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"Will to be void, the testator must have been insane at the time of making it; for if he can be shown to have been in his senses at that time, the Will is good, however insane he may have been before or afterwards.
III. A child under the age of discretion cannot make a Will, even if he has property of his own to dispose of. But the age of discretion is not the same here, as in other cases. For most purposes, twenty-one years is considered by the law the age of discretion, and no one under that age can perform any valid act; but, for making a Will of personal property, a boy is considered sufficiently old at fourteen, and a girl at twelve.
IV. By the common law of England, a married woman can have no personal property whatever, for all which belonged to her before marriage, or comes to her afterwards, is transferred to her husband. If, therefore, she dies in her husband's life-time, she can make no will, because she can have no property to dispose" of. If, however, she does make a bequest of any property, and her husband after her death confirms and allows this bequest, the law will hold it valid, because the only person injured by the act makes no objection to it. And sometimes, a husband engages before marriage, that he will confirm and allow any" bequest his wife may make of certain property, and thus a married woman may obtain a power of making a Will.
Besides this, the courts have, in modern times, so far departed from the common law, as to allow property to be settled "to the separate use" of a married woman, independent of her husband's control. Her power over this property depends upon the words of the deed or will, by which the settlement is made; but very often she has an express power given her, of bequeathing the property, and sometimes her right to do so is implied or understood. Here, therefore, is another case in which a married woman may make a Will. But this latter case is rather to be considered as one where a married woman has a power of appointing by Will, than as one where she can make a Will, strictly so called. And this will lead us to say a few words on appointments by Will.
§ 2. On Appointments by Will.
"we shall see, in a future number, that a man need not bequeath property to any one absolutely, but may settle it on different persons, one after the other, Eo as to give only a particular interest in it to each. The same may be done by "way of gift, in the lifetime of the giver.
Suppose, then, a friend or relation to give, or bequeath, stock in the public funds, not to you absolutely, but to trustees for your benefit; and to settle it so, that you should enjoy the dividends during your life, and should have the power of bequeathing the stock by your Will, to any person you should appoint; and that, in case you made no appointment, then the stock should go to other persons after your death. It is probable, that in a little time, you would get into the habit of considering this stock as entirely your own. You would feel that you were every year receiving the income of it; you would know that you could leave it to whom you pleased; you would talk of it as part of your property; and you would by degrees forget the terms on which you held it.
If, while under this forgetfulness, you were to make your Will, you would, most likely, still treat this stock as belonging to you, and think that there was no occasion to distinguish it from property which was really your own, And, under this mistake,
you would, perhaps, fail to make any appointment of it, which would be valid; and your family would be disappointed of a great part of their expectations.
You would, perhaps, leave to your wife, or your child, "all your property," or, " all the residue of your property after payment of legacies," and would die in the belief that, under this bequest, he or she would take the stock which had been settled upon you, in the manner we have mentioned. No such thing. The stock would go over to the persons to whom it was given in the event of your making no appointment of it: your wife or child would not touch a penny of it. For you have made no appointment of it: you have disposed only of " all your property," or, "all the residue of your property." , and this stock is not, nor ever was, your property.
The law has gone further than this in a case now before us. Under some settlement, a woman was entitled to the income of certain property during her life, and had a power of leaving by will 100/., out of that property, to any person she should appoint. She was a poor woman, and had nothing in the world, beyond this settlement, except the furniture of her house. She made her Will in few words, bequeathing to Mary Jones the sum of 100/. and her furniture. Proof was offered in court that she had no money of her own, and must therefore have intended to give the 100/. over which she had a power. But it wo*, decided by a late judge of great eminence, and the judgment has always been considered right in law, that this bequest was no appointment of the 100/., because it did not refer to the settlement, but disposed of the sum as part of her own property. Mary Jones, therefore, got nothing but the furniture.
