« הקודםהמשך »
erful and splendid eloquence. Their and natural talent—the picture of a celebrated speeches are amongst the perfect magistrate is complete. And let finest specimens of genuine oratory; no man say that extensive literary attheir grave and weighty arguments af- tainments are not essential to the judge. ford irrefragable evidence of learning, Do they not soften the dispositions, solid, extensive, and profound ; and and humanize the character and is it since their elevation to the Bench, it is not of the last iinportance for the judge no calumny upon the Bar to state, that to have profound and comprehensive their places have never been supplied. views of human nature, to dive into Impertinent and Aippant speakers they the secret springs of the soul, and pewere not; they united fact with beau- netrate the hidden motives of conduct? tiful illustrations ; profound reasoning, Perhaps there is no individual on with brilliant elocution ; and combining the Bench who unites these qualificamanliness of logic with the charms of tions in a greater degree than Judge classic lore, made the whole delightful Burton. Animated by no other feelings and resistless. Some amongst them than those of respect and admiration, may have been touched with the in- we would hazard a few remarks upon firmity of some great minds—an inca- his character-a character which can pability of descending to the minutiæ of stand the test of every examination, smaller questious, being absorbed in the rendered only the purer and more excontemplation of nobler things. Cur- alted by the scrutiny. The libels of ran was, perhaps, a good example of the factious, and the fulsome encomithis feeling, but Mr. Peter Burrowes, ums of the flatterer, are alike insulting the present judge of the Insolvent and disgusting. We hope to avoid Coart
, exhibits a more singular exam- both. ple of it. He made some of the most Judge Burton affords the best illus. admirable and effective speeches ever tration of any man on the Bench, of delivered at the Bar; his statements were unassisted intellect, forcing its way to distinguished for simplicity, energy, and eminence-triumphant over every diffipathos ; for ingeniousness of expres- culty. Few individuals have been sursion, and originality of conception; and rounded, in their outset in professional Fet the stories told of his mistakes of life, with more formidable obstacles. dates and names, and little facts, are He was an Englishman, a stranger, unexcellent
. 'Tis said that one day fail- known to the Irish public and the proing to recollect the name of his client, fession. The period, also, in which he the plaintiff in an action of assault, a commenced his career, was eventful. wag behind him suggested Napoleon The stormy politics of the day disturbed Bonaparte, which he instantly adopted, the smooth current of the legal proto the infinite amusement of his hearers fession, and plunged many of its mem-still
, there might be selected from his bers in furious political controversies. speeches at the Bar, some as fine as Terrible events were of almost daily Erskine's
. But the perfect lawyer is occurrence, and the social fabric was he
, who, with a soul elevated and as- shaken to its very base. A struggling piring enough to reach and comprehend industrious barrister could scarcely exa subject, no matter how large, remote, pect an opportunity of displaying his and dificult
, and with a genius capable knowledge of Coke upon Littleton : of soaring to the loftiest heights, can when a tempest of civil strife was yet exhibit as much tact upon small raging round him, it was not the most matters as commanding intellect when auspicious moment at which to seek for required—can seize upon a little point, a livelihood by honest means. But the
expound a mighty principle. No troubles of that unhappy period of our profession affords more ample scope domestic history were not his only for all the faculties and energies of the difficulties. The profession was stocked mind, and for the useful babits of the with men of fine genius, and uncommon man of business. That practice and energies, whose powers and acquireexperience are essential to constitute meats were brought into constant acthe judge, there can be no doubt-no tion and collision by the desperate cirinan could be a good judge without cumstances of the times. They filled them ; but when they are united to ex. a large space in the public mind, and tensive acquirements, general as well deservedly, for their capacity equalled as professional—to natural eloquence the emergency that required its exer
tion. Peaceful times encourage indus The rich gifts of fortune were not try, and studious habits, in the learned, suddenly bestowed on Mr. Burton; nor happiness ; but periods of civil dis- did the patronage of the great, or accitractions, and commotions, when the dent, or luck—which have ere now befeelings of men are roused, and their friended many an enormous blockhead worst passions infuriated—when dis- „fill his pockets, or procure him place. cord, tumult, and confusion, threaten On the contrary, and the fact may enruin to the state, are invariably fruitful courage talents which for years have in producing men of vast mental pow- lain undiscovered, and knowledge that ers, the emanations of whose daring has not yet been brought to light, he genius are not the less magnificent toiled on for a considerable period because prompted by hatred and re without business and almost without venge, and overshadowed by the darker hope. For several years he went the passions of the soul.
