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But should some generous youth appear,
Whose honest mind is void of art, Who shall his Maker's laws revere,
And serve him with a willing heart; Who owns fair Virtue for his guide, Nor from her precepts turns aside; To him at once your heart resign, And bless your faithful Valentine.
Though in this wilderness below
You still imperfect bliss shall find, Yet such a friend will share each woe, And bid you be to Heaven resign'd: While Faith unfolds the radiant prize, And Hope still points beyond the skies, At life's dark storms you'll not repine, But bless the day of Valentine.
Wit at a pinch. A gentleman who left his snuffbox at a friend's on St. Valentine's Eve, 1825, received it soon after his return home in an envelope, sealed, and superscribed—
To J E—, Esq.
Sir William Blackstone died on the 14th of February, 1780. He was born at the house of his father, a silkman, in Cheapside, London, on the 10th of July, 1723; sent to the Charter-house in 1730; . entered Pembroke-college, Cambridge, in 1738; of the Middle Temple, 1741; called to the bar in 1746; elected recorder of Wallingford in 1749; made doctor of civil law in 1750; elected Vinerian professor of common law in 1758; returned a representative to Parliament in 1761; married in 1761 ; became a justice of the court of Common Pleas in 1770. In the course of his life he filled other offices. He was just and benevolent in all his relations, and, on the judicial seat, able and impartial. In English literature and jurisprudence he holds a distinguished rank for his " Commentaries on the Laws of England." This work originated in the legal lectures he commenced in 1753: the first volume was published in 1759, and the remaining three in the four succeeding years. Through these his name is popular, and so will remain while law exists. The work is not for the lawyer alone, it is for every body. It is not so praiseworthy to be learned, as it is disgraceful to be igno
rant of the laws which regulate liberty and property. The absence of all information in some men when serving upon juries and coroners' inquests, or as constables, and in parochial offices, is scandalous to themselves and injurious to their fellow men. "The " Commentaries" of Blackstone require only common capacity to understand. Wynne's " Eunomus* is an excellent introduction to Blackstone, if any be wanting. With these two works no man can be ignorant of his rights or obligations; and, indeed, the "Commentaries" are so essential, that he who has not read them has no claim to be considered qualified for the exercise of his public duties as an Englishman. He is at liberty, it is true, for the law leaves him at liberty, to assume the character he may be called on to bear in common with his fellow-citizens; but, with this liberty, he is only more or les« than a savage, as he is more than a savage by his birth in a civilized country, and less than a savage in the animal instinct, which teaches that self-preservation is the first law of nature; and still further is he less, because, beside the safety of others, it may fall to him, in this state of igno ranee, to watch and ward the safety of the commonwealth itself.
Blackstone, on making choice of his profession, wrote an elegant little poem, entitled "The Lawyer's Farewell to hit Nurse." It is not more to be admired for ease and grace, than for the strong feeling it evinces in relinquishing the pleasures of poesy and art, and parting for ever from scenes wherein he had happily spent his youthful days. Its conclusion describes his anticipations—
Lost to the field and torn from you—
A SUIT AT LAW.
Its origin and progress may be traced in the Tree engraved on the opposite page.
The root of the engraved Tree exhibits a diversity of suits and actions for the remedy of different wrongs.
The trunk shows the growth of a suit, stage by stage, until its conclusion.
The branches from each stage show the proceedings of the plaintiff on one side, and the proceedings of the defendant on the other.
The leaves of each branch show certain collateral proceedings whereby the suit is either advanced or suspended.
Supposing the form of action suitable to the case, and no stay of proceedings, the suit grows, on the "sure and firm set earth" of the law, into a "goodly tree," and, attaining to execution against either the plaintiff or the defendant, terminates in consuming fire.
A few whimsical miscellanies are sub. loined, not derogatory from the importance or necessity of legislation, but amusingly illustrative of legal practice in the sinuosities it has acquired during successive stages of desuetude and change. Those only who know the law are acquainted with the modes by which numerous deformities in its application have originated, or the means by which they may be remedied; while all who experience that application are astonished at its expensiveness, and complain of it with reason.
A legal practitioner is said to have delivered a bill containing several charges of unmerciful appearance, to a client, who was a tailor; and the tailor, who had made a suit of clothes for his professional adviser, is said to have sent him the following bill by way of set-off.
