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gress. Bitter denunciations against the President's policy or the President's ministers are seldom heard. Speeches are not often made with the object of impeding the action of Government. That so small and so grave a body as the Senate should abstain from factious opposition to the Government when eniployed on executive functions was perhaps to be expected. It is of course well that it should be so. I confess, however, that it has appeared to me that the Senate has not used the power placed in its hands as freely as the constitution has intended. But I look at the matter as an Englishman, and as an Englishman I can endure no government action which is not immediately subject to Parliamentary control.
Such are the governing powers of the United States. I think it will be seen that they are much more limited in their scope of action than with us; but within that scope of action much more independent and self-sufficient. And, in addition to this, those who exercise power in the United States are not only free from immediate responsibility, but are not made subject to the hope or fear of future judgment. Success will bring no reward, and failure no punishment. I am not aware that any political delinquency has ever yet brought down retribution on the head of the offender in the United States, or that any great deed has been held as entitling the doer of it to his country's gratitude. Titles of nobility they have none; pensions they never give; and political disgrace is unknown. The line of politics would seem to be cold and unalluring. It is cold ;—and would be unalluring, were it not that as a profession it is profitable. In much of this I expect that a change will gradually take place. The theory has been that public affairs should be in the hands of little men. The theory was intelligible while the public affairs were small; but they are small no longer, and that theory, I fancy, will have to alter itself. Great men are needed for the government, and in order to produce great men a career of greatness must be opened to them. I can see no reason why the career and the men should not be forthcoming.
THE LAW COURTS AND LAWYERS OF THE UNITED STATES,
I do not propose to make any attempt to explain in detail the practices and rules of the American Courts of Law. No 'one but a lawyer should trust himself with such a task, and no lawyer would be enabled to do so in the few pages which I shall here devote to the subject. My present object is to explain, as far as I may be able to do so, the existing political position of the country. As this must depend more or less upon the power vested in the hands of the judges, and upon the tenure by which those judges hold their offices, I shall endeavour to describe the circumstances of the position in which the American judges are placed; the mode in which they are appointed; the difference which exists between the national judges and the State judges; and the extent to which they are or are not held in high esteem by the general public whom they serve.
It will, I think, be acknowledged that this last matter is one of almost paramount importance to the welfare of a country. At home in England we do not realize the importance to us in a political as well as social view of the dignity and purity of our judges, because we take from them all that dignity and purity can give as a matter of course. The honesty of our bench is to us almost as the honesty of heaven. No one dreams that it can be questioned or become questionable, and therefore there are but few who are thankful for its blessings. Few Englishmen care to know much about their own courts of law, or are even aware that the judges are the protectors of their liberties and property. There are the men, honoured on all sides, trusted by every one, removed above temptation, holding positions which are coveted by all lawyers. That it is so is enough for us; and as the good thence derived comes to us so easily, we forget to remember that we might possibly be without it. The law courts of the States have much in their simplicity and the general intelligence of their arrangements to recommend them. In all ordinary causes justice is done with economy, with expedition, and I believe with precision. But they strike an glishman at once as being deficient in splendour and dignity, as wanting that reverence which we think should be paid to words falling from the bench, and as being in danger as to that purity, without which a judge becomes a curse among a people, a chief of thieves, and an arch-minister of the Evil One. I say as being in danger ;—not that I mean to hint that such want of purity has been shown, or that I wish it to be believed that judges with itching palms do sit upon the American bench; but because the present political tendency of the State arrangements threatens to produce such danger. We in England trust implicitly in our judges,-not because they are Englishmen, but because they are Englishmen carefully selected for their high positions. We should soon distrust them if they were elected by universal suffrage from all the barristers and attorneys practising in the different courts; and so elected only for a period of years, as is the case with reference to many of the State judges in America. Such a mode of appointment would, in our estimation, at once rob them of their prestige. And our distrust would not be diminished if the pay accorded to the work were so small that no lawyer in good practice could afford to accept the situation. When we look at a judge in court, venerable beneath his wig and adorned with his ermine, we do not admit to ourselves that that high officer is honest because he is placed above temptation by the magnitude of his salary. We do not suspect that he, as an individual, would accept bribes and favour suitors if he were in want of money. But, still, we know as a fact that an honest man,
other good article, must be paid for at a high price. Judges and bishops expect those rewards which all men win who rise to the highest steps on the ladder of their profession. And the better they are paid, within measure, the better they will be as judges and bishops. Now, the judges in America are not well paid, and the best lawyers cannot afford to sit upon the bench.
