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* likewise the written or statute law in Acts of Parliament, which • are directory applications of the same principles to particular

subjects, or positive regulations consistent with them, upon

matters which would remain too much at large, if they were • left to the imperfect information which the Courts could ex

tract from mere general speculations. What would be the duty of the individuals who preside in those Courts, if required to enforce an Act of Parliament which contradicted

those principles, is' a question which I presume they would • not entertain a priori; because they will not entertain a priori the supposition that any such' will arise. In like manner, this Court will not let itself loose into speculations as to what would be its duty under such an emergency; because it cannot, with< out extreme indecency, presume that any such emergency will

happen ; and it is the less disposed to entertain them, because • its own observation and experience attest the general conformity

of such orders and instructions to its principles of unwritten • law.' p. 2, 3.

Here there are two propositions mentioned, asserting two se veral duties which the Court has to perform. One of these is very clearly described';--the duty of listening to Orders in Council, and proclamations issued by one of the parties before the Court ;—the other, the duty of administering the Law of Nations, seems so little consistent with the former, that we naturally go back to the preceding passage of the judgment where a more particular mention is made of it. This court,' says the learned Judge, is bound to administer the Law of Nations to * the subjects of other countries, in the different relations in • which they may be placed towards this country and its go• vernment. This is what other countries have a right to de• mand for their subjects, and to complain if they receive it

not. This is its unwritten law evidenced in'the course of its decisions, and collected from the common usage of civilized states.

The faultless language of this statement all will readily confess and admire. The more judicial virtues of cleárness and consistency may be more doubtful in the eyes of those who have been studying the Law of Nations under the same Judge, when ruling the cases of the Flad Oyen and Swedish Convoy. It is with great reluctance that we enter upon any observations which may appear to question any thing stated by such accurate reporters as Dr Edwards and Sir C. Robinson, to have been delivered in the High Court of Admiralty. But we have no choice left;

we must be content to make our election between the doctrines of 1799 and 1811, and to abandon one or the other. The re


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luctance which we feel is therefore materially diminished; for, if we venture to dispute the law recently laid down by the learned Judge, it is upon his own authority in times but a litrle removed from the present in point of date, and nowise differing from them in any other respect.

How then can the Court be said to administer the unwritten law of nations between contending states, if it allows that one government, within whose territories it locally has its seat, to make alterations on that law at any moment of time ? And by what stretch of ingenuity can we reconcile the position, that the Court treats the English government and foreign claimants alike, determining the cause exactly as it would if sitting in the claimant's country, with the new position, that the English government possesses legislative powers over the Court, and that its orders are in the law of nations what statutes are in the body of municipal law? These are questions which, we believe, the combined skill and address of the whole Doctors of either law

may safely be defied to answer. Again :- What analogy is there between the proclamations of one belligerent, as relating to points in the law of nations, and the enaetments of statute, as regarding the common law of the land ? Were there indeed any general council of civilized states--any congress such as that fancied in Henry IV.'s famous project for a perpetual peace any amphyctyonic council for modern Europe ; its decisions and edicts might bear to the established public law the same relation that statutes have to the municipal code; because they would be the enactments of a common head, binding on and acknowledged by the whole body. But the edicts of one state, in questions between that state and foreign powers--or between that state and the subjects of foreign powers-or between those who stand in the place of that state and foreign governments or individuals, much more nearly resemble the acts of a party to the cause, than the enactments of the law by which both parties are bound to abide.

Mark the consequences of such loose doctrines--such feeble analogies. They resolve themselves into an immediate denial that

any such thing as the law of nations exists, or that contending parties have any common court, to which all may resort for justice. There may be a court for French captors in France, and for English captors in England. To these tribunals such parties may respectively appeal in safety; for they derive their rights from edicts issued by the governments of the two countries severally ; and those edicts are good law in the Prize courts of each. But, for the American claimant, there is no law by which be may be redressed!--110 court to which he may resort.


The' edicts of his government are listened to in neither the French nor the English tribunals; and he is a prey to the orders of each belligerent in succession. Perhaps it may be thought quite a suflicient hardship, without this aggravation, that even under the old and pure system laid down in 1798 and 1799, the neutral was forced to receive his sentence in a foreign court--always in the courts of the captor's country. But this undoubted rule of law, tempered by the just principles with which it was accompanied, appeared safe and harmless. For, though the court sat locally in the belligerent country, it disclaimed all allegiance to its government; and professed to decide exactly as it would have done sitting in the neutral territory. How is it now, when the Court, sitting as before, has inade so large a stride in allegiance, as to profess an implicit obedience to the orders of the belligerent government within whose dominions it acts ?

That a government should issue edicts repugnant to the Law of Nations, may be a supposition unwillingly admitted; but it is one not contrary to the fact; for all governments have done so—and England among the rest, according to the learned Judge's own statement. Neither will it avail to say, that, to inquire into the probable conduct of the Prize courts in such circumstances, is to favour a supposition, which cannot be entertained“ without extreme indecency ;' or to compare this with an inquiry into the probable conduct of municipal courts, in the cvent of a statute being passed repugnant to the principles of municipal law. The cases are quite dissimilar. The line of conduct for municipal courts in such an emergency, is clear. No one ever doubted that they must obey the law. The old law is abrogated, and they can only look to the new. But the courts of prize are to administer a law which cannot, according to Sir William Scott, (and, if we err, it is under the shelter of a grave authority), be altered by the practice of one nation, unless it be acquiesced in by the rest for a course of years; for he has laid down that the law, with which they are conversant, is to be gathered from general principles, as exemplified in the constant and common usage of all nations.

