It will be enough to give one instance of Macaulay's audacity. 'Every schoolboy of fourteen' knows by heart his vivid account of the reign of terror produced by Impey's exercise of the powers of the supreme court, and of the bribe by which Hastings bought him off. A powerful and gloomy picture is drawn in two or three expressive paragraphs. The objection to the story, says Fitzjames, 'is that it is absolutely false from end to end, and in almost every particular.' Fitzjames proceeds not only to assert the absence of evidence, but to show what was the supposed evidence out of which Macaulay's imagination conjured this vision of horror. Fitzjames remarks in a letter that his investigations had given him a very low opinion of the way in which history was written, and certainly, if
Macaulay's statement was a fair specimen, the estimate could hardly be too low.
I may admit that, to my mind, the purely judicial method followed by Fitzjames has its disadvantages. It tends to the exclusion of considerations which, though rightly excluded from a criminal inquiry, cannot be neglected by an historian. A jury would be properly directed to acquit Hastings upon the charge of having instigated the prosecution of Nuncomar. Yet, after all, it is very hard to resist the impression that he must have had some share, more or less direct, in producing an event which occurred just at the right moment and had such fortunate results for him. It would be very wrong to hang a man upon such presumptions; but it is impossible to deny that they have a logical bearing upon the facts. However this may be, I think it is undeniable that Fitzjames did good service to history in showing once for all the ruthlessness and extravagance of Macaulay's audacious rhetoric. It is characteristic that while making mincemeat of Macaulay's most famous essay, Fitzjames cannot get rid of his tenderness for the great 'Tom' of his boyish days. Besides praising the literary skill, which indeed, is part of his case, he parts from his opponent with the warm eulogy which I have previously noticed. He regards Macaulay as deluded by James Mill and by the accepted Whig tradition. He condemns Mill, whose dryness and severity have gained him an undeserved reputation for impartiality and accuracy; he speaks—certainly not too strongly—of the malignity of Francis; and he is, I think, a little hard upon Burke, Sheridan, and Elliot, who were misled by really generous feelings (as he fully admits) into the sentimental rhetoric by which he was always irritated. He treats them as he would have put down a barrister trying to introduce totally irrelevant eloquence. Macaulay escapes more easily. Fitzjames felt that the essay when first published was merely intended as a summary of the accepted version, making no pretensions to special research. The morality of this judgment is questionable. Burke, believing sincerely that Hastings was a wicked and corrupt tyrant, inferred logically that he should be punished. Macaulay, accepting Burke's view of the facts, calmly asserts that Hastings was a great criminal, and yet with equal confidence invites his readers to worship the man whose crimes were useful to the British empire. Fitzjames disbelieved in the crimes, and could therefore admire Hastings without reserve as the greatest man of the century. His sympathy with Macaulay's patriotism made him, I think, a little blind to the lax morality with which it was in this case associated. There is yet another point upon which I think that Macaulay deserves a severer sentence. 'It is to be regretted,' says Fitzjames, 'that Macaulay should never have noticed the reply made to the essay by Impey's son.' Unluckily this is not a solitary instance. Macaulay, trusting to his immense popularity, took no notice of replies which were too dull or too complicated to interest the public. Fitzjames would himself have been utterly incapable of behaviour for which it is difficult to discover an appropriate epithet, but which certainly is inconsistent with a sincere and generous love of fair play. If he did not condemn Macaulay more severely, I attribute it to the difficulty which he always felt in believing anything against a friend or one associated with his fondest memories. Had I written the book myself, I should have felt bound to say something unpleasant: but I am hardly sorry that Fitzjames tempered his justice with a little excess of mercy.
The scheme of continuing this book by an account of Warren Hastings was not at once dropped, but its impracticability became obvious before many months had passed. Fitzjames was conducting the Derby assizes in April 1885, when he had a very serious attack of illness. His wife was fortunately with him, and, after consulting a doctor on the spot, he returned to London, where he consulted Sir Andrew Clark. A passage from a letter to Lady Egerton explains his view of what had happened. 'I suppose,' he says (April 29, 1885), 'that Mary has told you the dreadful tale of my getting up in the morning and finding that my right hand had either forgot its cunning or had turned so lazy that I could not write with it, and how I sent for a Derby doctor, and how he ordered me up to London, and how Clark condemned me to three months' idleness and prison diet—I must admit, of a sufficiently liberal kind. Fuller sees the sentence carried out in detail. I have had about three days' experience of it, and I must own that I already feel decidedly better. I think that after the long vacation I shall be thoroughly well again. In the meantime, I feel heartily ashamed of myself. I always did consider any kind of illness or weakness highly immoral, but one must not expect to be either better or stronger than one's neighbours; and I suppose there is some degree of truth in what so many people say on Sundays about their being miserable sinners.' He adds that he is having an exceedingly pleasant time, which would be still more pleasant if he could write with his own hand (the letter is dictated). He has 'whole libraries of books' into which he earnestly desires to look. He feels like a man who has exchanged dusty boots for comfortable slippers; he is reading Spanish 'with enthusiasm'; longing to learn Italian, to improve his German, and even to read up his classics. He compares himself to a traveller in Siberia who, according to one of his favourite anecdotes, loved raspberries and found himself in a desert entirely covered with his favourite fruit.
He took the blow gallantly; perhaps rather too lightly. He was, of course, alarmed at first by the symptoms described. Clark ultimately decided that, while the loss of power showed the presence of certain morbid conditions, a careful system of diet might keep at bay for an indefinite time the danger of the development of a fatal disease. Fitzjames submitted to the medical directions with perhaps a little grumbling. He was not, like his father, an ascetic in matters of food. He had the hearty appetite natural to his vigorous constitution. He was quite as indifferent as his father to what, in the old phrase, used to be called 'the pleasures of the table.' He cared absolutely nothing for the refinements of cookery, and any two vintages were as indistinguishable to him as two tunes—that is, practically identical. He cared only for simple food, and I used, in old days, to argue with him that a contempt for delicacies was as fastidious as a contempt for plain beef and mutton. However that may be, he liked the simplest fare, but he liked plenty of it. To be restricted in that matter was, therefore, a real hardship. He submitted, however, and his health improved decidedly for the time. Perhaps he dismissed too completely the thought of the danger by which he was afterwards threatened. But, in spite of the improvement, he had made a step downwards. He was allowed to go on circuit again in the summer, after his three months' rest, and soon felt himself quite equal to his work. But, from this time, he did not add to his burthens by undertaking any serious labours of supererogation.
III. JUDICIAL CHARACTERISTICS
I will here say what I can of his discharge of the judicial functions which were henceforth almost his sole occupation. In the first place, he enjoyed the work, and felt himself to be in the position most suitable to his powers. Independent observers took, I believe, the same view. I have reported the criticisms made upon his work at the bar, and have tried to show what were the impediments to his success. In many respects these impediments ceased to exist, and even became advantages, when he was raised to the bench. The difficulty which he had felt in adapting himself to other men's views, the contempt for fighting battles by any means except fair arguments upon the substantial merits of the case, were congenial, at least, to high judicial qualities. He despised chicanery of all kinds, and formed independent opinions upon broad grounds instead of being at the mercy of ingenious sophistry. He was free from the foibles of petty vanity upon which a dexterous counsel could play, and had the solid, downright force of mind and character which gives weight to authority of all kinds. I need not labour to prove that masculine common sense is a good judicial quality. Popular opinion, however, is apt to misconstrue broad epithets and to confound vigour with harshness. Fitzjames acquired, among careless observers, a certain reputation for severity. I have not the slightest wish to conceal whatever element of truth there might be in such a statement. But I must begin by remarking a fact which, however obvious, must be explicitly stated. If there was one thing hateful to Fitzjames, and sure to call out his strongest indignation, it was oppression in any form. The bullying from which he suffered at school had left, as I have said, a permanent hatred for bullies. It had not encouraged him, as it encourages the baser natures, to become a bully in his turn, but rather to hate and trample down the evil thing wherever he met it. His theories, as I have said, led him to give a prominent place (too prominent, as I think) to what he called 'coercion.' Coercion in some form was inevitable upon his view; but right coercion meant essentially the suppression of arbitrary violence and the substitution for it of force regulated by justice. Coercion, in the form of law, was identical with the protection of the weak against the strong and the erection of an impregnable barrier against the tyrannous misuse of power. This doctrine exactly expressed his own character, for, as he was strong, he was also one of the most magnanimous of men. He was incapable of being overbearing in social intercourse. He had the fighting instinct to the full. An encounter with a downright enemy was a delight to him. But the joy of battle never deadened his instinct of fair play. He would speak his mind, sometimes even with startling bluntness, but he never tried to silence an opponent by dogmatism or bluster. The keenest argument, therefore, could not betray him into the least discourtesy. He might occasionally frighten a nervous antagonist into reticence and be too apt to confound such reticence with cowardice. But he did not take advantage of his opponent's weakness. He would only give him up as unsuited to play the game in the proper temper. In short, he represented what is surely the normal case of an alliance between manliness and a love of fair play. It is the weaker and more feminine, or effeminate, nature that is generally tempted to resort to an unfair use of weapons.
