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Art. XI. Reports of Cafes upon Appeals and Writs of Error in the
High Court of Parliament, from the Year 1701 to the Year 1779. With Tables, Notes, and References. By Jolia Brown, ErQ; Barrister at Law. Folio. 2 Vols. 41. 4 s. in Boards. Uriel.
1779. JT is fortunate for the learned world, when individuals are
I actuated by that liberality of sentiment, which disposes them to throw their feparate poffeffions into the common stock of letters and of science. Valuable collections and compilations are thus communicated to the publić, which no single industry could furnish, and of which no private fortune could sustain the expence. This benefit (which, by means of the press, has been more extensively and more largely diffused) the professors of the law have shared in no inconsiderable degree.
In his preface to the present publication, Mr. Brown expresses his gratitude to several gentleman at the bar, for the affistance they have afforded him in this work. He mentions, particularly, his having been favoured with the collections of the late Lord Chancellor York, and Lord Chief Justice Raymond. But it is not merely from the circumstance of these great lawyers having thought a collection of this kind an object worthy of their attention, that we consider the book now offered to the public, as a valuable acquisition to the library of a lawyer. For want of being judiciously arranged and digested, the most valuable materials are useless to the possessor, and are found to embarrass and distract, rather than affiít. What has happened to other collections has happened to those of the cases determined by the house of peers. Like some valuable remains of antiquity, in the cabinets of the curious (to borrow Mr. Brown's allufion), they are possessed indeed by a few, but far from being of the utility to those few that might be derived from them, if they were properly methodised. To obviate, therefore, the inconveniences which have attended both the want and the possession of these cases, this gentleman acquaints us, that he formed the plan of rendering them as useful as they are valuable.' And the first-fruits of this plan are the two volumes before us, which include a period of twenty-two years, ending A. D. 1724.
As to the conduct and execution of the work, it is sufficient to observe, that the reader will find a full state of every case, and of the reasons urged by the counsel on each side, extracted from the printed allegations of the contending parties, in clear and succinct language; together with the judgment of the Lords, as entered in the journals of the house. To those who are acquainted with the model in which law-proceedings are carried on in the house of Peers, it will be needless to mention,
tive is ren hesabat in their
that the arguments on which their Lordships ground their judge ments of affirmance or reversal, do not appear in this work. We believe it is generally understood, to be a breach of privilege, to take any notes of what falls from the noble Lords, in debates of whatever kind, and that this restriction holds as well in their judicial as in their legislative capacity. Whether this be not a deviation from their original conftitution, we shall not inquire : but as the causes in which they exercise the right of determining in the last resort, are of necellity discussed in the courts of inferior jurisdiction, the defect alluded to may generally be supplied by collateral reports. This defect is also, in a great mea fure, counterbalanced by the advantage the reporter of Parliamentary cafes possesses over his brother-reporters, by being enabled to extract, at his leisure, and without danger of mistake, from the printed papers before him, all the leading and essential facts. Whereas, of the causes agitated in Westminster, it is difficult, in the hurry of business, to obtain a correct state of .. the facts; and even in our most approved reporters, we find short, imperfect, and sometimes erroneous, sketches of those that are the most material. It is one considerable advantage of the present publication, and perhaps not the least, that it affords helps for supplying omissions, and rectifying inaccuracies in books of note, where the same cases have been reported, cited, or abridged. Of how much importance accuracy in this re, speet ought to be held, may be evinced from the opinion of a late most respectable judge; whose emphatic expreflions we would advise no writer on the subject of law to forget, as long as it is possible that any of his readers may remember them. “ Imperfect reports of facts and circumstances, especially in cases where every circumstance weigheth something in the scale of justice, are the bane of all science, that dependeth upon the precedents and examples of former times *.
* Foster's Discourses on Crown Law.
G E R M A N Y.
