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Title: Mr. Punch in Wig and Gown - The lighter side of bench and bar
Author: Various
Language: English
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Edited by J. A. HAMMERTON

Designed to provide in a series of volumes, each complete in itself,
the cream of our national humour, contributed by the masters of comic
draughtsmanship and the leading wits of the age to “Punch,” from its
beginning in 1841 to the present day.



[Illustration: “UP BEFORE THE BEAK”]

                               MR. PUNCH
                                IN WIG
                               AND GOWN

                       THE LIGHTER SIDE OF BENCH
                                AND BAR

                       _WITH 120 ILLUSTRATIONS_


                       H. STACY MARKS, SIR JOHN
                          TENNIEL, GEORGE DU
                        MAURIER, CHARLES KEENE,
                         PHIL MAY, E. T. REED,
                       L. RAVEN-HILL, J. BERNARD
                        PARTRIDGE, A. S. BOYD,
                           TOM BROWNE, G. D.
                         ARMOUR, W. F. THOMAS,
                              AND OTHERS.


                      THE PROPRIETORS OF “PUNCH”

                     THE EDUCATIONAL BOOK CO. LTD.


_Twenty-five volumes, crown 8vo, 192 pages fully illustrated_




Mr. Punch has done his share towards bringing about various law
reforms. We find him hammering away continually for many years at the
Law’s delays, its costliness, its inconsistencies, and the evils he
has satirised, the inconveniences he has laughed at have largely been
remedied. He makes fun of the jesting judge and the bullying barrister,
while he is genially amusing at the expense of the timid and blundering
witness, and the youthful vanity or elderly pomposity of members of the
bench and bar. He is rightly bitter now and then when he touches on
the comparatively light sentences inflicted on audacious, but wealthy,
swindlers, and the comparatively heavy penalties exacted from lesser,
poorer, and more ignorant burglars and pickpockets; but in the main
he devotes himself to the lighter side of law and justice and the
professions that are concerned in its administration.

Here and there you come across echoes of famous law suits--of the
Tichborne trial, the Parnell Commission; here and there you have
reminders of Bradlaugh’s fight to get into Parliament without taking
the oath; of the days when London was agitated by the Fenian scare and
valorous householders were sworn in as special constables, and again
when everybody passing into the law courts had to open his bag that
the policeman on duty might be assured that he was not carrying a bomb
inside it.

The reading matter is particularly apt and good; not a little of it
was written by barristers in the intervals of waiting for briefs, and
the writers were thus intimately acquainted with the grievances they
ventilated, and were often suffering the hardships of the briefless
themselves when they sat down to make fun of them.




NOVICE.--(_a_) Don’t, unless you want penal servitude for life. (_b_)
Any respectable burglar. (_c_) We do not answer questions on chiropody
in this column.

HARD UP.--_Brougham on Conveyances_ will explain whether your contract
to purchase the motor-car is binding or not.

FARMER.--It is either an “escrow” or a scarecrow; impossible to state
definitely without further information.

B. AND S.--There is no reduction (of the fine) in taking a
quantity--generally the reverse.

TRAVELLER.--By travelling in the manner you describe, viz., under the
seat, you render yourself liable to “stoppage _in transitu_,” and to
completing the rest of your journey on foot “_in custodia legis_.” The
authorities on this point are very clear. See _Constable’s Reports_,
P.C. X. Y. Z., Vol. XIV., pages 72-85.

JUSTICE.--If the defendant lost, you, being plaintiff would win, and
_vice versâ_. Consult a solicitor.

STUDENT.--Can only spare space for half your questions. “Aggravated
assault” explains itself, an assault which aggravates or annoys you.
“Damage fesant,” a badly shot pheasant. “Simple larceny,” taking an
empty purse out of a pocket in which a sovereign is lying loose.
“Misdemeanour” is of course the demeanour of an unmarried woman, or in
plainer language, the airs she gives herself.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “Gentlemen, I am ready to admit that his career in the
past has not been free from blemish----”]

       *       *       *       *       *

A BRIEF EXISTENCE.--A barrister’s.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LETTER OF THE LAW.--The “letter of the law” must be _x_. It
expresses a quantity that is unknown.

       *       *       *       *       *

A LAW SUIT.--Wig, gown, and bands.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

GOOD LEGAL SECURITIES.--De-Benchers of Lincoln’s Inn.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “WHEN THE CAT’S AWAY”----

Mr. Blazer, K.C., returns unexpectedly to his chambers in the middle of

       *       *       *       *       *


    I am watching, I am waiting,
      And my hair is growing grey,
    For it is exasperating,
      That no business comes my way.

    Other men in briefs may revel
      When successfully they plead,
    I am only a poor “devil,”
      Often worked but never fee’d.

    E’en the bank-clerk in the city
      Has a salary that’s small,
    But we juniors, more’s the pity,
      Don’t make anything at all.

    Living still on false pretences,
      Since the truth we dare not own,
    Some not earning their expenses
      If the facts were truly known.

    And meantime the years are flying,
      Bringing changes p’raps for some,
    Not for me tho’; I’m relying
      On the practice that’s to come.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL MEM.--A barrister is only invited to sit on the Bench when he has
had some considerable amount of standing at the Bar.

       *       *       *       *       *

“A WINDING-UP CASE.”--A watch’s.

       *       *       *       *       *


In ladies’ winter costumes.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: “Never miss a chance of ingratiating yourself with the
jury, even at the expense of the judge.”

(An opportunity often occurs after lunch.)]

[Illustration: “Always laugh at the judge’s jokes. It is not upon such
an occasion that his lordship observes that he _will_ NOT have the
court turned into a theatre.”]

[Illustration: “Show no mercy to the police; they have few friends.”]

       *       *       *       *       *


Policeman X 24, drunk and almost incapable, is just able to blow his
whistle for help!]

       *       *       *       *       *


The sons of lawyers, who are intended for their fathers’ profession,
cannot too early become familiar with legal phrases and their meanings.
Old nursery rhymes might easily be adapted for this purpose. For


      _Alibi_, baby, on the tree top,
        Proved ’gainst your foes,
      The case it will stop;
        When we suppose
      The evidence fall,
    Down goes the _alibi_, baby, and all.


    Dickory, dickory, dock,
    The burglar picks a lock,
    Police come down,
    Case for Crown,
    Dickory, dickory, _dock_.


                Goosey, Goosey, Gander,
                Whither do you wander?
    Up-stairs and down-stairs into Judges’ Chambers.
                Old Baron Longwigs,
                Finished his affairs,
                Puts him out his left leg,
                Puts him out his right leg,
    Puts him out his both legs and walks down-stairs.


    Taffy was a Welshman,
      Taffy was a thief,
    Taffy came to my house,
      And stole a leg o’ beef.
    P’liceman went to Taffy’s house,
      Taffy wouldn’t own;
    Took him up to my house,
      Thence to Mary’bone.[1]


        Ride a cab horse,
        Beyond Charing Cross,
    To see any lady get a divorce;
        Ring on her finger
        Still dully shows;
    Will she have music wherever she goes?

[1] _Subaudi, Police Court._

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Left in the Hall of the Law Courts._)

    The gentle genius of the night,
      Of course I mean Diana,
    Made me dilate with rapt delight
      To you, my fair Susanna.
    But please don’t think my words were true
      The moon played me a sorry trick,
    Beneath the sun I write to you,
      I merely was a lunatic.
    You’ve mulcted me to a pretty tune,
      I’ll have revenge--I’ll shoot the moon!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE TRIALS OF AN ANXIOUS “JUNIOR.”--Prompting a deaf and
testy “chief” in open court is not his idea of perfect bliss.]

       *       *       *       *       *


_His Honour._ “H’m! Will you kindly raise your veil. I find it
extremely difficult to--h’m--_hear_ anyone distinctly with those thick

[Illustration: WHAT THEY SEEM

“Er--er--_thank you!_ SILENCE! I will not have this court turned into a
place of amusement!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “THE MESHES OF THE LAW!”--_Rural Magistrate._ “Prisoner,
you are charged with--ah--loitering about in a suspicious manner,
without any ostensible employment. How do you obtain a living?”
_Prisoner._ “Your wusship, I’m engaged in the manufacture of smoked
glasses for observing eclipses--an ‘industry’”--(_solemnly_)--“an
‘industry,’ your wusship, which involves protracted periods of enforced

_Discharged with a caution!_]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PITY THE POOR PRISONERS!--Scene--_County Prison:
Visiting Justices on Inspection._ _Visiting Justice._ “Any complaints?”
_Prisoner_. “Yes, your Honour. We’re guv on’y one bucket at shavin’
time, so we’ve all got to dip our razors in the same water, and who
knows wot skin diseases a cove might ketch!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BARRISTER’S FAVOURITE HYMN.--“_‘Brief’ life is here our portion._”

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL QUERY. _(From an Earnest Enquirer.)_--“Sir, I have often heard
of _‘The Will of the Wisp.’_ Was this will ever proved? Who was ‘the
Wisp’? Why so called? Because he was a man of straw? Wisper your answer
to me, and oblige yours,

                                                “COLNEY HATCHER, E. I.”

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

TWO SORTS OF POLICE.--The Detective--and the Defective.

       *       *       *       *       *

CRIMINAL QUERY.--Can a prisoner who commits himself, also form his own

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LEGAL FRATERNITY.--Brothers-in-law.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL QUESTION.--What are the “_Benchers_” of our Inns of Court?

Persons so called from their persistent adherence to _legal forms_.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL “INSTRUMENTS.”--“Soft recorders.”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Solicitor_. “Now, as a matter of fact, when expressing
your opinion of your opponent, you _did_ use a _leetle_ strong
language?” _Client_. “Wull, I don’t know as I _forgot_ anything!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

OLD SAYING (_By our own Detective_).--Professional thieves are
notoriously dense, hence the proverbial expression, “_Thick_ as

       *       *       *       *       *

When a leading barrister gets someone to “devil” for him, may the
latter’s occupation be correctly described as “devilry”?

       *       *       *       *       *

The result of going out for a “lark” very generally is, that the last
part of the lark you see is the beak.

       *       *       *       *       *

SITTINGS IN ERROR.--A pew in a Mormonite chapel.

       *       *       *       *       *

LAW AND TIME.--A “watching brief” must have much to do with second-hand

       *       *       *       *       *

CAUSE WITHOUT EFFECT.--An action resulting in a farthing’s damages.

       *       *       *       *       *

A “COUNTER-CASE.”--Shop-lifting.

       *       *       *       *       *

DIAMONDS OF THE CAPE.--Intelligent policemen.

       *       *       *       *       *

INFORMATION WANTED.--At what time in the morning are barristers called?

       *       *       *       *       *


“Alleged contempt of court by an infant”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: COMPLIMENTS.--_“The Court” (thinking aloud)._
“Hu--m--’markably fine young wom----.” _The Witness (overhearing)._
“Excellent judge!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CANTANKEROUS.--_Legal Adviser (drawing up the old
gentleman’s will)._ “Um--seems a pity you should cut off your son with
a shilling. But, if you’re determined--hem!--what about the pictures?
You have a very valuable collection, sir?----” _Crusty Invalid._ “Oh,
drat the pictures! Leave ’em to the Blind Asylum!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    O poor jury, boxed, poor jury,
      Three weeks odd, each day but one;
    Rose impatience not to fury
      Ere your weary task was done?

    You were special, picked and chosen
      For the nonce, were you, indeed.
    But had one among your dozen,
      Business of his own to heed?

    Put an artist on an action,
      Or a scribe as juror bind,
    How shall that man help distraction,
      From his duty, of his mind?

    Thoughts of lost employment pressing
      He can chase not, nor control
    Fell anxiety, distressing,
      If it were to save his soul.

    If your case needs comprehension,
      Litigants, your jury, then,
    Must, to give it due attention,
      Be composed of leisured men.

    Swells in yachts life idly leading,
      Fishing, hunting, shooting, who
    Might, to work for bread not needing,
      Sing, “We’ve got no work to do.”

       *       *       *       *       *


“One anonymous architect has sent in a frantic design, which the
commissioners have not chosen to exhibit.”--_Times_, Feb. 11, 1867.]

       *       *       *       *       *

MARITIME LAW.--The law of libel does not apply to a “running down”
case. The parties are not in the same boat.

       *       *       *       *       *

QUESTION.--Can a process server legally be said to be a writualist?

       *       *       *       *       *

SLEEP.--“I wonder if I have committed myself in any way to-day?”

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

A MORAL PHENOMENON.--A barrister returning his fee.

       *       *       *       *       *

BRIEFLESS THEORY.--’Tis practice makes the barrister perfect.

