« PreviousContinue »
of the old newspaper obituary, which rep- the waters of the bay, all wore the same unsullied | in spite, as it were, of our prepossessions. resents him to have been extravagant in vestment, while each tree was tufted with the win. With all the faults which we bave pointed the early part of his life. Next to these, ury foliage, which wreathed the smallest spray, and out, we consider the work as one of much the characters of Ashly and Calvert, are, beneath the feathery burthen.
merit, and have perused it, as we think perhaps, the best executed; and we really
But, even while gazing, the glittering pageant many of our readers will do, with inthought the first too respectable to be coup- faded from the eye ; the warm beams of the rising terest. It will rival neither the works of led up with Miss Spindle; but let that pass, sun spread, like a blush, over the stainless surface; the Great Unknown, nor those of our inas it was necessary to dispose of him, and and yielding to their influence, the delicate frost- genious countryman, the author of “The no better way occurs to us at present. We work melted from tree, shrub, and vine, and de- | Pilot;” but it is superior to many in the
scended in broken masses to the ground. As nawould observe in general, that the dramatis ture threw off the fantastic dress she had assumed, same walk, that have enjoyed a good depersonæ are too numerous, and that the au- Atherton was powerfully struck by the grandeur of gree of the favor of the public. thor has weakened his power by dividing it. her form, and the endless variety of lineament We shall conclude by recommending to A little more regard to the unities of space which characterizes her, in a land where the mag: the author in his next book, for we take it and time, would have rendered his task nificent and dhe beautiful care blended, with such for granted, that this is, according to the easier, and the effect would have been passing through the narrow channel, which forms fashion of the day, but the first of a series, more pleasing. Akin to this objection is the entrance of the harbour, and then expands into to trust more to his powers of invention and another, which occurs to us, on the subject a deep and capacious basin; on the left, the Blue description, and less to the records of the of the use of his materials, of which he has Hills were still visible, forming a part of the lofty time; and following the precept and examnot been sufficiently economical, —employ- range, which rises gradually from the shores of the ple of his great prototype, to draw from ing in the composition of two volumes, as broken at intervals into deep ravines
and extensive history and tradition nothing but the hard much as, with good management. would vallies, then almost in the untutored wildness of and dry outlines of his subject, which are bave made a dozen. He has committed, in nature ;--where many a silver stream rolled its fer. to be tilled up and embellished with a warm this particular, the same error which Swift tilizing waves, unmarked by any eye save that of and bright colouring from that nature, charged upon Steele, when he borrowed an the Indian hunter, and unimproved, but by the in- which is the same now that it was two hunidea : roin the Dean, which he was reserving dustrious beaver, who erected his ingenious habita- dred years ago. for a volume, and used it up, if the phrase
Major Atherton gazed with unwearied pleasure may be permitted, in a single Spectator. on the boundless prospect; lovely and majestic in
There are some criticisins, of minor im- its outlines, though the freshness and bloom of sum- Seventeen Discourses on Several Texts of portance, which occurred to us during the mer were wanting to complete its attractions, and Scripture ; addressed to Christian Assemperusal of these volumes. Thus, Sauguish clothe with verdure the undulating forests and fruit
blies, in Villages near Cambridge; to is here given as the name of an island, which of Dorchester, then unknown to fame : more disful plains. Near him were the commanding heights
which are added Six Morning Exercises. we have been accustomed to call Saguish; tant, the wood-crowned eminence of Noonantum,
By Robert Robinson. First American and we have also supposed that Governor where, soon after, commenced the missionary la
Edition. With a Life of the Author. Winslow resided at his farm of Careswell, bours of the American Apostle, the devoted Elliot, Boston. 1824. 12mo. pp. 434. prior to the date of this work, which rep. the forest, and instructed them in the duties or reliMe Robinson was born in Norfolk County, resents him as residing in Plymouth. An- gion, and the arts of civilization : nearer, again, in England, in 1735. His father was a achronisms are lawful to poets and novelists, arose the memorable summit of Bunker Hill, where Scotchman, and an exciseman; and nothing but we noticed this because the author the first laurels were plucked to garland the brow of more is said of him, than that “his humble seems careful to avoid them. We are not liberty; while far in the northern horizon, like sphere in life received no dignity from his certain, however, f our own judgment, in floating clouds, were visible the stupendous moun
understanding, and no brightness from his either of these particulars, and possibly he of New Hampshire. Traces of cultivation were virtues.” Robert was the youngest of three may be correct in both. Again, there is apparent within this extensive range ; and that children ; his father died when he was six some obscurity in the account of the mo- spirit of enterprise, which marked the early settlers years old, and left his family destitute. But tions of the various parties, on the occasion of New England, and has never deserted their de. the young pupil had made so favourable an when Miriam is saved from drowning by scendants, was already observable in the rapid im- impression upon his teacher, the Rev. JoAtherton. We do not understand how the in many places
, the axe of the adventurer had fell- seph Brett, and so highly did this gentlelatter reached the Gurnet in go short a time, ed the trees of the wilderness ; and in their stead, man respect the motives which induced Mrs nor where Mr Woodman's house was situ- / appeared at intervals, the clustering tenements, the Robinson almost to exhaust her resources in ated. The description does not seem to us inud-walled church, and wooden palisade, denoting efforts to maintain her son at school, that he to agree with our recollections of the vari- the foundation of a town, or village, most of which offered to instruct him without compensaous localities; but it is long since we be- have since risen into wealth and importance.
