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has never been conceded to any other compiler. It has frequently occured to us, that our professional brethren of the south did not sufficiently appreciate the merits of this work. They appear to be devoted to Bacon's Abridgment, and pass over Comyns' Digest as a book merely of occasional reference, entitled to little either of praise or blame. How otherwise can we account for Mr. Hoffman's omission, under the article of pleading, to recommend the admirable title Pleader in the Digest, a title which has collected and exhausted in a most scientifick order the whole principles of the science. The title pleas and pleadings' in Bacon's Abridgment is an excellent sketch; but it is but a sketch, and compared with the title of Comyns just mentioned is but twilight to the meridian day.We would respectfully ask the attention of Mr. Hoffman and of southern lawyers in general to the following observations of Mr. Hargrave. The whole of Lord Chief Baron Comyns' work is equally remarkable for its great variety of matter, its compendious and accurate expressions, and the excellence of its methodical distribution; but the title Pleader' seems to have been the author's favourite one, and that in which he principally exerted himself.' (Co. Litt. 17. a. note. 1.)

The remark too of Mr. Hoffman, that the books of reports contain the law in the precise phraseology in which it was administered by the judges,' requires some qualification. With the exception of the Reports of Plowden, Coke, and Vaughan, and a very few great cases in other Reports, the remark can scarcely be said to be true of any Reporter before the time of Sir James Burrow. There are some other unimportant particulars in which we differ from Mr. Hoffman ; but with these trifling exceptions, we entirely agree in the opinions of Mr. Hoffman as to the importance and utility of reading the original Reports. We presume that the omission to notice the Massachusetts Reports in company with Mr. Johnson's, Mr. Binney's, and Messrs. Henning & Munford's was accidental; for if we do not deceive ourselves, in point of learning and accuracy they yield to few, if any, in our country.

What particularly pleases us is the enlarged and liberal view with which Mr. Hoffman recommends the student of the com

but they consist of the marginal notes of the Reporters thrust into the text without order or propriety, and destroy symmetry, and connexion.A supplement of modern cases and principles upon the plan of Comyns' Digest, in a distinct work, would be an invaluable present to the profession.

mon law to a full and careful study of the admiralty, maritime and civil law. If the note on the excellence of the civil law (p. 254) were not too long, we should gladly insert it in this place. We commend it however, as well as his observations on the law of nations and the admiralty law, most earnestly, to all those who aspire to eminence as statesmen, or scholars or lawyers. To Mr. Hoffman's list of books on these subjects we beg leave to add Heineccius' Elements of the civil Law according to the order of the Institutes and the Pandects, whom Sir James Mackintosh has not scrupled to pronounce 'the best writer of elementary books, with whom he is acquainted on any subject.'* We also recommend Ferrieve's Dictionaire de Droit et de Pratique, Calvinus' Lexicon Juridicum, M. Dessaules' Dictionaire du Digeste, Exton and Zouch and Spelman on the Admiralty Jurisdiction Cleiraac's; Us et coutumes de la mer, Emerigon Traitè des Assurances, Pothier's works and particularly his Treatises on maritime contracts, Boucher's Translation of the Consolato del mare, Peckins ad rem nauticum, d'Abreu sur les Prisas, and though last, not least, Caseregis' Discursus de Commercio.

We must now hasten to a close, although there are some discussions which the perusal of Mr. Hoffman's work has suggested, which we very reluctantly pass over. In quitting the work we have not the slightest hesitation to declare, that it contains by far the most perfect system for the study of the law, which has ever been offered to the publick. The writers, whom he recommends, are of the very best authority; and his own notes are composed in a tone of the most enlarged philosophy, and abound in just and discriminating criticism and in precepts calculated to elevate the moral as well as intellectual character of the profession. The course, proposed by him, is very ample, and would probably consume seven years of close study. But much may be omitted where time and opportunity are wanting to exhaust it. We cordially recommend it to all lawyers as a model for the direction of the students who may be committed to their care; and we hazard nothing in asserting that if its precepts are steadily pursued,

* Sir James Mackintosh's introductory Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations is a most finished composition, abounding in all the graces of juridical eloquence, and pregnant with most important and edifying learning.

high as the profession now stands in our country, it will attain a higher elevation, an elevation, which shall command the reverence of Europe, and reflect back light and glory upon the land and the law of our forefathers.

