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shown by one of the questions left to the jury to have
referred to authorities which establish very clearly been that acted upon, that the information was given that the measure of damages may, in case of credit and received as relating to the day on which it was being given on the faith of a representation of the cirgiven.
cumstances of a customer, be the amount of the credit My views may be shortly recapitulated thus: The given; and he has pointed out the principle that the contract is not one to provide special information, or damages to be recovered are such as were in contemto make fresh inquiries, on each application. It is to plation when the contract was made, or, as he exuse care, diligence and skill in procuring information presses it with reference to this case, “because the whicb is to be recorded for the use of subscribers, amount of credit given was within the amount for and, on application, communicated to them. In other which, directly or indirectly, it is said credit may be words, the defendants undertake to make a repre given.” What, in my judgment, has been overlooked sentation concerning the character, conduct, credit, in applying this principle is, that it was never contemability, trade, or dealings of customers of their sub plated that credit should be given except on the faith scribers, and to embody in that representation in of the representation. formation which, to the best of their ability, they have The assertion on which the liability to these damages procured. When an action is brought for breach of rests is this: You may give credit within certain limits, this agreement, if the charge is that they refused because the circumstances of your customer are so and the information and would make no representation, so. And this brings us again face to face with the the matter is simple, and it is not this case. If they statute. I regret that there is a difference of opinion make the representation, and the charge is that it between the learned Chief Justice who is now preis misleading, and that, by relying upon it, a loss has siding, and the other members of the court; but, been sustained, the first question, and the one without after discussing the matter, and also after having had answering which it is impossible to move a step, is, an opportunity of perusing the judgment he has just what was the representation? It is right that a com delivered, I am compelled to adhere to the opinion I pany, having it in their power, either from design or have expressed. carelessness, to do very serious injury, should be held I think the appeal should be allowed with costs, and strictly, on every proper occasion, to the proof of their the rule made absolute, at the option of the plaintiffs, care and good faith in the performance of their self either to enter a nonsuit or to reduce the verdict to imposed duties; but for this very reason they should nominal damages. have the benefit of such safeguards as the law provides; and one of these is the provision that they shall
BLAKE, V. C.: not be charged upon a representation which is not A perusal of the evidence makes it clear that the deevidence of a writing signed by themselves. One con fendants were wanting in ordinary care and diligence tention for the plaintiff is that the complaint is not for in procuring information, as to the standing and credit making an incorrect representation, but for failing to of Ernest M. Wilson. The failure on the part of the use due diligence in acquiring information. The actual defendants to collect any or sufficient information as to statement contained in the defendants' books is shown Wilson would not in itself be the direct cause of damin evidence, and, after hearing the testimony as to the age to the plaintiff, unless it be the expense the plaintway in which the information was acquired, and seeing | iff might be put to in seeking from some other source the witnesses who were the persons who had been for the statement with which the defendants should deputed by the defendants to make inquiries about have supplied him. This amount, I presume, the Wilson, the jury found that proper diligence had not plaintiff could recover against the defendants. been used. But what is the effect of their finding? The injury in the present case arises from the deThere is this dilemma: Either the defendants did not fendants having given certain unreliable information act upon the information because it was insufficient, to the plaintiff as to the credit of another, on which he and they are entitled to the damages which resulted acted, and whereby he has lost the amount for which from their not having had information on which they credit was given. · There was by the defendants “a could act, which in this case could be nominal dam representation * * made * * concerning * * the * * ages only; or they act upon it, and by so doing lose credit * * of a person to the intent or purpose that their money, in which case the statute interposes by such other person might obtain goods or credit thererequiring written and signed evidence of the repre
upon." sentation on which they acted.
