« AnteriorContinuar »
prudent Sir John; “if judges don't speak so as to be heard, they might as well not speak at all.”
“What does the fellow say?" asked the nettled judge.
“He says that if you don't speak out, you may as well hold your tongue.”
"Oh! My lords, what I was saying was very simpall; I was only sayingg that in my humble opinyon, this fine could not be less than two hundred and fifty pounds sterlingg,” roaring out the sum as loudly as his old cracked voice could shout.
pear that the subject was too broad to be sufficiently treated in a single volume. It will be observed, bowever, that the author does not propose to treat the whole subject of the law of contracts, but only "to state simply and clearly the principles which govern the interpretation of all mercantile contracts.” Even thus narrowed the subject is sufficiently broad for a single volume. The author has evidently bestowed much labor upon the preparation of this book, wbich is a very valuable addition to the legal literature of the law of contracts. The arrangement of the matter of the book is very good; the first chapter treats of the nature and scope of construction; the second, who construes the contract; the third, the law which governs the construction; the fourth, the law governing construction in special cases, such as commercial paper. The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, eleventh and twelfth chapters are devoted to questions as to admissibility and effect of parol evidence in aid of construction. The ninth and tenth chapters discuss the proof and effect of usage as affecting the interpretation. In the thirteenth, fourteenth and fisteenth chapters, the operation of parol evidence on construction is further discussed. The sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth chapters furnish rules for the construction of contracts generally, of the whole contract and of ambig. uous contracts. The remaining five chapters are devoted to particular contracts, such as insurance policies, guaranties and the like, and to the effect of alterations of contracts, material or immaterial, by parties or by strangers, with the legal consequences of such alterations, as to presumptions and burden of proof.
The book is divided into sections, with an appropriate head note or catch-word to each, and this we consider a very commendable practice. Just here, however, we are constrained to “bint a fault.” The sections are not, in our opinion, sufficiently numerous. If there were more of them, the references in the index might well have been to the sections instead of the pages, which we think the better plan. This, however, is quite a small matter. We regard the book, upon the whole, as very valuable, and cordially commend it to the profession.
The London Law Times, apropos of the Queen's Jubilee celebration by the Benchers of the Inner Tem. ple on the 19th ult., "drops into poetry" after the fol. lowing unique fashion: A Royal Jubilee rarely occurs in this sublunal sphere, And it's right that lawyers should welcome it when it
really does appear; So the Benchers of the Inner Temple, with the hand
somest designs, Got up their Hall, themselves, and Church, up to the
very nines, To celebrate the jubilee of our most gracious QueenQueen of England, Scotland, Wales, and of the Island
green (II Gladstone will of grace permit this loyal observa.
tion, Which couples with the Saxon curs, the glorious Irish
nation). But how to celebrate this great event was the impor
tant question, Without imposing too much work on anyone's diges.
tionWithout neglecting any art, good fun, or Christian
duty, Or subjecting to vulgar gaze the Benchers' daught
JETSAM AND FLOTSAM.
AN ODD JUDGE.-When ignorance and oddity take a seat on the judicial bench, “the unskilful laugh,” and "the judicious grieve.” Lord Eskgrove, a Scotch judge knew little law and was garrulous in proclaiming his ignorance. When pronouncing sentence of death, he used to signalize himself by offering consolation to the prisoner in a style that shocked the bar and the spectators. His usual formula was:
“Whatever your releegious persuashon may be, prisoner, or even if, as I suppose, you be of no persuashon at all, there are plenty of reverend gentlemen who will be most happy for to shew you the way to yeternal life.”
In those days Tory principles were in the ascendant, and Lord Eskgrove was a Tory of the Tories. A Whig was made to suffer severely if he came within reach of the arm of the court. Sir John Henderson, & zealous Scotch Whig, was once up for sentence before the full bench, for some offence the penalty of which was at the discretion of the court.
Lord Eskgrove, being deaf, gave his opinion in a low voice that the fine ought to be fifty pounds.
