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The Nature and Effects of DESPOTISM, compared with the Nature and Effects of a FREE GoVERNMENT.
ON THE HAPPINESS OF A DESPOTIC
F all the paffions which poffefs the human heart, none is more infatuating, none more defpotic in its empire, than the luft of power; and none has brought greater or more numerous evils on the human race. If a man be immoderate in his love of pleasure, he may lofe
his time, waste his fubftance, and destroy his health if he be too eager in pursuit of wealth, he may use some dishonourable means of acquiring it; and if he be a mifer, he may be unwilling to enjoy it when acquired: if he be fond of the bubble honour, he may feek it even in the cannon's mouth. But what are all these evils, when compared with those which have been brought upon mankind by the restless ambition of unhappy mortals, hurried away by their inordinate love of power ? Blinded by this paffion, they have grasped the pillars of the ftate, brought down destruction on themselves, and buried nations in the ruins. Such wretches, though admired by fools, must be held in execration by all good men; while, on the other hand, they whofe highest ambition is to fubdue their paffions, to govern all their actions, words, and thoughts by the rules of reason and religion; who wifh only for the power of doing good to - all mankind; these are worthy of our highest reverence and efteem. These are the truly happy; in whatsoever ftations of life