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own immortality with the fame of the founder. Would to God, that it may be so ! Then would this fair seat of science become the pride of the law, as it now is the pride of the literature of our country.
When we look around us, and consider, how much has been done by this University for the glory and safety of the Commonwealth ; when we recollect, how many distinguished men have been nourished in her bosom, and warmed by her bounty, and cheered by her praise ; * it is impossible to suppress the wish, the earnest wish, that this last triumph may yet crown her matron dignity. What consolation could be more affecting to her grateful children, than that in these academical shades there should arise a temple, sacred to the majesty of the law; where our future orators, and jurists, and judges, and statesmen, might mature their genius, and deepen their learning, and purify their ambition ; where future generations may approach, and read the wisdom of the law, as it is personified in the glowing sketch of Algernon Sidney : “It is void of desire and sear, lust and anger. It is mens sine affectu, written reason, retaining some measure of the divine perfection. It does not enjoin that, which pleases a weak, frail man; but, without any regard to persons, commands that, which is good, and punishes evil in all, whether rich or poor, high or low. It is deaf, inexorable, inflexible.” +
* The members delegated from Massachusetts to serve in the Revolutionary Congress between 1774 and 1789, (when the new Constitution was adopted,) were in number twenty-one. Of these, seventeen were educated in Harvard University. Their names are as follows: Samuel Adams, Thomas Cushing, John Hancock, John Adams, Robert T. ne, Francis Dana, Elbridge Gerry, John Lowell, San el Osgood, Jonathan Jackson, Artemas Ward, George Partridge, Rufus King, James Lovell, Samuel A. Otis, George Thacher, and Nathan Dane. Mr. Dane, at the time of the delivery of this Discourse, was the sole survivor. He is since deceased, having died on the 15th of February, 1833.
| Works of Algernon Sidney, sect. 15, p. 69.
ON THE SUBJECT OF AN INCREASE OF THE SALARIES OF THE JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS, MADE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THAT STATE, IN JUNE, 1806.*
The Committee, to whom was referred the order of the House of Representatives, “ to consider, whether any addition is necessary to be made to the salaries of the judges of the Supreme Judicial Court of this Commonwealth,” report: That the constitution of this Commonwealth has provided, “ that permanent and honorable salaries shall be established by law, for the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court; and that if it shall be found, that any of the salaries aforesaid, so established, are insufficient, they shall, from time to time, be enlarged, as the General Court shall judge proper."
By an act of February, 1781, soon after the constitution was adopted, the salary of the chief justice was fixed at $1066.66, and of the other justices of said court at $1000 each, per annum. These continued to be their salaries, until, by an act of February, 1790, that of chief justice was fixed at $1233.33, and of the other justices at $1166.66. These last have ever since continued to be, and still are, the only permanent compensations of the said justices, they being debarred by law from receiving any fees or perquisites. By occasional resolves, from 1794 to 1804, temporary grants have been made to the said justices, of sums, varying from $166.66 to $600; but these grants have been limited to one year. By a resolve of March, 1804, a grant was made to the said justices of $800 annually for three years, commencing in January, 1804, which, of course, expires with the present year.
* “ Permit me to recommend to your consideration the contents of a letter, addressed to me by Theophilus Parsons Esq., Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, relating to the compensation allowed to justices of that court, and particularly to the grants made by the Legislature in part of it, which are not permanent.” - Extract from Gov. Strong's Message, June, 1806.
The Committee further report, that, although it would be unbecoming in them to decide, that the acts of the legislature are in any manner a violation of the constitution ; yet, they respectfully submit, whether the temporary grants aforesaid can be considered such a permanent compensation, as is within the purview of the article of the constitution above recited, and consistent with the clause in the Declaration of Rights, that the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court “should bave honorable salaries ascertained and established by standing laws."
Whatever may be the correct opinion on this subject, the Committee entertain great doubts of the policy of any measure, which has the immediate tendency to place the judicial department at the footstool of the legislature. They beg leave to quote for this purpose the words of the constitution, applied to the salary of the governor, and which seem, from their connexion with the clause relative to the salaries of the judges, as well as from their forcible expression, to be peculiarly directed to this principle : “ As the public good requires, that the governor should not be under the undue influence of any of the members of the General Court, by a dependence on them for a support; that he should, in all cases, act with freedom for the benefit of the public; that he should not have his attention necessarily directed from that object to his private concerns; and that he should maintain the dignity of the Commonwealth in the character of its chief magistrate ; it is necessary he should have an honorable stated salary, of a fixed value, amply sufficient for those purposes, and established by standing laws.”
These reasons, so applicable to a chief magistrate, certainly lose none of their force when considered in reference to courts of law. Before these tribunals, the property, the reputation, the rights and liberties, and, above all, the life, of every individual citizen of this Commonwealth, are subjects of decision. On the inflexible integrity, the profound knowledge, and strict impartiality, of the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court, who are arbiters in the last resort, assisted by intelligent jurors, rests every thing, which is dear to us in life, and which can affect us with posterity; every thing, which is honorable in character, or valuable in enjoyment; in one word, every thing, which renders society a blessing, and secures its continuance.
The Committee would therefore inquire, whether it be not of the last importance, that judges should be elevated above the hope of reward, the influence of affection, or the fear of censure? Whether they should not be wholly exempt from any consideration of imme