“I beg you to raise your voice," interrupted the im
How easily the Benchers solved this very knotty prob
lem, And sugared plums for heavy swells with certainty to
nobble 'em; How in the early hours of night the guests were plied
with farceThe old familiar comedy of Bottom and the Ass; How later on, when dreams had fixed their sofi
illusions firm on, The company at midnight hour submitted to a sermon; And after with philosophy proverbial as of Tupper, And organ strains and handsome trains, returned to
hall and supper: All this is told in bumble prose in newspapers most
numerous, With phrases which almost suggest a lurking spirit
humorous. This relieves us from a painful suspicion engendered by the “law poetry” wbich it has been our misfortune to encounter, that when Blackstone penned his farewell to his muse, that lady took him at his word, not only cut his acquaintance, but that of all his professional confreres,and that her boycott” had descended even to this enlightened generation. (Ed. C. L. J.)
The Central Law Journal. lead pipes in which the water used by him
was conveyed from the main into his house;
the blame was laid upon the water company, ST. LOUIS, AUGUST 13, 1886.
which the victim denounced as having “no soul
to be saved.” In the other case a grumbling CURRENT EVENTS.
consumer presumed to cavil with the unre
duced price of gas, supplied by an incorporINTER-STATE AND INTERNATIONAL ‘JURISDIC
ated company, which “had no body to be
killed.” TION.--This phase of the general subject of conflict of laws seems to be coming to the The first of these cases was in the House front lately. The Cutting case can hardly of Lords, the jury had given the plaintiff a be reckoned in a proper sense, one of that verdict for £2000; the other was in the Encharacter, as Mexico has not yet developed a glish Court of Appeals. In both cases the spirit of comity to any appreciable extent, judges were divided in opinion. the defendand the question is diplomatic, with strong ants were let off “with a caution,” and the military tendencies. But the matters of in blame laid on the legislature. ter-State garnishment, and inter-State attach
And just there, it may be said, in most ment, we have always with us.
cases of hardship and injustice, occurring in seems, the English Court of Queen's Bench courts of justice, in which private corporawill to-day (August 11), tackle the question, tions are concerned, is where the blame whether the courts of that country will take should properly rest. In our country it is jurisdiction of an action for libel between too much the practice to charter corporations two foreigners, the alleged) defamatory either in a wholesale way,or upon the ex parte matter having been published in a foreign representations of the promoters of the encountry Mr. Field brought suit in London terprise. They are naturally anxious to seagainst Mr. Bennett for libel published in the cure the most extensive privileges attainable New York Herald. The jury gave Mr. Field and reduce the restrictive clauses' to the a verdict for $25,000, and the question was
minimum. They and their lobbyists have reserved whether, both parties being foreign-nothing else to do but to put through their ers, and the publication made in a foreign
bill with the fullest powers and the scantiest country, neither having a domicile in Great
safeguards. They are acute, earnest, perBritain, the English courts can properly take
sonally interested; the other side, the public, jurisdiction of the controversy. We shall
is represented by the legislator, who has a await the decision with interest, but we must thousand things to look after, besides the say that at first blush, we do not see much
ever-present problem of re-election, and he, room for discussion. The action is a personal without personal interest, and habitually action, the court, of course, had jurisdiction of anxious to conciliate, allows points to escape the person of the defendant, by service of which, afterwards, work serious wrong to the process or otherwise, or else he would not
community, and bring reproach upon the adhave appeared to the action, and the matter ministration of justice. There is much slipcomplained of, libel; is actionable, as well in shod legislation resulting in injustice and England as in the United States.
hardships, the blame of which is laid upon the courts. Instances may be found in every State in the Union, but perhaps the English
case under consideration is the most perfect SLIPSHOD LEGISLATION.-While the Con
specimen. By the act of Parliament
the gress of the United States has been wrestling
Water Company was vested with the absolute with the oleomargerine problem, it seems that
power to prescribe the size, nature, strength, the English Courts have been occupied with
and materials, of the consumers' pipes, they the.consideration of similar questions affect
prescribed lead as the material, the water, ing the public health, comfort, and conven
pure in the iron mains, became impure in the ience. There were two cases; in one, the
leaden service pipes, the plaintiff and his plaintiff coinplained of being poisoned hy
family were poisoned by its use, but the Vol. 2:3.-Yo 7.