tion. This kind offer was, of course, acheld them, and we have no map at hand of The style of the work is generally easy cepted, and Robert remained at school until a size sufficient to satisfy us concerning and pleasing. We noticed but two offences he was fourteen; and, in the mean time, he these particulars.
against good English; one was on page 106 had learned the French and Latin lanMuch of the conversation is spirited and of the first volume, where Atherton asks guages, and made great proficiency in most agreeable; some of it, again, is much too where Capt. Standish was located, &c.; the of the studies commonly pursued at such inlong, and wanting in point. The descrip: other on page 11 of the second, where a po- stitutions. But his mother at length found, tions of scenery are often so well executed sition is mentioned, as one that is now that unconquerable difficulties must prevent and graphic, that we only regret that they " improved as an important naval depot.". his success as a scholar, and she at once do not occur more frequently. We extract In concluding our remarks upon this pub- abandoned every hope of the kind, and the following as a good specimen.
lication, it occurs to us that its author, and sought only to shield her child from want, As soon as Atherton awoke in the morning, he our readers generally, may think that we by preparing him to earn a living in some hastened on deck, to note the progress they had have hardly redeemed the pledge which we useful calling; and he was soon apprenticed made; and with delighted surprise, found the ves- I gave at the commencement of them, to re- to a London barber. For some time he lasel just entering the harbour of Boston. So novel view it in the spirit of favor-having em- boured in bis vocation diligently; but his and beautiful was the scene presented to his view, ployed much more time .in marking its de. love of reading returned, and he improved not suddenly transported to the regions of fairy- fects than its beauties. But, though we every opportunity of indulging this ruling land.
admit that we may not have been able to passion, which he could find or make. His A slight fall of snow, which descended during the resist the temptalion to find fault, so en character had always indicated a regard for night, had invested the earth with its fleecy cover tirely as we hoped ; yet, as we fairly stated religion, and at this time he exhibited zling white, finely contrasted to the brilliant azure the expectations which were likely to influ- something of religious enthusiasm. He gradof the cloudless sky, and the deep green of the ence us, what we have said in its praise ually attached himself to the Methodists, ocean waves. The numerous islands, which gem lought to be the more valuable, as it is given land was in habits of intimacy with White fate of his religion, and his strong bias in rated description of it, or, at least, to dwell before he visited the scenes described; for favor of every thing that is Roman Catho- on it with an undue degree of fondness. A he has shown a remarkable insensibility to lic. He even entertains bopes of the suc- little travel is as dangerous as a little learn- their most striking and interesting characcess of the impossible project of uniting the ing; and a deeper draught of it is as effica- teristics. We know how soon the newEnglish and Roman churches. Very many cious in sobering down the intoxication of ness of travelling wears away, and the exof his publications have related to these the first taste. If Mr Irving had seen citement of the imagination gives place to subjects; and his interest in the Catholic France, Italy, and Switzerland, before writ- weariness and almost to disgust. Besides, question appears to have carried him so ing about England, there would not have what is it gives fervor to the fancy, and infrequently to the gallery of the House of appeared in these writings, as we think terest to the observations of a traveller? It Commons.
