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managed encounter, he subsequently became counsel for Mr. Pickwickthat man "of god-like gullibility," as he has been called. Perker could manage an election, too, with much ability. No one could say but what he was useful, energetic, and resourceful.
Mr. Pickwick arrives at Perker's office after his friends had been subpoenaed in Bardell v. Pickwick, just in time to witness the pathetic putting-off of Watty, the bankrupt, by the diplomatic clerk, Lowten. Watty, a "rustily clad, miserable-looking man, in boots without toes, and gloves without fingers," had just been falsely told that Mr. Perker
was not in.
Step in. Mr. Pickwick,' said Lowten. 'Well, will you leave a message. Mr. Watty, or will you call again?
Ask him to be so kind as to leave out word what has been done in my business,' said the man; for God's sake, don't neglect it, Mr. Lowten.'
"No, no; I won't forget it,' replied the clerk. Walk in, Mr. Pickwick. Good morning, Mr. Watty; it's a fine day for walking, isn't it? Seeing that the stranger still lingered, he beckoned Sam Weller to follow his master in, and shut the door in his face.
There never was such a pestering bankrupt as that since the world began, I do believe!' said Lowten, throwing down his pen with the air of an injured man. His affairs haven't been in Chancery quite four years yet, and I'm d--d if he don't come worrying here twice a week. Step this way, Mr. Pickwick. Perker is in and he'll see you, I know. Devilish cold,' he added pettishly, standing at that door wasting one's time with such seedy vagabonds!'"
How pathetically true this little touch is, we all know. And yet Perker is not intended at all as an ungracious or unkind practitioner. And we as lawyers, alas, know that he is not an unusual one even to-day.
Perker, too, has the strongest possible admiration for Dodson and Fogg quite characteristic of the hustling little solicitor--and it rather annoys Mr. Pickwick.
They've not been sleeping, I know that. Ah, they're very smart fellows-very smart, indeed.'
"As the little man concluded, he took an emphatic pinch of snuff as a tribute to the smartness of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg.
They are great scoundrels,' said Mr. Pickwick. Aye, aye,' said the little man; that's a matter of opinion, you know, and we don't dispute about terms; because, of course, you can't be expected to view these subjects with a professional eye."
The layman's view on the professional etiquette of Dodson and Fogg had already been announced by Sam Weller:
And of them Dodson and Fogg as does these sorts o' things on spec, as well as for the other kind and gen'rous people o' the same purfession, as sets people by the ears free gratis for nothin', and sets their clerks to work to find out little disputes among their neighbours and acquaintance as vants settlin' by means o' lawsuits-all I can say o' them is, that I vish they had the reward I'd give 'em.'
One cannot omit certain little illuminations from the famous trial"the numerous muster of gentlemen in wigs in the barristers' seats, who presented, as a body, all that pleasing and extensive variety of nose and whisker for which the Bar of England is so justly celebrated."
Who's that red-faced man, who said it was a fine morning, and nodded to our counsel ?' whispered Mr. Pickwick.
Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz,' replied Perker. 'He's opposed to us; he leads the other side. That gentleman behind him is Mr. Skimpin, his junior.'
Mr. Pickwick was on the point of inquiring with great abhorrence of the man's cold-blooded villainy, how Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz, who was counsel for the opposite party, dared to presume to tell Mr. Serjeant Snubbin, who was counsel for him, that it was a fine morning, when he was interrupted by a general rising of the barristers and a loud cry of Silence' from the officers of the court. Looking around he found that this was caused by the entrance of the judge.”
What lawyer, too, fails to appreciate the following:
Bardell and Pickwick,' cried the gentleman in black, calling on the case which stood first on the list.
I am for the plaintiff, my Lord,' said Mr. Serjeant Buzfuz.
Who is with you, brother Buzfuz?' said the judge. Mr. Skimpin bowed to intimate that he was.
I appear for the defendant, my Lord,' said Mr. Serjeant Snubbin.
Mr. Phunky, my Lord,' replied Serjeant Snubbin.
Serjeant Buzfuz and Mr. Skimpin for the plaintiff,' said the judge, writing down the names in his notebook, and reading as he wrote, for the defendant, Serjeant Snubbin and Mr. Monkey.'
Beg your Lordship's pardon, Phunky.'
very good,' said the judge. I never had the pleasure of hearing the gentleman's name before.' Here Mr. Phunky bowed and smiled and the judge bowed and smiled, too, and then Mr. Phunky, blushing into the very whites of his eyes, tried to look as if he didn't know that anybody was gazing at him; a thing which no man ever succeeded in doing yet, or, in all reasonable probability, ever will.
Go on,' said the judge.'
Perhaps a word should be said to recall Mr. Serjeant Snubbin : "A lantern-faced, sallow-complexioned man of about five-and-forty, or-as the noveis say--he might be fifty. He had that dull-looking boiled eve which is so often to be seen in the heads of people who have applied themselves during many years to weary and laborious courses of study. His hair was thin and weak, which was partly attributable to his having never devoted much time to its arrangement, and partly to his having worn for five-and-twenty years the forensic wig which hung on a block beside him. . Books of practice, heaps of papers and opened letters were scattered over the table without any
attempt at order or arrangement; the furniture of the room was old and rickety; the doors of the book-case were rotting on their hinges; the dust flew from the carpet in little clouds at every step; the blinds were yellow with age and dirt; and the state of everything in the room showed with a clearness not to be mistaken that Mr. Serjeant Snubbin was far too much occupied with his professional pursuits to take any great heed or regard of his personal comforts."
Time, of course, will not permit further reference to that delicious trial. The bullying thunder of Serjeant Buzfuz and the inferior cunning of Mr. Skimpin stand to-day, as they did then, as an example of what may be legally made out of a piece of whole cloth.