- AR T. XII. Engelbert Kæmpfers, M. D. Geschichte und Beschreibung von Japan,
&c. i. e. E. Kæmpfer's History and Description of Japan. Published from the Author's original Manuscript. By Christian William Dohm, Profesor of Politics and Finances at Caffel, · and Member of several Literary Societies, 410. 2 Vols. Lemgo.
1779. T HERE is no nation but what would probably feel some
regret, on finding the works of one of their most distinguished writers, not only published originally in foreign Rev. Aug. 1779.
countries and foreign languages, but that they themselves, by this means, possess them merely in very defective translations. Thus, no doubt, have the Germans hitherto felt with regard to the work now before us. The Author, their countryman, drew it up in his native language, and was preparing to publith it at Lemgo, where he had fixed his residence after his return from the East; but death prevented him : and Sir Hans Sloane, who was then in quest of all curious productions of art and pature, found means to procure (as he thought) all his manuScripts.—Sir Hans put them into the hands of the ingenious Dr. Scheuchzer; who, in the year 1727, published the English edition, which was soon after translated into French by Des Maizeaux, and since, very imperfectly into German, as a supe plement to a translation of Du Halde's Description of China.
Whether from accident, or design, we cannot, at this distance of time, ascertain ; but it now appears, that Sir Hans Sloane did not obtain all the late Author's manuscripts : for we find, in the preface to the present publication, that two complete copies of this work, one of them in Kämpfer's own handwriting, had remained in the poffession of the Author's nieće, at Lemgo, from whose heirs, on her demise, in 1773, they were purchased by the publisher of the present edition.
This interesting discovery was immediately announced to the literati of Germany; and an ample subscription soon enabled the present proprietor to commit his new acquisition to the press.
We cannot but congratulate the Proprietor on the choice of his Editor, Professor Dohm; who has, throughout, shewn himself equally intelligent and industrious, and uncommonly zealous for the perfection of the work. He has not only carefully compared these two manuscripts with each other, but likewise with the English and French translations, and has pointed out the variations in éach. Scheuchzer's translation, he observes, is in general too much amplified, and in many places totally paraphrased. Having, moreover, ourselves, had occasion ta inspect the Sloanian MS*. from which that translation was taken, and having compared it with several specimens of Kæmpfer's hand-writing, we may safely assert, that it is not the Author's autograph. These circumstances, we presume, cannot but contribute towards stamping a superior value on this new German edition.
Our English translation, by N. Scheuchzer, being so well known, we forbear saying any thing of the work itself, which, undoubtedly, is very valuable.
* Now" deposited in the British Museum.
For AUGUST, 1779.
POLITICAL Art. 13. An Address to the Honourable Admiral Augustus Keppel. Conraining candid Remarks on his Defence before the Court Marcial. The Second Edition, with confiderable Additions. To which are added, impartial Observations on the Trial and Acquicral of Vice-Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser. With an Explanation of Sea. phrafes, and a Let:er to the Montbly Reviewers. By a Seaman.
8vo. 2s. Nicoll. TN our Review for April, p. 322, we gave a short account of the
I first edition of this Address, in which we commended the writer's abilities, but expressed some small degree of doubt with regard to his impartiality. This scepticism was founded on the closeness of his attack on Mr. Keppel, together with the warmth of bis invectives against the minority, or opposition-men, and his apparent zeal for Sir Hugh Palliser. The opinion we then conceived of the Author, is not in any degree altered by the perusal of this new edition of his well-written pamphlet. He is, certainly, an able investigator of the subject ; but, in our opinion, his excellively harsh treatment of the gentlemen in the minority, whom, in short, he seems to consider as no better than downright traitors to their king and country, proves him to be a man of prejudices, or but an indifferent politician.-If, indeed, he supposes government to be fauhless, he may be juitifiable in forming a bad opinion of oppoficion. But, be this as it may, we hope there will never be wanting, in this country, an oppofition, to watch and check the course of adminiftration ; as all power naturally tends toward despotism. The people, therefore, ought ever to stand on their guard, against their governors. The moment we become fupine in this respect, and fall into an implicit confidence in our rulers, in that moment we may bid adieu to the conllitution.
