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and must, act with parties, both in Church and of nearer acquaintance with the spirit and state ; but every party that deserves and views of the framers of the Constituto exist must have a clear and well-de- tion, there is no man upon the present fined sphere of activity, and definite prin- bench to be compared with M'Lean. He ciples of action within that sphere. If is the sage of the Supreme Court. these principles are ours, we forfeit noth- Of his decisions on mere law questions ing of manliness or virtue in acting with we are not competent to speak; but so the party ; if they are not, to serve the far as we have learned the opinions of the party is to serve the devil.
| legal fraternity, the reports contain no As Judge M'Lean had long abandoned decisions, especially in commercial law, the devil's service, he determined, in that are regarded as superior to his in 1828, to accept no public post that would point of clearness, method, and thorough make a sacrifice of his personal independ- knowledge of the principles of law. On ence in any way probable. After he had questions involving political relations, esrefused to retain the Post-office, General pecially those in which slavery is conJackson pressed him to accept first the cerned, his opinions have commanded the War Department, and then the Navy; public confidence, so far as their harmony but M'Lean was inflexible. It is said with the Constitution and laws of the that the old hero declared to one of his country are concerned, even when the friends, after three repeated refusals from public mind has been unsettled and M'Lean, that it was strange “ the most agitated upon the questions themselves. honest man in the Democratic party Judge M'Lean has always been known as should be the one least willing to serve an anti-slavery man; but his private views him.” If the story is not true, it is at have never interfered with his sense of least well invented. But it was not the constitutional obligation in any case where intention of Divine Providence that the the legal rights of slaveholders were inservices of this “honest man" should be volved. In several cases occurring under lost to the American government and peo- | the Fugitive Slave Law his course upon ple. The very place for which he was the bench has been very unsatisfactory to best fitted, and in which his peculiar vir- the stronger class of abolitionists in the tues and talents could find the most con- | Northern States ; but we have never heard, spicuous field, happened then to be open. even from that quarter, the slightest hint or There was a vacancy on the Supreme charge against the uprightness and integriBench, and Judge M'Lean was nominated ty of the judge himself. It is not too much to fill it by General Jackson three days to say that he has contributed, more than after his inauguration in 1829. The nom- any of his present associates on the bench, ination was confirmed by the Senate, we to preserve in the public mind of the believe, unanimously.
American people that strong sense of reThe Supreme Court of the United spect for the Supreme Court, and of conStates is the highest judicial tribunal in fidence in the justice and purity of its the land ; and its powers are, perhaps, judges, which has been almost univermore extensive than those of any other sally cherished, throughout the land, up court in the world. Besides the ordinary to the recent decision in the Dred Scott questions of law, whether commercial, case. If the people have lost that revermarine, or international, that occupy the ence and confidence, it is not the fault of attention of the highest courts in other John M'Lean. lands, this tribunal has the great and per- ! On the relation of slavery, in the states ilous function of deciding upon the con- and territories, to the Constitution, Judge stitutionality of the laws of the several M'Lean retains the opinions of Washstates of the Union and of Congress itself, ington, Jefferson, Madison, and the memin any case of conflict between such en-bers generally of the Convention that actments and the Federal Constitution. framed the Constitution. They are emAt the time of Judge M'Lean's elevation bodied in the following extract from his to the Supreme Bench, the court was recent opinion in the “ Dred Scott" case : composed of Chief Justice Marshall and of Justices Story, Washington, Johnson,
"Now if a slave absconds, he may be reand Duval ; and of all these he alone sur
claimed; but if he accompany his master into
a state or territory where slavery is prohibited, vives. In point of experience, therefore, I such slave cannot be said to have left the serv
