185 OF PUBLIC ABSURDITIES IN ENGLAND.

IT is a common topic of satire, which you will hear not only from the mouths of ministers of State, but of every whistler in office, that half a dozen obscure fellows, over a bottle of wine or a dish of coffee, shall presume to censure the actions of parliaments and councils, to form schemes of government, and new-model the commonwealth, and this usually ridiculed as a pragmatical disposition to politics, in the very nature and genius of the people. It may possibly be true: And yet I am grossly deceived if any sober man, of very moderate talents, when he reflects upon the many ridiculous hurtful maxims, customs, and general rules of life, which prevail in this kingdom, would not with great reason be tempted, according to the present turn of his humour, either to laugh, lament, or be angry; or, if he were sanguine enough, perhaps to dream of a remedy. It is the mistake of wise and good men, that they expect more reason and virtue from human nature, than, taking it in the bulk, it is in any sort capable of. Whoever hath