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murs, but Lucy saw-heard it not-or if she did, 'twas like something sounding and gleaming in an imperfect dream. She leant, sick and blind, against the ivy-tree-and at last opened the letter, in which she felt she was to read something for ever fatal to her happiness. There were not many lines—and kind-perfectly kind they were--but still they were charged with meaning not to be misunderstood. Thenceforth Edward Ellis was to be nothing to her—but a name, a thought, a shadow--and as for herself, never more would her image come before his eyes as he roamed over foreign lands, and sailed on the bosom of the wide sea. Lucy Forester wept in grief-love-perhaps anger-shall it be said-despair? She went to the edge of the Pool, and taking from her bosom the keepsakes Edward had given her at the Hawkstane Spring, she dropped them one by one into the deep water-all-all but one, which would not leave her hand, the brooch which contained his dark glossy hair, with two names engraved upon it— Edward to Lucy.' She took out the hair-and then the dearest memorial of all sunk to the bottom of the Linn. Now, indeed, the dream was broken, like a foambell upon the flowing waters. Not till this moment had she been completely undeceived. Yet there had been no deceit—no faithlessnessno falsehood. Ignorant of themselves—their present condition-and their future lot, had Edward and Lucy been in the joy of their mutual affection. He had first come to see the impossibility of their ever being more to one another than they had already been—and now Lucy saw the same truth with the same sad conviction.
“Vain creature that I was, and void of all understanding, ever to dream for a single time in my sleep that Edward Ellis was all his life long to love Lucy Forester? And yet often--too often have I dreamt it; and, lo! he has passed away from Holylee—from Bracken-Braes-from this Linn and the ivy-tree like a cloud-and I shall never see his bonny face again till my dying day!' But as her tears flowed, her thoughts grew less and less bitter. Sbe now began to recall all the delightful traits of his character, and to her unselfish nature that meditation brought an alleviation of grief. How courteous had he ever been in the cottage! How tender and kind to her mother, how more than respectful to her father, how pleasant to Aunt Isobel ! But all at once she tore herself away from the trysting-place, and said within her heart that she would never more venture to revisit it-for all its beauty, all its blessedness was gone; just as the indescribable brightness of some too heaveuly dream, that is felt at the time to be but a dream, and long, long after, when it returns in indistinct remembrance on the soul, sheds something of its yet unextinguished light over the dim, and clouded, and imperfect happiness of this waking world !” pp. 265–267.
We have not followed out the story of the Foresters, because the mere story is, as we have said before, unartful and uninterest. ing. The great charm, which this volume certainly possesses for minds of an imaginative and accommodating character, arises from the atmosphere of poetry with which the author has invested every scene and every incident he describes. The subjects he has selected have enabled him to do this, to a far greater extent than is practicable with the ordinary fictitious narrative. There are pages of this book, of uninterrupted poetry,--poetry
of a beautiful, sometimes of a very elevated order. It is not the poetry of Florian's pastorals, although the themes are not unfrequently the same. There is less of gallantry, of animation, and of passion, and more of meditative tenderness, of suasive gentleness, and enthusiastic piety. Nor does it much remind us of the Idyls of Gessner; for, independent of the greater length of the story, it addresses itself to feelings of a very different character. The classical mythology of Gessner is too cold and too formal to move the affections, too shadowy and too unreal to interest the heart. Perhaps of all writings of this class, the sweet and touching stories of the German La Fontaine come the nearest in subject, manner, and design, to the works of the author of the Foresters. There is the same sensibility to the quiet beauties of the country—the mildness of tone and softness of colouring in all the descriptions; with less successful variety, on the part of the Scottish author, in the portraiture of character, counterbalanced perhaps by a more unceasing anxiety to impress upon the mind the lessons of morality, and to blend with the affections the mysteries of faith.
Art. XIX.-Reports of Cases argued and adjudged in the
Supreme Court of the United States. February term, 1825. By Henry WHEATON, Counsellor at Law, Volume X. New-York, R. Donaldson. 1825.
The jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the United States is becoming more and more an object of public attention. That tribunal, besides its authority in the determination of individual controversies arising out of private cases, is invested with two very important faculties, which are peculiar to the judicial organization of this country. It is the supreme tribunal to determine all questions arising under the law of nations, and the interpretation of our own constitutional code. In the first capacity, it decides all cases affecting ambassadors and other public ministers, maritime captures and prizes, and generally all public and private rights growing out of the relations of
and which are of a nature to become the subject matter of judicial cognizance. It has also appellate jurisdiction of all cases arising under the constitution, laws, and treaties of the Union. In this way, it becomes the final arbiter of all questions of alleged repugnancy between the local acts passed by the legislatures of the respective states, and the constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law of the land. It is our Aulic and Amphictionic
council. It presides over the federal league, and adjusts the jarring pretensions of its different members. We cannot conceive of a happier institution, or one better adapted to promote harmony among the States. Instead of giving to the federal government a veto upon the laws of the states, (as was proposed in the Convention of 1787,) it confers upon a judicial body, the members of which hold their offices equally independent of the states and of the national government, the prerogative of determining in the last resort upon all cases of supposed repugnancy between state and federal legislation. There cannot be a greater mistake, than to suppose that this is not an impartial tribunal, as respects the states. They concur in forming it, by the negative which the senate has upon the nominations of the, Judges. The judges, once appointed by the advice and consent of the senate, are irremoveable, except by impeachment,-which again must be tried before the senate. As the salaries of the judges cannot be diminished during their continuance in office, the combined effect of all these provisions is to make the judges independent both of the executive and of congress. They are responsible only to the people, through the process of impeachment. How much better adapted is a small and select body, of venerable and learned men, thus rendered independent of all but the nation, to perform the functions of a constitutional court, than would be a popular assembly like the senate. We could not therefore but be surprized, that so pernicious an innovation, as the conferring upon the senate of the United States, the authority of determining in the last resort upon the validity of State laws under the constitution of the Union, should have found an advocate in the present governor of this state. We cannot but consider it as evidence of great rashness, in approaching the most sacred and important institutions of the country--and attempting to apply to them inconsiderate and crude speculations, or fancied analogies between the national judiciary, which has worked admirably in practice, because it was based upon a sound theory, and our court of errors, which has worked tolerably well in practice, in spite of the defects of its organization.
