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alledges in Court, that she was never ed, • That, in time coming, no judgeendowed therewith be his predeces- ment nor dome fall be done by water for, the, querel or pley may be decided orirn, as has been used in auld times." be fingular battel.' And in lib. 3. And, in England, as Craig observes, cap. 13. ver. 4. Duelling is mention- the trial by ordeal grew rarer and raed as one of the general forms and rer after the fuccession of William manners of probation used in Courts. the Norman, to the throne of that The words are: • Ane thing may be kingdom. In both countries, howproven lawfullie, as debt, or be buy- ever, the practice of duelling contiing or selling, or as ane lenne, or be nued to be authorized by the law, the general manner and form of prc. long after it had been confined to cribation, used and observed in Courts; minal cases merely. And hence it is that is, be writ, or be fingulare bat- that our legislature, even when protell’!
viding against that havock of lives, This custom of fingular combat, which the uncontrolled liberty of in civil as well as in criminal cases, duelling had produced; made the exappears to have continued in force ception of those duels allowed by the till the time of Robert III. But, by king; an exception, which, as we obcap. 16. of the statutes of that prince, served above, tends to destroy the those cases are specifically pointed energy of the statute; and can only out, in which, and in which only, be excused, by the minds, even of duelling can have place, and from lawgivers, being still bound falt in which civil cases are altogether ex. the chains of inveterate custom, cluded. The words of this statute which had sanctioned this practice. are as follows : • It is statute that, There are, in our old law books, in fingular battell, four things are a great many regulations respecting required: First, That the deed for the mode in which these judicial the quhilk the defender is appealed duels were to proceed, and a variety is capital, and may be punished be of other circumstances concerning the death. Secundlie, That it is quiet- them. These, tho' curious enough ly and treasonablie done and com- in themselves, it is not our business to mitted : Thirdlie, That he quha is ap- consider here ; whose only purpose, pealed be halden suspect, be conjec- in entering upon this detail at all, tures, or probable fufpicions, and pre- was to ascertain the origin of a pracfumptions : Fourthlie, That the cause tice so new in the history of manor controversie may not be proven, kind, and which, more than any ootherways bot be battell, and not be ther custom, perhaps, distinguishes witness, nor be instruments, letters, modern times from the ages of antior be writ.' These regulations of quity. And, having thus seen the Robert III. are much the same with origin of this practice, it will be eafier those made in France by Philip the for us to appretiate its character, and Fair, which have been already men- to examine the foundation upon tioned ; and both point to the dawn- which duelling rests, that despotic ings of a more fixed and enlightened authority which tramples under foot jurisprudence. Our legislature in every principle of law, reason, reliScotland had a considerable time be- gion, and nature. It would indeed fore the reign of Robert III. begun be, in the present state of manners, a to recede from the barbarism of their fond and foolish idea, to snppose, that ancestors, in regard to judicial trials. any effort of reason, or power of Thus, by the cap. 7. 8. 3. of the sta- gument, could crush this overbeartutes of Alexander II. it was ordain. ing vice. Too much has already
been said on this subje&t by others, to of history, that they were unknown permit the author of this work to to the ancients. Some instances, inindulge himself in the vain presump- deed, there may be, of something tion, that any thing he can say will like single combats. And Antony, prove fufficient, where they have thus, is said to have sent a challenge failed. But as the subject of this to his rival Augustus, for deciding section naturally leads to some gene- by their swords the sovereignty of ral obfervations on a practice, which the world. But such instances were the laws, of which it treats, condemn rare, and indeed were in themselves and punish, he will venture to add very different from what we call his gleanings to the common stock, duels, being proposed only in public as argument may have some collate- concerns, and proceeding from moral influence, though it cannot here tives of generosity, to prevent the effectuate its purpose direcly.
effufion of blood in the political quarIn the first place, then, it is evi- rels of contending parties; and they dent, from the account which has were particularly differenced from our been given of the origin of duelling, duelling, by this remarkable circuman account into which we entered, stance, that the challenge might be not from an idea of advancing any refused, without any injury to the thing new, but merely for the pur- reputation of the refuser ; for Aupose of placing the conclusion that is gustus refused, and he was applauded to be drawn from it, in the clearest for it, the challenge given by Anpoint of light, that this practice can tony. This affords an additional in no way boalt' of being founded up. proof, that duelling is no dictate of on the principles of right reason, as human reason; or the glorious difsome have pretended, since it sprung covery would not have been reserved, up originally among barbarians, and like a discovery in science, to decohas been propagated through the va- rate the fame of modern ages. rious nations of modern Europe, by In the second place, it is to be obthe influence solely of custom. It de- served, that duelling evidently can serves, therefore, the attention of the pretend to no plea, in its justification, duellist, who is generally a person of from the notion that it is a proper what is called a liberal turn of think- punishment for offences; because it ing, aud who spurns at every idea is equally abfurd in this view, as the of supersticion, that superstition a- superstitious trial by ordeal, dependlone first sanctioned the duel, and ing upon accident equally with it, that he subjects himself to the impe- and even upon the supposition that rious domination of this grovelling the offender falls, being frequently principle, when he recurs to dueiling excessive in the degree of punishas the test of honour. Who, in our ment, the most capital vice into which days, would not laugh at the revival any punishment can run, as it unhinof the ridiculous ceremony of the ges the relative order of crimes. ordeal in the trial of crimes? Yet With regard to this excess, a late authe ordeal is the twin fister of the thor speaks very sensibly.
