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ruthless reformer, rules will be constantly developed, the progeny of other rules whose value has been disregarded simply because unknown.
The entrance being thus cleared, the student is admitted, “with all appliances and means to boot,” into the temple of municipal law; and he commences his study of that which, chiefly in after life, he is to be concerned in practising. He commences, after a preparation such as we have briefly described, and for which Mr. Hoffman's course so eminently fits him, with enlarged views, a mind invigorated by metaphysical investigations, and confident in a knowledge of its own powers, and with principles (unless his disposition be unusually depraved) of confirmed integrity and morality which he has imbibed from his healthy education. He surveys the intricate field of common law and statute law, with the eye in some degree of a tactician, and not with the timid glance of a raw student. His store of learning, gathered from the jurisprudence of other governments, and the operations of other systems, readily suggests analogies and illustrations by which many a dark point is illumined; and as he advances, the different genius of the several codes standing out in bolder relief, the peculiar character of his own is more vividly impressed upon his understanding.
The prominent and comprehensive titles of persons and property, the rights appertaining to each, and the remedies for the enforcement or violation of them, are now presented to view. The obvious division of property being into real and personal, the rights appurtenant to each would seem to form the most natural subdivision. Hence personal rights, absolute and relative, and the law of real and personal property, have been the four chief heads marked out by. Blackstone, in his enumeration of the objects of civil municipal law. The division adopted by Mr. Hoffman seems to us less philosophic and accurate, though it is certainly plausible, and at the first glance captivating. Our author adopts a two-fold enumeration—"the law of real rights and real remedies," on the one hand, and “the law of personal rights and personal remedies," on the other. Under the first head, he treats of the kinds of estate in real property, the modes of its acquisition, its tenure, the objects of real property, and finally the remedies to recover it. Under the second head, are discussed personal rights, both relative and absolute, and the titles to personal property; then, after an introduction setting forth the organization of the courts, their jurisdiction, &c., in which the remedies for the enforcement or violation of these rights are to be applied (though this was equally necessary before discussing real remedies), personal remedies, or the different kinds of actions or suits at law, are explained. These actions are for the violation of the person, or personal property.
Now, in our opinion, rights are to be viewed either as inherent in the persons entitled to them, or as employed about the things to which they appertain, and should be classed in the one way or the other, accordingly. Thus, a right to sue for and recover real property is (viewed as inherent in the person suing) as much a personal right, as the right to sue for and recover a hat, or a chest of valuables : in this point of view, then, there would be properly no real rights, but considered with reference to the subject about which they are employed, the distinction is apparent. A title to real property is a real right; and a title to personal property is a right of personal property, not a personal right, unless the distinction is abolished (which we hold to be very sound) between a right to personal property and a right to the enjoyment of personal liberty, which latter is a strictly personal right. It is confounding, therefore, we think, the rights of persons and of property to class under the same head, though they appertain to different subjects, these two species of rights. In the civil law, where there was no distinction between real and personal estate, all property being classed as res, or things, there existed but the two divisions: the jura personarum, or rights of persons, and the jura rerum, or rights of things. This division has probably struck Mr. Hoffman as more simple and philosophic, and if he had adhered to it (though we think he would have done so at the expense of some perspicuity), he would at least have avoided the appearance of inconsistency, and consequent partial obscurity. Under his first head, "Real Rights," he classes estates for years, though these are undoubtedly personal property; yet, by the rule of the civil law, they are part of the jura rerum. One would suppose, therefore, that under the head of "Real Remedies" we should find the action of ejectment, which is brought to recover the possession of these terms or estates for years. We discover it, however, in the list of “ Personal Remedies”—it being only a personal remedy, as brought to recover estates for years which are personal property. All actions must be brought by some person, and therefore that consideration does not give the title to an action. The civil law rule is consequently here disregarded. The real remedies discussed by our author, are those technically so called at the common law, because brought to recover the tile and not merely the possession of real estate, as the action of ejectment is well known to be. By the civil law, trover and replevin would be considered as real actions, because instituted to recover things,
1 We may remark, for the benefit of the unprofessional reader, that real is a term in the law (used only with regard to property), and put in position to personal; this latier being then used also with reference to property. Real and personal property are opposites; not real, as applied to property in general, and personal, as applied to persons.
and not to obtain damages for an injury to the person. In a word, the division assumed by Mr. Hoffman abolishes the distinction between strictly personal rights and the rights to personal property, and places real rights and remedies in opposition to both; following in this neither the civil nor the common law, but, by mingling the two, producing confusion and embarrassment in th nind of the tudent.
We have been thus free in our strictures upon this part of Mr. Hoffman's plan, because, in our opinion, the work will well bear criticism. Its sterling merits, in other respects, place it far above the apprehension of being permanently injured by the exhibition of a partial defect.
The Law of Equity, or Chancery Jurisdiction, and the Law Merchant, form, as they well deserve from their importance, distinct heads or titles. As to the former, it is a complete and unique system, of which nothing even generally similar is to be found in the codes of other countries, and well demands the earnest attention of the student. No lawyer can safely practise in this country without an ample share of its learning; and our author deserves praise for the well-arranged list which he has prepared for the student in this part of his course. The Law Merchant,” too, has been adequately attended to by him, and is properly commended to the anxious consideration of the learner. Maritime and Admiralty law should with more propriety have followed immediately after this head, as the subjects are so nearly connected, instead of being postponed to the study of the Criminal law. There are distinct titles on the law of nations and the Roman law, the books pointed out in which are ancillary to those upon the same topics when studied at an earlier stage of the course, and are intended to complete the requisite instruction upon these heads.
