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rouse the Athenians to renewed activity without incurring would soon come when the people would take !he power the penalty of the law. Being endowed by nature with into their own hands. Solon appeared to be the only wan considerable poetical talents, as appears from the fragments who was impartial and skilful enough to mediate between of his works, he composed an elegy upon the loss of Sala- the hostile parties. In the year B.C. 594 he was invested mis (Müller, Hist. of the Lit. of Antient Greece, i., p. 117), with the office of archon, and requested to act as mediator and assuming the appearance of a madman, ne rushed into and to frame a new code of laws. In considering the legisthe Agora, where a crowd soon gathered around him. Here lation which he undertook, it should constantly be borne he recited his poem to the multitude, and its inspiriting in- in mind that he received from both parties full power to 1luence, together with the probably preconcerted assistance arbitrate between them; and he acted in the name and on of some of his friends, had such an effect upon the people, behalf of his country. The sincerity with which he acted is tliat they not only repealed the law respecting Salamis, but manifest from the fact that he resisted all temptations and resolved to try once more to recover that island. Solon was exhortations of his friends to make himself tyrant of Athens, placed at the head of the Athenian forces, and led them to which he might undoubtedly have done without much diffivictory by a stratagem which is differently described by an- culty, and that he himself 'lost a considerable part of his tient writers. (Plut., Sol., 8, 9.) All the Megarians in property by his own legislation. Salamis were either slain or dismissed to their homes, and The legislation of Solon consisted of two main parts: the Salamis again came into the hands of the Athenians. This one embraced those measures by which he intended to successful undertaking, in which the Athenians also appear remove the evils under which the republic was actually to have gained possession of Nisaea, raised Solon to a very labouring; the object of the second was to establish the bigh degree of popularity. In the war between Delphi and constitution upon such a basis as would prevent the recurCirrha (about 600 B.c.), Solon advised the Athenians to rence of these evils. The first step he took was to reliere support the former city against the sacrilegious Cirrhaeans. those who were oppressed by debts. This was done in a His advice was followed and crowned with success, for manner which did not cause too great loss to the rich, and Cirrha was destroyed, and Solon’s fame now spread through was yet a great relief to the poor, by a measure called all Greece.
outoáx Deia, or a disburdening ordinance, by which lis not In consequence of the massacre of the friends of Cylon, only established a reduction of the rate of intersst (which notwithstanding their having taken refuge in the temples was probably made retrospective), but also lowered the and at the altars of the gods, the republic was at ihis standard of the silver coinage in such a manner that 73 old time divided between two parties, which were as much the drachmæ became worth 100 new ones. (Plut., Sol., 15.) He result of religious fears and scruples as of the political state also released the pledged lands, and restored them to their of the country. A part of the Athenians were enraged owners, but it is not clear whether this was effected by a against Megacles and his associates for their violation of all particular measure, or whether it was included in his religious feelings, and the surviving friends of Cylon did disburdening ordinance. Those citizens who had been their utmost to foster this hostility against their enemies. enslaved by their creditors were restored to freedom, and The Megaclids were looked upon as a cursed race, and the those who had been sold into foreign countries seem to hare Cylonids were gaining fresh strength every day. It was recovered their liberty at the expense of those who had evident that peace could not be restored until the Megaclids sold them. Finally, the law which gave to the creditor a had atoned for their crime, and delivered the city from the right to the person of his insolvent debtor was abolished. curse they appeared to have brought upon it. Solon, who Some of the antient writers state that he cancelled all debts, appears to bave belonged to neither party, enjoyed the but the best authorities do not mention any such measure, full confidence of his fellow-citizens, and when the dissen- which is the more improbable, as we read that the most sions had reached their highest pitch, he persuaded the violent democrats, who would certainly have been pleased Megaclids to submit their case to ihe decision of a commis. with it, were not satisfied with his disburdening ordinance. sion of 300 persons to be chosen from among the nobles. If we except the extreme of both parties, the relieving The sentence of this court was that the surviving Megaclids measures of Solon were received with universal approbation, should be sent into exile, and that the bodies of those who and sacrifices were offered to the gods for the happy change. had died should be taken from their graves and be carried Thus encouraged, Solon proceeded to the second and more befund the frontiers of Attica. During these troubles at difficult part of his task. The first thing he did was to Athens the Megarians renewed their aitempts upon Sala- abolish the bloody laws of Draco, with the exception of mis with success. Both the Mcgarians however and the those relating to murde: The characteristic feature of his Athenians were unwilling to engage again in a long and new constitution was, that he substituted property for birth terwus warfare, and both agreed to request the Lacedaemo as a title to the honours and offices of the state. The change nians to appoint a commi-sion of five men to investigate the brought about by this new standard could not at first be claims of ihe two states. Solon, who was the spokesman on great, as the eupatrids were undoubtedly the wealthiest the part of the Athenians, established by various means the citizens. According to their property, he divided the whole legitimacy of the claims of his country, which thus again population of Attica into four classes, and regulated their caine into the possession of Salamis. (Plut., Sol., 10, 12; political rights and duties according to the amount of their Diog. Laert., i. 48.)