       *       *       *       *       *

“AFTER YOU,” as the policeman ought to be allowed to say to the
bubble-bank director.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL QUIBBLE.--A barrister should cultivate a good temper, if he would
succeed as a cross-examiner.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A CONTRAST

Mr. Bigwig, the eminent K.C., and his clerk.]

       *       *       *       *       *

IN A COUNTY COURT.--_Judge (to Mr. Pettiphog, plaintiff’s
solicitor)._ I really cannot see that you have proved the defendant’s

_Mr. P. (excitedly, to defendant)._ No means! How did you get here,

_Defendant._ I walked.

_Mr. P._ Where did you get the boots to walk in?

_Defendant._ I borrowed them.

_Mr. P. (triumphantly)._ On what security, sir, on what security?

_Defendant._ On the fact that you had taken up the case against me.

                                        [_General merriment. No order._

       *       *       *       *       *

BRIEF “BAGS.”--Short trousers.

       *       *       *       *       *

DRINK FOR LAWYERS.--The Wool-sack.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

THE JURY STARVATION SYSTEM.--_Q._ What foreign institution does
starving a jury approach the nearest to?

_A._ The Diet of Hungary.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A CASE OF SELF-SACRIFICE.--_Mrs. Grimes._ “No, sir, Mr.
Smith ain’t a-bin in ’is chambers not for a week, sir.”

_Mr. Brown._ “Oh! You’re sure now you know the gentleman I mean--Mr.
Meldon Smith?”

_Mrs. Grimes._ “_Hi_ knows ’im right enough. Wy, I does all ’is washin’
and mendin’ for ’im!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AT THE SESSIONS

_Counsel._ “Do you know the nature of an oath, my good woman?”

_Witness (with a black eye)._ “I did ought to, sir! Which my ’usban’ ’s
a Covin’ Garden porter, sir!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

AN EXPENSIVE CALL TO PAY.--A call to the Bar.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL INQUIRY.--If I buy a pair of trousers warranted to wear well, and
they turn out a failure, should I, on bringing an action for damages,
be “_non-suited_,” or could I counterclaim damages for “_breeches of

       *       *       *       *       *


These gentlemen are expected to be in a judicial frame of mind after
hanging about the precincts of the court for several days, under
penalty of a heavy fine, while their private business in the city and
elsewhere is going to the dogs. (Why should not half-pay officers do
the work, and relieve busy men?)]

       *       *       *       *       *

BRIEF AUTHORITY.--A barrister’s.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE DIVISION LIST.--Divorce Court causes.

       *       *       *       *       *

CENTRE OF GRAVITY.--A judge in court.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


(“The first lady barrister has just taken the oath at Paris.”--_Daily

    O Portia, many maids there are,
      Who wear their wigs as gaily
    As thou, appearing at the bar
      To take refreshers daily;
    They rustle too, in silk like thee
      With oft a clerk resplendent
    And, not infrequently you see,
      Solicitors attendant.

    Their trade is legal--so is thine,
      Yet not their craft thou pliest,
    For they are in the liquor line
      And thou in law--the driest.
    But welcome, bar maid! hail to thee!
      Bright be thy lot and griefless!
    And may thy portion never be,
      Like this poor writer’s, briefless.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE EYE OF THE LAW.--Policeman’s bull’s-eye.

       *       *       *       *       *

MORE THAN A MIRACLE.--When a prisoner is “taken from the dock unmoved.”

       *       *       *       *       *

SONG FOR MAGISTRATES.--“Let us speak of a man as we’ve fined him.”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE FINE OLD SPIRIT

“But if you really think Jones has injured you, my dear fellow, why not
consult some clever lawyer?”

“_Lawyer_, indeed! With men of _my_ stamp, the only possible reply to
a man of Jones’s, is the _horsewhip_, since it can no longer be the

       *       *       *       *       *


Where there’s a will there’s a law suit.

The successful lawyer is a man of actions.

Look before you leap into litigation.

The wise man keeps his own counsel, and the wise counsel keeps his own

Many a muddle makes a muckle for the lawyers.

No suit lasts longer than a suit in Chancery.

A conveyancer is never afraid of drafts.

A brief in the hand is worth two in a solicitor’s office.

’Tis better to have fought and lost than to have had no case at all.

Little plaintiffs have large fears.

The good solicitor is known by his good deeds.

Two heads, a leader and a junior, are better than one.

       *       *       *       *       *

LAW FOR LADIES.--Why ought every lady nowadays to learn the legal
doctrine concerning “wrong to the person”?

_Ans._ They ought to _learn_ it because it’s _tort_. (Ask any

       *       *       *       *       *


[“A POLICEMAN’S CONSCIENCE.--Police-Superintendent Roberts, of Torquay,
has won a splendid reputation for impartiality. He even punishes
himself for breaches of the law. The other night while cycling home
from Brixham his lamp went out, and yesterday he appeared before the
magistrate, in response to a summons issued by himself against himself.
He said a clergyman spoke to him on the subject, and this brought the
offence to his notice. He was fined 5s.”--_Daily Telegraph._]

[Illustration: _Master Bob._ “Please, ma, will you kindly chastise me?
I’ve been at the jam again!”]

[Illustration: _Cabby (at police-station)._ “’Ere, I’ve just charged a
fare sixpence too much, and I want a summons out aginst meself.”]

[Illustration: _Miss Candid._ “Oh, Mr. De Tiring, I _was_ at home
yesterday when you called; but you are such an awful bore, you know, I
was compelled to send you away.”]

[Illustration: _Learned Judge._ “Before adjourning the court to-day, I
wish to state that I have been guilty of betting, at a ‘place’ within
the meaning of the Act. I therefore fine myself a sum of twenty pounds
and costs, coupled with a severe reprimand.”]

[Illustration: Of course, the “Automatic Conscience Clearer” for minor
offences would soon be immensely popular. We beg to offer the above
suggestion. N.B.--The inventor has been provisionally protected.]

       *       *       *       *       *


    Oh, where, and oh where is my learned counsel gone?
    He’s gone to the Queen’s Bench where a case is coming on,
    And it’s oh, in my heart, that I wish my case his own.

    What fee, and what fee did your learned counsel clutch?
    Five guineas on his brief he did not think too much;--
    And it’s oh! if he’s a barrister, I wish he’d act as such.

    In what court, in what court is your learned counsel found?
    I cannot catch him anywhere, of all he goes the round;--
    And it’s oh! in my heart, that to one I wish him bound.

    What excuse, what excuse can your learned counsel make?
    None at all, none at all, but his head he’ll gravely shake,
    And it’s oh! in my heart, that the fee he’s sure to take.

       *       *       *       *       *

CONVERSATION IN CHANCERY LANE.--_Dull Youth._ I say, what’s a legal

_Bright Youth._ Why, you fool, it forms part of the legal course--for
instance, every barrister, after he has eaten his terms, has to go
through his digest!

       *       *       *       *       *

A FIRM CONVICTION.--Transportation for life.

       *       *       *       *       *

BAR GOLD.--Fees to counsel.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: It was rather too bad, you know, that Larkins serving
poor Jones like this! And his first circuit, too!]

       *       *       *       *       *


In order to husband our judicial staff, in future a judge will be
expected to hear two cases at the same time.

Portrait of a judge trying a theatrical _cause célèbre_, and a nice
question as to a “remainder-man” and a “tenant in tail male.”]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

WAITING FOR AN ANSWER.--What is the difference between eating your
words and eating your terms.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “May it please your ludship, I ask that the witness be
forced to produce the papers that were burnt!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

A KNOWING BEGGAR.--A beggar posted himself at the door of the Chancery
Court, and kept saying: “A penny please, sir! Only one penny, sir,
before you go in!” “And why, my man?” inquired an old country
gentleman. “Because, sir, the chances are, you will not have one when
you come out,” was the beggar’s reply.

       *       *       *       *       *

Michaelmas Term--Legal Examination


_Q._ Mention some of the principal law books which you have
studied?--_A._. Hoyle’s Laws of Whist, Cribbage, &c. The Rules of the
Cricket Club; ditto of the Jockey Club.

_Q._ Have you attended any, and what, law lectures?--_A._ I have
attended to many legal lectures, when I have been admonished by police
magistrates for kicking up rows in the streets, pulling off knockers,


_Q._ What is a real action?--_A._ An action brought in earnest, and not
by way of a joke.

_Q._ What are original writs?--_A._ Pothooks and hangers.


_Q._ What are a bill and answer?--_A._ Ask my tailor.

_Q._ How would you file a bill?--_A._ I don’t know, but would lay a
case before a blacksmith.

_Q._ What steps would you take to dissolve an injunction? _A._ I
should put it into some very hot water, and let it remain there until
it was melted.

_Q._ What are post-nuptial articles?--_A._ Children.


_Q._ What is simple larceny?--_A._ Picking a pocket of a handkerchief,
and leaving a purse of money behind.

_Q._ What is grand larceny.--_A._ The income-tax.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ODD-HANDED JUSTICE.--_First Ruffian._ “Wot was I hup
for, and wot ’ave I got? Well, I floor’d a woman and took ’er watch,
and I’ve got two years and a floggin’.”

_Second Ruffian._ “Ha!--I flung a woman out o’ the top floor winder;
an’ I’ve on’y got three months!”

_First Ruffian._ “Ah, but then _she was yer wife_!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    The days are gone when I used to seek
    Refreshment and fun in the Henley Week,
    But now all that is a thing of the past,
    The pace at the time was too good to last.
    Farewell to the straws and the flannel shirts,
    Farewell to the house-boats, launches, and flirts,
    Farewell to champagne cups and cigarettes,
    To the gloves and the sweet things lost in bets;
    In chambers, alas! I sit and groan,
    Slaving, and writing, and waiting alone.
    On parchment and paper with pen and ink
    I draw the draughts that I cannot drink.
    I’ll see if my chief is here … I’ll try.…
    He’s off! To Henley?… hem!--So am I!!

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION.--_Pater._ “Now, my boy, I’ve
been making my will, and I’ve left a very large property in trust for
you. I merely wish to ask you if you’ve any suggestion to offer?”

_Son._ “Well, I don’t know that I have,
sir--unless--hum”--(_ponders_)--“Quesh’n is--as things go nowadays,
wouldn’t it be better to leave the property to the other f’llar,
and--ah--’ppoint me the trustee?!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Fragment from a Criminal Romance_)

The burglar had so far been successful. He had broken open the safe
and transferred its contents to his pocket without disturbing the
household. He had come down the creaking stairs with less than the
customary noise. He was in sight of the street door, which, once
opened, passed, and closed, would lead to freedom.

It was a pleasant prospect.

“It will delight my wife and little ones,” he murmured. “With the
proceeds of this night’s work I shall be able to take them a trip to
the Continent.”

Then he walked forward and opened the street door. In a moment he was
seized by mechanical hands, and found himself manacled.

“Confound it!” he cried; “I had forgotten that recently patented
novelty--the automatic policeman!”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MANNERS OF THE BAR

A sketch in the law courts, showing the patient and respectful
attention of the counsel for the plaintiff during the speech of counsel
for defendant.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HER “COURT” DRESS.--_Fair Defendant in Cause Célèbre
(reading report of yesterday’s proceedings)._ “The idiots! There’s
no trusting one’s reputation with these newspapers. They describe my
heliotrope poplin as puce alpaca with a muslin frill!”]

       *       *       *       *       *



A writer in the _St. James’s Gazette_, dealing with the subject of the
Divorce Laws, calmly proposes that in any revision of the code, which
he strongly advocates, “women should be placed on the same footing with
men.” Such a pestilent heresy of course provoked correspondence, and,
as I have made a careful study of the subject, I beg to submit to you,
sir, a few reasonable grounds for divorce, which this reformer will, I
hope, include in his precious revised code.

A man should be allowed to obtain a divorce from his wife on all or any
of the following grounds:--

1. If he sees anyone he likes better than his wife.

2. If his mother-in-law comes too often.

3. If his wife’s brother borrows money of him.

4. If she objects to his going to Paris without her.

5. If, knowing that he prefers the tops of the muffins at breakfast,
she eats any of them.

6. If she hears him come in at four in the morning, when he has
considerately taken off his boots to do so quietly.

7. If she refers to it.

8. If she ever says, “My dear, I think we’ve heard that story before.”

9. If she does not laugh consumedly whenever he tells a comic story.

10. If she objects to smoking.

11. If she is not civil to _all_ his male friends.

12. And female ones.

There, sir, you have a dozen suggestions which I would commend to the
attention of this law-reformer. You will observe I have not included
any _trivial_ reasons for divorce, and the procedure, as the _St.
James’s Gazette_ says, “should be as expeditious and inexpensive as

                                      Yours faithfully,

                                              A TENDER HUSBAND.

