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Vol. I. No, VI.--APRIL 1, 1827.
1. LET ER TO THE RIGHT HON. ROBERT PEEL
323 II. “ God save the King”
332 III. A Visit to the Assizes.
333 IV. The Literature of England, No. V.
337 V. A Hint to the London University
342 VI. To Ada, on her Birthday
344 VII. A First Arrival at Calcutta
345 VIII. Serenade
349 IX. Collectanea, No. V.
350 X. Woman
354 XI. The Tyrant's Funeral
358 XII. “ Popping the Question"
359 XIII. Solitude
365 XIV. Capillology and Phrenology
365 XV. Moonlight
368 XVI. Pearls of Poesy, No. III.-S. T. Coleridge
369 XVII. . REVIEW :---Narrative of the Burmese War, by Major Snodgrass ; Rough Notes, by Capt. Head; Lord Mayor's Visit to Oxford, &c.
373 XVIII. Notices of Music :---Kentish Melodies ; Voluntary by Miss Fleet, &c. , 379 XIX. Monthly Register---the Drama, No. VI. ; Literary and Domestic Intelligence, &c. &c.
H. DIXON, 19, CAREY STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS;
SOLD BY SHERWOOD AND CO. PATERNOSTER ROW; SIMPKIN AND MARSHALL, STATIONERS' HALL COURT; J. CHAPPELL, AND E. WILSON, ROYAL EXCHANGE; J. CAPES, 111, FLEET STREET ; W. TAYLOR, WHITE HART COURT, LOMBARD STREET; SUSTENANCE AND STRETCH, FERCY STREET, RATHBONE PLACE ; J. ATTFIELD, KINGSTON; J. RUSHER, READING; J. DECK, BURY ST. EDMUND's; J. WRIGHTSUN, BIRMINGHAM ; E. WILLIAMS, BATH ; MESSRS. LANCASTERS, BRISTOL ; J. STACEY, NORWICH ; T. MILLER, LYNN;
A. GRAHAM, DUBLIN; AND ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS.
Price, 1s. 6d.
“ Old English Dramatists,” and “ Recollections of London," in our next; also the lines by “ Catharine."
Letters are left at our publisher's for H. I., J. M. L., Turcoman, Tally Ho! and Q.
S. S. is referred to any Latin Dictionary. We cannot answer such silly questions.
X. Y. Z. twelve o'clock on Monday, 9th April,
T. had better send his lines to the Pawnbrokers—they may purchase them, we shall not.
The “ Song” sent by “ Custos,” is an execrable translation from the French: he has not wit enough to be a successful rogue.
Correspondents upon Capillology are referred to our article upon that Science.
JON. OLDBUCK, the Younger.
SIR,-In addressing myself to you upon this subject, I am spared the necessity of proving that there are parts of our legal system which require alteration. The acts of parliament which you have procured to be enacted for amendment of the laws relating to juries, and the more effectual administration of criminal justice, sufficiently testify your opinion upon this point. The benefit you have conferred upon your fellow countrymen by these acts of parliament, is not confined to the cases in which their operation is immediately felt; they have effects far wider and more extensive, operating not only upon the general administration of the law, into which they have introduced a new spirit, but upon the people at large, whose notice has been by their means attracted to other branches of our legal system, equally deserving attention, and equally standing in need of alteration.
It appears evident, that in all good governments there ought to be a reciprocal feeling between the law and the subject; and as changes occur in the manners, customs, state, condition, and opinions of the latter, so ought there to be a proportionable alteration in the former. All history proclaims, that changes in the moral and intellectual condition of mankind have been continually taking place—silently, gradually, but certainly; and the more we know of the constitution of the human mind, the more we become satisfied that such must always be the case. The opinions of the man are built upon
the ruins of childhood's fancies; and so also the first rude notions of an uncivilized people are discarded one by one; new institutions supersede ancient policy---new doctrines succeed to exploded opinions---the desuetude of old laws, makes way for fresh enactments; and the intellectual light, which in the morning of a nation's history can scarcely be seen to glimmer above the horizon, soon shines forth with unanticipated and meridian splendour.
