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But to return from this digression to My bump of admiration is not greatly the indictment against McLeod. It is developed, and I am especially defistated in the narrative of the proceed- cient in powers of architectural deings, published by the journals, that scription. But I have hardly seen a this indictment, which, common sense building in Europe which has more would say, should be a recapitulation powerfully affected me, or has given of the principal facts, contained seven me a stronger impression of the genius teen counts, as they are technically and skill of the men whose talents called, or in other words seventeen seem to have been so admirably adaptformal modes of telling the same story ed to the construction of religious ediof the guilt of the accused, not one offices, calculated to produce in the specwhich was true, or, at any rate, was tator that feeling of solemnity so much required to be true, and all of which in unison with their objects. This were almost useless for the great pur- church is now in a course of complete poses an act of accusation ought to reparation ; and with much good taste seek to attain. And this multiplica- all the restorations are to be made in tion of forms is intended to guard the style of the original work; so that, against that refining, metaphysical when finished, it will exhibit a perfect spirit, which prevails too much in our specimen of an order of which, though judicial tribunals, and which too often many remains exist, yet there are few sacrifices the great objects of justice to which are not dilapidated and disfigsubtle distinctions, more befitting the ured. The revenues of the city of school of the Stagyrite, in the days of Paris are enormous, amounting to al. its power over the human intellect, most twenty millions of dollars, levied, than grave magistrates, in the nine- against all just principles of civil econteenth age of the world, charged with omy, principally upon articles of the peace of society and the protection food, and thus operating oppressively of rights public and private. The upon the poorer classes of society. immunity of crimes, of which we see However, if the money is unwisely acso many examples, is more owing to quired, much of it is certainly wisely the play of words (for it is nothing bet- expended. The city authorities are ter) ihat disfigures our jurisprudence, vigorously pushing a system of imthan to any other circumstance what- provement which in a few years will
leave Paris without a rival. They The Palais de Justice of Paris is the have appropriated no less a sum than Westminster Hall of France. It is 7,800,000 francs to the reparation of the situated upon the “Ile de la Cité,” a Palais de Justice, and they have just small island in the Seine, where was completed, at an expenditure of more the Paris of the Romans, then called than four million francs, the Hôtel de Lutetia, which was first captured and Ville, which is situated in the same afterwards rebuilt by Julius Cæsar. In quarter, but on the right bank of the infant societies, one of the first objects river. is security-places of defence and re The Palais de Justice was the palace fuge, where the population may be safe of the ancient kings of France. It is against those sudden incursions an immense pile of buildings, erectwhich semi-barbarous tribes are ex ed at different periods, and exhibiting posed. Hence it happened that the every form of architecture, and its crensmall islands in the Seine were the nelled towers show, that the crowned first positions which were occupied, heads who inhabited it, trusted for and they now exhibit some of the oldest security, rather to its means of defence, and most interesting monuments which than to their personal consideration or have survived the revolutions of ages. their regal characters. After it was Their dark, narrow and winding streets, abandoned for a more comfortable and the style of their architecture, pro- residence, it was appropriated to the claim the antiquity of their origin. judicial tribunals, and its vast space is Upon this island is situated the Cathe- now filled by the pomp and circumdral of “ Notre Dame," one of the most stance of law. It contains an imsplendid and imposing structures of the mense hall, called the salle des pas middle ages, and the “Sainte Cha- perdus, and from this great promenade pelle," built in 1245, for the reception lateral doors open to the various courts, of the relics bought by St. Louis of which occupy apartments adjoining it. Baldwin, Emperor of Constantinople. The physiognomy of a French tri