courts could give him no redress. The de- property after the abandonment of the canal fendant could say, “Ita lex scripta est,” and as a means for transportation. And so the it is the duty of courts to interpret the law as court held: that upon the ouster of the canal it is written, and cause it to
company from its corporate franchise, its forced according to terms. Un rights to use the land and water constituting less a plaintiff can bring his case within its the canal, or the premises in question,could not limits, he must needs fail. “It may be be conveyed by its trustees, but reverted to said,” observed Lord Bramwell, “that we the grantor and those holding under him; are deciding the case on technical grounds. that conteyances by him to the other perMr. Justice Willes said that law without tech sons and from them to the plaintiffs, making nicality was impossible. I content myself no reservation, but constituting the river the with saying that, so long as our law says that boundary of the land conveyed, gave the a plaintiff, to succeed, must do so on the plaintiff a full title to the middle of the river, allegata et probata, the decision must be gov and passed to him all the rights which had, erned by them and them alone.”
- In a very
previously or subsequently, reverted from the defunct canal company.
It is well settled law, in this country and
in England, that when a water-course (above NOTES OF RECENT DECISIONS.
tide-water) is made the boundary of land
conveyed, the land covered by the waterWATERS AND WATERCOURSES DEED OF
course is included, usque ad filum aquæ.? LAND ON BANK OF RIVER-LIMIT OF OWNER
Whether this rule applies to navigable - FRANCHISE - REVERSION.
streams, above tide-water,
above tide-water, is a question recent case, the Supreme Court of Ohio had which depends for its solution upon the laws under consideration an interesting question, of the several States. In Ohio the owners of involving the ownership of land covered by lands on the banks of navigable rivers owns water, and the reversion of privileges granted the land to the middle of the stream, and if to a corporation, after the termination of the
he owns on both sides of the river, he owns company's corporate existence.
the whole bed of the stream, subject in both that a land company, owning the land on
cases to the easement of the navigation. And both sides of a river, granted a canal com
the same rule, it is believed, is in force in all pany the privilege of constructing their canal
the States. In Missouri it is held that a ribetween two walls in the river bed, with flow
parian proprietor in St. Louis, whose lot is ing water on each side of the canal. The
bounded on one side by the Mississippi River land, on the canal side of the river, subse
is entitled to alluvial accretions, formed on quently passed, by mesne conveyances, to
the shore, as far out as the middle of the Day, Williams & Co., and the franchise and
stream.4 rights of the Canal Company, which had
And it is a well settled rule of construction ceased to exist as a corporation, had passd to the defendant, a railroad company.
that if a riparian proprietor does not intend The
to convey the land covered by water to the canal itself had been disused and abandoned.
middle, or thread of the stream, he must use The defendant proposed to use the tow-path
proper words of reservation, or exclusion, in of the defunct canal as the road-bed of its railroad, and the plaintiffs claimed that upon the dissolution of the canal company, and
2 Cold Spring Iron Works v. Tolland, 9 Cush. 402;
Palmer v. Mulligan, 3 Caines, 319; Canal Commrs. V. the disuse of the canal as a navigable water
People, 5 Wend. 423; Tyler v. Wilkinson, 4 Mason, way, all the rights, in the premises, of that 397; Claremont v. Carleton, 2 N. H. 369; Ingraham v. company, reverted to their grantor and cor Wilkinson, 4 Pick. 468; People v. Seymour, 6 Cowen,
579; Hocker v. Cummings, 20 Johns. 91; Commrs. v. seqently to them, and that the defendant
Kempshall, 26 Wend. 404. took nothing by its conveyance from the re 3 June v. Purcell, 36 Ohio St. 396 See also, Gavitt presentatives of the defunct canal company,
v. Chambers, 3 Ohio, 496; Benner v. Platter, 6 Ohio,
505; Lamb v. Ricketts, 11 Ohio, 311; Walker v. Board, because that company had no interest in the
etc., 16 Ohio, 540.
