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Acon dextro, capta est Leonilla sinistro"-and could either of the tribunals accomplish the poet's wish, by borrowing the single eye of the other, we suspect that justice would be often a gainer by the transaction.

What this imaginary Court might be among ourselves, such a tribunal the law reformers of 1815 could, if they pleased, have erected in Scotland. Nay, they might have done more; for, as the jurisdiction of the Court of Session extended far into the domains of equity as well as of common law, they might have applied to many of those cases which, among ourselves, are subject to the very imperfect process of equitable jurisprudence, the benefits of vivâ voce examination, and the other advantages of trials at common law. They might, in short, have selected and united the best features of both the systems, without running any of that danger which would be incurred in England by their forced amalgamation. They might have constituted a judge, whose decision should have been equivalent to the verdict of a jury; who might, in the same manner, have received the issues sent down to him from the Court above, divested, as far as the means of that Court would admit, of all legal ambiguity; and who might have effected, in his own breast, the separation of the naked question of fact from the residue of law still mixed up in those issues, more quickly and certainly than our complex tribunal of judge and jury is now able to do. They would thus have secured to that nation the benefits of a cheaper, more expeditious, and far more satisfactory, because more public, trial of civil rights than is enjoyed by any continental people; free, at the same time, from the obstructions interposed by the incompetency and ignorance of juries between the Court and the parties in England.

Trial by jury in civil cases was once known, in one form or another, to every people of the Gothic stock. All probably felt it as an incumbrance; for all, except ourselves, gradually discarded it. But their own intelligence was insufficient to provide a substitute. They lost with it all the benefits of open trial, and fell under the cumbrous process and manifold chicanery of the degenerate Roman law. We alone retained, and jealousy guarded it, associating it by some confused mode of reasoning with the preservation of our national

liberties; and as our process was gradually improved, and the machinery of our courts of law became in the main more excellent than any similar institution has ever been, we admired and cherished it the more, and persuaded ourselves that the very heart and vivifying principle of the whole system lay in that which more dispassionate observers might have pronounced a needless and unsightly excrescence. The system might have been freed from that excrescence; if not by ourselves, at least by the Scots, and perhaps by the Americans.' Both threw away the opportunity: and it is perhaps more satisfactory to our national vanity that they did so; otherwise, instead of floundering behind us, as they are now doing, in the mire of our own old and narrow lane, they might have been advancing many a league a-head of us in the railroad of modern improvement.

We have studiously avoided any allusion to trial by jury in criminal cases, the excellencies and defects of which are, in great measure, of a different character, and embrace many additional considerations; and it must be remembered, that under the same category with criminal cases, should be ranged a great many of those which our law regards as civil-complaints arising out of simple injuries to person or property, such as assaults, libels, slanders, and many species of trespass not involving the trial of a right. All these we leave apart; merely observing, that the ordinary arguments drawn up in favour of trial by jury by our writers on jurisprudence apply to them most forcibly, if not exclusively, and are often utterly out of place when employed to prove the universal excellence of the institution.

1 The question has of late years been much discussed in America, and many of the most enlightened American jurists have declared against trial by jury in civil cases.-Edit.


It is related in the amusing life of Sir Leoline Jenkins that the French courtiers seemed to entertain but a mean opinion of him, being not a man of finesse, or of easy carriage and assurance, and that one of them, more conceited than the rest, asked him in what place or country he was born? Sir Leoline answered that he was a Cambro-Briton; but the Frenchman being still at a loss, desired to hear some of the language of the place, and the expression he chose was "Nid with y bag mae adnabod cyffyldy," which is a Welch proverb signifying that the goodness of a woodcock was not to be known by his bill. The quaint truth of this national adage was not more applicable to the homely but excellent Admiralty judge than to the subject of the present memoir. Seldom have great talents and profound acquirements been arrayed in a more ungainly garb, or more disfigured by an uncouth address. But in retracing his course we shall discover concealed beneath obvious defects of speech, and mien, and manner, the presence of those qualities which entitle their possessor to rank among the best and most able of our lawyers.

