Page images
PDF
EPUB

of milk, and libations of oil; these are called mfalz ista. The libation was made with a serious deportment and solemn prayer. At sacrifices, the libation, after it had been tasted by the priest, and handed to the by-standers, was poured upon the victim. At entertainments, a little wine was generally poured out of the cup, before the liquor began to circulate, to show their gratitude to the gods for the blessings they enjoyed.

LIBAW, a sea-port town of Courland, lying on the Baltic sea, consisting entirely of wooden houses. It belongs to the duke of Courland, and is situated in lon. 21. 27 E. lat. 56. 27 N.

LIBELS, injurious reproaches or accusations written and published against the memory of one who is dead, or the reputation of one who is alive, and thereby exposing him to public hatred, contempt, and ridicule.

With regard to libels in general, there are, as in many other cases, two remedies; one by indictment or information, and the other by action. The former for a public offence; for every libel has a tendency to the breach of the peace, by provoking the person libelled to break it; which offence is said to be the same in point of law, whether the matter contained be true or false; and therefore it is that the defendant on an indictment for publishing a libel, is not allowed to allege the truth of it by way of justification. But in the remedy by action on the case, which is to repair the party in damages for the injury done him, the defendant may, as for words spoken, justify the truth of the facts, and show that the plaintiff has received no injury at all. The chief excellence therefore of a civil action for a libel consists in this, that it not only affords a reparation for the injury sustained, but it is a full vindication of the innocence of the person traduced.

3 Black. 125.

Where a writing inveighs against mankind in general, or against a particular order of men, this is no libel; it must descend to particulars and individuals, to make it a libel. But a general reflection on the government is a libel, though no particular person is reflected on and the writing against a known law is held to be criminal.

Though a private person or magistrate be dead at the time of making the libel, yet it is punishable, as it tends to a breach of the peace. But an indictment for publishing libellous matter reflecting on the memory of a dead person, not alleging that it was done with a design to bring contempt on the family of the deceased, and to stir up the hatred of the king's subjects against them, and to excite his relations to a breach of the peace, cannot be sup. ported; and judgment was in this case accordingly arrested.

Scandalous matter, in legal proceedings, by bill, petition, &c. in a court of justice, amounts not to a libel, if the court hath jurisdiction of the cause. But he who delivers a paper full of reflections on any person, in nature of a petion to a committee, to any other persons ex

cept the members of parliament who have to do with it, may be punished as the publisher of a libel. And by the better opinion, a person cannot justify the printing any papers which import a crime in another, to instruct counsel, &c. but it will be a libel. 2. The communication of a libel to any one person, is a publication in the eye of the law; therefore the sending an abusive private letter to a man, is as much a libel as if it were openly printed; for it equally tends to a breach of the peace.

In the making of libels, if one man dictates, and another writes a libel, both are guilty; for the writing after another shows his approbation of what is contained in the libel; and the first reducing a libel into writing may be said to be the making of it, but not the composing. If one repeats, another writes, and a third approves what is written, they are all makers of the libel; because all persons who concur to an unlawful act are guilty.

It has been frequently determined, that in the trial of an indictment for a libel, the only questions for the consideration of the jury are the fact of publishing, and the truth of the inuendoes; that is, the truth of the meaning, and sense of the passages of the libel, as stated and averred in the record, whether the matter be or be not a libel, is a question of law for the consideration of the court. But the statute 32 Geo. III. c. 60, after reciting that doubts had arisen whether on the trial of an indictment or information for the making or publishing any libel, where an issue or issues are joined between the king and the defendant, on the plea of not guilty pleaded, it be competent to the jury impannelled to try the same, to give their verdict upon the whole matter in issue;" enacts, that "on every such trial, the jury, sworn to try the issue, may give a general verdiet of guilty or not guilty upon the whole matter put in issue, upon such indictment or information, and shall not be required or directed by the court or judge, before whom the indictment, &c. shall be tried, to find the defendant guilty, merely on the proof of the publication by such defendant, of the paper charged to be a libel, and of the sense ascribed to the same in such indictment." But it is provided by the said statute, that the court or judge shall, according to their discretion, give their opinion and directions to the jury on the matter in issue, as in other criminal cases; that the jury may also find a special verdict; and that, in case the jury shall find the defen lant guilty, he may move in arrest of judgment, as by law he might have done before the passing of the act.

