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tions. Ever fresh and lively, we never tire of reading them ; and we hail their re-appearance as old favourites. They unite every possible attraction, and are lively and amusing, yet with all the truth of history; full of anecdote, story, and curious incident, and all as accurate, as brilliant, and piquant. For it is one of the characteristics of Mr. Hayward's writing that he is as accurate as he is elegant and entertaining, and there is no writer of the day who unites more critical correctness with such liveliness and brilliancy. Moreover, he has, it is easy to see, read and thought much on the subjects which come within the scope of history, and though he does not obtrude his opinions, and they are always expressed briefly, they are always just and sound, and marked by great good sense. Among the subjects of the present volume the British Parliament, its History and Eloquence; Curiosities of German Archives; “ England and France, their national qualities, manners, morals, and society”; “ Lanfrey's Napoleon"; “ Vicissitudes of Families”; Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland.” In the first Mr. Hayward traces in the most attractive way, with copious store of anecdote, and illustrations, the course of Parliamentary history from the age of the Tudors to the reign of Victoria, from the time of Sir Thomas More to the days of Palmerston and Peel. The first article may be described as the History of Parliament in the form of anecdote. And Mr. Hayward, frankly says:
“Why might there not be an anecdotical History of England, in which the salient points should be placed in broad relief by memorable sayings, and striking anecdotes, by well chosen traits of valour, virtue, patriotism, eloquence, and wit? There is no pleasanter mode of conveying knowledge, no surer mode of durably impressing it. The most fugitive attention is caught by anecdotes, the most volatile mind retains them so long as it retains anything, and none but the shallowest will miss the moral they point, the reflections they suggest, and the conclusions they justify."
Such is the character of Mr. Hayward's Essay on the British Parliament, its History and Eloquence,” which teems with interesting incident and anecdote, from the earliest times to the present, and tells the history of Parliament in a light, pleasant, picturesque way, well calculated to attract persons and impress everything on the memory. Yet it is correct as the work of an accomplished student of history, and one who has had the education of a lawyer, and it is accurate as it is picturesque and entertaining, and while the reader fancies he is only being amused he is in reality having his memory refreshed in a delightfully agreeable
way by the accomplished writer who has beguiled the hours, so delightfully and refreshed his wearied mind. Thus, in a few clear sentences, the result of much research, an accurate impression presented by the “Commons” in Parliament as they started and as they stand
“ The obscure and unhonoured state from which they emerged, reveals the dirt and seaweed whence proud Venus rose.' The burgesses were summoned solely to vote subsides. They prostrated themselves like slaves before the crown. They crouched like menials and bent uncovered like vassals owing suit and service before the lords. They received wages from their constituents. The right of representation was regarded an oppressive burden, from which the smaller boroughs frequently petitioned to be free." All which is historically true, and is illustrated by many an amusing anecdote, and might be by many more, and even, in our time, for Mr. Hayward says, with equal truth
“The corruption of members of Parliament in the last century by open bribery, was, it seems, as common as the corruption of constituences by bribery in more reeent times. Unfortunately, the inherent corruption or perversity of human nature is such that it has proved so difficult to convince the people at large of the wickedness of selling votes as of killing a pheasant or a hare. In some of the largest constituences, Liverpool for one, at the last general election, independent electors might have been bought by the hundred at five shillings a head.”
And we have seen still more recent disclosures of corruption at the late elections. Speaking of bribery to members, Mr. Hayward says:
“Mr. Massey has found no trace of it, after the Grenville administration. Up to that period, he says, money was received and expected by members from the minister whose measure they supported, apparently without any consciousness of infamy, very much in the same manner as the voters in certain boroughs. After mentioning the power of parliamentary votes in the middle of last century, Mr. Hayward goes on to say :
“ The latest of these pecuniary bargains, those which come nearest to our time, were no longer conducted by the leader. They fell within the province of the patronage of the Secretary of the Treasury, or 'whip'; and though the boldest would hardly now risk the offer of a bank note, it would be an hypocritical affectation of party to assert that modern legislators are no longer open to a bribe. The Secretary of the Treasury in Lord Grey's administraton used to boast that he had promised between 250 and 300, peerages, or promotions to the peerage, besides baronetcies, to ensure the passing of the Reform Bill. And it is related to the credit of a successor, that on a discontented supporter objecting t the ministerial policy in his hearing, he took him aside, and asked him bluntly, 'what do you mean?' The late Charles Butler used
to say that the votes of O'Connell's original ‘tail' might have been had for £ 10 a vote, or £200 the session, provided the money was laid before them in gold.”
And this in the Reformed Parliament. And by the very men who used to pass bills against bribery at elections!