                                                 _Turtle-Dove Terrace._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “LIVE AND LEARN.”--_Magistrate._ “Do you know the nature
of an oath, my boy?”

_Witness (promptly)_: “Yess, sir. Must take it, sir--’relse I can’t be
’memb’r o’ Parl’ment, sir!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    If Faraday’s or Liebig’s art
      Could crystallise this legal treasure,
    Long might a pleader, near his heart,
      The jewel wear with chuckling pleasure.

    The native brilliant, ere it fell,
      A squeeze produced in Walker’s eye,
    Which, winking, dropped the liquid “sell,”
      The spring of plausibility.

    Nice drop of rich and racy light,
      In thee the rays of humour shine;
    Almost as queer, all but as bright,
      As any gem or joke of mine.

    Thou fine effusion of the soul!
      That never fail’st to gain relief,
    Which barristers can ne’er control,
      When thou art like to help their brief.

    The farce-wright’s and the jester’s theme
      In many a joke, on many a stage,
    Thou moisten’st Chitty’s arid theme,
      And Blackstone’s dry and dreary page.

    That very lawyer, who a tear
      Can shed, as from the bosom’s source,
    With feeling equally sincere,
      Could weep on t’other side--of course.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Newly-appointed Magistrate._ “Any previous convictions against the

       *       *       *       *       *

WHAT OUR ARTICLED CLERK SAID.--The chief lawyer of Turkey can never be
a weak man, since every new law there is established by a firman.

                 [_We have transferred our A. C. to a provincial firm._

       *       *       *       *       *

“PENDENTE LITE.”--A chandelier.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

ADVICE TO CROWN LAWYERS.--Employ a hydropathic doctor, if you want to
_pack_ a jury.

       *       *       *       *       *

HEIRS-AT-LAW.--Barristers’ wigs.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

SUNDAY OBSERVANCES.--See the Monday charges at the police courts.

       *       *       *       *       *

“A BOLT FROM THE BLUE.”--Running away from a policeman.

       *       *       *       *       *

PROOF OF THE INTEGRITY OF THE LAW.--The return of the Lent Assizes.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MARTIAL ARDOUR

Little Spadgett never can resist his military instincts under these

       *       *       *       *       *

LOVESUIT AND LAWSUIT.--Promise of marriage is like precious china--a
man has so much to pay for its breakage.

       *       *       *       *       *

POLICE!--What tune would a person whistle who had been stealing milk?
“Robin Adair,” eh? (_Robin’ a dairy!!!_)

       *       *       *       *       *

_wont_ of every prudent man.

       *       *       *       *       *

DEFINITION OF THE BAR (_by an unlucky suitor_).--Silk, stuff, and

       *       *       *       *       *


    To the lawyers brings elation,
    To the clients consternation,
    To the counsel animation,
    To the “devil” reputation,
    To the usher agitation,
    To the jury aggravation,
    To the witness indignation,
    To the judge consideration,
    To reporters expectation,
    To the loser lamentation,
    To the winner exultation,
    To the public information.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PROFESSIONAL CAUTION.--_Mr. Bluebag (out for a day’s
shooting with his articled clerk)._ “Stop a minute--don’t fire!--let’s
see if that bird’s in the schedule!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL INTELLIGENCE.--A smart young articled clerk, hearing it stated by
a lecturer that “man is merely a machine,” remarked, “Then I suppose an
attorney may be said to be a suing machine.”

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

“A BAR MESS.”--Recent difficulties about latitude of counsel in

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

OPEN TO CONVICTION.--A prisoner at the bar.

       *       *       *       *       *

DEFINITION OF “STUFF AND NONSENSE.”--A junior urging a ridiculous plea.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

“CONTEMPT OF COURT.”--Neglecting to attend a Levée.

       *       *       *       *       *

A SAFE PRECAUTION.--No boating party should be without a lawyer. In
case of accident, he is the man for ba(i)ling out the water.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Hilary Term commences January 11.]

       *       *       *       *       *

PLAYING AT DRAUGHTS.--The ventilation of our Law Courts.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

A BAR’S REST.--The Long Vacation.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

A LEGAL CONVEYANCE.--The police van.

       *       *       *       *       *


A junior who will wear his gown straight, and not pretend that intense
preoccupation over dummy briefs prevents him from knowing that it is
off one shoulder.

A judge who can resist the temptation to utter feeble witticisms, and
to fall asleep.

A witness who answers questions, and incidentally tells the truth.

A jury who do not look extremely silly, and ridiculously
self-conscious, when directly addressed or appealed to by counsel; or
one that really understands that the judge’s politeness is only another
and subtle form of self-glorification.

A K.C. who is not “eminent,” who does not behave “nobly,” and who can
avoid the formula “I suggest to you,” in cross-examination; or one that
does not thunder from a lofty and inaccessible moral altitude so soon
as a nervous witness blunders or contradicts himself.

An usher who does not try to induce the general public, especially
the female portion thereof, to mistake him for the Lord Chancellor.

A solicitor who does not strive to appear _coram populo_ on terms of
quite unnecessarily familiar intercourse with his leading counsel.

An articled clerk who does not dress beyond his thirty shillings
a-week, and think that the whole court is lost in speculation as to the
identity of that distinguished-looking young man.

An associate who does not go into ecstasies of merriment over every
joke or _obiter dictum_ from the Bench.

Anybody who does not give loud expression to the opinion, at the
nearest bar when the court rises, that he could have managed the case
for either or both sides infinitely better than the counsel engaged.

A court-house whose atmosphere is pleasant and invigorating after the
court has sat for fifteen minutes.

(Anyone concerned who, on reading these remarks in print, will think
that the cap can, by any _scintilla_ of possibility, fit himself.)

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Wretched-looking Messenger._ “Beg pardon, Mr. Brown,
it’s come at larst! I’m _entirely_ dependent on myself. My wife’s been
and got a separation order!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: In order to deaden the sense of smell, second-hand
clothes-pegs will be used by the bench and the bar.]

[Illustration: Lords Justices Bowen and Fry prepared to break the
windows of the court, and relieve the asphyxiated bar.]

                        OLD LAW COURT MEMORIES

       *       *       *       *       *


Poor Mr. Wiggles has just been described by a facetious witness of the
lower orders as “that there h’old bloke wiv a choker, an’ a cauliflower
on ’is ’ed”!!!]

       *       *       *       *       *


There seems to be at present a very considerable difference of opinion
among the gentlemen of the Bar as to what may or may not be done by
a barrister. We had some idea of publishing a small hand-book of
_etiquette_ for the exclusive use of the gentlemen of the long robe;
but as what is etiquette to-day may not be etiquette to-morrow, we
feared the work would not possess the permanent utility which alone
would recompense us for the labour of writing it. We have, however,
drawn up a few general rules founded on our own observation as to what
a barrister may do, and what he may not do, consistently with his
professional dignity:--

1st. A barrister may be employed in inducing Members of Parliament
to vote in favour of railway bills; _but_ he may not report for a

2nd. A barrister may practise the “artful dodge” for the purpose of
defeating the ends of justice; _but_ he must not enter an assize town
in an omnibus.

3rd. A barrister may tout for a small judgeship; _but_ he will be very
properly disbarred if he advertises his readiness to plead the cause of

4th. A barrister may libel a rival candidate for an office in a
“private and confidential” circular; _but_ he must not degrade himself
by asking an attorney to dine with him on the circuit.

5th. A barrister may take a fee when he knows he cannot attend to the
cause; _but_ he may not return the money, for his doing so would be
very unprofessional.

6th, and lastly. A barrister may be a very honourable man; _but_ many
things which professional _etiquette_ allows him to do, would be
thought disgraceful and dishonest among ordinary people.

       *       *       *       *       *

A DELICATE DISTINCTION.--_Cross-examining Counsel (to fair witness)._
And is your name Aurelia Jessamine Jones?

_Fair Witness (after a pause)._ No, sir; but it ought to have been,
only my god-parents were so ill-chosen.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MORTMAIN]

       *       *       *       *       *

IMPORTANT SUITORS IN CHANCERY.--Having occasion the other day to visit
the Chancery Offices, we discovered an announcement which we are
surprised has not been more generally noticed, and we take no little
credit to ourselves for being the first to give extended publicity to
the important public directions to the unhappy suitors, who may have
been wandering in the Court so many years. The information is contained
in the following short announcement--“THE WAY OUT”--which we can assure
our readers we have copied from an official notice stuck up in that

       *       *       *       *       *

AN IMMEDIATE LANDLORD.--One who will not wait for his rent.


       *       *       *       *       *


Westminster Hall. Showynge ye ceremonye of openynge terme.]

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL NOMENCLATURE.--Occasionally we hear of “running down cases” being
tried. The unlearned in the law naturally inquire if these are actions
for slander.

       *       *       *       *       *

PRISON THOUGHT.--“When’s a Christian,” said a poacher in gaol to
himself, “sarved the same as a hare?--When he’s jugged like I be.”

       *       *       *       *       *


Hyghest court of law in ye kyngdom. Ye Lords hearyng appeals.]

       *       *       *       *       *

AN UNDER TENANT.--One who occupies a cellar.

       *       *       *       *       *

HAPPY RELEASE.--Paying off a mortgage.

       *       *       *       *       *

IN TWO WORDS.--Our police system and the housebreaker’s
system--Bunglery and burglary.

       *       *       *       *       *

“LETTERS OF REQUEST.”--Begging epistles.

       *       *       *       *       *


Appearance of ye crymynyal covrte dvryng an “interestyng” tryal for

       *       *       *       *       *

OUTSIDE THE COUNTY COURT.--_Jenkins (to Jorkins, a debtor)._ What, only
five bob a month! How _did_ you manage it?

_Jorkins._ Why, always addressed the judge as “My Lord,” of course.

       *       *       *       *       *

Pope asks: “Is there no bright reversion in the sky?” This is, clearly,
a question which only a lawyer can answer.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: GROSS INJUSTICE

We beg to solicit the attention of our innumerable readers to the state
of the law respecting cruelty to animals.]

       *       *       *       *       *


    From Circuit to Circuit, although we may roam,
    Be it ever so briefless, there’s none like the Home;
    A fee from the skies p’rhaps may follow us there,
    Which, seek through the courts, is ne’er met with elsewhere.
      Home, Home, sweet sweet Home,
      There’s none of the Circuits can equal the Home.

    When out on the Home, lodgings tempt you in vain,
    The railroad brings you back to your chambers again:
    On the Home the expenses for posting are small;
    Give me that--’tis the Circuit, the cheapest of all.
      Home, Home, sweet sweet Home,
      There’s none of the Circuits can equal the Home.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL PUGILISM.--The Chancery Bar has been lately occupied with a
question relating to a patent for pins’ heads. The costs are estimated
at £5,000. The lawyers are the best boxers, after all. Only let them
get a _head in chancery_, even a _pin’s_, and see how they make the
proprietor _bleed_.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “Let us speak of a man as we find him.”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    And did you not hear of a jolly young barrister,
      At the Old Bailey who used for to ply?
    He made out his case with such skill and dexterity,
      Twisting each fact, while he glozed o’er each lie.
    He stuck at nothing; and that so steadily,
    The felons all sought his aid so readily,
    And he saved from conviction so many a thief,
    That this barrister ne’er was in want of a brief.

    What sights of fine rogues he got off by his blarney;
      His tongue was so glib, and so specious withal,
    He was always retained by the great City forgers
      To Newgate from Mansion House sent, or Guildhall.
    And often the Press would be gibing and jeering,
    But ’twas all one to him, its carping and sneering;
    He’d swear black was white in behalf of a thief,
    So this barrister ne’er was in want of a brief.

    And yet, only think what strange morals have lawyers,
      The bar of such conduct think nothing at all;
    Whilst should any poor counsel report for a paper,
      “To Coventry with him!” that instant they call;
    From their mess they’ll expel him, he’ll find, to his sorrow;
    But they’ll dine with the housebreaker’s hireling to-morrow!
    Then hurrah!--though his client be swindler or thief,--
    For the barrister never in want of a brief.

       *       *       *       *       *

SONG FOR DETECTIVES.--“_Let us speak of a man_ when _we find him._”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “LINKED SWEETNESS LONG DRAWN OUT.”--_Country Lass (to
policeman who takes them over the road at Oxford Street Circus)._ “I’m
so much obliged to you for taking the trouble----” _Gallant Constable._
“Lor’ bless yer, miss, I wish the crossin’ was twice as long!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    I’m a little barrister, taking little fees;
    Raising knotty little points, and signing little pleas;
    Making little motions in a little court;
    Causing by my speeches not a little sport.