The civil law being thus extensively investigated, the attention of the student is next turned to the important division of crimes and their punishments, constituting the body of the criminal law. The course here recommended is exceedingly ample, and if pursued would furnish the reader with a complete knowledge of that various system. Every department of it will be found to be fully illustrated.
But one thing more seems wanting to the course of legal study; a more thorough understanding of the constitution and laws of the United States and of the several States, and this is provided for by the books recommended under those respective titles.
The student would now appear completely caparisoned, but our author wishes to entice him still further. He invites him into the region of Political Economy. Into that disputed and
belligerent territory we would not advise him, while yet a student, to venture.
Political economy is undoubtedly one of the noblest of the sciences; and no man can be considered as politely or effectively educated without its study. None, however, is more beset with difficulties, which it requires much time and careful thought to overcome. Great practical information, as well as correct theoretical reasoning, are needed to arrive at proper results. The variant views on the subjects of restriction and free trade, have been sustained by their respective advocates with distinguished ability; and to enable the impartial reader to form a correct judgment, very much should be attentively studied on both sides of the question. While each system appears to its disciples equally plain, to an impartial inquirer who considers both, either seems sufficiently embarrassed. The student of law, therefore, should not approach intricacies that he has not the time (which we clearly think he has not in his legal course) fully to unravel. If the
If the exercise of the mind be what is aimed at by our author, and if more be needed after the study of both law and metaphysics, we should direct the student to the higher mathematics; and after the use of all these mental gymnasia, if his mind were not sufficiently exercised, we should pronounce it sluggish indeed.
The course proper is now complete ; but Mr. Hoffman very justly calls the attention to certain auxiliary subjects which are clearly portions of a full course of instruction, and some of which (as the geography, and civil, statistical, and political history of the United States of America) are essentially component parts of every gentleman's education. Legal biography and bibliography, American, British and Continental, Medical Jurisprudence, and the Military and Naval Law, the student will find both pleasant and profitable. Logic is considered by our author as a distinct head; it could with propriety be connected with his metaphysical studies. Archbishop Whately's admirable Treatise would be all-sufficient for the student's purposes. The enquiring student should also be anxious to know the exact state of the law, in Europe and in his own country, upon the important topics of codefication and proposed amendments in the law, and he could procure this information fully from some of the books pointed out to him by Mr. Hoffman. He should keep pace, if possible, with the progress of public opinion in regard to his profession, and with the alterations and modifications which are suggested in its principles.
One title, which Mr. Hoffman has ranked with the auxiliary subjects, we should ourselves be disposed to substitute rather for some one of the heads in the regular course, so high is our
estimate of its importance to the American lawyer—we mean, “forensic eloquence and oratory."
No lawyer can attain great eminence in his profession in our country, without possessing eloquence. It is not required that he should be a Demosthenes, or a Cicero, but he should be fluent, perspicuous, nervous and polished in language, and possess much of the graces of oratory. Nothing is clearer than that all these qualifications may be abundantly improved by proper study and practice. The young aspirant, though timid, hesitating, or awkward, should never despair. Careful reading of the best models both of antiquity, and of modern times; frequent composition and after correction of what has been written; attention to enunciation and delivery-combined with a consciousness of being master of one's subject, will soon make the orator. Practice will sharpen the intellect, invigorate all the faculties, and give confidence to the fancy; while the good taste, which has been sedulously cultivated, will keep back the speaker from the utterance of any thing calculated to displease or disgust. There is no faculty which improves more rapidly and steadily than this; and certainly none which sooner earns for its possessor a valuable reputation. The path of political distinction is open wide before the eloquent advocate; oratory is the highway to the highest honours of the country. The American people are peculiarly susceptible to its influence, and will pardon much to an eloquent discourse.
The young lawyer then will sedulously cultivate this faculty. He will, with the dispositions and tastes which after such a course we may reasonably expect him to have acquired, aim to direct this important power to noble ends. He will add the weight of a religious, a moral, an independent, and a highminded character, to the utterance of the words of wisdom, embellished with the ornaments of a cultivated imagination, and desire only the triumphs of fair argument and of truth.
Conciseness—unfortunately not the boast of our land—will be gained by this careful study and preparation. The luxuriance and superfluity of bad taste and weak arguments will be pruned; and the praise, so rare, will be earned of having spoken well and not more than enough.
The last topic handled at length by our author is that of professional deportment; and he lays down a number of very admirable rules, preceded by the best advice. The books he has chosen to place in the students' hands, in order to inculcate "purity of morals, soundness of integrity, the amiableness of urbanity, the graces of modesty, and generally the decorations and amenities of life,” show both his good feelings and good taste. Solomon's Proverbs, &c. from Holy Writ, the 12th Book of Quinctilian's Institutes, Watts on the Improvement of the VOL. XX.—NO. 39.