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In the states of New Hampshire, Massachussetts and South Carolina, pardons can be granted only after a conviction.

The president and vice president hold their offices during the term of four years.

The president shall, at stated times, receive, for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period, for which he is elected; and he shall not receive, within that period, any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.

I here finish what I propose to say concerning the second great division of the national government—its executive authority.

wise, according to her present constitution, the governour can grant pardons only after conviction ; and in cases of treason and murder, he can only respite the execution, and make report thereof to the next general assembly, by whom a pardon may be granted. Cons. Geor, art. 2. s. 7. Ed.

e Cons. N. H. p. 18. 19. Cons. Mas. C. 2. s. 1. a. 8. Cons. S. C: art. 2. $.7.



THE judicial power of the United States is vested in one supreme court, and in such inferiour courts as are established by congress.


A court, according to my Lord Coke, is a place where justice is judicially administered.

To Egypt, where much wisdom, we are assured, was to be learned, we trace the first institution of courts of justice. Concerning its administration, the Egyptians were remarkably vigilant and exact; for they believed, that on it depended entirely the support or the dissolution of society. Their highest tribunal was composed of thirty judges. At the head of it was placed the

person, who, at once, possessed the greatest share of wisdom, of probity, and of the publick esteem.


a Cons. U. S. art. 3. s. 1.

b 1. Ins. 58.

C 1. Gog. Or. L. 55. VOL. II.


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The trials, it is said, were carried on in writing; and, to avoid unnecessary delay, the parties were allowed to make only one reply on each side. When the evidence was closed, the judges consulted together concerning the merits of the cause. When they were fully understood and considered, the president gave the signal for proceeding to a judgment, by taking in his hand a small image, adorned with precious stones.

When the sentence was pronounced, the president touched, with the image, the party, who had gained his cause. The image was without eyes; and was the symbol, by which the Egyptians were accustomed to represent Truth. It is probably from this circumstance, that Justice has been painted blind.

The judges of this court received from government what was necessary for their support; so that the people paid them nothing for obtaining justice.

We are told, that no advocates were admitted in this tribunal ; but that the parties themselves drew up their own processes. This, however, must probably be understood with some limitation ; for we cannot reasonably imagine, that all the inhabitants of Egypt were not only taught to write, but were also possessed of a degree of legal skill, sufficient to qualify them for. composing their own defences. It is not unlikely, that the regulation went no farther than one, which we have seen adopted in another state-Every one has a right to be heard by himself and his counsel.

On the model of this high tribunal of Egypt, was formed the celebrated court of the Areopagus at Athens. This court was instituted, one thousand and five hundred years before the Christian era, by Cecrops, who was originally of Sais, a city of the lower Egypt, and to whom Athens, the seat of literature and politeness, of eloquence and patriotism, owed its foundation and first establishments.

This excellent man relinquished the fertile banks of the Nile, in order to avoid the tyranny, under which his native country, at that time, groaned. After a tedious voyage, he reached the shores of Attica: and was received in the most friendly manner by its inhabitants. Placed, after some time, at the head of their affairs, he conceived the noble design of bestowing happiness on his adopted country. For this purpose, he introduced among his new compatriots many valuable and memorable insti. tutions, of which, indeed, he was not strictly the authorif he had, he would have been the first of legislators and the greatest of mortals—but which he brought, probably with his own judicious improvements, from a nation, who had been attentive to carry them to perfection during a long series of ages. Some of his institutions—in all of them wisdom and humanity shone conspicuous-will claim our future attention. At present, it is directed to the court of the Areopagus.

Aristides—well qualified to decide upon this subject; for he was distinguished by the appellation of the justinforms us, that this court was the most sacred and venerable tribunal in all Greece. From its first establishment, it never pronounced a sentence, which gave reasonable cause of complaint. Strangers, even sovereigns, solicited and submitted to its decisions; which contributed, more

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than any thing else, to disseminate the principles of justice first among the Grecians. d

The proceedings in this tribunal were, in some instances, very solemn and striking. In a prosecution for murder, the prosecutor was obliged to swear, that he was related to the person deceased for none but near relations could prosecute—and that the prisoner was the cause of his death. . The prisoner swore, that he was innocent of the crime, of which he was accused. Each confirmed his oath with the most direful imprecations; wishing that, if he swore falsely, himself, his family, and his houses might be utterly destroyed and extirpated by the divine vengeance.


In early times, it is said, the parties were obliged to plead their causes themselves. But this severity was afterwards relaxed. Those, who were accused, might avail themselves of the assistance of counsel. The counsel, however, were never permitted, in pleading, to wander from the merits of the cause. This close and pertinent manner of speaking gave the tone to the bar of Athens, and extended itself to the speeches, which were delivered in other assemblies.


In this manner, we may naturally account for the condensed vehemence so remarkable in the orations of Demosthenes.

Let me conclude this account of the Areopagus by mentioning an incident, seemingly of slight importance, but which will not be related without producing, in my hearers, feelings in proper unison with those, which the

d 2. Gog. Or. L. 16. 21. 1. Anac. 11.

e 1. Pot. Ant. 106.


2. Gog. Or. L. 23.

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