« PoprzedniaDalej »
believed the practice is now somewhat declining,—to argue the questions of law, to cite and read authorities, &c. and often to give the case as full a discussion before the jury as it could afterwards receive on the return of the postea. The origin of this inconvenient practice may probably be traced to habits anterior to the revolution, when the bench was commonly filled by men who had not had the benefit of a juridical education, and when it was not only thought necessary to inform the court as well as the jury, but it was often attempted to work upon the jury to decide questions of law for themselves. The practice, however, has continued, although the reason for it has almost ceased; and hence the report of a Nisi Prius trial in this state is often highly interesting and instructive. It may be added that many of the charges to the jury contain views of the points of law on which the case may have turned as comprehensive and elaborate as they would probably receive after an argument in bank.
We may refer for instances of this to the following cases in the first vol. Chambers v. Furry, 167. Evans v. Jones, 172. Irwin's lessee v. Nichols, 293. Eichelberger's lessee v. Barnitz, 307, Sauder's lessee v. Morningstar, 313. Griffith's lessee v. Woodward, 317. Smith's lessee v. Brown, 513; and in the second vol. the reader may consult the following cases: The Commonwealth v. Nicholson, 9. Hubley's lessee v. White, 133, Zeiber v. Boos, 321. Durmond's lessee v. Robinson, 337. Morris's lessee v. Neighman, 450. with others. The third vol. we have not had equal leisure to inspect.
On the whole we consider those reports as forming an useful addition to our stock of juridical information and deserving public encouragement.
We understand that the fourth and last volume is in the press.
Those gentlemen who possess any MSS. decisions or other papers, worthy of publication, and who do not contemplate the compilation of a volume under their own names, are earnestly desired to transmit them to the Editor of this Miscellany, who will insert them in his American Law Journal. If the presidents of the districts in this state would attend to this request, it would promote uniformity in the law, and prevent much delay and uncertainty.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.-MOORE'S DIGESTED INDEX.
A Digested Index to the Term Reports, analytically arranged; containing all the points of law argued and determined in the Court of King's Bench, from Michaelmas Term, 1785, to Easter Term, 1814, and in the Court of Common Pleas, from Easter Term, 1788, to Hilary Term, 1815; with notes, references, tables of titles and statutes and names of cases. By John Bayly Moore, of the Inner Temple, Special Pleader. 2 vols. royal 8vo. pp. 754 and 337..1816-812 50 in boards, in Philadelphia; to be republished at the Port Folio Office.
(From the Monthly Review.)
The merit of a compilation of this nature will depend not only on the fidelity with which the cases or authorities are collected and referred to, but on the order or mode of arrangement adopted in the disposal of them; and chiefly with the latter view the present compilation has been edited.' To the truth of the observation with which the author thus modestly introduces his work to public notice, we fully assent; and we are happy, at the same time, in having it in our power to assure our readers that, while he had before him so proper a view of the object which he ought to endeavour to fulfil by the compilation of an analytical index like the present, he has actually accomplished his task in a manner which does great credit to his own judgment and laborious application, and justly entitles him to the thanks of the profession for whose use his work is intended. In the execution of this design, he has very judiciously adopted a mode of arranging the different titles of his digest, and their several subdivisions, less technical, but more suited to modern practice than that of his predecessor, Mr. Tomlins. The very useful placita of Mr. East, and the other more modern reporters, are, with few exceptions, copied verbatim from their valuable pages; and, where a case determines or more strikingly illustrates two or more different points, it is subdivided, and arranged accordingly. The various indexes are well designed, and accurately executed: so that on the whole, we are not aware of any plan by which a reference to the various important decisions, contained in so large a body of legal authorities as the Term-Reports, can well be made more easy than it is rendered by means of this very useful compilation.
** An American edition of the above work will shortly be published,
and be sold at a low price, compared with the English copy, to subscribers
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
OBITUARY. ALEXANDER GRAYDON, ESQ.
In a recent number (April) of this Miscellany, we expressed a wish that the very interesting Memoirs of a Life, chiefly passed in Pennsylvania, should be enlarged and republished in a manner more worthy of the valuable matter which they contain. This suggestion was adopted by the author; but not many weeks elapsed before his earthly hopes and designs were closed for ever, by a mandate which none can disregard, and his sorrowing friends attended him to the narrow house appointed for all living. The personal nature of these Memoirs renders it unnecessary to attempt a delineation of the character of Mr. Graydon. He was one of the few survivors of that old school of accomplished gentlemen, which flourished before our revolution;-at a period when the courtesy of society was not disturbed by insubordination in systems, nor violated by laxity in sentiments. That he has indulged himself in some harshness in the Memoirs will not be denied; nor will that language be censured by those who remember the merciless persecution by which it was provoked.
