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book, and as there are so few persons who will publicly own that they have been mistaken.
As a barrister, Mr. MʻIntosh, in his defence of Peltier, (the editor of a French journal), for a libel on Buonaparte, displayed talents still superior to what he had shewn in pleading in defence of the revolutionists. It is quite a classical defence, and resembles inore one of the orations of Demosthenes or Cicero, than any that we remember to have seen of late years, at the bar of a British court of justice. Mr. Attorney-general thought it in some places extraneous; and indeed the man who conducted the prosecution on the part of the tyrant of France, though nominally for the king of England, might well think it extraneous, when Mr. M. dwelt on the former dignity of the English character, and the admirable conduct of Elizabeth, who, in the cause of the oppressed, braved the anger of Spain, then the most powerful of European nations: mindful only of acting well, she was prepared for the consequences, and her magnanimity inspired her people with equal resolution, and equal generosity*.
* It is impossible, by description or by quotation, to do justice to that admirable defence, it njust be read, for its beauties to be seen, and its merits appreciated.
When Sir J. M. became recorder of Bombay, he displayed great talents, and profound knowledge of law, but tinctured strongly with his northern education, which had a bias to metaphysical and political knowledge, in preference to a tame adherence to legal practice, and cases upon record.
As the English lawyers err on the other extreme, it is to be hoped that Sir James may tunity to assist Sir Samuel Romilly in his reforms of English jurisprudence; for it is evident even to the ignorant, that the time is arrived, when, without despising, and losing respect for what is ancient, and approved by experience, many parts of our legal code require to be modernized, and a return made to first principles, instead of wading through volumes of precedents, a practice attended with innumerable disadvantages, though unfortunately it gains ground every day on the English bench*.
find an oppor
*. In fact the law lords may be said to be law-makers, and the business is accomplished (without any apparent design, and probably without any real one) in a very curious manner.
The law is interpreted not according to its meaning, as it appears on the face
We hope, most earnestly, that a return to perfect health will enable Sir James yet to serve his country, and that he will be enabled to do it in the situation of a judge; for though we approve more of the English than of the Scotch manner of administering justice, yet we think that there is something in the Scotch manner of viewing a question, that might be of use in the English courts. Experience proved it to be so in the time of a Mansfield, and it would, we have no doubt, find it so in the person of a M‘Intosh.
P.S. Since this portrait was written, Sir James has obtained a seat in the house of commons, and opened as a speaker,
Most people thought that neither the time nor the subject was worthy of Sir James, but they did not recollect, that having heard the Prince Regent abused for quitting his early friends, he was anxious to shew that he was determined to stick firmly by bis.
of it, but according to decisions that have on former occasions taken place. Veneration for past decisions is very well, but a judge carries it rather too far wben he gives up bis own opinion, and allows himself to be implicity guided by it.
This was done contrary to his interest, for the opposition are in the state of Othello. Their occupation is gone; and what is more, ministers have been so successful, that the nation at large despises the efforts of opposition more than it ever did at any former period.
Sir James is vexed that the Dutch have, by acclamation, chosen the Prince of Orange for their sovereign. Does he not know that the original, and the best
way of a people expressing their will is by acclamation? He who vindicated the French when they revolted on the plea of national will, may surely, without great wrath, allow the Dutch to choose the form of government they like best.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
This gentleman, whose fidelity and attachment to the Prince Regent have been often tried, and long known, has lately become, for a time, an object of very unmerited persecution; but this very persecution served only to display, or at least to record, his private worth and good qualities in a more public, more unequivocal, and more authentic manner. The panegyrics of those who attacked his appointment to a sinecure office, could not be liable to suspicion. They were evidently the atonement made by truth to the cruel and ontraged feelings of an injured gentleman.
Those disappointed politicians who expected that the prince would sacrifice the interests of bis country, to the gratification of his private feelings, attacked, with an unnecessary and unbecoming violence, an appointment in which there was nothing peculiarly improper, and which, had they not been disappointed in their own views, they would have been the first to applaud, or at least to vindicate.