Would our Author seriously and dispassionareiy attend to what we bave here thrown out, intirely as a general truth, perhaps he would relax a little of his severity toward the antiministerial party. He might, pollibly be led to conclude, chat there may be some honest men among them, beside the Bishop of Peterborough: the only pera fon expressly excepted by him, from the charge of belonging to an • unprincipled opposition.'
In his Letter to the Monthly Reviewers, he handsomely acknowhedges the very favourable opinion they gave of his Address.' He takes norice, however, of their having expressed some doubt of his impartiality. On this head he offers his apology; and it is the fair open apology of an honest man. He freely owns his ' abhorrence of · the conduct of opposition in both houses of parliament, because he thinks it clearly subversive of the national welfare ;' and he boldly pronounces such « patriotism diabolicali'-He concludes wich a prayer, that the Almighty would change their condut, or, in mercy to the empire, take them to bimself, in that way which he sees most conducive to his glory, and the welfare of the state. To the siaal sentence of this prayer, we imagine the opposition-Lords and
Gentlemen themselves, will not scruple to subscribe their Amen : viz. • May Britons henceforth be joined, as one man, in fearing our mott gracious God, in honouring our illustrious Sovereign, and in promoting the true interest of our much injured country!- But as to the true interest of our country, this writer and the patriots have, no doubt, very different ideas; and in pointing out the men by whom our country has been much injured, it is probable they will point different ways. Art. 14. Considerations on a Spanish War; with Remarks on ihe
Jate Manifesto, delivered by the Spanith Ambassador. 8vo. 15.
Intended to refu e the principal allegations contained in the Spanish manifesto, and to thew, that Britain hath greater cause of complains against Spain. The writer concludes with exhorting us to unani. mity, and encouraging us to a full exertion of our internal strength, which, he doubts not, is amply fu Micient for our defence, against the uimoft efforts of the whole house of Bourbon. Art. 15. An English Green Box: or, The Green Box of the
R-TH E --d Lord Churilow, given by the celebrated Mrs. Harvey to Roger O'Tickle, Valet de Chambre to
' Esq; M. P. With occasional Remarks, &c. 8vo. 2 s. Kearly. 1779.
What is commonly said of the literary merit of continuations, fecond parts, and imitations, will probably be applied to this piece by molt of its readers.- Perhaps Mr. Tickell porfestes *, exclusively, the cas pacity of successfully executing his own plans.
The great persons here satirised are, the Premie", the Lord Ch-ár, the Earls of M---d, and S--h, and the whole Sanctum Sanc. torum t in general. Art. 16. A State of Facts, addressed to Sir Joseph Mawbey,
Sir Peilip Jennings Clerke, Baronets, and other Minority Mem. hers; on their late Motions, and the Proceedings of the House of Commons, relative to the Incapacitation of Members of Parliament having Contracts and Places under the Crown. Being a candid Inquiry into the Danger of multiplying Incapacities on the Gentlemen of England to sic in Parliament, &c. 8vo. 1 s. 6 d. Kearsley.
The propriety of excluding gentlemen who hold employments or contracts under the crown, from seats in parliament, peremptorily as it may be decided by all who are, or would pass for, friends to: the true interells of their country, may appear a question no less curious than important, if a dispasionate attention is paid to what may be urged again such a measure.
This fenfible advocate on the unpopular fide of the argument, begins, by Ilaring a comparison between a bill to secure the freedom of parliament, by multiplying the incapacities to a seat in it; and a bill to secure the church, by taking away the liberty of conscience. The bill contended for, he adds, muit materially alter the present syfem of our conlticution; and instead of leflening the power of the crown, would prove the very means of lessening the power of the