income from their landed property. The first class comNotwithstanding the removal of the Megaclids from prised all those citizens whose estates yielded a yearly in Athens, the party feuds continued to rage as before. For come of 500 medimni (a medimnus is a bushel, six pints and besides the religious scruples arising from the crime of the a fraction) of dry or liquid produce, whence they are called Megaclids, which still seemed to call down the divine wrath TEVTAKOclopédiuvoi; the second, those who had 300 medimni, upon the city, there were other causes, which could only be and could keep a war-horse, whence they were called in reis, removed by a reform of the constitution. This however and formed the Athenian cavalry; the third contained those could not be effected with any degree of success, unless all whose estates yielded 200 medimni. They were called religious fears and apprehensions were allayed by a com- Sevgirai, from ihe yoke of cattle for the cultivation of plete purification of the city. This was done by Epimenides their fields, and formed the heavy-armed infantry in the of Crete, whom the Athenians invited for ihis purpose. Athenian armies. All the remaining population whose The way was thus prepared for the legislation of Solon. income did not amount to 200 medimni constituted the
The ihree antient local divisions of the country, the low- fourth class, with the name of Intes, that is, hired la. landers (flequeas or Iledıaioı), highlanders (Quárioi), and the bourers, who were excluded from all the offices of the state, inhabitants of the coast (llapaloi), formed three distinct poli and formed the light-armed infantry in the armies, as subtical parties; the highlanders being the most democratical, sequently they also manned the feets. They had however the lowlanders the most oligarchical, and the men of the the right of voting in the popular assembly, as well as the coast, who took a middle course, wishing to reconcile the two exercise of the judicial power, which Solon placed in the other parties. Besides these political parties, a struggle was hands of the people. The archonship and the other great going on between the wealthy and the poor. Many of the civil and military offices, which had before been held by the latter had not only lost their property, but, not being able nobles alone, became now accessible to all the citizens conto pay their creditors, had become the bondsmen of their tained in the first class, while the second and third classes wealthy oppressors, and some had even been sold as slaves had access to all the minor offices. The public burdens into foreign countries. (Plut., Sol., 13.) The most moderate were distributed according to the classes; but as the lower and wisest among the Athenians saw that this state of things classes had fewer political rights than the higher, the concould not last, and that if no remedy was applied, the time I tributions to the necessities of the state were for the lower
classes proportionately light, for the second and third | is more contrary to the whole spirit of his legislation than
the founder of the Attic navy. (Phot., s. v. vavkpapía.)
