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guished honour and reputation, his three successive characters of advocate, judge, and statesman. In the first, we have alreadly mentioned the abilities he displayed and the fame he acquired by his speech in defence of Peltier, but, with this exception, he did little worthy of notice at the bar; in proof of which, the following anecdote is related of him. When he was once addressing a jury, Henry Blaokstone, the brother of the judge, was engaged in taking notes of the speech for the senior counsel, who was to reply, till at length, wearied out by the irrelevancy of the oration, he wrote down- -“Here Mr. Mackintosh talked so much nonsense, that it was quite useless, and indeed, impossible, to follow him."
In his judicial capacity, he was eminent for his extensive knowledge of the law, and the impartiality with which he formed his judgment, unbiassed by political or party considerations. In the senate, he preserved the same independence of conduct; and his learning and talent served to heighten the effect of his integrity. As a parliamentary orator, his arguments, however vehement, were tempered by gravity and dignity; whilst, at the same time, his eloquence lost none of that warmth which is so congenial with the truth and diffusion of generous sentiments. In his domestic circle he was much beloved and respected; and, in Christian society, he shone as the advocate of whatever was sacred and hallowed.
Stubborn virtue,” says Forbes, in his Oriental Memoirs, “is the characteristic of this eminent lawyer, senator, and knight. He is neither to be diverted by smiles, nor deterred by frowns, from the course which an enlightened judgment concludes to be right. His virtue has been tried by ordeals of the greatest power, and has always come forth from the trial unalloyed. As an author,"continues the same writer, “Sir James Mackintosh is much less known than the public, some twenty or thirty years ago, had reason to expect he would be.
Yet he stands high; though the works which have gained him the reputation of a man of letters are few. His Vindiciæ Gallicæ has been the object of almost general approval; and Dr. Parr, in comparing the work with the writings of Burke and Paine, on the same subject, gives to Sir James the preference. “My friend,” says Dr. Parr, “ for I have the honour to háil him by that splendid name, will excuse me for expressing in general terms, what I think of his work. In Mackintosh, then, I see the sternness of a republican, without his acrimony; and the ardour of a reformer, without his impetuosity. His taste in morals, like that of Mr. Burke, is equally pure and delicate with his taste in literature. His mind is so comprehensive, that generalities cease to be barren ; and so vigorous, that detail itself becomes interesting. He introduces every question with perspicuity, states it with precision, and pursues it with easy, unaffected method. His philosophy is far more just, and far more amiable than the philosophy of Paine; and his eloquence is only not equal to the eloquence of Burke. He is argumentative without sophistry, fervid without fury, profound without obscurity, and sublime without extravagance."
A passage from the work which forms the subject of the foregoing panegyric, deserves quotation ; and we select the following, as containing what Mr. Campbell calls the character of that arch hypocrite of France, Louis the Fourteenth, as a fair specimen of the author's style and power of writing :-"The intrusion of any popular voice was not likely to be tolerated in the reign of Louis the Fourteenth; a reign which has been so often celebrated as the zenith of warlike and literary splendour, but which has always appeared to me to be the consummation of whatever is afflicting and degrading in the history of the human race. Talents seemed, in that reign, to be robbed of the conscious elevation of the erect and manly part, which is its noblest associate and its surest indication. The mild purity of Fenelon, the lofty spirit of Bos
suet, the masculine mind of Boileau, the sublime fervour of Corneille, were confounded by the contagion of ignominious and indiscriminate servitude. It seemed as if the representative majesty of the genius and intellect of man were prostrated before the shrine of a sanguinary and dissolute tyrant, who practised the corruption of courts without their mildness, and incurred the guilt of wars without their glory. His highest praise is to have supported the stage part of royalty with effect. And it is surely difficult to conceive any character more odious and despicable than that of a puny libertine, who, under the frown of a strumpet or a monk, issues the mandate that is to murder virtuous citizens-to desolate happy and peaceful hamlets,-to wring agonizing tears from widows and orphans. Heroism has a splendour that almost atones for its excesses; but what shall we think of him, who, from the luxurious and dastardly security in which he wallows at Versailles, issues, with calm and cruel apathy, his orders to butcher the protestants of Languedoc, or to lay in ashes the villages of the Palatinate ? 'On the recollection of such scenes, as a scholar, I blush for the prostitution of letters; and, as a man, I blush for the patience of humanity.”