circuit unnoticed, and for that very Mr. Burton was thrown amongst reason was a general favourite with the persons distinguished above their pre- Bar, who regard, with exceeding kinddecessors and successors for eloquence ness, the amiable, gentlemanly, goodand knowledge, many of whom have natured young men who have a charun a glorious race, and reached the racter for thick headedness, and are, loftiest elevation to which their ambi- therefore, unlikely to intermeddle in the tion could aspire. It required no small monopoly of the few; but the instant portion of energy and talent to keep the good-natured young man exhibits pace with such illustrious rivals—to symptoms of ability, and what is worse, prevent the brilliancy of their fame a likelihood of getting business, he is from consigning his best efforts to com- discovered to be not half so goodparative obscurity. That Mr. Burton natured, very forward and presuming, held his ground among the best of and altogether a troublesome sort of them, is no small praise, for the value of fellow, unworthy any longer the encousuccess should be estimated by the ragement and favour of a liberal pronumber and excellence of our com- fession. It is said, that chance threw a petitors. Some people falsely ima- suit, involving a nice and difficult ques. gine that his professional advancement tion, in a right of fishery, into the hands was entirely owing to the friendsbip of of Mr. Burton, in the town of Tralee. Curran. Unquestionably it redounds The illness, or the absence of his leader, to his credit to have acquired, and pre- and the innocence of his colleague, conserved to the last, the friendship of that signed the case entirely to his manageremarkable man; but his friendship, ment ; and so much deep and technical however ardent and sincere, could no knowledge, such prompt ability did he more have gained practice for Mr. Bur- display, that on circuit he was never ton at the Bar than it could have made afterwards unemployed. The same him Emperor of China. Mr. Barton question was argued, subsequently, in was not in extensive practice till Curran the Court of King's Bench, and the had passed the zenith of his fame, and argument of Mr. Burton, on that occaif he had not been more persevering and sion, which is fortunately preserved, industrious than his distinguished friend, exhibits that closeness of reasoning, obscurity must have been his inevitable minuteness, and comprehensiveness of lot. Curran was incapable of severe knowledge, and extent of research, calmental exertion, or of undertaking the culated to raise him to the first emidrudgery of his profession. Difficult, nence in his profession. He soon after abstract, legal questions, he never could obtained practice,and eventually reached investigate or endure. A second Cur- the most extensive enjoyed by any indiviran would hardly have succeeded at the dual of his time, and this by no mean acts, Bar. Mr. Burton, on the contrary, or wheedling practices. His business was if he had not the imaginative, yet pos a tribute paid to merit, large acquiresessed the reasoning faculty to the ments, capacity, and industry. He highest perfection, and a clear inquiring became distinguished even for his elospirit, which taught him to explore, quence, not flashy or diffuse, but grave, with patience, the principles and dull energetic, pointed, and convincing. details of any questions that came before When thoroughly warmed with the him, comprehend it with perfect dis- subject, Mr. Burton has surprised and tinctness, and discuss its bearings with delighted his audience by the boldness consummate skill.
of his conceptions, the justness of his
views, and the vigour of their ex no less with the principles than the pression. He was not deficient in sym- phraseology of the law. On the trial pathy and passion when the subject re- before the Jury, Saurin was profound quired them. The current of his feel- and luminous, Lord Plunket bitter ings flowed warmly round his heart, and abusive, Bushe brilliant as ever, but they were controlled by his saga. avenging himself upon his powerful city, and regulated by the soundness opponent with many a splendid 'sarof his judgment. He never offended casm, while he dazzled his fascinated the good taste of his hearers by violent audience. Burton shone not so brightly and tasteless declamation. He was not but with a steadier light, neither heated deficient in matter, and, therefore, re- by his passions, nor led astray by his quired not the aid of a multitude of fancy, but compressed and vigorous, unnecessary words to cloak his igno- he reasoned with powerful effect; it was rance, or hide the nakedness of bis the understanding alone he sought to mind. His eloquence was natural and satisfy, to force conviction on the judgwholesome, resembling the substantial ment by the noble weapons of truth fare set before vigorous and full-grown and reason. He exhibited the utmost men, while the tawdry effusions of the stretch of those powers of demonstraquack orator, patched up with similes, tion which the thing to be demonstrated scraps, and verses, are like the painted required or admitted. If he did not gingerbread prepared for whining and soar to the highest flights of genius, lie sickly children.
