only, that the bailiff had been guilty of 
an act of injustice, the sovereign himself might 
not always be unwilling to punish him, or to 
oblige him to repair the wrong. But if it 
was for the benefit of his sovereign; if it was 
in order to make court to the person who appointed 
him, and who might prefer him, that 
he had committed any act of oppression; redress 
would, upon most occasions be as impossible 
as if the sovereign had committed it 
himself. In all barbarous governments, accordingly, 
in all those ancient governments of 
Europe in particular, which were founded 
upon the ruins of the Roman empire, the administration 
of justice appears for a long time 
to have been extremely corrupt; far from being 
quite equal and impartial, even under the 
best monarchs, and altogether profligate under 
the worst. 
Among nations of shepherds, where the sovereign 
or chief is only the greatest shepherd 
or herdsman of the horde or clan, he is maintained 
in the same manner as any of his vassals 
or subjects, by the increase of his own 
herds or flocks. Among those nations of husbandmen
who are but just come out of the 
shepherd state, and who are not much advanced 
beyond that state, such as the Greek 
tribes appear to have been about the time of 
the Trojan war, and our German and Scythian 
ancestors, when they first settled upon the 
ruins of the western empire; the sovereign 
or chief is, in the same manner, only the 
greatest landlord of the country, and is maintained 
in the same manner as any other landlord, 
by a revenue derived from his own private 
estate, or from what, in modern Europe
was called the demesne of the crown. His 
subjects, upon ordinary occasions, contribute 
nothing to his support, except when, in order 
to protect them from the oppression of some 
of their fellow-subjects, they stand in need of 
his authority. The presents which they make 
him upon such occasions constitute the whole 
ordinary revenue, the whole of the emoluments 
which, except, perhaps, upon some very 
extraordinary emergencies, he derives from 
his dominion over them. When Agamemnon
in Homer, offers to Achilles, for his friendship
the sovereignty of seven Greek cities, the sole 
advantage which he mentions as likely to be 
derived from it was, that the people would 
honour him with presents. As long as such 
presents, as long as the emoluments of justice
or what may be called the fees of court
constituted, in this manner, the whole ordinary 
revenue which the sovereign derived from 
his sovereignty, it could not well be expected
it could not even decently be proposed, that 
he should give them up altogether. It might, 
and it frequently was proposed, that he should 
regulate and ascertain then. But after they 
had been so regulated and ascertained, how 
to hinder a person who was all-powerful from 
extending them beyond those regulations, was 
still very difficult, not to say impossible. During 
the continuance of this state of things
therefore, the corruption of justice, naturally 
resulting from the arbitrary and uncertain nature 
of those presents, scarce admitted of any 
effectual remedy
But when, from different causes, chiefly 
from the continually increasing expense of 
defending the nation against the invasion of 
other nations, the private estate of the sovereign 
had become altogether insufficient for 
defraying the expense of the sovereignty
and when it had become necessary that the 
people should, for their own security, contribute 
towards this expense by taxes of different 
kinds; it seems to have been very 
commonly stipulated, that no present for the 
administration of justice should, under any 
pretence, be accepted either by the sovereign
or by his bailiffs and substitutes, the judges
Those presents, it seems to have been supposed, 
could more easily be abolished altogether
than effectually regulated and ascertained
Fixed salaries were appointed to the judges
which were supposed to compensate to them 
the loss of whatever might have been their 
share of the ancient emoluments of justice
as the taxes more than compensated to the 
sovereign the loss of his. Justice was then 
said to be administered gratis
Justice, however, never was in reality administered 
gratis in any country. Lawyers 
and attorneys, at least, must always be paid 
by the parties; and if they were not, they 
would perform their duty still worse than 
they actually perform it. The fees annually 
paid to lawyers and attorneys, amount, in 
every court, to a much greater sum than the 
salaries of the judges. The circumstance of 
those salaries being paid by the crown, can 
nowhere much diminish the necessary expense 
of a law-suit. But it was not so much to 
diminish the expense, as to prevent the corruption 
of justice, that the judges were prohibited 
from receiving any present or fee from 
the parties
The office of judge is in itself so very honourable
that men are willing to accept of it, 
though accompanied with very small emoluments
The inferior office of justice of 
peace, though attended with a good deal of 
trouble, and in most cases with no emoluments 
at all, is an object of ambition to the 
greater part of our country gentlemen. The 
salaries of all the different judges, high and 
low, together with the whole expense of the 
administration and execution of justice, even 
where it is not managed with very good 
economy, makes, in any civilized country
but a very inconsiderable part of the whole 
expense of government
The whole expense of justice, too, might 
easily be defrayed by the fees of court; and, 
without exposing the administration of justice 
to any real hazard of corruption, the public