Disguise it as we please, we can not conceal the fact In the case of Lyde v. Barnard, a singularly lucid that it was not until this representation was made, that and able exposition of the purpose and scope of the the cause of complaint, in respect of which the plaintiff statute of which ours is a counterpart, was given by seeks relief, arose. It was for the conveying this false Parke, B., but I am not sure that it greatly aids our information on which he acted, that he complains. present discussion. In that case the plaintiff com Let the case end with the non-compliance with the plained that, by an untrue representation of the undertaking of the defendants to collect the needed charges upon a life-interest in some trust funds, he information, or with the defendants' collecting or suphad been induced to advance money on the security of | plying it untruthfully, and no substantial injury has those funds. The court was equally divided on the arisen to the plaintiff from such conduct of the defendquestion whether that representation was within the ants. There is yet a link missing, and that is not supstatute, and Parke, B., combated the application of plied until the standing of Wilson, as thus ascertained the statute to the case of advancing money upon se by the defendants, is made known to the plaintiff. curities, and maintained that it applied only where But then the making this known to the plaintiff is the personal credit was to be given. I do not understand very “representation concerning credit," to which it to be intended that there must be a design to induce the act refers, and in respect of which it declares that the person to give credit, or that one may not be liable, no liability arises unless it be supplied in the manner although entirely indifferent whether credit is given designated by the statute, namely,“ in writing by the or not; but merely that the giving of personal credit,
party to be charged therewith.” This statute, relied as opposed to acting in any other way in dependence on by the defendants, seems clearly to cover the preson the information given, is what the statute deals ent case, and I do not think we can get over its effect
except by adding to it a clause declaring that it shall The learned Chief Justice in the court below has | not apply to dealings with such a mercantile agency as
that represented by the defendants. I think this is an Tenterden, who framed the act, I think meant to put addition to the act which, if made, must be by the leg all cases on the same footing, where one, on the perislature and not by this court.
sonal credit of another, gave personal credit to a third, The plaintiff should have liberty to take a verdict for
and to make it necessary that there should be a note nominal damages, or a nonsuit.
in writing where such credit was given on the faith of The appeal shouid be allowed with costs.
a representation, as well as where it was given on the HAGARTY, C. J. C. P.:
faith of a positive promise. I consider, therefore, the
mischief to be this, and no more. * * * I am of In my judgment this appeal must turn wholly on the opinion that the statute appliés only to those cases in defense, raised by the appellants, of the statute. The which the representation is made relating to the trustwords are: “No action shall be brought to charge any worthiness of a third person, with the intent that he person upon or by reason of any representation or as may obtain personal credit on the faith of such represurance made or given concerning or relating to the sentation. * * If we assume Lord Tenterden's character, conduct, credit, ability, trade or dealings of object to have been merely to prevent evasion of the any other person, to the intent or purpose that such statute of frauds, as we think it was, and use this as a other person may obtain money, goods or credit there key for the construction of the clause, it would induce upon, unless such representation or assurance be in one to prefer the former alteration,” (as to suggestions writing, signed by the party to be charged there for reading the peculiar words of the clause), "by which with."
the clause is made clearly to apply only to cases where We have to inquire if this be an action to charge the the purpose of the representation is to obtain personal defendants upon or by reason of such a representa credit for the third person.” It may well be argued here tion? In one sense it may be said literally to answer that the information furnished by these defendants that description. In another sense it is to my mind was in no sense to be regarded as furnished with the wholly outside the grasp of the statute.
intent that Wilson should obtain personal credit on the I at once disclaim any intention to rest a decision faith thereof. The information was collected as to him upon any difference in the form of the action between and numberless others-traders-within course of deassumpsit and case, and prefer ascertaining, if possible, fendants' business as proprietors of a kind of dictionthe substantial claim sought to be enforced. It is a ary of reference to to commercial standing. It was contract for a valuable consideration to furnish to the neither their interest nor their design to induce plaintbest of defendants' ability information of the mercan itf to trust Wilson or to sell goods to him on credit. If tile standing and credit of certain of plaintiff's cus- | Baron Parke's explanations of the clause be correct, tomers; and the breach is that defendants did not ex- | the case would probably fail, it based on the mere ercise ordinary care and ability in ascertaining such careless inaccuracy of the statement, there being no mercantile standing and credit, setting out a report conscious falsehood and no fraudulent intention, etc. furnished by defendants as to-one E. W., incorrect and In this view of the alleged misrepresentation by demisleading, on which plaintiffs trusted him with goods, fendants, the plaintiff's only remedy might be for a and wholly lost the same.
