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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

distribution of public honors, and for faults in respect to
the preservation and augmentation of the state's dominion.
Under the first count he says that they corrupted justice by
recommending their friends to be magistrates and judges.
What they did not do directly their friends did. When they
were silent, their friends guessed at their will. Especially
Lorenzo erred in this respect, by filling the bag in the selec-
tion of commercial judges with the names of his dependents.*
Criminal justice, he adds, was far more tampered with in or-
der to screen the friends of the government. The crimes of
men of influence were not complained of, for there was little
hope of justice. The distribution of public honors was
shameful, for unworthy ends, to unworthy persons ; and ar-
bitrary imposts on the enemies of the Medicean house were
made the means of oppression. Moreover, by means of the
balia a great part of the citizens were excluded from office by
law, together with their sons and descendants in perpetuity.
Public affairs were managed in the interests of the house and
not for the benefit of the city.
The liberty of Florence after the expulsion of the Medici in
1494 was short-lived. The main feature of the new constitu-
tion was a great council of from eight hundred to one
thousand, copied after the government of Venice, composed
of persons at least twenty-nine years old, whose ancestors or
they themselves had filled one of the three higher offices.
The priors and gonfaloniere with their collegi continued, A
senate of a much smaller number was added, holding office for
six months. To the great council pertained the elections and
legislation. For holding office, names were proposed in the
council, and if accepted by a majority they became eligible.
Such was, in its outlines, the constitution approved by Savon-
arola, and it continued after his death in substance until Piero
*The six di mercatanzia, an old commercial court, to be traced
back to a time earlier than 1307. These with a foreigner and two
members of Ae greater guilds drawn by lot from the bags, constituted
me ncorsi, a court of appeals, apparently, in commercial cases,
is note, Gmcciard., op. ined., ii., 37,