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tion -As the libeller is itated to have confessed both the writing and publication of the libel, the only question before the court must have been what fine or punishment they hould infia? The judges however were determined to lay down general rules, in order to suppress this growing evil, every one of which will appear either to be extrajudicial, or not to be maintained; and one of which Lord Coke himself contradicted upon another occafion - The first rule which is layed down is, that if the libe! is against a magistrate, it is a greater offence than against a private perfon-I do not mean to controvert the reason upon which this rule is grounded, but it was most clearly extrajudicial, as the archbishop of Canterbury could not properly be deemed a magiftrateIf, indeed, his feat in the Star-chamber is supposed to have given him temporal office, it must be recollected, that he sat there pro fulute anime of the criminals—The next rule was not extrajudicial, but can never be supported to the extent in which it is delivered, without a limitation of time-The rule is, that, if the person libelled is dead at the time of its being written, the offender is equally punishable, as it may provoke the friends and relations of the deceased to revenge, and breach of the peace : and there is something very quaint in what follows: “ That if the dead person libelled is a magiArate, it is a reflexion on government, which never dies.—The third rule is, that it does not fignify, whether the libel is true or not? * This rule in the first place is extrajudicial; as the criminal confefied his offence, it is impoffible, that before that terrible court he could have infifted upon having afferred nothing which was not true: this would have prevented his only chance for mercy in an intire and implicite submission after a full confeffionBut the rule is not only extrajudicial : Sir Edward Coke himself, in the case of Lake and Hutton, (Hob. 252.) asserts directly the contrary; as does Mr. Justice Powel, in the case of the feven Bishops.

• The next rule is, that a person may be guilty of a libel by drawing a ridiculous picture, or by raising a gallows opposite to a house — Both these dičia are most clearly

extrajudicial, and it is much doubted whether there ever was such a prosecution - The last rule is, that if a libel is found, and it relates to a private person, it must be either burnt, or delivered to a magistrate : and and if it relates to a public person, it must not be burnt, but delivered to a magistrate-of this last rule it may be faid not only to be extrajudicial, but absolutely impossible to be carried into execution. The reason of this, and the other absurdities contained in this case, arises from every one of these rules being borrowed from the civil law (V. Cod. ix. 35.) which taking place before the invention of printing, made this last regulation at that time practicable-No one who was ever in a coffee-house

Bever's Discourse on the Study of Jurisprudence, &c. 69 will suppose it to be so at present-Notwithstanding the obfervations which I have here taken the liberty to make on this very extraordinary case, I cannot conclude them without expressing my detestation of libels, which cannot be too much discouraged in a well-regulated government, nor is such restraint wanting by the common-law, if the principles laid down in this Star-chamber decision are not resorted to.'

We are persuaded the Reader will not think it necessary to. apologize for the length of this extract, which we select as the most generally interesting, though not the most entertaining of the work, which has merit more than fufficient to atone for some slight errors and inaccuracies. Some few such the attentive Reader will.correct; particularly in the Observator's com ment on the statute of Entails, and of Dowers in the time of Henry VII. Among other trivial errors likewise may be reckoned a mistake of the Writer's, who says that the firft chapter of the first of Richard III. is only abridged in all editions of the statutes (except Raftall's) whereas if he had turned to the late quarto edition, which he has cited on other occasions, he would have found that it is there printed at length,

T!

A Discourse on the Study of Jurisprudence and the Civil-law; being

an Introduction to a course of Lectures. By Thomas Bever, LL. D. Fellow of All-Soul's College; and an Advocate of the Court of Arches. 8vo. is. 6 d. Oxford printed at the Clarendon Press, and Sold by Fletcher in London.

HIS discourse feems calculated to remove the prejudices

which have in some respects, perhaps unreasonably, been entertained against the study of the civil law. During the time that the clergy, not content with their ecclesiastical functions, exercised a considerable share of temporal jurisdiction, they made several attempts to introduce the civil, in preference to the common law : the principles of the former being more favourable to the tyranny which they affected, and wished to perpetuate. The memorable answer of the brave Barons, who said nolumus leges Angliæ mutari, defeated one of the last efforts which the clergy made to this end : but impartiality must acknowledge that the change they proposed, of legitimating children born out of wedlock, where the parents afterwards intermarried, seems most agreeable to the principles of natural reason and justice. 'The Barons, perhaps, were not so much averse to the propofition itself, as jealous of increasing the influence of the proposers, by countenancing a code of laws fo propitious to their views : a jcalousy, as our Writer obferves, “ very natural among a people fo fcrupulously careful of

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their liberties, as the English. For, “ as our Author adds," it has been too prevailing a notion, that every advance towards the knowledge of the civil law must lessen our veneration for the law of England; as if all persons who studied the one, were bound in duty to abjure and eradicate the other; and under a presence of introducing some useful principles of natural equity, had entered into a serious conspiracy to set up the body of Justinian's laws against the acts of the British parliament. 'Because likewise, after the dissolution of the Roman republic, the government was converted into an absolute monarchy, the civil law is accused of being altogether arbitrary in its spirit, and therefore wholly unfit to be received or taught in a freecountry.”

With these sentiments we partly concur, and partly disagree. It is no doubt a vulgar prejudice to imagine that the knowledge of the civil law will leiten our veneration for the law of Eng. land; or that the latter is not capable of improvement by adopting many useful principles of natural equity from the former. At the same time we do not think it a false accusation of the civil law to charge it with being altogether arbitrary in its fpirit; for so it appears to be, inore especially in criminal cases, where the punishment is too often left to the discretion of the judge ; which, if we may believe a certain patriot chief, is' the law of a tyrant.

