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of the animal, and infusing into its place an astringent, made of oak bark.
Skins are steeped many weeks in the tan pits or bark infusions, undergoing this conversion ; and they are then shaved and coloured by the currier, for their various uses.
VIII. Of Government and Laws. 131. The heads and fathers of families were anciently their governors; and this kind of government was called Patriarchal. The histories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are beautiful illustrations of this state of human society.
132. When the family grew too large, the branches sometimes separated, as we observe in the instance of Abraham and Lot, and of Jacob and Esau ; but when they resided together, some one would be regarded as the head : in due time a title would be given to thi ruler ; and he would be called a chief, captain, judge, dictator, king, sultan, or emperor.
133. Such wa the origin of governments; and they would prove of various tendencies, according to the character of the first rulers. Any quarrel between two tribes, would give to both of them a military character.
He who got the better, would be in danger of being inspired with a love of conquest; hence, much misery would arise. In time, many tribes or families would unite into one as well for offence as defence ; such, doubtless, was the origin of nations.
134. The land of Canaan, when invaded by the Israelites, was sub-divided in this way, into petty tribes ; so was Britain, when it was invaded by Cæsar; Italy, also, was divided in the same way, before the ambition and military character of certain Romans led them to make war with their neighbours.
Such, too, is the state of five thousand nameless
tribes in North and South America; in Africa, Tartary, and Siberia, at this day.
135. Every man in a society, or nation, is bound to respect its welfare; to do nothing injurious to its members ; and to conform himself to the rules or laws by which it is held together, maintained and protected. By obeying the laws himself, he sets an example to others; and he also partakes of the common benefit and protection afforded by them.
What constitutes a state ?
Thick wall or moated gate ;
Not bays, and broad-arm'd ports,
Nor star'd and spangled courts,
No-Men, high minded men,
Men who their duties know,
Prevent the long-aim'd blow,
These constitute a state. 136. A constitution is that plan of government and system of laws, under which a people live together in the same society. In Britain, for example, we have a chief magistrate, or king, to execute the laws and conduct the business of the government; and we have two houses of parliament, to concur with the king in making laws, and levying money; this arrangement is called the Constitution of Great Britain.
137. The two houses of parliament consist of about 400 peers, or nobles, in the House of Lords; and of 658 members, elected by and representing the people, in the House of Commons.
No law can be enacted without the joint consent : the king, lords, and commons; and nothing can be done contrary to the laws so made; or to the established and known customs, or Common Law, of the country,
SIR. W. JONES.
138. No tax can be levied on the people, unless it originates in the House of Commons; and is first
approved of by that assembly. The creation of peers and transactions with foreign nations, belong to the office of king; as do the direction and appointment of the army and navy, and the management of wars.
139. The laws of England consist of the common law, the statute law, and the civil law.
The common law is the ancient law of England, supposed to be derived from the Saxon laws, and founded on principles of reason and justice, on the revealed laws of God, and on the immemorial customs and rights of the people.
The statute laws are particular laws to declare, enforce, and modify, the common law; and are made by the two Houses of Parliament, and assented to by
The civil law is the law of our spiritual courts and universities; and is derived from the ancient laws of the Romans, as condensed into a code by the emperor Justinian.
140. The laws are administered in the king's name, in the courts of King's Bench, Exchequer, and Common Pleas, and also at assizes in county towns, by two judges; of whom there are twelve in England.
There is also a court of Equity, called the Court of Chancery ; in which, in particular cases, the letter of the law is moderated.
141. There are also courts of quarter-sessions held by justices of the peace, for trying petty offenders; and by corporate bodies, who act under the king's charter.
Courts of request, or of conscience, are instituted for the recovery of debts under five pounds.
142. In Britain no man can be put on his trial, for any offence, unless twelve of a grand Jury have declared, in a bill of indictment, that there is cause for trying him; and he cannot be convicted or punished, except
a verdict has been given against him by another JURY, composed of twelve honest and unexceptionable men.
143. By the English laws, wilful murder, forgery, house-breaking, house-burning, horse and sheep-stealing, rape, highway-robbery, cutting and maiming, piracy, coining, and treason against the king, are punishable with death.
144. Numerous other offences are also punishable with death; but the sentence is generally commuted into transportation for life : smaller offences involve transportation for fourteen or seven years; and petty ones are punished by imprisonment, whipping, pillory, burning in the hand, or by fines.
145. A man who has commited a crime, is charged with it before a justice of the peace ; who issues his warrant to the constable for his apprehension.
The justice commits him to the custody of the sheriff in the county goal, on the oath of the accuser ; who, at the assizes, must repeat his charge before the grand jury.
If they find a true bill, he is then tried before the petty jury; and, on being found guilty, receives from the judge, the sentence of the law.
146. Death is inflicted by hanging: transportation is made to Botany Bay, in New Holland : but many such culprits are employed in England on board of hulks, or old ships: small offenders are sent to houses of correction, and kept to hard labour.
As the king is the executor of the laws, and a all prosecutions are carried on in his name, he has the power of pardoning criminals.
147. The constitution of Great Britain secures the liberty, as well as the good government, of the people ;-
Because no law can be made, without the consent of their representatives in the House of Commons.
Because no tax can be imposed, unless it origina *tes, and first passes, in that house. And,
Because no man can be punished, in any way, withiout the consent of twenty-four of his peers, or equals; i. e. by twelve of a grand, and twelve of a petit jury.
148. The public rights of Britons are also secured by Magna Charta, by the Habeas Corpus Act, by the Bill of Rights, and by innumerable acts or statutes of parliament, passed chiefly in the reign of Edward the First and William the Third.
Obs.-The two most enlightened countries of Europe having published the general principles of government, the one in a document, called the Bill of Rights, in 1689; and the other in a Declaration of Rights, in 1789, both are subjoined as the most complete, and the least objectionable summaries that were ever compiled on these subjects.
The lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons of England, being assembled in a full and free representation of the nation, did, (as their ancestors in like case had usually done) for vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties, declare,
1. That the pretended power of suspending of laws, or for the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal:
2 That the pretended power of dispensing with laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, as it hath been assúmed and exercised of late, is illegal:
3. That the commission for erecting the late court of commissioners for ecclesiastical causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious :
4. That levying money for, o to the use of the crown, by pretence of prerogative. without grant of parliament, for longer time, or in all other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal :
5. That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king ; and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal :
6. That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of parliament, is against law :
7. 'l'hat the subjects which are protestants may have arms for their defence, suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law: 8. That election of members to parliament ought to be free:
9. That the freedom of speech, and debates or proceedings in parliament, ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of parliament: