Page images

the power of pardoning offences to be one of the greatest advantages of monarchy, in general, above every other form of government, and which cannot subsist in democracies. Its utility and necessity are defended by him on all those principles which do honour to human nature. Pardons are either general or special : general, as by act of Parliament, of which, if they are without exceptions, the court must take notice, ex officio, but if there are exceptions therein, the party must aver, that he is none of the persons excepted; special pardons, are either of course, as to persons convicted of manslaughter, or se defendendo, and by several statutes, to those who shall discover their accomplices in several felonies; or of grace, which are by the king’s charter, of which the court cannot take notice, er officio, but they must be pleaded. A pardon may be conditional, that is, the King may extend his mercy upon what terms he pleases; and may annex to his bounty a condition, either precedent or subsequent, on the performance whereof the validity of the pardon will depend ; and this by the common law. All pardons must be under the great seal. The effect of a pardon is to make the offender a new man: to acquit him of all corporal penalties and forfeitures annexed to that offence, and to give him a new credit and capacity: but nothing but an act of Parliament can restore or purify the blood after an attainder. PAREGORICS, medicines that assuage

pain, otherwise called anodynes. See PHARMACr. PARENCHYMA of plants. Grew ap

plies the term parenchyma to the pith or pulp, or that inner part of a fruit or plant through which the juice is supposed to be distributed. This, when viewed with a microscope, appears to resemble marrow, or rather a sponge, being a porous, flexible, dilatable substance. Its pores are innumerable and exceeding small, receiving as much humour as is requisite to fill and extend them, which disposition of pores it is that is supposed to fit the plant for vegetation and growth. PARENTS and CHILDREN, in law. If parents run away, and leave their children at the charge of the parish, the church-wardens and overseers, by order of the justices, may seize the rents, goods, and chattels of such persons, and dispose thereof towards their children's maintenance. A parent may lawfully correct his child, being under age, in a

reasonable manner; but the legal power of the father over the persons of his children ceases at the age of twenty-one. PARENTHESIS, in grammar, certain intercalary words, inserted in a discourse, which interrupt the sense or thread, but seem necessary for the better understanding of the subject. The proper charaeteristic of a parenthesis is, that it may be either taken in or left out, the sense and the grammar remaining entire. In speaking, the parenthesis is to be pronounced in a different tone; and in writing, it is enclosed between (), called also a parenthesis, but commonly a bracket, or crotchet, to distinguish it from the rest of the discourse. The politest of our modern writers avoid all parentheses, as keeping the mind in suspense, embarrassing it, and rendering the discourse less clear, uniform, and agreeable. PARHELIUM, or PARHELIon, in physiology, a mock sun, or meteor, in form of a very bright light, appearing on one side of the sun. The parhelia are formed by the reflection of the sun’s beams on a cloud properly posited. They usually accompany the coronae, or luminous circles, and are placed in the same circumference, and at the same height. Their colours resemble that of the rainbow; the red and yellow are on the side towards the sun, and the blue and violet on the other. There are coronae sometimes seen without parhelia, and vice versa. Parhelia are double, triple, &c. and in 1629, a parhelion of five suns was seen at Rome; and in 1666, another at Arles, of six. M. Mariotte accounts for parhelia from an infinity of little particles of ice floating in the air, that multiply the image of the sun by refraction or reflection; and by a geometrical calculus, he has determined the precise figure of these little icicles, their situation in the air, and the size of the coronae of circles which accompany the parhelia, and the colours wherewith they are painted. M. Huygens accounts for the formation of a parhelion in the same manner as for that of the halo. PARIAN chronicle. See ARUNDELIAN marbles. PARIANA, in botany, a genus of the Monoecia Polyandria class and order. Essential character : male, flowers in whorls, forming spikes; calyx two-valved: corolla two-valved, larger than the calyx; filaments forty: female, flowers solitary in each whorl; calyx two-valved; corolla two-valved, less than the calyx; stigmas two; seed three-cornered, in closed. There is but one species, viz. P. campestris, a native of the woods in the islands of Cayenne. PARIETARIA, in botany, pellitory, a genus of the Polygamia Monoecia class and order. Natural order of Scabridae. Urticæ, Jussieu. Essential character: two hermaphrodite flowers, and one female flower in a flat six-leaved involucre: calyx four-cleft; corolla none; style one; seed one, superior, elongated ; hermaphrodite, stamina four; female, stamina none. There are ten species. PARIS, in botany, a genus of the Octandria Tetragynia class and order. Natural order of Sarmentaceae. Asparagi, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx fourleaved ; petals four, narrower; berry four-celled. There is but one species, viz. P. quadrifolia, herb Paris, true-love, or one-berry. PARISH, signifies the precinct of a parish church, and the particular charge of a secular priest. Formerly a parish was synonymous with diocese, and the tithes were paid to any priest whom the party chose, but it was found convenient to allot a certain district for each priest, that he alone might receive the tithe. It is very doubtful when they originated. Some place the division of parishes in A. D. 630, others in 1179. A parish may contain one or more vills, but it is presumed to contain only one, and anciently was co-extensive with the manor. Money given by will to a parish is given to the poor. These districts are computed to be nearly ten thousand in number. PAR1sh clerk. In every parish the parson, vicar, &c. hath a parish clerk under him, who is the lowest officer of the church. These were formerly clerks in orders, and their business at first was to officiate at the altar, for which they had a competent maintenance by offerings; but now they are laymen, and have certain fees with the parson, on christenings, marriages, burials, &c. besides wages for their maintenance. He must be twenty years of age, and of honest conversation, and is generally appointed by the minister, unless there is a custom for the churchwardens and parishoners to elect. It is an office for life, and a freehold. He may make a deputy without license from the bishop. PARISHIONER, an inhabitant of, or belonging to, any parish, lawfully settled there. Parishioners are a body politic to many purposes; as to vote at a vestry if they pay scot and lot; and they have a sole right to raise taxes for their own re

lief, without the interposition of any superior court; may make by-laws to mend the highways, and to make banks to keep out the sea, and for repairing the church,

and making a bridge; and for making

and maintaining fire engines. They may also purchase workhouses for the poor, or any such thing for the public good. . PARKINSONIA, in botany, so named in memory of John Parkinson, a genus of the Decandria Monogynia class and order. Natural order of Lomentaceae. Leguminosae, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx five-cleft ; petals five, ovate, the lowest kidney-form ; style none ; legume necklace form. There is but one species, viz. P. aculeata, prickly Parkinsonia. It is a native of Jamaica, where it is called Jerusalem thorn. - PAirLIAMENT. The parliament is the legislative branch of the supreme power of Great Britain, consisting of the King, the Lords spiritual and temporal, and the Knights, citizens, and Burgesses, representatives of the Commons of the Realm, in Parliament assembled. The power and jurisdiction of Parliament is so transcendent and absolute, that it cannot be confined, either for causes or persons, within any bounds. The Parliament must be summoned by the King, and not by authority of either house, at least forty days before it sits, although the Convention Parliament (the House of Commons), from necessity, was summoned by the Keepers of the Liberty of England, by authority of Parliament It cannot begin without the King in person, or by representation. The principal privileges of Parliament are the

privilege of speech, which is essential to

its existence, and to which there are n0 exceptions, except in some precedents of information filed for using free language during the reign of the second Charles, which it is to be hoped will never be drawn into authority, and the privilege of persons from arrest and imprisonment for debt. This privilege lasts for forty days after the prorogation of the Parliament, and forty days previous to its meeting. But all other privileges, derogating from the common laws and matters of civil right, are abolished by several statutes; and by 4 George III. c. 33. a trader, being a Member of Parliament, may be served with legal process for any just debt to the amount of one hundred pounds, and unless he makes satisfaction within two months, it shall be an act of bankruptcy. Wide statutes 12 William III. c. 3; 2 and 3 Ann, c. 18; 11 George II, c.

24. Statute 10 George III. c. 50 ; 4 George III. c. 33.

It is one of the privileges of the Peers wo be entitled to vote by proxy, and also to enter a protest against any bill to which they may dissent. But all money bills must commence with the Commons; and it is now the custom if any alteration is made by the Lords in a money bill, for the Commons to reject it and bring in another, even though the new bill should contain the regulation proposed by the Lords.

The House of Commons is a denomination given to the lower house of Parliament. In a free state, every man, who is supposed a free agent, ought to be in some measure his own governor, and therefore a branch at least of the legislative power should reside in the whole body of the people. In elections for representatives for Great Britain, anciently, all the people had votes: but King Henry VI to avoid tumults, first appointed that none should vote for knights but such as were freeholders, did reside in the county, and had forty shillings yearly revenue. In so large a state as ours, therefore, it is very wisely contrived that the people should do that by their representatives, which it is impracticable to perform in person; representatives chosen by a number of minute and separate districts, wherein all the voters are or may be easily distinguished. The counties are therefore represented by knights elected by the proprietors of lands; the cities and boroughs are represented by citizens and burgesses, chosen by the mercantile, or supposed trading interest of the nation.

The peculiar laws and customs of the

ouse of Commons relate principally to the raising of taxes, and the elections of members to serve in Parliament.

The method of making laws is nearly the same in both houses. In the House 3. Commons, in order to bring in the bill, if the relief sought be of a private **te, it is first necessary to prefer a Potition, which must be presented by a *mber, and usually setsforthagrievance §§uired to be remedied. This petition, When founded on facts of a disputable *ure, is referred to a committee of *mbers, who examine the matter alo, and accordingly report it to the “; and then (or otherwise upon the

- jetition), leave is given to bring in : ill. . In public matters, the bill is §: to: upon motion made to the

house, without any petition. If the bill begin in the House of Lords, if of a private nature, it is referred to two judges, to make report. After the second reading, the bill is said to be committed, that is, referred to a committee, which is selected by the house, in matters of small importance ; or, upon a bill of consequence, the house resolves itself into a committee of the whole house ; a committee of the whole house is composed of every member, and to form it the Speaker quits the chair, and may consequently sit and debate upon the merits of it as a private member, another member being appointed chairman, for the time. In these committees the bill is usually debated clause by clause, amendments made, and sometimes it is entirely new modelled. Upon the third reading further amendments are sometimes made, and if a new clause be added, it is done by tacking a separate piece of parchment on the bill, which is called a rider. The royal assent may be given two ways. 1. In person, when the King comes to the House of Peers, in his crown, and royal robes, and sending for the Commons to the bar, the titles of all the bills that have passed both houses are read, and the king’s answer is declared by the clerk of the Parliament. If the king consent to a public bill, the clerk usual. ly declares, le Roy le veut, the King wills it so to be : if to a private bill, soit fait comme il est desiré, be it as it is desired. If the King refuses his assent, it is in the gentle language of le Roy s'avisera, the King will advise upon it. When a bill of supply is passed, it is carried up and presented to the King by the Speaker of the House of Commons, and the royal assent is thus expressed, le Roy remercie ses loyal sujets, accepte leur benevolence, et aussi le veut, the King thanks his loyal subjects, accepts their beneyolence, and also wills it so to be. By the statute 33 Henry VIII, c. 21. the King may give his assent by letters patent under his great seal, signed with his hand, and notified in his absence to both houses, assembled together in the upper House. And when the bill has received the royal assent in either of these ways, it is then, and not before, a statute or act of parliament. An act of parliament, thus made, is the exercise of the highest authority that this kingdom acknowledges upon the earth. It has power to bind every subject in the land, and the dominions thereunto belonging; nay, even the King himself, if particularly named therein. And it canR

not be altered, amehded, dispensed with, suspended, or repealed, but in the same forms, and by the same authority of Parliament.

Adjournment is no more than a continuance of the session from one day to another, as the word itself signifies; and this is done by the authority of each house separately every day, or for a longer period; but the adjournment of one house is no adjourmnent of the other.

Prorogation is the continuance of the Parliament from one session to another, as an adjournment is a continuation of the session from day to day. And this is done by the royal authority, expressed either by the Lord Chancellor, in his Majesty’s presence, or by commission from the crown, or frequently by proclamation; and by this, both houses are prorogued at the same time; it not being a prorogation of the House of Lords or Commons, but of the Parliament. The session is never understood to be at an end, until a prorogation; though, unless some act be passed, or some judgment given in Parliament, it is, in truth, no session at all.

A dissolution is the civil death of the Parliament; and this may be effected three ways : 1. by the King's will, expressed either in person or representation; 2. by the demise of the crown; 3. by length of time. By the King's will; for as the King hath the sole right of convening the parliament, so also it is a branch of the royal prerogative, that he may, whenever he pleases, prorogue the Parliament for a time, or put a final pe. riod to its existence.

By the demise of the crown; a dissolution formerly happened immediately upon the death of the reigning sovereign; but the calling a new Parliament immediately on the inauguration of the successor being found inconvenient, and dangers being apprehended from having no Parliament in being, in case of a dis. puted succession, it was enacted, by statutes 7 and 8 Will. III. c. 15. and 6 Anne, c. 7. that the Parliament in being shall continue for six months after the death of any King or Queen, unless sooner prorogued or dissolved by the successor. That if the Parliament be, at the time of the King’s death, separated by adjournment or prorogation, it shall notwithstanding assemble immediately; and that if no Parliament is then in being, the members of the last parliament shall as

semble and be again in Parliament. Lastly, a Parliament may be dissolved or expire by length of time. The utmost extent of time that the same Parliament was allowed to sit by the statute of 6 William, c. 3. was three years; after the expiration of which, reckoning from the return of the first summons, the Parliament was to have no longer continuance. But by statute 1 George I. c. 38, in order, as it was alleged, to prevent the great and continued expenses of frequent elections, and the violent heats and animosities consequent thereupon, and for the peace and security of the government just then recovering from the last rebellion, this term was prolonged to seven years. So that, as our constitution now stands, the Parliament must expire, or die a natural death, at the end of every seventh year, if not sooner dissolved by the royal prerogative. In favour of liberty, however, it were much to be wished that this statute had never been passed. The pretexts which it assigns, as the grounds upon which it was passed, are all fallacious. PAhli AMENT, the High Court of, is the supreme court of the kingdom, not only for the making, but also for the execution of laws, by the trial of great and enormous offenders, whether lords, or commoners, in the method of parliamentary impeachment. An impeachment before the Lords, by the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament, is a prosecution of the already known and established law, and has been frequently put in practice; being a presentment to the most high and supreme court of criminal jurisdiction, by the most solemn grand inquest of the whole kingdom. A commoner cannot, however, be impeached before the Lords for any capital offence, but only for high misdemeanors; a peer may be impeached for any crime. And they usually, in case of an impeachment of a peer for treason, address the crown to appoint a lord high steward, for the greater dignity and regularity of their E."; which high steward was formerly elected by the peers themselves, though he was generally commissioned by the king ; but it has of late years been strenuously maintained, that the appointment of a high steward in such cases is not indispensably necessary; but the house may proceed without one. The articles of impeachment are a kind of bills of indictment, found by the House of Commons, and afterwards tried by the Lords; who are in cases of misdemeanors

[ocr errors]

tonsidered not only as their own peers, but as the peers of the whole nation. Much has been said and written upon the question of parliamentary reform, and the actual state of the Parliament. The result of a candid inquiry will be this; namely, that the Parliament, which has been, and now is, the guardian of the liberties of the people, may hereafter, by corruption, become the means of their destruction, or the cause of their being surrendered, and the Parliament itself have only a nominal existence. To prewent this, the people can only depend upon the frequent necessity of their representatives appealing to them for a renewal of their powers; that is, upon the frequency of elections, which, in order also to be free, should be made by as large a body of voters as possible, and that what are called rotten boroughs should at once be abolished. To object to this, that it is an infringement of chartered rights, is an insult to common sense ; for all charters are void that are *gainst common right, and the only object for elections is for the benefit of the many, not for the private advantage of the few. That the present state of the representation of the people is not such *it ought to be, has been too generally idmitted to be insisted upon here; but lot it never be forgotten, that amongst those who have considered it as defective we must number Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, indthe commentator Blackstone. In any uture revision of the laws against bribery and corruption, it would be well to make the elected as well as the electors take the oath against bribery; and still furtherto narrow, though not wholly to exolde, the admission of placemen and ontractors to seats in the House of Commons. If the freedom of the press can be fully preserved, or obtained, we ma Volture to hope that every thing .# |imately be effected which the rational fiends of freedom can desire; but a owledge of our history will teach us, *littlé is to be gained for liberty by *herence to any precedents drawn from Proceedings before the Revolution, the true principles of which are the only $nuine grounds on which to rest the *ndation of British liberty. *ARNASSIA, in botany, a genus of d * Pentandria Tetragynia class and or* Natural order of Capparides, Jus

* Essential character: calyx five

* i.petals five nectaries five, cor* Giliate, with globular apexes; cap

sule four-valved. There is but one species, viz. P. palustris, common marsh parmassia, or grass of Parnassus, PARODICAL, degrees of an equation, in algebra, are the several regular terms in quadratic, cubic, biquadratic equations, &c. the indexes of whose powers ascend or descend orderly in an arithmetical progress, as 23-Hzo m-Hz ras, is a cubical equation, where no term is wanting, but having all its parodic degrees, the indexes of the terms regularly descending. PARODY, a popular maxim, adage, or proverb. Parody is also a poetical pleasantry, consisting in applying the verses written on one subject, by way of ridicule, to another; or in turning a serious work into a burlesque, by affecting to observe, as nearly as possible, the same rhymes, words, and cadences. It comes nearly to what some of our late writers call travesty; and was first set on foot by the Greeks, from whom we borrow the name. PAROLE, a term signifying anything done verbally or by word of mouth, in contradistinction to what is written: thus, an agreement may be by parole. Evidence also may be divided into parole evidence and written evidence. A parolerelease is good to discharge a debt by simple contract. The holder of a bill of exchange may authorize another to indorse his name upon it by parole; and generally all agreements by parole are good, except such as are within the statute of frauds, and particularly such as relate to lands and agreements for any term beyond three years in lands or houses, and also all executory agreements for the sale of goods above 101, not forfeited by delivery. See AGREEMENT and LEAs E. PARRA, the jacana, in natural history, a genus of birds of the order Grallae. Generic character: bill slender and sharply pointed, the base carunculated; nostrils

in the middle, and somewhat oval; win

spinous; toes four, very long, and claws sharply pointed and long. There are sixteen species mentioned by, Gmelin. Latham notices nine. P. jacana, or the chesnut jacana, is the size of the water rail, frequents the watery places of South America, and is extremely clamorous. These birds often wade up to the thighs in water, are particularly shy, searcely ever seen but in pairs, and when separated, incessantly calling for each other till a reunion is accomplished. They are called by the

« PreviousContinue »