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On the legal view of the subject I shall endeavour to be brief, having great pleasure in being able to refer your readers to a masterly treatise lately written by Mr. Minchin, of the Temple, on this very subject, published by Dunn, , of

Fleet-street. This performance has
claimed the attention of several Reviews,
which have highly applauded the object,
and complimented the writer on the
excellent elucidation he has given, both
of the theory and practice of the law,
and the judicious suggestions he has
made in reference to an improved prac-
, tice in future. ...There is strong reason to
believe this Tract has engaged the at-
tention of several distinguished charac-
ters in both houses of parliament, and
that some measure will be submitted to
the consideration of the legislature in
consequence. The first Act of Parlia-
ment enabling to sue in “Forma Pu-
peris,” issued anno 1495, in the eleventh
year of the reign of Henry VII. and has
been termed the Charter of the Poor
Man's Right, being very comprehen-
sively worded for the furtherance of jus-
tice, and containing no restrictions as to
what he should be worth, except his ina-
bility to pay the expences of law pro-
ceedings. An Act of 23d Henry VIII.
confirms the same. A few years prior
to 1495, an Act passed in the Scotch
parliament nearly sinilar to that of Hen-
ry VII. and to this day the courts in
Scotland make regular annual provision
for causes in “Forma Pauperis,” by
appointing a number of junior barristers
and attorneys to attend thereto ; an ex-
ample, worthy the imitation of our Eng-
lish courts. It does not appear that any
Act of the British Parliament affixed any
sum as a limitation to suitors in Forma
Pauperis. But an Act in the reign of
Geo. II. enacted, that crown debtors
should not avail themselves of the law of
Forma Pauperis, unless they averred
they were not worth five pounds; which
clause, though it has no relation to com-
mon debtors, has been unwarrantably
applied by rule of court to all cases of
debt, evincing how much the lawyers
were disposed to shut the door against
Forma Pauperis causes. In the reign of
Charles II. a rule of court first fixed ten
pounds as a limitation; but, it should be

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considered, ten pounds then would be
equal to fifty pounds now. This may
evince the great need there is of a revis-
ion. Another paradox in the present
practice is, that, though the complainant
is required to swear himself not worth
five pounds, independent of the claim in
dispute, he cannot send letters missive to a
peer at less than sixteen pounds' expence,
which is tantamount to an entire prohi-
bition of a suit against a nobleman:
which the Acts of Henry VII. and VIII.
never intended, but has been an impo-
sition for the last seventy years only. It
seems extremely desirable that a number
of barristers and attorneys should be spe-
cially appointed to the service of cases
in Forma Pauperis, and they should
have a moderate compensation from the
state for the time and labour they devote
thereto. This would remove the great
difficulty which now hangs over such
causes ; for, should a professional man
be successful in gaining some causes of
this kind, he might have such numerous
applications, that justice to his own fami-
ly and concerns would not permit him to
undertake them. That this proposition
is not unreasonable, may be inferred
from the practice of the House of Com-
mons, in making annual grants for the
promotion of vaccination, agriculture,
canals, schools, bridges, and roads. It
is certainly to be regretted, that of the
three learned professions, that of the law
has no institution of charity or mercy.
The benevolent institutions for the ail-
ments of the body are very numerous;
those for religious improvement abun-
dant: but, in the department of law
nothing is to be sound but its terrors.
The want of a Dispensary in the law, 1
think, must be so evident, and its exist-
ence so promotive of comfort and conso-
‘iation in some of the most trying cir-
cumstances of life, that I must much
mistake the benevolent character of my
countrymen, if its projection is not hailed
with an ardour worthy so good a cause.
I am persuaded its establishment would
not be one of the least glories of the
present age, and that its beneficial effects
might be felt through ages yet to come.
Such are the vicissitudes attendant on
property, that the rich man of to-day
cannot be assured he may not require its


