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when those statements turned out to be in an ordinary case--such is the lax moralerroneous, could separate, or were at the ity of the House when any of its own pains to separate, the advocate from the immediate body are concerned—these exM.P. whose seat was perilled; so that, in planations would have been deemed amply the popular belief, Mr. Kelly stood in the sufficient to clear the personal honor of the position of having pledged his personal and party accused; but here, special passions professional honor to what turned out to be and enmities, public and private, were false, and which, it was afterwards assumed, aroused, and the honest indignation of he must have known or believed to be false. John Bull (who very properly knows no Observe, we are merely stating that such compromises in matters of honor, principle, was at the time the popular impression. or religion) was craftily appealed to with When the chairman of the committee success. Mr. Gisborne, who had from the brought their report before the House of first joined with great ardor in the hunt, Commons (which although it alleged bribery, met the last-mentioned exculpation by a did not find the sitting members guilty), charge that Mr. Kelly had been" guilty of this opinion was openly re-stated and made unfeeling selfishness” in putting the prothe subject of comment. Mr. Daniel fessional gentleman referred to in the box, Whittle Harvey, of bellicose reputation, there to criminate himself; and Mr. Harvey took occasion to have a fling at Mr. Kelly, (wha, it will be remembered, was unsucby saying, that " one of the sitting mem- cessful in his attempts to be called to the bers had appeared before the committee bar), apparently saw in the circumstances and made a strong statement on the case, of the case a good opportunity for bringing and he had pledged his personal honor and down the pride and lowering the character professional character on what he said.” of “a Bencher.” Speaking of the profesThis was the parliamentary mode of putting sional gentleman before referred to, he the above charge, into the particulars of said, that "he had had the advantage of which we do not think it necessary to enter, being educated for the bar under an indias it involves the names of gentlemen other-vidual (meaning Mr. Kelly) who was wise highly respectable, and who, at the clothed in the silk of distinction, and who time, paid the penalty of what seems to sat in the council-chamber of the Benchers have been rather an excess of zeal on behalf as one of the watchful guardians of the puof the candidates whom they were engaged rity of the profession. He was the pupil in serving, than anything like a habit of of a practitioner who, from having been a similar malpractices. The feeling of the little tea-dealer and shopkeeper in Oxford House of Commons was so strong at this Street, had risen to the dignity of sitting time against the sitting members, and more as one of the judges of an irresponsible triespecially against Mr. Kelly, in conse- bunal ;” and much more of the same sort. quence of the systematic evasion (by the It is fair to Sir Fitzroy Kelly to record this witnesses and chief parties implicated) of evidence of an acrimonious spirit in those the authority of the committee, that Mr. who took the lead against him on this ocHarvey's statement seems to have been at casion, because, now that the passions and once taken for granted, without inquiry into prejudices of the period have passed away, either the charge itself, or his motives for it may help to counteract the unfavorable making it. But, on a subsequent occasion, impression which the Ipswich case left on Mr. Kelly commissioned Mr. Jervis, the the minds of the public against him. The present attorney-general, to declare, in his press teemed at the time with articles emplace in parliament, that, in what he had bodying the most severe comments on his said before the committee, he had spoken conduct ; and, in cases involving personal merely as an advocate ; and Mr. P. M. character, the effect of the influence of the Stewart, the chairman, stood up in the press is not so ephemeral as its action. House and confirmed the statement. One One thing seems certain, that Mr. Kelly, of the witnesses, a professional gentleman, in his proceedings before the committee, who had unfortunately compromised bimself carried even professional privilege to its utat the election, came forward in a very chi- most limit.
