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principal case is clearly correct (see Getchell v. that the plaintiff must show a present right of posManey, 69 Me. 442), has unwittingly ranged Maine session. The cases have no tendency to sustain the on the wrong side of the question of the assigna- doctrine in support of which they are cited.” bility of mechanic's or laborer's liens on the strength of the very generally misunderstood decision in In Stewart v. Terre Haute and Ind. R. Co., United Pearsons v. Tincker, 38 Me. 384.” The following States Circuit Court, East District of Missouri, Oct. are the material portions of the opinion, which is 1, 1880, 10 Rep. 618, it was held that in the absence by Judge Barrows: “We cannot find either in prin- of a special contract, a common carrier is liable to ciple or sound authority any good reason for holding the extent only of his own line, and for safe delivthat the transfer by the laborer to a third party of ery to the next carrier. The court said: “In the an equitable interest in the sum due him for his labor, present case the question is whether a special conshould work a forfeiture of his lien. The object of tract on the part of the defendant to carry through the statute, giving the lien, is to make certain the to Buffalo is established by proof that the cattle payment for the labor, which has gone to increase were delivered to defendant, that its agent knew of the value of the timber. See Spofford v. True, 33 their destination, and that he named the price to be Me. 254. And it would detract much from the charged for carrying through to Buffalo, the price benefit designed to be conferred, to hold that the having been paid at the end of the route, and to the laborer must necessarily personally incur all the de- last carrier. The fact that the defendant gave the Jay and expense that not unfrequently arise from the through rate with knowledge of the point of destitedious litigation which follows an effort to enforce nation is most relied upon by plaintiff. Ordinarily, a lien of this sort, at the peril of losing it altogether. men contract with reference to the use or disposition If the lien can be enforced in his name by one who of their own property, and do not undertake to conhas assumed this risk and burden for him, another trol that of others. It follows, I think, that a conobject of the statute, which is to make his pay tract by which one carrier agrees to carry freight prompt as well as secure, will be materially advanced.” over a railroad belonging to and under the control “We think it would be laying an unnecessary bur- of another, being out of the usual course, must be den upon the laborer for whose benefit the statute established by something more clear and definite than was designed, to say that he should not avail him- by proving the fact that such carrier has named a self of the security which the statute gives him, in through rate. It is commonly known that it is the the way most beneficial to himself, and if he can duty of a railroad agent to inform himself and adbetter himself by giving to an assignee the right to vise all inquirers as to the rates of fare and freight proceed in his name, instead of waiting around to distant points, and it would be a hard rule that there' for the slow process of the law, we see no would make the giving of this information equivareason why he may not do it without forfeiting the lent to an agreement to carry to all such distant lien from which he derives the advantage. The points. If it had appeared in evidence that there claims of laborers, secured by statute lien, stand was an arrangement between the several lines comsubstantially, in this respect, upon the same footing prising the through route by which each was the as those of mechanics. The weight of authority agent of all the others to solicit and ship freight and reasoning is in favor of the assignability of the over the combined through line, the case would lien of the mechanics, and the right of his assignee have been very different, and I think that such proof to assert his claim in the same manner and to the would have been sufficient to make out a prima same extent that the mechanic could. Kerr v. Moore, facie case for the plaintiff. This for the reason that 54 Miss. 286, citing Gaege v. Bossieux, 15 Gratt. 83; in such a case each of the several companies may be Tuttle v.