    I’m a little barrister, in my little wig,
    Feeling rather little, when looking very big;
    No one knows my modesty--but my little self,
    For I feel I’m little more than on a little shelf.

    I’m a little barrister, in my little gown,
    Getting now, I must avow, not a little brown:
    As I’m called a junior you would little guess,
    I’m fifty and a little more--rather than little less,

    I’m a little barrister, in my little home,
    Up to which at Camden Town I from chambers roam;
    With my little children climbing up my knee,
    As with a mutton chop I make a dinner of my tea.

    Though annoyed with little notes demanding little bills,
    I do my little utmost to conquer little ills;
    But often to my countenance there comes a little smile,
    As I think that all our troubles last a very little while.

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL QUERY.--Is there any precedent for a good practical farmer being
styled one of the judges of the land?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DEPRECIATIVE.--_Defendant (on bail)._ “’Im my
counsellor! Then blowed if I don’t conduct my own case in pusson!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Q._ What are first fruits?

_A._ Rhubarb and little green gooseberries.

_Q._ When is it necessary to commence a fresh suit?

_A._ When the other has become too ventilating or seedy.

_Q._ What is a release?

_A._ To exchange the society of your ugly aunt for that of your pretty

_Q._ What is a clerical error?

_A._ Preaching a three hours’ sermon.

_Q._ What is a settlement of a conveyance?

_A._ When an omnibus smashes a cab.

_Q._ What is the master’s general report?

_A._ That wages are too high.

_Q._ Is “What’s that to you,” deemed a sufficient answer?

_A._ It may be, or may not; but it is likely to be excepted to for

_Q._ Describe the meaning of the term _Nunc pro Tunc_.

_A._ It is the general exclamation you make when you are run against by
a clumsy person. It generally has the word “stupid” added--_ex. gr._,
“Now then, stupid!”

_Q._ Give an instance of a “similiter”?

_A._ You’re another!

_Q._ What is the meaning of “putting yourself upon the country?”

_A._ Going to the workhouse.

_Q._ Where is the Great Seal kept?

_A._ In the Arctic Ocean. A small specimen may be seen at the
Zoological Gardens.

_Q._ What are “breaches of trust”?

_A._ Trousers procured on tick.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Offender (in the course of lengthy explanation)._ “So
I ses to the inspector as I were, as you might say, ill, ’an demanded
to be examined by Doctor Jones, an’ the inspector ’e ses as ’ow I must
see Doctor Smith, the police doctor. ‘No,’ I ses, ‘you may run me in,’
I ses, ‘but you ain’t goin’ to make me change my medical adviser!’”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HAPPY THOUGHT.--_Nervous Rider._ “Look here, policeman!
I give this horse in charge!”

                          [_Puts rein in policeman’s hand, and bolts._]

       *       *       *       *       *



    Whereas, on certain boughs and sprays
      Now divers birds are heard to sing,
    And sundry flowers their heads upraise;
      Hail to the coming on of Spring!

    The songs of those said birds arouse
      The memory of our youthful hours,
    As green as those said sprays and boughs,
      As fresh and sweet as those said flowers.

    The birds aforesaid--happy pairs--
      Love, ’mid the aforesaid boughs, enshrines
    In freehold nests: themselves, their heirs,
      Administrators and assigns.

    Oh, busiest term of Cupid’s Court,
      Where tender plaintiffs actions bring--
    Season of frolic and of sport,
      Hail, as aforesaid, coming Spring!

       *       *       *       *       *

Life, we are told, is a trial, but the worst of it is there is no Court
of Appeal we can go to in the event of our not being satisfied with the
result of it. For myself, I should like uncommonly to move for a new

_Briefless Barrister._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WIT AT A DISADVANTAGE.--“Well, Jackson, you are always
here for being drunk, so I shall fine you five shillings.”

“Not got a penny, your worshup.”

“Not a penny, sir!”

“I got only coppers,--‘hot coppers,’ your worshup.”

                  [_He was most promptly and most properly locked up._]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RULE OF THE ROAD.--_Query (from a correspondent)._--When a street
runs into another street, what is the remedy at law?

_The Answer._--Consult a solicitor.

       *       *       *       *       *

CONSCIENTIOUS LAWYER’S ADVICE.--Do right; don’t write.

       *       *       *       *       *

A JURYMAN OF A SIZE.--A Welsh publican who weighs thirty stone has
lately been informed that his bulk will not invalidate him from sitting
on juries. “Squashing the verdict” is likely to become a popular
feature of the Welsh Assizes.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

CALLED TO THE “BA.”--The shepherd’s dog.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ENDS OF JUSTICE.--A cat-o’-nine-tails.

       *       *       *       *       *

More judges required. We don’t want to hear so much of Chancery
Division as of Chancery multiplication.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: SHOWS HIS BREEDING.--_Equestrian (to policeman on the
look-out for a stolen horse)._ “‘How did I come by ’im?’ Why, bred ’im
myself, to be sure--down at a little place o’ my own.”]

       *       *       *       *       *


I. _The Fox who lost his Tail in the Gin._

The Fox stood seized of an estate in trap, and by a device duly
executed he left his hairs a remainder in tail.

II. _The Fox and Crow._

In this case the Crow was evidently seized of a piece of cheese, with
contingent remainder to the Fox, in case she opened her mouth, which,
on her doing so, instantly descended to the Fox, who became seized of

       *       *       *       *       *

PREVENTION OF BURGLARY.--Prospect of a dog and certainty of “the cat.”

       *       *       *       *       *


    Lock the jury up together,
      Lock them up the live-long night,
    Even in the closest weather!
      Is it rational? is it right?
    What pretence can lawyers put up
      For a rusty rule, but fudge?
    Why, a jury when you shut up,
      Not as well shut up the judge?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HER FIRST VISIT TO A POLICE-COURT.--_Old Lady._ “What a
villainous-looking man the prisoner is!”

_Friend._ “Hush! That’s not the prisoner. That’s the magistrate!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Burglar’s Ballad._ AIR--“_Those Evening Bells._”

    Those silent boots! Those silent boots!
    When out upon our gay galoots,
    ’Twill give us coves the bloomin’ jumps,
    If we carn’t hear the copper’s clumps!
    ’Ave bobby’s bluchers passed away?
    That there will bust the burglar’s lay!
    Wot, _silent_ “slops”--like evening swells?
    It’s wus than them electric bells!
    No, no! I ’opes, till _I_ am gone,
    The bobby’s boots will still clump on.
    Their warnin’ sound our bizness soots,
    But bust the thought o’ _silent_ boots!

       *       *       *       *       *

“THE WINDY SIDE OF THE LAW.”--Which side is this? Go into a solicitor’s
office: you’ll soon be able to answer the question when you get near a

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE BY OUR OWN IRREPRESSIBLE ONE.--A solicitor who is struck off the
rolls has generally been eating someone else’s bread.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE TERRORS OF THE LAW]

       *       *       *       *       *

VIEW.--_Magistrate._ “You are charged with having been drunk when in
charge of a child under the age of seven years.”

_Prisoner._ “Please, your worship, she was a-takin’ me ’ome.”]

       *       *       *       *       *


SCENE--_The Central Criminal Court. The usual company assembled,
and the place wearing its customary aspect. “Standing room only”
everywhere, except in the jury box, which is empty. Prisoner at the

_Judge._ This is most annoying! Owing to the refusal of the jury
to serve, the time of the Bar, the Bench, and I may even add, the
prisoner, is wasted! I really don’t know what to do! Mr. Twentybob, I
think you appear for the accused?

_Counsel for the Defence._ Yes, my Lord.

_Judge (with some hesitation)._ Well, I do not for a moment presume
to dictate to you, but it certainly would get us out of a serious
difficulty if your client pleaded guilty. I suppose you have carefully
considered his case, and think it advisable that he should not withdraw
his plea?

_Counsel for the Defence._ No, my lord, I certainly cannot advise him
to throw up his defence. It is a serious--a deeply serious--matter for
him. I do not anticipate any difficulty in establishing his innocence
before an intelligent jury.

_Judge._ But we can’t get a jury--intelligent or otherwise.

_Counsel for the Defence._ If no evidence is offered, my client should
be discharged.

_Counsel for the Prosecution._ I beg pardon, but I must set my friend
right. Evidence _is_ offered in support of the charge, my lord.

_Judge._ Yes; but there is no properly constituted body to receive and
decide upon its credibility. I am glad that the grand jury (to whom I
had the privilege of addressing a few observations upon our unfortunate
position) have ignored a larger number of bills than usual; still, the
present case is before the court, and I must dispose of it. Can you
assist us in any way, Mr. Perplebagge?

_Counsel for the Prosecution (smiling)._ I am afraid not, my lord.

_Judge._ Well, I suppose I have no alternative but to order the
prisoner to be taken back to----

_Prisoner._ To the place I was in last night? No thankee!--not me!
Look here, gemmen all, we knows one another, don’t we? Well, just to
oblige you--as Dartmoor ain’t ’arf bad in the summer, and as in course
I _did_ do it--I plead guilty!

_Judge (with a sigh of relief)._ Prisoner at the bar; we are infinitely
beholden to you!

                  [_Passes regulation sentence with grateful courtesy._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE RULING PASSION.--_Prison Chaplain (charged to report
on convict’s religious knowledge)._ “Do you know the Commandments?”

_Prisoner._ “Yes, Sir.”

_Prison Chaplain._ “Say the eighth.”

_Prisoner (promptly)._ “Thou shalt do no manner of work; thou, nor thy
son, nor thy daughter.” &c.]

       *       *       *       *       *

HABES CONFITENTEM REUM.--Suitors write to the papers to complain of
the “block in Chancery.” Who but a block (we must ask) _would_ be in

       *       *       *       *       *

THE THIEF’S MOTTO.--“Take things quietly.”

       *       *       *       *       *

SPRING ASSIZES.--Trying weather.

       *       *       *       *       *

QUERY.--Would an ideal barrister be a counsel of perfection?

       *       *       *       *       *

A PROVERB REVISED.--Too many cooks spoil the--police.

       *       *       *       *       *

SAYING OF SOLICITORS.--November is at best a pettifogger.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN EQUITY DRAFTSMAN.--A lawyer who sketches.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Improved costume for the Metropolitan Police during the
great heat of 1893.]

       *       *       *       *       *



    Spinster of the Saxon beauty,
      At the Grainthorpe Manor mill,
    Of this heart you’ve had possession
      Since I made my uncle’s will:
    Yours the image all engrossing
      When I try to read reports,
    You, my Amy, am I drawing,
      Even in the Chancery Courts.

    Ah! that brow as smooth as--vellum--
      Ah! those lips vermilion red--
    Kisses wherewith I have sealed them
      No one ever witnessèd:
    I would sue the man who ventured
      To deny you dressed with taste,
    I would tax his costs who hinted
      An “impeachment” of your waist.

    Soon the long vacation’s coming,
      Soon the weary term will end;
    No more writs and affidavits,
      No more actions to defend:
    I shall take the first conveyance--
      Train at five P.M.--express--
    I shall count the sluggish moments--
      Forty minutes, more or less.

    Meet me, cousin, at the station
      With the trap that’s duty free,
    It can take my rods and gun-case,
      We will walk, _prochein_ Amy,
    Past the glebe and old inclosure,
      Past the deeply mortgaged inn,
    On to where the freeholds finish
      And the copyholds begin.

    There I’ll make my declaration,
      There I’ll pause and plead my suit;
    Do not let it be “in error,”
      Do not be of malice mute;
    But “surrender” to your cousin
      In the customary way,
    And become the donee, dearest;
      Of an opal _negligée_.

    I’ve a messuage--recent purchase--
      Sixty-eight in Mortmayne Row,
    Title good, and unencumbered,
      Gas and water laid below;
    Come and share it, undisputed
      Owner of this heart in fee,
    Come and be my junior partner,
      And in time we both may see,
    Girls, fair copies of their mother,
      Boys, the counterpart of me.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “A CLEAN BREAST OF IT”

_The Magistrate._ “Oh!--you admit making counterfeit money then?”

_Prisoner (airily)._ “Well, the fact is, your washup, the supply o’
the genuine article is so extremely limited, and things generally are
so very tight commercially, that a poor fellow must do something these
times to turn an honest penny!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

“Brief let it be”--as the barrister said in his conference with the

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DIGNITY UNDER DIFFICULTIES.--_Puffec’ Lidy (retiring
from the public gaze for the 150th time)._ “Home, John!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Suggestions for alteration and adaptation to Modern Manners and
Customs, after the Jackson decision by the Court of Appeal._)

_Common Law._--“The tradition of ages shall prevail,” save when it runs
counter to the opinions of a leader-writer of a daily-paper.

