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facilities of raising them to his own level. In anxiety in the crisis of a cause, but instantly this purpose he was aided by his connection decides among complicated difficulties, and is with a noble family, by a musical voice, and almost always right. He can bridge over a by an eloquent eye, which enticed men to for- nonsuit with insignificant facts, and tread upon give, and even to admire his natural polish the gulf steadily but warily to its end. What and refined allusions. But his moral qualities Johnson said of Burke's manner of treating a tended even more to win them. Who could subject is true of his management of a cause, resist a disposition overflowing with kindness, "he winds himself into it like a great serpent." animal spirits as elastic as those of a school- He does not take a single view of it, nor deboy, and a love of gayety and pleasure which sert it when it begins to fail, but throws himshone out amidst the most anxious labours? self into all its windings, and struggles in it His very weaknesses became instruments of while it has life. There is a lucid arrangefascination. His egotism, his vanity, his per- ment, and sometimes a light vein of pleasantry sonal frailties, were all genial, and gave him and feeling in his opening speeches; but his an irresistible claim to sympathy. His warin- greatest visible triumph is in his replies. These est colours were drawn, not from the fancy, do not consist of a mere series of ingenious but the affections. If he touched on the ro- remarks on conflicting evidence; still less of a mantic, it was on the little chapter of romance tiresome examination of the testimony of each which belongs to the most hurried and feverish witness singly; but are as finely arranged on life. The unlettered clown, and the assiduous the instant, and thrown into as noble and detradesman, understood him, when he revived cisive masses, as if they had been prepared in some bright recollection of childhood, or the study. By a vigorous grasp of thought, he brought back on the heart the enjoyments of forms a plan and an outline, which he first disold friendship, or touched the chord of domes- tinctly marks, and then proceeds to fill up with tic love and sorrow. He wielded with skill masterly touches. When a case has been and power the weapons which precedent sup- spread over half a day, and apparently shattered plied, but he rarely sought for others. When by the speech and witnesses of his adversary, he defended the rights of the subject, it was he will gather it up, condense, concentrate, and not by abstract disquisition, but by freshening render it conclusive. He imparts a weight up anew the venerable customs and immuni- and solidity to all that he touches. Vague ties which he found sanctioned by courts and suspicions become certainties, as he exhibits parliaments, and infusing into them new en- them; and circumstances light, valueless, and ergy. He entrenched himself within the forms unconnected till then, are united together, and of pleading, even when he ventured to glance come down in wedges which drive conviction into literature and history. These forms he into the mind. Of this extraordinary power, rendered dignified as a fence against oppres- his reply on the first trial of "The King v. sion, and cast on them sometimes the playful Collins," where he gained the verdict against hues of his fancy. His powers were not only evidence and justice, was a wonderful speciadapted to his sphere, but directed by admi-men. If such a speech is not an effort of genius, rable discretion and taste. In small causes heit is so much more complete than many works was never betrayed into exaggeration, but con- which have a portion of that higher faculty, trived to give an interest to their details, and that we almost hesitate to place it below them. to conduct them at once with dexterity and Mr. Scarlett, in the debate on the motion relagrace. His jests told for arguments; his di-tive to the Chancellor's attack on Mr. Abergressions only threw the jury off their guard, crombie, showed that he has felt it necesthat he might strike a decisive blow; his au- sary to bend his mind considerably to the roudacity was always wise. His firmness, was no tine of his practice. He was then surprised less under right direction than his weaknesses. into his own original nature; and forgetting He withstood the bench, and rendered the bar the measured compass of his long adopted immortal service; not so much by the courage voice and manner, spoke out in a broad northof the resistance, as by the happy selection of ern dialect, and told daring truths which astoits time, and the exact propriety of its manner.nished the house. It is not thus, however, that He was, in short, the most consummate advo- he wins verdicts and compels the court to grant cate of whom we have any trace; he left his "rules to show cause!" profession higher than he found it; and yet, beyond its pale, he was only an incomparable companion, a lively pamphleteer, and a weak and superficial debater!
