« ForrigeFortsæt »
“ Sir Andrew. Do not our lives consist of the four elements ?
In regarding the learned profes- and dignity of the members of the bar; sions, and observing the influence they and by assigning the true and only exercise respectively over the minds sources of its high and deserved disof men, we may reasonably come to tinction, to raise it still more, if that the conclusion, that the religious pro- were possible, in the consideration and fession exercises what we may call a estimation of mankind. future influence, the medical profesa It is to the education of gentlemen sion a domestic influence, and the for the profession of the advocate, and legal profession a public and political to nothing else, that we are to attriinfluence. It is a popular supposition, bute the influence he must command, as vulgar as it is erroneous, that to the and the eminence he must attain intimate connexion that must ever it is to the pains taken by the venerable necessarily subsist between the law seniors of the several Inns of Court to maker and the expounder of the law, to adapt to their uninformed disciples the great public and personal interests that sort of food most nutritious in frequently confided to gentlemen of quality, most abundant in quantity, the long robe, as well as to the promi. and most easy of digestion as well as nent position in which their avoca- to the appetite of the disciples them. tions place them before the eyes of selves, that the world is permitted to men, this great public and political admire in so eminent a degree the overinfluence of the legal profession must whelming erudition, and inexhaustible be fairly attributable. While the elocution, of the men who are fated medical profession boasts only one in future times to browbeat witnesses, solitary representative in the Com. bully the bench, and badger their mons' House of Parliament, the mem. “ learned friend” on the opposite side. bers of the bar are represented by
Before I enter, however, upon an no less than fifty-six learned friends, exact detail of the system of national be-wigged and be-gowned, ready to education provided for gentlemen of scramble from the bar to the bench, to the law from time immemorial, it is fill offices simply political, and to take necessary that I should briefly describe care that no law shall ever be passed the seminaries in which that education in that House, detrimental to the inte. is conveyed; and therefore I must for rests of the profession to which they a few moments entreat the patience of have the honour to belong. In the the non-professional reader, while I Upper House, too, it is a well authen- notice with as much brevity as the ticated fact, that rather more than one- importance of the subject will admit, third of the Peerage springs from the the several Inns of Court, or Colleges, successful talent of the bar; and that as I may properly style them, of legal the descendants of former Chancellors education. and Lord Chief Justices of the Court The stranger in London passing of King's Bench now control, in their through Temple Bar, would hardly senatorial capacities, the march of re- suspect that to the right and left of volutionary destruction ; and stand Fleet Street, lie hid, in perpetual between the throne, whose legitimate murkiness, towns (for towns they are) counsellors they are, and the ragamuf- exclusively appropriated to various fin levellers who would reduce throne grades of the legal profession, from and constitution to one chaotic mass the ministerial officers of the several of hopeless anarchy and confusion. courts of law down to the scriveners,
Our present purpose is to correct law stationers, and professional applethe vulgar errors, that, by assigning women; through the several gradacauses for the influence of the profes- tions of benchers, barristers, practision of the law with which the pro- tioners under the bar, conveyancers, fession of the law has nothing to do, special pleaders, solicitors, articled tend materially to lower the character clerks, bed-women, laundresses, law. yers' clerks, porters, gate-keepers and convenience of space : to-day, the so forth. On entering one of these Lord High Chancellor presides here manufactories of discord, the stranger in his elevated chair, dispensing the feels his heart grow sad within him equity of his court to the several sui.. he looks around, thinking that he has tors ; to-morrow, a waiter, for greater straggled into a barrack, but the uniconvenience deposits therein a halfversal cobweb, muck, and dirt of the empty soup tureen, or a bundle of inhabitations speedily undeceive him. dirty knives and forks-or it may hapHe wanders from court to court, from pen that a party of half-cocked law lane to lane, and from alley to alley, students range themselves round the he sees lights at noon-day in every sacred seat with their bottles of wine, window-the windows here not being while some unholy wag is graciously intended to let in day-light-and he pleased to assume the Seals for the may haply observe one of the brief- nonce, and proceeds with great graless amusing himself, by writing the vity to mimic the tone and manner of word “fee” on the two-year-old dust the keeper of the Royal conscienceof his chamber window, with