Sivut kuvina

Like to an untir'd tide, they all rush by
And leave you hindmost,
Or, like a gallant horse, fallen in first rank,
Lie there for pavement to the abject rear,

O'errun and trampled on ' "Or, to repeat the same sentiment in the energetic language of Bossuet-and can it be repeated to these lagging people too frequently—“La loi est prononcée; il faut avancer toujours. Je voudrois retourner sur mes pas ; Marche, marche. Un poids invincible nous entraine, il faut sans cesse avancer vers la precipice. On voudroit arreter.Marche, marche.—(Sermon sur la Resurrection).'

Lord Redesdale. The Law Magazine gives the following notice of this distinguished Judge.

‘John Freeman Mitford was born Aug. 18, 1748; not 1741, as all the papers have stated; neither was he, we learn from pretty good authority, intended from the first for the bar. He was a clerk in the Six Clerks' Office before he resolved on devoting himself to the higher branch of the profession; and, in this particular, the early part of his life coincides with that of Sir Samuel Romilly. He entered at Lincoln's Inn, and devoted himself to the Court of Chancery ; and in 1782 he published “A Treatise on Pleadings in Suits in the Courts of Chancery by English Bill.” We are not aware what extent of practice he possessed before the publication of this admirable work, but we find him enjoying a first-rate practice soon after it appeared, and jointly with Lord Eldon, leading in the Court of Chancery. We shall leap over the intervening space, during which he became successively King's Counsel, Welsh Judge, Member of Parliament (1789), and Solicitor General (Feb. 1792), and come at once to the prosecution of Horne Tooke for high treason in 1794, when Lord Eldon, (then Sir John Scott) as Attorney General, and Lord Redesdale, (then Sir John Mitford) as Solicitor General, conducted the case for the crown. On this occasion Lord Redesdale distinguished himself, not only by his forensic exertions, but by a singular display of sympathetic emotion. Tooke had been making some pretty strong insinuations against the Attorney General's integrity, which the party assailed thought it necessary to repel. He accordingly expatiated at some length on the value of character, and the excellence of his own: “He could endure any thing but an attack on bis good name; it was the little patrimony he had to leave to his children; and, with God's help, he would leave it unimpaired.” Here his voice faltered, and he burst into tears; and, to the surprise of every one, the Solicitor General became equally affected, and wept as profusely as his friend. “Do you know," said Tooke, in a loud whisper to a

bystander, on finding this bit of pathos likely to tell against him, w do you know what Mitford is crying about ? He is crying to think of the little patrimony Scott's children are likely to get.”

< We have nothing else to tell about this trial which is not probably well known, or much too long to repeat; neither can we venture to particularize the more celebrated speeches which he made in support of Mr. Pitt's administration; a long list of which might easily be formed from the debates. He was named Attorney-General in the summer of 1799, on Lord Eldon's being raised to the peerage and named Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. Under Lord Sidmouth's administration (in 1801) he filled the situation of Speaker of the House of Commons; and in 1802 succeeded Lord Clare as Chancellor of Ireland, and was elevated to the peerage by the title which he held at the time of his death. It seems, according to the somewhat apocryphal authority of Barrington, that his Lordship was rather out of his element on his arrival amongst the wits of the Irish bar; and a humorous account is given of his efforts, at his first dinner party, to chime in with the tone of the company. “His Lordship had obviously got together some of his best bar-remarks (for of wit he was totally guiltless, if not inapprehensive), to repeat to his company, as occasion might offer; and if he could not be humorous, determined at least to be entertaining. The first of his Lordship's observations after dinner, was the telling us that he had been a Welsh judge, and had found great difficulty in pronouncing two double consonants which occur in the Welsh proper names. “After much trial,' continued his Lordship, 'I found that the difficulty was mastered by moving the tongue alternately from one dog-tooth to another.' Toler seemed quite delighted with this discovery; and requested to know his Lordship's dentist, as he had lost one of his dog-teeth, and would immediately get another in place of it. This went off flatly enough, no laugh being gained on either side. Lord Redesdale's next remark was,—that when he was a lad, cock-fighting was the fashion; and that both ladies and gentlemen went full dressed to the cock-pit, the ladies being in hoops. "I see now, my Lord,' said Toler, “it was then that the term cock-a-hoop was invented.' A general laugh now burst forth, which rather discomposed the learned Chancellor. He sat for awhile silent; until skating became a subject of conversation, when his Lordship rallied-and with an air of triumph said, that in his boyhood all danger was avoided; for, before they began to skait they always put blown bladders under their arms; and so, if the ice happened to break, they were buoyant and saved. Ay, my Lord !' said Toler, 'that's what we call blatheram-skate (a) in Ireland. These do no dis

(a) An Irish vulgar idiom for nonsense.

