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The seventh chapter, which is on the Treaty making Power,' discusses the question, which has twice arisen in Congress, whether the consent of the house of representatives, in any form, is necessary to the validity of a treaty, or to such measures as are necessary to carry a treaty into effect. This question may be considered as still undecided, for in 1816, on the ratification of the convention with Great Britain, Congress thought proper, after a long debate, to pass an act expressly repealing so much of certain other acts, as were inconsistent with the provisions of the convention, instead of leaving the treaty to stand proprio vigore.
In the ninth chapter the author contends, with much plausibility, that a citizen of the United States cannot transfer his allegiance, so as to free himself from our laws, without the consent of the community. This opinion, it is said, has the sanction of the late Chief Justice Ellsworth, of Mr Justice Washington, and of President Madison. It is a question of great practical importance, and deserves to be thoroughly considered.
On the great question of internal improvement, as it is usually called, Mr Rawle holds the opinion which is beginning to prevail in every part of the Union, and which will probably, before many years, be the settled construction of the constitution.
• It has been made a constitutional question,' he says, “whether Congress has a right to open a new mail road through a state or states for general purposes, involving the public benefit, and the same doubt has been extended to the right of appropriating money in aid of canals through states. If we adhere to the words of the text, we are confined to post roads ; but it appears to the author to be one of those implied powers, which may fairly be considered as within the principles of the constitution, and which there is no danger in allowing. The general welfare may imperiously require communications of either of these descriptions. A state is bound to consult only its own immediate interests, and not to incur expense for the benefit of other states. The United States are bound to uphold the general interest, at the general expense. To restrain it to pointing out the utility of the measure, and calling on particular states to execute it, would be partially to recall the inefficiency of the old government, and to violate the main principle of the present one. If any political evil could result from the procedure, it would present a strong argument against the allowance of the power ; but good roads and facile aquatic communications, while they promote the prosperity of the country, cannot be seriously alleged to affect the sovereignty of the states, or the liberties of the people. The road ought, however, to be an open, not a close one. It is doubtful, whether tolls for
passage on it could be constitutionally exacted.' p. 100.
Mr Rawle's observations on the writ of habeas corpus confirm the opinion, which we have more than once expressed, that the common law is recognised by the constitution of the United States. The constitution seems to have secured this benefit to the citizen by the description of the writ, and in an unqualified manner admitting its efficacy, while it declares, that it shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety shall require it. This writ is believed to be known only in countries governed by the common law,' &c. p. 114.
We cannot be expected to analyse the whole volume, or even to enumerate the important questions, which are discussed in it. In several points, the practical construction of the constitution is yet unsettled; but in many more, doubts have been cleared, and a course of administration consistently pursued, which has led to the happiest results. To those, who are desirous of studying the noblest monument of human wisdom, the Constitution of the United States, we recommend the treatise of Mr Rawle as a safe and intelligent guide. For foreigners it may be sufficient; but to the young men of our country, it should be only the introduc-. tion to a more extended course of reading. The letters of Publius, in the Federalist, Mr Sergeant's treatise on Constitutional Law, and the great constitutional questions, which are from time to time argued and decided in the Supreme Court of the United States, should form a part of the studies of every well educated man,
In the Supreme Court, the principles of our government are often developed with a strength of reasoning and a clearness of illustration, that seldom fail to repress every doubt, and quiet every scruple. We cannot refrain, in this connexion, from making one more extract from Mr Rawle, because it sets in a strong light the highmindedness, and independence of party considerations, of that tribunal, which is often the last resort in party contests. The author is speaking of the abolition, in 1802, of the judiciary system established the preceding year. “The Supreme Court, which affirmed a decision by which the validity of the repealing act was established, [the case of Stuart v. Laird, 1 Cranch, 308] was at that time composed entirely of men politically adverse to that, which, by a sudden revolution, had become the predominant party in the legislature. Yet the decision was unanimously given, one of the judges only being absent on account of ill health. And such are the true nature and spirit of a judicial institution, that there can be no doubt that the same principle, the same entire repudiation of party spirit, would govern men of all political impressions, when required to act on similar occasions by the constitution and their country.'
While such is the spirit which our institutions foster, and such
the practical wisdom displayed in the administration of the laws, we may be permitted, cold blooded as critics usually are, to catch the enthusiasm of the Orator and Statesman of New England, and exclaim with him, OUR COUNTRY; OUR WHOLE COUNTRY ; AND NOTHING BUT OUR COUNTRY!