Some will think that the law was too strict and literal in this interpretation. However that may be, it is certain that the intentions of testators are often disappointed in such decisions, and it is very necessary to warn them against the danger. The only way of avoiding it is, to be careful in making a distinction between property which is absolutely your own, and that which is only settled upon you. If any property is held by trustees, if it has been in any way entailed, if stock in the funds, of which you receive the income, is not standing in your own name, these are most likely signs of some settlement; and you cannot be too cautious in making your Will, if you wish any property of this sort to pass by it. These remarks will apply to most Wills of married women, which, as we have already stated, are generally only appointments by Will.
The safest way of making an appointment under a power is, first to set forth or allude to the power in your Will. It may be done shortly as follows: "Whereas, under my marriage-settlement, I have the power of disposing by Will of 1000/. three per cent, consols, standing in the name of A. B. Now I hereby, by virtue of that power, bequeath and appoint the said consols to &c, &c." But in general, a fuller statement would be more proper.
In addition to the above remarks, it may be observed, that sometimes the power of appointment is not general, but confined to particular objects, as, to such of your relations as you may appoint: to such of the children of A as you may appoint, &c. Sometimes, too, you cannot appoint by any Will, but only by a Will made in a special manner, with peculiar ceremonies. All these things are governed by the words of the settlement: for as you have no power except under the settlement, you must comply with the conditions which are imposed by it. W.
If our duty required us to pass our days "remote from man," in order to live with God, (as undoubtedly it does not,) few parts in England would supply n spot more suited for religious solitude, than the Vale of Ewias, in which are now seen the ruins of Llanthony Abbey. These beautiful remains are hastening to decay. Tourist after tourist, has to lament the absence of some interesting fragments, described by those who visited the ruins a few years only before him; and probably, only a few more generations will pass away, before the work of destruction will be completed. Of the strangers who visit this still very interesting spot, the number is comparatively small. Were it situated in any other part of the country, where the remains of ancient times were scarce, we should hear much more of its beauties and simple grandeur. But the country in which Llanthony was built, abounds with ruins; and travellers are contented with Tintern, and Ragland, and Chepstow, and Goodrich, to which they have access without any difficulty; whilst a few only have the spirit to seek among the mountains, and through rough roads, for what they fancy they may equally enjoy elsewhere without fatigue. They know not how great an additional relish is afforded by that gratification which has cost us somewhat of pains and exertion. Few, probably, ever visited Llanthony under favourable circumstances, and came away disappointed.
A curious account of the foundation of this religious house, written in Latin, by a Monk of the Abbey, is preserved in Dugdale's Monasticon. Thus the tradition runs.
St. David, uncle of King Arthur, and titular Saint of Wales, finding a solitary place among woods and
rocks, built a small chapel on the banks of the little river Honddy, and passed many years in this hermitage; on his death, i.t remained for centuries unfrequented. This chapel was called Llan Detoi Nant Honddu, which means, " The Church of David on the Honddy;" and of which, the present name Llan-t-hony, is only a corruption. In the reign of William Rufus, Hugh de Laci, a great Norman baron, once followed the deer into this valley, and one of his retainers, named William, wearied with the chase, threw himself down on the grass to rest. Espying the remains of the old chapel, and suddenly urged by the impulse of religious feeling, he instantly devoted himself to the service of God. He laid aside his belt, says the Monk, and girded himself with a rope; instead of fine linen; he put on haircloth, and instead of his soldier's robe, he loaded himself with weighty irons. The suit of armour which before defended him from the darts of his enemies, he still wore, as a garment to harden him against the temptations of Satan; and he continued to wear it, till it was worn out with rust and age. This man's reputation for sanctity, led to the foundation- of a priory; and large donations in money and lands were repeatedly offered, but were declined; the hermits choosing, as they said, to live poor in the house of God. This resolution was at length overcome, if we may believe the tradition, in rather a whimsical manner. Maud, Queen of Henry the First, once desired permission to put her hand into William's bosom, and when he with great modesty permitted her, she conveyed a large purse of gold between his coarse shirt and iron boddice. The spell of poverty being thus once broken, riches poured in from every side; and a more magnificent church was built.
