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A's the fource was clear, the water was not contaminated by fubfequent impurities.
It should be obferved alfo that the materials which compofe this fyftem were neither haftily collected nor rafhly arranged. The foundation of the fabric was coeval with that of the city itfelf, but the fuperftructure required the labour of more than 'twelve centuries to complete it. In other words it was "the refult of long attention and fober deliberation; conducted by lawgivers of great temper and philofophy; planned upon the fairest and molt rational principles of humanity; fhaped and moulded by comparative fchemes of polity matured by long experience; and iaftly (by a revolution full of equity) as it was formed upon the best models of antiquity, fo has it been honoured, illuftrated, and copied by many itates and people that followed after."
In this Chronological View of the Roman Law, our ingenious author examines the foundation, and traces the additional fuperftructure, as occafionally raised, under its different titles. The whole is explained with great clearness and precifion in one or two inftances, we own we fufpected him of hafte and inaccuracy; but the more closely he was examined, his accuracy was more evident. In this part of his work he illuftrates the origin and progrefs of the laws of regal, confular, and imperial Rome, and marks their various stages of revolution and reform, during a period of more than twelve centuries. He purpofes, in a fecond part, to relate the history of the revival of the Roman law, its connection with the feudal and canon law, its character and influence in the different courts and academies of Europe, together with the lives and writings of its most eminent profeffors.
From a Chronological Hiftory, it is not eafy to felect any part which will be agreeable or interefting to the reader; but more than one half of the volume confifts of illuftrations. Thefe then, which are rather independent effays, arifing from the fubject, we fhall 'next examine.
The first note is on the celebrated law of the Twelve Tables, and in it, the author has paid fome attention to the fyftem of the French academician. He thinks that no more can be reaYonably inferred from the three differtations of monfieur Bonamy, than that the Twelve Tables did not consist merely of Grecian laws. Mr. Schomberg has not cited all the authorities which may be brought in fupport of his fyitem; for this would require a volume, and the fubject may now be supposed uninterefting. He mentions two common errors, chiefly to confute them: one, that these Laws were not written in verse; the other, that Cicero's work, de Legibus," was not intend
ed merely as a commentary on them. The first refted on the ufe of the word carmen, which was variously applied; the other is contradicted by Cicero himself.
The fecond note is on fome diflinguifhed profeffors of the civil law at Rome. Mr. Schomberg very properly notices the Mucian family, and a few others. Cicero, notwithstanding fome objections, was far from being indifferent, in our author's opinion, to the more confined study of the civil law; and fuccefsfully cultivated juridical learning. He certainly, in the whole courfe of his ftudies, or in his fubfequent practice, did not confine himfelf to this fcience; but it is highly probable, that he was no mean proficient. He was a learned and acute lawyer; but he was alfo a vigilant magiftrate, and an able philofopher. It is remarkable, that the Roman lawyers always mixed fomewhat of the prevailing philofophy and their peculiar fees in their decifions. That of Zeno was the most prevalent; and, as our author juftly obferves, in his third note, that it almoft excluded the Academic and Peripatetic philofophy from that line. The philofophy of the Porch was indeed more ftrict in its language, and more precife in its explanation and ufe of words, than that of the fchools, fo that we fhould feel its influence in that fcience, where the greatest exactness of language is neceffary. This explanation is highly fatisfactory, though their fyftem not only allowed of, but enjoined public employments: to apply philofophy to public bufinefs was their favourite pofition. We entirely agree with our author, that a minute enquiry into the Stoicifm of the civil law, would be an entertaining and curious work.
The fourth effay is on the meaning of the word præter, whofe decifions made a great part of the ancient jurifprudence. We fhall felect a part of this note, because it is highly ufeful; and by the inattention of fome authors to the diftinction which it contains, much confufion has arisen.
If there be any truth in lord Bacon's maxim, as that law is ever the best which leaves least to the breast of the judge, fo is that judge the best who leaves leaft to himfelf," the Cornelian law, which made the annual edict of the prætor immutable, must be confidered as an excellent inftitution. It is no uncommon thing to confound this annual perpetual edict (if I may use the expreffion), with the perpetual edict of Julian, or, as it is frequently called, of Adrian. Gravina's distinction is avorth attending to. "The prætor's edict (fays he), as regu lated by the Cornelian law, was called perpetual, becaufe by that law the prætor was bound to adhere without variation dur ing the year of his office to the rules he had laid down when he firit entered upon it: but in the following year thefe rules were not confidered as binding upon his fucceffor, unless he chofe
voluntarily to adopt them. Adrian's edict was called perpetual because it was not left to the will of any prætor to adopt or reject it, but was neceffarily transferred together with the office, and was regarded by each fucceeding magiftrate as a code of invariable and perpetual authority","
The next object of attention is the high priesthood, which was an office of too much importance to be trusted in any other than imperial hands. One of its numerous privileges was the prefidency of the facred college, the repofitory of the jus pontificium, whofe bufinefs related principally to adoptions, marriages, teftaments, burials, oaths, vows, confecrations, digefting the annals, regulating the calendar, appointing the dies fafti and nefafti, and adjusting the forms of juridical proceedings.
The lex regia, which was firft employed as a term in the age of the Antonines, but in reality was exercifed without any appropriated title many years before, induces our author to Speak of Auguftus, and the means by which he acquired the various powers, ufually lodged in the hands of the fenate. The following remarks fhow the judgment of the author, and his political knowlege of that period.
