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ter consers on the society. Whatever laudable motive introduced the ceremony, no man of sensibility could be present in Lincoln's Inn hall, when the honorable Mr. Yorke, on whom devolved the honor of making the complimentary speech to the new lord chief justice, and of prefen ing (presented him with a votive offering of a purse of gold, in the name of the fociety, without being forcibly struck with the favorable impression, that he was the worthy son of the great lord Hardwicke. A fair occasion this for Mr. Murray to retaliate, who elegantly admitted and avowed, that laudatus à laudato viro made unmerited praise itself pleasing. The substance of this elegant reply, delivered with the greatest grace, ease, and perfpicuity, was:
“ I am too sensible, fir, of my being undeserving of the praises which you have so elegantly bestowed upon me, to suffer commendations so delicate as yours, to insinuate themselves into my mind ; but I have pleasure in that kind partiality which is the occasion of them: to deserve such praises is a worthy object of ambition ; and from such a tongue flattery itself is pleaning.
“ If I have had in any measure success in my profession, it is owing to the great man, who has presided in our highest courts of judicature the whole time I attended the bar. It was impossible to attend him, to sit under him every day, without catching some beams from his light. [In this place he enumerated lord Hardwicke's particular excellences, and then went on.] The disciples of Socrates, whom I will take the liberty to call the great lawyer of antiquity, since the first principles of all law are derived from his philosophy, owe their reputation to your having been the reporter of the sayings of their inafter. If we can arrogate nothing to ourselves, we may boast the school we were brought up in; the scholar may glory in his master, and we may challenge past ages to shew us his equal.
“ My lord Bacon had the same extent of thonght, and the same strength of language and exprellion ; but his life had a stain.
“ My lord Clarendon had the same abilities, and the same zeal for the constitution of his country; but the civil war prevented his laying deep the foundations of law; and the avocations of politics interrupted the business of the chancellor.
" My lord Somers came the nearest to his character ; but his time was short, and envy and taction sullied the luftre of his glory.
" It is the peculiar felicity of the great man I am speaking of, to have presided very near twenty years, and to have thone with a splendor that has riten fuperior to faction, and that has subdued envy.
“ I did not intend to have said, I should not have said so much upon this occasion, but that, in this situation, with all that hear me, what I say mult carry the weight of testimony rather than appear the voice of panegyric.
* For you, fir, you have given great pledges to your country;
and, large as the expectations of the public are concerning you, I dare say you will answer them.
“ For the society, I shall always think myself honored by every mark of their esteem, affection, and friendship; and shall deGre the continuance of it no longer than while I remain zealous for the constitution of this country, and a friend to the interests of virtue." P, 104.
This reply must be admired as an elegant, grateful, and discriminating panegyric on a character of the highest lustre in the annals of British jurisprudence.
The factious virulence that asperfed lord Mansfield as a politician, did not suffer him to escape without censure as a magiftrate ; but the wisdom, integrity, and dignity of his judicial conduct, easily repelled the venomous shafts of party invective; and a less agitated public now feels the admiration due to a character which the keen and elegant scandal of a Junius would have confecrated to infamy.
We shall now present our readers with our author's account of lord Mansfield's retirement from the high and arduous duties of the bench.
• He retired in 1788 from the distinguished office of lord chief justice of the King's Bench, which he had held more than thirty years with a reputation and splendor unrivalled.
The very affectionate and pathetic address from the bar, signed by the counsel who had practised in the court of King's Bench during some part of the period of his presiding there, which was trar:smitted to him at Kenwood by Mr. Erskine, on his lordship’s relignation of the high office of chief justice, was to the following effect :
" My lord, “ It was our wish to have waited personally upon your lordship in a body, to have taken our public leave of you, on your retiring from the office of chief justice of England; but, judging of lordship's feelings upon such an occasion by our own, and confi. dering besides, that our numbers might be inconvenient, we desire in this manner affectionately to assure your lordship, that we regret, with a just sensibility, the loss of a magistrate, whose conspicuous and exalted talents conferred dignity upon the profeflion; whose enlightened and regular administration of justice made its duties less difficult and laborious, and whose manners rendered them pleafant and refpectable,
“ But, while we lament our loss, we remember, with peculiar fatisfaction, that your lordship is not cut off from us by the sudden stroke of painful distemper, or the more distresling ebb of those ex. traordinary faculties which have fo long distinguished you amongst menį but, that it has pleased God to allow to the evening of an "fesul and illustrious life, the purest en oyments which mature has
ever allotted to it. The unclouded reflections of a superior and unfading mind over its varied events, and the happy consciousness, that it hath been faithfully and eminently devoted to the highest duties of human fociety, in the most distinguished nation upon earth. May the season of this high satisfaction bear its proportion to the lengthened days of your activity and strength!"
"To which address lord Mansfield, without detaining the servant five minutes, returned the following answer :
“ Dear Sir, “ I cannot but be extremely flattered by the letter which I this moment have the honor to receive. If I have given satisfa&tion, it is owing to the learning and candor of the bar. The liberality and integrity of their practice freed the judicial investigation of truth and justice from many difficulties. The memory of the aslistance I have received from them, and the deep impression which the ex, traordinary mark they have now given me of their approbation and affection, has made upon my mind, will be a source of perpetual consolation in my decline of life, under the pressure of bodily in. firmities, which made it my duty to retire. " I am, sir, with gratitude to you, and the other gentlemen,
“ Your most affectionate and obliged humble servant, “ Kenwood, June 15, 1788. MANSFIELD.” P. 461.
In a few years after his resignation, this illustrious man paid the debt of nature. Mr. Holliday thus relates the circumstances of his diffolution.
• Early in March 1793, lord Stormont, having occasion to confult his uncle on a law-case then depending in the house of lords, said his ideas and recollection were perfectly clear.