Howe, 14 Minn. 150; Davis v. Bilsland, 18 regarded as operating the whole line as if it was its Wall. 689, and other cases of like purport and effect. owner, and therefore its contracts would be preSee, also, Hull of a New Ship, Daveis, 199; The sumed to run to the destination of the freight anySarah J. Weed, 2 Lowell, 556. Nor is there any where upon such line, unless the contrary should apthing adverse to this doctrine in our decisions cited pear. But in the absence of any further showing, by the claimant of the logs. Assignability is one the naming of the through rate and knowledge of thing, negotiability is another. In Pearsons V. the destination of the freight are not enough.” This Tincker, 36 Me. 387, it was rightly held that a lien is the ordinary American ruling, and is supported claim which had been assigned could not be en- by the following authorities and later ones in the forced in the name of the assignee ; but it does not same States: Railroad Co. v. Manufacturing Co., 16 touch the right of such assignee to enforce the lien Wall. 318; Nutting v. R. Co., 1 Gray, 502; R. Co. in the name of the assignor. Whether chapter 235 v. Berry, 68 Penn. St. 272; Root v. R. C., 45 N. Y. of the Laws of 1874 would operate a change in the 524; Converse v. Transportation Co., 33 Conn. 166; rights of the assignee we need not now inquire. Perkins v. R. Co., 47 Me. 573; Bank v. TransportaThe point decided in Ames v. Palmer, 42 Me. 197, tion Co., 23 Vt. 209; Express Co. v. Rush, 24 Ind. was simply that a trespasser could not interpose the 403; McMillan v. R. Co., 16 Mich. 79; Hoagland v. lien of a third party as a common carrier upon the R. Co., 39 Mo. 451; Balt, and Ohio R. Co. v. Schugoods which were the subject of suit, in which lien maker, 29 Md. 176; Irish v. Railroad, 19 Minn. he had no interest or concern as assignee or other- | 376; Crawford v. R. Assoc., 51 Miss. 222; Philwise, to bar the action of the general owner against lips v. Railroad, 78 N. C. 294. In Gray v. Juckhimself for a tortious interference, upon the ground son, 51 N. H. 9; 12 Am. Rep. 1, the agreement was held to be a question of fact, and where there was The following propositions in respect to contract no agreement for liability beyond the carrier's own by letters are established by the cases :
1. Where the offer is made by letter, and is acand Girard R. Co. v. Copeland, Supreme Court of cepted by letter posted within a reasonable time, Alabama, 1880, 10 Rep. 625, the carrier was held the contract is complete, although the acceptance liable for delivery at the destination, even beyond may be delayed or may not be received, owing to his own line, unless he expressly limits his liability. the fault of the post. Dunlop v. Higgins, 1 H. L. The court said: “When goods are consigned to a Cas. 381; Duncan v, Topham, 8 C. B. 225; Adams place on his own line of transportation, the known v. Lindsell, 1 B. & Ald. 681; In re Imperial Land Co. and established duty of the carrier is to deliver of Marseilles, Harris' case, L. R., 7 Ch. App. 587; them at that place, and to the person who has the Townsend's case, L. R., 13 Eq. 148; Potter v. Sanders, right to receive them. A mistake, however inno- 6 Hare, 1; Stocken v. Collin, 7 M. & W. 515; Hobb's cent, in making delivery, either to the proper per- case, L. R., 4 Eg. 9; Tayloe v. Merchants' Fire Ins. son or at the proper place, involves him in liability. Co., 9 How. 390; Trevor v. Wood, 36 N. Y. 307; When he accepts goods directed to a place beyond Abbott v. Shepard, 48 N. H. 14; Hutcheson v. Blakethe line of his own route, not limiting his liability, man, 3 Metc. (Ky.) 80; Hamilton v. Lycoming Ins. what difference is there in the measure of his duiy Co., 5 Barr, 339; Levy v. Cohen, 4 Ga. 1; Falls v. and liability? The true doctrine, that which is Gaither, 9 Port. 614; Averill v. Hedge, 12 Conn. 436; most consistent with all the principles which govern Wheat v. Cross, 31 Md. 99; S. C., 1 Am. Rep. 28; the liability and duty of carriers, and which seems Potts v. Whitehead, 5 C. E. Green, 55; Washburn v. to us required by the same necessity and public pol- Fletcher, 42 Wis. 152. The case of British Am. Tel. icy upon which these principles are founded, is that Co. v. Colson, L. R., 6 Ex. 108, must be regarded as a common carrier who receives goods destined to a of no authority. The gist of that decision is thus place beyond his own line of transportation, not stated by Kelly, C. B.: “It appears to me that if expressly otherwise limiting his duty and liability, one proposes to another by a letter through the post, must be regarded as contracting for a delivery at to enter into a contract for the sale or purchase of the point of destination. It cannot be said that goods, or as in this case, of shares in a company, this rule is more unjust to the carrier than that and the proposal is accepted by letter, and