Brought forward.... 1
Copy thereof to keep 0
Instructions to foreman 0
Difficulty arising as to proceedings, attending him in consultation .. 0
Paid fees to woollen-draper 4
Attending him thereon 0
Perusing his receipt 0
Attending to file same 0
Attending button-maker, instructing
Paid his charges 2
Having received summons to proceed, perusing and considering
Drawing consent, and copy to keep 0
Copy order thereon and entering .. 0 Appointing consultation as to further proceedings, and attending same Foreman having filed a demurrer, preparing argument against same Attending long argument on demurrer, when same overruled 0
Perusing foreman's plea 0
Excepting to same 0
Entering exceptions 0
Perusing notice of motion to remove suit, and preparing valid objections to lay before you 0
Same being overruled, consent thereto, on an undertaking 0
Expenses on removal of suit—paid
by you at the time 0
Writing you my extreme dissatisfaction on finding the suit removed into the King's Bench, and that I should move the court, when you promised to obtain a Rule as soon as term commenced, and
attend me thereon 0
Conferring with you, in presence of your attendant, at my house, on the first day of term, when you succeeded in satisfying me that you were a Gent, one, &c, and an honourable man, and expressed great dissatisfaction at the pro ceedings had with the suit while out of my hands; receiving your instructions to demand of your Uncle that same should return to me, on my paying him a lien he claimed thereon, and received from you his debenture for that
Perusing same, and attending him in St. George's-fields therewith
and thereon 0
Paid him, principal and interest .. 2
10 0 10 4
Id consideration of circumstances,
no charge for receiving suit back 0 0 0 Perusicg letter unexpectedly received from you, dated from your own house, respecting short notice
of trial 0 6 8
Attending you thereon 0 6 8
Attending at Westminster several mornings to try the suit, when at
last got same on 2 2 0
Paid fees 0 12 0
Fee to porter 0 5 0
It being determined that the suit should be put into a special case, drawing special instructions to
Hoimaier for same 0 13 4
Attending him therewith and thereon 0 6 8 Piid him his fee for special case .. 2 2 0
Paid his clerk's fee 0 2 6
Considering case, as settled 0 6 8
Attending foreman for his consent to same, when he promised to
determine shortly 0 6 6
Attending him again thereon to obviate his objections, and obtained
his consent with difficulty 0 6 8
Drawing bill of costs 0 15 0
Fair copy for Mr. to peruse
and settle 0 7 6
Attending him therewith 0 6 8
Fee to him settling 0 5 0
Attending him for same 0 6 8
Perusing and considering same, as
settled 0 6 8
Attending Mr. again suggesting amendments 0 6 8
Fee to him on amending 0 5 0
Perusing same as amended 0 6 8
Fair copy, with amendments, to keep 0 7 6
Entering 0 5 0
Fair copy for service 0 7 6
Thirty-eight various attendances to
serve same 6 6 8
I Service thereof 0 6 8
Drawing memorandum of service .. 0 5 0
Attending to enter same 0 3 4
Entering same 0 2 6
Attendiug you concerning «ame ..0 6 8 Accepted service of order to attend at the theatre, and gave consent .068
Retaining fee at box-office 0 1 0
Service of order on box-keeper .... 0 6 8 Self and wife, with six children, two of her cousins, her brother, and his son, two of my brothers,
my sister-in-law, three nephews, four nieces, each attending for four hours and a half to see the Road to Ruin, and the Beggars' Opera, eighty-five hours and a
Cimtd forward... .£39 5 10
£. M. d
Brought forward.... 39 6 10 half, at 3s. 4rf. per hour—very
moderate 17 0 10
Coach hire there and back 0 18 0
Attending you to acquaint you with particulars in general, and concerning settlement particularly.. 0 6 8
Instructions for receipt 0 3 4
Drawing receipt 0 5 0
Vacation fee 1 1 0
Refreshing fee 0 13 4
Perusing receipt, and amending same 0 6 8
F'air copy to keep 0 2 6
Engrossing on stamp 0 2 6
Paid duty and paper 0 3 1
Fee on ending 2 2 0
Letters and messengers 0 10 0
£63 0 9 To numerous, various, and a great variety of divers, and very many letters, messages, and attendances to, from, on, and upon, you and your agents and others, pending a negotiation for settlement, far too numerous to be mentioned; and an infinite deal of trouble, too troublesome to trouble you with, or to be expressed ; without more and further trouble, but which you must, or can, or shall, or may know, or be informed of— what you please
Item in a Bill of Costs Attending A in conference concerning the best mode to indemnify B against C's demand for damages, in consequence of his driving D's can against E's house, and thereby breaking the window of a room occupied by F's family, and cutting the head of O, one of his children, which H, the surgeon, had pronounced dangerous, and advising on the steps necessary for such indemnity. Attending I accordingly thereon, who said he could do nothing without the concurrence of his brother J, who was on a visit to his friend K, but who afterwards consented thereto, upon having a counter-indemnity from Ii. Taking instructions for, and writing the letter accordingly, but he refused to accede thereto, in consequence of misconduct in some of the parties towards his distant relation M, because he had arrested N, who being in custody of O, the officer, at P's house, was unable to prevail upon Q and H to become bail. Attending in consequence upon S, the thcriff, when he said, if he received an undertaking to give a bail-bond at the return of the writ, the defendant should be discharged. Attending T for undertaking accordingly, conferring thereon; but he declined interfering without the concurrence of V, to whom he was largely indebted, in whose hands he had lodged several title-deeds as a collateral security, and who, it appeared, had sent the deeds to his attorney U, for the purpose of preparing a mortgage to W, in trust, for securing his demand, and also of a debt due to X. Attending afterwards on A's clerk Y, communicating the result of our numerous applications, and conferring with him thereon, when he at length informed me that 2 had settled the business.