several awful profanation! misprision of treanotes of admiration at the end of that son at the very least, if not legal sacri, rare and curious monosyllable. He lege itself! observes that the several sets of apart- It was my fate to hear no less than ments are approached by a common three solemn arguments in the great puisance called a common stair, case of Small and Attwood thus burfrom which he is diverted by his lesqued, the parts of the eminent advoolfactory organ, and on either side of cates engaged therein being sustained the entrance to this stair, he observes by the requisite number of loquacatalogues of the occupants of the cious scamps, and judgment delivered several chambers from the cellar up- by a rakish young barrister of six wards, names of gentlemen for whose' weeks'standing, amidst cries of “order, individual occupation the present ex- order”_" hear him out"-"another cellent Lord Chancellor is merely glass of wine,” while one extra-faceairing the woolsack, and who intend tious young lawyer gravely interruptto occupy it in the order of their ed the judgment of the Chancellor, seniority! The attics he will disco- amid shrieks of laughter, to request ver to be occupied, if he chooses to go that His Lordship would have the high enough, by that class of society goodness to cut his judgment as short for whose exclusive residence Grub as possible, because a gentleman Street was formerly appropriated, but within the bar was anxious to favour who reside here at present in conse- the company with a song!! quence of Grub Street having been It is not my intention to dilate pulled down, as well as for the benefit upon the judicial functions exercised of quiet, and a purer, not to say a in the several halls of the several Inns cheaper, air—in short, for reasons pre- of Court, they being merely occasional, cisely similar to those which influence and subordinate to the great gastronomy own choice in residing in a garret. mic purposes of professional educa
As he wanders up and down, his cation for which these hospitable eye cannot fail to be attracted by a seminaries were first erected, and building having some external resem- which they still continue faithfully to blance to a church, but which is in fulfil. fact the lecture-room or academy of The profession of the law is emi, its respective society-the windows nently a gastronomic profession: it is being decorated with escutcheons, not, therefore, surprising that it should very much resembling in size and have become the profession that it is, shape transparent trenchers, of illus- and have expanded into a plethoric trious individuals who have greatly and almost apoplectic robustness. distinguished themselves in the pro- The judges are feasted by the mayors fessional exercises herein studiously of cities and boroughs, a particular observed.
banquet being peculiarly appropriated Nor, when we consider the uses to to them by the Lord Mayor of Lonwhich the several Halls of the Inns don, in the Egyptian Hall; they are of Court are applied, can we wonder banqueted as well by the nobility on that they have been erected with a due their several circuits-the members of regard to splendour of decoration, and the bar have general invitations to the assizes, balls, and suppers ; and mess top, and the benchers the elevated plats on circuit very socially together,- form, or dais, at the upper extremity of while in town the terms are worthily the hall; but the good things to be opened by a breakfast to the judges devoured are apportioned to the difand Queen's Counsel-legal as well ferent classes of dignitaries, with an as military battles being contested attention to professional precedence more hotly upon a full than on an and standing, hardly less rigorous than empty stomach.
that observable on board a seventyBut this is a small portion, very four, where the midshipmen dine in small indeed, of the gastronomic the cock-pit, the lieutenants in the powers of the law.
ward-room, the captain in the gunIn his respective hall, the youth room, and the boatswain and other ful aspirant for barristerial honours petty officers the Lord knows where. eats, year after year, his impatient Like every thing else in this laborious way to the bar, exactly as an active and difficult world, the law is up-hill rat fixes his persevering tusks in one work; and it is lucky for the students side of an old cheshire, and never that they commence their education leaves off until he goes right through in the flower of their youth, with the it, poking his proboscis through the appetite of cormorants and the digesrind on the other side. In their tion of an ostrich ; otherwise they respective halls, barristers, in like never could eat their way for four or manner, eat their tedious way to a five tedious years through intermincolonial judgeship, or attorney-gene- ably recurring legs of tough mutton ralship of the Cannibal Islands, a re- (roasted) and bottles of liquid fire, by vising barristership, a commissioner- courtesy called wine, and consumed ship of any thing—or secretaryship, under the name of port. or under secretaryship of any thing By degrees, however, a good digeselse, or in short, whatever they can by tion, sharp teeth, and indefatigable any possibility lay their hands on.
