Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

with respect to a point of so much tions ; in order that he might conimportance in their policy. Fortu. duct every part of his government, nately, the defects of their informa- particularly the administration of tion have been amply supplied by justice, in a manner as much acthe more accurate and extensive re. commodated as possible to their searches of the moderns. During own ideas. In this generous unthe course of almost three centuries, dertaking he was seconded with the number of persons who have re. zeal by his vizier Abul Fazel, a sorted from Europe to India has minister, whose understanding was been great. Many of them, who not less enlightened than that of have remained long in the country, his master. By their assiduous reand were persons of liberal educa- searches, and consultation of learntion and enlarged minds, have lived ed men,* such information was in such familiar intercourse with the obtained, as enabled Abul Fazel to natives, and acquired so competent publish a brief compendium of Hina knowledge of their languages, as doo jurisprudence in the Ayeen Akenabled them to observe their insti- bery,+ which may be considered as tutions with attention, and to de- the first genuine communication of scribe them with fidelity. Respect, its principles to persons of a different able as their authority may be, I religion.f About two centuries afshall not, in what I offer for illus- terwards, the illustrious example of trating the judicial proceedings of Akber was imitated and surpassed the Hindoos, rest upon it alone, but by Mr. Hastings, the governor geshall derive my information from neral of the British settlements in sources higher and more pure. India. By his authority, and under

Towards the middle of the six- his inspection, the most eminent teenth century, Akber, the sixth in Pundits, or Brahmins learned in the descent from Tamerlane, mounted laws, of the provinces over which the throne of Indostan. He is one he presided, were assembled at Cal- , of the few sovereigns intitled to the cutta ; and, in the course of two appellation both of great and good, years, compiled, from their most anand the only one of Mahomedan cient and approved authors, sentence race, whose mind appears to have by sentence, without addition or dirisen so far above all the illiberal minution, a full code of Hindoo prejudices of that fanatical religion laws ; || which is, undoubtedly, the in which he was educated, as to be most valuable and authentic eluci. capable of forming a plan worthy of dation of Indian policy and manners a monarch who loved his people, that has been hitherto communicaand was solicitous to render them ted to Europe. happy. As, in every province of According to the Pundits, some his extensive dominions, the Hin- of the writers upon whose authodoos formed the great body of his rity they found the decrees which subjects, he laboured to acquire a they have inserted in the Code, lived perfect knowledge of their religion, several millions of years before their their sciences, their laws and institu- time; $ and they boast of having a

succession Ayeen Akbery. A. vol. iii. p. 95, || Preface to the Code, p, 10. + Vol. iij, p. 197, &c,

Ibid. p, xxxyiji. I A, D. 1773,

[ocr errors]

succession of expounders of their brevity of the Twelve Tables, the laws from that period to the pre- Hindoo Code has no resemblance, sent. Without entering into any but with respect to the number and examination of what is so extrava- variety of points it considers, it will gant, we may conclude, that the bear a comparison with the celeHindoos have in their possession brated digest of Justinian; or with the treatises, concerning the laws and systems of jurisprudence in nations jurisprudence of their country, of most highly civilized. The articles more remote antiquity than are to of which the Hindoo Code is combe found in any other nation. The posed, are arranged in natural and truth of this depends not upon their luminous order. They are numeown testimony alone, but it is put rous and comprehensive, and inbeyond doubt by one circumstance, vestigated with that minute attenthat all these treatises are written in tion and discernment which are nathe Sanskreet language, which has tural to a people distinguished for not been spoken for many ages in acuteness and subtilty of underany part of Indostan, and now un- standing, who have been long acderstood by none but the most learn- customed to the accuracy of judied Brahmins. That the Hindoos 'cial proceedings, and acquainted were a people highly civilized, at

with all the refinements of legal the time when their laws were com- practice. The decisions concernposed, is most clearly established by ing every point (with a few excepinternal evidence contained in the tions occasioned by local prejudices Code itself. Among nations be- and peculiar customs) are founded ginning to emerge from barbarism, upon the great and immutable printhe regulations of law are extremely ciples of justice which the human simple, and applicable only to a few mind acknowledges and respects, in obvious cases of daily occurrence. every age, and in all parts of the Men must have been long united in earth. Whoever examines the a social state, their transactions must whole work, cannot entertain a have been numerous and complex, doubt of its containing the jurisand judges must have determined prudence of an enlightened and an immense variety of controversies commercial people. Whoever looks to which these give rise, before the into any particular title, will be sursystem of law becomies so volumi- prised with a minuteness of detail nous and comprehensive as to direct and nicety of distinction, which, in the judicial proceedings of a nation many instances, seem to go beyond far advanced in improvement. In the attention of European legislathat early age of the Roman repub

tion; and it is remarkable that some lic, when the laws of the Twelve of the regulations which indicate Tables were promulgated, nothing the greatest degree of refinement, more was required than the laconic were established in periods of the injunctions which they contain for most remote antiquity.