At the same time we are ready to allow that the knowledge of the civil law is not only pleasing and ornamental in itself, but it is absolutely necessary to complete even the common lawyer, as testamentary and maritime cases, &c. ftill continue to be chiefly regulated by it's institutions : and as, according to the Writer's observation, it is more particularly useful to such whose rank or abilities may qualify them for the arduous task of negociation.

We therefore with success to the learned Author of the prefent discourfe, and are sorry to learn from the poftfcript that the remaining lectures are not destined for the press. From that before us, he appears to have a competent knowledge of the science he profesies to teach, though his method is capable of improvement, and his matter is sometimes too diffusive.

MONTHLY CATALOGUE,

For JULY, 1766.

MISCELLANEO U s. Art. 18. The Contemplation of Nature. By C. Bonet. Translated from the French, 2 Vols. 12mo. 6s. Longman, &c.

this work, in the original, we gave a sufficient account, in the

reviewed as a foreign article.

Art, 19.

By R.

28. 6d.

Art. 19. The Advantages of Inland Navigation; or, Some Obfer

vations offered to the Public, to jew that an Inland Navigation may be eafily effected between the Ports of Bristol, Liverpool and Hull; together with a Plan for executing the fame. Whitworth, Esq; Humbly submitted to the great Affembly of the Nation. 8vo.

Baldwin. That the great assembly of the nation hath been sufficiently convinced of the utility of inland navigations, is fully apparent from the late act for accomplishing a connection of this kind between the ports of Liver. pool and Hull, &c. The advantages that may naturally be expected to flow from improvements of this kind, are amply set forth in these obfervations; but as we have not room to enter into particulars, we must refer to the book, which is properly illustrated by copper-plates. Art. 20. The English and French Letter-writer, or General Cor

respondent. By John Rule, M. A. Master of an Academy at Islington. 12oo. 3s. Johnson and Co.

As this is the work of a schoolmaster, and is intended to promote the fuccess of his academy, which, indeed, makes no small figure in his book, we shall not interfere with his interest fo much as to pass any cenfure upon it; especially as he has fo obligingly taken the trouble off our bands, and reviewed it himself, in the following modif terms : In order to promote the attainment of knowlege in the various forms and modes of writing, I would recommend it to young gentlemen to study the following letters with care and attention, as they are written on such a plan, and have so much novelty in them, that they cannot fail to enable them to acquire that necessary and most ornamental accomplishment, the art of epiftolury compofition!" Art. 21. The Hiftory of Tunbridge-Wells

. By Thomas Benge Burr. 8vo. gs. Hingeston, &c. Written by a Journeyman Bookfeller ; aud very well written. It is an entertaining performance; and will not fail, we are persuaded, to reflect on the Author himself, a competent share of that honour and credit which he has endeavored to bestow on our focini BATH. Art. 22. The fecret Correspondence of Sir Robert Cecil with James 11. King of Scotland." Now first published.

Izmo. 35. Millar.

This secret correspondence reveals nothing more material than a proof that Cecil was as forward as the rest of Elizabeth's courtiers, in ihe decline of her days, to worship the rising sun. The preliminary advertisement, signed. Dav. DA LRYMPLE, ferves to authenticate che col. lection. Art. 23. A brief History of the Kings of England, particularly

those of the Royal House of Stuart, of Blefjed Memory. By Sir A. Welding, Bart. 8vo. IS. Williams. Some virulent sepublican, as we suppose, under the affumed name of Welding, has here given a most severe characier of all our English mo. narchs, from Will. the Conqueror to James 11, inclusive: except Edw. V. and VI. Q. Mary and Q. Elizabeth. His reasons for exempting these we shall give in his own words: the two Edwards, he says, • children, and died, affording no matter for this present history. If I

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the'r liberties, as the English. For, “ as our Author adds," it has been too prevailing a notion, that every advance towards the knowledge of the civil law must lessen our veneration for the law of England; as if all persons who studied the one, were bound in duty to abjure and eradicate the other; and under a fretence of introducing some useful principles of natural equity, had entered into a serious conspiracy to set up the body of Justinian's laws against the acts of the British parliament. 'Becaule likewise, after the dissolution of the Roman republic, the government was converted into an absolute monarchy, the civil law is accused of being altogether arbitrary in its fpirit, and therefore wholly unfit to be received or taught in a freecountry.'

With these sentiments we partly concur, and partly disagree. It is no doubt a vulgar prejudice to imagine that the knowledge of the civil law will leisen our veneration for the law of England; or that the latter is not capable of improvement by adopting many ufeful principles of natural equity from the former. At the same time we do not think it a false accusation of the civil law to charge it with being altogether arbitrary in its spirit; for so it appears to be, more especially in criminal cases, where the punishment is too often left to the discretion of the judge ; which, if we may believe a certain patriot chief, is the law of a tyrant.

At the same time we are ready to allow that the knowledge of the civil law is not only pleasing and ornamental in itself, but it is absolutely necessary to complete even the common lawyer, as testamentary and maritime cases, &c. ftill continue to be chiefly regulated by it's institutions : and as, according to the Writer's observation, it is more particularly useful to such whose rank or abilities may qualify them for the arduous task of negociation.

We therefore with success to the learned Author of the prefent discourse, and are sorry to learn from the poftfcript that the remaining lectures are not destined for the press. From that "before us, he appears to have a competent knowledge of the science he professes to teach, though his method is capable of improvement, and his matter is sometimes too diffusive.

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MONTHLY CATALOGUE,

For JULY, 1766.

Mis C E L L A N E OU S.
Art. 18. The Contemplation of Nature, By C. Bonet. Tranf-
lated from the French. 2 Vols. 12mo. 69. Longman, &c.
F this work, in the original, we gave a sufficient account, in the

O

reviewed as a foreign article.

Art. 19.

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