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Bar, stating "that it would have been difficult not to appreciate their conduct, that it had received the applause which it deserved, and that it had even surpassed what might have been expected from them." In 1727, an advocate named Michelarm was erased from the roll of the order for having lent his name to a procureur, contrary to the ordinance of 1693, which regulated the writings reserved to members of the Bar, and forbade advocates to sign papers which they had not drawn up. This radiation was confirmed by Parliament.
The Bar took an active and prominent part in the discussions and troubles that arose from the famous bull Unigenitus, which attacked the liberties of the Gallican Church and condemned Jansenism, and which was a fertile source of strife and dissension in France, from the conclusion of the reign of Louis XIV. to the last years of that of Louis XV. Nevertheless it was accepted by an assembly of French prelates; royal letters patent ordered its execution; it was registered in June 1714 by the Parliament; and very severe measures were had recourse to in order to compel dissidents to submit to it. During the early part of the Regency the Regent, shewed himself unfavourable to the bull. But afterwards either out of dislike to Jansenism, or urged on by his minister, Dubois, who was ambitious of obtaining a cardinal's hat--he made overtures to Rome, and took the bull under his protection; and, in 1720, it was accepted of new, and registered by Parliament. But after the death of the profligate Regent and his infamous minister, a consultation took place, arising out of a provincial Synod held at Embrun, for the acceptation of the bull, in which the elite of the bar-such as Normand, Cochin, Aubray, and Julien de Pruay-gave a strong opinion against it, dated January 1728. This opinion was drawn up by Aubray, and signed by fifty other advocates, and condemned the bull as containing propositions contrary to the liberties of the Gallican Church. In this matter the Bar seem, to some extent, to have departed from their ordinary functions, and to have assumed the right of protecting the interests of the State against the ultramontane doctrines. The result was that they were interdicted by the Royal Council, but the interdict was only maintained for a short period and then revoked by a second decree of the Council, so that the Bar issued triumphant from the struggle. In the following year, however, the Archbishop of Paris issued a charge condemning in the strongest terms the proceedings of the
advocates with regard to the bull. They, on their part, appealed to the Parliament which supported them, and forbade the publication of the Archbishop's charge; while the Archbishop, on his part, appealed to the Royal Council, and the result was a decree of 10th March 1731, by which the king ordered silence on the question, and forbade all further meeting and deliberation. But the calm which followed was of short duration. The Archbishop would not submit to the decree, and at his instance the Council of State issued a new decree in July 1731 by which, among other things, the King permitted the Archbishop to publish and distribute the obnoxious charge, so that the advocates found themselves again placed under the archiepiscopal condemnation declaring their consultation with regard to the bull heretical. Under these circumstances they met together, and, after two day's deliberation, decided that the Bar should cease its functions. On the 30th August, ten of the most active among them were exiled, and were followed in their banishment by the applause and good wishes of their brethren. The absence of the advocates from the courts was deeply felt, and the minister soon became anxious to terminate such an abnormal state of things. Overtures were made to Normand, whose high position at the Bar placed him on a footing with the most exalted personages. A decree of
the Council pronounced the advocates "good and faithful subjects," the exiles were recalled, and business resumed its ordinary course. But during the following year, fresh troubles arose out of a new encroachment by the Archbishop on the privileges of Parliament and of the Bar. The king had again recourse to exile, and banished the councillors of the Court of Petitions and Court of Inquiry. But the advocates, by abstaining from the exercise of their functions, again compelled the Court to yield, and the triumph of the Order was ensured by the decree of 2nd December 1732, revoking that of 6th September, and recalling the exiles. Twenty years afterwards a similar dispute, with similar results, took place between the Archbishop of Paris-backed by the royal authority-and the Court of Parliament and the Bar. It also arose out of the bull Unigenitus. The Archbishop-Christophe de Beaumont-ordered that the succours of the Church should be refused to those who would not accept the bull; whilst Parliament, on the other hand, forbade the refusal of the sacraments for such a cause, and even went the length of ordering the arrest of a curate who had refused them. The Parliament
was transferred to Pontoise; but the advocates declined to plead, and there was a complete cessation of business. Again the king was compelled to cede to this passive and powerful resistance ;. and, on the 2nd September 1754, recalled the Parliament to Paris, where business was resumed amidst general demonstrations of popular satisfaction.
