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they have degraded the fair Caucasian to be the slaves of circumstance and necessity.
While I was penning these reflections, or similar ones—for they have been excerpted from the Journal of my College Life-I was interrupted by the entrance of my friend Bolivar, with a budget of letters and papers from Kentucky. One of my letters was from Uncle Sebastian Overton, one from Thealan, and one from my valet de chambre, Parker Patipan, who informed me of more interesting gossip and tattle than either of the others. As I was about breaking the seal, Bol, who was looking over the Haysville Humbug, called out suddenly,
“Halloo ! Ernie, here's some news which will be, doubtless, of interest to you !" « What is it?"
Married, on the 20th Dec., by the Rev. Burr Acorn, Miss Bessie S. Raymond, daughter of Robin Raymond, Esq., to Mr. William Aukley, all of this place."
It was a hurricane that swept through my heart.
I was dumbstruck with the suddenness of the shock. A battle, which these words, like a signal trumpet, commenced, now raged in my bosom. The little cherished flowers, delicate and beautiful, which had long blossomed there, were galloped over by these hostile words, and crushed and trampled under the iron heel of fate.
The air palaces I had built were swept away, and a flood tide of bitterness poured in and deluged all.
The storm passed away, the battle ceased, the bitter fountain ceased its overflow; but terrible ravages were left behind. The next two years of my college life were dreary in general ; and at times, when a fit of the blues came over me, insupportable. But time, which wears all things, at length wore out
my anguish and despair. -My love for Bessie Raymond had lasted years, until it seemed to have grown to be a part of my very being, and its reign had extended over the purest and most innocent days of my life. Although some ill resulted from this first foolish fancy of mine—in that it was centered on an unworthy object; yet, in regard to it, there is much that I look back to with pleasure, and that is chiefly the glorious fairy castle-building which it gave rise to, and the golden dream-hues it cast around the days of my youth.
Bessie Raymond! Little knew you of the purity and poetry of the love I loved you withal. In my sober moments, I never believed that we
I could be united-more, I never desired it; for while I loved, I knew that we would never be happy, and that you were not all my fancy painted you.' But I forgive you the thoughtless cruelty with which you encouraged my young heart to waste its affections on a false, delusive shadow--for it has not been without its beneficial results.
The third year of college life found me quite healed of my wounds. . And thus ended my first dream of love.
END OF PART II.
THE SOURCES AND PERFECTION OF THE AMERICAN LAW.
To inquire into the origin of law, would be synonymous with an inquiry into the origin of government; the one not being able to exist without the other. And in regard to the latter, the learned have entertained different views. Locke and his followers considered it as having had its origin in compact; while Aristotle regarded it as a natural result. And the last is probable, when we reflect that the parental is natural, existing without compact, and that the patriarchal, which is the oldest form of government, results immediately from this, the one being but an extension of the principles of the other; though in the latter supposition the laws are arbitrary, while in the former they are not, as they are derived from consent.
Laws, like governments, have always been more or less varying, since they depend on the character of a people for their efficiency : and the experience of the past is alike beneficial in establishing the one as the other; government implying those rules which lie at the basis of the social union aside from the municipal, and also many moral and religious regulations. In glancing at their progress, their various divisions should first be considered, and then at what time, and in what country, they have arrived nearest to perfection. And it will be seen, that while a particular division is rarely ever found flourishing alone, they are as rarely all combined in equal degrees of excellence. This is more especially true in the earlier stages of its history, when, there being little experience in the past, it was dependent for its advancement on ingenious experiment. With regard to the grand principles of government, to discuss up their progress would be to inquire which form is best adapted to man, which would be placing it on a variable basis, since the condition of the one is so changeable, that whatever shall be always appropriate to it must vary also. And the inquiry would result legitimately in an inquiry into the progress of the human race, instead of their institutions. For, unless we could show that a republic was never adapted to the Carthaginians, the present is not in advance of their times only so far as ours is the better republic.
But there seems to be an appointed period when each particular art and science arrives at the highest state to which it is susceptible of being carried. Few nations have shown themselves superior to the Romans in jurisprudence; none to the Greeks in philosophy, architecture, painting, and poetry; none to the Egyptians in the mechanic arts; and if the moderns have attained to more general excellence, they have examples in almost every instance from which to draw their imitations. And in the science of government and laws, they have attained to higher excellence than in the other departments; for, in architecture, we do not even aim at originality; and, at best, we but feebly vie with the ancients in sculpture; while of poetry, there being so versatile a field, the palm of transcendence can be claimed by no time or people.