He acted in his own case, on valrous manner; and exonerated Mr. Kelly the same principle, the soundness of which from the charge of having authorized the has been gravely disputed when it has been bribery that was committed on his behalf by adopted by an advocate in “getting off” a those who were bound to him by old ties of prisoner charged with a criminal offence. friendship and professional co-operation. The effect of these transactions was extremely injurious to Sir Fitzroy Kelly. It was not wanting. Although Mr. Kelly is to them we must look in accounting for had the superiority in talent, Mr. Thesiger the delay in his political and professional had the advantage of seniority; and if Mr. advancement. The immediate effect of the Kelly had entered parliament more than decision of the committee was to deprive five years before Mr. Thesiger, the latter him of his seat. He did not, of course, had in his favor a more uninterrupted make his appearance in the House of Com- sitting, and a reputation, such as it was, mons while the discussions on the Ipswich untouched. These reasons—which, if case were pending; and little more was carried out, would justify the official proheard of him as a political person until, in motion, in preference to more meritorious 1837, he again contested Ipswich. On this persons, of the veriest dolt whose parents occasion he was defeated, as far as the re- had had the foresight to enter him early at turning officer's report was concerned; but the bar, and who had had the luck of he presented a petition to the House of being an unit in the House of Commons a Commons, and, after an investigation by a few years before his competitors-were committee, the seat was awarded to him. deemed sufficient to cover the real objecDuring the interval which elapsed between tion to Mr. Kelly, which seems to have this time and the general election of 1841, been not so much a disapproval of bis conhe frequently addressed the House of Com- duct (for Sir R. Peel appointed him somons, always producing a strong impression licitor-general the following year), as a fear of his ability and positive value as a par- for the immaculate reputation of the Goliamentary lawyer; but the unfortunate vernment. Accordingly Mr. Thesiger got position in which he had placed himself in the appointment; and Mr. Kelly, with the Ipswich affair (not because he was un- public sympathy on his behalf, was put in seated on the finding that there had been the background. But, in 1845, a new vabribery,—that is a venial offence, morally cancy occurred; and the scruples of Sir R. if not legally, with these political purists, Peel (affected doubtless by the fact that so but on account of the personal matters mixed important a corporation as the bank of up in it) seemed to hang over him like a England had lately appointed Mr. Kelly cloud. He was looked upon as a damaged their standing counsel), having been satisman; and his very demeanor almost war- fied, Mr. Kelly was made solicitor-geranted the belief that he felt himself to neral. have lost caste, for he was shy, reserved, In parliament Sir F. Kelly is a very with downcast look; and he even wore, or effective speaker, but has never risen to a seemed to wear, a certain melancholic as- high rank as an orator.
In hard argument, pect. At the general election of 1841, Sir or ingenious special pleading, he excels, Fitzroy Kelly again essayed his influence but he has not displayed declamatory with the electors of Ipswich, but he was power, nor can he successfully appeal to the unsuccessful ; and he did not again appear feelings. The defects of his nisi prius adin parliament until 1843, when he was vocacy follow him into the House of Comelected for the borough of Cambridge, which mons, and the strength or variety which he he continued to represent till the parliament could throw into his speaking, are alike of 1841 was finally dissolved.
checked and obscured by that “flatness” of In 1844, on the elevation of Sir F. style we have already condemned, and Pollock to the chief baronship, Sir William through which he seems, though, falsely, to Follett having been promoted to be at- be unable to rise to the level even of his torney-general, a vacancy was created in theme, much less to command it. Yet he the solicitor-generalship. Public opinion, has natural advantages, in a clear and sufbut more especially that of the profession, ficiently powerful voice, though not sonopointed to Mr. Kelly as the man who was rous, or capable of much variety of tone ; entitled to it, both as a lawyer and a par- a Napoleon-like head and face, which, very liamentary speaker. But Sir Robert Peel, slightly idealized, would serve well as a as a minister, was a purist, and he felt or subject for the sculptor; a very expressive affected great horror at the idea of promot-countenance, strongly marked with the ing this damaged" man. The very least traces of habitual thought, and a singularly he could do was to lay him in quarantine quick and piercing eye. At times, the for a time, and then he would see what face is disfigured by an expression almost could be done, after the demands of public sinister, like that observable in men who hypocrisy had been satisfied. A pretext brood over wrongs, and meditate retali
SIR DAVID DUNDAS.
