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multiplying copies: and the expression “her majesty” shall include the heirs and successors of her majesty; and the expressions “order of her majesty in council” and “order in council.” shall respectively mean order of her majesty, acting by and with the advice of her majesty's most honorable privy council; and in describing any persons or things any word importing the plural number shall mean also one person or thing, and any word importing the singular number shall include several persons or things, and any word importing the masculine shall include also the feminine gender; unless in any of such cases there shall be something in the subject or context repugnant to such construction.
Act may be amended.]—Sect. 17 enacts, that this act may be amended or repealed by any act to be passed in this present session of parliament.
New Work on the United States. The Revue Etrangere et Française, for June, 1838, announces a new work on this country, by Dr. Julius of Hamburg, as in press, under the title of an “Essay on the Moral State of North America, according to the personal observations of the author, in the years 1834, 1835, and 1836.” This work will appear in two volumes, a summary of the contents of which is given in the Revue. The first embraces the subjects of the geography and history of the several states, religion,-education and instruction,-pauperism and charity, and society. The second will treat of crimes and punishments, in five sections: 1, A brief view of American penal law ; 2, Number and nature of the crimes and offences committed in the United States; 3, American prisons; 4, Asylums or establishments for young criminals or children whose moral education has been neglected; and, 5, Application to Europe of the information collected by the author in America. The work cannot fail of being received with great interest, both in Europe and in this country.
Indemnity and Indemnification. These words have almost a technical meaning in law, and, though quite different in their signification, are very often used as synonymous; or, rather, we should say, the first is most frequently used where the second only would be proper. The word indemnification, according to Dr. Johnson, signifies: 1, security against loss or penalty; and, 2, reimbursement of loss or penalty. The word indemnity, which comes to us directly from the French, and in that language means indemnification, is defined by the great lexicographer: security from punishment; exemption from punishment. Whilst we have so good and English a word as indemnification at command, it seems quite unnecessary, to say nothing more, to press a foreign one into our service, and make it do double duty.
New Work by Savigny. The Revue de Législation et de Jurisprudence, for February, announces a new work from the pen of this celebrated jurist, in the following terms:
“Letters from Berlin inform us, that three or four volumes of a treatise by Savigny, on the Pandects, will soon be published. Hitherto, the learned author of the ‘History of the Roman Law in the Middle Ages’ has confined himself, in his other works, to the investigation of some controverted doctrines or obscure points. It has been permitted to his pupils only to become acquainted with his entire system. Henceforward, this system will cease to be the exclusive privilege of a few ; it will become accessible to all, and may be known and studied throughout; for it is the intention of the author to publish it in a more developed and complete form, than would comport with the limits of an elementary course. Germany awaits with impatience this new publication, destined to supply a desideratum in legal literature, which Glück was unable to fill with his voluminous commentary. The progress of science demanded a great work, which should be, as it were, its last result, its last expression; and it was reserved for Savigny to enrich the science with such a work, which will doubtless sustain his already great reputation. Mr. Savigny proposes to go over the whole field of Roman law, with the exception of the doctrine of successions, which has been undertaken by one of his most distinguished pupils, professor Rudorff. Our readers have had an opportunity to appreciate this learned jurisconsult, who, still young, has already acquired a high reputation by the extent and the profoundness of his researches. Those who know him will readily believe, that his treatise on successions will be worthy both of his own anterior labors and of his illustrious master.”
Kinne's Blackstone. In reference to this work, a correspondent writes as follows:
“In your critical notice of “Kinne's Blackstone' (in the last number of the Jurist), you have omitted to notice the fact, that his questions are a mere transcript, almost literal, of Barron Field's analysis, at the end of Chitty's Blackstone, whose labors he has most impudently stolen and palmed upon the profession as his own, which, had it been truly his own, ‘must,’ as you correctly suppose, “have cost him a great deal of labor.’”
[From the Charleston (S. C.) Courier, April 1.]