bunal of justice has nothing very pecu- The president proceeds immediately to liar or imposing. In the miscellaneous call ihe causes, in the order in which groups which watch its proceedings, they are placed in a roll hung up in a and in many of its circumstances, it conspicuous part of the room. The sufficiently resembles the English relative situation of the judges, the bar, courts and our own. But the French the jury,and the spectators, is not unlike lawgivers have not discovered that that in our own courts. But there is a virtue in horse-hair, with which their peculiar officer, who occupies a distinneighbors across the Channel have be- guished station in French jurisprudence, decked the heads of their magistrates, and who, with his substitute or deputy, and which some of their accute travel has a prominent seat or badge assigned lers who visit our country regard, if in the courts, and is clad in a special not as judicial wisdom itself, as at any costume. This is the Procureur du Roi, rate its best security, and whose ab- the details of whose functions I do not sence they lament as a fatal augury fully understand. He is placed in a for the duration of our institutions. kind of intermediate position between Alas for the “ Times” and the “Quar- the magistracy and the bar, and exerterly Review!" The French judges cises a part of the authority of both. and bar wear a small cap, which is This office owed its origin to a humane uniformly black for the latter, but effort on the part of the lawgiver 10 which is of various colors for the form- counteract a most cruel and absurd reer, indicating the nature and rank of gulation, which seems to have generaltheir office. The lawyers wear also ly prevailed in the middle ages, that a plain black gown, thrown over their which interdicted the aid of counsel te ordinary dress, with a kind of white persons accused of certain capital hand hanging from the neck, resem crimes. The Procureur watches the bling what is called a Geneva band, interests of the government and of pubwhich gives them somewhat of a cler- lic morals in all cases, civil and crimiical appearance. It strikes me disa- nal, public and private, and has always greeably, and this impression is still the right to offer his suggestions to the further strengthened by the loose and court. He generally closes the disslovenly manner in which the dress is cussions, summing up the arguments
As you enter the Palais de which have been presented, with much Justice, you find many little stalls, impartiality, and concludes by giving where various articles are sold, and his opinion respecting the nature and here the Avocats de posit their costume; extent of the decision which is about and each day, before the opening of the to be pronounced. courts, you may see them resuming When a French lawyer rises to adand hastily throwing it on. Its sombre dress the court, he removes his little appearance is in singular contrast with cap, replaces it, and then commenthe vivacity of manner, and the rapid- ces his observations. Understanding ity and vehemence of conversation, French but imperfectly, I have hardly which make part of the national char- a right to hazard an opinion upon the acter. Some of the judges wear red character of their forensic eloquence. robes, and others robes of ermine. I But the impression it has made upon have not felt interest enough on this me is not very favorable. And in this subject to inquire on what distinctions remark, I mean to include not only their these differences are founded. I be- style and manner, but also the more lieve, however, that they indicate, not important department of mental exerquly various degrees in the judicial tion. The cause I do not stop to inveshierarchy, but that they bear some re- tigate, but I consider the fact as certain, lation to the nature of the duties to be that in the public discussions in France, performed, as the English judge puts there is not that profound investigation, on his cap of judgment when he is that analysis of the subject, that examiabout to pronounce sentence of death. nation of principles, which often pro
There is no formal proclamation at claims the power of the true orator, and the commencement of the session of a subdues his auditory in the United French Court. The Judges enter States and in England. The French through a side door from their private literati have given to the world many apartments, and the audience rise and profound works, and many even in that uncover while they take their seats. most difficult branch of knowledge, the
operation of the human mind. But in gy of our statutes, till they are made life they are certainly not much inclin- to mean anything rather than what ed to abstraction. Their views of sub- was intended by the law-maker. I jects are more striking and less meta- have been sometimes not a little diphysical than similar pursuits among verted at the remarks of the French the Anglo-Saxon family. Their law- journals, upon the trials in our courts, yers do not, as a shrewd judge in our and at the facility with which persons courts once remarked, begin at Adam, notoriously guilty escape the punishwhenever they begin their speeches. ment of their crimes, in consequence of Nor do they as often push principles to this play of words, for it is nothing betextremes. In observing the progress ter, which seems to have engrafted of affairs in their courts, it is evident itself upon our legal code. One of the that disputed points of law are much old English anecdotes illustrating the more rare than with us. That subtlety absurdity of this tendency, and confirmwhich is for ever seeking to disturb the ing the truth of the legal dogma, that plain meaning of words, and to push he who misses a letter misses his cause, every thing to its most possible and has just been resuscitated and is going most remote consequences, and which the round of the French papers. The is one of the greatest practical evils of incident has been transferred to our our systein of jurisprudence, seems country, the scene laid in Boston, unknown here. And yet their code and it is looked upon here as