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entering into a liberal education, or into a special preparation for the English bar, it is obvious that its definitions and classifications, its mode of thought and the internal connection of its parts, are for us incomparably more important than its minuter details. The enduring merit of the Ruman law is, that it is the work of a people who seem to have been raised up for that particular end, at a time when the vocations of races appear to have been more marked and separate than they are now. We can therefore no more dispense with the Romans to teach us law, than we can with the Greeks to teach us art; and if that inner spirit and connection of his jurisprudence, which the Romans knew by the phrase ratio juris, could in any tolerable degree, and even so far as concerns the great outlines only of the Roman law, be transferred to the minds of our students, that it is which we should mainly desire for them from this source, whether as gentlemen or as lawyers. Another object which should never be lost sight of in the modern study of the Roman law, is its historical development; for in the ten centuries from the twelve tables to Justinian, the constitutional and social life of the nation underwent great changes, to which the law was progressively adapted ; and, not to mention the interest of thus tracing the first introduction of many principles which have become a second nature to us, we have in this an instructive series of examples of the mutual connection between legal rules and political and social facts—such a series as is not furnished by the history of English law, the changes of which, for better or worse, have too often had but accidental and technical occasions, with little or no reference to the necessities of the times. And at the universities there are greater facilities than elsewhere for presenting this historical side of the subject, since the facts of Roman history and manuers are fresher in the minds of the students, or may even be acquired in the philological course at the same time that the outlines of Roman law are learnt in the juristic course.
Dr. Leapingwell, however, has not aimed at any philosophical treatment of his subject, but at producing a compendium of so much of the details of Roman law as, by a terse method of state
ment, and the careful avoidance of collateral illustrations or remarks, can be compressed into three hundred octavo pages. We do not hesitate to say that this is not the kind of work, which, however accurately executed, we should think most profitable for the beginner. A volume of such character, one half the size of that before us, if made by the student himself, as both an exercise in mastering the subject, and an aid to his memory in after times, would represent an amount of reading which could not fail to leave a deep impress on the mind; so that, whenever the eye of the compiler glanced on a curt sentence of the manuscript, a living picture would be called up of the details and connections needed to clothe the skeleton sentence with a body. A very large part in fact of Dr. Leapingwell's matter is, both in form and substance, just what it was evidently meant for—matter which an examiner would be very glad to see, and give very high marks for; but the examiner would be glad to see it just because he would know to a certainty that it could not have been acquired as reproduced, but must indicate still wider rea:ling and knowledge ; because, in a word, he would see in the candidate's papers what the candidate himself, or, if you will, the maker of our supposed manuscript, would see in his own sentences when recurring to them after a lapse of years. But suppose a student beginning with such a compilation made for him by his tutor, instead of ending by making something like it for himself. Allow for the proportion of misapprehension, inevitable where the statements are so short and dry-for the lapse of memory, where so many isolated facts are to be remembered—for the false links imagined to connect those which are remembered, where every step beyond the printed word is upon unknown and therefore unsafe ground; and then judge what must be the net product in an examination, or in the student's own mind.
But we are compelled to say, that Dr. Leapingwell's volume so abounds with instances of haste and inaccuracy, that it cannot even claim such credit, as, from the long popularity of Dr. Hallifax's analysis on which it is founded, it would seem that in some quarters the plan possesses. It is somewhat remarkable
that on the very threshold, our author, for his only illustration of a legal right, chooses, without any warning to the student, one which does not exist by the law of England, though it did by that of Rome :-"If I
agree to sell
my horse to my neighbour for £20, and, he having paid into my hands the £20 so agreed on, I then refuse to deliver to him the horse, the law will compel me."! In the next page is something yet more startling :-" Law is a rule of action prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is compelled to obey." Very well : but, if so, it follows that the laws of nature, which are mere fixed sequences of events, are only called so improperly, as all have admitted who define la: in that
We are amazed, then, to read as an "example, "minutely testing the uccuracy of the definition," that if one weight draws up another by a string passing over a pulley, it is the superior which the other and smaller weight obeys. "Make them equal, and they will remain at rest. There is no longer any superior, and the rule of action is gone."? So Cambridge has lived to learn that there are no laws of equilibrium, and that statics are no longer a science !
