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raging an example: I am fully sen- applied to such studies as could alone sible, that the portrait of Mr. REEVES enable them to wear it with credit ; ought to be delineated by a much more that is to say, they were first called masterly pencil. A ROBERTSON or a to the bar, and afterwards bethought Home would have found such a subject themselves of the qualifications necesworthy their genius. But though I can- · sary to make a figure there. Mr. not paint his virtues with all the glow. Reeves is a striking exception to the ing tints of eloquence, I can shew them general justuess and severity of this in a less suspected light, the genuine remark. He did not appear in the lustre of truth. I am animated, there. professional robe till he had given proofs fore, in the attempt by the strongest of his professional knowledge. About conviction, that the best method of the year previous to his introduction praising him is to describe his actions at Westminster, Hall, he published a with fidelity.
Chart of Penal Law, and a small Tract
on the Nature of Estates; both of MR. REEVES was born about the which pieces obtained, what tbey ceryear 1752, and received bis education tainly deserved, a considerable share of on the foundation at Eton; but failing approbation. When, therefore, be soli. in bis expectation of succeeding to cited, according to form, the rank and King's College, Cambridge, he entered privileges of a Barrister, the benchers himself of Merton · College, Oxford, who granted his request might very prowhere he took the degree of Batchelor perly say to him, in the words of the old of Arts. From thence he was elected to Roman, a scholarship at Queen’s, became a Felo Sume superbiam quæsitam meritis : low there, and took the degree of Master of Arts May 21, 1778.
Assume the honours due to just desert. In writing the memoirs of great and Mr. Reeves was called to the bar in good men, all the trifling incidents of the year 1780, and no doubt was then their youtb are usually sougbt after with entertained of his proving one of its laborious research, and are supposed to most distinguished ornaments. But he derive importance from the higher scenes soon found, the wraogle of altercation to which they serve as a prelude. Such very little suited either to the natural anecdotes may indeed amuse idle curio- turn of his temper, or to the calm and sity, but they more frequently incite unruffled dignity of his mind. . Enimpatience and disgust iu readers of dowed with the happiest talents for in. another class, whose sole wish is to vestigating truth, and for displaying it be made acquainted with the history with force and evidence, he felt an un. of accomplished manhood. Few facts conquerable antipathy to the indiscri. deserving of record are to be found minate Jetence of right and wrong. during minority in the lives of the most After exerting himself, therefore, with illustrious characters; and with respectability and success, apon several signal to Mr. Reeves, it would be particu- occasions, be gradually withdrew from larly unpardonable to divert the atten a scene where ihc fire of geoius is not tion of the public from the signal events always kindled by the love of justice. of bis riper years, by any detail, however but by the spirit of veoality, by the entertaining, of his juvenile occurrences. ardour of revenge, by the clash or colliThe only remark on the early part of his siou of conteoding interests. life, which can with propriety be intro But in discontinuing bis attendance duced here, is, that in the course of bis ' at Westminster-hall, Mr. Reeves did not academical pursuits at Elon, and at Ox- forget the duties of his profession, nor ford, he inpressed upon the ininds of all the services which every man of science who knew him a very high opinion of owes to the great body of society. He both his heart and bis head :--an opi- did not sink into the lap of indolence : pion which the uniform tenor of his he did not suffer bis faculties to be tar. conduct since has fully justified and dished or impaired by the rust of inconfirmed.
action. His retirement from the sphere Ti was an observation often made by of business was quickly productive of the late Judge BLACKSTONE, and which more valuable fruits than the unceasing he always expressed with great concern, bustle of many who contioned in the that loo many of the Members of our field. He published in 1783, tbe first Inns oj Court kept regular terms, and volume, in 4to. of his HistorY OF THE put on the goạn before they scrivurly English Law, endivg with the wise
establishments of Edward the First; unprejudiced, and peruse it with the and in the course of the next year, the same atleution that is bestowed on a second volume appeared, continuing the system of modern law. The law of narrative to the close of HenRY tbe the time would then be learned in the Seventh's reign.