a happy is comparatively new, and although example of the judicial probity and wisfounded substantially upon their for- dom of Judge Lynch, who is generally mer system (itself a modification of the supposed, in continental Europe, to Roman law), still from the numerous preside in almost all the courts of the changes it necessarily underwent to Union. There is not a single journaladapt it to the altered circumstances of ist who has sufficient knowledge of the times and the country, and to give the Anglo-Saxon institutions, to be it that systematic form which consti- aware that this absurdity belongs to tutes such an essential part of its value, the code which is common to the whole the ancient superstructure was in fact human family, and that this miserable demolished, and the new one which perversion of the true ends of justice is has taken its place is as different as the as likely to happen in London as in Boscharacters of the periods in which they ton; and in fact happens every day, were respectively erected. In such a wherever the common law prevails, and state of things, the discussers of the where the practical good sense of modEnglish common law would run wild ern times has not provided a remedy in metaphysical investigations. Every for that judicial logomachy, which was step of onward progress would be met a professional disease in those ages that by doubts, difficulties and discussions. gave birth to our legal system. It seems to me the war of words would Still, though our bar too often indulge be interminable. Every ardent young in these speculations, it certainly brings man, in his legal noviciate, would find to the investigation of its topics more on every occasion some fearful conse- power of analysis and a greater depth of quence, to result now or ten thousand reasoning than I have found here. With years hence, which nothing could avertus, principles, though pushed too far, but the adoption of his own views; and are examined with great power, and all this he would press with a vehe- illustrated with much learning. The mence of manner and a rotundity of French lawyers frequently make brildiction, out of any just proportion to the liant displays; they are happy in occacircumstances of his position. But the sional allusions to topics of exciting inFrench tribunals have marched steadily terest; they often aim at wit, and they on, giving to words their natural import, are almost always loud in their adand without meeting any of those fre- dress and vehement in their gesticuquent evils which elsewhere might lation. It would be a very false standhave excited such dismay. Talley- ard, if we were to measure the importrand's witty definition of speech, that it ance of the cause either in its princiwas given to conceal thoughts, is not ples or its amount by the earnestness more applicable to the school of diplo- which its advocate brings to the dismacy, than to that school of legal con- cussion. One can sometimes hardly struction which tortures the phraseolo- preserve his gravity, when amidst the
thunder of declamation and the most dy will not be hastened nor strengthened violent muscular exertion, he discerns by assassination. It is an odious, rethat the question in dispute is of the volting crime, for which there can be value of a few francs, or possibly of a no justification and ought to be no adfew sous.
vocates. At this moment there is a trial pend I will quote from the proceedings in ing before the Chamber of Peers, where the Chamber of Peers a few of the are arraigned the persons accused of questions and answers; or rather, I the late attempt to assassinate one or might say, a part of the dialogue bemore of the princes of the royal fami- tween the President of the Chamberly, while entering the city at the head as the first judge of a court is always of the 17th regiment, returning from called here, and who in this case is the Africa. This Chamber, under the ex. Chancellor of France—and the accused, isting organization of the government, placed at the bar. Ishall limit my exin addition to its authority as a compo- tracts to some of the more piquant nent part of the legislative power, has scenes, best calculated to give a correct jurisdiction as a criminal court over all notion of the physiognomy of an exhioffences affecting the safety of the state, bition so little in conformity with the and which are brought before it by roy- grave character of our judicial investial ordinance. Attempts against the life gations. These displays are sometimes of any of the reigning family are includ- eminently theatrical; and when an ed in this category; and however ne event of this kind is anticipated, the cessary the exercise of this jurisdiction tribunes are filled to overflowing by the may be, of which I do not profess to amateurs of this species of judicial judge, it is attended with one promi- oralism, not pugilism, and the journals nent evil. The very dignity of the ju- are replete with the reports, which are dicature and the éclat of the circum- eagerly perused and admired. stances with which the proceedings are The Chamber of Peers holds its sessurrounded, nourish that passion for sions at the Luxembourg, one of the exhibition, which, whether for good or splendid palaces which have been erectfor evil, has so often and so sadly visit- ed from the contributions of the taxed this land of strong