It has, in the case of the king v. lord George Gordon, and the king v. Peltier, been held, that a writing tending to defame the sovereign of a foreign country is a libel punishable in England. The law was not questioned in the first case; in the second the punishment was not enforced. We think there are many serious arguments against the doctrine.

LIBEL, in the ecclesiastical court, is the declaration or charge drawn up in writing, on the

part of the plaintiff, to which the defendant is obliged to answer.

LIBEL, in the law of Scotland, signifies an indictment.

To LIBEL. v. n. (from the noun.) To spread defamation, written or printed (Donne.)

To LI'BEL. v. a. To satirize; to lampoon (Dryden).

LI'BELLER. s. (from libel.) A defamer by writing: a lampooner (Dryden).

LIBELLOUS. a. (from libel.) Defamatory (Wotton).

LIBELLULA. Dragon-fly. In zoology, a genus of the class insecta, order neuroptera. Mouth armed with jaws more than two in number; lip trifid; antennas very thin, filiform, and shorter than the thorax; wings expanded; tail of the male furnished with a forked process. Fifty-six species; which may be thus subdivided.

A. Wings expanded when at rest; of which again there are two sets or sections. a. Dorsal division of the lip very minute. E. Divisions of the lip equal; constituting the tribe Æshna of Fabricius. B. Wings erect when at rest: eyes distinct: outer divisions of the lip bifid. The tribe Agrion of Fabricius.

The whole genus is extremely ravenous, and generally seen hovering over stagnant waters; the larves are six-footed, active inhabitants of the water, furnished with an articulate, forcipated mouth; and prey with the most rapacious ferocity upon other larves or aquatic insects: the pupe resembles the larves, but has the rudiment of wings.

These insects are universally known, from their large size, and frequency of appearance. The organs of generation are differently situated in the male and female of this tribe: in the former, they are placed upon the under side of that part of the abdomen which lies between the inferior wings; while, in the latter, they are found at the tip or end of the abdomen.

The addresses of the libellula to his female seem carried on in a rough and intrepid, but efficacious manner. He hovers about on the wing, till the object of his amours makes her appearance; he then watches an opportunity of seizing her by the head with those pincers with which his tail is armed. It is thus that the ravisher travels through the air, till the female, yielding to superior strength, perhaps to inclination, forms her body into a circle, that terminates at the genitals of the male, and thus accomplishes the great purpose of nature. It is while this kind of rapes is perpetrating, that the libellulæ are seen coupled in the air, exhibiting the form of a ring.

The female, when pregnant, retires to the side of a ditch or pond, where, by the assistance of a stick or reed, she creeps, or lowers herself down, by moving backwards, till the tip of the tail is immerged about half an inch in the water; she is then seized with a tremor of the body, during which she deposits a single egg in the water; afterwards she immerges her tail a second and a third time, when the same

operations are repeated. The tail is withdrawn from the water, by contracting its annuli; and by the pressure of these upon each other, the egg is gradually forced from the ovary to the extremity of the tail, whence it is ultimately separated, by shaking that part in the water.

The eggs thus protruded by the libellulæ are of a white colour, and oblong form, resembling those produced by the vomitoria or common blow-fly. The form and colour of the larves are extremely disgusting: they are supposed to have gills like fishes; and beneath the head is placed an instrument excellently adapted for seizing and holding their prey. It is furnished with a forceps at the end, and can be advanced or drawn back with all the agility of the human hand.

The larve remains in the same state for nearly twelve months before it attains its full size: when the period of transformation has arrived, the worm repairs to the margin of its pond in quest of a convenient place of abode during the season of its inaction. It there attaches itself to a plant or piece of dry wood; and the skin, which has gradually become parched and brittle, at last splits opposite to the upper part of the thorax. Through this aperture the winged insect quickly pushes its way; and being thus extricated from confinement, begins to expand its wings, to flutter, and finally to launch into the air, with that gracefulness and ease peculiar to this majestic tribe.