Death of Chancellor Desaussure. This venerable man and useful citizen departed this life on Friday last, in this city, having passed the boundary of three score and ten, and reached the advanced age of seventy-five years. In the dawn of manhood he participated in our revolutionary struggle, having gallantly borne arms in defence of Charleston against the invading foe. After the achievement of our independence, and the organization of our present system of government, he received from the father of our country the appointment of director of the mint at Philadelphia, having been the second to fill that office, (the venerable and celebrated Rittenhouse having preceded him), and we learn that he retained, and took pleasure to the last in exhibiting to his friends and acquaintances, a piece of his own coinage, (one of the first gold coins ever struck at the mint, the very first one having been presented by him to Washington), in evidence of this incident in his life. This office he did not retain long, but returning to Charleston and resuming the practice of the law, he rose to eminence in his profession. In 1797–8, he filled the municipal office of intendant (or mayor) of Charleston, and for a number of years acted as chairman of the board of commissioners of that noble in
stitution of benevolence, the Orphan House of Charleston. He bore a part in the convention of this state which adopted the constitution of the United States, and also in that which framed the present constitution of this state; was a member of the state legislature, and was one of the founders of the South Carolina college, an institution which he cherished with parental care. In December, 1808, he was elected one of the chancellors of the state, and continued to fill that high office for a period of twenty-nine years, until December, 1837, when increasing physical infirmity compelled him to tender his resignation to the legislature.
English Reprints of American Law Books. We perceive, by the advertising sheets of the London booksellers, that Ray's Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity, and Lieber's Political Ethics, recently published by Messrs. Little and Brown, have been reprinted in England. The latter is noticed in terms of approbation in late numbers of the Examiner and Spectator.
Punishment of Outlawry. An anecdote given us by Selden, in his Table Talk (Title Law), may serve very well to illustrate the influence this mode of punishment may have over a man who is out of the reach of every other. In the reign of James first, an English merchant had a demand upon the king of Spain, which he could not get the king to satisfy. The merchant had already brought his action, and Selden, who was his counsel, advised him to proceed to outlawry. Writ after writ was sent to the sheriff to take his majesty, and have his body before the justices at Westminster. His majesty was not to be found. Great outcry, as is usual, was made after him upon this in sundry ale-houses. His majesty did not happen to be at any of the ale-houses. He was accordingly proclaimed an outlaw; and a wolf's head, in due form of law, was clapt upon his shoulders, so that any body might lay hold of him, and put him into jail, that had a mind for it. The case was, his majesty happened at that time to have demands upon several merchants in England, for which demands, so long as he continued under judgment of outlawry, he could not have his remedy. Upon this consideration, his ambassador, Gondamar, submitted and paid the money; upon which, the wolf's head was taken off, and the king's head put in its place. Bentham's Rationale of Punishment.
Modern Jurisprudence and Reports. The following remarks on the subject of our modern jurisprudence were made by Mr. senator Tracy, in the court of errors of the state of New York, on the occasion of giving his judgment in the case of Wright r. Hart, reported in the eighteenth volume of Mr. Wendell's Reports.
“I am getting to learn that the spirit of the age, which is disposed to consider nothing settled that it imagines susceptible of improvement—a spirit which regards nothing as too ancient to be attacked—nothing as too new to be attempted, is extending its influences to the oldest and deepest rooted principles of the common law. This event might not be so much regretted, if it were proposed to be brought about only through the open and responsible agency of legislation; but when pursued through the devious and occult process of judicial exceptions and qualifications, it becomes a subject of some solicitude and apprehension. Lord Eldon wisely remarked, that instead of struggling by little circumstances to take cases out of a general rule, it is more wholesome to struggle not to let little circumstances prevent the application of the general rule. But this principle, in modern times, has been so poorly maintained, that the profession of the law, it seems to me, is fast becoming a matter of memory rather than of reason and judgment; and the study of it is already so much more the study of the exceptions and evasions of general principles, than of general principles themselves, that I am sometimes induced to think, that as a science, the law would be better understood, and as a rule of right, more justly administered, if the reports of judicial decisions for the last half century were struck out of existence. We see continually that the qualification or relaxation of a general principle, established by one reported case, is made the place of departure for ascertaining a new position in another, and this again in a third, and so on, until the original rule, the natural standard of the law, is obscured and utterly lost sight of, by means of intervening artificial measures of supposed particular justice.