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imminent danger, so great a gene- on his lord ship's resignation of the ral as the then lord chancellor. high office of chief justice, was to
“ So unexpected was this daring the following effect : outrage on order and government, · My Lord, that it burft on lord Mansfield with • It was our wish to have waited out his being prepared in the Night-personally upon your lordthip in a oft manner to refift it. He escaped body, to have taken our public with his life only, and retired to a leave of you, on your retiring, place of safety, where he remained from the office of chief justice of fome time. On the J4th day of England; but, judging of your June, the last day of term, he again lord thip's feelings upon such an took his seat in the court of King's occation by our own, and confiBench. •The reverential filence,' 'dering, besides, that our numbers lays Mr. Douglas, • which was ob • might be inconvenient, we defire • served when his lordship resumed in this manner affectionately to al • bis place on the Bench, was ex • sure your lordship, that we regret,
pressive of sentiments of condo with a juít fepfibility, the lois of lence and respect, more affecting 'a magiftrate, whose conspicuous than the most eloquent address the * ani exalted talents conferred dig. occanon could have suggested.' nity upon the profesmon; whoie
“ The amount of lord Mansfeld's enlightened and regular adminiloss which might have been esti- ftration of justice made its duties mated, and was capable of a com- ' less difficult and laborious, and pensation in money, is known to 'whose manners rendered them have been very great. This he had pleasant and respectable. a right to recover against the Hun • But, while we lament our lofs, dred. Many others had taken that we remember, with peculiar tacourse; but his lordship thought it 'tisfaction, that your lordship is more consistent with the dignity of not cut off from us by the sudden his character, not to resort to the furoke of painful disiemper, or the indemnification provided by the le- more diftretling ebb of those exgiilature."
traordinary faculties which have .“ In 1794, the pressure of some · so long distinguished yeu amongti bodily infirmities for the firft time men; but hat it ins pleased God to admonished the venerable peer to allow to the evening of an aleful ferk relaxation and relief from the and illustrious life, the purch enLabutary fprings and the vivifying 'joyments which nature has ever foft air of Tunbridge."
allotted to it. The unclouded “ He retired in 1788 from the reflections of a superior and unfaddistinguished 0.4ice of lord chief ing mind over iis varied events, juftice of the King's Bench, which and the bappy consciousness, that he bad held more than thirty years it has been faithfully and envinentwith a reputation and splendor un • ly devoted to the higheit duties of rivalled.
human society, in the moft diftin. “ The very affectionate and pa. "guished nation upon earth. May thetic address from the bar, figned 'the season of this high satisfacby the counsel who had practisedtion bear its proportion to the in the court of King's Bench during lengthened days of your activity fome part of the period of his pre- and strength!" siding there, which was transmitted " To which address lord Mansto him at Kenwood by Mr. Erikine, field, without detaining the fer
vant five minutes, returned the fol- alleged, foftened the rigor of law, lowing answer:
by the interposition of principles of • Dear Sir,
equity. But, although he did not • I cannot but be extremely flat: introduce novelty by this practice, tered by the letter which I this mo- candor muft allow that he cultivat•ment have the honour to receive. ed and improved this practice more • If I have given fatisfa&tion, it is fuccefsfully, and in a greater de
owing to the learning and can- gree, than any of his predecessors. dour of the bar. The liberality He pretided in his high station dur• and integrity of their practice ing a period of thirty years and up• freed the judicial investigation of wards, .with the dignity of a great
truth and justice from many diffi- judge, and with an attachment to culties. The memory of the af- the court wherein he presided, • fiftance I have received from them, which could not be diffolved by reand the deep impression which the peated offers of the custody of the
extraordinary mark they have now great feal. In many emergencies, *given me of their approbation and and in times of difficulty and dans
affe&ion, has made upon my ger, he discovered an intrepidity of * mind, will be a source of perpe- mind, and delivered his sentiments • tual confolation in my decline of with a decided tone of voice, which
life, under the pressure of bodily at once commanded admiration, • infirmities, which made it my duty and filenced the tongue of malevoto retire.
lence, not unfrequently apt to at• I am, Sir, with gratitude to you, tribute to him the want of firma • and the otner gentlemen,
nefs. • Your most affe&ionate and ob “ His judgments were introduc• liged humble servant, ed with all the embellithmenrs
• MANSFIELD.' which the law on the subject, and Kenwood, June 15, 1788. which deep learning could fupply.
