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glass-houses, where the furnace has been suffered to cool gran dually.
Iron is another of the principles which enter into the bafaltes; and this metal is found to cryftallize in regular figures. This is sometimes discoverable in the ores of that metal; in our foundries the grain of cast-iron presents a striated appearance; by the operations of chymistry, regular cubical figures are produced, clearly ascertaining this tendency toward a peculiar disposition of its parts.
Indeed, the particles of every substance in nature appear to poffefs private laws and affinities, whereby they proceed to unite and to arrange themselves in regular forms. Thus saline substances, that have been dissolved in a watery medium, after the evaporation of the fluid, affect an arrangement peculiar to that species of body. Thus bodies, which have diffolved by the medium of heat, when suffered to cool equably, exhibit a peculiar disposition of parts; of which instances occur in every fpecies of metal, in fulphurs, and in glass. Though crystals have never been produced from any simple substance, precisely answering to the articulated basalt pillars, we know that elements, which separately form specific crystals, may, when united, form bodies different from either figure. Thus melted glass, through which scoriæ of iron are mixed, are found to affect a columnar shape.
In the 10th letter Mr. Hamilton endeavours to support the volcanic theory of the basaltes. Mr. Desm.. est, Sir W. Hamilton, and Mr. Faujas de St. Fond, have ihrown great light on this subject. We think our author's reasoning, on thiş subject; amounts to proof.
First, The basaltes itself is esteemed to be nothing else than Java ; and its varieties are attributed entirely to accidental circumftances attending its course, or the manner of its cooling. In fupport of which opinion, it is affirmed, that the basaltęs agrees almost accurately with lava in its elementary principles *, in its grain, in the spe
** This will appear pretty evident from stating the products of each
Lava, 100 parts.
Contains Silicious earth 49 Argillaceous earth
Argillaceous earth 35 Calcarious earth 8
cies of the foreign bodies which it includes t, and in all the diverdities of its texture I.
- Secondly. The iron of the basaltes is found to be in a metallic fate, capable of acting on the magnetical needle. The same is true of the iron contained in the compact lava.
· Thirdly. The basaltes pofleffes the remarkable property of being fusible per se; this property is also common to the lava, and molt volo canic substances.
· Fourthly, The basaltes is a foreign substance, superinduced on the original limestone soil of the country, in a state of softness capable of allowing the flints to penetrate considerably within its lower surface. It is hardly necessary to add, that the lava is an extraneous mafs, overspreading the adjoining foil in a fluid state ; that it is often. borne on a limestone base ; or that Aints, and other hard matters, do frequently penetrate into its substance. In short, the circumstances of agreement are so numerous, and so clear, as to create a very reasonable presumption that they are one and the same species of substanče.'
In the 11th letter our author answers the objections which can be made to his theory, and further illustrates and confirms it.
Upon the whole, these letters are the production of an ingenious and philosophic pen. . They will entertain the curious seader, and instruct the learned. Hamilton seems to be an auspicious name in the study of natural history,
Art. II. An Examination into the Rights and Duties of Jurors; with fome Strictures on the Law of Libels. By a Gentleman of the Inner-,
Temple. 8vo. 2s. 6d. Whieldon. 1785, London. ou
UR author holds á middle course between the writers for
the prerogative, and for the people. He avoids alike the imputation of being a favourer to republicanism or to defpotism. He opposes, accordingly, the claim of a jury to decide both concerning the law and the fact. . At the same time, he does not wish that judges should be despotical. He contends, notwithstanding, that the wisdom of our conftitution did not " ordain that twelve judges should be chosen, for their learn55 ing and probity, merely to keep order among a jury, and
• Bits of limestone, flints, fchorl, crystals of various colours, morfels of pure clay, &c. are common to the basaltes, and to lava.'
• I All the varieties of texture which take place in lava, from the compact, close-grained kind, to the spongy lavā, may also be traced among the balaites,'
“ learn that law, in the practice of which their lives had been " spent, from John Lilburne and Michael Rayner.”
The three great points upon which our author'exercises his legal and historical knowledge, are as follows : 1. He contends, that a jury have no original cognizance of the law. 2. He avers, that they have no incidental power over it. And, 3. He is decidedly of opinion, that, if a jury should give a verdict, in opposition to the court, in a point of law, they intrude upon the province of the judge ; determine a matter, in which, of themselves, they can have no legal conviction; and incur the guilt of perjury. Upon these topics, it is to be allowed, that our author displays learning and ingenuity. But we must confess, that he has not been able to bring us over to his argument.
As a specimen of his manner and composition, we shall submit to our readers a few of his observations on the subject of libels.
" It is not material," said Lord Coke, in the star chamber, “ when s? ther the libel be true or false; or whether the party, against whom “ it is made, be of good or bad fame.” Mr. Hawkins, in the King'sBench, improves on the idea. “ It is far from being a justification," says he, “ of a libel, thát the contents thereof are true, or that the “ person, upon whom it is made, has a bad reputation, fince the
greater appearance of trath there is in any malicious-invective, the “ more provoking it is *.”
