Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

justice, and especially of mercy. with the keen relish of the amateur, When he touched on the mercies of joined to the patient and critical reGod, his soul fastened on the theme, search of the philosopher, and the reand amplified and exulted in the sult was such as might well be expectgoodness and loving kindness of ed from unwearied diligence, guided

by uncominon intellect. Probably no God, whose tender mercies are

lawyer of the age in either hemisphere, over all his works. His love to his surpassed him in legal attainments; family, his love to his neighbours, and especially in a profound and accuand particular friends, his love to rate knowledge of the entire system of his town and village, was peculiar. the English common law. Hence He, as eminently as John, might be those sound and discriminating views called the loving disciple. I am

of that system which imparted such an aware that with many, intellect is sions at the bar, and finally to his de

interest to his lectures, to his discusidolized and the affections depre- cisions on the bench. And hence the ciated ; but in a world where intel- powerful influence he was enabled to lect is common, and unfeeling sel- exert, along with other distinguished fishness is common, a heart fille men, in refining our jurisprudence, by ed, naturally and by grace, with the embodying the best principles and fulness of love, is like the sun dis- maxinis of the English system, and repelling the darkness and dissolving jecting such as were inapplicable to

our local circumstances, or ill-adapted the ice of frozen regions, and call

to the texture of our government. Maing into being by its rays, vegitation, ny illustrations of these remarks will and life, and joy.

be found in his Treatise on the Domes

tic Relations, a book of authority in all NOTES.

the respectable courts of the Union,

and which is alone sufficient to place A.

its author in the very first rank of His appearance at the bar in this American jurists. Other labours of county formed an era in the profession. his pen, which it is hoped may be The burdensome forms and useless fic. shortly given to the public, will serve tions of the English practice had been equally to show the extent and value wisely discarded by our ancestors; but of his researches. not satisfied with these retrenchments, the most influential members of the

B. bar seemed strongly inclined to dis- Failure of his voice. This singular pense with forms of every kind, inso- affection seemed to produce no ill efmuch that even the ordinary rules of fect upon his general health, nor any pleasing, quaintly, but justiy styled sensible abatement of his animal spir" the heart-strings of the law," were

its. He spoke in whispers, but as almost wholly disregarded. Mr. R. his articulation was remarkably dissaw and lamented this state of things, tinct he could be heard with little. and exerted himself to correct it. At difficulty a considerable distance. length, partly by remonstrance with It was a truly interesting spectacle to his elder brethren, and partly by con- see the jurors pressing around the straint, (for he brought and sustained judge, when delivering his charge, eano less than six writs of error at a sin- ger to catch every whisper that fell gle term of the Superior Court, ground from his lips. ed solely on informalities in practice,) he succeeded in accomplishing, a re

C. form alike creditable to him, and salu- The manners of Judge Reeve were tary in its effect upon the administra- equally removed from “repulsive

haughtiness and unbecoming familiarThese were early but sure indica- ity;" and were strongly marked by a tions of his future eminence. The guileless simplicity, combined with study of the law, generally considered real dignity of demeanor. Although ajoyless pursuit, was for him a delight- perfectly accessible to all, he was far ful employment. He engaged in it from being indiscriminate in his atten

tion of justice.

1

tions. It is probable that no unprin- who recollect the famous case which cipled man, either in religion or poli- involved the right of a married woman tics, ever came into his presence with- to dispose of her estate by will. Mr. out feeling more or less reproved by R., then at the bar, contended that his manner.

this right existed at common law; and

after encountering the first talents of D.

the profession in a long course of litiMr. Reeve received his appointment gation, he succeeded in establishing of Judge of the Superior Court in 1798, the doctrine before the highest court and was annually chosen by the legis- of judicature. The same court, it is lature until he completed the seven- true, several years afterwards, when tieth year of his age, the legal limita- composed of different members, contion to the tenure of that office. An travened the principle; but the public illustrious proof of the discernment, as

mind had become so thoroughly conwell as the stability which char- vinced of its justice, that the legislature acterized the ancient government of at length took up the subject, and the Connecticut. Under the organization right of married women “ to dispose of which then existed, Judge Reeve pre- their estate, both real and personal, by sided many years at the circuit, and will, in the same manner as other perclosed his judicial career in the office sons," may now be considered a fundaof chief justice. Of the manner in mental law of the State. which these high duties were performed, it is unnecessary particularly to