Mr. Brougham may, at first, appear to form an exception to the doctrines we have endeavoured to establish; but, on attentive consideration, will be found their most striking exMr. Scarlett, the present leader of the Court ample. True it is, that this extraordinary man, of King's Bench, has less brilliancy than his who, without high birth, splendid fortune, or predecessor, but is not perhaps essentially in- aristocratic connection, has, by mere intellecferior to him in the management of causes. tual power, become the parliamentary leader He studiously disclaims imagination; he rarely of the whigs of England, is at last beginning addresses the passions; but he now and then to succeed in the profession he has condegives indications which prove that he has scended to follow. But, stupendous as his disciplined a mind of considerable elegance abilities, and various as his acquisitions are, and strength to Nisi Prius uses. In the fine he does not possess that one presiding faculty tact of which we have already spoken-the in--imagination, which, as it concentrates all tuitive power of common sense sharpened others, chiefly renders them unavailing for inwithin a peculiar circle-he has no superior, ferior uses. Mr. Brougham's powers are not thus and perhaps no equal. He never betrays united and rendered unwieldy and prodigious,
those of the most accomplished of Old Bailey practitioners. His most remarkable faculty, taken singly, the power of sarcasm, can be understood, even by a Lancaster jury. And yet, though worthy to rank with statesmen before whom Erskine sunk into insignificance, and though following his profession with zeal and perseverence almost unequalled, he has hardly been able to conquer the impediment of that splendid reputation, which to any other man must have been fatal!
These great examples are sufficient for our purpose, and it would be invidious to add Without particularizing any, we may more. safely affirm that if the majority of successful advocates are not men of genius, they are men of very active and penetrating intellect, disciplined by the peculiar necessity of their profession to the strictest honour, and taught by their intimate and near acquaintance with all the casualties of human life, and the varieties of human nature, indulgence to frailty and generosity to misfortune. It is impossible to estimate too highly the value of such a body of men, aspiring, charitable, and acute; who, sprung from the people, naturally sympathize with their interests; who, being permitted to grasp at the honours of the state, are supplied with high motives to preserve its constitution; and who, if not very eager for improving the laws, at least keep unceasing watch over every attempt to infringe on the rights they sustain, or to pervert them to purposes of oppression. If they are too prone to change their party as they rise, they seldom do so from base or sordid motives, and often infuse a better spirit into those whose favours they consent to receive.
but remain apart, and neither assist nor im- [ers are all as distinct and as ready for use as pede each other. The same speech, indeed, may give scope to several talents; to lucid narration, to brilliant wit, to irresistible reasoning, and even to heart-touching pathos; but these will be found in parcels, not blended and interfused in one superhuman burst of passionate eloquence. The single power in which he excels all others is sarcasm, and his deepest inspiration-Scorn. Hence he can awaken terror and shame far better than he can melt, agitate, and raise. Animated by this blasting spirit, he can "bare the mean hearts" which "lurk beneath" a hundred "stars," and smite a majority of lordly persecutors into the dust! His power is all directed to the practical and earthy. It is rather that of a giant than a magician; of Briareus than of Prospero. He can do a hundred things well, and almost at once; but he cannot do the one highest thing; he cannot by a single touch reveal the hidden treasures of the soul, and astonish the world with truth and beauty unknown till disclosed at his bidding. Over his vast domain he ranges with amazing activity, and is a different man in each province which he occupies. He is not one, but Legion. At three in the morning he will make a reply in parliament, which shall blanch the cheeks and appal the hearts of his enemies; and at half-past nine he will be found in his place in court, working out a case in which a bill of five pounds is disputed, with all the plodding care of the most laborious junior. This multiplicity of avocation, and division of talent, suit the temper of his constitution and mind. Not only does he accomplish a greater variety of purposes than any other man-not only does he give anxious attention to every petty cause, while he is fighting a great political battle, and weighing the relative interests of nations-not only does he write an article for the Edinburgh Review while contesting a county, and prepare complicated arguments on Scotch appeals by way of rest from his generous endeavours to educate a people-but he does all this as if it were perfectly natural to him, in a manner so unpretending and quiet, that a stranger would think him a merry gentleman, who had nothing to do but enjoy himself and fascinate others. The fire which burns in the tough fibres of his intellect does not quicken his pulse, or kindle his blood to more than a genial warmth. He, therefore, is one man in the senate, another in the study, another in a committee room, and another in a petty cause; and consequently is never above the work which he has to perform. His pow
Let no one of those who, with a consciousness of fine talents, has failed in his profession, abate his self-esteem, or repine at his fortune. A life of success, though a life of excitement, is also a life of constant toil, in which the pleasures of contemplation and of society are sparingly felt, and which sometimes tends to a melancholy close. Besides, the best part of our days is past before the struggle begins. Success itself has nothing half so sweet as the anticipations of boyish ambition and the partial love by which they were fostered. A barrister can scarcely hope to begin a career of anxious prosperity till after thirty; and surely he who has attained that age, after a youth of robust study and manly pleasure, with firm friends, and an unspotted character, has no right to complain of the world!