aid ; and, as promotive of the general cause of justice, liberty, and right, it would be dear to the heart of every true Englishman. To recount in detail many of the beneficial effects likely to flow therefrom, would extend this essay to too great a length; but it may be remarked, that its mere existence as an ostensible recourse against oppression and imposition, would, of itself, have a powerful tendency to repress them in all their shapes; that it might be most useful in a mediatorial capacity; and, as presenting an aegis for the protection of the rights of all, is admirably calculated to conciliate the respect and affections of the poor. Important circumstances which have recently occurred, have induced a belief that the present is a favourable juncture for such a design. The alteration of the law, as to the sum on which a person can be arrested, has diminished, in some degree, the evils of imprisonment for debt; but above all, the Act passed for the relief of insolvent debtors, introduced by Lord Redesdale, will have a still greater effect on the same object; that it is not probable there will in future be such great occasion for the aid so laudably extended by the society for the liberation of persons confined for small debts. It must be far from the wish of this institution to attempt to withdraw any part of the requisite support from that excellent charity ; but, apprehending it cannot in future need so great assistance from the public as formerly, it is suggested that the objects of this new charity may very naturally look for support from many of those truly benevolent and respectable characters, who have so conspicuously evinced their compassion for the poor and distressed by reason of debt; and that, by only not withdrawing any part of the amount of their former contributions, they may have a gratifying opportunity of giving a new direction to their benevolence, with an improved object, inasmuch as prevention, at which this society aims, is better than cure, which was only partially effected by that: and it may be remarked, that however beneficial in the relief of individuals that society has been, still this great disadvantage unavoidably attended

its system, that, by paying a composition of both debt and costs, it operated as a premium on litigation; and that a far greater part of its subscriptions, large as

they have been, have gone in the payment of attorney's costs than creditors’

debts, fully appears from the society's own reports. - Another superior feature in the system of this new institution is deducible from the reasonable expectation, that should it prove eminently useful in securing considerable property to the rightful owners, or protect individuals from very injurious impositions, it is not unlikely that those persons who have been rendered comfortable in life by the society's interference, may feel it a duty and pleasure at their death to remember the cause of others similarly circumstanced, by which means, in the course of time, its funds may be established so as not to require much assistance by way of subscription. In conclusion, it is not apprehended that much apology is necessary for bringing before the public a design for what may be termed, the greatest of all charities ; inasmuch as its operation would supersede the occasion and necessity of many which now exist. Numerous are the calamities it might prevent, for it cannot be doubted, that many a man need not have become bankrupt, or entered the dismal wall of a prison, if he had been able to obtain his just rights; and that the insurmountable expence of law, has been the proximate cause of the wreck of his affairs In such an expansive field of beneficence, it is vain to attempt to recount the diversity of its operations; but let it be remembered, for our encouragement, that the noblest, institutions and charities in this nation have generally had an unexpected origin. In a free country it is the privilege, right, and duty of every

man, to render the greatest possible ser

vice he can to his country, to mankind, and to the cause of freedom ; and it is

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1816.] - Reply to Sir J. Byerley's Defence of M. Langles. 519

will be effected. “As moments make years, and atoms the globe itself,” so the means whereby ‘Providence exalteth as nation, are the virtues infused into great minds; and to refuse either our applause or assistance, is to deny ourselves the means of exaltation and honor. To the Editor, if the Monthly Magazine. SIR, IHAP not the slightest expectation I should ever have to trouble you again on the subject of the work of M. Langlès. But as a small piece of justice to Messrs. Daniell, I hope you will allow room in your valuable Misscellany for a few paragraphs, in answer to Sir J. Byerley's remarks in your last Number, on my letter in the February Number; since, if those remarks should be allowed to pass as correct, some proportion of your numerous readers might receive the impression that those artists, or some person in their interest, and with their approbation, have been making a spiteful and envious attack on M. Langlès, misquoting and misrepresenting him, in order to give it the greater effect. For this to be i. as extensively as your Magazine circulates, might do those distinguished artists some small degree of injury, in point both of reputation and interest. Permit me, Mr. Editor, a few words in the way of plain statement of the fact, as to the extent to which M. Langlès avails himself of the work of Messrs. Daniell. When I wrote before I had seen only the first three Numbers of the French work, being all that could, at that time, be procured of a French bookseller in London. I have now seen the first ten, which were, a few weeks since, all that had been imported. These ten Numbers contain fifty-eight plates, that is to say, considerably more than one-third part of the whole promised series. Of these fifty-eight plates, forty-five are simply copied from Messrs. D’s. “Architecture, Antiquities, and Lanscape Scenery of Hindoostan.” Sir J. B. will not deny this fact. These forty-five include all the finished plates