but that again is redeemed occa-| land, Sir James Graham prefaced his own sionally by a fascinating smile. If his an- speech with a compliment to Mr. Dundas, tecedent had been less untoward, those traces saying that "he was glad that anything of embittered feeling might not have shown had stimulated him to take that prominent themselves, and there would then be no part in the debate for which his talent and drawback on the prepossession to which one eloquence so fitted him.” is inclined in his favor. Upon the whole, Sir David Dundas was born out of bis
age. he impresses one with the idea that he has He is the man to have risen in a former era, suppressed or checked rather than dis- when a higher and more refined order of talent played his full powers; and it may fairly was more appreciated, when quality was more be predicted that, when in the course of esteemed than quantity in eloquence, and things he becomes attorney-general, if when the very last man eligible for promotion events should occur calculated thoroughly or distinction would have been one who to arouse his energies, he will yet prove sought it by a mere iteration of forcible crudihimself not to be much inferior, if at all, to ties. His selection for promotion is indeed the most distinguished parliamentary law- the more remarkable, because statesmen at yers of his day. Nearly fifteen years ago, the present time are more than ever subject to when he was only a junior, his defence of public opinion in the choice of their official the proprietors of the True Sun newspaper, subordinates, who are almost thrust upon when indicted for libel, showed what he them, either by out-of-doors' influence, or, could do in the higher range of an advocate's in the case of the lawyers, by the supposed duty, should opportunity offer. But in a time right conferred by professional standing or when there are no great and stirring events, parliamentary service. Sir R. Peel, in it is not to be wondered that men of latent one or two cases, showed a determination powers should be suspected of mediocrity. to choose for himself; but we seldom hear
now of party leaders drawing talented men from the obscurity to which their own
modesty consigns them, and promoting The appointment of Mr. Dundas, by them in reliance on that insight into their Lord John Russell, to be solicitor-general, character, and that opinion of their talents, cannot be attributed to any previous indi- which may have been formed even on obcation or designation by public opinion, for servation in private society. No, the he was but little known to the many, either same all-powerful spirit of publicity, the as a lawyer or a member of parliament. same meddling activity out of doors, which Nor although he stands high in the favor forces upon statesmen their principles and of the Duke of Sutherland, and the Duke of measures, and regulates their political Sutherland's opinion must necessarily have standing, also dictates to them, less permuch weight with Lord John Russell, do we ceptibly, but quite as surely, the selection agree with some who suspected the latter of the men by whom their policy is to be noble lord of having yielded to any extra- carried out. Sir D. Dundas is fortunate in neous influence in nominating him to the having been an exception to this rule, office. His elevation is to be accounted whatever may have been the influence under for by the fact, that he is a man of a very which Lord John Russell appointed him. superior order, who has displayed his For he was but little known either at the powers only just so far as to have satisfied bar or in parliament, up to that time, althe judgment, and even to have commanded though, whenever he attracted attention, the admiration, of observant persons, he invariably secured good opinion and though not far enough to have astonished esteem, by the manner in which he acquitor captivated the multitude. Among the ted himself. When Sir J. Graham said he former we may mention Sir James Graham, was glad that anything had “ stimulated” a statesman who, whatever may have him to speak, he indicated the real drawbeen his political shortcomings, is an ha- back on
Sir David Dundas is bitual observer and a first-rate judge of at no pains whatever to display his abiliability, and whose favorable opinion on ties. If he seeks fame or loves admiration, that score would be an honor to any man. it is not at least in the senate or in the He
seems, long since, to have put Mr. court that he strives for either. An habiDundas on his list, for, when a few years tual indolence, or perhaps, more properly
that gentleman addressed the House of speaking, an indifference, characterizes his Commons in defence of the Duke of Suther- public conduct. His activity, if any, is of
the mind only, and it probably spends itself tional cases than for the regular business in convivial amusement, or some purely in- of circuit. tellectual course of reading. We should As a parliamentary speaker, he possesses not be surprised to hear that he is a first- more than the average power and effectiverate table companion, or a great favorite in ness; he is really eloquent; and his elogeneral society; for, in either case, the quence is not of the kind we are most acstimulus” is ever present, the reward im- customed to at the present day.
