« PreviousContinue »
GENTILE MAN'S MAGAZINE.
By SYLVANUS URBAN, GENT.
Minor Correspond EN ce. — Arrangements of the Magazine - Identity of
Embellished with a View of the Ruins of Gorham Bury House, Hertfordshire,
and Section and Plan of the DEvil's Dyke, Newmarket.
With an anxiety that our pages should be the vehicle of as large a quantity of useful information as their dimensions will allow, both for present intelligence and future record, we have made some slight modifications of arrangement in our present Magazine. It has been thought that our list of New Works, though we have endeavoured to make it an impartial catalogue of all that was published of real importance, has still been a less interesting feature than the space it occupied was worth, particularly as the same information may be gathered (with a little more trouble) by consulting The Publishers' Circular, or Bent's Literary Advertiser, papers freely diffused and generally accessible. The space thus gained will hereafter, we trust, be found to be supplied by matter of greater interest. It is our purpose to devote our attention with unabated perseverance to the advance of historical knowledge, whether as developed by the researches of literary men, or by the accidents of time and local changes. To all that concerns ancient literature, ancient art, or ancient architecture, we shall continue to pay a constant attention. Our record of local changes will be extended, with a particular attention to public buildings and public institutions, and arranged under counties in alphabetical order. For this new feature we respectfully invite the co-operation of our correspondents, either by their own pens, or by the communication of provincial newspapers.
Since the obliging reply of I. I. appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for September last, p. 226, L. L. H. has examined minutely into the Life of Wm. Taylor, of Norwich, respecting Charles Lloyd. L. L. H. thinks that Charles Lloyd was “the intimate friend of the lake poets, the Coleridge and Southey, Lloyd and Lamb and Co. of the Antijacobins.” That Charles Lloyd was the “intimate friend” of Robert Southey is evident, from the Life of Wm. Taylor of Norwich, I. 226, 232, 274-5, 520. That he was the “intimate friend" of Charles Lamb appears from the second volume of Watt's Bibliotheca Britannica, which ascribes to him the work entitled “Poems in blank verse, published in conjunction with those of his friend, Charles Lamb, 1798, 12mo.” This identity is further strengthened by Watt ascribing to Charles Lloyd two other works,—l, “Lines on the Fast;” 2, “Letter to the
Antijacobin Reviewers,” both of which are mentioned by Robert Southey, in a letter contained in the Life of Wm. Taylor of Norwich, I. 274. That Charles Lloyd was not “the Rev. Dr. Lloyd, a dissenting minister, who married a sister of the late Sir James Smith,” the Life of Wm. Taylor of Norwich affords external evidence, for we find, vol. i. p. 520, that Charles Lloyd's sister married the Rev. Christopher Wordsworth, (the brother of the poet, Wm. Wordsworth.) This agrees with the account contained in Burke's History of the Commoners, vol. iv. p. 113, (edit. 1828,) or in the more recent one of 1844, p. 753, from which I extract the following genealogical account ol Charles Lloyd:—Charles Lloyd, of Birmingham, co. of Warwick, is a lineal descendant of the family of the Lloyds of Doloboan. He was the eldest son of Charles Lloyd, (a memoir of whom is in Gent. Mag. xcviii. i. 279,) who married Mary, only daughter of James Farmer, esq. Bingley House, Birmingham. Charles Lloyd (the subject of the present inquiry) was born 12th Feb. 1775, and married April 24, 1799, Sophia, daughter of Samuel Pemberton, esq. of Birmingham, and had issue 5 sons and 4 daughters. In the British and Foreign Review, xvii. 232, it is stated that Charles Lloyd “settled at Brathay in Cumberland.” Among other works he published a “Poem on the Death of his Grandmother, Prescilla Farmer, 1796, 4to.” L. L. H. has been unable to ascertain whether or not Charles Lloyd translated “Alfieri's Tragedies,” attributed to him in the British and Foreign Review, xvii. 232, Lord Byron's Works, vii. 277; but to Charles Lloyd, L.L.D. in 2nd vol. of Watt's Bibliotheca Britannica. The references to Charles Lloyd in the Life of Wm. Taylor of Norwich are as follows: —Vol. I. 222, 225, 226, 227, 231, 232, 233,274, 275, 520, 522.
