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for a long time; but they will be diminished every year; a taste for reading, for the luxuries of the mind, will create a demand for books and for the means of acquiring experimental science; and in proportion to this demand, and the increase of wealth, by which it may be supplied, libraries, museums, laboratories, and depositories of choice specimens of the arts, will be multiplied and enlarged In pursuing his subject, Mr Wheaton takes a broad view of the ancient republics, and points out the connexion between the principles on which they were founded, and the rapid growth of the arts and sciences to which they gave encouragement. He traces analogies and causes sometimes farther than we can follow him, but his investigation indicates a wide research into the history of the illustrious periods of antiquity, as well as deep reflection on the nature, the moving springs, the enlightening spirit, and self preserving tendency of our own government.
7.-Address delivered before the Massachusetts Peace Society,
at the Ninth Anniversary, December 25, 1824. BY JOHN WARE, M. D. Boston. 8vo. pp. 24. Office of Christian
Register. 1825. THERE are few objects, which at first view appear more disproportioned to the means by which it is proposed to attain them, than the professed design of the Society before whom this address was delivered. It would seem the very height of chimerical enthusiasm to attempt, by the efforts of a few philanthropic individuals, to abolish the practice of war, a custom which may be traced back farther, perhaps, than any other in the history of the human race, which in all ages has engrossed so large a portion of the talents of individuals, and of the resources of nations, and which it has required the whole experience of the world, and eighteen centuries of Christianity, to bring to that degree of refinement with which it is now practised. Notwithstanding that often repeated truth, so consoling to the beginners of vast undertakings, that many great results are produced by apparently small causes, we should be inclined to look upon the existence of such a society as offering little encouragement indeed to the hopes of the philanthropist, did we think it were to be regarded as the only source, from which a change in the habits of the world might be expected to arise. It is an excellent thing doubtless, that all the arguments and reasonings, which can be adduced to show that war is no less unnecessary
pernicious, and all the speculations by which the practicability of abolishing it may be made probable, should be brought as often, and under as many forms as possible, before the public. But how few are affected by arguments, and how small a portion of the
Dr Ware's Address before the Peace Society. [April,
public will ever hear them. If it depended upon reason, and truth, and religion merely to decide, war would long since have fallen into disuse; but men's passions and interests are too powerful for such restraints, and till these can be enlisted on the side of peace, we fear that all the efforts of peace societies will be ineffectual.
But it is not to them alone, that the benevolent man may look for encouragement. Dr Ware, with singular discernment and good judgment, has described the character of the age, and the progress of political science and of free institutions, as operating very powerfully in aid of the reasonings of the wise, and the efforts of the good. He points out the essential difference in military ambition and warlike character, between arbitrary governments, and those which are established on liberal principles, between those where the passions of a few or of one individual may plunge nations in calamity, and those where the interests of the whole are the only objects to be consulted by their rulers. He then answers the objections drawn from the military character of the ancient republics, showing that in them the principles of freedom and of political rights were far from being understood, in the manner in which we now understand them. Nothing indeed appears to us more absurd, than the reference which is very frequently made to the character of what are called the republics of antiquity, to indicate what is likely to be that of the republican governments of modern times. One would think that the differences, sufficiently marked certainly, between the different popular governments of Greece, and between them and the Roman system, would have shewn how little reliance could be placed on any apparent analogy in their forms, or their operation. Yet neither these, nor the total want of analogy between the people of antiquity and the nations of our own time, in all imaginable circumstances, in habits, in knowledge, in situation, and whatever goes to form the character of a nation, have prevented the enemies of free institutions from prognosticating evils to those, who have adopted them. These sinister predictions remain as yet in a good degree unfulfilled, and if, as Dr Ware successfully contends, the effect of popular governments be to promote peace and the arts of peace, this will afford an additional reason for valuing, and a new motive for loving the free and happy country, which we are so fortunate as to call our own.
The following extract will exhibit some of the author's views of the subject.
From these dangers, governments founded upon liberal principles are in a great measure free. The permanent existence of a great military establishment is almost impossible. The people, always impatient under the load of taxation, often unreasonably so, will never permit themselves to be burdened with an apparatus so costly and so useless. Government needs no array of guards for its protection ; it needs no extraneous support to give it dignity and authority in the eyes of its subjects, for it is in itself only a delegation of their power. Military men, as such, have no control, and little influence. They have no weight beyond that derived from their personal character, talents and services. The community in a free country are jealous of a standing army, jealous of military men, and justly so; for if it be ever destined, that by the course of internal revolution, arbitrary power shall set its foot upon their rights and trample their liberty in the dust, these are the instruments by which that purpose will be accomplished. • Among nations whose governments are founded upon
these principles, one class of wars would almost necessarily cease at once to exist, I mean those which have been entered into to settle claims of hereditary right. A slender acquaintance with history will show how long, how frequent, and how bloody have been the contests originating in this source. Questions of legitimate succession have been debated by fire and sword, from the most remote antiquity to which the records of history reach. Nations have been in arms to determine, by this last appeal, between the degrees of consanguinity of rival candidates to a vacant throne. Civil strife has raged for centuries, nay almost through its whole history, in one of the proudest nations of Europe, growing entirely out of the same cause. And in our own days, has not all the christian world been engaged in a contest, which, whatever might have been its object at some periods of its continuance; and whatever might have been the motives of some of its abettors, originated in the defence of hereditary right, and terminated in the accomplishment of its object ?
