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law; and thirdly, that the augurs admirable institution of patrons should be favourable to their meet- and clients was a master-piece of ing

politics and humanity, without The reason of the first condition which the order of patricians, so needs no explanation ; the second contrary to the spirit of the repubrelates to no affair of police. Thus lic, could not have fubfifted. Rome it was not permitted the Comitia alone hath the honour of giving to to assemble on market days, when the world this fine example, of the country people coming to Rome which no abuse is known to have on business, would be prevented been made ; and which, neverthe

i from transacting it. By the third, less, hath never been adopted by the senate kept a fierce and tur- other nations. bulent multitude under some re- This division by Curie having straint, and opportunely checked subsisted under the kings till the the ardour of the feditious tribunes. time of Servius ; and the reign of The latter, however, found more the last Tarquin being accounted ways than one to elude the force illegal ; the legal laws came hence of this expedient.

to be generally diftinguished by But the laws and the election the name of Leges Curiatæ. of the chiefs were not the only Under the republic, the Curia, matters submitted to the determi- always confined to the four city nation of the Comitia. The Ro- tribes, and comprehending only man people having usurped the most, the populace of Rome, could not important functions of govern-' arrive either at the honour of fit. ment, the fate of Europe might ing in the fenate, which was at be said to depend on their affem- the head of the patricians, or at bling. Hence the variety of ob- that of being tribunes ; which, jects that came before them gave notwithstanding they were pleoccasion for divers alterations in beians, were yet at the head of the the form of these assemblies, ac- citizens in easy circumstances : cording to the nature of those ob- they fell, therefore, into discrejects.

dit, and were reduced to fo conTo judge of these diversities, it temptible a state, that their thirty is sufficient to compare them toge- lictors assembled to do the whole ther. The design of Romulus in business of the Comitia Curiata. instituting the Curiæ was to re- The division by Centuries was strain the senate, while he himself fo favourable to aristocracy, that maintained his influence equally it is not at first easy to comprehend over both. By this form, there- why the senate did not always care fore, he gave to the people all the ry their point in the Comitia Cen

. authority of number, to counter- turiata, by which the consuls, cenbalance that of power and riches, sors, and prætors, were chosen. which he left in the hands of the It is in fact certain, that out of patricians. But, agreeable to the the hundred and ninety-three cen{pirit of monarchy, he gave more turies, forming the lix classes of advantage to the patricians, by the the whole Roman people, the first influence of their clients, to ob-class containing ninety-eight of tain the majority of votes. This them, and the votes being reckonen

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ed only by centuries, this first try had time, between the two class alone had more votes than all elections, to inform themselves of the others; when the centuries the merit of the candidate thus of this class, therefore, were found provisionally nominated ; by which to be unanimous, they proceeded means they might be better enabled no farther in counting votes; to give their vote : but under the whatever might be determined by pretence of expediting affairs, this the minority, being considered as custom was in time abolished, and the opinion of the mob. So that the two elections were made the it might be justly said, that in the same day. Comitia Curiata matters were car- The Comitia by Tribes were, ried rather by the greater quan- properly speaking, the great countity of money than the majority of cil of the Roman people. These votes.

were convoked only by the triBut this extreme authority was bunes ; by these also the tribunes moderated by two causes. In the were chosen, and by these the first place, the tribunes, generally Plebiscita, or laws of the people, speaking, and always a confider- were passed. The senators were able number of wealthy citizens, not only destitute of rank in these being in this class of the rich, assemblies, they had not even the they counterpoised the credit of right to be present at them, but the patricians in the same class. obliged to pay obedience to laws, The second cause lay in the man- in the enacting of which they had ner of voting, which was this : the no vote : they were in that respect centuries, instead of voting accord- less free than the lowest citizens. ing to order, beginning with the This injustice, however, was very first in rank, cast lots which should ill understood, and was in itself proceed first to the election. And alone sufficient to invalidate the to this, the century whose lot it decrees of a body, whose members was proceeded * alone; the other were not all admitted to vote. centuries being called upon ano- Had all' the patricians affifted at ther day to give their votes ac- these Comitia, as they had a right cording to their rank, when they in quality of citizens, they could repeated the fame election, and have had no undue influence, usually confirmed the choice of the where every man's vote was equal, former. By this method the pre

even from the lowest of the

peoference of 'rank was laid aside, in ple to the highest personage of the order to give it according to lot, Itate. agreeable to the principles of de- It is evident, therefore, that exmocracy.

