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Mr. Justice Fitzgerald observed) "no prospect of the trial being terminated except by the death of a judge or a juror." Evidence of this class (whether for or against the prisoner) is of course of especial importance in prosecutions for conspiracy, where the knowledge and intention of the alleged conspirators are always the most material issues.

The Popular Notion of the duties of the Lord Chancellor, or more properly speaking of the Chancery Division, with regard to wards of court, is by no means clear. A correspondent of an evening paper assumes that, because the friends of Mr. Law supported his marriage with a ward of court, the fact of the marriage must have been "ferreted out" by the court. That is to say, it is supposed that a learned ViceChancellor, with a list of his wards in his hand, calls at sundry houses to ascertain how his young lady wards are getting on, and what male visitors are in the habit of paying them attention. It is needless to say that no such parental care is bestowed upon wards of court. Unless they are entitled to money, they do not become wards, and then only when the money is in court, or under the control of the court. And even when a ward of court marries without leave, it is quite possible the court may never discover the fact it the parties never come to the court for the ward's money. In fact in this, as in all other cases, with the exception of those instances of contempt which touch the person of the judge or the dignity of the court, the court never interferes unless moved by some person who is a party to the proceedings. There is, however, a complaint made by this correspondent which is worthy of attention. He mentions three children who are entitled to £90 a year, the interest of a fund in court, which interest is paid to their father who neglects his children and squanders the money. A guardian having an allowance for maintenance is not accountable if it appears that the infants have been in fact maintained, educated, and supported {Jodrell v. Jodrell, 14 Beav. 397; Hora v. Hora, 33 Beav. 89); and where children are neglected, there must be some one to make the representation of that fact to the court before any interference can take place. It is not difficult to suppose that, among the large number of guardians who receive from the court an allowance for maintenance, there are some persons who are utterly unworthy of their trust; and some plan by which such guardians may be made to show from time to time that those in their charge are properly cared for according to their station in life would be of great service in many cases, but such a plan could only be carried out at the expense of the infants' property.

The Chancery Paymaster is not, in a general way, in much favour (or "favor") with those who have to do with his department. He is accused of being unnecessarily strict, and of requiring all sorts of things to be done which those required to do them consider superfluous, and, indeed, vexatious. The story told in the Times of the gentleman who was required to procure the alteration of the word "favour" into "favor," and afterwards to get it altered back again, may be taken as a specimen. So far as appears, the order containing the word supposed to be spelled so as not to agree with the spelling of the same word in the title of the account, had been acted on, and the transaction afterwards came before the Audit Office. Now, if the transaction was complete and had been rightly completed, we fail to see by what authority the Chancery Paymaster could require the solicitor to procure the alteration of the order. That such or similar requirements are made, it needs oply a moderate experience to be able to attest. The Audit Office writes a long letter to the Paymaster stating that some word is wrongly spelled or making

some equally frivolous complaint. When the Audit Office makes this complaint, the Paymaster has parted with the money or stock, and is not in a position to put pressure on a solicitor so as, in effect, to force him to take the order to the registrar for alteration. Solicitors have no means of getting remuneration for such work, and it is unfair to them to require them to run about for the purpose of correcting something which the Audit Office thinks wrong, but which the Paymaster has acted upon as right. Nevertheless, when another portion of the same order has to be worked out, we have known the Paymaster refuse to act upon it unless the previous part is, at great expenditure of time, rectified to meet his views of what ought to have been done. It is clear that some of the modes of doing business at the Chancery Paymaster's Office must be changed sooner or later, particularly the delay which always takes place in making out a certificate of the fund in court, a delay which twenty years ago never exceeded one clear day, but which, according to the experience of at least one person, is now extended to ten clear days. This is, of course, caused by the deficiency in the Paymaster's staff, which it is hoped will shortly be augmented.