the letwhich holds him liable as an insurer for loss or in- ter put into the post, the party having proposed the jury not occurring by the act of God, or of the pub-contract is not bound by the acceptance of it until lic enemy. Nor is it more unjust than the rule the letter of acceptance is delivered to him, or which compels him to receive all goods within the otherwise brought to his knowledge, except (in some scope of his business, which are offered for trans- cases) where the non-receipt of the acceptance has portation on his own line. The injustice seems to been occasioned by his own act or default." The us to be visited upon the public, who are compelled like doctrine is held in Massachusetts, McCulloch v. to employ carriers, if the opposite rule is adopted.” Eagle Ins Co., 1 Pick. 278 (disapproved by both This is the English doctrine, founded on Muschamp Story and Parsons), and in Tennessee, Gillespie v. v. Ry. Co., 8 M. & W. 421, and followed in this Edmonston, 11 Humph. 553. country in Ill. Cent. R. Co. v. Copeland, 24 Ill. 332; The latest English case illustrating proposition 1 Carter v. Peck, 4 Sneed, 203; Angle v. Railroad, 9 is Household Fire and Carriage Accident Ins. Co. v. Iowa, 487; Bennett v. Filyans, 1 Fla. 403; Bradford Grant, C. P. Div. It was there held that a contract v. Railroad, 7 Rich. 201; Mosher v. South. Ex. Co., is binding upon the proposer as soon as a letter of 33 Ga. 37; Lock Co. v. Railroad, 48 N. H. 339. See acceptance, properly directed to him, has been posted Hutchinson on Carriers, SS 146-150. Mr. Lawson by any person to whom the proposal has been made, says (Cont. of Carriers, $ 240), “the arguments of notwithstanding such letter never reaches him, proconvenience as well as justice are in favor of the vided that there is no unreasonable delay in acceptEnglish rule."
ing the proposal, and that the ordinary and natural mode of transmitting the acceptance is through the
post. This case was affirmed in the Court of ApCONTRACT BY LETTER.
peal, July 1, 1879, by Thesiger and Baggallay, L.
JJ., Bramwell, L. J., dissenting, 41 L. T. (N. S.) N Maclay v. Harvey, 90 Ill. 525; 8. C., 32 Am. 298.
Rep. 35, the defendant offered, by letter sent 2. If the delivery of the letter of offer is delayed through the mail, to engage the plaintiff in his em- by the fault of the sender, the offer is extended unployment, stating terms, and asking for a reply by til its arrival. Adams v. Lindsell, 1 B. & Ald. 681. return mail. The plaintiff received the letter on This was where the letter of offer was misdirected the 22d of March and next day gave a postal card, by the sender's fault, and was consequently delayed accepting the offer, to a boy to be mailed, but be two days in transmission, and before receipt of the neglected to mail it until the 25th. Held, that de- acceptance he sold the goods to a third person. To fendant was not bound by his offer, nor was he the same effect, McTier v. Frith, 6 Wend. 103; bound after receiving the postal card to notify her Averill v. Hedge, 12 Conn. 436. that it was not in time; nor was he estopped by his 3. If undue delay or failure of delivery of the mere subsequent intention to accept her services letter of acceptance is caused by the fault of the and an unsuccessful attempt to see her.
accepting party, there is no contract. As where the
accepting party put his letter to be forwarded into members, two new partners being taken in without the hands of an agent, the contract is not concluded the knowledge of the bank. Held, that if the letso long as the letter remains in the agent's hands, ter did constitute a contract with the firm as it was even where the agent is the postmaster. Thayer v. when they were written, it did not with the new Middlesex Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 10 Pick. 326; Bryant firm. There was no privity between the bank and v. Booze, 55 Ga. 438.
the new firm. A new party could no more be im4. The acceptance must be unconditional and in ported into the contract and imposed upon the bank accordance with the terms of the offer, and given without its consent than a change could be made in within the time prescribed, if any, by the offer. like manner in the other pre-existing stipulations. Andrews v. Garrett, 6 C. B. (N. S.) 262; Jenness v. The bank inight have been willing to contract with Mount Hope Ins. Co., 53 Me. 20; Bruce v. Pearson, 3 the firm as it was originally, but not as it was subJohns. 534; Tuttle v. Love, 7 id. 470; Holland v. sequently. Without its assent a thing was wanting Eyre, 2 Sim. & Stu. 194; Thomas v. Blackman, 1 which was indispensable to the continuity of the Col. 301; Eliason v. Henshaw, 4 Wheat. 225; Jordan contract. Barns v. Barron, 61 N. Y. 39; Grant v. v. Norton, 4 M. & W. 155; Routledge v. Grant, 4 Naylor, 4 Cr. 224; Bleeker v. Hyde, 3 McLean, 279; Bing. 653; Wontner v. Shairp, 4 C. B. 404.
