Page images

presses that it has been granted upon a wears; the coif is now diminished into a * side-bar" motion

small circular piece of black silk at the To recur to the engraving, which exhi- top of the wig, instead of the cap reprebits Westminster-hall at no distant period, sented in the engraving. The first shop, in a state very dissimilar to its more late on the left, is occupied by a bookseller ; appearance. The original print by Mosley the next by a mathematical instrument bears the following versified inscription : maker; then there is another bookseller; When fools fall out, for ev'ry flaw,

beyond him a dealer in articles of female They run horn mad to go to law,

consumption; beyond her a bookseller A hedge awry, a wrong plac'd gate,

again; and, last on that side, second Will serve to spend a whole estate,

female shopkeeper. Opposite to her, Your case the lawyer says is good, on the right of the hall, stands a And justice cannot be withstood ;

clock, with the hands signifying it to be By tedious process from above

about one in the afternoon; the first shop, Frcm office they to office move ;

next from the clock, is a bookseller's ; Thro' pleas, demurrers, the dev'l and all,

then comes a female, who is a map and At length they bring it to the hall;

printseller; and, lastly, the girl who reThe dreadful hall by Rufus rais'd,

ceives the barrister's hat into her care, For lofty Gothick arches prais'd. The FIRST OF TERM, the fatal day,

aud whose line appears to sustain the Doth various images convey ;

turnovers worn by the beaus of those First from the courts with clam'rous baw]

days with “ ruffles,” which, according to The criers their attorneys call;

Ned Ward, the sempstresses of WestminOne of the gown, discreet and wise, ster-hall nicely “ pleated,” to the satisBy proper means his witness tries; faction of the young students " learned From Wreathock's gang—not right or laws in the law. H'assures his trembling client's cause ; Enough has, probably, been said of the This gnaws his handkerchief, whilst that

engraving, to obtain regard to it as an Gives the kind ogling nymph his hat; object worth notice. Here one in love with choiristers

The first day of term is occupied, in Minds singing more than law affairs.

the common law courts, by the examiA serjeant limping on behind Shews justice lame, as well as blind.

nation of bail for persons who have been To gain new clients some dispute,

arrested, and whose opponents will not Others protract an ancient suit,

consent to the bail justifying before a Jargon and poise alone prevail,

judge at his chambers. A versified exWhile sense and reason's sure to fail ; emplification of this proceeding in the At Babel thus law terms began,

court of King's Bench, was written when And now at Westmer go on.

lord Mansfield was chief, and Mr. Willes

a justice of the court; a person named The advocate, whose subornation of Hewitt was then cryer, Mr. Mingay, a perjury is hinted at, is in the foremost celebrated counsel, still remembered, is group; he is offering money to one of represented as opposing the bail proposed « Wreathock's gang.'

This Wreathock by Mr. Baldwin, another counsel : was a villainous attorney, who


cuar. 10. ceived sentence of death for his criminal practices, and was ordered to be trans

Baldwin. Hewitt, call Taylors bail,- for I ported for life in 1736. It is a notorious Shall now proceed to justify. fact, that many years ago wretches sold Hewitt. Where's Taylor's bail ? themselves to give any evidence, upon Ist Bail.

I can't get in. oath, that might be required; and some

Hewitt. Make way. of these openly walked Westminster-hall Lord Mansfield.- For heaven's sake with a straw in the shoe to signify that begin.

Hewitt. But where's the other ? they wanted employment as witnesses;

2d Bail.

Here I such was one of the customs of the “good

stand. old times," which some of us regret we

Mingay. I must except to both.-Comwere not born in. The “ choirister" in

mand a surplice, bearing a torch, was probably Silence,--and if your lordship crave it, one of the choir belonging to Westminster Austen shall read our affidavit. abbey. To his right hand is the “ limp Austen. Will. Priddle, late of Fleet-street, ing serjeant" with a stick; his serjeantship gent. being denoted by the coif, or cap, he Makes oath and saith, that late he went




To Duke's-place, as he was directed

learning was extensive ; his abilities great; By notice, and he there expected

his application unwearied ; his integrity To find both bail-but none could tell

unimpeached. In religious principles he Where the first bail lived

was an Unitarian Christian and ProtestMingay.

Very well.

ant; in political principles the friend of the Austen. And this deponent further says,

civil liberties of mankind, and the genuine That, asking who the second was,

constitution of his country. He died He found he'd bankrupt been, and yet Had ne'er obtained certificate.

August 4, 1787, and was buried on the When to his house deponent went,

9th in Bunhill-fields' burying-ground, near He full four stories high was sent,

to the grave of Dr. Jebb," his tutor at And found a lodging almost bare ;

college: “the classical hand of Dr. Parr" No furniture, but half a chair,

commemorated him by an epitaph. A table, bedstead, broken fiddle And a bureau. (Signed) William Priddle.