In the discussion and determination of questions of mere private municipal law, we think the Supreme Court has not been so fortunate in promoting a uniformity of jurisprudence throughout the country, as in the two classes of cases arising under the jus gentium and the federal constitution, over which it has the exclusive final jurisdiction. It is a very just and sensible remark of M. Dupin, in his notice of Mr. Duponceau's
book on jurisdiction, in a late number of the Revue Encyclopédique, that the uniformity of the English unwritten law has been mainly owing to the concentration of all judicial power in a small number of judges at Westminster; and that the same weight of authority cannot attend the decisions of the supreme judges at Washington throughout the whole of this vast federal empire. In fact, the supreme court of the United States, when it comes to determine questions of local law, reverses its ordinary function of controlling the state authorities. Instead of giving the law to the state courts, as in cases arising under the constitution, laws, and treaties of the Union, it takes the law from them in all cases arising under the lex loci. The maxim in the latter class of cases is, that not only the statutes of the respective states, but the decisions of the state courts upon them, and the local usages prevailing in each state, and which have become a rule of property, are to be applied in the supreme court precisely as they are, or ought to be, in the state court from which the cause is brought. It will thus be seen, that in this branch of jurisdiction, which grows merely out of the character of the parties, as citizens of different states, aliens, &c. the tendency of the decisions of the supreme court is to confirm the existing diversities in the state laws, rather than to promote a uniform system throughout the Union. Nor can congress correct this evil, if it be one; for the legislative power of the Union does not, in this respect, extend so far as the judicial.
The only exception to the generality of this remark is the equity jurisdiction of the national courts. That is administered, not according to the conflicting usages of the courts of chancery in the different states, but according to the English system of equity so far as it is applicable to our peculiar condition. The present volume of Mr. Wheaton's reports contains a most important decision on the equity side of the court, in which adopting the principle laid down in the great case of Cholmondeley v. Clinton, the supreme court determined, that wherever the legal remedy by entry or on ejectment is barred at law, the party claiming title is not entitled to relief in equity. This decision, as applied to the titles of land in Kentucky, makes an adverse possession of twenty years a complete title both in equity and at law. It is an observation made somewhere by Mr. Hume, that the very short prescription by which immoveables could be claimed in Italy under the early Roman law, is a strong proof of the barbarism of those times, and of the precarious tenure by which men held their possessions. This may be so, but in a country situated like Kentucky, where Vol. I.
the whole territory is overrun with a wilderness of conflicting titles, proceeding from the loose manner in which the first settlers were allowed to locate their claims, the law of prescription, and even a short prescription, is of the most beneficent tendency to the order, prosperity, and peace of society.
We have said that congress cannot remedy the inconvenience to which we have alluded, since congress cannot make a uniform civil code to determine, in the courts of the Union, all controversies arising between aliens and citizens, and between citizens of different states, where the aim of the constitution has been merely to secure to the parties an impartial tribunal, leaving the case to be determined by the law applicable to it: but congress may establish a uniform code upon the subjects within its legislative competence. It was only recently that the exclusive power of congress to legislate over the forts, arsenals, and dock yards of the Union, has been fully exercised. An immense variety of offences might have been committed with impunity in these places, before Mr. Webster's bill of the last session. We hope that his statesman-like and lawyer-like mind may be turned to the subject of a uniform system of bankrupt laws for the Union. The power over it is expressly given to congress by the constitution. The states cannot produce uniformity in respect to it, whether they legislate or refrain from legislating; and even supposing the doctrine, that the power of the states is limited to the discharge of the person from imprisonment on a cessio bonorum, should not be finally confirmed by the supreme court, there will not be the less necessity for a national bankrupt code, since the state regulations must necessarily be conflicting and liable to perpetual litigation as to the effects of a discharge in another state. Indeed we cannot conceive a more disgraceful state of things in the legislation of a free and enlightened country, than the present chaos of bankrupt, insolvent, and attachment laws which exists in this Union.
Under its power of regulating commerce with foreign nations, and between the states, congress has already passed the ship registry acts, and the acts for regulating seamen in the merchants service, and a variety of other laws regulating the trade and navigation of the country. Under the same power, it might form an entire code of commercial and maritime law. There exist admirable models for such a work in the marine ordinance of Louis XIV. and in the commercial code of Napoleon. There is also a great collection of principles to be found in the voluminous reports of Westminster Hall, since Lord Mansfield's time, and in the decisions of the supreme court of the United States, and of the state courts of New York, Massa