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dence, and ask yourself if he meant to insult you. Perhaps not, you say, for the dog squints.
My maiden brief was in town. How well do I recollect the minutest circumstances connected with that case! The rap at the door! I am a connoisseur in
raps, ,—there is not a dun in London who could deceive me; I know their tricks but too well; they have no medium between the rap
servile and the rap impudent. This was a cheerful touch ; you felt that the operator knew he should meet with a face of welcome. My clerk, who is not much under the influence of sweet sounds, seemed absolutely inspired, and answered the knock with astonishing velocity, I could hear from my inner room the murmur of inquiry and answer ; and, though I could not distinguish a word, the tones confirmed my hopes ;-I was not long suffered to doubt: my client entered, and the pure white paper,
tied round with the brilliant red tape, met my eyes. He inquired respectfully, and with an appearance of anxiety which marked him to my mind for a perfect Chesterfield, if I was already retained in
The rogue knew well enough I never had had a retainer in my life. I took a moment to consider; and, after making him repeat the name of his case, I gravely assured him I was at perfect liberty to receive his brief. He then laid the papers and my fee
upon the table, asked me if the time appointed for a consultation with the two gentlemen who were
“ with me
would be convenient; and, finding that the state of my engagements would allow me to attend, made his bow and departed. That fee was sacred gold, and I put it to no vulgar use.
Many years have now elapsed since that case was disposed of, and yet how fresh does it live in my memory; how perfectly do I recollect every authority to which he referred! how I read and re-read the leading cases that bore upon the question to be argued. One case I so bethumbed, that the volume has opened at it ever since, as inevitably as the prayer-book of a lady's-maid proffers the service of matrimony. My brief related to an argument before the judges of the King's Bench, and the place of consultation was Ayles's Coffee-house, adjoining Westminster Hall. There was I, before the clock had finished striking the hour. My brief I knew by heart. I had raised an army of objections to the points for which we were to contend, and had logically slain every man of them. I went prepared to discuss the question thoroughly; and I generously determined to give my leaders the benefit of all my cogitations—though not without a slight struggle at the thought of how much reputation I should lose by my magnanimity. I had plenty of time to think of these things, for my leaders were engaged in court, and the attorney and I had the room to ourselves. After we had been waiting about an hour, the door flew open, and in strode one of my leaders, the second in command, less in haste (as it appeared to me) to meet his appointment than to escape from the atmosphere of clients in which he had been enveloped during his passage from the court-just as the horseman pushes his steed into a gallop, to rid himself of the flies that are buzzing around him. Having shaken off his tormentors, Mr. walked up to the fire-said it was cold—nodded kindly to me-and had just asked what had been the last night's division in the house, when the powdered head of an usher was protruded through the half open door, to announce that “ Jones and Williams was called on." Down went the poker, and away flew
with streaming robes, leaving me to meditate on the loss which the case would sustain for want of his assistance at the expected discussion. Having waited some further space, I heard a rustling of silks, and the great our commander-in-chief, sailed into the room. As he did not run foul of me, I think it possible I may not have been invisible to him ; but he furnished me with no other evidence of the fact. He simply directed the attorney to provide certain additional affidavits, tacked about, and sailed away. And thus ended first consultation.
I consoled myself with the thought that I had at least all my materials for myself, and that, from having had so much more time for considering the subject than the others, I must infallibly make the best speech of the three.
At length, the fatal day came. I never shall forget the thrill with which I heard
open the case, and felt how soon it would be my turn to speak. Oh, how did I pray for a long speech! I lost all feeling of rivalry; and would have gladly given him every thing that I intended to use myself, only to defer the dreaded moment for one half hour. His speech was frightfully short, yet, short as it was, it made sad havoc with my stock of matter. The next speaker was even more concise, and yet my little stock suffered again severely. I then found how experience will stand in the place of study; these men could not, from the multiplicity of their engagements, have spent a tithe of the time
upon the case which I had done, and yet they had seen much which had escaped all my research. At length, my turn came. I was sitting among the back rows in the old court of King's Bench. It was on the last day of Michaelmas Term, and late in the evening. A sort of darkness visible had been produced by the aid of a few candles dispersed here and there. I arose, but I was not perceived by the judges who had turned together to consult, supposing the argument finished. B- was the first to see me, and I received from him a nod of kindness and encouragement, which I hope I never shall forget. The court was crowded, for it was a question of some interest; it was a dreadful moment; the ushers stilled the audience into an awful silence. I began, and at the sound of an unknown voice every wig of the white inclined plane at the upper end of which I was standing suddenly turned round, and in an instant I had the eyes of seventy“ learned friends ” looking me full in the face ! It is hardly to be conceived by those who have not gone through the ordeal how terrific is this mute attention to the object of it. How grateful should I have been for any thing which would have relieved me from its oppressive weight--a buzz, a scraping of the shoes, or a fit of coughing would have put me under infinite obligation to the kind disturber. What I said, I know not; I knew not then; it is the only part of the transaction of which I am ignorant; it was a "phantasma or hideous dream." They told me, however, to my great surprise, that I spoke in a loud voice, used violent gesture, and as I went along seemed to shake off my trepidation. Whether I made a long speech or a short one, I cannot tell, for I had no power of measuring time. All I know is, that I should have made a much longer one if I had not felt my ideas, like Bob Acres's courage, oozing out of my fingers' ends. The court decided against us, erroneously as I of course thought, for the young advocate is always on the right side.