• This position involves moft abfurd, as well as unjust, consequences. Suppose a man convicted of perjury. If A. had unfortu. nately published this circumstance, whether in defence of his own character, against an unjust attack, or in vindication of his conduct towards such a miscreant, or in order to caution the unwary stranger against his base principles and designs, he would be told, by the af. sertors of this absurd doctrine, that the truth of his libel enhanced its criminality, and be sentenced to pay such a fine, and such other corporal punishment, as the judges, in their discretion, should think fit. Although such enormities are not yet practifed, ftill, according to the position alluded to, they may be daily committed under the fanction of the law. The exercise of any power, however moderate, is a very weak foundation upon
which to rest the claim to that power, if it be inimical to juftice and liberty. Malus ufus abolendus eft. If it be unsound doctrine, Sir William Blackistone tells us that it may be rejected, againft the authority of a precedent t: if it be not law, it ought not to be allowed.
• The prevention of crimes, and the preservation of the public tranquillity, form the only foundation of the right of any man, or body of men, to punish their fellow-creatures, and punishment di
* Plac. Coron. i. 194.
t Comment. b. i. p. 71.
rected to any other view, or tending to any other end, is tyranny.. This right is exercised to its proper purpose, when a perjuror, or a false and malicious libeller, is pilloried. The infamy, which such a punishment draws upon the culprit's credit and character, is the object for which it is inficted ; that others may be thereby intimidated from the commission of the like offences : for certainly the fitting in the pillory would, of itself, hardly be a sufficient curb on the malevolence of a man, far above the extreme of vice. The punishment consists, then, in the public infamy. But, by the modern doctrine, if a person shall proclaim to the world this punishment, which consists in its very notoriety, as the greater appearance of truth increases its provocation, this, which relts upon the indisputable verity of a record, must be more provoking than any other whatsoever. By this same modern doctrine, the judge shall be obliged to tell a libelled plaintiff in a civil suit, “ the truth only has been spoken of you ; you de“ ferved it; and if you suffer, it is damnum absque injuria ; and you “ are entitled to no redress :" and to tell a prosecutor of a criminal accusation, under exacily similar circumstances, who seeks, in a vindictive punishment, to involve in ruin the enemy of his vices, “ “ will feed your revenge ; the laws have been insulted in the punish“ ment of a malefactor ; and the prisoner shall suffer all the rigour “ of their severity.”
Is this consistent with the principles of equity ; that the vicious, the prostitute, the infamous, though they shall not have the same private remedy for an act, by which, in the eye of the law, they are not injured, shall yet have the same power of drawing down the vena geance of public punishment, that the virtuous and just shall postess for the feverest injury that can be offered to him? Or, is it politic, that the historian's pen shall tremble beneath the inquisitor's rod ? and vice and virtue, the patriot and the traitor, a Chartres * and a Savile, shall be handed down to pofterity, with equal honour, undistinguished by the plaudit of gratitude, or the censure of justice, because, though a private man or magistrate be dead at the time of “ making the libel, yet it stirs up others, of his family and blood, to revenge
and break the peace t?" This, indeed, some ages ago, was a very profitable doctrine to the crown; and might, therefore, be reasonably expected from the court of star chamber, or any other court, whose judges were, in general, likely to be exalted for their corrupe subserviency to the will of the prince, and to be continued only as long as they tendered the same implicit obedience to his mandates. It was not very furprising, too, when the fines and amerciaments of the courts of justice formed a considerable part of the crown revenues, that the ministers of the prince were not very delicate of the justice with which they were imposed upon the wealthy and the powerful I.
• Celebrated by Arbuthnot's epitaph.
Madox Exch. 4to edit. 1769. vol. i. p. 342.
• But these causes have long ceased to exist. The prince is endowed. with a patrimony, fufficient, at least, to preserve him from practising extortion. His judges are no longer the ministers of arbitrary power ; they are the independent depositaries of laws, certain, equal, and permanent. Pity that there should exist even one case, which affords an exception to the strictness that guides their judgments !
• In support of this new doctrine, it has been alledged, that the terms, malicioully, falsely, scandalously,” are words of course, tantamount to the 66 moved and seduced by the instigation of the
devil," in indi&ments for murder. But the comparison will not hold. It is a matter of perfect indifference, whether the devil instigated the murder or not; and, though I do not remember any case in which it has been determined that an indictment shall not be qualhed for the want of those words, it may be very fairly assumed, that, if the question came to be agitated, they would be judged to be immaterial ; for it has been determined, that certain other words, of at least equal import, may be omitted, without vitiating an indict. ment. The person murdered is supposed to be in the peace of God, and of the lord the king, at the time of the murder : but it hath been adjudged, that the words are not essential in an indictment for mur. der, for they are not of the substance; and, perhaps, the truth was, that the party was, at the time, breaking the peace
It would greatly exceed the bounds of our journal, if we Ahould enter into a discussion of the rights of jurors. We may, however, be permitted to express our surprise, that any doubts should yet remain upon a subject which has been lo amply and fo repeatedly handled, by lawyers, politicians, antiquaries, and divines. Most certain, notwithstanding, it is, that this is a field where some superlative and penetrating genius is still to acquire the most honourable laurels.
ART. III. The Mutual Deception, a Comedy; as it was performed at
the Theatre-Royal, Dublin, Dilly. 1785, London.
are two plots. The first, as the author confesses, is taken from “ Le Jeu de l'Amour et du Hazard,” in the Theatre Italien ; in which there is a quadruple exchange of characters, between mistress and maid, mafter and man. The underplot, he tells, us, is the offspring of his own imagination; and he states a claim to originality from it, which we cannot allow; for the characters are common, and the incidents trite. The two plots have no more connection with one another, than
4 Co.41, 2 Hawk, Pl. Coron. p. 233.