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left to their remedies at law, as distinctly pointed out by the judge, and it was a mere act of prudence on the part of the landlord to protect himself against liabilities by insuring; but in the case proposed by Lord St. Leonards, the tenant would have no remedy whatever at law against the landloril. there being no covenant on the part of the latter to rebuild. In Lofft v. Dennis, the tenant, it would seem, was merely a tenant from year to year; therefore “the decision in that case was not opposed to any rule of equity, for equity would not compel a lessor to lay out the money on rebuilding when either party inight put an end to the relation of landlord and tenant before the foundation could be well laid.”—(Handy book, 7th edit., p. 128, note.) Lord St. Leonards, accordingly, has retained his original text; but remarks, in the note from which we have just quoted, that the decision in Lofft v. Dennis was supposed to overrule it, though we may observe that the court of Q. B., on consideration, will probably see that it does no such thing.
A curious phenomenon may be observed in the judicial proceedings which we have referred to. Thirty years ago, a V.C. came to his decision in Leeds v. Cheetham, on the ground that
equity must here follow the law.” The Court of Queen's Bench, instead of deducing from legal principle the result they should arrive at, considered itself “bound” to follow the solemn judgment” of the V.C. in Leeds v. Cheetham, and thus, contenting itself to follow equity, completed a vicious circle.
Though the judgment in Lofft v. Dennis may perhaps, considering the fact of the tenant being a yearly one, be pretty generally acquiesced in, yet the processes by which the Lord Chief Justice (closely followed by his puisnes) arrived at the particular results reported, do not afford overwhelming evidence of judicial acumen.
We will take the opportunity also of drawing the reader's attention to the difference between the law of England and the Scotch law on this head-one of which only can be founded on genuine equity; for it is stated in the judgment of Lofft v. Dennis, that " by the law of Scotland, if premises are burnt down by an accidental fire, the tenant is relieved from payment of the rent;" which is not so by the law of England, where, if there is an absolute covenant to pay rent, such covenant must be performed.
Notices of New Books.
[*** It should be understood that the notices of new works forwarded to us for review, and which appear in this part of the Magazine, do not preclude our recurring to them at greater length, and in a more elaborate form, in a subsequent number, when their character and importance seem to require it.]
A Handy-Book on Property Law, in a Series of Letters. By Lord
St. Leonards. Seventh Edition, with Additions and an Index. W. Blackwood & Sons. Edinburgh and London : 1859.
SINCE the 1st January, 1858, this remarkable work has passed through seven editions. We call it "remarkable,” not ouly because of its intrinsic merits, an 1 its appearing in an age wherein a multitude of not remarkable works are vomited from the press, and sink or swim for a time on the waves of the public approbation according to accident; but because we know of no other instance in the universal history of legal literature, where an author may see his book in the library of the country gentleman-nay, on the drawing-room table of an English ladyas well as hear it cited at the Bar, and admitted by the Bench as an authority.. It affords, indeed, the best example we know of the power of simplicity arising from perfection of knowledge.
We reserve for future consideration certain new matter introduced by the author since the publication of the first edition of this Handybook. The perusal of its pages, in its present form, suggests much which cannot be hastily noticed. We will content ourselves for the present by mentioning to our readers, that the chief addition is the new letter (IX.), containing observations on a “ General Registry” in connection with titles to real property.
We have in this number, in our notes of recent leading cases, considered Lofft v. Dennis in relation to Lord St. Leonards' remark, p. 127. Other new and interesting matter will also be found interspersed through his pages.
We will add, the book is worthy of a more complete and correct index than the one it has been furnished with. Not only is it imperfect, but occasionally the reference to the pages is inaccurate. Cases selected from those heard and determined in the Vice-admiralty
Court for Lower Canada, relating chiefly to the Jurisdiction and Practice of the Court as involving Questions of Maritime Law, of frequent occurrence in the Trade and Navigation of the River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, and edited by George Okill Stuart, Esq., Q.C. Stevens & Norton, 1858. The above title explains the subject of this volume-which, though
it relates to the administration of maritime law in one of the colonial courts, is nevertheless printed and published in London, and will prove of use to the English lawyer practising in our Admiralty courts.
Since the court was established (which it was after the treaty of Paris, 1763), the increase of commerce on the water of the St. Lawrence has been enormous. The yearly tonnage, it is said, has increased from 5000 to 600,000 tons; thus explaining how the importance of the court above referred to has been augumented.
A Hand-book of the Practice of Election Committees, with an
Appendix of Statutes, Forms, and Precedents. By P. Burrowes Sharkey, Solicitor and Parliamentary Agent. London: Butterworths, 1859.
THE compiler of this little volume has brought together the matter which relates to the practice of Election Committees, in a form sufficiently compendious for those whose duty obliges them to learn the general outline of the ordinary procedure of these tribunals. There are many solicitors who will find the information now collected in this small five-shillings book just enough for their purpose.