The Order In Council, based upon the report of the Council of Judges, contains little that has not already come to the knowledge of the public. The offices of Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and Chief Baron are to be " reduced," and there is proposed to be constituted a single division, to be composed of all the judges of the Queen's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer Divisions. This consolidated division is to be called the Queen's Bench Division, and is to be presided over by the Lord Chief Justice of England. Provision is made for the transfer of pending causes and matters in the three divisions to the consolidated Queen's Bench Division; for assigning to that division all proceedings which, by or under the Judicature Act or Rules, have been or are assigned to the three divisions respectively [we presume this covers the marking of pleadings with the name of the division] ; for the taking in the consolidated division of all proceedings which have heretofore, by any law or custom other than the Judicature Act and Rules, been token respectively in the Queen's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer Divisions of the High Court, and for the exercise by the Lord Chief Justice| of England of the powers of the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and of the Chief Baron, "unless such exercise shall be contrary or repugnant to any express provision in any Act of Parliament contained."

We Deeply Reoret to announce the termination of a career of great promise, in the death, at the early age of thirty-one, of Mr. H. M. R. Pope, of the equity bar. It is not very many months since, in noticing in these columns the death of his friend, the late Mr. George Sweet, he wrote of that eminent conveyancer, that "to his pupils his teaching was rendered doubly valuable by the same painstaking and conscientious thoroughness which formed in truth the distinguishing characteristic of his life and writings." These last words were hardly less true of the writer than of the subject of his observations. Mr. Pope was eminently thorough and careful in all his work, and, as a natural consequence, had already obtained a very fair junior business, and, if his life had been spared, would, in all probability, have risen to eminence. His university career was distinguished. He was formerly scholar of St. John's College, Oxford, and graduated first class in Literce Humaniores in 1871. In the following year he obtained the Craven Scholarship, and was afterwards elected a fellow of Lincoln College. He was well known as the author of a treatise on " The Law and Practice of Lunacy," and had edited the Bills of Sale Act, 1878.

The New County Court Rules will be found in another column. Although made to come into operation on the 1st of January last, we believe that they were not known to the officials of the County Courts until some time after that date, and they did not reach us until too late for publication last week.

Hk. Macdonogh, Q.C., the leading counsel for the defence in the trial of the members of the Irish Land League at Dublin, constitutes an interesting link with the past history of Ireland, since he was one of the junior counsel for the defence in the O'connell trial in 1844. The only other survivor of these counsel ia the present Lord O'haoan.


While we arc glad that the Court of Appeal saw its way to affirming the decision of the Queen's Bench Division on all the more important points raised by Mr. Dale's case, we cannot help regretting that it felt itself compelled to differ on the one minute technicality through which the appellant has for the present succeeded in defeating and defying the law and the tribunals of his country. A judge is, perhaps, bound to give effect to the merest balance of opinion which he may form on one side or the other, but we are tempted to wish that judges could strain a point in a case such as that we are discussing in favour of uniformity of opinion. It is really a lamentable thing that law, as declared by the most eminent and able of its expositors, should be such a very uncertain thing. It gives cause to the enemy to blaspheme, and is mischievous in many respects, not the least of which is that it must tend to diminish the public reverence for the law. The formalities that were omitted were pure formalities in fact; no person could be one whit the better or safer for their observance.

At the same time we must admit that the judgment of the court below, though most full and satisfactory on the other points, did treat the points as to the writ de contumace capiendo in a somewhat offhand and inadequate manner. To work an implied repeal of a provision originally intended for the protection of the liberty of the subject—however much such provision may since have become a mere form, or unnecessary from the existence of other safeguards—there must be a most complete and absolute inconsistency with the subsequent enactment, such as hardly appeared to exist in the recent case. Moreover, the view taken by the Queen's Bench Division hardly gave sufficient application to the fundamental maxim that generalia tpecialibtu non derogant. A general provision that writs may issue and be returnable in vacation, however sweeping its terms, hardly appears to contemplate such very special provisions peculiar to the writ dt contumace capiendo as these were.

The decision of the Court of Appeal is important as correcting the too sweeping view of the effect of the decisions in Hudson v. Tooth (L. It. 3 Q B. D. 51), and Sergeant v. Dale (L. R. 2 Q B. D. 558), which the Ritualists have been inclined to take. Those decisions gave countenance to the idea that the jurisdiction established by the Public Worship Regulation Act was a new aud unhallowed creation of an Act of Parliament, and not a true ecclesiastical court at all. Of course the Queen's Bench Division, in deciding those cases, had no such notion in view. What was really meant was that when a new jurisdiction is given, in the sense that new modes of procedure—as the procedure upon representation in this case—are given, the requirements of the statutes giving the new modes must be followed. For instance, Lord Penzance, though created a judge of the Provincial Court of Canterbury, and subsequently Official Principal, could not claim to hear the matter of the representation

