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James I., under the following circumstances, which may be seen at length in the very interesting evidence* of Mr Whateley, Q.C., then (June 1854) Treasurer of the Inner Temple, who stated that he was instructed by the Benchers to afford the Commissioners every information which they could ask for, and was within their power. From the earliest information afforded by their archives, appears that The Men of the Law," as they were called, have occupied the Temple since the reign of Edward II.—that is, for nearly six centuries from the year 1315, when, on the dissolution of the Knights Templars, they made a composition with the Earl of Lancaster, to whom the Temple had escheated, for a lodging there. On the Earl's being executed for treason, the Temple was granted by Edward II. to the Earl of Pembroke, and afterwards conferred on the Hospitallers of St John by Act of Parliament, and afterwards became vested in the Crown. Each of the two societies paid a fee-farm rent of £10 from the reign of Edward II. to that of James I. In this latter reign, the Templars seem to have been alarmed because, being unable to show any grant for their property, some one suggested that they had no title: whereupon they petitioned the king successfully for a grant; "upon which the Templars made the king a most magnificent present of a stately cup of gold, weighing 2004 ounces of pure gold." This grant, however, Mr Whateley says, "gives us nothing: it is literally an extinguishment of rights, if anything at all. It is a payment on one hand, and receipt on the other; and the grant is in fee, for the maintenance and education of the Professors of the Law, and the students. I do not," continues this gentleman, "by this mean that it throws any doubt on the duty of the Inns of Court, but it is a very different thing whether it was given by the Crown for a special purpose, or whether, being their own property, they got this grant of confirmation. I think our Parliament ought to be available for the education of students." And he proves satisfac
* Report, p. 55 et seq.
torily that a very large proportion, if not the greater part of the existing Temples, were from time to time built at their own private charges, by the members of the Inns. There was originally only one Inn; but in the reign of Henry VI., "the men of the law were so multiplied, and grew into so great a bulk, as could not conveniently be regulated in one society, nor was the old hall capable for so great a number: whereupon they were forced to divide themselves, and built a new hall." It was not, however, till the year 1732 that they divided and set out by metes and bounds their respective property, as existing at the present day. The charter of James I., dated 6th August 1608, is set out at length, in English, in the Appendix. The charter recites that the Inns of the Inner and Middle Temple, London, being two out of these four colleges, the most famous of all Europe," were dedicated to the study of the law, and contains this provision, "which said Inns we strictly command shall serve for the entertainment and education of the students and professors of the law residing in the same Inns, for ever."
Judging from the mass of evidence submitted to the Commissioners, the management of these Inns must be a matter both onerous and responsible to those intrusted with it-namely, the benchers, on whom devolves the maintenance and regulation of the chambers (of which the Inner Temple has, it seems, no fewer than 280 sets), letting them, keeping them in repair, and the churches and chapels, the libraries, and the halls where the Bench, Bar, and students dine daily during each term ; and all the arrangements respecting the admission and calling to the Bar of students, and deciding judicially all matters requiring such interference. There is no salary or advantage whatever attached to the office of Bencher, with the exception of a sum of £100 attached to the Treasurer for the time being while there are a certain limited number of chambers to which the Benchers succeed for life, according to seniority; but in the Inner
Ibid., Appendix, 207 et seq.
"The apparently large amount of rents received by Lincoln's Inn and the Inner Temple," say the Commissioners, "and of rents and dividends received by the Middle Temple, might lead to an exaggerated estimate of the resources derivable from the property of these bodies. The necessary outgoings, however, incidental to property of this peculiar character, are very large, and leave but a limited net income to the Inns of Courts." + Thus we learn that Lincoln's Inn is encumbered by a debt of £40,000, incurred in respect of erecting a new hall and library; the Inner Temple got out of debt, after long-continued heavy expenditure, for the first time in Christmas 1853; but it has been ascertained by their architect, Mr Smith, that "from £100,000 to £120,000, at least, will have to be laid out in replacing churches that must come down, or they will come down of themselves.' + Similar is the position of the Middle Temple, "in consequence of the great age, and consequent dilapidation of many portions of their buildings."§ A necessarily heavy item in the expenditure of all the Inns is that in respect of the dinners supplied each day in the terms to benchers, barristers, and students; the latter two obtaining, for some two shillings, a dinner, including wine, which could not be obtained elsewhere under at least six shillings. We cordially concur
Lincoln's Inn. £18,242 12 3 14,345 3
£8343 4 8
8717 9 3
£3,897 9 1
*£374 4 7
with the Commissioners in what they say on this subject :
"We believe that considerable advantage might be made to accrue to the profession generally, and especially to the students, from their dining together not unfrequently in the hall. It has become all the more important to provide opportunities for this social intercourse, since, owing to a change in the habits of the times, the members of the Inns of Court have to a great degree ceased to reside in their precincts or vicinity. The barristers, also, of the CommonLaw and Equity Courts no longer meet at Westminster Hall." If, by any judicious retrenchments in other directions, the number and frequency of these dinners could be increased, we should consider it a most worthy expenditure of the revenues of the Inns. It would tend to generate a home feeling and esprit de corps on the part of the students to introduce them to each other at a critical period of life, and tend to the formation of friendships valuable throughout their
* Excess of expenditure over income. + Report, 49.
