The court rejected the argument, and held that the case was not distinguishable from that of The Vengeance, and which they had already determined belonged properly to the jurisdiction of the admiralty. They observed, that it was They observed, that it was the place of seizure, and not the place of committing the offense, that determined the jurisdiction, and regarded it as clear that Congress meant to discriminate between seizures 389*] waters navigable *from the sea, and seizures on land or on waters not navigable, and to class the former among the civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.


Similar objections were taken to the jurisdiction of the court in the cases of The Samuel and The Octavia, 1 Wheat. 9 and 20, and received a similar answer from the court.

We have been more particular in referring to these cases, and to the arguments of counsel, because they show

1. That the arguments used in the present case against the jurisdiction, and in favor of restricting it to the common law limit in England at the Revolution, have been heretofore presented to the court, on several occasions, and at a very early day, and on each, after full consideration, were rejected, and the judgment of the court placed upon grounds altogether inconsistent with that mode of construing the Constitution; and,

2. They affirm the practical construction given to the Constitution by Congress in the Act of 1789, which, we have seen, assigns to the district courts, in terms, a vast field of admiralty jurisdiction unknown to that court in England.

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all causes in which a remedy might be had at common law.

The language is certainly peculiar, and unfortunate, if this was the object of the clause; and besides the construction would exclude from the District Court cases which the sternest opponent of the admiralty will admit properly belonged to it.

The common law courts exercise a concurrent jurisdiction in nearly all the cases of admiralty cognizance, whether of tort or contract (with the exception of proceedings in rem) which, upon the construction contended for, would be transferred from the admiralty to the exclusive cognizance of these courts.

The meaning of the clause we think apparent. By the Constitution, the entire admiralty power of the country is lodged in the federal judiciary, and Congress intended by the ninth section to invest the district courts with this power, as courts of original jurisdiction.

The term "exclusive original cognizance" is used for this purpose, and is intended to be exclusive of the State, as well as of the other federal courts.

The saving clause was inserted, probably, from abundant caution, lest the exclusive terms in which the power is conferred on the district courts might be deemed to have taken away the concurrent remedy which had before existed.

This leaves the concurrent power where it stood at common law.

1; Gelston v. Hoyt, 3 Ib. 246.

The clause has no application to seizures arising under the revenue laws, or laws of navigation, as these belong exclusively to the disThe jurisdiction in all these cases is main-trict courts. Slocum v. Mayberry, 2 Wheat. tained on the broad ground, that the subject matter was of admiralty cognizance, as the causes of action arose out of transactions that had occurred upon the high seas, or within the ebb and flow of the tide; expressly rejecting the ommon law test, which was attempted to be applied, namely, that they arose within the body of a county, and therefore out of the limits of the admiralty.

If the thing seized is acquitted, then the owner may prosecute the wrong-doer for the taking and detention, either in admiralty or at common law. The remedy is concurrent. Ibid.

2. Another class of cases in which jurisdiction has always been exercised by the admiralty courts in this country, but which is denied in England, are suits by ship carpenters and In answer to an argument that was pressed, material men, for repairs and necessaries, made that the offense must have been committed and furnished to ships, whether foreign or in upon land, such as in case of an exportation of the port of a State to which they do not belong, prohibited goods, the court say that it is the or in the home port, if the municipal laws of place of seizure, and not the place of commit- the State give a lien for the work and materials. ting the offense, that decides the jurisdiction-1 Peter's Adm. R. 227, 233, note; Bee's Adm. a seizure upon the high seas or within tide waters, although the tide waters may be within the body of a county.

All the cases thus arising under the revenue and navigation laws were held to be civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction within the words of the Constitution, and as such, were properly assigned to the District Court, in the Act of 1789, as part of its admiralty jurisdiction.

They were so regarded, as well in respect to the subject matter as in respect to the place where the causes of action had arisen.

The clause in the Act of 1789, "saving to suitors in all cases the right of a common law remedy where the common law is competent to give it," was referred to on the argument in support of the restricted jurisdiction. And it was insisted that the remedy is thus saved to both parties, plaintiff and defendant, and is, in 390*] *effect, an exception from the admiralty power conferred upon the district courts of

R. 106; 4 Wash. C. C. R. 453; 1 Payne, 620;
Gilpin, D. C. R. 203, 473; 1 Wheat. 96: 4 Ib.
438; 9 Ib. 409; 10 Ib. 528; 7 Peters, 324; 11
Ib. 175.

