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The consequence to be feared is, that judicial reports, instead of being, what no doubt it is intended they should be, beacons and landmarks to guide the public into quiet havens of security and repose, may become false lights to decoy into the whirls and shoals of litigation. In speaking of the new and refined distinctions upon general principles, which in his day were multiplying, though in no degree as since, lord Mansfield remarked, that “if our rules are to be incumbered with all the exceptions which ingenious minds can imagine, there is no certain principle to direct us, and it were better to apply the principles of justice to every case, and not to proceed to more fixed rules.” And much more may we say, in looking at the ponderous volumes of reported cases which flood the country, and are multiplying with a rapidity that no diligence can keep pace with, that rather than that the science of the law should have to be sought in the exceptions, qualifications and ingenious evasions of general rules, made and to be made by innumerable judges, the records of which are to be spread through thousands of volumes, it were better to abandon all attempts to preserve a written system of jurisprudence, and to revert at once to that species of administrative justice commended by Cicero, when, Amissis auctoritatibus, ipsa re et ratione exquirere possumus veritatem.”
Lord Eldon's Advice to Law Students. We find the following in the journal of the late Mr. Wilberforce.—“April 17, 1801,– Saw lord Eldon, and had long talk with him on the best mode of study and discipline—for the young Grants, to be lawyers. The chancellor's reply was not encouraging—‘I know no rule to give them, but that they must make up their minds to live like a hermit and work like a horse.” Life of Wilberforce.
Obituary. The following brief notice of the late Mr. Stearns is extracted from the Boston Daily Advertiser, of Feb. 8, 1839. Mr. Stearns was one of the few American lawyers, who first ventured upon the publication of a work on American law, and he was also the first professor of law appointed in Harvard University. As a writer, he received the most certain and gratifying expression of the public approbation, in the entire success and sale of two editions of his work on Real Actions. As an instructer, he will be long held in grateful remembrance, by those who had the good fortune to be his pupils, for the uniform kindness and patience, with which he aided them in their progress.
“Died, in Cambridge, on Tuesday the 5th inst the honorable Asahel STEARNs, aged 64.
“The ill health of the last years of this gentleman's life had taught his friends that its termination must be near; but, whatever be the length of expectation, the blow, when it falls, must strike heavily. In this instance, it is the more painful, because it severs ties of peculiar tenderness and strength.
“Educated as a lawyer, after many years of extensive practice, during which he was at one time a member of Congress, and afterwards, for a long period, county attorney for Middlesex, he was, in 1817, appointed professor in the Law School at Cambridge, and held this office until 1829. In 1824, he published his work on Real Actions, which was universally regarded as learned, accurate and useful. He was afterwards appointed one of the Commissioners for revising the statutes of the commonwealth, Judge Jackson and Mr. Pickering being his colleagues. After this work was completed, he partially resumed his practice, and continued in it, until his failing health compelled his retirement.
“Such is the brief outline of a life which was filled with usefulness, and was in all its relations of singular excellence. Active in a profession which deals with the crimes and quarrels of mankind, he passed through this ordeal unhurt; and no man has combined more perfectly than he, the characters of a skilful lawyer, a zealous advocate, and an honest man. His integrity was not merely that which the world demands and is content with ; it was pure, uncompromising, entire. Nor was it mingled with anything of sternness or severity, for his kindness and gentleness were constant and universal. If he has left to the friends who were nearest to him, hopes and recollections full of consolation, he has also left to society an example which cannot fail to be fruitful of good, as long as his memory lives in the wide circle which knew him and laments his loss.”
QUARTERLY LIST OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
The Statutes at large of South Carolina; edited, under authority of the legislature, by Thomas Cooper, M.D., LL.D. Volume Ili, containing the acts from 1716, exclusive, to 1752, inclusive ; and Volume IV, containing the acts from 1752, exclusive, to 1786, inclusive, arranged chronologically. Columbia, S. C. Printed by A. S. Johnston, 1838.
Laws of the State of Mississippi; embracing all acts of a public nature from January Session, 1824, to January Session, 1838, inclusive. Published by authority. Jackson: Printed for the State of Mississippi, 1838. See page 461. The Revised Statutes of the State of Indiana, adopted and enacted by the General Assembly at their twenty-second session. To which are prefixed the declaration of independence, the constitution of the United States, the constitution of the state of Indiana, and sundry other documents connected with the political history of the territory and State of Indiana. Arranged, compiled and published, by authority of the general assembly. Indianapolis: Douglass & Noel, Printers, 1838. See page 462.