As regards the rights which Solon gave to the popular parties. But he laboured in vain, and although Pisistratus assembly, no measures could originate in it, but its discus- listened to him respectfully, he secretly continued to work sions were confined to such measures as had been prepared out his plan. (PisistRATUS.) When Pisistratus bad estaby the senate. Every citizen, to whatever property-class he blished himself as tyrant of Athens, Solon, who was probelonged, had a right to take part and to speak in it, so that bably convinced that the mild rule of one man was, after all, the vote of the wealthiest nobleman had no more weight greatly preferable to the continuance of party struggles, is than that of the poorest labourer. No one however was said to have supported the tyrant with his advice. At the allowed to speak who had not attained the age of twenty, and same time, he withdrew from public life. How long he the oldest persons were called upon by the crier to vote first. survived the ascendency of Pisistratus is not certain, but Though the political power of the assembly was limited, the according to the most probable account he died soon after, judicial power with which Solon invested it was consider in the year B.c. 559. (Clinton, Fast. Hell., ii., p. 301.) able. Out of the popular assembly 6000 men above the Respecting the constitution of Solon, see Thirlwall, Hist. of age of thirty were chosen every year by lot, to form a su Greece, ii., pp. 23-58. preme court of justice called the raia, to which appeals From the numerous works ascribed to Solon, it appears were made from the sentence of magistrates, and which had that he must have devoted all his leisure hours to the in certain cases to take cognizance, independently of any muses; and he is said to have done so to the last moment other court, and in subsequent times assumed all judicial of his life, for at the time when he died, he is said to have power in the state. The importance and influence of the been engaged in writing a poem upon the state of Attica Heliaea appears from the oath which the heliasts had to previous to the Ogygian tlood, and its wars with the inhatake at the time of their appointment, and which is pre- bitants of the island Atlantis, which was afterwards swalserved in Demosthenes (c. Timocrat., p. 746).
lowed up by the Atlantic Ocean. (Plut., Sol., 31, &c.) We It would be impossible to give any detailed account of are enabled to judge of his poetical powers from the few the civil and criminal legislation of Solon, although there fragments which are still extant. They are distinguished are many materials for such a purpose. It may suffice here by a graceful simplicity and great vigour. They have been to state, that although he did not in the same degree as collected by Fortlage, in a work entitled. Solonis Carminum Lycurgus interfere with and regulate the private affairs Fragmenta, Græce, cum variis lectionibus notisque,' Lipsiæ, and the mode of living of his fellow-citizens, yet, like most 1776 ; and by N. Bach, in ‘Solonis Carmina quæ supersunt, antient legislators, he did not think any part of the life of emend. atque annot. instr.,' Bonn., 1825, 8vo. the citizens unworthy of his attention. The education of SOLOR. (SUNDA ISLANDS, LESSER.] the young, and the conduct of women as well as of men, SOLOTHURN (Soleure, in French), a canton of Switzerwere to him as important as any of those subjects which in land, is bounded on the north by Basle, on the cast by modern times alone engross the attention of legislators. Aargau, on the south by Bern, and on the west partly by Plutarch (Sol., 18) states that Solon clothed his laws inten- Bern and partly by France. Its shape is extremely irregutionally in obscure language, for the purpose of increasing lar, the boundaries being conventional, and noi marked by the indience of the courts of justice. But surely nothing natural limits: the area is about 270 square miles. It is
erossed in the direction from south-west to north-east by A solution is given when the problem is reduced to any the Jura, which forms several parallel ridges, and covers the other which was supposed to be known before the first wag greater part of the canton. The principal valley is that of the presented: the difficulty peculiar to the given problem is Aar, which runs in the same direction, tlowing eastward of removed as soon as it is shown to be capable of reference to the Jura. The highest summits of the Jura in the canton of another and a lower class. Thus, though properly speaking Soleure are the Weissenstein and the Hasenmatt, which a problem is not solved until the answer is presented in latter is about 4400 feet above the sea. The canton of numbers, yet it is not thought necessary to require that Soleure is one of the most productive in Switzerland, espe- such a result should be attained, provided the steps which cially in corn, fruit, and vegetables. The vine thrives only are left are such as are well known and generally admitted. in certain localities. The mulberry-tree is cultivated, and Thus an equation would be said to be solved were it found some silk is made. There were in 1835 about 28,000 head that the roots required are those of a given quadratic; for no of horned cattle, 19,000 sheep and goats, 19,000 pigs, and one is supposed ignorant of the mode of then finding them. 4700 horses, the average value of which is from iwelve to A geometrical solution, in the strict sense of the word, is eighteen pounds sterling each. The horse fair of Soleure is one in which only the means of construction admitted by one of the principal in Switzerland. A considerable quan- Euclid, or others deducible from them, are employed in its tity of cheese is made, both of cow's milk and goat's milk, attainment. This is the least finished of all solutions; for and part of it is exported. Part of the mountains are a mode of laying down the various points which terminale covered with timber-trees, especially fir and beech. The lines is not, generally speaking, a mode of ascertaining their canton abounds in iron-mines, and ihe ore is smelted in the ratio. Nor must it be forgotten by the admirers of geometry furnaces of St. Joseph, and worked at the iron-works of | that the most important part of a result, the expression of Klus. The other manufactures consist of leather, paper, the ratios which the answer bears to the several data, is only woollens, and kirschwasser. There are also quarries of indirectly obtained in their favourite method. marble and gypsum.
