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his audience the whole of his subject, the whole which it was important to unfold,-who left so distinct an impression of the opinions he meant to declare, or gave more cogent reasons in support of them-reasons, if not sufficient to convince others, yet quite sufficient, not only to show the grounds of his own conviction, but that he logically deduced it from his premises. Accordingly he was, (experto crede) of all the debaters in our day, with perhaps the exception of Lord Plunket, the most difficult to grapple with, the hardest to answer. Nor did it seem to make any difference that the subject happened to be one with which he was little conversant in detail. His speeches on commercial and financial questions were really as admirable as on subjects of foreign and military policy. Nay, I shall not easily forget the remark of one of the greatest orators of our times (Lord Ellenborough) when we left the House of Lords together, in equal admiration of the Duke's extraordinary speech upon Subscription, as connected with the Universities, a question with which he must be supposed little familiar: "Did you observe that the whole hour he spoke, not one topic but the best chosen, nor one word for which another equally fitting could have been substituted ?" It is to be remembered that he greatly improved as a speaker after he became Prime Minister in 1828. The perfect modesty of his nature, with his unfailing good sense (if indeed the two things can be separated), made him incapable of harbouring any notion that it was beneath him to take pains: and as it had been once or twice thrown out in debate that he had a habit of begging the question (the pleasantry coming from a friendly quarter, that there were different kinds of beggars, the sturdy as well as the gentle and dexterous), it might be seen that latterly he carefully avoided falling into an error extremely natural to an unpractised orator.
As for his undeviating candour and fairness, his constant love of justice, his perpetual desire to secure
their due to all, his instinctive hatred of oppression and contempt of fraud, these are moral qualities, not rhetorical, and qualities which, if the most eloquent of all men, the unprincipled Greek orators, could have been made to comprehend, they certainly would not have much respected.
Lord Denman once made a remark, strikingly true in itself, and which came with peculiar grace from the greatest judge of the day. It was when he saw the eagerness with which the Duke rushed forward, as it were, to defend some officer unfairly attacked, or to obtain for him the share of commendation that he thought had been inadequately awarded. "Of all that man's great and good qualities, the one which stands first, is his anxious desire ever to see justice done, and the pain he manifestly feels from the sight of injustice."
RECOLLECTIONS OF A DECEASED WELSH JUDGE.
As the alterations in our judicial system, which they are gravely pleased to call reform of the law, have now reached the Principality, we, its regular judges, are abolished, with its peculiar courts, and the judges of England are let in upon the Celtic countrymen of Howel-dha and King Arthur. It be all very well for the state at large; for the individuals concerned, it is not quite so well. They give us some of us, at least retiring pensions; but we had much rather continue to work for our bread; and though the morsel was not very large, neither was the labour great. I used to reckon it child's play, compared to the Northern Circuit, which I quitted for it: and though the Courts were more dull than can easily be described, from the excessive stupidity of the people, both witnesses and jurors, the difficulty of getting anything like English out of them, or putting anything like sense into them,-the trifling nature of their endless disputes, the inextricable entanglement of their endless pedigrees,—yet the assizes lasted but a couple of days at each place, for the most part; and there was great pleasure in their clear air and fine scenery, especially after the House of Commons and Westminster Hall had fatigued one, and made London intolerable: their streams were pure and refreshing, to say nothing of their fish; and their hills were wild and sunny, without taking into account the good mutton they fed. The place of a Welsh Judge, therefore, compatible with practice at the bar, and a seat in
Parliament, was much prized in our profession, at least by all who either wished to retire from part of their fatigue, or who had less work than they could wish. It was a preferment, too, which sometimes led to higher place. But I freely admit that my judgment respecting the important change which assimilated the jurisdiction, is not an impartial one. I lost my place, and, except in my pension, had no compensation; for I am no great law reformer; nor, indeed, judging from what I have known of the tribe either at the bar or in society, am I disposed to be a reformer in any sense of the word.
It has occurred to me that I may employ the addition thus made to my leisure, not unpleasantly to myself, and not unprofitably to those who come after me, by setting down without much pretension to order, and with no affectation of history, still less of system, such Recollections as from time to time occur to me, of the Bar and the Bench, since I have known them. There are not many of our body who have lived longer in it, or more associated with my brethren; and I believe there is no one who esteems both that "renowned profession" (as Erskine used to call it) and its members more affectionately than I have ever done. They have little therefore to apprehend from my pen, if I had any gall in my nature to distil through it. Moreover, as I really have no bias on my mind, and am writing only to amuse myself with these reminiscences, without any other object to gain, what I say will at least have the recommendation of being only said because it is true-a recommendation not very generally belonging to anecdotes, which are related with the design of either raising or lowering some persons, or with the more excusable, but not very respectable, desire of setting the table in a roar, by fancy dressed up in the cloak of memory. As for history, far be it from me to make any pretence to deal in any such wares. Whoever has led causes as
an advocate, or heard them as a judge, must know how great is the difficulty of ascertaining the most simple and ordinary matters of fact. Yet our books of history contain distinct accounts of things the most difficult to discover,—of matters which half the world regards one way, half the other,—of much that never can be discerned, and of more that no two men will agree in telling the same way. My aim is of a much humbler elevation, but I am much more likely to hit my mark.
When I first joined the Northern Circuit, it happened to me that I was the last called to the bar; and so I was with much solemnity-which then appeared to me mummery-declared to be Mr. Junior. On some circuits, as the Midland, he is called Recorder; but all circuits have such an officer, to keep the minutes of their transactions. However, it is admitted that there is none of the six, not reckoning our humbler Welsh circuits, at all equal to the Northern in the regularity of its proceedings, and the strict discipline which is enforced. I very soon had an opportunity of seeing an example; and though, like most of our acts, it wore the outward form of a joke, it carried with it a serious warning, and concealed under a playful outside an important moral. Mr. Giles, familiarly called Dan Giles, joined the circuit at the same time, though called a term before me. He was the son of a great and very wealthy city merchant; and, whether from the provident care of his father, or because he himself, like the connexion of another city character renowned in song, "had a frugal mind," he brought with him sundry letters of introduction from city solicitors to their brethren at York. These were delivered by young Dan; and, immediately on the fact being known, "a special Grand Court of the Northern Circuit" was holden, as soon as the cloth was removed, after our mess-dinner. I had as yet only seen the court called for my election, or rather installation, as Junior; and it had only lasted a few