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time, from that of his predecessors, with respect to hearing motions? -None, that I am aware of ; except that some motions are made of a speculative nature, which have occupied a great portion of time; that is the diew I took of it.
• Has there been, to your knowledge, any order made in Lord Eldon's time, altering the practice of the Court, as to making motions ?-Not, to my knowledge.
• I observe that, in your former examination, a question was put to you, whether orders had not been made which put an end to the causes : your answer was, I should think so. Can you produce to the Committee any order pronounced upon motion which was likely to put an end to a cause I have made no memorandums of any sort upon that subject.' Rep. p. 54.
As, however, the Committee, from motives of delicacy towards the Chancellor, refused to enter into any such inquiry, and as the House of Commons were persuaded, by the friends of the new plan to agree in this refusal, we are, of course, in this Report, left without the means of pursuing this matter farther. But, admitting the whole increase of interlocutory business contended for, it makes a very trifling alteration on the state of the question, when the whole amount of bills filed is so materially diminished.
Theincrease of Lunatic petitions has also been mentioned. They averaged 48 yearly, it seems, in Lord Hardwicke's time; and now, they amount to 113, and occupy about 25 days in a year, or about 15 days more than they would have done formerly, at the same rate of despatch which the Court now uses. Bankruptcy has also increased greatly; and we find, that there is no material arrear in this department. The exact increase is not to be found in the Reports of the Committee of the Commons. But if bankrupt petitions have increased in number, at the same rate with commissions of bankruptcy, as we find the fees derived from that source by the Chancellor, amounted in 1811 to near 50001., whereas, in 1802, they had been only 17001., we may infer, that this branch of business has trebled since the present Chancellor first held the seals. * It is however admitted, by the practitioners in that court, that from 30 to 35 days are sufficient for despatching bankruptcy ; so that the increase on bankruptcy and lunacy, taken together, cannot, within the last ten years, require an increased labour of above thirty days in
* Here again the Lords' Committee have furnished more accurate accounts. It appears, that the average yearly number of orders in bankruptcy, in Lord Hardwicke's time, was 116, and in Lord Eldon's time, 255; which is a much smaller increase than that deduced in the text from the amount of the fees--and contributes to strengthen the argument accordingly,
the year. Now, these are the only departments in which no arrear is to be found ; and of all the other branches of the Chancellor's duties, (except, indeed, his Cabinet business), it would be difficult to determine which is the most in arrear.
It is in vain then to contend, that the increase of the business is the cause of the arrear. There is no such increase as can account for it; but if there were, it would remain to be proved that as much business is despatched as formerly. If, indeed, this were proved, then we might be allowed to state, that the excess only was left undone. But the ground is shifted in a remarkable manner. When the arrears in Chancery are complained of, the answer is, • There are so many appeals in the
House of Lords.' But if this means any thing, it must be, that the Chancellor sits more days, and more hours each day, in the Lords, than he used formerly to sit. Now the reverse is notoriously the fact ; for fewer causes in the Lords have been decided of late years, than when fewer were entered. We are then told, that it must be so,--for 5 there is such an increase of • business in Chancery.' On looking into that Court, bowever, we find, that there is far less business done, at least by the Chancellor ; and that, if litigation has increased before his Lordship, decision has been confined to the Rolls.
It cannot have failed to strike the reader as a very remarkable circumstance, that the number of bills in Equity should be so much fewer now than they were sixty years ago ;-notwithstanding the increased trade and population of the country, and the more frequent changes of real property.
In what way this fact is to be accounted for, we cannot at present stop to inquire. Undoubtedly, the more systematic form which the science has, since Lord Hardwicke's time, assumed, chiefly through the labours of that great Judge, has diminished the number of disputes on points of Equity. It may also be presumed, that fewer bills are now filed for trifling objects; and that the same, or a lesser number of causes may possibly give rise to more prolonged and troublesome litigation. But let us admit even a considerable increase in Chancery business-an increase much less considerable certainly than that of legal practice because there must be deducted from it the diminution of new and difficult points to be settled, with which Lord Hardwicke had constantly to grapple ;- still we must remark, that all other Courts, except the Chancellor's, have met the increase in their business by redoubled efforts to get through it. Lord Mansfield might have 50 or 60 causes in his paper at Guildhall for one sitting. Lord Ellenbordagh has once had about 600, and seldom less than 350. The business on all the
Circuits has greatly increased, though not in an equal proportion; and the Criminal keeps pace with the Civil courts; and the result of the same change of circumstances is, a prodigious augmentation of business in Term time. Yet we never hear of arrears in Bank excused, because of the large entries at Nisi Prius; or of Remanets at Circuits and
Sittings, because the Newgate Calendar presses heavily at the Old Bailey—or because the Chiefs and Puisne Judges are exhausted during the Term. The work done has kept pace with the work which there was to do.
If the causes have increased in number, the judgments have also increased. And although every one who reflects upon the subject must be sensible that the Common-law Judges, as they are the worst treated of all public functionaries in point of emolument, are likewise the most important and the most indefatigable ;-although it can never be pretended that they can continue to make head against the increase of business, as they have hitherto done, to the admiration of all who observe their proceedings ;--although no man who knows and values the best interests of the country, could hesitate in wishing to see some relief afforded in this quarter ;--yet it is worthy of remark, that the attention of the community has not been drawn towards the enormous increase in the pressure of Common-law business by any complaints of the twelve Judges, or any arrear in their Courts. Those learned and virtuous persons, remote from the strife of faction, and above the obstructions of court intrigues, have been silently labouring under their growing burthens, and it is only when the denial of justice elsewhere, by the arrears of unattempted work, calls the public eye towards them, in the way of contrast, that we find them almost sinking under their load, before they have once suspended their toils to utter a complaint.
