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picture, which he gives of his position during these three years of experiment, many a counsel will recognise traits with which he must be more or less acquainted.
* I was once more afloat: I had now no regular occupation, and I had full leisure to reflect on my situation. I had always felt secure, that if I was once fairly set up, all difficulties must end. I might not have been able precisely to have told
here the assistance was to ave come from, but I was certain that it would come. How different were my reflections, before I had been a month in the way of life I am now describing!
• I soon discovered that the great channel for legal employment was a connexion with attornies and solicitors, and that I did not know one. I looked around me, and my friendless situation struck me to the heart. little fortune was daily decreasing, the friends I had made at Mr. Dyott's were falling off, and if I had an invitation to any of the houses I had lately frequented, it only served to make my present mode of life appear the more desolate and lonely.
My situation was certainly deplorable. I had to make up my mind to no great privation-I had to undergo no great struggle. My only chance of success was in keeping up my present expense and establishment; I had to bear a daily disappointment; I had to live in the hope of employment which never came; I had to see the anticipations of the morning always disappointed by the evening.
It is difficult in this situation to engage in regular study ;—the zeal and eagerness of the student have fled : a man requires some stronger excitement than the mere acquirement of knowledge; he then requires the stimulus of responsibility and actual employment, and he scarcely feels satisfied unless he is carrying on the actual affairs of mankind.
My situation always pressed heaviest on me when I encountered in my walks some former companion of my happier hours, and was passed unnoticed by them, or only formally saluted : all my bitterest feelings would then rush in upon me.' It was then that I proudly felt my superiority to my situation, that I threw back their indifference with scorn and contempt, and looked boldly forward to the time when their unkindness would only be remembered by them with regret.
· Thank God ! my disposition was cheerful ; although some hours were very uneasy, yet the chief thought that troubled me was a fear that my little fund would fail me, before I had reached that success which I was sure would ultimately reward my exertions; although my situation might occasionally sadden, it did not prevent my studies. I worked on steadily and constantly, and extended my researches and labours to the other branches of the law, and I now attended the courts of law and equity with regularity and very considerable profit to my studies.
I must not forget to mention Mr. Vincent Amers; he was always the same : kind, considerate, affectionate, he ever encouraged me by his sympathy and good opinion, although it was not in his power to give me any other assistance in the way of my profession.
• Thus did I spend my three years, nor did I in the whole of that time make one single guinea, or had I ever the ability during that time to advance myself in any way.'- pp. 36-38.
Nor was our draughtsman's situation apparently much altered for
the better, after he was called to the Bar. Here too the truth and keeping of the picture will justify us in transcribing it.
• I recollected at that time the feelings which I had had, when a boy at Winchester, of the station and happiness of a barrister; and although I did not perceive any substantial change in my situation and prospects, yet I could not but reflect, with some exultation and triumph, that I had now gained the situation which then appeared to me one of so much grandeur.
• The second day I went to Westminster Hall, I received my first fee ; it was on a motion, of course. Why I was chosen from all the others then in court, I cannot tell; but so it was. I knew nothing of the person who gave it to me, and never saw him afterwards. I went back with great elevation of spirits ; this being the first money I had ever received since I entered the profession, and was indeed the only pecuniary encouragement I received for two years after I was called to the bar.
• I soon found that my situation was not bettered by my new dignity, although my expenses were increased. I had the same anxious hopes, which only inet with the same disappointment. So lively was my imagination, that I never climbed up the narrow staircase to my chambers, that I did not indulge the thought that some business might await me; but my eager looks and enquiries were never rewarded : there was only one answer --nobody had been there.
• I could not then often help regretting that I had not chosen the more humble, but more certain part of the profession, where I thought I inust have been employed in some way or other ; but then a vivid gleam of hope would come across me, and light up all the future.
. It was not the habit for the gentlemen of the Chancery bar (to which I belonged) ordinarily to go any circuit; I had been glad, therefore, to avoid the expense, as I conceived that my chance of business would be no better in the country than in town.
However, about a year after I had been called to the bar, my friend Amers received a strong invitation to go to the circuit, and he pressed me very much to accompany him.