Taylor v. Wetmore, 10 Ohio, 490; Taylor v. McThe most recent case illustrating this proposition Clung, 2 Houst. (Del.) 24; Hunt v. Smith, 17 Wend. is First Nat. Bank of Quincy v. Hale, U. S. Supreme 179; Cremer v. Higginson, 1 Mason, 323; Russel v. Court, October term, 1879, which is as follows: (1) Perkins, id. 368. A firm in Chicago wrote to a bank in Quincy which 5. An immaterial addition to an acceptance does was cashing drafts on them by their agent, onc Mel- not prevent the taking effect of the contract. Clive son: “Hereafter we will pay drafts only on consign- v. Beaumont, 1 DeG. & S. 397; Gibbons v. N. E. ments. We cannot advance money a week in actual Met. Asylum District, 11 Beav. 1; Branson v. Stanadvance of shipment. The stock must be in transit nard, 41 L. T. (N. S.) 474. The latter case was as so as to meet draft same day or the day after pre-follows: The agent for an intending purchaser of sented to us. This letter will cancel all previous property, having made an offer for it, received in arrangement of letters of credit in reference to G. reply a letter from the vendor's agent accepting the W. Melson. Please acknowledge receipt of this, offer, and fixing a time for signing the contract. and oblige —.” The bank replied by its cashier: The purchaser's agent not having attended within "Your favor received. I note what you say. We the time named, the vendor refused to complete. have never knowingly advanced any money to Mel. Held, that the contract was complete, for that the son on stock to come in. Have always supposed it naming of a time for signing a formal contract did was in transit; have always taken bis word. After not constitute a condition of the acceptance. Dickthis we shall require ship’g bill.” The firm did not inson v. Dodds, L. R., 2 Ch. D. 463, distinguished. reply to this letter. Held, that the firm did not ac- If the letters constitute a complete contract it will cept the terms of the bank and could not rely on its take effect in spite of a statement in the acceptance promise in the reply sent by it as a contract for the that a formal contract will be drawn up. Bonnewell firm's protection and benefit to not advance money V. Jenkins, 38 L. T. (N. S.) 581. on drafts without a shipping bill. To give it that 6. Acceptance must be within a reasonable time, effect early and explicit notice to the bank was unless a time is limited in the offer. The next day necessary. Adams v. Jones, 12 Pet. 213; McCollum will answer. Dunlop v. Higgins, supra. But four v. Cushing, 22 Ark. 543; White v. Corlies, 46 N. Y. months after will not. Chicago, etc., R. Co. v. 468; Story on Cont., § 1130. Consequently where Dane, 43 N. Y. 240. the bank cashed drafts of Melson which were ac- 7. An offer may be withdrawn before acceptance. cepted and paid by the firm, held, that the firm could Routledge v. Grant, 4 Bing. 653; Honeyman v. Marnot recover back from the bank the amount paid, ryatt, 21 Beav. 14; 6 H. L. Cas. 112; Chinnock v. even though the drafts were cashed by the bank Marchioness of Ely, 6 N. R. 1; Hyde v. Wrench, 3 without the presentment of shipping bills, and there Beav. 334; Eskridge v. Glover, 5 Stew. & Port. 264; was no stock in transit against which they were Faulkner v. Hebard, 26 Vt. 452; Beckwith v. Cheever, drawn. Where there is misunderstanding as to the 21 N. H. 41; Burton v. Shotwell, 13 Bush, 271. And terms of a contract, neither party is liable in law or so an acceptance may be retracted before or simulequity. Baldwin v. Middleburger, 2 Hall, 176; Coles v. taneously with its receipt. Dunmore v. Alexander, Bowne, 10 Pai. 526; Utley v. Donaldson, 94 U. S. 48. 9 Shaw & Dunl. 190. Story says (Cont., § 498): Where a contract is a unit, and left uncertain in onc “The rule is that if the proposition be made in particular, the whole will be regarded as only in writing, and sent by the post, the person making choate, because the parties have not been ad idem, the offer can retract by a subsequent letter reaching and therefore neither is bound. Appleby V. Johnson, the other party at any time before an answer of acL. R., 9 C. P. 158. A proposal to accept or ac- ceptance is written and put in the mail. But as ceptance upon terms varying from those offered is a soon as such answer is placed in the mail the conrejection of the offer. Baker v. Johnson County, 37 tract is completely closed as to both parties. AlIowa, 189; Jennings v. Mount Hope Iron Co., 53 Me. though, therefore, a letter containing a retraction of 20; Chicago and Great E. R. Co. v. Dane, 43 N. Y. the offer be actually on the way at the time when the 240; Suydam v. Clark, 2 Sandf. Superior, 133. (2) letter of assent is mailed, yet the contract is closed, After the letters were written the firm increased its unless such letter of retraction be received prior to
the mailing of such letter of assent.” See Wheat v. here" will shed but little light upon the question at Cross, 31 Md. 99; S. C., 1 Am. Rep. 28. As to re
issue when the case comes to be made up for appeal. traction of acceptance, Story says (Cont., § 498): | witness-box, wo, as stenographers, official and extra
