Page:Montesquieu - The spirit of laws.djvu/279
O F L A W S. 227
inferiors, and being compofed moreover of men who K are cholen from the people as well as itfelf, will chap. 5. naturally be fw.iyed by the authority of fo powerful an accufer ? No : in order to preferve the dignity of the people, and the fecurity of the fubject, the Jegiflative part which reprefent* the people, muft bring in its charge before the legislative part which reprefents the nobility, who have neither the fame interefts nor the fame paffions.
Here is an advantage which this government has over molt of the ancient republics, where there was this abufe, that the people were at the fame time both judge and accufer.
The executive power, purfuant to what has been already faid, ought to have a fhare in the legiflature by the power of rejecting, otherwife it would foon be ftripp d of its prerogative. But mould the le- giflative power ufurp a fhare of the executive, the latter would be equally undone.
If the prince were to have a fhare in the legifla ture by the power of refolving, liberty would be loft. But as it is neceffary he mould have a fhare in the legiflature for the fupport of his own pre rogative, this mare muft confift in the power of rejecting.
The change of government at Rome was owing to this, that neither the fenate who had one part of the executive power, nor the magiftrates who were entrufted with the other, had the right of rejecting, which was intirely lodged in the people.
Here then is the fundamental conftitution of the government we are treating of. The legiflative bo dy being compofed of two parts, one checks the other, by the mutual privilege of rejecting. They