When, therefore, Fitzjames found himself in a position of authority, he was keenly anxious to use his power fairly. He became decidedly more popular on the bench than he had been at the bar. His desire to be thoroughly fair could not be stronger; but it had a better opportunity of displaying itself. The counsel who practised before him recognised his essential desire to allow them the fullest hearing. He learnt to 'suffer fools' patiently, if not gladly. I apologise, of course, for supposing that any barrister could be properly designated by such a word; but even barristers can occasionally be bores. Some gentlemen, who are certainly neither the one nor the other, have spoken warmly of his behaviour. The late Mr. Montagu Williams, for example, tells with pleasant gratitude how Fitzjames courteously came down from the bench to sit beside him and so enabled him to spare a voice which had been weakened by illness. His comment is that Fitzjames concealed 'the gentleness of a woman' under a stern exterior. So Mr. Henry Dickens tells me of an action for slander in which he was engaged when a young barrister. Both slanderer and slandered were employed in Billingsgate. The counsel for the defence naturally made a joke of sensibility to strong language in that region. Mr. Dickens was in despair when he saw that the judge and jury were being carried away by the humorous view of the case. Knowing the facts, he tried to bring out the serious injury which had been inflicted. Fitzjames followed him closely, became more serious, and summed up in his favour. When a verdict had been returned accordingly, he sent a note to this effect:—'Dear Dickens, I am very grateful to you for preventing me from doing a great act of injustice.' 'He was,' says Mr. Dickens, 'one of the fairest-minded men I ever knew.' His younger son has described to me the kindness with which he encouraged a young barrister—the only one who happened to be present—to undertake the defence of a prisoner, and helped him through a difficult case which ended by an acquittal upon a point of law. 'I only once,' says my nephew, 'heard him interrupt counsel defending a prisoner,' except in correcting statements of fact. The solitary exception was in a case when palpably improper matter was being introduced.
In spite of his patience, he occasionally gave an impression of irritability, for a simple reason. He was thoroughly determined to suppress both unfairness and want of courtesy or disrespect to the court. When a witness or a lawyer, as might sometimes happen, was insolent, he could speak his mind very curtly and sharply. A powerful voice and a countenance which could express stern resentment very forcibly gave a weight to such rebukes, not likely to be forgotten by the offender. He had one quaint fancy, which occasionally strengthened this impression. Witnesses are often exhorted to 'watch his lordship's pen' in order that they may not outrun his speed in taking notes. Now Fitzjames was proud of his power of rapid writing (which, I may remark, did not include a power of writing legibly). He was therefore nervously irritable when a witness received the customary exhortation: 'If you watch my pen,' he said to a witness, 'I will send you to prison': which, as he then had to explain, was not meant seriously. It came to be understood that, in his case, the formula was to be avoided on pain of being considered wantonly offensive.
He rigidly suppressed, at any rate, anything which could lower the dignity of the proceedings. He never indulged in any of those jokes to which reporters append—sometimes rather to the reader's bewilderment—the comment, 'loud laughter.' Nor would he stand any improper exhibitions of feeling in the audience. When a spectator once laughed at a piece of evidence which ought to have caused disgust, he ordered the man to be placed by the side of the prisoner in the dock, and kept him there till the end of the trial. He disliked the promiscuous attendance of ladies at trials, and gave offence on one occasion by speaking of some persons of that sex who were struggling for admission as 'women.' He was, however, a jealous defender of the right of the public to be present under proper conditions; and gave some trouble during a trial of dynamiters, when the court-house had been carefully guarded, by ordering the police to admit people as freely as they could. His sense of humour occasionally made itself evident in spite of his dislike to levity. He liked to perform variations upon the famous sentence, 'God has, in his mercy, given you a strong pair of legs and arms, instead of which you go about the country stealing ducks'; and he would detail absurd or trifling stories with an excess of solemnity which betrayed to the intelligent his perception of their comic side.
Fitzjames thought, and I believe correctly, that he was at his best when trying prisoners, and was also perhaps conscious, with equal reason, I believe, that no one could do it better. His long experience and thorough knowledge of the law of crime and of evidence were great qualifications. His force of character combined with his hatred of mere technicalities, and his broad, vigorous common sense, enabled him to go straight to the point and to keep a firm hand upon the whole management of the case. No rambling or irrelevance was possible under him. His strong physique, and the deep voice which, if not specially harmonious, was audible to the last syllable in every corner of the court, contributed greatly to his impressiveness. He took advantage of his strength to carry out his own ideal of a criminal court as a school of morality. 'It may be truly said,' as he remarks, 'that to hear in their happiest moments the summing up of such judges as Lord Campbell, Lord Chief Justice Erle, or Baron Parke, was like listening not only (to use Hobbes's famous expression) to law living and armed, but to justice itself.' He tried successfully to follow in their steps.
Justice implies fair play to the accused. I have already noticed how strongly he insists upon this in his writings. They show how deeply he had been impressed in his early years at the bar by the piteous spectacle of poor ignorant wretches, bewildered by an unfamiliar scene, unable to collect their thoughts, or understand the nature of the proceedings, and sometimes prevented by the very rules intended for their protection from bringing out what might be a real defence. Many stories have been told me of the extreme care with which he would try to elicit the meaning of some muddled remonstrance from a bewildered prisoner, and sometimes go very near to the verge of what is permitted to a judge by giving hints which virtually amounted to questions, and so helping prisoners to show that they were innocent or had circumstances to allege in mitigation. He always spoke to them in a friendly tone, so as to give them the necessary confidence. A low bully, for example, was accused of combining with two women to rob a man. A conviction seemed certain till the prisoners were asked for their defence; when one of them made a confused and rambling statement. Fitzjames divined the meaning, and after talking to them for twenty minutes, during which he would not directly ask questions, succeeded in making it clear that the prosecutor was lying, and obtained an acquittal. One other incident out of many will be enough. A man accused of stabbing a policeman to avoid arrest, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years' penal servitude. On being removed by the warders he clung to the rail, screaming, 'You can't do it.
You don't know what you are doing!' Fitzjames shouted to the warders to put him back; discovered by patient hearing that the man was meaning to refer to some circumstance in extenuation, and after calling the witnesses found that the statement was confirmed. 'Now, you silly fellow,' he said, 'if you had pleaded "not guilty," as I told you, all this would have come out. It is true that I did not know what I was doing, but it was your own fault.' He then reduced the sentence to nine months, saying, 'Does that satisfy you?' 'Thank you, my Lord,' replied the man, 'that's quite right,' and left the court quite cheerfully. Fitzjames was touched by the man's confidence in a judge, and by his accurate knowledge of the proper legal tariff of punishment. Fitzjames was scrupulously anxious in other ways not to wrest the law, even if unsatisfactory in itself, out of dislike to the immediate offender. One instance is given by the curious case of the Queen v. Ashwell (in 1885). A man had borrowed a shilling from another, who gave him a sovereign by mistake. The borrower discovered the mistake an hour afterwards, and appropriated the sovereign. Morally, no doubt, he was as dishonest as a thief. But the question arose whether he was in strict law guilty of larceny. Fitzjames delivered an elaborate judgment to show that upon the accepted precedents of law, he was not guilty, inasmuch as the original act of taking was innocent.
Another aspect of justice, upon which Fitzjames dwells in his books, was represented in his practice. A judge, according to him, is not simply a logic machine working out intellectual problems, but is the organ of the moral indignation of mankind. When, after a studiously fair inquiry, a man had been proved to be a scoundrel, he became the proper object of wrath and of the punishment by which such wrath is gratified. Fitzjames undeniably hated brutality, and especially mean brutality; he thought that gross cruelty to women and children should be suppressed by the lash, or, if necessary, by the gallows. His sentences, I am told, were not more severe than those of other judges: though mention is made of one case in early days in which he was thought to be too hard upon a ruffian who, on coming out of gaol, had robbed a little child of a sixpence. But his mode of passing sentence showed that his hatred of brutality included hatred of brutes. He did not affect to be reluctant to do his duty. He did not explain that he was acting for the real good of the prisoner, or apologise for being himself an erring mortal. He showed rather the stern satisfaction of a man suppressing a noxious human reptile. Thus, though he carefully avoided anything savouring of the theatrical, the downright simplicity with which he delivered sentence showed the strength of his feeling. He never preached to the convicts, but spoke in plain words of their atrocities. The most impressive sentence I ever heard, says one of his sons, was one upon a wife-murderer at Norwich, when he rigidly confined himself to pointing out the facts and the conclusiveness of the evidence. Another man was convicted at Manchester of an attempt to murder his wife. He had stabbed her several times in the neck, but happened to miss a fatal spot; and he cross-examined her very brutally on the trial. Fitzjames, in delivering sentence, told him that a man who had done the same thing, but with better aim, 'stood at the last assizes where you now stand, before the judge who is now sentencing you. The sentence upon him was that he should be hanged by the neck till he was dead, and he was hanged by the neck till he was dead.' The words emphatically pronounced produced a dead silence, with sobs from the women in court. It was, he proceeded, by a mere accident that the result of the prisoner's crime was different, and that, therefore, the gravest sentence was the only proper sentence; and that is 'that you be kept in penal servitude for the term of your natural life.' This again was spoken with extreme earnestness: and the 'life' sounded like a blow. There was a scream from the women, and the prisoner dropped to the ground as if he had been actually struck. Fitzjames spoke as if he were present at the crime, and uttering the feelings roused by the ferocious treatment of a helpless woman.
Some of his letters record his sense of painful responsibility when the question arose as to reprieving a prisoner. He mentions a case in which he had practically had to decide in favour of carrying out a capital sentence. 'For a week before,' he writes, 'I had the horrible feeling of watching the man sinking, and knowing that I had only to hold out my hand to save his life. I felt as if I could see his face and hear him say, "Let me live; I am only thirty-five; see what a strong, vigorous, active fellow I am, with perhaps fifty years before me: must I die?" and I mentally answered, Yes, you must. I had no real doubts and I feel no remorse; but it was a very horrible feeling—all the worse because when one has a strong theoretical opinion in favour of capital punishment one is naturally afraid of being unduly hard upon a particular wretch to whom it is one's lot to apply the theory.' On another occasion he describes a consultation upon a similar case with Sir W. Harcourt, then Home Secretary. Both of them felt painfully the contrast with their old free conversations, and discussed the matter with the punctilious ceremony corresponding to the painfulness of the occasion. There was something, as they were conscious, incongruous in settling a question of life and death in a talk between two old friends.
