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ftate in Great-Britain,, ever since the conquest of it, and that no at. tempt has been made to encourage the profession of the Proteftant reJigion in it, or to introduce the Englith laws there, even upon criminal matters; and yet that the fate of the laws, which are lupo posed to take place there, is so uncertain and undetermined, that (though the old Spanith laws are supposed to be in force, and most frequently appealed to the inhabitants sometimes plead the English laws. And from there circumstances of neglect, confufion, and un, certainty, and likewise from the small importance of the subjects upon which the kings of Great-Britain have exercised a legislative au. thority over these places by their orders in council (to laws for creating new felonies or capital crimes, or for impoling taxes on the inhabitants of those countries, or for any other very important purpose, having ever been made with respect to them) - We concluded, that neither this island nor the town of Gibraltar were fit examples in prove Lord Mansfield's affertion concerning the fole legiflative authority of the Crown over conquered countries.'
From the preceding extract, our Readers will conceive of this Author, that he is not one of those flimsy writers who endeavour to gather confequence to themselves, from the consequence of the doctrines or characters they aitack; those obnoxious infects that buzz about persons of high station, or distinguished talents, and are perpetually watching to find some vulnerable part, which they never leave till it is completely Ayblown. The Canadian Freebolder combats argument with argument, and opposes the honeft dignity of reason to the grave voice of authority, and the folemnity of the judicial ermine.
The third argument on which Lord Mansfield insisted, was drawn from the opinion of the judges, as reported by Lord Coke, in Calvin's case, and of that of Sir Philip Yorke and Sir Clement Wearg (attorney and solicitor-general to George the first) in the year 1722, on a question referred to them concerniny Jamaica.
Our Author endeavours to fhew, that the opinion of the judges in Calvin's case, instead of favouring the doctrine advanced by Lord Mansfield, was really contrary to it: and that the opinion of Sir Philip Yorke and Sir Clement Wearg (which is acknowledged to have been agreeable to Lord Mansfield's doctrine) was, according to Lord Mansfield's account of it, a very hafty opinion, upon which those learned lawyers appear to have bestowed very little attention ; and that it must also be considered as having but a small degree of authority in deciding a matter of this importance in favour of the Crown, on account of the bias which those gentlemen must be supposed to have had upon their minds, in favour of that side of the question, from their poffeffion of the offices of attorney and solicitor-general.'
Perhaps there is fome little artifice in this attempt to discredit the opinions of Sir Philip Yorke and Sir Clement Wearg,
and is there not some inconsistency too? to serve one turn of the argument, they are supposed to be necessarily biased by their offices in favour of the prerogative; to serve another turn, they are represented paffing an opinion so highly important to the Crown, with much halte and little attention. Inattention, and haste are surely not the usual symptoms of a head or heart eager to support a deep and deftructive system, either political or moral. Our Author, however, does justice to the professors of the law, in setting one law-officer against another; and thus leaving his argument concerning this bias (which he tells us, must be supposed to operate on the mind of an attorney and solicitor-general) in perfect equilibrio. He produces the opinions of two gentlemen who filled the station of attorneygeneral, and opposes them to the two authorities cited by Lord Mansfield. The first is that of Sir William Jones, given while he was attorney-general to Charles II. and probably about the year 1677, against the sole legislative authority of the Crown over the American Plantations; the other is the opinion of Mr. Lechmere, while he was attorney-general to King George I. which is nearly to the same effect with that of. Sir William Jones. These two learned names are sufficient to redeem the reputation of the Long Robe * in the present instance. We sincerely with that such instances were more numerous ! Pity that they look so like exceptions !
Our Author makes some lively and just remarks on the very peremptory manner with which Lord Mansfield inforced his arguments in this cause; and which, he observes, is agreeable to his constant mode of speaking. This positiveness of assertion (he says) may perhaps be considered as one of the ingredients of his species of eloquence, as it certainly has the effect of dazzling for a time, and overbearing his hearers into an acquiescence in the truth of the propositions he so peremptorily asserts.' We fall draw out the observation at full length.