credit to Sir Jonah's invention; but there is a much better, and (if that be material) a well authenticated story of his Lordship's inaptitude for joking: “A cause was argued in Chancery, wherein the plaintiff prayed that the defendant should be restrained from suing him on certain bills of exchange, as they were nothing but kites. “Kites?" exclaimed Lord Redesdale :-Kites, Mr. Plunkett? Kites never could amount to the value of those securities? I don't understand this statement at all, Mr. Plunkett." It is not to be expected that you should, my Lord," answered Plunkett: “In England and in Ireland, kites are very different things. In England, the wind raises the kites ; but, in Ireland, the kites raise the wind.“I do not feel any way better informed yet, Mr. Plunkett," said the matter-of-fact chancellor. His Lordship continued in the Irish Chancellorship about seven years; his decisions are contained in the reports of Messrs. Schoales and Lefroy; a book, we need hardly add, of high authority in the courts both of England and Ireland. His chef-d'ouvre in legislation is commonly supposed to have been the introduction of the insolvent laws, which this, assuredly, is not the place to discuss. The principle may be good, but it has hitherto been most injuriously applied; and nothing can be more vague and unsatisfactory than the last act upon the subject. His Lordship died January 23, 1830, and was succeeded in his title and estate by his son. Our readers are aware that he was the brother of the historian of Greece; a memoir of whom, by Lord Redesdale, appeared in the last edition of the History.'

Mr. Justice Burrough. The following is also from the Law Magazine. .

* As Mr. Justice Burrough has signed his resignation, though, at this present writing, ostensibly a judge, we may consider him within our. jurisdiction. We do not know the place or date of his, birtlr, but his family, we believe, are established in Hanapshire. He had not the advantage of a upiyersity education; nok, indeed, was he ever remarkable for learning or literary acquire-: ment; though this may be attributable in some measure to the close attention, he paid to special pleading;- a branch of practice pursued by him for several years before he was called to the bar. On being called,, he attended; the. Hampshire sessions and western circuit; and he has been heard to say that his profits, at a single sessions, often exceeded one hundred guineas. He held a high rank on the western circuit, though he never arrived at the dignity of leader. In 1816, he was raised to the bench; where he continued to distinguish himself, as before, by a profound knowledge of certain branches of law, particularly of special pleading; and by the kindness and simplicity of his demeanor. It is said, that, upon his elevation, he made it his formal request

to the bar, that they would not call him “Jemmy" in court. He was, it may be easily supposed, extremely averse from the least shadow of affectation; of which some amusing instances are told. The following may pass for a specimen: A man was tried before him for stealing a pair of breeches. The prosecution was conducted by a young barrister, who, seeing a female witness in the box, and the court crowded with ladies, thought proper to speak of the stolen garment as inexpressibles. Inexpressibles !said the judge, "inexpressibles—I don't find any mention of such a thing in the indictment.” “Why no, my lord,” simpered the counsellor; “I thought my lord, it might be as well”—(and here he winked and nodded, in the vain endeavor to inspire the judge with the same regard for propriety); "the indictment mentions breeches.“Then why couldn't you say breeches at once? Here, Mr. Undersheriff, please to hand them up to the lady. Now, ma'am, are you ready to swear that those are your husband's breeches?His mode of illustration was also remarkably quaint. We once heard him begin an address to a jury in this manner : “Gentlemen, you have been told that the first is a consequential issue; now, perhaps, you don't know what a consequential issue means; but I dare say you understand ninepins. Well, then, if you deliver your bowl so as to strike the front pin in a particular direction, down go the rest; just so is it with these counts; knock down the first and all the rest will go the ground; that's what we call a consequential issue.Mr. Justice Burrough was always rather popular with the bar; his chief fault being the remaining too long upon the bench; and as he is not likely to commit that fault again, we shall say nothing more about it. A facetious ExBaron of the Exchequer complains, that Mr. Justice Burrough's conduct was rather hard upon him ; as he was induced to resign by the constant allusions of the press to the improper continuance of superannuated judges on the bench, which, though they now appear to have been aimed at his learned brother, he all along considered to have been intended for himself.'


AMERICAN. The Revised Statutes of the State of New York, passed during the years 1827 and 1828, to which are added certain Former Acts, which have not been revised. In Three Volumes. Albany. Packard & Van Benthuysen.

Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Judicature, and in the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors of the State of New York. By John L. Wendell. Vol. 2. Albany. William Gould & Co. 8vo.

The Practice in Civil Actions and Proceedings at Law in the State of New York, in the Supreme Court and other Courts of the State, and also in the Courts of the United States. By Elijah Paine and William Duer. Vol. 1. New York. G. & C. & H. Carvill. 8vo.

Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. By Octavius Pickering. No. 1. Vol. 7. Boston. Hilliard, Gray, & Co. 8vo. pp. 336.

Trial of Tobias Watkins, late Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, in the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia for Washington County, May Term, 1829, for Various Frauds upon the United States. Reported by L. Washington, Jr. and H. R. Taylor. Washington. Duff Green. 8vo. pp. 188.

The Probate Laws of Massachusetts, Digested and Arranged, with an Appendix of Forms. By William Blair. Boston. Hilliard, Gray, & Co. 8vo. pp. 296.

A Digested Index to the Decisions of the Superior Courts of the State of New Jersey. By William Halsted, Esq. Trenton. Joseph Justice. 8vo.

Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court, and in the Court for the Trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors of the State of New York. By Esek Cowen. Vol. IX. Albany. William Gould & Co. 8vo.

Connecticut Reports. Vol. VII. Part 1. Or Vol. I. Part 1, of new series, containing the Decisions of 1828. Prepared and published in pursuance of a Statute Law of the State. By Thomas Day. Hartford. Packard & Butler, 1830. 8vo. pp. 304.

Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court of Penn

« EdellinenJatka »