The reader may probably by this time have inferred, that the impression produced upon our minds, by the evidence now before the public, is in favour of the opinion of those who ascribe a large part of the arrears and delays complained of to the Noble and Learned Person entrusted with the Great Seal, almost ever since this evil has been accumulating. Whether a more rigorous investigation by the Committee would have tended to weaken this impression, it will be for those to tell, who, out of delicacy towards his Lordship, persisted in refusing all further inquiry, and stopt short at the point where the discussion was becoming most interesting and conclusive. But, taking into our account all the arguments on both sides, and as many of the facts as the labours of the Committee, under the control of its tender and respectful feelings, have placed within our reach, we must state it as our decided opinion, that no in crease of business has been proved, which might not have been almost entirely met by some additional efforts on the part of such Chancellors as, before the accession of Lord Eldon, kept down the arrears both of the Court and the House of Lords. Or if something beyond those efforts had been absolutely required, -a few days additional for Bankruptcy and Lunacy,—or a few appeals requiring the Lords to sit at extra seasons,—it might have been adviseable either to separate Bankruptcy and Lunacy altogether from the Great Seal, with which they have no ne cessary connexion, or to relieve the Chancellor from part of his duties in the House of Lords. But that any project could have arisen, under former Chancellors, of creating a new Judge in Equity, and separating the original judicial business of the Court almost entirely froin the Great Seal, we venture respectfully, and without any invidious comparison, but still most distinctly, to question. We are anxious to disavow any the most remote design of testifying disrespect towards the very distinguished person whose judicial conduct unavoidably fills so large a space in any view that could be taken of the subject. Nothing, indeed, could be more preposterous than such a sentiment; and as to invidious comparisons, there can be no doubt of his supe riority as a lawyer, to all who have held the Seals since the time of Lord Hardwicke. If the greatest learning and subtlety in the science of his profession, with the most perfect purity as a Judge, were all that were required to form an accomplished Chief in a Court of Equity, we should never have heard either of the arrears in Chancery, the transference of business to the Rolls, or of the Vice-Chancellor of England.
* We have been compelled, however unwillingly, to omit all discussion of the plans which have been proposed by Mr Taylor and Mr Leach, because there are no authentie accounts of them before the public; and it is not safe, on such subjects, to trust thc common Parliamentary Reports. The country is certainly greatly indebted to those gentlemen for their exertions on this question. Me Taylor originated the Inquiry in Parliament, and was Chairman of the Committee of the Commons. The general outline of the plan afterwards proposed by him, was to appoint a separate Judge for Bankruptcy. Mr Leach strenuously and ably opposed the new Bill; and suggested an arrangement, by which Bankruptcy should be transferred to the Master of the Rolls, and the Chief Baron relieve his Honor at the Cockpit.
ART. VI. Travels in Various Countries of Europe, Asia, and
Africa. By Edward Daniel Clarke, LL.D. Part the Sea • cond. Greece, Egypt, and the Holy Land. pp. 715. Lon
don. Cadell and Davies. 1312
THE he effects of climate, and even of the seasons, upon the tem
per and character, have been much insisted upon by some ingenious writers. It has even been observed, we understand, that our Spring Number is uniformly far more indulgent than its predecessor; and that we are generally expected to throw aside our ill-humour with our great coats and pelisses. How far this is the case with ourselves, or with others, we do not pretend to determine; but we certainly think it very likely, that å man may be less liable to be put out of temper, while he is treading the pleasant shores of the Mediterranean, than while he is travelling through snow or mud in a Russian pine forest. That Dr Clarke was not in the best humour in the world, during his abode in Russia, has been strongly suspected by some of his readers. Even we, who applauded the frankness of his remarks, sometimes more honest than polite, and more sincere than gentle, have not been sorry to observe, that the testimonies of his irritability are not so frequent in this as in the preceding volume. And really, at first sight, it is not easy to see to what this change can be imputed, except to the influence of a milder climate. The Pachas and Agas of Turkey are surely as little enlightened as the Boors of Muscovy; and: the Russian government, though somewhat short of perfection, is at least as good as that which flourishes at Constantinople. An Autocrat at St Petersburgh may now and then issue inconvenient edicts about the dress of his subjects ; and give them the knout, or send them to Siberia, if they mistake his meaning about the cut of their coats, or the fashion of their wigs.. But we doubt whether the prospect would be at all mended by considering the usual history of a Turkish despot,—who comes out of a cage to mount a throne, and generally maintains his place on it by the liberal use of the axe and the bow-string. Then the manners of the Turks and Arabs are scarcely more polished than those of the Finns and Russians; and the former seem to have just as little abhorrence for filth and vermin, as the latter, The Mussulman, it is true, makes frequent ablutions; but when he comes out of the bath, he puts on his dirty garments again, and lyes down to sleep on his greasy and pestiferous carpet, with an indifference which an Englishman cannot imagine, and a courage which nothing but a belief in predestination could supply..
When we first observed the “good humour of our author in.