It is disagreeable to condemn; but when a book lays claim to be a manual for youth, the vast importance of preserving the atter from confidence in an erring guide, must overbear all other considerations. Lest, therefore, it should be thought that in the technical part of the work Dr. Leapingwell is sounder than in the philosophical, it will be necessary to make a few more citations. Thus, jus singulare is said to be called also privilegium.
The tria verba are explained as follows: “ Do, Dico, Addico. Dabat, the prætor granted petitions to sue and to plead. Dicebat viam in vindiciis, he determined what form of action the plaintiff should adopt (sic). Aldicebat, he gave judgment:"4 in which last interpretation, if an explanation be possible not totally wrong in spirit, the letter certainly is indefensible. And, besides the mistakes, how much of the meaning of the tria verba is here even attempted to be covered?
1 P. 20. · P. 22. 3P. 22. 4 P. 29.
“The edictum perpetuum was called the jus honorarium, being chiefly derived from the album of the prætor Honoratus.”1 (!). .. “ If the slave were under thirty years of age (when manumitted), he only became a Latinus Junianus. But a Latinus might be raised to the privileges of a full citizen if his master afterwards manumitted him apud consilium, justâ causâ probatâ et adprobatâ,” citing Gaius, i. 18; a passage we should have thought by no means difficult to translate, and which sinply describes the first manumission under the lex Ælia Sentia. The iteratio, or second manumission, mentioned in the third title of the long fragment of Ulpian, did not apply to those who were under thirty when first manumitted, and was not made apud consilium, but in any of the three regular modes, per vindictam, per censum, or per testamentum. These will be sufficient instances of the great blunders; but we must also remark that a want of acquaintance is shewn with the best modern Jearning on the subject, though less than might have been expected from the meagre list of authors cited, because, as we gather both from the hint in the preface and from comparing several passages, the author has been to a considerable extent guided by the valuable work of Dr. Colquhoun, in which 80 many of the results of that learning are collected. One specimen of adherence to exploded error may be mentioned, because if, as is likely, the author had seen the truth in Colquhoun, it will furnish at the same time an instance of that besetting sin of compendiums, the preference of short statements to long ones, cæteris impuribus: we mean the assertion of a plena pubertus at 18, when the Romans knew no such name, and there was really nothing more, after the true and only pubertas of 14, than the gradual accession of various powers and liabilities, which, as well as the ages when they respectively arose, require to be severally mentioned.
It must then be confessed that a good English work on the Roman law, for beginners, is still a desideratum; and we cannot
1 P. 30.
8 P. 35.
better close this article than by pointing out to those who may be competent to supply it, how great a reward may be reaped in a seemingly humble field. For, were such a work executed as it should be, it would bear no mean part in impressing on the next generation of English lawyers those clear and accurate juristic ideas, the want of which is perhaps a greater obstacle to the simplification and amelioration of our laws, than any inherent difficulty in the case, or than the opposition of any prejudice or any interest.
PAPERS OF THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING THE
AMENDMENT OF THE LAW.
I.-ANNUAL REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, FOR THE SESSION
1858-9. (Read at the Annual Meeting, June 25, 1859.) In presenting their Sixteenth Annual Report, the Council have to express their regret that the period which has elapsed since the date of their last Report has not been favourable to the progress of Law Amendment, either in the way of measures passed by the legislature, or in respect of popular feeling on the subject. The circumstances which have prevented any important measure being carried in the legislature are well known, and need not be further adverted to. With regard to popular feeling on the subject, the Council have found that during the greater part of the present session of the Society, the state of parties at home and of the foreign relations of the country, the dissolution of Parliament, the change of ministry, and the war now raging in Italy, have tended greatly to divert the attention of the community from the objects which this Association has in view. Notwithstanding, however, the occupation of the public mind with more exciting subjects, the Society has proceeded in its inquiries into the various questions that have been brought before it; and, except during a short