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to two of the judges, to examine and report the state of the ficts ailegel, to see that all necerary parties consent, and to ietile all points of technical propriety.) This is read a first time, and at a convenienc distance a second time; and after each reiding the speaker opens to the boule the substance of the bill, and puts the question, whether it shall proceed any farther. The introduction of the bill may be originally opposed, as the bill itself may at either of the readings; and, if the opposition succeeds, the bill must be dropt for that iefsions; as it must also, if opposed wiih success in any of the subsequent stages.

After the second reading it is committed, that is, referred to a committee; which is either selected by the house in matters of small importance, or else, upon a bill of consequence, the house resolves itself into a committee of the whole house. A committee of the whole house is composed of every member; and, to form it, the speaker quits the chair, (another member being appointed chairman) and may fit and debate as a private ineinber. In these coinmittees the bill is debated clause by clause, amendments made, the blanks flled up, and sometimes the bill entirely new modelled. Atier ic has gone through the committee, the chairman reports it to the house with such amendments as the committee have made; and then the houte reconsider the whole bill again, and the question is repeatedly put upon every clause and amendment. When the houle have agreed or dilagreed to the amendments of the committee, and sometimes added new amendinents of their own, the bill is then crdered to be engrosied, or written in a strong gross hand, on one or more long rolls of parchments fewed together. When this is finished, it is read a third time, and amendments are sometimes then made to it; and, if a new clause be added, it is done by tacking a separate piece of parchment on the bill, which is called a ryder. The speaker then again opens the contents; and, holding it wp

of the CONSTITUTION, &c. in his hands, puts the question, whether the bill shall pass. If this is agreed to, the title to it is then settled. After this, one of the members is directed 10 Carry it to the lords, and desire their concurrence; who attended by several more, carrie; it to the bar of the house of peers, and there delivers it to their speaker, who comes down from his woolíack to receive it. It there passes through the forms as in the other house, (except engrossing, which is already done) and, if rejected, no more notice is taken, but it passes fub filentio, to prevent unbecoming altercations. But if it is agreed to, the lords send a mesfage by two masters in chancery (or sometimes two of the judges) that they have agreed to the fame : and the bill remains with the lords, if they have made no amendment to it. But if any amendments are made, such amendments are fent down with the bill to receive ihe concurrence of the commons. If the commons disagree to the amendments, a confe. rence usually follows between members deputed from each house; who for the most part settle and adjust the difference: but, if botn houses remain inflexible, the bill is dropped. If the commons agree to the amendments, the bill is fent back to the lords by one of the members, with a meffage to acquaint them therewich. The same forms are observed, mutatis mutandis, when the bill begins in the house of lords. But, when an act of grace or pardon is passed, it is first ligned by his majeity, and then read once only in each of the houses, without any new engrossing or amendment. And when both houses have done with any bill, it always is deposited in the house of peers, to wait the royal assent; except in the case of a honey-bill, which after receiving the concurrence of the lords is sent back to the houle of commons.

The royal afsent may be given iwo ways: 1. In perfo: when the king comes to the house of peers, in his ciown and royal robes, and sending for the commons to the bar, the titles of all the bills that have passed both houses are read; and the king's anTwer is declared by the clerk of the parliament in Norman French: à badge, it must be owned, (now the only one remaining) of conquest; and which one could wilh to see fall into total oblivion ; unless it be reserved as a solemn memento to remind us that our liberties are mortal, having once been destroyed by a foreign force. If the king consents to a public bill, the clerk usually declares, le roy le veut, “ the king wills it so to be;" if to a private bill, foit fait come il eft defirè, “ be it as it is desired.” If the king refuses his affent, it is in the gentle language of le roy sarifera, “ the king will advise upon it.” When a moneybill is passed, it is carried up and presented to the king by the speaker of the house of commons, and the royal aflent is thus expressed, le roy remercie ses loyal subječts, accepte lour benevolenie, et aussi le veut, “ the king thanks his loyal subjects, accepts their benevolence, and wills it so to be.” In case of an act of grace, which originally proceeds from the crown, and has the royal affent in the first itage of it, the clerk of the parliament thus pronounces the gratitude of the subject; les prelats, feigneurs, et commons, en ce present parliament assemblees, au nom de touts vous autres subjects, remercient tres humblement votre majeste, et prient a Dieu vous donner en fante bone vie et longue; " the prelates, lords, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, in the name of all your other subjects, most humbly thank your majesty, and pray to God to grant you in health and wealth long to live." 2. By the statute 33 Hen. VIII. c. 21. the king niay give his assen, by letters patent under his great seal, signed with his hand, and notified, in his absence, to both houses assembled together in the high house. And, when the bill has received the royal affent in either of these ways, it is then, and not before, a statute or act of parliament.

