to interpose some pertinent, searching question,—and this is done in the fewest words and most quiet way possible. He is said to be thinking of his law-cases at all times. Of course, he has no time for society. I have seen him at one dinner only; and there he looked as if he were still hearing an argument. He is about fifty-eight, and had a seventh child a few weeks ago. I heard Lord Langdale and some others laughing about it, saying it was the first child born to the great seal for more than a century. As a speaker in the Lords he is very dull. I have already described the Vice-Chancellor1 to you in former letters. He is sparkling, gay, and animated in conversation, with a fresh-looking countenance. He swims in cold water every morning, warm or cold though the weather be. Some barristers, who are not pleased with his judicial services, have hoped that he might some time get frozen or drowned. He is not regarded as a good judge. Lord Langdale2 I should have mentioned, of course, before the Vice-Chancellor. He is about fifty-five and of the size of Mr. Binney,3 with a bald head, and with a voice which in conversation reminds me of Webster's; in manner frank, open, and warm. He has disappointed the bar. I have communicated to several barristers the opinion you have expressed about him; but they all say he is a failure,—and these, too, are some of his most intimate friends. I may mention Sutton Sharpe4 and John Romilly, both of whom in politics coincide with Lord Langdale; but who said with regret that he had disappointed them as a judge. His decisions amount to nothing, they say, and he is irresolute in his judgment. His opposition to the Lord Chancellor's Bill, in 1836, which seemed so unaccountable to us in America, is accounted for here. It seems that he had submitted his own views to the Lord Chancellor, who, notwithstanding, introduced his own measure, which was defeated by the opposition of Lord Langdale. Of the chancery barristers, Pemberton5 is decidedly the best. He is a bachelor and a Tory. In manner he is not unlike Follett. He is about forty-five. In person he is rather short,—say of the size of Charles G. Loring.6 After him come the Solicitor-General, Knight Bruce, Wigram, Jacob, Cooper, &c. I should like to close this series of hasty sketches by some general comparison of the Bench and Bar in England and America; but the subject is so
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 .
2 Henry Bickersteth, 1783-1851. He changed from the profession of medicine to the law; became, in 1835, Master of the Rolls, a Privy Councillor, and a peer with the title of Baron Langdale; resigned in 1851, and died a few days after his resignation. Sumner dined with him in Feb. 1839, at 37 South Street.
4 An eminent chancery barrister; he died of apoplexy in 1843.
5 Thomas Pemberton-Leigh, 1793-1867. He rose to eminence as an equity lawyer; sat in Parliament for the boroughs of Rye and Ripon; was raised to the peerage, in 1858, with the title of Baron Kingsdown. He assumed, in 1843, the additional surname of Leigh. See Brougham's opinion of Follett and Pemberton, ante, Vol. I. p. 351.
6 Ante,Vol. I. p. 135.
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