One of the best papers in Mr. Knight's Sworn at my chambers.

late“Quarterly Magazine,” of good artiFrancis Buller. cles, is so suitable to this day, legally Mingay. No affidavit can be fuller. considered, that any one sufficiently inWell, friend, you've heard this affidavit, terested to sympathize with “ the cares What do you say?

and the fears” of a young lawyer, or, 2d Bail. -Sir, by your leave, it indeed, any one who dares to admit that Is all a lie.

a lawyer may have bowels, as well as an Mingay. Sir, have a care,

appetite, will suffer the Confessions of a What is your trade ?

Barrister to be recorded here. 2d Bail.

A scavenger. Mingay. And, pray, sir, were you never found

“ A lawyer,” says an old comedy Cankrupt?

which I once read at the British Museum, 2d Bail. I'm worth a thousand pound. “ is an odd sort of fruit-first rotten Mingay. A thousand pound, friend, boldly then green—and then ripe." There is

saidIn what consisting ?

too much of truth in the homely figure. 2d Bail. Stock in trade.

The first years of a young barrister are Mingay. And, pray, friend, tell me,—do spent, or rather worn out, in anxious

leisure. His talents rust, his temper is What sum you're bail for ?

injured, his little patrimony wastes away, 2d Bail.

- Truly no. and not an attorney shows a sign of reMingay. My lords, you hear,--no oaths

He endures term after term, and have check'd him :

circuit after circuit, that greatest of all I hope your lordships will

evils—a rank above his means of supportWilles.

Reject him.

ing it. He drives round the country in Mingay. Well, friend, now tell me where

a post-chaise, and marvels what Johnson 1st Bail. Sir, I have liv'd in Clerkenwell

found so exhilarating in its motion--that These ten years.

is, if he paid for it himself.

He eats Mingay. Half-a-guinea dead. (Aside.) venison, and drinks claret; but he loses

the favour of both when he reflects that My lords, if you've the notice read, It says Duke's place. So I desire

his wife (for the fool is married, and A little further time t'inquire.

married for love too !) has perhaps just Baldwin. Why, Mr. Mingay, all this va dined for the third time on a cold neck

of mutton, and has not tasted wine since Willes. Take till to morrow.

their last party-an occurrence beyond Lord Mansfield.

even legal memory. He leaves the fesThe preceding pleasantry came from tive board early, and takes a solitary the pen of the late John Baynes, Esq. a walk--returns to his lodgings in the twiYorkshire gentleman, who was born in light, and sees on his table a large white April, 1758, educated for the law at rectangular body, which for a moment he Trinity college, Cambridge, obtained supposes may be a brief-alas! it is only prizes for proficiency in philosophy and a napkin. He is vexed, and rings to classical attainments, was admitted of have it removed, when up comes his Gray’s-inn, practised in his profession, clerk, who is drunk and insolent: he is and would probably have risen to its about to kick him down stairs, but stays first honours. Mr. Nichols says

“his his foot on recollecting the arrears of the

you know


you dwell.

pour ?

Call the paper.


fellow's wages ; and contents himself with tied round with the brilliant red tape, wondering where the fellow finds the met my eye. He inquired respectfully, means of such extravagance.--Then in and with an appearance of anxiety, which court many are the vexations of the brief- marked him to my mind for a perfect less. The attorney is a cruel person to Chesterfield, if I was already retained in them-as cruel as a rich coxcomb in a

-? The rogue knew well enough ball-room, who delights in exciting hopes that I had never had a retainer in my life. only to disappoint them. Indeed I have I took a moment to consider ; after making often thought the communications be- him repeat the name of his case, I gravely tween the solicitors and the bar have no assured him I was at perfect liberty to slight resemblance to the flirtation be- receive his brief. He then laid the papers tween the sexes. Barristers, like ladies, and my fee upon the table; asked me if must wait to be chosen. The slightest the time appointed for a consultation overture would be equally fatal to one with the two gentlemen who were “ with gown as the other. The gentlemen of me" would be convenient; and finding the bar sit round the table in dignified that the state of my engagements would composure, thinking just as little of briefs allow me to attend, made his bow and as a young lady of marriage. An at- , departed. That fee was sacred, and I torney enters-not an eye moves; but put it to no vulgar use. Many years have somehow or other, the fact is known to now elapsed since that case was disposed all. Calmly he draws from his pocket a of, and yet how fresh does it live in my brief : practice enables us to see at a memory! how perfectly do I recollect glance that the tormentor has left a blank every authority to which he referred ! how for the name of his counsel. He looks I read and re-read the leading cases that around the circle as if to choose his man; bore upon the question to be argued! One you cannot doubt but his eye rests on case I so bethumbed that the volume has you; he writes a name, but you are too opened at it ever since, as inevitably as far off to read it, though you know every the prayer-book of a lady's maid proffers name on your circuit upside down. Now the service of matrimony. My brief rehe counts out the fee, and wraps it up lated to an argument before the judges of with slow and provoking formality. At the King's Bench, and the place of conlength all being prepared, he looks to- sultation was Ayles's coffee-house, adjoinwards you to catch (as you suppose) your ing Westminster-hall. There was I beeye. You nod, and the brief comes fly- fore the clock had finished striking the ing; you pick it up, and find on it the hour; my brief I knew by heart. I had name of a man three years your junior, raised an army of objections to the points who is sitting next you: you curse the for which we were to contend, and had attorney's impudence, and ask yourself logically slain every one of them. I went if he meant to insult you.—“ Perhaps prepared to discuss the question thoroughnot,” you say,