I must briefly mention two such cases which happened to excite public attention. On July 27 and 28, 1887, a man named Lipski was tried for a most brutal murder and convicted. His attorney wrote a pamphlet disputing the sufficiency of the evidence. Fitzjames was trying a difficult patent case which took up the next fortnight (August 1 to 13). He saw the attorney on Monday, the 8th, and passed that evening and the next morning in writing his opinion to the Home Secretary (Mr. H. Matthews). On Thursday he had another interview with the attorney and a thorough discussion of the whole matter with Mr. Matthews. Some points had not been properly brought out on the trial; but the inquiry only strengthened the effect of the evidence. Mr. Matthews decided not to interfere, and Fitzjames went to stay with Froude at Salcombe on the Saturday. Meanwhile articles full of gross misstatements had appeared in certain newspapers. Fitzjames himself reflected that his occupation with the patent case had perhaps prevented his giving a full consideration to the case, and that an immediate execution of the sentence would at least have an appearance of undue haste. He therefore telegraphed to suggest a week's respite, though he felt that the action might look like yielding to the bullying of a journalist. Mr. Matthews had independently granted a respite upon a statement that a new piece of evidence could be produced. Fitzjames returned on the Monday, and spent a great part of the week in reading through all the papers, reexamining a witness, and holding consultations with Mr. Matthews. The newspapers were still writing, and 100 members of Parliament signed a request for a commutation of the sentence. After the most careful consideration, however, Fitzjames could entertain no reasonable doubt of the rightness of the verdict, and Mr. Matthews agreed with him. A petition from three jurors was sent in upon Sunday, the 21st, but did not alter the case. Finally, upon the same afternoon, Lipski confessed his guilt and the sentence was executed next day. 'I hope and believe that I have kept the right path,' writes Fitzjames, 'but it has been a most dreadful affair.' 'I hardly ever remember so infamous and horrible a story.' He was proportionally relieved when it was proved that he had acted rightly.
The other case, for obvious reasons, must be mentioned as briefly as possible. On August 7, 1889, Mrs. Maybrick was convicted of the murder of her husband. The sentence was afterwards commuted with Fitzjames's approval, and, I believe, at his suggestion, to penal servitude for life, upon the ground, as publicly stated, that although there was no doubt that she had administered poison, it was possible that her husband had died from other causes. A great deal of feeling was aroused: Fitzjames was bitterly attacked in the press, and received many anonymous letters full of the vilest abuse. Hatred of women generally, and jealousy of the counsel for the defence were among the causes of his infamous conduct suggested by these judicious correspondents. I, of course, have nothing to say upon these points, nor would I say anything which would have any bearing upon the correctness of the verdict. But as attacks were made in public organs upon his behaviour as judge, I think it right to say that they were absolutely without foundation. His letters show that he felt the responsibility deeply; and that he kept his mind open till the last. From other evidence I have not the least doubt that his humanity and impartiality were as conspicuous in this as in other cases, and I believe were not impugned by any competent witnesses, even by those who might doubt the correctness of the verdict.
Fitzjames's powers were such as naturally gave him unsurpassed authority with juries in criminal cases. A distinguished advocate was about to defend a prisoner upon two similar counts before Fitzjames and another eminent judge. The man was really guilty: but, said the counsel, and his prediction was verified, I shall obtain a verdict of 'not guilty' before the other judge, but not before Stephen. In civil cases, I am told that an impartial estimate of his merits would require more qualification. The aversion to technicality and over-subtlety, to which I have so often referred, appears to have limited his powers. He did not enjoy for its own sake the process of finding a clue through a labyrinth of refined distinctions, and would have preferred a short cut to what seemed to him the substantial merits of the case. He might, for example, regard with some impatience the necessity of interpreting the precise meaning of some clause in a legal document which had been signed by the parties concerned as a matter of routine, without their attention being drawn to the ambiguities latent in their agreement. His experience had not made him familiar with the details of commercial business, and he had to acquire the necessary information rather against the grain. To be a really great lawyer in the more technical sense, a man must, I take it, have a mind full of such knowledge, and feel pleasure in exercising the dialectical faculty by which it is applied to new cases. In that direction Fitzjames was probably surpassed by some of his brethren; and he contributed nothing of importance to the elaboration of the more technical parts of the law. I find, however, that his critics are agreed in ascribing to him with remarkable unanimity the virtue of 'open-mindedness.' His trenchant way of laying down his conclusions might give the impression that they corresponded to rooted prejudices. Such prejudices might of course intrude themselves unconsciously into his mind, as they intrude into the minds of most of us. But no one could be more anxious for fair play in argument as in conduct. He would give up a view shown to be erroneous with a readiness which often seemed surprising in so sturdy a combatant. He spared no pains in acquiring whatever was relevant to a case; whether knowledge of unfamiliar facts or of legal niceties and previous judicial decisions. Though his mind was not stored with great masses of cases, he never grudged the labour of a long investigation. He aimed at seeing the case as a whole; and bringing out distinctly the vital issues and their relation to broad principles. He used to put the issues before the jury as distinctly as possible, and was then indifferent to their decision. In a criminal case he would have been inexpressibly shocked by a wrongful conviction, and would have felt that he had failed in his duty if a conviction had not taken place when the evidence was sufficient. In a civil case, he felt that he had done his work when he had secured fair play by a proper presentation of the question to the jury. His mastery of the laws of evidence would give weight to his opinion upon facts; though how far he might be open to the charge of cutting too summarily knots which might have been untied by more dexterity and a loving handling of legal niceties, is a question upon which I cannot venture to speak positively.
I will only venture to refer to two judgments, which may be read with interest even by the unprofessional, as vigorous pieces of argument and lucid summaries of fact. One is the case (1880) of the 'Attorney-General v. the Edison Telephone Company,' in which the question arose whether a telephonic message was a telegram. If so, the Company were infringing the act which gave to the Post Office the monopoly of transmitting telegrams. It was argued that the telephone transmitted the voice itself, not a mere signal. Fitzjames pointed out that it might be possible to hear both the voice transmitted through the air and the sound produced by the vibrations of the wire. Could the two sounds, separated by an interval, be one sound? The legal point becomes almost metaphysical. On this and other grounds Fitzjames decided that a telephone was a kind of telegraph, and the decision has not been disturbed. The other case was that of the Queen v. Price, tried at Cardiff in 1883. William Price, who called himself a Druid, was an old gentleman of singularly picturesque appearance who had burnt the body of his child in conformity, I presume, with what he took to be the rites of the Druids. He was charged with misdemeanour. Fitzjames gave a careful summary of the law relating to burials which includes some curious history. He concluded that there was no positive law against burning bodies, unless the mode of burning produced a nuisance. The general principle, therefore, applied that nothing should be a crime which was not distinctly forbidden by law. The prisoner was acquitted, and the decision has sanctioned the present practice of cremation. Fitzjames, as I gather from letters, was much interested in the quaint old Druid, and was gratified by his escape from the law.
IV. MISCELLANEOUS OCCUPATIONS
I have now described the most important labours which Fitzjames undertook after his appointment to a judgeship. Every minute of the first six years (1879-85) might seem to have been provided with ample occupation. Even during this period, however, he made time for a few short excursions into other matters, and though after 1885 he undertook no heavy task, he was often planning the execution of the old projects, and now and then uttering his opinions through the accustomed channels. He was also carrying on a correspondence, some of which has been kindly shown to me. The correspondence with Lord Lytton continued, though it naturally slackened during Lytton's stay in England, from 1880 to 1887. It revived, though not so full and elaborate as of old, when, in 1887, Lytton became ambassador at Paris. Fitzjames's old friend, Grant Duff, was Governor of Madras from 1881 to 1886, and during that period especially, Fitzjames wrote very fully to Lady Grant Duff, who was also a correspondent both before and afterwards. If I had thought it desirable to publish any number of these or the earlier letters, I might have easily swelled this book to twice or three times its size. That is one good reason for abstaining. Other reasons are suggested by the nature of the letters themselves. They are written with the utmost frankness, generally poured out at full speed in intervals of business or some spare moments of his so-called vacation. They made no pretensions to literary form, and approach much more to discursive conversations than to anything that suggests deliberate composition. Much of them, of course, is concerned with private matters which it would be improper to publish. A large part, again, discusses in an unguarded fashion the same questions of which he had spoken more deliberately in his books. There is no difference in the substance, and I have thought it only fair to him to take his own published version of his opinions, using his letters here and there where they incidentally make his views clearer or qualify sharp phrases used in controversy. I have, however, derived certain impressions from the letters of this period and from the miscellaneous articles of the same time; which I shall endeavour to describe before saying what remains to be said of his own personal history.
