Reviews of Books
GEST'S LAWYER IN LITERATURE The Lawyer in Literature. By John Marshall Gest. Judge of the Orphans' Court, Philadelphia. With an introduction by John H. Wigmore. Boston Book Co., Boston. Pp. xii, 249. ($2.50 net.) WHEN lawyers employ their leisure in the production of something that is not a law book, the outcome is usually but new fuel added to the fires that no perishable book can escape. But this cannot be said of Judge Gest's writings. He is one of the literary elite of the law, and the book before us has permanent worth and distinction. "The Lawyer in Literature" is the work of a mind saturated with the classics of English literature. It is not a produc tion of severe scholarship, of pains taking criticism or precise historical exposition, but it does express the mel low experience of a mind that has found its highest delight in the satisfaction of its bookworm cravings. It is not easy to single out any one essay as more notable than the rest. That on Coke surely deserves to rank for a long time as a classic characterization of the great jurist, and is a memorable attempt to do justice to his nobler traits and to rescue his fame from disparagement and misconception. The essay on "The Influence of Biblical Texts upon Eng lish Law" will undoubtedly be found richly suggestive, by every student of the history of our institutions, as entering a fertile field which has thus far received surprisingly little attention. The glow ing essays on the lawyer side of the novels of Dickens, Scott, and Balzac are prob ably the most notable contribution that has been made on this side of the Atlan tic for years to the litterae humaniores of the law — to that department of letters
of which Judge Gest, living in an age when specialists are many and human ists are few, is one of our most honorable exponents.1 We are tempted to quote from what another humanist of the law% Dean John H. Wigmore, says of these essays in his spirited introduction to them, but piecemeal quotation would fail to do justice to a striking exposition of the manifold service of literature to the profession of the law. BLACK'S INCOME TAXATION A Treatise on the Law of Income Taxation, under Federal and State Laws. By Henry Campbell Black, author of Black's Law Dictionary and of treatises on Judgments, Bankruptcy, Constitu tional Law, Interpretation of Laws, Judicial Prece dents, etc. Vernon Law Book Co., Kansas' City, Mo. Pp. xvi, 262, and appendix and index 141. («4.) THE Federal Income Tax presents a new sort of problem for our law yers. Few states have had effective local income taxes and the decisions under the income tax of war times are comparatively few. Hence there are few precedents for interpretation of the new Act of Congress of 1913. Although corporate bonds since 1894 have usually contained clauses providing for payment of coupons without deduction for any tax, having in mind a possible future federal income tax, most business methods have been developed quite without reference to such a tax. The new statute is modeled on the two earlier acts in this country as well as upon the English Act, but it is modified in many places with a view to more efficient col lection. Hasty changes in the final con ference occurred, as is customary in 1 See 23 Green Bag 456.