_Equity._--(1.) “No right shall be without a remedy,” save when it is
sentimentally suggested that somebody’s right may be somebody else’s

(2.) “Equity follows the law,” at such a distance that it never comes
up with it.

(3.) “Equity is equality,” save when a man’s wife is literally his
better half.

(4.) “Where there is equal equity the law must prevail,” in any view
it pleases to take at the instance of the Lord Chancellor for the time

(5.) “Where the equities are equal the law prevails,” in any course it
likes to pursue.

(6.) “Equity looks upon that as done which is agreed to be done,”
especially when, after obtaining legal relief, the suitor ultimately
finds himself sold.

_Contracts._--(1.) “All contracts are construed according to the
intentions of the parties,” save where one of them subsequently changes
his mind.

(2.) “The construction should be liberal” enough to suit the fancy of
the Judge who enforces it.

(3.) “It should be favourable” to a long and angry correspondence in
all the principal newspapers.

(4.) “The contract should in general be construed according to the law
of the country where made,” but certainly not in particular.

(5.) “That testimony cannot be given to vary, but may to explain a
written contract,” save when someone suggests that this practice shall
be reversed.

(6.) “He who employs an agent does it himself,” unless it is considered
advisable to take an opposite view of the matter.

_Parent and Child._--“A father shall have the custody of his children,”
except when they get beyond his control and defy his authority.

_Landlord and Tenant._--“A landlord has a right to receive his rent,”
if the tenant does not spend the money on something else.

_Husband and Wife._--“A man has a right to the society of his wife,”
when she does not prefer to give her company elsewhere.

_Birthright of an Englishman._ (_Popular traditionally, but strictly
speaking supplementary._)--“An Englishman’s house is his castle,” but
only the _pied à terre_ of the lawfully wedded sharer of his income.



       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: AT THE HEAD OF THE PROFESSION.--Scene: _Prisoners’
waiting room adjoining police-court. (Eminently respectable director
awaiting examination.)_

_Artful Dodger (to Charley Bates)._ “You’ve been copped for a till--and
me for a cly. But ’e’s been copped for a bank--shared somethin’ like
six million swag among the lot!”

_Charley Bates (in a tone of respectful admiration)._ “Lor!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “On there! Pass along!” (_Exeunt._) _Antony and
Cleopatra_, Act III., Sc. 1.]

       *       *       *       *       *

We scoff at savages who bow down before strange idols, yet we
invariably “worship” the bench.

       *       *       *       *       *

“It is very odd,” said Serjeant Channell to Thessiger, “that Tindal
should have decided against me on that point of law which, to me,
seemed as plain as A B C.” “Yes,” replied Thessiger, “but of what
use is it that it should have been A B C to you, if the judge was
determined to be D E F to it?”

       *       *       *       *       *

A THOUGHT IN THE DIVORCE COURT.--There is a wide difference between the
judge ordinary and an ordinary judge.

       *       *       *       *       *



(_Private and Confidential_)

[Illustration: “Doom’d for a certain term to walk the
night.”--_Hamlet_, Act I., Sc. 5.]

It being considered in accordance with the spirit of the age, the
march of intellect, and the principles of progress, that those persons
who are unfortunate enough to come under the unfavourable notice of
tribunals established in unenlightened times, should be enabled to
avail themselves of systematic arrangements for defeating the coarse
and selfish tyranny of the many, an association is in course of
formation with the following objects:--

To defend, in the best and most costly manner, all persons who, being
assured in the projected society, shall be afflicted by prosecutions.

To supply, with the aid of practised writers, sensation articles to
such newspapers as can be induced to accept them, such articles being
framed in favour of convicted persons, and designed to produce a
popular impression in their favour, by attacking the witnesses against
them, vilifying hostile counsel, and ridiculing jurymen.

To procure other articles, in a graver tone, in which every mistake
previously made by what is called justice shall be held up as an awful
warning, and in which intimidation shall be freely directed against
judges, Home Secretaries, and all who are charged with carrying the
laws into effect.

To collect, after verdicts have been given, every kind of gossip,
rumour, or invention that can discredit the case for the prosecution,
and to circulate such things as largely as possible by means of the

[Illustration: A salt and battery]

To get up petitions in favour of the convicted persons, some of such
petitions to be framed so as to command the approbation of those who
object to the special form of punishment that may have been awarded,
and without reference to the innocence or guilt of the convicted

It is believed, and experience warrants the belief, that by the
irregular use of these and similar means a criminal trial will speedily
be deprived of its antiquated solemnity and terror, and that the odds
in favour of the ultimate escape of the assured will be very heavy

To the objection of the prejudiced, that such a system is
unconstitutional, and tends to the subversion of the rules by which
society is now protected, the promoters would reply, that the march
of intellect, the spirit of the age, and the principles of progress,
render such a cavil futile in the extremest degree.

A more detailed prospectus will speedily be issued with assurance
tables prepared for the information of those who, with a wise
forethought, look forward to their probably coming into collision with
conventional arrangements, but who, owing to the uncertainties of life,
may not be aware whether such collision will be occasioned by murder,
manslaughter, burglary, highway robbery, garrotting, embezzlement,
theft, or any other departure from ordinary rules. The rates will be
carefully calculated, and brought within the means of all.

Further information may be obtained either of Jonathan Wild, Esq.,
Solicitor, Field Lane; or of Messrs. Alibi, Dodge, & Crammer, Private
Inquiry Office, Spy Corner, Dirtcheap.

       *       *       *       *       *


Put a penny in the slot, and he stops the traffic.]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CANDID

_Counsel._ “Why are you so very precise in your statement? Are you
afraid of telling an untruth?”

_Witness (promptly)._ “No, sir!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

THE LAWYER’S PRAYER.--The learned gentleman prayed a _tales_.

       *       *       *       *       *

TRULY SWEET.--“When I am in pecuniary difficulties,” said a pensive
bankrupt, “my garden, my flowers, all fresh and sparkling in the
morning, console my heart.” “Indeed!” asked his sympathising friend. “I
should have thought they would remind you of your trouble, for, like
your bills, they are all over dew.”

       *       *       *       *       *

UNFAIR!--The overcrowded state of our law courts necessitates in almost
every case a well packed jury.

       *       *       *       *       *

Written agreements should be drawn up as shortly as possible; for
parties are sure to agree best between whom there are the fewest words.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “I hear you had an action brought against you by a man
who broke his collar-bone on your doorstep. How did the case go?”

“Met the same fate as he did.”

“How do you mean?”

“Slipped upon appeal!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A long way after “The Throstle”_)

    Vacation is over, vacation is over,
      I know it, I know it, I know it.
    Back to the Strand again, home to the Courts again,
      Come counsel and clients to go it.

    Welcome awaits you, High Court of Justice,
      Thousands will flock to you daily.
    “You, you, you, you.” Is it then for you,
      That we forget the Old Bailey?

    Jostling and squeezing and struggling and shoving,
      What else were the Courts ever made for?
    The Courts ’twixt the Temple and grey Lincoln’s Inn,
      They’re not yet entirely paid for!

    Now till next year, all of us cry,
      We’ll say (for a fee) what we’re bidden.
    Vacation is over, is over, hurrah!
      And all past sorrow is hidden.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE FEMALE PREROGATIVE COURT.--A woman’s will knows no codicil.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

CRIMINAL.--Why is a prisoner’s time like an abominable joke? Because
it’s past in durance.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HOW THINGS WILL OUT

(_The judge is not at home, and Brown, Q.C., asks permission to write
him a note_)

_Mary Elizabeth Jane._ “Would you like this book, sir? Master always
uses it when he writes letters!”

                               [_Heavens! it’s an English dictionary!_]

       *       *       *       *       *


“Mr. Pickwick envied the facility with which Mr. Peter Magnus’ friends
were amused.”--DICKENS.

SCENE--_Any Court_. TIME--_Any Trial_.

_Q. C._ What sort of a night was it?

_Witness._ It was dark. (_Laughter._)

_Judge._ My learned friend hardly expected the night to be light, I
should think. (_Laughter._)

_Junior._ Perhaps m’lud, the learned counsel was thinking of a
nightlight. (_Roars of laughter._)

_Q. C._ Well, we’ll take it that it was a dark night. You went out for
a stroll?

_Witness._ No, I went for a walk.

_Judge._ At any rate the witness was walking about.

_Witness._ No, my lord, I wasn’t walking a “bout.” I was walking fast.
(_Great Laughter._)

_Q. C._ You were walking fast. Now did you see anything?

_Witness._ I saw the prisoner.

_Q. C._ Well, tell us what he was doing.

_Witness._ He was doing nothing. (_Laughter._)

_Judge._ How did he do it? (_Renewed Laughter._)

_Witness._ Very busily, my lord. (_Laughter._)

_Junior._ Like a briefless barrister, m’lud. (_Roars of laughter._)

_Q. C._ Did he continue to do nothing long?

_Witness._ No; he soon seemed to get tired of it.

_Q. C._ What did he do then?

_Witness._ He went into a public-house.

_Q. C._ What for?

_Judge._ What does my learned friend go into a public-house for?
(_Great Laughter._)

_Q. C._ Will you answer my question?

_Witness._ He went for some rum-shrub.

_Q. C. (proud of his acquaintance with slang, and with a knowing look
towards the Junior Bar)._ It was a very “rum plant” the prisoner was
engaged on.

          [_Shrieks of laughter, during which the Court rose, being too
                           convulsed to transact any further business._

       *       *       *       *       *


(An echo of the Tichborne case)

_Orton Demonstrator._ “I don’ care whether he’s Orton or Tishbo’n or
Cashtr’ or who he is, bu’ I don’ like t’ see a po’r man kep’ out of ’s

_Second Orton Demonstrator._ “Jesh sho!”

                                            [_They retire to refresh._]

       *       *       *       *       *

NO COSTS.--If you want to enjoy the luxury of law for nothing, all you
have to do is to prosecute an inquiry.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE LAST SELL

“Oh sir, please sir, is this Chancery Lane!”

“It is.”

“Ah! I knowed it was!”

“Then why did you ask?”

“’Cos I wanted to have counsel’s opinion!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    When you, my first brief, were delivered,
    Every fibre in me quivered
    With delight. I seemed to see
    Myself admitted a K.C.;
    Piles of briefs upon the table,
    More work to do than I was able;
    Clients scrambling for advice,
    Then Lord Chancellor in a trice.

    I seized my virgin pencil blue,
    Marked and perused you through and through
    The story brief, instructions short,
    Defendant in a county court,
    It needed not an ounce of sense
    To see that you had no defence.
    But, erudite in English law,
    I fashioned bricks without the straw.

    Around my chamber-floor I sped,
    Harangued the book-case on each head;
    Demosthenes and Cicero
    On hearing me had cried a go.
    Then I must own that I was nettled--
    Out of court the case was settled.
    All my points were left unmade,
    And the fee is left unpaid.

       *       *       *       *       *

When may a lawyer’s clerk be considered most captivating? When he’s

       *       *       *       *       *


_Policeman (suddenly, to street performer)._ “Now, then! just you move
on, will yer?”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_By one of the Briefless_)

_Member of the Upper Bar (perusing Assize List)._ Shall I go round this
time? Hum. Let me see. “Muddeford”--can get a day’s hunting there, I
think. “Wandsbury”--go over to the Chilstons for Sunday, and have a
jolly afternoon with Lily. “Swanston”--wouldn’t do any harm to go and
look up Uncle George. “Leamouth”--excellent quarters at hotel there;
fair dinner, too. “Deddingham”--good murder case; shouldn’t like to
miss it. Yes, I think I’ll go round as far as that, and get back to
town in time for the boat-race.”

       *       *       *       *       *

REFORM OF THE LAW.--Chancellors, ex-Chancellors, and King’s Counsel,
are members of a society for the reform of the law. They meet and
denounce the wickedness of costs, and then hie away to practice. This
reminds us of a passage in Borrow’s _Gipsies of Spain_:--“And now, my
dears,” says the head of the family to the younger branches--“now you
have said your prayers, go out and steal.”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LONG VACATION

“Now then, Latitat, tuck in your six-and-eightpenny!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_A report of the future_)

The report that the Flashaway divorce suit is postponed is unfounded.
It will commence on Tuesday as advertised. There are still a few
gallery seats to be obtained at five guineas each.