* The happy influence of such principles of government is well illustrated, in the spectacle presented by our own country, the only one in fact in which they have been fairly put to the test. The independent sovereignties of which it is composed, have, like distinct nations, conflicting claims and conflicting interests ; jealousy, rivalry, heart burnings must exist ; contentions arise upon points of great importance, where the passions become powerfully excited, and yet all parties are satisfied with an appeal to a judicial tribunal, whose decision is final. Upon far more trifling occasions the Grecian states have waged wars almost interminable. We have but to imagine each of our commonwealths transformed into a little kingdom, with its monarch, its train of hereditary nobles, its navy, its
army, and the host of ambitious aspirants that surround a throne, and our hitherto peaceful continent would present only a scene of strife, turbulence, and bloodshed. We should then hear of nothing but the jealousy and rivalry of princes ; of leagues and confederations ; of the balance of power, and of wars waged to regulate it. Our rivers would serve, as they have in the old world, as barriers between natural enemies. Our lakes would become the theatre of stormy contention between rival nations. Our seaboard would exhibit the spectacle of hostile fleets engaged in scenes of blood and carnage. The picture drawn of the old world, would be realised in the new.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
8.-Digest of the Cases decided in the Supreme Judicial Court
of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. From March, 1816, to October, 1823, inclusive, as contained in the five last Volumes of Tyng's, and the first of Pickering's Reports. With the Names of the Cases, and a Table of the Titles and References. To which is added, a digested Index of the Names of the Cases in the Eighteen Volumes of Massachusetts Reports. By THERON METCALF.
Boston, Richardson & Lord. 8vo. ALL those, who may be interested in knowing the contents of the six latest volumes of the Massachusetts Reports, will be pleased to learn, that their inquiries may be guided by the able and learned editor of Yelverton. A digest of these volumes is not likely, perhaps, very much to increase the already well earned reputation of Mr Metcalf, but we do not hesitate to say, that it will justify and confirm that reputation, and is, accordingly, a publication for which he is entitled to encouragement and thanks from the profession. It is a very easy thing to compile a volume, by copying, verbatim, the indexes of any number of volumes of reports, as Moore, Manning, Baylies, and many others have done, with an economy of labor and thinking on their part, but at the expense of great labor and inconvenience to lawyers, who are obliged to spend a great deal of time in handling volumes and turning leaves, either to find out that nothing is to be found, or in discovering what an author, who, like Comyns, has the skill and learning, and is willing to bestow the labor requisite to the making of a digest, would present at the first glance to one consulting his work.
Every page of this volume shows that the compiler has critically examined the cases referred to, and, in most instances, at least, has not only stated the points solemnly adjudicated, but also sifted out the dicta, sembles, and quæres ; stating the propositions in such & manner that the reader distinguishes at once what was deliberately decided, from what was alleged, supposed, or doubted of, by any particular judge ; and, by seeing the name of the judge, he is apprised, at the same time, of the authority, by which these incidental propositions are supported. One who consults the book is thus saved the vexation and disappointment of discovering, when he recurs to the report, that what appeared by the digest to be a direct and solemn decision in favor of his client's claim, is only a proposition incidentally stated by a judge, without perhaps very deliberate consideration; and a proposition that is very remotely connected with the decision of the court, This limitation and qualification of the propositions contained in a digest, are of some practical importance to the cominunity at large, since the abstracts of cases in the digests and treatises, not unfrequently slide into use, and become substituted for the cases themselves, and judges and lawyers proceed upon the supposition, that certain principles have been established by the decisions of courts, when they rest on no better authority than the errors, mistakes, or carelessness of the compilers of digests, and abridgments, or of the authors of elementary treatises; and since every community is affected by the doctrines established in its courts, and practically applied in the administration of the laws, the consequences of such mistakes, carelessness, and want of skill, are the same, though to a very limited extent, as a defective administration of justice, through an imperfect constitution of judicial tribunals.
The titles of this Digest are very similar to those of Johnson's, in both which, agreement is made a leading title, according to the former usage, from which some have departed by substituting contract, to which they have probably been induced by the title of Comyns's Treatise. The old title of deed (fait) is also preserved, in conformity to Comyns's Digest, and those of older date, instead of conveyance, which has of late come into use. A change of laws, usages, and forms of business, necessarily introduces a change of the legal nomenclature, but as long as the customary and long established use of terms is attended by no inconvenience, it is certainly better to adhere to it. Considering the small number of volumes included in this Digest, Mr Metcalf has a very numerous list of titles, and to avoid breaking up and dispersing the subjects too much, he frequently introduces under one title only a reference to another; the book is thus made very convenient for use,
whether the reader consults it in the course of investigating a subject generally, or to ascertain what is decided upon any particular point.
In a digest of cases, which, taken altogether, do not supply a full body of law upon any one title, the reader cannot expect to find so perfect an arrangement and connexion of the particular subjects coming under any title, as he would meet with in an elea