But peace and contemplation did not long dwell in Llanthony. A Welshman sought refuge in the sacred asylum, and was followed by his enemies. The monastery was speedily converted into a rendezvous of lawless men and women. "In this distress," says the Monk, " what could the soldiers of Christ do? They are encompassed without, by the weapons of their enemies, and frights are within; they cannot procure food, nor perform their religious offices with reverence." In this emergence they applied to Betun, Bishop of Hereford, who was their Prior. He invited them to Hereford, resigned his palace to them for two years, and maintained all who quitted the convent. His good offices then procured for them a spot of ground, called Hyde, near Gloucester, where they built a church, and established themselves in that spot as a temporary residence, calling it Llanthony. The ruins are visible there now.
This house was to be only a cell to the Abbey in Monmouthshire, whither the monks were bound to return on the restoration of peace. But by many large endowments, this Llanthony the Second rose in opulence and splendour, the monks, courted by the great, and living in every kind of ease and luxury, forgot their original tabernacle in the wilderness; they not only refused to return, but claimed for the daughter pre-eminence over the mother-church. The few who continued to reside in the valley, were oppressed and pillaged. The Monk thus pours forth his doleful complaints. "When the storm subsided, and peace was restored, then did the sons of Llanthony tear up the bounds of their mother-church, and refuse to serve God as their duty required: for they used to say, there was much difference between the city of Gloucester and the wild rocks of Hatyvel, (a range of mountains near the parent monastery;) between the rich Severn and the brook Honddy; between the wealthy English and the beggarly Welsn. There fertile meadows, here barren heaths. I have heard it said, and I partly believe it, that some of them declared in their light discourse, (I hope it did not proceed from the rancour of their hearts,) they wished every stone of this ancient foundation, a stout hare. They have usurped, and lavished, all the revenues of the church: there they have built lofty and stately offices, here they have suffered our venerable buildings to fall to ruin. And to avoid the scandal of deserting an ancient monastery, they send hither their old and useless members. They permitted the monastery to be reduced to such poverty, that the friars were without surplices. Sometimes they had no breeches, and could not attend divine service. Sometimes one day's bread must serve for two, while the monks of Gloucester enjoyed superfluities. If our remonstrances, which availed nothing, were repeated, they replied, ' Who would go and sing to the wolves? Do the whelps of wolves delight in loud music?' They even made sport, and when any person was sent hither, would ask, 'What fault has he committed? Why is he sent to prison?' Thus was the mistress and the mother-house called a dungeon, and a place of banishment for criminals."
The Monk proceeds to lament, that the library was despoiled of its books; the monument-room of its deeds and charters; the silk vestments and relics
embroidered with Silver and gold, were taken away; the treasury was spoiled of its precious goods. Whatever was valuable or ornamental, even the bells, notwithstanding their great weight, were carried off without the smallest opposition to Gloucester.
This desolate state of the Abbey, induced Edward the Fourth, to unite the two houses by charter, making the church of Gloucester the principal, and obliging the monks to maintain a prior and four canons in the original monastery. Whether this union ever was really carried into effect, is uncertain. At the dissolution of monasteries, the two were valued separately; the mother-church, in the valley of Ewias, being only one ninth part of the monastery at Gloucester*.
The following description of the scenery, in the neighbourhood of Llanthony, is from a gentleman* who has lately visited the spot. "Near the northern extremity of that long dark mountain-ridge, which forms so magnificent an horizon to our view, as wo approach Wales, by the road from Gloucester ta Brecon, we see one hill towering above his fello,*ss-, and appearing to challenge to a trial of height any of his rivals in South Wales. This is the Wghest and most important mass of the Black Mountain. It is called Gader Vawr, or ' the Great Sea*.' The; ancient Britons seem to have regarded their mount.