A word might be said in passing of another type-the hanger-on of the Insolvent Court-Mr. Solomon Pell. See if you don't recognise him. He was a fat, flabby, pale man, in a surtout which looked green one minute and brown the next; with a velvet collar of the same cameleon tints. His forehead was narrow, his face wide, his head large, and his nose all on one side, as if Nature, indignant with the propensities she observed in him in his birth, had given it an angry tweak from which it had never recovered. Being short-necked and asthmatic, however, he respired principally through this feature; so perhaps what it wanted in ornament it made up in usefulness." The late Lord Chancellor, gentlemen, was very fond of me,' said Mr. Pell. 'I remember, gentlemen, dining with him on one occasion; there was only us two, but everything as splendid as if twenty people had been expected, -the Great Seal on a dumb-waiter at his side and a man in a bag wig and a suit of armour guarding the wall with a drawn sword and silk stockings, which is perpetually done gentlemen, night and day; when he said, Pell," he said, "no false delicacy, Pell. You are a man of talent; you can get anybody through the Insolvent Court, Pell; and your country should be proud of you." Those were his very words. My Lord," I said, you flatter me.' "Pell," he said, "if I do, I'm damned." You will excuse me, gentlemen; I was imprudent. I feel I have no right to mention this matter without his concurrence. Thank you, sir, thank you.' Thus delivering himself, Mr. Pell thrust his hands into his pockets, and frowning grimly around, rattled three half-pence with terrible determination."
"Well, sir, have you come to settle?' 'Yes, I have, sir,' said Ramsey, putting his hand in his pocket and bringing out the money, the debt's two pound ten, and the costs three pound five, and here it is, sir,' and he sighed like bricks as he lugged out the money, done up in a bit of blotting paper. Old Fogg looked first at the money and then at him, and then he coughed in his rum way so that I knew something was coming. You don't know there's a declaration filed, which increases the costs materially, I suppose?' said Fogg. You don't say that, sir,' said Ramsey, starting back; the time was only out last night, sir.' 'I do say it, though,' said Fogg. My clerk's just gone to file it. Hasn't Mr. Jackson gone to file that declaration in Bullman and Ramsey, Mr. Wicks?' Of course I said yes, and then Fogg coughed again and looked at Ramsey. My God!' said Ramsey, and have I nearly driven myself mad, scraping this money together, and all to no purpose? 'None at all,' said Fogg coolly; so you had better go back and scrape some more together and bring it here in time.' I can't get it, by God!' said Ramsey, striking the desk with his fist. Don't bully me, sir,' said Fogg, getting into a passion on purpose. I am not bullying you, sir,' said Ramsey. You are,' said Fogg. 'Get out, sir. Get out of this office, sir, and come back, sir, when you know how to behave yourself.' Well, Ramsey tried to speak, but Fogg wouldn't let him, so he put the money in his pocket and sneaked out. The door was scarcely shut, when old Fogg turned around to me, with a sweet smile on his face, and drew the declaration out of his coat pocket. 'Here, Wicks,' says Fogg, take a cab and go down to the Temple as quick as you can and file that. The costs are quite safe, for he's a steady man with a large family and if he gives us a warrant of attorney as he must
in the end, I know his employers will see it paid; so we may as well get all we can out of him, Mr. Wicks. It's a Christian act to do it, Mr. Wicks, for with his large family and small income, he'll be all the better for a good lesson against getting into debt. Won't he, Mr. Wicks, won't he?-and he smiled so good-naturedly as he went away, that it was delightful to see him. He is a capital man of business,' said Wicks in a tone of the deepest admiration,capital, isn't he?'
This man of business, we learn, was "an elderly, pimply-faced, vegetable-diet sort of man, in a black coat, dark mixture trousers and small black gaiters; a kind of being who seemed to be an essential part of the desk at which he was writing, and to have about as much thought or feeling." Mr. Dodson was a plump, portly, stern-looking man, with a loud voice." But enough has been said to entirely justify Mr. Pickwick's angry final words which he flung with intense gusto over the banisters after them when all the costs in the Bardell case were settled and paid: "You are a couple of mean, rascally, pettifogging robbers"-a description that applies just as appropriately to some of our brethren to-day, as to those worthies of an earlier time. Oliver Twist," the next and really first novel of Dickens, there is a fine working in of legal atmosphere, notably in the trial of Fagin. But the emphasis is almost entirely on the dramatic effect, and nothing is said about the personnel of the lawyers. A picture of Magistrate
Fang is shown, on the occasion of Mr. Brownlow's visit after his pocket had been picked, which is worthy of attention.
"Mr. Fang was a lean, long-backed, stiff-necked, middle-sized man, with no great quantity of hair, and what he had, growing on the back and sides of his head. His face was stern and much flushed. If he were really not in the habit of drinking rather more than was exactly good for him, he might have brought an action against his countenance for libel, and have recovered heavy damages.'
He proceeds to bully-rag and brow-beat and insult Mr. Brownlow who had attempted in a gentlemanly manner to state his case. policeman who had arrested Oliver states there were no witnesses. Mr. Fang sat silent for some minutes, and then turning round to the prosecutor, said in a towering passion :
Do you mean to state what your complaint against this boy is, man, or do you not? You have been sworn. Now if you stand there refusing to give evidence, I'll punish you for disrespect to the Bench; I will by
"By what, or by whom, nobody knows, for the clerk and jailer coughed very loud just at the right moment; and the former dropped a heavy book upon the floor, thus preventing the word from being heard --accidentally, of course."
When Oliver drops in a faint on the floor and has been committed for three months' hard labour, the owner of the bookstand rushes in and convinces the court with much difficulty that Oliver was not the criminal, having witnessed the entire transaction, Dickens remarks:
Everyone can sympathise with the D -n me!" of the old gentleman as he "bursts with the rage he had kept down so long." Some of us have witnessed scenes not unlike this in the justice shops of our own unhallowed meinory.