Lloyd Kenyon, second son of Lloyd Kenyon, by Jane, daughter of Robert Eddowes, of Eagle Hall, in Cheshire, was born at Greddington, in Flintshire, on the 5th of October, 1732. His father descended from an old Lancashire family, which had migrated into North Wales at the beginning of the century, lived independently on a small income as a country gentleman, and held that brevet rank which is conferred by a commission of the peace. Young Kenyon was sent early to Ruthin grammar-school, which retains a long established reputation of being one of the best classical foundations in the Principality. Here, however, the boy only staid long enough to acquire a little Latin, and no Greek. His father's fortunes did not permit his remaining a sufficient time to drink deep at the well of classical knowledge, for he had three brothers, and was not destined for any of those professions which were then thought to require a matured education. At the age of 14 he was articled to Mr. Tomlinson, an attorney in large practice at Nantwich, in Cheshire. In the office of this

gentleman he laboured assiduously seven years, and became so great a favourite from his shrewdness, diligence, and thrift, that he expected, at the expiration of his clerkship, to be admitted into partnership. Fortunately for the clever lawyer, and for the law itself, these expectations were not realized. The terms could not be arranged, and conscious that he was fitted for better things than the litigation, or conveyancing business, of a little provincial town, Kenyon determined to attempt the higher walk of the profession, and to venture on London. Accordingly in the summer of 1754 he took chambers in the Temple, and was matriculated at Lincoln's Inn. Thirty years afterwards he was unpleasantly reminded of Mr. Tomlinson and Nantwich by having to pass from his seat of justice in the Rolls Court into the witness box of the King's Bench to prove the execution of a deed, to which he had been an attesting witness.

The life of a student shut up with his books in a fourth story of Brick Court does not present many topics of personal detail. Thrown on his own resources, narrow and scanty as they were, Mr. Kenyon knew that he must be the artificer of his fortune, and applied himself with hearty good will to the task. To become a proficient in the science of the law was with him an absorbing passion-"his food, his sleep, his study, and his pastime." Like the venerable judge to whom we have before compared him, he had such a remarkable settled gravity and serious deportment, that even in the youthful part of his life he displayed but little of the youth. Against the coarser vices his correct moral principles proved an easy safeguard, and he had no relish or leisure for dissipation. Dancing appeared to him what Cyril Jackson termed it-" a roundabout way of reaching the bottom of the room;" could his finances have allowed a visit to the ballet he would, with Southey, "have hamstrung those fellows at the Opera ;" to him the reading of Paradise Lost would have been, in the phrase of Fuseli, "a very tough job." Apollo and Littleton, says an old poet, seldom meet in the same brain, and it must be confessed, that however deeply imbued with the spirit of Coke on Littleton, organ of imaginativeness was wanting. He tolerated occasionally, but could not enjoy, the drama. Thus in later days he dropped asleep amid the tumults of drum and trumpet at the first representation of Pizarro, and Sheridan was piqued


to exclaim, "Alas! poor man he fancies himself on the bench!" But in truth the lawyer felt drowsy, because his senses were far away, because he was not on the bench. To a young man of his staid temperament, the scantiness of his purse proved but a slight inconvenience, and he rated highly the habits of frugality and temperance with which it enforced compliance. Far from agreeing with the Roman satirist,

"Haud facile emergunt, quorum virtutibus obstat

Res angusta domi,"

which our great moralist has well rendered

"Slow rises worth by poverty deprest,"

he thought the reverse of this axiom more consistent with the truth, and that it was a serious disadvantage to a young man going to the bar, paradoxical as the remark might appear, to be sufficiently provided for. When asked by a rich friend as to the probable success of his son, he thus pithily gave the fruits of his experience, "Sir, let the young man forthwith spend his fortune, marry, and spend his wife's, and then he may be expected to apply with energy to his profession." In the same spirit Erskine spoke of his wife and children twitching at his gown, and constraining him to exertion; but with all deference to these great authorities, we dare not recommend any of our young friends to hazard the experiment, lest their nerves perchance should be shattered, and their strength of mind broken for ever, beneath the combined pressure of anxiety and privation.

Among the few fellow-students with whom Mr. Kenyon formed an intimacy, from their dining together in hall during term, were two young men of very different habits and dispositions from his own, but united by similarity of studies, and destined to play distinguished parts in after-life,-Dunning and Horne Tooke. "They used generally," says Steevens, "in vacation time to dine together at a small eating-house near Chancery Lane, where their meal was supplied to them at the charge of 74d. a head." "Dunning and myself," added Tooke, when telling this to his friend Steevens, "were generous, for we gave the girl who waited on us a penny a piece, but Kenyon, who always knew the value of warded her with a halfpenny, and sometimes with a promise."



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