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rapidly to the highest rank in the peerage. John, the eldest surviving son, being created Earl of Bridgewater soon after his father's death, was married to a daughter of the Earl of Derby; and being Lord President of the Principality and Marches of Wales, and Lord-Lieutenant of the counties of Salop, Hereford, Gloucester, Monmouth, Glamorgan, Caermarthen, Pembroke, Cardigan, Flint, Caernarvon, Anglesea, Merioneth, Radnor, Breckpock, Montgomery, and Denbigh, kept his Court at Ludlow Castle, where his children were going
to attend their father's state
And new intrusted sceptre—when passing through Haywood Forest they were benighted, and the Lady Alice was for a short time lost. This incident gave rise to “Comus,” which was acted by her and her brothers, Lord Brackley and the Honourable Thomas Egerton.
“After this illustration, the family derived little additional splendour from the Ducal Coronet, which, in another generation, was bestowed upon them.
The male line of Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, after producing many great and honourable characters, has failed; and he is now represented, through a female, by that accomplished statesman, Lord Francis Egerton, who enjoys the princely possessions of the family, and to whom every one will rejoice to see its honours restored.'-pp. 259-261.
Lord Campbell may well say that the English peerage has been largely stocked from the law. In Mr. Foss's late edition of • The Grandeur' we find the following list of legal houses :Dukes, 3. –
| Macclesfield. Barons, 40. Norfolk.
Buckinghamshire. Le Despenser.
Zouch of Harringworth.
Howard de Walden. Winchester. Bathurst.
Clifford of Chudleigh.
Montagu of Boughton.
Campbell. The Irish peerage would afford a crop in full proportion at least. The Scotch a much scantier one. The highest success at the Edinburgh bar has proved a stepping-stone to but one coronet since the union of the kingdoms, viz., the British viscounty of , Melville. We rather wonder that we have never heard any complaint on the subject.
We are not sorry that we can give place to but the opening of Lord Campbell's · Life of Lord Bacon :'
It will easily be believed that I enter with fear and trembling on the arduous undertaking of attempting to narrate the history, and to delineate the character, of
“The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind.” I must say, that I consider a life of Lord Bacon still a desideratum in English literature. He has often been eulogised and vituperated; there have been admirable expositions of his philosophy and criticisms on his writings; we have very lively sketches of some of his more striking actions, and we are dazzled by brilliant contrasts between his good and bad qualities, and between the vicissitudes of prosperous and adverse fortunes which he experienced. But no writer has yet presented him to us familiarly and naturally from boyhood to old age-shown us how his character was formed and developed explained his motives and feelings at the different stages of his eventful career–or made us acquainted with him as if we had lived with him, and had actually seen him taught his alphabet by his mother-patted on the head by Queen Elizabeth-mocking the worshippers of Aristotle at Cambridge --catching the first glimpses of his great discoveries, and yet uncertain whether the light was from heaven-associating with the learned and the gay at the Court of France-devoting himself to Bracton and the Year Books in Gray's Inn—throwing aside the musty folios of the law to write a moral essay, to make an experiment in natural philosophy, or to detect the fallacies which had hitherto obstructed the progress of useful truth-contented for a time with taking “all knowledge for his province”-roused from these speculations by the stings of vulgar ambition-plying all the arts of Aattery to gain official advancement by royal and courtly favour-entering the House of Commons, and displaying powers of oratory of which he had been unconscious—being seduced by the love of popular applause, for a brief space becoming a patriot-making amends, by defending all the worst excesses of prerogative-publishing to the world lucubrations on morals which show the nicest perception of what is honourable and beautiful, as well as prudent, in the conduct of life-yet, the son of a Lord Keeper, the nephew of the prime minister, a Queen's counsel, with the first practice at the bar, arrested for debt, and languishing in a spunging-house
tired with vain solicitations to his own kindred for promotion, joining the party of their opponents, and, after experiencing the most generous kindness from the young and chivalrous head of it, assisting to bring him to the scaffold, and to blacken his memory—seeking, by a mercenary marriage, to repair his broken fortunes-on the accession of a new Sovereign offering up the most servile adulation to a Pedant whom he utterly despised-infinitely gratified by being permitted to kneel down, with 230 others, to receive the honour of knighthood-truckling to a worthless favourite with the most slavish subserviency that he might be appointed a law-officer of the Crown-then giving the most admirable advice for the compilation and emendation of the laws of England, and helping to inflict torture on a poor parson whom he wished to hang as a traitor for writing an unpublished and unpreached sermon-attracting the notice of all Europe by his philosophical works, which established a new era in the mode of investigating the phenomena both of matter and mind-basely intriguing in the meanwhile for further promotion, and writing secret letters to his Sovereign to disparage his rivals-riding proudly between the Lord High Treasurer and Lord Privy Seal, preceded by his mace-bearer and purse-bearer, and followed by a long line of nobles and Judges, to be installed in the office of Lord High Chancellor-by and bye, settling with his servants the account of the bribes they had received for him-a little embarrassed by being obliged out of decency, the case being so clear, to decide against the party whose money he had pocketed, but stilling the misgivings of conscience by the splendour and flattery which he now commanded-struck to the earth by the discovery of his corruption-taking to his bed, and refusing sustenance -confessing the truth of the charges brought against him, and abjectly imploring mercy-nobly rallying from his disgrace, and engaging in new literary undertakings, which have added to the splendour of his namestill exhibiting a touch of his ancient vanity, and in the midst of pecuniary embarrassment refusing to “ be stripped of his feathers” – inspired, nevertheless, with all his youthful zeal for science in cons ducting his last experiment of “stuffing a fowl with snow to preserve it," which succeeded “excellently well,” but brought him to his grave, -and, as the closing act of a life so checkered, making his will, whereby, conscious of the shame he had incurred among his contemporaries, but impressed with a swelling conviction of what he had achieved for mankind, he bequeathed his “ name and memory to men's charitable speeches, to foreign nations, and the next ages." —vol. ii. p. 268.