. This exduel, begotten by barbarity upon fu- cess of punishment, in some instances, perstition. Shall we then contemn says he will not be corrected by a the one, while we venerate the o- defect in others ; which happens, for ther ? Surely both are to be rejected, example, when both parties escape or neither. It appears alfo, from unhurt, unless we suppose neither of the account given of the origin of them in any degree culpable. duels, as well as from the evidence would be a very weak justification of
the civil power, in any country, to the decline. It must, however, be fay, that, though it was too rigorous observed, we pretend not to account in its punishmeats in fome instances, for the cause, that they have luckiiy it was too mild, or inflicted no pu- grown more harmless. And if duels nishment at all in others; and that, have not contributed, in fact, to the in the whole, it inflicted such a quan- prevention of crimes, it will scarcely tity of punishment upon the subjects of be maintained, that they are fitted the state as was due to their guilt in to effectuate this in theory; for nothe aggregate. It is the duty of the thing can be a prevention which is civil power, as it is the interest of the not at the same time a proper punishfociety at large, that, upon every se- ment. parate offence, the proper degree of It may be pretended, that the principunishment should be inflicted. Ri- ple of revenge, implanted in the gour, or a too great lenity, in one in-breast of man, must have some outlet, Itance, (if it be any argument on ei- and that it is better to give it a fair ther side of the question) would ra- and open one, than to suffer it 10, exther tend to justify the like rigour or itself in a private and clandestine lenity, in other instances. By the way ; in one word, that duelling prefame
way of reasoning, we try any in- vents affaflination. The answer to stitution or custom, which sets itself this is obvious. In the first place, it up in the place of the civil power, as is necessary to prove, for the support the practice of duelling; in which, of this opinion, that asiallination has the prodigious inequality of punith- always existed where duelling has ments, eventually inflicted for equal been unknown, a circumstance which cffences, is a manifest and flagrant is belied by the evidence of history; violation of the good order of socie. for the folitary instances which occur ty*! The truth of these observa- of this shameful practice, in antient. tions is undeniable. Duelling, in fact, story, arose not from private revenge, is like the laws of Draco, lo much but from political hatred, amid the execrated by all mankind. It ordains wild convulsions of an expiring dew one and the same punishment for all mocracy; as those which have ocoffences; and denounces death, in- curred in modern times, much more discriminate death, for the violation shocking, and in states, too, where of a petty rule of decorum, and for duelling existed, have originaied from the inost flagrant breach of the fi.st the gloom of superstition, and the unlaws of morality, which form the ce- holy ravings of fanaticism. And it ment of the human race. This it is next to be observed, that duelling does, even when it punishes the of- itself may be converted very easily infender. But, if the guilty punish the to affaflination, properly so called, (for innocent !--It.is needless to urge this itself is at the best, only an apparently topic farther.
honourable mode of affassinating) by Nor can duelling prevent crimes those who have caught themselves sua more than punish them. Will it be perior skill in the weapons of death, paintained, in fact, that it has done and, presumiug upon their superiority 10? Were this the cafe, duelling in these, can aflume an overbearing must every day grow more rare. This infolence, convinced they can murder dragon, which watches the hefperian securely. Lastly, It is to be noticed, fruit of modern honour, muit have that legislation must be imperfect inlong ere now driven away all rude deed, if no remedy can be fouud for assailants. But duels, alas, as our any crimes, but public or private manners witness, are by no means on murder, and that the people must be VoL, XI. No 61. F
corrupted, * See a Differtation on Duelling by Richard Key, L.L.D.
corrupted, or the laws feeble, where lution to abolish fo savage a practice, revenge can overturn every sentiment which levels all distinction of ranks of morality, and bid defiance to every and all diftinction of virtue? Is it sanction of law.
not shameful for us to groan under To all this, and much more which such an intolerable thraldom? Muft might be urged to the fame purpose, this plea of honour and reputation there is one, and only one plausible filence the voice of Nature weeping reply ;- The force of custom, and a in a disconfolate wife, in an aged pavalue for reputation, which the re- rent, in a darling child? Muft all fufal of a challenge is fuppofed to the charities of human life bend under tarnish. And in this plea there is the domination of one despotic printhis much, that an excuse may
ciple ? Must the idol of modern honSometimes be found for engaging in a our be daily gorged with human fida duel, considering the manners of the crifices ? Let, then, the voice of Naage; and accordingly fome men of ture be opposed to the voice of miltareal honour and virtue have been ken honour ; till it gain the afforced into a duel. But is not this ceadant, we boast in vain of being an additional reason for all honell free. men combining in an unanimous reso
Life of Sir William Watson, M. D. F. R. S.
