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the sound of C is precisely similar, such words as Locris or Cleomenes. There are other cases, too, to which his principle would extend, but in which he retains the Latin orthography. He writes Meno, Polemo, instead of Menon, Polemon; and why should one of the lost poems of Hesiod continue to be designated by so unpronounceable a name as Eoe? The real word is Eoiai, a name of genuine Greek sonorousness. We quite approve of retaining the diphthong ei (as Cleinias, Peisis. tratus,) if for no other reason than to mark the quantity: this example had been already set by Mr Mitford. We are glad also that Mr Grote, with the majority of recent scholars, preserves, when writing about Greece, the Grecian names of Divinities, and speaks of Ares and Demeter, not Mars and Ceres. The Roman deities mostly belonged to another mythology, had different legends, and to a great extent different attributes; and were only at a late period identified with the gods and goddesses of the Grecian Olympus. As well almost might we name these after Isis, Osiris, &c., with whom also Grecian ingenuity identified them; as it would undoubtedly have done with Thor, Odin, and Freya, if Scandinavia as well as Egypt had been known and frequented by Grecian travellers.
ART. IV.-1. The Lives of Eminent English Judges of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. By W. N. WELSBY, Esq., M. A., Recorder of Chester. 8vo. London: 1846.
2. The Lives of Twelve Eminent Judges of the Last and of the Present Century. By WILLIAM C. TOWNSHEND, Esq., M.A., Recorder of Macclesfield. Two Volumes. 8vo. London : 1846.
IN N an Essay on Gin-Shops, published in the first volume of Essays, by Boz,' will be found some curious remarks on the liability of certain trades to run mad in concert, or contract epidemic disorders of a very distressing and eccentric kind; the most remarkable symptoms being an enormous outlay in decorations and announcements, or an unaccountable eagerness to create a demand for commodities by overstocking the market with them. The writer mentions gin-shops, shawl-shops, and druggists as familiar instances; but we should be inclined to name booksellers as the severest sufferers from such maladies; for though their expenditure in plaster pillars, gilding and plate-glass, has
not hitherto been excessive, they surely more than compensate for any comparative saving in these articles by advertisements; and no class of traders speculate more rashly on a demand to be created, or rush into madder competition at the first glimpse of an opening or new field for capital. With them, it never rains but it pours; single misfortunes (meaning bad books) never come alone; and when we get a good thing, it speedily becomes so parodied and travestied by imitators, that we often end by wishing we never had it at all. For example, the historical novels of the last fifteen or twenty years are a heavy set-off against our debt of gratitude to the author of Waverley; and as to the fashionable novels, we are tempted to address the only surviving founder of any note in the words of Mrs Cole :- Oh, Lord N., Lord N.! where do you expect to go when you die?' At the same time, it must be admitted that the prolonged duration as well as frequent recurrence of the madness or disease, is in no small degree owing to the remissness of the critical portion of the press; for it is obvious that a good slashing article might operate as beneficially as shaving the head and blistering; and a coxcombical writer held up to merited ridicule, would be as incapable of communicating infection as a bale of goods rinsed in vinegar and fumigated, according to the approved laws of quarantine. To show what may be done in this line, we have only to refer to the sudden and beneficial check given to the multiplication of lady-travellers by our chief southern contemporary. Far be it from us to say that the highborn dames in question were superfluous on the field of literature, but their copyists would be; and even of fair originals, we had assuredly enough. Just so-to come to the class of productions whose threatened influx has frightened us into the foregoing train of reflection-far be it from us to say or insinuate that Mr Welsby and Mr Townshend are to be received as unbidden and unwelcome guests, or that there is no room for them at our table; but we honestly think we have now as much legal biography as we shall want till another generation of lawyers has died away; and we trust the trade' will take due notice of the fact. The works before us, with Mr Twiss's Life of Lord Eldon, and Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors (when completed), will make about twelve thick closely-printed octavos; which is as much as an enlightened public can masticate, and more than it can digest, of any given subject within two years.
We have already borne willing testimony to the very high merits of Mr Twiss's and Lord Campbell's works; and it is no slight praise to say, that Mr Welsby's and Mr Townshend's are
in all respects worthy to be placed alongside of them. however, we must distinguish.
Mr Welsby's publication contains a great deal of valuable matter and agreeable writing; but seven out of the sixteen memoirs are not his own; and there is internal evidence that, as regards these at any rate, the volunteered duties of editor have been somewhat hastily performed. The Notice of Hale is a mere reprint of a Magazine article on the face of it.
Mr Townshend felt more respect for the public, or had not the same reasons for hurrying into the field. From a consideration
of delicacy due to relatives, (so runs the Preface,) the biographer has, in every instance where there were immediate descendants surviving, requested and obtained permission to publish these memoirs. To the Earl of Eldon, to Lords Kenyon, Alvanley, Redesdale, and Tenterden, and to the Honourable Thomas Erskine, his acknowledgments are especially due for the courtesy with which the permission was conceded. For the accuracy of the facts and justice of the comments he is alone responsible. A third of these volumes is new.' A statement of this kind adds incalculably to the value of such a work.
The lives included in Mr Welsby's volume are those of Whitelock, Holt, Lord Cowper, Lord Harcourt, Lord Macclesfield, Lord King, Lord Talbot, Lord Bathurst, and Lord Camden, by Mr Welsby himself: Hale, by Mr H. Merivale ; Blackstone, by a writer not named; Lords Nottingham, Hardwicke, Mansfield, Thurlow, and Ashburton, by the late Edmund Plunkett Burke ;-a man never mentioned without expressions of the warmest regard and highest admiration by his contemporaries. He accepted the appointment of Judge in the West Indies in 1832, and was killed in a hurricane in 1835. The Lives contributed by him are more than ordinarily attractive; independently of the variety of racy anecdotes scattered through them, they derive a peculiar charm from the genial humour of the writer.
