« ForrigeFortsett »
rapidity or unsteadiness, the motion of the whole machine must be irregular and desultory, and the machine itself stop or run down.
But, perhaps, the Governor may fear, that he shall become unpopular, if he should withhold his approbation from the acts of the Legislature. He may have some ill defined apprehension, that he may be thought to set himself against the will of the people, if he opposes the declared will of a majority of both houses of the General Court. But, it is a reflection on the good sense of the people, to suppose there can be any rational ground for such an apprehension. Whenever the public good, for whatever reason, seems to him, to require him to withhold his approbation from an act of the Legislature, it is his duty to withhold it. This power was given for the express purpose of being a check on the proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives. If it were otherwise, his office would become a mere pageant, and he himself would be of no more real utility in the government than the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar. But, in fact, the members of the Legislature have no juster pretensions, to consider themselves as the organs of the people to express their will, than the Governor has, and his acts are as really, the acts of the people, as theirs can justly pretend to be. They are chosen by the people to legislate, and he is elected by the people, to check their legislation. The mistaken opinions, which appear to be entertained on this subject, it is supposed, result from a misapplication of the analogy existing between our government and that of Great Britain. But, it should be observed, in England, the King is an hereditary monarch, with limited powers, it is true, but the people can neither remove him nor change the succession to the throne without a political revolution. In this Commonwealth, the Governor is a chief magistrate, chosen annually by the people, for his reputation, as a man of knowledge, wisdom, experience and ability. The Governor, therefore, being chosen by the people, is a popular officer, and the people confide in his integrity to exert his abilities, within the constitutional limits, for their general welfare. Within those constitutional limits, his will is their will.
In England, the House of Lords consists of an hereditary nobility, wholly irremovable by any civil action of the people; they are therefore constitutionally independent of the people. But, in this Commonwealth, the members of the Senate are chosen annu. ally by the people; they are therefore servants dependent upon the will of the people. The analogy between the House of Lords in England, and the Senate in this Country, in this respect, is therefore very slight.
In England, the members of the House of Commons are chosen by the people; they are therefore, in England, the representatives of the people in a peculiar manner. The King and the Peers not being elected by the English people, have not the same title to consider themselves in this light. But, in this Commonwealth, the members of the house of Representatives, though justly consider. ing themselves, as holding the same relation to the Legislature, that the House of Commons do to the Parliament in England, yet have not the slightest reason to consider themselves as peculiarly representing the people, unless, being younger, móre numerous, and less select, and possessing less knowledge, less experience, less wisdom, less consistency and less stability, can justly authorize them to claim an exclusive title to so honorable a distinction. For the Senate, and the Governor, are equally chosen by the people, and in the selection of candidates to fill those important offices, great regard is had to dignity of character, experience, prudence, knowledge and real ability.
But if the number of the House of Representatives were reduced to double that of the Senate ; if there were an intermediate public officer between the people and their Legislators ; if it were an established rule, that no bill to repeal a law, or to make a change in the policy of the commonwealth, shall be acted upon decisively, at the session of the Legislature at which it is presented; if a moderate tax of ten or fifteen dollars, were required to be paid into the treasury of the commonwealth, before the reception of any application to the Legislature, for the passage of any act which is not of a public nature; if a tax of one per cent. on the amount of property, which every or any corporation shall hereafter apply for leave to hold, were to be laid, upon granting that leave; the good citizens of this Commonwealth might entertain a reasonable hope, that the turbulent influence of petty local factions would cease ; the people no longer be overburthened with unnecessary taxes, the sessions of the Legislature being reduced in continuance, one half or two thirds ; an end be put to hair-brained and ruinous speculations, and consequently many opportunities for the practice of fraud be cut off ; speculations, where baits are laid by the reckless and penniless adventurer, for the avarice or simplicity of those who have something to lose, and where consequently success may possibly enrich the adventurer, but where the failure must necessarily impoverish the confiding lender; the insolvent debtor no longer live at his ease on concealed property, while the creditor suffers privations for want of his just due; the swarm of useless stock companies (empty bubbles) be diminished so that insolent and salaried drones may no longer be
paid for mismanaging and wasting the capital of simple and unsuspecting stock holders, especially widows and orphans, and persons under guardianship; the laws acquire a reasonable stability, so as to be known and observed ; and this enlightened but too indul. gent government be respected as she ought to be, by those, who may then contemplate the intelligence, good order, integrity and prosperity of her citizens.
But may this be hoped for? Can the animal, self indulgence, give way to the intellectual being, self restraint; can men relinquish the gratification of their passions, whether avarice, ambition, vanity, &c., &c., in compliance with the dictates of their true interests? It may be insisted, but can hardly be expected. Nam impossibile est, ut lapis sursum projectus, deserat naturam descendendi terram versus, neque, si millesies millies eum sursum projiciendo, aliter velis assuefacere, illud efficere poteris.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
3. Money laid out, &c.
Indebitatus assumpsit by factor or agent ; with a quantum meruit. 138
For cure of a wound ; by one not a surgeon, &c. &c.
By a surgeon, with a quantum meruit.
For goods delivered to a third person, with a quantum meruit. 140
For meat, drink, &c. for defendant's son or a third person, at
For meat, &c. and quantum meruit.
For education of defendant's daughters, with quantum meruit.
For stabling horses, with quantum meruit.
For agisting cattle, &c.
For labor done, and materials found, &c.
By a farrier for shoeing horses.
By the same for curing horses.