In considering the various divisions of law, the constitutional has already been spoken of as the principles and rules of the Constitution, which are fixed and stable, of what form soever the government may be; while the political are those which pertain to the policies to be pursued in the intercourse among domestic or foreign states, in their commercial relations and
VOL. XXIX, NO. II.
home improvements. Those denominated civil, are the rules that are employed in the regulations of townships and cities, in governing the principles of descent through all the intricacies pertaining to real property, and in defining and guarding the rights of individuals; and of the national, which are those by which nations are governed in their transactions with each other, they are applied to as great a variety of subjects as the multiplicity of interests demand. Of these divisions, the first is earliest in being perfected, because of necessity they are employed in all societies, and lay at their foundation, being next to mechanics, and the art of preparing food; and the next to spring up are the civil, for when once societies are formed, the need of laws are felt to guide its members in their transactions with each other, though from the time of forming the society, attention must be paid to the course adopted by the state in its political affairs, and those that pertain to religion may be either incorporated in the constitution, or remain as a separate branch. But the national is of slower growth, and not even yet arrived to maturity. In reflections on our own law, after the thoughts that apply equally to all laws, next follows a sketch of the civil, it being one of the chief sources of our own; and the value of this, in the language of our American commentator, is not to be found in questions which relate to the connection between the government and the people, or in provisions for personal security in criminal cases. everything else which concerns civil and political liberty, it cannot be compared with the free spirit of the English and American common law. But upon questions relating to private rights and personal contracts, and the duties which flow from them, there is no system of law in which principles are investigated with more good sense, or declared and enforced with more accurate and impartial justice. To this we turn in our inquiries into the rights of absolute and usufructuary property, and the various ways by which property may be acquired, enlarged, transferred, and lost. `And trusts are here settled and pursued through all their numerous modifications and complicated details, in the most rational and equitable manner. So the rights and duties flowing from personal contracts, express and implied, and under the infinite variety of shapes which they assume in the business and commerce of life, are here defined and illustrated with a clearness and brevity without example. But this provision for personal security, which was wanting among the Romans, was reserved for the English in their law of habeas corpus and trial by jury. And here, also, the laws of evidence were brought to their present state. Rome and Britain are the two great sources of jurisprudence. That part of the Roman jurisprudence which has been denominated the ancient, embraced the period from the foundation of the city by Romulus, to the establishment of the twelve tables. And though the accounts concerning its progress under its kings are illy preserved, it was during their time, or as early as their expulsion, that the foundations of the best institutions were laid. Twenty years from the expulsion of the Tarquins, they began to feel the need of written law, and, accordingly, by joint consent of the senate and tribunes, a commission of three persons was instituted to form a system of law, the result of which commission was the celebrated tables which formed a distin. guished era in the Roman law, and constituted the commencement of what has been called the middle period of the Roman jurisprudence. And these tables, in the language of the same learned commentator, contain a great deal of wisdom and good sense, intermixed with folly,
injustice, and cruelty. But Cicero, in his De Republica, insists that the ten first tables were composed with the greatest equity and prudence, but declares that the two last, added by the decemvirs, were iniquitous laws, and that the law prohibiting marriages between plebeians and senatorial families was a most infamous one.
But the obligation of the twelve tables was gradually diminished or destroyed by the multitude of new regulations, such as the plebercite, enacted by the plebeians; the leges, passed at the instance of a consular or senatorial magistrate by the aggregate body of the people, patricians and plebeians; the senatus consulta, by the authority alone of the senate; the edicta prætorum, or judicial decisions of the prætors, and the opinions of lawyers, called the responsa or interpretationes prudentum, composed another and very efficient source of the ancient Roman jurisprudence. These responsa prudentum resulted at first from discussions undertaken gratuitously by persons of the highest rank; but, afterwards, the work of discussing these questions grew into a public profession, and law became a regular science, taught openly, in private houses as in schools. Then the philosophy, and policy, and wisdom of Greece were collected together, says Gravina, by the Roman civilians, and all that was useful introduced into the Roman law; and if it were really true that the twelve tables were not drawn by the rough agents who compiled them directly from Grecian fountains, for Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus say, that the deputation was sent to Athens to learn the laws and institutions of Greece, we are assured that the omission was abundantly supplied in after ages; and the institutions of Greece were studied by more enlightened statesmen, and contributed to adorn and perfect the Roman law.