“Of lord Mansfield's benevolent His great and unremitted attention, qualities, if a fair estimate is to be to improve and render plain and made from his patronizing merit perfpicuous the rules of the court wherever he found it, and where wherein he presided, will be ache Kad the least reason to think that knowledged and revered as long as his patronage would be of real ser- the rules themselves or the love of vice, his whole life will appear with good order shall exist in our excelgreat luftre, exhibiting a regular lent constitution. And, in fine, if fyftem of general benevolence, an he has left the practice of the highunclouded effulgence of benignity, eft court of judicature yet improva and an innate love of conferring able, it must be allowed, that he favours on all those, who were has left the rules and orders of that zealous to obtain a good report, and court replete with so much excelwho deferved it.
lence, that they cannot fail to “ In his judicial capacity it may prompt his fucceffors to emulate be affirmed, without partiality or him, and to make farther improveencomiastic hyperbole, that' his ments." great outline of conduct as a judge " In fine, The fummary of lord was to make the rigid rules of law Mansfield's legal and private characfubfervient to the purposes of sub- ter may be given in few words. ftantial justice. He was not the “ In all he said or did there was fint wbo, as fome have erroneously a happy mixture of good-nature,
good-humour, elegance, ease, and “ His legal knowledge and prodignity. His countenance was most found sagacity, not only promoted, pleating, he had an eye of fire, and but effectually secured, through a a voice perhaps unrivalled in its long series of years, that amazing sweetness, and the mellifluous va- increase of business in the court of riety of its tones.
King's Bench which dignified his “ His intuitive and acquired high office, and diffufed opulence knowledge of men and things soon among the different officers of his attracted the attention, and pro- court, and all around him. cured the good opinion of the citi “
Confidering his lordfhip's dezens of London and Weftminster, cifions separately, it will appear so as to induce them to institute that, on all occafions, he was pertheir suits of different denomina- fectly master of the case before tions in the court wherein he pre- him, and apprized of every prin. fided.
ciple of law, and every adjudica“ He excelled in the statement tion of the courts immediately, or of a cafe. One of the first orators remotely applicable to it. Contiof the present age said of' it, that dering them collectively, they will
it was of itself worth the argu be found to form a complete code 'ment of any other man.' He di- of jurisprudence on some of the vested it of all unnecessary circum- most important branches of our kances ; he bronght together every law: a system founded on princieircumstance of importance ; and ples equally liberal and just, admithese he placed in so striking a rably fuited to the genius and cirpoint of view, and connected them cumstances of the age, and, hapby obfervations fo powerful, but pily blending the venerable docwhich appeared to arise fo naturally trines of the old law with the learnfrom the facts theniselves, that fre- ing and refinement of modera quently the bearer was convinced times : the work of a mind nobly before the argument was opened. gifted by nature, and informed When he came to the argument he with every kind of learning which thewed equal ability, but it was a could serve 'for use and ornament. mode of argument almost peculiar “ His great wisdom thed an unto himself. His itatement of the common luftre over his admonicafe prediiposed the hearers to fall tions, his advice, and his decifions into the very train of thought he in the public courts, and gave them withed them to take when they their due weight. All he faid and thould come to consider the argu did will be held in deserved admimient, Through this he accompa- ration, as long as the love of our nied them, leading them infen Gbly excellent laws, as long as the imto every observation favourable to provement of jurisprudence, and the conclufion he wished them to the power of eloquence, thall be draw, and diverting every objec- deemed worthy of pre-eminence, or tion to it; but all the time keep- have any charms to please. ing himself concealed, so that the « The author has not presumed hearers thought they formed their to give his lordship's political chaopinions in consequence of the pow- rader, More years mutt elapie, ers, and workings of their own and party prejudice be laid aride, minds, when, in fact, it was the before his abilities, principles, and effect of the most subtle argumen- actions as a statesman, can be protation and the most refined diale&ic. perly appreciated. His eminence
as a lawyer has been already stated, ness as if he would not have his left and universally acknowledged. He hand know what his right hand therefore begs leave briefly to con did. Although his lordfhip's powfine himself to a few traits, which ers in conversation were uncomeminently distinguithed his lordship monly great, yet he never assumed. in private life, where he thone, if a more than equal share of it to poflible, with greater luftre than in himself, and was always as ready the more elevated departments of a to hear as he was to deliver an opiftatesman and a judge.