With us the practice of the law and the judicature of our law courts are divided. We have Chancery barristers and Common Law barristers; and we have Chancery Courts and Courts of Common Law. In the States there is no such division. It prevails neither in the national or federal courts of the United States, nor in the courts of any of the separate States. The code of laws used by the Americans is taken almost entirely from our English laws,-or rather, I should say, the federal code used by the nation is so taken, and also the various codes of the different States, -as each State takes whatever laws it may think fit to adopt. Even the precedents of our courts are held as precedents in the American courts, unless they chance to jar against other decisions given specially in their own courts with reference to cases of their own. In this respect the founders of the American law proceedings have shown a conservative bias and a predilection for English written and traditional law, which are much at variance with that general democratic passion for change by which we generally presume the Americans to have been actuated at their revolution. But though they have kept our laws, and still respect our reading of those laws, they have greatly altered and simplified our practice. Whether a double set of courts for Law and Equity are or are not expedient, either in the one country or in the other, I do not pretend to know. It is, however, the fact that there is no such division in the States.
Moreover there is no division in the legal profession. With us we have barristers and attorneys. In the States the same man is both barrister and attorney; and, which is perhaps in effect more startling, every lawyer is presumed to undertake law cases of every description. The same man makes your will, sells your property, brings an action for you of trespass
, against your neighbour, defends you when you are accused of murder, recovers for you two-and-sixpence, and pleads for you in an argument of three days' length when you claim to be the sole heir to your grandfather's enormous property. I need not describe how terribly distinct with us is the difference between an attorney and a barrister, or how much further than the poles asunder is the future Lord Chancellor, pleading before the Lords Justices at Lincoln's Inn, from the gentleman who at the Old Bailey is endeavouring to secure the personal liberty of the ruffian who a week or two since walked off with all your
silver spoons. In the States no such differences are known. A law. yer there is a lawyer, and is supposed to do for any client any work that a lawyer may be called on to perform. But though this is the theory, and as regards any difference between attorney and barrister is altogether the fact, the assumed practice is not, and cannot be maintained as regards the various branches of a lawyer's work. When the population was smaller, and the law cases were less complicated, the theory and the practice were no doubt alike. As great cities have grown up, and properties large in amount have come under litigation, certain lawyers have found it expedient and practicable to devote themselves to special branches of their profession. But this, even up to the present time, has not been done openly as it were, or with any declaration made by a man as to his own branch of his calling. I believe that no such declaration on his part would be in accordance with the rules of the profession. He takes a partner, however, and thus attains his object ;- or more than one partner, and then the business of the house is divided among them according to their individual specialities. One will plead in
court, another will give chamber-counsel, and a third will take that lower business which must be done, but which first-rate men hardly like to do.
It will easily be perceived that law in this way will be made cheaper to the litigant. Whether or no that may be an unadulterated advantage, I have my doubts. I fancy that the united professional incomes of all the lawyers in the States would exceed in amount those made in England. In America every man of note seems to be a lawyer, and I am told that any lawyer who will work may make a sure income. If it be so, it would seen that Americans per head pay as much or more for their law as men do in England. It may be answered that they get more law for their money. That may be possible, and even yet they may not be gainers. I have been inclined to think that there is an unnecessarily slow and expensive ceremonial among us in the employment of barristers through a third party; it has seemed that the man of learning, on whose efforts the litigant really depends, is divided off from his client and employer by an unfair barrier, used only to enhance his own dignity and give an unnecessary grandeur to bis position. I still think that the fault with us lies in this direction. But I feel that I am less inclined to demand an immediate alteration in our practice than I was before I had seen any of the American courts of law.
It should be generally understood that lawyers are the leading men in the States, and that the governance of the country has been almost entirely in their hands ever since the political life of the nation became full and strong. All public business of importance falls naturally into their hands, as with us it falls into the hands of men of settled wealth and landed property. Indeed, the fact on which I insist is much more clear and defined in the States than it is with us. In England the lawyers also obtain no inconsiderable share of political and municipal power. The latter is perhaps more in the hands of merchants and men in trade than of any other class; and even the highest seats of political greatness are more open with us to the world at large than they seem to be in the States to any that are not lawyers. Since the days of Washington every President of the United States has, I think, been a lawyer, excepting General Taylor. Other Presidents have been generals, but then they have also been lawyers. General Jackson was a successful lawyer. Almost all the leading politicans of the present day are lawyers. Seward, Cameron, Welles, Stanton, Chase, Sumner, Crittenden, Harris, Fessenden, are all lawyers. Webster, Clay, Calhoun, and Cass were lawyers. Hamilton and Jay were