language of the tiine, uoadulterated Several treatises had before been with new opinions; and when that was written to elucidate different parts of clearly understood, the alterations made. so interesting a subject ; but Mr. therein in subsequent periods might be Reeves's discussion of it was perfectly deduced, and exhibited to the mind of a new, accurate, and satisfactory. He modern reader in as simple and intellidid not carry bis readers back into the gible a form as they were to persons dark mist of Saxop antiquities; por did who lived in those periods. Further, if he vainly endeavour to fill up the chasms our statutes, and the interpretations of of authentic record by ingenious, but them, with the changes that bave hapuseless, conjectures. He saw the exact pened in the maxims, rules, and docpoint of departure whence the can trines of the law, were related in the did bistorian should set out, and con order in which they severally took teoted himself with giving a sketch place, such a history, from the beginof the system of jurisprudence that sub- ning of our oldest memorials down to sisted at a more distant period. The the present time, would convey to the clearest opinion, as he justly observed, reader a tolerably just and complete that could be formed respecting such account of our whole law, as it stands at obscure times, was not worth defend- this day, with that advantage which an ing with much obstinacy ; and he might arrangement, conformable to the nature have added, that notwithstanding all of the subject, enjoys over one tbat the labour and the learning ibat bave is merely artificial.” It is impossible to been idly wasted in dissertations on the speak of his plan with greater modesty manners and the customs of the Saxons, and truth. on the nature of their tenures, apd the But if the design was well formed, constitution of their legislative assem- the execution was not less masterly. blies, the few traces wbich' now remain All the revolutions in our laws are of those institutions are capable of traced with the utmost clearoess and very litile application or inference. He precision. Before any changes in the therefore wisely began his historic de general system are described, before tails at the time of the Norman 111 any parlicular acis or statutes are menvasion, when a new order of things tioned, the reader is always supplied arose, when something like a regular with such a degree of previous informasystem first look place,--and from tion, as always enables him to comprewhich period the writer is frequently bend their import, on a bare statement more incumbered by the multitude, of their contents. The author's style thao distressed for waut of genuire is manly and perspicuous. Full of the materials.
imporlauce of his subject, he ever · The method pursued by Mr. Reeves, expresses himself with dignity and in arranging and moulding those mate purity. His language is neither alrials, was equally original and judi- loyed wiihi ancient ivelegance, nor set cious. “ I found,” says he, iu the pre- off by the false graces of modern affecfatory dedication to Lord TAURlow, tation. " that modern writers, in discoursing of The example of prostituted talent, the ancient law, were too apt to speak in a few eminent lawyers, has afforded in modern terms, and always with re illiberal criticisin some pretence for ference to some modern usage: hence asserting, that the writings of men of it followed, that what they adduced was that profession are rather favourable to. strangely distorted and misrepresented, the in Nuence of tbe crown than to the with a view of displaying, and account. freedom of the subject. But no part of ing for certain coincidcoces of the law this obloquy can, with the least shadow at different times. As this produced of truth or justice, be thrown ou Mr. very great mistakes, it appeared to me, Reeves. He every where appears a that in order to have a right conception zealous frieod to a well-regulated goof our old jurisprudence, it would be vernment, and a warm advocate for necessary to forget, for a while, every civil and religious liberty. He points alteration which has been made since, out, with the generous rapture of an to enter upon it with a wiod wholly Englishman, the sacred barrier that se.
