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ECLIPSES IN 1865.
There will be four eclipses this year, two of the sun and two of the moon.
I. A partial eclipse of the moon, April 10th, visible. Begins at New York at 10h. 49m. in the evening, and ends at 35 minutes past midnight. Size, onefifth of the moon's diameter.
II. A total eclipse of the sun, April 25th, invisible in North America.
III. A partial eclipse of the moon, October 4th, in the evening, visible. Beginning at New York at 5h. 44m., and ends at 6h. 45m. Size one-third of diameter. The moon will rise eclipsed partially.
IV. An annular eclipse of the sun, October 19th, in the morning, visible as a partial eclipse throughout North America; invisible in California and Oregon. At New York it begins at 8h. 56m., and ends at 12m. past 12. Size 7% digits, or about two-thirds of the sun's diameter.
RATES OF POSTAGE.
All transient matters must be prepaid by stamps.
No package will be forwarded which weighs over four pounds, except books published cr circulated by order of Congress.
Valuable letters may be registered by application at the office of mailing, and the payment of a registration fee of 20 cents.
On all letters, 3 cents for each 1⁄2 ounce, or fraction thereof.
Drop or local letters, 2 cents for each 1⁄2 ounce or fraction thereof; no carrier's fee for delivery.
Printed Books, in one package, to one address, 4 cents for each four ounces or fraction thereof.
Circulars, unsealed, not exceeding three in number, to one address, 2 cents; the same rate for every three or less number additional.
On all transient newspaper or other printed matter, (books and circulars excepted,) and on all seeds, cuttings, &c., pamphlets, book MSS., and proofsheets, maps, engravings, blanks, patterns, envelopes and photographs, contained in one package, to one address, 2 cents for each 4 ounces or fraction thereof.
On all matter not above specified, same rate as letters.
On letters to Canada, 10 cents per half ounce, and to other British North American Provinces, when not over 3,000 miles. 10 cents for each 1⁄2 ounce. When over 3,000 miles, 15 cents. Prepayment optional except to Newfoundland.
To Great Britain or Ireland, 24 cents. Prepayment optional.
To France, 15 cents for each ounce. Prepayment optional.
To the German States, by Prussian closed mail, prepaid, 28 cents; unpaid,
Letters to other Foreign Countries vary in rate according to the route by which they are sent, and the proper information can be obtained of any Postmaster in the United States.
BY THOMAS JEFFERSON.
IMPORTANCE OF RULES.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ADHERING TO RULES.
MR. ONSLOW, the ablest among the Speakers of the House of Commons, used to say, "It was a maxim he had often heard when he was a young man, from old and experienced members, that nothing tended more to throw power into the hands of Administration, and those who acted with the majority in the House of Commons, than a neglect of, or a departure from, the rules of proceeding; that these forms, as instituted by our ancestors, operated as a check and control on the actions of the majority; and that they were, in many instances, a shelter and protection to the minority, against the attempts of power.
So far the maxim is certainly true, and is founded in good sense, that as it is always in the power of the majority, by their numbers, to stop any improper measure proposed on the part of their opponents, the only weapon by which the minority can defend themselves against similar attempts from those in power, are the forms and rules of proceeding, which have been adopted as they were found necessary from time to time, and become the law of the House; by a strict adherence to which, the weaker party can only be protected from those irregularities and abuses, which these forms were intended to check, and which the wantonness of power is but too often apt to suggest to large and successful majorities.-2 Hats., 171, 172.
And whether these forms be in all cases the most rational or not, is really not of so great importance. It is much more material that there should be a rule to go by, than what that rule is: that there may be a uniformity of proceeding in business, not subject to the
caprice of the Speaker, or captiousness of the members. It is very material that order, decency and regularity be preserved in a dignified public body.—2 Hats., 149.
All legislative powers herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 1.
The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. Const. U. S., Art 1, Sec. 6.
For the powers of Congress, see the following Articles and Sections of the Constitution of the United States :-Art. I., Sec. 4, 7, 8, 9.-Art. II., Sec. 1, 2. -Art. III., Sec. 3.-Art. IV., Sec. 1, 3, 5—And all the Amendments.