One general remark is suggested by a perusal of the letters. Fitzjames says frequently and emphatically that he had had one of the happiest of lives. In the last letter of his which I have seen, written, indeed, when writing had become difficult for him, he says that he is 'as happy as any man can be,' and had nothing to complain of—except, indeed, his illegible handwriting. This is only a repetition of previous statements at every period of his life. When he speaks of the twenty-five years of long struggle, which had enabled him to rise from the bar to the bench, he adds that they were most happy years, and that he only wishes that they could come over again. It is difficult, of course, to compare our lot with that of our neighbours. We can imagine ourselves surrounded by their circumstances, but we cannot so easily adopt their feelings. Fitzjames very possibly made an erroneous estimate of the pains and pleasures which require sensibilities unlike his own; and conversely it must be remembered that he took delight in what would to many men be a weariness of the flesh. The obviously sincere belief, however, in his own happiness proves at least one thing. He was thoroughly contented with his own position. He was never brooding over vexations, or dreaming of what might have been. Could he have been asked by Providence at any time, Where shall I place you? his answer would almost always have been, Here. He gives, indeed, admirable reasons for being satisfied. He had superabundant health and strength, he scarcely knew what it was to be tired, though he seemed always to be courting fatigue, or, if tired, he was only tired enough to enjoy the speedy reaction. His affections had a strength fully proportioned to his vigour of mind and body; his domestic happiness was perfect; and he had a small circle of friends both appreciative and most warmly appreciated. Finally, if the outside world was far from being all that he could wish, it was at least superabundantly full of interest. Though indifferent to many matters which occupy men of different temperament, he had quite enough not only to keep his mind actively engaged, but to suggest indefinite horizons of future inquiry of intense interest. He was in no danger of being bored or suffering from a famine of work. Under such conditions, he could not help being happy.
Yet Fitzjames's most decided convictions would have suited a thorough-going pessimist. Neither Swift nor Carlyle could have gone much beyond him in condemning the actual state of the political or religious condition of the world. Things, on the whole, were in many directions going from bad to worse. The optimist is apt to regard these views as wicked, and I do not know whether it will be considered as an aggravation or an extenuation of his offence that, holding such opinions, Fitzjames could be steadily cheerful. I simply state the fact. His freedom from the constitutional infirmities which embittered both the great men I have mentioned, and his incomparably happier domestic circumstances, partly account for the difference. But, moreover, it was an essential part of his character to despise all whining. There was no variety of person with whom he had less sympathy than the pessimist whose lamentations suggest a disordered liver. He would have fully accepted the doctrine upon which Mr. Herbert Spencer has insisted, that it is a duty to be happy. Moreover, the way to be happy was to work. Work, I might almost say, was his religion. 'Be strong and of a good courage' was the ultimate moral which he drew from doubts and difficulties. Everything round you may be in a hideous mess and jumble. That cannot be helped: take hold of your tools manfully; set to work upon the job that lies next to your hand, and so long as you are working well and vigorously, you will not be troubled with the vapours. Be content with being yourself, and leave the results to fate. Sometimes with his odd facility for turning outwards the ugliest side of his opinions, he would call this selfishness. It is a kind of selfishness which, if everyone practised it, would not be such a bad thing.
I must mention, though briefly, certain writings which represent his views upon religious matters: I have sufficiently indicated his position, which was never materially changed. His thoughts ran in the old grooves, though perhaps with a rather clearer perception of their direction. In June 1884 he published an article upon the 'Unknown and the Unknowable' in the 'Nineteenth Century,' declaring that Mr. Herbert Spencer's 'Unknowable' and Mr. Harrison's 'Humanity' were mere shadowy figments. 'Religion,' he maintains, will not survive theology. To this, however, he adds, with rather surprising calmness, that morality will survive religion. If the Agnostics and Positivists triumph, it will be transformed, not abolished. The Christian admiration for self-sacrifice, indeed, and the Christian mysticism will disappear, and it will turn out that the respectable man of the world and the lukewarm believer were after all in the right. Considering his own dislike to the mystic and the priestly view of things, this might almost seem to imply a reconciliation with the sceptics. He observes, indeed, in a letter that there is really little difference between himself and Mr. Harrison, except in Mr. Harrison's more enthusiastic view of human nature. But he confesses also that the article has given pleasure to his enemies and pain to his friends. Though his opinions, in short, are sceptical, the consequences seem to him so disagreeable that he has no desire to insist upon them. In fact, he wrote little more upon these topics. He was, indeed, afterwards roused to utterance by an ingenious attempt of Mr. Mivart to show a coincidence between full submission to the authority of the Catholic Church and an equal acceptance of the authority of reason. In a couple of articles in the 'Nineteenth Century' (October 1887 and January 1888), he argued with his old vigour that Mr. Mivart was in fact proposing to put a match in a powder barrel and expect half to explode and the other half to remain unaffected. This was his last encounter upon the old question of authority. In the same year (April and May 1888) he wrote two articles upon a book by which he was singularly interested, Professor Max Mueller's 'Science of Thought'; he expounds Professor Max Mueller's philology in the tone of an ardent disciple, but makes his own application to philosophy. I do not suppose that the teacher would accept all the deductions of his follower. Fitzjames, in fact, found in the 'Science of Thought' a scientific exposition of the nominalism which he had more or less consciously accepted from Hobbes or Horne Tooke. Max Mueller, he says, in a letter, has been knocking out the bottom of all speculative theology and philosophy. Thought and language, as he understands his teacher to maintain, are identical. Now language is made up of about 120 roots combined in various ways. The words supposed to express more abstract conceptions, some of them highly important in theology, are mere metaphors founded upon previous metaphors, twisted and changed in meaning from century to century. Nothing remains but an almost absolute scepticism, for on such terms no certainty can be obtained. In a letter he states that the only problems which we can really solve are those of space and number; that even astronomy involves assumptions to which there are 'unanswerable objections'; that what is loosely called science, Darwinism, for example, is 'dubious in the extreme'; that theology and politics are so conjectural as to be practically worthless; and judicial and historical evidence little more than a makeshift. In short, his doctrine is 'scepticism directed more particularly against modern science and philosophy.' I do not take these hasty utterances as expressing a settled state of opinion. I only quote them as vehement expressions of an instinctive tendency. His strong conviction of the fallacies and immoralities of the old theological dogmatism was combined with an equally strong conviction of the necessity of some embodiment of the religious instincts and of the impotence of the scientific dogmatism to supply it. He therefore was led to a peculiar version of the not uncommon device of meeting the sceptic by a more thorough-going scepticism. It is peculiar because he scorned to take the further step of accepting a dogmatic belief on sceptical grounds; but it certainly left him in a position of which silence was, if I may say so, the only obvious expression of his feeling.
One curious illustration of his feelings is given by an utterance at the beginning of this period. Nobody had less tendency to indulge in versification. When a man has anything to say, he observes to Lord Lytton on one occasion, as an excuse for not criticising his friend adequately, 'I am always tempted to ask why he cannot say it in plain prose.' I find now that he once wrote some lines on circuit, putting a judgment into rhyme, and that they were read with applause at a dinner before the judges. They have disappeared; but I can quote part of his only other attempt at poetry. Tennyson's poem called 'Despair' had just appeared in the 'Nineteenth Century' for November 1881. The hero, it will be remembered, maddened by sermons about hell and by 'know-nothing' literature, throws himself into the sea with his wife and is saved by his preacher. The rescuer only receives curses instead of thanks. Fitzjames supplies the preacher's retort. I give a part; omitting a few lines which, I think, verged too much on the personal:—
So you're minded to curse me, are you, for not having let you be, And for taking the trouble to pull you out when your wife was drowned in the sea? I'm inclined to think you are right—there was not much sense in it; But there was no time to think—the thing was done in a minute. You had not gone very far in; you had fainted where you were found, You're the sort of fellow that likes to drown with his toe on the ground. However, you turn upon me and my creed with all sorts of abuse, As if any preaching of mine could possibly be of use To a man who refused to see what sort of a world he had got To live in and make the best of, whether he liked it or not. I am not sure what you mean; you seem to mean to say That believing in hell you were happy, but that one unfortunate day You found out you knew nothing about it, whereby the troubles of life Became at once too heavy to bear for yourself and your wife. That sounds silly; so, perhaps, you may mean that all is wrong all round, My creed and the know-nothing books, and that truth is not to be found— That's sillier still: for, if so, the know-nothing books are right, And you're a mere spiritless cur who can neither run nor fight, Too great a coward to live and too great a coward to die, Fit for nothing at all but just to sit down and cry.
. . . . . . . . .
Why, man, we're all in one boat, as everyone can see, Bishops, and priests, and deacons, and poor little ranters like me. There's hell in the Church of England and hell in the Church of Rome, And in all other Christian Churches, abroad as well as at home. The part of my creed you dislike may be too stern for you, Many brave men believe it—aye, and enjoy life, too. The know-nothing books may alarm you; but many a better man Knows he knows nothing and says so, and lives the best life he can. If there is a future state, face its hopes and terrors gravely; The best path to it must be to bear life's burthens bravely. And even if there be none, why should you not live like a man, Enjoying whatever you have as much and as long as you can? In the world in which we are living there's plenty to do and to know; And there's always something to hope for till it's time for us to go. 'Despair' is the vilest of words, unfit to be said or thought, Whether there is a God and a future state or not. If you really are such a wretch, that you're quite unfit to live, And ask my advice, I'll give you the best that I have to give: Drown yourself by all means; I was wrong and you were right. I'll not pull you out any more; but be sure you drown yourself quite.