there now does, a marked inferiority to his is, that he is a stranger and a sojourner; Of the Letter on Ancient and Modern other productions. He would not have that all around him is new and foreign, and Music, it is unnecessary to say any thing ; twaddled about Roscoe and the green fields that he connects all this with the recollecit will be interesting only to the initiat- and Christmas holydays of England, in a tions and feelings of a dear and distant ed; and on this subject even a reviewer style so much below that of the legends and home. But there is nothing of all this in may be permitted to acknowledge profound descriptions of the New Netherlands. We the practised traveller; his observations ignorance,
do not mean that England is not highly are without enthusiasm or association. One worthy of the attention of the traveller in who travels to furnish bis imagination with
search of the interesting and beautiful, materials for its creative powers, should Tales of a Traveller, Parts III. and IV. whether he chooses to observe the scenery travel fast, and not long. He should not
By Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Author of or the people, as well as the country of all stay in any place until the homeliness of re« The Sketch Book," " Bracebridge Hall,” others the most advanced in the arts of life. ality breaks through the poetical mist that « Knickerbocker's New York,” &c. Phil. Perhaps it is only because is so much hangs so beautifully round a strange land, adelphia. 1824. 8vo.
in many points like our own, that it is not, nor continue his wanderings long enough On the whole, we are not satisfied with on the whole, entitled to a decided prefer to familiarize his mind to strangeness. He these Tales. Some of them, indeed, are ence to every other in the eyes of the Amer- should do just the reverse of what might be quite respectable as productions of a light ican traveller. But, whatever be the en- recommended as the best mode of travelkind of literature ; but, 'some how or other,' thusiasm with which the sea-sick stranger ling for information ; for, as soon as he can as Dolph Heyliger says, the public have touches the shore of England, where he finds find his way well about a city, it is time for been led to expect better things as the re- himself for the first time in a foreign land; him to be gone to another; and whenever sult of Mr Irving's travels. It was some- a land of interesting recollections, and un. he begins to collect facts, it is high time for time since announced, that he was on the equalled verdure and beauty-let him ob- him to go home. No doubt, many of our continent, collecting materials for a new serve it well indeed, and treasure up the readers would think such travelling a clear series of publications, and every body ex- feelings it excites, for they can never be waste of time and money; but all have not pected to be delighted with such tales as excited again; but let him restrain the ex- the same tastes, nor the same paths of life; he could pick up, or invent, among scenes pression of his enthusiasm until he has and what would be idleness and trifling in of which every traveller reports new won- passed on to still stranger lands, where the some, is solid improvement to others. If ders, and which seem to increase in inter- modes of life seem to have had a distinct imagination was not given us in vain, we est by the lapse of every year. We do not origin, whose antiquities are of a higher have as good a right to devote ourselves to charge Mr Irving with having spread this class, and where, above all, a foreign lan- the cultivation of that faculty as of any expectation; for we are sure that he must guage throws a new hue over the whole other; and the feelings and images brought have been annoyed by being thus forestall- picture of man, and gives a new character from Europe by one traveller, may be as ed by the imaginations of his readers, and to all his thoughts and feelings. He will valuable, at least to himself, as the facts prevented from coming out before them know better how to speak of England accumulated by another. with the advantage of surprise. He knows without insensibility, and yet without ex- We have said that Mr Irving appears that his name is established, at least for the travagance. He will then remember, to be insensible to the interesting characpresent, and that he needs not the aid of perhaps as vividly as ever, the delight teristics of the countries through which he such annunciations to excite the public in- with which he first trod her shores; and has passed. We mean to apply the remark terest. And he must know too, that it is will often, at least if he saw it under as fa- particularly to Italy; for we confess we prejudicial to a popular author to have it vorable circumstances as we did, recur to should be at a loss to point out many good known what he is about long before he ap- it as to a fairy tale of his childhood. But subjects for him in France; and sbould be pears in print; unless, like the author of he will not find that his deepest or most unwilling to see him deeply interested in so Waverley, he can open to his readers a deep- valuable impressions were made there; he unpoetical a people as the French. But here er source of interest by combining the value will find that he has learned more of man is a whole Number about Italy, the land of of history with the pleasure of fiction. and his own heart, in countries where the all that is most noble in art, most magnifi
Nor would we be understood to suppose strangeness of manners and language has cent in ruins, most sublime and interesting that these tales are really the principal kept him at a little distance from the scenes in history, and most picturesque in scenery, fruits of Mr Irving's travels, or that to col- he surveyed; and that his comparative and in the modes of actual life. And what lect materials for them was his main object. lonelines there will have fixed deeper in his has Mr Irving given us of all these ? A We have no doubt that he had other, and imagination all that is worth remembering rareeshow of postillions in jack-boots, much higher views; and if these publica- of what he has seen.
