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" It is a rule established in equiry, analogous to the statute of limitations, that after twenty years possession of the mortgagee, he shall not be disturbed unless there be extraordinary circumstances; as in the case of a feme covert, infants, and the like.” 3 Atk. 313,

We have, in a former volume, reviewed a Commercial Dictionary, by Mr. Montefiori, in which we were surprized to see the word ABANDONMENT omitted in the alphabetical order; perhaps the small size of the present volume attorcis some excuse for the like omission, particularly as the term is explained under the article Insurance. This together with the articles Excise and Erecutors, may be referred to as the most favourable specimens of the work, and we should notice them more particularly, did not our limits prevent us from making longer extracts.

In the article Evidence there is an error in the name of a judge, namely, in calling Lord Chief Justice 'Treby, Lord Chief Justice Tully, which we notice, because it las evidenily crept in from adopting a newspaper report, in which we observed the same mistake. We also tahe this opportunity of remarking, that the doctrine there laid down, namely, that a witness shall not be cross-examined to degrade bis own character, has not, we believe, been very strictly, if at all, acted upon, since the case alluded to,; although it was thought proper, by the parties, to drop the proceedings in the demurrer to evidence, on that occasion, principally through inability to defray the expence of proceedings in error.

ARTICLE III.-The Practice of the Commissioners, Assessors,

Surveyors, Collectors, and other Oficers, under the Intiority uj" the several Acts relating to the Assessed Taxes; including is correct analytical abridgment of the screrai Statutes passed in the 43d Year of the Reign of his present Majesty bing Cico. III. relatire to the Duties under the Management of ihe Commissancrs for the Affairs of Taxes; with Tubles of the Duties, adjudged Cases, explanatory Notes, and original Procedents. The whole digesteil and arranged in the methodical Order and Course in which the Acts are to be carried into Execution. By T. W. WILLIAMS. Esq. of the Inner Temple, London, Barrister ut Lair, duihor of the whole Law relatire to the Duty and Otice of a Justice of the Peace.—M'. Clarke and Sons, Portugal-streel, lincula's Jn.

Octaco, 112 pp. 1804. We notice the publication of this work early, because..19

it is practical in its nature, and applies to the business which is now carrying on before the con indissioners, it may be useful to some of our readers to know that such an abstract is to be had, and it may be of much less importance to mention it hereafter. The title, which is not one of the shortest, or, in other words, is what booksellers and printers call a good bold title page, is fully sufficient 10 advertise the reader of what the work is intended to be; and those who know Mr. Williams's practice in compilations of this kind, will, perhaps, give him full credit for having made a pretty fair and copious selection of whatever is extant in other books upon the subject. In a great measure, this must be principally confined to the statutes at large, with which he is very well acquainted. The cases upon the subject are not such as have been decided, upon the acts immediately in question; for, being very recent statutes, none have to our knowledge occurred, but there are some, upon similar clauses, in similar acts, these acts themselves being a sort of compilation from others; which are selected with sufficient accuracy and care. Of the correct analytical abridgment of the seteral statutes, &c. &c. we need only say, that it is as faithful as need be, and fully adequate to all the purposes for which any abridgment of an act of parliament can be used. By wliich we mean to say, that such abridgments, those in the Law Journal not excepted, it made with competent skill and attention, may be of great utility upon ordinary occasions, and, in most hands, may be of use to facilitate the general understanding and interpretation of the clauses ; so that few, indeed, who act under them fairly, will be misled. But that, wherever nice verbal criticisin is to be exercised upon the construction of any clause, it is obvious that the act itself must be referred to, in the statutes at large. We throw out this, not by way of detracting from the merit of Mr. Williams's Abridgment, but that we may give some of our least experienced readers a true understanding of the real use of such things in general, we are sure they will not accuse us of being deficient in candour when we inake an acknowledgment, in which we evidently do not seek to overjate the value of our own labours. With respect to the work before us, the addition of precedents and forms of conviction, together with a good methodical arrangement and a copious index, if they do not render it, in all cases, a complete succedaneum for the acts, so as to supersede entirely the necessity of referring to them, make it at least a very useful companion or appendix to them.

We shall conclude our notice of ihis work by adding, that it is arranged under the following heads: viz.

