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In many instances the author has been prevented from revising the proof sheets ; hence, owing to defects in manuscript, several important typographical errors, affecting in some cases, the grammatical sense, and in others, substituting erroneous words; have found their way into this work. The reader is respectfully requested to note them before the perusal. They will be found as follows, viz :
On page 38, in the 6th and 7th lines from the bottom of the page, for the Latin quotation from Cicero, read, “ Tum enim magistratum non gerebat is, qui ceperat si patres auctores non erant facti.”
On page 258, for “ truths,” read truth; for "prevailing,” read pervading.
On page 302, in the 6th line from the bottom of the page, for “ is,” read are. In the same line, and 5th line from bottom, for “ in itself,” read per se.
On page 306, in the 6th line of $ 169, for "prospective,” read retrospective ; and in the 5th line of $ 170, for “prospective," read retrospective.
On page 308, in the 2d line of $ 172, for “ prospective," read retrospective.
On page 446, in the 14th line from the bottom of the page, for “ influences,” read influence.
On page 523, in the 8th line of 9 362, after the word “legislature,” insert the
On page 577, in the 9th line of § 404, for “constitutes," read constitute.
581, in the 5th line of g 412, for “défenda," read défend. In the 7th line of the same section, for “que' il,” read qu' il. On page 588, in § 419, for “(a),” read (c.)
634, in the last line of $ 490, for “ materii," read materia.
651, in the 14th line of $ 505, for “extum," read textum. In the 1st line of $ 506, for “demonstration on," read demonstratio non.
On page 666, in the 1st line of $ 523, after the word “construed,” strike out the word “ so."
On page 742, in the 3d line from the bottom of 9 624, for “are themselves," read is an ; and in the same line, for “ interpretations,” read interpretation. In the 2d line from the bottom of the same section, for the word “ might,” read may. On page 809, in 6th line from the top, for “ trustee," read trustees. 813, in 3d
for “ inapplible,” read inapplicable.
for “contract,” read context.
933, in 5th line of $ 820, for " hereon," read thereon. In the 3d line from the bottom of the same page, for" a contract,” read contracts.
There are numerous errors in punctuation, not noted here, which the reader will readily detect.
S T A TU TE
CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES.
ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY.
§ 1. Of all kind and degrees of authority which man exercises over man that of legislation is the most august and supreme. A power of legislation, that is, the authority of enacting not only temporary and occasional ordinances, but durable and general laws, is, in the hands of a single person an alarming excess of dominion; hence in almost all modern governments, the sovereign power is divided among different and co-ordinate departments of government.
§ 2. The author of Parliamentary History has said that in all nations in the world hitherto known, and in all ages, the laws they were governed by, were first made by the advice and consent of general assemblies, and then promulgated to the whole community. In this he is probably mistaken ; for such was not the character of the power exercised by the ancient Roman emperors in their lex edictalis, though they avowedly claimed it by a grant from the people, conveyed in that instrument called “ Lex Regiæ,” and containing a formal surrender of their liberties, which had long before been extorted from them. This Roman instance of a single power of enacting stable and universal laws was the most absolute sovereignty that can in any country be actually traced.
§ 3. Gibbon is of the opinion that the primitive government of Rome was composed of an elective king, a council of nobles, and a general assembly of the people. War and religion were administered by the supreme magistrate, and he alone proposed the laws, which were debated in the senate, and finally ratified or rejected by a majority of the votes in the thirty curia, or parishes of the city. From Augustus to Trajan the modest Cæsars were content to promulgate their edicts in the various characters of a Roman magistrate, and in the decrees of the senate. Hadrian appears to be the first who assumed, (and without disguise,) the plenitude of legisla
The same policy was embraced by succeeding monarchs, and, according to the harsh metaphor of Tertullian, “the gloomy and intricate forest of ancient laws were cleared away by the axe of royal mandates and constitutions.” During four centuries, from Hadrian to Justinian, the public and private jurisprudence was moulded by the will of the sovereign. The origin of imperial legislation was concealed by the darkness of ages and the terrors of armed despotism; and a double fiction was propagated by the servility, or perhaps the ignorance of the civilians who basked in the sunshine of the Roman and Byzantine courts. To the prayer of the ancient Cæsars, the people or the senate had sometimes granted a personal exemption from the obligation and penalty of particular statutes; and each indulgence was an act of jurisdiction exercised by the republic over the first of her citizens. This humble privilege was at length transformed into the prerogative