In the deep discovery of the subterranean world, a shallow part would satisfy some inquirers, who, if two or three yards were opened beneath the surface would not care to rake the bowels of Potosi and regions towards SIR THOMAS BROWNE.
MEN have always attached a peculiar interest to that region of the earth which extends for a few yards beneath its surface. Below this depth the imagination, delighting to busy itself among the secrets of Time and Mortality, hath rarely cared to penetrate. A few feet of ground may suffice for the repose of the first dwellers of the earth until its frame shall grow old and perish. The little coin, silent picture of forgotten battles, lies among the roots of shrubs and vegetables for centuries, till it is turned into light by some careful husbandman, who ploughs an inch deeper than his fathers. The dead bones which, loosened from their urns, gave occasion to Sir Thomas Browne's noblest essay, "had outlasted the living ones of Methusalem, and in a yard under ground, and thin walls of clay, outworn all the strong and spacious buildings above them, and quietly rested under the drums and tramplings of three conquests." Superstition chooses the subterranean space which borders on the abodes of the living, and ranges her vaults and mysterious caverns near to the scenes of revelry, passion, and joy; and within this narrow rind rest the mighty products of glorious vintages, the stores of that divine juice which, partaking of the rarest qualities of physical and intellectual nature, blends them in happier union within us. Here, in this hallowed ground, the germs of inspiration and the memorials of decay lie side by side, and Bacchus holds divided empire with the King of Terrors.
As I sat indulging this serious vein of reflection, some years ago, when my relish of philosophy and port was young, a friend called to remind me that we had agreed to dine together with rather more luxury than usual. I had made the appointment with boyish eager ness, and now started gladly from my solitary reveries to keep it. The friend with whom I had planned our holiday, was one of those few persons whom you may challenge to a convivial evening with a mathematical certainty of enjoying it;-which is the rarest quality of friendship. Many who are equal to great exigencies, and would go through fire and water to serve you, want the delicate art to allay the petty irritations, and heighten the ordinary enjoyments of life, and are quite unable to make themselves agreeable at a tête-à-tête dinner. Not so my companion; who, zealous, prompt, and consoling in all seasons of trial, had good sense for every little difficulty, and a happy humour for every social moment; at all times
a better and wiser self. Blest with good but never boisterous spirits; endowed with the rare faculty not only of divining one's wishes, but instantly making them his own; skilful in sweetening good counsel with honest flattery; able to bear with enthusiasm in which he might not participate, and to avoid smiling at the follies he could not help discerning; ever ready to indulge the secret wish of his guest "for another bottle," with heart enough to drink it with him, and head enough to take care of him when it was gone, he was (and yet is) the pleasantest of advisers, the most genial of listeners, and the quietest of lively companions. On this memorable day he had, with his accustomed forethought, given particular orders for our entertainment, and I hastened to enjoy it with him, little thinking how deep and solemn was the pleasure which awaited us.
We arrived at the - Coffee House about six on a bright afternoon in the middle of September, and found every thing ready and excellent; and the turtle magnificent and finely relieved by lime punch effectually iced; grilled salmon crisply prepared for its appropriate lemon and mustard; a leg of Welch mutton just tasted as a "sweet remembrancer" of its heathy and hungry hills; woodcocks with thighs of exquisite delicacy and essence "deeply interfused" in thick soft toast; and mushrooms, which Nero justly called "the flesh of the gods," simply broiled and faintly sprinkled with Cayenne. Our conversation was, of course, confined to mutual invitations and expressive criticisms on the dishes; the only table-talk which men of sense can tolerate. But the most substantial gratifications, in this world at least, must have an end; and the last mushroom was at length eaten. Un
*This trait sufficiently accounts for the flowers which were seen scattered on the sepulchre of Nero, when the popular indignation raged highest against his memory— the grateful Roman had eaten his mushroom under imperial auspices. Had Lord Byron been acquainted with the flavour of choice mushrooms, he would have turned to give it honour due after the following stanza, one of the noblest in that work. which, with all its faults of waywardness and haste, is a miracle of language, pathos, playfulness, sublimity, and sense.