FRENCH MAN. • Before I entirely quit the subject, I must beg leave to express my surprise ar the very positive and peremptory manner in which Lord Manéfield asserted this power of making laws for conquered countries to belong to the Crown. “No dispute, says he, was ever Itarted before upon ibe king's legillative right over a conquest. I never was denied in Westminster Hall; it never was questioned in parliament." And again, “ No book, no saying of a judge, no opinion of any counsel,
• The first mentioned gentlemen ought to have been exempted from the unhandsome infinuation of the Canadian Freeholder. The pernicious union of the political and professional characters in our great law oficers, was not fo fully establidhed in the reign of George the first, as in the present times. The opinions in question were delivered by them as lawyers in council, not as statesmen and orators in the senate; in their profeWonal, pot cheir political character.
public or private, has been cited on the other fide; no instance has been found in any period of our history, where a doubt has been raised concerning it." These are Itrangely confident expressions, considering the weakness of the proofs he adduces in support of them; to which, indeed, they form a remarkable contrast. This, I confess, has surprised me in a man so much celebrated for his learning and abilities as Lord Mansfield. I therefore wish to know how you account for it; and the rather, because this extreme positiveness in a man of his abilities has a tendency to dazzle and overbear my judgment, and make me yield implicitly to his opinion, notwithstanding I have satisfied myself, by our discussion of this subject, that the reasons he has adduced in support of ir, are very weak.'
ENGLISH M A N. • Your remark is very juft. There is a ftrange degree of pofitivenefs in his affertions, that is very ill-fuired to the weakness of his arguments in support of them. And wbat makes it the more farprizing is, that he himself ordered this case of Campbell and Hall to be argued no less than three times, on three different days, at the bar, before he decided it; which would, surely, have been unnecessary, and, consequently, injurious to the parties (by forcing them to suffer a needless delay, and incur an unneceffary degree of expence, in the profecution of their legal claims) if the matter had been so extremely clear and free from doubt as he, in delivering his judgment, represents it. But that positiveness of assertion is agreeable to his conftant manner of speaking, and may, perhaps, be considered as one of the ingredients of his species of eloquence, as it certainly has the effe& you mention, of dazzling, for a time, and overbearing his hearers into an acquiescence in the truth of the pro positions he fo peremptorily asseris. But you, who have examined the reasons adduced by him in support of his affertion concerning the present sabject, and have found them to be insufficient, ought to break through the inchantment, and to yield to the conclufons of your own understanding, and embrace what appears to it to be the truth; agreeably to the old Latin proverb, Amicus Plato; Amicus Socrates; sed magis amica veritas.'
The dialogue closes with a remark on the expediency of fettling the law on this subject by act of parliament (we need hardly add the Author's words), " in a manner contrary to Lord Mansfield's doctrine,"
* The Third Volume of this work is published, but we have not yet seen it. ART. XI. An Analysis of the Political History of India : In which is
considered, the present Situation of the East, and the Connection of its several Powers with the Empire of Great Britain. 410. 6 s. Boards. Becket. 1779. TISTORICAL abstracts, neceffarily wanting those details
which chiefly render history interesting, cannot be properly ranked among works of entertainment. They are, however, of real use, both to direct those who are entering on the study of history in the arrangement of facts, and to attīst those who
have made fome progress in this study, in reviewing the path they have trodden; a path otherwise too intricate and perplexed to be clearly retraced. These purposes the present Analyfis is very well adapted to answer, with respect to the modern history of India ; the leading facts of which the Author has selected and arranged with judgment.
Towards the close of this abstract, we observe, that a strong attachment to the cause of the Nabob of Arcot, has led the Author to place the events, he relates, in such a light as to favour the claims of that prince. But after the long details, which have already been offered to the Public, relative to the dispute between the Nabob of Arcot and the Rajah of Tanjore, we cannot promise our Reader's any very material information from what this Writer has advanced on this part of the subject.
