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into a steady course of using the law against all kinds of offenders, this man was taken into the King's business, and had the part of drawing, and perusal of almost all indictments and informations that were then to be prosecuted, with the pleadings thereon, if any were special; and he had the settling of the large pleadings in the quo •warranto against London. His Lordship had no sort of conversation with him but in the way of business and at the bar; but once, after he was in the King's business, he dined with his Lordship, and no more. And there he showed another qualification he had acquired, and that was, to play jigs upon an harpsichord, haying taught himself, with the ppportunity of an old yjrgipal of his landlady's, but in such a manner, (not for defect, but figure,) as to see him were a jest. The King, observing him to be of a free disposition, loyal, friendly, and without greediness or guile; thought of him to be the Chief .Justice of the King's Bench at that nice time: and the ministry could not but approve of it. So great a weight was there at stake, as could npt be trusted to men of doubtful principles, or Stych as any thing might tempt to desert them. While he sat in the Court of King's Bench, he gave the rule to the general satisfaction of the lawyers. But his course of life was so different from what it bad been, his business incessant,
and, withal, crabbed, and his diet and exercise changed, that the constitution of his body, or head rather, could not sustain it, and he fell into an apoplexy and palsy, which numbed his parts, and he never recovered the strength of them. He outlived the judgment in the quo warranto, but was not present, otherwise than by sending his opinion by one of the Judges to be for the King, who, at the pronouncing the judgment, declared it to the Court accordingly, which is frequently done in like cases.
Lord Chief Justice Jeffries.
The worst parts of the character of Jeffries are well known. The following character takes notice only of the most disgusting. It is remarkable, that in the same page we find him censured for taking part, on two occasions, in Court, with persons of the popular party, as a sort of ingratitude to the Duke of York: as if it was the first duty of a judge to show his gratitude to his patron, and as if Jeffries was not an instrument sufficiently servile!
*« This, to conclude, is the summary character of the Lord Chief Justice Jeffries, and needs no interpreter. And, since nothing historical is amiss in a design like this, I will subjoin what I have personally noted of that man, and some things of indubitable report concerning him. His friendship and conversation lay much among the good-fellows and humourists, and his delights were, accordingly, drinking, laughing, singing, kissing, and all the extravagances of the bottle. He had a set of banterers, for the most part, near him, as, in old time, great men kept fools, to make them merry. And these fellows, abusing one another and their betters, were a regale to him; and no friendship or dearness could be so great, in private, which he would not use ill, and to an extravagant degree, in public. No one that had any expectations from him was safe from his public contempt and derision, which some of his minions at the bar bitterly felt. Those above, or that could taunt, or benefit him, and none else, might depend on fair quarter at his hands. When he was in temper, and matters indifferent came before him, he became his seat of justice better than any other I ever saw in his place. He took a pleasure in mortifying fraudulent attornies, and would deal forth his severities with a sort of majesty. He had extraordinary natural abilities, but little acquired, beyond what practice in affairs had supplied. He talked fluently, and with spirit; and his weakness was, that he could not reprehend without scolding, and in such Billingsgate language, as should not come out of the mouth of any ma?. He called it " giving a lick with the rough side of his tongue." It was ordinary to hear him say, "Go, you are a filthy, lousy, knitty rascal;" with mucli more of like elegance. Scarce a day past that he did not chide some one or other of the bar, when he sat in the Chancery; and it was commonly a lecture of a quarter of an hour long. And they used to say, "This is yours; my turn will be to-morrow." He seemed to lay nothing of his business to heart, nor care what he did, or left undone; and spent, in the Chancery Court, what time he thought fit to spare. Many times, on days of causes at his house, the company have waited five hours in a morning; and, after eleven, he hath come out inflamed, and staring like one distracted. And that visage he put on, when he animadverted on such as he took offence at, which made him a terror to real offenders; whom also he terrified with his face and voice, as if the thunder of the day of judgment broke over their heads: and nothing ever made men tremble like his vocal inflictions. He loved to insult, and was bold without check; but that only when his place was uppermost. To give an instance:— A city attorney was petitioned against for some abuse, and affidavit was made that, when he was told of my Lord Chancellor, "My Lord Chancellor," said he, "I made him;" meaning his being a means to bring him early into city busi
ness. When this affidavit was read, "Well," said the Lord Chancellor, "then I will lay my maker by the heels." And, with that conceit, one of his best old friends went to gaol. One of these intemperances was fatal to him. There was a scrivener of Wapping brought to hearing for relief against a bummery bond: the contingency of losing all being shewed, the bill was going to be dismissed. But one of the plaintiff's counsel said, that he was a strange fellow, and sometimes went to church, sometimes to conventicles, and none could tell what to make of him, and "it was thought he was a Trimmer." At that the Chancellor fired, and " a Trimmer!" said he, "I have heard much of that monster, but never saw one. Come forth, Mr. Trimmer; turn you round, and let us see your shape." And at that rate talked so long, that the poor fellow was ready to drop under him ; but, at last, the bill was dismissed, with costs, and he went his way. In the hall, one of his friends asked him how he came off? "Came off!" said he: "1 am escaped from the terrors of that man's face, which I would scarce undergo again to save my life; and I shall certainly have the frightful impression of it as long as I live." Afterwards, when the Prince of Orange came, and all was in confusion, this Lord Chancellor, being very obnoxious, disguised himself, in order to go beVol. u. s