At Bow Street yesterday, John Jones, a costermonger, was summoned for
having obstructed the crowd waiting outside the pit of the Divorce
Court. Lady Hightone having given evidence in support of the charge,
the defendant explained that he was merely trying to get his barrow
through the crowd on his way from Covent Garden.

The magistrate said that the pleasure-seeking public must be protected,
and fined him five pounds and costs.

At the same court, the Earl of Blankley was charged with having driven
a motor car to the public danger, and further with having run down a
boy with fatal result.

His lordship explained that he was co-respondent in a divorce suit,
and was on his way to the Law Courts when the accident occurred. The
speed may have been a little excessive.

The magistrate said, that bearing in mind the public character of the
business on which the defendant was engaged, he would discharge him on
payment of half-a-crown and the funeral expenses.

The fine was at once paid.

       *       *       *       *       *


Another culprit.]

       *       *       *       *       *

AT THE NEW LAW COURTS.--The cry of the solicitor who has to go to
the top story to transact business is, “Please give us a lift.” The
solicitor’s lift, if introduced, will be called a conveyancer.

       *       *       *       *       *

A VERY BAD JUDGE.--The man who tries his friends.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

STRANGE SORT OF BUSINESS.--Lawyers sometimes take a different view
of things from other persons; so perhaps they may understand how a
stationer can think it is to his advantage to give this public notice
in his window,--“Deeds abstracted.”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “All in! all in! walk up, ladies!--just a going to
begin! None of your shams here, but real bullet-headed murderers! All
in! all in!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


    The barristers of England, how hungrily they stand
    About the Hall of Westminster, with wig, and gown, and band;
    With brief bag full of dummies and fee book full of _oughts_,
    Result of the establishment of the new county courts.

    The barristers of England, how listlessly they sit,
    Expending on each other a small amount of wit:
    Without the opportunity of doing something worse,
    By talking nonsense at the cost of some poor client’s purse.

    The barristers of England, how when they get a cause,
    They (some of them) will disregard all gentlemanly laws;
    And bullying the witnesses upon the adverse side.
    Will do their very utmost the honest truth to hide.

    The barristers of England, how with _sang froid_ sublime,
    They undertake to advocate two causes at one time;
    And when they find it is a thing impossible to do,
    They throw one client overboard, but take the fees of two.

    The barristers of England, how rarely they refuse,
    The party they appear against with coarseness to abuse;
    Feeling a noble consciousness no punishment can reach
    The vulgar ribaldry they call the “privilege of speech.”

    The barristers of England, how often they degrade
    An honourable calling to a pettifogging trade,
    And show how very slight the lines of separation are,
    Between the cabman’s licence, and “the licence of the bar.”

    The barristers of England, how, if they owe a grudge,
    They try with insolence to goad a poor assistant-judge;
    And after having bullied him, their bold imposture clench,
    By talking of their high respect for the judicial bench.

    The barristers of England, how sad it is to feel
    That rant will pass for energy, and bluster goes for zeal;
    But ’tis a consolation that ’mid their ranks there are
    Sufficient gentlemen to save the credit of the bar.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Aged Criminal (who has just got a life sentence)._ “Oh,
me lud, I shall never live to do it!”

_Judge (sweetly)._ “Never mind. Do as much of it as you can!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Q._ What is a _feme sole_?

_A._ A lady’s boot that has lost its _fellow_.

       *       *       *       *       *

FROM SCOTLAND YARD.--Our police force, it has been observed, is
deficient in height. The reason is plain. Tall policemen are
discouraged, because they might look over things.

       *       *       *       *       *

A TIGHT FIT.--A state of coma, which bobbies are too apt to confound
with apoplexy.

       *       *       *       *       *

A SPECIAL PLEA.--A young thief who was charged the other day with
picking pockets, demurred to the indictment, “for, that, whereas he
had never picked pockets, but had always taken them just as they came.”

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DRAWING THE LINE.--_Judge._ “Remove those barristers.
They’re drawing!”

_Chorus of Juniors._ “May it please your ludship, we’re only

[“Mr. Justice Denman said that he saw a thing going on in court that he
could not sanction. He saw gentlemen of the bar making pictures of the
witness. Let it be understood that he would turn out any gentleman of
the bar who did so in future.”--_Daily Paper._]]

       *       *       *       *       *


    Oh! take away my wig and gown,
      Their sight is mock’ry now to me:
    I pace my chambers up and down,
      Reiterating “Where is _he_?”

    Alas! wild echo, with a moan,
      Murmurs above my fever’d head:
    In the wide world I am alone;
      Ha! ha! my only client’s--dead.

    In vain the robing room I seek;
      The very waiters scarcely bow;
    Their looks contemptuously speak,
      “He’s lost his only client now.”

    E’en the mild usher, who of yore,
      Would hasten when his name I said,
    To hand in motions, comes no more,
      _He_ knows my only client’s dead.

    Ne’er shall I, rising up in court,
      Open the pleadings of a suit:
    Ne’er shall the judges cut me short,
      While moving them for a compute.

    No more with a consenting brief
      Shall I politely bow my head;
    Where shall I run to hide my grief?
      Alas! my only client’s dead.

    Imagination’s magic power
      Brings back, as clear as clear can be,
    The spot, the day, the very hour,
      When first I sign’d my maiden plea.

    In the Exchequer’s hindmost row,
      I sat, and some one touch’d my head,
    He tendered ten-and-six, but oh!
      That only client now is dead.

    In vain, I try to sing--I’m hoarse:
      In vain I try to play the flute,
    A phantom seems to flit across,--
      It is the ghost of a compute.

    I try to read--but all in vain;
      My chambers listlessly I tread;
    Be still, my heart; throb less, my brain;
      Ho! ho! my only client’s dead.

    I think I hear a double knock;
      I did--alas! it is a dun.
    Tailor--avaunt! my sense you shock;
      He’s dead! you know I had but one!

    What’s this they thrust into my hand?
      A bill returned!--ten pounds for bread!
    My butcher got a large demand;
      I’m mad! my only client’s dead.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: CHAMBER PRACTICE.--_Messenger (from studious party in
the floor below)._ “If you please, sir, master’s compliments, and he
says he’d be much obliged if you’d let him know when the repairs will
be finished, for the knocking do disturb him so!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

REFORM YOUR LAWYERS’ BILLS.--There is one consolidation of the statutes
that would be very useful--to make them so solid that no lawyer could
drive a coach-and-six through them.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _First Litigant._ “I’m bankruptcy. What are you?”

_Second L._ “I’m divorce.”

_First L._ “Then you stand lunch!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


(_Fragment from a romance not entirely imaginary_)

SCENE.--_A corridor in the Royal Courts. Eminent counsel in
conversation with estimable solicitor and respected client._

_Client._ I am rather sorry, sir, that you could not conduct my case in

_Coun._ So am I. I took a deal of trouble in preparing the argument I
proposed to advance, and it was a great disappointment to me that I was
unable to deliver it in person.

_Solic._ But your junior, sir, represented you to perfection.

_Coun._ I am rejoiced to hear it. I give every credit to my young
and learned friend, and am pleased to think that when we met in
consultation I was able to choose the right line of policy.

_Solic._ Besides, if you were not with us, your retainer prevented you
from being against us. And that was a distinct advantage.

_Coun._ You are most flattering, and too kind.

_Solic._ Not at all; and I am sure my client agrees with me?

_Client._ Well, of course I would rather have had the assistance of
silk, although your junior no doubt did his best.

_Coun._ I am sure he did. And now, gentlemen, is there anything further
I can do for you?

_Solic._ Thank you very much--I think not. You got up your case,
consulted with your junior and if you were prevented from putting in an
appearance in the Court itself, were there in spirit. Besides, I repeat
it was a good thing for us that you did not join the Bar of the other
side. Thank you very much indeed, sir. Good day.

_Coun._ Good day. (_He prepares to walk off, when, noticing a movement
of the solicitor, he stops._) You are sure I can do nothing more for

_Solic._ Oh, it’s scarcely worth mentioning. But perhaps you would not
mind returning your fee.

_Coun._ With the greatest pleasure! (_Hands over a bag of gold and

_Client._ Well, really, that seems to me very generous! Isn’t it rather

_Solic._ Unusual! Oh dear no! Why, it’s the practice of the whole


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A RISING JUNIOR.--_Old Lady (at the Law Courts)._ “Could
you kindly direct me, sir, to----”

_Young Briefless._ “My dear madam, I’m a perfect stranger myself--don’t
think I’ve been in a court for the last twenty years!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: HIS FIRST!--_Constable (suspiciously)._ “That bag,
sir--does it contain----?”

_Little Barrister._ “My brief!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


SIR,--A “Barrister” who lately wrote to the _Times_, in order to draw
public attention to the existing anomalies in the Law of Divorce,
omitted all mention of one of its most glaring absurdities. Allow me
to state a case in point. Mr. A. runs away with Mrs. B., very good, I
mean, of course very bad; well, Mrs. A. sues for a divorce from Mr. A.,
and obtains an order for alimony _pendente lite_. Mr. A. objects to pay
this amount for the support of his wife, whereupon the Judge “orders an
attachment to issue.” Now, sir, if it be, as it certainly is, in the
power of the Judge Ordinary to order Mr. A.’s attachment to _Issue_,
why should he not be able judicially to order Mr. A.’s attachment to
_Wife_? I remain, sir, yours thoughtfully.


       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “COUNSEL’S OPINION”

_Judge (testily, to persistent junior)._ “Sir, if you don’t know how to
behave as a gentleman in court, I can’t teach you!”

_Junior (pointedly)._ “Quite so, my lud, quite so!”


       *       *       *       *       *


Among the cheap furniture projects, is a tempting offer to supply
everything necessary for a barrister’s chambers for five pounds. We
have made a rough calculation in our minds of the _meubles_; and the
following, we should say, is about the estimate that the advertisers
form of


                                                                 £ s. d.
  A mahogany chair, stuffed with hay, for the learned barrister  0 10 0
  A japan chair, for the learned barrister’s clerk               0  3 0
  A table to hold a plate and a mug, for the learned barrister   0  8 0
  A foot-and-a-half wide by five-feet-six long French bedstead   0 13 0
  A hay mattress for ditto                                       0  5 0
  A superior feather-bed, warranted best damaged quills          1  5 0
  Two blankets in one                                            0  7 0
  A superior brown quilt                                         0  3 0
  Six yards of calico, to fold into a pair of sheets             0  5 0
  A yard of matting for the learned barrister’s sitting-room     0  4 0
  A pint tea-kettle                                              0  0 6
  A wig-box, the wig to be hired when wanted                     0  4 0
  Two yards of black stuff, to hang up to look like a gown       0  3 0
  A pair of endorsed dummies, as briefs                          0  1 6
  A blue bag and white stock                                     0  2 0
  A fender and one fire-iron                                     0  4 0
  A coal-scoop                                                   0  1 0
  A set of backs of old books, labelled “Reports”                0  1 0
  Sundries                                                       0  0 6
                                                                £5  0 0

       *       *       *       *       *

MOTTO FOR THE LONG FIRM.--“Order is heaven’s first law.”


       *       *       *       *       *



_The French Method, reported in a Paris Paper. Close of the Thirteenth

The prisoner was admitted. He was self-possessed, grand, mysterious.
He glanced round him with a air of disdain, and jeeringly bowed to
the president, who regarded him with hatred. Then the president put
questions to him.

_The President._ You are a thief, a scoundrel, an assassin! You know
you committed the crime of which you are accused. You are a villain!

_The Prisoner._ And you--polite.

                                                     [_General assent._

_The President (with indignation)._ I will not have you say so! I tell
you that I know you entered the room with the pistol. I know that you
fired at the deceased. You know you did! Tell me, did you not kill the

_The Prisoner._ Why should I tell you? Is not your head of wood,
M’sieur le Président.

                                                   [_General laughter._

_The President (with anger)._ You shall pay dearly for this! You have
insulted me--you have insulted the son of my mother--and insulting her
son, you have also insulted my mother!

                                                      [_A deep murmur._

_The Prisoner (shuddering)._ Oh, no! I deny it! I am not so base!

_The President._ But I tell you you are! I tell you that there is no
more wicked man in the world than yourself! You are a poltroon!


_The Prisoner._ And you call the father of my innocent child a
poltroon? It is an outrage!

                                                     [_General assent._

_The President._ Your appeal to your innocent babe will avail you
nothing. Your innocent babe would be better without such a father!
(_General Shuddering._) Yes, I mean what I say--you are a craven!

_The Prisoner._ This is too much! I am no craven! I love my country as
a mother loves her son.