clusive of the good order that There was another advantage results from thefe several divisions, resulting from this custom; for in collecting the votes of so numethe citizens rcsiding in the coun- rous a people, the form and me.


* The century thus preferred by lot was called prerogativa, because it was the first whose fuffrage was deinanded; and hence is derived the word prero. giline.



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thod of these divisions were not long as integrity prevailed among indifferent in themselves ; each be- the citizens ; and every one was ing productive of effects' adapted ashamed to give his public fanction to certain views, in regard to to an unworthy person or cause. which it was preferable to any But when the people grew corrupt other.

and sold their votes, it became But without entering into a necessary to make them give their more circumstantial account of votes more privately, in order to these matters, it is plain from reftrain the purchasers by distrust, what hath been advanced, that and afford knaves an expedient to the Comitia Tribunata were the avoid being traitors. most favourable to a popular go- I know that Cicero censures this vernment, and the Comitia Cen- alteration, and imputes to it' in a turiata to an aristocracy. With re- great degree the ruin of the respect to the Comitia Curiata, of public. But though I am sensible which the populace formed the of all the weight of Cicero's aumajority, as they were good for thority in this case, I cannot be nothing but to favour tyrannical of his opinion : I conceive, on designs, they remained in the con- the contrary, that the ruin of the temptible state into which they state would have been accelerated, , were fallen ; even the contrivers had the Romans neglected making of sedition themselves not choosing this alteration. As the regimen to employ means, which must have of people in health is not proper exposed too openly their designs. for the fick, so it is absurd to think It is very certain that the whole of governing a corrupt people by majesty of the Roman people was the same laws, which might have displayed only in the Comitia Cen- been expedient for them before turiata, which only were coinplete; they were corrupted. There canthe Curiata wanting the rustic not be a stronger proof of this tribes, and the Tribunata the se- maxim than the duration of the nate and patricians.

republic of Venice, the shadow With regard to the method of of which slill exists solely because collecting the votes, it was among its laws are adapted only to bad the primitive Romans, simple as theic manners, though still less On this change in the manner simple than that of Sparta : every of voting, tablets were distributed one gave his vote aloud, which amongst the citizens, by means the register took down in writing ; of which they could give their sufthe plurality of votes on each tribe frage without its being known. determined the vote of that tribe ; On this occasion other methods and the plurality of yotes in the were of course made use of in coltribes determined the suffrage of lecting votes ; such as counting the people. In the same manner the number of voices, comparing also they proceeded with regard to it with that of the tablets, &c. the Curice and the Centuries. This Not that these methods were so efcustom was a very good one, lo fectual as to prevent the returning

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officers * from being often suspect- and pillaged the city of Treves. It ed of partiality; and it appeared was about the year 420, when, beplain in the sequel, from the mul- ing lifted up on a shield, he was tiplicity of laws made to prevent thewn to the whole army,

and bribery and corruption in elec- acknowledged the nation's chief. tions, that they could not effect This was all the inauguration of this point.