- * I include in that work the twenty-four engravings from Mr. Wales's drawings of Effora, which were presented to Messrs. Daniell.

but five or six, there being, in the remaining thirteen, six or seven in outline, of inferior interest and value, several of them badly copied from the Asiatic Researches. Two of the remaining finished ones are copied from Lord Walentia's Travels, and two, I think, from Mr. Home. I know no reason why I should not consider these ten numbers as a fairspecimen, relatively to the matter in question, of the whole work. Now, Mr. Editor, I ask, in great simplicity, would any one of all your numerous readers, that should not have been previously informed on the subject, have ever guessed at such a state of the case as this from Sir. J. B's. statement:— “The friends of M. Langlès have supplied him with many original drawings, and for others, he very properly availed himself of the work of Messrs. Daniell, among others.” “The work of Messrs. D. among others!” A little assistance, supplementary to the numerous drawings supplied by his friends! The palpablefact is, that he has appropriated the substance of their work; that the graphical part of the book, the part which will make it so very expensive, the part in virtue of which it is to deserve Sir J. B's. epithet of “splendid,” is mainly a copy from Messrs. Daniell. The case being so, I re-assert, and all your readers, but Sir J. Byerley, will agree with me, that in the Introduction. purporting to give a general view of the nature of the work, and the means and materials possessed for its construction, there ought, in all honesty and decency, to have been a most explicit acknowledgment that, for the sumptuous part of it he should in a great measure, appropriate the work of the two Englishmen, because he should find it in vain to seek elsewhere for picturesque materials equally valuable for his purpose. But Sir J. Byerley insists, that M. Langlès has made an acknowledgment, “in the most handsome terms,” to Messrs. Daniell; and in the very paragraph which I quoted from the Introduction, and which, he says, I have mistranslated and mutilated to make the contrary appear. The beginning of that paragraph, he says, runs thus:— “Whatever, in other respects, may be the execution of our work, we at

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least, shall not be accused of having copied, or simply imitated, Messrs. Gough, Crawford, Holmes, Hodges, Colebrooke, Pennant, Maurice, and Daniell, who, like us, have been occupied on the antiquities and the monuments of Hindoo architecture and sculpture.” I observe, first, that if M. Langlès had said what is here ascribed to him, he would, as far as relates to Messrs. Daniell, have uttered a gross untruth, as the facts above stated prove. But, secondly, unless different copies of his work are differently printed, he has said nothing of the kind. The sentence commencing the paragraph, and without any preceding words in connexion with it, is literatum, thus:– “Ce plan, comme on voit, est fort différent de celui qu'ont adopté M. M. Gough, Crawfurd, Holmes, Hodges, Colebrook, Pennant, Maurice, et Daniell, qui, comme mous, se sont occupés des antiquites et des monuments d’architecture et de sculpture hindous.” I cannot be morally certain that the press was not altered before all the impressions of the sheet were taken off; the thing is just possible, but in so elaborately prepared a work highly improbable ; but unless there was such a change made during the printing, or unless there has been another edition than the one hitherto sold by the French booksellers in London, Sir J.B. has manifested a most extraordinary temerity. After the sentence I have transcribed in French, M. Langlès adverts to the

work of M. Salvyns, or Solryns, and then adds the sentence given by Sir J. B.