Perhaps it may bring the present case somewhat nearer the feelings of the reader, if he figures to himself a war between America and France, in which England is neutral. At first, the English traders engross all the commerce which each belligerent sacrifices to his quarrel with his adversary. Speedily the two belligerents become jealous of England, and endeavour to draw her into their contest. They issue decrees against each other nominally, but, in effect, bearing hard on the English trade ; and English vessels are carried by scores into the ports of America and of France. Here they appeal to the law of nations ; but are told, at Paris, that this law admits of modifications, and that the French courts must be bound by the decrees of the Tuilleries ; at New York, that American courts take the law of nations from Washington; and, in both tribunals, that it is impossible, without extreme indecency,' to suppose the case of any public act of state being done, which shall be an infringement on the law of nations. The argument may be long, and its windings intricate and subtle; but the result is short, plain, and savouring of matter of fact, rather than matter of law:- All the English vessels carried into either country would be condemned as good and lawful prize to the captors.

Let us not inquire how short a time the spiritof our nation would' endure such a state of public law, and how speedily the supposed case would cease to apply, by our flag ceasing to be neutral. But let us, on this account, learn to have some patience with a free and powerful people, quite independent of us, when we find them somewhat sore under the application of these new doctrines--these recent innovations on Sir William Scott's sound principles of law; and let us the more steadily bear in mind that great Judge's remark on another part of the subject. “If it

were fit that such a state should be introduced, it is at least necessary that it should be introduced in an avowed and intelligible manner, and not in a way which, professing gravely to adhere to that system which has for centuries prevailed

among civilized states, and urging at the same time a preten' sion utterly inconsistent with all its known principles, delivers

over the whole matter at once to eternal controversy and conflict, at the expense of the constant hazard of the harmony of states, and of the lives and safeties of imocent individuals.'




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Ant. III. Lachesis Lapponica; or, a Tour in Lapland. Now

first published from the original Manuscript Journal of the celebrated Linnæus ; by JAMES EDWARD SMITH, M. D. F. R. S. &c. President of the Linnæan Society. 2 vol. 8vo. London, 1811.

HE name of Lapland first occurs in the writings of Saxo-

Grammaticus, who composed his History of Denmark about the close of the twelfth century. At the distance of three hundred years, it is again slightly mentioned by Eric of Up-ala; and the meagre description of the country by Ziegler is sup



posed to have first made it known beyond the limits of northern Europe. • Charles the Ninth, King of Swedland' (to use the language of Scheffer, as rendered by his Oxonian translator, in the year 1600), being desirous to know the truth • of that country, sent two famous mathematicians, M. Aron. Forsius, a Swedish professour, and Hieronymus Birkholten, a < German, with instruments, and all necessaries, to make what • discoveries they could of Lapland ; who, at their return, did • certify, and make it out, that beyond the elevation of the pole 73 degrees, there was no continent towards the north but the

great frozen sea ; and that the farthest point was Norcum, or Norcap, not far from the castle of Wardhorise.'

John Scheffer himself was born at Strasburg, in 1621, and was, by Christina of Sweden, appointed professor of Law and Rhetoric in the University of Upsala. Of his erudite tomes, his Lapponia, which was printed at Frankfort in 1673, is still the most popular. It consists of thirty-five short chapters, which are distributed with little regard to method, and exhibit a greater display of learning than of philosophical discernment. In the arrangement of his materials, he was avowedly assisted by the Chancellor of Sweden ; and appears not only to have had access to such manuscript and printed documents as could then be procured, and to have frequently availed himself of oral communications with native Laplanders, but, though the circumstance is noticed only incidentally, and as of no moment, to have actually travelled through part of the country which he describes.

In 1681, three rambling young Frenchmen, Corberon, Fercourt, ard Regnard the dramatist, undertook a wild expedition to Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. At the suggestion of the King of the last mentioned country, they suddenly resolved to pay their respects to Lapland, and actually penetrated to Tornotresk, a lake forty leagues in length, and the source of the ri


* There is a brief description of Lapland, in that great mass of obscure history, entitled, Hispania Illustrata, published at Frankfort in 1603. At p. 1314 of the 2d vol., there is a pathetic piece, called Deploratio Gentis Lappiana, which is followed up by a short Lappie Descriptio,-both addressed to the Pope, by a learned person who takes the name of Damianus à Goes, under date of 1540. Mention is here made of their poverty, their rein-deer, and their incantations ; upon which last subject there is the following edifying intelligence. “ Incantamentis sic pollent ut laves in medio cursu retiJeant, sic ut nulla vi ventorum amoveri possint. Quod maluın solo virginum excremento, foris navium ac transtris illitis, curatur ; a quello i ab incolis accepi, spiritus illi natura abhorront.

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