naturally become expert in all the arts and artifices of word-manipulation. Under such a system the letter of the law will tend to take the place of the spirit and purpose of the law. In these circumstances there will arise the habit, both on the part of lawyers and of citizens, of reverencing the forms of law more than the principles which lie behind them. The purposes by which all legislation should be animated and determined will come to be habitually overlooked. Questions of right and justice will be ruled out as irrelevant, the highest and only solicitude being as to the binding phraseology of specific clauses. In this way the whole apparatus of justice may be perverted to the work of stifling the national conscience, and the real purposes of government defeated by its own agencies. There are various exemplifications of this, to which it may be well to call attention. The London "Economist," when some time ago discussing the privateering question with reference to England, Russia, and America, recognized the point here made, by stating that the United States may be expected to fulfill its treaty stipulations, but that it will do so from a lawyer's point of view as to their meaning and obligation. It says: "The Government of the United States is not a dishonest Government, or even a tricky Government, widely as that impression is diffused. Owing to circumstances upon which it is unnecessary here to enter, it is a Government very much in the hands of lawyers, and of lawyers trained to encounter one another by means of the quibbles, devices, and 'sharp' interpretations of law which a generation ago were so much in vogue among ourselves. Such men are very apt to read contracts strictly, to seek loop-holes when clauses in those contracts are inconvenient, and to suggest interpretations which give them an apparent advantage, and this practice undoubtedly annoys foreign diplomatists, who do their little trickeries in a different and, as they think, a more gentlemanly way. But the same training inspires in the American party leaders a great respect for law itself, and especially for written law, great acuteness in interpreting it, and a great reluctance to see it neglected, and they are no more likely to break or evade unmistakable rules than English judges are."
The treatment of the slave question in England and the United States well illustrates the diverse working of their constitutions. It was by a recognition of the predominance of the spirit of the English Constitution that Chief-Justice Holt was led, early in the eighteenth century, to decide that "as soon as a negro slave comes into England he is free." This decision, after being long resisted, was reaffirmed by Lord Mansfield in 1772 in the celebrated case of Somerset. These decisions settled the principle that the English Constitution was adverse to slavery. But of that celebrated jurist and eminent legal reformer, Lord Mansfield, it has been remarked that "his eagerness to discourage technicalities and his preference of the principles of civil law occasionally led him to make the law instead of expounding it." This, however, is the American view of the American biographer who forgot the constitution making function of the English judge. Both Holt and Mansfield, in their great decisions, simply fell back upon the principles of natural justice, which they assumed it to be the supreme object of the English Constitution to secure; and, it being established forever that "a slave can not breathe in England," the policy of hostility to slavery became national, and was carried out in the gradual and pacific emancipation of all slaves in the British dependencies. The struggle was long and the progress slow, but the result was a triumph of the principles of right over the selfishness and greed that were legally embodied in the slave system.