“ for the dog squints.” ly; and I generously determined to give I received my maiden brief in London. my leaders the benefit of my cogitationsHow well do I recollect the minutest though not without a slight struggle at circumstances connected with that case! the thought of how much reputation I The rap at the door! I am a connoisseur should lose by my magnanimity. I had in raps—there is not a dun in London plenty of time to think of these things, for who could deceive me: I know their my leaders were engaged in court, and tricks but too well; they have no medium the attorney and I had the room to ourbetween the rap servile, and the rap im- selves. After we had been waiting about pudent. This was a cheerful touch; you an hour, the door few open, and in strode felt that the operator knew he should meet one of my leaders, the second in comwith a face of welcome. My clerk, who mand, less in haste (as it appeared to me) is not much under the influence of sweet to meet his appointment, than to escape sounds, seemed absolutely inspired,and an- from the atmosphere of clients in which swered the knock with astonishing velocity. he had been just enveloped, during his I could hear from my inner room the passage from the court.-Having shaken murmur of inquiry and answer; and off his tormentors, Mr. walked up to though I could not distinguish a word, the fire-said it was cold-nodded kindly the tones confirmed my hopes;-I was to me—and had just asked what had been not long suffered to doubt-my client en. the last night's division in the ho isetered, and the roll of pure white paper when the powdered head of an usher was

protruded through the half open door to every wig of the white inclined plane, at announce that “ Jones and Williams was the upper end of which I was standing called on.” Down went the poker, and turned round; and in an instant I had away flew -- with streaming robes, the eyes of seventy“ learned friends ” leaving me to meditate on the loss which looking me full in the face! It is hardly the case would sustain for want of his to be conceived by those who have not assistance at the expected discussion. gone through the ordeal, how terrific is Having waited some further space, I th mute attention to he object of it. heard a rustling of silks, and the great How grateful should I have been for any

our commander in chief, sailed into thing which would have relieved me from the room. As he did not run foul of me, I its oppressive weight--a buzz, a scraping think it possible I may not have been of the shoes, or a fit of coughing, would invisible to him, but he furnished me have put me under infinite obligations to with no other evidence of the fact. He the kind disturber. What I said I know simply-directed the attorney to provide cer- not; I knew not then; it is the only lain additional affidavits, tacked about and part of the transaction of which I am zailed away. And thus ended the first ignorant; it was “a phantasma, or consultation. I consoled myself with the hideous dream.” They told me, however, thought that I had all my materials for to my great surprise, that I spoke in a myself, and that from having had so much loud voice; used violent gesture, and as more time for considering the subject than I went along seemed to shake off my trepithe others, I must infallibly make the best dation. Whether I made a long speech or speech of the three. At length the fatal a short one I cannot tell; for I had no day came. I never shall forget the thrill power of measuring time. All I know with which I heard open the case, is, that I should have made a much longer and felt how soon it would be my turn to one, had I not felt my ideas, like Bob speak. O, how I did pray for a long Acre's courage, oozing out of my fingers' speech ! I lost all feeling of rivalry; and ends. The court decided against us, would gladly have given him every thing erroneously as I of course thought, for that I intended to use myself, only to the young advocate is always on the right defer the dreaded moment for one half- side. The next morning I got up early hour. His speech was frightfully short, to look at the newspapers, which I exyet, short as it was, it made sad havoc pected to see full of our case. with my stock of matter.

