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GREAT PONDS.

331

highest tribunal of the State voices the unwritten practices, trans- actions, and views of her people for ages. It declares practical constructions that have become inveterate. It sees in the ordi- nance of 1 64 1 the coloring that centuries have given it, and things that the closest student of its phraseology might not discern; and they may well hold that colonial wisdom left no footing in this Commonwealth for any such doctrine as alleged; that reasons of loftier utility control here which were dominant and supreme long prior to the Constitution itself.

It may be, therefore, that the query as to the limit of the ripa- rian's title by English common law never will arise as an isolated question here. A moot point, a fancy conundrum, received not much attention from our court. It must come to its bar in connec- tion with our ways, methods, and circumstances of all these years.

Nor can we expect if the Fall. River case reaches Washington, that this debate concerning the metes and bounds of a " species of land" will be continued there. It is not a Federal question.

Thos, M, Stetson. New Bedford, Mass.