stout English gentlemen, vulgar English tions do no more than defray the expenses These are our own notions of the matter, women, a talkative landlord, ferocious robof his journey, the time will not have been and derived from our own experience; but bers, and a coquetish Signora,—but little of lost on his reflecting mind and feeling we confess we do not find them confirmed as scenery, and not one word of art, ruins, or reheart. The public will receive the benefit much as we could wish by any superior ex- collections. We begin at Terracina and end of it in his future writings more than in cellence in Mr Irving's tales of the conti- at Fondi, two of the most miserable villages these ; for the general effect of travel on nent. We must except them from our in Italy, separated by a poste and a half of the taste and imagination, is of more im- remark on the inferiority of his English wild shore and mountain scenery indeed, but portance to an author than the materials he Sketches, for we do not think them gen- interesting for nothing else but the rogues collects. Indeed, we think it a pity that he erally so good; at least, those are not that infest it. And this is all we have of did not visit the continent before he pub- which particularly relate to the continent. Italy. What Mr Irving has told us here, lished his English Sketches. The first for And we sustain our theory, and account is very well in its kind, but not what we eign land we see, excites us so much that we for this falling off
, by supposing it to pro- expected, nor the best that might fairly be are exceedingly liable to give an exagge- ceed from his having been too long abroad lexpected from his visit to Italy. We are
aware that our author cannot reasonably be Dragoon;" the indelicacy with which that the shortlived wonder of a stranger, and he expected to be always doing his best, more is slyly smothered in the description of has caught little of the spirit of France or than a lawyer or a preacher; but like Dolph Heyliger's mistress, which might Italy; but among the old Fraus and Mynthese, we expect him to rise with the occa- have been said openly without any breach heers, he seems as if he belonged to their sion; and, surely, Italy might have suggest of propriety; and finally, the shocking story age as well as country. His feelings soften ed better subjects than its vagabond popu- of the “ Young Robber," where a scene the and his humour brightens, as he approaches lation and insignificant travellers. Let us be most revolting to humanity is twice unne- them, and all nature puts on a quiet and understood; we should not complain of cessarily forced on the reader's imagination. peculiar grace in harmony with their charthese things if we had reason to expect the We say unnecessarily, for how much more acters. others. But as Mr Irving has in the fourth truly tragical, as well as more decent, would number turned short round upon America, that tale have been, if the scene where Rowe presume he means to give us no more setta is left alone with the Captain had been A Summary of the Law and Practice of of Italy; and if so, we take leave to say he omitted; and the “lot” had fallen on the
Real Actions ; with an Appendix of has not given us the best of it. We won- unbappy lover who was so soon to be her
Practical Forms. By Asahel Stearns, der at this, indeed, more than we com- executioner. And yet these horrors are the Professor of Law in Harvard University. plain of it; for we admit we have no right only incidents of the story to which we are
Boston. 1824. 8vo. pp. 528. to select subjects for him; and though indebted to Mr Irving's invention ; at least, An Essay on the Law of Contracts, for the speaking in the plural number is the pleni- we have heard the tale ourselves, the same
Payment of Specific Articles. By Dantude of our power, the only "sanction we in every thing but these particulars. We iel Chipman. Middlebury. 1822. pp. 224. could annex to our decrees, would be a hope not to be thought squeamish on The first of these valuable works is a strikthreat not to buy or review his books; this subject; for we believe we have as ing instance of the indirect utility of our which he well knows we neither care nor classical a taste in rude nature as is neces- literary institutions. They gather able and dare to perform.