The next

obscure corner,and in a small type, I found speaker's was even more coneise, and yet a few words given as the speeches of my my little stock suffered again severely leaders : and I also read that “Mr.I then found how experience will stand followed on the same side" 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 my research. At length my turn came. 1

It is affirmed of sir William Blackwas sitting among the back rows in the

stone, that so often as he sat down to the old court of King's Bench. It was on the composition of his Commentaries on the first day of Michaelmas term, and late in the evening. A sort of "darkness visible" bottle of wine wherewith to moisten the

Laws of England, he always ordered a had been produced by the aid of a few dryness of his studies; and in proof that candles dispersed here and there. I arose, other professional men sometimes solace but I was not perceived by the judges, their cares by otherwise disporting them. who had turned together to consult, sup- selves, there is a kind of catch, the words posing the argument finished. B

of which, having reference to their art or was the first to see me, and I received from hiin a nod of kindness and encourage- that they chant it with more glee than

mystery, do so marvellously inspire them, ment which I hope I shall never forget. gravity, to a right merry tune :The court was crowded, for it was a question of some interest; it was a

A woman havivg settlement, dreadful moment—the ushers stilled the

Married a man with none; audience into awful silence. I began, The question was, he being dead and at the sound of an unknown voice, If that she had was gone?

In an



Quoth sir John Pratt, her settlement all the annuities that should be subscrihed
Suspended did remain,

into its fund, and which, if all subscribed, Living the husband—but, him dead, would have amounted to the sum of It doth revive again,

3,567,5031.; amounting, with the above

mentioned sum, to 7,723,8091. : in case Living the husband—but, him dead, all the annuities were not subscribed, the It doth revive again.

company agreed to pay one per cent. for

such unsubscribed annuities. FLORAL DIRECTORY.

To this arrangement parliament acPeziza. Peziza acetabulum.

ceded, and an act was passed to ratify this contract, and containing full powers to

the company accordingly. In March folJanuary 24.

lowing South Sea stock rose from 130 to

300, gradually advanced to 400, declined St. Timothy, disciple of St. Paul. St.

to 330, and on the 7th of April was at Babylas, A. D. 250. St. Suranus, 7th century. St. Macedonius.

340. This so encouraged the directors,

St. Cadoc, of that on the 12th they opened books at the Wales. CHRONOLOGY.

South Sea house for taking in a subscrip1721. On the 24th of January in this

tion for a portion of their stock to the

mount 2,250,000l. every 1001. of year, the two houses of parliament ordered several of the directors of the South mediately subscribed for at that price, to

which they offered at 300l. : it was im. Sea company into the custody of the be paid for by nine instalments within usher of the black rod and serjeant at

twelve months. On the 21st, a general arms: this was in consequence of a parliamentary inquiry into the company's Midsummer dividend should be 10 per

court of the company resolved, that the affairs, which had been so managed as to involve persons of all ranks through- and all other additions to their capital

cent., and that the aforesaid subscription, out the kingdom in a scene of distress before that time, should be entitled to the unparalleled by any similar circumstance said dividend. This gave so favourable in English annals.

a view to the speculation, that on the 28th the directors opened a secon sub

scription for another million of stock, In 1711, the ninth year of queen Anne's which was presently taken at 4001. for reign, a charter of incorporation was every 1001., and the subscribers had three granted to a company trading to the years allowed them for payment. On South Seas; and the South Sea com the 20th of May, South Sea stock rose to pany's affairs appeared so prosperous, 550. So amazing a price created a gethat, in 1718, king George I. being chosen neral infatuation. Even the more prugovernor, and a bill enabling him to ac- dent, who had laughed at the folly and cept the office having passed both houses, madness of others, were seized with the on the 3d of February, his majesty in mania; they borrowed, mortgaged, and person attended the house of lords, and sold, to raise all the money they could, in gave the royal assent to the act. A brief order to hold the favourite stock ; while history of the company's subsequent pro- a few quietly sold out and enriched themgress is interesting at any time, and more selves. Prodigious numbers of people especially at a period when excess of spe- resorted daily from all parts of the king. culation may endanger private happiness, dom to 'Change-alley, where the assemand disturb the public welfare.

bled speculators, by their excessive noise On the 27th of January, 1719, the and hurry, seemed like so many madmen South Sea company proposed a scheme just escaped from cells and chains. All to parliament for paying off the national thoughts of commerce were laid aside for debt, by taking into its funds al, the debt the buying and selling of estates, and which the nation had incurred before the traffic in South Sea stock. Some, who year 1716, whether redeemable or irre- had effected sales at high premiuins, were deemable, amounting in the who to the willing to lay out the money on real prosum of 31,664,5511. 1$. 11d. For this perty, which consequently advanced bethe company undertook to pay to the use yond its actual value: cautious land. of the public the sum of 4,156,3061.; be owners justly concluded that this was the sides four years and a half's purchase for time to get money without risk, and there


« PreviousContinue »