followed the disorders of the conquest. The laws of the barbarians were almost entirely silent as to offices. The edict of Theodoric (edictum Theodorici regis) is the only legislative record in which the subject is mentioned. In his efforts to get the Goths to adopt Roman institutions, he adopted the Roman legislation. Just as the emperors of old endeavored to throw on the governors of provinces the cares and troubles of administration, the first conquerors imitated them, by establishing, in the different parts of their newly-acquired regions, their own companions with the titles of dukes and counts, and under the obligation of doing homage to their chief; this was the origin of the feudal system.

In the midst of frightful confusion, and in the absence of any idea of territorial unity, force took the place of law. Proud of their audacity, and strong in their mutual support, these dukes and counts soon made themselves absolute masters of their local governments; surrounded by officers of their own appointment: all soldiers, treasury agents, judges, served their masters first, and it was not until the fifteenth century, that the kings of France secured these important powers, and, even then, the petty magistrates were appointed by the petty lords.

The old mischief of a double set of officers, those appointed by the emperor and those appointed by the lords, was as usual followed by an enormous multiplication of offices. The court of Charlemagne had as many titles of honor as the court of any Roman emperor. By the end of the twelfth century, the offices were distinguished as feudal and territorial. In three centuries after, they were venal or non-venal, and down to the fall of the French monarchy, the increase of both classes was enormous. There were plentiful promises of reform, some efforts to legislate, but no real improvement, and although the States General as early as 1483 had begun to agitate the subject, it was not one of the least of the evils that the National Assembly had to contend with at the outbreak of the Revolution.

The multiplication of offices was due solely to the want of money; direct taxation exhausted, resources of every other sort drained, public discontent past endurance, the creation of

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new offices was invariably a safe resort, and new fools and new funds were found without difficulty or stint, while the only resource for a livelihood in the offices so eagerly and so dearly bought, was in a resale sooner or later.

The purchase and sale of offices may be distinctly traced in the current of French history.

An ordinance of March 19, 1314, expressly enacts :"Quod de cætero pullus serviens noster spatarius vel quicunque alius cnjuscunque conditionis existat, servitium vel officium sibi concessum alii cuicumque locare valeat, quocumque colore quæsito, alias ipso facto, servitium vel officium amittat."

Other ordinances show that although the practice existed, it was covert and illegal, clandestine, and under the risk of severe punishment.

Boniface VIII. refused to canonize Saint Louis because he had farmed out his offices, and particularly, “per id tempus præpositura Parisiensis venalis habebatur,” and even this was corrected.

At all times, however, of this earlier and purer history, there was a wise distinction between the revenue and the judicial officers, and the latter were kept as nearly as possible free from any charge of venality.

The former were soon made hereditary as well as venal, first perpetual under Louis XI., they were sold under Louis XII. and Francis I., and were made hereditary under Henry IV., a right that was well established early in the seventeenth century.

The suggestion of selling offices to pay debts has been attributed to the example of the Venetians, and to that of the ecclesiastical preferments, and the latter seems to be the source whence Louis XII. drew his rules.

The primitive purity of the church was well established in its condemnation of all sales : Superior Ecclesiæ adeo speciem omnem et suspicionem negotiationis in his adversabatur, ut resignationem in favorem certæ personæ etiam nulla pensione, nullo jure retento execraretur, impietatis quæ simoniæ damnaret.

The popes, however, in their capacity as head of the church, took away the right of election, and, finally, havin: got possession of the ecclesiastical preferments, sold them, promised those yet to fall in, and gave even conditional undertakings, gratias ad beneficia vacatura expectativas. By the sixteenth century the trade in church offices was in full vigor, and well established in its regulations both for enforcing and evading the law. Louis XII. was slow to imitate the practice, but the path once opened, his successor, Francis I., opened all his offices to sale, put them up publicly for open competition, and created new ones to supply the demand. His successors followed on the same course, and it was continued down to the very eve of the Revolution.

In spite of the legal distinction kept up in appearance as to the venal and the non-venal offices, in fact there soon ceased to

difference. The one was an open violation of the law, and the other was a legal sanction of a custom that had the

be any

same vice.