“Far from pretending by this observation to depreciate labours of which we feel, perhaps, more than any other all the importance, we shall seize with ardour the occasion of paying to the authors a public and truly sincere tribute

of esteem and gratitude; and, we here

solemnly pledge ourselves to quote them most accurately whenever we place them under contribution.” ..., I perfectly agree with Sir J. B. in regretting, that the work of . Messrs. Daniell could not have been accompanied by such a learned commentary as M. L. is now producing ; and sincerely wish they may, according to his suggestion, be induced to adopt some plan for availing themselves of it. I have not a word to say against Sir J. B's. accumulation of encomiums on the learning of M. L.; my business was to prove, that in this particular he has

acted disingenuously. Z.Z. May 15. *To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. SIR,

IN the present unproductive state of all industry in England, it would be acceptable to many of your readers to learn the actual state of society in the United States, and the prospects of industry in that country, from any intelligent English travellers recently returned to this side of the Atlantic. PUBLIcola.

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1816.] Memoirs of Dr. Ramsay,

Philadelphia, where he regularly atten-
ded the lectures delivered at the College
of Pennsylvania, the parent of that cele-
brated medical school which has since
become, so distinguished. Dr. Rush
was then professor of chemistry in that
college ; and this led to a friendship be-
tween Dr. Rush, the able and accom-
plished master, and Ramsay, the ready,
ingenious and attentive student, that was
fondly cherished by both, and continu-
ed to strengthen and increase to the
latest moment of their lives.
On settling in Charleston, he rapidly
rose to eminence in his profession and
general respect. His talents, his habits
of business, and uncommon industry,
eminently qualified him for an active
part in public affairs, and induced his
fellow-citizens to call upon him, on all
occasions, when any thing was to be
done for the common welfare. In our
revolutionary struggle he was a decided
and active friend of his country, and of
freedom, and was one of the earliest and
most zealous advocates of American
Independence. His ardent imagination
led him to anticipate the most delightful
results, from the natural progress of the
human mind when it should be freed
from the shackles imposed on it by the
oppressions, the forms, and the corrup-
tions of monarchy and aristocracy.
On the 4th of July, 1778, he was ap-
pointed to deliver an oration before the
inhabitants of Charleston. The event
of the contest was yet doubtful ; some
dark and portentous clouds still hung
about our political horizon, threatening,
in gloomy terror, to blast the hopes of
the patriot; the opinions of many were
poised between the settled advantages of
a monarchical government, and the untri-
ed blessings of a republic. But the
mind of David Ramsay was never
known to waver; and in this oration,
the first ever delivered in the United
States on the anniversary of American
independence, he boldly declares, that
“our present form of government is ev-
ery way preferable to the royal one we
have lately renounced.” In establishing
this position, he takes a glowing view of
the natural tendency of republican forms

of government to promote knowledge,_ - 3 W

the American Historian. 521

to call into exercise the active energies of the human soul, to bring forward modest merit, to destroy luxury—and establish simplicity in the manners and habits of the people,_and, finally, to promote the cause of virtue and religion.

In every period of the war Dr. Ramsay wrote and spoke boldly, and constantly; and by his personal exertions in the legislature, and in the field, was very serviceable to the cause of American liberty. The fugitive pieces written by him, from the commencement of that struggle were not thought by himself of sufficient importance to be preserved; yet it is well known to his cotemporaries, that on political topics, no man wrote more or better than Dr. Ramsay in all the public journals of the day.

A political piece, written by him at this period, entitled “A Sermon on Tea,” has been mentioned with great commendations, and excited much attention at the time. It abounded with the finest strokes of satire. The text is taken from the epistle of Paul to the Colossians, 2d chapter, 21st verse, “Touch not, taste not, handle not.” The whole discourse was a happy appeal to the feelings of a people who associated with the use of tea the idea of every evil. The writer very ludicrously represents Lord North holding forth chains and halters in one hand, and in the other a cup of tea, while the Genius of America exclaims, with a warning voice, “Touch not, taste not, handle not, for in the day that thou drinkest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Dr. Ramsay was in his youth much distinguished for wit and humour. His cotemporaries at the College of Philadelphia well remember that an oration, which he there delivered in public, on the comparative state of the ancient and modern practice of physic, was replete with humorous observations on the former, much pungent satire on quackery, and several touches of the purest attic wit. We mention this, because in the latter periods of his life it was only from some occasional remark, in his moments of relaxation, that we could discover this original trait in Ramsay's character.

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