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
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
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.
4 Ante, Vol. I. p. 333.
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