The many men and women whom, when in the “The person assenting cannot, therefore, even stop official, encounter professionally, it seems to me his letter on the road after it is once mailed.” In
may all be grouped under the three heads of (1) Good, Byrne v. Tienhoven, C. P. Div., March 6, 1880, 42 L. (2) Indifferent, and (3) Bad. In making this sweepT. (N. S.) 371, it was held that the withdrawal of ing classification I speak stenographically, and with no an offer, made and accepted by letters sent through reference to the interests of the parties at issue. As a
rule, expert witnesses — people who, because of prothe post, is inoperative if the notice of withdrawal fessional skill, are called upon to examine matters in does not reach the person accepting until after the dispute, or likely to become such-physicians, chemists, letter of acceptance has been posted, unless author- microscopists, etc., are, in my opinion, the best. Not ity has been given to notify a withdrawal by merely necessarily the easiest; indeed, some of them are exposting a letter.
tremely difficult to follow, requiring the short-hand
man to keep his highest pressure of steam constautly For a more extensive treatment of this subject,
You all remember how the great Sumner, of see note, 32 Am. Rep. 40.
California, and his partner, “took" Prof. Silliman verbatim, when he talked for several hours at the rate
of 400 or 500 words a minute, I forget which now; but THE WITNESS-BOX AND ITS OCCUPANTS.*
as Mr. Toots said, “ It's really of no consequence."
The good quality of this class of witnesses lies in the IN choosing the foregoing theme, as a thread on which fact that they generally know what they are going to the extent to which it would bear being dwelt upon.
say, and say it in the best manner, without “backing It would be absurd for a stenographer of limited expe
and filling;” and if at all experienced " in the ways
that are dark," and the questions that are vain, of the rience to attempt to collate an exhaustive essay on the
opposing counsel, they escape being tangled up on many types of the genus witness, whose statements it
cross-examination. becomes our duty to record as faithfully as may be.
Being, as a rule, well-educated
men, they express themselves in good language, and in Therefore, the most I purpose attempting to do is to
their testimony we meet with the least number of dwell briefly upon the characteristics of the more
those debatablo seutences, where a comma will make ordinary types we meet with in court. At the outset, however, I have a word to say as to
sense one way, vo comma will cause it to differ entirely
and a semi-colon will introduce u third startling varithe witness-box itself - the rostrum from which the
ation. But we do not always hear the most striking truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is
eccentricities of expression coming from the witnesssupposed to be delivered. It varies, as you all know,
box. A distinguished statesmau from this district, from a chair on the common level with attorneys and
once, when irritated by repeated iuterruptious, adstenographer, to a raised platform, or dock, with chair,
dressed the court in this wise: “Your Ilonor, be I or in our older temples of justice, the elaborate snail
in order? If I be, I'll go on." But "what in tho shell where the unfortunate witness is perched, a target
captain's but a choleric word,” etc. for all eyes, and wearing his heart upon his sleeve for
Mere deliberation of utteravce, as before remarked, daws to peck at. This latter device is generally “most
does not make a witness easy to follow, and those tolerable and not to be endured," as Dogberry has it,
versed in the art reportorial will admit the truth of for the stenographer being posted below and at the
the somewhat paradoxical statement that a speaker side, many important words seem to have a peculiar
may be at once easy and diff.cult to take. Every extendency to float off on the upper strata of air and are lost. I have heard of a few remarkable instances
perienced stenographer has in his mind tho names of
people who would be by no means called easy to take, made more brilliant because of their variety -- where the official stenographer was actually consulted by the them, a feeling of pleasurable satisfaction at the flow
but who yet convey to the scribe, dashing along after board of supervisors, when remodelling the court-house,
of words fitly spoken; sentences terse, yet comprehenas to his position, though I am not now prepared with
sive; and every idea falling into place like tho separato names and dates sufficient for an affidavit. In such a
stones of a mosaic. But I find that I am straying from case, the stenographer can of course avail himself of
the witness-box. all the facilities that are practicable in regard to his
I do not intend to limit the list of good witnesses, position, taking care to preclude, among other things,
reportorially speaking, to professional men. Indeed, the possibility of three or more attorneys, as sometimes
men in all ranks of lifo may be met with, who, being happens, crowding in between himself and the witness,
well developed under the eyes, are likewise blessed when the latter is testifying from a map or diagram.