When Nero perish'd by the justest doom
fortunately for the repose of the evening, we | That Hermitage, stealing gently into the chamwere haunted by the recollection of some bers of the brain, shall make us "babble of green highly flavoured port, and, in spite of strong fields;" and that delicate Claret, innocently evidence of identity from conspiring waiters, bubbling and dancing in the slender glass, shall sought for the like in vain. Bottle after bottle bring its own vine-coloured hills more vividly was produced and dismissed as "not the thing," before us even than Mr. Stanfield's pencil! till our generous host, somewhat between libe- There from a time-changed bottle, tenderly ral hospitality and just impatience, smilingly drawn from a crypt, protected by huge primebegged us to accompany him into the cellar, val cobwebs, you may taste antiquity, and inspect the whole of "his little stock," and feel the olden time on your palate! As we choose for ourselves! We took him at his sip this marvellous Port, to the very colour word; another friend of riper years and graver of which age has been gentle, methinks we authority joined us; and we prepared to fol- have broken into one of those rich vaults in low our guide, who stood ready to conduct us which Sir Thomas Browne, the chief butler to the banks of Lethe. All the preparations, of the tomb, finds treasures rarer than jewels. like those which preceded similar descents "Some," saith he, "discover sepulchral vessels of the heroes of old, bespoke the awfulness containing liquors which time hath incrassated and peril of the journey. Our host preceded into jellies. For besides lacrymatories, notable us with his massive keys to perform an office lamps, with oils and aromatic liquors, attended collateral to that of St. Peter; behind, a dingy noble ossuaries; and some yet retaining a imp of the nether regions stood with glasses vinosity and spirit in them, which, if any have in his hands and a prophetic grin on his face; tasted, they have far exceeded the palates of and each of us was armed with a flaming torch antiquity;—liquors, not to be computed by to penetrate the gloom which now stretched years of annual magistrates, but by great conthrough the narrow entrance before us. junctions and the fatal periods of kingdoms. The draughts of consulary date were but crude unto these, and opimian wine but in the must unto them."
We descended the broken and winding staircase with cautious steps, and, to confess the truth, not without some apprehension for our upward journey, yet hoping to be numbered We passed on from flavour to flavour with among that select class of Pluto's visiters, our proud and liberal guide, whose comments "'quos ardens evexit ad æthera virtus." On a added zest even to the text which he had to sudden, turning a segment of a mighty cask, dilate on. A scent, a note of music, a voice we stood in the centre of the vast receptacle long unheard, the stirring of the summer of spirituous riches. The roof of solid and breeze, may startle us with the sudden revival stoutly compacted brickwork, low, but boldly of long-forgotten feelings and thoughts, but arched, looked substantial enough to defy all none of these little whisperers to the heart is attacks of the natural enemy, water, and resist so potently endowed with this simple spell as a second deluge. From each side ran long the various flavours of Port to one who has galleries, partially shown by the red glare of tried, and, in various moods of his own mind, the torches, extending one way far beneath the relished them all. This full, rough, yet fruity busy trampling of the greatest shopkeepers wine, brings back that first season of London and stock-jobbers in the world; and, on the life, when topics seemed exhaustless as words other, below the clamour of the Old Bailey and coloured with rainbow hues; when Irish Court and the cells of its victims. What a students, fresh from Trinity College, Dublin, range! Here rest, cooling in the deep-delved were not too loud or familiar to be borne; cells, the concentrated essences of sunny when the florid fluency of others was only tireyears! In this archway huge casks of mighty some as it interrupted one's own; when the wine are scattered in bounteous confusion, vast Temple Hall was not too large or too cold like the heaped jewels and gold on the "rich for sociality; and ambition, dilating in the strond" of Spenser, the least of which would venerable space, shaped dreams of enterprise, lay Sir Walter's Fleming low! Throughout labour, and glory, till it required more wine to that long succession of vaults, thousands of assuage its fervours. This taste of a liquor, bottles, "in avenues disposed," lie silently firm yet in body, though tawny with years, waiting their time to kindle the imagination, bears with it to the heart that hour when, havto sharpen the wit, to open the soul, and to ing returned to my birth-place, after a long and unchain the trembling tongue. There may eventful absence, and having been cordially you feel the true grandeur of quiescent power, welcomed by my hearty friends, I slipped and walk amidst the palpable elements of mad- away from the table, and hurried, in the light ness or of wisdom. What stores of sentiment of a brilliant sunset, to the gently declining in that butt of raciest Sherry! What a fund fields and richly wooded hedgerows which were of pensive thought! What suggestions for the favourite haunt of my serious boyhood. delicious remembrance! What "aids to re- The swelling hills seemed touched with etheflection!" (genuine as those of Coleridge) in real softness; the level plain was invested that Hock of a century old. What sparkling" with purpureal gleams;" every wild rose and fancies, whirling and foaming, from a stout stirring branch was eloquent with vivid recolbody of thought in that full and ripe Cham-lections: a thousand hours of happy thoughtpagne! What mild and serene philosophy in that Burgundy, ready to shed "its sunset glow" on society and nature! This pale Brandy, softened by age, is the true "spirit" which "disturbs us with the joy of elevated thoughts."