When niore means than those allowed by Euclid are emThe population of the canlon, according to the census of ployed, the solution used to be called mechanical. It is 1835, amounted to 62,400, distributed among 134 com- rarely that such a solution is now employed.
A dialect of the Swiss-German is the language of An algebraical solution is one which employs algebra and the country. The inhabitants are Roman Catholics, with arithmetic, to the exclusion of geometrical construction; the exception of those of the district of Bucheggberg, and a that is, one in which the answer can always be directly calsmall congregation in the town of Soleure, which profess culated from a formula. Geometrical construction may be the Helvetic reformed communion, Most families are necessary for the demonstration of the solution : it is enough possessed of landed property. Every commune has now an that the answer contain no directions to find lines or surelementary school, and a normal school, or school for faces by construction. teachers, has been established at Soleure. Most of the An approximate solution is one which has an amount of communes have a bourse, or fund for the relief of their inaccuracy necessarily. Thus if 3+ 12 were the root of own poor.
an equation, this solution would not be called approximate; The constitution of Soleure was for a long time aristo for though 12 cannot be perfectly represented in a finite cratical, as in most of the Swiss cantons, but in January, form, the symbol itself contains the mode of attaining ilie 1831, a new constitution was framed, on a more popular result with any degree of exactness short of perfection. system. The mode of election of the members of the But if 2 were found to five decimal places, the answer legislature is by means of electoral colleges, as in France. 1.41421 would be called an approximate answer. Most
The canton is divided into ten electoral circles, each solutions must terminate in an approximate representation. having its electoral college, which names a certain propor- | [TRANSCENDENTAL.] tion of members to the great council or legislature. The SOLVENT is that which has the power of rendering town of Soleure returns 34 out of the 109 members who other bodies liquid; and chemically, a menstruum. Of all compose the great council. A little council, chosen from solvents, water is the most universal and useful; it dissolves anong the members of the great council, constitutes the a great number of neutral vegetable products, as gum, executive. The members of the great council are renewed sugar; and of saline bodies, as common salt, sulphate of every six years.
soda, &c. The resins are not soluble in water, and oils do SOLOTHURN, or SOLEURE, a bishop's see, and the head not combine with it, nor has it the power of dissolving any town of the canton, is built on both banks of the Aar, 1320 metal whatever while it retains its metallic properties; it is feet above the sea, and is surrounded by walls. The popu- only the oxides even of the lately discovered metals of the lation is 4200. The cathedral is reckoned the finest church alkalis and alkaline earths which are taken up by it, except in Switzerland; the tower is 190 feet high. The canons of indeed such metallic oxides as were previously known to Soleure receive about 2600 francs a year, and the emolu- possess acid properties. The solvent of resinous bodies is ments of the bishop are 10,000 francs. The other remark. alcohol, and of some similarly constituted substances; able buildings of Soleure are the town-house, which is very while caoutchouc is insoluble in it, but is dissolved by old, the arsenal, the theatre, the hospital, the fountain in the naphtha, oil of turpentine, and æther. market-place, the former church of the Jesuits, and several The metals are insoluble in any solvent until they have convents. Soleure has a gynınasium with six professors, suffered some change by its action, or by a similar change a lyceum with three professors, and a faculty of theology differently produced; thus, when zinc is put into mitric acid, divided into three classes. The town library has 15,000 that acid acts as a solvent, because the metal, by decomposvolumes. There are also the library belonging to the ing a portion of the acid, is converted into an oxide; and cathedral, which is said to contain some valuable manu after this, whether it be effected by the acid or by the action scripts, and several libraries belonging to convents and to of heat and air, the metal, or rather metallic oxide, bethe gymnasium. Soleure has a botanical garden, a cabinet comes soluble not only in nitric acid, but in an aqueous soluof natural history, a society for the natural sciences, founded tion of the alkali ammonia and of potash. in !823, a medical society, a literary society, a dramatic Heat has great power in altering the solvent power of society, and a military society. Soleure is nineteen miles bodies; in most cases it increases it, and hence, when it is north of Bern, and twenty-six miles south of Basle. required to crystallize certain salts, they are dissolved in
Olten, on the left bank of the Aar, about twenty miles hot water, and the solvent power of the water diminishing north-east of Soleure, is the second town in the canton, and as the solution cools, the salt is deposited in crystals. is a bustling, thriving place. It has several manufactories, There are exceptions however to this increased solvent some good buildings, and above 1500 inbabitants. (Leresche, power by heat: thus lime is more soluble in water at 32° Dictionnaire Géographique de la Suisse.)