breach of a contract to furnish reliable informationHere there is a hiring and retainer to collect in reliable to the extent of being contracted to be preformation as to the credit of third persons. The in pared with reasonable care and diligence. If the statformation is furnished, it is wholly incorrect, and the ute be a bar in such cases as this, the result must be as employer, trusting to its correctness, sustains loss. It surprising to ordinary minds as it would be unjust. I is certainly in a sense a claim to charge the person do not consider the case relied on by Mr. Robinson, in hired “ upon or by reason of the representation.” But Haslock v. Fergusson, 7A. & E. 86, as affecting my views. does the law so define and limit the nature of the There was nothing there but the false representation; claim? It seems that the claim is rather for the breach no hiring, no duty, no breach of contract express or imof the contract to collect the information with reason plied. If a man hire another for the express purpose able care and diligence.
of obtaining information as to the standing and credit I can not believe that the legislature could have of certain named persons, the individual employed meant to extend the words used to cover a transac would be certainly bound to use reasonable diligence tion of this character, and protect a person in the neg in doing the work. If he report to his employer with lect or careless execution of an employment and busi out having made due inquiry, I think his liability rests ness specially undertaken by him for value.
wholly on his breach of contract, and his breach of A doubt may well arise, whether even on a signed duty is the proximate cause of damage, resulting from representation any action, as for a false representation, his carelessness. He is not sued for making a false would lie against these defendants. “It is settled representation in the ordinary sense, as men under: law,” says Parke, B., in Thom v. Bigland, 8 Exch. 731, stand false representations, but simply for his omis. “that independently of duty no action will lie as for a sions to do that for which he was paid, viz., the reamisrepresentation, unless the party making it knows it sonably diligent and careful collection of information. to be untrue, or makes it with a fraudulent intention A merchant in extensive business might have a salaried to induce another to act on the faith of it, and to alter clerk, solely employed in making inquiries and reporthis position to his damage." See Behn v. Kemble, 7 | ing as to his employer's customers. He is sent to variC. B. (N. S.), 260, and the authorities collected in 2 ous places for that purpose. On his return he either Smith's L. C. 88, notes to Pasley v. Freeman. In Lyde verbally reports on each case, or perhaps enters in a v. Barnard, 1 M. & W. 114, Parke, B., very fully com book, not signed by him, the result of his inquiries as ments on the origin and effect of this clause: “It was to the standing and credit of each. If he so report stated at the bar, on both sides, and my learned breth without reasonable care, I think there is certainly a ren who have preceded me agree, that the mischief to remedy against him for his breach of contract, and not be remedied was the evasion of the provision of the by an action for false representation. A merchant statute of frauds, that no one could be charged with might send his clerk or pay an agent to visit a port to the debt, default or miscarriage of another, unless there ascertain if his vessel had safely arrived. The agent was a note in writing, signed by the party to be charged goes part of the way and accepts a hearsay statement therewith. I concur in that opinion. * * * The that she has arrived, and reports to his master that he practice of bringing actions on such parol representa- | has ascertained that to be the fact. The master on tions was an evasion of the statute of frauds, and Lord' this omits to insure, which he otherwise would have
done. I think the agent is liable to the loss caused by damages as are the primary, natural and immediate his neglect, and that it is a fallacy to urge that the result of that breach of the contract; and in this respect statement he reports must be in writing, being that on only, that is, as to the amount of these damages, do I which the master acted to his damage. Such a mis- | differ with very great hesitation from his conclusion, representation would not be within the statute, but after an anxious consideration of the reasons which he illustrates the point as to the ground-work of action. advances in support of it. The liability, with which it A man may wish to invest money, and employs an at was at first attempted to charge the defendants, was torney or other paid agent therefor; the latter reports much larger than the evidence warranted, and the to him that A or B wishes to borrow, and informs his plaintiff's counsel applied at the time to amend; and it employer that A and B are solvent, responsible par is, I think, to be regretted that the amendment had not ties, of good standing, capital and credit,-perfectly | been actually made, so that we might have discovered safe, etc. On this the employer makes the loan. A from the pleadings, upon what precise grounds he and B turn out worthless, and the money is lost. It finally rested his case. appears that the attorney or agent has really made no This much, however, appears to be clear. That, alinquiries whatever, and knew nothing of their stand though the application to the defendants for informaing, etc. I think he would be responsible on a breach tion was made on the 10th of June, it had reference of contract to use due care and diligence, and that the (to the knowledge of the plaintiff), to the information fact that his employer acted on the unsigned repre which the defendants had collected and compiled on the sentation so made as to credit and standing would be 29th of April previous. It is to be noted, also, that the no defense whatever. I also think that the measure application requested the defendants to furnish such inof damages would be the sum lost by the agent's want formation, for the purpose of “aiding us to determine of due care, etc.
