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Entered according to the Aët of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand nine hundred and five, by THE CARswell CoMPANY, Limited, in the office of the Minister of Agriculture.
LíðháRY OF THE
THE CANADIAN LAW TIMES.
SOME CONSTITUTIONAL OPINIONS OF THE LATE MR. JUSTICE GWYNNE.
IN discussing the important question of the title of this article I was reminded of an old story. Years ago while in a Southern State a professional brother from another Southern State joined a legal friend and myself. Being asked “how business was,” he replied with a sigh, “that it would be good were it not for the constitutional lawyers.” I was surprised, and said that “we had a few, but as a rule they were not in general practice.” “Ah,” he said, “that is not the kind that I mean. By the laws of our State any man is free to practise law, and so when a man fails in dry goods he hangs out his shingle and we call him a constitutional lawyer.” John Wellington Gwynne was the opposite of this ideal of the constitutional lawyer. Born in Ireland, and blessed with an excellent English and an old-fashioned classical education, and with very great natural abilities, he was well prepared for the study of law required in Upper Canada. I have often wondered what means were taken in Ireland to impress such a permanent recollection of the classics on the student. An apt Latin quotation was always ready on the lips of an Irish gentleman, while with most of us all that remained was a faint recollection of what had once been knowledge. In addition, however, the late Justice Gwynne had an unusual mastery of the English language. His written judgments are masterpieces of pure English, and what is unusual, his addresses were equally so. At the Bar he was never at a loss,