cures, on one side, the privileges of of those laborious efforts, Mr. Reeves
cidenial spectators of such attacks, inti-
persons were capable of tracing them to fund of legal and political knowledge. iheir various causes, and of prescribing
It mighi be reasonably presumed, that proper and etfectual remedies. There a work of such magnitude and intri were some fundamental errors in the cacy as the llistory of the English Law police of Westminster, which tended to might have engrossed any author's descat all the purposes of its instituwhole time and attention. The col. tion. The high steward, for instance, Jection and arrangement of so great had the appointment of the constables, a diversity of materials; the removal and was invested with a discretionary of that cuñibrous load of diction, that power of punishing them by fine ; but immense mass of phrascology, in which he had no authority as a magistrate the spirit of our statutes is frequently to manage or to direct them. Tbe buried, and the discovery of a cluc justices were solely entrusted with the to lead the rational inquirer, without exercise of this latter power; but they confusion or perplexity, through all had no corresponding right to panish, the meanders of our civil and criminal or to controul. Thus one jurisdiction jurisprudence, were tasks which seemed had a right which it could never wisk to to require the full exertions of the most exercise; and the other had not that active genius, united with the most in. right, which at every moment, perbaps, defatigable industry. Yet in the midst it was necessary to exert. Where the
main springs of municipal government in the sister kingdom; and Mr. Reeves were thus weak and defective, it is no bad tbe satisfaction, in 1792, to see all wonder that the subordinate wheels of the essential parts of bis plan brought ibe machine should often prove irregu- forward with a greater spirit than bea lar, or be suspended in their motions. fore, and by a very flattering majority
The corruption and supineness of the of both Houses. magistrates of that district became al. There is no need to enlarge on the most proverbial : the inferior agents in wisdom of regulations which experithe police offices seemed to pay vo re ence has so fully confirmed, and of gard to any crimes but those which, which the happy influence is so widely immediately secured the forty pounds diffused. It is not merely the inha. reward: it was even asserted, and proba- bitants of Westminsier, or its neighbly with great truth, that the pickpocket bourhood, who enjoy the comforts of and tbe coostable shook hands on most good order and security: the wbole nas occasions, and that the robber and the iion is interested in such a systein of runner very frequently shared the spoil. reform; and looks up to the authors
It was impossible for Mr. Reeves to of it with admiration and gratitude, bebold the progress of such evils with The blessings of an effective police, now indifference. His quick discernment so well established round the capital, laid open to him the sources wbence Gow hence, as from the fountain head, they arose, and his wisdom suggested in an infinito number of channels tbe best expedients for checking and throughout the kingdom. The clamour correcting them. It is evident, he had. of drunkenness and riot is every-where as just a seuse of the high prerogatives suppressed. The idle and the dissolute of English liberty as any man: he dis. are compelled to betake themselves to liked its abridgement in the smallest the pursuits of bonest industry; the particular : but, at the same time, he sous of midnight have learned the danfelt the necessity of imposing due re ger of trusting so their favourite hour, straints on the flagrant abuse of it. and our streets are no longer iofested The industrious part of the community by beasts of prey in human shape. But were to be guarded against the allure can it be a matter of surprise, that these meots of bad example, and the persons monsters should growl at the salulary and property of individuals were to be discipline of the law? Will not the secured from depredation and violence. wolf or the tiger attempt to bite the Actuated by these motives, he finished chain that restrains its fervcity. If the tbe first sketch of his famous Police coercive terrors of Mr. Reeves's plan Bill, under the encouragement of Lord could admit of any síronger testimony Sydney, then Secretary of Stale; and in their favour thau the applause of every man who examined it with judya every good citizeo, we must seek it ment and candour, could not bui con in the invectives continually poured fess, that it was the most adinirable out against them by the profiigate aụd system of domestic regulation ever de. the factious. vised, to remedy the contagion of vi It does great honour to his Majesty's tiated morals, and the ineficacy of a ministers, and particularly to Mr. Dundefective police.