perseverance, will effect wonders : in In their respective halls, too, of ten or twelve years' time, the student, which they may be considered the now a barrister-at-law, attains to the licensed victuallers, and whose trea- dignity of a silver fork and a morsel surer for the time being is a sort of of cheese, subscribed for by the mem, principal waiter, the venerable bench-bers of the bar, who lay their learned ers, defended by a screen from the heads together for that purpose, and intrusive gaze of the inferior cormo. from which the unhappy students are rants, devour their rations of victuals still, being considered merely infants and wine in all the dignity of learned in law, precluded from the privilege leisure and professional elevation. to subscribe. Twenty years' standing, While the students eat heartily, and by which time the learned gentleman, the barristers hopefully, the benchers, if he has discharged his duty to his more experienced in the vanity of stomach and his profession, will have human wishes, handle their napkins lost all his teeth, and wear a head as with the gravity that becomes their grey as a badger, entitles him to a full years and station ; while through the pint of the execrable port, and a mor. body of the hall resounds the profes- sel of cheese, at the benchers' expense, sional badinage, the execrable pun, or as also a cucumber in the summer the fifty times told joke, from the table season, so that he may now be said to of the benchers not a sound more ar- have arrived at the highest dignities, ticulate is heard than a low and plea- short of the attorney and solicitorsing murmur of conflicting glasses, generalships, of the bar; and is regardand a silver sound of forks harmonious- ed, as he slices his cucumber, with ly jingling in the plate basket. longing, lingering eyes and watering
The profession of the law is, more mouths, by the mob of students in the strictly than any other, a profession of hall, who have a quarter of a century etiquette.
before them ere they are fated to arNot only are the several grades of rive at the dignity of the coif and devourers, or unproductive consumers, cucumber ! as Ricardo calls them, strictly severed The benchers, as may be supposed, by position in the hall, the students taking their dinners within the bar, occupying the body of the apartment, like the landlords of other inns, are by the barristers the cross tables at the no means so restricted in the quality
of their eatables and quantity of their pocket, observes, slapping his corpudrinkables, as the exclusives in the lent thigh, " the genteel thing for body of the Hall. We are enabled to Two-to-one, and never mind the exstate, on the highest authority, that pense!”. Accordingly, one day at these dignitaries study two courses dinner in the back shop of old. Twodaily, including all the delicacies of to-one in Holborn bars, Frederickthe season, with a dessert of corre- William, the as yet unappropriated sponding magnificence; and are accus- offspring of " my uncle," having solitomed to refresh their legal fauces cited for the fourth time some more after the professional fatigues of the “ toad in the hole,"* the amazed mother day, with wines of all the recognised of the voracious son of “my uncle vintages, and of every possible va- thus addresses the ravenous Frederick, riety.
William. Thus wisely and well, the attentive “ Crikey, Fred! I'm afeared of yer reader will observe, is every step of brustin' yerself. Don't give him no professional elevation, every gradation more-d'ye hear, Timmy, dear?" from the lowest to the highest digni- “ I say, mother, don't be a-comin it ties of the law, marked by a change so werry strong. I arn't had more of diet—a promotion, as it were, in the nor a pound and a half or so of wittels, bill of fare, ascending, as I have said, father lays the pudding on so werry from impregnable mutton and exe- thick," was the dissatisfied reply of crable port, to the ambrosia of turtle Frederick-William, holding out his and venison, and the nectar of spark- plate for more. ling champagne.
6 Blowed if I doesn't think yer’d Let the hypothetical reader suppose make a good lawryer, Fred, yer tucks what is, indeed, the only supposable in sich a reggler blow-out!” was the case, that Mr Timothy Two-to-one, the sage remark of the father of the Twoopulent pawnbroker of Holborn bars, to-ones. having made oneson a surgeon, another Blest if he wouldn't eat his wig!" an attorney, a third a clergyman, is remarked the eldest hope of the Twolost in doubt as to the occupation to be to ones, who, by virtue of his seniority, provided for the fourth and youngest thought he had a right to be extra fa.. hope of the family of Two-to-one. cetious. Many people wonder, indeed, that one " Or a child out of the small.pox," of the sons is not to be brought up to observed the surgeon. the pawnbroking line, with such a " Or a man on horseback," said the splendid business to step into when old attorney. Two-to-one is changed into a cheru- " Or a mystified monkey, stuffed bim-I say people wonder ; but let me with straw," resumed the elder Twotake the liberty of asking people what to-one. is it to them? You may be surprised “ Or a physic of fish-hooks," reyourself, that none of the young Two- marked the surgeon. to-ones is to succeed old Two-to-one; “ Or the sunny side of a donkey," let me take the liberty of asking what's echoed the attorney, determined not that to you? The fact is, inquisitive to be outdone by his brethren. reader, old Two-to-one has made so " Or a hackney coachman stuffed much money that he is obliged to bring with twelvepenny nails," reiterated his money to the Bank in a coal-scuttle, the elder Two-to-one, amid the laughand Mrs Two-to-one having been, at ter of the whole family. a less propitious period of her life, 66 Or a barbecued wild cat with ". under-housekeeper in a gentleman's here the current of the surgeon's wit family, the pair have come to the re- was diverted into the ocean of business, solution of performing a miracle, by by the irruption of an apparition of metamorphosing pawnbrokers' whelps the pawnbroker's boy, in slippers and into real genuine thoroughbred gentle. shirt, with a smoothing-iron in his men, cost what it will —or as old Two-hand, which, duly presenting to Mr to-one, in all the pride of a bloated Two-to-one
• Toad in the hole. Beef-steaks laid in a pie-dish on a substratum of batter-pudding and sent 10 the baker's—a Cockney eatable of great and deserved celebrity.
