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of their eatables and quantity of their drinkables, as the exclusives in the body of the Hall. We are enabled to state, on the highest authority, that these dignitaries study two courses daily, including all the delicacies of the season, with a dessert of corresponding magnificence; and are accustomed to refresh their legal fauces after the professional fatigues of the day, with wines of all the recognised vintages, and of every possible variety.
Thus wisely and well, the attentive reader will observe, is every step of professional elevation, every gradation from the lowest to the highest dignities of the law, marked by a change of diet-a promotion, as it were, in the bill of fare, ascending, as I have said, from impregnable mutton and execrable port, to the ambrosia of turtle and venison, and the nectar of sparkling champagne.
Let the hypothetical reader suppose what is, indeed, the only supposable case, that Mr Timothy Two-to-one, the opulent pawnbroker of Holborn bars, having made one son a surgeon, another an attorney, a third a clergyman, is lost in doubt as to the occupation to be provided for the fourth and youngest hope of the family of Two-to-one. Many people wonder, indeed, that one of the sons is not to be brought up to the pawnbroking line, with such a splendid business to step into when old Two-to-one is changed into a cherubim-I say people wonder; but let me take the liberty of asking people what is it to them? You may be surprised yourself, that none of the young Twoto-ones is to succeed old Two-to-one ; let me take the liberty of asking what's that to you? The fact is, inquisitive reader, old Two-to-one has made so much money that he is obliged to bring his money to the Bank in a coal-scuttle, and Mrs Two-to-one having been, at a less propitious period of her life, under-housekeeper in a gentleman's family, the pair have come to the resolution of performing a miracle, by metamorphosing pawnbrokers' whelps into real genuine thoroughbred gentlemen, cost what it will-or as old Twoto-one, in all the pride of a bloated
Toad in the hole.
"Crikey, Fred! I'm afeared of yer brustin' yerself. Don't give him no more-d'ye hear, Timmy, dear?" "I I say, mother, don't be a-comin it so werry strong. I arn't had more nor a pound and a half or so of wittels, father lays the pudding on so werry thick," was the dissatisfied reply of Frederick- William, holding out his plate for more.
"Blowed if I doesn't think yer'd make a good lawryer, Fred, yer tucks in sich a reggler blow-out!" was the sage remark of the father of the Twoto-ones.
"Blest if he wouldn't eat his wig!" remarked the eldest hope of the Twoto-ones, who, by virtue of his seniority, thought he had a right to be extra fa.. cetious.
"Or a child out of the small-pox," observed the surgeon.
"Or a man on horseback," said the attorney.
"Or a mystified monkey, stuffed with straw," resumed the elder Twoto-one.
"Or a physic of fish-hooks," remarked the surgeon.
"Or the sunny side of a donkey," echoed the attorney, determined not to be outdone by his brethren.
"Or a hackney coachman stuffed with twelvepenny nails," reiterated the elder Two-to-one, amid the laughter of the whole family.
"Or a barbecued wild cat with". here the current of the surgeon's wit was diverted into the ocean of business, by the irruption of an apparition of the pawnbroker's boy, in slippers and shirt, with a smoothing-iron in his hand, which, duly presenting to Mr Two-to-one
Beef-steaks laid in a pie-dish on a substratum of batter-pudding and sent to the baker's—a Cockney eatable of great and deserved celebrity.
NO. CCLXXXV. VOL, XLVI,
"Here's a gal in the shop what wants to spout that 'ere flat-iron," observed the juvenile apparition.
"How much on it?" enquired "my uncle," scrutinizing the flat-iron with profound attention, and shaking it well, to see if the handle was loose. "A tanner," said the ghostling in reply.
"Half a tizzy," said Mrs Two-toone, indicating in her peculiar phraseology that the gal might receive one fourth of her demand, or threepence instead of a shilling, on the security of her flat-iron.
"Bundle, Freddy, and make out the gal's ticket," observed the father of that young gentleman, who, after several unsuccessful efforts, got off his chair at last, snorting like a walrus, and bundled into the front shop in obedience to the paternal injunction.
"I knows this 'ere flat iron this four year," observed "my uncle," taking up his old acquaintance; "the old gal as owns it gets a livin' by washin' o' sodgers' shirts, and spouts this 'ere harticle venhever them seven brats what she's got begins at her for bread. She's always werry bad off ven she spouts her flat-iron."
"That's vy I cuts her down to threepence, deary," interrupted Mrs Two-to-one, with a wink at her better half.
"I knows as how she can't get her livin' without that 'ere, so the littler she gets she comes the oftener."
