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large cases, small dice for small ones. When complaint of the "glorious uncertainty," of this jurisprudence is made to King Pantagruel, he refuses to remove the Judge, saying it is better that causes should be decided in that impartial way than by men whose hearts a re full of wry passions.
Dumas, in that world renowned novel, the Count of Monte Christo, makes Lucien Debray quote a proverb from Rabelais, that there is no dinner so poor as a lawyer's, with the pregnant commentary "as if those fellows felt remorse." Victo Hugo, in his Hunchback of Notre Dame, relieves the sombre fatalism of that marvelous work by two sketches of criminal trials which are, perhaps, the most ludicrous ever drawn; we refer to the examination of Quasimodo by the deaf Magistrate, and to the mimicry of the gesticulations of the prosecuting attorney by the goat of La Esmerelda. Nor has genius been more friendly to the law in Italian litera
Boccaccio in the Decameron burlesques learned judges in a story, very humorous, but not of the sort to repeat here. Petrarch, says Campbell, “in his epistle to posterity, vindicates his aversion to the dry and dusty walks of jurisprudence, representing the abuses, chicanery and mercenary practices of the law, as inconsistent with candor and honesty." His father put him at the University of BoJogna, to study law, and, on several occasions, pounced upon and burned up the classics, (except Cicero), for which his son evinced so decided a preference. How true is the saying of Roger North, *the spectre that frights so stands at the entrance."
But Petrarch is not alone in the abuse of the "dusty purlicus of the law,” into which parental folly sought to force the genius that refused to bid a farewell to the muse. Goethe's father and his good friend Hüsgen, did all in their power to make him a jurisconsult. But the young German amused himself during the lectures on the corpus juris civilis, by drawing caricatures on his note-book, of the venerable sages cited as authorities. It is not surprising, then, to find in Faust the following estimate of law:
"Es erben sich Gesetz und Rechte,
Vernunft wird Unsinn, Wohlthat Plage.” In Goetz von Berlichingen, the conclusion of a law suit, of eight years standing, is celebrated by a marriage festival, during which,
one of the contestants declares that he had rather endure a fever for twice that period than to live over again his experience in litigation. “Wo unto you, lawyers,” must have been one of Luther's favorite texts. "We have to thank the lawyers,” said he, "for filling the world with such an infinitude of evasions, shifts, subterfuges and chicanery, that matters have become worse than at the tower of Babel. There no man could understand his neighbor if he would. With us, thanks to the knave lawyers, no man will understand his neighbor if he can. O Sophists! pests of the human race, I address you full of indignation, but I am not clear that I should speak otherwise if I were cool.”
“Law must doff her cap,” he repeatedly declared, "in the presence of theology.” “The struggle between lawyers and theologians is undying,” When he heard that the degree of Doctor of Laws was to be conferred on a learned jurisconsult, he said, “there will be another viper hissing against the clergy.” Schiller in die Rauber represents a lawyer as having won by chicanery a large estate for a certain count, and as they were returning in high glee from Ratisbon, the hero stops the equipage, denounces the legal fraud, and puts a summary end to the perpetrator. But why give particular instances, when a national proverb is in point, “ Juristen bösen Christen.” This suggests a similar proverb prevalent during the middle
åges, “Legista Nequista.” “The literature of our mother tongue,” says Mr. Butler in his Laryer and Client, “reflecting the current opinion of each succeeding generation, is full of instances of coarse abuse or sharp satire directed against lawyers, by authors, wits, pamphleteers, and pennya-liners.” In the vision of Piers Ploughman, the activity of Mede! among the bench and bar, is a subject of lament and anathema. Chaucer says of his sergeant:
“Of fees and robes had he maney on,
So grete a purchaser was nowher non.”
“They put off hearings willfully
To see where best they may break through."
The spirit of bribery.
non-ultra of thy honesty.” Ben Jonson in his Volpone or the Fox, speaks of a lawyer as one with
« _So perplexed a tongue,
Lie still without a fee."