Passing over "Nicholas Nickleby," the next book of Dickens' earlier work, which, strange to say, contains no lawyer characters, we come to one which, while least artistic, perhaps, introduces us to as precious a pair of legal scoundrels as ever graced the pages of fiction-Mr. Sampson Brass and his sister Sally. Dickens seems to have gone far afield into his imagination to conjure up personages of such incarnate villainy and swept clean the by-ways of sentimentality in giving us Old Curiosity Shop." As a novel, it is impossible. Yet in the unblushing tools of the devilish Quilp, and in the lovable and delightful Dick Swiveller, he has wrought material that will never die.
Sampson Brass stands forth, as if fashioned of the metal of his name, thus:
This Brass was an attorney of no very good repute from Bevis Marks in the City of London; he was a tall, meagre man, with a nose like a wen, a protruding forehead, retreating eyes, and hair of deep red. He wore a long black surtout reaching nearly to his ankles, short black trousers, high shoes and cotton stockings of a bluish gray. He had a cringing manner, but a very harsh voice, and his blandest smiles were so extremely forbidding, that to have had his company under the least repulsive circumstances, one would have wished him to be out of temper that he might only scowl."
The den behind the name-plate of Brass, Solicitor," is thus described:
"A rickety table with spare bundles of papers, yellow and ragged from long carriage in the pocket, ostentatiously displayed upon its top; a couple of stools set face to face on opposite sides of this crazy piece of furniture, a treacherous old chair by the fire-place, whose withered arms had hugged full many a client, and helped to squeeze him dry; a second-hand wig box, used as a depository for blank writs and declarations and other small forms of law, once the sole contents of the head which belonged to the wig which belonged to the box, as they were now of the box itself; two or three common books of practice; a jar of ink, a pounce-box, a stunted hearth-broom, a carpet trodden to shreds but still clinging with the tightness of desperation to its tacks,these, with the yellow wainscote of the walls, the smoke-discoloured ceiling, the dust and cobwebs, were among the most prominent decorations of the office of Mr. Sampson Brass."
The lady lawyer was not a thing of Dickens' day, but Sampson had in his sister," his clerk, assistant, housekeeper, secretary, confidential plotter, adviser, intriguer and bill of cost increaser, Miss Brass—a kind of Amazon at common law," who certainly merits attention among the lawyers of Charles Dickens.
Miss Sally Brass, then, was a lady of thirty-five or thereabouts, of a gaunt and bony figure, and a resolute bearing, which if it repressed the softer emotions of love, and kept admirers at a distance, certainly inspired a feeling akin to awe in the hearts of those male strangers who had the happiness to approach her. In face she bore a striking resemblance to her brother Sampson-so exact, indeed, was the likeness between them, that had it consorted with Miss Brass's maiden modesty and gentle womanhood to have assumed her brother's clothes in a frolic
and sat down beside him, it would have been difficult for the oldest friend of the family to determine which was Sampson and which Sally, especially as the lady carried upon her upper lip certain reddish demonstrations, which, if the imagination had been assisted by her attire, might have been mistaken for a beard. These were, however, in all probability, nothing more than eyelashes in a wrong place, as the eyes of Miss Brass were quite free from any such natural impertinencies. In complexion Miss Brass was sallow, so to speak-but this hue was agreeably relieved by the healthy glow which mantled in the extreme tip of her laughing nose. Her voice was exceedingly impressive-deep and rich in quality, and once heard, not easily forgotten. Her usual dress was a green gown, in colour not unlike the curtain of the office window, made tight to the figure, and terminating at the throat, where it was fastened behind by a peculiarly large and massive button. Feeling, no doubt, that simplicity and plainness are the soul of elegance, Miss Brass wore no collar or kerchief except upon her head, which was invariably ornamented with a brown gauze scarf, like the wing of the fabled vampire, and which, twisted into any form that happened to suggest itself, formed an easy and graceful head-dress.
Such was Miss Brass in person. In mind she was of a strong and vigorous turn, having from her earliest youth devoted herself with uncommon ardour to the study of the law; not wasting her speculations upon its eagle flights, which are rare, but tracing it attentively through all the slippery and eel-like crawlings in which it commonly pursues its way. Nor had she like many persons of great intellect, confined herself to theory, nor stopped short where practical usefulness begins; inasmuch as she could engross fair copy, fill up by printed forms with perfect accuracy, and in short transact any ordinary duty of the office down to pouncing a skin of parchment or mending a pen."
When Brass and his rascally sister attempt to involve the innocent Kit in a petty theft, in obedience to the wishes of their wretched master, Quilp, the trial is in Mr. Dickens' best style. After Brass and his sister have been examined and cross-examined by respective counsel, “Mr. Brass's gentleman calls Richard Swiveller and Richard Swiveller appears accordingly. This character, though he has been classed among the lawyers of Dickens, could hardly pass muster in that capacity on a strict analysis. He was a law clerk, and a mighty poor one at that; he was good for nothing and irresponsible to a degree; but he possessed in peculiar richness that human credibility, lightness, lovableness and absurdity, all tending to a very sympathetic assemblage of real essentials that brings a joyous smile, even though it makes the heart bleed. Chesterton rightly says, he "is perhaps the noblest of all the noble creations of Dickens." He does his best for poor Kit:
Now, Mr. Brass's gentleman has it whispered in his ear that this witness is disposed to be friendly to the prisoner-which, to say the truth, he is rather glad to hear, as his strength is considered to lie in what is familiarly termed badgering. Whereupon he begins by requesting the officer to be quite sure that this witness kisses the book, and then goes to work at him tooth and nail.