sary in literature or the arts. We appre- learned men, and lay upon them the charge We like the model of these tales very hend that it is the part of true delicacy to of educating the youthful and growing much. Like “ Bracebridge Hall,” they look on nature dressed and undressed, with minds of successive generations. If this consist of distinct stories strung together on equal eyes. But we like neither jokes nor duty be well performed, such institutions a slender narrative that runs almost unper- horrors built on such subjects. And why abundantly sustain their claim to public ceived through the number, and is of little is it that this fault has grown so much upon protection ; but when these more direct and other use than to introduce and connect Mr Irving since the publication of the immediate uses are efficiently discharged, the episodes. This gives us the pleasure “Sketch Book,” which contains, as far as other duties of a collateral nature, but perand variety of short stories, without the we remember, no traces of it? Can it be haps neither less imperative, nor less imformality of separate introductions. Thus, because that publication was addressed to portant, can scarcely be disregarded. The the third number is made up of a descrip- the American public, and his subsequent instructers have not only sufficient leisure, tion of several parties of travellers meeting works to the English! We have no doubt and all literary facilities allowed them, that at an inn in Terracina, who hear and tell that the standard of delicacy is higher in they may learn, but perpetual acquisition various stories, and are robbed and rescued our country than in England; but we should and improvement form-or should formon the way to Fondi. The main story oc- be sorry to think that Mr Irving is willing the actual tenure by which their offices cupies about forty out of a hundred and to owe any popularity in that country to the are held; they must learn, that they thirty-five pages, and is altogether the least greater laxity of its manners. He has may teach. It is easy for an instructer to interesting part. Much depends, in this been cordially received, and almost adopt- know more than it is necessary that his way of writing, upon the adroitness with ed there, but we trnst he will still remem- pupil should learn from him; but he who which the adscititious stories are brought ber the country of his birth and education, gives himself heartily to the business of edin; and we cannot say that Mr Irving is in all things in which she can claim a supe- ucation, will strive to keep up with, and to always happy in this. Too many of them riority, as we think she can in this. We aid the progress of thought and knowledge are read from manuscripts accidentally consider this much more than a mere mat- in the world; to enlarge the extent, and in the possession of the principal person- ter of taste. Mr Irving needs not to be increase the utility of that measure of ages, or are introduced by some phrase told, that to debase the literary taste of a knowledge which his pupils may acquire, équivalent to the “ that reminds me” of a country is no small step towards corrupting and to make the discipline to which they confirmed story-teller.
its morals. But we take great pleasure in are subjected, more efficient and profitable. The next remark we have to make on bearing our testimony to the correct and Moreover, the collision of various minds Mr Irving's tales is a very serious one. We valuable tendency of his writings in every strikes out from all more light, and gives are bound to charge him with the vulgar- particular but this; and even of this we to all more warmth; and scholars, who are ism of indelicacy. This is a fault which should have spoken, perhaps, too harshly, connected together as are the officers of a seems peculiarly out of place in him; did we not point our remarks rather at the college, and who love their duty, and wish to for he must owe any rank he may hereafter nature than the degree of the offence. perform it faithfully, while they perpetually hold in our literature, to his refinement It is probably not known to all our read become better able to discharge this duty, rather than to his strength. All his writings ers, that “The Painter's Adventure” is, in can hardly fail to accumulate stores of usedisplay a delicacy of perception that seems the main, a true account of what befell an ful thoughts or profitable learning, that incompatible with a gross taste; but it is not artist in the employment of Lucien Buona- cannot be wholly expended upon their puonly a gross, but a vulgar taste, that can be parte a few years ago; and that “The pils; and it would be their duty to impart gratified by printing a coarse joke. Such Young Robber's Tale” is founded on a sto- these stores to the public. In England and ibings will pass through the minds of the ry that was actually told him by one of the on the continent, many of the most valuamost refined, and may sometimes slip out gang that carried him off.
ble works published, are written by persons in conversation, and leave no stain behind; The fourth Number returns to the banks connected in some way with the Universibut it is a very different thing deliberately of the Hudson, ground on which Mr Irving ties. We hope Professor Stearns' volume to put them down in irrevocable print, for is always successful. His tales of the New may be regarded as an earnest that our own the private eye of the young and innocent. Netherlands, of the queer simplicity of the Cambridge, and her sister colleges, will If the truth of the charge be denied, we re- ancient inhabitants, and their odd and wild not, in time to come, be barren of good fer for proof of it to the description of the superstitions, have the life and freshness of books. comic shape of the Strolling Manager's pictures from nature, with the mist and Soon after Professor Stearns took charge Clown; to the indecency drowned in the mellowness of age. To us, all bis European of the law department in the University, he crack! crack! of the postillion's whip at sketches were cold and tame in comparison prepared a course of Lectures upon the Terracina; the innuendoes in the “ Bold / with these. His enthusiasm for England is Law and Practice of Real Actions, the util.
ity of which he found greater than he had living in Westminster Hall, or in Boston, that Mr Chipman, and other men of equal expected; and, at the request of some of his or any where else, by his law, if he came ability, may be induced to make other books pupils and of friends learned in the law, out of his grave tomorrow. Now, though of similar character. It is intended to be the substance of these Lectures is now pub- it may be true, that my Lord Coke, for a one of that class, of which the inimitable lished in this form. We can say, without term or two after such resuscitation, might Essay on Bailments," by Sir William fear of contradiction, that the publication be astounded at the novel appearance of Jones, was the prototype, and, as we hope, of this work has supplied a desideratum, things, yet we do believe, that he would the precursor of many yet to come. To which all, in any way conversant with the bring with him a knowledge of the law as use the language of the last mentioned law, have acknowledgd, and which students it was, which would so aid himn in learning work, “if all the titles, which Blackstone and the younger members of the bar have the law as it is, that his old supremacy professed only to sketch in elementary disespecially felt.
