Lectures on the British constitution and on the government of Malta

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A. Aquilina & Company, 1883 - 219 pages

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Page 51 - His was the voice which taught the peasant of the Lothians that he was a free man, the equal in the sight of God with the proudest peer or prelate that had trampled on his forefathers. . He was the one antagonist whom Mary Stuart could not soften nor Maitland deceive ; he it was that raised the poor Commons of his country into a stern and rugged people, who might be hard, narrow, superstitious, and fanatical, but who, nevertheless, were men whom neither king, noble, nor priest could force...
Page 138 - The Parliament of Great Britain sits at the head of her extensive empire in two capacities: one as the local legislature of this island, providing for all things at home, immediately, and by no other instrument than the executive power; the other, and I think her nobler capacity, is what I call her imperial character, in which as from the throne of heaven, she superintends all the several inferior legislatures, and guides and controls them all, without annihilating any.
Page 119 - The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published.
Page 124 - And however convenient these may appear at first, (as doubtless all arbitrary powers, well executed, are the most convenient,) yet let it be again remembered, that delays, and little inconveniences in the forms of justice, are the price that all free nations must pay for their liberty in more substantial matters...
Page 124 - So that the liberties of England cannot but subsist so long as this palladium remains sacred and inviolate, not only from all open attacks (which none will be so hardy as to make) but also from all secret machinations which may sap and undermine it, by introducing new and arbitrary methods of trial, by justices of the peace, commissioners of the revenue, and courts of conscience.
Page 78 - Crown ; but it consists exclusively of statesmen whose opinions on the pressing questions of the time, agree in the main with the opinions of the majority of the House of Commons. Among the members of this committee, are distributed the great departments of the administration. Each Minister conducts the ordinary business of his own office, without reference to his colleagues. But the most important business of every office, and especially such business as is likely to be the subject of discussion...
Page 146 - Colonies, in which the Crown has the entire control of legislation, while the administration is carried on by public officers under the control of the Home Government. 2. Colonies possessing Representative Institutions but not Responsible Government, in which the Crown has no more than a veto on legislation, but the Home Government retains the control of public officers.
Page 32 - Latin of the times, nullus liber homo, and provided as carefully for the meanest subject as for the greatest. These are uncouth words, and sound but poorly in the ears of scholars; neither are they addressed to the criticism of scholars, but to the hearts of free men. These three words, nullus liber homo, have a meaning which interests us all ; they deserve to be remembered they deserve to be inculcated in our minds they are worth all the classics.
Page 138 - The parliament of Great Britain sits at the head of her extensive empire in two capacities : one as the local legislature of this island, providing for all things at home, immediately, and by no other instrument than the executive power. The other, and I think her nobler capacity, is what I call her imperial character ; in which, as from the throne of heaven, she superintends all the several inferior...
Page 124 - But the founders of the English law have with excellent forecast contrived that no man should be called to answer to the king for any capital crime, unless upon the preparatory accusation of twelve or more of his fellow-subjects, the grand jury: and that the truth of every accusation, whether preferred in the shape of indictment, information, or appeal, should afterwards be confirmed by the unanimous suffrage of twelve of his equals and neighbors, indifferently chosen and superior to all suspicion.

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