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of the work entitled, “A Discourse of the judicial authority of the Master of the Rolls,” usually attributed to his wife's uncle, sir Joseph Jekyll, who filled that post; but the supposition has never been authenticated. The only tract of any importance that can be confidently attributed to him, is a letter to the Scottish judge, lord Kames, which has been inserted in the first volume of the memoirs of the latter, written by lord Woodhouselee. Previous to the publication of his “Principles of Equity,” in 1760, lord IXames had communicated the introduction of the work to lord Hardwicke, and the letter in question is a dissertation on some of the topics proposed for discussion. Lord Hardwicke does not profess to go at length into the arguments that may be adduced in support of his opinions. “The field,” he says, employing a sporting metaphor, “is wide, and to range the whole is beyond my strength; but I will beat a piece of ground here and there, to try if I can start any thing that may be worth your lordship's pursuing.” After some preliminary comments on the separation of common law from equity, he proceeds: “Whether the jurisdiction of common law and equity ought to be committed to the same or to different courts, is a question of another nature, and is very properly said by you to be no less intricate than important. It is a question of policy and legislation, depending upon general reasons of civil prudence and government. You have treated it with great modesty; and for my own part I am fearful of being influenced by some prejudice or bias contracted from long habit and the usages of my own country.” Notwithstanding this candid avowal, however, he examines the question with great impartiality, deciding at length in favor of the separation of the courts. He afterwards passes to the consideration of the restrictions that ought to be placed on the discretionary power of an equity judge. He acknowledges the necessity of some restraints; but represents at the same time the disadvantage of increas
ing them in such a degree as to confine that power within as narrow limits as in a court of common law. The reasoning, though not fully developed, is quite worthy of lord Hardwicke; the whole letter is elegantly written, and it affords at the same time, a specimen of his peculiar manner of treating legal subjects, and evidence of his freedom from prejudice in consenting to enter into a deliberate discussion upon doubts, the very mention of which some chancellors would have held to be nothing short of an insult. All the powers of his vigorous and commanding intellect were preserved unimpaired to the latest period of his life, so that he retained the ability as well as the inclination to enjoy the pleasures of literary occupation. The hand of time had also been laid so gently on his frame, that he knew little or nothing of the usual infirmities of age. By a constant adherence to the strictest temperance, he had repaired the defects of a constitution originally by no means robust; and his health was uniformly good until near the close of his seventy-third year, when he began to suffer from the attacks of the disease, which not long afterwards put a period to his existence. His decease took place, at his house in Grosvenor-square, on the 6th of March, 1764. His remains are interred at Wimpole. The evening of lord Hardwicke's life was as serene and unclouded as the former part of it had been brilliant. It would be difficult to point out an instance of a longer or more uniform career of prosperity than that which he enjoyed. Entering the world without the advantages of birth or fortune, unfriended and unknown, he had overleaped with unexampled rapidity and ease the obstacles, which, in the profession he had chosen, usually impede at the first outset the exertions even of men of wealth, rank, and powerful connections. No more singular instance can be quoted of his good fortune, than that the party in which he enrolled himself should remain in power for a length of time almost unparalleled in the history of English ministries. With equal, or even superior abilities, had he from the first attached himself to the opposition instead of to sir Robert Walpole and his allies the Pelhams, it is clear he never would have enjoyed an opportunity of signalizing his knowledge and his talent in any official situation. That abilities, however transcendent, would never have obtained him such easy promotion as he gained through the influence of favoritism and patronage, is a fact that will surely be disputed by no one who is acquainted with the usual course of legal preferment; but at the same time it is equally certain that he never would have been able to improve his first advantage as he did improve it, without the aid of talents and acquirements of no ordinary kind. Though he owed much, therefore, to his good fortune, that circumstance detracts nothing from his real merit. Besides the dignified offices which were permanently conferred on him, he was, at four several times, appointed one of the lords justices for the administration of the government during the king's excursions to Hanover. He also on three different occasions received the commission of lord high steward of England. In 1749, on the duke of Newcastle resigning the office of high steward of the university of Cambridge to accept that of chancellor of the same body, lord Hardwicke was elected to the place his friend and patron had vacated; and the same dignity has since been successively conferred on his son and his grandson. Of his five sons, the second, Charles Yorke, followed the profession in which his father had so eminently distinguished himself, and followed it with such success, that he also became chancellor; though, unfortunately, a premature death prevented him from acquiring in that situation the reputation which his learning and his talents could otherwise scarcely have failed to procure him. The last century produced examples in public life, of the
descent of talent as well as honors from father to son. Thus the illustrious lord Chatham gave birth to William Pitt; with different degrees of merit, lord Holland was the father of Charles Fox; and sir Robert Walpole, of Horace, lord Orford. Such instances appear to have been generally less rare in the profession of the law than in any other. When Bacon presided in the court of chancery, he had it to say that there were three of the king's servants in great places: Mr. Attorney, son of a judge, Mr. Solicitor, likewise son of a judge, and himself a chancellor's son. Heneage Finch, the son of lord chancellor Nottingham, elevated himself by his legal acquirements to the rank of earl of Aylesford; and nearer our own time, the son of chief justice Pratt has presided first in the common pleas, and afterwards in the court of chancery, where his name as lord Camden will long be held in veneration. To this catalogue of lawyers by descent, which may no doubt be greatly enlarged, must be added the name of Charles Yorke. His career, though short, was eminently successful; and the talents of which he had given proof afforded such promise of future celebrity, that he was universally looked up to as likely to become one of the most brilliant ornaments of that profession, to which his father had been indebted for all his wealth, his dignities, and his fame.
ART. II.-ON THE INFLUENCE OF THE STOIC PHILOSOPHY ON THE ROMAN LAW.
[The following article is a translation of three chapters of one of the most remarkable works on Roman law, which have recently appeared in France:– remarkable, because it has received the warm and hearty commendations of the learned German critics of the historical school, who very rarely find any thing to commend in the modern French works on the Roman law. The work we refer to is the Historical Introduction, which constitutes the first volume of Mr. Charles Giraud's edition of the Elements of Heineccius. In our next number, we shall present our readers with another extract from the same work, On the influence of Christianity on the Roman Law.]
DURING the period between the time of the twelve tables and that of Cicero, an immense revolution had taken place in the history of the law; which, from being a simple aristocratic precept, had now become a moral science. If its development was not completed until a later period, its progress was no less marked in this; and this transition was the last offspring of the republic. How was this revolution brought about? By what concatenation was it, that the law advanced towards perfection, whilst society seemed to have been making progress towards decay? We shall endeavor to explain this phenomenon. Roman civilization must not be confounded with the political organization of the republic. This political organization had formerly been admirably adapted to the manners, the extent, and the geography of the city, which, during several centuries, constituted of itself alone the whole empire; but, as the circumstances for which the constitution had been made were every day disappearing, so the ancient institutions were every day undergoing corresponding changes, in consequence of an invincible political movement. The improvements and concessions did not afford any real remedy for an evil so profound. The extent of the empire, the anarchy resulting from the civil wars, and the new state of society,+called another power to the government, the power of unity, of empire, of military rule. The revolution was made necessary by more than a century of bloody strife. It thus became unavoidable, that the political organization should, as it did in fact, perish. But it was not so with the civilization. That gained in culture, in development, in improvement, what the political order was continually losing in energy and in vigor. The whole world