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of Norman nobles, and which was essentially military, and grew up under a commercial system like that of the Hanse Towns. It began with a Romanist, it has continued with a Protestant Church. It began with fiefs, and it has developed a system of practical freeholdership. It is complex, no doubt: but its complexities are familiar to those who have most to do with them, and who alone can measure their extent. Whether its warmest advocate could say that it has made the prosperity of the islands is doubtful. It is only certain that its greatest opponent could never say that it has interfered with their progress. If it have done but little in the way of positive good, it has done less in the way of mischief. Be it ever so bad, it has not been so powerful an instrument of evil as to prevent an extraordinary amount of physical well-doing being developed in spite of it. If not a model constitution, it is not one that should be tampered with. It has the one great element of stability-the confidence of those who know it best, and are most interested in it. Like all constitutions, it cannot be judged by what is on paper. Like all constitutions, it works better than its worst, and worse than its best parts, incline us to expect, a priori. Like all constitutions, it has a tendency to mend itself in its weak, and to deteriorate in its good, points. Like all constitutions-real constitutions that have stood the wear and tear of time and events-it has its tendencies to be affected by circumstances, and to adjust themselves to them. Like all constitutions, it is open to objections on two sides. The islander thinks it too oligarchic: the Englishman, too provincial. Yet it is one which has grown up in its own way as much as any constitution in the world.

Of the imperial power the use appears to have been moderate; and that from any point of view. If the constables, the nominees of the people at large, have failed to uphold the democratic element, the loss on the side of the crown has been nearly equal-the rectors, the nominees of the governor, being nearly reduced to a state of legislative unimportance. They



are appointed, indeed, by the governor-but as far as parliamentary power is concerned, they are no more than the incumbents of ten livings in Craven, during an election for the West Riding of Yorkshire. The governor himself (especially in Guernsey) is in other respects limited to his functions as a military commander in an unusual degree. A very large proportion of the votes have either a direct or an indirect authority from the ratepayers-the deputies a direct, the jurats an indirect one-the body by which the jurats are elected being mixed, as well as intermediate. In Jersey the jurats are elected directly by the people. In Guernsey, so far as he gets the vote of a douzanier or a constable, the jurat sits as a representative of the people, exercising its suffrage by the way of double election; so far as he is returned by the vote of a rector, a bailiff, or an attorney-general, he is indirectly a nominee of the crown. The analysis, however, of the Administrative States, taken purely and simply, is essentially popular.

Nor is the connection with France, even at the present moment, absolutely and entirely dissevered. In this, no reference is made to the merely social ties of language and commerce; which, however, in a case which must be only recognised as a bare possibility (that of hostility towards England encouraged by manœuvres not unknown in France), must be borne in mind. There is still a definite, and, at the same time, a legitimate bond between the islands and the old duchy-France as it is at present. The law is French, and in England there are no means appointed for learning its details, principles, and practice. Hence it follows that the legal schools are in France. The Channel Islands' Lincoln's Inn, the Channel Islands' Temple is in Normandy, or Britany; at Caen or Rennes, as the case may be. Here the advocates, or barristers, study their profession; and it is well they should. Training schools in England, endowments at the universities, exhibitions (or what not) at the inns of court, are imperfect substitutes. At Rennes or Caen the French


law must be studied, and, although the island law must be picked up afterwards as circumstances admit, it is on certificates from the professors there, that the locus standi of the island advocate must be founded. With this kind of education holder of the certificate takes

and preparation for his work, the an oath that he will faithfully advise his client, that he will undertake no cause which he knows to be bad, that he will adduce in his pleadings nothing which his clients have not affirmed to be true, that he will advise the court of his king's rights, and that he will not make a bargain with his client, into which any portion of the matter of dispute shall enter. With these preliminaries he may practice, and that with a wide margin. He may combine with his office as advocate that of notary. He may also hold cheap many points of legal etiquette, which, either for good or bad, prevail in England. Still, the number of advocates who may do this is limited; and the profession gains in its oligarchic, what it may lose in its aristocratic, character.



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It may be supposed that, in islands which, till lately, held little communication either with England or France, which have been governed by their own laws, and which preserve their ancient institutions, there should be customs and habits interesting in themselves, and remarkable as bringing down to modern times remnants of a former condition. Very little, however, of this

kind is now to be traced, and it would seem that the last quarter of a century has nearly swept away what few peculiarities formerly existed. Still, no one can go into the cottages and mix much with the country people without observing some characteristic points. Each cottage and old farm house has, in the kitchen or principal sitting-room, a wooden frame spread with dried fern, called the "lit de fouaille," or fern bed, on which the inhabitants repose in the evening. This custom is, no doubt, French, and very old. It is connected with all the habits and traditions of the people, and comes into use on such occasions as the vraic harvest, and on all festivals. The older people more especially resort to it; and though rough, it is by no means an unsightly piece of furniture. It corresponds with the chimney corner in an old English farm house where wood is still burnt, and where pit-coal is an unheard of novelty.

In Jersey and Guernsey, in the principal manorial residences, or frequently in some small outhouse or summer-house adjoining, there are held, from time to time, manorial courts, at which certain feudal customs are still retained. These are occasionally interesting. Thus, there may be seen in the courtyard of a farm, not far from Richmond Barracks, in Guernsey, a well-worn granite bench, in the open air, with a stone seat detached, in front of a small stone table, at which, within the last two years, the manorial court was duly held, the representative of the lord of the manor presiding, and the greffier seated apart at the little table. The fine manor house of St. Ouen, in Jersey, and several others, contains feudal relics and some portions of the mediaval buildings; but these are for the most part either in poor condition or too unimportant to possess great interest. Even the churches, as already explained, are generally without much that is important. Interesting exceptions occur in the case of the porch of the Vale church (sce page 560), which is remarkable for style as well as execution, and the porch of St. Martin's church (page 57), both in Guernsey.

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