at a place other than the place prescribed by the statute. Though the judges may have used expressions going, at first sight, further than this, no lawyer could fail to see that thin was really all that was meant, and that the decisions of the Queen's Bench Division had nothing whatever to do with the excuse alleged for defiance of the tribunal. The Court of Appeal has decided that the Public Worship Regulation Act did not create a new tribunal, but expanded or modified the powers of an existing one, and that, save and so far as the new jurisdiction or new procedure is expressly made subject to different conditions and incidents from those of the old, all the conditions and incidents of the old are applicable. We cannot help thinking that this was the only reasonably possible conclusion.

Of the points as to the forms of the requisition, monition, and inhibition the Court of Appeal made short work. These documents followed the forms given by the rules and order* approved by Order in Council under the Act. It was held that the provision of the Act giving power to frame rules and orders regulating procedure included the power to frame forms; and, therefore, the forms were of statutory authority. The contention which, by reason of this view, became immaterial, is one which has, with relation to other statutory tribunals, played an important, and often mischievous, part in English law. The principle it embodies may have done some good, but it has, in our opinion, done also much harm. It is that the proceedings of a statutory tribunal of limited jurisdiction must, on the face of them, show jurisdiction. This principle, applied to the proceedings of magistrates with as much subtlety and severity as that which formerly characterized the practice on special demurrer?, produced such mischief and absurdity that the Legislature has had, on various occasions, to intervene. We doubt whether the principle was originally a sound one. Its advocates argue, as the advocates of the old system of special pleading did, that the necessity for showing jurisdiction so distinctly on the proceedings tended to keep inferior tribunals within the limits of their j urisdiction, and to teach them the necessity of observing the extent of their powers with accuracy, just as the former system of special pleading produced an accurate knowledge of the fundamental distinctions and ideas of law. There may be something in this, but we doubt its truth, at any rate in the present day, when such abundant facilities exist for setting any excess of jurisdiction right. On the other hand, it does seem the height of absurdity that, where there is no shadow of pretence for alleging that, in fact, there has been any excess of jurisdiction, and the person complaining does not make any complaint of such exoess in fact, he can come and endeavour to pick holes in the phraseology in which the proceedings are stated, and take the most subtle objections, not corresponding to any real illegality or injustice in rerum naturii. We should have boeu sorry if objections of this kind had prevailed.

The only point of real interest in the recent case wa3 the question whether there was a power of signifying for contempt in proceedings under the Public Worship Regulation Act. The case, however, as is usual with similar cases, consumed a dozen days or so of judicial time which could be ill spared.

In the House of Commons, on the 18th inst., in answer to Sir H. Holland, Sir W. Harcourt said the judges, to the number of twenty-five, assembled in council, under the provisions of the Judicature Act of 1873, and discussed the expediency of the changes proposed to be made by the Order in Council. Each judge separately delivered his opinion, besides which two of the judges stated their views in printed papers, and those papers, if the judges did not object, could be produced. The names of the judges who assented and those who dissented from the proposals made appeared under their own hands, and, under tbe circumstances, the Lord Chancellor was of opinion that it would not he proper to apply to the j udges for information on the subject in writing.


"the business of a judge of first instance is of more importance than the business of a judge of appeal." No doubt then can be entertained of the importance of the duties which the judge of first instance has to discharge.

"The true dignity of a judge's position depends ultimately neither on his rank nor on his salary, but on the importance of the duties which he has to discharge." It follows therefore that no anxiety need be entertained as to the dignity of his position.

To the conclusion thus drawn from the premisses laid down by the learned author of an article on the High Court of Justice, published in the current number of the Nineteenth Century, though on grounds not precisely identical, we venture respectfully to assent. And considering that no proposal has been yet foreshadowed tending to any diminution in the duties which judges of first instance, as encb, have to discharge, which duties are, as we have seen, his most important duties, we are the more anxious to learn why it should appear to the author that the abolition of two offices which have wholly lost their significance, the offices of Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and Chief Baron of the Exchequer, forms a step in a process "likely to diminish the dignity of the bench by diminishing the importance of the duties allotted to the judges."