'Mr. Swiveller,' says this gentleman to Dick, when he has told his tale with evident reluctance and a desire to make the best of it, pray, sir, where did you dine yesterday-was it near here, sir? "Oh, to be sure-yes-just over the way.' To be sure, yes, just over the way, repeats Mr. Brass's gentleman with a glance at the court. 'Alone, sir?'
I beg your pardon," says Mr. Swiveller, who has not caught the question. Alone, sir?' repeats Mr. Brass's gentleman in a voice of thunder,
I did you dine alone? Did you treat anybody, sir? Come!' 'Oh, yes, to be sure-yes, I did,' says Mr. Swiveller with a smile. Have the goodness to banish a levity, sir, which is very ill-suited to the place in which you stand (though perhaps you have reason to be thankful that it's only that place),' says Mr. Brass's gentleman, with a nod of the head, insinuating that the dock is Mr. Swiveller's sphere of action; and attend to me. You were waiting about here yesterday, in expectation that this was coming on. You dined over the way. You treated somebody. Now, was that somebody brother to the prisoner at the bar?' Mr. Swiveller is proceeding to explain. Yes, or no, sir! cries Mr. Brass's gentleman. But will you allow me'Yes or no, sir!' 'Yes, it was, but- Yes, it was,' cries the gentleman, taking him up short- and a very pretty witness you are.' Down sits Mr. Brass's gentleman. Kit's gentleman, not knowing how the matter really stands, is afraid to pursue the subject. Richard Swiveller retires, abashed. Judge, jury, and spectators have visions of his lounging about with an ill-looking, large-whispered, dissolute young fellow of six feet high. The reality is, little Jacob, with the calves of his legs exposed to the open air and himself tied up in a shawl. Nobody knows the truth; everybody believes a falsehood; and all because of the ingenuity of Mr. Brass's gentleman." 1
We cannot further follow the fortunes of Sampson and his sister Sally. Dickens leaves them, five years after Sampson's sojourn in the peniten tiary as two wretched people" who were more than once observed to crawl at dusk from the inmost recesses of St. Giles and to take their way along the streets, with shuffling steps and cowering, shivering forms, looking into the roads and kennels as they went in search of refuse food or disregarded offal." But, then, Dickens, as I suspect, was trying to see how deep in horrors he could bring Quilp and all his associates, so as to form as acute a contrast as possible to the saintly precocity of little Nell and the exquisite lovableness of Dick Swiveller. Passing Barnaby Rudge," which has no men of law, we come to the author's first incursion into America, which was the cause of some considerable resentment-" Martin Chuzzlewit "but which, as soon as its great satire was properly understood, lost him no friends. The book contains many notable characters that did much to enhance Dickens' permanent reputation; but it is certainly not among his best. Pecksniff and Mrs. Gamp will never die. The two Jonases are powerfully conceived. The only lawyer is a rather incidental and ordinary
figure-Mr. Fips, of Austin Friars. He is the vehicle employed by old Jonas Chuzzlewit to provide Tom Pinch with employment pending the former's exposure of Pecksniff. There is nothing particularly striking to recall about Mr. Fips-and his “mighty yellow jaundiced little office," with its old rug designed apparently for tripping up clients. There was 66 a great black sprawling splash upon the floor in one corner, as if some old clerk had cut his throat there, years ago, and had let out ink instead of blood." There is really nothing more to say than to agree with Dickens that when all the clouds of mystery were cleared away, he showed himself a perfect Trump, did Fips, in all respects.” Yet there is nothing salient to take hold of, so we go on, passing another lawyerless chronicle, “ Dombey and Son," and reach that very excellent novel, most beloved by Dickens himself, David Copperfield.'
This book is the first of that obvious classification-the later works of Dickens. From here on, one finds less caricature and more realism. Whether, Dickens' genius being what it was, this means improvement in his work, is a debatable question. So far, however, as his lawyers are concerned, it cannot be denied that the more serious treatment accorded them from now on, shows that the author was not entirely bound to ridicule and despise his early abandoned profession. It is easy to see that for some reason Dickens had at last come around to the point of view that one could be a normal human being and a lawyer too-and so he strives to paint them more and more as they really were, with only occasional lapses into the grotesque-although, as I have sought to imply, the latter treatment is the more effective as an instrument of reform.
The quasi-autobiographical nature of David Copperfield presented a fine field for the transition to the new manner. Again, Dickens passed from Dombey and Son," with which he at times had much difficulty, he confesses, in proceeding to a work which he loved, and had long made notes for vivid, convincing, and real. The grotesque becomes here less and less apparent—the real lawyers stand out as actual characters in the drama of life.
From the moment the face of Uriah Heap is described, one is conscious of the nature to whom it belongs:
"It was quite as cadaverous as it had looked in the window, though in the grain of it there was that tinge of red which is sometimes to be observed in the skins of red-haired people. It belonged to a redhaired person a youth of fifteen, as I take it now, but looking much older-whose hair was cropped as close as the closest stubble; who had hardly any eyebrows, and no eyelashes, and eyes of a red-brown, so unsheltered and unshaded that I remember wondering how he went to sleep. He was high-shouldered and bony; dressed in decent black, with a white wisp of a neck-cloth, buttoned up to the throat; and had a long, lank skeleton hand, which particularly attracted my attention as he stood at the pony's head, rubbing his chin with it, and looking up at us in the chaise."
Next is described the mild, weak, gentlemanly steward of estates, who subsequently became so tightly enmeshed in the toils of the " 'umble Uriah," and to whose care David was intrusted-Mr. Wickfield:
His hair was quite white now, though his eyebrows were still black. He had a very agreeable face, and, I thought, was handsome. There was a certain richness in his complexion which I had been long accustomed under Peggotty's tuition to connect with port wine; and I fancied it was in his voice, too, and referred his growing corpulency to the same cause. He was very cleanly dressed, in a blue coat, striped waistcoat, and nankeen trousers, and his fine frilled shirt and cambric neck-cloth looked unusually soft and white, reminding my strolling fancy (I call to mind) of the plumage on the breast of a swan."