But, up to this time, the laws were in an undigested state : and the design of reducing the civil law into a convenient digest was first conceived by Cicero, Pompey, and Julius Cæsar, though no systematic authoritative treatise appeared during the republic. The first authoritative digest which appeared, was the Perpetual Edict, in the time of the Emperor Hadrian, then appeared the Gregorian Code, and the Code Hermogenia, and also, the Theodorian Code. Then appeared the masterly and voluminous works, compiled by the order of Justinian,-works which collected into a focus the lights scattered over centuries, from whose concentrated rays England and the world have long drawn light, and whence the accomplished American jurist, this day, is proud to be instructed in the nice distinctions of private rights. And when we reflect what master
And minds gave turn to the laws of Rome; what learning they had recourse to in the past; how many centuries were required to give birth to those works so masterly; and when we think of the almost endless variety of subjects to which law is applicable, and of the perfection required in the principles pertinent to each ;-those works, themselves however admirable soever, appear but beginnings of the completeness and perfection which is to be wrought out in this most delightful science, while we are filled with astonishment at the accumulated genius and labor required in the accomplishment of the magnificent and perfect design.
Having thus glanced at the Roman, we next come to the English law, and this we find divided into two classes : The lex scripta, or the written, and the lex non scripta, or the unwritten, and the first obtained their force by immemorial usage, and the second by statute ; and of these statute laws, those made before the time of King Richard the First became to be considered among the unwritten laws; and, doubtless, many that are rank. ed among the first class, had their origin in statutes or constitutions; and as regards the origin of the common law, Sir M. Hale thinks that it had its origin in the Island of Britain, though for particular concurrent reasons, the laws of Normandy were, in many instances, so similar, that many have supposed that they had their origin in the latter country, and were introduced from thence by William the Conquerer. And the spirit of those northern nations seems particularly to have favored the liberty of the subject. Whatever may have been the origin of trial by jury in its present state, it may be said to have originated in England. Roman judicature was exercised on ordinary occasions for near three centuries by the patricians exclusively; but the Greek tribunals agreed more nearly with our notion of juries than the Roman. The former generally admitted of the citizens at large, and we have no knowledge of the writ of habeas
corpus, which the citizens esteem invaluable, before it made its appearance among the English laws. The English were possessed of minds peculiarly fitted to make practical their sentiments of liberty ; and their whole history in their contests between their kings and the cardinals, and also between rulers and subjects, exhibits their zeal for this. But it was a long time before they obtained to that system, in some respects so admirable, and perhaps in all
, when we take into consideration their government, for it would not be politic or wise for a monarchy to adopt the same principles of legislation as a republic, as laws must be adapted to the form of government they are to uphold. And from the origin of their laws to the present time, there are intermediate laws, whose injustice shows how difficult it is to erect an admirable system of jurisprudence. And England's prosperity began by the breaking up of the old and timehonored empire; and while its inhabitants flocked there, Picts and Danes, and various other tribes, resorted thither also. And while trial by jury, which Sir William Blackstone claims to be of Saxon origin, was practised previous to William the Conqueror, yet, trials among people at that time, strongly tinctured with superstition, were permitted to be by ordeal. But at the time of the last mentioned king, trial by combat, as a last resort to determine facts, took the place of trial by jury, and it was under this same king that feudal tenure was introduced, it being a genuine consequence of the fact, that all the lands in England were derived from, and holden mediately or immediately of the crown; and, says the same author last referred to, the nation at this period seems to have groaned under as absolute a slavery as was in the power of a warlike, an ambitious, and a politic prince to create. But at the time of King John were enacted the two famous charters of English liberties, Magna Charta and Charta de Foresta ; and at this time the King's Court of Common Pleas was fixed at Westminster, that the suitors might no longer be harassed with following the King's person in all his progresses. And it may be well to remark here, that the Charta de Foresta redressed many grievances and encroachments of the crown in the execution of forest laws, while the Magna Charta confirmed many liberties of the church, and redressed, among other things, many grievances incident to feudal tenures, and protected every individual of the nation in the free enjoyment of his life, his liberty, and his property, unless declared to be forfeited by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land. And the third period of the history of English laws commences with the reign of Edward the First. Under him it was allowed that the land be charged to pay debts contracted