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we are content with the dusty and superannuated folios of Grotius, Puffendoff, and Vattel. The Americans have a Law Journal, of which seven volumes had been published in Philadelphia in 1824, edited by Mr. John E. Hall, the contents of which bear ample testimony to the above facts. Mr. Wheaton, the official reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, has placed at the end of his several volumes of Reports an appendix of learned notes, giving comparative views of the laws of different countries which are treated of in the body of the work: we have not seen the ninth volume, but understand that it contains an epitome of the laws of Spain. A great number of the works of eminent foreign authors, Roccus, Bynkershoek, Martens, Schlegel, Pothier, Emerigon, Valin, Jacobsen, and many others have been translated by the American jurists from various languages, and published, some of them with erudite and useful notes. Two different translations have appeared of the French Commercial Code, and one of the Criminal Code, all with copious notes by different transatlantic writers. Mr. Cooper has published an edition of Justinian's Institutes, with a translation, and very learned annotations, in which he compares the Roman system of jurisprudence with that of the United States (1). The few English works of merit on legislation and jurisprudence are speedily reprinted in America; and our transatlantic brethren, so far from jealousy, have a most filial and reverential respect for the productions of British mind. Several of the recent American works on penal law are known to the English reader, and are cited in Mr. Montagu's able and philanthropic publications in favour of the abolition of capital punishments. Many publications on the Common Law, practical and corrective, have been enumerated in the pages of this article. Several admirable essays also, and much valuable information on the state of American law, may be found in the volumes of that superior and well-conducted periodical work, the North American Review.
We have now completed a rapid and general account of the judicial institutions and progress in jurisprudence of this marvellous country. We have no desire to magnify her national merits or superiority, or to establish an invidious comparison with the courts or law of our own country. Great Britain and America
(1) The Institutes of Justinian, with Notes, by Thomas Cooper, Esq. Professor of Chemistry, at Carlisle College, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1812, 8vo. pp. 714. England has the honour of giving birth to this intelligent jurist, who abandoned the English bar and emigrated to Aine
rica at the period of the French Revolution, disgusted with the political persecutions in Europe. He is known to the English metaphysical reader by a volume of essays, which, with the late edition of Justinian, richly merit re-publication in his native country.
are "bone of bone, and flesh of flesh." No temporary wars or jealousies can long sever the natural and beneficial connection that must ever subsist between the two countries. The Americans must ever look back on Europe with the feelings of grateful recollection every posterity bears to its ancestors. On the other hand, their greatness is our pride. British blood and intellect was the germ of transatlantic prosperity. Through their medium our lan.guage will acquire an extension which no other ever possessed; and as the patriarchs of old rejoiced in the multiplication of their offspring, so must every English heart hail-American prosperity and aggrandisement. May the governments of the two empires ever respond to these feelings. Since the acknowledgment of American independence we have gained experience, dear bought, confessedly, which has dispelled the illusions of the colonial system: we have learned that so far from its being the great part of our power, it is the whole of our weakness. That a monopoly of colonial produce is not gainful; that, so far from any revenue being obtained from distant settlements, they never cover their prime cost. It has been made manifest that, supposing we had a right now to govern the American states, and they the inclination to be governed by us, we should get nothing by governing, but gain every thing by parting with them. This, however, is a lesson the pages of which are not yet all learned.
Other and most important points of instruction may be derived from the history of America: we shall perceive that a rapid increase of national prosperity has accompanied the reform of the English law, and we shall learn to disregard those forebodings of evil by which the enemies of legal amendment-the friends of antiquated abuses, still endeavour to deter us from the task of reformation. In 1820, the Republican population had more than doubled in less than twenty-five years, and contained 9,642,150 souls! New roads, canals, and railways, are daily giving greater activity to internal commerce, and justly may their statesmen and orators indulge the loftiest anticipation for the future. The universal diffusion of knowledge, and the consequent industrious, frugal, and moral habits of the people, have worked political miracles which would have scared the faith of our feudal ancestors. The progress of education, and the ravenous appetite for knowledge is almost incredible: Schools and Universities increase and flourish co-extensively with population in all parts of the Union; they are founded by the state, and even travelling libraries are provided where needed. The cheap publication of books encourages a demand and supply unexampled in any European state. A few facts will astonish the reader as detailed in Ingersoll. A capital of 125,000l. was invested in one edition and reprint of Rees' Cyclopædia, and many classes of the engravings are equal to those
of the British artists. There have been eight editions, comprising 7,500 copies of Stewart's Moral Philosophy, published during the last twenty years; a greater number we suspect than has been sold in its own country: this latter fact is a remarkable proof of the inquiring taste and reflective character of the public mind in the Union. 200,000 Copies of Sir Walter Scott's novels have issued from the American press in the last nine years! Periodical works and newspapers abound in extraordinary and countless quantity. Four thousand copies of the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews are republished there, and the same number of copies of a home periodical, of real and in-creasing celebrity, the North American Review. The itinerant book trade is peculiar to this knowledge-seeking country: more than two hundred waggons travel through the country loaded with books for sale! Five thousand post-offices distribute private and public intelligence throughout this amazing Union, traversing, with punctual celerity, 80,000 miles of post-roads, 21,000 miles every day! An internal navigation of 10,000 miles now belts this country from the great western valley to the waters of the Hudson and Chesapeake.
