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their respective offices for twenty-five fhillings a month with their fhares of mefs provifions, and throw the reft of their falaries into the feamen's treasury. If fuch a prefs-warrant were given me to executé, the first I would prefs should be a Recorder of Bristol, or a Mr. Justice Fofter, because I might have need of his edifying example, to fhow how much impreffing ought to be borne with; for he would certainly find, that though to be reduced to twenty-five fhillings a month might be a" private mifchief," yet that, agreeably to his maxim of law and good policy, it ought to be borne with patience," for preventing a national cala mity. Then I would prefs the rest of the Judges; and, opening the red book, I would prefs every civil officer of government from 50l. a year falary, up to 50,000l. which would throw an immenfe fum into our treasury: and these gentlemen


gentlemen could not complain, fince they would receive twenty-five fhillings a month, and their rations; and this without being obliged to fight. Lastly, I think I would impress ***


Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, Efq.

My dear Friend,

March 14th, 1785. AMONG the pamphlets you lately fent me, was one, entitled, Thoughts on Executive Justice. In return for that, I fend you a French one on the fame subject, Obfervations concernant l'Exécution de l'Article II. de la Déclaration fur le Vol. They are both addreffed to the judges, but written, as you will fee, in a very different spirit. The English author is for hanging all thieves. The Frenchman is for proportioning punishments to offences.

If we really believe, as we profess to believe, that the law of Mofes was the law of God, the dictate of divine wifdom,

dom, infinitely fuperior to human ; -on what principles do we ordain death as the punishment of an offence, which, according to that law, was only to be punished by a reftitution of fourfold? To put a man to death for an offence which does not deserve death, is it not a murder? And, as the French writer says, Doit-on puxir un délit contre la focieté par un crime contre la nature?

Superfluous property is the creature of fociety. Simple and mild laws were fufficient to guard the property that was merely neceffary. The favage's bow, his hatchet, and his coat of fkins, were fufficiently fecured, without law, by the fear of personal refentment and retaliation. When, by virtue of the first laws, part of the fociety accumulated wealth and grew powerful, they enacted others. more fevere, and would protect their property at the expence of humanity. This was abufing their power, and comM 3 mencing

mencing a tyranny. If a favage, before he entered into fociety, had been told"Your neighbour, by this means, may "become owner of an hundred deer; "but if your brother, or your sọn, or "yourself, having no deer of your own, "and being hungry, fhould kill one, an "infamous death must be the confe "C quence" he would probably have preferred his liberty, and his common right of killing any deer, to all the advantages of fociety that might be propofed to him.

That it is better a hundred guilty perfons fhould efcape, than that one innocent peifon fhould fuffer, is a maxim that has been long and generally approved; never, that I know of, controverted. Even the fanguinary author of the Thoughts agrees to it, adding well, "that the very thought of injured inno"cence, and much more that of suffering "innocence, must awaken all our ten" dereft

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