with good sense and judgment. It is at such a time as that just referred to, when the
Among the indifferent witnesses are those who cannot stenographer is liable to be edified by some such
be made to understand, even by the combined efforts dialogue as this: “From here to here, you say, is more
of court and counsel, that there being a time for all than forty rods?” “Yes, I know it is; from here." “From here! you said from here, a minute ago.
things, an opportunity will be afforded for their re
lease, if possible, from all the contradictions in which “No, I didn't either. I said from here." “Well, the
a direct answer may seem at the time to involve them, jury will remember what you did say."
but who persist in stopping to administer to the jury And at this point the juvenile Blackstone who is
an antidote for every drop of poison. trying his 'prentice hand at taking notes for the ex
of this class is the cautious man, who seldom comamining counsel, nods to the stenographer and says,
mits himself, and who is bound that none of them 'ere authoritatively, “ You took that down, didn't you?” But such episodes as the foregoing are, I think, de
lawyers shall come any game on him. I remember,
while reporting an arson case in Vermont, a witness creasing in frequency as the presiding judges come to pay more attention to the securing of an intelligible
was testifying as to an incendiary fire which he found
burning on the hearth in one of the rooms of the record; interposing when necessary, as a general thing,
house. and reminding the learned counsel that “ From here to
He was describing what the burning mass
seemed to be composed of, when the presiding judge * Read at the late Convention of Stenographers, by A. L.
interposed with the suggestion that he probably meant Woodward, of Syracuse.
combustible material. But the wily Green Mountain boy avoided the pit-fall by remarking, “Wal, I dunno children of deceased members and to such uses as the as I ever heerd 'o wood bustin'," while the learned member should by will direct, where the funds were judge leaned back and seemed to meditate on the
raised by initiation fees and assessments on the death dangers attending the use of big dictionary words.
of each member, held to be an insurance company, and Prolixity is not an agreeable feature of the indiffer
under a statute authorizing benevolent societies to re
lieve the widows and orphans of members, but not to ent witness. When one of the wordy kind, in love
insure the life of any member for his own benefit or the with sound of his own voice, and big with idea of hav.
benefit of any other person, held, not exempted from ing such an audience, pours forth an uninterrupted an obligation to comply with the general law on the flow of words, while page after page slides out from subject of insurance. under the stenographer's pen, then doth the latter personage rage inwardly at the wasting away of the gray | ACTION to determine the right of defendant, an matter of his brain over a farrago of immaterial stuff,
association organized with the object, as stated in which ho dares not omit lest percbance something per
its constitution, “to give financial aid to the widows
and children of deceased members, or to such uses and tinent to the issue might be lost. Coming to the last class, the bad witness (again
purposes as such member shall by his last will and tesspeaking in a stenographic sense), but little weed be
tament direct," to conduct its operations without said. You all know him. He is ubiquitous. He it is,
complying with the general statute of Missouri relatwho, fresh from Fatherland, rejoicing in the possess
ing to insurance. The facts sufficiently appear in the ion of two dozen words of English, essays to give an
opinion. account of an assault and battery occurring next door, NAPTON, J. Two points arise in this case, both of and as he warms up over his theme, he pieces out the which have been fully discussed at the bar. The first incomplete sentences with German, aided by graphic question is whether this company or corporation, degesticulation, and at the conclusion of his narrative fendant, is doing, and authorized by its constitution perchance the court says, “I didn't fully understand to do, an insurance business; and the second point is his story. Mr. Stenographer, won't you just read it?” based upon an assumption, that though it may be so
Something deserves to be said of the irate female authorized and so employed, it is still not within the witness who pours forth her wrongs in a torrent of statute laws in regard to insurance companies, but exthunder, lightning and wind, that at its conclusion pressly exempted by the Legislature from any such leaves the unfortunate short-handist a total wreck. obligation to comply with the general law on the subwith a very vague remembrance of any thing she said, ject of insurance. except a reverberation in his ears of “Says I – says The first question seems to be of easy solution, she-says I — says she.”