The article is a history of parliamentary oratory. In our Parliament, observes Mr. Hayward, the ages of oratory follow inunbroken succession. Sir Thomas More's wit, readiness, and eloquence were invariably recognized by his contemporaries. Of a saying of Lord Bacon, it was said, “The fear of every man that heard him,was lest he should make an end.' Clarendon's pages teem with proof that the period included in his history was marked by debating ability of the highest order. The leading speakers were earnest, plain, and practical, rather than rhetorical and declamatory." No one spoke more powerfully though plainly than the murdered king, and Mr. Hayward give some specimens of his
dignified eloquence.' He also gives specimens of the grand yet touching eloquence of Strafford-in his last pleading for his life. Passing in review the eras of the Restoration and the Revolution, Mr. Hayward observes, that there are no remains of the speeches of Lord Somers, nor does it indeed appear there was anything in his speeches to care for. It was otherwise of Lord Bolingbroke, for one of whose speeches Mr. Pitt so earnestly yearned. But then as he dictated his writings, it is probable, as Mr. Hayward observes, that his works much resemble his speeches. Mr. Hayward then passes on to Walpole and Pitt, and then comes to Burke, whom he describes as indisputably the greatest of modern orators. Then he comes to Pitt and Fox, and then to the long “cycle or epoch,” as he calls it, of Lord Palmerston, who as he had seen Pitt and Fox, and was known to those who are now living. He divides the Palmerstonian era into three eras, taking Canning, Brougham. and Plunket for the first; Sir Robert Peel Lord Derby, and Sheil for the second; Mr. Disraeli, Mr. Bright, and Mr. Gladstone for the third. “ Plunket," he says, never surpassed as a debater. He often rose without effort to the loftiest heights of oratory." In another article on “the Lord Chancellor of Ireland,” Mr. Hayward comes again upon Lord Plunket, and his description glows with the fervour of his admiraration for that consummate orator. Neither Grattan nor Curran, he says, equalled Plunket in the combination of chasteness, and purity, with splendour, intensity and power. It was the opinion of Sir George Lewis, he adds, “that Plunket came nearer to Demosthenes than any modern orator." The article on “ Curiosities of German Archives” contains specimens of curious and whimsical illustrations of German life and manners
of the last two or three centuries, taken from a collection of old records, which may, says Mr. Heywood, be often consulted with advantage, whether the object be to verify a disputed point in history, to throw light on manners, to gratify a taste for the wonderful, or to find new proof of the adage that “ truth is stranger than fiction." “ The Essay on England and France: their Natural Qualities, Manners, Morals, and Society," is a very brilliant article on a subject, on which Mr. Hayward is one of the few men qualified to write, evidently well acquainted with French and English society, literature, and the best society in both countries. In the course of the essay, alluding to the decline of conversation, he observes, “ Lord Grenville used to say that he was always glad to meet lawyers at a dinner party, because he then felt sure that some good subject would be rationally discussed." Lawyers have degenerated, however, says Mr. Hayward, since then, for now there is in all societies a decided want of “ 'good talk." “ The Essay on Lanfrey's Napoleon " is a terrible exposure of the first Emperor, of which the text may be taken to be this sentence: “What man, since the creation of the world, has combined so much that is mean, petty, wicked, and reprehensible, with such lofty ambition, such comprehensiveness of view, such grasp of mind, such superhuman energy, such versatility and universality of genius and capacity." The scope of M. Lanfrey's work is, as Mr. Hayward says, to disabuse the public mind of a cherished error as to the greatness of the great Emperor, and to show that he was morally mean and mentally very much overrated; and Mr. Hayward does not conceal that he heartily concurs with his author. The article is an eloquent protest against the “ modern school of hero worshippers, whose sole pretention of merit is success,” and with whom the means are little or nothing, the results everything. The article is a skilful dissection of Napoleon's character and career. The conclusion reached is that the effect of his sustaining self sufficiency combined with his astounding energy and activity was to allow no independent field for action or development of any high order or capacity or talent. The race of court functionaries were stunted in their growth, morally and intellectually. The eminent jurists to whom the completion of the code was entrusted would have done far better without his intervention. M. Lanfrey shows that to give him the credit of having planned or initiated the work is altogether an error. There is no subject on which there is more misconception than as to the merits of the code Napoleon. Savigney and Austin agree as to its great defects, and they are entirely owing to its hasty execution under the peremptory order
of the Emperor, who was eager to acquire the fame of its publication. Its materials were already prepared on the works of the great French jurists and the ordinances of a long succession of great Chancellors. Nothing in the code is due to Napoleon, except its defects, and they are entirely owing to himself. This is the opinion of Mr. Hayward, a highly competent judge. Mr. Hayward very truly says, in his spirited article on “Lanfrey's Napoleon :"-" The eminent jurists to whom the completion of the code was entrusted would have done far better without his intervention. M. Lanfrey shews that to give him the credit of having planned or initiated the work is altogether a mistake.” The most authentic accounts of the preparation of the code fully confirm this, and show that it is quite a mistake to imagine that the French code was really due to Napoleon, or that it does him anything but discredit. The article on “ The Vicissitudes of Families,” treating of English, Scotch, and Irish nobility, is exceedingly interesting, and well written. Mr. Hayward does not forget his own profession, and mentions that “according to Mr. Foss, the author of the • Grandeur of the Law,'—(no doubt there is here a clerical error, and it should be “according to Mr. Foss, the author of “ Lives of the Judges," and Mr. Phillips, the author of the “Grandeur of the Law,")-a diligent and scrupulous antiquary, between seventy and eighty peerages, including the premier dukedom, have been founded by the legal profession." “ In the olden times," adds Mr. Hayward, “a forensic career afforded no presumption whatever of a plebeian organ. So exclusive was the Bar that there exists an ordinance countersigned by Bacon closing its portals—the Inns of Court-against all but gentlemen entitled to coat armours. It must not, therefore, hastily be inferred that every family sprung from law or commerce had a mean beginning.” Enough, however, has been said to show that there is a choice of subjects for educated men of any class, and especially for lawyers.
“ THE CABINET LAWYER.”—This is the twenty-fourth edition of the work, and that simple fact is enough to show its practical value and utility. It is a • Popular Digest of the Laws of England,' civil, criminal, and constitutional, intended for practical u je and general information. The author, in his preface to the first edition, observed that litigation arises less from uncertainty than from the absence of legal information, which ought to be within the reach of every member of the community. “For of the cases brought into courts of law, a large proportion are referable t clear and settled rules of law, of which the parties ought to