ihan at 60°, and at this latter temperature than at its boilSOLSTICES, the points of the ecliptic which are highest ing point. Sulphate of soda is more soluble in water at 32° above the equator, at which, the sun's motion in declination than at 92°. There is a remarkable difference between the being imperceptible, the days remain sensibly unaltered in solvent power of hot and cold water with respect to all length for several days together, as they would do if the sun gaseous bodies ; owing to their disposition to resume the absolutely stood still: whence the name. (Sun.]
elastic state, gases are readily expelled from solution by SOLUTION. (Mathematics.) By the solution of a pro- neat, and, as might be expected, in many cases, the solvent blem should be meant the method of finding that which ihe power is increased by cold. problem requires to be found; but the word is frequently It has been already mentioned that gum is soluble in understood to apply to the answer itself.
water, while resin is taken up by spirit, and each is inso
luble in the other, so that when we mix an aqueous solution | and between Maryport and Allonby; but all the Cumbriaus of gom with a spirituous solution of resin, both are ren- shore from Allonby to the head of the frith is low and dered insoluble and precipitated together, owing to the com- sandy.
The shore of Dumfriesshire is also low and bination which takes place between the spirit and the sandy, and lined in several parts with marshes, locally water. When any solvent has taken up as much of any termed mosses' or flows. The shore of Kirkcudbrightshire particular substance as it is capable of, the solution ob- is loftier; and in this part, not far inland from the shore of tained is termed a saturated one; and what shows that the the frith, Criffel mountain rises to the height of 1830 feet. change of form from solid to fluid is the result of chemical | A considerable part of the frith within Southerness Point affinity, is the fact that water which is saturated with one and Allonby is occupied by broad sands, dry at low waler, substance will take up another; thus a saturated solu- and intersected by the channels formed by the streams which tion of common salt will still dissolve sulphate of soda, and How into the frith. The frith is navigable through the vice versa.
greater part of its extent for vessels of 300 tons, and for We shall conclude this subject with adducing an example those of 100 tons up to the head. It affords a supply of of the chemical nature of solution, and the extent to which different kinds of fish, especially salmon, of which there is it is applied in chemical researches connected with the in- a valuable though declining fishery. The tide sets into it solubility of some substances.
with great force, the flood sometimes advancing with a head Thus yellow copper is a compound of sulphur, copper, three or four feet high. The water has a whitish colour and iron. Put it into water, no action takes place, the com from the great extent of sand over which it flows. ponent parts being quite insoluble in it; put it into dilute At the head of Solway Frith is Solway Moss, a tract of nitric acid and apply heat, and it is totally dissolved. The bog in the parish of Kirk-Andrews-upon-Esk, in Cumbersulphur, acquiring oxygen, becomes sulphuric acid; the cop land. In 1771 this bog burst, and overflowed several hunper, combining also with oxygen, becomes oxide of copper; dred acres of fertile land, sweeping away the tenants' and the iron from the same cause becomes peroxide of houses with its black stream. The damage was at first iron; and both these oxides combine with the sulphuric thonght to be irreparable ; but by great exertion and exacid formed, and remain in solution as sulphates of copper pense the land was again brought into cultivation, and all and iron. The next operations are to deterinine the quan- trace of the catastrophe obliterated. tity of the acid formed, and of the oxides with which it is Solway Moss is memorable for the defeat of the Scots, combined, and this is effected by a solution of nitrate of A:D. 1542. A body of 10,000 men, under Lord Maxwell barytes, the base of which combines with the sulphuric and the Earls of Cassilis and Glencairn, entered England; acid, and the sulphate of barytes, being an insoluble salt, is but the leaders were corrupt, and the men mutinous; and precipitated. The oxides of copper and iron are now held on being attacked by a force of 1400 English, the whole in solution by the nitric acid of the decomposed nitrate of army took to fight, leaving nearly 1000 prisoners, of whom barytes; and these oxides are separated by finding a sub-200 were lords, esquires, or genilemen. Lord Maxwell, the stance which acts as a solvent upon one and not upon the commander-in-chief, was among them. James V. of Scotother; ammonia dissolved in water is such a body; when land died of vexation at this defeat, about a month after it added to the mixed solution in excess, it dissolves ihe oxide took place. of copper and leaves the peroxide of iron unacted upon. SOLWAY MOSS. [SOLWAY FRITH.) Thousands of analogous and of more complicated cases