"Right, ducky," remarked "my uncle" approvingly; "the interest's the same, you knows, for a month or a day so we screws it out of the old dust all the oftener."
"Ve arn't turned less nor five bob on that there harticle, I'm sure, this blessed 'ear since Genewerry,' observed Mrs Two-to-one.
"No, I'm sartin sure we arn't," assented Mrs Two-to-one's better half.
"Let-me-see," calculated Mrs Two-to-one, putting her fingers in an arithmetical position—“ tvice a-veek up our spout and tvice a-veek down our spout-two browns a-veek reggler-very well-how many veeks in yer 'ear? Eh! Timmy?"
"Fifty-let me scratch-I knows it's fifty-summut, but vether its fiftythreer or fifty-seven, blow me tight if I knows-Yer had as good ax Freddy" -insinuated Mr Timothy Two-to
"Never mind," carelessly replied the lady-" fifty-threer or fifty-seven, it's no great differ; but I says agin, we arn't turned less nor four bob and a joey on that there hiron since Genewerry "-concluded the lady of "my uncle," taking down her digits and abandoning her calculation à la Pestalozzi.
While Frederick-William was making out the gal's ticket for the flat-iron in the front shop, the thought flashed like lightning through the mind of "my uncle," that Frederick- William would make a splendid Lord High Chancellor of England; and, as it was considered in these our days, though by no means indispensably necessary in the olden time, that that functionary should previously be called to the bar, it was inwardly resolved by the father of the Two-to-ones that Frederick-William should, with all imaginable speed, be qualified, by a call to the bar, for the honourable and influential station of the woolsack. In his cogitations upon this subject, it never entered the old usurer's head to enquire, whether his son was fit for the profession of the law-whether he would like the profession of the law— or whether he would have the remotest glimmering of success at the profession of the law; all that he thought upon the subject was, that it would be a fine thing for him to be able to see Fred the lawyer's speeches reported in the newspapers, and to be able to get so many franks when Freddy would be in the House of Lords doing a snug business as Lord High Chancellor.
I am the less surprised at the selfish turn which the ambitious cogitations of the veteran pawnbroker took upon this occasion, inasmuch as nine out of every ten elderly gentlemen whose sons suck their thumbs like young bears in the purlieus of the Temple and Westminster Hall, with grey mares' tails (not paid for) stuck upon the outsides of their heads, have been brought to this deplorable condition by a train of reflection precisely similar in selfishness and folly to the train of reflection that dictated the final determination of "my uncle." This final determination, which was nothing less than the elevation of son Freddy to the woolsack, was communicated to Mrs Two-to-one that very identical night in bed, where the old couple
laid their noses together and settled the matter to their mutual satisfaction, Mrs Two-to-one confirming by her approval the resolution of her spouse, for several reasons replete with maternal wisdom and affection, but especially because it would vex old Balls, the other rich pawnbroker of Holborn bars, who had purchased a commission in a marching regiment for his son, Mr Fitzstephen-Augustus Balls, and whose hodious daughters, as Miss Seraphina Two-to-one called them, were perpetually handing round Holborn bars bundles of perfumed letters received by them from their brother Haugustus the hofficer! "It would cut their livers out," Mrs Two-to-one classically remarked, “to think that my son Freddy is for to come for to go to be a barrystir at the lawr, and for to sit on the Lord Chancellor's woolpack without never payin' a sixpence, as his mother had for to pay bless him! Vell, Timmy dear, who'd a ever a thort it that our Fred would a cum to sichin a 'igh sitivation; and as for them hodious Ballses over the way, what takes in stolen goods or any think, for my part, I must have my say out I can't a bear 'em!" How much more Mrs Two-to-one might have said upon the subject of her son Freddy, the odious Ballses, or the honourable profession of the law, it is utterly impossible for me to say; her oration being suspended for that evening by the involuntary performance of a solo on his natural trombone by her lord and master, which indicated that gentlemen's utter unconsciousness of all that his better-half had been talking about for the last three quarters of an hour.
The peripatetic reader will have the politeness to walk with Mr FrederickWilliam Two-to-one and myself down Holborn into Chancery Lane, and thence turning to the right under a Gothic gateway to the Steward's office in Lincoln's Inn, where Mr Two-toone has finally decided to enter his name, on purpose to commencing the gastronomic course of study, for which, as we have seen, by his performances upon the "toad in the hole," that young gentleman was so admirably qualified. The Temple was at first selected as the Inn which was to have the honour of employing its cooks in the service of young Two-to-one; but it being happily ascertained from
one of the waiters at Lincoln's Inn, who was a friend of the family, that the dinners were more plentiful, and the wine twice as strong there as at the Temple, the destination of the youthful aspirant was immediately changed, with the full approbation and consent of the pawnbroker and his wife, who wisely observed that their son " could tuck in a pretty good lot, and they saw no reason in life why they should not have full value for their money."