The next morning I got up early to look at the newspapers which I expected to see full of our case. In an obscure corner and in a small type, I found a few words given as the speeches of my leaders--and I also read, that " Mr. followed on the same side.”
166.-APOPHTHEGMS.-V. All of us, who are worth any thing, spend our manhood in unlearn. ing the follies, or expiating the mistakes, of our youth.-SHELLEY. Letters.
Rage is essentially vulgar, and never vulgarer than when it proceeds from mortified pride, disappointed ambition, or thwarted wilful
A baffled despot is the vulgarest of dirty wretches, no matter whether he be the despot of a nation vindicating its rights, or of a donkey sinking under its load. — HARTLEY COLERIDGE. Biographia Borealis.
IMPEDIMENTS TO THE PROGRESS OF TRUTH.--Truth and error, as they are essentially opposite in their nature, so the causes to which they are indebted for their perpetuity and triumph are not less so. Whatever retards a spirit of inquiry, is favourable to error; whatever promotes it, to truth. But nothing, it will be acknowleged, has a greater tendency to obstruct the exercise of free inquiry than the spirit and feeling of a party. Let a doctrine, however erroneous, become a party distinction, and it is at once intrenched in interests and attachments which make it extremely difficult for the most powerful artillery of reason to dislodge it. It becomes a point of honour in the leaders of such parties, which is from thence communicated to their followers, to de fend and support their respective peculiarities to the last; and, as a natural consequence, to shut their ears against all the pleas and remonstrances by which they are assailed. Even the wisest and best of men are seldom aware how much they are susceptible of this sort of influence ; and while the offer of a world would be insufficient to engage them to recant a known truth, or to subscribe an acknowledged error, they are often retained in a willing captivity to prejudices and opinions which have no other support, and which, if they could lose sight of party feel. ings, they would almost instantly abandon.-Rev. ROBERT HALL. FASHION.—While the world lasts, fashion will continue to lead it by
And, after all, what can fashion do for its most obsequious followers ? It can ring the changes upon the same things, and it can do no more.
Whether our hats be white or black, our caps high or low, whether we wear two watches or one, is of little consequence. There is indeed an appearance of variety; but the folly and vanity that dic
tates and adopts the change are invariably the same. When the fashions of a particular period appear more reasonable than those of the preceding, it is not because the world is grown more reasonable than it was; but because, in a course of perpetual changes, some of them must sometimes happen to be for the better. Neither do I suppose the preposterous customs that prevail at present a proof of its greater folly. In a few years, perhaps next year, the fine gentleman will shut up his umbrella, and give it to his sister, filling his hand with & crab-tree cudgel instead of it: and when he has done so will he. be wiser than now? By no means. The love of change will have betrayed him into a propriety which, in reality, he has no taste for, all his merit on the occasion amounting to no more than this-that, being weary of one plaything, he has taken
up another.-CowPER. GENIUS.— I never knew a poet, except myself, who was punctual in any thing, or to be depended on for the due discharge of any duty, except what he thought he owed to the Muses. The moment a man takes it into his foolish head that he has what the world calls Genius, he gives himself a discharge from the servile drudgery of all friendly offices, and becomes good for nothing, except in the pursuit of his favourite employment.-- COWPER.
NASEBY FIELD.-The old hamlet of Naseby stands yet on its old hilltop, very much as it did in Saxon days, on the north-western border of Northamptonshire, some seven or eight miles from Market-Harborough in Leicestershire, nearly on a line, and nearly mid-way, between that town and Daventry. A peaceable old hamlet, of perhaps five hundred souls; clay cottages for labourers, but neatly thatched and swept; smith's shop, saddler's shop, beer shop, all in order; forming a kind of square, which leads off, north and south, into two long streets : the old church, with its graves, stands in the centre, the truncated spire finishing itself with a strange old ball, held up by rods; a ball, which came from Boulogne in Henry the Eighth's time," which has, like Hudibras' breeches, “ been at the siege of Bullen.” The ground is upland, moorland, though now growing corn; was not enclosed till the last generation, and is still somewhat bare of wood. It stands nearly in the heart of England; gentle dulness, taking a turn at etymology, sometimes derives it from Navel ; “ Navesby, quasi Navelsby, from being," &c. Avon Well, the distinct source of Shakspeare's Avon, is on the western slope of the high grounds; Nen and Welland