As a specimen of the work, we shall give the Author's sentiments on the introduction of the English law into the Eastern Provinces :
Of all the innovations which have been made by the legislature in the management of the Company's affairs, not one hath been so Joudly exclaimed against as the introduction of the English laws into the Bengal provinces. This, however, we are sorry to believe, hath proceeded more from a disappointment of interelted views, than from a conviction of any pernicious consequences that they are likely to produce. No man of reason, and of personal knowledge of the manners and customs of Hindoltan, can honeitly declare, he believes the English laws improper to be introduced into that country. Prejudice, indeed, may operate powerfully on some who have been educated in all the principles of Afiatic despotism, who have ruled over provinces with an arbitrary sway, and whose words were law; but to a dispassionate enquirer, who judges with moderation, and who sees the neceflity of coercion in a country where common justice hath been trampled under foot, not only by some of the English themselves, but universally by their servants and dependants, he will unhefitatingly confess, that the rod of legal authority cannot but be of service to with-hold the hand of oppresiion, and to ensure to the honelt labourer the scanty reward of his industry and trouble. This, it is said, has never been denied him. But what is more liable to misrepresentation than an unserıled state, where all domi. nion, after the confusion of fucceflive revolutions, is transferred to a few frangers, and where the conquerors, living under their own laws of freedom, amidit a nation of helpless and unprotected beings, exhibit a fituation almost without parallel in history?
' At the time when the power of the English nation gave effect to usurpations of the private trader, who decided his own claims, oppreling the natives, and threatening the officers of government if they presumed to interfere, the necesity was soon perceived of confining the free merchants to the respective presidences. But this did not eradicate the evil; the same practices were continued by the Servants of the Company. La
• When the rapacity, therefore, of all who assumed the name of English, or of English agents, was let loose upon a harmless and in. offensive race of mert, what incitement could there be to the manufacturer and labourer? To reclaim men from diffipation, to check impatient hopes, where youths aspire to the absolute government of countries at an age scarcely adequate to the management of private affairs, to revive a general spirit of industry, to lead the minds of all from infatuated illufions of sudden acquired wealth to a patient expectation of growing fortunes, is no lefs difficult in execution, than necessary to the exiflence of good government. These are positions that, I believe, will be admitted by every candid and discerning mind ; they are conformable to the decrees of unerring justice.
• To say, that the inhabitants of the ceded provinces of India have been regulated by their own laws, is to advance an affertion which daily experience proves to be untroe. The Indians have never been sheltered by their own laws. Their laws have been derided by their conquerors; nor could any decision whatever have effe&, when opposed to the merciless hand of rapine and oppreffion. In short, whatever may be advanced to the contrary, the introduction of the English laws, we are firmly convinced, will be attended with the best of eonsequences. No crime whatever is punifhable by the Eng. lith code, that is not equally so by the Hindoo and Mahometan inftitutions : right and wrong, virtue and vice, are the same to them that they are to other nations. Licentiousness, in the midst of anarchy and confusion, may have tolerated there, as in other places, the perpetration of crimes. A fixed government, however, will soon convince them of the advantage of an adherence to what is equitable and just.
• Admitting, in this manner, that the introduction of the Englifh laws into Bengal will, in the end, be advantageous to the natives, by reftraining the oppreslion of the English and their agents, we shall, for the very fame reasons, advance it as our opinion, that the same laws should be establisted in the other dominions that are fubjected to the authority of the Company.
* The gentle influence of these happy ordinances diffufing itself from one extremity to the other of the English territorial possessions in the Eaft-Indies, would soon change the face of misery, which the inbabitants at prelent wear, to that of cheerfulnefs and content.
• Is the improvement in the circumstances of the lower rank of people to be regarded as an advantage, or as an inconvenience to the society? The answer is at first light abundantly plain. Ser: vants, labourers, and workmen of different kinds, make
the far greater part of every political society. What, therefore, improves the circumstances of the greater part, can never be regarded as ax inconveniency to the wbole. No society can furely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity befides, that they who feed, cloath, and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour, as to be themselves tolerably well fed, cloathed, and lodged.'