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passions; but he now and then gives indications which prove that he has disciplined a mind of considerable elegance and strength to Nisi Prius uses. In the fine tact of which we have already spoken, the intuitive power of common sense sharpened within a peculiar circle; he has no superior, and perhaps no equal. He never betrays anxiety in the crisis of a cause, but instantly decides among complicated difficulties, and is almost always right. He can bridge over a nonsuit with insignificant facts, and tread upon the gulf steadily but warily to its end. What Johnson said of Burke's manner of treating a subject is true of his management of a cause, " he winds himself into it like a great serpent." He does not take a single view of it, nor desert it when it begins to fail, but throws himself into all its windings, and struggles in it while it has life. There is a lucid arrangement, and sometimes a light vein of pleasantry and feeling in his opening speeches; but his greatest visible triumph is in his replies. These do not consist of a mere series of ingenious remarks on conflicting evidence; still less of a tiresome examination of the testimony of each witness singly; but are as finely arranged on the instant, and thrown into as noble and decisive masses, as if they had been prepared in the study. By a vigorous grasp of thought, he forms a plan and an outline, which he first distinctly marks, and then proceeds to fill up with masterly touches. When a case has been spread over half a day, and apparently shattered by the speech and witnesses of his adversary, he will gather it up, condense, concentrate, and render it conclusive. He imparts a weight and solidity to all that he touches. Vague suspicions become certainties, as he exhibits them; and circumstances light, valueless, and unconnected till then, are united together, and come down in wedges which drive conviction into the mind. Of this extraordinary power, his reply on the first trial of " The King v. Collins," where he gained the verdict against evidence and justice, was a wonderful specimen. If such a speech is not an effort of genius, it is so much more complete than many works which have a portion of that higher faculty, that we almost hesitate to place it below them. Mr. Scarlett, in the debate on the motion relative to the Chancellor's attack on Mr. Abercrombie, showed that he has felt it necessary to bend his mind considerably to the routine of his practice. He was then surprised into his own original nature; and forgetting the measured compass of his long adopted voice and manner, spoke out in a broad northern dialect, and told daring truths which astonished the house. It is not thus, however, that he wins verdicts and compels the court to grant " rules to show cause!"
Mr. Brougham may, at first, appear to form an exception to the doctrines we have endeavoured to establish; but, on attentive consideration, will be found their most striking example. True it is, that this extraordinary man, who, without high birth, splendid fortune, or aristocratic connexion, has, by mere intellectual power, become the parliamentary leader of the whigs of England, is at last beginning to succeed in the profession he has condescended to follow. But, stupendous as his abilities, and various as his acquisitions are, he does not possess that one presiding faculty—imagination, which, as it concentrates all others, chiefly renders them unavailing for inferior uses. Mr. Brougham's powers are not thus united and rendered unwieldy and prodigious, but remain apart, and neither assist nor impede each other. The same speech, indeed, may give scope to several talents; to lucid narration, to brilliant wit, to irresistible reasoning, and even to heart-touching pathos; but these will be found in parcels, not blended and interfused in one superhuman burst of passionate eloquence. The single power in which he excels all others is sarcasm, and his deepest inspirationScorn. Hence he can awaken terror and shame far better than he can melt, agitate, and raise. Animated by this blasting spirit, he can " bare the mean hearts" which "lurk beneath" a hundred "stars," and smite a majority of lordly persecutors into the dust! His power is all directed to the practical and earthy. It is rather that of a giant than a magician; of Briareus than of Prospero. He can do a hundred things well, and almost at once; but he cannot do the one highest thing; he cannot by a single touch, reveal the hidden treasures of the soul, and astonish the world with truth and beauty unknown till disclosed at his bidding. Over his vast domain he ranges with amazing activity, and is a different man in each province which he occupies. He is not one, but Legion. At three in the morning he will make a reply in parliament, which shall blanch the cheeks and ap
pal the hearts of his enemies; and at half past nine he will be found in his place in court, working out a case in which a bill of five pounds is disputed with all the plodding care of the most laborious junior. This multiplicity of avocation, and division of talent, suit the temper of his constitution and mind. Not only does he accomplish a greater variety of purposes than any other man—not only does he give anxious attention to every petty cause, while he is fighting a great political battle and weighing the relative interests of nations —not only does he write an article for the Edinburgh Review while contesting a county, and prepare complicated arguments on Scotch appeals by way of rest from his generous endeavours to educate a people—but he does all this as if it were perfectly natural to him, in a manner so unpretending and quiet, that a stranger would think him a merry gentleman who had nothing to do but enjoy himself and fascinate others. The fire which burns in the tough fibres of his intellect does not quicken his pulse, or kindle his blood to more than a genial warmth. He, therefore, is one man in the senate, another in the study, another in a committee room, and another in a petty cause; and consequently is never above the work which he has to perform. His powers are all as distinct and as ready for use as those of the most accomplished of Old Bailey practitioners. His most remarkable faculty, taken singly, the power of sarcasm, can be understood, even by a Lancaster jury. And yet, though worthy to rank wit^i statesmen before whom Erskine sunk into insignificance, and though following his profession with zeal and perseverence almost unequalled, he has hardly been able to conquer the impediment of that splendid reputation, which to any other man must have been fatal!
