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his law, was declared guiltless of the imputed crime, or discharged from the fulfilment of the obligation, by an easier trial, An oath confirmed his own denial of the charge. Friends or relations, whom he himself had named, declared their belief in the truth of his denial. They, too, indeed, were bound by oath ; but the free judgment of the compurgators might be fettered by the ties of blood or fellowship; or the irresistible force of self-interest would conquer their conscientious scruples; and audacity and perjury, without doubt, often succeeded in gaining many a triumph over good faith and justice.
Great defects were inseparable from trial by compurgation; but they were in some measure compensated by its advantages. People who were insensible to the nicer or conventional delicacies of reputation, were taught to defer to public opinion, whose influence is more beneficial to society, in checking the commission of bad deeds, than in stimulating to the performance of great ones. An inestimable value was given to unblemished character. to those who were of fair fame and good repute, trial by compurgation afforded an efficient protection against calumny and malice; but to them alone. Notwithstanding the influence of relationship and clanship, or of more tempting and degrading motives, the Gentleman or the Citizen, it his deeds had borne a questionable shape, would have some difficulty in persuading twelve, or twenty-four, or thirty-six good men and true, to become forsworn in his defence. Perhaps the very powerful and the very rich may have assembled their compurgators with greater ease: But no additional impunity was thereby given to those great flies,—who, in all states of society, contrive to escape the cobweb meshes of the law, than they would have possessed, had compurgation been denied to them. The heart of the widowed one was faint, when the King's companion, stood in the great hall of the King's pałace, before the table of marble stone, surrounded by his meisney of willing believers in his innocence.-Did she cry aloud for vengeance on their perjuries ?-Alas !-arguments such as convinced them that the tale of woe was false, would have been equally. irresistible, if ackfressed to the haughty Seneschal, or the high-born Justiciar, wrapped in the robe of scarlet and ermine bestowed upon him by royal favour.- Was the right hand of each Baron uplifted towards heaven, whilst he repeated the solemn oath which screened the noble miscreant from his deserved punishment ?- If sentence had been passed, these same hands would have drawn the sword with equal readiness to defend him.
Consistency was not to be expected, before jurisprudence settled into a regular system. Soinetimes the original principle of compurgation may have been forgotten; but it should always be remembered that in their strict and primitive form, these oaths of delivery were never allowed but when the plea of the defendant was opposed to the unauthenticated claim of the demandant, or to an arraignment supported only by presumptive evidence, or the naked oath of the accuser. Oath then counterbalanced oath, and the compurgators turned the scale.
We have dilated on the subject of the compurgative ordeal, because we consider it as the basis upon which our criminal jurisprudence has been erected. The Goths and the Saxons alike endeavoured to lay the foundation of the sanctuary of justice. Each followed a simple and inartificial plan. But whilst ours has arisen into a proud and majestic structure, theirs has mouldered into ruin.-Spain, whilst it constituted the Gothic monarchy, and Leon and Castile, until the full admission of the Partidas, enjoyed a system of laws which, although they cannot be identified with the laws and customs of the Anglo-Saxons, were yet accordant with them both in the general bearing, and in many of the details. Let it be, however, remarked, that the Castilian labrador was compelled to resort to the oaths of his superiors : But our Alfred commanded the Saxon landholder to justify himself with eleven of his even-thanes, and one king's-thane alone; and the humblest Saxon freeman could always claim a jury of his equals. Notwithstanding the absence of this generous spirit of the Saxon law, compurgation seems to have been more favoured in Castile than the ordeals of fire or battle. This is evinced by the charter of Molina. It may appear improper to draw conclusions respecting the general customs of a kingdom from the by-laws of one chartered town: But Don Manrique would select such usages as were common amongst the Castilians, whom he sought to draw together as settlers in his colony; and he would confirm to them such privileges as were most prized. Nor because the · Fuero Viejo' only directs the oaths of twelve,' in two or three peculiar cases, must we infer that it was excluded in all others. When our law-books define a felony, it is not necessary to add, that a jury is to be impanelled to determine it. The student is presumed to be acquainted with the general course of trial.
Whatever had been the usages of Castile in the old time,' they became wholly obsolete in the second era of Castilian jurisprudence. All the Fueros of the towns were superseded by the Fuero Real of Alonso, and by his more celebrated work, the
Partidas. Although solemnly confirmed by Pedro el Justiciero, the · Fuero Viejo' also yielded to the elaborate laws of Alonso, after they had been promulgated in the Cortes of Alcala. Of the ancient ordeals, trial by battle alone was allowed by Alonso, chiefly in cases touching fame and honour; but the disciples of Bartholus and Baldus would not concern themselves with the Gothic juries of deliverance, which were withheld from the defendant when the Spanish tribunals were subjected to their control.
Continuing in this imperfect state, the Spanish jury was of dubious utility: and no efforts were made to give it the improvements of which it was susceptible. The Legislature and the people of the Castilian kingdoms, abandoned the Gothic ordeal, without attempting to mould it into a more equitable form, or to combine it with more liberal principles of legislation. Its suppression, therefore, excited neither anxiety nor regret. They cast away the unpolished gem, contenning its worth, and disdaining the labour of bringing out its lustre. Far different was the cheering progress of the laws of England. Never wholly or suddenly departing from their pristine character, it has been the peculiar happiness and blessing of this country, that the institutions of the early ages have lost their rudeness, but retained their vigour. The erring tests of truth have been allowed to sink into oblivion; but the cunbersome array of coinpurgators, which often averted the righteous' vengeance of the law, has been gradually matured into that great tribunal of our peers, which will ever remain the best safeguard of life and freedom.
