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of those plants, so that when the learner takes up one of them for examination, he is regularly guided through its class and order to its genus. The description of each plant includes, first, the specific character, and then a full description of the appearance, habits, time of flowering, localities, &c. of the plant. The Florula would be far less valuable, were either the specific characters or the full description omitted. The first is most useful to the botanist, who is accustomed to the study of plants, provided he has all the species of a genus before him ; because he can instantly detect the species by looking at the specific differences alone, whilst a full description would only serve to embarrass and 'mislead him. Hence, in the species Plantarum, where Linnæus knew but one species of the genus, he gave no description ; and, where it was practicable, he recorded no more than a single fact whereby to distinguish the several species. Instances of this occur throughout the work, as in the genera Lolium, Claytonia, Periploza, Beta, Cressa, Anacardium, Dictamnus, &c.* Indeed, such is the general plan of the specific differences in botanical books. But in a work designed for popular use, for the unlearned, for those who pursue the study of botany from a liberal and extended curiosity merely, or as an elegant recreation,
a kind of intellectual amusement, more than this is required. They need a description of the plant in the full meaning of the term. And this we have in the Florula, done with great clearness, judgment and skill, and with a degree of faithfulness, which, after constant use of the first edition for many years, and a minute examination of most of the plants described in the book, with the book in our hands, we feel authorised to speak of in the strongest language of praise.
The defect of the first edition was its incompleteness. Caresully and industriously as it was compiled, many plants, which are sufficiently abundant in certain localities within the limits, which Dr Bigelow prescribed to himself, were overlooked by him in preparing it for the press. These are inserted in the present edition, and many of the former descriptions are enlarged and corrected, or
written anew; and the value of the wo is much enhanced by the addition of a glossary of technical terms for the use of learners. Nor is this all. It is well known that Dr Bigelow has long had it in contemplation to compile a Flora of New England. Whilst we lament the abandonment of his design, which is announced in the work before us, our regret is lessened by his inserting in it the plants, which he had collected with a view to that object. The second edition ihus contains nearly twice as many plants as the first, and our readers will readily believe us when we say, the value of the work is more than double in consequence of all these improvements. The students of botany, into whatever part of New England their enquiries may carry them, will now find the Florula a convenient manual, and a safe guide in the study of one of the most fascinating of all the departments of natural history.
* Caroli Linnæi, Species Plantarum, Holm. 1753.
3.-A Treatise on Crimes and Misdemeanors, by William
Oldnall Russell, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister at
Boston. Cummings, Hilliard & Co. 1824. RUSSELL'S Treatise on Crimes and Misdemeanors is not only the most complete and the latest, but is also the most approved of the modern digests on the subject. It contains the priuciples relative to every indictable offence except high treason, collected with immense labor from the works of his predecessors and from the statute books, from the new cases in the various printed reports, and many manuscript cases of undoubted authenticity. By it, the errors of other authors are corrected and their deficiencies supplied, and the profession presented with an abstract of the vast mass of authorities on the definitions, descriptions, distinctions and consequences of criminal acts. The subject on evidence on criminal prosecutions is not fully treated of; and that of process and other matters of practice wholly passed over ; nor are precedents of indictments introduced ; the author conceiving that the law on these subjects was abundantly afforded in several recent publications, particularly in Chitty's Treatise on Criminal Law.
The only works on this express subject published in England before the Restoration, setting aside Lambard, Crompton and Dalton, who confined themselves chiefly to justices of the peace, are Sir William Staundforde's, and the Third Institute. Staundforde was always much esteemed; but Coke was early questioned and denied to be safe authority. His book is
very plete ; it is immethodical, like his other writings; it was a posthumous work printed in its unfinished state. Hence, in the very first reign after it was published, the court of king's bench had repeated occasion to speak of its many errors ; and a learned judge, who left behind him a small but valuable collection of cases in crown law, Sir John Kelyng, used these remarkable words in respect to the Third Institute; “There are many things in his (Sir E. Coke's) Posthumous Works, which lie under a suspicion, whether they received no alteration, they coming out in the time of that which is called the long parliament, in the time of that desperate rebellion against King Charles the First.** Thus stood
* Kelyng's Rep. pp. 21, 49.
this branch of the law until the appearance of Hale's Summary, which was nothing more than a judicious and methodical outline of his learned Historia Placitorum Coronæ, which, although the publication of it was ordered by the House of Commons in 1680, did not issue from the press until more than fifty years afterwards, when the public approbation had already been preoccupied by Sergeant Hawkins' Elementary. Treatise of the Pleas of the Crown. The high authority of the name of Sir Matthew Hale, and the sterling excellence of Hawkins, caused the profession to rest content with their works for a long period, without demanding any new compilation of Crown Law. Important additions were made to it from time to time, by the publication of Foster's Report and Discourses, Leach's Collection, and Blackstone's Commentaries; and at length the number of undigested judicial decisions and penal statutes had become so immensely great, that a new abridgment of Crown Law was thought necessary, and undertaken, but left incomplete, by Sir Edward Hyde East. In the mean time the indigesta moles of penal law has continued to swell during the lapse of twenty years, until Mr Russell found it more convenient to finish the task, which his predecessor abandoned, by beginning de novo and compiling an entire treatise, than by merely attempting to make additions to East.
