Page:Harvard Law Review Volume 1.djvu/45

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will come into possession of this amount, and another professorship will be added to those which the school already possesses. The course in international law, which is now one of the regular college courses in history, will be transferred to the school, but will, undoubtedly, be open to members of the college department if they care to attend the lectures. If possible a gentleman who has had some experience in diplomatic aifrirs is to be selected to fill the chair.

It is a matter which ought to be thoroughly understood by the students, in choosing their courses, that Professor Langdell’s third-year courses are what may be called alternative. Each of them is, in a sense, a two-years’ course. Take Equity jurisdiction for example: this year the basis of the course has been Contract, while next year the subject will be taken up in its relation to Tort. There are, of course, minor branches of the subject which cannot be classified strictly upon this basis, and they are taken up where they seem most properly to belong; but the distinctive features of the two courses may be said to be Contract and Tort.

The name of Professor Langdell’s other third-year course—Suretyship and Mortgage—suggests at once the division. Personal Suretyship is discussed one year, Real Suretyship the next. An advantage of the “case system” is seen in its easy adaptability to a division of this kind. The cases may be placed immediately under the one head or the other, as there is an obvious and easy line of distinction. On the other hand, should one attempt to classify the principles according to this distinction he would find himself involved at least in repetition, if nothing worse, since, in general, the foundation principles of Real and Personal Suretyship are the same, though so different in application as to render the separate treatment of the two subjects important.

The formation of the Selden Society, in England, is an event of the deepest importance to all students in the history and philosophy of the law. The object of this society is, to promote study and investigation in the early principles of the law. No history of the English law, worthy of the name, has ever been written, and, to-day, no book would be more favorably received than a history embracing the genesis of the common law and of equity. At the meeting which brought the English society into existence Lord Coleridge expressed himself strongly of the opinion, that a knowledge of the history of English law is of great importance, both to those who occupy places upon the bench and to those who plead causes at the bar. The historical method of study is the surest path to a sound appreciation of principles, and it is only by a careful inquiry into these principles that a lawyer, or judge, can prepare himself to give a sound opinion upon a given proposition at short notice. With these views the other speakers, including Frye and Lindley, L.JJ., expressed themselves in hearty sympathy. It is worthy of note that Minister Phelps occupied an important position in the first meeting of the society. In moving the first resolution he used the happy expression, that the English law was “a great factor in modern civilization.” To produce an harmonious history of this great force, this English common law, which is no longer confined to the bounds of the British realm, is the hope and expectation of the Selden Society.