impressions. payers, and whose extent and decoraThe trial becomes a kind of spectacle, tions render but the more palpable the and the conspirator or the martyr, for profusions of luxury and the miseries of he is too often one or the other, as po- poverty. It was the scene of some of the litical opinions divide the community, most striking events during the Revosees himself placed upon an elevation lution, and among others it was the rewhere the eyes of the whole countrysidence of the Directory, or as they are are directed upon him. The disciples sometimes called, the Five Kings. On of the school of exaltation (by this approaching this stately edifice, when word I mean to express their feelings the high court of criminal jurisdiction only, without reference to their cause) is in session, the first observation which find in this circumstance a compensa- occurs to an American is the display tion for the hazard they encounter, or of military force by which it is invesirather one powerful motive for the ed. Round the exterior wall, in the commission of the crime, in the pomp extensive court, and in the basement and imposing formality of its trial and story, officers of police, gensd'armes, punishment. This is a state of feeling municipal guards, national guards, which is, happily, without the range troops of the line, are everywhere of our observation in the United States. upon duty. You would almost supThis sublimation of the imagination, pose you were entering a beleaguered which pushes its unhappy votaries to city. No one is admitted without a the most frightful excesses, that they ticket previously obtained from the may make their little hour of display, proper authority; and this you present even if it be upon the judgment seat from door to door, till by successive inand the scaffold, forms no part of the dications you reach the box to which Anglo-Saxon mental organization. No you are destined. The hall now ocdoubt there are political evils enough cupied by the Peers is a plain, unassumto remedy here and elsewhere in Eu- ing apartment, which is temporarily rope, and the remedy, I think, is coming devoted to this object, while their prorapidly and certainly. But that reme per room is in a course of reparation VOL. IX.-NO. XLIX.
and embellishment. The President is Workmen ?-(“ Travailleurs Egali-
Bagni.-How could I know it, since of the Peers, than with any other cir. I never had anything to do with those cumstance. Almost all of them have societies? passed the middle term of life, and not a few of them are approaching its ex The President to Launois.-You tremity. This is the necessary conse wrote also in the same letter, “don't quence of the constitutional provisions forget to tell all those persons to keep which regulate the duty of the execu- the secret, for if they don't, I shall be tive government in the selection of ruined.” 'Of course this secret might these functionaries. No person can be have had grave consequences to you ? called to the Chamber of Peers, except
Launois.--My object was that these those who have filled important em
persons should not compromit me in ployments, or who have otherwise
consequence of my having been seen at given proofs of capacity and know- Madame Douilroux. ledge. The charter enumerates the
President.—You terminate thus : various classes of public men from
“Many compliments to all my acwhom these selections must be made, quaintances. There are rascals who such as marshals, generals, admirals, have sold us.” ministers, préfets, mayors, judges, mem
Launois.-I did not know what I bers of the Institute, members of the
wrote. Very certainly, if I have comdepartmental councils
, and others; and prehended the bearing of my words, I prescribes the number of years they should not have written in that manmust have filled these employments ner, for Quenisset could not accuse me, before they are eligible to the upper since he declared in my presence that Chamber.' The appointments are for he did not see me during the 13th. life, and without compensation.
President.You will remark the But I proceed to make the extracts bearing of the word sold. from the examination of the parties.
Launois.—I did not comprehend it at In doing so I shall not observe any con- the moment I wrote the letter. tinuity, because I seek only general re President.-You did not say, they sults, and that within a short space: have accused you, but sold you ; that
is, they have revealed things that President.-Fougeray has declared
ought to have been kept secret. that the packet of cartridges found at Launois.-He could not sell me, it his house, had been delivered to him
was impossible ; but he might have
compromitted me. Bouger.--He lied, if he said that.
President.-You avow you wrote
that letter? President.-Did you know Darmes ? Consideré.-Yes, you knew him too; what a moment !
Launois.— Yes, I wrote it, but at you have seen him as well as me. President. You persist in these de- word for word.
I quote the interrogatory of Prioul, clarations ?
The Chancellor.-Did you not make
prison of St. Pélagie ? Fougeray.-You consider
Answer.-) saw him at St. Pélagie. wretch, because I tell the truth; you who put you in relation with him?
Question.- Was it not Matthieu are a liar !
Answer.-Nobody put me in relation President.—You are one of the prin- with him. cipal members of the Society of Equal Q.-Were you not one of those who