would shortly be reestablished. The chan- courses, were filled up with exactness and A full and long review of this excellent ges of the law have been gradual,-never perspicuity, Englishmen” (and we as the work would be interesting to but few of our very violent, never per saltum. Its course descendants of Englisbmen, and co-beirs readers; we must, however, in justice to has been progressive, but not interrupted; with the present race of the better part of our professional brethren, state to them and an actual, an important connexion ex- their admirable system of law) “ might with some distinctness, the objects and uses its between its various conditions in various hope, at length, to possess a digest of their of a book which is made for them at no in- periods. Only the last links of the chain are laws which would leave but little room for considerable expense of time and labour. felt by us; they not only bind together the controversy, except in cases depending on The Introduction, which extends to the interests, and properties, and rights of all, their particular circumstances.” 47th page, explains with great clearness and form them into one beautiful structure; The administration of the laws of our and accuracy the fundamental principles of but they are held fast to an unbroken se- author's own State, is, indeed, judging from the Law of Real Property. The technical ries, which goes far backwards into the the account he gives of it in his Preface, terms are translated into more common depths of almost forgotten ages. Cases in a woful case. The Legislature, he tells language, and their meaning defined and are now perpetually recurring, which are us, in effect, consists of but one branch illustrated. The first chapter treats of the deeply affected by a reference to cases that only; the judges are annually elected by remedies for those injuries to real property occurred centuries ago. Let any one run this legislature ; Justices of the Peace bave which amount to an ouster; and in this through a volume of Pickering's Reports, jurisdiction to the amount of one hundred chapter, the great diversity and intricacy and he will see how often court and coun- dollars; "statutes are multiplied, and setof practice which prevails in England, with sel are compelled, by a necessity they tled rules of the common law are set aside respect to these remedies, is strongly con- cannot evade if they would, to call upon by statutes, and those statutes frequently trasted with the simplicity and directness of obsolete law, to help them to the right altered, amended, explained, or repealed the practice adopted in Massachusetts
. The understanding and administration of actual and frequently, from a supposed wrong consecond chapter treats of Real Actions, and law. No doubt, students are sometimes struction of a statute by the judiciary, an their incidents; the third of Warranty, embarrassed and exposed to some tax of explanatory statute has been passed, of Covenants, and Voucher; the fourth, of time and labour, by the negligence of au- more doubtful construction than the statute Writs of Entry, and the proceedings there- thors whose works are put into their hands, which they attempted to explain ;"_" and on. In this chapter the Writs of Entry in in not stating with sufficient distinctness how it has often been made a question whether the Quibus and in the Post, which are so much of what they are reading is directly, the law should be altered, or a judgment set common in the practice of this state as to and how much is indirectly applicable to the aside by an act of the Legislature, and the have almost superseded all other forms of law of the present day. But this fault can judges displaced.” Such a state of things Real Actions, are very fully and clearly il. in no wise be charged upon Professor must sooner or later work its own cure, lustrated; there is also an interesting Ap- Stearns; indeed, his clearness and precis- ) and no palliatives can prolong the time pendix to this chapter, upon the origin and ion in this respect constitutes a very large when the people must, for their own pronature of Mortgages, and the Chancery Ju- part of the value of his work. The student tection, provide for a permanent judiciary, risdiction respecting them. The fifth chap- will be able to distinguish our system of and less fluctuation in their laws. Our auter treats of Writs of Dower; the sixth, of real actions from that now in practice in thor proposes, as remedies, the publication Writs of Formedon ; the seventh, of Writs England. He will not only see, but be in of all decided cases, and of such Essays as of Right, and the eighth and last, of the some measure taught to account for the sin- his own. Their books of Reports would Action of Trespass for the Mesne Profits. gular fact, that forms and processes, and probably resemble Southard's New Jersey There is added an Appendix containing legal remedies, which had become nearly Reports, where five sixths of the cases are one hundred and one Precedents in Real obsolete in England when our fathers came on certiorari from Justices of the Peace, Actions, and a number of ancient records from her shores, have been retained, or and more than one half terminate with the of proceedings in the courts of the Colony rather revived, here, --stripped of the thou- ominous words, “Let judgment be reversand Province of Massachusetts, for the re- sand inconveniences and embarrassments ed.” Besides, of what service would the covery of Real Property, during the seven- which brought them into disuse, and wrought Reports be, if the Legislature, taking of teenth century.
