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members the old maxim: “He who in the cure of politic or of natural disorders shall rest himself contented with second causes, without setting forth in diligent travel to search for the original source of evil, doth resemble the slothful husbandman, who moweth down the heads of noisome weeds, when he should carefully pull up the roots; and the work shall ever be to do again."
10. If the principle is right, he endeavors to modify it, according to times and circumstances. — If the principle of the laws against usury is well founded, he varies the rate of interest; or in witchcraft he mitigates the severity of the punishment.
In these cases he remembers the admonition of sir Matthew Hale; “We must do herein, as a wise builder doth with a house that hath some inconveniences, or is under some decays. Possibly here or there a door or a window may be altered, or a partition made; but, as long as the foundations or principles of the house be sound, they must not be tampered with. The inconveniences in the law are of such a nature, as may be easily remedied without unsettling the frame itself; and such amendments, though they seem small and inconsiderable, will render the whole fabric much more safe and useful."
11. If there is any temporary cause to lower the character of the profession, he exposes it. — If there is any permanent cause he endeavors to counteract it. As the advancement of learning has a tendency to divert from action and business to leisure and privateness, the pleasures of intellect being preferable to the pleasures of wealth and ambition, he endeavors to inculcate the true doctrine, that men, instead of deserting their colors, onght to unite contemplation and action, “a conjunction like unto that of the two highest planets — Saturn, the planet of rest and contemplation, and Jupiter, the planet of civil society and action ; but he does not forget that Jupiter dethroned Saturn.
12. If he is advanced to any office of authority, he uses his power to improve the law. - Sir Francis Bacon was no sooner appointed attorney-general than he dedicated to the king his proposals for compiling and amending the laws of England. "Your majesty,” he says, “of your favor, having made me privy-councillor, and continuing me in the place of your attorney-general, I take it to be my duty, not only to speed your commandments and the business of my place, but to meditate and excogitate of myself, wherein I may best, by my travails, derive your virtues to the good of your people, and return their thanks and increase of love to you again ; and after I had thought of many things, I could find, in my judgment, none more proper for your majesty as a master, nor for me as a workman, than the reducing and recompiling of the laws of England :” and having traced the exertions of different legislators from Moses to Augustus, he says, “Cæsar, si ab eo quæreretur, quid egisset in togâ; leges se respondisset multas et præclaras tulisse ;” and his nephew Augustus did tread the same steps, but with deeper print, because of his long reign in peace; whereof one of the poets of his time saith,
“ Pace data terris, animum ad civilia vertit
Jura suum; legesque tulit justissimus auctor."
So too, sir Samuel Romilly was no sooner promoted to the office of solicitor-general than he submitted to parliament his proposals for the improvement of the bankrupt law and the criminal law. "Long," he says, "has Europe been a scene of carnage and desolation : a brighter prospect has now opened before us,
" Peace hath her victories, Not less renown'd than war."
13. He now retires, but not unmindful of the precept," Let no man be hasty to eat of the fruits of Paradise before his
time.” He retires, after a life of labor and industry, to enjoy his well-earned leisure,
“ To taste of deep philosophy,
Wit, eloquence, and poesy;
to the innocent pleasures of social mirth, to the nobler warmth of social virtue, to the advancement of merit, the promotion of justice, and the constant exercise of faith, hope, and charity.
ART. VI.- THE MADISON PAPERS.
The Papers of James Madison, purchased by order of Con
gress; being his Correspondence and Reports of Debates during the Congress of the Confederation and his Reports of Debates in the Federal Convention ; now published from the original manuscripts, deposited in the Department of State, by direction of the Joint Library Committee of Congress, under the superintendence of Henry D. Gilpin. In three volumes. Washington: Langtree & O'Sullivan, 1840.
These papers were probably designed by Mr. Madison to be his contribution towards the civil history of the United States. The constitution of the United States is in the history of politics, a miracle. Nothing of the kind had ever been produced, which, in view of its importance, or its success, could be placed in comparison with it. Mr. Madison seems all along to have had a prophetic insight into the relative importance of this portion of our revolutionary history, and to have foreseen that the time would come, when the military events which led the way to American independence would find their proper level, and curiosity VOL. XXVI.
would be directed to the more valuable and interesting portions of history. Cicero's “cedant arma toge,” though poor poetry, is nevertheless good sense and good philosophy; and now that military enthusiasm, and the blind admiration of military prowess and achievement, have been somewhat tempered and chastened by the spirit of christian civilization, a more earnest attention is given to those less prominent facts, which really determine and characterize the progress of humanity.
The declaration of independence has been chosen by Mr. Madison as the starting point. The original draft of the declaration of independence, with the alterations made by congress, and the debates in congress, together with the debates on two of the articles of confederation, were furnished by Mr. Jefferson, and are placed at the beginning of the first volume; the renainder of which, together with a portion of the second volume, is occupied by sketches of the debates in congress, between the time of the declaration of independence and the meeting of the convention for the formation of the constitution, and by extracts from the correspondence of Mr. Madison during the same period, and illustrative of the debates. The second and third volumes contain the journal of the convention, preceded by an introductory sketch of the state of affairs which led to its formation, and a history of the circumstances attending its meeting. - There is certainly no event connected with American history of more importance than the formation of the present constitution of the United States, and these contributions of Mr. Madison towards its history have been waited for with intense curiosity. It is probable, that, in this case, as in most other similar cases, expectation will not be fully realized, for it has been to some extent not founded in reason. The constitution of the United States did not grow up during the session of the convention, nor yet during the period which elapsed between the declaration of independence and the convention. It was not an artificial structure invented by the genius of the patriot statesmen of the convention; it was not a government machine scientifically put together by the rules of art, and constructed as one might construct a steam engine; it was and is the representation of the political and moral condition of the people of the United States, at the time of its adoption ; and herein is to be found the secret of its strength and of its endurance. Many were the systems and various were the plans of government presented by the brilliant and inventive genius of some of the members of the convention. On paper they appear perfect, and perhaps justify, when compared with the form of government actually adopted, the depreciating remarks which have sometimes been made concerning it. But the practical tact and sagacity of the framers of the constitution were not for a moment confused by these appearances of beauty and system, nor ever led astray by the false lights of theoretical perfection. With unerring insight, they saw at a glance how much of each plan would do for the people of America, and without struggling in vain for a form of government which should look symmetrical and perfect on paper, they were satisfied to adopt a practicable one. The constitution as it now stands is often said to be the result of a compromise of opposing views, theories, and interests; and doubtless in some of its mechanism it is so. But in all its most vital parts, it was rather the result of the highest practical wisdom selecting from all the results of experience and invention, that which was under the circumstances possible, and leaving all that was merely beautiful in speculation, or perfect in theory, to go its way to the limbo of vanity. The constitution of England has grown up with the English nation. Unlike those European governments, which, springing out of the ruins of the Roman empire, were fast moored to the despotic ideas of the Roman law, the English con