. Mode, defines law as a "hocus pocus science, which smiles in yer face while it picks yer pocket.” In his Man of the World,' Sergeat Eitherside exhibits a mind, pliable to every touch of interest. While he is conferring with Counsellor Plausible, Sir Pertinax says to Lord Lumbercourt, “The interest of lawyers is that all mankind should be at variance, for disagreement is the very manure with which they enrich and fatten the land of litigation and as they find it constantly produces the best crop, they will always lay it on as thick as they can." In Massinger's New Way to Pay Old Debts, Sir Giles Overreach gives, as a reason for conferring judicial office on Justice Greedy that he might "do his part for my advantage;"> "against his conscience and his knowledge too." In Foote's Lame Lover, when Facias says that he can not find a precedent for a case, Sergeant Circuit is nothing daunted, “Then I'll make one myself, aut inveniam aut faciam is my motto.” His son Jack informs him that in a suit upon a note the plaintiff had three witnesses to prove a consideration, “admit it,” suggests the wily counsellor, "and have four to prove payment.” We are also instructed with the following dialogue: Sergeant Circuit, “How many points are the great objects of practice?” Jack, “Two.” “Which are they?” “First, to
. put a man into possession of what is his right; and second, to deprive a man of what is really his right, or keep him as long as possible out of possession.” “Good, boy! If an able advocate has his choice, should he take the right side or wrong?” “The wrong." “Why so?” “Because a good cause speaks for itself, while a bad one demands an able counsel to give it a color.” “Very well, but in what respects will this answer to the lawyer himself?” “In two, first, his fees rise in proportion to dirty work, and second, he gains greater reputation for victory in a desperate case.” When Woodford proposes for Charlotte, he says, “I flatter myself that as justice is on my side, I shall have no contemptible fortune to throw at her feet.” Justice,” roars the Sergeant, “What signifies justice? Is the law on your side?” The gown and ermine find no culogist in Shakspeare. Hawkins and Reed suppose that Hales vs. Pettit (1 Plowden, 2.53,) furnished him part of the scene of the Grave Diggers in Hamlet. The question in the case was whether Sir James Hales had committed suicide in his lifetime, and the argument that suicide consisted of three things finds a close parallel in the argument of the clown that it has “three branches, to act, to do, and to perform.” But we can not attempt an enumeration of Shakspeare's many allusions to the law. Lord Campbell's collection of them makes a volume of respectable dimensions. Burton in his Anatomy reckons law suits as anong the most certain causes of melancholy. Churchhill in his Rosciad tells us of lawyers,
Who in the Temple and Gray's Inn prepare,
For clients' wretched feet the legal snare. Addison exposes in the Spectator a lawyers' club, at which the members met to recount their sharp practices, the palm being awarded to the keenest trickster. Pope (assisted by Judge William Fortescue) burlesques legal ratiocination in the report of Shadding v. Stiles. Butler introduces us to lawyers,
"With books and papers placed for show
And for their false opinion pay.”
“A lawyer art thou? draw not nigh!
Go, carry to some fitter place,
The hardness of that sallow face."
“ will turn, especially a worm that is put into Chancery.” An allusion to the peculiarities of this tribunal also occurs in What Will He Do With It, where, upon being informed that the Pope was "spreading himself” and becoming dangerous, the sapient suggestion is made, “Put him into Chancery and he will never lift up his
De Quincy has a fling at "the lawyers who do not indulge in the luxury of too delicate a conscience.” Dickens was a most inveterate enemy of English law. Almost his whole bar, Mr. V holes, Conversation Kenge, Mr. Guppy, Mr. Jaggers, Mr. Tis rivals in this line of legal authorship are “Decisions of Sergeant Arabin” and "Galts Cases before Justices of the Peace."
Brass, etc., deserve to be stricken from the rolls; “which erasure,” says he, “has always been held in these latter times to be a great degradation and reproach and to imply the commission of some amazing villainy, as indeed would seem to be the case when so many worthless names remain among its better records unmolested.” Bleak House seems to have been written for no other purpose than to vent his spleen against the Court of Chancery.
How he gloats over the enormities of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce, that “perennially hopeless suit." The truth is that Dickens has made himself, as well as the law, ridiculous in this work. What can surpass in bathos his interrogatory concerning Richard's case. “Would not Chancery be found rich in such precedents if they could be got from the recording angel?” Sterne represents his father as being ruined by gaining a Chancery suit and having to pay the costs. Hear Carlyle's apostrophe to Fouquier Tinville: “Remarkable Fouquier! once but as other attorneys which hunt ravenous on the earth. ... The heavens had said, “Let there be an incarnation, not divine, of the venatory attorney spirit, which keeps its eye on the bond only; and, lo! thus was it." Paulding has chosen a law suit as the form under which to burlesque the war of 1812. Brother Johnathan's lawyer is selected like a race horse, for his wind.” The speech of John Bull's advocate, however, was said to be twice as good because it was twice as long. The final adjudication by Justice Seout,' is precisely the contrary of his former opinion. "Law is one thing to-day, another thing another day, which is agreeable to the greatest and oldest law in the world—the law of nature—which on the very face of it declares that all things are subject to change.” Mr. Butler, whom we have already cited, is himself among the offenders he describes. In his poem of Two Millions, he gives us the sentiments of Firkin, the capitalist, who hated all lawyers, but
"-was particularly hard and unforgiving
Sir William Scott.