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1.–SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND CHARACTER OF
MR. JUSTICE MAULE.* THIS remarkable man was the son of a respectable
apothecary at Tottenham. He was sent at the proper age to Trinity College, Cambridge, where as an undergraduate he went very little into the Society of the University and occasioned some surprise at coming out as Senior Wrangler in the year 1810. From Cambridge he proceeded to Lincoln's Inn, and having kept the proper number of Terms without the occurrence of anything extraordinary, was duly called to the Bar by that Society. He chose for his circuit the Oxford, and attended the Gloucester and Herefordshire Sessions. He also for many years went the Brecon Welsh Circuit. It must be confessed that his success at the Bar was by no means adequate to his talents. His having been Senior Wrangler appeared to be of no weight in his favour in the eyes of the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire attorneys. For years he diligently attended at the Gloucester Assizes and Sessions, with very small profit. And it must have been very mortifying to him to see the success of other barristers far his inferior in all respects. He was a good lawyer besides an excellent classical scholar and a good linguist. That such a man should compete in vain with the shallow frequenters of Gloucester Sessions was lamentable indeed. On the Brecon Circuit alone was he successful. There the nature of the practice brought Maule's refined arguments and obstinate adherence to any points he made into prominence and he had a fair share of the business. On
* The Editor is indebted to the courtesy of a very eminent lawyer of the present day for the gift of this Article, which was written by a contemporary of Mr. Justice Maule.
the Oxford Circuit his briefs continued very scarce, and he used to spend his time in mere idleness. But he made the acquaintance of a co-circuiteer which soon grew into close friendship and completely changed his character. This was H. E., afterwards Ld. H. Until Maule made this acquaintance he had gone little into society and lived quietly. But H. E. was a most agreeable companion, and soon obtained a complete ascendency over Maule, being a man of “wit and pleasure” about town, indulging in every description of profligacy, and conversing with all the wit and pleasantry of men of his class. Maule was soon his satellite, and both in town and on the circuit they were firm friends and companions in every sort of dissipation. From that time Maule's conversation, although full of good stuff, abounded in licentiousness, and continued so for many years.
Maule was never in full business on the Oxford Circuit, but in London he by degrees got a good deal of London commercial business, and became standing Counsel to several of the great companies. In the year 1840 he was made a Judge to the great surprise of many people. [On March 6th, 1838] he had by his carelessness set fire to Nos. 13 and 14, Paper Buildings, in) the Temple, which led to the loss of a great deal of valuable property, books and papers. It was believed by many that he had caused the fire by going to bed in a state of intoxication, but this is false as has been fully proved by one who was in his company on the evening the fire occurred. He was accustomed to read in bed at night, and that dangerous habit most probably caused the fire. Maule made an excellent Judge both at Nisi Prius and in Banc. His obiter remarks on a case while arguing are full of learning and acuteness. His judgments are prosound and exhaustive and very original, and his reasoning was admirable and unanswerable. When presiding over a
case at Nisi Prius nothing could be more clear and cogent than his summing up to the jury. In criminal cases he was patient and luminous. In his demeanour to Counsel he was, generally speaking, courteous and obliging, though sometimes caustic and keenly sarcastic, and when he thought an argument was ridiculous, and that Counsel deserved to be told so, nothing could be inore successful than his dissection of such an argument, and on such occasions he shewed that he had a genuine relish for the humorous, and indeed he had a very high talent for sarcasm. These qualities rendered his judicial performances most entertaining, and many men made a point of being present in the Common Pleas during Term in order to hear his shrewd, witty, and comical remarks. In private life he was a charming companion, full of curious information and sometimes learned. In a large party he was sometimes silent and almost morose. It was when the other guests were one or two that he shone, and the variety and extent of his knowledge, and his recollection of striking anecdotes, and his own keen and lively remarks made him a delightful associate. He had fought in early life a duel with Mr. B., the Counsel. Maule, who was sitting behind him in the Court of King's Bench, made some observation which raised a laugh, and which had nothing to do with Mr. B. But he fancied it had, and therefore addressed a very strong observation to Maule, so strong that no apology could be offered for it, so they went out and fought. To say the truth, Maule was rather proud at having fought a duel and dwelt on the occurrence with great complacency in after life. Maule had the reputation of being a very dissipated man, but the fact was he was proud of it, and was himself the inventor of many of the vicious exploits narrated by him. He had the pernicious, dangerous ambition of uniting the character of a roué to that of a scholar and a mathematician. “He'd shine a Tully and a Wilmot too,” and he rather overacted the part of roué. During the latter part of his life he spent most of his time at the Union Club. His vigour, ability, and elasticity of mind continued unaltered to the close of his career, but his bodily strength and vigour had sadly decreased. It was a melancholy sight to see him arrive at the Court of Common Pleas wrapped up as it were in swaddling clothes, and making for the fire to warm his withered hands, by the side of which he sat shivering till they had robed him. The moment he took his seat on the Bench he became an altered creature. His questions and remarks were as shrewd and penetrating as in his days of health and youth.
II.-AN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION IN THE
THE eloquent and masterly address lately delivered by
Lord Russell of Killowen before the American Bar Association at Saratoga Springs has imparted to the subject of International Arbitration an historical interest, which was perhaps wanting to it before his Lordship availed himself of the opportunity to show that the subject had a venerable history of its own, the traces of which have been preserved in the pages of one of the inost famous historians of ancient Greece (Thucydides). His Lordship has further proceeded in the same address to illustrate the views of an enlightened Paganism on this subject, as reinforced in Christian times, during which the peace of the world was frequently saved from rupture by the arbitrament of the Pope, as the Head of Christendom, who after the disruption of the Roman Empire, became for a time the interpreter and almost the embodiment of International Law. His Lordship, however, has been too modest to say anything about the example which England may be justly said to have set to Europe on an occasion when the parties interested were reluctant to submit their dispute to either Pope or Emperor, and when Henry the Second of England was called upon to arbitrate between the Kings of Sevile and of Navarre. This Arbitration was of the first importance to Christendom, as the result of it was to lay the foundations of a peace, which was a requisite preliminary towards the successful combination of the forces of the Christian Powers of Spain against the Supremacy of the Moors. It was not, however, until the rival kingdoms of Castile and of Aragon had become consolidated in one monarchy in the latter years of the fifteenth century that the Moors were finally expelled from Spain.
There was, however, on the occasion of Lord Russell's address no reason to fear, that, if his Lordship had spoken freely on this subject, his utterance would have been held by his audience to savour of boastfulness, for our cousins on the other side of the Atlantic have a common share with ourselves in the inheritance of Fame, which is the appanage of the descendants of the men who lived in the twelfth century under the legal institutions of the sagacious King Henry II. of England. It is accordingly with a firm conviction, that our transatlantic cousins will sympathise with my endeavour, that I have ventured on the present occasion to supply, with my pen, what Lord Russell would possibly have thought it superfluous to allude to orally amidst a wealth of subjects of a more immediate interest to his audience.
I might with good reason have spoken of King Henry the Second of England on this occasion as a great King, for he was an undeniable artificer of England's greatness, inasmuch as he built up both a financial and a judicial system which have endured to the present day, and,