the propriety of giving credit to Wilson,” the person Either the plaintiff should recover his actual loss about whom the inquiries were made. If the informa or nothing. I can not see how a recovery of nominal tion so collected was insufficient to enable the plaintiff damages would be proper, except where some right or to come to any satisfactory conclusion upon the matter principle is thereby determined; the recovery of nom which prompted the inquiry, he had a ground of cominal damages is hardly to be encouraged or extended plaint against the defendants, and he would have been beyond well defined bounds. I see no medium course entitled, I should say, to recover expenses which he in this very peculiar case. The plaintiff ought to re
necessarily incurred in obtaining the information, cover bis substantial loss, or there should be a verdict which the defendants under their contract should for defendants. The rule as to the measure of dam have furnished. So far, there is no difficulty; but why, ages is largely discussed in Horne v. Midland Ry. Co., if the information was insufficient, and such as the L. R. 7 C. P. 583, and in error, L. R. 8 C. P. 137. At plaintiff felt was not of a character to be acted upon, this last page: “The damages for a breach of contract should he be entitled to recover more damages than must be such as may fairly and reasonably be consid those I have referred to. Clearly, he could not but take ered as arising naturally, i. e., according to the usual the other position, that the statement furnished, though course of things from such breach of contract itself, or erroneous in point of fact, was sufficiently full to warsuch as may be reasonably supposed to have been in rant the plaintiff, if he believed it, to act upon it. The the contemplation of both parties, at the time they question would then arise, did the plaintiff, in reliance made the contract, as the probable result of the breach upon the information so given, give credit to Wilson, or of it."
did he not? If he did not, he was not injured by anyI do not see any difficulty as to the contract not be thing the defendant had done or omitted to do; if he ing performable within a year. On the face of the con did, then it becomes necessary further to inquire what tract there is a specific payment in advance" for one the representation was upon which he acted; and if he year's services of the mercantile agency.” The lapse of can establish in evidence that the information was that time would, without further payment or agree false, and he parted with his goods upon the faith of it, ment, I presume, terminate the bargain. A fresh pay. there is no reason why he should not recover for any ment would create a new bargain on the same terms, loss resulting from his having acted on such repreunless varied by agreement. It is not on its face a sentation, but the question then arises, is that reprefixed contract, extending over a year. It is simply one sentation within the statute, C. 44 Con. Stat. U. C. Sec. for a year, renewable, if the parties annually agree and 10, so as to be inadmissible in evidence, unless in payment be made.
writing? I have not thought it necessary to review the numer The plaintiff, as his declaration was originally framed, ous cases cited. It is unfortunate that we can not find alleged that the defendants represented Wilson's any information about the case of Lloyd v. Perry, no position on the 16th of June, 1875, to be such that the ticed in the Law Times of August, 1875, cited by Har plaintiff, believing it to be true and accurate, acted upon rison, C. J. It was tried at the Lincoln Summer As it within a few days thereafter. Whereas, it was adsize. I gather from the notice that the statement as to mitted at the trial and upon the argument, that the the credit of the plaintiff's debtor was in writing, and information had reference to his position not at that probably signed by the defendants; that the action was date, but in the previovs month of April, which might not for a false or deceitful representation, but for neg be no guide to the plaintiff, without further informaligence, and that substantial damages were recovered. tion, in selling goods to him in July. If erroneous in A file of the Times would probably give a further re that particular, may it not be equally so in others, and port.