His mediate, and the trouble very little. But, aristocratic bearing, his handsome and as a public man, he is very quiet and retir- strikingly intellectual countenance, a sonoing, not from the want of ability, but from rous voice capable of firm modulation, a some deterring cause acting as a perpetual tall manly person and a graceful carriage, opiate on the will. Even as solicitor-propitiate the audience at first sight and general he has very seldom addressed the hearing, and recall to memory what one house ; never, except when he has perceived has read and heard of the dignity and an absolute necessity for so doing. polish of the trained orators of former
This abstinence might be attributed, in a days. He certainly could rise much higher great measure, to good taste, which teaches, in the scale, and produce more perfect and that in a place where there is such con- masterly proofs of eloquence, than his tinual talking, where scores of members are inertness has yet allowed him to afford. daily hammering away at their one idea, a As it is, there is much in his style which, man who speaks with authority should only at the present time, appears original. interfere when the nail is to be driven There is the loftiness of manner, the dignihome. But we fear it is also to be ascribed fied, almost pompous and affected, delivery, to perpetual ill-health, with which Sir D. the chosen language, the measured and Dundas has for years been more or less rounded period; but into all these traafflicted. Like Sir William Follett (whom ditionary graces of senatorial eloquence in some respects he resembles), he has pur-(some of which we may see preserved in sued his professional career under great Lord Lansdowne and others of a former disadvantages; for there is no pursuit in school), there is infused much of the which a strong constitution, good health, coarser fire and ruder vigor of modern oraand energies always at command, are more tory. The speeches of Sir D. Dundas have required than at the bar. Sir David been very infrequent, but, though few, Dundas is so far from possessing these they have sufficed to establish his repurequisites, that when, on the death of his tation. His best were, on the Privilege elder brother, he succeeded to the family question, and that other speech (à propos estate, it was a question with him whether the Scotch Poor-law), for which he was he should not give up his profession. His complimented by Sir J. Graham, and in experience and reputation as an advocate which he very much amused the House by were chiefly obtained at the West Riding declaring, that although he was of the Sessions (Yorkshire), where he was for middle class (he might have gone higher some years leader ; and the connexions in describing himself), he never had tasted formed, and secured, under these circum- anything but porridge for breakfast till he stances, became a good mainstay to his came to England. The speech was impractice on the northern circuit. As an perfectly reported, and the subject was not advocate, he took a higher ground than a very inviting one, but the speaker disthat which usually secures men business played remarkable ability. either at sessions or on circuit. He dis- Sir D. Dundas is forty-eight years of dained triumphs which were to be gained age, but looks younger. by mere legal subtlety, or the ingenuities of sented the county of Sutherland since special pleading ; but he shone as an advo-1840. He owes much of his success to the cate in the best meaning of the term, kind patronage of the Duke of Sutherland, where a jury were to be influenced by elo- both in public and in private ; but more quence, by lofty appeals to their feelings or to his own abilities and especial talents their principles. With great powers of de- for pleasing in society. clamation, he has also that in his whole aspect and bearing which enables him to assume (like Lord Denman), with most imposing effect, a high moral tone. Thus Mr. Stuart has not been sufficiently long he was, perhaps, better fitted for excep-l in the House of Commons to have earned
He has repre
any reputation as a speaker, or to have effective. His manner of address implies
the cording to precedent, of Mr. Stuart being Lord-advocate of Scotland, holder of an nominated Lord Chancellor.
office which is as much a mystery to EngMr. Stuart is undoubtedly an able and lishmen generally, as is the law which that learned lawyer. He was first known to the learned functionary, at fitful intervals, exprofession from his Reports in the Vice- plains to the House of Commons. The Chancellor's Court, published under the range of the lord-advocate's duties appears name of Simons and Stuart. His talents to the uninitiated a sort of imperium in imsoon brought him forward ; and at present perio. Among the ministers, and in parhe divides the business in Vice-Chancellor liament, he sits apart, with no eye for any Shadwell's court with Mr. Bethell, although part of the empire but Scotland, with no the latter has the lion's share of it. Mr. ear for any tongue that has not on it the Stuart has not the fluency, nor, perhaps, peculiar music so grateful to the sons of the the happy knack of arranging the points of North. He appears to enjoy a pleasant his case, that are possessed by his learned | little monopoly of the legislation necessary rival; but he infinitely surpasses him in for our northern neighbors; since it seems suavity, both to the bar and to the profes- to be for him to decide when measures shall sion generally, which may have made them be introduced, whether they shall be pressmore ready to express an opinion which is ed, and, if not, when they shall be abansaid to prevail—that he is the superior of doned. To all appearance, the other the two in sound legal knowledge. He has ministers never dream of interfering with got on, however, by sheer industry, learn- him, leaving him alone in his imperial ing, and ability, and it is scarcely paying isolation. For this, however, there may, him too high a compliment when we say, perhaps, be a reason, in the utter unintelthat in many respects he resembles the pre-ligibility to southern ears of Scottish law sent Lord Chancellor. His learning, though and legal terms—nay, of the very principles deep, is practical and readily applied. He on which legislation for that country pronever attempts oratory, because it would be ceeds ; so that, in fact, the lord-advocate out of place in mere equity pleading; and, is protected in his monopoly by a double although sometimes rather prolix, he always armor of tough words, and tougher customs states his case with precision, and even and habits of thought. We have often with neatness and force. He is also to be thought how the English attorneys-general praised for his firm and resolute manner in must envy their Scottish compeers, more à court where an arrogant and overbearing especially as there is no doubt some snug temper is too often displayed.
patronage connected with this mysterious In the House of Commons he has done office, or there might not be so good an unbut little. That little, however, has been derstanding as now there is between the