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How much prouder the fame of a beneficent and enlightened legislator than that of a conqueror! The code which Napoleon gave to France partially rescues his name from the infamy that his injuries inflicted on mankind. Who are the greatest men of the present day, and the most beneficent?
It is the duty of a good legislator to examine carefully into his state; and the nature of the people, and how they may partake of every intercourse, of a good life, and of the happiness which results from it: and in this respect some laws and customs differ from others.
The Portuguese Cortes voted in December 1821 that he should be invited to prepare an 'all-comprehensive code'; and in 1822 he put out a curious 'Codification proposal, offering to do the work for any nation in need of a legislator, and appending testimonials to his competence for the work.
Francis was not cast down by this deplorable intelligence, but he had recourse to God, and recommended to His protection the family he had received from him. As to the regulation which prescribed entire abstinence from meat, he, with great humility, asked the advice of Peter of Catana, who replied: "It is not for me to judge; it is for the legislator to decide thereon, as on all the rest."
It has been sagaciously conjectured, that the artful legislator indulged the stubborn prejudices of his countrymen. It is more simple to believe that he adhered to the habits and opinions of his youth, without foreseeing that a practice congenial to the climate of Mecca might become useless or inconvenient on the banks of the Danube or the Volga. Part III.
The real assumption is that all such circumstances are superficial, and can be controlled and altered indefinitely by the 'legislator. The Moor, the Hindoo, and the Englishman are all radically identical; and the differences which must be taken into account for the moment can be removed by judicious means.
While the legislator must always keep in reserve punishment as the ultima ratio for the lawless, he will turn by preference to education as a more potent moralizing agency; and certainly education urgently needed Bonaparte's attention.
Now, with respect to this alliance, the legislator ought both to consider the parties and their time of life, that they may grow old at the same part of time, and that their bodily powers may not be different; that is to say, the man being able to have children, but the woman too old to bear them; or, on the contrary, the woman be young enough to produce children, but the man too old to be a father; for from such a situation discords and disputes continually arise.
But the verdict of a jury is not a judgment. Why? Because the legislator foresaw the alarming absurdity of verdicts. It is presumed in law that all juries' verdicts are absurd, and experience proves that this is often the case.
But the sacred sense of right and the reverence for the law, which it is difficult to destroy in the minds of the multitude, it is still more difficult to reproduce. Though the legislator did away with various abuses, he could not heal the root of the evil; and it might be doubted whether time, which cures everything curable, would in this case bring relief. Decay of the Roman Military System