not been in the habit of expressing himself about the bench with any respect. He has said that he always took porter previous to an argument, ‘in order to bring his understanding down to a level with the judges.’ Still he has in him a great deal of good. His brother failed; and he generously gave up his two horses and groom, in order to devote his superfluous income to free his brother from his pecuniary liabilities,—a sacrifice which in England was not slight. One consideration which influenced the ministers in nominating Maule was that they felt secure of his seat in Parliament,—Carlow; but here they reckoned without their host: they have been defeated at Carlow, though I am assured that, on petition, they will eventually get the seat. I should add that in politics Maule is a Radical, or very near one. Let me now finish what I have to say of the lawyers. I have already spoken of the Attorney-General, Follett, Wilde, and Charles Austin. In the next rank to these, but differing of course among themselves in talents and in business, are Sir Frederick Pollock, Talfourd, Alexander, Cresswell, Kelly, J. Jervis, Crowder, Erle, Bompas, Wightman, and perhaps some others. Pollock1 is deemed a great failure. He was the Tory Attorney-General, and must be provided for in some way if the Tories come into power. He has not succeeded in the House of Commons; and is dull, heavy, and, they say, often obtuse at the bar.2 He has a smooth solemn voice, and on the Northern Circuit enjoyed, as you well know, great repute and business. In manners he is a gentleman, and I am indebted to him for much kindness. Talfourd is a good declaimer, with a great deal of rhetoric and feeling. I cannot disguise that I have been disappointed in him. I know him very well, and have seen him at dinners, at clubs, in Parliament, and in courts. Alexander and Cresswell are the two leaders of the Northern Circuit,— the former, a married man; the latter, a bachelor. Alexander has a good deal of business, which he manages very well, showing attention and fidelity. Lord Brougham once sneered at him, when talking with me, as ‘little Alexander.’ He is a thoroughly moral and conscientious person, and will not take a seat in Parliament, because it would be inconsistent with the performance of his professional duties. I think he inclines to Toryism; though he is very moderate. I have had much instructive conversation with him about professional conduct, with regard to which his notions are of the most elevated character. Cresswell3 is a very quiet and agreeable person, and is
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 Frederick Pollock, 1783-1870. He became the leader of the Northern Circuit; was appointed Attorney-General in 1834; was superseded with a change of administration, and reappointed in 1841: became Lord Chief-Baron of the Exchequer in 1844, and resigned in 1866. He represented Huntingdon in Parliament from 1831 to 1844; was twice married, and was the father of twenty-five children.
3 Cresswell Cresswell, 1793-1863. He was called to the bar in 1819; became leader of the Northern Circuit; was a reporter, in association with Richard V. Barnewall, of cases in the King's Bench; represented Liverpool in Parliament; and was appointed a judge of the Common Pleas in 1842. Sumner dined with him at Fleming House, Old Brompton.
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