NO, CCLXXXV. VOL. XLVI,
“ Here's a gal in the shop what “ Never mind," carelessly replied wants to spout that 'ere flat-iron," ob- the lady-"fifty-threer or fifty-seven, served the juvenile apparition. • it's no great differ ; but I says agin,
6. How much on it?” enquired “my we arn't turned less nor four bob uncle," scrutinizing the flat-iron with and a joey on that there hiron since profound attention, and shaking it Genewerry" -concluded the lady of well, to see if the handle was loose. “my uncle,” taking down her digits
“ A tanner,” said the ghostling in and abandoning her calculation à la reply.
Pestalozzi. “ Half a tizzy," said Mrs Two-to- While Frederick-William was makone, indicating in her peculiar phrase- ing out the gal's ticket for the flat-iron ology that the gal might receive one in the front shop, the thought flashed fourth of her demand, or threepence like lightning ihrough the mind of instead of a shilling, on the security “ my uncle," that Frederick William of her flat-iron.
would make a splendid Lord High “ Bundle, Freddy, and make out Chancellor of England; and, as it was the gal's ticket,” observed the father of considered in these our days, though that young gentleman, who, after seve- by no means indispensably necessary ral unsuccessful efforts, got off his in the olden time, that that functionchair at last, snorting like a walrus, ary should previously be called to the and bundled into the front shop in bar, it was inwardly resolved by the obedience to the paternal injunction. father of the Two-to-ones that Frede
6. I knows this 'ere flat iron this rick-William should, with all imagin. four year," observed “my uncle," able speed, be qualified, by a call to taking up his old acquaintance; “ the the bar, for the honourable and influ. old gal as owns it gets a livin' by ential station of the woolsack. In his washin' o' sodgers' shirts, and spouts cogitations upon this subject, it never this 'ere harticle venhever them seven entered the old usurer's head to en. brats what she's got begins at her for quire, whether his son was fit for the bread. She's always werry bad off ven profession of the law-whether he she spouts her flat-iron."
would like the profession of the law - That's vy I cuts her down to or whether he would have the remotthreepence, deary,” interrupted Mrs' est glimmering of success at the proTwo-to-one, with a wink at her better fession of the law; all that he thought half. " I knows as how she can't get upon the subject was, that it would herlivin' without that 'ere, so the littler be a fine thing for him to be able to she gets she comes the oftener." see Fred the lawyer's speeches re“ Right, ducky,” remarked
my ported in the newspapers, and to be uncle” approvingly; " the interest's able to get so many franks when the same, you knows, for a month or Freddy would be in the House of a day—so we screws it out of the old Lords doing a snug business as Lord dust all the oftener."
High Chancellor. 6. Ve arn't turned less nor five I am the less surprised at the selfish hob on that there harticle, I'm sure, turn which the ambitious cogitations this blessed 'ear since Genewerry," of the veteran pawnbroker took upon observed Mrs Two-to-one.
this occasion, inasmuch as nine out of “ No, I'm sartin sure we arn't," every ten elderly gentlemen whose assented Mrs Two-to-one's better sons suck their thumbs like young half.
bears in the purlieus of the Temple - Let-me-see,” calculated Mrs and Westminster Hall, with grey Two-to-one, putting her fingers in an mares' tails (not paid for) stuck upon arithmetical position_" tvice a-veek the outsides of their heads, have been up our spout and tvice a-veek down brought to this deplorable condition our spout--two browns a-veek rege by a train of reflection precisely simigler-very well—how many veeks in lar in selfishness and folly to the train yer 'ear? Eh! Timmy?"
of reflection that dictated the final deFifty-let me scratch-I knows termination of “
uncle." This it's fifty-summut, but vether its fifty- final determination, which was nothing threer or fifty-seven, blow me tight if less than the elevation of son Freddy I knows_Yer had as good ax Freddy" to the woolsack, was communicated -insinuated Mr Timothy Two-to- to Mrs Two-to-one that very identi. one.
cal night in bed, where the old couple