Billeder på siden

To study quirks and find out tricks,
Each morn and eve of hours full six,
Six hours to sleep, and four to pray,
Is what thou orderest every day.
But two to eat, whate'er the food,
Sour-crout, accurst, of beef steak, good.
Then-lest our trade, with plots so thick,
Should headlong drive us to Old Nick,
What time is left-in spite of qualms,
Must all be spent in singing psalms.
Why Satan Aed from David's fiddle,
Has long been deem'd a puzzling riddle:
But Shakespeare's page will make it plain,
And Avon's aid I ne'er disdain.
Old Nick was full of plots and wiles,
All which he scorn'd to cloak with smiles;
He had no “ music in his soul;"
His feelings he could ne'er control;
But lawyers better act their part,
They seem to love the tuneful arts
Though discord is the darling stream,
Which floats their barks to wealth and fame,
Thus 'tis we say, though quite uncivil,


Give ear, Lord Coke, to what I sing! Take what a truant fain would bring, Exert the force to thee belongs, Protect thy son and burn his songs: In silken strings his muse, oh! hind: Be to his Fair a little kind: To reading grave restrain his rage, And chain him to thy grimmest page. Not fee-less then his days may pass, When he forgets each smiling lass, And stead of frowns, and blush and dimple, He dreams of feesin tail or simple.


Thee, Common Law, in days of yore,
To that grave wizard, STUDY, bore,
In Albion's great Eliza's reign,
Nor was such mixture held a stain.
Oft in the Pleas and in the bench,*
With eager feet he sought the wench:
And there he strove her heart to woo,
And did what every judge should do.t
Then through the realm he spread your names,
Notwithstanding proud king James.

Come, steadfast judge, so wise and grave,
And bring both Butler and Hargrave;
With sheets about the folio size,
And notes to please the student's eyes:
Black-letter type, and Norman French,
Which erst was used on the bench.
Or rather cheer the weary way,
With such a guide as Mr. Day.
Come, but keep thy frowning state,
Or I, again, in rhyme shall prate.
Give me thy mind, thy piercing look,
That I may understand thy book,
And, kept within my office still,
Study myself “ to marble,” till,
“ With a sad, leaden, downward cast,"
I am a limb of law at last.

[ocr errors]

* C. P. and B. R.

† Alluding to the answer which lord Coke made to king James, apos being asked whether certain oppressive exactions, which were about to be levied by royal authority, would be legal. All the other judges replied that the king's will was law; but Coke sturdily said, that when the cause came before him as a judge, he would do what a judge ought to do.-SCRIB


| Here I apprehend our author bath reference to master Day, of Connecticut, a right worthy son of the law, who hath lately put forth a new edition of Co. Litt., enriched with a commentary which bears a goodly testimony of his patient labour and learned reading.–SCRIBLERUS.

Then come again, with, in thy hand,
Ejectments 'gainst my neighbour's land,
And plenteous suits, with good retainer,
'Bout 'states in fee or in remainder.
Next, teach me all thy tricks of art,
And from thy court I'll ne'er depart.
Give me to know these wiles of trade,
And then, by Jove, my fortune's made.
Teach me, while clients on me gape,
While judges take their custom'd nap-
While culprits list with eager hope,
And Ketch prepares the slipp'ry rope,
While wearied jury's sidelong glance
Announce th' expected sheriff's dance-
Teach me to talk, though right or wrong,
With blushless face and Alippant tongue,
Of jointures, gaolers, ipso facto,
Of writs for debt, or parco fracto,
Of habeas corp. ad prosequendum,
Or caught some knave, ad respondendum,
Cui in vita, custom, cucking,
More seemly, now, 'tis callid a ducking;
Of nudum pactum, levant couchant,
Of vagrant beasts, or maidens Aippant;
Of strolling rogues who hen-roosts rob,
Or villains dire who pay the mob.

But chief of all, oh! with thee bring
“ Him that you soars on golden wing.”
Let him but' hold the tempting fee,
And I'll ne'er plead a double plea;
Thee client oft, the crowd among,
I'll seek amid th' exchange's throng,
And missing thee, I'll walk or hop,

Right straightway to the barber's shop;* * Here and in other parts of this delectable performance, it seemeth that our author bath laid his scene in one of the southern cities. But since this poem was writ, divers changes have occurred there, at which his beart

Here I'll behold thy undrawn purse,
My honorarium to disburse,
Like boys, who by the gutter's side,
With lifted hands, and jaws stretch'd wide,
Watch the bright pennies turring round,
And wish, yet fear them on the ground.
Oft too, as in my office, near,
Our crier's Stentor voice l'll hear
“ Court met-oh yes oh yes-oh yes,"
My client's cause to curse or bless.
Or, if the judges do not sit,
At home, I'll frame the wily writ:
And teach the knaves to pay their losses,
Or else beware of lawyers' crosses.
But if I get not fee diurnal,

Far from all rude resort of men,
Save the rough tip-staff now and then,
Or the grim gaoler's glad report,
“ Defendant, now sir's safe in court,"
May I at last, in weary age,
Find out the judge's “hermitage."
“ Where I may sit, and rightly spell"
Which cause is bad, and which is well.

would greatly rejoice, if he were now living. It is true, that at the shop here alluded to, shaving doth continue to be carried on as it was in bis time; for there is no lack of beards, whatever may be said of brains, in the said town. The street, however, is no longer adorned with the stately edifice, which was the admiration of all who travelled in those parts; it hath been rased to the very foundation. But it cannot be said now, as it was writ in the days of merry king Charles,

Undone, undone, the lawyers are,
Since Charing Cross hath tumbled down,

sith they have erected another house, under the brow of a hill, lest justice Inight be stared out of countenance by the monstrous doings of wicked men, of which our author had a perilous experience. -SCRIBLERUS.

And where, without the lawyer's strife,
My income settled is for life.

These things, judge Coke, oh! deign to give,
« And I with thee will choose to live."


[ocr errors]

UNCRUMBLED yet, the sacred fane uprears
Its brow majestic in the storm of years;
Time has but slightly dar'd to steal away
The marks of beauty from its columns gray,
Each sculptur'd capital in glory stands,
As once the boast of those delighted lands,
Nor barbarous hand has pluck'd their honours down,
Some baser monument of art to crown.

Girt with the sculptur'd deeds achiev'd of yore,
That once the vision saw but to adore,
Rich with the proud exploits of Æthra's son,
And lofty conquests by Alcides won,
The splendid pile still claims a holy fear,
The passing pilgrim pauses to revere,
she pensive poet views its columns proud,
And fancy hears again the Anthem loud
From kindling bards that once arose on high,
A tuneful chorus trembling on the sky.

The inner shrine no more protects the slave,
No more the holy walls th' opprest can save,
No more the wretch protection there can claim,
And live secure in Theseus' honour'd name;
Sunk are his honours, in oblivion's tomb,
His deeds forgotten in a night of gloom,

* The temple of Theseus, at Athens, is one of the most beautiful and entire remains of ancient architecture. It was once a sanctuary for slaves, and men of mean condition. It is now a church, dedicated to St. George, and revered as much as ever by the Athenians. See Poller, Stuart and Revett, &c. &c.

« ForrigeFortsæt »