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courted their favor; and accurate legal scholars, such as old 'Index Waller,' would, under judicious treatment, exhibit their learning to boys ambitious of following in their steps. Chief Justice Saunders, during the days of his pre-eminence at the bar, never walked through Westminster Hall without a train of lads at his heels. "I have seen him," says Roger North, "for hours and halfhours together, before the court sat, stand at the bar, with an audience of students over against him, putting of cases, and debating so as suited their capacities, and encouraged their industry. And so in the Temple, he seldom moved without a parcel of youths hanging about him, and he merry and jesting with them."
Long after moots' had fallen into disuse, their influence in this respect was visible in the readiness of wigged veterans to extend a kindly and useful patronage to students. Even so late as the close of the last century, great black-letter lawyers used to accost students in Westminster Hall, and give them fair words, in a manner that would be misunderstood in the present day. Sergeant Hill-whose reputation for recondite legal erudition, resembled that of " Index Waller,' or Maynard, in the seventeenth century once accosted John Scott, as the latter, in his student days, was crossing Westminster Hall. "Pray, young gentleman," said the black-letter lawyer, "do you think herbage and pannage rateable to the poor's rate?" "Sir," answered the future Lord Eldon, with a courteous bow to the lawyer, whom he knew only by sight, "I cannot presume to give any opinion, inexperienced and unlearned as I am, to a person of your great knowledge, and high character in the profession." "Upon my word," replied the sergeant, eyeing the young man with unaffected delight, “you are a pretty sensible young gentleman; I don't often meet with such. If I had asked Mr. Burgess, a young man upon our circuit, the
question, he would have told me that I was an old fool. You are an extraordinary sensible young gentleman.”
The period when 'readings,' 'mooting,' and 'case-putting' fell into disuse or contempt, is known with sufficient accuracy. Having noticed the decay of readings, Sir John Bramston writes, in Charles II.'s reign, "At this tyme readings are totally in all the Inns of Court layd aside; and to speak truth, with great reason, for it was a step at once to the dignity of a sergeant, but not soe now." Marking the time when moots became farcical forms, Roger North having stated that his brother Francis, when a student, was an attendant (as well as exerciser) at the ordinary moots in the Middle Temple and at New Inn," goes on to say, "In those days, the moots were carefully performed, and it is hard to give a good reason (bad ones are prompt enough) why they are not so now." But it should be observed, that though for all practical purposes 'moots' and 'case-puttings' ceased in Charles II.'s time, they were not formally abolished. Indeed, they lingered on throughout the eighteenth century, and to the present time-when vestiges of them may still be observed in the usages and discipline of the Inns. Before the writer of this page was called to the bar by the Masters of the Society of Lincoln's Inn, he, like all other students of his time, had to go through the form of putting a case on certain days in the hall after dinner. The ceremony appeared to him alike ludicrous and interesting. To put his case, he was conducted by the steward of the inn to the top of the senior bar table, when the steward placed an open MS. book before him, and said, "Read that, sir;" whereupon this deponent read aloud something about "a femme sole," or some such thing, and was still reading the rest of the MS., kindly opened under his nose by the steward, when that worthy officer checked him suddenly, saying, "That will do, sir; you
have put your case-and can sign the book." The book duly signed, this deponent bowed to the assembled barristers, and walked out of the hall, smiling as he thought how, by an ingenious fiction, he was credited with having put an elaborate case to a college of profound jurists, with having argued it before an attentive audience, and with having borne away the laurels of triumph. Recently this pleasant mockery of case-putting has been swept away.
In Roger North's 'Discourse on the Study of the Laws,' and Life of the Lord Keeper Guildford,' the reader may see with clearness the course of an industrious lawstudent during the latter half of the seventeenth century, and it differs less from the ordinary career of an industrious Temple-student in our time, than many recent writers on the subject think.
Under Charles II., James II., and William III. the law-student was compelled to master the barbarous LawFrench; but the books which he was required to read were few in comparison with those of a modern Inns-ofCourt man. Roger North mentions between twenty and thirty authors, which the student should read in addition to Year-Books and more recent reports; and it is clear that the man who knew with any degree of familiarity such a body of legal literature was a very erudite lawyer two hundred years since. But the student was advised to read this small library again and again, commonplacing" the contents of its volumes, and also “ placing" all new legal facts. The utility and convenience of common-place books were more apparent two centuries since, than in our time, when books of reference are always published with good tables of contents and alphabetical indexes. Roger North held that no man could become a good lawyer who did not keep a common-place book. He instructs the student to buy for a common
place register "a good large paper book, as big as a church bible;" he instructs him how to classify the facts which should be entered in the work; and for a model of a lucid and thoroughly lawyer-like common-place book he refers "to Lincoln's Inn library, where the Lord Hale's common-place book is conserved, and that may be a pattern, instar.omnium."
PUPILS IN CHAMBERS..
OUT the most important part of an industrious lawstudent's labors in olden time, was the work of watching the practice of Westminster Hall. In the seventeenth century, the constant succession of political trials made the King's Bench Court especially attractive to students who were more eager for gossip than advancement of learning; but it was always held that the student, who was desirous to learn the law rather than to catch exciting news or hear exciting speeches, ought to frequent the Common Pleas, in which court the common law was said to be at home. At the Common Pleas, a student might find a seat vacant in the students' benches so late as ten o'clock; but it was not unusual for every place devoted to the accommodation of students in the Court of King's Bench, to be occupied by six o'clock, a. M. By dawn, and even before the sun had begun to break, students bent on getting good seats at the hearing of an important cause would assemble, and patiently wait in court till the judges made their appearance.
One prominent feature in the advocate's education must always be elocutionary practice. "Talk; if you
can, to the point, but anyhow talk," has been the motto of Advocacy from time immemorial. Heneage Finch, who, like every member of his silver-tongued family, was an authority on matters pertaining to eloquence, is said to have advised a young student "to study all the morning and talk all the afternoon." Sergeant Maynard used to express his opinion of the importance of eloquence to a lawyer by calling law the "ars bablativa." Roger North observes-" He whose trade is speaking must not, whatever comes out, fail to speak, for that is a fault in the main much worse than impertinence." And at a recent address to the students of the London University, Lord Brougham urged those of his auditors, who intended to adopt the profession of the bar, to habituate themselves to talk about everything.
In past times law-students were proverbial for their talkativeness; and though the present writer has never seen any records of a Carolinian law-debating society, it is matter of certainty that in the seventeenth century the young students and barristers formed themselves into coteries, or clubs, for the practice of elocution and for legal discussions. The continual debates on 'mootable days,' and the incessant wranglings of the Temple cloisters, encouraged them to pay especial attention to such exercises. In Charles II.'s reign 'Pool's company, was a coterie of students and young barristers, who used to meet periodically for congenial conversation and debate. "There is seldom a time," says Roger North, speaking of this coterie, "but in every Inn of Court there is a studious, sober company that are select to each other, and keep company at meals and refreshments. Such a company did Mr. Pool find out, whereof Sergeant Wild was one, and every one of them proved eminent, and most of them are now preferred in the law; and Mr. Pool, at the latter end of his life, took such a pride in