fathomed the utmost depths of reason, Perhaps the most important and re The splendours of the imagination are markable case in which Judge Burton excellent and glorious, but the reasonever figured was the memorable trial ing powers of the human mind in their between the late Chief Baron and the results are no less wonderful and infiCrown, respecting the right of appoint- nitely more useful. The one, it is true, ment to the office of Clerk of the Pleas may captivate by its charms, or astonish in the Court of Exchequer. This case, by its novelțies, but it may likewise with the arguments of Counsel, and mislead honesty and defend injustice, the judgments of the Court of Error while by the other such dangers can in full
, has been accurately reported by be met, delusion dispelled, justice seMr. Greene, and it tended more to cured, and reason restored, to the throne raise the reputation of the Irish Bar from which imagination had for a time throughout the empire than all the bril- expelled her. liant declamations ever delivered within If we wished to impress the learned the Four Courts. Saurin, Plunket, professions in England and Scotland Bushe, and Burton, argued this case with a suitable opinion of the Irish with unrivalled and splendid ability. Bar, we would rest our claims to their There was no authority however obso- respect and admiration on the cogent lete that was not ransacked, no princi- evidence which the case of Chief Baron ple however obvious or remote which, O'Grady affords of sound judgment, if useful, was not applied, no source of manly logic, learning extensive and legal learning, modern or ancient, that minute, clothed in the most emphatic was not exhausted and brought to bear and effective language. upon the subject. The reader of Mr. Judge Burton has sat for several Burton's argument would be amazed at years upon the Bench, discharging his the quantity of knowledge evinced upon high duties with exemplary ability and a theme apparently so barren, collected skill
. Conscientious and impartial, he from every source, and he would be bas administered justice according to struck with the lawyer-like arrange- law, without fear, favour, or affection. ment of so large a mass of facts, prin- The industrious habits of the lawyer ciples and authorities, and still more have not forsaken him on the Bench. by the exactness of the logic and the He decides nothing without patient strength and compactness of the rea- investigation and research. Where he sonings which pervade this matchless presides, the rights of suitors are not argument. The language in which the destroyed by ignorance, or injured by whole was couched was strikingly ap- prejudice, caprice, or passion. propriate, expressing the idea with per No vicious propensities display themfect precision, and proving that the selves in his behaviour on the Bench. mind of the speaker was deeply imbued No cruelties stain his judicial career,
He delights not in the shedding of hu- loathing and increased abhorrence. No man blood. He cannot play off a coarse extent of learning, no splendor of gejoke, and sentence the trembling cul- nius can compensate for the want of prit to the gallows in a breath ; he has principle and virtue. Neither the pronever, for the gratification of parties digious erudition of Lord Coke, nor or factions strained his ingenuity to the subsequent nobleness of his consnare a victim. He believes in a truth duct as a patriot and a Judge, will ever which in this country has been, in times be able to wipe off the foul blot which past forgotten or overlooked, that jus- his conduct to Sir Walter Raleigh has tice may be vindicated and the laws fixed upon his character. The fame of upheld without an unnecessary waste Lord Bacon as a mighty philosopher of human life. Judge Burton is no is no doubt immortal, but his infamy as doubt an ornament to the Court of a Judge will be immortal likewise; it which he is a member : but it is when cannot diminish the value of his disalone, on circuit, and presiding in a coveries, but it will sully his glory, and Criminal Court, that the virtues of tarnish for ever his good name. Gibthe Judge shine forth with peculiar bon, in his Chapter on the Roman brightness. The ealm attention, the Jurisprudence, dwells upon the chaunwearied assiduity, the inflexible im- racter of Trebinian, a famous civilian partiality, with which the case of each who flourished thirteen hundred years unfortunate prisoner is heard and de- ago, the reformer of the Roman law, cided, must gain the heartfelt respect whose labours and whose talents were of every candid spectator. What could mainly instrumental in securing for be more horrible than to witness a Justinian his imperishable fame. “ His Judge, when the liberty or life of his genius,” says the historian,“ like that of fellow man is at stake, fretful, impati- Bacon, embraced, as his own, all the ent, arrogant or unmerciful, availing business and knowledge of the age." himself of his vast power to crush the And having described his wonderful prisoner, taking a savage joy in the attainments and various employments, work of extermination, and like a how the Council of Justinian listened gloomy fanatic, offering bloody sacri- to his eloquence and wisdom, and envy fices to the hideous idol he adores. was mitigated by the gentleness and No such character, we believe, now aftability of his manners, the histostains the purity of the Irish Bench to rian adds, " The reproach of avarice trample on the first principles of justice. stained the virtues or the reputation
