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lawyer turning the corner, eh?" "No, sir," said Boswell; "pray what do you mean by the question ?" "Why,” replied Roscius, with an affected indifference, yet as if standing on tiptoe, — " lord Camden has this moment left me. We have had a long walk together.” “Well, sir,” pronounces Johnson on hearing the story, (Johnson, as sir Joshua Reynolds observed, considered Garrick in a manner his own property, and would allow nobody either to praise or blame him without contradicting them) “well, sir, Garrick talked very properly. Lord Camden was a little lawyer to be associating so familiarly with a player.” Poor Goldsmith, whose happy vanity set him down in his own esteem as the prime object of interest and admiration in whatever company he graced with his presence, was sadly piqued that lord Camden, whom he met at lord Clare's table, did not render him due homage. “He took no more nctice of me," complained the doctor, “than if I had been an ordinary person." The general courtesies of society did not compose a condiment sufficiently piquant for Goldsmith's taste, which longed for the more highly-seasoned dishes of compliment and flattery.
Lord Camden was in stature below the middle size. His full fair-complexioned countenance, blue eye, and clear open brow, were more expressive of a frank good-humor than of profundity of thought. He was subject, as we have before stated, to occasional attacks of gout, which did not however make a martyr of him as of Thurlow. He was, we are told, particularly afraid of catching the small-pox, which he had never had; especially when lord Waldegrave died of it, on which occasion he fled from its dangerous neighborhood into the country. He long survived, however, all these apprehensions, and sunk at length only under the gentle and gradual pressure of old age.
Our readers, we fear, will have had too much reason to complain of the absence, in these pages, of those traits of personal portraiture, those lesser lights and shades of indi
vidual habits and manners, which constitute after all the life and soul of biography. But no kindred or friendly pen has been employed to lay before the world, like a North or a Boswell, with all the freedom and detail of familiar intercourse, the daily doings of lord Camden's private life, and all the minute picture of his thoughts, his habits, his peculiarities, and his foibles; nor have the outpourings of his heart, as in the case of Cowper, been unveiled to us in his familiar correspondence: few of his letters are in print, but they are such as to make us wish for more. We are driven, therefore, to seek such memorials of him as are to be found scantily dispersed over the memoirs and reminiscences of his contemporaries. Had his nephew, Mr. Hardinge (the Welch judge), lived to fulfil a promise he made to the late Mr. Nichols, of furnishing a memoir of his uncle for the “Literary Illustrations," we might have had a far richer mine of anecdote and interest to work into: as it is, we have some apprehension that our sketch may less resemble a faithful portrait, exhibiting the features and expression of its original, than a figure in an indifferent caricature, whose identity is made known chiefly by the quotation that issues from its mouth.
Besides the two pamphlets we have already mentioned as being attributed to lord Camden, he avowed himself to Mr. Hargrave as the author of a tract entitled "An Inquiry into the Process of Latitat in Wales," printed in that gentleman's collection of law tracts. Like many others of our most eminent lawyers, he never applied his powers to the production of any work of permanent utility and importance. Nevertheless, his name will not perish. As a lawyer, his authority continues to be held in reverence by the profession; as a politician, his memory must be honored while independence and public worth are cherished among Englishmen; as a man, his virtues are embalmed in the affectionate remembrance of the few who yet survive to recall the memory of his friendship.
ART. II. – REPORTS OF CASES IN THE VICE CHANCELLORS'
COURTS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
1. Reports of Chancery cases decided in the Eighth Circuit
of the State of New York, by the Hon. Frederick Whittlesey, Vice Chancellor. By CHARLES L. CLARKE, Coun
sellor at Law. Vol. 1. Rochester : David Hoyt, 1841. 2. Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of
Chancery of the State of New York, before the Assistant Vice Chancellor of the first Circuit. By the Hon. MurRAY HOFFMAN. Vol. 1. New York: Halsted & Voorhies, 1841.
