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is at a loss for the meaning. He knows that the practice is, that the jury find the fact, and the judges apply the law to the fact, and thereby declare what is the penalty; but how can we sup pose for a moment, that jurymen know any thing of the law, as applied to many crimes and misdemeanours. The law is pronounced from the mouth of the judge, when he and the jury fully comprehend the state of the evidences which constitute the truth of the facts. Every juror on his oath is enjoined 'well and truly to try the issue joined between the parties, and a true verdict to give according to the evidence.'
Here, neither by words or implication, is a juror a judge of law, but only of the fact.-N.B. See Wynne’s Dialogues.
Obligations. Tacitus the historian, with his usual severity, says, benefits are so far agreeable as we think it in our power to return them; when they exceed that point, instead of being thankful, we feel a dislike to our benefactors. Sepeca says, with his peculiar mode of expression, a small sum borrowed makes a man a debtor; a large renders him an enemy to the creditor. Modern ethics are more liberal on the score of obligations; and Milton thought such sentiments only becoming the mouth of Satan
Nor was his service hard,
The introduction of parentheses into any form of composition is both improper and unscholarlike; for it is a proof that the writer is not con: versant with the art of good writing, or that he writes in a hurry. Unlettered men, and those who are accustomed to speak with little thinking and with much haste, fall into this error. The nominative case, the verb, and its government, will always make a plain and intelligible sentence, and admits of such infinite ehanges that there seems no necessity for these entanglements of speech. My Lord Clarendon's History is full of them; and they render his composition, with all the good and grand sense of the author, embarrassing. A man before he pretends to be a writer should be a grammarian, and not subject himself, by an obscure or harsh style, to the old sarcasm, “ Nomine grammaticus re barbarus.”
Visiting. In these temporary communications with our friends, we may from fastidiousness think too much attention is paid to us, so as to infringe upon our own habits and whims; but this is often mere coquetry; for we should really be hurt and vexed in our feelings, should our host leave us too much to ourselves, and pursue coolly and perseveringly his own business and amusement. We should be apt to exclaim, I wish I had visited
friend more at his leisure, or that he had told me, before, be was engaged in such an undertaking, and then I should have staid at my own house, and really
made myself at home.”
Placing of Books. In many German and Spanish volumes, we may observe that the titles of them are placed longwise at the back of the volume, and not perpendicularly as in modern usage. This ancient custom prevails in books bound in vellum and parchment. This mode was, of course, previous to putting in our libraries the volumes npright; laid on their broad sides, though not so sightly, perhaps, they are yet more safely placed, and more convenient for occasional removal. The upright has quite a military appearance, and seems invented first in the study of some brigadier-general.
The Stoics ard Epicureans. These philosophers have been much misrepresented by soi-disant scholars, and by those who wished to say a witty rather than wise thing. Epictetus, if diligently perused, would fully justify the good sense of the Stoics from the joke of Swift, who, assuming their doctrine that the passions should be totally suppressed, to prevent the evils consequent on their indulgence, exclaims, “ This is cutting off one's legs to avoid the expense of wearing shoes.” The severity of the Stoics frequently degenerated into cynicism, and the abuse of Epicurus who taught doctrines little different from their founder Zeno. Brucher, who was an erudite and very sober and diligent writer, has collected the doctrines of Epicurus, which no one can disapprove in a pagan philosopher. But his physical and theological opinions few men would attempt to recommend in any age. A little French volume of the Theory of agreeable Sensations* seems to have founded its doctrines on the original and purer tenets of the Epicurean sect.
This word, which is a metaphor taken from corporeal appetites, and applied to an intellectual
* A Geneve, 1747, by M. Pouilly de Champeaux.
faculty, has found its opponents among nice critics in terms, and perhaps their aversion is not without good grounds. Should we say a man has a genius for eating, and a good taste in literary composition, the critic would cry out againsi us, as using an improper metaphor, and degrading genius by its employment, and elevating taste beyond its due reputation. Yet the French have their goût: the Italians their gusto. We say that at certain times we find a relish in books, and in our viands. This kitchen trope is placed so deeply in the soil of most languages, that it cannot easily be eradicated. The metaphor, however, may be made useful, if we consider that taste, both intellectual and corporeal, depends much on the healthful state of the faculties of each, and that delicacy for a moral truth or wholesome dish is owing to the sound state of the organs which are employed in its gratilication. A glutton and a profligate man has no taste for an elegant author, or a delicate viand.
Singular Aids to Composition. It bas been related that whilst M. Crebillon, the elder, was writing his tragedy of Cataline, he kept four ravens round his table, which he called his conspirators. Dr. Young, when composing his
Night Thoughts," ordered his study to be hung