whether regarded in reference to the definitions of inI have been able to mention here but a few as illustra- surance adopted in the text-books, or to specific juditions of the good, the not so good, and the worst, cial decisions. The origin of life insurance, as we are among witnesses, but all will be able to call up from told by all writers on the subject, is traceable to their own personal experiences examples brighter, and benevolent motives. The object was to secure to the perhaps darker, than those I have enumerated. Our family of a person who was dependent on a salary or profession is becoming, year by year, more appreciated other income which ceased with his lise, support upon by the bench, the bar, and the public generally, and the death of the insured by a small contribution of the certainly with appreciation must come a desire to pro- annual income, and this, it is apparent, was a laudable mote the best work of the competent stenographer, and benevolent object. In France, we are told, life aud render him more useful than ever; and this may insurance was in early times prohibited, on the ground be dove, is being done, aud will be done more thor- that it might operate as an incentive to those who vagbly in the future by a little more cousideration on would benefit by the termination of life to hasten such the part of counsel as to how a question to a witness, termination; but in England it was adopted by the an argument, or a request to the court, would look on
judiciary long before its sanction by Parliament, upon paper. The best work of the stenographer at any time
an assumption, not unusual with those islanders, of a is not easy, but he is oftentimes hampered by annoy- superiority in popular morals over their Continental ances which a little knowledge ou the part of attorneys neighbors; and in tbis country it followed the comas to the capabilities of our art would prevent. To mon law of England into such States as adopted that the leaders in the profession, men of large and varied system, but has been so entirely regulated by special experience - some of whom are here to-day – almost legislation here, and probably in all other States, that every thing in the way of "taking" is possible, but it any reference to its original character becomes unmust annoy even such when one counsel continues an
necessary. uninterrupted examination of the witness while an- The definition given by Bunyon, an English writer other is making a formal objection to the court -- his on the subject, is probably as complete as any to be honor meanwhile ruling on the several grounds-while found in the text-books. He defines life insurance to a third requests the stenographer, by a pod of the be " that in which one party agrees to pay a given sum head, to note an exception. But as I have said, better
upon the happening of a particular event contingent appreciation of our services will in time lead to a style upon the duration of human life, in cousideration of of examination fitter to be photographed by the swift tho immediate payment of a smaller sum, or certain pen, as compared with that which in the days of long- equivalent periodical payments, by another.” The handed note-taking admitted of being penned, and Supreme Court of Massachusetts defined it to be “a revised, and put in shape for going upon the record. contract by which one party promises to make a cer
tain payment upon the destruction or injury of someSTATUS OF BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES IN- thing in which the other party has an interest, whatSURING THE LIVES OF THEIR
ever may be the terms of payment of the consideration
or the inode of estimating or securing payment of the MEMBERS.
sum to be assured in case of loss." This definition of MISSOURI SUPREME COURT, NOVEMBER, 1880.
the Massachusetts court was given in a case in which
the facts were identical, substantially, with the one we STATE OF MISSOURI V. MERCHANTS' EXCHANGE MU- now have under consideration. The only question in TUAL BENEVOLENT SOCIETY.
that case was, whether the charter of a conpany called An association described as the “Merchants’ Exchange
the Counecticut Mutual Benefit Company, was in Mutual Benevolent Society," the object of which was
effect a life insurance corporation. The name of the stated to be to give inancial aid to the widows and company was the Connecticut Mutual Benefit Com