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MOTIVES TO FOREGOING ABLE SERVICE. 213

weakness, statesmen of this kind, I say, are apt to rejoice unduly in self-dependence and the consciousness of substantive power, and to surround themselves with such men as will rather reflect them as mirrors, than adequately serve them as instruments. To make the weak subservient requires intellectual predominancy only, and not always that; for strength of animal temperament and an over-ruling vivacity or a determined disposition will often of themselves suffice. To make the strong subservient demands certain moral sufficiencies. In order that the strong may serve the strong, there must be mutual respect, and in one or both of the parties a high and rare humility. There must be between the parties conceptions of what is more strong, great, and noble, than any fulfilments are: there must be over the

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efforts of both a common bond of reverence for what is greater than either. Where there is not this high and by consequence

humble nature in a statesman, or where zeal for public objects does not predominate over self-importance, there are naturally motives enough which will deter one who is sufficiently strong to dispense with strong help from seeking it. Such men through moral deficiency become intellectually short-sighted, and their effect on the world is limited by the circle of their individual and proximate activity.

Weak men of low character and high station have yet greater deterrents, yet livelier jealousies and disgusts towards subordinate strength; though their need for it is more pressing and may often over-rule their indisposition. I say of low character-meaning merely men wanting (as most men are) in such superiority to circumstances as would prevent them from being made low in character by being thus misplaced in life. It is not natural that a statesman labouring under insufficiencies of understanding

snould like to have about him those who can take the measure of his capacity. It is not natural that a statesman troubled with infirmity of purpose and defect of civil courage, should wish to be served by men before whom he stands detected and rebuked. But if, casually or through the compulsion of circumstances, he comes to be served by such men, there will ensue with average human nature a debasing struggle. He will be driven to tricks and devices by way of glossing over the falseness of his position. He will have to keep up appearances of ruling, under a consciousness of being ruled. He will be under the necessity of accepting daily obligations from his inferiors, which he will be unwilling to acknowledge to himself, more unwilling to acknowledge to them, and most unwilling to acknowledge to the world. He will live under a sense of humiliation without humbleness; yielding the discharge of his functions to others, and thinking it due to the

dignity of his station to disguise the fact. That must be a rare honesty and generosity of nature which holds out against the corruption of such circumstances; for falseness of position naturally ends in falseness of character.

I know not what precept can suffice to correct the evils of this doubly unequal relation, if the superior in place shall not perceive that the best superiority is to be found in seeking the level of truth, and in a devotion to the public welfare; if the superior in understanding shall not feel that the arrogance of talent is as offensive, illiberal, and ignoble as any other species of arrogance; if both cannot meet upon a higher ground than that of either talent on the one hand or station on the other.

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CHAPTER XXIX.

ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF PATRONAGE.

THE engrossing of a considerable quantity of patronage into one disposing hand has this advantage; that after the administrator shall have satisfied any private ends which he may have at heart with a portion of the patronage, he will dispose of the rest with reference to public interests. Whereas if the patronage be comminuted and placed in several hands, each of the patrons may have no more to dispose of than is required to serve his private purposes; or at all events, after feeding the private purposes of so many patrons, a smaller proportion will be left to be bestowed according to the dictates of public spirit. For a like reason the

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