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and the greatest poets invariably give to all the personages whom they introduce, a language appropriate to the character of each individual. Thus, the shepherd draws his allusions from the images of pastoral life; the soldier from the camp and the battlefield; the sailor from his gallant vessel and the trackless deep. And if the same general principle is to embrace all analogous cases, a special pleader may refer to his own sublime science without giving cause for demurrer; and if a conveyancer were to turn poet, it would be no objection, in the abstract, to his verses, if they “savored of the realty.” I am, sir, your obedient servant, Q.
THE SPECIAL PLEADER's LAMENT.
Say, Mary, canst thou sympathize,
Compell'd to wake from “love's young dream,”
For, since I lost my suit to you,
About these tiresome suits of law,
But in my lonely chambers oft,
In musing o'er departed joys,
How well I know the spot, where first
But then that bright blue eye sent forth
Which, like a special capias, made
And in the weakness of my soul,
I gave a pledge to prosecute,
At first, your taking time to plead,
The doubtful negative you spoke,
And then that blush so clearly seem'd
I thought I was about to snap
But soon I learned (most fatal truth!)
For, non assumpsit was the plea
Deceitful maid! another swain
The preference you gave to him
Ah! when we love (so Shakspeare says)
The course of true love never ran
Say, what inducement could you have
Without this that you smiled on me,
My rival I was doom'd to see
And now 'tis wrong to think of you—
When late I saw your son and heir,"
But then the plea of infancy
I kiss'd the little brat, and said,
But oh! I felt he was to me
Mary, adieu ! I'll mourn no more,
My pleading was of no avail,
' Without wishing to detract from the originality of my friend, I may observe that this and the next stanza can hardly fail to remind the reader of the well-known lines of lord Byron, beginning— “When late I saw thy favorite child,” &c.
Singular Incident in the Professional Life of a Lawyer. The following incident was related to us by a professional friend of high standing, and in whose veracity we have entire confidence. We give it, as nearly as we can recollect, in his own language.
In the year 1832, I was applied to by a respectable farmer, who resided in an adjoining town, to commence an action for him against four persons whom he named, for shearing his horse's mane and tail, and smearing the animal with tar. My client had so little evidence to produce in his favor, that, after much entreaty on his part, I finally refused altogether to bring his action. He strongly insisted that I should do so, and declared that with or without evidence, he felt perfectly certain of a judgment in his favor. Perceiving that my mind was made up not to have any thing to do with his case, upon the insufficient evidence, which he was able to produce, notwithstanding his confidence of a recovery, he at length told me the ground upon which his confidence rested.
Some days after the mischief done to his horse, being unable in the mean time to discover the perpetrators, he went and consulted a “wise woman” or fortune teller, of great reputation in her line, who lived a few miles distance, in a neighboring state. When he had arrived within three or four miles of her residence, in order that the appearance of the horse might not furnish a clue to the object of his visit, he left his horse and wagon, at a place where four roads met, and made the rest of his journey on foot. He found the old lady at home and was courteously received. After talking with her for a short time, she inquired what brought him there. He answered, that if she were truly what she was supposed to be, she need not ask him such a question, for she must know as well as he did himself, what was his business with her. She then took a pack of cards, shuffled them several times, looked at them carefully, and after making marks on a slate, proceeded in the following strain. “Why,” said she, “did you leave your horse and wagon at the four corners ? Your horse's mane and tail have been shaved and the horse tarred, and you have come to me to find out who did it. It was done by four men (naming them) on such a night, in such a pasture. One of the men held the horse by the head, a second shaved the mane and tail, and put on the tar, and the two others kept watch at a little distance. When you return home, you will find that your wife has been dyeing black, during your absence. By the side of the third fence north of your house, you will find a board, and, under it, the tar pot which was used, and a quantity of horse hair. All you have to do is to bring an action against the four men and you will certainly recover.” - On returning home, my client had found every thing precisely as the “wise woman” had told him. His wife had been dyeing black; the tar pot and the hair were in the place indicated; and, though he had little or no legal evidence to adduce in his favor, he had come to me to bring an action for him as the witch had directed. This statement was so extraordinary and my client's faith so strong, that, not to stand in the way of fate, I at once consented to bring his action, and made a writ for him accordingly. My client's demand for damages being moderate, I stated the amount at twenty dollars, the extent of the jurisdiction of a justice
of the peace, and made a writ returnable before a justice in the neighborhood. It so happened, that by the mere accident of neglecting to fill one of the blanks in the printed form of the writ, I omitted to mention the town where the justice lived ; so that the writ merely commanded the defendants to appear before such a justice, at his dwelling-house in (blank) within the county. On the return day of the writ, my client appeared before the justice, prepared as well as he was able, with some few circumstances of suspicion, but without any legal and sufficient evidence. The defendants also appeared with two learned counsel. The latter soon discovered the flaw in our writ, and to avoid going to trial on the merits, attempted to take advantage of the formal defect. For this purpose, instead of pleading in abatement, or moving to quash the writ, in which case, if the decision had been against them, they might have gone to trial afterwards and defeated the action for want of proof, they demurred specially to the declaration, and thereby put the event of the cause upon the sufficiency of the declaration. We argued the point at length, and the justice being clearly of opinion, that the defect in the writ could not be taken advantage of by a special demurrer to the declaration, the plaintiff had judgment without any further ceremony, for the twenty dollars at which he had alleged his damages, and for his costs of suit. Execution was regularly issued on the judgment and satisfied by a payment of the money. Thus, by a slip of the pen, on my part, in making the plaintiff's writ, and the oversharpness of the defendant's counsel, in demurring specially to a defect, which might have been reached by a plea in abatement, the prediction of the old woman was literally fulfilled, and the plaintiff recovered judgment without any legal evidence against the defendants, who, however, I ought to add, I verily believe were actually guilty. My client exacted of me a solemn promise, that during his life, I would not mention the circumstance of his consulting the witch. I have religiously kept my word. He died about a year since.