Imágenes de páginas

markable a degree, among their fellow citizens, were to be hazarded. After deliberation and consultation with each other and their friends, both of these patriots yielded all personal considerations to the higher obligations of humanity and official duty. They braved the fury of the moment, and interposed their learning, talents, and well-earned influence, to that torrent of passions, which, for a time, threatened to bear down the landmarks of justice."

But these were not all the difficulties that the advocates had to encounter. The father of Quincy, as soon as he heard the rumor that he had engaged to act as counsel for the prisoners, addressed a letter to him, which contains the following sentences :— "My dear son, I am under great affliction at hearing the bitterest reproaches uttered against you, for having become an advocate for those criminals, who are charged with the murder of their fellow-citizens. Good God! Is it possible ? I will not believe it. . . . I must own to you, it has filled the bosom of your aged and infirm parent with anxiety and distress, lest it should not only prove true, but destructive of your reputation and interests; and I repeat, I will not believe it, unless it be confirmed by your own mouth, or under your own hand. Your anxious and distressed parent.” What could be more painful to an honorable mind than to be suspected of betraying his principles for hire. How acted the young advocate -- the popular leader — the rising statesman ? There is nothing in the annals of the bar, or in the records of human courage, loftier in sentiment, or more correct in principle, than his reply. If Josiah Quincy had left us nothing but this letter, he would have discharged the duty which every man owes to his profession. And when it is read, and his heroic, high-principled sense of duty is contrasted with the conduct of the New York bar, we have only to say, in the language and with the emotions of Hamlet : “Look on that

picture and on this— the counterfeit presentiment of two brothers."

To Josiah Quincy, Esq., Braintree.

“ Boston, March 26, 1770. “ Honored Sir - I have little leisure, and less inclination, either to know, or to take notice of, those ignorant slanderers, who have dared to utter their bitter reproaches' in your hearing against me, for having become an advocate for criminals charged with murder. But the sting of reproach, when envenomed only by envy and falsehood, will never prove mortal. Before pouring their reproaches into the ear of the aged and infirm, if they had been friends, they would have surely spared a little reflection on the nature of an attorney's oath and duty, some trifling scrutiny into the business and discharge of his office, and some small por. tion of patience in viewing my past and future conduct.

“Let such be told, si r,that these criminals,charged with murder, are not yet legally proved guilty, and, therefore, however criminal, are entitled, by the laws of God and man, to all legal counsel and aid ; that my duty as a man obliged me to undertake; that my duty as a lawyer strengthened the obligation ; that from abundant caution, I at first declined being engaged ; that after the best advice and most mature deliberation had determined my judgment, I waited on captain Preston, and told him that I would afford him my assistance ; but, prior to this, in presence of two of his friends, I made the most explicit declaration to him, of my real opinion on the contests (as I expressed it to him) of the times, and that my heart and hand were indissolubly attached to the cause of my country; and, finally, that I refused all engagement, until advised and urged to undertake it, by an Adams, a Hancock, a Molineux, a Cushing, a Henshaw, a Pemberton, a Warren, a Cooper, and a Phillips. This and much more might be told with great truth, and I dare affirm that you, and this whole people, will one day REJOICE, that I became an advocate for the aforesaid criminals,' charged with the murder of our fellow citizens.

“I never harbored the expectation, nor any great desire, that all men should speak well of me. To inquire my duty, and to do

it, is my aim. Being mortal, I am subject to error ; and conscious of this, I wish to be diffident. Being a rational creature, I judge for myself, according to the light afforded me. When a plan of conduct is formed with an honest deliberation, neither murmuring, slander, nor reproaches move. For my single self, I consider, judge, and with reason hope to be immutable.

- There are honest men in all sects I wish their approbation ; there are wicked bigots in all parties — I abhor them. “ I am, truly and affectionately, your son,

“ Josiah Quincy, Jun."