At last David is taken over to Doctors' Commons to see how he would like to become a proctor in Admiralty. The court is described, with the sundry gentlemen in red gowns and gray'wigs, whom David found to be the doctors, together with the proctors in black gowns with white fur, and the "little old gentleman whom if I had seen in an aviary I should certainly have taken him for an owl, but who, I learned, was the presiding judge."
The public, represented by a boy with a comforter and a shabbygenteel man secretly eating crumbs out of his coat pockets, was warming itself at a stove in the centre of the court. The languid stillness of the place was only broken by the chirping of this fire and by the voice of one of the doctors, who was wandering slowly through a perfect library of evidence and stopping to put up, from time to time, at little roadside inns of argument on the journey. Altogether, I have never, on any occasion, made one at such a cosy, dozy, old-fashioned, timeforgotten, sleepy-headed little family party in all my life; and I felt it would be quite a soothing opiate to belong to it in any characterexcept, perhaps, as a suitor.'
The conception of Spenlow and Jorkins one of Dickens' happiestmust not be overlooked. It has its application even to-day. Spenlow was a little, light-haired gentleman, with undeniable boots, and the stiffest of white cravats and shirt-collars. He was buttoned up mighty trim and tight, and must have taken a great deal of pains with his whiskers, which accurately curled. He was got up with such care, and was so stiff, that he could hardly bend himself, being obliged, when he glanced at some papers on his desk, after sitting down in his chair, to move his whole body, from the bottom of his spine like Punch.” Negotiations are opened to place David under the tuition of this firm. David suggests that he should, before pledging himself, have an opportunity of trying how he liked it, before he bound himself irrevocably.
Oh, surely surely!' said Mr. Spenlow, we always in this house propose a month-an initiatory month. I should be happy, myself, to propose two months-three-an indefinite period, in fact-but I have a partner, Mr. Jorkins.'
And the premium, sir,' I returned, is a thousand pounds.'
And the premium, stamp included, is a thousand pounds,' said Mr. Spenlow. As I have mentioned to Miss Trotwood, I am actuated by no mercenary considerations; few men are less so, I believe; but Mr. Jorkins has his opinions on these subjects, and I am bound to respect Mr. Jorkins' opinions. Mr. Jorkins thinks a thousand pounds too little in short.'"
"I was quite dismayed by the idea of this terrible Jorkins. But I found out afterwards that he was a mild man of heavy temperament, whose place in the business was to keep himself in the background and be constantly exhibited as the most obdurate and ruthless of men. If a clerk wanted his salary raised, Mr. Jorkins wouldn't listen to such. a proposition. If a client were slow to settle his bill of costs, Mr. Jorkins was resolved to have it paid, and however painful these things might be (and always were) to the feelings of Mr. Spenlow, Mr. Jorkins would have his bond. The heart and hand of the good angel Spenlow would have been always open, but for the restraining demon Jorkin s As I have grown older, I think I have had experience of some othe houses doing business on the principle of Spenlow and Jorkins!
David later had occasion to ask Mr. Spenlow what he considered the best sort of professional business. The answer, I am sure, appeals to us all-though not perhaps for the same reasons exactly.
A good case of a disputed will, when there was a neat little estate of thirty or forty thousand pounds, was, perhaps, the best of all. In such a case, he said, not only were there very pretty pickings in the way of arguments at every stage of the proceedings, and mountains upon mountains of evidence on interrogatory and counter-interrogatory (to say nothing of an appeal lying, first to the Delegates and then to the Lords); but the costs being pretty sure to come out of the estate at last, both sides went at it in a lively and spirited manner, and expense was no consideration."
Spenlow carries his humbuggery to the grave. After he had impressed with much care on David that he had some property to bequeath to his child," upon his sudden demise, it was discovered that he not only had no will, but precious little property. Jorkins, left alone, despite his reputation, soon discloses his utter incapacity, and the business goes to pieces.
And how shall we dispose of the firm of Wickfield and Heap after the hypocritical office boy had grown to get his amiable employer into his relentless grasp?
The reversal of the two natures," as David puts it, "in their relative positions, Uriah's of power and Mr. Wickfield's of dependence, was a sight more painful to me than I can express. If I had seen an ape taking command of a man, I should hardly have thought it a more degrading spectacle.”
At last, however, with the aid of Wilkins Micawber and the excellent Mr. T. Traddies of the Inner Temple-Traddles, with his wide open eye, and comic head of hair-Uriah is punished as he deserves, and the weak Mr. Wickfield has his honour and his manhood restored to him for the purpose of simmering out in a gentle old age. But it is a good book, after all, and one that lays hold of the heart strings, while it enriches the mind with its examples of unique human character, finely drawn.
It seems as if in Bleak House" Dickens had tried his hand at the conventional novel of the day; but it fairly bristles with the atmosphere of the law, the Court of Chancery holding the gloomy centre of the stage. This is the Court of Chancery," he wails in mournful cadence ; which has its decaying houses and its blighted lands in every shire; which has its worn-out lunatic in every madhouse, and its dead in every churchyard; which has its ruined suitor, with his slip-shod heels and threadbare dress, borrowing and begging through the round of every man's acquaintance; which gives to moneyed might, the means abundantly of wearying out the right; which so exhausts finances, patience, courage, hope; so overthrows the brain and breaks the heart; that there is not an honourable man among its practitioners who would not givewho does not often give-the warning, suffer any wrong that can be done you, rather than come here.'
Well, that is one view of it-and a view which is persistently pushed throughout this well-named tale. Naturally lawyers abound throughout. Conspicuous among these is the old family solicitor, Mr. Tulkinghorn-" an old-fashioned old gentleman, attorney at law, and eke solicitor of the High Court of Chancery."