'Despair is the vilest of words.' That expresses Fitzjames's whole belief and character. Faiths may be shaken and dogmas fade into meaningless jumbles of words: science may be unable to supply any firm ground for conduct. Still we can quit ourselves like men. From doubt and darkness he can still draw the practical conclusion, 'Be strong and of a good courage.' And, therefore, Fitzjames could not be a pessimist in the proper sense; for the true pessimist is one who despairs of the universe. Such a man can only preach resignation to inevitable evil, and his best hope is extinction. Sir Alfred Lyall's fine poem describes the Hindoo ascetic sitting by the bank of the sacred stream and watching the legions as they pass while cannon roar and bayonets gleam. To him they are disturbing phantoms, and he longs for the time when they will flicker away like the smoke of the guns on the windswept hill. He meanwhile sits 'musing and fasting and hoping to die.' Fitzjames is the precise antithesis: his heart was with the trampling legions, and for the ascetic he might feel pity, but certainly neither sympathy nor respect. He goes out of his way more than once to declare that he sees nothing sublime in Buddhism. 'Nirvana,' he says in a letter, 'always appeared to me to be at bottom a cowardly ideal. For my part I like far better the Carlyle or Calvinist notion of the world as a mysterious hall of doom, in which one must do one's fated part to the uttermost, acting and hoping for the best and trusting' that somehow or other our admiration of the 'noblest human qualities' will be justified. He had thus an instinctive dislike not only for Buddhism, but for the strain of similar sentiment in ascetic versions of Christianity. He had a great respect for Mohammedanism, and remarks that of all religious ceremonies at which he had been present, those which had most impressed him had been a great Mohammedan feast in India and the service in a simple Scottish kirk. There, as I interpret him, worshippers seem to be in the immediate presence of the awful and invisible Power which rules the universe; and without condescending to blind themselves by delusive symbols and images and incense and priestly magic, stand face to face with the inscrutable mystery. The old Puritanism comes out in a new form. The Calvinist creed, he says in 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,' was the 'grain on which the bravest, hardiest, and most vigorous race of men that ever trod the earth were nourished.' That creed, stripped of its scholastic formulas, was sufficient nourishment for him. He sympathises with it wherever he meets it. He is fond of quoting even a rough blackguard, one Azy Smith, who, on being summoned to surrender to a policeman, replied by sentencing 'Give up' to a fate which may be left to the imagination. Fitzjames applied the sentiment to the British Empire in India. He was curiously impressed, too, by some verses which he found in an Australian newspaper and was afterwards given to quoting. They turned out to be written by Adam Lindsay Gordon (the 'Sick Stockrider').
I have had my share of pastime, and I've done my share of toil, And life is short—the longest life a span. I care not now to tarry for the corn or for the oil, Or for the wine that maketh glad the heart of man; For good undone and time misspent and resolutions vain 'Tis somewhat late to trouble—this I know; I would live the same life over if I had to live again And the chances are I go where most men go.
I am perfectly well aware of the comments which that statement may suggest. The orthodox may, if they please, draw a moral for their own tastes; and I could draw a moral which is not quite orthodox. I only say that I have tried to describe his final position in the matter, without reserve; and that, in my opinion, whatever else it shows, it reveals both the sincerity and the manliness of a man who dared to look facts in the face.
I must speak, though briefly, of his political sympathies in this period, for they were exceedingly deep and strong. His position as a judge gave him the solace of an employment which could divert his mind from annoying reflections. It may be held that it should also have restrained him more completely than it did from taking any part in party controversies. I confess that to be my own opinion. He felt that he ought to keep within limits; but I cannot help thinking that they might have been a little closer than he would quite acknowledge. The old journalistic impulse, however, stirred within him when he saw certain political moves, and he found it impossible quite to keep silence. The first occasion of his writing was upon the starting of the 'St. James's Gazette,' under the editorship of his old friend Mr. Greenwood. Both personal and political sympathy induced him, as he put it, 'to take Mr. Greenwood's shilling,' and I believe that he also enlisted Maine. Besides the poem which I have quoted, he wrote a good many articles upon legal and literary topics from 1881 to 1883, and some which came very close to contemporary politics. The doctrine may be pretty well summed up in the phrase which he quotes more than once—[Greek: Demos psephizon megalen archen dialysei.] I need not follow the applications which he indicates both to Indian matters and to Mr. Gladstone's Irish policy.
He ceased to contribute after the beginning of 1883, but he wrote occasional letters under his own name to the 'Times.' The chief of these (I believe that there were others) were reprinted, and attracted some notice. In 1883 a question arose in which he had a special interest. In passing the Criminal Procedure Bill he had accepted what was described as a compromise. Magistrates were to receive powers of dealing summarily in trifling cases with Europeans who had previously had a right to be tried by juries before the High Courts. Fitzjames accepted the proposal that the power should be entrusted only to magistrates of European birth. The 'Ilbert Bill,' in 1883, proposed to remove this restriction, and so to confer a right of imprisoning Europeans for three months upon native magistrates, of whom there were now a greater number. Fitzjames, whose name had been mentioned in the controversy, wrote very earnestly against this proposal. He asserted the right of Englishmen to be tried by magistrates who could understand their ways of thought, and approved the remark that if we were to remove all anomalies from India, our first step should be to remove ourselves. This, however, was, to his mind, only one example of the intrusion of an evil principle. A more serious case occurred upon Mr. Gladstone's introduction of the first Home Rule Bill in 1886. Fitzjames wrote some elaborate letters upon the 'Irish Question,' when the measure was anticipated, and wrote again upon the bill when the debates upon Mr. Gladstone's proposals were in progress. The letters begin by disavowing any 'party politics'—a phrase which he does not consider to exclude an emphatic expression of opinion both upon Home Rule and upon the Land Legislation. It is entirely superfluous to summarise arguments which have been repeated till nobody can want to hear more of them. Briefly, I may say that Fitzjames's teaching might be summarised by saying that Ireland ought to be governed like India—justly, and in any case firmly. The demands both for Home Rule and for land legislation are, according to him, simply corollaries from the general principles of Jacobinism and Socialism. The empire will be destroyed and the landlords will be plundered. Virtually we are dealing with a simple attempt at confiscation supported by an organised system of crime. The argument is put with his usual downright force, and certainly shows no symptoms of any decline of intellectual vigour. He speaks, he says, impelled by the 'shame and horror' which an Englishman must feel at our feebleness, and asks whether we are cowards to be kicked with impunity? Sometimes he hoped, though his hopes were not sanguine, that a point would yet be reached at which Englishmen would be roused and would show their old qualities. But as a rule he turned, as his letters show, from the contemplation of modern politics with simple disgust. He is glad that he is, for the time at least, behind a safe breakwater, but no one can say how much longer it will withstand the advancing deluge.
Three months' rest after the attack of 1885 enabled him to go the summer circuit, and during the latter part of the year he was recovering strength. He became so much better that he was, perhaps, encouraged to neglect desirable precautions, and early in 1886 he writes that he has been able to dismiss from his mind a passing fear which had been vaguely present, that he might have to resign. In the following September, Mr. W. H. Smith requested him to become chairman of a Commission to inquire into the Ordnance Department. What he learnt in that capacity strengthened his conviction as to the essential weakness of our administrative system; although the rumours of corruption, to which, I believe, the Commission was owing, were disproved. He made, however, such suggestions as seemed practicable under the circumstances. While the Commission lasted he presided three days a week, and sat as judge upon the other three. He felt himself so competent to do his duties as to confirm his belief that he had completely recovered. He did a certain amount of literary work after this. He made one more attempt to produce a second edition of the 'View of the Criminal Law.' Indeed, the title-page gives that name to his performance. Once more, however, he found it impossible to refrain from re-writing. The so-called second edition is more properly an abbreviated version of the 'History,' though the reports of trials still keep their place; and, as the whole forms only one moderately thick volume, it represents much less labour than its predecessors. It includes, however, the result of some later inquiries and of his judicial experience. He abandons, for example, an opinion which he had previously maintained in favour of a Court of Appeal in criminal cases, and is now satisfied with the existing system. In this shape it is virtually a handbook for students, forming an accompaniment to the 'Digest' and the 'History.' It was the last of his works upon legal topics.
Meanwhile, if he wrote little, he was still reading a great variety of books, and was deeply interested in them. His letters are full of references to various authors, old and new. His criticisms have the primary merits of frankness and independence. He says exactly what he feels, not what the critics tell him that he ought to feel. No criticism can be really valuable which does not fulfil those conditions. I must admit, however, that a collection of his remarks would include a good many observations rather startling to believers in the conventional judgments. Purely literary qualities impress him very little unless they are associated with some serious purpose. He shows the same sort of independence which enabled him to accept a solitary position in religious and political matters. In private letters, moreover, he does not think it necessary to insist upon the fact, which he would have fully admitted, that the great object of criticism is always the critic himself. A man who says that he can't see, generally proves that he is blind, not that there is no light. If only for this reason, I would not quote phrases which would sound unduly crude or even arrogant when taken as absolute judgments, instead of being, as they often are, confessions of indifference in the form of condemnations. When a great writer really appeals to him, he shows no want of enthusiasm. During the enforced rest in 1885 he studied Spanish with great zeal; he calls it a 'glorious language,' and had the proverbial reward of being enabled to read 'Don Quixote' in the original. 'Don Quixote,' he says, had always attracted him, even in the translations, to a degree for which he cannot quite account. His explanation, however, is apparently adequate, and certainly characteristic. He sees in Cervantes a man of noble and really chivalrous nature, who looks kindly upon the extravagance which caricatures his own qualities, but also sees clearly that the highest morality is that which is in conformity with plain reason and common sense. Beneath the ridicule of the romances there is the strongest sympathy with all that is really noble.