We say we are not sorry that we must here suspend our quotation. Lord Campbell has produced a masterly review of Bacon's whole career, and we leave it unbroken to be studied and admired now and hereafter in the work on which it alone would have been sufficient to stamp the character of solid worth. It is a specimen of care and taste which has not been excelled, in our judgment, by any effort of this age so rich in biography.
The Lives of Ellesmere and Bacon occupy 280 pages in the second of these volumes. Then follow shorter sketches of the last ecclesiastical Lord Keeper, Bishop Williams; Lord Keeper VOL. LXXVII. NO, CLIII.
Coventry; Coventry; Lord Keeper Finch; Lord Keeper Littleton; and the honest, unspotted Lane, who held the Great Seal at Oxford, served Charles I. with affectionate zeal to his end, and ended his own life in such obscurity that Lord Campbell has been unable to trace him either to an English or a foreign grave. The following sentences do much honour to Lord Campbell :
'I should have been delighted to relate that Charles's last Lord Keeper lived in an honourable retirement during the rule of those whom he considered rebels and usurpers, and survived to see the restoration of the monarchy under the son of his sainted Master; but I regret to say that I can find no authentic trace of him after the capitulation of Oxford. From the language of Lord Clarendon, it might be inferred that he expired soon after that misfortune, while others represent that he followed Prince Charles to the Continent, and died in exile.
Considering Sir Richard Lane's spotless integrity, and his uniform sadherence to his principles,-notwithstanding his comparative obscurity and his poverty, he is more to be honoured than many of his predecessors and successors who have left behind them a brilliant reputation, and ample possessions and high dignities to their posterity.'-vol. ii. p. 619.
The third of these volumes is in many respects the most interesting and important of the series. It deals with the half century of revolution between Lane and Somers—presenting vividly contrasted portraitures of the chief judges of the Commonwealth, and of men whose names are landmarks in English historyClarendon-Shaftesbury-Nottingham — Guildford —Jeffreysbut so presenting these great figures that we have each in succession with the appropriate environment, and that, on quitting the gallery, we have received, perhaps, a clearer impression of the whole period than could be derived from any one volume of any class whatever that had been published hitherto. We are bound to add, that we leave it too with very great respect for the author's candour. His Whiggism is steady and bold; but we have not discovered one instance in which party feelings have interfered with his personal estimate of a Tory. He appears to us to bave fixedly aimed at justice. He has spared no pains in balancing testimonies. His summaries of character are always those of a judge who has at least used his best endeavour to rid his mind of all prejudice. We can expect no better.
The literary skill of the composition is also much to be admired. He has managed to reproduce general history in a series of professional biographies, without almost ever exposing himself to the charge of trespassing beyond the bounds of his avowed province. This required very great dexterity. The labour must have been vast that reached such results: yet the whole has the stimulating effect of a work written con amore.
As often as any prominent character or event of this pregnant balf century shall be brought under discussion, Lord Campbell's authority and decision will have to be weighed and studied. We may, therefore, adhere with a safe conscience to the humble plan of this paper, and merely amuse ourselves, and we hope our readers, with a few notabilia—such things as we naturally marked with our pencil on a first perusal.
It was during the Long Parliament that the custom of pairing! off was first introduced (iii. 26). A Presbyterian and an Independent, agreeing in little else, sympathised at the dinner-hour, and withdrew to sit at meat together in some neighbouring tavern, and return together when satisfied. By and bye honourable members took courage to trust each other's words; and Whig and Tory pairs now-a-days do not very often retire for a tête-à-tête chop at the club.
Lord Campbell's views as to Cromwell will not please our good friend Mr. Thomas Carlyle, who, we believe, has nearly finished a biography of Oliver as the model of a King. For example, the night before the bauble' was removed, there was a meeting at Whitehall, attended by the principal officers of the army and the heads of the Independents :
The officers of the army inveighed bitterly against the parliament, and declared violently for a change. Cromwell reproved them for these expressions of opinion,- from which those who knew him best conjectured that he had prompted their project, and that he was resolved at all risks to support it.'
The parties reassembled next morning, and again no agree. ment was come to. Whitelock retired with his mind in utter obscurity.
· Historians profess themselves wholly at a loss to account for the open, imperious, and frantic manner in which Cromwell a few hours after expelled the members from the House, which they consider as inconsistent with his general character,- not attending to the fact that to gain his object he had previously exhausted all the arts of intrigue, deceit, and hypocrisy.'-vol. iii. p. 52.
We find, on the subject of · Chancery delays' in the days of Charles II., a note which gives us a curious anecdote of a gentleman but recently lost to the social world which he had long embellished :
The late Mr. Jekyll told me that soon after he was called to the bar, a strange solicitor coming up to him in Westminster Hall, begged him to step into the Court of Chancery to make a motion of course, and gave him a fee. The young barrister looking pleased, but a little surprised, the solicitor said to him, “ I thought you had a sort of right, sir, to this motion, for the bill was drawn by Sir Joseph Jekyll, your great-granduncle, in the reign of Queen Anne.” Perhaps the most picturesque of all these lives is the last