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got rid of, and their force dissipated. The taste, withal, considering the exciting nature of the subject, is throughout severely chaste; nor can the most fastidious critic descry a spot whereon to fix for blame; while the most zealous enemy of Parliamentary oppression cannot find any ground for complaint in the strenuous exertions of the advocate. Arguments like these at once control the judge, as if they came from a higher authority; edify the party in whose cause they are urged ; diffuse the useful light of information among the profession; and conserve pure and untainted the most refined taste in composition.
Although the habits of this illustrious lawyer did not often place him, and never voluntarily, in the position of a leader, it yet would occasionally happen that he might conduct some cause of importance before a jury; and then his admirable judgment, ready knowledge of his subject, and all its legal relations, correct taste, and inimitable suavity of temper, united all voices in his praise. His arrangement of the subject, and his diction, were alike perfect; what he wanted in the vigour of declamation, to which he made no pretension, was amply supplied by the combined force of his reasoning and hy his luminous statement of facts; nor was he ever engaged in causes which demanded resources of wit or of pathos, the only portions of the rhetorical art to which he neither laid any claim, nor could find substitutes in his own proper stores.
In his conduct at the bar, whether at consultation or in court, whether as a leader or a junior and pleader, he was perfect. No man was more respectful to his leaders when a junior; none less assuming when he led. But though never wanting in courtesy, whichever station he filled, he never failed firmly to assert his own opinion, whether as to the law of the case or the discretion of conducting it, when he had a leader; nor to act with the entire resolution that belonged to his responsible position when he led himself. In every instance, however, the cause and the client were observed to be his sole object. To advance them was always his aim; to put himself forward, never. The most bappy illustrations, the most sound legal topics, were suggested by him quietly, almost secretly, to his leader; from whose far less learned lips came forth, as if they had been his own, the sense of Mr Holroyd; who, so far from giving the least indication of the sources whence the point had come, only said a word in its support when absolute necessity required.
Having long adorned the bar, he was raised to the bench, chiefly, it was believed, through the exertions of Lord Ellenborough, who had known him intimately, and had always felt for him unbounded respect and esteem. As a Judge, he fully sustained the high character which he carried with him from the forum. When he sat at Nisi Prius, it was delightful to see the familiar ease with which he handled all points that could be made before him, come they ever so unexpectedly upon him, or be they ever so much out of the every-day course of business. The manner, too, in which he dealt with them attracted especial admiration. Sir,' said Mr Sergeant Hullock, captivated with this, he is like one of the old men, the great fountains of our • law.'— But with a good sense and a just taste, rather belonging 'to our age than to theirs,'—was the proper and correct addition of one to whom the Sergeant's remark had been addressed. The only defect which any one could charge on his judicial performances, was that from which it is so difficult for any one to be free who has been raised to the bench from behind the bar, and without the experience of leading causes. He cannot well take the larger and more commanding view of cases, which the leader naturally adopts, and to which he confines himself rather than to details. Hence, at least before experience of trying many causes has lent such lawyers expertness, they feel some difficulty in grappling with large and complicated cases ; are apt to lose themselves in particulars; and are found unable to dispose of more than a very limited number of cases, however well they may try those which they are able to dispatch. To this remark Mr
astice Holroyd formed no exception. While no man tried a great case better, sew so well, he would suffer a heavy cause paper to fall into arrear, from not apportioning his labour justly amongst the more important and more trivial matters. Todeed, except Lord Tenterden, and one or two of the later judges raised io the bench before the habits of the pleader had been formed, there are hardly to be found any exceptions to the rule which we have stated, as deduced from long experience of the profession.
Than this eminent and excellent person, no man was more beloved in private life, or could be more justly prized in all its relations. Of the strictest integrity, of unsullied professional honour, of the most sweet and equal temper, whether amidst the cares of private life (nor was he unacquainted with both its sorrows and difficulties), or in the discharge of his public duties as a magistrate, exposed to the wranglings of the bar, or in the part which he so long took as an advocate among all the contentions of the forum, his good-humour was constant and unruffled; so much so, that it seemed to cost him no effort at all either to exercise unwearied patience on the bench, or to command his suavity of temper at the bar. Of his valuable arguments, and of his learned and luminous jndgments, the monuments remain in the Term Reports' for the last thirty years of his life; of his emi: nently expressive countenance, at once sagacious, thoughtful, and mild, a likeness remains in Reynolds' portrait and print. It is only speaking the sense of all Westminster Hall to add, that, as his loss was deeply felt by the profession, so it will be very long indeed, in all probability, before such a great luminary of the law shall arise to shed a light over its dark precincts, and to exalt the glory of the bar.
Contemporary with this great lawyer, and for many years his associate upon the Northern Circuits, and afterwards for nearly as long his brother upon the bench, was the late Mr Justice Park, a Scotchman by birth, but who early in life settled in England, where he was called, when young, to the bar, formed his connexions, and spent his whole life. His diligence as a student having attracted the regards of. Lord Mansfield, his nalural kindness, and his national regard for Scotchmen, made him patronize the candidate for practice; and, under his encouragement, he wrote a useful book upon the law of Marine Insurancea subject on which at that time some such work was not a little wanted both by mercantile and by legal men. This task be performed very respectably; and perhaps the success of the work, and the consequent rise into professional notice of its author, were not impeded by its plainness and want of all pretension, except to explain the subject, and record the points fixed by authority -claiming no praise for originality or profoundness of views, or for any very acute line of remark, either upon the cases or the principles. The same unambitious character marked the author's professional exertions; distinguished him on all occasions from ihose who affected loftier flights, and attempted the inore diffcult paths of the ascent; and contributed eminently to the favour which he soon gained and long enjoyed amongst the body of clients.
