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the democracy in the second : the one could always destroy what the other had established : nay, the one, by a sudden and unforeseen motion, might take the start of the other; and totally annihilate its rival, by a vote, which from the nature of the conftitution, had the full authority of a Law, But no such contest or strucgle is observed in the history of Rome : no instance of a quarrel betwixt these two legislatures ; tho' many betwixt the parties that governed in each. Whence arose this concord, which may seem so extraordi
The legislature established at Rome, by the authority of Servius Tullius, was the Comitia centuriata, which after the expulsion of the kings, rendered the government, for some time, altogether aristocratical. But the people, having numbers and force on their fide, and being elated with frequent conquests and victories in their foreign wars, always prevailed when pushed to extremities, and first extorted from the fenate the magiftracy of the tribunes, and then the legislative power of the Comitia Tributa. It then behoved the nobles to be more careful than ever not to provoke the people. For beside the force, which the latter were always poflest of, they had now got poffeffion of legal authority, and could instantly break in pieces any order or institution, which directly opposed them. By intrigue, by infuence, by money, by combination, and by the respect paid their character, the nobles might often prevail, and direct the whole machine of government ; but had they openly fet their comitia centuriata in opposition to the tributa, they had foon lost the advantage of that institution, along with their consuls, prætors, ædiles, and all the magistrates elected by it. But the comitia tributa, not having the same reason for respecting the centuriata, frequently repealed laws favourable to the aristocracy : they limited the authority of the nobles; protected the people from oppreffion; and controuled the actions of the senate and magiftracy. The centuriata found it convenient always to submit, and tho equal in authority, yet being inferior in power, durft never directly give any shock to the other legislature, either by repealing its laws, or eftablishing laws, which, it foresaw would soon be repealed by it,
3. The third custom we proposed to observe regards England; and tho' it be not so important as those, which we have pointed out in Athens and Rome, it is no less singular and remarkable. 'Tis a maxim in politics, which we readily admit, as undisputed and universal, that a power,
however great, when granted by law to an eminent magistrate, is not so dangerous to liberty, as an authority, however inconsiderable, which he acquires from violence and usurpation. For besides that the law always limits every power, which it bestows; the very receiving it as a conceflion establishes the authority whence it is derived, and preserves the harmony of the conftitution. By the same right that one prerogative is assumed without law, another may also be claimed, and another, with still greater facility : while the first usurpations both serve as precedents to the 'following, and give force to maintain them. Hence the heroism of Hampden, who sustained the whole violence of royal prosecution rather than pay a tax of twenty shillings, not imposed by parliament; hence the care of all Englil patriots to guard against the first encroachments of the crown : and hence alone the existence, at this day, of English liberty.
There is, however, one occasion, wherein the parliament has departed from this maxim; and that is, in the pressing of seamen. The exercise of an illegal power is here tacitly permitted in the crown ; and tho' it has frequently been deliberated on, how that power might be rendered legal, and under what restrictions it might be granted to the sovereign, no fafe expedient could ever be proposed for that purpose, and the danger to liberty always appeared greater from law than from usurpation. While this power is exercised to no other end than to man the navy, men willingly submit to it, from a sense of its use and neceffity ; and the failors, who are alone affected by it, find no body to fupport them, in claiming the rights and privileges, which the law grants, without distinction, to all English subjects. But were this power, on any occasion, made an instrument of faction, or ministerial tyranny, the opposite faction, and indeed all lovers of their country, would immediately take the alarm, and support the injured party : the liberty of Englishmen would be asserted : juries would be implacable; and the tools of tyranny, acting both against law and equity, would meet with the severest vengeance. On the other hand, were the parliament to grant such an authority, they would probably fall into one of these two inconveniencies: they would either bestow it under so many restrictions as would make it lose its effects, by cramping the authority of the crown; or they would render it fo large and comprehensive, as might give occafion to great abufes, for which we could, in that case, have no remedy. The;
very illegality of the power, at present, prevents its abuses, by affording to eafy a remedy against them.
I pretend not, by this reasoning, to exclude all possibility of contriving a register for seamen, which might man the navy, without being dangerous to liberty. I only observe, that no satisfactory scheme of that nature has yet been proposed. Rather than adopt any project hitherto invented, we continue a practice seemingly the most absurd and unaccountable. Authority, in times of full internal peace and concord, is armed against law; a continued and open usurpation in the crown is permitted, amidst the greatest jealousy and watchfulness in the people; nay proceeding from those very principles : liberty, in a country of the highest liberty, is left entirely to its own defence, without any countenance or protection: the wild state of nature is renewed, in one of the most civilized societies of mankind : and great violences and disorders, among the people, the most humane and the best natured, are committed with impunity ; while the one party pleads obedience to the supreme magistrate, the other the permission of fundamental laws.'