• I had now only 5001. stock remaining, and the expenses of the circuit I knew would be serious: after some reflection, however, I resolved to go. I saw that my present way of life afforded no opening, and I knew that, unless I was soon able to gain something by my labour, I must abandon my hopes for ever.'— pp. 39, 40.
We shall not follow the author in the sketches which he has given of the judges and leading barristers of the circuit which he joined. They are freely drawn; but we cannot recognise in them more than a few scattered features of likeness to men of the present day, for whom they were most probably intended. Neither shall we attend to a certain love affair, in which our hero got entangled on circuit, by catching the eye of a young boarding school lady in court, and by following up this opening with romantic energy. This episode takes up, rather unworthily, a considerable portion of the volume. When we say unworthily, let it not be supposed that we are unfriendly to the display of the tender propensity; the very reverse. Nothing delights us more than the nonsense of young engagements, and the enthusiastic dreaming and insatiable feeling
which send lads and lasses into the fields on summer evenings, to listen to waterfalls and nightingales, and the waving of the woods, and all that mystic coinbination of soothing sounds which seem to come rather from the skies than the earth, during that animated season. No, we object to our lawyer's romance, because it is no romance at all; it is an awkward piece of business throughout, and serves only to furnish him with occasions, whereon he may boast of his magnanimous contempt for the gifts of fortune, and his hatred for all intriguing governesses.
Allusion has already been made to the blunder by which he traces his first day's journey on the road of celebrity, to his defence of a prisoner who was tried for murder, and on behalf of whom he made à long speech. In addition to this gross mistake, he commits another, which leads us strongly to suspect that our man of adventure has not yet attained to the honour of the wig and gown, for in order to become thoroughly acquainted with his client's case, he tells us, that he repaired to the prison for that purpose-a proceeding which is against one of the most indispensible rules of etiquette, established by the Bar. His next great success was in a question of the illegitimacy of a peer of the realm, which he conducted in the King's Bench ; for our counsel, contrary to the usual routine, appears to have practised in any court in which he could obtain business. It was in the conduct of this affair, that he committed that other enormous mistake, already mentioned. We allude to his journey to Italy, to collect the evidence upon which his case was to be founded. Our hero's fame now became extended, and after some years of increasing prosperity in the Court of Chancery, to which he eventually devoted himself exclusively, he aspired to the dignity and emoluments of the silk gown, and sought and easily obtained political connexions. He was at first inclined to support the tory party; but with the true facility of his profession, whose political unsteadiness is, perhaps, its only great stain, he soon ran the gauntlet of every party that could promote the views of his ambition. He rises rapidly to the offices of Solicitor and Attorney-General, propounds and carries in Parliament all those law reforms which are as yet hardly discussed, or even known to us, and converts the courts of law and equity into perfect tribunals of Utopia. He next tastes of the “bitter sweets” of unpopularity, in consequence of his having prosecuted a set of traitors, who had conspired against the state, and in whose trials the histories of the mutineers of the Nore, of Lord George Gordon, and of Hardy, Thelwall, and others, are mixed up together in a sort of forensic olla podrida. It savoured more of ambition, than of judgment, in our Attorney-General, to expose himself to the chances of a popular election at Liverpool, after his state prosecutions. In this, however, as in all things, he succeeded of course, and subsequently ascends rapidly from the seat of Chief Baron of the Exchequer to
the Woolsack. The great event of his life, after he became Lord Chancellor, was the passing of the famous act for the equalization of church property-a grand reform, which, however desirable, is not so easy to be carried as our fortunate adventurer imagines. We had almost forgotten to state that amongst the other delights of his career, he had the good luck to be married to the object of his first circuit romance. The representation of domestic uneasiness, which on one occasion distracted him during the performance of his judicial and legislative duties, affords, no doubt, a just idea of the state of mind in which a Chancellor may be sometimes involved, who has not altogether merged the feelings of the man in the duties of the officer.
'It was very soon after I had been appointed Lord Chancellor, that I had to undergo great anxiety of a different nature from all legal or political matters, and from a novel source to me.
I had been, as I have said before, without any family relations all my life, and therefore as I had been exempt from the annoyances and anxiety, so also I had not enjoyed the pleasures and advantages, which they bring with them. Since I had been married, I had indeed partaken of much of that pure happiness which can only be tasted by those who enter into that holy sanctuary; but hitherto the exercise of my affections had been confined to my wife alone; for we were childless.