ice of his master, where his services were le- tion in express terms recognizes the status galized. And if slavery be limited to the range of slavery as founded on the municipal law : of the territorial laws, how can the slave be .No person held to service or labor in one coerced to serve in a state or territory, not only state, under the laws thereof, escaping into anwithout the authority of law, but against its other, shall,' etc. Now, unless the fugitive express provisions? What gives the master escape from a place where, by the municipal the power to control the will of his slave ? law, he is held to labor, this provision affords The local law, which exists in some form. But no remedy to the master. Wbat can be more where there is no such law, can the master conclusive than this ? Suppose a slave escape control the will of the slave by force? Where from a territory where slavery is not authorno slavery exists, the presumption, without re ized by law, can he be reclaimed ? gard to color, is in favor of freedom. Under “In this case a majority of the court have such a jurisdiction may the colored man be said that a slave may be taken by his master leyied on as the property of his master by a into a territory of the United States, the same creditor ? On the decease of the master, does as a horse or any other kind of property. It is the slave descend to his heirs as property? true this was said by the court, as also many Can the master sell him? Any one or all of other things, which are of no authority. Noththese acts may be done to the slave where he is ing that has been said by them, which has not legally held to service. But where the law does a direct bearing on the jurisdiction of the not confer this power it cannot be exercised. court, against which they decided, can be con
"Lord Mansfield held that a slave brought sidered as authority. I shall certainly not reinto England was free. Lord Stowell agreed gard it as such. The question of jurisdiction with Lord Mansfield in this respect, and that being before the court, was decided by them, authe slave could not be coerced in England; but thoritatively, but nothing beyond that question." on her voluntary return to Antigua, the place of her slave domicil, her former status attached. These principles are consistent with the The law of England did not prohibit slavery, | whole tenor of the decisions and opinions but did not authorize it. The jurisdiction which prohibits slavery is much stronger in
of the Supreme Court from its foundation behalf of the slave within it than where it only up to this year of grace 1857. The new does not authorize it.
doctrines broached by Judge Taney in the "By virtue of what law is it that a master Dred Scott case may well cause alarm, may take his slave into free territory and exact from him the duties of a slave? The law of
though they are not yet law, even in the the territory does not sanction it. No author sense of judge-made law. Thus the ity can be claimed under the Constitution of chief justice remarks that “slaves are the United States or any law of Congress. Will property according to the Constitution," it be said that the slave is taken as property but his remark is not law : on this point, the same as other property which the master may own? To this I answer, that colored per. as on and others except me question of
as on all others except the question of sons are made property by the law of the state, jurisdiction, the pro-slavery statements of and no such power has been given to Congress. the court are mere obiter dicta, and, thereDoes the master carry with him the law of the fore. as Judge M'Lean expressly says. state from which he removes into the territory? and does that enable him to coerce his slave in
" of no authority.” That the court, under the territory? Let us test this theory. If this its present inspiration, is likely at some may be done by a master from one slave state, it future day to take a step further, and to may be done by a master from every other slave nationalize slavery entirely. is. perbads. state. This right is supposed to be connected with the person of the master by virtue of the probable ; but the step has not yet been local law. Is it transferable ? May it be negoti- taken. Should it ever be, the Supreme ated as a promissory note or bill of exchange? | Court may learn, and we trust it will, If it be assigned to a man from a free state, that there is still a court of appeals bemay he coerce the slave by virtue of it? What shall this thing be denominated ? Is it per
yond its august decisions, the court of the sonal or real property ? Or is it an indefinable people of the United States. It may be fragment of sovereignty which every person that the conservative portion of the Amercarries with him from his late domicil? One ican nation, North, South, East, and thing is certain, that its origin has been very recent, and it is unknown to the laws of any
West, spurning the party demagogues civilized country.
who have thrust sectional issues upon " It is said the territories are common prop them, and following the guidance of men, erty of the states, and that every man has a like Judge M'Lean, clear, honest, unright to go there with his property. This is
purchasable, and yet conservative, may not controverted. But the court says a slave is not property beyond the operation of the local
| decide, before many years, that the govlaw which makes him such. Never was a ernment shall not be subverted; that the truth more authoritatively and justly uttered Union shall not be destroyed; that Amerby man. Suppose a master of a slave in a
| ica shall not be made a mockery among British island owned a million of property in England, would that authorize him to take his the nations, as pretending to freedom, and slaves with him to England ? The Constitu- yet nursing slavery.