The principle stated in the case of The General Smith, 4 Wheat. 438, and which has been repeated in all the subsequent *cases, [*391 is, that where repairs have been made or necessaries furnished to a foreign ship, or to a ship in the ports of a State to which she does not belong, the general maritime law gives a lien on the ship as security, and the party may maintain a suit in admiralty to enforce his right.

But as to repairs or necessaries in the port or State to which the ship belongs, the case is governed altogether by the local law of the State, and no lien is implied unless recognized by that law. But if the local law gives the lien, it may be enforced in admiralty.

The jurisdiction in these cases, as will be seen from the authorities referred to, appears

to have been exercised by the district courts from the time of their earliest organization, and which was affirmed by this court the first time the question came before it.

The District Court of South Carolina, in 1796, in the case of North and Vesey v. The Brig Eagle (Bee's R. 79) maintained a libel for supplies furnished a foreign vessel, and considered the question as a very clear one at that day. See, also, Pritchard v. The Lady Horatia, p. 169, decided in 1800.

Judge Winchester, district judge of the Maryland district, maintained the jurisdiction, in a most able opinion, at a very early day. 1 Peters's Adm. R. 233, note.

The same opinion was also entertained by Judge Peters, of the Pennsylvania district. 1 Peters, 227.

Since then, the jurisdiction appears to have been undisputed.

We refer to these opinions, not so much for the authority they afford, though entitled to the highest respect as such, but as evidence of the line of risdiction exercised, at that early day, by learned admiralty lawyers, in direct contradiction to the theory that the constitutional limit is to be determined by the jurisdiction in England. They are the opinions of men of the Revolution, engaged in "administering admiralty law as understood in the country soon after the adoption of the Constitution, fresh from the discussions which every provision and grant of power in that instrument had undergone. The opinions may be well referred to as affording the highest evidence of the law on this subject in their day.

3. Another class of cases in which jurisdiction is entertained by the courts in this country on contracts, but which is denied in England, are suits for pilotage. 10 Peters, 108. It is denied in England on the ground of locality, the contract having been made within the body of a county.

We shall pursue the examination no farther. The authorities, we think, are decisive against expounding the constitutional grant according to the jurisdiction of the English admiralty, and in favor of a line of jurisdiction which fully embraces the contract in question. 392*] *Before jurisdiction can be withheld in the case, the court must not only retrace its steps, and take back several of its decided cases, but must also disapprove of the ground which has heretofore been taken, and maintained in every case, as the proper test of admiralty jurisdiction.

Some question was made on the argument founded on the circumstance that this was a suit in personam.

The answer is, if the cause is a maritime cause, subject to admiralty cognizance, jurisdiction is complete over the person, as well as over the ship; it must, in its nature, be complete, for it cannot be confined to one of the remedies on the contract, when the contract itself is within its cognizance.

whether it was a maritime contract, and the service a maritime service, to be performed upon the sea, or upon waters within the ebb and flow of the tide. ~And, again, whether, the service was to be substantially performed upon the sea, or tidewaters, although it had commenced and had terminated beyond the reach of the tide; if it was, then jurisdiction has always been maintained. But if the substantial part of the service under the contract is to be performed beyond tidewaters, or if the contract relates exclusively to the interior navigation and trade of a State, jurisdiction is disclaimed. 10 Wheat. 428; 7 Peters, 324; 11 Ib. 175; 12 Ib. 72; 5 Howard, 463.

The exclusive jurisdiction in admiralty cases was conferred on the national government, as closely connected with the grant of the commercial power.

It is a maritime court instituted for the purpose of administering the law of the seas. There seems to be ground, therefore, for restraining its jurisdiction, in some measure, within the limit of the grant of the commercial power, which would confine it, in cases of contracts, to those concerning the navigation and trade of the country upon the high seas and tide waters with foreign countries, and among the several States.

Contracts growing out of the purely internal commerce of the State, as well as commerce beyond tide waters, are generally domestic in their origin and operation, and could scarcely have been intended to be drawn within the cognizance of the federal courts.

