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question, and seeing him, as she thought, asleep, called his servant to see if his head was not too low. The man said "No, he is sleeping comfortably." She approached him, and again asked him to speak. She observed one eye nearly open, the other half closed, but his colour as usual. The servant and another thought still that he slept, but her Ladyship felt sure he was gone. So it proved, for he speedily became cold and pale, nor could any of the remedies that were applied restore him. He had complained when he awoke just before dinner that he had in his sleep dreamt of a sword piercing his breast. The examination of the body proved only that all the nobler parts, both head, chest, and abdomen, were in a state of perfect health, except a very slight enlargement of the spleen and liver, of no moment. He never had gout, nor had any of his family.
We have entered into this detail on account of the very remarkable circumstance of the dog's instinct. It is quite clear that the poor animal was aware of the fatal change some time before any observer of our own species could discover that the spirit of its master had passed from this world. Many stories have been told of such an instinctive sense, but it has never before, we believe, been established on more irrefragable evidence as the facts above detailed constitute. We may add, that if the examination of the body is to be relied on, an additional argument is presented by this case in favour of the theory which holds the ossification of the coronary arteries to be symptomatic or consequential in angina pectoris, and not the cause of that painful and fatal malady; for, in the first instance, the spasms not having been of long standing, these reasoners may argue that time had not been afforded for the process of ossification, which their doctrine assumes to be the effect, and not the cause of the spasm.
MUCH less is known, at least familiarly known, concerning Dunning than almost any other of our eminent lawyers who flourished in the last century. This arises chiefly from the circumstance of his never having reached the highest honours of the profession, and having died at an age far from advanced. Yet he was a person of the very first-rate eminence at the bar, and one of the few lawyers who fully sustained in Parliament his great forensic reputation.
John Dunning (called by an absurd mistake Joseph through all the volumes of the Parliamentary History) was born at Ashburton, in the county of Devon, in October, 1731, the son of a very respectable attorney who practised there, and lived to a great age, having only predeceased his son by three years. By him the youth was placed in his office when only thirteen years old, as an articled clerk; but Sir Thomas Clarke, Master of the Rolls, being the old gentleman's client, had observed Dunning's early aptitude for business, and advised his studying for the bar. He was accordingly entered of the Middle Temple, and called in July, 1756.
He went the western circuit for some years without success; but having accidentally been employed by the East India Company in preparing their answer to the Dutch Memorial, and become thus introduced to professional connexions, he was intrusted with the argument in the case of Combe v. Pitt, in 1763, and was soon after retained as of counsel for Wilkes (with whom he had also some private intimacy), in the
questions arising out of the North Briton. In 1765 he argued the case of General Warrants, to which Wilkes's case gave rise. His talents for business, his extraordinary acuteness, his inexhaustible resources as an advocate, his steady and impressive, though not finished, still less polished eloquence, above all, his command of legal matters, and readiness in dealing with legal topics, shone forth on these great occasions in such a manner as fully established his reputation in Westminster Hall. His business rapidly increased, and after being chosen Recorder of Bristol, he was, in January, 1768, appointed Solicitor-General under Lord Shelburne's first administration, through whose patronage he was soon after chosen member for Calne, and he continued in Parliament member for that borough until, a short time before his death, he was called up to the House of Lords.
From the situation of Solicitor-General he retired on the change of ministry in 1769, nor did he ever after hold office till in Lord Shelburne's second administration he was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and for life; the Crown having an undoubted right so to confer that office, which only an address of the House of Commons, in 1807, prevented Mr. Perceval from holding by the like tenure. The story told in some works, as in the Penny Cyclopædia,' of his having also received a pension of £4,000 a-year, is utterly without foundation, and may also be pronounced impossible to be true. They who have for this pension assailed him with unmeasured violence have added, to prove how inexcusable such rapacity was, that he had realized in the profession of the bar a fortune of £180,000—a statement much more near the truth; for he left a very considerable fortune, most honourably made; nor was he, except for little more than three years of his life, in the receipt of any official salary; and, on quitting the bar, for a comparatively small place, he gave up a very
large income. When he took office at the beginning of 1768 he had only a stuff gown, and on quitting it two years after, he retired behind the bar. Lord Mansfield, on seeing him there, addressed the court, and said, that from respect for the office he had filled, and for his high station in the business of the profession, he should call upon him to move after the King's Counsel, the Serjeants, and the Recorder of London. The two senior stuff gowns, on rising, said that it had been the intention of the bar to make the same proposition to his Lordship, and that it met the general wishes of the profession. Dunning always proudly refused a silk gown, and continued till he left the bar to sit behind it. We may add, that when the personal hatred and caprice of a tyrannical prince, defeated by Messrs. Brougham and Denman in his conspiracy against his wife, had, seconded by Lord Eldon's timidity, deprived them of their rank in 1821, a proposal was on their circuits entertained of a similar kind, but rejected. On the northern circuit it was understood to have failed through the ill-humour of Serjeant Hullock.
Although Dunning was but a short time of his parliamentary career in office, he was a constant and prominent debater during the fourteen years that he sat in Parliament, and he was a steady adherent of the Whig party; but of the Shelburne or Lansdowne section of that body. For its chief he had a sincere respect and affection, grounded not more on his gratitude for acts of kindness, than on a just estimate of his great capacity for affairs, his extensive knowledge, and his firmness and spirit rarely equalled, never surpassed. For Lord Shelburne was a statesman of the Chatham school, and while he took the largest views of the public interests, was wholly ignorant of what either fear or vacillation meant. No man has been more the victim of personal spleen and factious calumny; nor can we fail to recollect that his love of
letters and science, his patronage of their cultivators, his keen relish for their society, formed always one of the main objects of Whig satire *—any more than we can forget that the deep-rooted aristocratic prejudices, the coterie spirit, the family system of rule, which lost Mr. Pitt to their camp when Lord John Cavendish was preferred to him as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he, the first man of the day after Mr. Fox, could only be offered a subordinate station, found a marked contrast in Lord Shelburne, who, on assuming the Premiership, at once made him his second in command, and leader of the House of Commons.
The remains of Dunning's speeches which are preserved give us a very exalted idea of his powers in debate. They are lively, terse, full of point, never losing sight of the subject in hand, generally most argumentative, occasionally dealing in powerful invective. The courage of his friend and leader he amply shared. No man daily practising before Lord Mansfield could be expected, as a matter of course, to assail that great judge in Parliament with unmeasured vehemence, close upon offensive personality. But Dunning cared not for any such considerations and etiquettes. Had he been a mere politician who never entered Westminster Hall, instead of the first leader in the Court of King's Bench, he could not have dealt more unsparingly his blows at the illustrious Chief Justice, when he deemed his judicial proceedings hostile to the liberties of the subject. Take an instance from the debate, 6th December, 1780, upon Serjeant Glynn's motion on the administration of justice, as connected with the rights of jurors. After showing that Lord Mansfield's doctrines could be traced to the worst names in our judicial annals-to Scroggs-to Alibone-to Jeffries-and illustrating this position at length, he proceeds to show how far his Lordship had
* Beside the Rolliad Papers, see Lee's violent personal abuse in debate, 1783, of which this very liberal topic forms a principal ingredient.