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Amongst memorable Northern Circuit worthies was George Wood, the celebrated Special Pleader, in whose chambers Law, Erskine, Abbott and a mob of eminent lawyers acquired a knowledge of their profession. It is on record that whilst he and Mr. Holroyde were posting the Northern round, they were accosted on a lonely heath by a well-mounted horseman, who reining in his steed asked the barrister "What o'clock it was?" Favorably impressed by the stranger's appearance and tone of voice, Wood pulled out his valuable gold repeater, when the highwayman presenting a pistol, and putting it on the cock, said coolly, “As you have a watch, be kind enough to give it me, so that I may not have occasion to trouble you again about the time." To demur was impossible; the lawyer, therefore, who had met his disaster by going to the country, meekly submitted to circumstances and surrendered the watch. For the loss of an excellent gold repeater he cared little, but he winced under the banter of his professional brethren, who long after the occurrence used to smile with malicious significance as they accosted him with "What's the time, Wood?"

Another of the memorable Northern circuiteers was John Hullock, who, like George Wood, became a baron of the Exchequer, and of whom the following story. is told on good authority. In an important cause tried upon the Northern Circuit, he was instructed by the attorney who retained him as leader on one side not to produce a certain deed unless circumstances made him think that without its production his client would lose the suit. On perusing the deed entrusted to him with this remarkable injunction, Hullock saw that it established his client's case, and wishing to dispatch the business with all possible promptitude, he produced the parchment before its exhibition was demanded by necessity. Examination instantly detected the spurious character of the

deed, which had been fabricated by the attorney.


course the presiding judge (Sir John Bayley) ordered the deed to be impounded; but before the order was carried out, Mr. Hullock obtained permission to inspect it again. Restored to his hands, the deed was forthwith replaced in his bag. "You must surrender that deed instantly," exclaimed the judge, seeing Hullock's intention to keep it. "My lord," returned the barrister, warmly, "no power on earth shall induce me to surrender it. I have incautiously put the life of a fellow-creature in peril; and though I acted to the best of my discretion, I should never be happy again were a fatal result to ensue." At a loss to decide on the proper course of action, Mr. Justice Bayley retired from court to consult with his learned brother. On his lordship's reappearance in court, Mr. Hullockwho had also left the court for a brief period-told him that during his absence the forged deed had been destroyed. The attorney escaped; the barrister became a judge.




TOTWITHSTANDING the close connexion which in old times existed between the Church and the Law, popular sentiment holds to the opinion that the ways of lawyers are far removed from the ways of holiness, and that the difficulties encountered by wealthy travellers on the road to heaven are far greater with rich lawyers than with any other class of rich men. An old proverb teaches that wearers of the long robe never reach paradise per saltum, but 'by slow degrees;' and an irreverent ballad supports the vulgar belief that the only

attorney to be found on the celestial rolls gained admittance to the blissful abode more by artifice than desert. The ribald broadside runs in the following style:

"Professions will abuse each other;

The priests won't call the lawyer brother;
While Salkeld still beknaves the parson,
And says he cants to keep the farce on.
Yet will I readily suppose

They are not truly bitter foes,
But only have their pleasant jokes,
And banter, just like other folks.
And thus, for so they quiz the law,
Once on a time th' Attorney Flaw,
A man to tell you, as the fact is,
Of vast chicane, of course of practice;
(But what profession can we trace
Where none will not the corps disgrace?
Seduced, perhaps, by roguish client,
Who tempt him to become more pliant),
A notice had to quit the world,
And from his desk at once was hurled.
Observe, I pray, the plain narration:
"Twas in a hot and long vacation,
When time he had but no assistance.
Tho' great from courts of law the distance,
To reach the court of truth and justice
(Where I confess my only trust is);
Though here below the special pleader
Shows talents worthy of a leader,
Yet his own fame he must support,
Be sometimes witty with the court
Or word the passion of a jury
By tender strains, or full of fury;
Misleads them all, tho' twelve apostles,

While with the new law the judge he jostles,
And makes them all give up their powers

To speeches of at least three hours

But we have left our little man,

And wandered from our purpos'd plan:
'Tis said (without ill-natured leaven)
"If ever lawyers get to heaven,

It surely is by slow degrees "
(Perhaps 'tis slow they take their fees).
The case, then, now I fairly state:

Flaw reached at last to heaven's high gate;
Quite short he rapped, none did it neater;
The gate was opened by St. Peter,
Who looked astonished when he saw,
All black, the little man of law;
But charity was Peter's guide,
For having once himself denied
His master, he would not o'erpass
The penitent of any class;

Yet never having heard there entered
A lawyer, nay, nor ever ventured
Within the realms of peace and love,

He told him mildly to

And would have closed the gate of day,
Had not old Flaw, in suppliant way,
Demurring to so hard a fate,

Begg'd but a look, tho' through the gate.
St. Peter, rather off his guard,
Unwilling to be thought too hard,
Opens the gate to let him peep in.
What did the lawyer? Did he creep in?
Or dash at once to take possession?
Oh no, he knew his own profession:
He took his hat off with respect,
And would no gentle means neglect;

But finding it was all in vain

For him admittance to obtain,

Thought it were best, let come what will,

To gain an entry by his skill.

So while St. Peter stood aside,

To let the door be opened wide,

He skimmed his hat with all his strength

Within the gate to no small length.

St. Peter stared; the lawyer asked him

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Cry'd out 'What think you of my plan?

Eject me, Peter, if you can.

The celestial courts having devised no process of ejectment that could be employed in this unlooked-for emergency, St. Peter hastily withdrew to take counsel's opinion; and during his absence Mr. Flaw firmly established himself in the realms of bliss, where he remains to this day the black sheep of the saintly family.

But though a flippant humorist in these later times. could deride the lawyer as a character who had better not force his way into heaven, since he would not find a single personal acquaintance amongst its inhabitants, in more remote days lawyers achieved the honors of canonization, and our forefathers sought their saintly intercession with devout fervor. Our calendars still regard the 15th of July as a sacred day, in memory of the holy Swithin, who was tutor to King Ethelwulf and King Alfred, and Chancellor of England, and who certainly deserved his elevation to the fellowship of saints, even had his title to the honor rested solely on a remarkable act which he performed in the exercise of his judicial functions. A familiar set of nursery rhymes sets forth the utter inability of all the King's horses and men to re-form the shattered Humpty-Dumpty, when his rotund highness had fallen from a wall; but when a wretched market-woman, whose entire basketful of new-laid eggs had been wilfully smashed by an enemy, sought in her trouble the aid of Chancery, the holy Chancellor Swithin. miraculously restored each broken shell to perfect shape, each yolk to soundness. Saith William of Malmesbury, recounting this marvellous achievement-"statimque porrecto crucis signo, fracturam omnium ovorum consolidat."

Like Chancellor Swithin before him, and like Chancellor Wolsey in a later time, Chancellor Becket was a royal

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