We shall now shortly notice some of the more famous advocates and jurisconsults of the latter part of the eighteenth century, beginning with Gerbier, whose eloquence and success equalled those of Normand and Cochin, the eminent pleaders whom we have already mentioned. He had great natural genius for oratory, which he had cultivated with the utmost assiduity, and the effect of his speaking was increased by his fine person, his noble gestures, and the touching quality of his voice. He was twenty-eight years of age before he began to plead, but his rare merit speedily placed him at the head of the Bar. Several specimens of his oratory, in some of the most important cases of the period, have been preserved, and are sufficient to give a very high idea of his excellence as an advocate. The latter part of his career was clouded by many chagrins. He allowed himself to be persuaded to plead before the Parliament Maupeou, which was created after the suppression of the old Parliament, by royal authority in 1770; and when the ancient body was recalled in 1774, the majority of the advocates, who had remained faithful to it, and refused to plead before its substitute, were so indignant at Gerbier as even to talk of his radiation from the roll. Afterwards he became involved in a bitter and prolonged quarrel with Linguet, an able but violent and unprincipled pleader who was expelled from the Bar in 1775. He died batonnier of the Order in 1788. Like Normand, he was sumptuous and extravagant in his personal habits; but he made immense suns by his profession. He is said to have received a fee of L.4000 from the Company of the Indies, and L.20,000 from a Sieur Cadet whose cause he had pled successfully.
Among the advocates of this period we may also mention Elie de Beaumont, admitted to the Parisian Bar in 1752, whose memoir on behalf of the widow of Calas-condemned and executed in conformity with the monstrous judgment of the Parliament of Toulouse-was read throughout Europe. He also distinguished himself by another memoir on behalf of Sirven, a Protestant of Saint-Alby, accused of having assassinated his daughter who wished to become a Roman Catholic. He and his family saved
themselves from a fate similar to that of the innocent and unhappy Calas, by a timely flight into Switzerland. But both he and his wife were found guilty and condemned to death. The memoir of de Beaumont places their innocence in the clearest light, and was successful in annulling the unjust sentence against them. Voltaire wrote him with reference to this memorial, "This is the second time, sir, that you have avenged nature and the law;" and afterwards he says, "What monsters you have had to combat! two parricides in two months inspired by fanaticism !"
By far the most distinguished French jurist of the eighteenth century was the famous Pothier, born at Orleans in 1699. He completed his legal studies in the university of that city, and was appointed councillor in the Presidial Court of Judicature at the age of twenty-one. In 1736, he commenced his great work upon the Pandects, which occupied him during twelve laborious years. In this immense task he had the assistance of his intimate friends, Prevot de la Janés, his colleague in the Presidial Court at Orleans and Professor of French Law, and of de Guienne, an advocate in the Parliament of Paris. On the death of the former in 1749, Pothier was appointed Professor of French Law in the University of Orleans, where his able and enthusiastic teaching speedily gave a remarkable impulse and development to the school of law, which, during the twenty-five years he presided over it, educated many of the first magistrates and advocates in France. Pothier lived a retired, quiet, and studious life. Besides his great work on the Pandects, he produced a number of other works of kindred excellence in various departments of the civil law. The principles, and even the expressions contained in some of these, have been transferred into the Code Napoleon. Pothier died at Orleans at the age of seventy-three.
THE LATE GEORGE BRODIE, ESQ., ADVOCATE
Mr George Brodie, whose death we recorded last month, was a man whose services to legal and historical literature should not be passed over in silence. He was youngest son of William Brodie, Esq., of Chesterhill, in Roxburghshire, descended, we believe, from the Brodies of Brodie, and best known as an extensive farmer in East Lothian, to whom jointly with his friend Mr Dawson belongs
the merit of the introduction of turnip drill husbandry. His mother was a daughter of Adam Bogue, Esq., of Woodhall, co. Berwick. Mr Brodie was born about 1786, educated at the High School and University of Edinburgh, and called to the bar in 1811. He was from his boyhood a hard student, and early acquired a high position in general scholarship; but the theory and foundations of our law, and historical learning, particularly constitutional history, were the subjects to which he especially devoted himself. The work on which his reputation principally rests was first published in 1822 in four volumes, and is entitled, "A History of the British Empire, from the Accession of Charles I to the Restoration, with an introduction, tracing the progress of society and of the Constitution, from the feudal times to the opening of the history, and including a particular examination of Mr Hume's statements relative to the character of the English Government." This work ranks among the most valuable existing contributions to the history of Great Britain, and may be said to have begun a new era in English historical literature. It is characterised by a diligence, accuracy, and perseverance which can hardly be overrated,-and the author shows a remarkable talent for deducing facts from scattered and apparently unconnected articles of circumstantial evidence. David Hume's pleasantly written narratives are unmercifully dealt with, and, traced to their original sources, are shewn in too many instances to be little better than romance. Though less known to superficial readers than the more popular works which have succeeded it, and are to a large extent founded on it, Mr Brodie's history is still esteemed by scholars, both in this country and on the continent, as the most learned and most satisfactory history of the period to which it relates.
Soon after the publication of his history, Mr Brodie was engaged in another literary labour. His "Commentaries and Supplement to Lord Stair's Institutions of the Law of Scotland," appeared in 1826, a contribution to the legal literature of Scotland which has been highly prized by all our most eminent lawyers. Not only do the Commentaries evince in every line abstruse legal learning, but it has been remarked by high authority that they are not like the work of a mere theorist, but of a lawyer in extensive practice. His care and industry in composing for the press were such that he revised the manuscript of his Supplement fourteen times before he was satisfied with it.