seem to fall within the mischief intended to be I think the appeal should be dismissed with costs. guarded against by the statute? Is it then an action BURTON, J. A.:
brought “to charge any person upon, or by reason of,
any representation or assurance made or given I agree with the learned Chief Justice of the Com concerning or relating to the character, conduct, credit, mon Pleas, that there was ample evidence of the want ability, trade or dealings of any other person, to the of ordinary care and diligence on the part of the de intent or purpose that such other person may obtain fendants in procuring and furnishing, to the best of money, goods or credit thereupon, unless such assurtheir ability, information of the mercantile standing and ance be in writing, signed by the party to be charged credit of Wilson (in the community wherein he resid therewith?” ed), and that the plaintiff is entitled to recover such1 The learned Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench says, it is in no sense upon the representation, but for the cated to the customer of the bank, on whose behalf the breach of contract; but that does not appear to me to information was sought; and that customer having meet the point. Granting that the action is founded on acted upon it to his damage, the court held that he was the defendants' want of care in performing their con as much entitled to maintain the action for such damtract, the plaintiff fails to show any right to recover the age, as if the representation had been made directly to damages awarded, unless he proves the representation himself. It is quite true that in that case the action was and that he acted upon it. To do this, he is driven to an action on the case for fraudulent misrepresentation, prove the representation given verbally to his clerk, and that is the way in which the great majority of the and if the statute forbids this, his action to that extent cases, which have arisen since the passing of the statfails.
ute, have presented themselves to the court; but the As before remarked, if the plaintiff did not furnish statute is not confined to fraudulent misrepresentation; the goods in reliance upon such representation, there although, in the absence of duty or contract, the action is an end of the inquiry. He has sustained the loss whereby the defendant would be sought to be charged, from the confidence which he has mistakenly placed in would be sustainable only upon proof of a representathe customer, and not by reason of his having relied on || tion known to be false, or made with a fraudulent inthe representation of the defendants; but if he did | tention that another should act on the faith of it. part with his property, in reliance upon the representa The learned Chief Justice of the Common Pleas tion made to him by the defendants, and which, as he suggests several cases illustrative of the views which says, was made with a view to his acting upon it, can it
he entertains; among others, he takes the case of be plausibly argued that it does not come within the
a merchant, employing a salaried clerk for the exvery terms of the statute, and is therefore not receiv
press purpose of making inquiries as to the people able in evidence, unless in writing and signed by the he could safely entrust with goods. The clerk negdefendants?
lects his duty, and makes reports in a book kept for The defendants deny that any such representation as the purpose, as to the solvency or credit of the persons alleged was made. It is shown that the representation, inquired about, which are untrue in fact, and his elle as originally alleged, was untrue; and then it is pro ployer suffers damage by selling goods to such perposed to prove that it is at all events true, as a state sons. I agree with him, that the clerk would be liable ment of Wilson's position at an antecedent period; but to his employer, if he could prove such a case; but it the statute says, no such verbal evidence shall be re the clerk should allege that he made no such repreceived. The law is, I think, very clearly established at sentation, his employer might be met by the objection, the present day, as quoted by the learned Chief Justice,
that the statute requires such representation to be in from the judgment of Parke, B., in Thom v. Bigland, 8
writing; and even if the clerk's own written reports Exch. 730, that “independently of duty, no action will are relied upon, the statute again interposes, as it not lie for a misrepresentation, unless the party making it only requires it to be in writing, but to be signed by the knows it to be untrue, or makes it with a fraudulent
party charged. I am unable to see why that representaintention, to induce another to act on the faith of it,
tion does not come as clearly within the statute as and to alter his position to his damage."
those made by parties under no obligation or contract But the statute does not alter the law, or give any to furnish the information. If the clerk, in such a case, right of action which did not previously exist; it merely provides that in all cases in wbich a party is attempted
had not only falsely, but fraudulently made the report,
and he was charged in an action for so doing, he would to be charged by reason of a representation, it must be
not be liable, unless the representation was in writing. in writing and signed by the party. It may be quite true, as the learned Chief Justice of the Common
As it was, however, his duty to collect and furnish the
information, it would probably be unnecessary to go Pleas remarks, that it was neither the intent nor the design of the defendants, to induce the plaintiff to
the length of showing that it was false to his knowl. trust Wilson, or sell goods to him on credit.