No particular time seems appointed for the metamorphosis of the libellula into its winged state; the different species are continually emerging from the water from April to August: for as the seasons of copulation are various and frequent during the whole summer, so the larvæ or caterpillars are found of different sizes, according to their age. The smaller kinds, however, generally make their appearance before the larger; because, from breeding in shallow water, they sooner feel the influence of the sun on the approach of spring.

The manners of these insects must no doubt be greatly altered by a change, which not only confers upon them a new form, but introduces them into a different element. The complete insect, in its winged state, however, still continues to pursue the same food, and remains insectivorous. The lepidopterous insects, the butterflies, and phalænæ are destined for the support of the larger libellula; which are a part of those numerous tribes appointed to confine these prolific genera within due bounds. The following are the chief species:

1. L. grandis, is the largest of this genus found in Britain, and is perhaps not inferior in bulk to any insect which this country produces: the fore part of the head is yellow; the eyes brown, and so very large, that they meet upon the top of the head. The thorax is dun coloured, with four oblique bands on each side of a lemon colour. The abdomen, which is very long, is likewise of a deep buff or rufous colour, often spotted with white and black upon the top and bottom of each segment; the small appendices which terminate the abdomen are

in this species very long; the wings have more or less of a yellow complexion, and are distinguished by a brown spot on the exterior edges. The colours of the body vanish when the insect is dead.

2. L. forcipata. Expands four inches and an half. Nose yellow, with a black line on the prominent part; thorax black, with several broad yellow stripes, two on the front, and two behind the ligaments of each pair of wings; abdomen black, with two streaks resembling a crescent on each segment; wings transparent, and white, with a slight tinge of amber; tail with three incurved claws.

3. L. puella. Body green and azure; wings adorned towards the middle each with a large spot, of a deep blue, inclining to black. Feet black; wings immaculate on their exterior margin. From the brilliancy and richness of its colours, it has been called the king's fisher; it frequents little rivulets of water, overshaded with bushes. There are many varieties of this species, from difference of spots or colours.

4. L. virgo. Wings coloured in a variety of ways, and hence producing many varieties of the species; the body is generally silky, and greenish, or blueish-green; wings blueish, or blueish-green, sometimes with dots, and sometimes gilt at the margin. Inhabits our own country, and Europe in general, and is very common about waters. See Nat. Hist. Pl. CLIT. LIBENTINA, a surname of Venus. She had a temple at Rome, where the young women used to dedicate the toys and childish amusements of their youth, when arrived at nubile years. (Varrò).

LIBER, a surname of Bacchus, which signities free. He received this name from his delivering some cities of Botia from slavery, or because wine, of which he was the patron, delivered mankind from their cares.

LIBER. In botany. (According to Scaliger, quasi luber, quia de arbore reluatur, resolvaur, or to use Cato's word glubatur. As from cresco comes creber; from furio, faber; from suo, suber; so from lao comes laber, and thence liber. But a more probable derivation is from the Eolic Xenog for Zinos, which by changing into 6 became 206775.) Tegmentum tertium membranaceum succidum flexile. The inner bark of a vegetable; or the third integu ment, membranaceous, juicy, and flexible, The wood is gradually formed from this; and according to Linnéus, the corol is a continuation of it.

LIBERAL. a. Ciberalis, Latin.) 1. Not mean; not low in birth. 2. Becoming a gentleman. 3. Munificent; generous; bounfiful (Milton).

LIBERAL ARTS, are such as depend more on the labour of the mind than on that of the hands: or, that consist more in speculation than operation; and have a greater regard to amusement and curiosity than to necessity. The word comes from the Latin liberalis, which among the Romans signified a person who was not a slave; and whose will, of consequence, was not checked by the command of

[ocr errors]

any master. Such are grammar, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, &c. The liberal arts used formerly to be stummed up in the following Latin verse: Lingua, Tropus, Ratio, Numerus, Tonus, Angulus, Astra." And the mechanical arts, which, however, are innumerable, under this: “Rus, Nemus, Arma, Faber, Vulnera, Lana, Rates.” See ARTS.