ART. VI. 1. Travels in Canada and the United States, in 1816
and 1817. By Lieutenant Francis Hall, 14th Light Dra
goons, H. P. 8vo. London. Longman & Co. 1818. 2. Journal of Travels in the United States of North America,
and in Lower Canada, performed in the Year 1817, &c. &c. By John PALMER. 8vo. London. Sherwood, Neely &
Jones. 1818. 5. A Narrative of a Journey of live Thousand Miles through
the Eastern and Western States of America ; containcd in Eight Reports, addressed to the Thirty-nine English Familics by whom the Author was deputet, in June 1817, to ascertuin whether any, and what part of the United States muuld be suitable • for their Residence. Irith Remarks on Mr Birkbeck's 'Notes' and • Letters. By HENNY BEADSHAW FEARON. 8vo. London, Longman & Co. 1918,
4. Travels in the Interior of America, in the Years 1809, 1810,
and 1811, &c. &c. By John BRADBURY, F.L.S. Lond. 8vo.
London. Sherwood, Neely & Jones. 1817. THI 'HESE four books are all very well worth reading, to any per
son who feels, as we do, the importance and interest of the subject of which they treat. They contain a great deal of information and amusement; and will probably decide the fate, and direct the footsteps, of many human beings, seeking a better lot than the Old World can afford them. Mr Hall is a clever, lively man, very much above the common race of writers; with very liberal and reasonable opinions, which he expresses with great boldness,-and an inexhaustible fund of good humour. He has the elements of wit in him; but sometimes is trite and flat when he means to be amusing. He writes verses, too, and is occasionally long and metaphysical: But, upon the whole, we think highly of Mr Hall; and deem him, if he is not more than twenty-five years of age, an extraordinary young man. He is not the less extraordinary for being a Lieutenant of Light Dragoons—as it is certainly somewhat rare to meet with an original thinker, an indulgent judge of manners, and a man tolerant of neglect and familiarity, in a youth covered with taggs, feathers, and martial foolery.
Mr Palmer is a plain man, of good sense, and slow judge ment.—Mr Bradbury is a botanist, who lived a good deal among the savages, but worth attending to.--Mr Fearon is a much abler writer than either of the two last, but no lover of America,--and a little given to exaggeration in his views of vices and prejudices.
Among other faults with which our Government is chargeable, the vice of impertinence has lately crept into our Cabinet; and the Americans have been treated with ridicule and contempt. But they are becoming a little too powerful, we take it, for this cavalier sort of management; and are increasing with a rapidity which is really no matter of jocularity to us, or the other powers of the Old World. In 1791, Baltimore contained 13,000 inhabitants; in 1810, 46,000; in 1817, 60,000. In 1790, it possessed 13,000 tons of shipping; in 1798, 59,000; in 1805, 72,000; in 1810, 103,414. The progress of Philadelphia is as follows.
Houses. Inhabitants. • In 1683 there were in the city
2,076 15,000 1760
Houses. Inhabitants. ! In 1769 there were in the city 4,474 and 30,000 1776
5,460 40,000 1783
6,000 42,000 1806
13,000 90,000 1810
22,769 100,000 • Now, it is computed there are at least 120,000 inhabitants in the city and suburbs, of which 10,000 are free coloured people.' Palmer, p. 254, 255.
The population of New York (the city), in 1805, was 60,000; it is now 120,000. Their shipping, at present, amounts to 300,000 tons. The population of the state of New-York was, at the accession of his present Majesty, 97,000, and is now near 1,000,000. Kentucky, first settled in 1773, had, in 1792, a population of 100,000, and in 1810, 406,000. Morse reckons the whole population of the western territory, in 1790, at 6000; in 1810 it was near half a million; and will probably exceed a million in 1820. These, and a thousand other equally strong proofs of their increasing strength, tend to extinguish pleasantry, and provoke thought.
We were surprised and pleased to find from these accounts, that the Americans on the Red River and the Achansas River, have begun to make sugar and wine. Their importation of wool into this country, is becoming also an object of some consequence; and they have inexhaustible supplies of salt and coal. But one of the great sources of wealth in America is, and will be, an astonishing command of inland navigation; the Mississippi, flowing from the north to the Gulf of Mexico, through seventeen degrees of latitude; the Ohio and the Alleghany alınost connecting it with the Northern Lakes; the Wabash, the Illinois, the Missouri, the Achansas, the Red River, flowing from the confines of New Mexico. These rivers, all navigable, and most of them already frequented by steam-boats, constitute a facility of internal communication, not, we believe, to be paralleled in the whole world.
One of the great advantages of the American Government is its cheapness. The American king has about 5000l. per annum; the vice-king 10001. They hire their Lord Liverpool at about a thousand per annum, and their Lord Sidmouth (a good bargain) at the same sum. Their Mr Crokers are inexpressibly reasonable,--somewhere about the price an English doorkeeper, or bearer of a mace. Life, however, seems to go on very well, in spite of these low salaries; and the purposes of Government to be very fairly answered. Whatever may be the