« ZurückWeiter »
COKE'S REPORTS IN VERSE. The following are some of the attempts which have been made to reduce the reports of each case to a verse of two lines:
HUBBARD. If lord impose excessive fine,
4 Rep. 27.
4 Rep. 16.
5 Rep. 1. Also a'law' report converted into song:
A woman having a settlement,
Married a man with none.
If that she had was gone.
Quoth Sir John Pratt, her settlement
Suspended did remain,
It doth revive again.
“Tenant in fee simple, is he which hath lands or tenements to hold to him and his heirs for ever,” etc.
Tenant in fee
Simple, is he,
Who hath his lands,
Free from demands,
AN ADDITIONAL WORD.
Of all those who have honored the legal profession, no one has more truly honored woman than Judge Joseph Story. Hence, as a woman, I would like to add a few words to the biographical sketch of him found in the January number of the CHICAGO LAW TIMES.
Josiah Quincy in some reminiscences of him (Figures of the Past), said he felt safe in saying that Judge Story was above the prominent men of his day in the adoption of views respecting women very similar to those afterward proclaimed by Mr. Mill. He would not admit that sex or temperament assigned them an inferior part in the intellectual development of the race. It was all a matter of training. Give them opportunities of physical and mental education equal to those enjoyed by men, and there was nothing to disqualify them from attaining an equal success in any field of mental effort. This was the conclusion Mr. Quincy gained from an inimitable stage-coach conversation which passed between Judge Story and himself, while journeying from Boston to Washington, in January, 1826.
Mr. Quincy's acquaintance with him had begun when, as an undergraduate, he had dined with him in Salem, Mass., during a visit to that town. He was then fascinated with the brilliancy of his conversation. Now, as at the base of the profession which Judge Story adorned,” he regarded him with peculiar reverence, and felt highly honored to be invited to join him on his annual journey to Washington, where, as Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, he spent the winter months.
Judge Story, on this occasion, was unusually brilliant, although he was noted as one of the most brilliant conversationalists of the day. Having spent a part of the previous summer in traveling with Daniel Webster, he bad fresh subjects for conversation. There was one thing, however, he did not talk about, and that was law. He recited original poetry with evident pleasure. This, however, was before he had bought up and burned all the copies he could find of bis Power of Solitude.
On this journey-(They were only four days going to New York, upon which they congratulated themselves, when thinking of the week's time their ancestors needed), he discussed literary matters; but it was the conversation on novels, in its appreciative knowledge of woman's work which makes the journey worthy of notice here. After speaking of Mrs. Radcliffe in terms of admiration, he wished she could have had “some of the weird legends of Marblehead upon which to display her wealth of lurid imagery." Those who not only know the legends of Marblehead but who have visited the old town, best appreciate what this wish implied.
Continuing his criticism of novels, he thought Miss Burney's Evelina was very “bright and fascinating," while the conversations of Maria Edgeworth were “nature itself and yet full of point—the duller speeches of her characters being simply omitted as was proper in a work of art.” He showed that natural chivalry and broad mind which so impressed Mr. Quincy when he said: “It is only the nature of their education which puts women at sueh disadvantages and keeps up the notion that they are our inferiors in ability.. What would a man be without his profession or business which compels him to learn something new every day? The best sources of knowledge are shut off from women, and the surprise is that they manage to keep so nearly abreast of men as they do." I never visit any of our now established colleges for women that I am not reminded of these words of Judge Story, spoken over sixty years ago, and I think how he would have enjoyed the society of the young women whose minds are enlarged by the “best sources of knowledge.” lle had glimpses, however, of this joy
in woman's development, in his friendship with Harriet Martineau, with whom he had a charmingly frank correspondence.
The summer following this memorable stage ride, Judge Story in the closing words of a discourse delivered at the anniversary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in August, 1826, more fully proclaimed his knowledge and appreciation of woman's work. “Who is there,” be asked, “that does not contemplate with enthusiasm the precious fragments of Elizabeth Smith, the venerable learning of Elizabeth Carter, the devoted piety of Hannah More, the persuasive sense, of Mrs. Barbauld, the eloquent memoirs of her accomplished niece, the bewitching fictions of Mme. D'Arblay, the vivid, picturesque and terrific imagery of Mrs. Radcliffe, the glowing poetry of Mrs. Hemans, the matchless wit, the inexhaustible conversations, the fine character painting, the practical instructions of Miss Edgeworth— the great known standing in her own department by the side of the great unknown?”
How such a soul would have enjoyed and complimented the work of Mrs. Browning, George Eliot, or the New England tales of our own Miss Jewett, had they then existed! But why was not Jane Austen mentioned? It is certain Chief Justice Marshall thus wondered, for, after having read the address, he sent his friend the following letter, which, as revealing another ehivalrous friend to woman's work in the legal profession, deserves a place here: "I have read it (the address) with real pleasure, and am particularly gratified with your eulogy on the ladies. It is a matter of great satisfaction to me to find another judge, who, though not as old as myself,' thinks justly of the fair sex and commits his sentiments to print. I was a little mortified, however, to find that you had not admitted the name of Miss Austen into your list of favorites. I had just finished reading her novels when I received your discourse and was so much pleased with them that I looked in it for her name and was rather disappointed at not finding it. Her flights are not lofty; she does not soar on eagle's wings, but she is pleasing, interesting, equable and yet amusing. I count on your making some apology for this omission.”
As there seems to be no apology, it is possible that this letter
introduced Jane Austen to Judge Story. He did not speak of her in the stage ride, but in a much later conversation Mr. Quincy says he talked freely of her, placing her much above Miss Burney and Maria Edgeworth, and complimenting her with a "panegyric quite equal to those bestowed by Scott and Macauley." His son, Wm. W. Story, also tells in his biography of his father, that when he was engaged in making a bust of him in marble, to beguile the time he had his daughter read to him Jane Austen's Emma. Scarcely a year passed, he said, that his father did not read more than one of her works and with an interest that never flagged.
A study of Judge Story's life reveals several causes for this innate deference to woman, manifested not only in his home life, but in every relation where woman enters man's career. Only those cognizant of the laxity in this direction, especially among the old English barristers, can realize the value of the legacy thus left to the American bar by the learned Joseph Story. One of these causes was the deference his father ever paid to his mother's judgment. She took great interest in passing events, and in politics, which her grandson says, she read with avidity and strong personal feeling even to her death. It is a significant fact, to be particularly pondered at this time, that the mothers of John Quincy Adams, Josiah Quincy, the great Boston mayor, and other notable men of that day were deeply interested in publio events, especially politics, even to the time of old age and death.
Another influence upon the young mind of Joseph Story, was his attendance, until he was fifteen years of age, at the Marblehead Academy, where girls went the same hours and studied the same books as the boys. This experience was in his mind when, in later life, he said he was early struck with the “flexibility, activity and power of the female mind. Girls of the same age were on an average of numbers quite our equals in their studies and acquirements, (See in Education for March, 1889, an article on the Mental Capacity of the Sexes, proving this by statistics) and had much greater quickness of perception and delicacy of feeling than the boys.” His impression was that the principal difference in intellectual power resulted