into a system more simple, more useful, and fence at the decision of one set of judges, All the subjects treated of in the work far better in every respect than that now remove them, and appoint others for the are discussed and explained as fully as was in use in England, or in those states which very purpose of overturning the prior depracticable, without enlarging its size to a bave adhered with blinder fidelity to the cisions. If numerous essays as good as the cumbrous and very inconvenient magnitude. models upon which their rules and forms of one before us be published, and every abSome of his readers may think that too jurisprudence are fashioned.
struse title be by them plainly elucidated, large a proportion of his work relates to It is due to Professor Stearns to remark, still, though the judges of one year take the ancient law; to forms, and even principles, that his precedents are, in every respect, law of these essays for their guide, the next which are now neglected and ought to be excellent; and we need not remind any year's judges, from a spirit of contradiction, forgotten. The law of to-day is doubtless a practising lawyer, how much a collection may forbid their being read in the courts. very different thing from the law of three of precedents of this kind, well arranged Such a course of things cannot go on. hundred years ago, and it is with actual for convenient reference, has been wanted. Mr Chipman's proposed forms of declarliving law that students and practitioners Mr Chipman's Essay was published some ing and pleading in actions on contracts should be most conversant. But this is time since, so long, perhaps, that it may be for the delivery of specific articles, and his only one side of the case. We once heard thought almost beyond our reach. We no- observations on what ought to be the legal an eminent jurist, we may say, the most tice it, however, because we should be glad effect of the verdict, and on the measure of eminent jurist of this country,_declare, to make it better known to our lawyers, damages, seem to us sound and just; and we that in his opinion, Coke could not earn a not only for the good it may do them, but I hope that the system which he recommends, may be adopted in practice. We fully | a well established and legal practice both that I could plainly discern the form and concur with him in the observation which in England and in this country. In this position of the several stones which compose he makes in his Preface, that the law on this Commonwealth it is expressly authorized it;—and yet I must confess to a secret feelsubject cannot be settled by statutes ; “ that by statute even in so important an instru- ing of disappointment; but it was all my a volume of laws might be enacted on this inent as a will. If we were to use the same own fault; I either had forgotten, or did not single branch of jurisprudence, and still liberty with Mr Chipman that he has taken correctly know, their true size; and foolishly leave the system imperfect;—the law must with the ancient English judges, we should expected, I believe, to find each particular be settled by a course of judicial decisions.” guess, that his secret reason for assailing stone as tall as a church tower. I speedily
Before we conclude, we think it our duty this practice was a little infection of the reasoned myself, however, into a proper to animadvert upon one passage in this fondness for legislation with which, in his mood, and disappointment then gave place book, which is wholly gratuitous, and which remarks upon the case of Weld vs. Hadley, to continually increasing admiration. For we were very sorry to see. It occurs on he charges his fellow citizens of Vermont. the remainder of the three miles we kept it pages 22, 23, and is this :
We hope the author will meet with the in full view, still growing and growing, as I know it is very common for a person who can success that he deserves, and be encouraged we gained upon it, till at last we quitted write to request a by-stander to put his name to a
to write other essays as clear and logical the beaten road, and driving over the short note; but such trifling with written instruments as this, upon the subjects which he enume- dry turf, stopped immediately beneath it. ought not to be permitted; it is a practice wholly rates in his Preface. Though not intended So many of the stones have fallen, that unknown to the common law. Written contracts
, for the profession, we doubt not that in the whole seems at first sight to be a conin law and reason, hold a higher place than mere their hands they will be most useful; few fused assemblage of enormous masses of precise terms of the contract, but as to the degree people can afford to purchase law books at rock; bnt after a while you discover three of certainty that the contract was entered into by the high price which they must necessarily concentric circles of upright stones, and in the parties. But set aside the evidence of hand bear; and we hope the picture of an igno- the centre a single stone lying imbedded in writing, and written contracts would fall below ver- rant lawyer, which is drawn by Mr Chipman the ground, which is called the altar. The bal contracts as it respects the certainty of their with so much force in his Preface, is not a most remarkable of these circles is the innote, that the defendant directed a by-stander to picture of a majority of the profession interior one, composed of huge blocks about put his name to it, and proof of a consideration is Vermont; we are sure it will represent twenty feet high, seven