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should be painted blue, and the bearers wear blue ribbands. A chaise-driver, who had attained to great eminence in that profession, desired that he might he interred as near the turnpike road as possible, that he might enjoy the satisfaction, he said, of hearing the carriages pass. An odd fellow, in a higher rank of life, left one penny to every child that should attend his funeral, a guinea to seven old navigators (as canal-men are called in the midland counties), for puddling him up in his grave, and half-a-guinea to the ringers, to strike off a peal of grand bobs when they were putting him in. Some daring spirits have chosen to testify their contempt for the national church by rejecting the last of its fine services, testifying also that they rejected the Mediator and Redeemer, and died without hope like the beasts that perish. For souls like these, who would be contented with utter death, (a miserable faith, which proceeds far more frequently from the corruption of the heart than the aberration of intellect) Dante has imagined a tremendous destination—sepulchres in hell, wherein they shall be enclosed alive.
'Were the happiness of the next world,' says Sir Thomas Brown, 'as closely apprehended as the felicities of this, it were a martyrdom to live; and unto such as consider none hereafter, it must be more than death to die; which makes us amazed at those audacities that durst be nothing and return into their chaos again.—It is the heaviest stone that melancholy can throw at a man to tell him he is at the end of his nature, or that there is no farther state to come, unto which this seems progressional, and otherwise made in vain.'
We cannot close this article more appropriately than by a churchyard poem, written by a youth who soon afterwards was laid in the grave himself. His life had been eventful and unfortunate, till his extraordinary merits were discovered by persons capable of appreciating, and willing and able to assist him. He was then placed under a kind and able instructor, and arrangements had been made for supporting him at the University; but he had not enjoyed that prospect many weeks before it pleased dod to remove him to a better world. The reader will remember that they are the verses of a school-boy, who had not long been taken from one of the lowest stations in life, and he will then judge what might have been expected from one who was capable of writing with such strength and originality upon the tritest of all subjects.
WRITTEN IN THE CHURCHYARD
'It is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three Tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.'—Matthew, xvii. 4.
Methinks it is good to be here,
Nor Elias nor Moses appear,
Shall we build to Ambition? Oh, no!
For see, they would pin him below,
To Beauty? Ah, no! she forgets
Nor knows the foul w,orm that he frets
Shall we build to the purple of Pride,
Alas! they are all laid aside:
To Riches? Alas! 'tis in vain.
The treasures are squandered again.
To the pleasures which Mirth can afford?
Ah! here is a plentiful board,
Or fled with the spirit above.
Which compassion itself could relieve!
Beneath the cold dead, and around the dark stone,
The second to Faith, which insures it fulfillM;
Aut. V.— 1. The Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Sritain and Ireland, 58 Geo. III. Vol. VII. Part. II.
2. An Analytical Digest of the Reports of Cases decided in the Courts of Common Law and Equity, of Appeal and blisi JPrius, in the Year 1817- To be continued Annually. By a Barrister.
HPHE first of these books is the latest part of the Statutes at -*- Large which has been published; and the second is intended as an Epitome of the whole body of Cases in Law and Equity reported within the year for which it appears; and they have been selected in order to bring under review the whole class of publications to which they respectively belong. Our object is to direct the attention of such of our readers as may be disposed to follow us, to the enormous magnitude which acts of parliament and law reports have already reached, and the rapidity with which they are continually increasing; to inquire into the causes of this increase, which we cannot help considering as an alarming public evil; and then to point out some of the consequences which must inevitably follow unless its progress be speedily arrested. To those of our readers who turn over the pages of a periodical work merely in search of amusement, we are aware that no allurement we can throw around the present subject will make it attractive; and by those whose station, studies or employments have led them to attach to it that importance which it eminently deserves, no adventitious recommendation will be thought necessary. We shall therefore, without further preface, proceed to the examination of the topics we have announced.