" In the regulating the decisions of courts of first of the sacred law tracts (as is justice; but, in a later period, the observed by a person to whom ori. body of civil law, ample as its con

ental literature, in all its branches, tents are, was found hardly sufficient has been greatly indebted,) which

To the jejune
the Hindoos suppose to have been
revealed by Menu some millions of such is the solicitude of their law-
years ago, there is a curious passage givers to preserve the order and
on the legal interest of money, and tranquillity of society, that the pu-
the limited rate of it in different nishments which they inflict on cri-
cases, with an exception in regard minals, are agreeably to an obser-
to adventures at sea; an exception vation of the ancients already men-
which the sense of mankind ap- tioned) extremely rigorous. "Pu-
proves, and which commerce abso- nishment (according to a striking
lutely requires, though it was not personification in the Hindoo Code)
before the reign of Charles I. that is the magistrate; punishment is the
our English jurisprudence fully ad- inspirer of terror; punishment is the
mitted it in respect of maritime con. nourisher of the subjects; punish-
tracts."* It is likewise not unworthy ment is the defender from calamity;
of notice, that though the natives of punishment is the guardian of those
India have been distinguished in that sleep; punishment, with a black
every age for the humanity and aspect, and a red eye, terrifies the
mildness of their disposition, yet guilty.”+

revealed

for that purpose.

* Sir William Jones's Third Discourse, Asia. Research. p. 421.
† Code, ch. xxi. $ 8.

[ocr errors][merged small]

MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS.

THE

Copy of a letter from John Dunning, most painful plodder can never aresq. to a gentleman of the Inner rive at celebrity by mere reading ; Temple; containing directions lo a man calculated for success, must the student.

add to native genius an instinctive Lincoln's Inn, March 3, 1779. faculty in the discovery and reten

tion of that knowledge only, which Dear sir,

can be at once useful and produce THE habits of intercourse in tive.

which I have lived with your I imagine that a considerable defamily, joined to the regard which I gree of learning is absolutely necesentertain for yourself, makes me so- sary. The elder authors frequently licitous, in compliance with your wrote in Latin, and the foreign jurequest, to give you some hints con- rists continue the practice to this cerning the study of the law. day. Besides this, classical attain

Our profession is generally ridi. ments contribute much to the refineculed as being dry and uninterest. ment of the understanding, and the ing; but a mind anxious for the dis- embellishment of the style. The

overy oftruth and information will utility of grammar, rhetoric, and be amply gratified for the toil, in logic, are known and felt by every investigating the origin and progress one. Geometry will afford the of a jurisprudence which has the most apposite examples of close and good of the people for its basis, and pointed reasoning ; and geography the accumulated wisdom and expe- is so very necessary in common life, rience of ages for its improvement that there is less credit in knowNor is the study itself so intricate as ing, than dishonour in being unachas been imagined ; more especially quainted with it. But it is history, since the labours of some modern and more particularly that of his writers have given it à more regular own country, which will occupy the and scientific form. Without in. attention and attract the regard of dustry, however, it is impossible to the great lawyer. A minute knowarrive at any eminence in practice; ledge of the political revolutions and and the man who shall be bold judical decisions of our predecesenough to attempt excellence by sors, whether in the more ancient abilities alone, will soon find himself or modern æras of our government, foiled by many who have inferior is equally useful and interesting. understandings, but better attain. This will include a narrative of all ments. On the other hand, the the material alterations in the Com

mon

• Afterwards Lord Ashburton, for a sketch of his character, see our 23rd, volume,

mon Law, and the reasons and exis it, and dwell on the reigns of Edgencies on which they were found. ward 1.-Henry VI.--Henry VII. ed.

Henry VIII.- James I.-Charles I. I would always recommend a Charles II. and James II. diligent attendance on the courts Blackstone. On the second read. ofjustice, as by that means the prac. ing turn to the references. tice of them (a circumstance of great Mr. Justice Wright's learned moment) will be easily and naturally Treatise on Tenures. acquired. Besides this, a much Coke Littleton, especially every strongerimpression will be made on word of Fee-Simple, Fee-Tail, and the mind by the statement of the Tenant in Tail. case, and the pleadings of the coun Coke's Institutes ; more particusel, than from a cold uninteresting larly the Ist and Ild; and Serjeant detail of it in a report. But above Hawkios's Compendium. all, a trial at bar, or a special argu Coke's Report's.-- Plowden's ment, should never be neglected. Commentary.- Bacon's AbridgeAs it is usual on these occasions to ment; and First Principles of Equitake notes, a knowledge of short. ty.- Pigott on Fines.-Reports of hand will give such facility to your Croke, Burrow, Raymond, Saunlabours, as to enable you to follow ders, Strange, and Peere Williams. the most rapid speaker with cer. - Paley's Maxims.--Lord Bacon's tainty and precision. Common Elements of the Common Law. place books are convenient and use. ful; and, as they are generally lettered, a reference may be had to them in a moment. It is usual to

Course of study in law, recomacquire some insight into real busi mended by lord Mansfield to Mr. ness under an eminent special

Drummond, 1774. pleader previous to at the bar: this idea I beg leave for general ethics, which are strongly to second, and indeed I have křown but a few great men Xenophon's Memorabilia, Tully's who have not possessed this advan- Offices, and Woolaston's Religion tage, I here subjoin a list of books of Nature. You may likewise look necessary for your perusal and in- into Aristotle's Ethics, which you struction, to which I have added will not like; but it is one of those some remarks; and wishing that you books, quid limine salutandi sunt ne may add to a successful practice, verba nobis dentur, that integrity which can alone make For the law of nations, which is you worthy of it,

partly founded on the law of nature, I remain, &c. &c. and partly positive, read Grotius, JOHN DUNNING, and Puffendorfin Barbeyrac'strans

lation, and Burlamaqui's Droit NaRead Hume's History of England, turel: as these authors treat the particularly observing the rise, pro- same subject in the heads, they may , gress, and declension of the feudal be read together and compared. system. Minutely attend to the When you have laid this foundaSaxon government that preceded tion, it will be time to look into

those,

« AnteriorContinuar »