The plan of writing a Ļaw-Book, as it seems one of the most natural, so it is found to be among the most certain means which an unemployed barrister can take to make himself known, and obtain the emoluments of his profession. After he shall have studied the various departments of our jurisprudence generally, it seems an easy transition to fix his attention upon some one subject which has never been fully illustrated; or never accurately discussed in any separate work; or which has only been handled in books of former days-books which the changes in the law, and the multitude of more recent decisions in the courts, have now made out of date, and comparatively useless either to the student or the practitioner. Time at this period of a professional life is of no value, for the party has no business to occupy it; books are accessible in various ways; the practice of the courts is open to bis daily observation; and he can profit by the suggestions and the experience of his brethren; by his intercourse with others both of his own standing and of his seniors;-an intercourse so easy, by the social habits of the English bar, both in town and on circuit, as to prevent any difference of age or professional rank from interposing obstacles to the fullest communication of doubts or difficulties, and the readiest solution of them. It is equally certain that a successful legal work powerfully assists the rise of the writer at the bar. He is known to have studied one subject at least, and to understand that thoroughly. In cases connected with it, he is taken in as a useful helpmate for the leader, whose knowledge of any branch of law is often comparatively scanty or superficial; bay, the author of such a treatise will often be preferred to much abler and even more eminent men, by the ill-judging zeal of attorneys, or added to them somewhat unnecessarily, by their excessive anxiety for the success of the cause. Hence this species of authorship has become, like attendance at sessions, or pleading below the bar, one of the avenues to practice; insomuch that the old saying, 'There • be three roads to success in the common law-sessions, plead•ing, and miracle'-may well be amended by adding a fourth, hardly less certain than either of the first two-authorship. Of circuit we have said nothing; going any but the very smallest circuits being as little attended with certain success as attendance on the Courts of Westminster; and a young barrister, on the Northern, or Western, or Oxford Circuits, being as little likely to obtain briefs if he comes among his ninety competitors for the business done by the remaining ten, unless recommended by pleading connexions, or by sessional practice, or by authorship, as if he took his seat at once on the back rows of the King's Bench or Exchequer.
It thus happens that this Law-book Writing has become a kind of traffic; and has on the part of some dealers been subject to expedients and contrivances incident to other branches of business, and more bluntly than courteously denominated tricks of trade.' The choice of a subject is the first matter of important consideration; and herein it is to be observed, that the motives which guide other authors in their preferences, do not much operate in this department of letters. Thus the novelty of the subject is no ground at all of choosing it; on the contrary, it rather is an impediment; because the more new, the less it is connected with matters of frequentoccurrence in actual practice. So its difficulty, from the older books and the cases decided in courts being nearly silent upon it, is no ground of preferring any subject. This is, no doubt a very good reason why some book should be written, because it proves
the demand for it, but it is no kind of reason why any given candidate for practice should be the person to supply that demand. For why? His object is not to write a book, but to gain clients, by making himself known as having much studied a particular branch of the law; and business is his object, not book writing, which he only takes as he does his post-horses, to help him on his way to briefs; and unless be shows his knowledge on a subject which is frequently brought into court, be might as well bave dead horses, or travel by the stage waggon. Again,-as the book is wholly a secondary, and, as it were, accidental matter in the speculation, it signifies little whether it be very well executed or not, so it be reasonably well done, and without any glaring omissions or errors; for literary fame is no part of the thing sought after,-hardly professional fame,-but only just so much notoriety as may lead to the opportunity of acquiring professional emolument and reputation; and is that can only be obtained through the medium of the authorship, whether the work be a first-rate or very moderate performance, signifies no more than the colour or the pedigree of the horses that shall afterwards take to York the author whom his book has converted into a leader of the Northern Circuit.
It is not very difficult to perceive, that all these circumstances together, derived from the nature and object of this department of literature, have a direct tendency to lower the excellence of the law books which are now given to the profession; and to explain their great inferiority to the older works which we possess, handed down from the lights of other days. Instead of a Littleton, a Coke, a Plowden, a Blackstone, a Fearn, all, except one, men who had attained the heights of their profession before they took upon themselves the office of instructing mankind upon its mysteries, the student now becomes our teacher, and lawyers write law books before they have held half-a-dozen briefs. These books, too, being written to gain practice by pleasing the attorney, rather than to gain fame by pleasing the critic, are far, indeed, from being elaborated with diligence, or from displaying the utmost force of their authors; not to mention that time being of incomparably more value than excellence, the object is rather to bring out a middling performance soon enough, to suit the plan of appearing on a particular circuit at a time certain.
We have said nothing of a yet less creditable practice which has flowed from pursuing the same course. As the object is to make a kind of advertisement of the author, to announce him for a person who has attended much to one branch of the law, if this can be effected without any book at all ever appearing, so much