Upon the whole, without pursuing the examination farther, we are satisfied that the decision of the Circuit Court below was correct, and its decree should be affirmed.

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1. In my judgment, the New Jersey Steam Navigation Company were entitled to all the benefits of Harnden's contract with them, in regard to the property of others with which he (Harnden) was intrusted, for the purpose of transporting it in his crate. And though the company can rely on all the defenses which they could have relied upon if Harnden had sued them, still I think the libelants can maintain this suit.

Had a trover and conversion been made of the money sued for, or an open trespass been committed on it by throwing it overboard, by the servants or agents of the company, then either Harnden, the bailee of the bank, might have sued the company, or the bank might have sued. As to the right to sue, in the case put, by the bank, there can be no doubt; as such acts were never contemplated by the contract, nor covered by it.

The Navigation Company were responsible to Harnden (and to those who employed him), notwithstanding the contract, for acts of gross negligence in transporting the property destroyed; as, for instance, if the servants of the On looking into the several cases in admi- company, in navigating the vessel, omitted to ralty which have come before this court, and in observe even slight diligence, and failed in the which its jurisdiction was involved or came lowest degree of prudence, to guard against under its observation, it will be found that the fire, then they must be deemed in a court of inquiry has been, not into the jurisdiction of justice to have been guilty of gross negligence; the court of admiralty in England, but into the by which expression I mean, that they acted nature and subject matter of the contract-reckless of consequences, as respected the safety

of the vessel and the lives and property on board and in their charge, that such conduct was contrary to common honesty, and that the master and owners were liable for loss by reason of such recklessness, as they would have been in case of an affirmative and meditated fraud that had occasioned the same loss, and that this burning was a tort.

Whether it is evidence of fraud in fact, as Sir William Jones intimates, or whether it is not, as other writers on bailments declare, is not worthy of discussion. The question is this: Is the measure or liability the same where a ship is burned because the master and crew did not observe the lowest degree of prudence to prevent it, and in a case where she is willfully burned? This is the question for our consideration. In the civil law, I apprehend no distinction in the cases put exists; nor do I believe any exists at common law. But by the laws of the United States, such gross and reckless negligence as that proved in the case before us was a fraud and å tort on the shippers, and the fire that occurred, and consequent loss of life, a crime on the part of the master.

By the twelfth section of the Act of 1838; chap. 191, every person employed on any steam394*] boat or vessel, by whose negligence *to his respective duty the life of any person shall be destroyed, shall be deemed guilty of manslaughter, and subject to conviction and imprisonment at hard labor for a time not exceeding ten years. 5 Statutes at Large, 306. Here the Legislature have put gross negligence in the category of crimes of a high grade, and of frauds of course; nor can this court assume a less stringent principle, in a case of loss of property, than Congress has recognized as the true one, if life be destroyed by such negligence. From the facts before us, I feel warranted in saying, that, had the captain survived the destruction of the ship and the loss of many lives by the disaster, he would have been clearly guilty according to the twelfth section.

One single circumstance is decisive of the culpable negligence. By section ninth of the above act, it is made "the duty of the master and owner of every steam vessel employed on the sea, to provide, as a part of the necessary furniture, a suction hose and fire engine and hose suitable to be worked on said boat in case of fire, and carry the same upon each and every voyage, in good order." This vessel had something of the kind; but it was in no order for use, and a mere delusion, and a sheer fraud on the law and public. Had there been such an engine and hose, the fire could have been extinguished in all probability, as I apprehend.

2. There was only a single rigged bucket on board, and nothing else to reach the water with, and the money of libelants was thrown from the boxes, and they used to lift water.