F. speak. The impression which his

Aaron B. Reeve, Esq. who had repre-eminent talents and incorruptible cently commenced the practice of law integrity have left upon the mind of with flattering prospects at Troy, in every man, forms his best eulogy. the state of New-York. The death When he retired from the bench the of this only child served to exhibit in gentlemen of the bar were desirous of

an eminent degree, the holy resignapublicly testifying their warm appro- tion of the father. He was led to exbation of the whole course of his offi- pect a fatal termination to the disorcial conduct ; but the chief justice ac- der when first informed of it; but on cidentally hearing of their intention, reaching the sick bed of his son, more expressed informally to some of the favourable symptoms appeared, and leading members, his earnest wish that every thing of the kind might be which he died, the physicians pronoun

even in the morning of the day on dispensed with. Accordingly, from ced him out of danger. Bathed in tears, regard to the delicacy of his feelings; the Judge said to his wife," let us en. the design was relinquished. Of all deavour to spend our lives in gratitude the delightful traits of character in to God for this expression of his mer. this excellent man, his humility was

cy.” In the short space of two hours perhaps the most distinguished.

the scene was reversed, and the phy.

sician informed him his son could not E.

live. Instantly accommodating himself The Judge entertained a high re- to this unlooked-for change, he replied, fpect for the female character; and, with perfect composure, “the Lord gave, in justice to that best portion of the the Lord hath taken away; blessed be community, it may be said that every the name ofthe Lord!" Having returned respectable woman in the state re- to Litchfield after the interment of his garded him as her personal friend. son, he lost no time in reparing to the At an early period of his life he was a eastern circuit, where the court, of strenuous advocate for a more enlar. which he was the presiding judge, then ged system of female education; and held its session. His brethren of the the elevated standard of instruction court, deeply affected with sympathy for which is now so happily and exten- his misfortune, and knowing his tender sively adopted must be attributed in sensibility, forbore at first to touch the no small degree to his influence. melancholy subject; but he soon set That he was an able and successful them at ease by a minute relation of champion of the civil privileges of the all the mounrful circumstances of the sex, will be readily admitted by those event, acknowledging with humble

gratitude the divine support he had ex- of the revival which had appeared a perienced, and entered without delay, few years before at Litchfield, and of and with his accustomed calmness, up- its blessed effects upon individuals, and on the duties of his office. The late the society. The entire letter would governor Griswold who was then as- be read with great interest, but it is sociated with him upon the bench, ob- too long to be here inserted. served to a friend, that he had never before witnessed such a triumph of

G. religious faith over the sorest of hu- In all instances where the subjects man sufferings. Young Mr. Reeve

Young Mr. Reeve of prayer were near him, he attemptdied, Sept. 1st. 1809, in the 29th year ed their salvation by personal advice of his age-He was married and left a and kind exhortation, protracted some son. The Judge married his second times through weeks, and months; and wife in 1799, who survives him. In a if they were living at a distance, the letter addressed in 1813 to a compan- same exertions were made by letter, and ion of his youth, at Princeton, he no- it was in this manner generally, if not tices the principal incidents of his life, always, that he obtained an answer to and the happiness which attended the his prayers. evening of his days; and speaks at large

MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS,

ON THE MORALITY AND PUBLIC

TENDENCY OF LOTTERIES.

To the Editor of the Christian Spectator. light on this subject with a lumin

ous course of thought which should set the question forever at rest.

For though, with some exceptions, I HAVE several times, of late, the supporters of every practice thought of suggesting to you the which is injurious in its effects or propriety of instituting an inquiry defective in its moral principles, in your publication, into the moral- may be looked upon as men who ity and public tendency of Lotte- cannot be dissuaded by arguments ries. You must have observed, addressed to their reason or conalmost daily, how large a part of science, yet from such arguments, private thought and feeling they clearly and directly presented, puboccupy among the various schemers lic opinion may derive a direction for amassing sudden wealth. You which shall force the evil to a hihave seen how golden plans and ding place or to live in ignominy. allurements to adventure are con- I cannot avoid calling your atstantly obtruded on the public at tention to some of the consideratention; and the crowds cannot tions which seem, by their imporhave escaped you on the walks of tance, entitled to a place in such our large cities who stand longing an inquiry. And, as a man who before the doors from which for- wishes well to your country, I tune is supposed to dispense her would ask you to observe whether favours. And if you should think lotteries have not, wherever they that an institution which is thus have existed, withdrawn from uselargely throwing its incentives be- ful employment a vast amount of fore the multitude must strongly capital and labour : whether, from influence their present happiness their very constitution, they must and immortal destiny, you would not always tend to stagnate a comjoin me in wishing that some writer muxity's active business? To set who is capable of that task might what I mean in a definite light,