« On Sunday, March the 10th, his lordship did not talk at breakfast as usual, but seemned heavy, and complained of being very sleepy, and his pulse was low ; volatiles and cordials were ordered for him, and cantharides were applied to his issues. On the Monday he seemed rather better. On Tuesday morning he desired to be got up and taken to his chair ; but soon wilhed to be put to bed again, and said, “Let me sleep-let me sleep." After this he never spoke. On his return to bed he seemed perfectly easy, breathed freely and uninterruptedly like a child, with as calm and serenc a countenance as in his best health, and had a good pulse, but was clearly void both of sense and senability. A blister was applied to the arm, which it affected no more than it would any inanimate substance. Scotch snuff was inserted into the norrils by means of a feather, without the least effect. Some attempts were also made to get nourishment down by means of a spoon, but to no purpose; and as the last attempt had nearly choaked him, it was defifted from, and his mouth was afterwards merely moistened by a feasher dipt in wine and water. In this state his lordship continued
without any apparent alteration, fome fymptoms of the spark vital remaining, yet glimmering faintly, till the morning of Monday the 18th, when there was an appearance of mortification on the part most pressed by lying, and his pulse began to beat feebly. Fears were now entertained that he should awake to misery, which he fortunately did not ; but continued to sleep quietly till the night of Wednesday the zoth, when the lingering dying taper was quite extinguished. He expired, without a groan, in the 8th year of his age ; closing a long life of honor 10 himself, and great use to fociety, in a way the most to be desired : and it may be said of his Jordship, as it was of king David, that be died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour.' P. 478.
The greater part of this volume is occupied with details of various causes decided by lord Mansfield in his judicial capacity. Many of them are unquestionably important; but they are principally extracted from printed law reports, and receive no novelty of illustration from the pen of Mr. Holliday. It may, perhaps, be thought that we treat that gentleman with too much severity: but the biography of lord Mansfield was a ferious undertaking; and Mr. Holliday has made it a mere thing of shreds and patches. It is no excuse for this very feeble attempt, that no other had been made :- better is it ihat the graceful and intelligent features of the deceased earl should be preserved in the memory of those only who saw and knew him, than that a daubing pretender to art should alone have attempted to pourtray them; -- better that the professional character of the juridical sage should be fought by posterity in law books and newspapers, than that his life had been thus written.
The Works of Alexander Pope, Esq. With Notes and Illustra
tions by Joseph Harton, D. D. and others. 9 Pols. 870. 31. 125. Boards. Robinsons. 1797.
THE notes of bishop Warburton on the works of Pope not having met with general approbation, new comments and annotations were long desired by the public. That wish is now gratified by a critic of ability and reputation.
Dr. Warton accuses his critical predecesor of having difgraced his edition of the works of his friend with many forced and far-fought interpretations, totally unsupported by the passages which they were brought to elucidate.' The bishop, indeed, was so eager to display his fagacity, that he frequently overshot the mark, and pretended to discover meanings and allufions of which Pope did not dream.
A new account of the poet's life is introduced. It is loosely and digressively written; but the critical observations which it contains are, for the most part, just.
The literary character of Pope is thus delineated :
· The vigour, force, and activity of his mind were almost un. paralleled. His whole life, and every hour of it, in fickpefs and in health, was devoted solely, and with unremitting diligence, to cultivate that one art in which he had determined to excel. Many other poets have been unavoidably immersed in business, in wars, in politics, and diverted from their favourite bias and pursuits. Of Pope it might truly and solely be said, V'ersus amat, hoc ftudet unum. His whole thoughts, time, and talents were spent on his works alone: which works, if we dispassionately and carefully review, we fall find, that the largest portion of them, for he attempted nothing of the epic or dramatic, is of the didactic, moral, and satiric kind; and, consequently, not of the most poetic species of poetry. There is nothing in so fublime a style as the bard of Gray. This is a matter of fact, not of reasoning; and means to point out, what Pope has actually done, not what, if he had pot out his full strength, he was capable of doing. No man can possibly think, or can hint, that the author of the Rape of the Lock, and the Eloisa, wanted imagination, or sensibility, or pathetic; but he certainly did not so often indulge and exert those talents, nor give so many proofs of them, as he did of strong fenfe and judgment. This tura of mind led him to admire French inodels; he studied Boileau attentively ; formed himself upon him, as Milton formed himself upon the Grecian and Italian fons of fancy. He stuck to describing modern manners; but these manners, because they are familiar, uniform, artificial, and polished, are, for these four reasons, in their very nature unfit for any lofty effort of the Muse. He gradually became one of the most correct, even, and exact poets that ever wrote; but yet with force and spirit, finishing his pieces with a patience, a care, and af duty, that no business nor avocation ever interrupted; so that it he does not frequently ravish and transport his reader, like his master Dryden, yet he does not so often disgust him, like Dryden, with unexpected inequalities and absurd improprieties. He is never above or below his subject. Whatever poetical enthufiafm he actually pofTefled, he with-held and fupprefled. The perufal of him, in most of his pieces, afieets not our minds with such strong emotions as we feel from Homer and Milton ; fo tliat no man, of a true poetical fpirit, is master of himself while be reads them. Hence hu is a writer fit for universal perufal, and of general utility ; adapted to all ages and all stations ; for the old and for the young; the man of business and the scholar. He who would think, and there are many such, the Fairy Queen, Palaion and Arcite, the Terapeft, or Cornus, childish and romantic, may relih Pope. Surely it is no narrow, nor invidiour, nor niggardly encomium to say, he is the great poet of reason ; the first of ethical au, thors in verfe ; which he was by choice, not necellity. And this Species of writing is, after all, the fureft road to an extentive and aina cdiate reputation. It: dies more level to the general capacities