms of government
adapted to the age[of the classical writers of Greece] and[their] country are
[not] practicable or to be imitated in our day.
* * * The circumstances of the world are
too much changed for that. The government
of Athens, for example, was that of the people
of one city, making laws for the whole
country subjected to them. That of Laced
æmon was the rule of military monks over
the laboring class of the people, reduced to
abject slavery. These are not the doctrines of
the present age. The equal rights of man,
and the happiness of every individual, are now
acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects
of government. Modern times have the
signal advantage, too, of having discovered
the only device by which these rights can be
secured, to wit: government by the people,
acting not in person, but by representatives
chosen by themselves, that is to say, by every
man of ripe years and sane mind, who
either contributes by his purse or person to
the support of his country.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 318.
(M. 1823)