No traitor has yet forfeited his life to American law! State prosecutions never bring licentiousness or infidelity into notice and publication, or provoke, stimulate, and disseminate that which otherwise would be smothered in its own obscurity and insignificance. Religion, although deriving no pillars from the state, is possessed of 8000 places of public worship, and guarded by 5000 ecclesiastics; "intolerance is disarmed by being let alone," and the various Christian sects agree to differ. Negro slavery, which has been so long an opprobrium to the boasted land of freedom, for the institution of which, however, the mother country must bear the blame, will cease in the state of New York in 1828, and, as we are informed, in every northern and eastern state in 1830.
Mr. Hale concludes his interesting history with the following impressive and eloquent exhortation to the people of the States :"The Citizens of this Republic should never forget the awful responsibilities resting upon them. They constitute the oldest nation on this western hemisphere; the first on the list of existing republics. They stand forward, the object of hatred to some of admiration to many-of wonder to all; and an impressive example to the people of every country. To them is committed an experiment, successful hitherto, the final result of which must have a powerful influence upon the destiny of mankind; if favourable and happy, the whole civilized world will be free; if adverse, despotism and darkness will again overshadow it. May they ever be sensible of the vast importance of their example. May they never betray their sacred trust."
We shall now conclude an article which has greatly exceeded our anticipated bounds, and in our future pages present to our readers details of the several topics here only generally reviewed. In this account of the state and progress of American Jurisprudence, we have confined ourselves almost exclusively to facts, because the judicial improvements and legal advancement of the States would otherwise scarcely receive credit on this side the Atlantic. Of the causes of their national greatness we have observed little; they may be comprised in one word-Liberty, and in the great sentiment of the Roman historian-Civitas incredibile memoratu est, adeptâ libertate, quantum, brevi creverit.
ART. III.-OFFICE OF CORONER.
A MEETING of the Coroners of England and Wales was recently held for the purpose of preparing a petition to Parliament, the ostensible object of which was to pray for an amendment of the laws relating to the office of Coroner. The meeting was a close one; all reporters for the public press, or other persons through whose means publicity might be given to the deliberations of the Coroners, having been cautiously excluded. It has been well observed, that when reason is against a man, or class of men, the man or class of men is sure to be against reason; and it may be predicated with equal truth of all secret assemblies, that they are against publicity, because publicity is sure to be against them. Owls shun the light because their organs of vision are too weak to bear it, and in like manner nature has kindly provided against the danger to which men of weakly morality might otherwise be subjected, by endowing them with an exquisite sensibility to the inconveniences of exposure. We are by no means prepared to say, that the horror of publicity which has so long characterized Coroners and their proceedings, is attributable in all cases to a taint in the morality of these officers in many instances we should be disposed to ascribe it rather to a lack of wisdom than of virtue. But the suspicion of the public is excited, and justly excited, whenever any attempt is made on the part of Coroners, in their official capacity, to elude that salutary control, from which even the highest judicial functionaries in the kingdom do not attempt to claim exemption; and a portion of suspicion or discredit must also attach to their proceedings, when they meet together to deliberate with closed doors on the best mode of petitioning the legislature for an improvement of what they profoundly termed in their advertisement the Lex Coronatoria.
It needs no marvellous sagacity to anticipate the result of the deliberations of a snug meeting of Coroners, shut up in a tavern, for the purpose of suggesting, by way of petition, to Parliament the best means of amending the law affecting their own offices. What, in point of fact, was the issue of their deliberations? The secrecy, in which they took care to intrench their proceedings, has of course prevented the public from knowing any thing of the premises which led to their enlightened conclusions;-posterity will know nothing of the reasoning, or the eloquence, or the erudition, expended by the assembled Coroners of England and Wales at the Exchequer Coffee-house, but it may be reasonably presumed that the utmost unanimity prevailed in respect to the substance of the petition, upon which they ultimately decided, for they finished by petitioning Parliament to amend the Lex Coronatoria, by increasing the fees and emoluments of Coroners.
That the laws affecting the office of Coroner require legislative revision, no man, who has reflected upon the subject, or who is aware of the abuses connected with the present mode of discharging the duties of the office, can doubt; but no man, we apprehend, who is free from the prejudices or potations which inspired the deliberations at the Exchequer Coffee-house, will believe that the remedy suggested by the Coroners of England and Wales is calculated to improve the present state of the law, or to correct existing abuses. The remarks of the Home Secretary, in a short discussion which took place on this subject in the present session of Parliament, on the avidity with which the office of Coroner is sought whenever it becomes vacant, furnish, we think, a conclusive answer to the complaint of inadequate remuneration. Whole counties have been agitated by contested elections for the office; in Staffordshire a second contested election recently took place, the first having been set aside on the ground of informality; and in Worcestershire, more freeholders, we believe, voted on the election of a Coroner, than for the Knights of the Shire. The complaint of the inadequacy of the allowance made for travelling expenses and of the fees for taking inquisitions is, in reality, founded upon a partial view of the question, for no class of men understands better than the Coroners of England and Wales that the direct emoluments of an office are not always to be taken as a measure of its value. The salary of the head-master of Eton College does not, we believe, exceed 401. per annum, and the head-waiter of the London Coffee-house pays 1007. a-year for his situation. Now we will put it to the sagacity of any one of the Coroners of England and Wales who assembled at the Exchequer Coffee-house, and, after the petition concocted at that place of entertainment, we have a very exalted opinion of their sagacity, whether he believes that,