have spoken have not conceded to him the position accorded by the Lord Chief-Justice, but still have placed him high. Mylne, the reporter,1 an able fellow, says that he is infinitely superior to Lyndhurst, and also to Lord Eldon, in his latter days. In the Lords I have heard Brougham,—with his deep, husky notes, with his wonderful command of language, which keeps you in a state of constant excitement. I found myself several times on the point of crying out ‘Hear!’—thus running imminent risk of the polite attentions of the Usher of the Black Rod! I am astonished at the reputation which is conceded to Follett2 (I have not yet met him, except in court). He is still a young man for England, —that is, perhaps, forty-five,—and is said to be in the receipt of an immense income, much larger than that of any other lawyer at the bar. I have heard Sir William Alexander and Mr. Justice Vaughan, who remembers Lord Mansfield, say that Follett reminds them of him; but, with all the praise accorded to him from judges, lawyers, and even from Sir Peter Laurie (ex-mayor), who thought him the greatest lawyer he ever knew, it does not seem to be thought that he has remarkable general talents or learning. They say he has ‘a genius for the law;’ but Hayward, of the ‘Law Magazine,’ says he is ‘a kind of law-mill; put in a brief, and there comes out an argument,’ without any particular exertion, study, or previous attainment. I have heard him several times. He is uniformly bland, courteous, and conversational in his style; and has never yet produced the impression of power upon me; in this last respect, very unlike Serjeant Wilde,—who is, however, harsh and unamiable. Wilde has an immense practice. The Solicitor-General is one of the kindest and most amiable of men, with a limited practice, and is a bachelor. The Attorney-General is able, but dry and uninteresting. I have been more pleased with his wife, than with any other lady I have met in England. You know she is the daughter of Lord Abinger, and is a peeress in her own right, by the title of Lady Stratheden.3 She is beautiful, intelligent, and courteous. The Attorney-General has
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 2 : Parentage and Family.—the father.
Chapter 3 : birth and early Education.— 1811 - 26 .
Chapter 4 : College Life.— September , 1826 , to September , 1830 .—age, 15 - 19 .
Chapter 5 : year after College.— September , 1830 , to September , 1831 .—Age, 19 - 20 .
Chapter 6 : Law School .— September , 1831 , to December , 1833 .—Age, 20 - 22 .
Chapter 7 : study in a law office .—Visit to Washington .— January , 1854 , to September , 1834 .—Age, 23 .
Chapter 8 : early professional life.— September , 1834 , to December , 1837 .—Age, 23 - 26 .
Chapter 9 : going to Europe .— December , 1837 .—Age, 26 .
Chapter 10 : the voyage and Arrival.— December , 1837 , to January , 1838 — age, 26 - 27 .
Chapter 11 : Paris .—its schools.— January and February , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 12 : Paris .—Society and the courts.— March to May , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 13 : England .— June , 1838 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 27 - 28 .
Chapter 14 : first weeks in London .— June and July , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 15 : the Circuits .—Visits in England and Scotland .— August to October , 1838 .—age, 27 .
1 J. W. Mylne. Mr. Mylne's note of June 16, 1838, referring to Sumner's being in the Rolls Court that day, regrets that he did not come to his ‘den’ in Lincoln's Inn, and invites him to attend a breakfast the next Wednesday, and to hear an unfinished argument in a copyright case before the Lord Chancellor.
2 Sir William Webb Follett, 1798-1845. He was elected to Parliament in 1835, 1837, and 1841; was Solicitor-General, 1834-35, under Sir Robert Peel, and again in 1841, and became Attorney-General in 1841. Miss Martineau said of him that he ‘wanted only health to have raised him to the highest legal and political honors,’—History of England, Book VI. ch. XVI. Lord Campbell, who was present at his burial, which was attended with much solemnity in the Temple Church, bore an affectionate tribute to his memory,—‘Lives of the Lord Chancellors,’ Vol. VII. ch. CLXI. note. Follett wrote, Nov. 17, 1838, from Duke Street to Sumner: ‘If you are not tired of English lawyers, will you do me the favor of meeting some of them at dinner at my house on Saturday, the 24th, at seven o'clock?’ Nov. 25 he again invited Sumner to dinner on the following Saturday; and on Feb. 10, 1839, sent him a note accompanying some briefs and referring to ‘Story on Bailments,’ which he had just read. His note of Nov. 11, 1838, to Sumner, on receiving Story's ‘Law of Agency,’ is printed in Judge Story's ‘Life and Letters,’ Vol. II. p. 305.
3 She was married to Sir John Campbell in 1821; was made a peeress in her own right in 1836, with the title of Baroness Stratheden; and died in 1860. See reference to her being raised to the peerage in ‘Life of Lord Denman,’ Vol. II. p. 27.
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