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dark and favage tyranny flifles every effort of genius, and the mind lofes all its fpirit and dignity.-Price.
THERE, in her den, lay pompous luxury, Stretch'd out at length; no vice could boast fuch high And gen❜ral victories as she had won:
Of which, proud trophies there at large were fhewa.
NOW basket up the family of plagues
By tricks and lies as numerous and as keen
Till they can laugh at virtue; mock the fools
Though refident, and witnefs of the wrong.-Idem.
HE that with injury is griev'd,
Who, when a thief has robb'd his houfe,
To help him to his goods again;
THE univerfal fpirit of all laws in all countries, is to favor the ftrong in oppofition to the weak; and to aflift thofe who have poffeffions against those who have none.-Rouffeau.
ONE of the feven fages of Greece was wont to say, that laws were like cobwebs, where the fmall flies were caught, and the great ones break through.-Lord Bacon.
ASK of politicians the end for which laws were originally defigned, and they will anfwer, that the laws were defigned as a protection for the poor and weak, againft the oppreffion of
the rich and powerful. But furely no pretence can be fo ridiculous; a man might as well tell me he has taken off my load, because he has changed the burden. If the poor man is not able to fupport his fuit, according to the vexatious and expenfive manner established in civilized countries, has not the rich as great an advantage over him as the ftrong has over the weak in a flate of nature?-Burke.
TO embarrass juftice by multiplicity of laws, or to hazard it by confidence in judges, feems to be the oppofite rocks on which all civil inflitutions have been wrecked, and between which, legiflative wifdom has never yet found an open paffage. -Johnson.
BAD laws are the worst fort of tyranny. In fuch a country as this, they are of all bad things the worst, worse by far than any thing elfe; and they derive a particular malignity even from the wifdom and foundnefs of the reft of our inftitutions. Burke.
LAWS (Ex poft facto.)
LAWS, made to punish for actions done before the exist ence of fuch laws, and which have not been declared crimes: by preceding laws, are unjust, oppreffive, and inconfiftent with the fundamental principles of a free government.-Conflitution of Maffachufeits.
RETROSPECTIVE laws, punishing offences committed before the existence of fuch laws, are oppreffive and unjust, and ought not to be made.-Conflitution of Delaware.
RETROSPECTIVE laws, punishing facts committed before the exiftence of fuch laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oppreffive, unjuft, and incompatible with liberty; wherefore no ex poft fada law ought to be made.-Conflitution of Maryland.
LIBERTY of the PRESS.
THE libetty of the prefs is effential to the fecurity of freedom in a flate: it ought therefore to be inviolably preferved. -Conflitation of New Hamfhire.
THE people have a right to freedom of fpeech, and of writing and publishing their fentiments, concerning the tranf actions of government; and therefore the freedom of the prefs ought not to be reftrained.-Conflitution of Vermont.
AS long as there are fuch things as printing and writing, there will be libels; it is an cyil arifing cut of a much greater
Liberty of the Prefs.
good. However, it does not follow that the prefs is to be funk for the errors of the prefs:-for it is certainly of much less confequence that an innocent man fhould now and then be afperfed, than that all men fhould be enflaved.
Many methods have been tried to remedy this evil. In Turkey and the Eastern monarchies, all printing is forbidden; which does it with a witnefs; for if there can be no printing at all, there can be no libels printed; and by the same reason, there ought to be no talking, left the people fhould talk treason, blafphemy, or nonfenfe; and for a ftronger reafon yet, no preaching, becaufe the orator has an opportunity of haranguing often to a larger auditory than he can perfuade to read his lucubrations: but I defire it may be remembered that there is neither liberty, arts, fciences, learning, or knowledge in thofe countries.
But another method has been thought on in these western parts of the world, much less effectual, and yet more mischievous than the former, namely, to put the prefs under the protection of the prevailing party, and authorife libels on one fide only, and deny the other fide the opportunity of defending themselves.
What mifchief is done by libels, to balance all thefe evils? They feldom or never annoy an innocent man, or promote any confiderable error. Wife and honeft man laugh at them, and despise them; and fuch arrows always fly over their heads, or fall at their feet. Moft of the world take part with a virtuous man, and punish calumny by their deteftation of it. The belt way to prevent libels, is, not to deferve them. Guilty men alone fear them, or are hurt by them, whofe actions will not bear examination, and therefore must not be examined. 'Tis fact alone which annoys them; for if you tell no truth, I dare fay you may have their leave to tell as many lies as you please.
The fame is true in fpeculative opinions. You may write nonfenfe and folly as long as you think fit, and no one complains but the bookfeller. But if a bold, honeft, and wife book fallies forth, and attacks thofe who think themfelves fecure in their trenches, then their camp is in danger, and they call out all hands to arms, and their enemy is to be deftroyed by fire, fword, or fraud. But 'tis fenfelefs to think that any truth can fuffer by being thoroughly fearched, er examined into; or that the difcovery of it can prejudice right religion, equal govern ment, or the happiness of fociety in any refpect: fhe has fo many advantages over error, that he wants only to be shown, to gain admiration and efteem; and we fee every day, that the breaks the bonds of tyranny and fraud, and fhincs through
the mifts of fuperftition and ignorance: and what then would fhe do, if thefe barriers were removed, and her fetters taken off?-Gordon.
IT is apprehended, that arbitrary power would steal in upon us, were we not careful to prevent its progrefs, and were there not an eafy method of conveying the alarm from one end of the kingdom to another. The fpirit of the people must frequently be roufed in order to curb the ambition of the court; and the dread of roufing this fpirit must be employed to prevent that ambition. Nothing is fo effectual to this purpose as the liberty of the press, by which all the learning, wit, and genius of the nation may be employed on the fide of freedom, and every one be animated to its defence. As long, therefore, as the republican part of Our government can maintain itself against the monarchical, it will naturally be careful to keep the press open, as of importance to its own prefervation.--Hume.
BEHOLD of ev'ry age. Ripe manhood fee,