A Letter to the Earl of Shaftesbury, on the Laws which regulate
Private Lunatic Asylums, with a Comparative View of the Process “ De Lunatico Inquirendo" in England, and the Law of “Interdiction” in France. By Edward J. Seymour, M.D., &c., late Senior Physician to St. George's Hospital, London : Longman & Co., 1859.
The subject which Dr. Seymour here writes about is of great importance. However, he has treated it in a very rambling and unintelligible fashion. The construction of the learned physician's sentences is so ungrammatical and illogical, that we can hardly understand how the pages before us were ever allowed to be printed and circulated. They read like the production of an illiterate person, and cannot possibly carry any weight. The preface, and the concluding sentence of the “ Letter,” are ludicrous examples of the writer's inability to express very simple ideas. He runs his topics into each other, and shuffles about after Mrs. Nickleby's style, in utter helplessness, This is much to be regretted if Dr. Seymour has any valuable suggestions of a practical kind to make, and if he be (as is probably the case) entitled to be heard on the matter he attempts to discuss.
Dr. Seymour draws attention to the French system, in relation to inquiries with respect to lunacy, and compares it with the English.'
The following is the author's statement of the French system.
* The practice under the English law will be found well expounded in Mr. C. P. Phillips' recent work on the subject.
We place in a parallel column the English system, that our readers may compare their respective merits :French Code.
English Law. “1. Any one who, having ob "1. If the well-being and haptained his majority, is in an ha piness of a person possessed of bitual state of imbecility or de- property demands that he should mentia or furious madness, ought be the subject of an inquisition, to be interdicted, even when luçid the Ļ. C. will direct it; otherwise intervals occur.
not. See 1 V. & B., 59 1 M. & Gor., 132. (Phillips, pp. 247, 248.) As to dangerous lunatics (Id. 64, 65), and see Campbell, C. J., in Fletcher v. Fletcher, as to lunatics wandering abroad, 7 W. R., 187. See also Phillips, pp. 171,
“ 2. Any relation is admissible “ 2. Any person may apply, at to promote the interdiction of a the risk of costs and damages, if relation, and the same of husband there is no foundation whatever against wife, or wife against hus- for the proceeding: (Phillips, band.
“ 3. In case of furious madness, "3. An inquiry may be instiif the interdiction be not demanded tuted on report of Commissioners either by the husband or the wife, in Lunacy, in the case of any or the relations, the Procureur Im- lunatic, furious or not, and with périal, in case of imbecility or or without family or friends, dementia, may also set it on foot (Phillips, p. 246.) agaiust any one who has neither husband, nor wife, nor known relatives.
“ 4. Every application for interdiction shall be carried before the Tribunal (de Première Instance). “5. The facts of imbecility, mad
“5. Same in England. ness, or furious madness, shall be detailed in writing.
“ 6. Those who carry on the in “6. Same in England. terdiction shall produce the proofs and witnesses.
“7. The Tribuwal will then order “7. Impartial medical evidence that the Family Council, con- required with us. (Phillips, p. stituted in the manner ordered in 244.) No. 4 of Chapter the Second, shall give its opinion on the state of the person whose interdiction is demanded.
“8. Those who have demanded “8. With respect to disqualifithe interdiction cannot make part cations. — Vide Phillips, pp. 278– of the Family Council ;' how- 281.
ever, the husband, or wife, or the children of the person sought to be interdicted, may be admitted without vote or deliberation.
“9. After having received the “9. The lunatic may resist the opinion of the 'Family Council,' inquiry at every stage by counsel, the court will examine the defen- and he is viewed by the master, a dant in the Council Chamber, and, jury, and sometimes by the L. C, if he is unable to be present, he shall be interrogated at his own house by one of the judges appointe, assisted by the Registrar. In every case the Procureur Inpérial shall be present when he is interrogated. “10. After the first interroga
“ 10. Interim committee, but tory, the Tribunal will appoint, if not until the lunatic has been it be necessary, an administrator adjudged to be such, provisionally, to take charge of the person and property of the de: fendant.
“11. Judgment on a demand “11. Same in this country. for interdiction can only be given in public, the parties heard ar sent for. (?)
“12. In rejecting a demand for “12. The inquiry is, whether interdiction, the Tribunal may a man is of sound mind, and nevertheless, if circumstances re- incapable of managing his affuirs ? quire it, order that the defendant If he is capable, he is pot fettered shall not hereafter plead, compro- in any way. mise, borrow, receive personal property, purchase or give receipts, alienate or mortgage his property without the assistance of a council, who shall be appointed at the same time.
“ 13. In case of appeal against “13. The lunatic, if capable of the judgment of the Tribunal volition, may insist on a new trial, (première instance), the Court of i.e., a traverse. Appeal shall, if it thinks it proper, interrogate again the defendant, or cause him to be interrogated by a person commissioned by them.
“14. Every order or judgment, “ 14. The committees, next of carrying either interdiction or no- kin, and the heir, have notice of mination of a council, shall be, every proceeding-(why publish by the care of the plaintiffs, signi- them to the loungers in the “hall fied to the parties, and inscribed of audience ” and notaries ?)—and within ten days on the tablets, any person may apply for leave to