Before entering on the "explanation necessary to make this plain," it will be convenient to see more exactly on what grounds the above-stated comparison between the importance of the business of judges of appeal and judges of first instance rests. "In the first place, a large majority of the trials of any importance which take place in this country, and practically all trials in which the public take much interest, are trials by jury, or rather by a judge and jury." "In the second place, trial by jury is the really popular and impressive part of the administration of justice." To which may be added (though not expressed as a distinct ground) the difficulty of the functions which a presiding judge is called upon to perform. "Hardly anyone (it is said) who does not pass his life in courts can know how constant are the demands made, not only or chiefly on bis knowledge of law, or on his readiness in understanding intricate facts and their bearings on each other, but on his temper, his good mannera, his selfcontrol, and his knowledge of mankind, and, in particular, on his sympathy with the feelings of those who appear before him, either as counsel, witnesses, or parties." Nor are the demands on his knowledge of law slight, for " the questions of law which usually arise upon such a trial are almost always questions as to how the judge ought to direct the jury, or whether certain evidence should be admitted or rejected. Such questions must be decided at once, and cannot be properly argued before they are decided." In addition to all which, however, the judge may have further to consider on full argument how, on the findings, judgment ought to be entered, a task which, as recent reports (to go no further) show, often involves questions of law of great nicety and difficulty—of necessity, indeed, involves all the questions of law to which the facts and pleadings can give rise.

We are to see, therefore, which of these duties, functions, incidents, or characteristics is impaired or threatened by the "process" of that which the learned judge expresses so lively a mistrust and fear; and in putting the question in this form we are giving it as wide a scope as it is possible to do, consistently with the leading principles which he enunciates. And here the nninstructed reader would quickly come to an end; for, apart from the changes which the learned author proceeds himself to propose, it is not proposed to impair or diminish any of them.

What then is the " explanation "? But just at this point, to our regret, the learned author etiput inter

nubila condit; the argument goes out in a fog, through which, after a while, we catch sight of what, when we examine it, turns out to be a mere ignis fatuus. This cloudy region which we have to traverse consists in the main of a comparison, the bearing of which it is hard to follow, between the methods and the subject-matter of what used to be called respectively common law actions and chancery suits. We will not follow it in detail; the substance of it may be read in the introductions to equity manuals; the only novel feature is contributed by the illustration expressed in the statement that, "It is not a mere fancy to say that a criminal trial or an action for damages has a resemblance to a surgical operation, and a decree in equity to a course of medical advice." It would be interesting, and might be instructive, to listen to the learned author distributing, after the manner of one of Br. Gauden's sermons, the various forms of procedure under the appropriate medical and surgical categories; but a less lively fancy flags in the effort. The well-known story of King John and the Jew seems, indeed, to connect the extraction of money—that is, of "damages "—with an operation of dentistry; but, on the other hand, the operation seems in another aspect akin to the equitable remedy of discovery; while another operation belonging to the same branch of surgery, the stopping of a tooth, may be thought analogous to the properly equitable remedy of an injunction, or ne exeat regno. Thus the distinction of classes is again lost sight of; and in the result it will, perhaps, be more than justice if we say, ridiculum est hasc Mis similia putare; nec tamen sunt omnimodo dissimilia. In sober earnest, however, the question has been debated and discussed long enough whether there is such a radical and essential diversity between the subject-matters respectively adjudicated upon by the old courts as to make them unsuitable for being adjudicated upon by a tingle tribunal. For the last thirty years every step taken has been in the direction of consolidation; and though the learned author "thinks it questionable whether the Judicature Act did not go too far" in that direction, he will hardly induce the world to take that step backwards which he advises. But still, and all granted, in what secret channel is the argument meanwhile running f what is the bearing of the "explanation "? and how does it make plain that the process hinted at " will diminish the dignity of the bench, by diminishing the importance of the duties allotted to the judges " f

We must see more precisely what is this "process." It appears from the followiug statement: '* The method of procedure favoured by the Judicature Act, and which it is now, I apprehend, proposed to extend, is sometimes described as ' the one-judge system,' and its essential feature is that every cause, whether legal or equitable, should be tried in the first instance by a single judge, to to whom it should be allotted from its commencement, and who should preside over it throughout till he delivers a final judgment, and that this judgment should be subject to an appeal to a court of three judges." We have already pointed out that there was no proposal forshadowed for abridging the functions of judges of first instance, and, therefore, wondered how the importance of their duties was to be diminished. We now wonder the more, finding that their duties in respect of any single cause are to be increased.

