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such for others, as well as for himself. We are disposed to suspect, that some critics would call the conception of the following sonnet forced and unnatural; but to us it is nothing less. In fact, it is the invariable tendency of intellects of a certain class and character, to transfer, by a strong effort of the imagination, the colour of their own thoughts and sentiments to the external objects of nature, and thus escape from that which oppresses and disturbs them, by sharing it with other things. This is what the poet is doing in the instance we are about to adduce; and nothing of the kind was ever done with more truth of feeling, and in more appropriate terms.-How exquisite are the two first lines !
“ With how sad steps, O moon! thou climb'st the skies!
This is some what in the manner of Shakspeare, both in the conception and expression. The following song is delightfully simple; though a certain class of critics, who require a man to be a sage and a lover at the same time, will perhaps think that it is somewhat “ silly sootb," and dallies with the innocence of the subject a little too childishly.
" Sloep, baby mine, Desire !-nurse Beauty singeth.
Nothing can be more natural than the following exposition of the effects of passion onthe human mind and its perceptions.
" In wonted walks since wonted fancies change,
The following is the romance of true passion; not a spurious imitation or affectation of it.
“ Stella—think not that I by verse seek fame-
We must now take a final leave of Sir Philip Sidney, by expressing a respect for his character amounting to love, and an admiration of his talents amounting to reverence; and by advising all those who are not equally impressed with these feelings by our notices of him, to peruse and study his works themselves, and then think otherwise of him if they can.
Art. V.--Chronica Juridicialia ; or, an Abridgement and Con
tinuution of Dugdale's Origines Juridiciales; containing a Calendar of the Years of our Lord God and the Kings of England, &c. from William the Conqueror to the year 1739. With Chronological Tables of the names of all the Lord Chancellors, Judges, Serjeants, &c. shewing the times of their several promotions, &c. opposite to the years in the said Calendar. , Second edit. 8vo. 1739.
There is, perbaps, no class of men who live more immediately within the observation of the public eye, than the judges of our courts of justice. The importance of the functions which they are appointed to perforin, the private interests which are affected by their decisions, their high station in a liberal and much regarded profession, and the rank accorded to them in society, all contribute to render their character and conduct the object of personal attention. The display and pomp too which attend all their movements, as the great administrators of public justice, allure the eyes of the crowd. The entry of a judge into an assize town, escorted by the sheriff and his attendants, and surrounded by his javelin-men, as they are termed, is, to the provincial spectators, a very awful and imposing ceremonial. A variety of little arts have been invented to keep alive this feeling of veneration. Ermine and scarlet, and full-bottomed wigs on the judgment-seat, and shovel hats and scratches off it, distinguish the administrators of our laws, whose time of life in general prevents these usages from appearing ridiculous. They are addressed by a title peculiar to the nobility ; * and nothing is omitted which can contribute to render them honoured and respected.
It would have been well if at every period of our history the judges had contented themselves with the professional distinctions thus freely bestowed upon them, but unfortunately this has not been the case. The eminent station assigned them necessarily brings them into occasional contact with the government and the court; and how dangerous this approxi. mation is to the interests of the public, we learn from history. The biography of many of our judges is, on this account, by no
* It was only, however, during the last century that the puisne judges began to be addressed by the title of “ your lordship.” In the year-books they are constantly addressed by the title of "sir,” “sir, vous voyez bien," &c. The late Serjeant Hill was, we believe, the last who persisted in the ancient fashion.”
means confined to their judicial career, but often embraces , the political history of the times in which they lived. Nor are their memoirs, by any means, devoid of other interesting matter. The subjects of them are generally men who mingled much in society, and whose names are consequently connected with those of the celebrated persons of their day. Occasionally, too, we meet amongst them with men whose singular characters and eccentric habits, render their biography highly entertaining. It is with the view of collecting the * scattered anecdotes relative to the most remarkable of these personages, that we enter upon the present task; and, in the following pages, we propose to give some account of the more distinguished ornaments of the bench, during a very singular period of judicial history,—the reign of Charles II.
At the commencement of the seventeenth century a very considerable change had begun to take place in the character of the judges. In the political struggles which were even then generating, it was a difficult task for men of their influence and station to remain neuter. In earlier times the Crown had never thought it worth while to bespeak the services of the judges, in assisting it to assert the prerogative ; the hand of power had, in general, been sufficiently strong without such aid. “ It is very observable,” says Clarendon, in speaking of the opinions delivered by the judges upon the matter of ship-money, “ It is very observable, that in the wisdom of former times, when the prerogative went highest (as very often it hath been swoln above any pitch we have seen it at in our times) never any court of law - very seldom any judge or lawyer of reputation was called upon to assist in any act of power, the Crown well-knowing the object of keeping those the objects of reverence and venera. tion with the people, and that though it might sometimes make sallies upon them by the prerogative, yet, that the law would keep the people from any invasion of it, and that the king would never suffer. whilst the law and the judges were looked upon by the subject, as the asylum for their liberties and security.” (Clar. Rebel. I. 124.) Upon the accession of James I. however, these maxims were forgotten, and a system of intimidation and corruption was then commenced by the Crown which did not terminate until the Revolution. We have on a former occasion* enabled the reader to form some idea of the conduct.. observed by James I. towards his judges, and, it is almost unnecessary to advert to the infamous prostitution of the judicial character which distinguished the reign of his successor. With respect to the affair of ship-money, even Clarendon speaks of
* See Life and Character of Sir Edward Coke. Retros. "Rev. viii. 105.
it in the warmest terms of reprobation. “And here the da-
In discussing the character of our English judges, an ex-
* Retros. Rev. vol. ii. p. 252;
vol. viii. p. 17.