3. The flue from the furnace ran through three decks, and was red hot through the three decks, and the cotton was stowed within eighteen inches on all sides of this red hot flue, and the bales pressed in, three tiers deep, from the boiler deck to the next deck so that it would have been with much difficulty that the cotton could have been removed should a fire occur; there the fire did occur, and the cotton was not removed—wherefore the vessel was burnt. And from the mode of stowage a fire could hardly

be avoided, and was to be expected and guarded against. Then as to the jurisdiction. The fire occurred on the high sea. It was a tort there. The case depends not on any contract, but on mere tort standing beyond the contract. The locality of the tort is the locus of jurisdiction. Locality is the strict limit. 2 Bro. Adm. Law, 110; 3 Bl. Com. 106; the conflict between the Luda and De Soto, in Louisiana, 1847, 5 Howard. But especially 2 Bro. Adm. Law, 144, which lays down the true doctrine as follows:

"We have now done with the effect of the master's contracts *or violence, as to [*395 his owners, and proceed to consider how he and they are affected by his negligence. And, first, as soon as merchandises and other commodities be put on board a ship, whether she be riding in a port or haven, or upon the high sea, the master is chargeable therewith; and if the same be lost or purloined, or sustain any damage, hurt, or loss, whether in the haven or port before, or upon the seas after, she is upon her voyage, whether it be by mariners or by any other through their permission, the owner of the goods has his election to charge either master or owners, or both, at his pleasure-though he can have but one satisfaction-in a court of common law, if the fault be committed infra corpus comitatus; in the admiralty, if super altum mare; and if it be on a place where there is divisum imperium, then in one or the other, according to the flux or reflux of the sea."

I think the libel in this case covers my view of it. It sets out the facts of how the money was shipped in general terms, but avers it was lost by fire, and by reason of an insufficient furnace, insufficient machinery, furniture rigging, and equipments, and the careless, negligent, and improper management of said steamboat Lexington by the servants and agents of the Navigation Company.

If this technical objection had been addressed to the court below, it could have been easily remedied, and cannot be favorably heard here, now, no doubt, made for the first time.

I therefore think there was jurisdiction in the Circuit Court to try the libel; and, second, that the decree was proper, and ought to be affirmed, without alteration.

Mr. Justice Daniel:

The inquiries presented for consideration in this cause resolve themselves into two obvious or natural divisions; the one involving the rights of the parties as growing out of their alleged undertakings; the other the right of the libelant to prosecute his claim in the mode adopted in the court below, and the power of the court to adjudicate it in that or in any other mode whatever. This latter inquiry, embracing as it does the nature and extent of the admiralty powers of the government of the United States, and by consequence the construction of that article of the Constitution by which alone those powers have been invested, challenges the most solemn, deliberate, and careful investigation. I approach that investigation with the diffidence which its wide-spread interest and importance, and a deep conviction of my own deficiencies, cannot but awaken.

The foundation, nay, the whole extent and

396*] fabric, of the *admiralty power of the government are to be found in that portion of the second section of the third article of the Constitution which declares that the judicial power shall extend (amongst other subjects of cognizance there enumerated) "to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.”

The distribution of this admiralty power so created by the Constitution, with reference to the tribuanls by which, and the modes in which, it shall be executed, is contained in the Act to establish the judicial courts of the Unit- | ed States in 1789, section ninth, which constitutes the district courts of the United States courts of exclusive original cognizance of all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and of certain seizures under the laws of imposts, concluding or qualifying this investment of power with these plain and significant terms: "saving to suitors, in all cases, the right of a common law remedy, where the common law is competent to give it."

Looking now to the provisions of the third article of the Constitution, and to those of the ninth section of the Judiciary Act, we recur to the inquiry, What is this civil and maritime jurisdiction derived form the Constitution, and vested by the Judiciary Act in the district courts-what the standard by which its scope and power, its "space and verge," are to be measured-what the rules to be observed in the mode of its execution? Although the Constitution and Act of Congress do not precisely define or enumerate the former, nor prescribe in forms and precedents the latter, yet it will hardly be pretended, that either the substance or the forms of admiralty jurisdiction were designed by the founders of our jurisprudence to be left without limit, to be dependent on surmise merely, or controlled by fashion or caprice. They were both ordained in reference to some known standard in the knowledge and contemplation of the statesman and legislator, and the ascertainment of that standard by his- | tory, by legislative and judicial records, must furnish the just response to the inquiry here propounded.