Oh! how often have I longed to be a father. Unconnected as I was with every one, I often felt as if I could have resigned all my fame, honours, and fortune, with cheerfulness, if I could but have enjoyed that one blessing. It appeared to me that I had hitherto proceeded in the world a solitary and isolated adventurer, and thus also I was to depart from it, and leave no trace behind me. My name was to be elevated to the most extensive renown—was to be in the mouth of every one-and was then to fall suddenly and die away for ever. • How bitterly I often felt this, I cannot express.
Neither can I think of it without calling to mind the firmness, the soothing resignation, the true and unchangeable affection, with which this deprivation was borne by her who must have often felt it even more deeply than I. To me a thousand employments and lofty projects were ever present to engage my thoughts from all that was not immediately present; yet to me it was a bitter grief; but to her the want of children must have been a source of continual and recurring sorrow.
• Years had now, however, passed over, and our feelings were much tranquillised, yet not deadened, on the subject; although, indeed, there was, on my elevation to the peerage, a fresh reason for wishing for an heir. I cannot say how it would have been, but perhaps, in the autumn of my life, it was more joyful intelligence, than it would ever have been, when it was communicated to me, that Lady Malvern would soon become a mother. I received it with exultation, and the greater because such an event was utterly unexpected, as she was fast approaching that time of life when all hopes of this nature vanish.
All my former feelings and wishes revived, and I felt the most intense anxiety as to the result. For a fond husband it is indeed an arduous
time; he may see himself at once a husband and a father ; or perhaps be deprived at the same moment of his wife and his child. When he is expecting an increased happiness, he may find himself suddenly bereaved of all that before rendered his life dear to him.
My feelings were perhaps more violent from being perfectly new to me, and from the thought that, if I now lost my wife, that loss would be irreparable ; it is certain that few men suffered more than I did at that time.
• It was expected that all doubts would be over by the month of May; and on the 15th of that month, Lady Malvern was accordingly taken ill, late in the evening.
I passed the whole of that night sleepless and agitated, but the morning brought no relief; and my public duties called me at ten o'clock to the Court of Chancery, as it was then Easter Term. I knew that I should now have to fix my attention on abstract and technical matters, when all my thoughts were engrossed by one great and overwhelming subject. I knew, however, that I could be of no service at home, and that my presence in the house was an additional anxiety to Lady Malvern. I therefore determined to set off for Westminster Hall.
• I directed that the event, or any alteration in the state of Lady Malvern, should be immediately communicated to me, wherever I should be.
• I arrived in court, and it was indeed a distressing day. I had to sit in a public court, crowded by the counsel and the public, all gazing at me and watching my slightest movement. I had to appear to give my mind exclusively to the business to be gone through. I had to endure all the wranglings and squabbles of the day, and seem to be concerned with nothing but them. I tried in vain to fix my attention to what was going on; but the words which were uttered seemed perfectly unintelligible to me. The court at times passed from my view, and
my whole thoughts rushed back to my own house, and the scene that was there transacting.
• A manner, I may be allowed to say, so unusual in me, soon attracted the notice of the bar; questions were asked, and the truth was soon communicated to them. It was immediately agreed that no further business should be done that day, and, with great kindness and courtesy, every counsel in court delared that no other cause was ready to be tried, and I was consequently released from my duty.
• I had received no message, and on going out of court, I proceeded immediately with great haste on foot to Berkeley-square. A thousand fears beset me as I approached the house, but they were all unnecessary; nothing had as yet occurred, although I was assured by Dr. Beynon, who was attending Lady Malvern, that every thing was going on well. However, I still remained restless and anxious.
I stayed at home for some hours, counting the minutes as they passed, but all still continued uncertain. I remained walking backwards and forwards in my study-not able to employ myself, and not daring to go into my wife's room,-listening attentively to every sound.
Four o'clock approached, and I had to appear to preside in the House of Lords. I hoped that the occupation and change of scene would calm and employ my mind, and I determined on going down as usual.
• The house met; I took my seat on the woolsack, and the ordinary business was transacted, but it could not fix my attention. I had, indeed,