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of his servants, without whose concurrence he can do nothing, equally under its controul as every other person, in as far as respects the ordinary transactions of life; and in regard to higher crimes, the most favoured servant of the crown may be tried by IMPEACHMENT; and if by the judges he fhall be declared guilty, he must inevitably be punished, without a pofsibility of his being screened from it by the royal protection. Such are the means, that, from the experience of ages, have been adopted by the British constitution, to guard against those two powerful enemies to freedom, ANARCHY and DESPOTISM.
27. In France all these checks against despotism and anarchy have been totally neglected; and the most perfect system of anarchical despotism that can be conceived, has been there concocted, and carried to a height of perfection it never had attained in any other part of the earth. A decree may be pafsed in the National Conven tion as soon as it is proposed; and the moment it is passed it has the force of a law. This decree may be proposed by any man who pleases to do so. The decree may be again reversed during the same sitting, if it should so please the Convention. In these circumstances it is impossible for any man to know what is the law; or to have a reasonable assurance that he can either be justified in resisting what is required of him, or be punished legally for resistance.
28. The Convention has not only the power ting laws at pleasure, but of executing them in the way it pleases. The armies, the navies, the ministers, the judges, are all amenable to its bar. And if it wishes to protect the guilty, or to punish the innocent, there is no legal power whatever that can oppose it.
29. But there is a power which does check this afsembly. There is a power which dictates to it. There is
a power which moulds its decrees at pleasure; and though unseen, over-rules every thing. This power is not the People, this power is not the Federates,-this power is not the Jacobin Club. It is the Ruler of the leaders of all these separate bodies, which acts with sovereign uncontroulable sway, without being brought into view. Like the eastern despots of old, who issued their mandates from the innermost recefses of the palace, this invisible power, by its inarticulated volition only, has already immolated thousands on the altar of despotism. It was this invisible power which afsembled the Marsellois ; it was the same power which planned and effected the mafsacres on the 10th of August, and the 2d of September; it was this power which brought the artillery from the ramparts of St Dennis; it was this power which drew the Federates a second time from Marseilles to Paris; it was this power which guarded Louis to the block; and it was this power which sent the Federists back again when
the deed was done.
30. Under such a system of despotism, what security has any man for life, for property, for any thing? Innocence is no guard; industry can afford him no resource; the law can give him no protection. His only safety consists in a mean submission to the will, or a base concurrence with the measures of the despot; and even this affords him only the precarious surety of the moment. To assert that a nation enjoys freedom under such circumstances, is the same thing as to maintain, that after a house is already in flames, if it be left to itself, it will not be consumed!
DISQUISITIONS CONCERNING THE MODE OF MAKING BRICKS AMONG THE ROMANS.
Ir is acknowledged, that the ancient Romans pofsefsed the art of making bricks in much greater perfection than any of the modern nations of Europe. Many buildings that have been erected with these ancient bricks, have withstood the vicifsitudes of weather for some thousands of years, and yet remain firm and entire; whereas modern works, consisting of these materials, begin to moulder away almost as soon as formed, and are unable to resist, but for a very fhort time, the slightest vicifsitudes of weather. This difference can only proceed from our ignorance of the manner of manufacturing bricks; as we are still possessed of the same materials that they employed: it is therefore an object well deserving our attention, to try if we can discover wherein our error consists, that we may be enabled to regain this long lost useful art.
Clay, in its native state, is capable of being sof tened by water, and of being in some measure diffused therein, so as to form with it a cohesive ductile paste, that admits of being moulded with ease into a great variety of forms; which forms it may be made to retain after the water has been evaporated from it. But if clay has been exposed for a sufficient length of time to the action of an intense fire, it loses all these properties; it acquires a hard and stony consistence; is no longer capable
of being softened, or in any manner acted upon by water; if that is reduced to powder, it is incapable of any adhesion when mixed with water, but remains an incoherent mafs in every respect resembling fine sand.
Hence, then, it follows, that if a mafs of native clay be well soaked in water, and thoroughly kneaded with it into a fine paste, and then moulded into a proper form, and baked in a kiln, it will be converted into a hard stony mass, retaining the form it was moulded into. This is in short the process followed in the manufacture of bricks. But there are some peculiarities that occur in the process which require to be explained, before we can hope to discover in what manner our manufacture of this article may be improved.
When clay is reduced to a paste with water, it occupies a much larger space, than when it is perfectly dry; and by consequence, if it is moulded into form when in this soft state, the mass will graany dually fhrink in all its dimensions, as the water is evaporated from it in drying. Hence, it happens, that if the mafs be of any considerable size, the parts are apt to separate from one another in drying, so as to make it appear full of rents in every part, which in many cases renders it unfit for the purposes intended.
To prevent this defect it has been found necefsary in all cases to mix with the clay some extraneous matter which does not absorb water, or swell with it in any considerable degree, which being envelopped in the soft clay, is rendered coherent by
that means; and in proportion to the bulk of that extraneous matter, the contracting in drying will become the lefs considerable; so that by mixing it in considerable quantities, the cracking in drying will be entirely prevented.
The matters that have been employed for this purpose have been different in different countries, and varied according to the uses that the manufactures were intended to answer; some being more proper for one use, and others for another.
In warm countries that enjoyed a serene climate, it has been found, that bricks baked in the sun, attained a degree of hardness sufficient for ordinary uses; and on these occasions, no material has been found more proper for the purpose than straw chopped small for this substance not only served to diminish the contraction in drying, as above explained, but also to cement the different parts of the brick together, and to give them a greater degree of cohesiveness than they would naturally have had. It is precisely for the same purposes that we, in modern times, find it necefsary to mix hair with plaster made of pure lime, which would be apt to crack and fall down were it not for this addition. Of this kind were the bricks made in Egypt by the Israelites of old, who had good reason to complain of the hardship of being obliged to make bricks without straw. A composition of the same kind is still used for making walls to low huts in some parts of England, and in the north of Scotland; but as the sun would not there be sufficient to dry bricks in the manner of those used in Egypt, the builders