After Spanish and Cervantes, Fitzjames turned to Italian and Dante. Dante, too, roused his enthusiasm, and he observes, quaintly enough, that he means to be as familiar with the 'Divina Commedia' as he once was with Bentham—two authors rarely brought into contact. Dante conquered him the more effectually by entering over the ruins of Milton. Some years before he had pronounced the 'Paradise Lost' to be 'poor, contradictory, broken-down stuff, so far as the story goes.' He inferred that 'poetry was too slight an affair to grapple with such an awful subject.' He had, however, already read Dante in Cary's translation, and thereby recognised something far greater. When he came to the original he was profoundly impressed. It is strange, he says, that he has learnt for the first time at the age of sixty what a really great poem could be. Poor Milton's adaptation of pagan mythology to the Hebrew legends, in order to expound Puritan theology, results in a series of solecisms, which even the poet could not expect his readers to take seriously. The story, taken for history, certainly breaks down sufficiently to justify a severe remark. But Dante's poem, embodying a consistent imagery into which was worked the whole contemporary philosophy and theology, is of absorbing interest even to those who are comparatively indifferent to its more purely literary merits. Fitzjames does not make any detailed criticisms, but fittingly expresses his astonishment and admiration upon Dante's revelation of a new world of imagination. I think that it is possible to show fitting reverence for Dante without deposing Milton from his much lower, though still very lofty place. But to one brought up in the old English traditions it was difficult to avoid the rather superfluous contrast.
With the help of such studies and frequent visits to old friends, and minor literary tasks, Fitzjames could find ample means of filling up any spaces left by his judicial duties. In spite of the disgust with which he regarded the political world, he was happy in his own little world; and his time passed in a peaceful round of satisfactory work. A few troublesome cases, those especially of which I have spoken, gave him occasional worry; but he could adhere to his principle of never fretting unnecessarily. But now was to begin the painful experience which comes to the survivors when the ranks begin to thin. He felt such losses deeply, if with little display of feeling. I find a remark in one of his letters which is, I think, characteristic. He says that his first feeling upon a severe blow had been something like shame at not suffering more. But in a few weeks the sense of loss had become deeper and stronger; and he had to remind himself of the necessity of conquering his depression. I have no need, I hope, to dwell upon the strength of his affections. I can never forget one occasion when his sympathies were deeply stirred; and when his sense of a certain awkwardness in expressing himself, a relic of his old prejudice against 'sentimentalism,' served only to bring out most pathetically the power of the emotions with which he was struggling.
Two severe losses marked the year 1888. Maine died on February 3. The old friendship had lost none of its warmth; and Fitzjames had frequently enjoyed visits to the lodge at Trinity Hall, where Maine, as master, presided over the Christmas gatherings. Fitzjames commemorated his friend by an article in the 'Saturday Review. In a warm eulogy, he praises the 'clearness and sobriety of Maine's generalisations as well as their intrinsic probability,' and declares that the books were written 'as if by inspiration.' Maine, he says, was equally brilliant as a journalist, as a statesman, and as a thinker. Fitzjames speaks, though a little restrained by his usual reserve, of the 'brotherly intimacy of forty years, never interrupted by a passing cloud'; and ends by saying that there are 'persons to whom the world can never have the same aspect again as when Maine lived in it.' It had been a great pleasure, I may add, that he had been able to appoint one of his friend's sons, who died soon after the father, to a clerkship of assize on the South Wales circuit.
In the autumn Maine was followed by Venables. Fitzjames paid an annual visit to the house where Venables lived with his brother at Llysdinam, on the border of Radnorshire. He often mentions in his letters the filial affection with which he regarded Venables. In the previous year (1887) he had an opportunity of expressing this more directly than usual. One of Venables' friends, Mr. Pember, had suggested that they might show their affection by presenting a stained glass window to a church which Venables had built. Fitzjames took up the plan warmly, and with the help of a few other friends carried out the scheme. When it was made known to Venables, who of course was much gratified, Fitzjames wrote to him a letter (August 1, 1887) of which I quote the important part. 'I found your letter on my return from the country this morning. You are quite right in thinking that I did say a great deal less than I meant. I feel shy in putting into quite plain words what I feel about you; but I do not like such things to prevent me from saying just once that I like you, honour you, and respect and admire you more than almost any man I ever knew. For nearer forty than thirty years you have been to me a sort of spiritual and intellectual uncle or elder brother, and my feelings about you have constantly grown and strengthened as my own experience of men and books has ripened and deepened and brought me into closer and closer sympathy with you and more complete conscious agreement with all your opinions and sentiments. I can recall none of your words and writings which I have not cordially approved of, and I shall always feel deeply grateful to Mrs. Lyster Venables (Venables' sister-in-law), for whom also I feel the warmest friendship, and to Pember for suggesting to me a way of showing my feelings about you, which would never have occurred to a person so abundantly gifted with clumsy shyness as myself. However, I do not believe you will like me the worse for having the greatest possible difficulty in writing to any man such a letter as this.'
The three lights of the window, representing Moses, Aaron, and Joshua, were intended as portraits of Venables and his two brothers. Beneath was the inscription suggested by Mr. Pember, 'Conditori hujus ecclesiae amicissimi quidam.' Fitzjames adds that he had felt 'a passing wish' to add his favourite words, 'Be strong and of a good courage,' which, at his suggestion, Dean Stanley had taken as the text for a funeral sermon upon Lord Lawrence. I will only add that Fitzjames had said in private letters substantially what he said to Venables himself. On October 8, 1888, he heard of his old friend's death, and again wrote an article of warm appreciation in the 'Saturday Review.'
V. JAMES KENNETH STEPHEN
I have now to give a brief notice of events which had a saddening influence upon the later years. Fitzjames, as I have remarked, had seen comparatively little of his elder children in their infancy. As they grew up, however, they had been fully admitted to his intimacy and treated on the footing of trusted and reasonable friends. The two younger daughters had been playthings in their infancy, and grew up in an atmosphere of warm domestic affection. Just before Venables' death Fitzjames made a little tour in the West of Ireland with his daughter Rosamond, who has preserved a little account of it. I shall only say that it proves that she had a delightful travelling companion; and that his straightforward ways enabled him to be on the friendliest terms with the natives whom he encountered. Among the frequent declarations of the happiness of his life, he constantly observes that one main condition was that his children had never given him a moment's uneasiness. Two, indeed, had died in infancy; and Frances, a very promising girl, had died of rheumatic fever July 27, 1880. Such troubles, however deeply felt, cannot permanently lessen the happiness of a healthy and energetic life. His three sons grew into manhood; they all became barristers, and had all acted at different times as his marshals. I shall say nothing of the survivors; but I must speak briefly of the one who died before his father.
James Kenneth Stephen was born on February 25, 1859. His second name commemorates his father's friendship for his godfather, Kenneth Macaulay. He was a healthy lad, big and strong, and soon showed much intellectual promise. He was at the school of Mr. William Browning at Thorpe Mandeville; and in 1871 won a foundation scholarship at Eton, where he became the pupil of Mr. Oscar Browning, the brother of his former master. He already gave promise of unusual physical strength, and of the good looks which in later years resulted from the singular combination of power and sweetness in his features. The head of his division was H. C. Goodhart, afterwards Professor of Latin at the University of Edinburgh. Other boys in the division were George Curzon and Cecil Spring Rice. James was surpassed in scholarship by several of his friends, but enjoyed a high reputation for talent among his cleverest contemporaries. The school, it appears, was not quite so much absorbed by the worship of athletics as was sometimes imagined. James, however, rowed for two years in the boats, while his weight and strength made him especially formidable at the peculiar Eton game of football 'at the wall.' The collegers, when supported by his prowess, had the rare glory of defeating the Oppidans twice in succession. He was ever afterwards fond of dilating with humorous enthusiasm upon the merits of that game, and delighted in getting up an eleven of old Etonians to play his successors in the school. He was, however, more remarkable for intellectual achievements. With Mr. Spring Rice and another friend he wrote the 'Etonian,' which lasted from May 1875 to August 1876; and several of the little poems which he then wrote were collected afterwards in his 'Lapsus Calami.' They are, of course, chiefly in the humorous vein, but they show sufficiently that Eton was to him very different from what it had been to his father. He was a thoroughly loyal and even enthusiastic Etonian; he satirises a caviller by putting into his mouth the abominable sentiment—
Ye bigot spires, ye Tory towers, That crown the watery lea, Where grateful science still adores The aristocracy.
His genuine feeling is given in the lines on 'My old School':—
And if sometimes I've laughed in my rhymes at Eton, Whose glory I never could jeopardise, Yet I'd never a joy that I could not sweeten, Or a sorrow I could not exorcise,
By the thought of my school and the brood that's bred there, Her bright boy faces and keen young life; And the manly stress of the hours that sped there, And the stirring pulse of her daily strife.
To the last he cherished the memory of the school, and carefully maintained his connection with it. One odd incident occurred in 1875, when James got up a 'constitutional opposition' to the intrusion of the revivalist preachers Moody and Sankey. His father wrote him a judicial letter of advice, approving his action so long as it was kept within due limits. He takes occasion to draw the moral that the whole power of such people depends upon the badness of their hearers' consciences. A man who has nothing to hide, who is 'just, benevolent, temperate and brave,' can 'look at things coolly and rate such people at their value.' Those 'few words' (i.e. the names of the virtues) 'are the summary of all that is worth having in life. Never forget any one of them for one moment, though you need not talk about them any more than you talk about your watch.' James had a marked influence in the college; he was a leading orator in the school debating societies; and his good sayings were as familiarly quoted as those of Sydney Smith or Luttrell in the larger world. Mr. Cornish, who was his tutor for a time, tells me of the charm of James's talk with his elders, and says that, although he was careless on some matters upon which schoolmasters set a high value, he always showed power and originality. He won an English Essay prize in 1875, the History prize in 1876 and 1877, the Declamation prize in 1878, and was one of the 'select' for the Newcastle in 1877.