This statute or act is placed among he records of the kingdom; there needing no forma promulgation

to give it the force of a law, as was necessary by the civil law wiih reg rd to the emperors edicts: because every man in En hund is, in judgment of law, party to the making of an act of parliament, being present thereat by his representatives. However, a copy thereof is usually printed at the king's press, for the informat:on of the whole land.

An act of parliament, thus made, is the exercise of the highest authority that this kingdom acknowleges' upon earth. It hath power to bind every subject in the land, and the dominions thereunto belongings · nay, even the king himself, if particularly named therein. And it cannot be altered, amended, airpense) with, suspended, or repealed, but in the same forms and by the fame anthority of parliament: for it is a maxim in law, that it requires the same strength to diffcive, as to create an obligation.

Such is the parliam.nt of Great Biitain; the source and guardian of our liveries and properties, the strong corisnt which binds the foundation and superstructure of our governient, and the wisely concerted balance na ntaining an equal poite, that no one part of ihe thirce ciares overpower or dinlreis either of the other.

Privy counsellors are made by the king's nomination, uithout either parent or grant; and, on taking the necelarv Oachs, they become immediately privy couniellors during the line of the king that chooses them, but fub; Ĉt to ruin vala: his discretion.

The duty or a privy counicllor appears from the oath or office, which coniifts of seven articles: 1. To advise the king according to the beit of his cunning and discretion. 2. To advilt for the king's honour and good of the public, without partiality through affection, love, mciu, doubr, or dread. 3. To keep the king's counsel feciei4. To avoid corruption. 5. To help and trenyiben the execution of what hall be there ri folved 6. To withstand all persons who would attempt the contrary. And, lastly, in


general, 7. To obferve, keep, and do all that a good and true counsellor ought to do to his sovereign lord.

The two principal fecretaries of state (one of whom is generally present whenever the council'is held) are entrusted with the cuftody of the king's signet. They jointly transact the king's affairs relating to Great Britain; but as to thote concerning foreign nations; they are divided between them; the eldest secretary having the southern province, containing Flanders, France, &c. asigned to his management; and the younger secretary manages the northern province, containing such nations as lie north of thole already mentioned.

Of the Courts of Law, &c.

The court of Chancery, which is a court of equity, is next in dignity to the high court of parliament, and is designed to relicve the subject against frauds, breaches of trust, and other oppressions; and to mitigate the rigour of the law. The lord high chancellor lits as fole judge, and in his absence the mafter of the Rolls. The form of proceeding is by bills, answers, and decrees, the witnesses being examined in private : however, the decrees of this court are only binding to the persons of those concerned in them, for they do not affect their lands and goods; and consequently, if a man refuses to comply with the terms, they can do nothing more than send him to the prison of the Fleet. This court is always open; and if a man be sent to prison, the lord chancellor, in any vacation, can, if he fees reason for it, grant a babeas corpus.

The clerk of the crown likewise belongs to this court, being obliged, or by his deputy, always to attend on the lord chane ili as often as he fits for the dispatch of busineis; through his hands pais all writs for fummoning the parliament or chusing of meinbers; commissions of the peace, pardons, &c.

The King's Bench, so calle, either from the kings of England sometimes sitting there in person, or be


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