The privileges of the members of Parliament, from small and obscure beginnings, have been advancing for centuries with a firm and never-yielding pace. Claims seem to have been brought forward from time to time, and repeated till some example of their admission enabled them to build law on that example. We can only, therefore, state the point of progression at which they now are. It is now acknowledged: 1st, That they are at all times exempted from question elsewhere, for anything said in their own House; that during the time of privilege; 2d, Neither a member himself, his wife, or his servants, [familiares sui,] for any matter of their own, may be* arrested on mesne process, in any civil suit; 3d, Nor be detained under execution, though levied before the time of privilege; 4th, Nor impleaded, cited or subponed in any court; 5th, Nor summoned as a witness or juror; 6th, Nor may their lands or goods be distrained; 7th, Nor their persons assaulted, or characters traduced. And the period of time, covered by privilege, before and after the session, with the practice of short prorogations under the connivance of the Crown, amounts, in fact, to a perpetual protection against the course of justice. In one instance, indeed it has been relaxed by 10 G. 3, c. 50, which permits judiciary proceedings to go on against them. That these privileges must be continually progressive, seems to result from their rejecting all definition of them, the doctrine being, that "their dignity and independence are preserved by keeping their privileges indefinite" and that "the maxims upon which they proceed, together with the method of proceeding, rest entirely in their own breast; and are not defined and ascertained by any particular stated law."1 Blackstone, 163, 164.
It was probably from this view of the encroaching character of privilege, that the framers of our Constitution, in their care to provide that the laws shall bind equally on all, and especially that those who make them shall not exempt themselves from their operation, have only privileged "Senators and
*Elsynge, 217-Hats, 31-1 Grey's Deb. 133. †Order of the House of Commons, 1663, July 10.
Representatives" themselves from the single act of " arrest in all cases except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, during their attendance at the sessions of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same, and from being questioned in any other place for any speech or debate in either House."-Const. U. S., Art. I., Sec. 6. Under the general authority" to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers given them," Const. U. S., Art. II., Sec. 8, they may provide by law the details which may be necessary for giving full effect to the enjoyment of this privilege. No such law being as yet made it seems to stand at the present on the following ground: 1. The act of arrest is void ab initio, 2 Stra., 989. 2. The member arrested may be discharged on motion, 1 Bl. 166, 2 Stra 990; or by Habeas Corpus under the Federal or State authority, as the case may be; or a writ of privilege out of the Chancery, 2 Stra. 989, in those States which have adopted that part of the laws of England.-Orders of the House of Com. 1550, Feb. 20. 3. The arrest, being unlawful, is a trespass, for which the officer and others concerned are liable to action or indictment in the ordinary courts of justice, as in other cases of unauthorized arrests. 4. The court before which the process is returnable, is bound to act as in other cases of unauthorized proceeding, and liable, also, as in other similar cases, to have their proceedings stayed or corrected by the superior courts.
The time necessary for going to and returning from Congress not being defined, it will, of course, be judged of in every particular case by those who will have to decide the case.
While privilege was understood in England to extend, as it does here, only to exemption from arrest, eundo, morando et re deuudo, the House of Commons themselves, decided that "a convenient time was to be understood."-1580-1 Hats., 99, 100. Nor is the law so strict in point of time as to require the party to set out immediately on his return, but allows him time to settle his private affairs and to prepare for his journey; and does not even scan his road very nicely, nor forfeit his protection for a little deviation from that which is most direct; some necessity perhaps constraining him to it.—2 Stra., 986, 987.
This privilege from arrest, privileges of course against all process, the disobedience to which is punishable by an attachment of the person; as a subpoena ad respondendum, or, testificandum, or a summons on a jury; and with reason, because a member has superior duty to perform in another place.
When a representative is withdrawn from his seat by summons, the 47,700 people whom he represents, lose their voice in debate and vote, as they do in his voluntary absence; when a senator is withdrawn by summons, his State loses half its voice in debate and vote, as it does in his voluntary absence. The enormous disparity of evil admits no comparison.
So far there will probably be no difference of opinion as to the privileges of the two Houses of Congress; but in the following cases it is otherwise: In Dec., 1795, the House of Representatives committed two persons of the names of Randall and Whitney, for attempting to corrupt the integrity of certain members, which they considered as a contempt and breach of the privileges of the House; and the facts being proved, Whitney was detained in confinement a fortnight, and Randall three weeks, and was reprimanded by the Speaker. In March, 1796, the House of Representatives voted a challenge given to a member of their House, to be a breach of the privileges of the House; but satisfactory apologies and acknowledgments being made, no further proceedings were had. The editor of the Aurora, having, in his paper of Feb. 19, 1800, inserted some paragraph defamatory to the Senate, and failed in his appearance, he was ordered to be committed. In debating the legality of this order, it was insisted in support of it, that every man, by the law of nature, and every body of men, possesses the right of self defence; that all public functionaries are essentially invested with the powers of self-preservation; that they have an inherent right to do all acts necessary to keep them