The wealthy individual, on the contrary, always escapes imprisonment in civil causes; nay, more, he may readily elude the punishment which awaits him for a delinquency, by breaking his bail. So that all the penalties of the law are, for him, reducible to fines. Nothing can be more aristocratic than this system of legislation.
Slade was frequently arrested by order of the court whose organization we have described, and had treated it with respect by paying one or two fines and promising to pay the rest when he had money; but in the transaction that occurred at this crisis, he forgot even this caution, and goaded by passion and the hatred of restraint, he sprang into the embrace of death.
Under the vague category of offences against order men might include any accusations they pleased, and by the higher grades in the scale of fines they might accomplish whatever they desired.
Poor Johnnie! his last week's naughtiness had exceeded his power of paying fines, and a halfpenny was subtracted from this week's threepence; while the Gibraltar man had consumed all that fines had spared to little Annie, had left Susan only threepence, and Henry but twopence-halfpenny.
Sometimes this employment is divided amongst many, but there is one supreme over the rest; these are called proctors, notaries, and the like. In like manner, the taking care that those fines which are ordered by the judges are levied should be divided amongst different persons.
The criminal jurisdiction was limited to the "imposition of lawful fines, mulcts, imprisonment, or other lawful correction, according to the course of other corporations in this our realm of England." The "course of corporations" referred to was well established.
A few minutes later the automobile was at the door. The tall stranger and two other men who had been in the lawyer's office were now on the sidewalk. "Crowd on all the speed you can, my man," appealed the tall stranger. "If you get into any trouble with the authorities I'll pay all the fines you incur. This is a matter of life and death." The speaker and his two men crowded into the car.
"The lawful revenue of the office stands thus," wrote Williams, speaking from his intimate knowledge of Ellesmere's affairs, "or not much above it at anytime: in fines certain, £1300 per annum, or thereabouts; in fines casual, £1250 or thereabouts; in greater writs, £140; for impost of wine, £100 in all, £2790; and these are all the true means of that great office."
I give this statement of Blackstone, because the latter clause may seem to militate with the idea, which the former clause corroborates, viz., that at the time of Magna Carta, fines were the usual punishment of offenses.
In this manner many persons were treated, till at length Neptune, growing weary from the number of novices, was content to admit the rest to the privileges of initiation, on condition that the fines should be punctually paid; an agreement into which most of us very thankfully entered. Next morning, the first object which met our eyes was the land of Caycos island.
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