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Plutarch says that the use of the nomenclators was illegal, and that Cato for that reason in sueing for public offices refused to use them. But that does not
with the negative pregnant of Cicero in his oration for Muræna, in which he rallies Cato for his stoical rigor and inconsistency.
Why do you keep a nomenclator ? the thing is a mere cheat, for if it be your duty to call the citizens by their names, it is a shame for your slave to know them better than yourself. Why do you not speak to them before he has whispered you, or after he has whispered you, why do you not salute them as if you knew them yourself, or when you are elected, why do you grow careless of saluting them at all. This is all very good social but very bad stoical philosophy.”* Cicero appears to have been provided thus on all public occasions.
Of the manner in which clients were usually received and waited upon,
little can be added to the rich and imaginative description of Gibbon; albeit that illustrious historian has clearly taken advantage of the indistinctness of history to idealize the profession of the law and its heroes at Rome.t
The probability is, that the manner of the Roman lawyer was always respectful to his political peers, and, upon occasion, sufficiently tinctured with hauteur to his inferiors. One's birth, or station in life, was a legitimate subject of sarcasm in the forum ;£ and, though the lawyer of distinction, who had acquired by his profession, if he had not inherited by birth, the feelings of a patrician, was ever ready to extend the utmost courtesy to his plebeian friends, and even slaves, as a favor,Ş yet he could become indefinitely saucy when that courtesy was claimed as a right.
The democracy of Rome, in its organized and united state, was feared, and its asserted claims respected by the
+ Pro Muræna, 36. Ad Att., 4. 1. Hein. Ant. Rom. 1. 4. p. 18. + Decline and Fall, c. 44. p. 757.
* Neither Cicero, the statesman, nor Cicero, the orator, could protect Cicero, the man, from utter ruin, if he were to make a remark in our day like the following, applied to one L. Cæsulanus, a plebeian lawyer: “I, myself, heard him, in bis old age, when he endeavored, by the Aquilian law, to subject L. Labellius to a fine for a breach of justice, but I should not have taken any notice of such a loro born wretch if I had not thought that no person I had ever heard could give a more suspicious turn to the cause of the defendant."
Cic. De Claris Orat. p. 75. $ Witness Cicero's conduct to his slave Tiro, who collected and edited a volume of his sayings, and afterwards, his very fascinating correspondence, a service, on the part of the slave, for which posterity should ever hold him in grate. ful remembrance. NO. XVII.-VOL. IX.
nobility, while its individual representatives were despised. Any principle which united the people, made them paramount and sovereign; but when separated, the rights of an individual were but as a reed, which the noblemen might break and trample under their feet with impunity. The Christian religion had not yet taught the equal value and accountability of every human soul, nor had modern democracy established men's equal rights before the laws. The undisguised contempt with which Horace visited the profane vulgar, was the common sentiment of
all that aristocratic clique of which he was a most successful toady. The plebeian had no recognized points of equality with the patrician, save physical strength. His deficiency in blood qualifications could be only imperfectly supplied by multiplication of numbers, in the same way that animals, in their contests with men, repair the inferiority of their intellectual powers. It was only the aggregate Roman people that was feared. History corroborates our inferences from such a state of facts. The plebeian's suits, if at all, were taken up for the glory of the orator, not the protection of the injured. In his business intercourse, the lawyer seems never to have forgotten bis professional privileges. A kind of state was kept up while receiving his clients. He gave his opinions usually from an elevated seat.* The venue of his inspiration appears to have been, as in respect to personal position, almost as local as that of the Pythoness.
The custom of prefixing preambles to statutes, in modern times, has been considered a very significant manifestation of the progress of popular sovereignty. The right to know the reason for the passage of a law is not far removed from the right to dispute it, if it appears unreasonable. This was a principle of deference, however, to which the Roman lawyers very seldom yielded. It was optional with them, and not customary to accompany their opinions with reasons, as if their dictum placed the question beyond dispute.t And, indeed, these opinions were of great authority; they were “recepta sententia," “receptum jus," " receptus mos," etc. ;* though they had legal force only by courtesy before the empire.t
*"Ex solio tanquam ex tripodo.”- Cic. de leg. 1. 3. Orat. ï. 33., iii, 33. “Non immerito jurisconsulti domus totius oraculum civitatis videretur Ciceroni.” — Cic. de Orat. 1. 45. — Hein. Ant. Rom. lib. i. tit. ii. 33.
†“Quid ? quod etiam sine probationibus monentis auctoritas prodest, sic, quo modo jurisconsultorum valent responsa etiamsi ratio non redditur." — Seneca Epis. xciv.
This is in singular contrast with the abject humility which they would, if necessary, assume, to secure a vote or a favor from the people. The co-existence, in Rome, of a people continually winning new rights from the vast domain of ancient conservatism, and an aristocracy, too proud, almost, to breathe the same atmosphere, accounts for it. A privileged class universally become mean as they become weak; but the peculiarity of the law aristocracy at Rome was, that all legislation had, either naturally or artificially, socrystallized around them, that they became not only distinguished for the ordinary vices of an over-indulged class, but they furnished from their ranks almost all the scholars, and statesmen, and orators, and generals of that very remarkable'era. Indeed, whoever pauses to contemplate that brilliant period of world history, is almost immediately impressed with the conviction, that the Roman bar, before the empire, with all its vices and weaknesses duly considered, was one of the most elegant and accomplished bodies of men which has ever existed.