Few men have been more generally esteemed than Sir James, and he retained the respect of all who knew him, excepting that of Dr. Parr, who, being a staunch Foxite, became highly indignant at the subject of our memoir for accepting, through the influence of Mr. Pitt, the recordership of Bombay. Parr took an opportunity of showing his virulence, a short time afterwards, at a party, where the conversation turning upon the conduct of ope Quigley, who had lately been executed, the doctor exclaimed repeatedly and emphatically," he might have been worse!" . Upon Sir James asking him to explain how, he replied, “I'll tell you, Jemmy: Quigley was an Irishman,-he might have been a Scotchman; he was a priest,-he might have been a lawyer; he was a traitor,-he might have been an apostate."
In addition to the works already mentioned, Sir James has also written several articles in the Edinburgh Review, and other periodical journals of importance.
“Sir James,” says Mr. Campbell, “was, in his person, well made, and above the middle stature. He was regularly handsome in youth, and even in the decline of life, and under afflicted health, was a person of prepossessing and commanding appearance. His countenance had a changeful mixture of grave and gay expression, a shrewdness combined with suavity, that heightened and accorded with the charm of his conversation. No man was a greater master of conversation; he overlaid you with monologue, but overpaid whatever you said to him with insinuating correction; or else, if he approved of your remarks, he amended them by rich and happy illustration. 'A certain thinness and sharpness of voice was the chief defect of his elocution; and sometimes there was, perhaps, an over-northern keenness and sharpness in his metaphysics; but still the world will produce no such mental lights again.”.
He formed a second marriage in 1798, when he was allied to Miss Allen, a lady of family in Wales, by whom he has had several children.
THOMAS, LORD ERSKINE.
THOMAS ERSKINE, third son of the Earl of Buchan, was born in 1750, and received his education at the college of St. Andrew's, in Scotland. In the early part of his life, he served both in the navy and army, and was stationed for three years at Minorca, as en. sign in the first regiment of foot. In consequence of his marriage and increasing family, he, on his return to England, left the army, and, by the advice of his
mother, who jestingly said, he must be lord-chancellor, prepared himself for the bar, to which he was called in 1778. Previously to this step, he had entered himself a fellow-commoner of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was remarkable both for his talent and wit; the best specimen of which is his well-known parody of Gray, written on his having been detained from dinner at the college hall, by the tardiness of his hair-dresser; the first stanza of which runs thus :
Ruin seize thee, scoundrel Coe!
Confusion on thy frizzing wait!
Thou never more should'st touch my pate.
From Cantab's curse, from Cantab's tears. In 1778, Mr. Erskine took the honorary degree of M. A. and was called to the bar in Trinity term of the same year, having previously studied under a pleader of eminence. His practice was at first small; and he is said, on having been complimented on his health and spirits about this period, to have remarked, that “he ought to look well, as he had nothing else to do but to grow, as was said of his trees, by Lord Abercorn." He cultivated popular speaking at a debating society, and his first opportunity for forensic display, was in the defence of Captain Baillie, who had accidentally heard of his abilities. Sạch was the effect of his speech on this occasion, that nearly thirty briefs were put into his hand before he quitted the court. In the course of his address, he named Lord Sandwich, who, though not openly standing in the character of prosecutor, was supposed to be chiefly instrumental to the proceedings against Captain Baillie; Mr. Erskine was proceeding to say, “Lord Sandwich has acted, in my mind, such a part—" when he was interrupted by Lord Mansfield, who observed, " that his lordship was not before the court;"_"