11 DECEMBER 1880, Page 2

There is a kind of murrain raging among the Judges,

the last death being that of Sir James Colvile, the virtual head of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council He was one of the men who, from some inner hauteur or other defect of character, are never known to the public ; but he was an almost perfect Judge, a man of natural rather than trained impartiality, who detected a fallacy at a glance, and respected too little any cause, or opinion, or person, to have an inclination to bias. He wished justice, above all things—hard justice—and was exactly the man to do it, when it had no reward what- ever. Pew people perceive how thankless the Indian work of the members of this supreme tribunal is,—nothing less than to interpret law as the Judges of last resort for men seven thousand miles away, who will never hear of them, or thank them, or understand them, and who will not even perceive how grand a system is being built up gradually for their behoof. Sir James Colvile knew Indian law well and English law, but he had a quality of mind which would have made any law in his hands work justice. Deeply loved by his friends, he was to the public a hard, slightly-cynical man, who never made a mistake, and in whom probably no suitor, how- ever exasperated, ever sincerely disbelieved. That is a fine, though exceptional character, impossible precisely to replace.