James went to King's with a scholarship in 1878. He gave up classics and took to history. He took a first class (bracketed first in the class) in the historical tripos, but was only in the second class in the law tripos. Besides prizes for college essays, he won the 'Member's Prize' for an essay upon Bolingbroke in 1880, and the Whewell Scholarship for International Law in 1881. He succeeded in every competition for which he really exerted himself; although, like his father, he was rather indifferent to the regular course of academical instruction. Among his contemporaries, however, he enjoyed the kind of fame which is perhaps of still better augury for future success. King's College in his day, says Mr. Browning, was only emerging slowly from the effects of its close dependence upon Eton. It had been in former days chiefly a little clique of older schoolboys. James helped much to change this, and distinctly raised the intellectual tone of the place. He was a well-known speaker at the Union, of which he was president in 1882. He was an 'Apostle' too; and in May 1881 his father visited him in Cambridge, and attended a meeting of the Society where James read a paper. Although, therefore, he scarcely won such a share of academical honours as might have been expected, James was regarded by his friends as the man of his time who was most definitely marked out for distinction in later years. His friends, indeed, were innumerable; and from all with whom I have communicated there is a unanimous testimony not only to his intellectual promise, but to his influence in promoting a high tone of thought and feeling. His father's letters frequently refer to him. James, he says, is a 'splendid young fellow'; he will surpass his father in due time, and be the fourth distinguished man of his name. James, he says once, using the epithet which in his mouth conveyed the highest praise, is a 'sturdier' fellow in many ways than I was, and writes better than I could at his age. One achievement of the son rather extorted than attracted his father's praise. He appeared in a Greek play as Ajax, a part for which his massive frame and generally noble appearance fitted him admirably. The father admitted that he had a certain dislike to a man's exhibiting himself personally, but was reconciled by observing that James acted more like a gentleman amusing himself than like a professional performer.
How far these anticipations of success would ever have been fulfilled must remain uncertain. James may not have had his father's extraordinary vigour, but he undoubtedly had one quality in which his father was defective. He had a surprising facility in making friendly alliances with all sorts and conditions of men. His opinions partly resembled his father's. In politics he was of the Conservative tendency, and he was certainly not of the orthodox persuasion in theology. But he was equally at ease with Tories and Home Rulers, Roman Catholics and Agnostics; and his cheery, cordial manners put him at once on the best understanding with everybody. There was something contagious in the enthusiasm of a young man who seemed so heartily to appreciate the simple joy of living. Perhaps his weakness was to be a little too versatile in his sympathies and interests.
After taking his degree, James spent some time in Germany and France. He was elected to a fellowship at King's College in 1885, and as a candidate wrote dissertations upon 'Political Science' and 'International Law.' He was elected, it is said, as much upon the strength of his general ability as for any special performance.
He was called to the bar in 1884, and naturally employed his spare time upon journalism. He wrote a good deal for Mr. Greenwood in the 'St. James's Gazette,' and had extraordinary facility as a writer. Mr. Reginald Smith tells me how James once wrote a leading article in the train between Paddington and Maidenhead. Many of the little poems which he contributed to periodicals were improvised. He was famous for wit and readiness as an after-dinner speaker; and showed an oratorical power in electioneering speeches which gave the highest hopes of parliamentary success. Indeed, from all that I have heard, I think that his powers in this direction made the greatest impression upon his friends, and convinced them that if he could once obtain an opening, he would make a conspicuous mark in public life.
At the end of 1886 he had an accident, the effects of which were far more serious than appeared at the time. He was staying at Felixstowe, and while looking (December 29, 1886) at an engine employed in pumping water he received a terrible blow upon the head. He returned to his work before long, but it was noticed that for some time he seemed to have lost his usual ease in composition. He was supposed, however, to have recovered completely from the effects of the blow. In the early part of 1888 he astonished his friends by producing a small weekly paper called the 'Reflector.' It appeared from January 1 to April 21, 1888. He received help from many friends, but wrote the chief part of it himself. The articles show the versatility of his interests, and include many thoughtful discussions of politics and politicians, besides excursions into literature. Perhaps its most remarkable quality was not favourable to success. It was singularly candid and moderate in tone, and obviously the work of a thoughtful observer. Probably the only chance of success for such a periodical would have been to make a scandal by personality or impropriety. To expect a commercial success from a paper which relied only upon being well written was chimerical, unless the author could have afforded to hold out in a financial sense for a much longer period. The expense gave a sufficient reason for discontinuing it; and it is now, I fear, to be inferred that the venture was one of the first signs of a want of intellectual balance.
Meanwhile, it seemed to indicate that James had literary tastes which would interfere with his devotion to the bar. Some months later (June 1888) his father appointed him to the clerkship of assize on the South Wales circuit, which had become vacant by the death of Maine's son.
He now took comparatively little interest in his profession and spoke of taking more exclusively to literature. Clearer symptoms showed themselves before long of the disease caused by the accident. I have no wish to dwell upon that painful topic. It is necessary, however, to say that it gradually became manifest that he was suffering from a terrible disease. He had painful periods of excitement and depression. Eccentricities of behaviour caused growing anxiety to his family; and especially to his father, whose own health was beginning to suffer from independent causes. I will only say that exquisitely painful as the position necessarily was to all who loved him, there was something strangely pathetic in his whole behaviour. It happened that I saw him very frequently at the time; and I had the best reasons for remarking that, under all the distressing incidents, the old most lovable nature remained absolutely unaffected. No one could be a more charming companion, not only to his contemporaries but to his elders and to children, for whose amusement he had a special gift. He would reason in the frankest and most good-humoured way about himself and his own affairs, and no excitement prevented him for a moment from being courteous and affectionate.
He resolved at last to settle at Cambridge in his own college in October 1890; resigning his clerkship at the same time. At Cambridge he was known to everyone, and speedily made himself beloved both in the University and the town. He spoke at the Union and gave lectures, which were generally admired. And here, too, in 1891 he published two little volumes of verse: 'Lapsus Calami' and 'Quo Musa Tendis?' Four editions of the first were published between April and August. It started with an address to Calverley, most felicitous of minor poets of Cambridge; and the most skilful practisers of the art thought that James had inherited a considerable share of his predecessor's gift. I, however, cannot criticise. No one can doubt that the playful verses and the touches of genuine feeling show a very marked literary talent, if not true poetic power. He seems, I may remark, to have had a special affinity for Browning, whom he parodied in a way which really implied admiration. He took occasion to make a graceful apology in some verses upon Browning's death. But to me the little volume and its successor speak more of the bright and affectionate nature which it indicates, and the delight, veiled by comic humour, in his friendships and in all the school and college associations endeared by his friends' society. The 'Quo Musa Tendis?' composed chiefly of poems contributed to various papers in the interval, appeared in September 1891.
Mr. Oscar Browning quotes some phrases from one of James's letters in November, which dwell with lively anticipation upon the coming term. For a time, in fact, he seemed to be in excellent spirits and enjoying his old pursuits and amusements. But a change in his condition soon occurred. He had to leave Cambridge at the end of November; and he died on February 3, 1892. Many bright hopes were buried with him; but those who loved him best may find some solace in the thought that few men have been so surrounded by the affection of their fellows, or have had, in spite of the last sad troubles, so joyous or so blameless a life.
James's college friends have put up a brass to his memory in King's College Chapel. His family erected a fountain near Anaverna. His father added a drinking-cup as his own special gift, and took the first draught from it October 25, 1892, when about to take his final leave of the place.
What remains to be told of Fitzjames's life shall be given as briefly as may be. The death of James had been preceded by the death of Lord Lytton, November 24, 1891, which was felt deeply by the survivor. His own health gave fresh cause for anxiety during the latter part of 1889, though happily he had little suffering at any time beyond some incidental inconvenience. On March 17, 1890, he had an attack of illness during the assizes at Exeter resembling that which he had previously had at Derby. He was again ordered to rest for three months. Sir A. Clark allowed him to go on circuit in the summer. Lord Coleridge was his colleague, and Fitzjames enjoyed his society. He afterwards went to Anaverna, and, though unable to walk far, took much pleasure in long drives. Meanwhile it began to be noticed that his mind was less powerful than it had hitherto been. It was an effort to him to collect his thoughts and conduct a case clearly. A competent observer stated as his general view that Fitzjames was at intervals no longer what he had been—a remarkably strong judge—but that he could still discharge his duties in a way which would have caused no unfavourable comments had he been new to the work. Remarks, however, began to be made in the press which may have been more or less exaggerated. I need only say that Fitzjames himself was quite unconscious of any inability to do his duty, and for some time heard nothing of any comments. In March 1891 he was on circuit at Exeter again with Lord Coleridge. It was thought right that certain public remarks should be brought under his notice. He immediately took the obviously right course. He consulted Sir Andrew Clark, who advised resignation. Fitzjames did his last work as judge at Bristol, March 15 to 23, and finally resigned on April 7, 1891, when he took leave of his colleagues at an impressive meeting. The Attorney-General, Sir R. Webster, expressed the feelings of the bar; and the final 'God bless you all,' with which he took leave of the members of his old profession, remains in the memory of his hearers. He was created a baronet in recognition of his services, and received the usual pension.
