Politician, Party and People: Addresses Delivered in the Page Lecture Series, 1912, Before the Senior Class of the Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University

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Yale University Press, 1913 - 183 pages

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Page 104 - Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him ; their opinion high respect : their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs ; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interests to his own.
Page 105 - To deliver an opinion, is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear; and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions ; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience; these are things utterly unknown to the laws of this land, and which arise...
Page 106 - Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors ' from different and hostile interests ; which interests ' each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against ' other agents and advocates ; but Parliament is a ' deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, ' that of the whole ; where not local purposes, not local ' prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, 1 resulting from the general reason of the whole. You ' choose a member indeed ; but when you have chosen ' him, he is not member...
Page 104 - But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
Page 105 - Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion. My worthy colleague says, his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that, in which the determination...
Page 104 - They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion. My worthy colleague says, his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superiour. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment,...
Page 104 - Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living.
Page 117 - ... concern ; and it is not lest you should censure me improperly, but lest you should form improper opinions on matters of some moment to you, that I trouble you at all upon the subject. My conduct is of small importance.
Page 117 - I live at an hundred miles distance from Bristol ; and at the end of a session I come to my own house, fatigued in body and in mind, to a little repose, and to a very little attention to my family and my private concerns. A visit to Bristol is always a sort of canvass ; else it will do more harm than good.
Page 118 - My canvass of you was not on the change, nor in the county meetings, nor in the clubs of this city : It was in the house of commons ; it was at the custom* house ; it was at the council ; it was at the treasury ; it was at the admiralty. I canvassed you through your affairs, and not your persons.

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