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some system for revising the enormous amount of accumulated decisions, so as to check the uncertainty and confusion they introduce into the law." The learned Chancellor expends at least threefourths of his time and force against the decisions of the Courts, just as if they could have been avoided or might have been better. The speech is, in that respect, a most remarkable document, such an one as we might expect rather from an American legislator just escaped from college or the law schools, from one just putting on the harness, rather than from one, who, like Sr. LEONARDS or LYNDHURST, or any other in the position of Lord Chancellor of England, had worn it with distinguished honor for half a century, and who was then ready to put it off. The speech of the Lord Chancellor was certainly ingenious and labored; but it contained a very large proportion of exaggeration and hyperbole, not to say caricature, in regard to the evils of the uncertainty in the English law. And if we had not become accustomed to think and speak with some degree of reverence of any one who had presided in the English House of Lords, we should say that the speech was anything but satisfactory to our own mind. It was filled with claptrap and small game, antithesis and evasion, which would have done no discredit to a Westminster Reviewer, and was at the same time evidently drawn up with a view to serve a purpose; to show either his own superabundant wisdom, (which may be generally assumed, upon such difficult questions, to be nothing less than conceit), or else, to bring in doubt the learning and experience of the long list of his predecessors upon the English bench, which is scarcely less than arrogant presumption, in any one man, be he high or low, Lord Chancellor or not.

His Lordship, in moving the second reading of the bill, appealed to the House to take the matter of statute revision wholly upon trust, and grant him a commission without examination, which was done at once, by passing the bill to be enacted the 7th of July. We could not better give expression to our own feelings in regard to the puerility and shallowness of his Lordship's views of reducing the entire body of the unwritten common law of England to absolute simplicity and certainty, by means of his own personal efforts and the aid of a committee of counsellors, than by quoting the language of Lord St. LEONARDS on the occasion of the second reading of the bill. His lordship said, “ that as to revising the decisions of the judges, so reported, the scheme was impracticable. The judges took great pains to give at length the grounds and reasons for the judgments which they pronounced, so as to satisfy all men that their judgment was mature, that it was founded upon authority, and that it was justified by principle. Any set of men who were competent to revise those judgments, to correct that which was mistaken, and to reconcile that which was conflicting, would be worthy of seats in their Lordships' House. But he was inclined to think that to embody their mere opinions in an act of Parliament would not be a satisfactory way to deal with the carefully prepared judgments of the judges ; and that it would be better to leave the task of revision to the Exchequer Chamber, and to the appellate jurisdiction of their Lordships' House. As he was one who objected to a code, it was satisfactory to know that there were so many difficulties in the way, that they were not likely to have it.”

The proposition of the Lord Chancellor in regard to revising the common law, and reducing it to the uniformity of a code, by the aid of a commission, occupied the largest portion of his Lordship’s speech, on introducing his bill for the revision of the statute law, and, in justice to the learned author, we ought, perhaps, in all fairness, to give its outline and scope. After spending more than one long hour in stating in the most offensive and gull-catching air, the many conflicting decisions to be found in the last three hundred years, and the very great difficulty which besets a suitor and his counsel in determining precisely when and how one of these lame cases will meet its quietus, and whether it will really be overruled before his case will be controlled by it, his Lordship launches out into an extensive quotation of the very words of many of the most eminent of the English bench, in different courts, and at different periods, in favor of the following of precedents; and next presents a most melancholy array of evil and devastating consequences, resulting from the overruling of decisions after men had acted upon the

faith of their validity and continuance. All which has been done a thousand times before.

His Lordship then gives a synopsis of the remedy which he proposes, at some future time, to apply to heal all the infirmities of the English law, and especially its uncertainty. The process is a very simple one, easily described, but, in the language of Lord ST. LEONARDS, in its very nature “impracticable.” “ The first thing to be done with these reports," says the learned Chancellor, “is to revise and to expurgate them; to weed” (a favorite phrase) “them of decisions that are in contradiction with one another; when there are opposing decisions to settle those which ought to remain," (something of a task ;) “to cleanse out and to get rid of all matters that are not warranted by the present state of the law,” (which nothing short of inspiration and prophecy could hope to accomplish ;) " and to divide the reports into three classes,” (the most easy of accomplishment of any portion of his Lordship’s self-imposed task ;) which being stated, the results are thus enumerated: “As to the old reports, I propose that we should preserve the conclusions properly come to; that in the second period we should weed the reports of what is useless, and retain only those cases which are fit to be used as precedents; and to perform a similar work in respect to cases of the present time. The result will be a body of recorded precedents brought into a moderate compass, and occupying, we may estimate, but a tenth of the bulk of the present reports. The law thus purified and refined,” &c. This is certainly a most expeditious and commendable process of elimination of all the disturbing elements in the law, and a short process for the production of the pure residuum of the very quintessence of justice and certainty; which we very often find laymen ready to accept as a problem of easy accomplishment; and the non-accomplishment of which is not seldom attributed by them to the perverseness and interested motives of the legal profession, who fear thereby the loss of their emoluments, much in the same childlike way in which many arrive at the conclusion that half the counsel who argue any cause upon the opposite sides, must necessarily act in bad faith, since they must of