+ Report, 6, § Ibid., 7.
education suggested in our Report, might be obtained by a moderate additional fee imposed on the students, which, as directly applicable to the promotion of their education, could not be objected to.”*
We have now placed our readers in possession of the leading features of this very interesting Blue Book, which affords them materials for arriving at just conclusions on the highly important subject to which it refers. Nothing, indeed, can be otherwise that relates in any serious degree to the Bar of England-a body whose members, from time to time, have reflected true glory upon their country and her institutions. God forbid that the standard of excellence aimed at by its members, should ever be lowered either morally or intellectually. If mean and sordid impulses and objects are henceforth to be thus actuating the mass of students and practitioners, the day will ere long arrive in which a scholar and a gentleman will scorn to reckon himself among its members. Causes are now in operation, as is known to every practical professional man, very dis
advantageous for high-minded candidates for success. To some of them we have already adverted, and may perhaps do so on some future occasion more fully and distinctly. One of those causes is calculated to sap the independence of the Bar, and to lower its tone of moral feeling. Another is likely ere long to extinguish the race of great lawyers, by annihilating the schools in which such have heretofore been trained, and also discouraging men from making adequate attempts to become such. Let no one, however, despair; for although the able Commissioners whose labours we have introduced to our readers, express an opinion in which we think no one else will concur-that "an industrious and accomplished barrister is, under the existing system, sure of ultimate success"--(of which success it may be that they form a very moderate estimate)- nevertheless we should lament to see the educated intellect and chivalrous honour of the country tamely surrender the noble profession of the Bar to those who would turn it into a discreditable trade.
WET DAYS AT BRYN CEFN.
THE good Dr Arnold was very angry with poor Izaak Walton, and the strongest grounds for his anger were furnished by the fact that he "fished through the civil wars." It was most unpatriotic of the patriarch of the angle to wander among peaceful scenes, captivated himself by rural nature, and captivating trout by his ingenious baits, while Englishmen were cutting each other's throats as hard as they could from one end of the country to the other. He ought to have taken, said the historian of Rome, one side or the other. We think so too we think he ought to have been with the
"Gallants that fought for the crown,"
for old Izaak was a gentleman and man of taste, and could have had few sympathies with the Roundheads; but that he preferred attracting speckled bellies to breaking those round heads, was no great fault after all, for most probably he had not studied the merits of the case, and was unwilling to do so, lest he should be forced to hate a party of his countrymen. For hate is a necessary element of civil though not of other wars, and every good man does well to keep it out of his heart. Less excuse, perhaps, would have been found for those who were summering in the peaceful valleys of North Wales, doing and talking, sketching, fighting over Mr Ruskin and the pre-Raphaelites with a fierceness which, had the real subjects of dispute been present, would have covered them as thickly with friendly and hostile darts, as the body of Patroclus was covered by Greek and Trojan javelins, when all the while the first reverberations of the great Russian war were echoing through Europe, and the silence even of those peaceful valleys was broken by the booming of the cannon of Bomarsund.
But all men are not in the army or the navy, though every man ought to have a heart, arm, and eye for his country's service if need be; and having no vocation to the Crimea or the Aland Isles, it rather vexes us to
read and hear diurnally of the heroic deeds and sufferings of others; not that we envy them their wellearned laurels, but that we have what the French call "l'amour propre blessé." We feel infinitely small in comparison with them, merely talking over their deeds while they are doing; and accordingly last summer we preferred hiding our heads in the wilderness, and dreaming out the days, with half-shut eyes, in the lap of mother Nature.