LIBERALIA, festivals yearly celebrated in honour of Bacchus on the 17th of March, at Rome. Slaves were permitted to speak with freedom. They are much the same as the Dionysia of the Greeks.

1.

LIBERALITY. s. (liberalitas, Lat. liberalife, Fr.) Munificence; bounty; generosity; generous profusion (Shakspeare). LIBERALLY. ad. (from liberal) Bonnteously; bountifully; largely (James). Not meanly: magnanimously. LIBERTAS, a goddess of Rome, who had a temple on mount Âventine, raised by T. Gracchus. She was represented as a woman in a light dress, holding a rod in one hand and a cap in the other, both signs of independence, as the former was used by the magistrates in the manumission of slaves, and the latter was worn by slaves who were soon to be set at liberty.

LIBERTINE. s. (libertin, French.) 1. One unconfined; one at liberty (Shakspeare). 2. One who lives without restraint or law (Rowe). 3. One who pays no regard to the precepts of religion (Shakspeare, Collier). 4. (In law; libertinus, Lat.) A freedman; or rather the son of a freedman (Ayliffe).

LIBERTINES, LIBERTINI, in ecclesiastical history, a religious sect, which rose in the year 1525, whose principal tenets were, that the Deity was the sole operating canse in the mind of man, and the immediate anthor of all human actions; that, consequently, the distinctions of good and evil, which had been established with regard to those actions, were false and groundless, and that men could not, properly speaking, commit sin; that religion cons sted in the union of the spirit or rational soul with the Supreme Being; that all those who had attained this happy union, by sublime contemplation and elevation of mind, were then allowed to indulge, without exception or restraint, their appetites or passions; that all their actions and pursuits were then perfectly innocent; and that, after the death of the body, they were to be united to the Deity. They likewise said that Jesus Christ was nothing but a mere je ne sçai quoi, composed of the spirit of God, and of the opinion of men. These maxims occasioned their being called Libertines; and the word has been used in an ill sense ever since,

The Libertini spread principally in Holland and Brabant. Their leaders were one Quintin, a Picard, Pockesius, Ruffus, and another called Chopin, who joined with Quintin, and became his disciple.

LIBERTINES OF GENEVA, were a cabal of rakes rather than of fanatics; for they made no pretences to any religious system, but

importance, by supporting that state of society which alone can secure our independence So that laws, when prudently framed, are by no means subversive, but rather introductive

of liberty; for where there is no law there is no

freedom.

But then, on the other hand, that constitution tain civil liberty, which leaves the subject entire or form of government is alone calculated to mainmaster of his own conduct, except in those points wherein the public good requires some direction or restraint.

The above definition of the learned commentator is admitted by his last editor to be clear, distinct, and rational, as far as relates to civil liberty; in the definition of which, however, he adds, it ought to be understood, or rather expressed, that the restraints introduced by the law should be equal to ali; or as much so as the nature of things will admit.

Political liberty is distinguished by Mr. Christian from civil liberty, and he defines it to be the se

curity with which from the constitution, form, and nature of the established government, the subjects enjoy civil liberty. No ideas, continues he, are berty; yet they are generally confounded; and more distinct than those of civil and political lithe latter cannot yet claim an appropriate name. civil liberty indiscriminately; but it would perThe learned judge (Blackstone) uses political and in the respective senses here suggested, or to have haps be convenient uniformly to use those terms some fixed specific denominations for ideas which in their natures are so widely different. last species of liberty has most engaged the attention of mankind, and particularly of the people of England.

The

pleaded only for the liberty of leading volup-
tuous and immoral lives. This cabal was com-
posed of a certain number of licentious citizens,
who could not bear the severe discipline of
Calvin, who punished with rigour not only
dissolute manners, but also whatever bore the
aspect of irreligion and impiety.
LIBERTINE. a. (libertin, Fr.) Licentious;
irreligions (Swift).