feet wide, and three dispensed with, as also proof of the contract on very few indeed in Massachusetts. feet thick; every two of which formerly which the note was given, and should the witness We ought perhaps in justice to state,-a supported a third, of nearly the same size, be guilty of perjury, it could not be easily detect; remark which we are sorry to say is equally which has been called the impost, and which writing, with the same degree of ease and certain applicable to many of our modern law is rudely fastened to its two supporting pilty, as by their countenances ; bence, a higher de- books, both English and American,—that lars by a ball and socket joint. The three togree of certainty in the proof of hand writing than neither of these works is free from typogether, have received the appellation of in the proof of a verbal contract. The law does graphical errors, which offend the eye, trilithon. In this circle there are only not, therefore, admit evidence that a third person though few of them obscure the sense. This two of these trilithons remaining entire. was directed to put the defendant's name to the is the more to be regretted in the first of them, The second circle is composed of stones note, to be substituted for the more certain evidence of the hand writing of the defendant. There is no as the typography is eminently beautiful. which are no more than seven feet high, necessity for the admission of such testimony, for
and are separate pillars. But in the outif the plaintiff fail of proving the execution of the See 2 Camp. 405, Helmsley vs. Loader, and 5 ward circle they rise to the height of fournote, yet if he can prove the contract on which Esp. 180, Levy vs. Wilson.
teen feet, and are again formed into trilithe note was given, he may still recover his de
thons, several of which are standing and mand.
perfect. With great deference to Mr Chipman,
There have been many theories started we must be permitted to state, that we
with respect to the purpose and origin of thought the practice which he reprobates
this monument, a number of which have quite well known to the common law, so
that buge pile (from some abyss
been collected together and printed at well indeed, that a maxim supporting it had
Of mortal power unquestionably sprung)
Salisbury in a small pamphlet. The two been established from time immemorial, to Confires the shrill-voiced whirlwind, round and most prevalent are, the one, that it is a wit, “Qui facit per alium facit per se.”
military trophy of the ancient Britons, and Mr Chipman admits that this is a common Eddying within its vast circumference, the other that it is a Druidical temple. But practice, which, alone, would, we think, be
On Sarum's naked plain.
the truth is, that there is no authentic his
Wordsworth's Excursion. an arguinent in its favour. He urges the
tory relating to it; and it is next to an danger of perjury, and the superior cer
September 11, 1820. impossibility that any thing should ever tainty afforded by the evidence of hand- STONEHENGE lies about eight miles from be ascertained of its design or erection; writing. If the note were signed by an Salisbury; and it would have been a pity but there it stands, the gloomy monarch of agent with his own name and the promis- and a shame if I had left this part of the this lonely plain—the hoary record of an sor's, which Mr Chipman allows to be valid, country, without visiting so remarkable an age that has no chronicle—the mighty is the evidence of handwriting greater or object." So this morning I jumped into a work of nameless men-the scene and the the danger of perjury less? In such case post-chaise for the purpose.
witness of events that have long since parol proof must be given of the agents au- Our course was to the northwest, and gone down to oblivion ;-there it stands, thority, which is exactly the danger against soon brought us to a wide, chalky, desert and there it has stood, while centuries of which he wishes to guard. It is not necessary tract, called Salisbury Plain. The day suns have poured their fiercest beams upon in declaring on a promissory note to aver was hot, and the atmosphere clear; and it, and winter after winter has brought the that the hand of the promissor is subscribed from one of the undulating eminences which driving snow, and the pelting rain, and the thereto; but in one case it was so declared, alone diversify this barren waste, I could sweeping wind, to help time on to its deand the evidence being that it was signed plainly distinguish, at the distance of five struction ;- but there it stands, and there by a third person in the presence and by miles, what I knew must be Stonehenge. it will stand, a wonder and a monument, the direction of the person whose name was The appearance was like a number of small when our histories, like its own, are forwritten, Lord Ellenborough was inclined black dots, or like a flock of sheep when gotten. that the proof was sufficient to support the they are at the distance of a mile or so from At the distance of fifty or sixty yards to declaration, though if it had purported on the spectator. I then lost sight of it; but the northeast of the main structure, and the face of the instrument to have been from another rising in the ground, which leaning towards it, is a large single stone, signed by an agent, the variance would the post boy said was three miles from it, I sixteen feet high, called the Friar's heel. have been fatal.* We believe that this is caught it again. It was now so distinct This name is connected with the popular
A VISIT TO STONEHENGE.