Our author, in his tenth discourse, which is the longest of all, as well as the most curious, treats of the populousness of ancient nations ; but we must refer the account of this and the following ones to some future article.
ART. III. A continuation of the Experiments on Substances
refifting putrefaction ; by John Pringle, M. D. F. R. S. From the Philosophical Transactions, No. 496. Published laft Month.
HE very ingenious Dr. Pringle having in his former
paper, (see Review for October last) mentioned the comparative force of certain falts, and other substances refisting putrefaction, he now proceeds to a more particular account of those experiments, with some others, since made on that subject.
1. Three pieces of the lean of fresh beef, each weighing two drachms, were put separately into wide-mouthed phials. Two ounces of cistern-water were added to each ; in one. were diffolved 30 grains of sea-falt; in another 60; but the third contained nothing but flesh and water. These bottles were little more than half-full; and, being corked, were placed in a lamp-furnace, regulated by a thermometer, and kept about the degree of human heat.
About ten or twelve hours after, the contents of the phial without falt had a faint smell; and in three or four hours more were putred *. In an hour or two longer the flesh with the least salt was tainted; but that which had moft, remained sweet above 30 hours after infusion. This experiment was often repeated with the same result, making allowance for variations of the degree of heat.
The use of this experiment was for making standards, whereby to judge of the septic or antiseptic strength of bom dies. Thus, if water with any ingredient preserved Aeth better than without it, or better than with the additions of the falt, that ingredient might be faid to resist putrefaction more than water alone, or with 30 or 60 grains of sea-salt, But if, on the other, hand, water, with any addition, promoted corruption more than when pure, the substance added was to be reckoned a septic, or hastener of putrefaction.
The following experiments were therefore all made in the same degree of heat with the quantity of flesh, water, and air, as above specified ; together with such feptic or antiseptic substances, as thall be afterwards mentioned, and were all compared with the standards. But whereas the least quantity of salt preserved flesh little longer than plain water, I shall always compare the several antiseptic bodies with the greatest quantity of salt; so that whenever any substance is said to oppose putrefaction more than the standard, I mean, more than 60 grains of sea-falt.
2. I began with examining other falts, and compared them in the same quantity with the standard ; which being of all the weakest, I shall suppose it equal to unity, and express the proportional strength of the rest in higher numbers in the following table.
A Table of the comparative Powers of Salts in refifting Pe
It 2 2 2
* It is to be observed, that these pieces were all entire ; but when they are beat to a consistence of a pap, with the same quantity of water, the putrefaction then begins in less than half the time mentioned here.
3 3 4+ 4+ 4+ 12+ - 20+ • 30+
In this table I have marked the proportions by integral numbers ; it being hard, and perhaps unnecessary, to bring this matter to more exactness; only to some I have added the fign +, to fhew, that those falts are stronger than the number in the table by fome Fraction; unless in the three laft, where the fame fign imports that the salt may be stronger by some Units * The tartar vitriolated is rated at 2; tho' more than 30 grains of it was taken to equal the standard: But perceiving all of it was not dissolved, an allowance was made accordingly. On the other hand, as part of the Hartshorn flies off, its real force must be greater than what appears by the table. The salt of amber is likewise volatile ; and as three grains of it were found more preservative than 60 grains of sea-salt; it may therefore be much more than 20 times stronger. This is indeed an acid falt; but as the acid part of it is inconsiderable, this high antiseptic power must be owing to some other principle. The Spiritus Mindereri was made of common vinegar and salt of hart horn ; the faline mixture of salt of wormwood saturated with lemon-juice. The alcaling part in either of these mixtures with water only would have refifted with a power of 4 + ; so that the acid added rendered these falts less antiseptic ; viz. the Spiritus Mindereri by a half, and the saline mixture by a third part : which was a circumftance very unexpected.
3: Next I proceeded to try resins and gums, and began
* Five grains of Borax was the smallest quantity compared with fea-falt; but holding out so much longer, I suspect three grains would have been sufficient; in which case the force of this salt was to be estimated at 20: A fingular instance of the strength of a falt not acid. One grain of Alum was weaker than 60 grains of fea-Salt ; but two grains were stronger. The power therefore of alum lies between 30 and 60: but, as I could judge by the experiment, nearer the first number.