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with it indissolubly and reciprocally as cause and effect. No. thing but an arduous struggle for independence, with its attendant perils and extremities, could have conquered the centrifugal tendency of thirteen Colonies, jealous of their separate rights. Nothing but Union would have sufficed as a permanent and safe basis of independence; and it is doubtful whether it is less important now, in this respect, than at the period of the Revolution.
Accordingly, with the commencenient of the revolutionary war, the attention of the Federal Congress was turned to a confederation of the States. Before proceeding to the discussion of this subject, Mr. Justice Story devotes a most interesting chapter to the History of the Revolution. In this chapter (Book II. chap. I.), the interesting topic of sovereignty is most ably treated, and great light is thrown on some of the agitating questions of the present day. With this introduction, we are led to the history of the formation of the Confederation, the fourth of the projects or plans for a Union of the States, of the three former of which we have had something to say in this article. This is followed by an analysis of the articles of confederation themselves, and an accurate statement of the powers which it granted and withheld. The succeeding chapter, on the decline and fall of the Confederation, is full of instruction. The usual considerations under this head are arrayed in strong light, and others of a less familiar character are introduced. Let any man, who reflects upon the all-important functions to be discharged by a judiciary, capable of carrying its decrees into effect, pardon the condition of things adverted to in the following paragraph.
A striking illustration of the weakness of the Confederacy may be found in our juridical history. The power of appeal in prize causes, as an incident to the sovereign powers of peace and war, was asserted by Congress, after the most elaborate consideration, and supported by the voice of ten States, antecedent to the ratification of the articles of confederation. The exercise of that power was, however, resisted by the State courts, notwithstanding its immense importance to the preservation of the rights of independent neutral nations. The Confederation gave, in express terms, this right of appeal. The decrees of the Court of Appeals were equally resisted; and, in fact, they remained a dead letter, till they were enforced by the Courts of the United States under the present confederation.'*
* Story's Commentaries, Vol. I. p. 230.,
The weakness of the Judiciary under the Confederation may be sufficiently judged of by the faint tradition of those, who administered that department of the government, and the meagre records of their labors. Of the military and parliamentary history of the Revolution, and the period which followed it, up to 1789, we have some documentary history; and the names of the generals and statesmen, who stood at the head of affairs, are familiar to our ears. But who can tell us much about the Federal jurisprudence of the same period, fruitful as that period must have been in all the elements of an important admiralty and prize system?
Although it is obviously impossible for us to go very particularly into the analysis of the contents of these chapters, we cannot forbear making a quotation of a short section of the chapter immediately before us, and which deserves to be well weighed by every citizen of the United States, who respects the authority of the great men, who framed and contemporaneously expounded the Constitution.
· The last defect which seems worthy of enumeration is, that the Confederation never had a ratification of the PEOPLE. Upon this objection it will be sufficient to quote a single passage from the same celebrated work, (Federalist, No. 22.) as it affords a very striking commentary upon some extraordinary doctrines recently promulgated. “Resting upon no better foundation than the consent of the State Legislatures, it has been exposed to frequent and intricate questions concerning the validity of its powers; and has in some instances given birth to the erroneous doctrine of a right of legislative repeal. Owing its ratification to a law of a State, it has been contended that the same authority might repeal the law by which it was ratified. However gross a heresy it may be to maintain, that a party to a compact has a right to revoke that compact, the doctrine itself has had respectable advocates. The possibility of a question of this nature proves the necessity of laying the foundations of our national government deeper than the mere sanction of delegated authority. The fabric of American Empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure original fountain of all legitimate authority.")
Having thus opened the way, Mr. Justice Story relates the history of the formation of the Constitution. A chapter on the objections to it follows. To this succeeds a discussion of the nature of the Constitution,—whether it be a compact.
VOL. XXXVIII.-NO. 82.
This is one of the most able, luminous, and valuable chapters . of the work. The whole artillery of constitutional law, on this great topic of present interest, is brought out with masterly skill and power; and the politician, who knows nothing of his calling, but how to inflame popular feeling on topics of local interest, may read this chapter and learn how mean his occupation is.
And here begins the great business of this work, not indeed, that the previous chapters are not of close connexion with its main subject, and some of them, in fact, not inferior in present interest and seasonableness. But in this discussion of the question, whether the Constitution is a compact or a government, we enter the great temple of constitutional law. A chapter on the Final Interpreter' follows, and this is succeeded by another on the Rules of Interpretation. Having gone through with these preliminary inquiries,-preliminary not as of less than essential importance, but as applying to the whole Constitution and all its parts,-Mr. Justice Story takes up his commentary on the instrument itself, and beginning with its Preamble, goes through with every article, section and paragraph.