nion. The faculty of conversing “ Few noblemen have had that with ease and propriety he retained happy method of combining dig- to the very last; and he was as nity with wisdom, and liberality quick at reply in his latter years as with frugality, equal to lord Mans at any period of his life : whether field. Every thing in and about he supported his own argument, or his manfion had the appearance of refuted those of his adversary, his splendor and plenty, without that observations were delivered with thow of oftentation and waste, that judgment and grace which which disgusts every sensible mind; evinced the precision of a scholar and which, at the same time it and the elegance of a gentleman, gives an idea of the wealth, strikes He was a fincere Chistian without us with the folly of the poffeffor. bigotry or hypocrisy, and he freBy his fervants he was considered quently received the facrament, rather as a father and patron than both before and after he ceased to a master : many of them lived with leave home; and there was conhim so many years that they were ttantly that decorum, that exemfit for no other service; and peace, plary regularity to be seen in every plenty, and happiness, were depicted department of his houfhold, which in the countenance of every domef- would have done credit to the pa, tic. His lordship's charities, which lace of an archbishop. were infinitely more extensive than « Such were the virtues, such is generally imagined, were given the endowments, and rare qualifiaway and diffused with good cations, which pervaded, cherished, fense and nobleness of mind rarely and adorned his private life. These equalled ; fixpences, shillings, and he sedulously cultivated and diffe. half crowns, he feldom conferred, minated through a long life. How comsidering such sums as doing no powerful was their coincidence, how real good, 'as the object fo relieved happy their effects !" would, on the day following the * We are arrived at a period donation, be equally distressed as which is in general painful to relate on the day preceding it; but, when the last hours of a great man ! by sums of ten or twenty guineas or of a real friend ! yet when we he could relieve the virtuous and calmly consider the very advanced pecessitated from embarrassments age of lord Nansfield, and the by debt, by fickness, or otherwise, whole tenor of his long life, we and put them in a way to provide may fairly draw this conclusion, for themselves and families, he did that for once death had lost his sting, it chearfully, and with that ease and was no longer to him a king of and good nature, which, instead of terrrors. wounding, encouraged the feelings “ In many conferences with his of the receiver, and always, if pois friend and physician Dr. Turton, darfible, with such secrecy and quiet- ing the three or four laft years of
the earl's life, his lordship had ob- best health, and had a good pulfe, but served, how hard it was, that an was clearly void both of lense and old man, on the verge of four score fenfibility. A blister was applied and ten years, could not be per- to the arm, which it affected no mitted to die quietly. To select a more than it would any inanimate more striking instance, a few years substance. Scotch Inuif was inbefore his decease, he lay for a time serted into the noftrils by means of in a state of insensibility ; by means a feather, without the leaft effe. of blisters, and other physical ef- Some attempts were also made to forts, returning life enabled him to get nourishment down by means of chide his phyfician, by, aiking a a spoon, but to no parpoie ; and, question equally uncommon and as the last attempt had nearly unexpected Why did you endea- choaked him, it was de hifted from, vour to bring me back when I and his mouth was afterwards was so far gone in my journey?' merely moistened by a feather dipt
“ Early in March, 1793, lord in wine and water. In this state Stormont, having occasion to con- his lordship continued without any fult his uncle on a law-caie then apparent alteration, come symptoms depending in the house of lords, of the vital spark remaining, yet faid his ideas and recollection were glimmering faintly, till the moreperfectly ciear.
ing of Monday the 15th, when “ On Sunday, March the 10th, there was an appearance of mortie bis lord thip did not talk at break- fication on the part most pressed by fast as usual, but seemed heavy, lying, and his pulse began to beat and complained of being very feebly. Fears were now entertainSleepy, and his pulse was low; vo ed that he thould awake to miJatiles and cordials were ordered sery, which he fortunately did not; for him, and cantharides were ap- but continued to fleep quietly till plied to his issues. On the Mon; the night of Wednesday the 20th, day he seemed rather better. On when the lingering dying taper was Tuesday morning he desired to be quite extinguished. He expired got up and taken to his chair; but without a groan, in the 8th year loon withed to be put to bed again; of his age; closing a long life of and said, “ Let me feep-let me honor to himself, and great use to • Deep. After this he never spoke. On society, in a way the molt to be debis return to bed he seemed perfectly fired : and it may be faid of his casy, breathed freely and uninter- lordihip, as it was of king David, rupted!y like a child, with as calm that he died in a good old age, full and serene a countenance as in his of days, riches, and honor,"