The reign of cruelty and darkness, we of Trebinian. It was clearly proved hope, has passed away for ever. May and sensibly felt.” If he allowed bimwe never behold a legal functionary self to be swayed by gifts in the admiwho would hold a good dinner cheaply nistration of justice, the failings of purchased with a life, and would cut Bacon, equally, culpable will again short a vital discussion, sooner than present themselves to our attention. spoil good cookery. Surely if there be Nor can the merit of Trebinian atone one hell deeper than another it should be for his baseness, if he degraded the reserved for the corrupt or cruel func- sanctity of his profession, and if laws tionary, who, placed in a situation which were every day enacted, modified or approaches most nearly to the diviner repealed for the base consideration of duties, converts the sword of justice his private emoluments. Thus does into a weapon of mischief or oppression. the renowned historian fasten the stigTheir victims are not, however, unaveng ma of his indelible censure upon the ed. Everlasting infamy in this world character of the corrupt and truckling pursues the memory of the wicked Judge. It should operate as a warning Judge, and so sure as there is justice in to others, and teach them that if they the world to come, he cannot expect to have not shewn the talents of a Trebi. find forgiveness. The hated names of nian or a Bacon, they may shun their Scroggs and Jefferies will be handed vices, and transmit to posterity an undown from age to age, with greater sullied reputation.
A COWARD BY PROFESSION.
• War, he sung, is toil and trouble,
MR. EDITOR, Perhaps it is, that, like Monsieur bravery ; nor can I think of any more Parolles, I was born under some “cha- appropriate organ for conveying my ritable star," and when “ Mars was views upon this subject to the public retrograde ;" but certainly I hold hero- than the pages of a magazine established ism, and heroes, extremely cheap, and upon Conservative principles, the prindeem Bob Acres and Sir Andrew ciples of the coward being ConservaAguecheek more worthy of respect and tive in the highest degree, while those commendation than all the knights and of your heroes and warriors are destrucmen of valour in romance or history. tive in their very nature and essence. * A coward, a devout coward, religious It is too much to expect that I shall in it," was the character drawn of good succeed, in my own life-time, in proSir Andrew; and I am free to acknow- ducing a re-action in favour of my own ledge to the world that it is the model party ; but I am confident enough to which, from my earliest years, it has hope that a century, will not elapse been my study and ambition to imitate. before the revolution in opinion I speak In this endeavour I have been aided of, shall have been accomplished, and all by a good natural disposition—a sort men who pretend to reason and civiliof instinctive aptness, to take to my zation will agree to explode gunpowder, heels on the first approach, or even and turn all the swords and daggers, rumour, of any danger, however slight, and bayonets, in the realm, into ploughor however problematical. I can lay shares and reaping hooks. I anticipate my hand on my heart, and declare that, the day when a man shall blush to adfrom the first dawn of reason in my mit, far from triumphantly relating, that mind, I never wilfully awaited the he spared no pains to get his throat cut, coming of the enemy, or scrupled or his brains blown out ; when a shout (when involved in perilous circum- of scornful laughter will be sure to folstances), to avail myself of any modelow the narrative of a feat of arms ; of escape that offered itself, no matter and when he that can prove, to public how great the risk I thereby ran of satisfaction, that he exerted his “tender incurring contempt and ridicule. My Achilles” to the utmost of his power to creed has ever been, that life is the first keep out of the range of shot and sabre, consideration, and honor the second ; point to the tree in whose umbrageous and the contrary tenet I have ever branches he perched during a conflict, loathed and detested as a false and per- or to the coal-hole where he ensconced nicious heresy. The feet, moreover, I himselfpending the storming of his native have always considered as the most city, shall be entitled to demand a penuseful members of the human body ; sion, or a crown, and shall have epic and strong is my conviction, that, were poems composed in his praise by the they employed more, and the hands most illustrious bards of his day. Yes, less, it would be an incalculable advan- Sir, depend upon it, the day will come tage to society, by economising life, and when a wound in the front will be a effectually preventing all the various brand of infamy ; and even he who has calamities and horrors of war. Im- been wounded, “a parte post,” shall be pressed with these sentiments, I have considered as having sullied his chalong conceived the design of exposing, racter, unless he be able to establish, through the medium of the press, what, in the clearest manner, that his having in my conscience, I believe to be the appeared on the battle-field at all was absurd opinions current in the world as his misfortune, and not his fault. to the relative merits of cowardice and I arraign the whole race of warriors