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42 Am. L. Rev. 935 (1908)
Book Reviews

handle is hein.journals/amlr42 and id is 951 raw text is: BOOK REVIEWS.

THE VICTORIAN CHANCELLORS.-By J. B. ATLAY, of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister at Law, author of
Lord Cochrane's Trial before Lord Ellenborough, etc. In two volumes, with portraits.
London: Smith, Elder & Co. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 1908.
The profession is to be congratulated upon the publication of the second volume
of this entertaining and valuable work. The life of any Lord Chancellor is in-
teresting because he is a solid branch of the ever-growing English Constitution,
with its characteristic diversity of historic essentials. He need not be a barrister
but he is and for many years has been a barrister. He may have been born an
American and without land or title but Lord Lyndhurst presided over the House
of Lords.
Evidently in England as in the United States there are judges who are courtiers
and judges who are more independent than that word is usually taken to imply.
Lord Eldon was a courtier as a matter of course. It was part of his training and
he did it so well that for a generation he was the Cabinet-Maker.' Lyndhurst
joked Brougham to his face for his Great Seal Fishery. Brougham thought
that Lyndhurst on the bench was not in earnest, and Denman mourned over
the young Copley as a radical who accepted the king's shilling by taking office.
But Lyndhurst had many sides. Since Lyndhurst and Brougham are included in
the first volume the work might be called The Victorious and The Victorian Chan-
cellors. They, each in his own way, undertook changes which Lord Eldon lacked
the taste to begin. Lord Eldon is said to have exclaimed, If I were to begin
again, d-  n my eyes, but I would begin as an agitator.2 Lord Lyndhurst,
Sir Robert Peel's enlightened Chancellor,3 with his American birth, free mind,
aristocratic tastes and political activity represented the age of transition from the
old to the new state of publie affairs and naturally enraged more theoretical reform-
ers. Lord Brougham more like an American of today enraged and amused almost
everybody else. Certainly, those two, whether in or out of office, add greatly to
the interest of the book as they did to Victoria's reign. And this book restores
to history the attractive airiness of Lyndhurst as well as his genius, Which Martin's
solemn life of him, written to defend his memory against Campbell's post hum-
ous life had temporarily obscured. The author quotes a friend of Lord
Lyndhurst as explaining his want of early popularity among the dispensers of
briefs, as due to the fact that he had no rubbish in his head. Here is a descrip-
tion of the way in which Lyndhurst's humorous mind worked in court: On
the Bench his lips would often be seen to move, but no sound proceeding from
them would be heard by the Bar. The associate sitting beneath him could tell
another tale: the classic instance is that of 'General' Watson. 'What a d- d
fool the man is l'-then, after an interval, 'Eh, not such a d- d fool as I thought,
then another interval. 'Egad it is I that was the d- d fool.'  The author
comments on Lord Campbell's account of a pleasant evening with Lyndhurst, as
follows: It is melancholy to think that on this very evening there lay among
I Bagehot.                           3 May's Constitutional History-of Eng-
2 Bagehot.                         land.

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