In tracing the origin, existence, and progress of the colonial institutions, or in seeking illustrations or analogies requisite for the comprehension of those institutions down to the period of separation from the mother country, it is to the laws and policy of the latter that we must chiefly look as guides to anything like accurate results in our investigations. For the necessity here intimated, various and obvious causes will at once be perceived. As instances of these may be exemplified-1st, similarity of education and opinion, strengthened by intercourse and habit; 2d, national pride, and the partiality which naturally creates in the offspring admiration and imitation of the parent; 3d, identity of civil and political rights in the 397*] *people of both regions; 4th, and chiefly, perhaps the jealousy of the mother country with regard to her national unity, power, and greatness—a principle which has ever prompted her to bind in the closest practicable system of efficient uniformity and conformity the various members of her extended empire. These causes have had their full effect in regulating the rights of person and of property amongst British subjects everywhere


within the dominions of England. There is not, and never has been, a question connected with either, in which we do not find every Englishman appealing to the common law, or to the charters and statutes of England, as defining the nature and as furnishing the best protection of his rights. He uniformly clings to these as constituting at once his birthright, his pride, and his security. Vide 1 Bl. Com. 127, 128. Would it not be most strange, then, with this strong tenacity of adherence to their peculiar national polity and institutions, that we should suppose the government or the people of England disposed to yield their cherished laws and customs in matters which peculiarly affect them in a national point of view, to wit, the administration of their maritime and commercial rights and interests? It would seem to me equally reasonable to expect that the admiralty courts of England, or any part of the dominions of England, in order to define or settle their jurisdiction, would as soon be permitted to adopt, as the source and foundation and measure of their power, the ordinances, if such there be, of China or Thibet, as those of France, Genoa, or Venice, or of any other portion of the continent of Europe, whether established by the several local governments on the continent or based upon the authority of the civil law. With respect to the realm of England, the origin and powers of the Court of Admiralty are placed upon a footing which leaves them no longer subjects of speculation or uncertainty. Sir William Blackstone, in his Commentaries (Vol. III., chap. 5, p. 69), informs us— upon the authority of Sir Henry Spelman (Glossary, 13), and of Lambard (Archeion, 41) that the Court of Admiralty was first erected by King Edward III. Sir Matthew Hale, in his History of the Common Law, (Vol. I., p. 51, London edition of 1794, by Runnington), speaking of the Court of Admiralty, says "This court is not bottomed or founded upon the authority of the civil law, but hath both its powers and jurisdiction by the law and custom of the realm in such matters as are proper for its cognizance." And in a note (m) by the editor to the page just cited, it is said, "The original jurisdiction of the admiralty is either by the connivance or permission of the common court laws. The statutes are only in affirmance of the common law, and to *prevent the [*398 great power which the admiralty had gotten in consequence of the Laws of Oleron. That, generally speaking, the courts of admiralty have no jurisdiction in matters of contracts done or made on land; and the true reason for their jurisdiction in matters done at sea is, because no jury can come from thence; for if the matter arise in any place from which the pais can come, the common law will not suffer the subject to be drawn ad aliud examen." And for this doctrine are cited 12 Reports, 129; Roll. Abr. 531; Owen, 122; Brownlow, 37a; Roll. Rep. 413; 1 Wilson, 101; Hobart, 12; and Fortescue, De Laudibus, 103, edit. 1775. Again, Lord Hale (Vol. I., pp. 49–51), speaking of the jurisdiction of the admiralty, lays down the following limits to its power: "The jurisdiction of the Admiralty Court, as to the matter of it, is confined by the laws of the realm to things done upon the high sea only: as depredations and piracies upon the high sea,


offenses of masters and mariners upon the high sea; maritime contracts made and to be executed upon the high sea; matters of prize and reprisal upon the high sea. But touching contracts or things made within the bodies of the English counties, or upon the land beyond the sea, though the execution thereof be in some measure upon the high sea, as charterparties or contracts made even upon the high sea-touching things that are not in their own nature maritime, as a bond or contract for the payment of money; so, also, of damages in navigable rivers, within the bodies of counties, things done upon the shore at low water, wreck of the sea, etc.; these things belong not to the admiral's jurisdiction. And thus the common law and the statutes of 13 Richard II., chap. 15, and of 15 Richard II., chap. 3, confine and limit their jurisdiction to matters maritime, and such only as are done upon the high