He is of what is called the old school-a phrase generally meaning any school that seems never to have been young-and wears knee breeches tied with ribbons, and gaiters and stockings. One peculiarity of his black clothes and of his black stockings, be they silk or worsted, is, that they never shine. Mute, close, irresponsive to any glancing light, his dress is like himself. He never converses when not professionally consulted. He is found sometimes, speechless, but quite at home, at corners of dinner tables in great country houses and near doors of drawing rooms, concerning which the fashionable intelligence is eloquent; where everybody knows him, and where half the Peerage stops to say,How do you do, Mr. Tulkinghorn?' He receives these salutations with gravity, and buries them along with the rest of his knowledge."
His office, likewise, deserves description :
Like as he is to look at, so is his apartment in the dusk of the present afternoon. Rusty, out of date, withdrawing from attention, able to afford it. Heavy, broad-backed, old-fashioned mahogany and horse-hair chairs, not easily lifted, obsolete tables with spindle legs and dusty baize covers, presentation prints of the holders of great titles in the last generation, or the last but one, environ him. A thick and dingy Turkey carpet muffles the floor where he sits, attended by two candles in old-fashioned silver candlesticks that give a very insufficient light to his large room. The titles on the backs of his books have retired into the binding; everything that can have a lock has got one; no key
And so, faithful, watchful, wise, he goes to his death in the interests of his clients like a good soldier-a picture of over-fidelity in the unearthing of a family skeleton. Mr. Tulkinghorn is fine. Consistently and cleverly drawn, he is the first serious lawyer character of Dickens seriously treated.
There are many other lawyers in this lawyers' book. One cannot resist a glimpse at Mr. Kenge of Kenge and Carboy, Lincoln's-inn, for there are many very recognisable traits here.
"He appeared to enjoy beyond everything the sound of his own voice," says Esther Summerson. I couldn't wonder at that, for it was mellow and full, and gave great importance to every word he uttered. He listened to himself with obvious satisfaction, and sometimes gently beat time to his own music with his head or rounded a sentence with his hand. I was very much impressed by him-even then, before I knew that he formed himself on the model of a great lord who was his client, and that he was generally called " conversation Kenge.'
And what shall we say of that most respectable man, that essential cog in the system of Chancery cunctation, Mr. Vholes? He is retained by young Richard Carstone, you remember, in the exuberant hope that he would thereby get something done in Jarndyce v. Jarndyce. But Mr. Vholes is on to his job. He must have time to do things. He has a father and three daughters to support. He must have refreshers." As Dickens puts it, Mr. Vholes with his three daughters and his father in the vale of Taunton, is continually doing duty, like a piece of timber, to shore up some decayed foundation that has become a pitfall and a nuisance. And with a great many people, in a great many instances, the question is never one of a change from Wrong to Right (which is quite an extreme consideration), but is always one of inquiry or advantage to that eminently respectable legion, Vholes." (To be continued).
APPOINTMENTS UNDER THE JOINT STOCK
NOTICES OF APPEARANCE AT HEARING MUST REACH THE SOLICITORS BY 6 P.M. ON TH
CHARLES DEWYNTER LIMITED.-Creditors to send in forthwith, or by
K S.B. SYNDICATE LIMITED. Petition for winding-up to be heard Oct. 17,
CREDITORS UNDER ESTATES IN CHANCERY.
MARTIN (William Samuel Tothill), Peckham Rye Park and East Dulwich.
CREDITORS UNDER 22 & 23 VICT. c. 35. LAST DAY OF CLAIM AND TO WHOM PARTICULARS TO BE SENT. ABRAHAMS (Hannah), Liscard. Oct. 2; A. Levy and Rev. I. Raffalovich, care of Bremner, Sons, and Corlett, Liverpool.
ARKLE (John), Blyth. Sept. 30; Mather and Dickinson, Newcastle-upon-
BROWN (William), York. Oct. 9; J. A. Shaftoe and Son, York.
BLACK (Richard Peel), Brighton. Sept. 30; Latham, New, and Smyth,
BEAL (Rev. Canon Arthur), Upton-on-Severn. Sept. 30; F. W. Romney and Co., Malvern.
BASSNETT (Harriett Elizabeth), Appley Bridge. Sept. 23; Wilson and Bullough, Wigan.
BELL (Charles Page), Broadstairs. Sept. 22; S. B. Williams, Broadstairs. BARKER-BENFIELD (Francis John), Eastbourne. Creditors who have not already done so, to send in, by Sept. 25, to H. W. Roll, Eastbourne. CROSS (Rev. George Fenwick Brown), Scarborough. Nov. 1; Cook, Fowler, and Outhet, Scarborough.
CRAFTER (Jane), East Twickenham. Oct. 10; Burton and Son, Bankchmbrs, Blackfriars-rd, S.E.
CORBETT (Georgiana), Tiddington. Sept. 30; Robert Lunn and Gibbs, Stratford-upon-Avon.
CLIBBON (John William), Purton.
Oct. 1; Kinneir and Co., Swindon. CZARNIKOW (Louisa), Lygon-pl. Oct. 14; Coward and Hawksley, Sons, and Chance, 30, Mincing-la, E.C.
CASHMORE (John), Paddington. Sept. 30; E. Flux Leadbitter and Neighbour, 144, Leadenhall-st, E.C.
DERRY (William), Edgbaston. Oct. 7; J. B. Clarke and Co., Birmingham. DENTON (Hiram), Old Trafford. Oct. 7; Addleshaw, Sons, and Co., Man. chester
DAKIN (John Frampton), West Kensington. Oct. 5; A. Lloyd Jones, Ealing, W.
EVANS (William), Nantygollen, Salop. Oct. 1; Charles Richards and Sons, Llangollen.