Das, that the person who devised, reA variety of accidental causes pre duced into form, and laid before govented the bill from receiving, at ihat vernment, those patriotic measures, was time, the sanction of the legislature. not forgotten, but was appointed ReAs those causes have since ceased to ceiver under the new bill, as a just operate, a detail of them would be acknowledgınent of his former endeaequally tedious and useless. Such, how
This, however, is not the first ever, was the iolrinsic merit of the plan instance of a due regard paid by aditself, that the Irish Government took ministralion to Mr. Reeves's abilities up its leading principles, and adapted and public spirit. Lord HAWKESBURY them to the city of Dublin. The bill had promoted him to a law office at the ibus modified was bighly approved of Board of Trade in 1787; and he was by the Parliament of Ireland ; and its soon after invited to go to Ireland, salutary effects were soon demonstrated to take a part in a scheme dictated by by the total suppression of abuses in the the soundest, the most liberal, and bea capital of that country. The British neficent policy, which brad for its object legislature did not remain long inatten. the improvement of the systein of cdutive to the successful experiment made cation in that kingdom. No man was
better qualified to undertake the task; to content himself with a hackney and bappy would it have been for Ire- coach. On his way to Sir William's land, had be continued there long committee, he saw Jobo yoked with a enough to investigate all the errors and number of the mob to Mr. Waithanan's abuses of the established system, and to coach. When his master returned, be carry into execution sueb plans of re sent for John into his study, and, after form, as he should find best adapted to a few expostulatory admonitions to be the state of the country, and to the more attentive to the duties of his genius, the character, and the circum- station for the future, asked him, how stances of the people. But, on the he could think of degrading himself death of the DUKE of RUTLAND, under so low beneath the dignity of bis nature, whose patronage he had engaged in so as to change condition with the brutes laudable a design, he returned to Eug- that he was in the habit of driving ?land, after a short stay of only three John stared; and twisting the side curl inorths.
of his buckled wig, replied, that he was The duties of Mr. Reeves's office, at only doing hopour to the man of the the ' Bourd of Trade, became at this people. why John," said the gentlejuncture, uncommonly pressing and im- man, “what is it that this man of the portant. Some of the most considera- people is to do for you more than the ble objects of commercial policy were other candidates :"-" Do, Sir, " . anthen before the board ; and a reference swered John, “ he'll do a great deal, to the voluminous reports on the slave Sir, if be do as he promises—He is to Trade alone, will satisfy us of his asto obtain for us TriangulaR PARLIApishing assiduity and despatch. His Ments and unIVERSAL SUPFFERINGS.” health, bowever, could not continually hold out in seconding the efforts of his unabated zeal: it began to sink under
ANECDOTE OF PETER THE GREATES. incessant fatigue, and he found it neces
Peter the Great haviog directed the sary to forego the usual pleasures of translation of : Puffendorff's lótroducJiterary retirement in the summers of tion to the Knowledge of the States of 1788 aud 1789, and to employ these in Europe' into the Russian language, a tervals of official duty in iwo short ex Monk, to whom this translation was cursions to the Continent. A new field committed, presented it to the Emperor soon opened for the exercise of bis re. when finished, who turning over the covered vigour.
leaves, exclained witb an iudignant (To be continued.)
air, “ Fuol! what did I order you to
do? is this a translation ;” Thcr reTHE HIVE.
ferring to the original, he shewed him
a paragraph in which the author had No. XXXIX. *.
spoken with great asperity of the Rus. sians, but the translator bad omitted
it. The difference between rising every
• Go instantly,” said the Czar, T! morning at six and at cighi, in the
and execute my orders rigidly. It is course of forty years, supposing a man
not to faller iny subjects that I have
this book translated and printed, but to retired to rest at the same liine, amounts
instruct and reform thein." to 20,200 hours, or three years, one hundred and twenty.one days, and sixteen bours, which will afford eight bours a day for exactly ten years ; so
Many years since, a French teacher, that it is the same as if ten years of of Ducane, called on Mr. Wickham,
resident in Oxford, of the name lite were added, in which we could com.,
a mercer, wlio lived opposite Univer. wand eight hours every day for the cultivation of our minds, or the des. sity College, for a waistcoat-piece,
but could not recollect the name patch of business.
of the material he wished for. He said that “he thought it was de English
for de Diable." Mr. Wickham menDuring the recent «lection for the tioned the several names of his infernal Ciły, a gentleman baving ordered his Highness, such as Old Nick, Belzebub, carriage, for the purpose of proceeding &c. -“No, no, it was not dat," was the upon a canvass in bebaif of Sir William reply. At last Mr. W. thought of Satan. Curlis, was compelled, in consequence “O dat is vat I vant,” said Ducane, “I of his cuachman being out of the way, vaqt a Satan vesicoat."-Oxford Herald.