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virtue. Such a character as Sir Thomas More's would excite ridicule instead of admiration in these days. The best parts of Sir Edward Coke's character would appear extravagant to some modern statesmen, who would find his conduct towards the fallen Raleigh more congenial with their practice. But, however it may be attempted by the mercenary and corrupt to laugh virtue out of countenance and out of fashion, a young man need only look round upon his cotemporaries, and he will see the great difference that is made between corrupt and honourable characters, even in the political world : he will observe, that when a statesman or a lawyer is deprived of places, pensions, rank, or power, in consequence of adherence to principle, he is recompensed for all that he loses, by public respect and private esteem, and sometimes by the honourable testimony in favour of his conduct, which is offered voluntarily by those of his own profession.
ou The day after he quitted the chancellorship" (which he resigned as he did not choose to favour the king's divorce from Queen Catharine), “which “ his family knew nothing of, he went as usual to Chelsea church with his wife “ and daughter. After service was over (it being customary for one of his “ gentlemen to go to his lady, to tell her the chancellor was gone out of 66 church), he went himself to the pew door, and, making her a low bow, said, * Madam, my lord is gone.' But she, knowing his humour, took very little “ notice of this; however, as they were walking home, he told her how matters “ really stood; and she, finding he was in earnest, and being a worldly-minded “ woman, cried, in her accustomed manner, “Tilly vally, what will you do, " "Mr. More? will you sit and make goslings in the coals? would to God I " were a man, and you should quickly see what I would do! I would not be " so foolish to be ruled, where I might rule.' To which Sir Thomas re“ plied, “By my faith, wife, I believe you speak truth, for I never yet found “ you willing to be ruled ;' and then finding fault with her dress, he changed “ the discourse. The first thing he set about, after the surrender of his office, “ was to provide places for all his gentlemen and servants among the nobility « and bishops, that they might not be sufferers through him. This being done “ to his satisfaction, he next, being no longer able to bear their expenses as he “ used to do, disposed of his married children in their own houses, lessening “ his family by degrees, till he could get it within the bounds of his small in« come, making at the utmost, but a little above one hundred pounds a year. “ Nor had he, after his debts were paid, a hundred pounds in gold and silver “ upon Earth, his chain and a few ringsexcepted.”
These observations, made from real life, confirming all that is asserted in history and biography, will, in the strongest manner possible, form a young man's rational taste for virtue.
To fill the mind early in life with high notions of integrity, with models and exemplars, of what is right and fit, is no idle, speculative, Platonic precept, but one that will be found to succeed practically in exciting youth to every thing that is great and praise-worthy ; every thing that is most conducive to their own honour, and to the good of the profession, and of the community of which they are members.
Alas! for the disgrace and mortification of human wisdom and human nature, it sometimes happens, that those, who know what is the best, follow that which is the worst; but we must not therefore conclude, that knowledge and philosophy are of no use in the management of the conduct, but rather we should take warning from these examples of the danger of neglecting to reason about our own conduct, as well as about the conduct of others. The Lord Chancellor Bacon's speech to IIutton, when he was called to be one of the justices of the common pleas ; may serve to illustrate these reflections, for no
man could better represent in theory “ the lines and portrait“ ures of a good judge,” than Bacon.
“ The first is, that you should draw your learning out of “ your books, not out of your brain.
“ Second, That you should mix well the freedom of your own “ opinion with the reverence of the opinion of your fellows.
.“ Third, That you should continue the studying of your “ books, and not spend on upon the old stock.
“Fourth, That you should fear no man's face, and yet “ not turn stoutness into bravery.
“ Fifth, That you should be truly impartial, and not so “ as men may see affection through fine carriage.
“ Sixth, That you should be a light to jurors to open their “ eyes, but not a guide to lead them by the noses.
“ Seventh, That you affect not the opinion of expedition " by an impatient and catching hearing of the counsellors at “ the bar. is
“ Eighth, That your speech be with gravity, as one of the “ sages of the law; and not talkative, nor with impertinent “ Alying out, to show learning.
“ Ninth, That your hands and the hands of your hands, “ I mean those about you, be clean and uncorrupt from gifts, “ from meddling in titles, and from serving of turns, be they “ of great or small ones'.
“ Tenth, That you contain the jurisdiction of the court “ within the ancient mere-stones, without removing the mark.
p Alas! by neglecting his own maxim, “This greatest and wisest,” became, “ The meanest of mankind !”
“ Eleventh, Lastly, That you carry such a hand over your “ ministers and clerks, as that they may rather be in awe of “ you, than presume upon you. ... “ These and the like points of the duty of a judge I forbear “ to enlarge upon, &c.”
It may seem rather premature to place the portraiture of a good judge before young men, who are not yet even at the bar, and who perhaps may never attain to the honours of the bench. It is true, that all barristers cannot become judges and chancellors; but to have early in life high views, to pursue noble ends by noble means, is at once to provide against the utmost rigour, and to deserve the highest favours of fortune. There are some men who lose, and others who gain in public esteem, from being raised to exalted stations ; some seem to shrink, others to expand and invigorate in conspicuous situations and on great occasions. He, who was thought perhaps but a man of ordinary capacity in ordinary circumstances, and while mixed with the throng, suddenly emerges and shines out at once a great man, with talents, qualities, and knowledge of the highest order. Then the vulgar spectators, astonished, ask each other, “ Who is he? Whence comes he? How happens “ it that he has become so great a man? Yesterday he was “ but one of us. Has he learnt all this by magic, or by in“ stinct ?”—No, not by instinct, but by reason ; not by magic, but by prudence, which alone can prepare men to appear worthy of the high situations, to which they may be elevated by fortune.
When two statues, one the work of Phidias, the other the workmanship of an inferior artist, were produced before the Athenians, they at first view, while the rival statues were upon a level with their eyes, preferred the work of the inferior hand; but the moment that both statues were raised to their destined height, the superiority of the master's mind was universally felt and acknowledged, and the crown unanimously decreed to Phidias. So it happens often in the judgments, which we form of our contemporaries. But minds of a superior kind are their own judges, and can wait with proud humility, till their opinion of themselves is confirmed by the public voice. A young barrister will require a large stock of this dignified patience, to enable him to go through the long Pythagorean probation of silence, to which, whatever talents he may possess, he is necessarily doomed. His consolation and support must be the reflection, that men of the most brilliant talents, and of the first eminence in their profession, have commenced their career under similar discouragements, and have been like him forced to endure years of neglect and of obscurity: he may cheer himself with the reasonable hope, that, whenever he is employed, he will surpass those who have the start of him only in point of time. During these tiresome initiatory years, he must not remit his application or his attendance on the courts, and on circuit; he must have the precaution to keep himself, according to the popular phrase, in fortune's way; remembering always, that fortune can do but little for those, who will do nothing for themselves.