necessity have understood beforehand how the cause would be determined.

But we had never expected one who sat upon the woolsack in the House of Lords to propose so elementary an analysis of the law, nor so perfect an elimination of all its disturbing elements. If, indeed, the thing were practicable to the degree proposed by his Lordship, we should arrive at that degree of certainty in the law where it might involve a question of casuistry not easy of determination, whether any well-informed counsellor could ever thereafter appear to advocate more than the right side of any cause, which he must be supposed to understand with perfect infallibility. If there was any danger of his Lordship's success in his own modest purpose, we should not be much surprised at hearing a loud remonstrance from the profession, not overmuch worked at present.

But we suspect that the world will go on much as it has done for the last two hundred years, and decisions will continue to accumulate, and uncertainties still remain, and more continue to be caused than cured by legislative digests of the unwritten law of the land. We feel very sure that no written law ever cured one uncertainty without producing from two to ten in its place. All we can say to men who think as Lord WESTBURY does, let them try it. This will cure them. Nothing else can.

I. F. R.


Supreme Court of Connecticut.


Where a mortgage is given to secure future advances or liabilities, and the mortga

gee has definitely agreed to make such advances or to assume such liabilities, the mortgage when recorded is a valid and fixed security, not affected by a subsequent mortgage of the same property, though the advances may be made or the

liabilities assumed after the record of such later mortgage. Where, however, it is optional with the mortgagee to make the advances or not,

and he has actual notice of a later mortgage upon the same property for an existing debt or liability, such later mortgage will take precedence of the prior

one as to all advances made after notice of such later mortgage. s Whether the record of the later mortgage would not be sufficient notice to the prior

mortgagee ; and whether a mortgage to secure future advances, to be made or not at the option of the mortgagee, should not stand in all respects as if it was

executed at the time the advances are in fact made : Quere. 4 나 And it makes no difference that such later mortgage is given to secure future ad

vances to be made or not at the option of the mortgagee, so lon as the advances under it are actually made before the advances under the prior mortgage over

which they claim precedence. [BUTLER, J., dissenting.] 5 A knowledge of the existence of the later mortgage is enough to affect the prior

mortgagee, as to his future advances, even though he be not notified of the ad

vances actually made under the later mortgage. In a suit for a foreclosure brought by the prior mortgagee, against the mortgagor

and subsequent mortgagees, the bill alleged that the petitioner indorsed a note of a certain date and amount for the mortgagor, under the mortgage, but contained no allegation that the note was a renewal of a former one. Held, that evidence to prove the note to have been given in renewal of a former note was

inadmissible. Where a mortgage has been given to indemnify an accommodation indorser of a

note, and the note at maturity is not paid, but renewed, with a renewal of the indorsement, the security applies to the renewal note in the same manner as to the original one. So long as the renewal note is not paid the indorser is not indemnified for his original indorsement.

Bill for a foreclosure. The case was referred to a committee, by whom the following facts were found.

The mortgage of the petitioner was executed on the 24th day of August, 1855, by George Goodwin and others, constituting the firm of Goodwin & Co., and was given to secure the following bond of that date, executed by them :

“ Know all men by these presents, that we, George Goodwin, of East Hartford, and Charles Goodwin, Henry Goodwin, and Edward Goodwin, of Hartford, all of the county of Hartford, are held and firmly bound unto Charles Boswell, of said Hartford, in the penal sum of ten thousand dollars, to be paid to the said Boswell, his heirs, executors, or administrators; for which payment we hereby bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, and administrators, firmly by these presents. The condition of which obligation is such, that whereas the said Charles Boswell has agreed, from time to time as circumstances may require, to indorse the notes of Goodwin & Co., and notes held by them, should they desire it, to an amount not exceeding at any one time, outstanding, the sum of six

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