RECOLLECTIONS OF SWITZERLA N D. MENEVA, the city of clocks, capital- | be seated on deck, they hasten to appropri
U ists, and speculators, where life goes ate one of the vacancies on the benches, by rule, squared off like the accounts of a for soon they will be very scarce. ledger, where the character is affectedly If they are young, and have come to grave and habits are monotonous, even Switzerland for the first time, if they are this city affords, twice a day in the warm curious to see, they stand about or go and season, a spectacle which excites some place themselves upon the prow of the animation and appears to scatter a little boat, to inhale the pure breezes of the confusion. This spectacle is the arrival | lake, and to enjoy the pleasure of seeing and departure of the steamboats.
themselves glide over the blue and limpid A crowd of the curious range themselves waters, like a bird in powerful and rapid on that part of the Grand Quay alongside | flight. But already the moorings are of which the boat is moored; while from loosed, a few turns of the wheel and the the Place du Rhône or the Pont du Ber- | Aigle or the Leman distances the shore, gues, travelers arrive at a step somewhat it leaps the barricade, and anon is launched accelerated by the strokes of the last bell. for the full sweep of this vast inland sea, * They spring across the little bridge of planks which connects the boat with the
| We would like to know what appellation
| this writer would give to the great lakes of quay ; they place their baggage in the No
North America, if he calls Lake Geneva a vast center near the pipe; then if they wish to 1 inland sea.
which here separates the Jura from the modities, but he knows nothing about his Alps.
mountains. Beyond the Saleve everything The most eager gaze is not able fully to to him is confounded under the general take in the beauty of the scene. It is name of the Alps, and everything in the toward the side of Savoy, of the large gap horizon that is covered with snow is Mont in the mountains of the valley of Bonne- Blanc. He is indifferent to a spectacle ville, that you are mostly attracted. There, which he has continually before his eyes. immediately before you, rises the beautiful Perhaps he will show in the range of the isolated pyramid of the Môle, and beyond, Jura the rounded summit of the Dole, the Mont Blanc itself, glittering with all the ascent of which he may have made once immaculate splendor of its eternal spows. in his life. But at least he will tell you
Do not address yourself to a Genevan the names of the proprietors of those if you wish to learn the names of the charming country-seats which dot both principal peaks, for example the situation banks of this enchanting lake. of Buet, which is so very prominent seen While observing and discussing all, the from here, and which, perchance, you in- boat advances. There already is Coppet, tend to climb in a few days. The Gene- where lived a woman of genius who held van will tell you the latest aspects of the a pen, exiled by a man who held a scepter Bourse at Paris, the price of the public and a sword. But the ideas have not time funds, and the value of industrial com- to fix themselves upon Madame de Staël
and the political coterie which she inspired with her views. We will not pause to dwell upon her once commanding position, but, en passant, remark that her works are fast disappearing from the mind, just as this shore disappears from the gaze of the passer-by.
Besides, at each moment some new object comes to attract the attention. Here is a passing boat laden with wood and surmounted by two white sails disposed in a picturesque style; there is the bell which sounds to warn the next post of the approach of the steamer ; now the boat stops, the small craft approach, a cord is thrown to the boat. men; all is agitation, hurry, and apprehension. Then comes the tumult of de. barkation, and the curiosity shown toward the newly arrived, especially if any among them are young or good-looking. Then the wheels recommence their movement, and the waves which they create rock for some distance the little boats which have not yet had time to retire.
But we have passed Nyon, we are as gestures and language and unceremonious far as the point Yvoire, which projects into bearing contrast strongly with the pleasant the lake at the right. Here we leave the manners of those young Italian noblemen, small part of the lake, all that is visible exiled from their country by a jealous desfrom the environs of Geneva, and enter the potism. There goes a Frenchman, makbroader expanse. The shores of Savoy retire, and the eye, reaching to à distance over an immense liquid plain, is no more attracted by the objects which the distance renders less conspicuous. Then, such is human consistency, that indifference commences gaining upon you, and the steamboatthis most charming mode of transportation through space, without jar, without fatigue, without being discommoded as in a carriage, free in your movements, at liberty to walk or to sit, this ideal of locomotion, of which humanity has not been put in possession until our day-appears, by the regularity of its movements, to deeply depress the spirits, and induce apathy and ennui.
It is then that dull ennui turns from the sky and the landscape toward your fellowtravelers, and endeavors to amuse itself by studying their nationalities in their general appear- | ing conversation with everybody, while ance, and their character in their physiog- the Englishman, snugly trimmed for the nomy. All Europe frequently has repre- voyage, holds himself as stiff and upright sentatives on the steamboat of Lake Gene- upon the deck as a ship mast, or marches va. Here are grouped some German stu- back and forth like an officer on the watch. dents, uncomfortable neighbors, whose rude He does not address a word to any one,
SCENE ON BOARD A GENEVA STEAMBOAT.