The first proposition, however, laid down as to this "method" is still outside the lino of the argument. This system, which, it is said, has, " since the Judicature Act, prevailed in the fullest way in the Chancery Division," " cannot be carried out fully without abolishing trial by jury in civil cases." Now, if the words are taken strictly, and from what follows it is plain the author desires them to be so taken in a very eminent degree, this system has not for many years, and has still less since the Judicature Act than before, prevailed in the fullest way in Chancery or the Chancery Division. For if the essence of the system is that one judge is, to put it shortly, to see the case through from the beginning to the end, the system has, in a multitude of cases tried at Lincoln's-inn, not been followed ; since not only have cases been for many years wholly transferred at some period of their existence from one chancery court to another; but since the appointment of Mr. Justice Fry a great number of cases, still retained in the chambers of other judges, have been sent for trial before him. And this observation is not unimportant, because the chief, if not the only real, obstacle to the system being fully carried out in the other divisions is the impossibility of securing that the trial of a cause shall take place before any particular judge.

It seem?, however, that a still more rigorous strictness of meaning belongs to the description of this " essential feature." The "essence" is that "the case is first tried by a single judge, who decides both the law and the fact" Of course, if this, which no one has hitherto understood to be of the "essence," is really of the "essence," there is an end to the question. There can be no more jury trials. But we are hardly come so far to learn so little; and when this is learned, what follows? Only that there will be no more jury trials, and that the discussion of the next proposition becomes superfluous.

For the next proposition is, that" any attempt " to do this impossibility—namely, "to carry it (the system) out fully without the abolition of trial by jury—will greatly lower the efficiency and the dignity of the puisne judges of the Common Law Divisions." Well, then, we must consider this impossibility as if it were possible, and assuming that trials by jury in civil causes are not abolished, see how the "efficiency and dignity" of the judge engaged in trying such causes are to be lowered. And it is here that the argument recommences, and that we meet with that ignis fatuut already referred to, which is nothing else than a phrase invented, reiterated, and thus made to do duty for a fact. This phrase is to be found in the statement that the judge will thus become "a mere commissioner to take evidence." Now, no one can know better than the learned author of the "Digest of the Law of Evidence " that a mere commissioner to take evidence has none of those functions, powers, or duties, and needs none of those qualities, and that his acts are accompanied by none of those incidents, nor followed by any of those consequences which belong to or attend the acts of a judge (or, what is equivalent to a judge, though here described as something different, a "commissioner for the trial of causes at Nisi Prim ") trying a cause in the ordinary way. Nor would the making of judges " mere commissioners for the trial of causes at Nisi Prius" (which includes the entering of judgment) in any degree even tend to " deprive them of all connection with the decision of matters of law."

Let ns see how the matter really stands. In the year 1850 Mr. Baron A. tried at York a case in which the writ issued out of the Queen's Bench. The trial, being a jury trial, was " popular " and "impressive" ; it gave occasion for all that display of tact, temper, knowledge of men and things, readiness of apprehension, and correctness in ruling the points of law necessary to control the evidence, to direct the jury, and to cause the judgment to be rightly entered, which has been so justly praised. The learned Baron had seen nothing of the case before; he saw nothing of it afterwards; but he learnt that a rule was afterwards granted and made absolute in the Queen's Bench for a new trial, on the ground of misdirection. In the year 1860 a similar course of events took place, except that it happened that, finding a difficulty in some of the points raised, the learned Baron gave the go-bye to them, and reserved them for the decision of the Queen's Bench. In the year 1880 a similar course of events again took place, with this difference, that, as he could no longer reserve the difficult points for the Queen's Bench, he was obliged to decide them himself, which he did on full argument upon further consideration. In the same year a cause at Guildhall was similarly dealt with. In the year 1890, it is feared that—what is feared ?—that a judge, trying a

case at York with a jury, will have to do precisely the same that his predecessor did in 1880. His functions will have remained the same. Why, then, will their "importance" have become less, or his "dignity" have been lowered, since " his true dignity depends on the importance of the duties which he hag to discharge "? The only difference will be that, instead of a new trial being granted by the Queen's Bench, it will (perhaps) be granted by the Court of Appeal.

