they kept up an intimate sympathy between classes.
Besides, the road to the peerage, as all knew, lay open to all. It was a body, constantly invigorated by recruits from the greatest men of England
Had it been left to itself, it would have perished long before.
Once, having the gentle Addison
for a supporter of the measure, it voted itself to be a close order, but was saved by the House of Commons from consummating its selfish purpose, where success would have prepared its ruin; and it remained that the poorest man who ever struggled upwards in the rude competition of the law, might come to preside in the House of Lords.
Thus the hereditary branch of the legislature was doubly connected with the people; the larger part of its sons and daughters descended to the station of commoners, and commoners were at all times making their way to its honors.
In no country was rank so privileged, or classes so blended.
The peers, too, were, like all others, amenable to the law; and though the system of finance bore evidence of their controlling influence in legislation, yet their houses, lands, and property were not exempt from taxation.
The provisions of law were certainly most unequal, yet such as they were, they applied indiscriminately to all.
One branch of the legislature was reserved to the hereditary aristocracy of landholders; the House of Commons partook of the same character; it represented every blade of grass in the kingdom, but not every laborer; the land of England
, but not her men. No one but a landholder was qualified to be elected into that body; and most of those who were chosen