edge, or made with any fraudulent intent; but I do not
But is that material? If the communication is in reply to
see how we can say that he could be made liable for an inquiry as to the standing of a trader, to aid the
the representation, unless we take upon ourselves to applicant in determining as to the propriety of giving
disregard the plain language of the statute. In conse
quence of the different view entertained by the Chief credit, and the applicant acts upon it and suffers damages in such a case, he is entitled to maintain an
Justice who has just delivered his judgment, and the action, I should say, if the representation be fraudu
two learned judges in the court below, I have come to lent and false, apart from any contract or duty, and
the decision I have expressed with great hesitation: but whether it be fraudulent or not, if the party making the
after a very careful examination of the reasons advanced representation be under any contract to give the in
by them, I am unable to convince myself, that evidence formation, and is guilty of negligence in reference
of the representation on which the plaintiff is repre
sented to have acted is receivable, and am therefore to it. In the case of Swift v. Jewsbury, L. R. 9 Q. B. 301, the
of opinion, that the damages are not the natural and Court of Exchequer Chamber, whilst holding that the
proximate result of the breach of contract proved, and
that the verdict for these damages can not be sustained. bank was not liable to an action for a false representation, inasmuch as the letter containing it was signed
I think the appeal should be allowed with costs, and by an agent, held the agent himself liable, although he
the rule made absolute to reduce the verdict to one had no knowledge whatever of the plaintiff in that
shilling, with the option to the plaintiff of taking a
nonsuit. case, much less that he was intending to give credit to the debtor. The information there was sought by one bank from another, as a mere matter of courtesy, no JUDAH P. BENJAMIN, formerly Confederate Minister of intimation being given as to the reasons for the in War, but now an English Queen's Counsel, enjoying an quiry, but merely seeking in confidence the manager's extensive commercial practice, lately returned all his opinion of the respectability and standing of Sir W. briefs for the Guildhall sittings, accompanied by cheques Russell, and whether he considered him responsible for the fees he has received with them, because all his time for £50,000. It was then neither“ the interest nor would be wholly taken up by the causes at Westminster the design ” of the defendant that the plaintiff should Hall, and he did not think it right to retain payment give Sir W. Russell credit; but it must have been in his for business to which he could not attend.-Irish Las contemplation that it would, or might be communi- Times.
graduated students who could not, as a matter of life
and death, tell the difference between a common of BOOKS RECEIVED.- Markby's Elements of Law. Mac.
piscary and a free fishery, having only a vague notion millan & Co., New York; Supplement to same. Macmillan
of the running contents of a few later works, fortified & Co., New York. -Burrill on Assignments, Baker, Voorhis by a stern resolve to read Walker's American Law and & Co., New York. Wharton on Evidence, 2 vols., Kay & Ram on Facts at an early day. The foundation of JefferBro., Philadelphia.-Wisconsin Reports. Vol. 40. Callag.
son adheres to the somewhat antiquated rubrics that han & Co., Chicago.—Leading Cases on Mines, Minerals
demand a laborious acquaintance with the fundamentand Mining Water Rights. Sumner, Whitney & Co., San Francisco.-Sawyer's Reports. Vol. 3. A. L. Bancroft &
al principles which underlie the vast edifice of the Co., San Francisco.
It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that the INSTITUTES OF COMMON AND STATUTE LAW-BY JNO.
present work will be found useful to students only. It B. MINOR, L.L. D., Professor of Common Law in
is apprehended that Prof. Minor does not make the the University of Virginia. Richmond, 1876. Vol
common discrimination of books that are good for stuumes I and II.
dents and books that are good for lawyers. He evidentThe second volume has been printed during the
ly regards his students as being of that robust kind from present year. The first volume treats of the rights whom there is no need to preserve the approaches to which concern or relate to the person; the second, of
animal food, and who could hardly grow in intelrights which relate to things real. Volume III will
lectual stature and strength, if they should be restricted treat of the rights which relate to things personal, and
to a diet of milk alone. He rather supposes them to volume IV of the remedies for wrongs. The two re have undergone a literary training and discipline maining volumes are to be published, as the author which will make them ready to take hold of something tells us, at an early day. The general division of the hard and enduring, as the world goes. Hence the law, it will be seen, corresponds with that of Black present work is not one of well rounded generalities, stone, which, by long use, has become familiar and nat making the student exclaim that he had no idea that ural to the profession; but in the treatment of his the law was such a light and agreeable study. It might topics the author is by no means slavish.
