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the better; the existence of the book being wholly immaterial,
If book it might be called which book is none,
Or substance might be called that shadow seemed. Some men have lived a while on such compositions ; their whole authorship being confined to writing four lines of an advertisement, and its direct profits, to the payment of a few pounds for the printing of treatises, of which the conciseness is more remarkable than the honesty.
The work of Mr Park on Marine Insurance' is not exposed to all these observations; although unquestionably it was greatly above his, or any other young and inexperienced hand to undertake so large, important, and, in some respects, difficult a subject. Accordingly his book is at the most respectable; it is by no means an excellent performance; and as for its usefulness, although it is the best we have upon the subject, its appearance has in all probability prevented us from having one more adequate to the exigency and importance of the branch of law which it handles. But though a middling work, it had an eminent
The subject was admirably well selected; the execution was par negotio neque supra; and it soon lifted the author to a certain consideration among practitioners. Having now obtained, by Lord Mansfield's favour, the rank of King's
* The circumlocution of the gentleman near me'--the professional gentleman'—the respectable gentleman by whom I am instructed'the other branch of the profession'-are eminently absurd; and how attorneys themselves should be pleased with them, or otherwise than offended at them, it is hard to conceive. In like manner, solicitor' is often used as more grateful to the ear than plain attorney. Not so thought T. Lowton, who, being examined as a witness, when the softspoken counsel asked, “You are a solicitor, sir, I ve,' would answe somewhat grufly—“No, I am an attorney.' In fact, a solicitor is in Chancery—an attorney in courts of law.
counsel, he joined the Northern Circuit, which at that period offered a favourable opening to his business-like talents. Lee had just left it; Wallace was soon after made Solicitor-General, and quitted it also; Scott, afterwards so famous under the name of Lord Eldon, had already given up the eastern half, and only came to Lancaster; Law, afterwards Lord Ellenborough, and Cockell, were rising into the lead ; and Topping was beginning to make himself known, although he then confined his practice to the circuit, nor had come regularly to Westminster Hall. In a short time Mr Park obtained a sufficient share of practice to justify his having taken rank, and he soon after began to lead with Cockell, Law, and Chambre. When Law became Attorney-General in 1802, Mr Park succeeded to the lead, which he retained without a rival, until, in 1815, he was made a puisne judge: for many years, too, he divided that of London and Middlesex with Gibbs and Garrow.
He was a person admirably well qualified for conducting all ordinary business ; any thing which required no great display of eloquence—that is to say, the vast bulk of the advocate's multifarious duties. He was no great lawyer, yet possessed abundant knowledge of the common points that occur at Nisi Prius ; quite enough to become master at consultation with such men as Holroyd, and Richardson, and Littledale, of any thing beyond the matters, chiefly relating to evidence, which occur without notice or the means of preparation; and he had the qualities necessary for taking up at the moment the suggestions of his more learned juniors, in meeting any unexpected objections in court. He had no considerable general knowledge, except that which all men acquire at Nisi Prius—the useful knowledge of men; and, accordingly, he was never for an instant above his audience, when he addressed even a country common jury. To eloquence he made slender pretension ; but he had an easy flow of plain language, which, if it never rose high, nor even was always very correct, yet never sinned against good taste ; while his voice was agreeable, neither low nor loud, and yet not monotonous ; and his action singularly easy, natural, and good. Without any wit, or even humour, he would occasionally make the court laugh; and succeeded in casting ridicule upon an adverse cause or hostile witness, by a broad, laughing, staring kind of treatment, rather set off and borne out by his own good-humoured and animated visage acccompanying his words, than by any thing in those words themselves which could lay claim to affect the hear
Of the pathetic he was, if possible, yet less a master; and could no more touch the feelings than arouse the passions, or excite terror by declamation. But, in the stead of eloquence, he had that in which eloquence mainly consists—the power of being, or of seeming to be, himself strongly affected; he was earnest, anxious, agitated; his client was the best and most amiable of men, and the most injured by far ;-if plaintiff, injured by the advocates of the defendant's conduct_if defendant, by the unexampled atrocity of an action being absolutely brought against him, and dragging the good and dear man into court. The shadow of a suspicion never could cross the jury's mind, that the shadow of a doubt crossed the advocate's, of his case being the very best and clearest that ever came into a court of justice; and such is the magic of real emotion (for in him it could hardly be said to be put on), that a juror who had smiled during half the harangue, while not yet inclosed in the box, at seeing this continually renewed display of confident feeling in the counsel, no sooner came to the book and was sworn,' than he too in his turn, with all his fellows, unless some retired barrister should happen be among the twelve, fell a victim to the earnest manner and confident and wheedling tone of this eminently successful performer.
In dealing with evidence his forte chiefly lay; and he did this with much success, whether in examining witnesses or commenting upon their testimony. Without the extensive talent for examination in chief which distinguished Mr Topping above almost all men, and enabled him to paint, through the mouth of his witnesses, a complete, coherent, and vivid picture of his case, Mr Park could obtain nearly all he wanted; while he almost equalled Mr Topping in his other great and useful faculty of comforting, restoring, and setting up again his witnesses, damaged by the fire of a successful cross-examination. Without the brilliant cross-examination of Mr Garrow, in one particular line perhaps the most remarkable at the bar, he yet could shake an adverse witness very powerfully; and often in the other department of getting round and surprising a witness, or seducing him into admissions, could obtain from him more than Mr Garrow himself could by such a stratagem; of which he was a less skilful master than of fierce assault.