FIRTH (Thomas Walter), Bradford. Oct. 5; Gordon, Hunter, and Duncan, Bradford.
FIRTH (Hannah), South Ferriby. Sept. 18; Nowell and Son, Barton-onHumber.
FULFORD (Emma Jane), Salisbury. Sept. 27: Wilson and Sons, Salisbury. FLINT (Abraham Marsh), Larkfield. Sept. 29; Stenning and Son, Maid
FISHER (Henry), Stanningley. Sept. 23; Peckover and Scriven, Leeds.
FORD (Edwin), North Cray, Foots Cray. Bromley.
GEDGE (Arthur), Palmer's Green. Sept. Victoria-st, E.C.
GILFIN (John Austen), Buckland, Dover. Dover.
GRIFFITHS (John James), Willesden-la, N.W. 3, Devonshire-sq, E.C.
Sept. 29; W. G. Weller,
19; E. T. Lea, 52, Queen
Oct. 4; Mowll and Mowll,
Sept. 30; G. and W. Webb,
GILLIE (Robert), Gateshead. Sept. 30; Arnott, Swan, and Walker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
GROOME (Richard Squire), Ealing. Sept. 20: A. H. Procter, Ealing.
HUDSON (William Henry), Patricroft and Pendlebury. Sept. 23; W. La
LOCKER (Thomas George), Erdington. Oct. 7; G. P. Locker, Birmingham.
LOCKYER (Robert), Broadwindsor. Oct. 2; C. F. Saunders, Crewkerne.
PEARD (Capt. George Charles), Knightsbridge. Oct. 6; Trinder, Capron,
POINTON (Ann), Burslem. Oct. 11; Tomkinson, Norris, and Norris,
PEAT (Ellen), Preston Park. Sept. 23; Andrews and Fawcus and Co., 32, Essex-st, Strand, W.C.
RAVEN (Rev. Eustace Horrocks), Ventnor. Sept. 30; Buckell and Drew,
ROSKELL (Nicholas Robert), Kensington. Sept. 30; Witham, Roskell,
STOTT (Thomas), trading as T. Stott and Co., Manchester. Sept. 25;
TURNER (Hannah), Bradford. Sept. 21; Foster, Foster, and Hindley,
TAYLOR (William Isaac), Enfield. Sept. 18; E. H. Taylor and W. T. Strong, 50, Fenchurch-st. E.C.
THOMPSON (Arthur), Fulwood and Sheffield. Oct. 7; T. A. Skinner, Sheffield.
VAUGHAN (Joseph), Presteign. Sept. 29; F. L. Green and Nixson,
WALLIS (Mary Ann), Southampton. Sept. 22; Page and Gulliford,
WHITEHEAD (Jim), Edmonton. Sept. 11; Pierron and Ellis, 10-11, Vernon st, West Kensington, W.
WEGG (Robert), Norwich. Sept. 23: J. W. C. Daynes, Norwich. WRIGHT (Harry Newport), Hove. Oct. 1: Maynard and Smith, Brighton. WATSON (Elizabeth), Darlington. Sept. 2; Steavenson, Sons, and Plant,
WILLS (Thomas Edward). Shaftesbury. Sept. 26; Burridge, Kent, and
WILLS (Cuthbert), Hampstead. Sept. 26; Burridge, Kent, and Forrester,
PROMOTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS.
Information intended for publication under the above heading should reach us not later than Thursday morning in each week, as publication is otherwise delayed.
Mr. REDMOND BARRY, Attorney-General for Ireland, has been Appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in the place of the late Sir Samuel Walker.
Mr. ARTHUR STOCKTON, solicitor, of Banbury, has been elected Town Clerk for the borough in succession to his late brother, Mr. Oliver Stockton. Mr. Stockton was admitted in 1891.
Mr. CLEMENT E. ARNOULD, of 10, New-court, Lincoln's-inn, has been appointed a Commissioner to take Affidavits, Acknowledgments, &c., for the Province of Manitoba.
CUSTODY OF OLD DEEDS AND ABSTRACTS.-The letter of "X. Y." in your issue of the 12th Aug. is well worthy of the attention of solicitors generally and of societies of antiquaries and genealogists. For some time past I have occupied some of my leisure time in collecting, with a view to calendaring, such old deeds and abstracts &c., as came to my hands, with the intention of asking the various county societies of antiquaries, city and borough libraries, and others to undertake the custody as soon as I have enough material to make the charge worthy of their attention, thus following the lines
indicated by "X. Y." As it took some time to get the modern registers of births, marriages, and deaths generally understood, I suggest 1850 is a safer date than 1837; but I also take note of special cases, e.g., a child born in Hong Kong of parents born in Scotland and London and married in Sydney, N.S.W. Two or three others are working with me, and I shall be pleased to receive any old deeds, documents, and plans, otherwise considered valueless, and to correspond with any interested in the work. M. BIDEN.
"X. Y." will probably find the society be requires in the Society of Genealogists of London, incorporated in May last. The hon. secretary's address is 227, Strand (by Temple Bar), London, W.C. If old and otherwise valueless documents could be preserved by this or some other society, a most important service would be rendered to the student of local history in many a district. W. B. B.
NOTES AND QUERIES.
This column is intended for the use of members of the Legal Profession, and therefore queries from lay correspondents cannot be inserted. Under no circumstances are editorial replies undertaken.
None are inserted unless the name and address of the writer are sent, nót necessarily for publication, but as a guarantee of bona fides.