So looks the chased lion
Upon the daring huntsman that has galled him;
In his youth, Mr. Graydon was remarkable for the elegance of his person, and he retained that advantage in an uncommon degree to his latest hour. The elements of his temper were kindness and good wili; he was frank and generous; his disposition was sociable and equally fitted to win esteem or disarm resentment; his conversation, chaste and pleasant, diffused the same agreeable feelings around him which seemed to warm his own heart. During many years he was an occasional contributor to this Journal. His last private communication to the writer of this memorial, derives peculiar interest from the melancholy event by which it was speedily followed. The letter contained a translation of a Latin epigram; and though the muse of our friend cannot boast the melody of the swan, yet she breathes the same prophetic strain. Before these lines are inserted, the reader will re
quire no apology for the insertion of an extract from Mr. Graydon's letter to the editor.
In a slow convalescence from a lingering indisposition, I have amused myself with the enclosed translation, which is at the service of the Port Folio, if worthy of its pages. It struck me as a pleasing trifle, and though no poet, I had a mind to try how I could dress it in English metre.I am not unmindful of the story in Gil Blas of the Archbishop of Granada,— the old gentleman so celebrated for his homilies. For, though like him, I may not be sensible of a decadence in my mental faculties, it may nevertheless exist; and, whether or not, every person, I presume, who has attained to my years (65) will feel a want of the vis animæ or animi, that is necessary to the ready performance of a literary undertaking, &c.
Avulsa è ramo, frons ô miseranda, virenti,
Marcida quo vadis?—Quo vadam, nescio—Quercum
ATTEMPTED IN ENGLISH.
Torn from thy nurturing branch, poor, fallen leaf,
My parent oak laid prostrate by the storm.
Now, whirl'd afield, I bleach upon the plain.
In short, I GO, WHERE ALL THINGS EARTHLY, TEND,
And unresisting meet my wasting foes:
For oaks and brambles have one common end
The foliage of the laurel and the rose.*
We are not prepared to say whether the Memoirs will be republished with the projected additions. The book itself contains some things that are bold and unpalatable, but it is a work of unexampled candour and truth; and will conduce more to a veri
* M. Chaudron has published in his Abeille Americaine, (Philad. Jan 1818.) a French version which is both accurate and elegant. ED. P. F.
table history of the times to which it relates, than any other publication now extant. The additions which were contemplated by the author, consisted chiefly of copious and interesting illustrations, deduced from a private and confidential correspondence with general Washington himself. To these it was proposed to add a selection from those literary and political speculations in which the author had exercised his pen, while he lived secluded--the world forgetting and himself forgot,
Oblitús meorum, obliviscendus et illis.
Here it would be seen that Mr. Graydon never lost sight of those imperishable principles for which he had contended on the field. He cherished the love of liberty which beat in his heart until it became the impression of his conscience and the conviction of his understanding. Though a severe sufferer from political intolerance, nothing like tergiversation could be ranked among his failings. The perilous appearances in our political horizon never alarmed the soldier of the revolution, who knew that the relations of truth and justice are immutable.
His literature was various and elegant, for he was educated when more attention was paid to that important subject, by the gentlemen of the country, than is to be found in our own times. That his style is not more easy and polished we should attribute more to indifference than inability. Though he was not careful about words, yet he obeyed another precept of the orator in being anxious about things.
REV. J. M'KEAN, LL. D.
DIED at Havanna (Cuba) whither he had gone for the restoration of his health, the Rev. JOSEPH M'KEAN, LL. D. late a Professor in the Harvard University.
In common with many of our eminent men, Dr. McKean published but little. His fame, therefore, must principally be deposited in the recollection of contemporaries; but there is no reason to apprehend they will prove unfaithful to the trust. Probably no one ever saw him without the conviction of his being an extraordinary man, and both his character and his countenance were: alike too strongly marked to be easily forgotten.
He posse se that ardour of temperament which has been thought characteristic of men of genius, and that glow of imagi