Perhaps the government of Rome, during the last years of Auguftus, may be confidered as fomething analogous to that of England, at the beginning of the feventeenth century, a fimple and unmixed monarchy, whofe popular affemblies were thought to form only the ornament of the fabric without being in any degree effential to its exiftence. At least this feems to have been a prevailing idea among the best writers of those times, who defcribe it as 66 a prerogative government, where book law in molt cafes yielded to lex loquens, and where whatever was done by the king, with the advice of his privy council, was looked upon as done in fact by the king's abfolute power." A very ftriking defcription of the principal features of Roman polity, particularly of thofe new arrangements which had taken place under Auguftus, between the fenate, the emperor, and the council. There is therefore a manifest inconfiftency in thofe writers who attempt to defcribe the conftitution of the Roman state as immaterially affected by this revolution. They tell us that the image of the old republic is very difcernible in the perfon of the emperor; that as he did not profess to be,
* De Ortu, &c. cap. 38, The ufe of the word perpetuum in the fenfe in which it is here applied in the former cafe is not uncommon in the best writers. Cicero, more than once, has oratio perpetua. Cæfar, De Bello Gallico. lib. 7. cap. 57. Palus perpetua. And Terence in the Hecyra, act 1. fcen. 2. v. 12. makes Philotus fay
"Biennium ibi perpetuum mifera illum tuli."
In all these inftances it fignifies uninterrupted continuation, within certain bounds,
neither in fact ought he to be, confidered as abfolute fovereign of that mighty empire; that he held only a temporary, delegated power, which could be at pleafure refumed by thofe from whom he had received it, and that his power did not confift in his fingle will and authority as fupreme, but was compofed of the various fpecies of duties and prerogatives annexed to the different offices in the republic, which inflead of being feparately exercifed as formerly, were then united in the perfon of the em peror. But furely this very circumftance is fufficient to prove to us what was the nature and extent of his authority, and to convince us that (however artfully gloffed over) the power of Auguftus was as abfolute and extenfive as any which the most ambitious of his fuccefors ever enjoyed. The following remark of lord Shaftesbury places this fubject in fo true a light, and is expreffed with fo much elegance, that I fhall make no apology for fubjoining it at length. It was the friendship of Macenas, which turned a prince, naturally cruel and barbarous, to the love and courtship of the Mufes. Thefe tutoreffes formed in their royal pupil a new nature. They taught him how to charm mankind. They were more to him than his arms or military virtue; and, more than Fortune herself, affifted him in his greatnefs, and made his ufurped domínion fo enchanting to the world that it could fee without regret its chains of bondage firmly rivetted. The corrupting fweets of fuch a poisonous government were not indeed long lived. The bitter foon fucceeded and in the iffue, the world was forced to bear with patience thofe natural and genuine tyrants who fucceeded to this fpacious machine of arbitrary and univerfal power."
The next note is chiefly on the difference between the laws of the eastern and western empire. Thofe of the latter, in the most diffolute reigns, are founded on equity, and expreffed with an elegant precifion. This was owing to the emperor's trusting the legislative power to the civilians and council, who happily were either lefs fubject to temptation, or better enabled to refift the general depravity.
The eighth note is a learned account of the different feminaries for teaching legal knowlege, and the difciplines obferved in them. A great part of this note is new, and the whole is clear and well arranged. It has afforded us much inftruction; and we think that the author might enlarge this outline with great advantage.
The ninth is on the language of the law about, and after, the age of the Antonines, when it was refined with fingular care ei for it ftill retained fome of its stiffness, and the ruft of antiquity. This note contains alfo fome account of those celebrated civilians Papinian, Paulus, and Ulpian.
The next fubject is on the fate of the civil law after the Gothic conqueft. Our author fuppofes that it neither pre
vailed in its original purity, nor was quite loft: it more probably was gradually intermixed with the laws of the victors,, and loft its value in proportion as it was contaminated by bar barous cuftems.
From the whole of what has been advanced, the following conclufions may, I think, be drawn with a tolerable degree of certainty. That during the fifth century, and prior to the ex iftence of any written code among the barbarians, the Roman laws were generally admitted and confidered by them as of very high authority: that they differed from the national inftitutions which the invaders brought with them into their new fettlements, in having an abfolute and univerfal influence, whereas the Gothic laws were merely conditional, and confined to fome particular districts that in confequence of those revolutions which happened in the fixth century, particularly the introduc tion of the Salic, Ripuarian, and Vifigothic codes, the laws of Theodofius loft much of their authority, though the use of them was still permitted to the subjects of the empire dwelling, in the provinces; and even the Goths themselves would frequently appeal to them, in preference to all other foreign laws, on points where their own were filent or indecifive and that, notwithstanding the strong prohibitions under which they latterly appear to have laboured, it can fcarcely be afferted that they were ever thoroughly extinguished; fince the Gothic legiflators, aware of their extraordinary excellence, transferred. To large a portion of them into their own compilations, that they effectually preferved the fpirit of the Roman law, though they debased its form, and nominally denied its authority.?
The next note is on the temporary reftitution of law and letters under Theodoric, and includes a flight sketch of his life. The two laft contain fome account of the decline of the Juftinian code, its lofs, and fubfequent recovery; but our article is too far extended to enable us to enlarge on the subject.
We need fcarcely add, that we think this a valuable compendium of the Roman law; it difplays the elegance of the fcholar, with the accuracy of the lawyer: we shall receive with pleasure the fecond part of the work.
Letters on the Elements of Botany. Addreffed to a Lady. By the celebrated J. J. Rouffeau. Tranflated into English, with Notes, and Twenty-four additional Letters, fully explaining the Syftem of Linnæus. By Thomas Martyn, B. D. 8vo. 75. in Boards. White.
VERY one who teaches, and every one who endeavours to ftudy botany, will feel the want of an elementary treatise. The common elements are little more than, nomenclatures, and