These great examples are sufficient for our purpose, and it would be invidious to add more. Without particularizing any, we may safely affirm that if the majority of successful advocates are not men of genius, they are men of very active and penetrating intellect, disciplined by the peculiar necessity of their profession to the strictest honour, and taught by their intimate and near acquaintance with all the casualties of human life, and the varieties of human nature, indulgence to frailty and generosity to misfortune. It is impossible to estimate too highly the value of such a body of men, aspiring, charitable, and acute; who, sprung from the people, naturally sympathize with their interests; who, being permitted to grasp at the honours of the state, are supplied with high motives to preserve its constitution; and who, if not very eager for improving the laws, at least keep unceasing watch over every attempt to infringe on the rights they sustain, or to pervert them to purposes of oppression. If tl»ey are too prone to change their party as they rise, they seldom do so from base or sordid motives, and often infuse a better spirit into those whose favours they consent to receive.
Let no one of those who, with a consciousness of fine talents, has failed in his profession, abate his self-esteem, or repine at his fortune. A life of success, though a life of excitement, is also a life of constant toil, in which the pleasures of contemplation and of society are sparingly felt, and which sometimes tends to a melancholy close. Besides, tho best part of our days is past before the struggle begins. Success itself has nothing half so sweet as the anticipations of boyteh ambition and the partial love by which they were fostered. A barrister can scarcely hope to begin a career of anxious prosperity till after thirty; and surely he who lias retained < that age, after a youth of robust study and manly pleasure, with firm friends, and an unspotted character, has no right to complain of the world!
THE WINE CELLAR.
[New Monthly Magazine.]
Facilis descensus Averni,
In the deep discovery of the subterranean world, a shallow part would satisfy some inquirers, who if two or three yards were opened beneath the surface, would not care to rake the bowels of Potosi and regions towards the centre. Sir Thomas Browne.
Men have always attached a peculiar interest to that region of the earth which extends for a few yards beneath its surface. Below this depth the imagination, delighting to busy itself among the secrets of Time and Mortality, hath rarely cared to penetrate. A few feet of ground may suffice for the repose of the first dwellers of the earth until its frame shall grow old and perish. The little coin, silent picture of forgotten battles, lies among the roots of shrubs and vegetables for centuries, till it is turned into light by some careful husbandman, who ploughs an inch deeper than his fathers. The dead bones which, loosened from their urns, gave occasion to Sir Thomas Browne's noblest essay, "had outlasted the living ones of Methusalem, and in a yard under ground, and thin walls of clay, outworn all the strong and spacious buildings above them, and quietly rested under the drums and tramplings of three conquests." Superstition chooses the subterranean space which borders on the abodes of the living, and ranges her vaults and mysterious caverns near to the scenes of revelry, passion, and joy; and within this narrow rind rest the mighty products of glorious vintages, the stores of that divine juice which, partaking of the rarest