1. Tables of the duties.--II. What persons shall be com

missions for managing the assessed taxes, and herein of the general authority.-III. The first meeting of the commissioners, to appoint the respective subdivisions, and issue precepts for the appearance of assessors.--1V. The second meeting, to appoint assessors, and deliver the charge. V. The manner of making the assessments; and herein of the authority of the surveyors and inspectors.-VI. The third meeting, to sign the assessment and warrant to collect. -VII. The fourth meeting, and herein of the hearing and determining of appeals. VIII. How the rates shall be collected, and by the collectors paid over to the receiver-gene. ral.-IX. Receiver-general to pay the money into the exchequer.-X. Transmitting duplicates of the assessment into the exchequer.-XI. Indemnity of officers doing their duty, and herein of their punishment for misbehaviour. XII. Recovery of the penalties.

ANCIENT READINGS,

OY THE

LAIS OF ENGLAND. ·

THE ancient readings on the common and statute laws

of England, delivered in the different Inns of Court, have frequently received the sanction and approbation of the greatest lawyers, being even quoted as authority by Littleton himself. The practice was one of very great antiquity, but has been long since discontinued, the form and title of the office, only, being at this day preserved. The disuse of this custom is lamented by Lord Coke, as prejudicial to the proper study of the law, for, in his commentary upon the 481st section of Littleton, he says,

" Here, it is to be observed, of what authority ancient Lectures, or readings upon the statutes were, for they had five excellent qualities. First, they declared what the common law was before the making of the statute. Secondly, they opened the true sense and meaning of the statute. Thirdly, their cases were brief, having, at the most, one point upon the common law, and another upon the statute. Fourthly, plain and perspicuous; for, then, the honour of the reader was to excel others in authorities, arguments, and reasons, for proof of his opinion, and confutation of the objections against it. And fifthly, they read to suppress subile inventions to creep out of the statute. But now readings have lost the said former qualities, have lost also their fornier authorities; for now the cases are long, obscure, and intricate, full of new conceits, like rather to riddles than lectures, which, when they are opened, vanish away like sinoke, and the readers are like to lapwings, who seem to be Iearest their nest, when they are farthest from them, and all their study is to find nice evasions out of the statute.”

Many curious and amusing particulars concerning READERS, are to be found in Dugdale's Origines Juridiciries, which as they are little known at the present day, we should have extracied from his account of the Middle Temple, but want of rouru at preseut prevenis us.

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After enumerating (vide p. 203) the different degrees in the Inns of Court, of student, barrister, cupboard man, and bencher, he says,

“ The next degree to a bencher is that of READER, wbich at the farthest falls out to be within two years after the party's first admittance to the cupboard. The two readers are chosen by the bench, at their assembly in parliament, yearly, upon the Friday before the feast of All Saints, being generally the two ancient cupboard men, yet the bench is not tied to any such necessity of choice, for if upon due consideration of the estate, learning, quality, and carriage of the person, he be not thought worthy of so great a calling, the bench hath power to put bim by, and elect another in his room, for before he is declared reader, he is only in the state of a probationer.”

“ The two parties nominated aforesaid as readers, are the nextday at dinner, called to the bench table where from thence forward, they take their commons, and are to bestow upon the rest of the benchers, and ancient barristers, a certain proportion of wine for their first welcome. By reason of ihe excessive charge of readings many men of great learning, and competent practice, as well as others of less learning but great estate, have refused to read, and are thereupon removed to the ancients' table.”

He then describes the ceremonies with which, at the next feast-day of All Saints, the new reader enters upon his office. This is indeed a scene of splendid feasting, and hospitality. The judges, the benchers, barristers, students, and visitors, are regaled with venison, with wafers, with cups of wine, and bowls of Ipocras. The gentlemen at the bar dance a measure after the master of the revels; and one of them, while he is walking or dancing with the rest, upon being asked to give the judges a song, begins the first verse of a psalm, in which he is followed by all the company. And that this was no small charge to the reader, will appear froin an order of the bench made in the reign of Philip and Mary, by which he was, in the suminer course, joyned to spend fifteen bucks in the hall, during his time of reading;” but shortly after “ to avoid all occasion of superfluous expence,” by another order in the same reign, he was not to exceed those fifteen bucks. But says Dugdale, “ the times are altered, there being few summer readers, who, in balf the time that beretofore a reading was wont to continue, spend so little as three score bucks, besides red deer; some have spent four score, soine a hundred." In the last week of the reading, there was also a costly feast provided, for the foreign ambassadors, earls, lords, and men VOL. III. No. 15.

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