SOMATE’RIA. [FULIGULINÆ, vol. xi., p. 5.] inight be adduced, but the above, without carrying out the SOMBRERE'TE. [MEXICAN States.] analysis, or showing how the quantity of sulphur is esti SOMERS, JOHN, LORD SOMERS, was born at mated from that of the sulphate of barytes, or the quantities Worcester, where his father, of the same name, was an of copper and iron from their oxides, is sufficient to prove attorney in good practice. His mother was Catherine Ceathe important action of solvents, and of the varied applica. verne, of a good family in Shropshire. The year of Somers's tion of solubility and insolubility in chemical investigations. birth is supposed to have been 1650; but some accounts
SOLWAY FRITH, an æstuary or inlet of the sea, on make it to have been 1652. We are not aware upon what the western side of the island of Great Britain, separating, authority it has been sometimes stated, or assumed, that the in one part, England from Scotland. This æstuary extends day on which he was born was the 4th of March. inland, from a line drawn between Rayberry-Head in
Somers's father, who was a zealous Commonwealth man, Kirkcudbrightshire to St. Bees' Head in Cumberland, 41 and had commanded a troop under Cromwell in the civil miles north-east to Solway Moss at the mouth of the Esk. war, intended to breed his son to his own profession. He The line between the iwo above-mentioned headlands, managed the estates of the earl (afterwards duke) of Shrewswhich may be regarded as measuring the mouth or entrance bury, who often visited him, and in that way had his attenof the Frith, is more than twenty miles long. About tion early attracted to the promising qualities of young seventeen miles up, between Southerness Point, Kirkcud- Somers. He was also connected by electioneering services brightshire, and the Cumberland shore near Allonby, the with the member for the city, Sir Francis Winnington, width is diminished to seven miles : it afterwards expands, afterwards solicitor-general, in whom his son found another then again contracts; and fifteen miles farther up, between useful patron when he entered the profession of the law. the mouth of the Annan, Dumfriesshire, and Bowness, He died in 1681, when the subject of the present article Cumberland, is reduced to two miles : this continues to be inherited a small estate in Gloucestershire, which had been the width of the æstuary for the remaining nine miles to for some generations in possession of the family. its lermination.
Young Somers however is said to have been educated at On the north-west or Scottish shore, the Solway Frith is the expense of his father's sister, who had married Mr. bounded wear its entrance by the stewartry or sbire of Blurton, an opulent Worcester clothier, and who, having no Kirkcudbright, from wbich iť receives the river Urr, and children of her own, had adopted him from his birth. in its upper part by Dumfriesshire, from which it receives At her house, and not at thai of his father, he resided the Nith and the Annan. On the south-east or English throughout his boyhood. He appears to have been placed shore, and at its head, the frith is bounded by the county first at the cathedral school of Worcester, and afterwards at a of Cumberland, from which it receives the Esk, with its private school at Walsall in Staffordshire; and it has also tributaries the Liddle and the Line; the Eden, with nume- been supposed that after leaving school he may have spent rous tributaries; the Wampool, the Waver, the Ellen, and a year or two in his father's office. While at school he is the Derwent. It receires in fact the drainage of the dis- said to have been remarkable for his gravity of demeanour, trict, bounded on the north-west by the higher grounds of as well as his studious habits. It is stated, on the authority East Galloway, on the north by the Lowthers and the con- of his friend Winnington, that at this time, - by the exactnected bills; on the north-east by the heights which unite ness of his knowledge and behaviour, he discouraged his these to the Cheviot and other border hills ; on the east by father and all the young men that knew him; they were that part of the Penine chain which extends from the bor- afraid to be in his company. This beginning would not der hills southward to the heads of the Eden and ihe Yore lead us to expect the robust heartiness of character by or Ure, including Geltsdale, Milbourn, Lune, and Stain- which Somers was distinguished in after-life, nor the moor forests; and on the south by the mountains of the somewhat free or lax system of private morality as to Cumbrian group:
certain points, of which indeed we have not a hint in The shores of Solway Frith are for the most part low. the common formal biographies of the distinguished lawyer At St. Bees' Head are lofty cliffs; and there are cliffs again and statesman, but which nevertheless he is very well for a short distance between Whitehaven and Workington, I known to have adopted and practised.