I may here mention that he was elected a corresponding member of the 'Institut de France' in 1888 ('Academie des Sciences morales et politiques'). The election, I believe, was due to M. de Franqueville, the distinguished French jurist, with whom he had formed a warm friendship in later years. He also received the honorary degree of LL.D. from the University of Edinburgh in 1884, and was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
After his retirement his health fluctuated. He visited Froude at Salcombe in June, and was able to enjoy sailing. He afterwards went to Homburg, and in the autumn was able to walk as well as drive about Anaverna. He wrote an article or two for the 'Nineteenth Century,' and he afterwards amused himself by collecting the articles of which I have already spoken, published in three small volumes (in 1892) as 'Horae Sabbaticae.' On the whole, however, he was gradually declining. The intellect was becoming eclipsed, and he was less and less able to leave his chair. Early in 1893 he became finally unable to walk up and down stairs, and in the summer it was decided not to go to Anaverna. He was moved to Red House Park, Ipswich, in May, where he remained to the end. It had the advantage of a pleasant garden, which he could enjoy during fine weather. During this period he still preserved his love of books, and was constantly either reading or listening to readers. His friends felt painfully that he was no longer quite with them in mind. Yet it was touching to notice how scrupulously he tried, even when the effort had become painful, to receive visitors with all due courtesy, and still more to observe how his face lighted up with a tender smile whenever he received some little attention from those dearest to him. It is needless to say that of such loving care there was no lack. I shall only mention one trifling incident, which concerned me personally. I had been to see him at Ipswich. He was chiefly employed with a book, and though he said a few words, I felt doubtful whether he fully recognised my presence. I was just stepping into a carriage on my departure when I became aware that he was following me to the door leaning upon his wife's arm. Once more his face was beaming with the old hearty affection, and once more he grasped my hand with the old characteristic vigour, and begged me to give his love to my wife. It was our last greeting.
I can say nothing of the intercourse with those still nearer to him. He had no serious suffering. He became weaker and died peacefully at Ipswich, March 11, 1894. He was buried at Kensal Green in the presence of a few friends, and laid by the side of his father and mother and the four children who had gone before him. One other grave is close by, the grave of one not allied to him by blood, but whom he loved with a brotherly affection that shall never be forgotten by one survivor.
I have now told my story, and I leave reflections mainly to my readers. One thing I shall venture to say. In writing these pages I have occasionally felt regret—regret that so much power should have been used so lavishly as to disappoint the hopes of a long life, for I always looked to my brother as to a tower of strength, calculated to outlast such comparative weaklings as myself; and regret, too, that so much power was expended upon comparatively ephemeral objects or upon aims destined to fail of complete fulfilment. Such regrets enable me to understand why the work which he did in India made so deep an impression upon his mind. And yet I feel that the regrets are unworthy of him. The cases are rare indeed where a man's abilities have been directed precisely into the right channel from early life. Almost all men have to acknowledge that they have spent a great portion of their energy upon tasks which have led to nothing, or led only to experience of failure. A man who has succeeded in giving clear utterance to the thoughts that were in him need care comparatively little whether they have been concentrated in some great book or diffused through a number of miscellaneous articles. Fitzjames's various labours came to a focus in his labours upon the Criminal Law. During his short stay in India he succeeded in actually achieving a great work; and I hope that, if his hopes of achieving similar results in England were disappointed, he will have successors who will find some help from the foundations which he laid. But, as he said of his father, the opportunity of directing your powers vigorously and in a worthy direction is its own reward. If to have taken advantage of such opportunities be the true test of success, whatever opinions may be held of you by others, and to whatever account they may turn your labours, Fitzjames may be called eminently successful. It often appears to me, indeed, that a man does good less by his writings or by the mark which he may make upon public affairs than by simply being himself. The impression made upon his contemporaries by a man of strong and noble character is something which cannot be precisely estimated, but which we often feel to be invaluable. The best justification of biography in general is that it may strengthen and diffuse that impression. That, at any rate, is the spirit in which I have written this book. I have sought to show my brother as he was. Little as he cared for popularity (and, indeed, he often rather rejected than courted it), I hope that there will not be wanting readers who will be attracted even by an indifference which is never too common. And there is one thing which, as I venture to believe, no one can deny, or deny to be worth considering. Whatever may be thought of Fitzjames's judgments of men and things, it must be granted that he may be called, in the emphatical and lofty sense of the word, a true man. In the dark and bewildering game of life he played his part with unfaltering courage and magnanimity. He was a man not only in masculine vigour of mind and body, but in the masculine strength of affection, which was animated and directed to work by strenuous moral convictions. If I have failed to show that, I have made a failure indeed; but I hope that I cannot have altogether failed to produce some likeness of a character so strongly marked and so well known to me from my earliest infancy.
[Footnote 176: History of Criminal Law, i. 418.]
[Footnote 177: History of Criminal Law, i. 265-272.]
[Footnote 178: Fitzjames had given a slighter account of this curious subject in the Contemporary Review for February 1871.]
[Footnote 179: History of Criminal Law, ii. 81-3.]
[Footnote 180: Ibid. iii. 84.]
[Footnote 181: History of Criminal Law, ii. 175.]
[Footnote 182: History of Criminal Law, i. 442.]
[Footnote 183: Fitzjames discussed this question for the last time in the Nineteenth Century for October 1886. Recent changes had, he says, made the law hopelessly inconsistent; and he points out certain difficulties, though generally adhering to the view given above.]
[Footnote 184: History of Criminal Law, iii. 367.]
[Footnote 185: Nuncomar and Impey, i. 1.]
[Footnote 186: Nuncomar and Impey, ii. 114.]
[Footnote 187: Ibid. ii. 247.]
[Footnote 188: Nuncomar and Impey, i. 7.]
[Footnote 189: History of Criminal Law, i. 456.]
[Footnote 190: Fitzjames kept a journal for a short time at this period, which gives the facts, also noticed in his letters.]
[Footnote 191: Law Reports, 6 Queen's Bench Division, pp. 244-263.]
[Footnote 192: Law Reports, 12 Queen's Bench Division, pp. 247-256.]
[Footnote 193: The verses were published in the St. James's Gazette of Dec. 2, 1881.]
[Footnote 194: His letters appeared in the Times of March 1 and 2 and June 9, 1883, and were afterwards collected.]
[Footnote 195: His letters appeared on January 1, 4, and 21, and on April 29 and May 1, 1886.]
[Footnote 196: February 11, 1888; reprinted in the biographical notice by Sir M. E. Grant Duff, prefixed to the collection of Maine's speeches and minutes in 1892.]
[Footnote 197: I have used a notice in the Cambridge Review of February 11, 1892, and some notes by Mr. Oscar Browning. I have also to thank several of James's friends for communications; especially Mr. Cornish, now Vice-Provost of Eton College, Mr. Lowry, now an Eton master, Mr. Reginald J. Smith, Q.C., and Mr. H. F. Wilson, of Lincoln's Inn.]
[Footnote 198: I deeply regret to say that Professor Goodhart died while these pages were going through the press. The schoolboy affection had been maintained to the end; and Goodhart was one of James's most intimate and valued friends.]
[Footnote 199: Mr. Lowry mentions some other ephemeral writings, the Salt Hill Papers and the Sugar Loaf Papers.]
[Footnote 200: The last was published at the end of 1884.]
[Footnote 201: A bibliographical account of the changes in these editions is given in the fourth.]
[Footnote 202: A 'Parodist's Apology,' added in the later edition of the Lapsus.]
The independent books published by Sir J. F. Stephen were as follows:—
1. Essays by a Barrister (reprinted from the Saturday Review). London, 1862, Smith, Elder & Co. 1 vol. 8vo. (Anonymous.) Pp. 335.
2. Defence of the Rev. Rowland Williams, D.D., in the Arches Court of Canterbury, by James Fitzjames Stephen, M.A., of the Inner Temple, barrister-at-law, recorder of Newark-on-Trent. London, 1862, Smith, Elder & Co. 1 vol. 8vo. Pp. xlviii. 335.
3. A General View of the Criminal Law of England, by James Fitzjames Stephen, M.A., of the Inner Temple, barrister-at-law, recorder of Newark-on-Trent. London and Cambridge, 1863, Macmillan & Co. 1 vol. 8vo. Pp. xii. 499.
4. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, by James Fitzjames Stephen, Q.C. London, 1873, Smith, Elder & Co. Pp. vi. 350. Second edition of the same (with new preface and additional notes), 1874. Pp. xlix. 370.
5. A Digest of the Law of Evidence, by James Fitzjames Stephen, Q.C. London, 1874, Macmillan & Co. Pp. xlii. 198. Reprinted with slight alterations, September 1876, December 1876; with many alterations, 1877. Second edition, 1881. Third, 1887. Fourth, 1893.
6. A Digest of the Criminal Law (Crimes and Punishments), by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, K.C.S.I., Q.C. London, 1877, Macmillan & Co. Pp. lxxxii. 412. Second edition, 1879. Third, 1883. Fourth, 1887. Fifth, 1894.
7. A Digest of the Law of Criminal Procedure in Indictable Offences, by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, K.C.S.I., D.C.L., a judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, and Herbert Stephen, Esq., LL.M., of the Inner Temple, barrister-at-law. London, Macmillan &Co. 1883. Pp. xvi. 230.
8. A History of the Criminal Law of England, by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, K.C.S.I., D.C.L., a judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division. London, 1883, Macmillan & Co. 3 vols. 8vo. Pp. xviii. 576; 497; 592.
9. The Story of Nuncomar and the Impeachment of Sir Elijah Impey, by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, K.C.S.I., one of the judges of the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division. London, 1885, Macmillan & Co. 2 vols. 8vo. Pp. 267, 336.
10. A General View of the Criminal Law of England, by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, K.C.S.I., D.C.L., Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, a corresponding member of the French Institute, a judge of the Supreme Court, Queen's Bench Division. (Second edition.) London, 1890, Macmillan & Co. Pp. xii. 398.
11. Horae Sabbaticae, Reprint of Articles contributed to the Saturday Review, by Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. London, 1892, Macmillan & Co. First, second and third series. Pp. 347, 417, 376.