24. CLUB. A registered olub was held until recently on certain private premises consisting of a room (formerly a warehouse) for the purpose of cards and social intercourse, and liquor was purchased by the committee and sold to the members in the usual way. The club has now ceased to exist by resolution of the members. Some of the late members, however, wish to use the old premises as a meeting place for cards and social intercourse. No intoxicating liquor will be supplied, but any member may purchase and keep his own liquor in a separate box in the room, if he wishes it, for his own consumption there. No fixed subscription will be paid, but each member will pay his share of the rent and coat of upkeep. It will be noted that no liquor will be purchased and brought on to the premises except by a member on his own behalf. Opinion is requested on the following points-viz : (1) Whether the proposed meeting for the purposes mentioned can be considered to be a club requiring registration? (2) If so, whether duty under sect. 48 (1) of the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910 can be charged on the liquor consumed? A SUBSCRIBER.
(Q. 19.) PROMISSORY NOTE.—I have perused the article in the Law TIMES, vol. 90, p. 260, referred to by "Interested," to whom I am obliged for his opinion. I hardly think, however, that the authorities quoted there bear upon the case. The question dealt with is that of accord and satisfaction, particularly as regards the effect of acceptance of a debt, after action brought, upon the costs. It seems to me that the authority which I require is one dealing with waiver of default, and, as far as my search into the law on the subject has gone, I think the decision of Norton v. Wood (1 Russ. & M. 172; 32 R. R. 181), which is referred to in the Digest of English Case Law, vol. 14, p. 1766, under the heading " Waiver and Acquiescence," is in point. It decides that if at the time of executing a bond the obligors procure a letter from the obligee stating his intention not to call in the money within a specified period if the interest be regularly paid, payment of interest made one or even two days after it becomes due is no defeasance of the undertaking if the grantor accepts it. This seems analogous to the case of a bill providing that the holder cannot sue for the amount thereof if the instalments are regularly paid payment of instalment accepted after it became due is no default, and therefore no action lies on the bill, although, from the article above referred to, an action would lie to recover the costs indorsed on the writ. The point is certainly a most interesting one, and it is strange that there is no authority more directly bearing SUASORIUS. on it.
(Q. 22.) ANNUITANT EVIDENCE OF BEING ALIVE.-In answer to Doubtful," in a similar case I used to obtain a letter from the vicar of the parish in which the annuitant lived, each quarter, stating that he (the annuitant) was still living. MONTAGU T. TURNER.
(Q. 23.) LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION TO CREDITOR.-In the circumstances stated, administration can only be granted to a creditor if the executor is not willing and competent to take probate or is resident out of the United Kingdom: (see sect. 73 of the Court of Probate Act 1857). The estate might, however, be taken out of the control of the executor either by administration summons in the Chancery Division or by proceedings under the Bankruptcy Acts 1883 and 1890. R.
LAW STUDENTS' JOURNAL.
To SECRETARIES.-Reports of meetings should reach the office not later than first post Thursday morning to ensure insertion in the current number.
THE LAW SOCIETY.
THE next term of the Law Society's teaching session will commence on the 12th inst. Further particulars will be announced in next week's issue.
Mr. HARTLEY B. N. MOTHERSOLE, formerly joint secretary of the Shipbuilding Employers' Federation, Newcastle, died last week at the age of forty-two. Mr. Mothersole was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he obtained a third class in Part I. of the Law Tripos in 1890 and a second class in Part II. in the following year. He afterwards took the LL.M. degree, and was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1893. He practised for some years on the South-Eastern Čircuit and served as secretary of the Home Office Departmental Committee on the Procedure of Royal Commissions and of the Royal Commission on Trade Disputes and Trade Combinations. In 1909 he was appointed joint secretary of the Shipbuilding Employers' Federation, Newcastle, and of the North East Coast Shipbuilding and Engineering Association, which position he resigned in the following
To surrender at their respective District Courts. BARBER, HUBERT CORNELIUS, Pagham, grocer. Ct. Brighton. Aug. 21. BOWDEN, ARTHUR EDWARD, Cullompton, saddler. Ct. Exeter. Aug. 22. BASKETT, GEORGE HENRY, Dorchester, coal merchant. Ct. Dorchester. Aug. 22. CHALLINGSWORTH, WILLIAM (trading as Challingsworth and Co.). Birmingham, brassfounder. Ct. Birmingham. Aug. 22. COLLEY, FRED, Kingston-upon-Hull, fish dealer. Ct. Kingston-upon-Hull. Aug. 23. DIXON, JOHN, Great Grimsby, late confectioner. Ct. Great Grimsby. Aug. 19. GEORGE, EDWIN THOMAS, and GEORGE, ROBERT JAMES (trading as Edwin T. George and Son), Newcastle-upon-Tyne, builders. Ct. Newcastleupon-Tyne. Aug. 19.
LEONHARDT, RUDOLPH (trading as R. L. Hart), Leicester, manufacturer of photographic materials. Ct. Leicester. Aug. 23.
MITCHELL, WILLIAM THOMAS, Todmorden, painter. Ct. Burnley. Aug. 22.
MACNAMARA, OWEN, Bletchley, publican. Ct. Northampton. Aug. 23.
Grimsby. Aug. 22.
PAGE, JESSIE, Gresham, grocer. Ct. Norwich. Aug. 8.
WOZENCROFT, GEORGE, Birmingham, fish dealer. Ct. Birmingham.
WHETSTONE, HERBERT BAKEWELL, Ilketshall Saint Lawrance, director of a public company. Ct. Great Yarmouth. Aug. 21.
WARE, ARTHUR JOHN, Plumstead, builder. Ct. Greenwich. Aug. 23.
WALKE, RICHARD, Plymouth, baker. Ct. Plymouth. Aug. 22.
GAZETTE, AUG. 29.
To surrender at the High Court of Justice, in Bankruptcy. EVERITT, ARTHUR CHARLES (trading as Faritt and Co.), Edric-rd, New Cross, bookmaker. Aug 25.
FELDON, GEORGE, Upper-marsh, Lambeth, box manufacturer. Aug. 24.
HADLEY, JOHN THOMAS, late Furnival-st, printer. Aug. 25.