We have another motive besides the intrinsick value of the work, for recommending it earnestly to the perusal of our readers. It will demonstrate to the understanding of every discerning man the importance, nay the necessity, of the law school which the Government of Harvard College have so honourably to themselves established at Cambridge. No work can sooner dissipate the common delusion, that the law may be thoroughly acquired in the immethodical, interrupted and desultory studies of the office of a practising counsellor. Such a situation is indispensable after the student shall have laid a foundation in elementary principles under the guidance of a learned and discreet lecturer. He will then be prepared to reap the full benefits of the practice of an attorney's office. But without such elementary instruction, he will waste a great deal of time in useless and discouraging efforts; or become a patient drudge, versed in the forms of conveyancing and pleading, but incapable of ascending to the principles which guide and govern them; or sink into a listless indolence and inactivity, waiting for the arrival of the regular period for his admission to the bar, without one qualification to justify the honour which he receives. One year passed at the university in attendance upon the lectures of the very respectable gentleman, who has recently been appointed to preside over the law school there, would lay a foundation of solid learning, upon which our ingenuous and ambitious youth might confidently hope to build a fabrick of professional fame, which would carry them to the first honours of the bar, and make them, on the bench, the ornaments of their country.

ART. IV. Memoirs of my own times. By General James


Remember that the ways of Heaven,

Though dark, are just; that oft some guardian power
Attends unseen, to save the innocent!

But if high Heaven decrees our fall-O let us
Firmly await the stroke; prepared alike

To live or die.


For Patriots still must fall for statesmen's safety,
And perish by the country they preserve.


Philadelphia; Abraham Small. 3 vols. 8vo. pp. 2295.

THERE is hardly any class of books that is read with more avidity, than the memoirs of individuals, whom talents or chance, or the joint influence of both, has distinguished in society. They may be said to lead us to the hidden sources of events, to secluded fountains and rivulets, which are afterwards swallowed up in the mighty current of history, where their tributes are blended and lost in the majesty and rapidity of the stream. They place us behind the scene, and we observe how the stage effect is produced, which is so imposing at a distance. If in this way some illusions are destroyed, we are compensated by a more accurate knowledge of the machinery and the actors of the drama. Our pleasure as mere spectators may be diminished, but our capacity of judging is improved; we learn to distinguish more accurately between falsehood and truth, and to avoid being dazzled by mere tinsel, which in the glare of false lights may pass with the vulgar for gold. The meanest of the troop, with the aid of paint, purple and gilt embroidery, may enact a king and make a most royal appearance ; but Cato or Brutus or Cicero, in the plain garb of a Roman senator, will owe all their importance to the talents of the actor; and as they are without disguise, so the more closely we examine them, the more they will rise in our estimation.

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The ancients have left us but few works of this description, though what they have, are indeed masterpieces. We may form some estimate of what we have to regret on this score, by considering the value of what we possess. The abbé Bar

thelemy, with great learning and exquisite taste, has partly supplied this defect in one of the most interesting periods of Greece, by the fictitious travels of Anacharsis; of which design a less perfect execution had been previously attempted in the Athenian Letters. This want of individual memoirs, of private anecdote, of personal and unofficial narratives, leaves our curiosity unsatisfied, respecting many of the events and much of the social condition of antiquity. From the few anecdotes and familiar details which have reached us, we are obliged to generalize too much; we may indeed produce a grand historical picture where the actors will be severe, energetick and dignified; their only attendants the Lictors. with the Fasces, and the whole scenery the Forum or the Capitol ; these will appear with all the decorum suited to publick exposure and the observation of history; but the painting of more graceful and smiling scenery, the garden, the villa, the saloon, the domestick and familiar groups within them; the private intercourse, the subordinate springs, and primary combinations, which form interesting cabinet pictures, are almost wholly wanting. We may hear Demosthenes haranguing, or witness the judgments of the Areopagus; but we cannot listen to the conversations of Socrates and Aspasia ; or observe that mother governed by a froward child, ruling her husband who governed Greece.

In modern literature these works have been abundant in proportion to their popularity. Statesmen, generals, priests, philosophers, poets, actors, artists, courtiers, magistrates, princesses, courtezans, and even tradesmen have left us their memoirs. When we choose therefore to go behind the records of history, we become intimately acquainted with the characters of divers eminent persons, the mutability of councils, the remarkableness of actions, the subtlety of pretensions, and the drifts of several interests.'* We have the whole mechanism of society laid open to us, all the infirmities and all the strength of human character; the fireside scenes, the confidential dialogues, the secret intrigues are all displayed, all the windings of the human heart, all the modifications of social relation are exposed to our reflection; the houses are all unroofed, and without an Asmodeus for a Cicerone, we may examine the interiour and their inhabitants, as we do the

* Rushworth Pref. His. Col.

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