* See Cox'< Monmouthshire.
tain-tops as the seats or resting-places of some 'Spirit of the Fell,' to whose benign or malevolent influences they looked with superstitions awe. It is from this summit that a tourist of leisure, strength of limb, and zeal in the search of natural beauty and grandeur, should start on his visit to the Honddy. But he cannot reach that point from the Welsh side, without being already repaid for all his labour in the ascent, by the scenery to which every step has introduced him. As he begins to ascend from Glasbury, through rich and highly-cultivated farms, the reaches and bendings of the Wye, compel him to rest awhile, and enjoy the beauties of the valley, with a relish rendered still keener, by their contrast with the bold, wild, mountain-scenery, to which his road is leading him. But we must not dwell on the delights to which the Wye contributes in this favoured district; and yet the recollection of its bendings in one part, its deep and long lakes in another, its banks clothed with luxuriant pasturage, (except where the oak woods still retain possession,) with the noble castellated mansion of Macsloxigh, one of the most imposing features I ever saw in any scenery of the kind, would plead in excuse even for a longer digression.
"From the highest cone of the Gader Vawr, the Black Mountain presents to us a vast promontory, girded on either side by a deep valley. These two valleys approach gradually towards each other, narrowing the mountain promontory at every step, till they n:eet at a place called Chapel y Fyn; above which, the projecting mountain comes to a sudden abrupt termination, presenting to the traveller, who is led by the very nature of the ground to a bold rock at. the augular point, a scene very seldom surpassed in our own or any other country.
"Through each of these valleys flows a rivulet, the united waters of which, form the Honddy. The northern valley, as the traveller ascends it, leads to a famous pass called the Bwlch; the southern is gradually lost in the bosom of the Black Mountain. To which of these two the preference should be given, might, perhaps, be a subject of doubt; I should assign the palm of beauty to the southern valley, through which, unfortunately for its fame, no road leads. But both are exquisitely beautiful. In one point of excellence, I am disposed to think the southern might challenge the whole region of the Alps to name its superior: I mean in the variety and the rich mingling of its colours. As we stand in the midst of the heath, on the border of the hill above, surrounded on every side by an ocean of the richest purple, we look down from the purple heath, upon pastures of the brightest green, themselves interspersed with brakes of a deep dark green. Copsewoods again grow here and there on declivities, whose scars present the red marl of the soil, the prevailing stratum being what geologists call the old red sand-stone. At intervals, we catch the white silver thread of the rivulet, winding its way through as sweet a dingle as imagination can paint, receiving in irregular succession, its unnumbered tributary rills from the rocks. Every stone almost amongst these rocks (except as it might seem, where the beauty of contrast required the exception,) is made gray by the lichens, which appear to flourish and delight in this wild land. To this must be added the change of hue which our eye catches, as it falls on ricks of provender, or sheep-cotes, or humble homesteads, with which this beautiful valley is studded, though very scantily.
"The glance of a painter would doubtless discover a far greater variety of colouring; as his pencil or
pen would describe those colours, which I have enumerated with a vividness and distinctness now wanting. I recollect only one more colour, though that one of many shades, the deep dark black of the hills in the back -ground, (called most deservedly, the Black Mountain); which are often capped with a still darker cloud, and which give to the whole scene, an imposing character of grandeur and sublimity, beyond any thing I could have anticipated in the district.
"Bnt I must not forget the projecting rock which I have already mentioned, at the junction of these two valleys. The view from this point is truly delightful. The eye first catching the small chapel, a very interesting object at the foot of the mountain, ranges from side to side, and onward down the Honddy, till it reaches the remains of the once famous Llanthony. There it rests; whilst the mind cannot withhold its assent from the eulogy of The Monk. 'There stands in a deep valley a conventual church, situated to promote true religion beyond almost all the churches in England; quiet for contemplation, and retired for conversation with the Almighty. Here the sorrowful complaints of the oppressed do not disquiet, nor do the mad contentions of the froward disturb; but a calm peace and perfect charity invite to holy religion, and banish discord.'"