His discretion in the conduct of a cause was great; his judgment being sure, and his command of himself, generally speaking, perfect; and his devotion to the canse—the single object of getting the verdict--absolute and entire. With the Court le always endeavoured to make friends, and for the most part with success; with his clients his decorum was becoming, not harsh or supercilious, nor yet crouching ; with his professional brethren his manner was unexceptionable,—showing neither fear of his superiors, jealousy of his equals, nor haughtiness to his inferiors. His temper, partly through long and painful disease, was occasionally irritable, but never violent, nor ever testy, or even peevish. He
had his little weaknesses, like other men, which at the bar, and still more afterwards on the bench, afforded matter of goodhumoured merriment; nor was he himself apt to be offended when the laugh resounded at his own proper cost and charge.'
As he was in Westminster-Hall, so he proved when he became a judge—excellently suited to the ordinary demands of business; though occasionally found less equal to great occasions, chiefly of a legal kind. He could dispatch the business of a heavy circuit with great satisfaction to both the bar and the suitors; and even in his latter days, when nearly threescore and ten years of age, in trying a great Will cause, * he showed a vigour of body and acuteness of mind, extraordinary certainly for any period of life ;-summing up the evidence, after six or seven days' trial, in an address which lasted with unbroken fluency from mid-day to past midnight. This cause also exhibited one of his worst weaknesses, that of taking an early and unalterable bias, arising from an amiable belief in some party's good faith, or, it might be, a laudable indignation at some other party's misconduct. He suffered this to influence him, and throughout the long trial, made every thing bend to it; and really mistook, perversely though most unintentionally, the drift of the proofs adduced, in order to make the whole chime in with his scheme of the transaction. He was at heart a just man, however; and never suffered himself to be led away by any partiality towards counsel; neither showing the least apprehension of the most powerful leaders, nor the least prejudice in favour of one over another. No advocate, were he ever so powerful in himself, or so popular in his following, could hope to, intimidate him ; none, be he ever so obsequious, might expect to wheedle him into an act of unjust favour.
The opinions of Mr Justice Park were all along those of a high Tory in church and state. He never mingled in politics, and therefore could be only indirectly and accidentally known as a party man. But his religious principles were strong, and the fervour of his devotion great. He seemed to love the Church as by law established, fully as much as he did the religion to preach which it is maintained ; and he regarded a departure from the doctrines and discipline of the hierarchy, with feelings of as much alienation, not to say repugnance, as one from the creed of the dispensation itself. The only occasions, out of the profession, on which he appeared as an author, were connected with his religious or his ecclesiastical feelings. He published a tract exhorting to the Sacrament, called, • The Benefit of Frequent
Wright r. Tortham,
6 and Early Communion;' and he printed, for private circulation, a biographical sketch of an old gentleman, long secretary of Queen Anne's bounty, and chiefly remarkable for that which assuredly obtained for him the somewhat equivocal blessing of so learned a biographer,—his old-fashioned, steadfast, dogged adherence to the Establishment in all its parts, and his aversion to all forms and shades of dissent.
The contemplation of Mr Justice Park's rise and success in life is calculated to be of material service; and to exercise a salutary influence over the minds of by far the most numerous class of well educated society. His talents were not above mediocrity, - unless that he was endowed with natural quickness, and had some power of steady application. He had nothing profound in the cast of his thoughts; nothing remarkably perspicacious ; no fury, no fire, no natural dignity or grace, except what a good voice and an unconstrained 'action bestowed.' He had amassed no store of legal learning ; he had no classical, no scientific attainments; he was without fortune, without rank, without any political or other powerful connexions. Yet did he live as happy and as respectable a life for above half a century that he was in the profession, as any man could desire ; and after having been one of its leading members, he sat for fourand-twenty years on the bench, with the just reputation of being a good judge. He enjoyed large emoluments, high rank, and general respect. To what did he owe these valuable possessions ? To no rare genius, or even great talents, or extraordinary accomplishments, but to prudent conduct; sufficient but not excessive industry; steady attention bestowed upon one object—that object being his profession; from which nothing either in politics, or in literature, or in amusement diverted him; to uniform suavity of demeanour; to constantly making in business the success of his cause the paramount object; and never being drawn aside from the point of his clients' interest by any selfish feeling of feeding his own vanity, or making any sacrifices either to amusement or to display. Such sacrifices, such gratifications, may with more safety be indulged, when the gifts of genius or commanding eloquence accompany the more homely powers which common business requires. Even then they are perilous relaxations from the severity of forensic discretion. But where such rare endowments are wanting, their place being supplied by prudence and by conduct, the ample measure of success which Mr Justice Park reached may be pronounced as of tolerably certain attainment.
Among those whose names have been incidentally mentioned in portraying Mr Justice Park, is Mr Abbott, afterwards Lord Tenterden ;-a man of great legal abilities, and of a reputation