It only remains to state what Mr Davis has done for the improvement of the American edition of Russell. This consists in the omission of one third in number of the entire cha
ters, and many considerable portions of others, which, says the editor, ‘have no application to the jurisprudence of this country;' and in appending to the text, notes of decisions made in our courts, and references to our statutes. He has successfully applied to this work the process of amputation, which Messrs Sergeant and Lowber employ to much advantage, but, if anywise objectionably, with too sparing a hand, in republishing the crude modern English reports ; and which we strongly urged, not long since, as fit to be exerted in preparing improved editions of the old reporters. We do not need to have our shelves cumbered with expensive volumes of local foreign statutes, and local foreign adjudications, of no actual, and hardly of any possible application to our laws. Yet our booksellers import and reprint them in the gross. We hope the example now set will be generally imitated, whenever editions of bulky English law books are republished in America.
4.--Memoirs of the Campaign of the North Western Army of the
United States, A. D. 1812 ; in a Series of Letters addressed to the Citizens of the United States. With an Appendix containing a brief Sketch of the Revolutionary Services of the Author. By WILLIAM Hull, late Governor of the Territory of Michigan, and Brigadier General in the Service of the United States. 8vo. pp. 240. Boston. True & Green.
1824. Most of our readers remember the principal events of the disastrous campaign, to which this work relates, and the decision of the court martial by which General Hull was tried. This officer has always considered his case as standing in a very unfair and partial light before the public, and has at last brought forward what he deems a correct detail of all the transactions pertaining to his connexion with the army. We have no disposition to take any part in the controversy between General Hull and his opponents, nor to revive a subject, which, for the credit of the country, had better be forgotten than remembered ; yet if we are to judge simply by the public documents collected and published in these memoirs, we must draw the conclusion unequivocally, that he was required by the general government to do what it was morally and physically impossible that he should do, that he was surrounded by difficulties which no human agency could conquer, and, in short, whatever may have been his mistakes of judgment in any particular movement, he deserved not the unqualified censure inflicted on him by the court martial. The trial was evidently conducted without a full knowledge of all the testimony in his favor ; important documents in the public offices he could not then obtain ; they are now published, and throw new light on the subject.
The precipitancy with which war was declared, the total want of preparation, and the deficiency of means, afford an apology no doubt to the general government for not providing an immediate and adequate defence for the northwestern frontier ; but it is an extremely hard case, that an officer should suffer in consequence of the neglect of higher powers. General Hull has no right to complain, that his orders were not sufficiently clear and explicit ; but has he a right to complain, that he was ordered to defend a long line of frontier, and invade an enemy's possessions, without being provided with means to effect such an enterprise ; and above all he has a right to coniplain, that he was formally condemned by a grave military tribunal for the issue of unfortunate events, as mortifying to him in themselves as they could possibly be to any other person less interested, and over which he had no control. We aim not to defend General Ilull; his defence must rest on his book ; let it be conceded that he was guilty of mistakes, the question still recurs, and it is one of vital consequence to the party accused, whether these mistakes may not in the main be very easily traced 'to his circumstances, to his confident expectation of aid from government, which he never received, and of cooperation with other branches of the army, which never took place, and without both of which there was no possibility of his effecting what was required of him. The public documents and letters published by him answer this question decidedly in the affirmative, and ought to produce an impression on the public mind at least, far different from that left by the decision of the court martial.
In addition to their personal bearing, these memoirs contain many facts of historical value, relating to the last war. The appendix speaks of the author's services in the revolution.
5.-A Communication on the Improvement of Government ; read
before the American Philosophical Society, at a Meeting attended by General Lafayette, Oct. 1st, 1824. By CHARLES J. INGERSOLL. 12mo. pp. 24. Philadelphia. A.
Small. 1824. It has grown to be a favorite occupation with scholars and politicians to watch the progress of society and governments, arts and institutions, to talk of the influence of one on another, and of their combined effect on the human character, and to contemplate the changes and grand achievements, which are to mark the features of coming ages. The mind has taken this direction in modern times.
Three centuries ago, who tasked himself to dream or inquire what would be the state of the world at this day? Who traced existing principles to ultimate results, or predicted from new discoveries in science, or a new step in political advancement, what mysteries of nature would be revealed, or what magnificent political fabrics would be reared at any future period ? The art of p inting arose as a second sun on the world ; it spread the light of intellect and truth, and recorded the progress of knowledge on pages open to the inspection of all mankind. The acquirements of genius, and the discoveries of accident have been preserved ; data have thus been accumulated ; experiments have been tried and their results noted, and each link in the chain, in any stage of its increase, may be seen by itself, and compared with the others. Hence it is, that the past affords some insight into the future ; there is uniformity in nature, and the machinery which moves society is at different times similarly affected by similar causes. This is the foundation of the prophetic tendency, which the speculations of thinking men are taking at the present day. It is pleasing to range in the uncertainty of the future, and mould things according to our liking, to build up a