"Drink deep, or taste not," is a direction fully as applicable to religion, if we would find it a source of pleasure, as it is to knowledge. A little religion is, it must be confessed, apt to make men gloomy, as a little knowledge is to render them vain: hence the unjust imputation often brought upon religion by those whose degree of religion is just sufficient, by condemning their course of conduct, to render them uneasy; enough merely to impair the sweetness of the pleasures of sin, and not enough to compensate for the relinquishment of them by its own peculiar comforts. Thus then men bring up, as it were, an ill report of that land of promise, which, in truth, abounds with whatever, in our journey through life, can beat refresh and strengthen us.
Religion deserves a candid examination, and it demands nothing more. The fulfilment of prophecy forms a part of the evidence of Christianity. And are the prophecies false, or are they true? Is their fallacy exposed, or their truth ratified by the event? And whether are they thus proved to be, the delusions of impostors, or the dictates of inspiration? To the solution of these questions a patient and impartial inquiry alone is requisite: reason alone is appealed to, and no other faith is here necessary, but that which'arises as the natural and spontaneous fruit of rational conviction. The man who withholds this inquiry, and who will not be impartially guided by its result, is not only reckless of his fate, but devoid of that of which he prides himself the most, even of all true liberality of sentiment. He is the bigot of infidelity, who will not believe the truth because it is the truth.—Keith.
Repentance includes a heart broken for sin, and a heart broken from it.
No worldly thing seems great to him who minds eternity.
Take up all duties in point of performance, and lay them down in point of dependence: duty can" never have too much of our diligence, or too little of our confidence.
A Long life may be passed without finding a friend, in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and sincerity. A weak man, however honest, is not qualified to judge. A man of the world, however penetrating, is not fit to counsel. Friends are often chosen for similitude of manners, and therefore each palliates the other's failings because they are his own. Friends are tender, and unwilling to give pain; or they are interested, and fearful to affend.-—Jobnsok.
A MONKEY TRICK.
A Vessel that sailed between "Whitehaven and Jamaica, embarked on her homeward voyage, and among other passengers, carried a female, who had at the breast a child only a few weeks old. One beautiful afternoon, the captain perceived a distant sail, and after he had gratified Jiis curiosity, he politely offered his glass to his passenger, that she might obtain a clear view of the object. Having the baby in her arms; she wrapped her shawl about the little innocent, and placed it on a sofa upon which she had been sitting. Scarcely had she applied her eye to the glass, when the helmsman exclaimed, "See! see I what the mischievous monkey has done." The reader may judge of the mother's feelings, when, on turning round, she beheld the animal in the act of transporting her beloved child apparently to the very top of the mast! The monkey was a very large one, and so strong and active, that while it grasped the infant firmly with the one arm, it climbed the shrouds nimbly by the other, totally unembarrassed by the weight of its burden. One look was sufficient for the terrified mother, and that look had well nigh been her last, and bad it not been tbr the assistance of those around her, she would have fallen prostrate on the deck, where she was soon afterwards stretched apparently a lifeless corpse.
The sailors could climb as well as the monkey; but the latter watched their motions narrowly; and as it ascended higher up the mast the moment they attempted to put a foot on the shrouds, the captain became afraid that it would drop the child, and endeavour to escape by leaping from one mast to another.
In the mean time the little innocent was heard to cry; and though many thought it was suffering pain, their fears on this point were speedily dissipated, when they observed the monkey imitating exactly the motions of a nurse, by dandling, soothing, and caressing its charge, and even endeavouring to hush it to sleep. From the deck the lady was conveyed to the cabin, and gradually restored to her senses. In the mean time, the captain ordered every man to conceal himself below, and quietly took his own station on the cabin stair, where he could see all that passed without being seen. This plan happily succeeded; the monkey, on perceiving that the coast was clear, cautiously descended from his lofty perch, and replaced the infant on the sofa, cold, fretful, and perhaps frightened, but in every other respect as free from harm as when he took it up. The humane seaman had now a most grateful task to perform; the babe was restored to its mother's arms, amidst tears, and thanks, and blessings.
