Thursday, 29 May 2008

Rusticus Expectat

“[A]n Absolute Government founded on Corruption, without an Appearance of Liberty, is better than such a Government, where some outward Appearance of Liberty is preserved. . . . [O]f all Sorts of Oppressive Governments this is the most difficult to get rid of, . . . because the People are always in Expectation of being able to redress their Grievances constitutionally without a Civil War; but
rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis; at ille labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum
[the bumpkin waits for the river to drain away; but it flows on and will flow on for ever]
whereas in all other Sorts of Slavish Governments, the People, having no Legal or Constitutional Remedy to expect, they generally fly to Arms, as soon as their Oppression becomes grievous; this their Governors know, this they expect, and this keeps them under a continual Fear . . .

Extract of a Letter [published in Fog’s Journal, no. 387, 3rd April 1736] which Fog says, he found in George’s Coffee-House, Temple Bar, from Tommy Osborne to her Mother Madam Frances Osborne, in answer to her Remarks on a Pamphlet intitled, The Fatal Consequences of Ministerial Influence, &c”, extracted in Gentleman's Magazine, Vol.VI, April 1736, p.186, online at Internet Library of Early Journals. (Latin quotation from Horace Epistles, I., ll.42-3)

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