4 St. Louis Public Schools v. Risley, 40 Mo. 356; See I Day v. Pittsburg, etc. Co., 7 N. East. Rep. 528.
so, Jones v. Soulard, 24 How. U. 9. 21.
his deed." A deed is always taken most held liable for the consequences of the imstrongly against the grantor; and if, by its perfection of a sleeping car attached to the terms, a water-course is declared to be a train and occupied by its passengers, one of boundary of the land conveyed, no words of whom was hurt by the falling of an upperrestriction or reservation being used, the law berth. The company was bound to furnish will give full operation to the terms employed safe and suitable cars, irrespective of their by the grantor, and the courts will hold that, ownership; and, upon the same principle, it in that connection, the word “river," means is equally bound to furnish honest and comthe middle of the river.
petent custodians of the baggage of its passengers.
It is well settled that the liability of a railCARRIERS OF PASSENGERS-Loss Of Bag road company, for the baggage of passen
LIABILITY OF RAILROAD COMPANY gers, (properly so called,) is that of a comBAGGAGE IN SLEEPING Car
TICKETS AND mon carrier of goods, and not as narrow as BAGGAGE CHECKS.—The Supreme Court of
that which it incurs for the safety of the pasTennessee recently decided a case involving senger himself.9 The act of God, or of the the liability of railroad companies for the public enemy, or of the owner himself, in the baggage of passengers, taken by them into absence of any limiting statute, like the Enthe “sleeper,” attached to the train. We glish “Carrier's Act,” can only exonerate the had occasion to investigate this subject, some
Carrier. The baggage for which a railroad time ago, 7 and recur to it now, as the Ten company is responsible, by reason of its connessee court goes somewhat farther in fixing tract to carry the passenger, includes only the liability for loss upon the railroad com
articles intended for personal use. What pany, than the cases which then fell under that embraces is a question too broad for our observation. The Tennessee ruling is, in
consideration in this connection. Merchaneffect, that the railroad company, by the
dise for sale is not included. 10 Jewelry incontract for the passage of the traveler, im
tended to be worn by the passenger has been plies an insurance of his baggage, if placed held to be baggage for which the carrier is by him in the custody of the servants of the
A reasonable amount of money may company, that the porter of a sleeper at also be carried in a trunk as baggage, for tached to a train, is for this purpose a ser
which the carrier will be responsible, 12 but vant of the company, and that baggage, what is "reasonable” is a matter of question. placed in his hands by a passenger, is at the Four hundred and thirty-nine dollars was held risk of the railroad company. And, further, to be an unreasonable amount, 13 and in Conthat the liability of a railroad company is not necticut sixty dollars was held to be too avoided by its contract with the sleeper com much, as the passenger was only going from pany, exempting the latter from liability, nor Waterbury to Bridgeport. 14 is it affected by the fact that exemption from There are many like decisions, distinguishliability for baggage was expressly stipulated ing the kind, quantity and value of property in the sleeping car ticket. And in this ruling which may, or may not, be regarded as bagthe court is very logical, for if the sleeper is gage; in Kansas the Supreme Court has held pro hac vice, the servant of the railroad com that what the station agent receives as bagpany, it cannot renounce liabilities of that
gage is baggage, and that his acceptance company already incurred by the sale of the
fixes the liability of the company. In that passage ticket.
How far the sleeping car is an appendage of the train, and the railroad
9 Story on Bailments, $ 499, and cases cited; Macrow company responsible for it, is manifest from
v. Great Western, etc. Co., L. R., 6 Q. B. 612. a ruling of the Supreme Court of the United
10 Stimson v. Connecticut, etc. Co. 98 Mags. 83;
Parmalee v. Fisher, 22 III. 212; Hawkins v. Hoffman, States, 8 in which the railroad company was 6 Hill, (N. Y.), 586.
11 McGill v. Howard, 2 Penn. St. 451; Brook v. Pick5 Angel on Water Courses, $ 9, 17.
wick, 4 Bing. 218. 6 Louisville & N. etc. Co. v. Katzenberger, June 10, 12 Johnston v. Stone, 11 Humph. 419. 1836,1 S. W. Rep. 44.