It was not, however, until 1583 that the hereditary right to office was established by Henry III. This was under restrictions, that were swept away by IIenry VI., who, under the pressure of debts and of the exhaustion froin the civil wars, adopted a law that secured the hereditary right by levying an annual tax, and the law was enforced by various amendments, down to the Revolution. There was, at the outset, a line of demarcation between ministerial and judicial offices, but even this became vague and uncertain, and was occasionally broken down altogether, in spite of efforts of varying vigor, to preserve the people from that last and worst of miseries, judicial corruption. When the Estates General met at Versailles, on the 5th May, 1789, for the last time, the old ideas had had their day. One of the first acts of the Assembly was in response to the public feeling on this subject. Decided in one day, this reform, after two centuries of agitation, was carried into effect, in spite of the discontent of the parties in interest and the difficulties in the way of such a wholesale reorganization. The principle then laid down, still makes the law in France, although there have been frequent modifications of it in letter.

Twenty-five years later, the monarchy, in 1816, sought to strengthen its finances by again making offices salable, but

under very different conditions from the system before the Revolution.

The revolution of 1789 was social rather than political. The suppression of manorial rights, and of the sale of judicial and municipal offices, enacted in 1789, was followed, a year later, by a uniform judicial system, and this by a regulation of the administrative officers, which has remained in force down almost to our own days. Compensation was provided for those who had bought their offices and were deprived of the right to sell them again. Power was given to each body, the advocates, the clerks, the attorneys, to create its own council of supervision, and the rules laid down for the probation, admission, and government of its members, together with the right to demand a sum of money in hand as security, and forfeited in case of violation of duty, were all enforced by the state. The caution-money thus collected was a useful help to the state, and various changes were made in the rates of interest and in the sums required, just as the necessities of the government were pressing, or the growing profits of the offices, thus taxed, justified it.

In return for the largely.increased burdens put on the offices of notaries, and others of that class, the government of the Restoration legalized the sale by the possessor, as a means of reimbursing from his successor the heavy charges to which he had been put. The sale is, of course, dependent on the government, and that approval is given only to competent persons, and that competency is determined by the “Chamber of Discipline” of the body to which the office belongs.

The learning of the French bar, of the courts, of the treatisewriters, of the Council of State, on the relations growing out of these sales, as well inter vivos as by will, is of infinite variety, and very broad and deep, serving to show how thoroughly imbued French official life is with this system of the sale of offices.

The law acknowledges the right of joint and several ownerships of office in partnership, and puts it on the decision in the Dig. 1. 71, pro socio (l. 17. c. 2), that two grammariang might unite and share the profits of their profession, et quo: ex eo artificio qnæstus fecissent, commune eorum esset, but



the abuses and the irresponsibility of such joint-stock enterprises, have prevented them from being successful in practice, and courts and legislators have interposed to produce this result. In the case of money-brokers, where the cautionmoney is 250,000 francs, and the price of the office sometimes as high as two millions of francs, the practice is still admitted, although unwillingly and under hard rules. The hereditary transmission, not of the office itself, but of the right to name a successor, is acknowledged in the most absolute way by the modern French law, and that on the basis of the Roman maxim, “hereditas nihil aliud est quam successio in universum jus, quod defunctus habuit (Dig. de reg. jur. L. 50.) The rights of the creditors are carefully preserved against the proceeds of the sale of the office, and as carefully prevented from interfering with the personal right of the heirs of the decedent to nominate a successor, and that again is different in cases of intestacy and of testamentary provisions.

The fact is, however, to be kept prominent, that offices were always declared to be only a delegated portion of public power, requiring for their exercise, on the part of the person appointed, whether it be by birth or by gift, the choice and approval of the sovereign, or his representative. The chief officer of the state, be he emperor or king, president or consul, knows no other law on the subject than public interests; and if they require it, old offices may be abolished, or new ones created, with no limit other than that of caring for vested rights.

The dealings of the old and new officers in the sale or transmission of office, its price, the mode of securing it, the rights of wife, or children, or creditors, to any share in the purchaseinoney, are all kept separate and apart. The courts may often have to deal with them, the government never does. These preliminaries once settled and adjusted, the nomination goes from the lower to the higher officers, by a regulated succession, and must be accompanied by proper approvals and indorsements, on its passage up, and on its way down again.

The right of removal, arbitrarily, without cause given, without redress, and without compensation of any kind, has been carefully established; and, rarely as it is used, it is ac

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