LIBERTINISM. s. (from libertine.) Irreligion; licentiousness of opinions and practice (Atterbury).

LIBERTY. 8. (liberté, French; libertas, Latin.) 1. Freedom, as opposed to slavery (Addison). 2. Exemption from tyranny or inordinate government (Milton). 3. Freedom, as opposed to necessity (Locke). 4. Privilege; exemption; immunity (Davies). 5. Relaxation of restraint (Milton). 6. Leave; permission (Locke).

LIBERTY, denotes a state of freedom, in contradistinction to slavery or restraint; and may be considered as either natural or civil. The absolute rights of man, considered as a free agent, endowed with discernment to know good from evil, and with power of choosing those measures which appear to him to be most desirable, are asually summed up in one general appellation, and denominated the natural liberty of mankind. This natural liberty consists properly in a power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or controul, unless by the law of na

ture; being a right inherent in us by birth, and one of the gifts of God to man at his creation, when he endued him with the faculty of freewill. But every man, when he enters into socity, gives up a part of his natural liberty, as the price of so valuable a purchase; and, in consideration of receiving the advantages of mutual commerce, obliges himself to conform to those laws which the community has thought proper to establish. And this species of legal obedience and conformity is infinitely more desirable than that wild and savage liberty which is sacrificed to obtain it. For no man, that considers a moment, would wish to retain the absolute and uncontrolled power of doing whatever he pleases: the consequence of which is, that every other man would also have the same power: and then there would be no security to individuals in any of the Enjoyments of life.

Political or civil liberty, therefore, which is that of a member of society, is no other than natural liberty, so far restrained by human laws, and no further, as is necessary and expedient for the general advantage of the public.

Hence we may collect that the law, which restrains a man from doing mischief to his fellowcitizens, though it diminishes the natural, increases the civil liberty of mankind: but that every wanton and causeless restraint of the will of the subject, whether practised by a monarch, by nobility, or a popular assembly, is a degree of tyranny; nay, that even laws themselves, whether made with or without our consent, if they regulate and constrain our conduct in matters of te indifference without any good end in view, are regulations destructive of liberty; whereas, if any public advantage can arise from observing such precepts, the control of our private inclinations

one or two particular points will conduce to preserve our general freedom in others of more

The people of England have a firm reliance that this civil liberty is secured to them under the constitution of the government.

First. By the great charter of liberties, which was obtained, sword in hand, from king John; and afterwards, with some alterations, confirmed in parliament by king Henry III. his son; which charter contained very few new grants, but, as Sir Edward Coke observes, was for the most part declaratory of the principal grounds of the fundamental laws of England. Afterwards, by the statute called confirmatio cartarum, 25 Edward lowed as the common law, all judgments contrary I. whereby the great charter is directed to be alto it are declared void; copics of it are ordered to be sent to all the cathedral churches, and read twice a year to the people; and sentence of excommunication is directed to be as constantly denounced against all those who by word, deed, or counsel, act contrary thereto, or in any degree infringe it. Next, by a multitude of subsequent corroborating statutes from Edward I. to Henry IV.; of which the following are the most

forcible.

Statute 25 Edward III. statute 5, c. 4. None shall be taken by petition or suggestion made to the king or his council, unless it be by indictment of lawful people of the neighbourhood, or by process made by writ original at the common law. And none shall be put out of his franchises or freehold, unless he be duly brought to answer, and fore-judged by course of law; and if any thing be done to the contrary, it shall be redressed and holden

for none.

Statute 42 Edward III. c. 3. No man shall be put to answer without presentment before justices, or matter of record of due process, or writ

original, according to the ancient law of the land. And if any thing be done to the contrary, it shall be void in law, and held for error. After a long interval these liberties were still further confirmed by the petition of right; which was a parliamentary declaration of the liberties of the people, assented to by king Charles I. in the beginning of his reign. This was closely followed by the still more ample concessions made by that unhappy prince to his parliament, (particularly the dissolution of the star chamber, by statute 16 Charles I. c. 10.) before the fatal rupture between them, and by the many salutary laws, particularly the habeas corpus act, passed under king Charles II.

