Excerpt from Private Correspondence of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, Illustrative of the Court and Times of Queen Anne, Vol. 2 of 2: With Her Sketches and Opinions of Her Contemporaries and the Select Correspondence of Her Husband, John, Duke of Marlborough
Services for many years have been so often threa tened with ill-treatment of one kind or other, had not made me curious to mind a little what was doing. To give your Grace, with all the clearness I can, the notions of the parties this small observation has led me to, 1 must beg leave to make two or three distinctions. First, between principles and practice secondly, between old and modern Whigs, that is, before and Since the Revolution; thirdly, between the body of them and their leaders. As to the first, the great Whig principle is publick good. But this I believe the other side will pretend an equal claim to; for 'tis the principle of government in general - and to judge of the principles of the parties, we must consider how each side apply this general principle, or what particular principles they draw it into for as there are some principles common to all govern ments, so every different form of government has maxims and principles, framed from the general ones, peculiar to itself, and here the two parties seem to split. Absolute regal government has one set of principles proper to itself, and popular government another. In governments mixed of both, such as ours is, the principles of both must be so adjusted as to preserve the rights and powers of the several parts of which the mixed government consists; and in this due adjusting of different principles, both par ties seem to have failed. The Tories espouse such notions of kingly government as, carryed to their full height, are utterly destructive of the liberties.
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