                                                     [_General assent._

_M. le Président._ You insult France when you call yourself her son!
You insult the Republic.

                                                       [_Loud murmurs._

_The Prisoner._ It is not for you to judge! I know you, M’sieur le
Président. Forty years ago you were in the service of the King!

_M. le Président (with a cry)._ You shall be gagged if you utter such
calumnies! You are a knave, a vagabond, a cut-throat! And now it is for
the jury to decide. Have you anything to say in your defence?

_The Prisoner (to the Jury)._ I have nothing to say, save that I brand
this man as a traitor! As for me I ask for liberty in the name of my
infant--in the name of my child! I confess I am no saint, and if I
_have_ murdered, why in the name of my innocent babe I beg of you to
stretch out your hands to me and save me from the scaffold. I wish to
return to the world to watch by the side of a cradle!

The jury, who were deeply affected, then retired, and, after two
hours’ absence, returned a verdict of Guilty.

_The English Method, reported in a London Paper. End of the First Day._

The prisoner, who was ably represented by counsel, appeared to be
deeply sensible of his position. He kept his eyes on the jury during
the brief summing up.

His Lordship said that he trusted the jury would give the benefit of
any doubt they might feel in the prisoner’s favour. In so serious a
case they must not convict unless they were convinced of his guilt.
The facts had been carefully laid before them, and he would not say a
word to bias them one way or the other. He entreated them to remember
that the life of a fellow creature was at stake, and to let that
recollection make them desirous to record only what was proper and
just. The jury then retired, and, after five minutes’ absence, returned
a verdict of Guilty.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: THE LETTER OF THE LAW

_Nervous Old Lady._ “O, policeman! policeman! there’s a strange dog
that will stick to me, and won’t leave me, and I can’t get rid of him!
Couldn’t you take him in charge or something?”

_Policeman (who doesn’t like the job)._ “Very sorry, ma’am,--but
we can’t interfere with _any_ dog so long as he’s a _follerin’_ o’

       *       *       *       *       *


_Ragged Party._ “Ah! I should never a’ been redooced like this ’ere if
it hadn’t been for the lawyers!”

_Raggeder Ditto._ “And look at me! All through my title-deeds
bein’ made into banjos an’ such like! Why, I spent a small fortun’
advertisin’ for one tambourine as was supposed to a’ been made out o’
my grandmother’s marriage-settlement!!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Dreary Counsel (in the course of an hour’s oration)._
“Gentlemen, you cannot close your eyes--my lord cannot close _his_--to
this important fact!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A NARROW ESCAPE

_Country Magistrate._ “Prisoner, you’re discharged this time with a
caution; but if we see you here again, you’ll get twice as much!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW LEGAL DEFINITION.--_A Copyholder._--A compositor.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: LIMITED LIABILITY.--_Worthy Magistrate._ “Prisoner, you
hear what the policeman says, that you, and some ten or twelve other
boys not yet in custody, were seen in the act of demolishing a street
lamp; now what have you to say for yourself?”

_Prisoner._ “So please yer worshop, as there was more nor ten of us
engaged in the transagtion, why I pleads limited liability.”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “TURNING HIS FLANK” (_See opposite page._)]

       *       *       *       *       *

LEGAL DISTINCTION.--_Q._ What is the difference between attorney and

_A._ One is a lawyer, and the other a jawyer.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Mr. Brisket (the butcher)._ “Good morning, Mr. Chattles! You’re a
lawyer, and I want your advice. What can I do with a man whose dog
steals some meat from my shop?”

_Mr. Chattles (the lawyer)._ “Demand the value, or summon the owner.”

_Mr. Brisket (triumphantly)._ “Then I want six-and-sixpence from you,
sir, or else I’ll summons yer! Your dog there ran away with a piece of
mutton o’ that valley from these premises last night!”

_Mr. Chattles._ “Hum--ah--h’m! Then if you’ll hand me over twopence,
we shall just be square, Mr. Brisket--as my fee for consultation is


       *       *       *       *       *


(_Respectfully dedicated to the Incorporated Law Society and the Bar

SCENE--_Interior of the Duke of Ditchwater’s Study._ TIME--_The near
Future. PRESENT--His Grace and Mr. Kosts, the Family Solicitor._

_The Duke (finishing a long business talk)._ And I suppose we had
better be represented by Mr. Silvertongue, the Queen’s Counsel?

_Mr. Kosts (hesitating)._ Certainly, your Grace, if it is your express

_The Duke (surprised)._ Why, Mr. Kosts, you surely know of no better

_Mr. Kosts (hurriedly)._ Oh no, your Grace. Mr. Silvertongue is a most
eloquent advocate, and has the law at his fingers’ ends; but----

_The Duke._ Well? Surely we may entrust ourselves in his hands with
perfect confidence? Do you not think so?

_Mr. Kosts._ Oh, certainly, your Grace, certainly. (_Hesitating._) But
matters have changed a little lately. There has been an alteration in
the law.

_The Duke._ Indeed!

_Mr. Kosts._ Yes, your Grace. The fact is, that the two branches of the
legal profession have been amalgamated.

_The Duke._ I don’t quite understand.

_Mr. Kosts._ Why, your Grace, there is now no real distinction between
solicitors and barristers, except in name. So I thought, your Grace,
that as I could do the work as well, that perhaps I might replace Mr.
Silvertongue, and---- You see, it is simply a matter of business.

_The Duke (interrupting)._ Certainly, certainly, Mr. Kosts. No
doubt you could represent me admirably. But you see I am afraid Mr.
Silvertongue might be a little offended. You know he is a personal
friend of mine, and----

_Mr. Kosts (promptly, with a bow)._ I trust your Grace will not give
the matter another thought--Mr. Silvertongue shall be instructed.
(_Preparing to go._) Of course, your Grace’s young relative, the
Honourable Charles Needy, will act as junior?

_The Duke._ Certainly, Mr. Kosts. Give Charley as much of my work as
possible. My wife’s cousin, I am afraid, is not overburdened with

_Mr. Kosts._ I am afraid not, your Grace. And yet Mr. Needy is a sharp
and clever young gentleman. Good day, your Grace!

_The Duke (after a moment’s thought, suddenly)._ One moment, Mr.
Kosts. Did I understand you to say that the two branches of the legal
profession were amalgamated?

_Mr. Kosts._ To all intents and purposes, your Grace. You see we can
now do all the work of the Bar.

_The Duke._ And I suppose barristers can act as solicitors--I mean,
undertake the same kind of business?

_Mr. Kosts (laughing)._ There is nothing to prevent them, your Grace,
save their incapacity.

_The Duke (with dignity)._ No relative of the Duchess, Mr. Kosts, can
be incapable!

_Mr. Kosts (puzzled)._ I beg your Grace’s pardon. I do not quite

_The Duke._ Then I will explain. You tell me that barristers can now
act as solicitors. Well, you know the old adage, that “blood is thicker
than water.” It is, Mr. Kosts; it is. You will pardon me, I am sure, if
I suggest that the connection of your firm with my family has not been

_Mr. Kosts._ On the contrary, your Grace! I may fairly say that
the connection is worth many hundreds a-year to us. We cannot be
sufficiently grateful.

_The Duke._ Pray desist, Mr. Kosts. The matter is one of pure business.
It really is not at all a question of gratitude. Well, as I understand
you to say that Mr. Needy is quite qualified to undertake solicitor’s

_Mr. Kosts (blankly)._ Theoretically, your Grace; theoretically.

_The Duke (haughtily)._ Any relative of the Duchess can reduce theory
to practice.

_Mr. Kosts (bowing)._ No doubt, your Grace; no doubt.

_The Duke._ Well, as I now find that Charley can do the work I have
hitherto given to you, Mr. Kosts, I feel that some alteration must be
made. Charley is poor, and my relative. So I am sure you will not be
offended when for the future I give him the whole of the legal work I
used to give to you. You see, after all (as you explained to me just
now) it is purely a matter of business!

                       [_Scene closes in upon Mr. Kosts’ discomfiture._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: POLICE TYRANNY.--_Policeman (to obtrusive tramp)._ “Now
then, what d’ye mean by shoving yourself in before these poor people
out o’ your turn? You stand back or--(_thinking deeply_)--you shall
have such a _wash_!!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: IMPRACTICABLE.--_Judge (to witness)._ “Repeat the
prisoner’s statement to you, exactly in his own words. Now, what did he

_Witness._ “My lord, he said he stole the pig----”

_Judge._ “Impossible! He couldn’t have used the third person.”

_Witness._ “My lord, there was no third person!”

_Judge._ “Nonsense! I suppose you mean that he said, ‘I stole the pig’!”

_Witness (shocked)._ “Oh, my lord! he never mentioned your lordship’s

                                           [_Dismissed ignominiously._]

       *       *       *       *       *

his Bussum._ “There, my love, I think with what you have had, and this
box of concentrated luncheon, you may hold out against any of ’em!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

NEW LEGAL WORK. (_By the author of “In Silk Attire.”_)--“The briefless
junior; or, plenty of stuff to spare.”

       *       *       *       *       *

MUSICAL LAW.--“Bar’s rest.” Long vacation.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

A Lawsuit now pending in Tennessee between two families has run for
such a length of time, that it takes six men of the strongest memories
in the State to remember when it was begun.


       *       *       *       *       *


(_By A. Briefless, Junior_)

“Here is something for you, sir,” said a sharp-looking youth, suddenly
thrusting into my hand a document.

I quietly put the paper into my pocket without comment (I had no wish
to bandy words with the process-server), and reflected that some
half-forgotten tailor, or too-long-neglected hatter, was a person of no
real delicacy of feeling.

“And will you see to the matter at once?” continued the sharp-looking
youth, “as they can’t wait.”

“Certainly,” I replied, with a dignity which I intended should suggest
that I had a perfectly fabulous account at Coutts’s. My account at the
celebrated banking firm referred to _is_ perfectly fabulous.

“All right, sir. I suppose we shall see you in the morning.”

The youth disappeared, and I journeyed home. As I walked along the
Thames Embankment I pondered over the alterations made in our law by
the Judicature Acts.

“When I was a younger man,” I murmured to myself, “a copy of a writ,
when considered entirely without prejudice, was rather a handsome
instrument than otherwise. The direct message from the Sovereign, for
instance, used to be very far from ungratifying, although perhaps it
would have been better had the greeting been joined to a matter a
little less embarrassing, say, than an unsatisfied claim for the value
of certain shirts. But nowadays the neat crisp document of the olden
time seems to be abandoned for a far more bulky paper--for the packet I
have in my pocket!”

However, I threw off my cares, and thought no more of the affair
until the next morning, when, putting on my overcoat, I discovered,
to my intense astonishment, to my overwhelming joy, that what I had
believed to be a writ was actually a brief. I had to sit down on
the hall-chair for five minutes to compose myself. My emotion was
perfectly painful--it was my first, my maiden brief! The news spread
like wildfire through the household, and the distant strains of “Rule,
Britannia!” were heard coming from the nursery.


There was but one thing to be done, and I did it. I hurriedly collected
all the law-books I possess (Shearwood’s “Abridgment of Real Property,”
an odd volume of Stephen’s “Commentaries,” and an early edition of
“The Comic Blackstone”), jumped into a hansom, and rattled down to
Pump-Handle Court. Arrived there, I handed my brief to my clerk (the
sharp-looking youth who had given me the paper turned out to be my
clerk), and instructed him to put it in a prominent position in his
own room, so that my client, when he arrived, might see it, and
conclude that I had so many matters just then in hand that I had not
had as yet time to look into his case, which was waiting its turn
for consideration with numerous others. I was ashamed to give these
instructions, but reflected that it was important, having regard to my
professional prospects, that my expected visitor should be kept as long
as possible in ignorance of the fact that he was my solitary employer.

“All right, sir,” said my clerk, with a facial gesture which I regret
to say savoured of a wink. “He will be here by eleven.”

I now entered my own room. It was rather in disorder. I share my
chambers with an intimate friend, and as I am very often away, he
sometimes uses my _sanctum_ (entirely with my consent) as a receptacle
for empty packing-cases, old cigar-boxes, superfluous window-curtains,
and worn-out boots. With the assistance of my clerk, who followed
me in, I soon set things to rights, putting on the month-indicator
from October to March, filling the inkstand with copying fluid, and
removing somebody’s pot-hat from the brows of my bust of the late Lord
Chancellor Brougham.

“There, sir, I think that will do now,” said my clerk, with a look of
satisfaction, and he left me seated at my desk turning over some dusty
brief paper which I had found knocking about in one of the drawers.