W. J. T. is anxious for information relative to the practice of “ Hodening,” or carrying a horse's head in procession, formerly observed in Kent, at Christmas Eve; more particularly, whether the custom still exists, &c.
A ConstANT READER asks for the descent from younger sons in the last two generations (1640–1720) of the family of Metcalfe, of Nappa, Yorksh. (Whitaker, Richm. vol. i.); the object being to ascertain who was nearest to the head of the house on the extinction of the elder male line in 1756.
GENTLEM A N’S MAGAZINE.
Life of Lord Chancellor Eldon. By Horace Twiss, Esq. 3 vols.
IF there is any branch of literature which of late years has extended itself more widely, and borne richer fruit than it did of old, we think that it has been that connected with the biography of those eminent men who lived in the present age, or in that immediately preceding it. It is true that some evil has come along with the good; and that those graceful testimonials which the hand of friendship has given to departed worth and talent, have been accompanied by very heavy and tiresome commentaries on the actions and sayings of ordinary people; as every handsome and splendid procession has also an attendant mob, impairing its lustre, and impeding its way. Because we have a clever life of an orthodox and dignified clergyman, it is not necessary that we should also wade through the prolix correspondence and very ordinary sayings of a dissenting minister; or, because we delight in tracing the discoveries and watching the labours of a Watt or a Dalton, it does not follow that we must derive equal pleasure from a tedious narrative of a provincial artisan. Among, however, the most useful as well as delightful works of the kind that have appeared, we think those connected with the profession of the law are entitled to peculiar eminence; and we should consider such works as the lives of Romilly and Horner and Mackintosh, as text-books for those to study who aspire to the same honours of the profession which they reached, by the same arduous and honourable means. Such works as these are, like statues or pictures, representations of the men themselves, speaking as it were with a living voice, and in authentic words of encouragement exhorting the youthful student to labour, patience, and hope. Every succeeding page of such personal history comes on us with a lighter and brighter hue ; we see as we advance difficulties disappearing, disadvantages overcome, and a new and unexpected pathway opened up the hills. Examples like these stimulate our flagging energies, they cheer us in our toilsome labours, they breathe vigour into our exhausted hopes, and bid us not despair of achieving anything, however discouraging or remote, which the genius or patience of others have accomplished before us. What is a volume of biography, but an invitation to the company of the dead, in which we listen to them, as they detail the impressive history of their past lives, confess their failures, recount their struggles, their victories and triumphs; recal the memory of the long years of painful suspense and disappointment in their youth ; and the honourable records of the growing prosperity of their after-life 2 Thus, to the youthful candidate for legal eminence, does the voice of Mansfield and Hardwicke, of Thurlow and of Camden, appear to speak, animating him in his progress, cheering him during the long anni silentes of his early life, and appearing as friendly stars to light him during his hours of solitary study at home, or inglorious and reluctant leisure abroad, saying, or seeming to say,
“Nunc animis opus, AEnea, nunc pectore firmo."