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In this cursory view of Lord Hale of the admiralty jurisdiction, there is one feature which cannot escape the most superficial observation; and that is, the extraordinary care of this learned judge to avoid every implication from uncertainty or obscurity of terms, which might be wrested as a pretext for the assumption of power not clear, well founded, and legitimate. | În the extract above given, it will be seen that the sea, as the theater of the admiralty power, is mentioned in eight different instances, in every one of which it is accompanied with the adjunct high. Altum mare is given as the only legitimate province of the admiral's authority; and then, as if to exclude the possibility of improper implication, are placed in immediate and striking contrast the transactions and the situations as to which, by the common law and the statutes of England, the interference of the admiralty was utterly inhibited. "But," he 399*] *proceeds to say, "touching contracts or things made within the bodies of the English counties, or upon the land beyond the sea, though the execution thereof be in some measure upon the high sea, as charter-parties or contracts made even upon the high sea-touching things that are not in their own nature maritime, as a bond or contract for the payment of money; so, also, of damages in navigable rivers, within the bodies of English counties, things done upon the shore at low water, wreck of the sea, etc.; these things belong not to the admiral's jurisdiction."

Sir William Blackstone, treating of the cognizance of private wrongs (Book 3, chap. 7, p. 106), speaks of injuries cognizable by the maritime or admiralty courts. "These courts," says this writer, "have jurisdiction and power to try and determine all maritime causes, or such injuries as, although they are in their nature of common law cognizance, yet, being committed on the high seas, out of the reach of our ordinary courts of justice, are therefore to be remedied in a peculiar court of their own. All admiralty causes must, therefore, be causes arising wholly upon the sea. He then cites the statutes of 13 and 15 Rich. II., Co. Litt. 260, Hob. 79, and 5 Reports, 106, for the positions thus asserted. I shall, in the progress of this opinion, have occasion further to remark upon this language, "courts maritime or admiralty courts," here used by this learned com

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mentator, when I come to speak of an interpretation placed upon the second section of the third article of the Constitution, as implying an enlargement of the powers conferred, from a connection of the terms "admiralty" and "maritime" in the section just mentioned. What I would principally advert to here is the description of the causes denominated "maritime," and as falling solely and peculiarly within the admiralty jurisdiction, and to the reason why they are thus denominated "maritime," and as such assigned to the admiralty. They are, says this learned commentator, "maritime, or such injuries as, although they are in their nature of common law cognizance, yet, being committed on the high seas, out of the reach of our ordinary courts of justice, are therefore to be remedied in a peculiar court of their own. All admiralty causes must, therefore, be causes arising wholly upon the sea, and not within the precincts of any county." Here, then, is the explicit declaration, that it is the theatre, the place of their origin and performance, exclusively, not their relation to maritime subjects, which determines their forum; for they are causes, says he, which in their nature may be of common law cognizance. In this connection it seems not out of place to advert to the discrimination made by the same author between the pretensions to power advanced by *certain tribunals which subsisted and [*400 grew up rather by toleration than as forming any fundamental and regular portions of the British constitution. Thus, in Book 3, chap. 7, pp. 86, 87, speaking of the ecclesiastical, military and maritime courts, and the courts of common law, he says: "And with regard to the three first, I must beg leave, not so much to consider what hath at any time been claimed or pretended to belong to their jurisdiction by the officers and judges of those respective courts, but what the common law allows and permits to be so. For these eccentrical tribunals (which are principally guided by the rules of the imperial and canon laws), as they subsist and are admitted in England, not by any right of their own, but upon bare sufferance and toleration from the municipal laws, must have recourse to the laws of that country wherein they are thus adopted to be informed how far their jurisdiction extends, or what causes are permitted, and what forbidden to be discussed or drawn in question before them. It matters not what the Pandects of Justinian or the Decretals of Gregory have ordained; they are of no more intrinsic authority than the laws of Solon or Lycurgus; curious, perhaps, for their antiquity, respectable for their equity, and frequently of admirable use in illustrating a point of history. Nor is it at all material in what light other nations may consider this matter of jurisdiction. Every nation must and will abide by its own municipal laws, which various accidents conspire to render different in almost every country in Europe. We permit some kinds of suits to be of ecclesiastical cognizance which other nations have referred entirely to the temporal courts, as concerning wills and successions to intestates' chattels; and perhaps we may, in our turn, prohibit them from interfering in some controversies which, on the Continent, may be looked upon as merely spiritual. In short, the common law

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