DEPARTMENTS OF GOVERNMENT IN A STATE. 287' of the two plans against one another. Our system of bring- ino- the president into communication with the national legis- lature by messages, and of not representing him there by the presence and voices of the heads of departments, has serious evils attending it, among which, the fact is not the least, that it is possible for a feeble man to hold his place in the cabinet, while confined to his official duties, when he would sink into disrepute if not able to stand the brunt of opposition in defending his measures before congress. But the plan of having two kinds of ministers—some, members of the official body and champions for their colleagues, others, men of rank, chosen by the legislature and holding office for a time with- out close connection with the reigning party, seems to be still worse. How could there be unity in a cabinet under such a system ? Would it not take away from the chief executive officer a part of his necessary influence ? An author who ad- vocates this gives as instances of the permanent part of the ministry the chiefs in the departments of war, public instruc- tion and public works. The first of these seems to be emi- nently a cabinet or party officer, and he is one who, if not with the administration, might do serious harm if he disap- proved of a war which they favored.* In the ancient city-states the assembled people in the law- Legislative de- frl ranting kept the law-making power in their paranent. own hancis> ancj yet sometimes wisely put limi- tations upon their capacity of proceeding to the act of legis- lation without preparatory advice. Thus at Athens a pro- bouleuma of the senate of five hundred was necessary before an act relating to something special—a psephisma—could be passed ; and if a law (a nomos] were to be altered, or a new one introduced, it was necessary, and indeed was one of the « *See Laveleye's essay before cited, chap, xxxvi. It is quite possi- ble to take away much of the 'patronage of the government, which Laveleye justly regards as dangerous, without doing what might bring anarchy into it. For instance, if public instruction must be superin- tended by government functionaries, might not every municipality or school district elect its own committee for local purposes ?