3.-El Traductor Español; or a New and Practical System for
Translating the Spanish Language. By Mariano Cubi y
SOLER. Baltimore. F. Lucas, jr. 12mo. pp. 350. The author of this volume deserves high commendation, for the zeal with which he has labored, during the last four years, to make his native language known in this country. He has published several elementary treatises to facilitate to the American student the attainment of that language, and his personal services have been assiduously and successfully devoted, we believe, to the promotion of the same end. At the present time, and with the future political prospects of the western continent, few accomplishments are more desirable to the well educated youth of our country, than a knowledge of the Spanish language. It is already spoken by half the population of the western world, and its use and influence will rapidly increase. Our commercial intercourse and political relations with the southern republics, will necessarily bring us into close and perpetual contact with them on innumerable points; and an acquaintance with their common vehicle of thought will be a not more effectual means of advancing our own interests, than of strengthening the bonds of union between nations, whose aims and destiny are nearly the same. We shall have the additional advantage, moreover, and it is not a small one, of the example and spirit of the best Spanish writers operating on our literature. In this country little is known of the elegant letters of Spain; it is a field unexplored, but it is wide and fertile, rich in the fruits of genius and of cultivated intellect. The language of Cervantes and Calderon, of Lope de Vega and Feijoo, may safely challenge a comparison with any other in high models of poetry and eloquence, brilliancy of imagination, or vigor of thought.
It is the purpose of Mr Cubi, in the present volume, to promote the acquisition of the language, by putting into the student's hands a choice collection from some of the best Spanish authors. The examples are generally short, always judicious, and methodically arranged. The idiomatic phrases and expressions are explained in the margin. Among the writers from whom the selection is made, are Feijoo, Granada, Quevedo, Mariana, Argensola, Cadalso, Isla, Cervantes, Olavides, Saavedra, Gracian, Garcilaso, Melender. The book seems to us well suited to be taken up immediately after Mr Sales's Colmena Española. Mr Cubi has been at vast pains in forming a vocabulary, which comprises more than half the volume, in which every word used in the selections is introduced and explained, and the mode, tense, number, and person of each verb pointed out. This vocabulary is arranged in classes, according to the number of syllables in the words, that is, the first class contains words of one syllable, the second of two, and so on. The verbs form a list separate from the other parts of speech. This whole plan we consider defective, and have no doubt, that an arrangement of all the words in alphabetical sequence, according to the usual method, is preferable. The object of an alphabetical arrangement of any kind is to direct the student, with the least labor of research, to the desired word; and this can be done in no way so readily, as by having every word, beginning with the same letter, brought into one methodical and connected series.
4.-Report maile to the Legislature of Massachusetts by the Com
missioners appointed by a Resolve of the twentysecond of
February, 1825. Boston. 1826. pp. 55. The Legislature of Massachusetts, on the twentysecond of February, 1825, appointed Messrs Theodore Sedgwick, Leonard M. Parker, and James Savage, Commissioners to digest and prepare a system for the establishment of such an Institution, to be endowed by the State, as should be best calculated to afford instruction in the Practical Arts and Sciences' to those persons, who do not desire, or are unable to obtain, a collegiate education. These Commissioners, on the ninth of January last, made to the legislature an elaborate Report, containing a full and particular exposition of the plan of such an institution, and of the reasons which seemed to sanction its endowment by the state. This Report was accompanied with two bills, one for the incorporation of the proposed • Massachusetts Seminary of Practical Arts and Sciences,' and another granting twenty thousand dollars each year for two years, and after that period five thousand dollars annually for ten years, for the endowment and support of the seminary. The passage of these bills was urged upon the House of Representatives with great zeal and ability ; but after much consideration, the House ordered the subject to be recommitted to the same Commissioners to pursue the examination of it, and to report at a future session of the legislature.
It is not our purpose to discuss the Report at length. Although we dissent from the Commissioners in some respects, yet we feel a strong inclination to maintain their views upon the general object, namely, the providing of means for the liberal education of the middle class of society in the useful arts, and in the sciences immediately applicable to the active business of life. Our colleges do not look directly to the instruction of the artisan, the agriculturist, or the manufacturer. Their aim would rather seem to be the preparation of persons for the liberal professions, or the ornamental education of the children of the opulent. We apprehend the progress of improvement, and the exigencies of society, are beginning to demand facilities for imparting knowledge, on a liberal scale, to the productive and laboring classes of the community. This position is the leading doctrine of the Report; and however proper it may have been for the Legislature of Massachusetts to pass over the subject at present, and wait for further information before making the large grant, which the Commissioners deemed requisite, yet we trust a thing of so much importance to the interests of education will not be allowed to slumber.
5.-Leisure Hours at Sea;, being a few Miscellaneous Poems.
By a MIDSHIPMAN OF THE UNITED STATES Navy. New
1825, 12mo. pp. 148. This little book was written by an anonymous midshipman of the United States navy, who, we guess, from the idiomatic use of a certain auxiliary verb, (• I soon will tread a distant shore,') was raised somewhere south of the Hudson. In his preface he deprecates the hostility of criticism, on the score of his nautical profession. But this should be no protection; for reviewers are bound by their commission to hunt down all such pirates and smugglers, as may infest the high seas of literature, without regard to the colors they sail under. Our poetic midshipman has no cause for
concern, however ; his little bark is too lightly laden, and has too little that is contraband in it, to be worthy of condemnation.
To part with the sorry metaphor, into which we have been led astray by thinking of our author's profession, we must declare we have never read a more innocent book in the world. The poetry is chiefly sentimental; half of it amatory, and the other half elegiac. But the amatory has none of the licentious taint, which pollutes so much of our modern love verses; and the elegiac VOL. XXII.--NO, 51.