From the rapid 'issue of New York reports, a stranger would be tempted to believe, that the profession in that state, like the Athenians at Mars Hill in St. Paul's day,
spent their time in nothing else but either to hear or tell some new thing." In the short period of less than eleven years since the codification of their laws, by a revision proceeding mostly upon the plan of consolidating the old statutes, conforming them in express terms to the decisions of the courts, and authoritatively declaring common law rules, we have seen twenty-one volumes of Wendell's reports, seven of Paige's chancery reports, two of Edwards's reports of vice chancellor McCown's opinions, to say nothing of the reports of the superior courts of New York city, successively delivered from a groaning press. And here we have the opinions of the vice chancellor of the eighth circuit, and of the assistant vice chancellor of the first circuit. The mere thought of it makes one sigh for the good old times, when a sort of traditionary knowledge of the current decisions was kept up, by means of the familiar chat of the elders and sages of the law with the young templars, in the cool cloisters of the inns of court. Even
the more formal reading, on the statute of uses, executory devises, or such like grave matter, which we fear those youngsters sometimes irreverently deemed a bore — was nothing to this. How would it startle the ghost of one of those old readers, could he look into a modern law library and see chancery reports of the eighth circuit of New York, standing in sober calf, side by side, with his Coke and Plowden. Vague questionings, whether the vice chancellor were Mohawk or Algonquin; whether counsel argued in deer skin and feathers instead of robe and wig; or whether they told off their points by belts of wampum, - would trouble his misty brain - nor altogether without probable cause. It is but thirty years since the title to a corn-field in the now populous city of Rochester was tried by wager of battle between a bear and the planter of the corn, whom Bruin doubtless regarded as a mere casual ejector. Within the same period the sacrifice of the white dog, with rites unholy, has been offered by heathen Indians, within the very purlieus of the vice chancellor's court.
Our readers know enough of the wonderful history of western New York, to be less surprised; but we have thought that some preliminary explanation and account of the organization of the New York courts, and of the practical working of their judiciary system, might be not unacceptable; and, in truth, this, rather than a review of the publications of Mr. Clarke and Mr. Hoffman, is our purpose in this article.
The supreme court of New York, as now constituted, has three justices, who make the court in bank, and eight circuit judges, who preside at the trials of issues of fact. The state is divided into eight judicial districts, and a circuit court and court of oyer and terminer is held twice annually in each county. Except in special cases, a justice of the supreme court has nothing to do with the nisi prius business of his court. The circuit judge possesses the power of a justice of the supreme court, at chambers, and holds
quarterly terms for the purpose of hearing arguments upon motions for new trials in causes tried upon his circuit.
The circuit judge is moreover (except in the first and eighth circuits) an officer of the chancellor's court with the title of vice chancellor. He has, in this capacity, concurrently with the chancellor and exclusively of any other circuit judge, all the original jurisdiction of the chancellor in the following cases : 1. When the cause or matter of controversy shall have arisen within his circuit. 2. When the subject matter in controversy shall be situated within such circuit; or where the defendants or persons proceeded against or either of them reside within such limits, subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the chancellor.
The first circuit, in which is the city of New York, has a vice chancellor in addition to the circuit judge. This officer was appointed in 1831, and invested with all the equity powers formerly exercised by the circuit judge.
On the 27th day of March, 1839, laws were enacted for the appointment of a vice chancellor of the eighth judicial circuit and of an assistant vice chancellor of the first circuit. The continuance of the latter act was originally limited to three years. The limitation was however removed at the next session of the legislature, and the powers of the assistant vice chancellor, at first restricted to the hearing of causes belonging to the fourth class of calendar causes,' or causes brought to a hearing upon pleadings or upon pleadings and proofs, were extended to the hearing “of any preliminary motion for the suppression of testimony in any cause, where notice of such motion is given after the proofs are closed."
The chancellor was also authorized to refer any cause pending before him to the assistant vice chancel
* 1st class, causes to be heard on bills taken as confessed ; 2d, on pleas and demurrers; 3d, bill and answer; 4th, pleadings or pleadings and proofs.Rules of 1837, 91st rule.
2 New York Session Laws of 1840, chap. 314, page 263.