Winnington has the credit of having advised that retained without the other; representing him as the man he should be sent to the bar. With this view he en who would take most pains, and go deepest into all that tered himself of the Middle Temple, and in 1674 was depended on precedents and records. Somers's speech ocadmitted a commoner of Trinity College. Oxford. In 1676 cupies only about a column in the State Trials' (vol. xii., he was called to the bar, but although he never took any p. 396); but it is probable that his seniors were indebied further degree than that of B.A., he continued to reside at for much of their matter to his learning and research. the University for five or six years longer. To the latter From this time Somers is to be regarded as one of the part of this interval, between the completion of his studies leading political persons of his time. He is understood to and his removal to London and entrance upon the practice have been associated with his friend Shrewsbury and the of his profession, belong the principal literary performances other chiefs of the Whig party in the negociations and arwhich he sent to tbe press : -1, "The Memorable Case of rangements which resulted in the coming over of the Prince Denzil Onslow, Esq., tried at the Assizes in Surrey, July of Orange; and he was taken into the confidence of 20, 1681, touching his election at Haslemere in Surrey ;' William from the first. He was returned as one of the 2, A Brief History of the Succession of the Crown of Eng- representatives for Worcester to the Convention, which met land, collected out of Records and the most authentic His- in January, 1689; and he took a distinguished part in the torians,' 1681; reprinted 1714; 3, 'A just and modest debates in the Coinmons and the conferences with the Lords, Vindication of the Proceedings of the two last Parliaments, which terminated in the adoption, by both houses, of the [in which the question of the exclusion of the Duke of decisive resolution that the late king had ' abdicated' the Fork had been agitated,] 1681, (a reply to the king's decla- government. Soniers indeed was a member of the first and ration,) at first penned, according to Burnet, by Algernon chairman of the second of the two committees which preSidney, but afterwards drawn out anew by Somers, and pared the Declaration of Right; and it was perhaps mainly finally corrected by Sir William Jones, who had been drawn up by him, as is hinted by Burke, who, in his. Reattorney-general a few years before; but, adds Burnet, the fections on the Revolution in France,' says, “I never desire spirit of that side was now spent; so that this, though the to be thought a better Whig than Lord Somers, or to underbest writ paper in all that time, yet had no great effect ;' 4, stand the principles of the Revolution better than those by •The Security of Englishmen's Lives; or the Trust, Power, whom it was brought about; or to read in the Declaration of and Duty of the Grand Juries of England, explained ac- Right any mysteries unknown to those whose penetrating cording to the fundamentals of the English government, style has engraved in our ordinances, and in our hearts, the 1681, written on the failure of the charge against the earl words and spirit of that immortal law.' of Shaftesbury; 'it passed,' says Burnet, .as writ by Lord Under the new government preferment flowed fast upon Essex, though I understood afterwards it was writ by Somers. In the beginning of May, 1689, he was made Somers, who was much esteemed and often visited by Lord solicitor-general and knighted; on the 2nd of May, 1692, Essex, and who trusted himself to him, and wrii the he was made attorney-general; and on the 23rd of March, best papers that came out in that time. He had before in the same year, he was promoted to the office of lord-keeper tuis time contributed poetical versions of Ovid's 'Epistles of the great seal. This last appointment, of course, though of Dido to Aeneas, and of Ariadne to Theseus,' to Tonson's he was not yet raised to the peerage, removed him botlı edition of Ovid's Epistles' in English; and a translation of from Westminster Hall and from the House of Commons. Plutarch's 'Life of Alcibiades' to the Ev çlish Plutarch, 'by: All the people,' says Burnet, ' were now grown weary of various hands, produced by the same publisher. And there the great seal being in commission; it made the prois also attributeil to him an original English poem, of some ceedings in Chancery to be both more dilatory and more three hundred lines, entitled Dryden's Satire to his Muse,' expensive; and there were such exceptions made to the a libellous attack on that poet, which, from