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3.—Curtis's Merchant Seamen, - - - - 489

4.—Nicoll’s Beames’s Ne Exeat. - - - - 492

5.–Chitty's Treatise on the Criminal Law. . . . 494

6.—Combe's Notes on the United States. - - 495

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[The lives of men distinguished in the judicial history of our mother country, and who may be said, in some respects, at least, to have assisted in laying the foundation or in contributing to the superstructure of our legal and political institutions, cannot be much less interesting to us than to our contemporaries of the English bar. We have long been desirous, therefore, to present our readers with biographical sketches of the eminent lawyers and judges of England. But we have found it nearly impossible to do this, by the ordinary aid of original correspondents, without greater means than are at our command. In view of these circumstances, we have concluded to avail ourselves of the biographical articles published in the Law Magazine, which are for the most part written with ability and elegance, and for professional readers. In republishing these sketches, we shall omit or curtail those portions which are likely to be of very little or no interest to our readers; but we shall not undertake to change their substance or disfigure them in any manner; so that when published in the Jurist, they will not the less be the productions of their English authors. In taking this course, we think it proper to add, that it corresponds with the expressed wishes of several of our friends, and meets with the entire approbation of others. We commence the series with the following life of lord Hardwicke, from the third volume of the Law Magazine, p. 72–117.]

Of the numerous individuals whom the profession of the

law has raised from indigence and obscurity to the posses

sion of wealth and honors, there are few, if any, who at the WOL. XXV.-NO. XLIX. 1

outset of their career have had to contend against more powerful obstacles, or who have surmounted them with greater success, than Philip Yorke, afterwards earl of Hardwicke and lord high chancellor of England. His father was an attorney at Dover, without much, or at least without lucrative practice; for though before his death he had provided for his two daughters by marrying them, the one to a dissenting minister, the other to a tradesman or small merchant, he was reduced to such poverty as to be wholly incapable of affording his only son the means of entering the profession of which he afterwards became such a distinguished ornament. The same difficulties, however, which are sufficient to confound and overwhelm an irresolute mind or a desponding temperament often prove nothing more than wholesome stimulants to the energies of a vigorous intellect. Thus the necessity of combating impediments in the early part of life, materially conduces in many instances to eventual success; and it is possible that Yorke, like many others of his own and indeed of every profession, may have been, in a great measure, indebted for his advancement to the very obstacles which might at first appear a bar to all hope of it. He was born at Dover, on the 1st of December, 1690. Being designed for his father's profession, and his slender means rendering it expedient for him to lose no time in qualifying himself for it, he was not suffered to remain till a late age at school. The person to whose care his education was entrusted was one Mr. Samuel Morland, a man of learning, who kept a school of some reputation at Bethnal Green. But whatever advantages in point of classical instruction Yorke might have enjoyed under his direction, he was not allowed sufficient time to make much progress. After he had attained rank and celebrity as a lawyer, there were many who asserted, and affected to believe, that he had during his youth been conspicuous for the ardor and the success with which he had devoted himself to the study of ancient literature. The tale may have been invented merely to flatter the person of whom it was told, or perhaps to support the credit of classical learning, by representing it as instrumental in raising him to eminence in his profession: in either case, there certainly could have been very little foundation for it. That Yorke was distinguished for proficiency in classical acquirements beyond the rest of his schoolfellows there is not the least reason to doubt; and it is even probable that an active mind like his might afterwards take pleasure in recurring occasionally to the pursuit he had perhaps quitted with regret; but such imperfect opportunities are not sufficient to form a finished scholar, and those who have represented him as such certainly ought not to be accounted the most judicious of his panegyrists, since they suppose him to have possessed advantages with which, in fact, the vigor and acuteness of his intellect enabled him in a great degree to dispense. It has been said, that while he was prosecuting his studies for the bar, he contributed to the Spectator the letter signed Philip Homebred, which appeared as the paper for the 28th of April, 1712. The story appears doubtful, and probably originated in some mistake of names, since we find that one of the editors of the Spectator affirms it to have been written by him while a student at Cambridge, whereas it is very well known that he never was a student at either of the universities. However, supposing him to have been the real author of the letter, there certainly is nothing in it, either in point of style or matter, that gives particular indications of literary taste or talent; and those who pretend to discover in such a composition the character of early genius, would probably never have thought of attributing any such quality to it, had not the eminence of its presumed author suggested the idea. A circumstance, which goes

much farther towards establishing the fact of his early dis1%

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