No maxim in jurisprudence is more firmly settled, than that every state ought within the limits of its own territory to exact, and its subjects to yield, obedience to all its laws. The foundation of this obligation on the part of the people is, that the legislative authority on its part is presumed to have made the laws so clear and public, that every member of the community either knows them, or must be culpably inattentive if he does not. 'Leges sacratissimae,' says the Roman law,' quae constringunt hominum vitas intelligi ab omnibus debent, ut universi, praescripto earum manifestius cognito, vel inhibita declinent vel permissa sectentur.'— Cod. lib. i. Tit. 14. § 9- This presumption is indispensably necessary in order to preclude the plea of ignorance which would otherwise be advanced whenever a question about breach of law occurred, but never was supposed to be justified by the fact. Even in the earliest stage of regular government it never happened that all the laws were known to all who were amenable to their jurisdiction. As civilization advances, and science, trade and wealth increase, the public and private relations of the different members of society become more complicated, and laws necessarily more numerous. At last, when refinement has been carried beyond a certain point, to understand the whole or even a branch of the system of law established in any state, becomes the business of a laborious life, and no skill or industry can then mould it into such a form as to make a thorough knowledge of it attainable even by persons of liberal education and pursuits. That we cannot however do all we wish is no reason why we should not accomplish all we can; and when it is recollected that obedience to enactments which affect the person, property, and reputation of every individual, cannot be reasonably required unless such enactments have received all practicable perfection and publicity, it appears to us that to carry these improvements as far as judgment and experience will permit, is not a boon which the government of a country may confer or withhold at pleasure, but one of the most urgent and sacred duties which it is called upon to discharge.
It is to be lamented that so few attempts of this kind have hitherto been made among ourselves, and it is difficult to be accounted for otherwise than by supposing that the extreme number of technical expressions which occur in the law of England, and the artificial form into which almost every part of it has been thrown, have prevented it from becoming so general a study as in an enlightened country peculiarly jealous of its rights and privileges we should expect to find it. In saying this we are far from intimating any desire that it should become a prevailing habit to intermeddle with the practice of courts of law or innovate in legislation. We only mean to urge that if a succession of men of cultivated and comprehensive minds, not lawyers by profession, and especially those filling or likely to fill seats in either House of Parliament, bad made themselves more intimately acquainted with the details as
VOL. xXI. NO. xMI. c C well well as principles of our civil and criminal code, and had subjected every part of it to frequent and dispassionate private examination, it would have been highly honourable to themselves and beneficial to the nation. As an instance of the sort of knowledge for which a desire is here expressed, and of the advantage which would have resulted from its application, we refer to Earl Grey's Speech in the House of Lords in 1817, on Lord Sidmouth's Circular Letter, which shews how successfully an acute mind, not regularly trained to the study of the law, may prosecute the investigation of some of its most abstract doctrines.
If it is imagined that without any interest in the state of the law being manifested by the nation at large, the executive government for the time being, or those who are concerned in the administration of justice, will of their own accord take care to rectify or supply whatever is erroneous or defective in our jurisprudence, we apprehend there never was a more mistaken notion. The slightest historical retrospect will shew how rarely any point of general law has been taken up within the walls of parliament, unless attention has been previously directed to it from without. The officers of the crown seldom introduce any bills except such as are called for on the spur of the moment; and instructions for these are usually sent hastily to the solicitor of that department of the executive government to which they belong, or to the person usually employed by government in preparing acts of parliament, and as hastily thrown by them or by their clerks or pupils into the required form. And as to those who are engaged in the administration of justice, however singular it may seem, they are among the last persons from whom any amelioration of the law is to be expected. The judges, from the hour of their appointment, are too much occupied with the execution of the law as it is, to be able to devote much consideration to what in their judgment it ought to be, and contract with advancing life an increasing fondness for forms and practice with which they have become familiar, and an aversion to any alteration of them. Those on the other hand who have acquired great reputation and experience at the bar, are obliged to submit to a degree of labour even more severe than that of the judges, and tending still more to disqualify them for suggesting any legislative improvement. Their whole powers are exhausted in comprehending minute facts or in exertions to secure the success of the party by whom they are employed; and to suppose that under such circumstances they can bestow much reflection on the means by which law and equity might be more expeditiously or effectually administered, is almost the same thing as to expect that the human understanding should be contracted and enlarged at the same moment. Even the kind as well as degree of labour which they undergo seems unfavourable