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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Sir James Mackintosh

  • [A British author and statesman; born near Inverness, Oct. 24, 1765; educated at Aberdeen, and studied medicine; answered Burke by the “Vindiciæ Gallicæ,” 1791; abandoned medicine for the law, 1795; recorder of Bombay, 1804, and judge, 1806; entered Parliament, 1813; professor of law and politics in Haileybury College; died May, 1832, leaving unfinished his “History of the Revolution of 1688.”]
  • Instead of quarrelling with our views, he should have said that he did not like our prospects.

  • To Lord John Russell, of the remark of Copley [Lord Lyndhurst] when solicitor-general, in a speech on the Blasphemous Libel Bill of 1819, that during his short parliamentary experience he had seen nothing in the views of the Whigs to induce him to join them.—JENNINGS: Anecdotal History of Parliament.
  • “How is it,” Mackintosh was once asked, “I never hear a word about the blessings of liberty, and the glory of the British Constitution, in your debates?”—“Because we take all that for granted,” was the reply.—Ibid.
  • You are the advance guard of liberty.

  • To the jury in the case of Peltier, a French emigrant, who was tried for a libel on Napoleon, defended with great forensic ability by Mackintosh, and acquitted.
  • Of Mackintosh’s encyclopædic learning, the Rev. Robert Hall, his college companion and friend in later life, said, “I have been with Mackintosh this morning; but O sir, it was like the Euphrates pouring itself into a teacup.”