But how then is this supposed descent in the duties and dignity of a judge of first instance to be met and averted? By abolishing trial by jury. The "popular" and "impressive" incidents of a jury trial are to be lost, and the judge is to be relieved or deprived of the difficult and important duties connected with that popular form of administering justice, in order to support his failing dignity. Now the true dignity of the judge "depends on the importance of the duties he has to discharge," but for some reason, not easily to be gathered from, nor very consistent with, what has gone before, we must assume that to perform the function of finding the facts oneself, and applying the law to them, is in itself a more important duty, than taking part in and presiding over the trial of facts by a jury, and applying the law to the facts so found, although taken altogether the proceeding in the latter case is more important than in the former. In other words, in a jury trial the honour and dignity is divided between the judge and the jury, and though the whole is greater, yet the judge's share is less than what falls to the judge sitting alone. What, therefore, is claimed is not that the judge's dignity shall not be diminished, for it would remain the same, but that it is too little, and should be increased. In short, the dignity of judges of first instance not sitting in the Chancery Division—for it must be observed that these are the judges who are really meant throughout—is less than the dignity of judges who do sit in the Chancery Division, and must be made equal to it.

The more strange is the observation, which seems intended to form part of the general argument, that "the practical effect of trying to apply the so-called one-j udge system to trial by j ury must be to subordinate the judges of the Common Law Divisions entirely to the Court of Appeal." Now, since this " entire subordination" has been experienced by a long succession of Masters of the Rolls and Vice-Chancellors, it would be worth while to inquire whether they have been conscious of a want of sufficient dignity. And it would again be a curious inquiry whether there is more subordination on the part of the judge when the Court of Appeal has only the opportunity of reversing his determination on questions of law, than when it has the opportunity of reversing also his findings of fact.

In truth the learned author seems here again not to have stated his true meaning exactly. What the judges at Westminster had before the Judicature Act, what they have to a certain extent lost by the operation of the Judicature Act, and what they (so far as not members of the Court of Appeal) would entirely lose under the "so-called one-judge system," is no part of the functions of judges of first instance; but belongs to the " less important business" of judges of appeal—the opportunity, namely, of overruling one another, of sometimes assenting to and sometimes protesting against the overruling of themselves, and of sometimes being overruled, without the opportunity of either concurring or dissenting, by their brethreu. In face of the learned author's express declaration to the contrary, we find a difficulty in supposing that this is the loss which ho really complains of; yet an examination of the facts seems to leave it as the sole residuum of the argument.

Nor only so; the restoration of appellate jurisdiction to all the judges is the pith of the scheme which tho learned author proposes as a substitute for the existing system, and in favour of which he would abolish the Court of Appeal. As it can hardly be expected that such a departure from the lines on which the reformation of procedure has hitherto gone would be accepted, it would not be a practical matter to discuss this scheme in detail; nor does space admit the consideration of all the topics touched upon. We may, however, be permitted, with all respect to the eminent persons who hold the office of judges of the High Court of Justice, to say, that even in the heavenly bodies "one star differeth from another star in glory." All who are judges cannot be Lord Chancellors nor Chief Justices. Is there anything unreasonable in supposing that some may be preferred to others as j udges of appeal? Nor need any fear be entertained of our losing, or failing to have the full advantage of, the services of those brilliant and distinguished candidates for posts of the first rank and magnitude in respect of whom, but not by them, so much anxiety has been lately, in some quarters, expressed.