It is a sublime spectacle to see the soldier, in front of a trembling, panic-stricken army, breasting the shock of battle, and by his single arm and heroic spirit rekindling their drooping courage, and turning the tide of battle. It is not less sublime to see the advocate, in the midst of a raging populace thirsting for a victim, calmly, fearlessly, opposing himself alone to the mighty mass, sometimes at the peril of his life, always at the peril of his darling reputation; and, at last, changing the whole current of popular feeling by his single voice, and thus rescuing some from death, and all from crime.

We beg leave, in conclusion, earnestly to commend this volume to the favorable regard of the profession. It is but the commencement of a work, which is destined, we believe, to take a high place in public esteem; and the smile of encouragement will cheer the talented and industrious author in the laborious and interesting enterprise upon which he has embarked.

H. G. 0. C.




Selections from 11 Adolphus & Ellis, part 2; 6 Bingham's New Cases, part

3; 1 Manning & Granger, part 4; Scott, part 3; 1 Scott's N. R. part 4; 2 Same, part 1; 7 Meeson & Welsby, part 2; 9 Carr. & Payne, part 4.

ARBITRATION. (Conclusiveness of arbitrator's decision.) In

trespass, the defendant pleaded not guilty, and a justification. The cause was referred by order of nisi prius, and the arbitrator awarded, that “as the defendant had not proved his plea, the verdict for the plaintiff ought to stand : " and then stated several reasons for his opinion, which were not satisfactory: held, that the adjudication was sufficient, and that the sufficiency of the reasons assigned by the arbitrator could not be taken into con

sideration. Archer v. Owen, 9 D. P. C. 341. BILLS AND NOTES. (Excuse for want of notice of dishonor.) A declaration on a banker's check, which had been refused payment, by way of excuse for the want of notice to the drawers, alleged that the drawees had not, at the time the check was drawn, and from thence to the time of its presentment, any effects of the drawer in their hands, nor had the drawer sustained any damage by reason of his not having had notice of the nonpayment. Held good on general demurrer. (1 T. R. 405 ; 2 T. R. 317; 3 Campb. 334 ; 7 East, 359.) Kemble v. Mills,

2 Scott's N. R. 121 ; 9 D. P. C. 446. COMPUTATION OF TIME. Under the 3 Geo. IV. c. 39, s. 1,

which requires that every warrant of attorney to confess judg.

ment shall be filed within twenty-one days after its execution, a warrant executed on the 9th day of the month may be filed on the 30th. (5 T. R. 383.) Williams v. Burgess, 9 D. P. C.

14. DEVISE. (Description of lands devised.) A testatrix, who had

a mansion and lands, situate in three adjoining parishes, K., B., and P., and a meadow in B., devised all her messuage and lands, “ situate at K. aforesaid : " held, that the land in B. and P. did not pass under these words, nor under a bequest of "all the residue of her estate and effects whatsoever and where.

soever.Pogson v. Thomas, 6 Bing, N. C. 337. 2. (Estate tail, what passes.) A testator, by his will, devised as

follows: "I give my house, gardens, &c. at G. to Mrs. S. S. and all her heirs, if she has any child ; if not, then after the decease of herself and her husband Mr. R. S., I give it to F. M. and her heirs.” S. S. had a child who was living at the date of the will, but who died four days after the date of it, in the lifetime of the testator: held, that S. S. took an estate tail; and that upon her death without heirs of her body, the property

passed to F. M. Doe d. Jearrad v. Bannister, 7 M. & W. 292. EVIDENCE. (Admissibility of parol evidence to control deed.)

Where land in the possession of a tenant for years is conveyed by deed, the right of the purchaser, as assignee of the reversion, to receive the whole rent for the current quarter, cannot be controlled by a contemporaneous parol agreement to apportion the quarter's rent between the assignor and assignee. Flinn v.

Calow, 1 M. & G. 589. 2. (Production of written contract.) Where a plaintiff closes his

case without its appearing that there is a contract in writing relating to the subject matter of the action, the defendant, if he means to rely upon it, must produce it in a shape to be admissible in evidence, even though the plaintiff had notice to produce it. (8 Taunt. 327.) Magnay v. Knight, 2 Scott's N. R.

64. INSURANCE. (Insurable interest Bounty.) A French law

provides that “the vessel which shall have fished, either in the

« AnteriorContinuar »