To these succeeded the bill of rights, or declaration delivered by the lords and commons to the prince and princess of Orange, February 13, 1688; and afterwards enacted in parliament, when they became king and queen; which, as peculiarly interesting, is here inserted at length.

Statute 1 William and Mary, statute 2, c. 2, § 1. Whereas the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons assembled at Westminster, representing all the estates of the people of this realm, did upon the 13th of February, 1688, present unto their majesties, then prince and princess of Orange, a declaration containing that, the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, being assembled in a full and free representation of this nation, for the vindicating their ancient rights and liberties; declare, that the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal; that the pretended power of dispensing with laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal; that the commission for erecting the late court of commissioners for ecclesiastical causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious.

That levying money for, or to the use of the crown, by pretence of prerogative, without grant of parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal; that it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning, are illegal; that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of parliament, is against law; that the subjects which are protestants may have arms for their defence, suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law; that election of members of parliament ought to be free; that the freedom of speech, and debates or proceedings in parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of parliament; that excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted; that jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freehold. ers; that all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void; and for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening, and preserving of the laws, parliaments ought to be held frequently; and they do claim, demard, and insist upon all and singular the premises, as their undoubted rights and liberties; and that no declarations, judgments, doings, or proceedings, to the prejudice of the people in

any of the said premises, ought in any wise to be drawn hereafter into consequence or example. Sect. 6. All and singular the rights and liberties asserted and claimed in the said declaration are the true, ancient, and indubitable rights and liberties of the people of this kingdom, and so shall be esteemed, allowed, adjudged, and taken to be; and all the particulars aforesaid shall be firmly holden as they are expressed in the said declaration; and all officers shall serve their majesties according to the same in all times to come. Sect. 12. No dispensation by non obstante of any statute shall be allowed, except a dispensation be allowed of in such statute; and except in such cases as shall be especially provided for during session of parliament. Sect. 13. No charter granted before the 23d of October, 1689, shall be invalidated by this act, but shall remain of the same force as if this act had never been made. Lastly, these liberties were again asserted at the commencement of the last century, in the act of settlement, statute 12 and 13 William III. c. 2, whereby the crown was limited to his present majesty's illustrious house; and some new provisions were added at the same fortunate æra, for better securing our religion, laws, and liberties, which the statute declares to be "the birth-right of the people of England;" according to the ancient doctrine of the common law.

Thus much for the declaration of our rights and liberties. The rights themselves, thus defined by these several statutes, consist in a number of private immunities, which will appear, from what has been premised, to be indeed no other than either that residuum of natural liberty, which is not required by the laws of society to be sacrificed to public convenience; or else those civil psivileges which society hath engaged to provide in lieu of the natural liberties so given up by individuals. These, therefore, were formerly, either by inheritance or purchase, the rights of all mankind; but in most other countries of the world, being now more or less debased or destroyed, they at present may be said to remain, in a peculiar and emphatical manner, the rights of the people of England.

These rights may be reduced to three principal or primary articles:

The right of personal security. The right of personal liberty. The right of private property.

The right of personal security consists in a person's legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation. The enjoyment of this right is secured to every subject by the various laws made for the punishment of those injuries, by which it is any way violated; for a particular detail of which, see ASSAULT, HOMICIDE, LIBEL, MAIHEM, NUISANCE, &c.

The words of the great charter, c. 29, are, "Nullus liber homo capiatur, imprisonetur, vel aliquo modo destruatur, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum aut per legem terræ;" No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, or any way de stroyed, unless by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land: which words,

aliquo modo destruatur," according to Coke, include a prohibition not only of killing or maiming, but also of torturing (to which our laws are strangers,) and of every oppression by co. lour of an illegal authority. And it is enacted by stat. 5 Edward III. c. 9, that no man shall be attached by any accusation, nor forejudged of life or limb, nor shall his lands or goods be seized

« PreviousContinue »