several allusions decrees of the commissioners, that appeals were brought in it, must have been writien early in 1682. It has a con- against most of them, and generally they were reversed. siderable portion of the strength, as well as the coarseness, Sir John Somers had now got great reputation, both in his of Dryden's most prosaic manner. Walpole, in his · Royal post of attorney-general and in the House of Commons; so and Noble Authors,' expresses his opinion that the gross the king gave him the great seal. He was very learned in ribaldry of this poem cannot be believed to have flowed his own profession, with a great deal more learning in other from só humane and polished a nature as Lord Somers's;' professions-in divinity, philosophy, and history. He had but this, we apprehend, is to carry out too strictly, or too a great capacity for business, with an extraordinary temper; far, the figure with which Walpole introduces his notice of for he was fair and gentle, perhaps to a fault, considering Somers, that he was 'one of those divine men, who, like a his post; so that he had all the patience and softness, as chapel in a palace, remain unprofaned, while all the rest is well as the justness and equity, becoming a great magistyranny, corruption, and folly.' The poem is printed in trate. He had always agreed in his notions with The part in. of the Supplement to the Works of the Minor Whigs, and had studied to bring them to better thoughts of Poets,' pp. 3-11.
the king, and to a greater confidence in him.' The most Somers, whose ability and professional learning were remarkable occasion on which Somers distinguished himself already well known to a circle of influential friends, at last while holding the office of lord keeper, was what is called came up to London in 1682, and commenced practice at the the case of ihe Bankers in the Court of Exchequer, in bar. The first cause of public importance in which he was 1696. He delivered a judgment against the bankers, and engaged was the prosecution of Pilkington and Shute, reversing the decision of the barons of the Exchequer, which sheriffs of London, and other members of the Whig party, has been characterised by Mr. Hargrave as one of the most who were tried and convicted, in May, 1683, for a riot at elaborate arguments ever delivered in Westminster Hall, the last election of sheriffs, in which he appeared as junior and in collecting books and pamphlets for which he is said council to his friend Winnington for the defendants. From to have expended several hundred pounds. It is contained this time, it is stated by the writer of the Memoirs of his in the report of the case in Ilowel's • State Trials,' vol. xiv., Life, 8vo., London, 1716, that his practice increased daily, pp. 39-105. This judgment however, in which he was supso that in the reign of James II, his professional income ported by Treby, chief justice of the court of Common already amounted to 7001. a year, which was in those days Pleas, bút opposed by Holt, chief justice of the King's a large sum for a barrister of his standing; and, according Bench, was afterwards reversed by the Lords; and Lord to this authority, 'le was looked upon as one of the most Dartmouth, in a note to Burnet's. History,' asserts that rising counsel in England, before he appeared at the trial when the decree which he had made was, after a very warm of the Bishops.
debate, set aside, Somers fell ill, and never appeared upon But no doubt his being selected to be one of the counsel the woolsack more. This was in 1700. for the defence in that celebrated case, tried in the Court of Meanwbile, in 1697, Somers had been appointed fordKing's Bench, in June, 1688, was what first brought him chancellor, and raised to the peerage by the title of Baron prominently before the public eye. He was selected, it is Somers of Evesham in the county of Gloucester. He apstated, on the strong recommendation of Mr. Pollexsen, pears to liave had a seat in the cabinet from the time of his one of the leading counsel for the bishops, and a laveyer of promotion to the place of lord keeper; and he was now the highest eminence. I have heard one of the bishops generally regarded as one of the chiefs of the ministry, as declare,' says Bishop Kennett, in a note to his Complete well as one of the most attached and influential of the History,' 'that objection was made among themselves king's friends. This made him a principal object of attack against Mr. Somers as too young and obscure a man; but on the part of the Tory opposition in the second, or last, old Pollexfen insisted upon him, and would not be himself session of King Willian's fourth parliament, which com.