To such works as these the present I.ife of Lord Eldon will prove a most valuable addition, because, in the first place, it presents an abstract of all that could be well achieved in the legal profession by united talents and industry; it gives the history of one who, from a very humble station, without any assistance from others, without a patron's help, without professional connexion, without public favour, rose to the highest honours and emoluments, to the especial friendship of two Sovereigns, to general estimation with the members of his own profession, and to the respect and esteem of the community—“Clarum et venerabile nomen:” and, secondly, it is useful, as detailing, at greater length and with more authentic materials than are usually supplied, the means by which this elevation was attained, showing, that an entire and well-grounded reliance on himself was the foundation of all Lord Eldon's future fortunes. No accident raised him to eminence, no adulation gained him patronage, no alliance procured him superiority of station. This is the history of a plain, simple man, who won his own way up the toilsome hill he had to climb ; and the bread he ate was earned by the painful application of mental labour, continued often through night and day, requiring truly the “mentem adamantinam"—the utmost resolution of a determined will in the conquest of great difficulties. Burke has somewhere said, that the study of the law has perhaps a greater tendency to sharpen the faculties, and give acuteness and subtilty in reasoning, and in detecting errors, than in enlarging the general powers of the understanding, and affording those comprehensive views and great resources which distinguish the philosopher and statesman; which, as in Bacon, can enlarge the empire of thought; or in Turgot, disclose a policy which may at once improve the condition and sway the destinies of mankind. This assertion is probably true, for Burke seldom spoke in vain; and, if it be so, it would not be a question surely too curious or remote to inquire, to what cause can this be referred ; and may we not, in the first place, attribute something to the disadvantage naturally attending an exclusive study of any one science; for such an entire application of the time and thought the science of law, in its vast and complicated growth, seems imperiously to demand. The late ruler of France, it is said, made men of science statesmen, and found them wanting, for the same reason. Again, it may be said, that, in the various lines of argument through which the discovery of truth is sought, some are more calculated to expand the powers of the understanding, and to extend the boundaries of knowledge, than others; and if that of law depends more on the usages of antiquity, on prescriptive formularies, on foregiven decrees, on statute books, on technicalities, rather than on those large processes of induction which in other pursuits conduct through the different provinces of knowledge, through original research and distant inquiry, through analogy, experiment, and theory, through patient investigation and repeated trial, to the desired result; then we cannot hesitate to acknowledge the effect which the habitual exercise of those very opposite modes of conducting argument and arriving at truth may produce upon the mental powers; though the one may lead to the possession of subtle powers of distinction and nicety of discrimination in the use of terms, and quickness in detecting sophistry in the arguments of the opponent, yet that is not to be compared to the great and general advantage derived from the other; and further it might be said, that the very pursuits of the finished and learned lawyer, preparing for practice or engaged in it, are
not altogetherswomable..to the full development of the mental faculties, because they deny time for general cultivation, and press the copious and diversified stream of thought into too narrow a channel. We mean to say, that very minute inquiry into any department of knowledge, has a tendency rather to contract than to enlarge the understanding.” As we proceed upwards in the stream of science, we find a thousand little channels multiplying themselves in every direction, in the pursuit of which we often suffer our attention to be so far absorbed, as to forget the ends, while we are investigating the source of things around us. We study parts rather than the whole. Even law is so extensive as to admit of much division of labour in its separate branches: and so, what we gain in our power of division, we lose in our nobler faculty of combination. What may be gained in the habit of close and laborious thinking, may be lost in the power of ready judgment and practical discrimination. These observations will surely not be thought irrelevant, when it is recollected how much it has been objected, when Lord Eldon's eminence in his profession was the subject of conversation, that he had carried the narrower views of his prosession into his political life; that he did not display the same powers at the council table as at the bench ; and that, even in the limits of his own profession, he was far behind some of his contemporaries in comprehensive knowledge andliberal application of the science of law; that he pertinaciously clung, like men of bounded intellect, to inflexible rules and forms ; that he had rather a mechanical readiness in practical parts, and a power of threading his way through difficult and complicated questions, than that more philosophic spirit, “quae vult rerum cognoscere causas,” which likes to compare what is confirmed by practice, to the rudiments and origin of rules, to broad and fundamental truths, and to the original principles of science, till the further we advance the more clearly we perceive the scattered elements of truth combine and assume their proper form; and we are at length admitted within those sacred precincts and august abodes, where we behold the venerable monuments of ancient wisdom, and see the majestic lineaments of divine jurisprudence. The latter part of Mr. Twiss's work is occupied in the consideration, and partly in the refutation, of these opinions. We confess that we are not able to enter into such discussions for want of legal knowledge and professional experience; but we may be permitted to remark, that Lord Eldon's legal knowledge and talents have been thus severely judged, not by his contemporaries, and those who most intimately were acquainted with him when in the full possession of all his active powers; not by Lord Redesdale or Lord Erskine, his rivals, or companions of his labours, but by his successors; not by his equals, but his juniors; not by those educated with him in the same line of policy, when the country was under great restrictions of foreign intercourse, and intense dangers from foreign policy and domestic insurrection ; not by those who knew him as the guardian of the law, the adviser of the Crown, and the most experienced member of the ministry during a long period, when every danger to the constitution and existence of the country was threatened, from the most powerful enemies abroad, and discontented demagogues at home. No wonder that, under the pressure of great difficulties, he was willing to hold together the reins of
* See on this subject, Rennell's Remarks on Scepticism, 1823.