29 W. R. 181. According to Sir H. Thring, section 38 of the Companies Act, 18G7, was hurriedly introduced during the passage of the Bill through the House of Commons, without being recommended by the Select Committee. The language of the section is of the most general and sweeping character. It directs that "every prospectus of a company, and every notice inviting persons to subscribe for shares in any joint stock company, shall specify the dates and the names of the parties to any contract entered into by the company, or the promoters, directors, or trustees thereof, before the issue of any such prospectus or notice, whether subject to adoption by the directors, or the company, or otherwise." It has been conceded on all hands that some limitation must be placed on the language of this section; for in its literal meaning it would include every contract entered into by promoters, &c, whether relating to the company or not. As Lord Justice Bramwell said, in Twycross v. Grant (25 \V. E. 701, L. R. 2 C. R D. 469), two limitations have been suggested, "one that every contract is meant which would assist a person in determining whether he would be a shareholder; the other that only those contracts are meant which affect the company, which put an obligation upon it, whether with or without some benefit attached." And, consistently with his principle of leaving people to look after themselves, the learned Lord Justice declared his preference for the latter limitation. In the present case he expressed the same opinion, but Lords Justices Baggallay and Thesiger adopted the former limitation, which certainly appears to us to have the balance of reason in its favour. It seems to us that there is a great deal in Mr. Buckley's suggestion that the key to the interpretation of the section is contained in the latter part of it, which provides that "any prospectus or notice not specifying the same shall be deemed fraudulent on the part of the promoters, directors, and officers of the company knowingly issuing the same as regards any person taking sJiares in the company on the faith of such prospectus, unless he shall have notice of such contract"; that these words should be read as meaning "on the faith that there was no such contract, inasmuch as the prospectus did not mention it," and that this lets in the test of whether the concealed contract is such as if disclosed would have deterred a prudent man from joining the concern. The balance of authority is clearly in favour of the view taken by the majority of the Court of Appeal in the recent case, and it must now, subject to the decision of the House of Lords, be regarded as settled that the prospectus must disclose all contracts by promoters, &c, which might reasonably influence the minds of persons reading the prospectus in deciding as to whether they will or will not apply for Shares.


It was held some years ago by the Court of Common Pleas, in Reynolds v. Accidental Insurance Company (18 W. K. 1141), that where a man became insensible and fell into a pool of water face downwards and was drowned, this was death by accident within a policy of insurance against injury by accident. Since that decision it would appear that the accident insurance companies have added to their policies a clause providing that " this insurance shall not extend to . . . any injury caused by or arising from natural disease or weak, ness, or exhaustion consequent upon disease, ... or to any death arising from disease, although such death may have been accelerated by accident"; and in the present case, where the facts were that the insured, while crossing a shallow brook, was seized with a fit o£ epilepsy and fell into the brook and was drowned, it was urged that the insured was drowned because he was too weak to hold his head above the water; that the cause of this weakness was disease, not accident; and therefore that the proviso covered the case. But the Court of Appeal refused to assent to this view, holding that the cause of death was not disease or weakness or exhaustion, but drowning. The court do not appear to have observed upon the words " arising from natural disease or weakness," upon which, perhaps, more might have been said in favour of the insurance company. Suppose, owing to natural disease or weakness, the insured had fallen from a great height and had been killed by the fall, would this have been covered by the proviso?


LIBERTY OF THE SUBJECT. The Liberty Of The Press, Speech, And Public VtokShip; Being Commentaries On The Liberty Of The Scbjeot And The Laws Of England. By James Pater6on, Barrister-at-Law. Macmillau & Co. In this treatise, which deserved an earlier consideration than we have been able to give it, Mr. Paterson has written of the law upon a variety of topics which are not often found in juxtaposition. The book appears to be but a section of the author's commentaries upon the liberty of the subject generally, and the idea by means of which he endeavours to make it a complete treatise of itself is not wanting in boldness or originality. Starting with the contemplation of the citizen as a thinking, speaking, and writing animal, Mr. Paterson proceeds systematically to survey his rights in this capacity. He divides his subject into two branches, dealing, firstly, with the law relating to security of thought, speech, and character, and, secondly, with the law relating to public worship. Under the first head is discussed the law regulating public meetings, the press, newspapers, the post office, theatres, and others of our habits or institutions which involve the expression of thought; and the limits of free expression as imposed by the law against blasphemy, sedition, immorality, and libel are laid down. Patent law and copyright may seem at first sight to be outside the schemeiudicated by the title, but the author fairly thinks that the subject is not exhausted without considering, as well as the right to free expression, the right of property which a person may have in the form in which his thought expresses itself. Nevertheless, the introduction of questions of proprietary right involves the difficulty that it is impossible to decide where to stop. This is obvious when we come to the second part of the book, which appears to be intended as a resume of our law relating to the expression of the religious instincts of the people, and which is, in fact, a readable outline of Church law, the rights in Church property, and the legal position of Nonconformists. Here it would appear that pro

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