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The existing laws are excellent, gentlemen of the jury; but the law just read has defined them, if I may so put it, and given them new authority. It ordains that every statute shall be operative as from the date of enactment, unless any date is appended, and, in that case, that the specified date shall mark the beginning of its operation. The reason is that a clause had been appended to many statutes, to the effect that “this law shall be in force from the time of the next ensuing archon.” But the man who, to confirm such statutes, proposed the statute that has just been read, did not, in drafting his law at a later date, think it right to carry back to their dates of enactment those laws whose operation had been deferred to a date later than their enactment, and so make them operative earlier than their several authors intended.

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