My room is a semi-subterranean apartment in a circular tower. I have
two small casements looking out upon some gardens, but as I occupy the
basement, I can only see the ankles of the passers-by, and am myself
free from observation save when some more than usually unruly urchin
brings his head level with mine, and makes faces at me through the

I repeat I was turning over the dusty brief-paper, and toying with Mr.
Shearwood’s very excellent “Abridgment,” when the door was thrown open
and my clerk announced, “Someone to see you, sir.”

“You will pardon me,” I said, without looking up, consulting in the
meantime the hand-book before me with knitted brows, “but I am engaged
for a few moments. I will attend to you directly.”

“Oh, certainly, sir,” replied the new-comer, in the most deferential
tone possible; and he took a seat.

I jotted down the incidents of Borough English, frowned as if engaged
in deep thought, and then smilingly turned to my visitor, and asked him
how I could be of service to him.

“I want you to look into this case, sir,” he began, with a timidity
that was as unexpected as it was gratifying--his nervousness gave me

“By all means,” I responded heartily, dipping a pen into the ink, and
putting a fresh sheet of brief-paper over the page I had already used
for the incidents of Borough English and a freehand sketch of a British
Grenadier, “I shall be glad to hear all about it.”

“I must apologise for intruding upon you, knowing how busy you are, but
I thought you would be interested in what I have to place before you.”

“Pray do not apologise,” I hastened to say; and then added, with a
little laugh, “I certainly have taken you out of your turn, but then
this is our first transaction. I hope it will not be the last.”

“I hope so, too,” replied my client, fervently. “If you will allow me,
I will often place things like this before you. I should have come to
you earlier only so many gentlemen object to seeing me.”

“Dear me!” I replied, a little surprised. “I suppose some men don’t
care to jeopardise their professional reputation by failure. And now,
with your permission, I will look into your case.”

“It is here, sir,” he answered, opening a rather large portfolio. “You
will notice that these are very beautiful engravings.”

“Certainly,” I returned, making a note on the paper before me; “as you
say, most beautiful. No doubt of very considerable value.”

“I am glad you like them, sir. They are forced to be got rid of at an
enormous sacrifice.”

“Indeed!” I ejaculated, continuing my notes.

“Yes, sir. They are being sold at something less than cost-price.”

“Really!” And again I jotted down the particulars. Then I said, to show
that I comprehended the affair at a glance, “I suppose there has been a
dispute about the copyright?”

“No, sir, that’s all right.”

“Ah, to be sure--then there has been a breach of contract?” But finding
that this also was not the case, I said, with hearty _bonhomie_, “Well,
my dear sir, as I have made two bad guesses, perhaps you had better
tell me what I can do for you.”

My client coughed deferentially, and then produced a paper.

“I beg your pardon, sir, but would you mind signing this?”

I read the document--it ran as follows:--

“To Messrs. Scamp and Vamp.--_I hereby agree to purchase one copy
of your ‘Pillars of the Law from the Earliest Ages,’ profusely
illustrated, in one hundred and fifty-seven monthly parts, at seven
shillings and sixpence a part. I further agree to pay for this work
annually, at the rate of twelve parts in advance._”

There was a solemn and awful pause. Then I drew myself up to my full
height, and in a voice of thunder _ordered him out_! I know not _how_
he disappeared--in a moment he had vanished, portfolio and all!

Rather fatigued after my late exertions, I called to my clerk, and with
weary haughtiness desired him to bring me my brief, as I wished to
“glance through the papers.”

“Your brief, sir?” he returned. “Oh, I should have told you, sir, that,
while you were talking to the man with the engravings, they called to
see you. They said they were in a hurry, and as you were engaged, they
would take it to some one else.”

“Take it to some one else!” My maiden brief!

At this point I must pause--for the moment, I can write no more!

                                                  A. BRIEFLESS, JUNIOR.

       *       *       *       *       *


[“Two burglars, charged with burglary, frankly admitted that the reason
they wore gloves was because they didn’t want to leave their finger
impressions for identification purposes.”--_Daily Paper._]

_First Cultured Safe-Breaker._ “Harris.”

_Second C. S.-B._ “Sir.”

_First C. S.-B._ “Have you got your gloves on?”

_Second C. S.-B._ “Yes, sir.”

_First C. S.-B._ “Then take the kiver off!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: MISSING THE POINT

_Legal Adviser (speaking technically)._ “In short, you want to meet
your creditors.”

_Innocent Client._ “Hang it, no! Why, they’re the very people I’m most
anxious to avoid!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A FINAL APPEAL

“Now, gentlemen of the jury, I throw myself upon your impartial
judgment as husbands and fathers, and I confidently ask, does the
prisoner look like a man who would knock down and trample upon the wife
of his bosom? Gentleman, I have done!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


No more exorbitant fees! No more law! No more trials!]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: EXCLUSION.--_Policeman (at the Law Courts)._ “Strict
orders to-day, m’m. No one to be admitted unless they’re in wig
an’--that is--beg pardon, m’m--barristers, m’m--only barristers!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Sir Joshua Dogberry._ “If you meet a ticket-of-leave
man, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man;
and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them the
better for your honesty.”--_Much Ado about Nothing._]

       *       *       *       *       *


Cold but in-vig-orating.]

       *       *       *       *       *


OLD STYLE.--_Nervous Witness about to leave the box, when his progress
is arrested by Counsel on the other side._

_Counsel (sharply)._ Now, sir, do know the value of an oath?

_Witness (taken aback)._ Why, yes--of course.

_Coun. (pointing at him)._ Come, no prevarication! Do you understand
the value, or do you not?

_Wit. (confused)._ If you will allow me to explain----

_Coun._ Come, sir, you surely can answer yes or no--now which is it?

_Wit._ But you will not let me explain----

_Coun._ Don’t be impertinent, sir! Explanation is unneeded. Mind, you
have been sworn, so if you _don’t_ know the value of an oath, it will
be the worse for you.

_Wit._ But you won’t let me speak.

_Coun._ Won’t let you speak! Why, I can’t get a word out of you. Now,
sir, in plain English--are you a liar or not?

_Wit. (appealing to Judge)._ Surely, my lord, he has no right to speak
to me like this?

_Judge._ Be good enough to answer the counsel’s questions. I have
nothing to do with it.

_Coun._ Now sir--once more; are you a liar, or are you not?

_Wit._ I don’t think that’s the way you would speak to me----

_Coun._ Don’t bully me, sir! You are here to tell us the truth; or as
much of it as you can.

_Wit._ But surely you ought to----

_Coun._ Don’t tell me what I ought to do, sir. Again, are you a liar,
or are you not?

_Wit._ Please tell me how I am to reply to such a question?

_Coun._ You are not there to ask me questions, sir, but to answer _my_
questions to _you_.

_Wit._ Well, I decline to reply.

_Judge (to Witness)._ Now you had better be careful. If you do not
answer the questions put to you, it will be within my right to send you
to gaol for contempt of court.

_Coun._ Now you hear what his lordship says, and now, once more, are
you a liar or are you not?

_Wit. (confused)._ I don’t know.

_Coun. (to Jury)._ He doesn’t know! I need ask nothing further!

                                                          [_Sits down._

_Foreman (to Judge)._ May we not ask, my lord, how you consider this
case is being conducted.

_Judge._ With pleasure, gentlemen! I will repeat what I remarked to the
Master quite recently. I think the only word that will describe the
matter is “noble.” Distinctly noble!

                            [_Scene closes in upon despair of Witness._

NEW STYLE.--_Arrogant Witness about to leave the box, when his progress
is arrested by Counsel on the other side._

_Coun._ I presume, sir, that----

_Wit. (sharply)._ You have no right to presume. Ask me what you want,
and have done with it.

_Coun. (amiably)._ I think we shall get on better--more quickly--if you
kindly attend to my questions.

_Wit._ Think so? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. But, as I have an
engagement in another place, be good enough to ask what you are
instructed to ask and settle the matter off-hand.

_Coun._ If you will allow me to speak----

_Wit._ Speak!--I like that! Why, I can’t get a rational word out of

_Coun. (appealing to Judge)._ Surely, my lord, he has no right to speak
to me like this?

_Judge._ Be good enough to attend to the witness. I have nothing to do
with it.

_Wit. (impatiently)._ Now, sir, am I to wait all day?

_Coun. (mildly)._ I really venture to suggest that is not quite the
tone to adopt.

_Wit._ Don’t bully me, sir! I am here to answer any questions you like
to put, always supposing that you have any worth answering.

_Coun._ But come--surely you ought to----

_Wit._ I am not here to learn my duty from you, sir. You don’t know
your subject, sir. How long have you been called?

_Coun._ I decline to reply.

_Judge (to Counsel)._ Now you had really better be careful. I wish to
treat the Bar with every respect, but if you waste any more time I
shall feel strongly inclined to bring your conduct before your Benchers.

_Wit._ You hear what his lordship says. What are you going to do next?

_Coun. (confused)._ I don’t know.

_Wit. (to Jury)._ He doesn’t know! I needn’t stay here any longer.

                                                      [_“Stands” down._

_Judge (to Jury)._ May I ask you, gentlemen, how you consider this case
is being conducted?

_Foreman of the Jury._ With pleasure, my lord. We were all using
the same word which exactly describes the situation. We consider the
deportment of the witness “noble.” Distinctly noble.

                            [_Scene closes in upon despair of Counsel._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “DEFENCE, NOT DEFIANCE”

“In these days of conflicts between counsel, I propose to make a few
additions to my usual forensic costume.”--_Extract from a Letter of Mr.
Welnown Kaysee, K.C., to a young friend._]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: _Lady (solemnly)._ “When you see a boy always loafing
round street corners, what place in life do you suppose he is fitting
himself for?”

_Boy._ “To be a policeman, mum!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Tomkins looking too long at the _cartes de visite_ of
the lawyers in Chancery Lane, is seized with a sudden involuntary
panic. “Don’t be alarmed, my boy,” said his friend Wigsby, who happened
to be passing at the time, “Your _coat_ pockets are quite safe; we
don’t do it that way!”]

       *       *       *       *       *


Suitable for ladies called to the bar (as they soon will be, of

       *       *       *       *       *


AIR--_“The Sea! the Sea!”_

    The Fee! the fee! the welcome fee!
    The new! the fresh! the scarce to me!
    Without a brief, without a pound,
    I travel the circuit round and round.
    I draw with the pens at each assize,
    If ink before me handy lies.
    I’ve got a fee! I’ve got a fee!
    I’ve got what I so seldom see;
    With the judge above, and the usher below,
    I wait upon the last back row.
    Should a silk gown come with argument deep,
    What matter! I can go to sleep.

    I love (oh, _how_ I love) to bide
    At some fierce, foaming, senior’s side.
    When every mad word stuns the court,
    And the judges wish he’d cut it short,
    And tell him the case of So-and-So,
    His argument doth to atoms blow.

    I never hear Chancery’s dull, tame jaw,
    But I love the fun of the Common Law,
    And fly to the Exchequer, Bench and Pleas,
    As a mouse flies back to a Cheshire cheese!
    For the cheese it always seem’d to me,
    Especially if I got a fee!

    My whiskers are white, my head is bald,
    Since the dreary hour when I was call’d.
    The Steward he whistled as out he told
    The fees at my call from a packet of gold.
    And never was heard of a step so wild
    As took to the bar the briefless child.
    I’ve liv’d since then, in term and out,
    Some thirty years, or thereabout;
    Without a brief, but power to range
    From court to court by way of change.
    And death, whenever he comes to me,
    Will find me most likely without a fee.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: A SORE POINT.--_First Articled Clerk._ “Well how did
your private theatricals go off?”

_Second Ditto._ “Pre’y well. My moustache went off at once, but nothing
would induce the pistol to go off in the duel scene!”--(_Dropping the
subject._)--“How’s your mother?”]

       *       *       *       *       *

_you_, Robbin’.”

       *       *       *       *       *

SUITORS’ SUFFERINGS.--As law is to rheumatism, so is equity to gout.
The fusion of law and equity may be said to form the counterpart of
rheumatic gout.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: “BEHIND THE SCENES.”--_First Judge._ “Breach of promise
still running?”

_Second Judge._ “Going wonderfully. No standing room. “What are _you_

_First Judge._ “A building contract. Wretched business: not a soul in
the place!”]

       *       *       *       *       *

A SPRING CIRCUIT.--Jumping through the hoops held for the riders round
a circus.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


    At the top of the street many lawyers abound,
    Below, at the bottom, the barges are found:
    Fly, honesty, fly to a safer retreat,
    For there’s craft in the river, and craft in the street.

[Illustration: AU REVOIR!]


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