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[27] about to make in the House of Commons; but before they arrived at that stage of the dinner when the conversation was to be opened, Williams was nodding. I will, however, do him the justice to add that I once dined in company with him at Cresswell's, when he continued awake during all the time.

Coleridge1 is the junior of the Queen's Bench, and a moderate Tory, who was appointed by Sir Robert Peel. He never had a large business at the bar, but has pleased everybody on the bench. I believe him to be a man of learning, and of the highest honor,—in personal appearance quite agreeable, and in accomplishments inferior to nobody on the bench. As the junior judge, it devolves upon him to read the reports of the evidence on all motions for a new trial. I have never met him in society,—the only judge I have not. His mother has lately deceased.

Turn next to the Common Pleas. There is, first, Lord Chief-Justice Tindal.2 He sits bent over his desk in court, taking notes constantly,—occasionally interposing a question, but in the most quiet manner. His eyes are large and rolling; in stature he is rather short. His learning, patience, and fidelity are of the highest order. He is one of the few judges who study their causes on their return home. His manner is singularly bland and gentle, and is, perhaps, deficient in decision and occasional sternness. Serjeant Wilde is said to exercise a very great influence over him; indeed, scandal attributes to him some of ‘the power behind the throne greater than the throne.’ Upon Tindal devolves the decision of all interlocutory matters in his court,—the other judges seldom interposing with regard to them, or, indeed, appearing to interest themselves about them. He is one of the kindest men that ever lived.

Next to Tindal is old James Allan Park,3 the oldest judge on the bench, and who, it is reported, is now at the point of death. He has been some fifty-eight years at the bar and on the bench; is a staunch Tory, and a believer in the divinity of wigs. He dislikes Campbell, the Attorney-General; interrupts counsel very much, and has some of the petulance of age. There are a thousand amusing stories about him, which the lawyers tell at dinner to illustrate his rather puritanical character.

Then comes Vaughan.4 He became a serjeant some time in the last century, and was the youngest ever known. At one period his practice was


1 John Taylor Coleridge, 1790-1876; nephew of the poet, Samuel T. He distanced his rivals at Oxford, winning the Chancellor's prizes for both the English and Latin essays. He achieved early success at the bar; was a judge of the King's Bench from 1835 until his resignation in 1858; contributed to the ‘Quarterly Review,’ and edited Blackstone's ‘Commentaries.’ In his retirement he was active in good works. See reference to him in ‘Life of Lord Denman,’ Vol. II. p. 14. His son, Baron (John Duke) Coleridge, having reached an eminence at the bar equalling if not surpassing his father's, was appointed Lord Chief-Justice of the Common Pleas in 1873, and made a peer in 1874.

2 Ante, Vol. I. p. 334.

3 1763-1838. He was born in Edinburgh; published, in 1787, a work on ‘The Law of Marine Insurance;’ was elected Recorder of Durham in 1802; and was a Judge of the Common Pleas, 1816-1838.

4 Ante, Vol. I. p. 333.

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