our ancient kings. Toward the decline of the re- To Pharamond is generally atpublic, recourse was had to very tributed the institution of the faextraordinary expedients to make mous law called the Şalic, either up 'for the insufficiency of the from the surname of the prince laws. Prodigies were sometimes who published it, or Salogast's played off with success : but this name who moved it, or from the scheme, though it imposed on word Salichame, the place where the multitude; did not impose the heads of the nation met to on those who influenced them. digest it. Others will have it to Sometimes assemblies were called be so named, as having been made suddenly and in great halte, that for the Salic lands. These were the candidates might not have time noble fiefs which our first kings to create an undue interest :' at used to bestow on the Salians, that others again, the whole sessions is, the great lords of their Sale or was spent in declamation, when court, without any other tenure it was seen that the people were than military service ; and for this biassed to take a wrong side. At reason, such fiefs were not to de. length, however, ambition eluded scend to women, as by nature unfit all these precautions; and it is for such a tenure. Some, again, almost incredible that, in the midst derive the origin of this word from of so many abuses, this immense the Salians, a tribe of Franks that people still continued, by virtue settled in Gaul in the reign of Juof their ancient laws, to elect lian, who is said to have given their magistates, to pass laws, to them lands on condition of their judge causes, and to expedite both personal service in war. He even public and private affairs with as passed the conditions into a law, much facility as could have been which the new conquerors done in the senate itself.

quiefced in, and called it Salic, from the name of their former coun.

trymen. On the origin of the Salic Law; This law is commonly thought from the Abbé Velley's history of to concern only the succession to France, lately published. the crown, or the Salian lands;

but this is a two-fold mistake. It H Onorius reigned in the west, was not instituted for the disposal

and Theodofius the younger of the crown, nor purely for setin the east, when the Franks cros- tling the rights of private persons fed the Rhine under Pharamond, to feudal lands ; it is a collection * Cuftodes, rogatores, fuffragiorum.



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of ordinances for all articles ; it contest, and the decision was the prescribes punishments for theft, for fame. The right of Edward III, setting places on fire, for forcery, king of England, did not appear and acts of violence; it lays down better founded than that of prin. political rules for behaviour, forcess Joan, a daughter of France. public government, methods of Philip, earl of Valois, was generally procedure, and the preservation of acknowledged the legal fuccefpeace and unity among the several for of Charles the Handsome. The members of the state. Of the fe- article determining the right of venty-one articles which it con- private persons to Salic land was tains, only one relates to inherit- declared equally to concern the ances, and the words are, In the succession to the crown, and beSalic lands no part of the inherit- a fundamental law of the ance is to go to females ; it belongs ftate. wholly and solely to the males.

It appears that all we have of this law is an extract from a larger of modern, Nobility, especially code ; and this proved by citations among the French ; from M. from the Salic law itself, and cer

Voltaire's Supplement to his Getain forms which are not found in

neral History. our remains of that celebrated or- THE word noble was not at first dinance. The fagacious gloffographer Ducange, speaks of two forts cular rights hereditary : nobilitas, of Salic laws ; one fubfisting in the among the Romans, denoted any times of paganism, and composed thing remarkable or notable, and by Wifogast, Bofogast

, Salogaft, not a class of the citizens. The and Woldogast, the four chiefs of fenate was instituted for the admi. the nation ; the other, a correction niftration of justice ; the knights of the former, by Christian princes, to fight on horseback, when their in that published by Du Tillet, Pi- wealth intitled them to a horse ; thou, Lindembrock, and the great and the plebeians were often lawyer Bignon, who has added very knights, and sometimes senators. learned and judicious notes. Du Among the Gauls the principal Hallion, but on grounds known officers of the towns, and the only to himself, boldly avers it to druids, ruled, and the people be merely a contrivance of Philip obeyed. All countries have had the Tall to exclude from the throne their nominal distinctions of conJoan of France, daughter of Lewis ditions. They that say all men X. He must surely have forgotten are equal, say very true, if their how minutely that question was dif- meaning be, that all men have cuffed in an assembly of the gran- ' an equal right to liberty, to prodees of the realm, when they una- perty, and to the protection of nimously adjudged the crown to the lays ; bụt it would be a great

; Philip, to the exclusion of that mistake did they imagine that princess; fo persuaded were they men are to be equal in employof the existence of a Salic law, and ments, since they are manifestly that the kingdom of France was not so in their abilities. In this Şalic land. Soon after arose a like necessary inequality between con



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