"To him that goes to law, nine things are requisite: 1. A good deal of money— 2. A good deal of patience—3. A good cause — 4. A good attorney — 5. Good counsel — 6. Good evidence—7. A good jury—8. A good judge—and lastly, good luck."
"Reason is the life of the law, nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason."
If a man says of a counsellor of law, Thou art a daffa-down-dilly, an action lies. So adjudged in Scaccario, and agreed per tutam curiam.—1 Vin. Abb. 445.
He hath no more law than Mr. C'l bull. These words being spoken of an attorney, the court inclined that they were actionable, and that the plaintiff should have judgment, though it was objected that the plaintiff had not declared that C. had a bull.—Siderfin, 327, pl. 8. Pasch. 19 Car. IL Baker v. Morfue. The chief justice was of opinion, that if C. had no bull, the scandal was the greater. And it was pronounced per curiam in the same case, that to say of a lawyer, that he has no more law than a goose, has been adjudged actionable.—Sid. 127, pl. 8.— There is quaere added as to the saying, He hath no more law than the man in the moon (lb. 2 Kib. 209); the law, doubtless, contemplating the possibility of there being a man in the moon, and of his being a good lawyer.
My lord chief baron cannot hear of one ear, adjudged actionable, there being a colloquium of his administration of jus
tice. But not so if there had been no discourse of his justice.—1 Vin. Ab. 446.
Adjudged, that the death of a parson is a non-residency, within 13 Eliz. c . 20, so as to avoid his leases. Mott v. Kales, Crok. Eliz. 123
Eden and Whalley's case ;—" One Eden confessed himself guilty of multiplecation, and that he had practised the making of quintessence, ana the philosoplier's stone, by which all metals might be turned into gold and silver; and also accused Whalley, now a prisoner in the i Tower, of urging and procuring him to practise this art; and that Whalley had! laid out money in red wine and other things necessary for the said art. And, because this offence is only felony, Eden, the principal, was pardoned by the general pardon; but Whalley, who was but accessary in this case, was excepted as one of those who were in the Tower. The question was moved, whether Whalley should be discharged;— Quaere, the statute of 5 Hen. IV. 4, which enacts, 'that none should use to multiply gold or silver, nor use the craft of multiplication; and if any the same do, that he incur the pain of felony in this case.'—Quaere—Whether there can be any accessary in this new felony ?— 1 Dyer, 87, 6, Easter Term, 7 Ed. VI. This statute was repealed by the stat. of 1 Will. & Mary."
In the case of monopolized cards, there was cited a commission in the time of Henry V. directed to three friars and two aldermen of London, to inquire whether the philosopher's stone was feasible, who returned it was, and upon this a patent was made out for them to make it.— Moore, 675; Dancey's case
According to the Asiatic Researches, a very curious mode of trying the title of land is practised in Hindostan:—Two holes are dug in the disputed spot, in each of which the plaintiff and defendant's lawyers put one of their legs, and re.n.diu there until one of them is tired, or complains of being stung by the insects, in which case his client is defeated. In this country it is the client, and not the lawyer, who puts his foot into it.
Professional practice is frequently the • subject of theatrical exhibition. "Giovanni in London" has a scene before going to trial, with the following