Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/653

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509
The Fœderalist.

the Legislative department would be merely nominal and nugatory. The Legislature, with a discretionary power over the salary and emoluments of the Chief Magistrate, could render him as obsequious to their will, as they might think proper to make him. They might, in most cases, either reduce him by famine, or tempt him by largesses, to surrender at discretion his judgment to their inclinations. These expressions, taken in all the latitude of the terms, would no doubt convey more than is intended. There are men who could neither be distressed, nor won, into a sacrifice of their duty; but this stern virtue is the growth of few soils; and in the main it will be found, that a power over a man's support is a power over his will. If it were necessary to confirm so plain a truth by facts, examples would not be wanting, even in this country, of the intimidation or seduction of the Executive by the terrors, or allurements, of the pecuniary arrangements of the Legislative body.

It is not easy, therefore, to commend too highly the judicious attention which has been paid to this subject in the proposed Constitution. It is there provided, that "The President of the United States shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation which shall neither be increased, nor diminished, during the period for which he shall have been elected; and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them." It is impossible to imagine any provision which would have been more eligible than this. The Legislature, on the appointment of a President, is once for all to declare what shall be the compensation for his services during the time for which he shall have been elected. This done, they will have no power to alter it, either by increase or diminution, till a new period of service by a new election commences. They can neither weaken his fortitude by operating on his necessities, nor corrupt his in-