Some of the changes which thus occur, come on gradually; they occasion little inconvenience, and their operation is scarcely perceived. A peculiar custom may become obsolete---a superstition be derided, or a language fall into disuse, without affecting the interests of the people at large, and, therefore, without exciting much of their attention; but the mighty alterations which a few centuries produce, are not confined within such narrow limits as these. The genius and character of a people may be, and often are, entirely altered and subdued ---causes of great importance cease to operate---policy becomes impolitic---morality, immoral, and institutions, which seemed to form part of the very frame and constitution of society, gradually moulder into decay.
It not unfrequently has occurred, also, that although the original reason or cause of an institution has ceased to exist---although the state of society which rendered the adoption of a certain line of conduct necessary or politic, has passed away, yet the institution itself, with all its privileges, is allowed to survive the same conduct continues to be pursued, and that even when it is attended with consequences not merely harmless, but actually harsh and oppressive. All the ancient governments of Europe would furnish illustrations of the truth of this remark, but it is not necessary to go beyond our own country, nor would I enter into so wide a field of consideration, as the full extent of this subject opens to view. My object at present is to point outtertain anomalies in the practice of our civil conrts, so far as affects the recovery of small debts--instances in which the form still remains, although the necessity-the reason for its adoption has long since become obsolete.
Before, however, I enter upon this subject, allow me to abjure all participation in that spirit of enmity to every thing ancient and established, the existence of which cannot be too much deplored--that spirit whose very breath is pestilential, and under the influence of which, constitutions, privileges and religions would at once wither and decay. My wish is but
to prune some few of those wide-spreading and useless branches, into which the vigour of the law is too often diverted.
I shall for the present confine myself to the consideration of the proceedings which are termed" by Bill,” that is, proceedings in the King's Bench, in which the complaining party is supposed to exhibit to the court his “ bill" of complaint. Previous, however, to the exhibition of this bill, there are certain writs to be issued for the purpose of bringing the defendant into court, to answer to the complaint about to be made against him. In order, however, to shew more clearly the nature of these writs, as well as of the other proceedings, I shali trace the progress of a common suit for the recovery of a trifling debt, say 25 for goods sold, from its commencement, introducing nothing that is not strictly conformable to the ordinary course of practice, and it will then be clearly seen how much of that practice has fallen into disuse, although the ancient forms are still retained, and held necessary to be adopted.
The first proceeding which is taken, is to issue the following writ against the defendant, and it will be noticed, that ALL THOSE PASSAGES WHICH ARE PRINTED IN ITALICS, ARE AT PRESENT USELESS---UN FOUNDED IN FACT, AND ENTIRELY Fictitious.
George the Fourth by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith. To the Sheriff of Kent Greeting, Whereas, we Itely commanded our Sheriff of Middleses, that he should take Charles Hodgson and John Doe, if they should be found in his bailiwick, and them safely keep, so that he might have their bodies before us at Westminster, at a certain day now past, to answer James Thomsen of a plea of trespass ; and our said Sheriff of Middleser, at that day returned to us that the said Charles and John were not found in his bailiwick, whereupon on the behalf of the said James it is sufficiently testified in our Court before us, that the said Charles and John de run up and down, and secrete themselves in your county. Therefore, we command you that you take them, if they shall be found in your bailiwick, and them safely keep, so that you may have their bodies before us at Westminster, on Monday next after eight days of Saint Hilary, to answer to the said James of the plea aforesaid, and have there then this writ.
Witness, Sir Charles Abbott, Knight, at Westminster, the 28th day of November, in the seventh year of our reign.
Ellenborough and Markham.
29th December, 1826.".
The defendant having been served with this process, puts in what is termed common bail, that is, he signifies his appointment of an attorney, and that he is prepared to enter upon his defence. The following is the form of this proceeding; the useless and fictitious parts being printed as before.
Hilary Term, in the seventh year of the reign of King George the Fourth.
John Doe, of London, Yeoman, and Richard Roe, of the same place,
Benjamin Spriggs, Attorney.
The defendant now being what is termed “ in Court,” the plaintiff proceeds to prefer his complaint against him, and in the case of a demand for goods sold and delivered, it is usually in the following form, which is termed--the declaration. “ IN THE KING'S BENCH- -Hilary Term, in the seventh year of the reign of
King George the fourth.
22nd Jan. 1827.