"I Recollect," says Mr. Croker, in his Researches in the South of Ireland, "once trying to convince a peasant that he -might, with very little trouble, improve the state of his cabin by building a shed for his pig, and banishing him the chimney-corner; but he coolly answered, ' Sure, then, and who has a better right to be in it? Is n't he the man of the house : and is n't it he that will pay the rent ?'"
There is no part of history so generally useful as that which relates the progress of the human mind, the gradual improvement of reason, the successive advances of science, the vicissitudes of learning and ignorance, which are the light and darkness of thinking beings, the extinction, and resuscitation of arts, and the revolution of the intellectual world. If accounts of battles and invasions are peculiarly the business of princes, the useful or elegant arts are not to be neglected; those who have kingdoms to govern have understandings to cultivate.—Johnson.
The English Mercurie, which appeared in 1588, was the first specimen of an English newspaper: hitherto, all the articles of intelligence had been in MS., and all addresses from government to the people were issued from the press in the form of a pamphlet. No. 50, the earliest specimen now extant, is dated July 23rd, and is in the British Museum.
In King James's time sorcery and w*tchcraft were recognised by the English law, and were punished by burning. During this king s reign, of twenty-two vears, not less than a hundred persons fell victims to the prevalence of this superstition,—Aikin's James the First. J
O SPARE MY FLOWER.
O Spare my flower, my gentle flower,
The slender creature of a day! Let it bloom out its little hour, And pass away.
Too soon its fleeting charms must lie
Decay'd, unnoticed, overthrown.
The breeze will roam this way to-morrow,
And sigh to find his playmate gone: The bee will come its sweets to borrow, And meet with none.
O spare! And let it still outspread
Its beauties to the passing eye, And look up from its lowly bed Upon the sky.
O spare my flower! Thou know'st not what
Thy undiscerning hand would tear: A thousand charms thou notest not Lie treasured there.
Not Solumon, in all his state,
Was clad like Nature's simplest child, Nor could the world combined create One floweret wild.
Spare then this humble monument
Of an Almighty's power and skill;
He made it who makes nought in vain;
He watches it who watches thee, And He can best its date ordain .Who bade it be. Lyte.
AN AMERICAN STEAM-VESSEL. Steam-boats for passengers, in North America, necessarily differ very much in their construction and accommodation from those of this country, being specially adapted to the navigation of those wide and long rivers and lakes which intersect that country in so many directions, uninfluenced by the rough tides and waves of the ocean, to which British steam-vessels arc exposed. For this reason, the American vessels are built on a larger scale, yet drawing not more than four or five feet water, and many of them even less. Their bottoms are, consequently, flat, having scarcely any keel, and thereby presenting little resistance to their motive power through the water, which often, T,''v oriod engines, exceeds fourteen miles an hour. 'lii. -.iQiues are all erected on the high-pressure, or non-condensing principle, having their boilers placed one on each wing, directly in front or in rear of the paddle-wheel, with the fire-place right over the water, into which the ashes readily fall. The machinery is also on deck, between the boilers. The annexed engraving is a view of a first-rate vessel of this kind, the Carroll of Carrolton. This splendid vessel hss 158 feet keel, and 52 feet beam over all, with two engines of great power. There are several, lately built, which are larger, but they are all on the sen.e, principle and construction.
The piston-rods are worked by beams, having from five to seven feet stroke, and present a very formidable appearance at a distance. The helmsman's station is forward, generally in a little domed recess of carved wood, with his compass before him, and different pull-strings at hand, by which he communicates his directions to the engine-men. to stop, to go on, to retrograde, or to moderate the rate of going. His eye also having the command of every thing in his progress, or near the bows of the vessel, he judges for himself, and requires no information, on what is called conning of the ship. The) tiller-ropes run in blocks and sheaves round the sides