13 Davis v. Michigan, etc. Co., 22 III. 278.: 22 Cent. Law Journal, 505.
14 Hickox v. Naug tuck, R. R. Co., 31 Conn., 281. * Pennsylvania, etc. Co. v. Roy, 102, U. S. 452.
15 Chicago, etc. Co. v. Conklin, 3 Pac. Rep. 762.
16 is in
case the property in question was open to in- on taking the property of those who employ spection, and was manifestly not baggage in them, into their possession for transportaany proper sense of the term. The rule can tion. Both are attempts to obtain, by indihardly be fairly applied in cases in which the rection, exemption from burdens imposed in property is locked up in a trunk, or other- the interests of trade upon this particular wise concealed from the inspection of the business. It is not only against the policy agent.
of the law, but a serious injury to comThe question, however, in the Tennessee merce-.” And railroad tickets and checks case, was not whether the property in ques- are within the same rule. Neither a ticket tion was baggage, technically, or not, but a check is evidence of an agreement. whether the railroad company was responsible The ticket is a voucher that the holder has for the loss of it when in charge of the sleep- paid his fare, the check, that he has delivered ing-car porter. A Massachusetts case, his baggage. 19 In a New York case, Denio, accord with the Tennessee ruling, except J-, said: “The tickets do not purport to be that the court implies that if the passenger contracts. They are rather in the nature of had known that the sleeping car
receipts for the separate portions of the pasowned by the defendant railroad company, sage money; and their office is to serve as nor under its exclusive control, the result
tokens to the persons having charge of the might have been different. It is probable
vessels and carriages of the company to enthat if it had been necessary to the decision
able them to recognize the bearers as parties of the case, the Massachusetts court would
entitled to be received on board. They are have taken the ground assumed by the Su
quite consistent with more special barpreme Court of Tennessee. Manifestly the sleeping car company, its agents, conductors,
In England, however, it has been held, by and porters, acting in subordination to the
the House of Lords,” that where a ticket had railroad company, ministering to the comfort printed on its face only the usual matter, e. and convenience of its passengers, and going,
g., “Dublin to Whitehaven,” etc., and on its coming, stopping, and starting, at the will of
back contain conditions, there being upon the the railroad company, are in a legal sense the
face no reference to the back, not even the servants of that company quoad its passen
customary cover,” the passenger was not gers.
Whatever contract may be made be- bound by the conditions, but the face was tween the two companies as to liability for
held to express the whole contract of the parlost baggage, is binding upon both, but in no
ties. In another later case the ticket was respect obligatory upon passengers, nor are in the form of a little book, on the first page they bound by any other contract expressed was the usual ticket matter, on the second, on the ticket or otherwise, unless they have
certain conditions, among them the condition agreed to the terms of such contract. This
in controversy. Lord Coleridge held that the is expressly held in an Ohio case, 17 in which
case was not controlled by the case of Henthe company insisted that the plaintiff was derson v. Stevenson, that, because the book bound by the notice on the ticket that the
was a continuous work, each page was to be company limited its responsibility for loss to
read after the preceding page, and the whole one hundred dollars, and that the acceptance formed the contract of the parties. This of the ticket was an assent to that limitation.
ruling, it strikes us, is a remarkable exercise In a case involving the same point, 18 Mr. Jus- of the power to tice Davis said: “The considerations against
distinguish and divide, the relaxatiou of the common law responsi- A hair twixt north and north-west side." bility by public advertisement apply with The Tennessee case under consideration, equal force to notices, having the same ob- proceeds upon a new principle, and we think, ject, attached to receipts given by carriers the correct one, that the öleeping car is an
adjunct of the passenger train, that its con16 Kinsley v. Lake Shore, etc. Co., 125 Mass. 54.
17 Baltimore and Ohio R. R. Co. v. Campbell, 36 Ohio 19 Lawson on Carriers, $ 106, 107. St. 647.
20 Quimby v. Vanderbilt, 17 N. Y. 306. 18 Railroad ('o. v. Manfy. ('o., 16 Wall. 318.
21 Henderson v. Stevenson, L. R. 2 Sc. & Div. 470.