But all summer days are not fair days, especially in Wales, which is as well entitled as Scotland or Ireland to the old story of the traveller, staying at an inn, who remarked, "It always rains in this country, does it not?" and the landlady replied, with apologetic indignation, "Indeed no, sir sometimes it snows." We, at all events, have no right to complain; for though our first fortnight at Bryn Cefn was continuously wet, the last fortnight was fine, and the three-peaked Snowdon stood for that length of time in undraped muscularity, like Hercules in a sculpture gallery. This is, we believe, quite an exceptional state of things, for Nature, always most coy when she is most beautiful, and wrapping her cloudy coverings round her in terror when an artist would look at her, like Diana surprised by Acteon in her bath, is of the coyest possible character in that compact group of mountains known by geologists under the name of Snowdonia. After tantalising us all, however, for a fortnight, sometimes wholly wrapt up, sometimes, like a Turkish lady, showing her face, and then in a moment vesting it in a fit of shyness, she at last rewarded our innocent admiration, and stood revealed before us, appeared to the bewildered Gyges. as the queen of Lydia of Herodotus It was precisely the case so well described by Schiller in his Erwartung, when speaking of solitude on a lovely evening
"Der Gürtel ist von jedem Reiz gelöst Und alles Schöne zeigt sich mir entblösst."
And Nature well may be chary of showing herself in Snowdonia. This country is the Italy of the north, if Scotland is the Switzerland. How so? Not as to climate, for although we had a fortnight of Tuscan weather, yet we were singularly blessed. But in this does the resemblance hold good, that Italy, while, like other countries of Europe that the artist loves, it has great scenes with vast horizons and sweeping lines, yet, unlike them, it has much more, an inexhaustible store of little pictures-exquisite bits of six feet square or thereabouts furnishing endless studies, so that the artist may set up his easel anywhere, and without stirring from the spot from April to November, merely turning himself, fill his folio with water studies enough to line the Royal Academy's large room, each differing much from its fellows in form, colour, or chiaroscuro. Of course, the spot must be selected, and this will scarcely be an exaggeration. You are, we suppose, in Italy. You have perhaps all at once beside you a little classic fountain, and a succession of picturesque bays, and girls drawing water thence; a little shrine of the Madonna with a candle; a bit of Roman ruin with a wild vine gadding over it; a rock with cactus and wild fig; a wood a little farther off with a hint of the sweetest water that ever held a naïad; a broken aqueduct with a raw umber-coloured plain; a lolling beggar-not one of our puling, whining mendicants, but a happy son of the soil, rather glad than otherwise that his legs are gone, because he has every excuse for basking and doing nothing; and if you sit still, more figures pass which may be detained for a trifle, because they are only too glad to be idle even if not paid for it: a friar begging for his convent; a pilgrim; a shepherd, who sits at Rome as a model for Saturn; a woman with a roll of linen half on, half off her head; a vine-dresser, looking like one of those dear brigands (as a very young lady would say); a cow-driver, with some of those gentle mouse-coloured cattle with wide horns, or the real original white bull
of Clitumnus; and, besides these figures, a succession of fine morning, noon, evening, and night effects in sky and earth, which would give endless variety even to the same scene. I do not think we are far wrong as to the resources of Italian landscape.
But we are in North Wales. I know of some such favoured spots there. That fern alone, with its folds and turns, so very, very difficult to draw, would furnish a trial of skill for ever: it has character enough of itself, and, with the dry plants among it, all the elements of variety in life and death; within its recesses, all the chequered shade seen in the dull forest, such as Creswick loves to paint, each of its curious cryptogamic stems being perhaps one of the forest trees of fairy-land. Perhaps the whole invention of fairyland, if fairy-land be indeed an invention, is owing to the observation of the wonderful manner in which the greater scenes of nature are represented in the lesser. This is the case with our fern forest. Often, when children, have we let our fancy run wild on a homelier spot, the asparagus-bed, fancying the plumy feathery branching stems of that plant a minute pine-forest, and so on through the whole garden, and it seemed to us that only a population was wanting that the whole world should be repeated on a smaller scale. This accounts, we think, for the existence, at least in the imagination of all people who live in a natural way, of fairies and fairy-land. We have not forgotten that we are in North Wales. In the first place, close to our eyes we have that clump of ferns; full of pictures. Then we have the cave at the mouth of which they grow, with an overhanging rock; in that rock alone, accurately painted, are most of the colours on the palette. The prevailing tone is an indescribable grey. It is a cool, but not a cold grey. In the mist it does not please, but is a great relief to the eye when contrasted with the warm sky of summer. Above the rock in question is a clump of young birchtrees, whose plumy heads move in the lightest airs; their comminuted leaves look intensely dark against