We have already intimated, that a work of this kind,-it- • self a review of the Constitution, almost bids defiance to all attempts at a complete analytical review of itself. At all events, we feel ourselves incompetent to the undertaking, particularly in the limited space which remains to us. Suffice it to say, that it is a work whose value must be learned by the student of constitutional law, by the politician, and by the intelligent American citizen, from a careful and repeated perusal of the volumes. Had we been called upon to designate the individual, for the honorable and laborious task of preparing a Commentary on the Constitution, we should have designated Mr. Justice Story.
It is of course the first qualification for a constitutional commentator, that he should be of sound principles. We hope never to see the day, when our highest judicial functionaries shall be claimed as belonging to any of the parties, which distract our republic. Still, however, it is impossible that public men should grow up in a career of active usefulness, without having bad their party associations. Mr. Justice Story was of the democratic party, and shared the general views of that party, on questions of constitutional politics; but with a
mind of too legal a cast, to run into wild revolutionary extremes. Coming upon the bench with prepossessions of the character intimated, Mr. Justice Story rose immediately above the sphere of party ; and with the ermine of office, put on the sacred robe of the Constitution and the Law. Henceforward it became his duty, his desire, his effort, neither to strain the Constitution, nor to travel round it, on the loose popular maxims which guide the partisan ; but to interpret it with impartiality, and administer it with firmness. In a word, he became a constitutional lawyer of the school of Marshall; and nowhere can a more authentic, comprehensive, and instructive ex position of the principles of that school, in their entire application to the Constitution, be found, than in these volumes.
To this vital qualification for the work, Mr. Justice Story has superadded others, rarely to be found united and made available for such an undertaking. His position as a magistrate has secured a moderation of statement and a caution in laying down principles, bighly desirable in a work, which is to impart to the youth of the country those impressions relative to the Constitution, which are to go with them in many cases through life. Nothing would bave been more out of place, in such a work, than a controversial tone and manner; and no guarantee against even the unconscious assumption of such a tone and manner is so likely to prove effectual, as the restraint of the judicial office.
Lastly, a work like the Commentaries on the Constitution could scarcely be accomplished, in a becoming manner, except by an individual, uniting to all the other qualifications, those of an almost boundless reading, professional, historical, political and miscellaneous; and a happy talent of extracting, from a heterogeneous mass, the sequence and consent of truth. It is impossible to go through these volumes without feeling, that, from the first frail New England Confederacy of 1643 down to the ratification of the Federal Constitution in 1789, Union, Union, Union is the great destiny of our country. This is the lesson to be learned, and the truth to be evolved through a continuous investigation of the most laborious and often perplexing character :- and the true prophet of our political dispensation is he, that can most clearly discern it, when it is faintly indicated, and most powerfully support it, when it is plausibly assailed. Mr. Justice Story's Commentaries have brought to its illustration a world of well-digested learning; and furnish the most satisfactory general refutation of the detached essays, which perverted ingenuity is ever able to dress up in defence of any paradox, however amazing. We rejoice in its appearance ;-in its appearance at this crisis. Earnestly do we desire, that it may perform the salutary office of aiding to win back the judgments of our Southern brethren to the sound doctrines of 1789. It seems impossible to us to resist the conviction, that the theories, which have been recently broached, carry us back to the rude and abortive confederacies and plans of confederacies of other days. Well may that doctrine be called Nullification, in which the experience of two centuries goes for nothing, and in which the sole and express object for framing the Constitution is set at nought.
ART. 1V.-The Whale Fishery.
Description of the Northern Whale Fishery. By
burgh. 1820. 2. Journal of a Voyage to the Northern Whale Fishery,
including Researches and Discoveries on the Eastern Coast of West Greenland, made in the Summer of 1822. By Wm. SCORESBY, Jr. F. R. S. E. Edinburgh.
1823. 3. Discovery and Adventure in the Polar Seas and Regions,
with an Account of the Whale Fishery. Harper's
Family Library, No. 14. New York. 1833. 4. Scientific Tracts. Nos. 18 & 24.-Whale Fishery.
From the legends and chronicles of the inhabitants of the Northern shores and islands of Europe, we learn that they have always depended upon the whale for much of their employment and subsistence. Among them all, and among the Esquimaux of North America, we discover rude implements and canoes for capturing the huge monster. Those of our readers who have read the · Pirate,' will recollect with what a hearty zeal the Zetlanders engaged in capturing a stranded