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progress of the system in England, and to confine its influence to those courts which were under the more immediate superintendence of the clergy. The ecclesiastical courts, and the Court of Chancery, accordingly adopted the canon and Roman law; and the Court of Admiralty, which was constituted about the time of Edw. I. also supplied the defects of the laws of Oleron from the civil law, which was generally applied to fill up the chasms that appeared in any of the municipal institutions of the modern European nations. A national prejudice was early formed against the civil law, and it was too much cultivated by English lawyers. Lord Coke mentions, by way of reproach, that William De la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, in the reign of Hen. VI. endeavoured to bring in the civil law, which gave occasion to Sir John Fortescue to write his work in praise of the English law; and the same charge was made one of the articles of impeachment againt Cardinal Woolsey. But the more liberal spirit of modern times has justly appreciated the intrinsic merit of the Roman system. Sir Matthew Hale, according to the account of Bishop Burnet,d frequently said, that the true grounds and reasons of law were so well delivered in the digest, that a man could never well understand law as a science without first resorting to the Roman law for information, and he lamented that it was so little studied in England. And in Lane v. Cotton, that strict English lawyer, Lord Holt, admitted, that the laws of all nations were raised out of the ruins of the civil law, and that the principles of the English law were borrowed from that system, and grounded upon the same reason.
a Blacks. Com. vol. 1. Introductory Lecture. Reeve's Hist. of the English Law, vol. 1. 81, 82. Millar's Historical View of the English Government, b. 2. c. 7. sec. S.
b 3 Reeve's Hist. 198.
c 3 Inst. 208.
d Life of Sir M. Hale, p. 24.
e 12 Mod. 482.
The value of the civil law is not to be found in questions which relate to the connexion between the government and the people, or in provisions for personal security in criminal cases. In every thing which concerns civil and political liberty, it cannot be compared with the free spirit of the English and American common law. But upon subjects relating to private rights and personal contracts, and the duties which flow from them, there is no system of law in which principles are investigated with more good sense, or declared and enforced with more accurate and impartial justice. I prefer the regulations of the common law upon the subject of the paternal and conjugal relations, but there are many subjects in which the civil law greatly excels. The rights and duties of tutors and guardians are regulated by wise and just principles. The rights of absolute and usufructuary property, and the various ways by which property may be acquired, enlarged, transferred, and lost, and the incidents and accommodations which fairly belong to property, are admirably discussed in the Roman law, and the most refined and equitable distinctions are established and vindicated. Trusts are settled and pursued through all their numerous modifications and complicated details, in the most rational and equitable manner. So, the rights and duties flowing from personal contracts, express and implied, and under the infinite variety of shapes which they assume in the business and commerce of life, are defined and illustrated with a clearness and brevity without example. In all these respects, and in many others which the limits of the present discussion will not permit me to examine, the civil law shows the proofs of the highest cultivation and refinement; and no one who peruses it can well avoid the conviction, that it has been the fruitful source of those comprehensive views and solid principles, which have been applied to elevate and adorn the jurisprudence of modern nations.
The Institutes ought to be read in course, and accurately studied, with the assistance of some of the best commenta
ries with which they are accompanied. Some of the titles in the Pandects have also been recommended by Heineccius to be read and re-read by the indefatigable student. The whole body of the civil law will excite never failing curiosity, and receive the homage of scholars, as a singular monument of wisdom. It fills such a large space in the eye of human reason; it regulates so many interests of man as a social and civilized being; it embodies so much thought, reflection, experience, and labour; it leads us so far into the recesses of antiquity, and it has stood so long "against the waves and weathers of time," that it is impossible, while engaged in the contemplation of the system, not to be struck with some portion of the awe and veneration which are felt in the midst of the solitudes of a majestic ruin.
END OF VOLUME I.
INDEX TO VOLUME FIRST.
grades of them, 39.
Ambassadors, protection to, 182.
Appointment toU. S. offices, 287.
Captures, maritime, law of, 69.
Cardinal Woolsey, 490.
feudal doctrine in like
no assistance when hope-
in the treaty of 1778, 51.
Ceded places to U. S. 429.
Cicero, his opinions on the law of
nor against their native
Civil law, its influence on the law
its history, 515.
its destruction, 542.
with the enemy, 66.
external and between the
Commercia belli, 105. 159. 169.
Commission to cruise and capture,
defence, 95, 96.
unlawful against a friend-
Common law, the growth of time,