As the usual preliminary to being admitted a regular customer of the great eating-house of Lincoln's Inn, all aspirants for that high honour are required to produce to the Steward of the Inn a medical certificate of their digestive powers, the form whereof, for the use and benefit of all future applicants, I hereafter insert :
"We, the undersigned, having duly and solemnly examined Mr FrederickWilliam Two-to-one on two several occasions, the examination of the first day being confined to roast pork and pickled salmon, that of the second to baked mackerel and fried liver with bacon, do certify, under our several hands and wafers, that Mr Frederick William Two-to-one is in full possession of his digestive powers, and a proper person to be admitted of this Inn, for the purpose of guttling his way to the bar.
"A. B., M.D., L.S. "C. D., M.R. C.S., L.S. "E. F., M.A.C., L.S."
If the candidate for admission happens to be in possession of a testimonial from Cartwright the dentist as to the condition of his teeth, more especially the incisors and molars, he will not be a whit the worse for it.
The next little matter to be attended to in the Steward's office is to give security for the victuals and drink that you are expected to devour, or what Doctor O'Toole very emphatically calls the "ating and the drinking;* and this was done in the case of young Two-to-one, as in every other case, by the deposit of a hundred pounds
I should rather say by the sacrifice of one hundred pounds, because, although at the time of payment it is called a deposit, it becomes, in the course of the "ating and drinking," a lien in the hands of the Benchers, and
is generally taken out by the young lawyer in grub. The Benchers very naturally look for this security, knowing that if they were to find roast legs of impregnable mutton and bottles of red-hot port on their own responsibility, the whole town would hasten to the Inn to do them honour, and all London become but one gigantic law yer. Accordingly, for fear of accidents, and lest the young student should drop off in an apoplexy, or choke himself with the back-bone of a baked mackerel, as often happens, care is taken that the parents, friends, or guardians of the youth shall be made responsible for the damage-so that at the present time Lincoln's Inn is the only eating-house in London where the customers pay in advance.
Formerly there was no further check upon the students than their own honour, and the consequence was the Inn became impoverished, and the Benchers began to talk of surrendering en masse for the purpose of taking the benefit of the insolvent act, the immortal oyster-eater (Dando) and several other gentlemen of his description, having become members of the Inn, and carrying all before them. The present system, however, saved the Iun from total ruin, and by enhancing the price of admission, swells the number of candidates panting to be admitted; for you will not fail to observe, that in this country, if you make admission any where difficult, and give out that the entertainment is considered vastly genteel, you will have all the men canvassing, and all the women pulling caps for tickets, though the spectacle be a pas de deux of dancing-dogs, the erudition of the learned pig, or the vagaries of the comical donkey! This is the reason why all the unappropriated young gentlemen and sons of pawnbrokers flock to Lincoln's Inn, and this it was that brought thither Master FrederickWilliam Two-to-one.
The preliminaries being now arranged satisfactorily, and security given in the usual form that all the grub to be eaten would be paid for, the pawnbroker returned to Holborn bars with such elation of countenance and agility of step, that it would have cut the liver out of old Balls, the rival pawnbroker, to have seen him, although he did go home just one hundred and fifty odd pounds (the fifty odd
pounds being for stamp duties and fees) poorer than he left it. Master Frederick-William, in the mean time, took an airing in Lincoln's Inn gardens, among the little nursery boys and girls, to whose almost exclusive use that spacious enclosure is appropriated, throwing, at intervals, longing lingering glances at the dining-hall clock, and sharpening the edge of his appetite by a succession of turns on the noble terrace that overlooks Lincoln's Inn Fields, as if equally impressed with his venerable father of the propriety of having value for his money!