The Law of Libel. Report of the Trial of Dr. Samuel Thompson, for an alleged libel, before Judge Thacher, in the Municipal Court of Boston. April Term, 1839. Boston: Printed by Henry P. Lewis, 1839.
Legal and Political Hermeneutics, or principles of Interpretation and Construction in Law and Politics, with remarks on Precedents and Authorities. Enlarged edition. By Francis Lieber. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1839.
See page 388.
The Law Library, Edited by Thomas J. Wharton, Esq., of the
Philadelphia bar. Nos. 67 to 72, containing:
An Elementary Compendium of the Law of Real Property, by Walter Henry Burton; A Selection of Leading Causes on various branches of the Law, by John William Smith. Vol. II. Part I; A Practical Treatise on the Law of Trusts and Trustees. By Thomas Lewin; and An Essay on Aquatic Rights. By Henry Schultes. Speech in the Senate of New York, on the amendment of the Law and the Reform of the Judiciary System. By Gulian C. Verplanck. Albany: Hoffman & White, 1839.
We have not room to notice this beautiful speech, in the manner which it deserves, in our present number.
Term Reports in the Court of Queen's Bench, Bail Court, Court of Common Pleas, and Court of Exchequer. Part I. Hilary Term. London: Richard Pheney; Boston: Charles C. Little & James Brown. See page 474. A Treatise on the Law relative to Sales of Personal Property. By George Long, Esq. Second American edition, with additions, by Benj. Rand, Esq., Counsellor at Law. Boston: C. C. Little & J. Brown. See page 471. The Practice of the Law in all its Departments, &c.: By J. Chitty, Esq. Vol. IV. Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson, successors to Nicklin & Johnson. See page 477. Reports of Cases decided in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. By T. J. Wharton. Vol. IV. Same.
Asverus, Prof. Dr. G., uber die legis actio sacramenti. Bardeleben, Dr. M., de sententiarum nullitate commentatio juridica. Beck, Dr., iiber Versäumnisse und deren Entschuldigung bei Actiengesellschaften. [On negligence and its exculpation, in reference to joint-stock companies.] Beseler, G., die Lehre von den Erbverträgen. [The doctrine of partition.] Christiansen, Dr. J., die Wissenschaft der Römischen Rechtsgeschichte, im Grundrisse. 1r Bd. [The science of Roman Law-History.]
Criminal-Gesetzbuch Sachsens, das neue, mit Erlauterungen und vergleich. Bemerkungen der Strafansätze, &c. Nebst einem vergleichenden Sachregister. 3 Lfgn.
[The new criminal code of Saxony, with explanations, &c.]
Dirksen, H. Ed., manuale latinitatis fontium juris civilis Romanorum. Fasc. IV et V.
Entscheidungen des königl. Geh. Ober-Tribunals, herausgeg. im amtl. Auftrage, von Dr. A. H. Simon und H. L. von Strampff. 2r Bd.
[Decisions of the royal privy uppertribunal.]
Franck, O. L., Uebersicht des Hypotheken-Wesens zu Frankfurt a. M., od. Systemat. Darstellung der Vorschriften und Erfordernisse, &c. 2e Aufl.
[Hypothecation in Frankfort on the Mayn.]
Gärtner, Dr. Prof. G. F., de summojuris naturalis problemate.
Graba, C. J., Theorie und Praxis des gemeinen deutschen Criminalrechts im 19 Jahr., in merkw. Straf-Rechtsfallen dargestellt.
[Theory and practice of the common German criminal law, in the nineteenth century, exemplified in remarkable cases.]
Haenel, G., legis Romanae Visigothorum particula cum codd. Monac. et Phillipps. imagine lapide expressu.
Hitzig, Dr. J. Ed., d. k. Preuss. Gesetz vom 11. Juni 1837, zum Schutze des Eigenthums an Werken der Wissenschaft und Kunst gegen Nachdruck und Nachbildung. Dargestellt in seinem Entstehen u. erläut. in seinen einzelnen Bestimmungen aus d. Amtl. Quellen.
[The royal Prussian law of June 11, 1837, for the protection of property in works of science and art, against pirating and imitation. Delineated in its origin, and explained in its particular provisions, from official sources.]
Jagemann Dr. L. H. Fz. von, Handbuch der gerichtlichen Untersuchungskunde. [Manual ofjudicial inquisition.] Kappler, J., juristisches Promtuarium, ein Reperter. über alle in d. J. 1800–1837 erschienenen rechtswissenschaftl. Abhandlungen, &c. „." of all the works on jurisprudence, published from 1800 to
Lehrbuch des Handelsrechts, mit Ausnahme des Seerechts. Frei bearb. nach Cours de Droit Commercial par Pardessus, und