Art. V. - Communication of the Secretary of the Navy, June,
1841. Congressional Documents. Twenty-seventh Congress, Extra Session.
“The navy, not inappropriately termed the right arm of the public defence, which has spread a light of glory over the American standard in all the waters of the earth, should be rendered replete with efficiency.” This sentiment, so well expressed by President Tyler in his inaugural address, cannot but find a response in every American bosom. It is, indeed, but the solemn expression of the general conviction and almost universal wish of the country. The popular will is said to be the law of our land. Whence comes it,
• Hein. Ant. Rom. lib. i. tit. ii. 35. + " Jurisconsultorum responsa et decreta sæpe ab oratoribus dicendo everti." Cic. pro Muræna, xiii. Ib. pro Cæcina, xxiv.
Dr. Taylor's Elements of Civil Law, i. sec. 42, 43, 44.
then, that with this will, so unanimous in favor of the creation of a navy proportioned to the extent of our commerce, and our great exposure to maritime attacks, it has neyer been created? One of the reasons which may be assigned for this anomaly is, that the navy for some years has been much less favorably regarded by the government than by the country. The impression has been entertained by the government, that the navy was not favorably inclined towards it, because it did not throw its influence into the scale of the ascendant party. The great merit to which the navy may justly lay claim, of abstaining from all connection with parties, and all interference with political strife, has been construed into enmity, on the principle that those who are not for us are against us. The navy has been for the country which created and sustained it, and not for any particular party. Confining itself to the duty of yielding obedience to the existing government, it has considered it no part of its province to decide of what individuals that government should consist. The number of naval officers who vote at all is very small; of those who take any active part in influencing the opinions of others, it is still smaller. Though the constitution imposes no disability upon them, this forbearance should be a merit with all parties, instead of being a motive of dissatisfaction with any. The attempt to introduce politics into navy yards, and to make political orthodoxy a substitute for skill and faithful industry among workmen, is a most expensive experiment. It may swell the votes of a dominant party, but it adds immeasurably to the cost of constructing and equipping our ships. The workman who sits on a log reading the orthodox paper of the day, or who pauses, axe in hand, to harangue his nearest companion as to the merits of a presidential candidate, may render an acceptable service to individuals, but does not forward the interest of the nation that employs and pays him.
Another efficient cause for the want of energetic action in placing our navy on a formidable footing, commensurate with the adequate protection of our commerce and the defence of our extensive coasts, is doubtless to be found in the want of information on a subject involving, perhaps, a little mystery. It is not, however, very difficult to understand and appreciate a few essential facts, which we will proceed to state. In the first place, then, England has a commerce of which the aggregate value is about four hundred and forty millions of dollars, without counting her rich returns of bullion which the balance of trade, usually in her favor, enables her to draw from all quarters of the globe. France has a commerce worth rather more than two hundred and seventy millions of dollars, and we a commerce which, even in these years of depression, is still worth nearly two hundred and sixty-six millions of dollars. The tonnage of England engaged in the transportation of this valuable commerce amounts to about two millions eight hundred thousand tons, worth probably one hundred and forty millions of dollars ; that of France to seven hundred and sixty-seven thousand four hundred and thirty-nine tons, worth about thirty-nine millions of dollars; and that of the United States to two millions ninety-six thousand four hundred and ninety tons, worth nearly one hundred and five millions of dollars. The seamen of England amount to one hundred and seventy-five thousand men; those of France to about seventy thousand; and of our own, as ascertained from the entries and clearances of our custom-house in 1839, which necessarily omitted a large number employed in whaling and other remote voyages, neither beginning nor terminating within the year, to seventy-one thousand five hundred and thirty-six, of whom sixty-eight thousand nine hundred and twenty-two were men, and two thousand six hundred and fourteen boys. Making the reasonable allowance of one man for every twenty-five tons of shipping, England has one man for every sixteen tons, and France one nearly for every twelve tons it would give us about eighty-four thousand seamen employed in our commercial marine, which, added to eight thousand seamen employed in the navy, would make an aggregate of about ninety thousand. The real number would not doubtless fall short of one hundred thousand. Such being the value of our commerce, amount of our tonnage, and number of our seamen, as compared with those of England and France, what ratio do we find between our relative preparation for maritime defence? Why, England has an available force of one hundred and four line of battle ships, eighty-six frigates, and more than two hundred smaller cruisers, including fifty-one steamers; and in actual commission, twenty-nine line of battle ships, twenty-nine frigates, thirty-five sloops, and one hundred and forty-five vessels of inferior force, of which forty-six are steamers. This fleet in commission is manned by twenty-one thousand seamen, four thousand boys,