As the hour of half-past four draws nigh, the gardens gradually fill with enthusiastic students eager for the fray, and all eyes are directed towards the tardy clock, that, having no appetite of its own to satisfy, seems determined not to hurry Phoebus' cattle to satisfy the appetites of others, but slowly and sedately "walks its lonely round" of the dial-plate with a most provoking gravity of motion. A loud noise now attracts the attention of Master Frederick- William Two-to-one, and, directing his steps to the great door of the dining hall, whence the noise is heard to proceed, he observes a mob of students gathered round, jostling, hustling, and kicking one another's shins, with all the pertinacity of professional ambition-but all in vain; for the two or three interior strata of the mob, being composed of hungry broad-shouldered Irish students, foil the more remote aspirants in every effort to approach the door, the Hibernians holding on by the doorposts, manfully kicking the door, and determined, apparently by their energetic agitation, to insist on "Justice to Ireland." The mob gathers imperceptibly, and blocks up the public thoroughfare—the hustling, jostling, and swaying to and fro of contending portions of the crowd, becomes more and more energetic-the Milesians at the door are evidently kicking the panels in-a magistrate, who happens to be passing, runs home for the Riot Act, and a posse of the new police arrives to act as an army of observation. Suddenly, within the gate a grateful sound, as of the withdrawal of bolts, is heard-the swaying to and fro, the hustling and the jostling, are all exchanged for an uniform forward pressure the Milesians are on the qui vive-the doors open-the rush, fully equal to that of the pit-door at Drury
the table of the Benchers, remains there, while three solemn knocks with a hammer, after the fashion of the Cock-Lane ghost, announce his presence. Grace is said with becoming solemnity; and it is proper to remark, that grace is pronounced by the present reader in a tone and manner that give to this usually unimportant ceremony an air, if not devotional, at least reverend and impressive. Loud is the noise of the company, one and all resuming their places-tremendous the clangour of knives, forks, and spoons
the serious professional business of the day may be truly said to have commenced here at least there are none briefless-all are engaged in the cause-and every learned gentleman confronts his equally learned friend on the opposite side.
While the profession is thus worthily employed, let the disinterested reader walk with me through the venerable dome, and regard the several objects of attraction therein contained, which the noise and racket prevent me pointing out. At the top of the hall, exactly over the centre of the Benchers' table, which extends crosswise from east to west, is the Chancellor's chair
Lane on a command night, tumbles in, upsetting the unfortunate porter who opens the gate, the old woman who serves the students with gowns, and two or three rash under-waiters who happen to be lingering near the spot -the hall is filled in the twinkling of a bed-post! And now an internal scene of confusion is being enacted in taking places; that operation being performed, by seizing upon as many plates as you can lay hold of with your fingers, toes, or teeth, and turning them bottom upwards, by which you acquire the right of next presentation to all such places so secured, for as many of the mob of your acquaintance as may happen to come late, and also have the pleasure of observing gentlemen of decency and feeling, who do not appertain to the mob, retire from the hall, unable to procure places in consequence of your successful monopoly. It wants now but a quarter to five; and the barristers of twenty years' standing, who have arrived at the dignity of the cucumber, come dropping in, one after another, and proceed with becoming gravity to the upper end of the hall, where they begin to open oysters, throwing away the shells to the right and left, after eating the fish with judicial impartiality. It is five o'clock-the mob of students are all decorated with gowns -the barristers all radiant in their patent wigs-the talking is fearful, and the opening of oysters proceeds with alarming velocity-there cannot at this moment be fewer than fifteen hundred embryo Lord High Chancellors in the hall. Suddenly a gentleman-usher "As peevish, tart, and splenetic, appears at the upper extremity of the As dog distract or monkey sick." hall, and proclaims with a loud voice"BENCHERS, GENTLEMEN-BENCHERS, To the right of the schoolmaster is GENTLEMEN IF YOU PLEASE." A placed the armorial ensign of that upcrimson curtain is now withdrawn, and right judge and excellent man, Lord in single file a long array of elderly Denman; to the right of this the esapoplectic gentlemen, with faces as cutcheon of the Lord Lyndhurst ; and crimson as the curtain itself, enter the, to the left of the Chancellor's chair are apartment, and bowing profoundly emblazoned the family arms of the Viceas they pass to the barristers and Chancellor Sir Lancelot Shadwell, of students, who bow profoundly to the the present Lord High Chancellor Benchers in return, pass on to their (Cottenham), and of that able and places at the table allotted to them, learned Parliamentary lawyer, the where they seat themselves, not in the Right Honourable Charles Watkin order of professional rank, but by seWilliams Wynn. niority, as Benchers of the Inn. The chaplain, or reader of the Inn, now leaves the table of the barristers, where his place is, and, going to the top of
that chair to which the ambition of every eater and drinker within the body of the hall is laudably directed. Over this post of honour is placed, curiously enough, the escutcheon of a man who occupied it once, and is by no means likely to occupy it once again— the egotistical, physico-theological, melo-dramatical, Tomkinso-political, bombasto-logical schoolmaster
Immediately over these arises a canopy of fretted oak, curiously carved, and worthily sustaining an admirable picture of Paul before Festus, from