1715, in St. John's street, near premium consisted of a handsomely SmithGeld. His father was a repu. bound copy of Ray's Synopsis, which table tradesman in that street, and was afterwards changed for Hudson's died leaving him very young. When Flora Anglica. he had attained to a proper age, he In 1738 Mr Watfon married, and was sent to Merchant Taylor's school, set up in business for himself as an and from thence was bound appren- apothecary. His skill, his activity, tice to Mr Richardson, apothecary, and diligence in his profession, soon
diftinguished him anong his acIn his youth he had a strong pro. quaintance, as did his taste for Na
, pensity to the study of natural history, tural History, and his general knowand particularly to that of plants. ledge of philosophical subjects among
This led him to make frequent ex- the members of the Royal Society, of cursions in a' morning several miles which honourable body he was elected from London, so that he became early a member early in the year 1741 ; his wella cquainted with the loci natales two first communications being printof the indigenous plants of the envi- ed in the XLI. Volume of the Philorons of London; and during his ap- fophical Transactions. prenticeship he gained the honorary Soon after his admission into the premium given annually, by the apo- Royal Society, Mr Watson distinthecaries company, to such young guished himself as a botanist ; and it men as exhibit a superiority in the is but doing justice to his memory to knowledge of plants, in those excur- remark, that even at this period he fions made by the demonstrator of may
be considered as having, in no Chelsea garden, and instituted for small degree, contributed to sustain the purpofe of initiating the appren- and revive in England the study of that tices of the company in a science foscience; which, after the death of
the two. Sherrards, and the decline : servations on the cicuta, or common and retirement of Sir Hans Sloane, hemlock, occafioned by the death of had begun to languish in this country. two of the Dutch soldiers at WalHe ever remained a zealous patron tham Abbey, which happened in con: and encourager of it. Naturalists of sequence of their having eaten this eminence from abroad brought letters. herb instead of greens. of recommendation to Mr Watson, The death of two of the French and they ever met with those civili- prisoners, in 1746, occasioned by their ties from him, which entitled him to eating the roots of the hemlock droptheir esteem, and secured him the wort, produced from Mr Watfon a most honourable testimonies of their paper, which, in an eminent manner, respect in their writings. He shewed exemplified his skill in the knowledge the utmost attention to professor Kalm, of plants. It abounds with curious, when he was here in 1748, by intro- and critical observations on that plant, ducing him to the curious gardens, and the cicuta virofa, with which it, and accompanying him in several bo had been frequently confounded, as tanical excursions in the environs. both had also been mistaken for wa-, The same civilities he manifested to ter parsnip. It is accompanied with the present eminent Dr Pallas of an engraving of the plants by Mr Petersburgh, during his abode in Ehret. Some years after, in 1758, England, from July 1761 to April Mr Watfon had occasion to confirm 1762.
the fatal effects of this plant, by the Mr Watson's earliest paper on the death of a person at Havabt, in subject of Botany, was an account of Hampshire, from having taken the the celebrated Haller's Enumeratio juice of the root instead of that of Stirpium Helvetia, extracted from the the water parsnip. Latin, and illustrated with a conspectus In vol. XLV. page 564-578, is of Haller's method, and with various printed a translation by Mr Watson, observations. This was printed in of a letter to Sir Hans Sloane, from the Philosophical Transactions, vol. Dr Garcin of Neufchatel, containing XLII. P. 336_80.
a complete history of the Cypress, or In the same volume, p. 599, and Alcanna of the ancients, called by the fucceeding volume, page 51, he Linnæus Lawsonia inermis, so famous excited the attention of the curious, for its use, both in medicine and as in this way, by some critical re- a dye, all over the east, infomuch, marks on the Rev. Mr Pickering's that at Conftantinople the duty on it paper, concerning the seeds of muth
amounts to 18,000 ducats annually. rooms, which that gentleman having In 1946, in company with Dr seen a short time before, considered as Michell, he examined the remains of a new discovery; whereas Mr Wat- 'the garden at Lambeth, formerly beson Thewed that they had been de. longing to the Tradescants, men famonstrated several years prior to that mous in their day for being the first period, by M. Micheli, in his Nova collectors of subjects in natural his. Plantarum Genera. Flor. 1729. But tory. There Mr Watson found the that which attracted the attention of Arbutus, the Cuprefus Americana, and foreign botanists particularly, was his other exotics, in a vigorous state, afdescription of a rare and elegant fpe- ter having sustained the winters of this cies of fungus, called from its form climate for 120 years. geafter. This was written in Latin, In vol. LXVII. p. 169, are printed and accompanied with an engraving. some very curious and interesting par
In the same volume also, page 18, ticulars relating to the sexes of plants, he inserted some very instructing ob- which tend to confirm the truth of F2