there are first the monies which are chase has withdrawn from profitaexpended by the purchaser of tick- ble exercise ? Shall it be considets. Let us follow the price to its ered as of no amount; or shall we ultimate destination. A poor man count as nothing the time and has brought the piece of silver for thought which the adventurer has his chance, and taken away his laid out in contriving his schemes ticket : where now is he to look and imagining their accomplishfor the advantage of his purchase ? ment? The value of his time we To say that he may find it in his will not attempt to compute in shil. chance of a prize is folly ; for every lings. man knows that his chance is not Now it is a principle of national worth his money. Who would give a prosperity, that the labour of every dollar for one chance only in ten citizen shall be, in some way or anthousand of gaining a hundred? The other, productive; that it either most favourable expectation which create the materials for human can be formed is, that the pur- subsistence and enjoyment, or aid chaser, in the long run, shall lose others in their labour for that end ; the established per centage upon or that it give a new impulse to the the first cost of his ticket, together general intelligence or virtue. As with such additions as the lottery- the world goes, our substantial and dealer may have been able to put respectable employments have all upon it; both deductions amount- of ihem this quality of contributing ing in fact to a third and some to the general improvement. Some times half the fair value. So much, derive from the soil the materials then, is lost. It will not do to re- for our support ; some prepare ply that this, though loss to the them for our wants, or mould them individual, is not loss to the public, to our conveniences; and some because it has only changed its distribute through the world the possessor and is now circulating in productions of each climate. The the general current of business. laws and facilities of trade and exPublic prosperity springs from pri- change are the province of one vate advantage : if all men spend man; the laws and affairs of the their property wisely, there is pub- country employ another. The great lic abundance ; if all spend un- cause of public refinement—the improfitably there is public debt; and provement of the human mind, ad. each individual expenditure claims vances, in the mean time, by the its share of the evil or the good. efforts of those whom it calls into The fact is, that particular coin, service. When a lottery is estab. having been made and issued from lished it has too its own servants its mould for the people's advan- and promoters. There are heads tage, had arrived at the spot where that contrive the plan and sit in its benefits were to be dispensed. debate on the principles of the It was to have been laid out where scheme. There are papers to set it would have supplied needful forth the advantages to the public. benefits, or increased its owner's There are offices and clerks and power of usefulness or enjoyment. counters made ready. The whole But it has been expended in a quar- apparatus for selling and drawing ter from which no benefits like is set up, and the minds of adventhese can flow, and on the contrary, turers put in motion. “Good now where a portion of its value has —sit down, and tell us, he that been sunk; and the loss is both knows," from what great stores of private and public.

public advantage this daily mart of But what account shall be made golden ideas is maintained. Can of the labour which a useless pur- you find any thing else than activi

ty and thought withdrawn from subvert the very objects which they their proper sphere to serve in seemed to be building up; or on profitless adventures. That we such a wasteful plan as should cut may judge of what is wasted, tell off the sources of future supply. us what the same power of means Now it must appear undoubted that would do, employed in schemes of lotteries do diminish the product of Aational or individual benefit ; call- industry; and it is a strange system ed forth for the supply of Grecian of policy, in any government, howliberty abroad, or employed for the ever it may have been acted on, to improvement of the yet unbroken establish an influx into the treassoil at home.

ury, which will tend to dry up the It would be curious to follow the fountains of all revenue by the deoperations of industry from its sup struction of those means of solid porter, the ground, up through the wealth and rational industry from departments of agriculture and the which alone a revenue can be dearts of life; to trace its course across rived. In the same manner, with the ocean, going or returning with regard to institutions of learning or the spoils of human effort ; and see of taste, how is it that they are valuin what corner of the great system ble? Is it not solely by diffusing of operations you may find the ac- intelligence and elevation of chartion of a lottery. I will venture to acter? If this be so, we can never assert that there is none. The tree call that increase of their pecuniary of industry from the root to the means a blessing, which is gained branches has not one shoot or blos- by public degradation. som which can bear its name.

We have a practical proof of the But an abettor of lotteries would kind of value which funds for particdoubtless attempt to defend his ular objects and revenues for governfavourite schemes from the charge ments derived from lotteries posof being useless, by turning our at- sess, in the experience of England. tention to the very names which There they have been tried for 250 they bear, and which point them years, and on a great scale. Scarcely out as devoted to some worthy en- were they established before their terprise. Thus, we have literature evils became so apparent that it lotteries, to give our sister states was deemed necessary to suppress the funds for public schooling, and them by act of Parliament. From Groton-monument lotteries, to up- that time their history shows them hold the memory of the brave. to have been alternately prohibited The revenues of states and the and revived, till some time before treasuries of colleges have had the year 1700, when they became their acquisitions from the same a standing means of revenue to the supply.

government. But the evils which So far as lotteries may be consid- sprang from them in one unconered as truly adding to these sour- trollable shape or another were a ces of general strength and great constant subject of legislative enness they will have one strong shel- actment, and toward the close of ter from the reproaches which they that century the city of London dread. And if they are thus use- prayed, but unsuccessfully, for their ful, candor requires that the credit abolition. It appears, at thạt time, should be given to them. But it that the number of dealers, in and must be noticed that the object of about London alone, was 4000. inquiry in this case ought to be “ In 1808 there were two reports their ultimate influence. It might of a committee of the House of be, that revenues should be raised Commons, on the subject of lotteon such a defective plan as should ries. The evidence adduced bea VOL. I.-No. Il

10

« PreviousContinue »