rather be likened to a skillfully arranged armory in With rather unusual and commendable candor Prof. which the student will find most of the bright, strong Minor tells us in the preface to the present edition that weapons which he will habitually need in his coming "the appearance of a second edition of the first two warfare, the use and right knowing of which involves volumes of this work, after so brief an interval, might the work of a lifetime. The fact that the author deseem to indicate a degree of favor which the perform scends into the minor details of his subject, with a ance has not attained, nor indeed has had an opportu most pertinacious spirit of inquiry, will, we apprehend, nity to achieve; for though not denied to those who cause the present treatise to be as often referred to by sought it, no attempt has been made to invite purchas the bench and bar as any that has lately seen the light. ers, nor has it yet been offered to the general pub The chapters on “Title by Alienation,” cover four lic at all.” He adds: “A reprint, however, having hundred and fifteen pages of the second volume. If it been made requisite by circumstances which need not
requisite by circumstances which need not had been published as a separate treatise, it would be detailed, advantage has been taken of the occasion probably have commanded an extensive sale. There to revise the text, to make many corrections and some
is nothing anywhere extant on the subject that is half additions, and especially to put the whole in a more
so thorough; and it seems indeed to be everything that compact form, thereby lessening the bulk, and in a still
is needed. It is to be remembered that all of these greater ratio, the price." We greatly fear that there pages are pages of law, from which every useless word are many writers who, being less explicit, would have | has been expelled as if by some patent winnowing procabused the situation by permitting the reader to sup
ess; pages in which principles claiming to be scienpose that the first edition had been suddenly snapped tific are attempted to be presented with scientific preup by an eager and keenly appreciative public; also
cision. In other parts of the work the author is that there are not a few who would have laid greater
equally painstaking and conscientiously minute. stress on the additions than on the corrections.
This is the day of monographs. Science and learnThe work is that of the life of a man eminent for
ing are cut into sections and fragments, and distributed learning and labor in the walks of jurisprudence. How
to a hungry multitude according to the appetites and difficult it is to write a really good and accurate law digestion of different applicants. Tired of allopathic book may be inferred from the fact that in revising a
doses, the present generation is willing to take its work which the author has, in the course of profes mental fertilizers in homøopathic pellets, and so to be sional teaching, been in the daily habit of reviewing thankful to Heaven and Dr. Hahnemann. The old for many years, he finds many errors that need correc
abridgments are too ponderous for a race of men that tion. Whether these errors were of any magnitude, or never donned a coat of mail nor swung a forty-pound might properly be compared with the rather few and battle-axe. There must be a reason for the change of feeble, though sinful, sallies of wit that filled with re taste, if taste it be, that has caused men to prefer the morse the spirit of the retrospective and conscientious
separate and smaller treatises on special questions of Quaker of Charles Lamb-a spirit that aggravated and law. Certainly the smaller works are handier. And multiplied every past departure from rigid sobriety-is
yet there is room for books like the present; provided a thing of which we have not had an opportunity to in that they show an ability and learning equal to the inquire. There is something, however, in the wary and
creased magnitude of the tasks with which they deal. chastised style of the author that shows that he is quite
U. M. R. capable of applying the file to his own productions with the unsparing resolution that Horace commends, In San Francisco recently, a Chinaman, who was indicted however grating and harsh the sound produced by for murder, was instructed by his counsel to attempt to such a process may be. It is quite a relief to find, as a prove an alibi, as being the best line of evidence he could result of this course, a law book which is absolutely adopt under the circumstances. Accordingly, at the trial, a free from redundancy.
couple of Celestials appeared, and swore that at the time of
the murder he was at work in a wash-house; two more The training in the law department of the Universi
swore that he was at home in bed, and several others were ty of Virginia has always been marked by its thorough
prepared to prove that he was in several other places, when ness, while other law schools have not unfrequently | the lawyer interfered and stopped further testimony.