Mr Townshend's twelve forensic or judicial Cæsars areLords Loughborough, Kenyon, Ellenborough, Tenterden, Alvanley, Erskine, Redesdale, Stowell, and Eldon; Mr Justice Buller, Sir William Grant, and Sir Vicary Gibbs. The general character and tendency of his volumes are stated in a striking passage of the preface:
In the biography of these revered magistrates, whose contemporary course reflects light upon each other, and illustrates the legal annals of our times, there are comprehended records of eloquent debate, and able statesmanship, and useful legislation; many bright passages of national history; reports of those eventful trials which move the feel
VOL. LXXXIV. NO. CLXX.
ings, and stir the blood; the struggles and triumphs of advocacy; the narrative of early disappointments and severe privations; of persevering diligence, determined fortitude, and unwearied hope; of the lucky chance and crowning victory; the clouded opening of their fortunes and its serene close; the mode and manner, so well worth studying, in which these intellectual prize-men, "bankrupt of health and prodigal of ease," achieved wealth, titles, and fame. We trace the gradual ascent of the surgeon's boy, and the barber's son, up the rugged steep, and rejoice over the course of the brothers Scott, working their way from the coalfitter's yard at Newcastle, to the height of civil greatness-teaching the valuable lesson, fraught with courage and constancy, to the profession, that neither lowliness of birth, nor absence of fortune, nor delay of opportunity, is sufficient to crush or subdue the progressive and expanding force of talent and industry.'
This is pretty nearly the moral we endeavoured to point in our review of the Life of Lord Eldon. In the course of that review, we also discussed most of the obvious topics suggested by this description of biography, and there is no necessity for recurring to them. For this reason we shall deal with the works before us rather differently; and rather differently than we should deal with works whose contents, (or the more attractive portion of them,) transferred to our pages, would have the charm of novelty. We shall abridge and quote only so much of these as may be found necessary in an attempt we are about to make, to fix the claims and character of the legal profession in England by a sketch of its brightest ornaments, its proudest illustrations -the lawyers to whom the traditions of past ages, or the remains of hero-worship' still lingering in our own, would assign niches in a British Valhalla, or (our nearest approach to a Valhalla) the passages and waiting-rooms of the new Houses of Parliament.
That the attempt is a somewhat hazardous one, is undeniable; and the difficulties recently experienced by the famous Committee of Taste in classifying the Worthies of the United Kingdom, are alone sufficient to prove the impossibility of inducing unanimous, or any thing like unanimous, agreement on such points; but we believe the majority of impartial persons, after duly weighing, comparing and analysing, will come to the conclusion that there are only eleven English lawyers who fairly combine the two essential requisites of professional admiration and popular renown: Coke, Hale, Somers, Holt, Hardwicke, Mansfield, Camden, Blackstone, Stowell, Erskine, and Romilly. There is something factitious or fugitive about all the rest who might be named as candidates. They may have been great judges, like Lords Kenyon, Ellenborough, and Tenterden; or consummate advocates, like the late Lord Abinger and Sir William Follett; but they took things pretty nearly as they found them, and
therefore left no impress on their age; they contributed nothing, or nothing of an enduring character, to legislation or legal literature; they were not associated with any great struggle for constitutional rights; nor (above all) is any impulsive feeling of admiration or respect awakened in the minds of the greater public by the bare mention of their names. Now popular (at least unprofessional) recognition is, in our opinion, indispensable to make a genuine worthy in the highest sense, or fairly set up an object of hero-worship; and though it may be urged that a following generation is as likely to err from ignorance or forgetfulness as a contemporary age from prejudice, this can only apply to persons whose services have been performed in obscurity; and it is hardly possible to conceive a case in which so conspicuous an actor as a successful lawyer could be held entitled to a national tribute, if, to establish his claim, it were necessary to reverse the judgment or kindle the enthusiasm of posterity. On this principle, we hesitated a little before we put down Lord Stowell, doubting whether the sense of his greatness was sufficiently diffused; but his Continental reputation more than counterbalances any insensibility (which can arise only from pure ignorance) in his countrymen. As to Glanville, Bracton, and Littleton, they are mere abstractions or names for books. Sir Thomas More's place is among scholars and philanthropists; and Bacon belongs to mankind.
In the controversy raised by the Report of the Committee of Taste relative to the proposed statue of Cromwell, it was vehemently debated to what extent the want of virtue or morality was an allowable deduction from greatness; and most reasonable people came to the conclusion that nothing more could be fairly required than that the prominent impression should be that of great capacity or high enterprise, not ignobly directed, and leaving indelible traces of the passage of a master-mind. It is enough, therefore, to say of Coke, the first upon our list of worthies, that he was the most profoundly learned English lawyer that ever lived; and that his writings on professional subjects form an epoch in the history of our Law. The famous Commentary on Littleton has been not unaptly termed the Lawyer's Bible, (we rather think the name was first given by Dr Watt,) so deep and unremitting was the attention devoted to it in the days of the Hargraves and Butlers; and as to the Reports, let his great rival Bacon speak: To give every man his due, had it not been for Sir Edward Coke's Reports, 'which, though they have many errors, and some peremptory and extrajudicial resolutions more than are warranted, yet they 'contain infinite good decisions and rulings over of cases; the