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criticising the passers, describing the new comedy, or talking over the last ball given by a judge's lady. At times those gardens were pervaded by the calm of collegiate seclusion, but on open days' they were brisk with life. The women and children of the legal colony walked in them daily; the ladies attired in their newest fashions, and the children running with musical riot over lawns and paths. Nor were the grounds mere places of resort for lawyers and their families. Taking rank amongst the pleasant places of the metropolis, they attracted, on ' open days,' crowds from every quarter of the town-ladies and gallants from Soho Square and St. James's Street, from Whitehall and Westminster; sightseers from the country and gorgeous alderwomic dowagers from Cheapsido. From the days of Elizabeth till the middle, indeed till the close, of the eighteenth century the ornamental grounds of the four great Inns were places of fashionable promenade, where the rank and talent and beauty of the town assembled for display and exercise, even as in our own time they assemble (less universally) in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

When ladies and children had withdrawn, the quietude of the gardens lured from their chambers scholars and poets, who under murmuring branches pondered the results of past study, or planned new works. Ben Jonson was accustomed to saunter beneath the elms of Lincoln's Inn; and Steele-alike on 'open' and 'close' days-used to frequent the gardens of the same society. "I went," he writes in May, 1809, "into Lincoln's Inn Walks, and having taking a round or two, I sat down, according to the allowed familiarity of these places, on a bench." In the following November he alludes to the privilege that he

enjoyed of walking there as "a favor that is indulged me by several of the benchers, who are very intimate friends, and grown in the neighborhood.”

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But though on certain days, and under fixed regulations, the outside public were admitted to the college gardens, the assemblages were always pervaded by the tone and humor of the law. The courtiers and grand ladies from the west' felt themselves the guests of the lawyers; and the humbler folk, who by special grant had acquired the privilege of entry, or whose decent attire and aspect satisfied the janitors of their respectability, moved about with watchfulness and gravity, surveying the counsellors and their ladies with admiring eyes, and extolling the benchers whose benevolence permitted simple tradespeople to take the air side by side with the quality.' In 1736, James Ralph, in his 'New Critical Review of the Publick Buildings,' wrote about the square and gardens of Lincoln's Inn in a manner which testifies to the respectful gratitude of the public for the liberality which permitted all outwardly decent persons to walk in the grounds. "I may safely add," he says, "that no area anywhere is kept in better order, either for cleanliness and beauty by day, or illumination by night; the fountain in the middle is a very pretty decoration, and if it was still kept playing, as it was some years ago, 'twould preserve its name with more propriety." In his remarks on the chapel the guide observes, "The raising this chapel on pillars affords a pleasing, melancholy walk underneath, and by night, particularly, when illuminated by the lamps, it has an effect that may be felt, but not described." Of the gardens Mr. Ralph could not speak in high praise, for they were ill-arranged and not so carefully kept as the square; but he observes, "they are convenient; and considering their situation cannot be esteemed to much. There is something hospitable in

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from its beautiful trees, was for many years the terrace overlooking the Fields,' which was made temp. Car. II. at the cost of nearly £1000. Dugdale, speaking of the recent improvements of the Inn, says, "And the last was the enlargement of their garden, beautifying with a large tarras walk on the west side thereof, and raising the wall higher towards Lincoln's Inne Fields, which was done in An. 1663 (15 Car. II.), the charge thereof amounting to a little less than a thousand pounds, by reason that the levelling of most part of the ground, and raising the tarras, required such great labor." A portion of this terrace, and some of the old trees, were destroyed to make room for the new dining-hall.

The old system supplied the barrister with other sources of recreation. Within a stone's throw of his residence was the hotel where his club had its weekly meeting. Either in hall, or with his family, or at a tavern near 'the courts,' it was his use, until a comparatively recent date, to dine in the middle of the day, and work again after the meal. Courts sat after dinner as well as before; and it was observable that counsellors spoke far better when they were full of wine and vension than when they stated the case in the earlier part of the day. But in the evening the system told especially in the barrister's favor. All his many friends lying within a small circle, he had an abundance of congenial society. Brother-circuiteers came to his wife's drawing-room for tea and chat, coffee and cards. There was a substantial supper at half-past eight or nine for such guests (supper cooked in my lady's little kitchen, or supplied by the 'Society's cook'); and the smoking dishes were accompanied by foaming tankards of ale or porter, and followed

by superb and richly aromatic bowls of punch. On occasions when the learned man worked hard and shut out visitors by sporting his oak, he enjoyed privacy as unbroken and complete as that of any library in Kensington or Tyburnia. If friends stayed away, and he wished for diversion, he could run into the chambers of old college-chums, or with his wife's gracious permission could spend an hour at Chatelin's or Nando's, or any other coffeehouse in vogue with members of his profession. During festive seasons, when the judges' and leaders' ladies gave their grand balls, the young couple needed no carriage for visiting purposes. From Gray's Inn to the Temple they walked-if the weather was fine. When it rained they hailed a hackney-coach, or my lady was popped into a sedan and carried by running bearers to the frolic of the hour.

Of course the notes of the preceding paragraphs of this chapter are but suggestions as to the mode in which the artisic reader must call up the life of the old lawyers. Encouraging him to realize the manners and usages of several centuries, not of a single generation, they do not attempt to entertain the student with details. It is needless to say that the young couple did not use hackneycoaches in times prior to the introduction of those serviceable vehicles, and that until sedans were invented my lady never used them.

It is possible, indeed it is certain, that married ladies living in chambers occasionally had for neighbors on the same staircase women whom they regarded with abhorrence. Sometimes it happened that a dissolute barrister introduced to his rooms a woman more beautiful than virtuous, whom he had not married, though he called her his wife. People can no more choose their neighbors in a house broken up into sets of chambers, than they can choose them in the street. But the cases

where ladies were daily liable to meet an offensive neighbor on their common staircase were comparatively rare ; and when the annoyance actually occurred, the discipline of the Inn afforded a remedy.

Uncleanness too often lurked within the camp, but it vieled its face; and though in rare cases the error and sin of a powerful lawyer may have been notorious, the preccant man was careful to surround himself with such an appearance of respectability that society sould easily feign ignorance of his offence. An Elizabethan distichfamiliar to all barristers, but too rudely worded for insertion in this page-informs us that in the sixteenth century Gray's Inn had an unenviable notoriety amongst legal hospices for the shamelessness of its female inmates. But the pungent lines must be regarded as a satire aimed at certain exceptional members, rather than as a vivacious picture of the general tone of morals in the society. Anyhow the fact that Gray's Inn* was alone designated as a home for infamy-whilst the Inner Temple was pointed to as the hospice most popular with rich men, the Middle Temple as the society frequented by Templars of narrow means, and Lincoln's Inn as the abode of gentlemen-is, of itself, a proof that the pervading manners of the last three institutions were outwardly decorous. Under the least favorable circumstances, a barrister's wife living in chambers, within or near Lincoln's Inn, or the Temple, during Charles II.'s reign, fared as well in this

The scandalous state of Gray's Inn at this period is shown by the following passage in Dugdale's Origines: '-"In 23 Eliz. (30 Jan.) there was an order made that no laundress, nor women called victuallers, should thenceforth come into the gentlemen's chambers of this society, until they were full forty years of age, and not send their maid-servants, of what age soever, int the said gentlemen's chambers, upon penalty, for the first offence of him that should admit of any such, to be put out of Commons; and for the second, to be expelled the House." The stringency and severity of this order show a determination on the part of the authorities to cure the evil.

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