*Old Port wine is more ancient to the imagination than any other, though in fact it may have been known fewer years; as a broken Gothic arch has more of the spirit of antiquity about it than a Grecian temple. Port reminds us of the obscure middle ages; but Mock, like the classical mythology, is always young.
of ham, sandwiches, and broiled mushrooms, to enable us to do justice to the liquid delica cies before us. The usual order of wines is disregarded; no affected climax, no squeamish assortments of tastes for us here; we despise all rules, and yield a sentimental indulgence to the aberrations of the bottle. "Riches fineless" are piled around us; we are below the laws and their ministers; and just, lo! in the farthest glimmer of the torches lies outstretched our black Mercury, made happy by our leavings, and seeming to rejoice that in the cellar, as in the grave, all men are equal.
fulness came back upon the heart; and the glorious clouds which fringed the western horizon looked prophetic of golden years "predestined to descend and bless mankind." This soft, highly-flavoured Port, in every drop of which you seem to taste an aromatic flower, revives that delicious evening, when, after days of search for the tale of Rosamond Grey, of which I had indistinctly heard, I returned from an obscure circulating library with my prize, and brought out a long-cherished bottle, given me two years before as a curiosity, by way of accompaniment to that quintessence of imaginative romance. How did I enjoy, with How the soul expands from this narrow cell a strange delight, its scriptural pathos, like a and bids defiance to the massive walls! What newly discovered chapter of the Book of Ruth; Elysian scenes begin to dawn amidst the darkhang enamoured over its young beauty, love-ness! Now do I understand the glorious tale lier for the antique frame of language in which of Aladdin and the subterranean gardens. It it was set; and long to be acquainted with the is plain that the visionary boy had discovered author, though I scarcely dared aspire so high, just such a cellar as this, and there eagerly and little anticipated those hundreds of happy learned to gather amaranthine fruits, and evenings since passed in his society, which range in celestial groves till the Genius of the now crowd on me in rich confusion!-Thus Ring, who has sobered many a youth, took is it that these subtlest of remembrancers not him in charge, and restored him to common only revive some joyful season, but this also air. Here is the true temple, the inner shrine “contains a glass which shows us many of Bacchus. Feebly have they understood the more," unlocking the choicest stores of memo-attributes of the benignant god, who have rery, that cellar of the brain, in which lie the presented him as delighting in a garish bower treasures which make life precious. with clustering grapes; here he rejoices to sit, in his true citadel, amidst his mightier treasures. Methinks we could now, in prophetic mood, trace the gay histories of these imbodied inspirations among those who shall feel them hereafter; live at once along a thousand lines
kindle; reverse the melancholy musing of Hamlet, and trace that which the bungholestopper confines to "the noble dust of an Alexander," which it shall quicken; and peeping
But see! our party have seated themselves beneath that central arch to enjoy a calmer pleasure after the fatigues of their travel. They look romantic as banditti in a cave, and goodhumoured as a committee of aldermen. A cask which has done good service in its day-of sympathy and thought which they shall the shell of the evaporated spirit-serves for a table, round which they sit on rude but ample benches. The torches planted in the ground cast a broad light over the scene, making the ruddy wine glisten, and seeming, by their irre-into the studies of our brother contributors, gular flickering, as if they too felt the influence of the spot. My friend, usually so gentle in his convivialities, has actually broken forth into a song, such as these vaults never heard; our respected senior sits trying to preserve his solemn look, but unconsciously smiling; and Mr. B-1, the founder of the banquet, is sedulously doing the honours with only intenser civility, and calling out for fresh store
see how that vintage which flushed the hills of France with purple, shall mantle afresh in the choice articles of this Magazine.
But it is time to stop, or my readers will suspect me of a more recent visit to the cellar. They will be mistaken. One such descent is enough for a life; and I stand too much in awe of the Powers of the Grave to ventureagain so near to their precincts.